A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How Do You Smell?
Scroll down to see the post on Externalism

Ec 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death
than the day of one's birth.

Ec 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a
stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom
and honor.

A sweet smell is a figure for a number of related things in the Bible: the
work of the Holy Spirit, godly prayer, worship, a good reputation.

Christ is "Messiah" the anointed one because He exalts the name of God,
and justifies His people against the lies and deceits of the devil whose
stock in trade is accusing the brothers. He is anointed as Prophet, Priest,
and King to exalt the name of God and to clear the name of God's

A man's reputation because of a long and fruitful life is better than his
reputation because of the family that he is born to. Hence, as far as
reputation is concerned, death trumps birth. Who he is when he dies is
far more important that who he is when he is born.

Our praise to God is a sweet odor because we are exalting his name and
lifting up his reputation before men. Bad doctrine, false worship,
deceitful worship are all said in Scripture to be a stink before God.

Slander is vicious because it brings a bad odor upon a man's name and
hinders his work for God in the world.

He who would be wise must watch the ways of his feet, for a little folly
will besmirch his reputation like a few flies foul a sweet ointment. He
must pray for wisdom, for his enemies will use his faults and shoot foul
and wicked arrows to destroy him. There are none truly wise but God so
he must take the whole armor of God, especially the shield of faith to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Just as Christ is sweetness and purity before God, so the whisperings,
accusations, and hatred of Apollyon stink up the church, divide between
brothers, and bring the hatred of God. Hence, we are commanded to
resist the devil and he will flee from us.

2Co 2:16 To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the
other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Curse of Externalism

Does the doctrine of Total Depravity mean that there is nothing good in the Christian? To say that will be to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian. The Scriptures are very clear about it.

1. If a person is a child of God, then God has begun to work in his heart and mind to transform him, to make something good of him. The evil from Adam is not changed, but placed under condemnation, but a new nature in the image of Christ is implanted. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Php 1:6)

2. This work is known as regeneration, or the creating of new life. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Eph 2:1-2) Jesus put it this way: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven."

3. Because of this newness in Christ, it is possible for a person to begin to be fruitful in good works, in good thoughts, in good morals. This why Paul prays: "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Col 1:9-10 )

4. This is so critical to the Gospel that it is one side of the seal of God to the very foundation of the Gospel. One side is the hidden knowledge of God concerning the elect; the other side is the necessity of those who are called Christians to depart from iniquity: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2Ti 2:19)

5. And so, the Scripture tells us in this same place: "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work." (2Ti 2:21) A man can and must become fit for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work if he is to call himself a Christian.

6. For a person to say that Christians cannot do or think truly good things is to deny the power of God. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Tit 1:16) People deny the Lord, not only in their words, but also in their deeds.

7. A good minister will exhort and plead with the people to live holy and godly lives, putting away the deeds of the flesh, the hating, the backbiting, the gossip, and other forms of hatred and evil.

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Heb 13:20-21)


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