Justin Taylor provides an excerpt from Lady Jane Grey’s defense of the biblical view of the sacraments, which she spoke in defense when she was 16 years old. Fantastic. How many of our teenagers can do the same? This should inspire us all the more to catechize our children.
Lady Jane. — By the sacrament of Baptism I am washed with water, and regenerated by the Spirit, and that washing is a token to me that I am the child of God. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper offered unto me, is a sure seal and testimony that I am, by the blood of Christ which he shed for me on the cross, made partaker of the everlasting kingdom.
Feckenham. — Why, what do you receive in that sacrament? Do you not receive the very body and blood of Christ?
Lady Jane. — No, surely, I do not so believe. I think that at the supper I neither receive flesh nor blood, but bread and wine, which bread, when it is broken, and which wine, when it is drunken, putteth me in remembrance how that for my sins the body of Christ was broken, and his blood shed on the cross, and with that bread and wine I receive the benefits that came by the breaking of his body, and shedding his blood for our sins on the cross.
Feckenham. — Why, doth not Christ speak these words, Take, eat, this is my body? Require you any plainer words? Doth he not say, it is his body?
Lady Jane. — I grant he saith so; and so he saith, ‘I am the vine, I am the door’: but he is never the more the door nor the vine. Doth not St. Paul say. He calleth things that are not, as though they were? God forbid that I should say that I eat the very natural body and blood of Christ; for then either I should pluck away my redemption, or else there were two bodies, or two Christs. One body was tormented on the cross, and if they did eat another body, then had he two bodies; or if his body were eaten, then was it not broken on the cross; or if it were broken on the cross, it was not eaten of his disciples.
Seeing sin for what it really is – Satanic. “Sin is not a thing we can just sweep under the rug. It’s not a little this or that. Oh no. Sin is most fundamentally our acting like Satan instead of reflecting the glory of God. Think about that for a moment. Fudging on the truth, spinning things a bit, ignoring God’s word, elevating our reason above what he’s said — these are neither struggles nor foibles, they are Satanic. It is to deny the most fundamental purpose we exist: to glorify God and bear the imprint of his holiness. One motivation to a life of repentance is to see our sin for what it truly is.”
What My Mother Did – Catechism – Another great story of a mother’s legacy. Part 2 of 5.
New Lloyd-Jones book on marriage from Banner of Truth – Lloyd-Jones’ sermons on Ephesians are wonderful, but take up seven volumes. If you want his sermons on Ephesians 5 and marriage, you still have to buy a rather large volume containing more material than you want. Now Banner of Truth has published just his sermons on marriage from Ephesians 5.
Reformation Study Bible notes now available on Bible Gateway – The Reformation Study Bible is one of the best study Bibles available. The notes are now available online for free at Bible Gateway.
Wasted Depression (HT: Tim Challies) – John Piper might say, “Don’t waste your depression.” “Charles Spurgeon called his depression his best friend and his worst enemy. The enemy put him in the slough of despond and incapacitated him in horrible ways. The friend caused him to lean hard upon his God and realize that all the accomplishments really were not his doing.”
Fearfully & Wonderfully Drawn – Every one of our eight children is amazingly different. We are always surprised by this, and filled with joy at seeing their unique personalities emerge. Good to remember that God is also individually and uniquely working in each of their lives; it does not look the same for every child.
Christian Husband’s Only Option: Love Your Wife – This is all biblical and true: it is not an option to fall out of love with your wife (or husband for that matter). However, I wish the author had drawn the distinction between love as a feeling and love as a verb. True love, biblical love, is a verb. It is entirely possible for feelings of love to wax and to wane; however, it is impossible to fall out of love because love is a decision, a verb, an action. It is not predominately a feeling, especially as the word is used in Ephesians 5.
Is low self-esteem always beautiful? – The question of how to rightly view self-esteem is critically important for one’s own life, as well as parenting, and counseling those struggling with anxiety, depression, or even discouragement. It is right to think of ourselves as losers, because apart from God we are totally incapable of doing anything good or right. Our hearts are inclined always to evil, and in our flesh dwells no good thing. And we know that the positive-thinking, new age, good within you, philosophy is unbiblical. But that we are worms is not the whole story. There is a biblical view of and esteem for oneself that is healthy and necessary. Getting this right is essential to healthy Christian living. We are trying right now to teach this to our teens and pre-teens; this article is a good start.
Children Review The Quest for Comfort – Our family just finished a year-long study of the Heidelberg Catechism. It is wonderful, and more accessible for children, and more comforting and warm, than other Reformed catechisms. There is a new book for children on the history of the Heidelberg Catechism that I have been looking forward to making my children read. Here are a couple of reviews from children.
What Did You Expect DVD – On huge sale for a few days only, $15! Normally sells for $60 (at least that is the list price). I’ve already ordered two copies. I also just noted from the WTS website that the book is now available in paperback as well.
Ligonier National Conference Audio & Video now online – From what I heard when it was live streamed, this was a great conference. The theme this year is The Christian Mind.
Amazon 50% off deal – through Amazon Local, today only, buy a $10 Amazon card for $5. If you shop at Amazon, this deal is too good to pass up. Unfortunately, it is limit one per household. And like other local deals, there is (supposedly) a limited supply today.
Francis Schaeffer on Science and the Bible – or, even better, on getting them in the right order
Modesty Links – a good roundup of links to articles, etc. on Christian modesty
What My Mother Did – an excellent article on a mother’s legacy through her labors to make the Lord’s Day special to her children, at her own expense (like many other things mothers, and fathers, do)
Diapers, Nursing, Clinging to Christ – more encouragement for mothers in the fog of pregnancy and caring for young children. There really is only one thing to remember, because it all depends on him, not on us: “Do you hold fast to Christ? Are you thankful — in the midst of pregnancy and nursing, diapers and discipline? The details of last Sunday’s sermon might be foggy, or lost entirely. How much more so the teachings from a year or more ago. But don’t let that trouble you. If nothing else sticks, remember this: Cling to Christ. You have been united with him. Cling to him.”
Cultivating the Affections – this is the ultimate goal of education, particularly classical education. Or at least it should be. This is what is really going on in the minds and hearts of children as they grow up, which has profound implications on how we parent and educate our children. This is one of the primary reasons I believe classical education is by far the best model and method for educating (read: parenting and shepherding) children.
Doug Wilson gets it exactly right, cutting to the heart of the matter:
But in the PCA, the egalitarian pressure is on, and the capitulations are in process. This means that the church order of the PCA is being altered by default, and it is not be altered by means of an honest constitutional process. It is being altered by a combination of ecclesiastical disobedience, passive agressiveness, and postmodern label shifting.
This is what has bothered me most about this whole issue. It is fine to disagree with our Book of Church Order and think that having women serve as deacons is acceptable biblically. But to disobey our constitution, after taking vows to obey it, is just wrong. People who disagree with it should labor to change it and obey it in the meantime. Or they should go to a denomination that supports their views if they insist on this practice. But how can it be anything but sinful to outrght disobey our constitution, or like a child try to re-define the terms and weasel around the rules?
I wish more people actually in the PCA had the boldness to put it in these terms.
22 Descriptions of Marital Love – taken from Paul Tripp’s book What Did You Expect? My wife and I recently read this book, and this found this list quite convicting and challenging. Apart from Christ it is impossible to love and to have a marriage the way God intended for it to be. (HT Tim Challies)
The Ligonier National Conference Online – the 2012 Ligonier National Conference starts in two days. Here is how to watch it if you can’t attend. The topic this year is The Christian Mind.
Just How Big Is God and How Small Are We?— here on the Visited Planet?
I think I used to think of spiritual warfare as mostly fighting against the powers of darkness for the souls of unbelievers and against the culture for the glory of God’s name and reputation. But more and more, I see it as the fight of faith: the personal fight against sin, the fight for growth, maturity, and holiness. The fight of faith, not of the faith — the fight of my faith, personal faith. Faith and trust in God’s promises. Faith that all he does is for my good and his glory. Faith that he will finish the good work he began in me. Faith that he will never leave me nor forsake me. Faith in his perfect, steadfast love and unchanging character.
This is what John Piper has in mind here. As John Owen said, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” Note the list of the kinds of sins we are to fight against daily (emphasis added). Quite a convicting list.
Lent or no Lent, not doing some things you feel like doing is the daily pattern for the disciples of Jesus. Yes, daily. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)….
This is normal, daily, Christian warfare. Only saints delight in the law of God at their depths. Here is how they talk: “I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind” (Romans 7:21–23).
A war indeed. Daily. “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17).
And make no mistake, sexual desires are not our most deadly desires that need daily denial. Anger, resentment, fear of man, discouragement (yes), self-pity, self-promotion, hardness, envy, moodiness, sulking, indifference to suffering, laziness, boredom, passiveness, lack of praise, lack of joy in Jesus, disinterest in others, etc. These need daily killing (Romans 8:13).
Is There Hope for Failing Marriages? – Yes, there is… with God, all things are possible. But it will require work. Hard work. “I am convinced that many people need to change the way they think about marriage. Idealized images of marriage or romanticized notions of the one we plan to marry quickly shatter in married life. Many people simply want too much from marriage. They have unrealistic ideas of uninterrupted marital bliss. They are in love with the idea of being in love but soon learn that loving another person requires effort. I remind couples that it’s one thing to be in love; another to love someone in a marriage relationship.
Those who want a good marriage without the effort required to experience one set themselves up for the cycle of fantasy, disillusionment and divorce. … God designed marriage for our good as an exclusive, permanent, one-fleshed relationship based on a covenant of commitment between one man and one woman. …Refusal to seek help is one of the saddest reasons why some marriages don’t survive. …If you could benefit from help, don’t be like the fool depicted in the Proverbs who was doomed to his foolishness because he refused to accept correction and counsel.”
The Nonconforming Puritan – A brief introduction to Thomas Watson, currently my eldest son’s favorite Puritan.
Review of Ryken’s Loving the Way Jesus Loves – David Murray reviews Phil Ryken’s book based on his sermons on 1 Corinthians 13. I heard some of these sermons and they were really touching and challenging. I am glad to see that the book is equally so; I am looking forward to reading it.
Tips for Children in Worship – This is part 2 of yesterday’s post on children in worship. Today he gives practical tips, many of which are good advice for adults and older children too on preparing ourselves for worship. I would add teaching common songs and parts of worship, such as the Doxology, the Gloria Patri, and the Apostle’s Creed, at home to your young children. Most of my children have been able to sing the songs at the age of 2 and recite the creed at 3-4. That way they can participate in the service.
Those Children Have Names – A response on the desiringGod blog to the after-birth abortion article.
New Book: Loving Well by William Smith – I have been waiting for this one to be released; it is on sale through tomorrow from the publisher. Ed Welch has this to say about it: “I have read dozens of books about love, so I wasn’t expecting anything new. But I don’t remember too many books that I wanted to read to my wife, inspired me, led me in confession, left me with enthusiasm to try some bolder forms of love, and will leave me poor because I want to get copies for so many friends.”