Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Vanity of Earthly Pleasures - Elder James Oliphant

"Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities. All is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

Be Kind Yet Stand - Elder James Oliphant

"But speaking the truth in love may grow up into him in all things which is the head even Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)

The Savior left an example for us in this life in baptism and in the Lord's Supper. I think that he reminded us of our sins in a manner that is an example to us in our behavior one to another.

The Protection of Guiding Providence - Elder James Oliphant

"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:13)

Christ Our Hope - Elder James Oliphant

Christ has so much to do in our salvation. "I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (I Corinthians 2:2) No blood but his would redeem us from our sins. If one man desired to die for another it would not be sufficient for it would not be a perfect sacrifice; and no one man is so related to another as to enable him to represent him in redemption.

We Establish the Law Through Faith - Elder James Oliphant

"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)

Paul anticipated an objection to the doctrine of grace that it would render the law of no use. Those who depend on works for salvation in whole or in part dishonor the law by presenting to it their imperfect obedience and expect it to be satisfied with that. But faith presents to the law a perfect righteousness, that of Christ, it expects no suspension of the law or relaxation of it. It asks no toning down of the law to meet the weak and imperfect obedience a fallen man.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Your Reasonable Service to God

A loyal and longtime follower of TETH's blog posted the following comment and question:
Thanks for another insightful commentary, TETH. Can you unpack exactly what you mean when you say, "...our reasonable service to God"? You often say this in reference to our response to the gospel as born-again believers. Would love if you could draw that out a bit. Thanks! 
That is a really important question and given the frequency with which I invoke that phrase it seems profitable to spend a moment providing some biblical thoughts on the matter. Our "reasonable service" to God has a several facets. Let's start by reading the full verse:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Give Diligence to Make Your Calling and Election Sure

In the first several verses of second Peter, the apostle speaks of the great and precious promises that have been given to God's people whereby we can escape the snares of this world (v3-4). He then goes on to make numerous exhortations to righteous living and the benefits of obedience (v5-8). He then turns his attention to the consequences of those who disobey such admonitions...
"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" (II Peter 1:9-10)