Archive for the 'Theology and Living' Category

Sermons updated! July’s FFF was a blessing as Derek Pulliam took us through a biblical look at the topic of Joy. You can get the sermon (and others) over on the media page (July 2010) to download directly or simply subscribe to the podcast (the easy way) to get all of them!

And did we mention our podcast is in the iTunes store now ? It is. 🙂

More good things! August 23, 2010, Pastor Damon Horton aka Azriel will be not only the guest artist for the night (ministering cuts from his new CD Systematic Theology Volume One – pick this up quickly!), but he will also be the speaker on this month’s topic: Hope.

Haven’t been to FFF in a while ? We’ll remind you again in a few days. You’ll want to be here for the fellowship, edification and more! 12 W. 22nd Street in Baltimore at Believers’ Chapel. We begin at 8! Hope to see you there!

What if __________ Loses ?

Posted by G.R.A.C.E. Preecha

Fresh off the presses – Thinking Biblically Commentary for October 2008.

What if McCain loses ? What if Obama loses ?

Maybe believers are asking the wrong questions and focused in the wrong places.

The September FFF meeting was spectacular. Audio coming shortly. 🙂

Miguel Davila discusses the topic of regeneration! A great time had by all as usual and the message blessed many.

Date: July 25, 2008
Topic: Regeneration
Speaker:Miguel Davila


With brother Redeemed as host, brothers in The Gathering discussed the topic of Election. This one got so good that we’re going to have to discuss a part 2 to the discussion during a future recording.

Be edified.

The Gathering: 8/20/08 – Election part 1

Suffering and Santification

Posted by Israel Felix
In Theology and Living
9Aug 08

Suffering Prepares Believers for Glory.


A Christian’s life should reflect an appreciation for the “sweet theology of uncomfortable grace,” God’s refining work in a believer through suffering, Paul Tripp said in his November 9 chapel message to Southeastern students. Tripp, a well known author, speaker and the director of Changing Lives International based his message on 1 Peter 1:3-9,
which is called “one of the Bible’s most stunning story summaries…(that) captures everything walking with the Lord is about. “God will take you where you did not plan to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own,” Tripp said. “Very often the moment we’re crying out, ‘Where is the grace of God?’ we’re getting it. But it’s uncomfortable grace.” The passage demonstrates the “then past, then future, and now construction in Scripture,” Tripp said. This axiom summarizes that a Christian’s past, future in eternity, and present circumstances should be understood as a whole. He conceded that most churches do well with the discussion of past and future, but “tend to get lost in the details of now.” Tripp said that Christians often focus on circumstances rather than having “God’s view of what in the world is happening now. “We tend to be so oriented to comfort and oriented to ease,” Tripp said. This causes Christians to view life’s struggles as a sign of God’s inattention rather than God’s refining grace. Tripp relayed a similar message in his “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” conference, held at Southeastern on November 8. The conference was geared toward those pursuing an education in biblical counseling, Tripp’s main area of expertise. The conference and Tripp’s speaking engagements are the result of his quest to keep church counseling from reducing the Bible to a book of directions. “Christianity is not a restorative technology,” Tripp said in a Southeastern class lecture. He urged students to instead view Christianity as life, not applied science. He concluded his chapel message by calling Christians to “celebrate the refining mercy of a powerful and  loving Redeemer. “Do you want a Messiah who will deliver to you your own personal definition of purpose and pleasure and leave you in your own condition?” Tripp asked. “Or do you want a Messiah that says, ‘I mined you so you will reach that glorious state of beauty I intended for you?'”


Carter, Stephanie. “Suffering Prepares Believers for Glory, Tripp says.” Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 22 November 2004. Accessed on 07 August 2008. <>

If you missed FFF June 27th, you missed one of the best ones we’ve had to date.

Here’s the message from June 27th, 2008.

Date: June 27, 2008
Topic: Election
Speaker: Derek Pulliam
Download | Stream

In addition, the latest broadcast of The Gathering discusses the doctrine of Adoption and the implications of it. We also preview new music from Evangel and Voice from both of their upcoming projects. We also interview Evangel for just a few moments.

The Gathering: July 4, 08 – The Doctrine of Adoption

Connecting Doctrine With ‘Real Life’

K. J. Gilliard

A continuing complaint in many churches is that an emphasis on ‘doctrine’  will often be at the expense of teaching believers anything ‘relevant’ to their daily lives.  Thus, in Christian circles, the majority of books that ‘sell’ are books which have to do more with ‘how to make it through my day without losing my temper’ or ‘how to be a better me’ rather than things which focus on the nature, attributes, works and person of God.

As a result, many believers find themselves ill-prepared to answer objections to the Christian faith or to even adequately explain the content of the Christian faith because they either have a shallow or non-existent doctrinal basis for their beliefs.

Now let’s be clear. Making that connection (between right doctrine/teaching and right living) IS absolutely essential and a necessary part of good, sound expositional preaching and teaching.  But we MUST get the doctrine aspect correct first before we attempt to get into the practical aspect.

For example, “How do I become a better husband ?” is probably an immediate question that comes to the average churchgoer’s mind quicker than “Which view of the atonement is correct ?”

Well, the two are intimately connected. Often, people in churches that aren’t doctrinally sound and doctrinally grounded (read: shallow) aren’t made to regularly see the connection between the two – thus, they see and hear doctrine being taught outside of their circles and think its’ not ‘practical’ or ‘relevant’.

So we find the answer to BOTH questions in Eph. 5:22-33.

How is a husband to ‘be a better husband’ ? He is to love his wife in the *same manner* as Christ loved the church – Christ gave Himself up for His bride.

That’s a particular love, not shared with everyone else in the world. That, when cross-referenced with Acts 20:28, John 10:14-17, Matthew 1:21, Titus 2:11-13 and a host of other passages tells us about the extent of the atonement and which view of it is correct. Christ’s love and sacrifice were for His bride, His sheep, His people – not the goats, not the tares, and He intercedes for His people in John 17 – not those outside of His people.

This same kind of love is what a husband’s relationship to his wife should be – specifically, the level of devotion he’s supposed to have and WHERE it should be directed.

So that informs the husband that his desire should be for his wife, not other women. That cuts out all fantasizing, pornography and tells him that as Job did, he needs to make a covenant with his eyes and keep them on his bride – the same way Christ made a covenant with His father and died to bless His bride with every spiritual gift (Eph. 1).

Second, it’s a self-sacrificing love – that informs the husband’s behavior toward his wife is to be of the character that nourishes and protects her the same way Christ does the church, leads her spiritually the same way (v. 26-28 of Ephesians 5). This is a call to spiritual leadership in the home – simply because the same way Christ nourishes and washes His bride with the Word in order to present her spotless and unblemished (notice the Word is the means of our sanctification), the husband is to model this same spiritual behavior in his home as priest and head.

Here, we see the doctrine of sanctification set alongside how a husband is to love his wife and lead his home.

There is MUCH more in this passage, but prayerfully you get the idea.  Right doctrine taught rightly shows us how to live right and why we need to live right.  If this foundation is not in place, the process of simply ‘living a good life’ becomes nothing more than moralism and personal preference– something which will put believers in a position where their beliefs will only be treated as an option (alongside other moral standards that do not get their start with God) rather than as ultimate truth.

There are many resources for believers now from good, solid teachers that can help believers. Desiring GOD has an entire library of works from John Piper (including all 25+ years of his sermons) online for free as MP3’s and in text form for study and growth in the faith. Likewise, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Voddie Baucham and many  other teachers have made their materials free so that if you’re reading this article, you can access their works too.

Invest the time. It will be returned to you in years of spiritual productivity and less frustration with learning how to deal with these issues when they actually arise rather than learning about them beforehand and being prepared.

In closing, I must give credit to John L. Duncan of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi for giving the original message that helped to inspire this article.  The message is entitled “Sound Doctrine – Essential to Faithful Pastoral Ministry” and was given in April 2008 at the Together for the Gospel Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Our Hope in the Resurrection of Christ”
by M.A. Armstrong


“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death:” Revelation 1:18 KJV


Over 1900 years ago, the apostle John wrote these words of our glorious Savior and King, Jesus Christ. A lot of believers misunderstand the book of Revelation to be about the anti-Christ and the seals and the devil and the lake of fire. Their fixation is upon the eschatological (end times) unfolding within the pages of the book. And while these things are all included, this is not the true object of the book of Revelation.


“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” Revelation 1:1 KJV


The book of Revelation is about He who lived, and was dead, and now lives forevermore. The book of Revelation is about Jesus Christ, the victorious King of kings and Lord of lords, who defeated death on the cross, and was raised up with all power in His hand. It is a revealing of what was once hidden and now made clearly seen. Jesus Christ in His full glory.


While I don’t want us to delve into Revelation today, I want us to focus on what it means for us that Christ was raised from the dead and now lives forevermore. Let’s look to the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.


“1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 NASB


Here we have the most important message that the world has ever been delivered, that Christ died for the sins of His people according to the Scriptures, was buried and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. This is certainly good news for us, who were dead in our trespasses and sins and utterly helpless, without hope.


Much is talked about concerning Christ’s perfect life of obedience to the will and purpose of the Father as well as His sacrificial, substitutionary atonement on the cross, but many miss the importance of Christ’s bodily resurrection. All three of these truths are foundational to the Christian faith.


But, in the Corinthian church, there was some misunderstanding about Christ’s resurrection. Yes, they believed in Christ’s resurrection, but some of them were having trouble accepting the resurrection of the believers also. At the time of the Corinthians, there was a tenet of Greek philosophy called dualism. It basically stated that everything that was physical was intrinsically evil. Because of this widely held belief, the thought of resurrected bodies was disgusting. We see this type of reaction from the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Acts 17:32:


“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.”


Epicureans were materialists, and while they did not deny the existence of God, they didn’t believe He was involved in the affairs of men. They believed that the body and soul of a man disintegrated when he died.


It’s also possible that some Jews in the Corinthian church may have been influenced by the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection even though it was “according to the Scriptures” as Paul noted in 1 Cor. 15.

12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?


Here Paul begins to lay out the argument for the necessity of the resurrection.


“13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, who He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”


Dr. John MacArthur writes:


“In these verses, Paul gives 6 disastrous consequences if there were no resurrection: 1) preaching Christ would be senseless (v. 14); 2) faith in Christ would be useless (v. 14); 3) all the witnesses and preachers of the resurrection would be liars (v. 15); 4) no one would be redeemed from sin (v. 17); 5) all former believers would have perished (v. 18); and 6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on earth (v. 19)”


What a hopeless people we would be without the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We’d have no hope of future bodily resurrection and all those before us would have died believing in vain. As seen in verses 13 and 16, the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of believers stand and fall together. If there is no life to come, we’d be better to “eat, drink and be merry” for tomorrow we die.


I’m going to leave off today with the Scriptures. They explain our hope in the resurrection infinitely better than I could even attempt.


“20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 the last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to HIm, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all”

“54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the say that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.” 55 O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”


February and March Messages Available!

Posted by G.R.A.C.E. Preecha

Just click on the link to the podcast or the audio/video link above!

The February message from Elder Novell Deloatch and the March message from Pastor Tony Arnold are now available for download and listening. Be edified and blessed by them! And be sure to join us tonight for FFF at Believers’ Chapel!

February 22, 2008 – The Problem God’s Holiness Presents for Man’s Sinfulness, Elder Novell Deloatch Download | Stream

March 28, 2008 – The Solution, Pastor Tony Arnold Download | Stream

[CSF] God the All-Seeing One

Posted by G.R.A.C.E. Preecha
In Theology and Living
13Mar 08

The next few posts will be of a sermon by Spurgeon on the practical effects of God’s omniscience. I hope they are a blessing to you.

Grace and Peace

“Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”—Proverbs 15:11.

YOU HAVE OFTEN smiled at the ignorance of heathens who bow themselves before gods of wood and stone. You have quoted the words of Scripture, and you have said, “Eyes have they but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not.” You have therefore argued that they could not be gods at all, because they could neither see nor hear, and you have smiled contemptuously at the men who could so debase their understandings as to make such things objects of adoration. May I ask you one question—but one? Your God can both see and hear: would your conduct be in any respect different, if you had a god such as those that the heathen worship? Suppose for one minute, that Jehovah, who is nominally adored in this land, could be (though it is almost blasphemy to suppose it) smitten with such a blindness, that he could not see the works and know the thoughts of man: would you then become more careless concerning him than you are now?

I trow not. In nine cases out of ten, and perhaps in a far larger and sadder proportion, the doctrine of Divine Omniscience, although it is received and believed, has no practical effect upon our lives at all. The mass of mankind forget God: whole nations who know his existence and believe that he beholds them, live as if they had no God at all.

Merchants, farmers, men in their shops, and in their fields, husbands in their families, and wives in the midst of their households, live as if there were no God; no eye inspecting them; no ear listening to the voice of their lips, and no eternal mind always treasuring up the recollection of their acts. Ah! we are practical Atheists, the mass of us; yea, all but those that have been born again, and have passed from death unto life, be their creeds what they may, are Atheists, after all, in life; for if there were no God, and no hereafter, multitudes of men would never be affected by the change; they would live the same as they do now—their lives being so full of disregard of God and his ways, that the absence of a God could not affect them in any great degree.

Permit me, then, this morning, as God shall help me, to stir up your hearts; and may God grant that something I may say, may drive some of your practical Atheism out of you. I would endeavor to set before you, God, the all-seeing one, and press upon your solemn consideration the tremendous fact, that in all our acts, in all our ways, and in all our thoughts, we are continually under his observing eye.

– Charles H. Spurgeon