Is the Church Full of Hypocrites? | R.C. Sproul

hypocrite2

About thirty years ago, my close friend and colleague, Archie Parrish, who at that time led the Evangelism Explosion (EE) program in Fort Lauderdale, came to me with a request. He indicated that on the thousands of evangelistic visits the EE teams made, they kept a record of responses people made to discussions of the gospel. They collated the most frequent questions and objections people raised about the Christian faith and grouped these inquiries or objections into the ten most frequently encountered. Dr. Parrish asked if I would write a book answering those objections for evangelists to use in their outreach. That effort resulted in my book Objections Answered, now called Reason to Believe. Among the top ten objections raised was the objection that the church is filled with hypocrites. At that point in time, Dr. D. James Kennedy responded to this objection by replying, “Well, there’s always room for one more.” He cautioned people that if they found a perfect church, they ought not to join it, since that would ruin it.

The term hypocrite came from the world of Greek drama. It was used to describe the masks that the players used to dramatize certain roles. Even today, the theatre is symbolized by the twin masks of comedy and tragedy. In antiquity, certain players played more than one role, and they indicated their role by holding a mask in front of their face. That’s the origin of the concept of hypocrisy. Read More »

Does James 2:24 Deny Justification by Faith Alone? | R.C. Sproul

from Ligonier Ministries

This question is not critical only today, but it was in the eye of the storm we call the Protestant Reformation that swept through and divided the Christian church in the sixteenth century. Martin Luther declared his position: Justification is by faith alone, our works add nothing to our justification whatsoever, and we have no merit to offer God that in any way enhances our justification. This created the worst schism in the history of Christendom.

Read more…..

What Does the X in Xmas Mean? | R.C. Sproul

from Ligonier.org

The X in Christmas is used like the R in R.C. My given name at birth was Robert Charles, although before I was even taken home from the hospital my parents called me by my initials, R.C., and nobody seems to be too scandalized by that.

X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

Read the entire article….

The Blessing of Great Teachers | R.C. Sproul

“It’s ultimately no surprise that great teachers produce other great teachers. That seems to be the way God has designed us. In Scripture, we are called again and again to be disciples, or more precisely, learners. We need teachers if we are to learn, and great teachers raise up great learners who can then go on to produce other great learners. Christ is our preeminent example of this. Because He was a great teacher, He knew what to do in order to take a ragtag bunch of fishermen, Zealots, and tax collectors, and make them into the most influential bunch of learners the world has ever known. From their ranks we have been blessed with great teachers—Matthew, John, Peter, and others whose work continues to impact the world to this day. Of course, these men were inspired by the Holy Spirit in a manner that other teachers aren’t. However, Christ’s use of them to make disciples of all nations remains a model of how great teachers produce other great teachers.

No matter how great our earthly teachers may be, they will err. We will have to weigh their words against the Spirit-inspired teachings of the Apostles and prophets. But we dare not think we can ever reach a point where we cannot benefit from the teaching of others. Great teachers who are faithful to God’s Word are a blessing to God’s church. He will use them to build us up so that we can build up other.”

R.C. Sproul, The Blessing of Great Teachers from Lignier.org
http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/blessing-great-teachers/

Great Quotes from What Is Reformed Theology?

The Ligonier blog posts a piece by Tim Challies listing some of his favorite quotes in R.C. Sproul’s great book What is Reformed Theology.

“In Reformed theology, if God is not sovereign over the entire created order, then he is not sovereign at all. The term sovereignty too easily becomes a chimera. If God is not sovereign, then he is not God.”

“Scripture teaches that we are created in the image and likeness of God. This does not mean that we are little gods. The image does not obscure the difference between God and man. It does assure, however, some point of likeness that makes communication possible, however limited it may be.”

“I love the church. It is the body of Christ. It nurtures my soul and aids in my sanctification. But the church cannot redeem me. Christ and Christ alone can save me. The sacraments are precious to me. They edify and strengthen me, but they cannot justify me.”

“It is a profound political reality that Christ now occupies the supreme seat of cosmic authority. The kings of this world and all secular governments may ignore this reality, but they cannot undo it. The universe is no democracy. It is a monarchy. God himself has appointed his beloved Son as the preeminent King. Jesus does not rule by referendum, but by divine right. In the future every knee will bow before him, either willingly or unwillingly. Those who refuse to do so will have their knees broken with a rod of iron. “

“Reformed theology does not teach that God brings the elect “kicking and screaming, against their wills,” into his kingdom. It teaches that God so works in the hearts of the elect as to make them willing and pleased to come to Christ. They come to Christ because they want to. They want to because God has created in their hearts a desire for Christ. “

“It still seems that if God gives grace to one person, in the interest of fairness he “ought” to give grace equally to another. It is precisely this “oughtness” that is foreign to the biblical concept of grace. Among the mass of fallen humanity, all guilty of sin before God and exposed to his justice, no one has any claim or entitlement to God’s mercy. If God chooses to grant mercy to some of that group, this does not require that he give it to all.”

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From Brokenness to Mission is the Human Pattern

From Ligonier blog

Dr. R.C. Sproul conveys a powerful gospel dynamic here from Isaiah 6:

There is a pattern here, a pattern repeated in history. God appears, people quake in terror, God forgives and heals, God sends. From brokenness to mission is the human pattern. When God asked, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah understood the force of the word. To be “sent” meant to function as an emissary for God, to be a spokesman for the deity. In the New Testament the word apostle meant “one who is sent.” The Old Testament counterpart to the New Testament apostle was the prophet. God was looking for a volunteer to enter the lonely, grueling office of prophet. “Whom shall I send?”

Notice Isaiah’s answer: “Here am I, send me.” There is a crucial difference between saying, “Here am I” and saying, “Here I am.” Had he said, “Here I am,” that would have merely indicated his location. But he was interested in more than giving God his location. He said, “Here am I.” With these words Isaiah was stepping forward to volunteer. His answer was simply, “I will go. Look no further. Send me.”

From The Holiness of God

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