f The Wittenberg Door: December 2012

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lord, Awake Faith!

From Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers:

My God, I bless Thee that Thou hast given me the eye of faith, to see Thee as Father, to know Thee as a covenant God, to experience Thy love planted in me; for faith is the grace of union by which I spell out my entitlement to Thee: faith casts my anchor upwards where I trust in Thee and engage Thee to be my Lord.

Be pleased to live and move within me, breathing in my prayers, inhabiting my praises, speaking in my words, moving in my actions, living in my life, causing me to grow in grace.

Thy bounteous goodness has helped me believe, but my faith is weak and wavering, its light dim, its steps tottering, its increase slow, its backslidings frequent; it should scale the heavens, but it lies grovelling in the dust. Lord, fan this diving spark into glowing flame. When faith sleeps, my heart become an unclean thing, the fount of every loathsome desire, to cage of unclean lusts all fluttering to escape, the noxious tree of deadly fruit, the open wayside of earthly tares.

Lord, awake faith to put forth its strength until all heaven fills my soul and all impurity is cast out.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Notable Quote: John Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748 – 1827) on the law-gospel distinction …

Every passage of sacred Scripture is either law or gospel, or is capable of being referred either to the one or the other…. If they [critics] blend the law with the gospel or, which is the same thing, works with faith, especially in the affair of justification, they will thereby obscure the glory of redeeming grace and prevent themselves from attaining joy and peace in believing.

Treatise on the Law and the Gospel

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Notable Quote: James Motgomery Boice

James Motgomery Boice on the impact of the virgin birth upon one’s worldview . . .

The virgin birth is important in regard to our world view. When I speak of a world view, I mean a total world philosophy. The most important issue in philosophy is whether we are living in a closed universe or an open universe. When we look about at the visible universe, when we see matter and the laws that govern it, the basic question is whether that is all there is. If it is, we have a closed universe. That is the dominant view of our time. On the other hand, when we look at the universe of things and ideas, do we confess that we are not dealing with a closed universe but with a universe in which God lies above and beyond what we see? That is an open universe, and that is the Bible’s view.

The Christ of Christmas


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Notable Quote: James Boice

On solus Christus . . .

The Reformers taught that salvation is by and through the work of Jesus Christ only, which is what the slogan solus Christus refers to. It means that [through the cross and the empty tomb] Jesus has done it all so that now no merit on the part of man, no merit of the saints, no works of ours performed either here or in purgatory can add to that completed saving work.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Notable Quote: William Tyndale

William Tyndale (1494 – 1596) on the law-gospel distinction . . .

In the Old Testament are many promises, which are nothing else but the Evangelion or gospel, to save those that believed them from the vengeance of the law. And in the New Testament is oft made mention of the law, to condemn them which believe not the promises. Moreover, the law and the gospel may never be separate: for the gospel and promises serve but for troubled consciences, which are brought to desperation, and feel the pains of hell and death under the law, and are in captivity and bondage under the law. In all my deeds I must have the law before me, to condemn mine imperfectness. For all that I do (be I never so perfect) is yet damnable sin, when it is compared to the law, which requreth the ground and bottom of mine heart.

I must therefore have always the law in my sight, that I may be meek in the spirit, and give God all the laud and praise, ascribing to him all righteousness, and to myself all unrighteousness and sin. I must also have the promises before mine eyes, that I despair not; in which promises I see the mercy, favor, and good-will of God upon me in the blood of his Son Christ, which hath made satisfaction for mine imperfectness, and fulfilled for me that which I could not do . . .

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Notable Quote: R.C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul defines inspiration and infallibility:

Holy Scripture, as the inspired Word of God witnessing authoritatively to Jesus Christ, may properly be called infallible and inerrant.

Infallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters.

Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.

Explaining Inerrancy

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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Notable Quotes: The Scots Confession

The Scots Confession (1560) on the three marks of the church . . .

The notes of the true Kirk, therefore, we believe, confess, and avow to be: first, the true preaching of the Word of God, in which God has revealed Himself to us, as the writings of the prophets and apostles declare; secondly, the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus, with which must be associated with Word and promise of God to seal and confirm them in our hearts; and lastly, ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered, as God’s Word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed and virtue nourished.

HT: Valiant for Truth

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