Monday, March 28, 2011

Bear Fruit to Stand at the Last Day

Let us always remember, that baptism, church-membership, reception of the Lord’s Supper, and a diligent use of the outward forms of Christianity, are not sufficient to save our souls. They are leaves, nothing but leaves, and without fruit will add to our condemnation. Like the fig leaves of which Adam and Eve made themselves garments, they will not hide the nakedness of our souls from the eye of an all-seeing God, or give us boldness when we stand before Him at the last day. No! we must bear fruit, or be lost forever. There must be fruit in our hearts and fruit in our lives, the fruit of repentance toward God, faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and true holiness in our conversation. Without such fruits as these a profession of Christianity will only sink us lower into hell.
~ J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1985], 234. {Mark 11:12-21}

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)
-The Wretch, Slave of Christ

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Excellent Quote on Glenn Beck

From Mormonism Research Ministry's Facebook wall:

If a Muslim told an audience of thousands to "Look to God," most Christians would dismiss his plea knowing he is not speaking of the God of Christianity. Why then do Christians see no problem when Glenn Beck makes such a plea? Do Christians really think the god of Mormonism is the same as the God of the Bible?

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)

-The Wretch, Slave of Christ

Monday, August 23, 2010

Over-due Update / New Project- Body of Death

It has been MONTHS since I have posted anything of significant substance, for that I am sorry, I really have missed blogging.  Since our youngest was born at the end of March, life has been...difficult.  We welcomed our youngest Andrew Ezekiel into the world on March 30.  For those of you who know us, you know the issues we have had with both the boys, especially Drew (stomach issues and colic).  I have hardly been able to go out and witness due to busier work schedule (10 to12 hr days + working outside + heat = exhaustion).  I would like to come up excuses on why I have not been out there, but it boils down to nothing more then sinful selfishness.

In the past I have made some pictures that were on the subject of sin and they were dark in nature ("Crucify!" and "Mirror of the Ten Commandments").  My latest project follows along the same lines.  I know that there are some out there who have asked why my pictures are so dark, even borderline creepy.  I make these pictures based off what has been reveled to me from God and His Word.  Every time God shines His light to revel an area of sin in my life what I see is dark, dirty, and revolting.  When I get a glimpse of myself in comparison to my Maker I shutter.

Before Drew was born I was going through a time in my spiritual life of coasting and relative ease.  It is easy to allow yourself to forget just how sinful your flesh is and how monstrous it can be without God's restraining hand.  But when Drew was born all of that changed.  God used a little baby and an almost-two-year-old to show me this.  And though I am struggling every day, with varying degrees of success, I see God's gracious hand helping me through it.  Many times I have read and pondered the passage in Romans 7 where Paul, an apostle of Christ, relays his own struggle with sin.

Romans 7:15-25
    For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    So 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 and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

As I pondered this passage I was drawn to the phrase "body of death."  I sometime ago heard a message by Pastor Jack Hughes in which he explained what the "body of death" was.  I had always assumed that it was just a metaphor for our flesh as something that is dying and sinful.  Pastor Hughes explained that it was actually in fact a reference to first century death sentence. Below is a description of said punishment:
"Roman society knew a gruesome form of capital punishment (practiced primarily by Etruscan pirates in Northern Italy) in which the body of the murdered person would be chained to the murderer (hand to hand, face to face, etc.) In the hot Mediterranean sun, the body would quickly decay, spreading not only rancid odor but also deadly infection to the murderer. The doomed criminal would carry this awful burden until the decay and infection from the corpse finally ended his own miserable existence. It was only possible to be freed from the horrors of this punishment if someone else chose to carry the body in the place of the murderer, carrying it to his death."

 What a vivid description Paul uses to relate our sin to us.  Although we are a new creation, while we are here on the earth we will always have our sinful flesh bound to us, infecting us, killing us, and, if the Lord should tarry, will be what brings us to the grave.  But thanks be to God for the hope of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ!  When we die or the Lord comes back we will not have to be bound to our bodies of death for eternity!

I have smelled the rotting corpse of my flesh and have allowed it to infect me to behave in a manner contrary to what I have been called to.  This is the background to my latest project "Body of Death." I will warn you it is rather dark.  Jenn has a hard time looking at it and while I was making it she started to cry, but I think it is a powerful visual reminder what what our sin is and who we are before salvation.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)
--The Wretch

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

JC Ryle Quote

Let us carefully remember that our blessed Lord suffered and died of His own free will. He did not die because He could not help it; He did not suffer because He could not escape. All the soldiers of Pilate’s army could not have taken Him, if He had not been willing to be taken. They could not have hurt a hair of His head, if He had not given them permission. But here, as in all His earthly ministry, Jesus was a willing sufferer. He had set His heart on accomplishing our redemption. He loved us, and gave Himself for us, cheerfully, willingly, gladly, in order to make atonement for our sins. It was “the joy set before Him” which made Him endure the cross, and despise the shame, and yield Himself up without reluctance into the bands of His enemies. Let this thought abide in our hearts, and refresh our souls. We have a Savior who was far more willing to save us than we are willing to be saved. If we are not saved, the fault is all our own. Christ is just as willing to receive and pardon, as He was willing to be taken prisoner, to bleed, and to die.
~ J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, volume 3, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1987], 236.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)
--The Wretch

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Evangelism Opportunity

I know that evangelism can seem to be intimidating, especially if you have never done it.  But I ask you, if  you are a Christian, and someone who had only three minutes to live came up to you and ask, "What must I do to be saved" or "I am scared to die what can you tell me?"  Would you be able to help them?  I think being able to give a response to this is very important.  If we truly have been born-again, we know enough of the Gospel to share with someone how to receive salvation. (Romans 10:17)

We (Magic Valley Bible Church) have a great opportunity at the fair this year.  We are gong to have a table/booth.  It will be a great way to tell people about our church and what activities we have going on, but more importantly, it will be a great way to share the Gospel, people come up to you!  Russ Buffalo and I are trying to put together a group of people who want to share their faith, so that we can man the fair table and have people walking the fairgrounds witnessing.  I know there are people out there who want to share their faith but are unsure how to do it or even scared.  Do not worry, we have a solution.  There are going to be plenty of events coming up that will be great for training and practice.  Russ and I would like to incorporate some book training, role-playing, and some "in the field" training.  Please contact either one of us if you are interested.  We have a couple of months before the fair gets here, let's get equipped and trained and share he Good News of the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins!  Remember, experience is not required nor is actually witnessing at first.  If you want to come along just to see what is like that is fine, you can be a shadow.

We have one such event coming up on Friday, May 7th at 6pm.  One of the local churches is putting on a Battle of the Bands in the City Park.  I have read up on this event, and it looks like a great opportunity.  according to the event organizers they are hoping for about 2,000 people in the park.  Also according to the organizer, it appears that the Gospel being proclaimed to the people is not a priority:

“It is an outreach program; in our minds we are trying to gain exposure to let kids know that there is a safe place for them to hang out. We are not pushing God or religion. We just want to give the youth an option of a safe environment to hang out and ask questions."

"We tell the bands that they don’t have to play Christian music, but we want them to have music with positive lyrics that inspire and encourage.  We are looking for a diverse group of bands with all types of music with a diverse, positive sound.”

-Youth pastor Josh Jensen

We ask that you come along with us.  There is going to be a diverse group of people attending this from true Christians, to lukewarm self-proclaimed followers, to the admittedly lost.  Please come along with us, you do not even have to say anything or pass out any tracts.  Just come along and see what it is all about!  Email me at:

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)
--The Wretch

Friday, April 2, 2010


Click the picture to see larger

Although I am now saved by the Grace of God, I was in the crowd yelling "Crucify!" at The Son of God's trial. From a human standpoint it seems as though God was not in control, but according to Isaiah 53:10, "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him..." 

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)

--The Wretch