The Carnal Man

“A carnal man cannot apprehend or comprehend divine things, for by nature he has not that discernment; but on the contrary his mind is depraved; God is not in his mind.

A carnal man cannot understand spiritual things, for he is by nature a child of the devil, and is not spiritually-minded, hence, he comprehends nothing spiritual; for by nature he is a stranger to God; has nothing of a divine nature dwelling in him, nor has communion with God, but is much rather at enmity with him; he is unmerciful, unjust, unclean, not peaceable, impatient, disobedient, without understanding and unhappy. So are all men by nature according to their birth and origin after the flesh.

This is the first or old Adam, and is comprised in the Scriptures in a single word, ungodly, that is, without God, a stranger and destitute of the divine nature.”
(Menno Simons)

An Inventory of Blessings

This is John Newton (the author of the hymn Amazing Grace) describing the joy of being a Christian.  His comments are based on Psalm 73:24. 

What a comfort, what an honour is this, that worms have liberty to look up to God, and that He, the high and holy One who inhabiteth eternity, is pleased to look down upon us, to maintain our peace, to supply our wants, to guide us with His eye, to inspire us with wisdom and grace suitable to our occasions!

Those who profess to know something of this fellowship and to depend upon it, are by the world accounted enthusiasts who know not what they mean, or perhaps hypocrites who pretend to what they have not in order to cover some base designs. But we have reason to bear their reproaches with patience.

Let them rage, let them, if they please, point at me for a fool as I walk the streets; if I do but take up the Bible, or run over in my mind the inventory of the blessings with which the Lord has enriched me, I have sufficient amends.

Jesus is mine; in Him I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,—an interest in all the promises and in all the perfections of God.

He will guide me by His counsel, support me by His power, comfort me with His presence, while I am here; and afterwards, when flesh and heart fail, He will receive me to His glory.

Engage My Heart

Leonard Ravenhill wrote these words shortly before his death: 

“Lord, engage my heart today
with a passion that will not pass away.
Now torch it with Thy holy fire
that nevermore shall earth’s desire
invade or quench the heaven born power.
I would be trapped within Thy holy will,
Thine every holy purpose to fulfill,
that every effort of my life
shall bring rapturous praise to my eternal King.
I pledge from this day to the grave
to be Thine own, unquestioning slave.
Lord, grant that this prayer shall be our own.  Amen.”

Addiction Poem

Five Short Chapters
Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I do not see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place; but it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down a different street.

Scripture Study and Explanation

Four Steps in Scripture Study and Explanation

  1. Exegesis: What does the text say?  A procedure is practiced on the text.
  2. Hermeneutics: What does the text mean?  Principles of interpretation are applied to the text.
  3. Theology: What truths are taught in the text?  The theological points of the passage are summarized.
  4. Homiletics: How do we apply the text?  The truth of the passage is presented with appropriate practical application.

It can be very tempting to skip the first three steps.  Some Scriptural explanations begin with statements such as, “What this passage means to me is…”  Skipping to the fourth step too quickly is Bible butchery.  

A Message From Jesus

(This was written by Menno Simons.  He is writing as if Jesus is speaking.  Simons draws from a number of Scripture passages to summarize the message and mission of Jesus.)   

I am the Son of the almighty God, Luke 1:32, anointed with the Holy Ghost to preach the Gospel to the poor, and to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to give sight to the blind, to open the prison to them that are bound, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18.

Believe the gospel. I am the Lamb that was offered for you. I take away the sins of the world. My Father has made me unto you wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1 Cor. 1:30. Whosoever believeth on me shall not be ashamed, yea all that believe that I am He, have eternal life. John 3:16.