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Monday 23rd of October 2017

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Believe according to the working of His Mighty Power
Written by Ben Winslett   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 09:17

Ever read Ephesians chapter 2, verse 1? In that verse we find the following: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.."

Paul is writing about Almighty God giving Spiritual life to those who are in a state of death in sin. Notice that verse begins with the word "and." This means that this precious verse is directly tied to the context of the preceding chapter. Allow me to share with you a portion of chapter 1 and the very thoughts of the Apostle Paul leading up to this well known, glorious verse.

Notice the following scripture from Ephesians chapter 1:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places...

Notice a very important phrase in this paragraph! How do men believe? Does every human even have the ability to believe in Christ? This verse answers those questions.

Remember, Paul's thoughts are culminated with the phrase "And you hath He quickened," which means "made alive." Paul says that EVERY person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, believes "according to the working of His mighty power." What is this telling us? This verse is telling us that the only way a person believes is if God works His mighty power upon the said person. Let me say that a little differently, God must work His mighty power upon a person for that person to be able to believe!

Also, according to the above scripture this event in which God "works His mighty power" is tantamount to the event in which God raised up the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. In simple terms, this "working" of God's mighty power is the same type of event as Christ's resurrection. For an individual to believe, it takes no less power that the very power of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead! Christ must resurrect our souls.

Why? Well, the answer is simple. Prior to this event a person is "dead in trespasses and in sins." This refers to death in a spiritual sense. Just as a physically dead man can do nothing, being dead, a spiritually dead man can do nothing in a spiritual sense, including repentance and belief. Dead means dead! This is why, naturally speaking, there is "none that seeketh after God" and why "the natural man receiveth not" the things of God (Romans 3, 1 Corinthians 2:14).

We believe because a loving and holy God has given our dead, depraved souls new life in Jesus Christ, in essence making us "new creatures" (new creations) in Christ Jesus.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. - Jesus Christ, John 5:24

 

 
Wonderful Hymn
Written by Josh Winslett   
Monday, 06 June 2011 16:27

This hymn has been on my mind for a few months.  Pay close attention to these beautiful words.


Title: "Behold the Lamb of God."
Hymn book: "The Good Old Songs"
page 701

 

1. Behold! behold the lamb of God!
On the cross, on the cross!
He sheds for you His precious blood,
On the cross, on the cross!
Oh, hear His all important cry,
"Eli lama sabachthani?"
Draw near and see your Saviour Die,
On the cross, on the cross!

2. Behold His arms extended wide,
On the cross, on the cross!
Behold his bleeding hands and side,
On the cross, on the cross!
The sun withholds his rays of light,
The heavens are clothed in shades of night,
While Jesus doth with devils fight,
On the cross, on the cross!

3. Come, brethren, see Him lifted up,
On the cross, on the cross!
For you He drinks the bitter cup,
On the cross, on the cross!
The rocks do rend, the mountains quake,
While Jesus doth atonement make,
While Jesus suffers for our sake,
On the cross, on the cross!

4. And now the mighty deed is done,
On the cross, on the cross!
The battle's fought, the victory's won,
On the cross, on the cross!
To heaven He turns his lanquid eyes,
"'T is finished," now the Conqueror cries,
Then bows His scared Head and dies,
On the cross, on the cross!

5. Where'er I go I'll tell the story
Of the cross, of the cross;
Of nothing else my soul shall glory,
Save the cross, save the cross!
Yea, this my constant theme shall be,
Through time and in eternity,
That Jesus tasted death for me,
On the cross, on the cross!

6. Let every mourner rise and cling
To the cross, to the cross!
Let every Christian come and sing
'Round the cross, 'round the cross!
There let the preacher take his stand,
And, with the Bible in his hand,
Declare the triumphs through the land,
Of the cross, of the cross!

 
Where is the blessedness?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Sunday, 05 June 2011 15:55

Today my mind feels somewhat nostalgic and ashamed. I am feeling nostalgic from looking back at all the spiritual moments in my life and the zeal that I had for my God and his cause. I feel ashamed because that zeal often feels to have left. When I look back at the zeal I possessed in years past I find myself nearly saddened at the apathy that can so easily creep into my heart. The words of hymn writer William Cowper define a prayer that my heart screams.


O For a Closer Walk With God
by William Cowper

1. O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

2. Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His word?

3. What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left and aching void
The world can never fill.

4. Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
And drove Thee from my breast.

5. The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.

6. So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.


~JW

 
Implications of Allegorizing Adam and Eve
Written by Ben Winslett   
Friday, 03 June 2011 10:05

A friend shared an article on Facebook earlier today that caught my eye. The Title of the article read "Ken Ham Agrees With Athiests On Literal View of Adam and Eve." Knowing that Mr Ham is a leading proponent of the Genesis account of creation, this title caught my attention, prompting me to read the article.

Read the original article here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/ken-ham-agrees-with-atheists-on-literal-view-of-adam-and-eve-50773/

The story was, in fact, covering an ongoing debate between Old Earth and Young Earth proponents. Young Earth proponents, such as myself, believe the Biblical accounts of both the creation and fall of mankind, the flood, fall of Babel, etc. Old Earth believers consider the Bible a tricky metaphor, not to be taken literally, and view the earth's creation through the lens of modern scientific theory (which I would call "science falsely so-called"). The witty title brought out the fact that even Atheists who read Genesis chapter 1 realize that it was written in a way to be take literally, not allegorically.

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Great Quote
Written by Josh Winslett   
Saturday, 21 May 2011 08:53

While reading this morning I ran across an excellent quote that I thought I would share with y'all......

 

"I have no sympathy for, nor patience with, the statement that the church is just what the Lord would have it be, and that His ministers are doing just what is best, and according to His expressed will in regard to serving the church. Such statements make void the record of the scriptures in which the Lord reproves His people for neglecting His service and turning away from His altars. It is a rejection of the scriptures to say that it pleased the Lord for His ancient people to turn after idols instead of serving the true and the living God." -Elder Walter Cash, Support of the Ministry, August 15, 1917

 

~JW

 
Gird Thy Loins Up Christian Soldier
Written by Ben Winslett   
Monday, 11 April 2011 11:14

A dear sister called me this morning to share the following hymn with me. She said she had it on her mind for at least two weeks, and wanted to share it with me knowing the constant warfare ministers face. I was very much encouraged by the sweet words of this hymn.

The hymn is called "Gird thy Loins Up." The time is 8s and 7s, so it can be sung to tunes like "Ripley" (e.g. Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken) or "Australian Hymn." The hymn is 638 in Cayce's Good Old Songs and 78 in Old School Hymnal #12.

Enjoy and be encouraged!

Gird Thy Loins Up
Joseph Hart
#638, The Good Old Songs

1 Gird thy loins up, Christian soldier;
Lo! thy Captain calls thee out;
Let the danger make thee bolder;
War in weakness, dare in doubt.
Buckle on thy heavenly armour;
Patch up no inglorious peace;
Let thy courage wax the warmer,
As thy foes and fears increase.

2 Bind thy golden girdle round thee,
Truth to keep thee firm and tight;
Never shall the foe confound thee,
While the truth maintains thy fight.
Righteousness within thee rooted
May appear to take thy part;
But let righteousness imputed
Be the breastplate of thy heart.

3 Shod with gospel-preparation,
In the paths of promise tread;
Let the hope of free salvation,
As a helmet, guard thy head.
When beset with various evils,
Wield the Spirit’s two-edged sword,
Cut thy way through hosts of devils,
While they fall before the Word.

4 But when dangers closer threaten,
And thy soul draws near to death;
When assaulted sore by Satan,
Then object the shield of faith;
Fiery darts of fierce temptations,
Intercepted by thy God,
There shall lose their force in patience,
Sheathed in love, and quenched in blood.

5 Though to speak thou be not able,
Always pray and never rest;
Prayer’s a weapon for the feeble;
Weakest souls can wield it best.
Ever on thy Captain calling,
Make thy worst condition known;
He shall hold thee up when falling,
Or shall lift thee up when down.

 
In Good Company? (Church Hoppers and Unqualified Ministry)
Written by Ben Winslett   
Monday, 04 April 2011 08:34

I was reading an article last night on the subject of "Church Hoppers." A Church Hopper is a person who moves from congregation to congregation and never stays at one place for any great length of time. There are varying degrees of this, but it is a problem that exists on a many levels in American Christianity. The Hopper will begin attending, glory over the new church, and stick around just long enough to see some of the flaws in the membership (which all churches have - we are sinners) and then hop to the next congregation or order of faith. This seems to be a product of American culture. We place ourselves as the ultimate judge and authority while at the same time being totally impossible to satisfy.

In the article, the last paragraph contained what the writer thought were legitimate reasons to switch churches. Of course, to me, as a Primitive Baptist, I will attend no other type of church than a PB church. I sincerely believe that the first century Church was a Baptist Church. I believe Primitive Baptists possess the historic form of the Baptist Faith, both in doctrine and practice. It's a simple choice for me, I recommend attending the closest PB Church (or a close PB church - if there are multiple congregations) to home. If there is not a nearby church body, move to a location where there is a church body. It's a pretty simple solution and it solves the whole problem.

Among the writer's "legitimate reasons" to swap churches was "unqualified ministry." That provoked me to think "what is unqualified ministry??" What qualifies a man to preach? Well, in the denominational word of fast food Christianity (forgive if you must), a seminary degree qualifies a man to be a pastor. With no degree, a man is not "qualified." He is merely a "lay minister." But, is that what qualified the Apostles? Is that what qualified Titus, Barnabas, Silas, or Timothy? No, not at all. Do you know what qualified First Century men to the ministry? A God-call. Simple, isn't it!

Now, those men were to spend countless hours preparing themselves for this work by studying God's Word and prayer. But the qualification came directly from God Himself. God "opens their understanding" of the scriptures.

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures... -Luke 24:45

After the call to preach is given, the man studies with his pastor or "father in the ministry". He devotes his time and energy to learning the Bible and exercises his gift to preach by speaking to the church. He grows as a minister IN the Church. Where in scripture is the church commanded to outsource this responsibility to a college or university? No where! This is one of the church's primary duties! (See Titus 1:5)

But in reading the article, I was prompted to remember just how the Apostles were often received by unbelieving or carnal audiences. Did unbelievers perceive them as able, qualified speakers? Serious question. Notice how they were often accused of being rude, ignorant babblers.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. - Acts 4:13

Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. - Acts 17:18

For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. - 2 Corinthians 10:10

Don't confuse this with me putting a "premium on ignorance." I am not. I strive to present my sermons in an informed, articulate manner. Yet at the same time, if the carnal person or unbeliever thinks high of a minister, something is wrong! For if the greatest of the New Testament ministers, the Apostles, were perceived in such a light, how then should a normal elder be perceived by the surrounding culture? No better, I am sure.

 
Prayer Meetings and Bible Discussions
Written by Walter Cash   
Friday, 01 April 2011 11:14

An answer to a sister who asked about our churches having prayer meetings and Bible discussions: The Baptists, in the early days of this country, had prayer meetings, but of late they have been discontinued with few exceptions. It would be better if they were kept up. There are so few members in our churches who can lead in prayer in the introduction of service. It is in agreement with the Scriptures that teach much about prayer and the obligation to pray with and for each other. To be engaged in prayer would be much better than repeating gossip and talking foolishness. The prayer meeting might be combined with reading the Bible. As to Bible readings, I have had them in my churches for twenty-five years. When we meet, we read as many chapters as we can and talk about the passages as we read them, thus, having many profitable times together.

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