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Recent Posts
Christianity and the Law
by Pilgrim. Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:18 PM
John Piper view on final salvation by works
by Pilgrim. Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:43 AM
Pactum Salutis
by Pilgrim. Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:38 AM
"I hate pride and arrogance!"
by chestnutmare. Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:19 AM
Looking for a good book(s)
by John_C. Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:27 PM
Should we invite non-Christians to Church?
by Tom. Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:45 AM
Active Threads | Active Posts | Unanswered Today | Since Yesterday | This Week
Open Forum
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:18 PM
Originally Posted by Tom
I have a feeling, a lot of Christians would say that we are not doing anyone any good on jail.

Can you say, "Situation Ethics" 3 times, really fast? giggle

I'm not so apathetic as it might appear to some. Really, I can understand how temptations are sometimes very difficult to deal with. Nevertheless, Scripture also deals with such situations in a very clear way, e.g., 1Cor 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." et al.
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Quotes
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:44 PM
"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." Deut. 8:3

"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
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Theology Discussion Forum
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:43 PM
Aside from the issue of the content of Piper's sermons/lectures, there is the matter of his deliverance, which I think is what engages the majority of listeners. IMO, it is emotionalism that is the main reason for the attraction by many (most?). Call it 'marketing strategy' if you like which like so much advertising that is out there results in people remembering the catchy tune, or antics, etc. but the product itself isn't remembered.
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Theology Discussion Forum
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:38 PM
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Devotional
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:19 AM
"I hate pride and arrogance!"
Proverbs 8:13

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
1 Peter 5:5

Humility may be defined as consisting in:
1. a profound self-abasement before God, arising from a deep sense of our sinfulness;
2. and in a low estimation of ourselves, as we stand related to our fellow creatures, whatever is the extent of our attainments, or the importance of the station we occupy.
Upon this subject, too much stress cannot be laid—for without humility, true religion cannot possibly exist. A proud Christian is a contradiction in terms. We might as well speak of a wise fool, of a wicked saint, of a sober drunkard, or of a chaste harlot—as of a proud Christian! We may as soon expect delicate flowers to flourish in the frozen and barren regions of Siberia—as that true piety should grow in the heart that is proud and haughty. A vine might as well thrive when a worm is gnawing at its root—as that the soul should prosper and be in health, when its arrogance and pride are not subdued.

One of the Fathers of the Church, when asked which was the first principle in religion, replied, Humility. When asked which was the second, he said, Humility. And when asked which was the third, he again answered, Humility. So important was this grace in his estimation, that he regarded it as the beginning, the middle, and the end of true godliness. And we may truly say that where humility is absent, everything else in religion, is in vain. A person may possess the most splendid talents—he may have the gift of miracles, and the knowledge of all mysteries—but without true humility he is, in the sight of God, nothing but sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

~ John MacDuff
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Open Forum
Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:27 PM
Tom Thanks for the recommendation.

I went ahead and bought the Reeves' book, "The Unquenchable Flame". Also, another source friend suggested Nick Needham's book, "2,000 Years of Christ Power - Volume 3", which I bought as well. All 4 volumes are supposedly good, but volume 3 is about the time I requested. I think volume 5 is coming out as well.
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Open Forum
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:45 AM
Pilgrim
Was there something in any of my posts that indicated that I would disagree with that?

Tom
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Open Forum
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:33 AM
Jump to new posts Re: Alpha [by Tom]
Pilgrim
Sorry, I thought you might be joking.
Alpha is full of heresy and Charismania.
It is also associated with the Toronto Airport Vinyard movement.
Yet, every few years this movement makes its rounds mostly in Arminian circles. But unfortunately I hear of Reformed Churches that fall prey to it.

However, my enquiry really had more to do with offering someone a more biblical course.
Alpha is designed as an unthreatenly way of understanding what the Christian Faith is all about and it is so vague that Roman Catholics can use it and have.
It is effective, but not at getting solid converts, because it gives a false unoffensive message.

That is one of the reasons why I doubt there is a biblical course that I can recommend.

Tom
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Quotes
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:37 AM
Spiritual-mindedness, then, is the chief characteristic that distinguishes a believer from all unregenerate people. The 'carnally minded', who are 'in the flesh', are unregenerate. They cannot and do not please God. The 'spiritually minded' are born of God and live to God and shall come to enjoy God for ever. Where any are spiritually minded, there and there only is life and peace... to be spiritually-minded is to have holy, heavenly, spiritual thoughts. The regenerate, spiritual heart, like a refreshing spring, pours out a crystal-clear stream of such thoughts… a person who depends on outward pressures and influences to keep up his spiritual thoughts is not spiritually-minded… [for] the mind may be filled with thoughts of spiritual things, but the heart, being unregenerate, has no love or delight in them.

…Spiritual-mindedness cannot flourish and grow if the heart is immersed in the evil swamps of worldliness. A covetous man will perish alongside the vilest sinner (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

~ John Owen
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Theology Discussion Forum
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:44 PM
Extremely busy at the moment, but I intend to respond after the weekend. In the meanwhile, the attributes of a person belong to the Holy Spirit in myriad passages of Scripture, e.g.,

Quote
(Acts 5)But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

You cannot lie to a "thing"; only a person which here is GOD the Holy Spirit.

Quote
(Acts 13:2) And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

A force does not speak, nor call people to service. Only a person with authority can do that.

See these two articles by George Smeaton BigThumbUp

The Diety of the Holy Spirit
The Personality and Procession of the Holy Spirit
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What's New on The Highway website?
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:26 AM
An article by Dr. Paul M. Elliott is this month's Article of the Month. Adoption, not by a human but by the One True Living God of sinners is the topic presented. He writes:

Quote
This precious doctrine is often neglected in contemporary preaching. In a three-part series we shall examine three related questions: How are believers adopted by God? What does adoption mean for the believer’s present life? What does adoption mean for the life to come? We’ll also examine some current false teachings about adoption.

Not only is Dr. Elliott's article informative and corrective but it is also heart-warming and even beyond comprehension. By that I mean when one grasps the depth of one being adopted as a son of God Himself, it transcends the ability of any mortal man to absorb completely... see 1Jn 3:1,2:

Quote
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.


I hope all will be blessed by this month's article and share it with someone who you think would benefit from it as well.

You can read this article now by clicking here: Salvation - Adoption by God.

OR

This article and all past articles can be accessed by going to The Highway homepage and clicking on the Article of the Month logo.

In His service and grace,
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Theology Discussion Forum
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:04 PM
Originally Posted by Lichawa Thole

A. Historical Perspective: what was the form of church government practiced by the early church soon after the Apostles? I have in mind Polycarp who saw the Apostle John. It seems to me that he wasn't Congregational (I stand to be corrected). Could it mean that Congregationalism is a later invention or could it be that Polycarp soon forgot what he was taught by John?

I don't see the connection between Polycarp allegedly seeing the Apostle John and church government? What I do read in Scripture are the letters of Paul, for example, writing to individual churches either directly or the individual churches located in a specific region. IF a Presbyterian form of government was in place at that time, I would expect Paul to have addressed the General Assembly or at least a presbytery that had the oversight of those local churches... but I do not see anything like that.

Originally Posted by Lichawa Thole
B. Biblical Warrant:

1. What are the major Biblical texts in support of Congregationalism?
See above. I read of individual, local churches only.

2. What is the Congregational interpretation of Acts 15?
The Jerusalem Council was a temporary design, as were many things in the infancy of the NT Church, which became extinct when the church grew throughout the world. (see Eph 4:11-13)

3. Was the church in Jerusalem a single assembly or various assemblies in various homes?
shrug

Originally Posted by Lichawa Thole
C. Practical Ramifications:

1. It seems to me that whereas church members are accountable to elders, a Congregational church as an entity is not accountable anywhere. The argument is usually that it is accountable to the Lord Jesus the head of the church. But a church member might argue the same way with respect to his accountability.
The analogy is spurious, for Scripture clearly states that members of a local assembly are under the direct authority of the appointed/ordained elders. It is true, that individual believers are ultimately under the authority of Christ, but the elders/pastor/teachers are Christ's delegated authority.

2. It seems to me that Congregational churches have no court of appeal for both Minister and member. So one's fate is left to a few men (elders) or the general membership. Isn't there safety in a multitude of godly and mature counsel as is to be found in Presbyteries, Synods and General Assembly?
I already addressed that question in my first reply. grin But briefly, most Congregational churches are part of a voluntary group of like-minded Congregational churches who adhere to a designated official confession of faith, e.g., the Savoy Declaration of Faith and Practice (1648). And, as I also mentioned, invariably history shows that there is no advantage, in fact a disadvantage to the "court" system of Presbyterianism, which if one is honest mimics our political systems which have the most corrupt at the top making decisions and judging the common man. There is no perfect system and I do believe Scripture does offer a definitive teaching as to what system is right.

Lichawa,
A debtor to sovereign grace.[/quote]
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Theology Discussion Forum
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:48 AM
The debate between Classical, Evidential and Presuppositional apologetics is one which will never end until the Lord comes. To me, the answer is quite simple... The Bible is divinely INSPIRED, i.e., God deliberately, by the Holy Spirit put into writing the infallible and inerrant TRUTH concerning all things which He desires to reveal about Himself, the world and what is required of man, including the fundamental questions concerning salvation, etc. The natural world is no less fallen and corrupted than mankind who brought about the sorry state in which we are born. There may be certain facts which can be observed in general, e.g., God's existence; His eternal power and Godhead through the things which are made (Rom 1), but even those undeniable facts will not and cannot be received as truth, as the inspired Paul also wrote immediately thereafter in Romans 1.

Let me put this another way. A reprobate liberal unbelieving professor teaching in a godless seminary man utter some "truth" but I would hardly depend upon him for a source of truth. And the only way that I know that his teachings are true or false is by testing them by the TRUTH which is found in Scripture (Jh 8:31,32, 17:17; 1Jh 4:1;i et al). It is only through the eyes that can see, a mind that can understand and ears that can hear (regeneration) can anyone even begin to comprehend the things which are called "Natural Theology", but are those things what God has ordained and given to mankind to discover and learn infallible and inerrant truth? scratchchin
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Quotes
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:30 PM

"Base things of the world hath God chosen."
1 Corinthians 1:28

Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then.

Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then.

Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there.

Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there.

Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there.

Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners.

Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour's passion.

Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair.

~ Charles H. Spurgeon
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Quotes
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:39 AM
Here I think it will not be out of place to introduce the Ten Commandments of the law with a short explanation of them. Thus, the point I have touched upon will also be made clearer: that the public worship that God once prescribed is still in force. Then will come the confirmation of my second point: that the Jews not only learned from the law what the true character of godliness was; but also that, since they saw themselves incapable of observing the law, they were in dread of judgment drawn inevitably though unwillingly to the Mediator. Now in summarizing what is required for the true knowledge of God, we have taught that we cannot conceive him in his greatness without being immediately confronted by his majesty, and so compelled to worship him. In our discussion of the knowledge of ourselves we have set forth this chief point: that, empty of all opinion of our own virtue, and shorn of all assurance of our own righteousness — in fact, broken and crushed by the awareness of our own utter poverty — we may learn genuine humility and self-abasement. Both of these the Lord accomplishes in his law. First, claiming for himself the lawful power to command, he calls us to reverence his divinity, and specifies wherein such reverence lies and consists. Secondly, having published the rule of his righteousness, he reproves us both for our impotence and for our unrighteousness. For our nature, wicked and deformed, is always opposing his uprightness; and our capacity, weak and feeble to do good, lies far from his perfection.

Now that inward law, which we have above described as written, even engraved, upon the hearts of all, in a sense asserts the very same things that are to be learned from the two Tables. For our conscience does not allow us to sleep a perpetual insensible sleep without being an inner witness and monitor of what we owe God, without holding before us the difference between good and evil and thus accusing us when we fail in our duty. But man is so shrouded in the darkness of errors that he hardly begins to grasp through this natural law what worship is acceptable to God. Surely he is very far removed from a true estimate of it. Besides this, he is so puffed up with haughtiness and ambition, and so blinded by self-love, that he is as yet unable to look upon himself and, as it were, to descend within himself, that he may humble and abase himself and confess his own miserable condition. Accordingly (because it is necessary both for our dullness and for our arrogance), the Lord has provided us with a written law to give us a clearer witness of what was too obscure in the natural law, shake off our listlessness, and strike more vigorously our mind and memory.

~ John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (2.8.1)
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