Author Archives: Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Weekly Links (12/22/2017)

“Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief. Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in His beams. Feel His all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in His almighty arms. . . . Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him.” (Andrew Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! We’ve now come to the end of the week, as well as the school year, and so the Christmas holiday is upon us to be mindful of the love and humility displayed by Christ in His Incarnation. With that said, here are this week’s links!

That’s all for this week! See you Sunday on Christmas Eve!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (12/15/2017)

“You can grieve for me the week before I die, if I’m scared and hurting, but when I gasp that last fleeting breath and my immortal soul flees to heaven, I’m going to be jumping over fire hydrants down the golden streets, and my biggest concern, if I have any, will be my wife back here grieving.

When I die, I will be identified with Christ’s exaltation. But right now, I’m identified with His affliction.” (R.C. Sproul, A Taste of Heaven)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! As Christmas comes upon us, I pray we continue to give thanks to God for the love and care He gives us, and the grace He offers through the fellowship of His saints. With that, I pray these links will serve you in your growth in Christ.

  • It is with great sadness to hear of Dr. R.C. Sproul’s passing yesterday, after being in the hospital his last 12 days due to respiratory difficulties worsened by the flu and complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Founder and former chairman of Ligonier Ministries, former pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, FL, former chancellor of Reformation Bible College, he leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Vesta, two children, 11 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. He was 78 years old. Chris Larson of Ligonier Ministries gives the initial news on Ligonier’s site, while Ligonier Chairman Robert Godfrey and teaching fellow Stephen Nichols gives a tribute to this great man of God. Al Mohler writes of Sproul’s influence on his own life, as does John Piper. Justin Taylor gives a detailed obituary of his life here on earth. He will be deeply missed by many who knew him, and many more who didn’t. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
  • Denny Burk comments on Pope Francis’ desire to change the phrase “lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation.” We would do well to point Roman Catholics to the true and only infallible authority given to the church, the Word of God.
  • Jason Engwer at Triablogue gives yet another reason why Christmas apologetics merits discussion: the decrease of Americans’ belief in a Christian view of Christmas. May God grant us opportunities to share Christ’s birth with those who don’t yet know Him.
  • Pastor Chris Brauns began a series of messages at his church titled, “Leading Our Emotions Through the Holidays” this month. You can read a summary of his first message, “Leading Our Emotions I – Depression,” which includes a link to the audio.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for our SDSU collegians, as they go through finals through next week, and for our Christmas concert tomorrow! We look forward to continue celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. See you on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (12/8/2017)

“The best thing you can do for your marriage is to grow closer to Jesus. The more you understand and appreciate God’s love for you in Christ, the better your marriage will be as you reflect that love to your spouse. A strong marriage in which both partners are showing Christlike love to each other will help both of them to better appreciate God’s gracious love. One reason that a Christian would never want to marry an unbeliever is that a non-Christian does not know the love of Christ and, as a result, is incapable of expressing Christlike love.” (Jim Newheiser, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Well, another week has passed during this Advent season, so we hope your anticipation of celebrating Christ’s birth has been a great blessing to all of you. With the recent fires, there is much to pray for with respect to our prayers. Let’s continue to ask God to be gracious to those who are affected, and also to use those fighting the fires and end the destruction taking place near our homes. Even during this time, may these links be of help to you and draw you closer to Christ.

  • Tim Challies gives three productivity tips that can be of help for you in the new year. You don’t even have to wait until January 1st to get started! Start being productive, to God’s glory, today!
  • Since Christmas is coming, and many are thinking of gifts to buy for their loved ones, some may love a good book that helps them grow in Christ. You may not know where to start, but I found a couple lists that may be a timely blessing: Fred Zaspel’s and Tony Reinke’s booklists. Reinke’s includes the occasional charismatic writer (Jack Deere and Sam Storms), so be discerning in what you find.
  • There has been a lot of anticipation regarding Jack Phillips’ ‘refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding’ case being taken to the Supreme Court by many Christians, so here’s a great recap from Denny Burk. Al Mohler chimes in as well on his podcast The Briefing.
  • The Acts 29 Network has faced a lot of storms in its nearly 20-year existence. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes of the long history, survival, and future of this group of church-planting churches. You will be surprised at some of the problems, and how God has worked in the hearts of many leaders to refocus its heart on planting churches to honor and serve our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  • Does calling Jesus Lord have any inherent implications? Pastor Jesse Johnson and New Testament scholar Murray Harris emphatically say, yes! Harris lists out eight. Do you agree with Scripture’s perspective on the matter?
  • Crossway has started an eight-day reading challenge this week through the Gospel of Luke and Acts to re-familiarize ourselves to the celebration of Christ’s birth. In case you want to read a devotional for the same reason, you can look no further than John Piper. Here is today’s devotional, with links to the previous entries at the bottom.
  • What is the goal of every friendship/relationship? How you answer that question will color the regular interactions you have with those whom you would call, ‘friend.’ Michael Kelley lays out five implications for those kinds of relationship that are defined by the gospel. With this in mind, do you have any gospel-influenced friendships?
  • Many children will be receiving gifts this Christmas, but what is one gift everyone would agree kids need? A safe bet would be patience. How can parents cultivate that into their kids? Pastor Scott James gives some solid wisdom, especially in light of the Advent season.
  • Andrew Walker gives some practical outworkings of talking to someone who identifies as transgender. There is a lot of food for thought here, but hopefully a lot to pray for, as well.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for our youth, who will be having their Christmas party tonight, and the collegians, who will be having Bible study. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (11/24/2017)

“Wisdom, according to the Bible, has nothing to do with how well you did on your SATs, with how many books you’ve read, or with your abilities in logical debate. Wisdom is a different kind of skill. (Notice in Exodus 28:3; 35:25; and 36:1 that skillfulness is the essential meaning of the Hebrew word wisdom.) Biblical wisdom is the skill of pleasing God that comes as a result of a personal, submissive relationship with Him—a relationship that affects every choice in your life.” (Chris Anderson, Joe Tyrpak, Carl Trueman, Gospel Meditations for Prayer)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Well, Thanksgiving has come and is almost gone, so I wanted to share some resources that relate to this holiday and beyond. Enjoy this (special) week’s links!

That’s all for this week! Hope you all are thankful to God for the gift of His Son, and spend this weekend thanking Him most of all. Hope you all can worship the Lord on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (11/17/2017)

“You gain fluency in a language when you move from merely translating an unfamiliar language into a familiar one to interpreting all of life through that new language. It happens when you can think, feel, and speak in a language. In a sense, the new language becomes the filter through which you perceive the world and help others perceive your world and theirs…Gospel-fluent people think, feel, and perceive everything in light of what has been accomplished in the person and work of Jesus Christ.” (Jeff Vanderstelt, Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! A number of resources have turned up, and I’m excited to share what I’ve found!

  • The Master’s Seminary just came out with their Fall issue, focusing on Christian responses to claims from those who identify as LGBT. Don’t miss their book reviews.
  • The Gospel Coalition has announced a new learning platform called TGC Courses, online classes taught by many great scholars in their respective fields on topics as wide as church history, Old and New Testament, apologetics, doctrine, counseling, and more! The ones I’m personally most excited about is ‘Mining God’s Word’ and ‘Theology for Children’ songs. Dive right in!
  • Speaking of free courses, Biblical Training has added a course by textual critic Dan Wallace to their Institute called Textual Criticism. This course requires a login to watch the lectures, but I promise it will be worth it!
  • There have been a few cases that have been sent to the Supreme Court related to religious conscience that you may have heard about but don’t know much of the details. Kim Colby makes us aware of the three cases that are coming up, and it’s a good summary. Be on the lookout for them in the news, and pray for those involved.
  • Listen in as Alasdair Groves talks with David Powlison about psychology. That alone should pique your interest.
  • A new book critiquing theistic evolution is coming out at the end of this month called Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique, edited by J.P. Moreland, Stephen Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann Gauger, and Wayne Grudem. Moreland was recently interviewed about the book, and Andrew Naselli gave his initial take on the book last week, but it’s a convenient location to find a 79-page excerpt and a 9-minute video. Check it out!
  • Lita Cosner and Dr. Robert Carter write a brief, but extremely helpful article for Christians on the amount of misinformation that exists on the internet, and how to wisely discern what is true from what is false. This should be required reading for any believer who uses the internet.
  • Do you sleep less than Jesus? If so, you may need to read this article, then get some sleep, please.

That’s all for this week! Please pray for the youth and collegians as they meet for Bible study tonight. See you all on Sunday (morning and evening)!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (11/10/2017)

“What was the message of the Reformation? In essence, the main question asked and answered was: How does a person get right with God? This was the central issue. For Rome, sinners are saved by faithfully adhering to the dogma of the Catholic Church. But when the Reformers began to examine the Bible, they saw that salvation came by God Himself through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Nate Pickowicz, Why We’re Protestant: An Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! It’s time to get your dose of informative links into your life, so here we go!

That’s all for this week! Please pray for the youth and collegians, as they meet tonight at church. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/27/2017)

“Grace is that aspect of divine action by which God blesses his rebellious creatures, whether through preservation (common grace) or salvation (special grace). It characterizes the manner in which he deals with those who through their rejection of him as their Creator and sovereign deserve nothing from him and yet whom he still chooses to bless.” (Carl R. Trueman, Grace Alone–Salvation as a Gift of God: What the Reformers Taughts…and Why It Still Matters [The Five Solas Series])

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! I hope this week gave you time to spend with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word. There are, of course, many links to help drive you back to both, so here they are!

That’s all for this week! Please pray for flocks tonight and tomorrow, as most of our church will be in homes reviewing the previous Sunday’s sermon, as well as getting to know one another from different affinity groups. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/20/2017)

“While we must always remember that it is our responsibility to proclaim salvation, we must never forget that it is God who saves. It is God who brings men and women under the sound of the gospel, and it is God who brings them to faith in Christ. Our evangelistic work is the instrument that he uses for this purpose, but the power that saves is not in the instrument: it is in the hand of the One who uses the instrument.” (J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! It’s been a hot week, but the weekend is here, so make sure you have something cool to drink, and enjoy this week’s links!

  • There was a recent conference in Vallejo called The Man of God Producing Men of God with Chris Mueller and Brian Croft as a couple of the speakers that seems worth listening to. Some of the sessions are for church leaders, not just pastors, so take a look!
  • Cold case homicide detective and former atheist J. Warner Wallace was recently interviewed about his unique circumstances revolving his conversion and how he now uses the methods in solving homicide cases to making a case for the Christian worldview. If you have never heard his story, this will definitely worth your time.
  • Tony Reinke interviewed historian Dr. Andrew Pettegree on the influence Martin Luther had with the use of the printing press and how it changed the way theology was disseminated to laypeople. Very fascinating to hear stories surrounding the Protestant Reformation.
  • Speaking of which, Desiring God continues their Here We Stand podcast with profiles on Hugh Latimer & Nicholas Ridley, Ulrich Zwingli, Hans Gooseflesh, and Hellen Stirke.
  • Ligonier Ministries, for a brief period of time, is making their new album Post Tenebras Lux: A Symphonic Celebration of the Protestant Reformation free to download! Beautiful music to highlight what God did 500 years ago, and continues to do today. Don’t miss out on this!
  • A website called Church Clarity is seeking for megachurches to come out and declare whether they allow anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ to participate fully as a member of their church. Denny Burk exposes the lack of clarity this group seeks, both biblically and theologically.
  • Matthew Barrett lays out a simple thesis: sola Scriptura calls for inerrancy. I would wholeheartedly agree.
  • Patrick L. Tomlinson, a science fiction writer, believes his thought experiment that involves choosing to save a five-year-old girl over 1,000 embryos from a burning building proves those who are pro-life with respect to abortion truly do not believe their own position. Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen give a thorough response to Tomlinson, who claims he has not had a satisfying answer in the 10 years since proposing this scenario. I would say the wait is over.

That’s all for this week! Please pray that the youth and collegians will hear the Word of God preached tonight, and those participating in the College Life Evangelism Workshop will be further equipped to give the gospel to those in need of it.

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/13/2017)

“Every Christian is called into full-time ministry. Once we step over the line and begin to follow Jesus, everything we do is supposed to be done in his name, representing him, with the goal of advancing his kingdom.” (J.D. Greear, Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Another week has come and gone, but the Lord is still in control, and He is good! I pray these links will be a further reminder of His goodness.

  • How can we resolve most of our relational conflicts, when everything in us doesn’t want to do it? Jon Bloom at Desiring God offers some honest words of wisdom that will give you a better perspective on conflict that you may currently have.
  • How is missionary outreach done in closed countries? TMAI provides some background information, and possible ways of continuing the advance of the Great Commission to those who need to hear the gospel. This is very good food for thought, and also worth praying for more laborers to be sent into the harvest.
  • Are pastors called to preach Christ in every text of the Bible? Such is the mindset of some, who call for a Christocentric hermeneutic, as opposed to a grammatical-historical one. TMU Professor Abner Chou explains why this hermeneutic, though well-intentioned, has some issues that doesn’t square well with Scripture. This is some fascinating reading.
  • Al Mohler continues his series of apologetics through the SBTS chapel messages every week. This week, he covers the statement, “Jesus is the only way to heaven.
  • Mohler also has made available a new e-book he has compiled, called The Gathering Storm: Religious Liberty and the Right to Be Christian. You can get a free download by signing up here.
  • Former transgender Walt Heyer exposes the fact that there are people in the transgender movement who are seeking to leave because they have changed their minds. Many in the movement, whether transgender or not, are not very friendly towards those who leave, but the power of the gospel has been the means to draw out some and draw them towards Christ. May God be glorified to bring many to Himself again and again.
  • What can be said to a married couple who is currently infertile? Maybe not a lot, but God is never without hope and encouragement, as highlighted in this article that lays out four truths they (and we) need to hear.
  • Desiring God is still providing profiles of Reformers in their Here I Stand podcast. This week: Thomas Becon, William Tyndale, Martin Bucer, Marie Dentière, and Johannes Oecolampadius.

That’s all for this week! Please pray for our youth and collegians, as they will be meeting at church tonight! See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/6/2017)

“Churches that want to penetrate their world with the gospel think less about the Sunday morning bang and more about equipping their members to blast a hole in the mountain of lostness.” (J.D. Greear, Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! There’s a general theme with these posts (with one rare exception), so I hope you love learning more about what God has done in history, ad how He continues to grow His people. Here’s to celebrating God’s faithfulness in the church throughout its history.

That’s all for this week! Short, and sweet! Tonight, please pray for the youth and collegians, as they meet tonight at church. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria