Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

“Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake."

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6,‘A faithful man, who can find?’ may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man:‹knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord. June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.

64. Resolved, When I find those “groanings which cannot be uttered,” of which the apostle speaks, and those “breathings of soul for the longing it hath,” of which the psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20. that I will promote them to the utmost of my power; and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavouring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and Aug. 10, 1723.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Bible Reading Plan

If you are interested in reading through the entire Bible in a year, feel free to import my 2009 Bible Reading Plan into your calendar. I used Logos Bible Software to create the reading plan which uses pericope boundaries (a set of verses that forms one coherent thought). Click here to import the calendar in iCal format or just click here to view in Google calendar.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Theology for Kids: Recommending Some Recent Books for Younger Children

My wife and I are always looking for good Christian books for our children so I was happy to come across a very helpful resource. Andy and Jenni Naselli have sorted through recent theology books for younger children and compiled a short list of outstanding books. Click here for the list.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spurgeon: A Defense of Calvinism

The following is a quote taken from Spurgeon's A Defense of Calvinism. Read his writing in its entirety here.

Spurgeon writes:
"I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

25 Days of Free Christmas Music from

Every day through December 25, is unveiling a new Christmas song available to download free for a limited time. Check back daily to see what's next.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God"

"Behold the Lamb of God" by Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite Christmas albums...there is a depth to it both lyrically and musically. This is an album that you can listen to the whole year because it tells the story of redemption from Exodus on.

Andrew Peterson writes:

What makes this bunch of songs unique is that I wanted to remind (or teach) the audience that the story of Christmas doesn’t begin with the birth of Jesus. Many people tend to forget or have never even learned that the entire Bible is about Jesus, not just the New Testament. So the musical begins with Moses and the symbolic story of the Passover (Passover Us) and works its way through the kings and the prophets with their many prophecies about the coming Messiah (So Long, Moses) to the awful four hundred years of silence before God told Mary she’d be having a baby (Deliver Us). After the song called Matthew’s Begats, which lists the genealogy of Jesus, the story picks up in more familiar territory with Mary and Joseph and the actual birth (It Came To Pass, Labor of Love). The final song is called Behold, the Lamb of God, which ties together the Passover and the beauty and scope of the story.

And here's a review from the Dallas Morning News:

If you buy only one Christmas CD this year, let it be this one. No doubt, Mr. Peterson is one of the finest singer/songwriters in Christian music. On ‘Behold’ he is joined by some of the other best of the best, including Fernando Ortega, Derek Webb, Jill Phillips and Sandra McCracken. The result is an organic album that relies on strength of writing faithful to Scripture, expert musicianship on everything from piano to hammered dulcimer and vocals that are pure and honest. What you will hear is a new classic in the making.

Listen here. Available here or on iTunes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Linus Explains What Christmas Is All About

Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas by quoting directly from Luke 2:8-14 (KJV). I love the fact that this is actually on network television every Christmas season.

It is interesting to note that network executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke; the network thinking of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Version of the Bible. Charles Schulz was adamant about keeping this scene in, remarking that "If we don't tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Total Depravity Verse List

The doctrine of total depravity (or total inability) says that all men, as a consequence of the Fall, are born morally corrupt, enslaved to sin, at enmity with God, and unable to please Him or even of themselves to turn to Christ for salvation. (Thus the necessity of a gracious, unconditional election.)

Click here for a categorized list of verses...compiled by Travis Carden.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Free Spurgeon Audiobook Devotional

Spurgeon: 90 Days of Morning & Evening

Go here and use the coupon code DEC2008 to redeem this month's free audiobook download from

Monday, December 1, 2008

Doctrines of Grace: Free CD Giveaway

With the generous permission of Dr. Arturo Azurdia III, Monergism is giving away for free his incredible 8-part sermon series on the Doctrines of Grace. This CD also includes 7 additional sermons/lectures on such topics as monergistic regeneration and reading the Bible Christocentrically. Click here for details.

Track List:

1) Total Depravity
2) Unconditional Election
3) Limited Atonement
4) Irresistible Grace
5) Perseverance of the Saints
6) Q&A on the Doctrines of Grace Part 1
7) Q&A on the Doctrines of Grace Part 2
8) Q&A on the Doctrines of Grace Part 3
9) The Discriminating Love of Jesus Christ - John 13:1
10) Did Jesus Pray for You? - John 17:20
11) Monergistic Regeneration Part 1
12) Monergistic Regeneration Part 2
13) The Ultimate Hermeneutic Part 1
14) The Ultimate Hermeneutic Part 2
15) Solus Christus - Isaiah 55:1-12

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology

As the five hundredth anniversary of John Calvin’s birth approaches (2009), a new book entitled John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology has brought together an impressive group of pastors and scholars to reconsider Calvin’s life and legacy. Contributors include Jay Adams, Eric Alexander, Thabiti Anyabwile, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, D. G. Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steve Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith Mathison, Richard Phillips, Harry Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek Thomas, Thomas Ascol, and others.

More info here. Order from Amazon or Ligonier Ministries.

Thanks to my brother, Jason, for informing me of this book.

Building a Commentary Collection

If you love to study the Bible, you probably love commentaries as well. A good strategy for building your commentary library on a budget is to purchase the best one or two commentaries on each book of the Bible. This will allow you to gradually build your collection over time. The difficulty, of course, is discovering which are the best. provides reviews and ratings from trustworthy sources. Check out the best of the best page that lists the 2 highest rated commentaries for each book of the Bible. In addition to ratings and reviews, it shows what series they are in (if any), categorization and places to buy. For more info on their rating system click here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers & devotions. When asked what books have had a great influence on his life, John MacArthur included The Valley of Vision among them.

Puritans like John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, and Isaac Watts knew their hearts, their Bibles, and their God much better than we do. Their prayers reveal a personal, humble, passionate relationship with an awesome God, a living Savior, and an active Spirit. Reading their meditations should inspire us to pursue the same level of reality as we worship God.

I have also been greatly encouraged by an album of songs inspired by The Valley of Vision released by
Sovereign Grace Music. Available here or on iTunes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Perseverance of the Saints...Our Joy and Confidence in Salvation

Once God has saved someone from their sin, he continues to keep and preserve them by his power and grace and will never let them go. Thus, they persevere to the end and can never be lost. If God did not do this, we would inevitably turn back again to the world, because of the sin that is around us and within us. Thus God enables his children to continue in faith and obedience throughout their earthly lives, then to pass into God's presence forever.

This doctrine is not to be taken as a license to go on sinning, as if the believer is free to act in any way he chooses now that he is eternally secure in Christ Jesus. The true believer will show signs of a growing desire for holiness and an increasing loathing of sin. The one who attempts to use the grace of God as an excuse for sinful living is in all probability not a true believer, for where there is spiritual life, the fruit of the Spirit will become evident.


The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.
Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology (pg. 788)

If our religion be of our own getting or making, it will perish; and the sooner it goes, the better; but if our religion is a matter of God's giving, we know that He shall never take back what He gives, and that, if He has commenced to work in us by His grace, He will never leave it unfinished.
C.H. Spurgeon

For non-reformed theologies..."at the end of the day, the security of the believer finally rests with the believer. For those in the opposite camp [Reformed], the security of the believer finally rests with God -- and that, I suggest, rightly taught, draws the believer back to God himself, to trust in God, to a renewed faith that is of a piece with trusting him in the first place."
D.A. Carson

Click here for many other resources on this doctrine.

(hover over or click the reference)
1 Samuel 2:9; Job 17:9; Psalm 31:23; Psalm 32:7; Psalm 34:7; Psalm 84:5-7; Psalm 89:30-33; Psalm 94:14; Psalm 97:10; Psalm 121:7; Psalm 125:1; Proverbs 2:8; Proverbs 4:18; Isaiah 54:4-10; Jeremiah 31:3; Jeremiah 32:38-42; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Matthew 7:24-27; Matthew 18:12-14; Matthew 24:22-24; Luke 6:46-49; Luke 22:31-32; John 5:24; John 6:37-40; John 6:44; John 6:51; John 8:31-32; John 10:3-5; John 10:14-16; John 10:26-30; John 15:16; John 17:1-2; John 17:9; John 17:11; John 17:15; John 17:24; Romans 6:1-4; Romans 7:24-8:4; Romans 8:28-39; Romans 11:28-29; Romans 14:4; 1 Corinthians 1:4-9; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:19-21; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 1:11-14; Ephesians 2:8-10; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 1:19; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:19-21; 2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:14; Hebrews 10:36-39; Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 2:13-14; 1 John 2:19-20; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4; 1 John 5:11-13; 1 John 5:18; Jude 1; Jude 24-25

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Deal of the Day - Great Hymns of Faith

You can’t beat this. Covenant Life Church has released a great album of hymns—traditional hymns with traditional melodies. I have been really enjoying this album. You can get it here for whatever you feel is fair—no questions asked (or for free if you tell five friends about the album).

Hymns have served the people of God for generations and will endure long after we’re gone. They are time-tested and true. They speak to every circumstance of life and point us to the wisdom, love and power of our gracious God and Savior.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul

As we sang "It Is Well With My Soul" this past Sunday at church, I thought of the traumatic events in the life of Horatio Spafford that led him to write this much loved hymn.

It is only by God's grace that one could experience such personal tragedies and sorrows as did Horatio Spafford, yet, be able to say with such convincing clarity, "It is well with my soul." It is an enormous challenge to embrace the significance of this hymn. (Psalm 46: 1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.")

Hymn-Writer Horatio G. Spafford

Spafford was born on October 20, 1828 in North Troy, New York. He was a successful lawyer in Chicago. He was deeply spiritual and devoted to scripture.

Death of Only Son & The Great Chicago Fire

The first tragedy was the death of his only son in 1871. Shortly after, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city. Horatio was a prominent lawyer in Chicago and had invested heavily in the city's real estate, and the fire destroyed almost everything he owned.

The Wreck of the Ville Du Havre

Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a vacation somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. Delayed because of business, he sent ahead of him his family: his wife, Anna, and four children, daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie, and Tanetta.

On November 21, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and two hundred and twenty-six people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford's daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning "Saved alone." Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters' deaths. According to Bertha Spafford, a daughter born after the tragedy, "It Is Well With My Soul" was written on this journey.

It is Well with My Soul

Horatio Spafford wrote this most poignant text so significantly descriptive of his own personal grief – "When sorrows like sea billows roll..." It is noteworthy that he did not dwell on the theme of life's sorrows and trials, instead, focused in the third stanza on the redemptive work of Christ, and in the fourth verse, anticipates His glorious second coming.

Composer Philip Bliss

Philip P. Bliss, the hymn composer, was a prolific writer of gospel songs. He was so impressed with the experience and expression of Spafford's text that he wrote the music for it. Shortly after writing 'It is Well With My Soul,' Bliss died in a tragic train accident.


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Gospel According to Jesus

20 years ago, John MacArthur wrote the classic The Gospel According to Jesus which carefully examined how the Lord Himself proclaimed the gospel. The book deals with such questions as What is Authentic Faith?...and What does Jesus mean when He says, "Follow Me"? The Word of God clearly teaches that Jesus' "follow me" was a call to surrender to His lorship.

Many people profess to follow Christ, yet don’t display the fruit of Christian living in their lives. Others are leaving the faith altogether, sometimes after years of church involvement.

Were those people ever truly saved? That question forces us to go back and examine the substance of the gospel being preached in today’s church. We need to ask, “What truths must a person know and believe to be saved? What is the complete gospel message?” And finally, “Does true saving faith always produce fruit?”

Close scrutiny reveals that today’s gospel message does not match up with the gospel Jesus taught.

In addition to MacArthur's landmark book, there is an audio series that he did back when the book first came out. I have linked to each one of those messages below. You can listen online, download the mp3 for free or read the sermon text. This is a valuable resource that will enable you to share your faith more effectively as you see what comprises an accurate gospel message.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"The Shack" Reviewed

“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
-Charles Spurgeon

The other night at our Home Fellowship Group, we briefly discussed a book entitled The Shack (written by William P. Young). Someone who had read the book noted that they saw some doctrinal issues in regards to the trinity. A couple of individuals mentioned that it had been recommended to them by friends and they wanted to know what all of the buzz was about. There is no doubt that it is incredibly popular in Christian circles. Although I have not read it and do not plan on reading it, I expressed my concerns about the book due to some reviews that I have read online. These reviews are from respected sources and I find them to be very discerning. Here are some of those reviews...

Written Reviews:
Audio Reviews: