Oct 292009
 

Our very first podcast guest is Ryan Couch, church planter and pastor.

How does a pastor plant a new church in a new town?

How do you decide where to go and how do you survive when when you get there?

We asked Ryan these and other questions and he gave us some great answers.

We’ll also talk about “Theology Pub”…meeting people for theological discussions over beer and wings.

This is our first attempt at podcasting and boy have I learned a lot…bear with me as I work out the bugs.

Thanks to Ryan for starting us off well.

[wpaudio url=http://phoenixpreacher.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Ryan-Couch-Interview-1.mp3]

Oct 272009
 

Sometimes…I don’t know what to do about a given situation.

Like the mess I stumbled upon last night…

It has been my habit for many years to listen to some theological teaching at night as I’m falling asleep.

Last night I decided to listen to one of the pillars of the Truly Reformed lecture on “the order of the decrees”.

That’s an in house debate among Calvinists sure to bring on deep sleep quickly. ;-)

Unfortunately, as I listened I had the strange feeling I’d heard this lecture before.

To make a long story short, this pillar had stolen large chunks of his lecture word for word from a lesser known but well respected teacher… who I also had on mp3.

Worse yet, he was using the pilfered teaching in a seminary class.

Part of me wants to call out Professor Pillar the Plagiarist…part of me wants to save my strength for more important battles.

I can say that this person has lost the considerable amount of respect I once had for him.

Chuck Smith and Jon Courson have been plagiarized more than anyone I can think of through the years…and it has always  irked me no end.

What do you think about plagiarizing preachers?

Oct 262009
 

This month marks the beginning of our sixth year online.

Wow…how time flies when you’re having fun. :-)

Instead of me writing a retrospective, I’d rather hear from you.

How long have you been with us?

How have you been positively affected by this ministry?

Negatively?

What do we do well?

What would you like to see us do better?

We should have the mothership back soon and then we’ll see what the future looks like for the two sites.

I have some ideas…

Thank you all for being here and for making this a place where we have a voice and a tad bit of influence.

God bless my moderators for putting up with me all these years and pouring their hearts into this place and the people who come here.

Let’s hear from you today about the past, present, and future of the PP.



Oct 252009
 

What did you teach?

What did you learn?

Did you hear the Gospel?

We continue in the Heidelberg Catechism:

Question 59. But what does it profit thee now that thou believest all this?

Answer: That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life. (a)


(a) Hab.2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Rom.1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?

Answer: Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; (a) so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, (b) and am still inclined to all evil; (c) notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, (d) but only of mere grace, (e) grants and imputes to me, (f) the perfect satisfaction, (g) righteousness and holiness of Christ; (h) even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; (i) inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart. (j)

(a) Rom.3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Rom.3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Rom.3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom.3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Rom.3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Rom.3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom.5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Rom.5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Gal.2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph.2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Philip.3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (b) Rom.3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (c) Rom.7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (d) Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Deut.9:6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people. Ezek.36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. (e) Rom.3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (f) Rom.4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Rom.4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 2 Cor.5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (g) 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (h) 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (i) 2 Cor.5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (j) Rom.3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?

Answer: Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before God; (a) and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only. (b)

(a) 1 Cor.1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1 Cor.2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (b) 1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Oct 252009
 

PRAYER
CHRISTIANS PRACTICE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

He said to them, “When you pray, say: `Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
LUKE 11:2-4
God made us and has redeemed us for fellowship with himself, and that is what prayer is. God speaks to us in and through the contents of the Bible, which the Holy Spirit opens up and applies to us and enables us to understand. We then speak to God about himself, and ourselves, and people in his world, shaping what we say as response to what he has said. This unique form of two-way conversation continues as long as life lasts.


The Bible teaches and exemplifies prayer as a fourfold activity, to be performed by God’s people individually both in private (Matt. 6:5-8) and in company with each other (Acts 1:14; 4:24). Adoration and praise are to be expressed; contrite confession of sin is to be made and forgiveness sought; thanks for benefits received are to be offered; and petitions and supplications for ourselves and others are to be voiced. The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4) embodies adoration, petition, and confession; the Psalter consists of models of all four elements of prayer.


Petition, in which the persons praying humbly acknowledge their need and express themselves as trustfully depending on God to meet it out of his sovereign resources of wisdom and goodness, is the dimension of prayer that is most constantly highlighted in the Bible (e.g., Gen. 18:16-33; Exod. 32:31–33:17; Ezra 9:5-15; Neh. 1:5-11; 4:4-5, 9; 6:9, 14; Dan. 9:4-19; John 17; James 5:16-18; Matt. 7:7-11; John 16:23-24; Eph. 6:18-20; 1 John 5:14-16). Petition, along with the other modes of prayer, should ordinarily be directed to the Father, as the Lord’s Prayer shows, but Christ may be called on for salvation and healing, as in the days of his flesh (Rom. 10:8-13; 2 Cor. 12:7-9), and the Holy Spirit for grace and peace (Rev. 1:4). It cannot be wrong to present petitions to God as triune or to request any spiritual blessing from any one of the three Persons, but there is wisdom in following the New Testament pattern.


Jesus teaches that petition to the Father is to be made in his name (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24). This means invoking his mediation, as the one who secures our access to the Father, and looking to him for support, as our intercessor in the Father’s presence. We can only, however, look to him for support when what we ask accords with God’s revealed will (1 John 5:14) and our own motives in asking are right (James 4:3).


Jesus teaches that we may properly press God hard with fervent persistence when we bring needs to him (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8), and that he will answer such prayer in positive terms. But we must remember that God, who knows what is best in a way that we do not, may deny our specific requests as to how the needs should be met. If he does, however, it is because he has something better to give than what we asked for, as was the case when Christ denied Paul healing for the thorn in his flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-9). To say “Your will be done,” surrendering one’s own expressed preference to the Father’s wisdom as Jesus did in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39-44), is the most explicit way of expressing faith in the goodness of what God has planned.
There is no tension or inconsistency between the teaching of Scripture on God’s sovereign foreordination of all things and on the efficacy of prayer. God foreordains the means as well as the end, and our prayer is foreordained as the means whereby he brings his sovereign will to pass.


Christians who pray to God sincerely, with reverence and humility, with a sense of privilege and a pure (i.e., purified, penitent) heart, will find in themselves a Spirit-given filial instinct prompting prayer to and trust in their heavenly Father (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15), and a desire to pray that outruns their uncertainty as to what thoughts they should express (Rom. 8:26-27). The mysterious reality of the Holy Spirit’s help in prayer becomes known only to those who actually pray.

Packer

Oct 232009
 

Oden wrote:

“What we could use prayer for is: my 3 year old had a fever for two days and now has a sore throat. My 5 year old has a sore throat. Please pray for Seth’s protection. He has very little immunity against disease. Through it all, God’s love and glory shines through these mists of darkness.”

Obviously, Seth has a compromised immune system at this juncture so soon after the transplant.

Pray for healing for the whole family…and that the enemy be halted in his attacks against our brother and his family.

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