Search Results: purpose

1

To really be gripped by your identity in God’s greatness you must wade out of the shallow waters of self-absorption into the deep waters of praising Him at all times for all things. Remember, God formed you for that very purpose. Embrace your identity as a forgiven worshiper of this all-patient God.

2

The purpose of reading, explaining and applying a portion of Scripture is to obey the command to “preach the Word.” In no other way may we expect to experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our preaching. He did not spend thousands of years producing the Old and New Testaments…only to ignore it! What He “moved” men to write He now motivates us to preach. He has not promised to bless our word; that promise extends only to His own (Isa. 55:10, 11).

3

The purpose of preaching, then, is to effect changes among the members of God’s church that build them up individually and that build up the body as a whole. Individually, good pastoral preaching helps each person in the congregation to grow in his faith, conforming his life more and more to biblical standards. Corporately, such preaching builds up the church as a body in the relationship of the parts to the whole, and the whole to God and to the world.

4

The rod, carefully administered with love, meaning, and purpose (as well as the right amount of force), is the most merciful form of punishment… (When the child is grounded) and his parents are on the outs with him for days. Is that really merciful? That is torture… The rod is a punishment quickly and mercifully inflicted.

5

The normal state is marriage, not celibacy. A man and wife – not single persons – were put into the garden. Celibacy is exceptional and it takes a particular gift. Indeed, God specifically declared that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). He insists, as the norm, that a man must leave his father and mother and “cleave to his wife” (Gen. 2:24). God ordained marriage for His purposes. Those purposes are outlined in Scripture.

6

God’s gifts are not given capriciously; neither are they given in such a way that the option for their use is left with us. As the gifts are discovered they are to be developed and used to the full in His service and to His glory. God distributes His gifts for His purposes and for the good of His people. His sovereign administration of these gifts must be acknowledged as right and proper by His people, even when they cannot see the good.

7

What is “fear of God?” Living with an acute awareness of His loving hand in every area of
my life, guiding me through the revealed Word of God, and recognizing that only when I trust
and obey Him can life have true meaning and purpose for me. To fear God is to love Him so
intensely that I fear doing anything that might grieve Him.

8

The crux of the human problem, according to Israel’s faith, is not the fact of suffering but the character of man’s relationship to God. Outside the relationship for which man was created, suffering drives men to despair or to the easy solutions of popular religion. Within the relationship of faith, suffering may be faced in the confidence that man’s times are in God’s hands and that “in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

9

The crux of the human problem, according to Israel’s faith, is not the fact of suffering but the character of man’s relationship to God. Outside the relationship for which man was created, suffering drives men to despair or to the easy solutions of popular religion. Within the relationship of faith, suffering may be faced in the confidence that man’s times are in God’s hands and that “in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

10

It is not the being seen of men that is wrong, but doing these things for the purpose of being seen of men. The problem with the hypocrite is his motivation. He does not want to be holy; he only wants to seem to be holy. He is more concerned with his reputation for righteousness than about actually becoming righteous. The approbation of men matters more to him than the approval of God.

11

It is not the pain but the purpose that makes a martyr.

12

Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator: single letters, and syllables uncomposed, are no better than nonsense. He who overlooks Him who is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,” and sees not Him in all who is the All of all, doth see nothing at all.

13

Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator.

14

[We must determine] what the passage means in its original context… [I am] wary of trying to apply the text to Cleveland before I have discovered Paul’s purpose in addressing the congregation in first-century Corinth.

15

We must learn where our personal weaknesses lie. Once they are identified, we must be ruthless in dealing with them. Earlier generations called this the “mortification of the flesh,” that is, pronouncing the death sentence upon sin and putting that sentence into daily effect by killing all that sets itself against God’s purpose in our lives.

16

If we are devoid of a theology of suffering, we are in danger of marginalizing our expectations of heaven… If we conclude that we are now to experience total healing, unfettered joy, unparalleled success, and freedom from pain, then why be concerned about heaven? How did Paul handle his sufferings and encourage the church to face theirs? Not by trying to produce heaven on earth but by recognizing that for the Christian the best is yet to be. He took the moment and put it in the larger context of God’s unfolding purpose, not only for time but also in eternity (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

17

We have sought to circumscribe the ministry of God’s Spirit, despite the fact that it is depicted in terms of two of the most uncontrollable aspects of nature – wind and fire. We have settled for adequacy when God’s purpose for us is abundance.

18

The decree of God is His eternal plan or purpose, in which He has foreordained all things that come to pass. Since it includes many particulars, we often speak of the divine decrees in the plural, though in reality there is but a single decree. It covers all the works of God in creation and redemption, and also embraces the actions of men, not excluding their sinful deeds. But while it rendered the entrance of sin into the world certain, it does not make God responsible for our sinful deeds. His decree with respect to sin is a permissive decree.

19

Free-will tears the reins of government out of the hands of God, and robs Him of His power. It places the creatures beyond His absolute control and in some respects gives them veto power over His eternal will and purpose. It even makes it possible that angels and saints in heaven might sin, that there might again be a general rebellion in heaven such as is supposed to have occurred when Satan and the fallen angels were cast out, and that evil might become dominant or universal.

20

You are perplexed by the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and election. I wonder that any man believing in a God should be perplexed by these. For if there be a God, a King, eternal, immortal, and invisible, He cannot but be sovereign – and He cannot but do according to His own will and choose according to His own purpose. You may dislike these doctrines, but you can only get quit of them by denying altogether the existence of an infinitely wise, glorious, and powerful Being. God would not be God were He not thus absolutely sovereign in His present doings and His eternal pre-arrangements.

21

In vain will ye fast, and pretend to be humbled for our sins, and make confession of them if our love of sin be not turned into hatred; our liking of it into loathing; and our cleaving to it, into a longing to be rid of it; with full purpose to resist the motions of it in our heart, and the outbreakings thereof in our life; and if we turn not unto God as our rightful Lord and Master, and return to our duty again.

22

The properties of God’s decrees:

1. They are eternal. God makes no decrees in time, but they were all from eternity. If the divine decrees were not eternal, God would not be most perfect and unchangeable, but, like weak man, should take new counsels, and would be unable to tell everything that were to come to pass (Eph. 1:4).

2. They are most wise. God cannot properly deliberate or take counsel, as men do; for He sees all things together and at once. Nothing is determined that could have been better determined (Rom. 11:33).

3. They are free. [They depend] on no other, but all flowing from the mere pleasure of His own will. He has made no decrees suspended on any condition without Himself (Rom. 11:34).

4. They are unchangeable. God’s decrees are constant; and He by no means alters His purpose, as men do (Psm. 33:1).

5. They are most holy and pure (1 Jn. 1:5).

6. They are effectual. Whatsoever God decrees comes to pass infallibly (Isa. 46.10).

23

It is our duty to look to God’s commands, and not to His decrees; to our own duty, and not to His purposes. The decrees of God are a vast ocean, into which many possibly have curiously pried to their own horror and despair; but few or none have ever pried into them to their own profit and satisfaction.

24

Courtship=It is engaged in for exploring a relationship for marriage. Dating=It is engaged in for the purpose of personal gratification. Courtship=It is a means to an end. It is engaged in only when ready to marry. Dating=It is an end in itself. It is engaged in years before ready to marry, or as a substitute for marriage. Courtship= It requires parental involvement (except with remarriage). Dating=It generally discourages parental involvement. Courtship=It limits the number of premarital relationships developed. Dating=It provides extensive opportunities to develop multiple relationships. Courtship= It considers all physical contact a privilege of those who have bound themselves for life with marriage vows. Dating=It promotes various levels of physical contact, from holding hands to fornication. Courtship=It rarely leaves couples alone or unchaperoned. Dating=It provides extensive time for unmarried couples to be alone.

25

Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose.

26

God never pursues His glory at the expense of the good of His people, nor does He ever seek our good at the expense of His glory. He has designed His eternal purpose so that His glory and our good are inextricably bound together. What comfort and encouragement this should be to us. If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe that just as certainly as God will allow nothing to subvert His glory, so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us.

27

The author of Hebrews readily admits that discipline is painful (Heb. 10:11). But He also assures us it is profitable. It produces “a harvest of righteousness and peace.” The purpose of God’s discipline is not to punish us but to transform us. He has already meted out punishment for our sins on Jesus at Calvary: “The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5). But we must be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. That is the purpose of discipline.

28

If Christ came that we might have joy (life to the full), if the Holy Spirit is at work in us to produce joy, then it is a contradiction of God’s purpose for us when we are not joyful.

29

The purpose of rejoicing is not so we can feel better emotionally (though that will happen). The purpose of joy is to glorify God by demonstrating to an unbelieving world that our loving and faithful heavenly Father cares for us and provides for us all that we need.

30

God can and does work in the hearts and minds of rulers and officials of government to accomplish His sovereign purpose. Their hearts and minds are as much under His control as the impersonal physical laws of nature. Yet their every decision is made freely – most often without any thought or regard to the will of God.

31

The so-called sovereign nations of the world are not truly sovereign. They are nothing more than instruments in the hand of God to accomplish His will; sometimes to protect His people, sometimes to open doors for advancement of the gospel, and sometimes to be His instrument of judgment against ungodliness. As God looks down upon the nations that accomplish His purpose, even while rebelling against Him, He sees them as nothing more than His instruments (Isaiah 10:15).

32

God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (see Romans 8:28-29).

33

That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.

34

Our first priority in times of adversity is to honor and glorify God by trusting Him. We tend to make our first priority the gaining of relief from our feelings of heartache or disappointment or frustration. This is a natural desire, and God has promised to give us grace sufficient for our trials and peace for our anxieties (2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:6-7). But just as God’s will is to take precedence over our will (Jesus Himself said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will” – Matthew 26:39), so God’s honor is to take precedence over our feelings. We honor God by choosing to trust Him when we don’t understand what He is doing or why He has allowed some adverse circumstance to occur. As we seek God’s glory, we may be sure that He has purposed our good and that He will not be frustrated in fulfilling that purpose.

35

Jesus did not die just to give us peace and a purpose in life; He died to save us from the wrath of God. He died to reconcile us to a holy God who was alienated from us because of our sin. He died to ransom us from the penalty of sin – the punishment of everlasting destruction, shut out from the presence of the Lord. He died that we, the just objects of God’s wrath, should become, by His grace, heirs of God and co-heirs with Him.

36

God has provided all we need for our pursuit of holiness. He has delivered us from the reign of sin and given us His indwelling Holy Spirit. He has revealed His will for holy living in His Word, and He works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose. He has sent pastors and teachers to exhort and encourage us in the path of holiness; and He answers our prayers when we cry to Him for strength against temptation.

37

Quite possibly there is no greater conformity to the world among evangelical Christians today than the way in which we, instead of presenting our bodies as holy sacrifices, pamper and indulge them in defiance of our better judgment and our Christian purpose in life.

38

Discipline may be either corrective or remedial.  It may be sent for the purpose of correcting some sinful attitude or action, or to remedy some lack in our character.  In either case, it is administered by our heavenly Father in love, not in wrath. Jesus has already borne the wrath of God in our place, so all adversities that come to us, come because He loves us and designs to conform us to the likeness of His Son.

39

Confidence in the sovereignty of God in all that affects us is crucial to our trusting Him. If there is a single event in all of the universe that can occur outside of God’s sovereign control then we cannot trust Him. His love may be infinite, but if His power is limited and His purpose can be thwarted, we cannot trust Him.

40

The primary meaning of the word “love” in Scripture is a purposeful commitment to sacrificial action for another. In fact, loving God is demonstrated by obeying His Word (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23-24; 1 Jn. 5:3; 2 Jn. 1:6). Powerful emotions may accompany biblical love, but it is the commitment of the will that holds love steadfast and unchanging. Emotions may change, but a commitment to love in a biblical manner endures and is the hallmark of a disciple of Jesus Christ.

41

Depression is not a disease. While there are some organic malfunctions that may trigger feelings of depression, many symptoms and maladies defined as depression (whether short-lived or chronic) are the consequences of unbiblical habits and/or sinful reactions to circumstances and other people. Depression that stems from unbiblical living can be overcome as you deal biblically with your sins and purposefully live in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord.

42

Listen, God invented sexual arousal. But for what purpose? To prepare your bodies for sex. Leading to sex is what sexual arousal is for. Don’t say, “We’ll do things that sexually arouse us, but we won’t let them lead to sex.” That’s like turning on powerful rocket motors but saying, “Don’t life off.” The solution? Avoid the things that arouse you! If sex is only for marriage, sexual arousal must be too.

43

[Some] take some things of Christ not the whole Christ. They think it’s only believing on Him as a Saviour for pardon of sin; they do not choose Him as Lord to whom in all obedience they resign themselves. This is indeed the rock that splits many, tell them of believing in Christ, and they think that is only to rest on Him for salvation, they attend not that it is receiving of Christ for all ends and purposes God sent Him into the world.

44

There cannot be a surer rule, nor a stronger exhortation to the observance of it, than when we are taught that all the endowments which we possess are divine deposits entrusted to us for the very purpose of being distributed for the good of our neighbour.

45

Just as the angel’s announcement to Joseph declared Jesus’ primary purpose to be to save His people from their sins (Mt. 1:21), so the first announcement of the kingdom (delivered by John the Baptist) is associated with repentance and confession of sin (Mt. 3:6).

46

Biblical writers in both the OT and NT have, on the whole, fewer problems about the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility than do many moderns. This is not because they fail to distinguish purpose and consequence, as many affirm, but because they do not see divine sovereignty and human responsibility as antitheses. In short they are compatibilists and therefore juxtapose the two themes with little self-conscious awareness of the problem (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Jud. 14:4; Isa. 10:5-7; Hag. 1:12-14; Jn. 11:49-52).

47

As water is deepest where it is the stillest, so where God is most silent in threatening and patient in sparing, there He is most inflamed with anger and purpose of revenge; and, therefore, the fewer the judgments be that are poured forth upon the wicked in this life, the more are reserved in store for them in the life to come.

48

The supreme purpose of God is to be realized through the salvation of men by grace alone. So fully does that supreme purpose now dominate the divine undertakings in the universe that everything in heaven and in the earth is contributing solely to the one end. To gain the realization of this supreme purpose, this age, which continues from the death of Christ to His coming again, was ushered in. These long centuries of human struggle were decreed for this one purpose. No vision which is less than this will prove sufficient. Men with blinded eyes do not see afar off. To such, the world is moving on by mere chance, or to the supposed consummation of some human glory in the earth. Eyes thus blinded see nothing of the glory of heaven; minds thus darkened understand nothing of the supreme purpose of God in the demonstration of the exceeding riches of His grace. But when this age is consummated, it will be clearly seen by all beings in heaven and in the earth that these centuries of the on-moving universe have been designed for no other reason than the realization of the supreme purpose of God in the salvation of men by grace alone.

49

Enthusiasm is a virtue rarely produced in a state of calm and unruffled repose. It flourishes in adversity. It kindles in the hour of danger and rises to deeds of renown. The terrors of persecution only serve to awaken the energy of its purposes. It swells in the pride of integrity, and great in the purity of its cause, it can scatter defiance amid a host of enemies.

50

Sanctification means intense concentration on God’s point of view. It means every power of body, soul, and spirit is chained and kept for God’s purpose only. It will cause an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God. Are we prepared for God to do all in us that He separated us for? The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized its meaning from God’s standpoint. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Jesus has prayed that we might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. The one and only characteristic of the Holy Spirit in a person is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ and freedom from everything that is unlike Him.

51

God can achieve His purpose either through the absence of human power and resources, or abandonment of reliance on them. All through history God has chosen and used nobodies, because their unusual dependence on Him made possible the unique display of His power and grace. He chose and used somebodies only when they renounced dependence on their natural abilities and resources.

52

This does not mean that I cannot desire to be blessed by my service to God. In fact, God promises to bless our obedience according to His loving purposes, and in some measure He uses these blessings to encourage us to honor His standards. The point is not that His blessings should never motivate us at all, but they cannot be the driving force of our service. His blessings are the oil that helps the machinery of obedience operate, but love for God and desire for His glory are the pistons and wheels.

53

Since God’s justice has been fully satisfied, the remaining purposes of His discipline are to help those dear to Him to know more of the riches of His grace, and to grow more like Him. Divine discipline is intended to benefit the wayward rather than to exact retribution for wrong.

54

Because God’s eternal purposes may require the forfeiture of earthly benefits, we cannot make temporal rewards the chief motive of our obedience. Such rewards are not absolutely promised in Scripture and would be unsuitable as the chief aim of our lives. If Christians always received material blessing as a recompense for obedience, then it would be impossible to separate personal duty from divine bribery. Christianity would become merely a bartering system for personal gain. God’s ends are not so shortsighted or earthbound.

55

To properly evaluate the place of good works in the Christian life, we must understand that grace maintains the value of God’s children apart from any merit of their own; but we must also understand that God uses our obedience to promote our good and His glory. By our accomplishments, God works His holy purposes in our lives, provides us with many temporal blessings and, most of all, fulfills our Spirit-instilled longing to honor God with all our heart, soul, mind, and might (cf. Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). While we must be careful not to define blessing only in terms of material possessions or earthly ease, we must also embrace the promise that God “rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).

56

God is great, and worship is our response to His greatness! The church’s primary purpose is to insure that God receives the glory He desires and deserves. That is why the saints gather together to corporately rehearse the greatness of God through worship. The focus of the church should be the worth-ship of God. Evangelism’s main goal is first and foremost to recruit worshippers for God. When Christ is embraced as offered in the Gospel, the believer is brought into a personal worshipping relationship with God the Father.

57

The question is whether man’s salvation is held up as the great goal of the covenant of redemption, or whether God’s glorification is the primary goal of the covenant of redemption. If the benefit of man were allowed to become the ultimate purpose of the church, it would actually be a failure. Man was created to have a higher purpose than himself. If the blessing of man becomes the ultimate motivation, then he is living far below and for far less than that for which God created him.

58

It is the grace of God that fallen men most detest. If lost men really thought that God is a harsh and cruel deity who deals severely with all who offend Him, they would cower in His presence, and they would do everything possible to avoid His wrath. Men do not fear God, however; they disdain Him. They interpret His grace as weakness and His delay of judgment as inability to achieve His purposes. Men who are sinners do not want to admit their own guilt and thus do not want to petition God for grace. They will have heaven on their own terms or not at all. Thus lost men will go to hell because they hate grace and will have none of it.

59

The purpose of the church assembling together for the regular worship service is not for evangelism. The church is a gathering or assembly of believers who do not need to be evangelized. The purpose of the church meeting together is to edify the saints, equip them for service, and to bring them to maturity (Eph.4:13-15). The early church met together and “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). They met together to worship God, and to minister to one another, thus building up the Body of Christ. When saints are taught and trained, then they will be brought to the “fullness of Christ” (Eph.4:13).

60

Why care about being holy? Why be willing to say no to your flesh and yes to God, day in and day out? Because the world desperately needs to see what God is like. Because it is your created purpose and your ultimate destiny to be holy. Because of the price Jesus paid to make you holy. Because you are a saint. Because holy people get to see and know God. Because you’re getting ready to move to a place where there is no sin. And because your example may inspire someone who is watching you to choose or reject the pathway of holiness.

61

I learned early on that to be “set apart” is not a punishment; it is not an attempt on God’s part to deprive us or to condemn us to a cheerless, joyless lifestyle.  It is a priceless privilege – it is a call to belong, to be cherished, to enter into an intimate love relationship with God Himself, much as a groom declares his intent to set his bride apart from all other women to be his beloved wife; to fit into the grand, eternal plan of our redeeming God for this universe; to experience the exquisite joys and purposes for which we were created; to be freed from all that destroys our true happiness.

62

O God, make us desperate, and grant us faith and boldness to approach Your throne and make our petitions known, knowing that in doing we link arms with Omnipotence and become instruments of Your eternal purposes being fulfilled on this earth.

63

Once we agree with God that we exist for His pleasure and His glory, we can accept whatever comes into our lives as part of His sovereign will and purpose. We will not resent, resist, or reject the hard things, but embrace them as friends, sovereignly designed by God to make us more like Jesus and to bring glory to Himself.

64

It should come as no huge surprise that the secular world is confused and off-base about the identity and calling of women. But what I find distressing is the extent to which (this) has taken hold even within the evangelical world. We see the fruit of that revolution as prominent Christian speakers, authors, and leaders promote an agenda, whether subtly or overtly, that encourages women to define and discover their worth in the workplace, in society, or at church, while minimizing (or even at the expense of) their distinctive roles in the home as daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers – as bearers and nurturers of life, caregivers, as those privileged and responsible to shape the heart and character of the next generation. The feminist revolution was supposed to bring women greater fulfillment and freedom. It was supposed to make us feel better about ourselves; after all, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” But we see the poisoned fruit of the revolution in the eyes and pitiable cries of women who are drowning in the quagmire of serial divorce and remarriage and wayward children; women who are utterly exhausted from the demands of trying to juggle one or more jobs, function as single parents and be active in church; women who are disoriented and confused, who lack sense of mission, vision, and purpose for their lives and who are perpetually, pathetically shrouded in woundedness, self-doubt, resentment, and guilt.

65

1. Pride Is the Root of All Evil (Genesis 3:5; 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 2:15-17). 2. God Hates Pride (Proverbs 8:13; 16:5; Isaiah 23:9; Daniel 4:29-37; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). 3. God Loves Humility (Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 18:12, 29:23; Isaiah 57:15, 66:2; Micah 6:8; Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:6). 4. What Pride Is Not: a. Acknowledging and appreciating the gifts and abilities God has given you. b. The presence of godly desire, ambition and purposeful direction in your life (1 Timothy 3:1). c. Acknowledging the work of God within you. d. The pursuit of excellence. e. Defending and proclaiming the truth of Scripture. 5. Pride Is Deceptive (John 8:31-36; Jeremiah 49:16; Proverbs 16:2, 21:2).

66

Biblical church discipline is simple obedience to God and a simple confession that we need help. We cannot live the Christian life alone. Our purpose in church discipline is positive for the individual disciplined, for other Christians as they see the real danger of sin, for the health of the church as a whole, and for the corporate witness of the church to those outside. Most of all, our holiness is to reflect the holiness of God. It should mean something to be a member of the church, not for our pride’s sake but for God’s name’s sake. Biblical church discipline is a mark of a healthy church.

67

Sexuality in the context of heterosexual marriage is not only good, but exclusively good. Only heterosexual marriage relationships can show forth the complementary design of men and women. According to the apostle Paul, one of the purposes of marriage is to show forth the mystery of Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32). If marriage can be construed as a man and a man or a woman and a woman, what is left of the glorious mystery of Christ and the church? We are left with only Christ and Christ or church and church.

68

Public worship occurs when the people of God assemble for the express purpose of giving to the Lord the glory due His name and enjoying the joy of His promised special presence with His own people.

69

Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control. His sovereignty is absolute. Everything that happens is uniquely ordained by God. Sovereignty is a weighty thing to ascribe to the nature and character of God. Yet if He were not sovereign, He would not be God. The Bible is clear that God is in control of everything that happens.

70

For God to explain a trial would be to destroy its purpose, calling forth simple faith and implicit obedience.

71

Dull. I find, by experience, that, let me make Resolutions, and do what I will, with never so many inventions, it is all nothing, and to no purpose at all, without the Spirit of God; for if the Spirit of God should be as much withdrawn from me always, as for the week past, notwithstanding all I do, I should not grow, but should languish, and miserably fade away. I perceive, if God should withdraw his Spirit a little more, I should not hesitate to break my Resolutions, and should soon arrive at my old state. There is no dependence on myself.

72

When ministers preach about hell and warn sinners to avoid it in a cold manner – though they may say in words that it is infinitely terrible – they contradict themselves. For actions…have a language as well as words. If a preacher’s words represent the sinner’s state as infinitely dreadful while his behavior and manner of speaking contradict it – showing that the preacher does not think so – he defeats his own purpose. The language of his actions in such a case is much more powerful than the bare meaning of his words.

73

Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.

74

Marriage is not a human invention, it is the creation of God; it did not originate in the mind of man, but in the mind of God. This being the case, man cannot change the definition or purpose of marriage to suit himself. The redefinition of marriage is the negation of marriage.

75

Obviously self-esteem is not the point. It may be all that can be used for folks in a secular society that will not esteem God, but it is hardly God’s great purpose to make you feel like you’re something special.

76

What are the Substitutes for true Repentance?

1. You may reform in the actions without repenting in the heart (Ps. 51:16-17; Joel 2:13).

2. You may experience the emotion of repentance without the effect of it.

3. You may confess the words of a true repenter and never repent (Mt. 21:28-32; 1 Jn. 2:4, 4:20).

4. You may repent for the fear of reprisal alone and not for the hatred of sin.

5. You may talk against sin in public like a true repenter but never repent in private (Mt. 23:1-3).

6. You may repent primarily for temporal gains rather than the glory of God.

7. You may repent of lesser sins for the purpose of avoiding the greater sins (Lk. 11:42).

8. You may repent so generally that you never repent of any specific sin at all.

9. You may repent for the love of friends and religious leaders and not repent for the love of God (Isa. 1: 10-17).

10. You may confess the finished action of sin and not repent from the continuing habit of sin.

11. You may attempt repentance of your sin while consciously leaving open the door of its opportunity.

12. You may make an effort to repent of some sins without repenting of all the sin you know.

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Why should you join a church? Because by committing yourself in that way you will help to fulfill your purpose as a Christian. It seems pretty obvious from [the] biblical metaphors of building stones and body parts that the Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. You, as a Christian, were designed and created by God, not for a life of individuality and self-will, but to fill a niche in the spiritual building called the church.

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Reasons Not to Sin:
1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
1. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
2. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
3. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
4. Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
5. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
6. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
7. Because my sin saddens the godly.
8. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
9. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
10. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
11. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
12. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
13. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
14. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
15. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
16. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin.
17. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
18. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
19. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
20. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
21. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
22. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
23. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
24. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
25. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
26. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
27. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
28. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
29. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
30. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to believe.
31. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because it is worth anything on its own.
32. Because I promised God He would be Lord of my life.

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The pre-sight view of election makes God seem absurd in His language if not somewhat dishonest. You see, God has gone to great lengths to say that some are elected, chosen, foreordained, predestined as part of His eternal purpose. For God to say that He saw those that would choose Him and then He calls them elect (select from a number) is linguistic trickery. It is like the Queen decreeing that the sun will rise in the morning, as others have said. God’s words about His action toward man would mean nothing but could only be construed as a way of presenting an authoritative front that God is in charge, whereas the decisions of eternal life and death are really within man alone. Apply this to prophecy. Much of prophecy is presented to us as that which God determines to do in the future. Is this the truth of it? Did God prophesy that John the Baptist would be the forerunner of the Messiah (Isa. 40:3-5; Luke 3:3-6) on the basis of pre-sight, and then declare that it would happen? Doesn’t language lose all meaning to say that? Does it not make sense of the language to say that the action predicted was based on God’s determined plan and not just what He saw happening?