Are You Seeing a Pattern? | John MacArthur

jmacarthur_caricaturefrom Ligonier.org

Preachers are men—that’s all. And men are not perfect, so there is no hope of perfection in the ministry.

If God could not use poor instruments and feeble voices, He couldn’t make music. Abraham was guilty of duplicity, yet he became the man of faith and the friend of God. Moses was a man of stuttering speech and a quick temper, yet he was the one chosen to lead a nation, to represent them before God, and to receive His law and deliver it to them. David was guilty of adultery, conspiracy, murder, and unfaithfulness as a husband and father, but he repented and was regarded as a man after God’s own heart. He was also the greatest songwriter of all history. We still sing the songs of this “sweet singer of Israel.” Elijah ran from Jezebel, pleading for euthanasia, but this same Elijah defied Ahab and all the prophets of Baal, and heard the still small voice of God at Horeb. In the midst of the heavenly vision, Isaiah said, “I am a man with a dirty mouth; I live among people with dirty mouths. I’m certainly useless to you, O God.” But when he had been cleansed, he said, “Here am I; send me,” and God said, “Go.” Peter was another clay pot, the leader and spokesman of the twelve apostles, but he denied his Lord with oaths and curses, and even had the audacity to correct the Lord. However, he was restored by the compassion of Jesus in the midst of his disobedience, and was enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak with such force on the day of Pentecost as to be the agent by which God orchestrated the great introduction of the church. John the apostle expected to be praised by Jesus for refusing to allow a man not of their company to cast out demons in the name of the Lord. Likewise, he and his brother James wanted to call down fire from heaven and burn up a Samaritan village, and they sent their mother to ask that they might be given the chief places in the kingdom. Yet John became the beloved disciple, the apostle of love, the eagle who soared to great heights. He became, it seems, the apostle who pierced the deepest into the mystery of the incarnation.

Are you seeing a pattern?

This excerpt is taken from John MacArthur’s contribution in Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching.

A Comparison of ‘The Purpose Drive Life’ and ‘Slave’-On Salvation | Jeremiah Johnson

from Grace to You:

In fact, he makes it clear that any gospel that skirts the lordship of Christ is no gospel at all.

Amazingly, in spite of the clear teaching of Scripture and the faithful witness of Protestant church history, most of the trends in contemporary evangelicalism actually attack the lordship of Christ over His church. Some of these attacks are blatant and theological, like the no-lordship position of the so-called Free Grace Movement. . . . The Free Grace view twists the gospel message, claiming that neither repentance from sin nor submission to Christ has any part in saving faith. By promoting a form of “easy believism,” Free Grace advocates openly deny the sinner’s need to repent of sin and to confess Jesus as Lord and Master in the biblical sense of total submission. In so doing, they teach a different gospel altogether, which is “really not another” but an obvious attempt “to distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7). [7]

As believers, we’re not meant to merely fluff the soft pillow of God’s grace and invite sinners to find comfort and fulfillment in His open arms. We’ve not been set apart to soft-pedal the harsh and uncomfortable truths of the gospel, or lull people into casually accepting Christ as their Savior.

We’re called to wage war against satanic fortresses (2 Corinthians 10:4). And in that battle, the gospel of easy-believism is an utterly ineffective weapon.

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Holding to Sound Doctrine | John MacArthur

from Grace to You

One of the Devil’s more subtle schemes is leading believers away from sound doctrine. He knows that his best chance of immobilizing an effective Christian witness is through distraction with unscriptural, questionable, irrational, and shifting doctrines.

Even if we are not affected by any particular infiltration of false doctrine, our Christian walk can be greatly hampered by laziness, lack of vigilance, and simple ignorance regarding doctrinal basics. Bad doctrine or a weak understanding of sound doctrine makes us vulnerable to all sorts of bad practices, including a weak or non-existent standard of integrity.

The author of Hebrews reminds us where our anchor is and again urges us along the right path: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings” (Hebrews 13:8–9).

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Meditation that honors God | John MacArthur

from Grace to You

“Meditation is no less needed today. We live in a culture that continually assaults us with distractions through billboards, television, the Internet, and more. God says that we should keep His Word perpetually in front of our eyes, filling our minds and conversations wherever we go.

Paul clarified what our minds should feed on:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Ultimately, our ongoing relationship with God hinges on sound biblical study. He places monumental importance on knowing, proclaiming, and worshipping Him rightly. And Scripture is the engine driving all of those things. The Dark Ages may have ended, but those who neglect to study and meditate on Scripture shun the light of God’s Word and continue to walk in willful darkness.”

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Strange Fire Q&A: Answering the Critics | John MacArthur and Phil Johnson

Even considering my history with John MacArthur and Grace to You, I was concerned when during the Strange Fire conference last year, I was told that Dr. MacArthur had declared that all or most people in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements were not saved. I knew he probably meant something more than that one statement. This exchange between John MacArthur and Phil Johnson addresses this issue and offers great clarity, and I must say, especially after listening to this, I have a greater understanding of where Dr. MacArthur is/was coming from and I agree with him.

Killing Sin, Part 1 | John MacArthur

johnmacIt’s not enough to merely receive the warnings of your conscience. You’ve got to act on those warnings and deal decisively and thoroughly with the sin your conscience uncovers.

As Paul said in Romans 8:13, believers must always be “putting to death the deeds of the body.” The King James translation uses more picturesque language, exhorting us to “mortify” our sin. But what does it mean to truly kill your sin?

Mortifying your sin involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from your behavior. It is a constant warfare that takes place within the believer. Although we should expect our triumph over sin to be ever increasing, our mortification can never be wholly complete before we are glorified. We are to remain perpetually committed to the task. We must see sin as a sworn enemy, and commit ourselves to slaying it wherever and whenever it rears its head.

Scripture offers several practical means whereby believers can mortify their sin. Our growth in grace depends on our obedience to these duties. None of them are fleshly or mechanical formulas. They are not religious activities or rituals.

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