John Calvin On The Christian Life

I just read this and had to share it. It resonates deeply with my soul. After quoting Romans 12:1-2, Calvin writes:

This is a marvelous thing – we are consecrated and dedicated to God to the end that we might not think, speak, meditate, or act unless it be to His glory. The sacred can’t be put to profane use without injustice to God. If we are not our own but the Lord’s, it’s clear what errors we must flee, and what we must direct our whole lives toward. We are not our own; therefore, neither our reason nor our will should dominate our plans and actions. We are not our own; therefore, let us not make the gratification of our flesh our end. We are not our own; therefore, let us forget ourselves and our own interests. Rather, we are God’s. Therefore, let us live and die to Him. We are God’s. Therefore, let His wisdom and His will govern all our actions. We are God’s. Therefore, let us – in every way in all our lives – run to Him as our only proper end. How far has he progressed who’s been taught that he is not his own – who’s taken rule and dominion away from his own reason and entrusted them to God. For the plague of submitting to our own rule leads us straight to ruin, but the surest way to safety is neither to know nor to want anything on our own, but simply to follow the leading of the Lord. – John Calvin, A Little Book On The Christian Life, pages 22-23.

Admittedly, some days my progress in the Christian life is little more than staggering, limping, and crawling but I press on and praise Him for any and all success!Let us all who name the name of the risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ fix our eyes on the goal of being wholly and solely committed to God’s glory. May it be our sole pursuit!

Preach the Word

Recent Sermons Preached at First Baptist Church of Newberry, Michigan:

February 17, 2013:

Genesis 17:1 – “El Shaddai and Holiness”

The Big Idea: Be Living the Sanctified Life in Light of God’s Revelation Concerning Himself and His Promises

February 24, 2013:

Proverbs 2:1-6 – “Expository Listening: How to Get the Most Out of a Sermon” PART 2*

The Big Idea: Preaching is joint venture. My commitment to the Lord is to be prepared every week to stand and deliver His Word. Your commitment to the Lord should be to be prepared every week to receive His Word. My goal is to be the best preacher possible. Your goal should be to be the best listener possible.

*Unfortunately, due to a blunder on my part, the part one of this series was not recorded!

March 3, 2013:

Proverbs 2:1-6 – “Expository Listening: How to Get the Most Out of a Sermon” Part 3

The Big Idea: Preaching is joint venture. My commitment to the Lord is to be prepared every week to stand and deliver His Word. Your commitment to the Lord should be to be prepared every week to receive His Word. My goal is to be the best preacher possible. Your goal should be to be the best listener possible.

True Saving Faith – More Than Fire Insurance

True saving faith is not simply a matter of believing in Christ because you are afraid of going to hell; faith is not simply a matter of avoiding punishment where you do not have any desire to love and enjoy Christ. Rather, true saving faith means that you come to a deep, heartfelt conviction of how precious Christ is, and ‘account all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Philippians 3:8). You come to see Christ as all your salvation and happiness (Colossians 3:1).

True saving faith also means that you love every part of Christ’s salvation – holiness as well as forgiveness of sins. It means that you earnestly desire God to ‘create in you a clean heart and a right spirit’ as well as ‘hide his face from your sins’ (Psalm 51:9-10). Do not be like those who care nothing about Christ at all, except to be delivered from hell. ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.’ (Matthew 5:6)

– Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, p. 51

(HT:  Trinity Church Blog)