Semper Blog

Coffee in...pontification out

Wisdom from Alexander Vinet

"What is addressed to infidels may be profitable to believers; what is addressed to believers may be profitable to infidels. As to the latter, everything in Christian preaching is adapted to convert them; as to believers, do they not, in one sense, always need to be...

G. O. S. P. E. L

G. O. S. P. E. L

G. O. S. P. E. L God’s Own Son Propitiates (the) Elect’s Lives Many people have asked the question, ‘What is the Gospel’? Some believe it is a message solely of the Cross. Others, a message of relief in a world that is constantly being pressed in under pain and...

Are you lazy?

'A lazy Christian shall always want four things, viz., comfort, content, confidence, and assurance. God hath made a separation between joy and idleness, between assurance and laziness; and therefore it is impossible for thee to bring these together that God hath put...

Covenant Children

The children of believers, even before they have the sign placed on them are in the Covenant of Grace. The sign is actually a ratification of the faith of the parents in the promises of God and in their obedience to that command. The question to ask is, are they in...

Is All of Life Worship? by R. Andrew Myers

Is All of Life Worship? Is worship that which we render to God by living all of life to God's glory? If so, has the regulative principle of worship (ie., we are to worship God only as He has commanded, explicitly or by good and necessary consequence, and whatever He...

Eat my Flesh and Drink my Blood

John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 56...

Sibbes on self evaluation

Richard Sibbes (Works, Vol. 2, p. 153): Beloved . . . . let us hence take a trial of ourselves, what our condition is, whether the words that come from Christ when he speaks in his ministry to us be sweet or not. The word, to some kind of men, is like the northern...

Fiducia, Ascentia and Notitia.

Fiducia, Ascentia and Notitia. The above items are present in all true believers. However, these components have as well, internal and external distinctions. That being, these components MUST be carried about, for the true believer, by the Holy Spirit. It is the gas...

Manton on the Sabbath

Keeping the Sabbath day holy. It is a sure mark of an ungodly person to be a Sabbath-breaker, as a conscion-ableness to celebrate it to God’s glory is both a mark and a work of godliness. It is the description of the godly eunuch, Isa. 56:4, “Thus saith the Lord to...

Thomas Brooks on Temptation in the Saint

Temptation is God’s school, wherein he gives his people the clearest and sweetest discoveries of his love; a school wherein God teaches his people to be more frequent and fervent in duty. When Paul was buffeted, then he prayed thrice, i. e. frequently and fervently; a...

Thomas Brooks on Relapsing sins

Precious remedies Against satan's devices Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That there are relapses into enormities, and there are relapses into infirmities. Now it is not usual with God to leave his people frequently to...

Luther on substituting of wine in the supper

"When somebody inquired whether, when a sick person wished to have the sacrament but could not tolerate wine on account of nausea, something else should be given in place of the wine, the doctor [Martin Luther] replied, 'This question has often been put to me and I...

Fidelity

My wife and I met in church. We were wearing the same shirt. We were friends for 7 years prior to our engagement. We were engaged for 7 months-I believe this is much too long. We kissed for the first time when we took our vows. We have been married for 15 years, now....

Writing

"The first key to writing is to write....thinking comes later. You write your first draft with your heart and you rewrite with your head." William Forester-From the movie, Finding Forester

Thomas Doolittle on the Supper

In sacraments there is something seen and something understood; something perceived by sense and something apprehended by faith. Sacraments are glasses for our understanding and monuments for our memories, that by means and visible sights we might perceive and call to...

John Calvin on Holy Days

Naphtali Press: Presbyterian & Reformed Books http://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/john-calvin-and-holy-days/ John Calvin and Holy Days—it is that time of year the Genevan reformer is trotted out to justify in some manner the observance of the church...

Kevin Reed on Calvin and Christmas celebration

Genevan Opposition At times during the sixteenth century, ecclesiastical holidays caused agitation in the city of Geneva. It seems to have been a difficult matter for a resolution, since any official action taken would stir up some element of the population. The...

The local Church

Romans 12:4-5 ESV  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Hebrews 10:25 ESV  Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of...

A brief Testimony

Back in the early 90's I was at enmity with God. I worshipped self and the flesh. I could be found @ 34 yrs old in a bar at 3am on a Thursday drinking straight Vodka in a glass with no ice in it, with only one goal in mind, to find a woman to hook up with. I was a pot...

Bannerman on Polity

There is another theory, however, very different from that first mentioned, which asserts that the form and arrangements of ecclesiastical government have not been left to be fixed by the wisdom of man, nor reduced to the level of a question of mere Christian...

More on the infant who dies in infancy

The Doctrine of Infant Salvation(According to B.B. Warfield)-Roman Catholic View: (Pelagian roots) an infant that dies in infancy but has been baptized is saved. Children dying in the womb of parents who desired to baptize them may be taken in lieu of actual baptism....

The Angel of the Lord

Genesis 16:7 7 And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. Genesis 16:9 9 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. Genesis 16:10 10 And...

A Few thoughts on “The Other Woman”.

Are you the woman who brings down kingdoms? 4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength...

Baby dedications? Uh, no.

"A lot of churches do a baby dedication. Where the mother and father agree that they will raise that child on the word of God."In response to a internal need for the credo baptist to be obedient to Gods covenant, some credo baptists rip this passage out of context...

Seizing Heaven by Violence!

  “Men could be content to have the kingdom of heaven; but they are loathe to fight for it. They choose rather to go in a feather bed to hell than to be carried to heaven in a ‘fiery chariot’ of zeal and violence.” Thomas Watson-Taking Heaven by Storm

Sinning in ignorance is still sin

Leviticus 4:2 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: Leviticus 4:13 13 And if the whole congregation...

Nix the ceremony-out with instruments

Psalm 118:24  This is the day which the Lord hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25  Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26  Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: We have blessed you out of the house of...

The Septuagint and the word hymnos:

In the LXX hymnos appears in six titles of the Psalms: Psalm 6:1εἰς τὸ τέλος ἐν ὕμνοις ὑπὲρ τῆς ὀγδόης ψαλμὸς τῷ ΔαυιδPsalm 54:1εἰς τὸ τέλος ἐν ὕμνοις συνέσεως τῷ ΔαυιδPsalm 55:1εἰς τὸ τέλος ἐν ὕμνοις συνέσεως τῷ Δαυιδ Psalm 66:1εἰς τὸ τέλος ἐν ὕμνοις τῷ ΔαυιδPsalm...

Chrysostom on Col 3:16,17

Homily on Colossians 3:16-17 By John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (A.D. 347 - 407) "Teaching," he saith, "and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." Mark also the considerateness of Paul. Seeing that reading is toilsome, and...

In regard to the charge…..

The confusion over our dependance on sovereignty and the removal of Arminian angst, secondarily to the confidence in the words of Christ, 'and I will lose none', over people perishing because we didn't rush out aimlessly so no one falls through the cracks does not in...

Some historical data on Psalm singing:

Some historical data on Psalm singing: "Council of Laodicea (343-381), canon LIX: “No psalms composed by private individuals nor any uncanonical books may be read in the church, but only the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments.” Council of Braga (563): “no...

New Wine? A Jewish perspective

    Excerpt from greg Price's paper on alcohol in the bible: " a. Yayin (wine) (1) The same wine (yayin) that intoxicated Noah (Gen. 9:21), Lot (Gen. 19:32-35), Nabal (1 Sam. 25:36-37), and others (Is. 28:1,7) was given as a gift to others by godly men. For...

God hates your feast days……

Amos 5: 21 “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. 22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. 23 Take away from Me the noise of your...

Fighting the good fight

Fighting the good fight: Much of this comes from frustration. Zeal for the Lords house. We fail to consider the patience God bore with our inadequacy just a few years ago. All men are progressing in knowledge as God decrees. What seems simple to us to adopt and...

She is risen…..

She is risen! Rom 8: 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living...

April is for fools?

Eph 5:4: 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanksThe New King James Version...

More on Presumptive Regeneration

Most of the people who hold to presumptive regeneration are really holding to an amplified faith in God's promises. They see it as illicit to even consider anything outside of God's yes and amen. Unfortunately, they discredit the didactic of election by this route....

Christ sings with us

Consider the fact that when we sing the Psalms, Christ is singing with us. This cannot be said of hymnody. Given the choice, why would I not want the ultimate worship leader singing along with us when we are given the opportunity?

Some thoughts from a defender of hymnody:

Some thoughts from a defender of hymnody: "We thus defend the use of hymns, but we should remember the following: 1. In Holy Scripture we do not find a separate collection of prayers, but we do find a separate collection of psalms. 2. The spiritual depth of the psalms...

God commands worship

God commands worship. It is He who determines how He is to be worshipped. It is not random nor spontaneous. He is the one we 'aim at'. Larger catechism:Q. 108. What are the duties required in the second commandment?A. The duties required in the second commandment are,...

Root out Popery…..

From the Solemn League and Covenant on 'extirpation': extirpate |ˈekstərˌpāt| verb [ with obj. ] root out and destroy completely: the use of every legal measure to extirpate this horrible evil from the land. ORIGIN: late Middle English (as extirpation): from Latin...

‘In’ covenant and presumption

The distinction between being 'in' covenant and being out of covenant must be considered; For example, Abraham saw both his children as in covenant. This is not to imply that he considered both children regenerate. As well, Abraham understood that at the placing of...

Wisdom does not save (or does it?)

In Thomas Watson's 'The 10 Commandments, he writes: (1) True faith is grounded upon knowledge. Knowledge carries the torch before faith. There is a knowledge of Christ's orient excellencies. Phil 3:8. He is made up of all love and beauty. True faith is a judicious...

In regard to Arminianism…

In regard to Arminianism: The distinction between a practicing Arminian and one who is just confused must be considered. For example, a boy of 9 years old; if he is elect and doesn't quite get the components of salvation yet, doesn't imply that he will never come to...

Gerstner on Psalm singing

"The singing of Psalms has also now just about died out. Originally Reformed churches only allowed congregational singing of the Psalms, because they were authentically and authoritatively Biblical and hence lacked the potential contamination of false teaching which...

Instruments in Worship?

Instruments in worship? "Using instruments in worship was not practiced in the Apostolic Church, nor by any example in the New Testament at any time, nor by Christ. This fits the pattern of synagogue worship which, as James says, we "synagogue" together when we meet...

In keeping the 4th Commandment

In keeping with the 4th commandment: It is said by many that it is the righteousness of Christ, the work of Christ, we should understand in relation to the sabbath day and how one observes it. "In Christ we rest-Jesus is our rest-He is Lord of the sabbath!!" This is...

Circus elephants and puppet shows:

Circus elephants and puppet shows: In regard to the worship of God; you either fall under the normative or regulative principle of worship. If regulative, you position yourself under the idea that whatever is commanded by God, that you do and only that. In the...

Thoughts on the Ark……

What is the covenant sign of the Noahic covenant? The rainbow? The Ark is pertinent as well. When we consider the ark, Noah was faithful to build it for how many years? He was faithful in understanding how to build it, that it would float, that it would protect his...

Sports on the sabbath…a delight???

I love sports as much as the next guy. However, I love the Lord who created men and sports, more! Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable,...

Covenant holiness

Do you believe for a second that God did not consider the covenant child of Abraham, i.e. Ishmael in any sort of fashion? Obviously, from scripture, we can see that God respected His command of covenant even when it came to those reprobate within the external portion...

Bannerman on the Regulative principle

“There is a wide difference between what it is lawful for the church to do on those occasions when God in His providence may be calling its members to weeping and humiliation, or summoning them to special joy and thanksgiving, and what it is lawful for the Church to...

Do you really covenant?

Isaiah 59:22 "‘This is My Covenant with them,’ says the Lord. ‘My Spirit Who is upon you, and My words which I have put into your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth nor out of the mouth of your seed nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed,’ says the Lord,...

If it’s not commanded………

There is no broad interpretation of the regulative principle. What is not commanded is forbidden. The regulative principle has nothing to do with "permission." It is positive "command" which is enforced by the mere will of the lawgiver. If it is commanded it is...

Foolstide?

"Puritans saved their greatest contempt for Christmas. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they successfully prevented any significant celebrations of it. 'Foolstide,' as they called December 25, aroused their special ire for a variety of reasons. In...

Remarriage is adultery…..

So much can be said of this doctrine. Remarriage is illicit unless there is adultery, one dies or 'the unbeliever leaves'. Moses permitted divorce, 'for hardness of heart'....but from the beginning, it was not so'. This is known as the 'except' clause. Everything has...

Wine and the Talmud….

Dr. Jack Lewis states: “Wine was ordinarily used at the Passover and is called ‘fruit of the vine’ in Berakoth 6:1” (1976, 147; for an extended discussion, see Lightfoot 1979, 346ff). Berakoth 6:1 Berakhot, Chapter Six, Mishnah One Introduction According to halakhah...

It’s just a tree, man!

God decreed that His people not be involved in any sort of idol worship, i.e. 2nd commandment. I refer you to the golden calf and God's response to it: 7 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have...

The supper is sinful…….

Complaint: Let's not use wine in the Lord's Supper as it could stumble a brother or sister in the faith and cause them to sin! Response: The Lord Jesus Christ left His church two blessed sacraments: 1) The Lords Supper, 2) Baptism The Supper is holy. May it never be...

Interpret scripture arbitrarily….

A normative approach to the Regulative Principle is nothing more than Christianity cloaked in liberalism. There are no borders when it comes to a normative approach. What would you use to restrict any form of worship in light of a normative approach? The treatment is...

There is only one God.

The doctrine of election is discriminating. The doctrine of election is an arm of God's sovereignty. To miss these important distinctions is to miss one of the most important characteristics of the biblical God. To deny this doctrine is to deny God.

Where are the nine?

Luke 17:11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master,...

God is in control.

Coffee in, pontification out. At the crux of all theology is the sovereignty of God. Think, 'In the beginning, God....' It is God decreeing and overseeing all of life events. Nothing is arbitrary. Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet...

When the flesh says ‘NO!”

Coffee in, pontification out. As a believer, there are days where fixing one's neck towards the throne room of God seems unreachable. Faith reflects a response to all the adversity by turning our attention, much akin to how a compass directs our steps, by default even...

You commit up until it starts to sting…

Your commitment to the word of God, your local church, the elders that oversee your care, your marriage etc. are a direct reflection on your commitment to Christ. Generally speaking, even believers only submit unto the things mentioned until it's stings and then many...

Scudder on the 4th Commandment

Meditation from Henry Scudder on the 4th Commandment: Have I upon the six days remembered the Lord’s day, that I might despatch all my worldly business, and prepare my heart, that when it came I might keep a holy Sabbath to the Lord, according to the commandment? Did...

More on Brittany Maynard

Compare the anguish and pain the thief on the cross experienced and yet, was lucid enough to cry out: "42 .......“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Lk 23:42.

Eat and be refreshed!

The word of God is the only true thing that will nourish the believer. Deny yourself of a nutritious meal for a few days and watch the emaciation that occurs; not only physically, but mentally. Have you ever witnessed a person who is spiritually bankrupt in dread and...

All weapons are by decree

Isaiah 34:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. All 'weapons against you' are by devine decree. The weapons here described are those things which the enemy uses against the saint. The...

List of Reformed Churches

Presbyterian churches: American Presbyterian Church (http://www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org) Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (http://www.arpsynod.org) Associated Presbyterian Churches (http://www.apchurches.org) Bible Presbyterian Church (http://www.bpc.org)...

‘Fruit of the vine’

'Fruit of the vine' For those of you who believe this biblical statement allows for the use of grape juice in the Lords Supper, would you as well believe it is ok to use these vine fruits in the supper if you wanted? 1) Kiwi. 2) Cranberry 3) Watermelon 4) Cantaloupe...

More on Brittnay Maynard

More on Brittnay Maynard: *Intent is everything from the Christian perspective. As I continue to consider the Maynard issue, the idea is argued from two perspectives. One is from the Christian perspective and the other from a world view. God's law is a reflection of...

Arguments against Sabbath observance

"Everyday is the lords day. " Not really.... "Awesome scripture man. I'm just wondering how in this scripture seventh has translated into first." This may help: Go here: " Good and necessary consequence; what I have described above is traced to the patristic writers,...

What are you thinking about?

Coffee in, pontification out: Do the math: Over the past week, what is your mind stayed upon? What percentage have you invested in these hours that are holy? Is it on Sports, movies, novels, your family, employment or enjoyment? God should maintain the center of all...

Of the Singing of Psalms in Worship

On the singing of Psalms in worship: GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN IRELAND WEDNESDAY MORNING, 7 O’CLOCK […] ADJOURNED MEETING The Assembly met again at half-past three, when four propositions (given below) of the new code of discipline, agreed to by...