[W]e must consider the efficacy and benefits of the resurrection of Christ. This is most extraordinary, and therefore Paul was so desirous and continually occupied in reflecting upon the resurrection of Christ. “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10).
The first fruit is justification. “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:24–25). As long as the Surety still suffered and death had power over Him, the final penny had not as yet been paid. His conquering of the last enemy, death, and His triumphant appearance as being alive, were evidences that sin had been fully atoned for, the ransom had been paid, God’s justice had been satisfied (being satisfied with this atonement), and that thus the Surety was justified (1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently all God’s children have been reconciled in Him. There is not one sin, not even the least part thereof, for which satisfaction has not been made, and therefore they are free from all guilt and punishment. If someone senses the dreadfulness of guilt and punishment, views God as being provoked by sin so that there is no peace but only terror within the conscience (to such justification is most desirable), let him then turn about and by faith behold this Surety as having risen from the dead, which is the evidence of perfect satisfaction. Receive Him by faith who calls you and offers His fullness without price. Let such a person go to God and ask the Lord, while pleading upon the resurrection of Christ from the dead (1 Pet. 3:21), “Are not my sins punished? Has not my guilt been atoned for? Has not my Surety risen from the dead and thus entered into rest? Art not Thou my reconciled God and Father? Am I not at peace with Thee?” May such a person thus wrestle to apply all this to himself on the basis of the promises made to all who receive Christ by faith, until he experiences the power of Christ’s resurrection unto his justification and being at peace with God.
The second fruit is sanctification. The apostle demonstrates this in Romans 6:4–5, “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, for if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5). The apostle emphasizes this also when he states, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col. 2:13); “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above” (Col. 3:1). Even if believers may know themselves to be justified, they cannot find satisfaction in this. Their whole desire and life is to discern the image of God within themselves, to be conformed to that image, to thus be united to Him and to live in Him—that is their salvation. They cannot but find delight in knowing God, in loving Him, in fearing Him, in being subject to Him, and thus in thoughts, words, and deeds be in a spiritual frame which is fully and entirely in agreement with His will. Sin is therefore despicable to them: they abhor themselves: they are ashamed before God and inwardly sorrow over their deeds. How it would be their delight to be delivered from the sins which so grieve them! How this causes them to long for heaven, knowing that they will there behold God’s face in righteousness, being satisfied with His likeness when they awake (Ps. 17:15)! Oh, yield to this heartfelt desire and let it motivate you to be engaged in the way of holiness, for it is the Lord’s way to cause His children, while thus engaged in battle, to increase and proceed with joy in sanctification.
(1) View Christ’s resurrection as an example and a pattern. Christ arose in the morning. Accustom yourself to meditate upon Christ’s resurrection as you awake. Let every occurrence of waking up and arising out of bed stir you up to arise with Christ. Christ arose on the first day of the week . Therefore commemorate the resurrection of Christ on each Sabbath day and, uniting yourself with Him in the resurrection, let it be a renewed revival of your spiritual life. Christ departed from the grave , the place of the dead. You likewise must avoid (as much as your profession will suffer you to do so) familiar interaction with worldly and ungodly men. They are dead, they stink, and their stench is contagious. Christ left His burial garment behind in the grave. You likewise ought to hate the garment which has been polluted by the flesh. Leave all that is sinful behind in Sodom and Egypt, that is, in the grave, and depart from honor, goods, entertainment, and whatever belongs to the world. Christ appeared alive . Let your light therefore also shine and let everyone perceive that there is much distance between you and sinners. Show by your actions that you denounce whatever the world cleaves to. Manifest your love, humility, and heavenly–minded 54 life in the love and fear of God. Let the image of God and the likeness of Christ within you be manifested, doing all this not to be perceived by others as such, but to the glory of Christ, the conviction of the world, and the encouragement of the godly. The purpose of Christ’s association with men was only to convince His own of the veracity of His resurrection and to strengthen them. He also did so to the benefit of His church unto the end of the world, even though this lasted but forty days, after which He ascended into heaven. Let it likewise be the objective of your life to walk godly upon the earth in order that those who are acquainted with you may be convinced and encouraged. Let it also be a preparation for going to heaven itself.
(2) Let Christ’s resurrection motivate you to live a holy life. This is taught by the apostle, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, for if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:11, 5) ; “Because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: . . . that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14–15). Follow the example of the apostle and thus arrive at the following conclusion: Since the Lord Jesus as my Surety has removed all my sin by His death, and as evidence of this has arisen from the dead, should I then yet live in sin? Should not I then arise with Him from the death of sin and live with Him in all holiness?
The power needed for our spiritual resurrection is inherent in the resurrection of Christ, “which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3); “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). Every believer is a member of the Lord Jesus. The same Spirit which is in Christ is also in them, and they live by that selfsame Spirit. Whatever the Head experiences, the members must also experience. Since Christ the Head has arisen, life–giving power flows into all His members. Believers are ingrafted into Him as the trunk, for as a graft becomes the recipient of sap and life–giving power, it likewise cannot but be that all believers receive the life–giving power of Christ. If one then unites himself with the risen Christ by faith, one will also become aware of the life–giving power which proceeds from Christ to quicken our souls.
The third fruit of Christ’s resurrection is the blessed resurrection of believers. . It is God’s way to lead His children to heaven by way of many crosses. Temporal death also belongs to this. This is not a punishment upon sin as such, but is nevertheless a difficult and painful way which they must traverse together with all men. Their death, however, by virtue of the death of Christ, is without sting and curse, and thus is but a departing in peace. In consequence of Christ’s resurrection, they will be resurrected unto salvation. “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He (the Father) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11). The resurrection is attributed to the Father here; however, the reason that Christ’s resurrection is mentioned together with ours is to demonstrate that His resurrection is the meriting cause of ours. “For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him” (2 Tim. 2:11); “But now is Christ . . . become the firstfruits” (1 Cor. 15:20); “And He is . . . the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18). This will therefore transpire with the entire harvest, that is, with all believers after Him, since the church is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all, that is, Christ (Eph. 1:23). The entire congregation of Christ, being members of His body, must therefore arise so that the entire mystical body of Christ may live. Believers may and must apply this to themselves and rejoice in the hope of glory, saying, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). They may also say with Job, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25–27). So much concerning the first step of the exaltation of Christ, the resurrection.
Posts Tagged ‘Church History’
A gentleman with a Th.D. wrote a letter to a newspaper in Louisiana stating such. Making an assertion such as that is fine, but his basis for the assertion and his reasons why it isn’t? Only a misunderstanding of Baptist history and the doctrines of Calvinism (e.g., “Calvinism implies that Billy Graham’s ministry was really not necessary since the millions of converts were already predestined to be saved.” – a cursory reading of Calvinistic doctrines would show that the Calvinist finds evangelism essential as the means by which God draws sinners to Himself) are to be found in the letter. A reading of Baptist history would show that said history is rich with both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.
This may sound mean, but I sure hope the institution where he received his Th.D. required more than misguided, unfounded assertions in the papers he wrote there……
Posted on the door at Castle Church in Wittenberg on this day in 1517, the day before many people would enter the church for All Saints Day to pray before thousands of relics, including items purported to be a twig from Moses’ burning bush, five particles of the milk of the Virgin Mary, four pieces of the hair of Mary, three pieces of the shirt of Mary, one piece of the straw on which the Lord lay when he was born, and a thorn from Jesus’ crown of thorns. Little did Luther know what would eventually become of his document.
Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, in saying, “Repent ye, etc.,” intended that the whole life of his believers on earth should be a constant penance.
2. And the word “penance” neither can, nor may, be understood as referring to the Sacrament of Penance, that is, to confession and atonement as exercised under the priest’s ministry.
3. Nevertheless He does not think of inward penance only: rather is inward penance worthless unless it produces various outward mortifications of the flesh.
4. Therefore mortification continues as long as hatred of oneself continues, that is to say, true inward penance lasts until entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.
5. The Pope will not, and cannot, remit other punishments than those which he has imposed by his own decree or according to the canons.
6. The Pope can forgive sins only in the sense, that he declares and confirms what may be forgiven of God; or that he doth it in those cases which he hath reserved to himself; be this contemned, the sin remains unremitted.
7. God forgives none his sin without at the same time casting him penitent and humbled before the priest His vicar.
8. The canons concerning penance are imposed only on the living; they ought not by any means, following the same canons, to be imposed on the dying.
9. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, acting in the Pope, does well for us, when the latter in his decrees entirely removes the article of death and extreme necessity.
10. Those priests act unreasonably and ill who reserve for Purgatory the penance imposed on the dying.
11. This abuse of changing canonical penalty into the penalty of Purgatory seems to have arisen when the bishops were asleep.
12. In times of yore, canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before, absolution, as tests of true repentance and affliction.
13. The dying pay all penalties by their death, are already dead to the canons, and rightly have exemption from them.
14. Imperfect spiritual health or love in the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the less this love is, the greater the fear it brings.
15. This fear and horror – to say nothing of other things – are sufficient in themselves to produce the punishment of Purgatory, because they approximate to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven seem to differ as perfect despair, imperfect despair, and security of salvation differ.
17. It seems as must in Purgatory love in the souls increase, as fear diminishes in them.
18. It does not seem to be proved either by arguments or by the Holy Writ that they are outside the state of merit and demerit, or increase of love.
19. This, too, seems not to be proved, that they are all sure and confident of their salvation, though we may be quite sure of it.
20. Therefore the Pope, in speaking of the perfect remission of all punishments, does not mean that all penalties in general be forgiven, but only those imposed by himself.
21. Therefore, those preachers of indulgences err who say that, by the Pope’s indulgence, a man may be exempt from all punishments, and be saved.
22. Yea, the Pope remits the souls in Purgatory no penalty which they, according to the canons, would have had to pay in this life.
23. If to anybody complete remission of all penalties may be granted, it is certain that it is granted only to those most approaching perfection, that is, to very few.
24. Therefore the multitude is mislead by the boastful promise of the paid penalty, whereby no manner of distinction is made.
25. The same power that the Pope has over Purgatory, such has also every bishop in his diocese, and every curate in his parish.
26. The Pope acts most rightly in granting remission to souls, not by the power of the keys – which in Purgatory he does not possess – but by way of intercession.
27. They preach vanity who say that the soul flies out of Purgatory as soon as the money thrown into the chest rattles.
28. What is sure, is, that as soon as the penny rattles in the chest, gain and avarice are on the way of increase; but the intercession of the church depends only on the will of God Himself.
29. And who knows, too, whether all those souls in Purgatory wish to be redeemed, as it is said to have happened with St. Severinus and St. Paschalis.
30. Nobody is sure of having repented sincerely enough; much less can he be sure of having received perfect remission of sins.
31. Seldom even as he who has sincere repentance, is he who really gains indulgence; that is to say, most seldom to be found.
32. On the way to eternal damnation are they and their teachers, who believe that they are sure of their salvation through indulgences.
33. Beware well of those who say, the Pope’s pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to God.
34. For the forgiveness contained in these pardons has reference only to the penalties of sacramental atonement which were appointed by men.
35. He preaches like a heathen who teaches that those who will deliver souls out of Purgatory or buy indulgences do not need repentance and contrition.
36. Every Christian who feels sincere repentance and woe on account of his sins, has perfect remission of pain and guilt even without letters of indulgence.
37. Every true Christian, be he still alive or already dead, partaketh in all benefits of Christ and of the Church given him by God, even without letters of indulgence.
38. Yet is the Pope’s absolution and dispensation by no means to be contemned, since it is, as I have said, a declaration of the Divine Absolution.
39. It is exceedingly difficult, even for the most subtle theologists, to praise at the same time before the people the great wealth of indulgence and the truth of utter contrition.
40. True repentance and contrition seek and love punishment; while rich indulgence absolves from it, and causes men to hate it, or at least gives them occasion to do so.
41. The Pope’s indulgence ought to be proclaimed with all precaution, lest the people should mistakenly believe it of more value than all other works of charity.
42. Christians should be taught, it is not the Pope’s opinion that the buying of indulgence is in any way comparable to works of charity.
43. Christians should be taught, he who gives to the poor, or lends to a needy man, does better than buying indulgence.
44. For, by the exercise of charity, charity increases and man grows better, while by means of indulgence, he does not become better, but only freer from punishment.
45. Christians should be taught, he who sees his neighbor in distress, and, nevertheless, buys indulgence, is not partaking in the Pope’s pardons, but in the anger of God.
46. Christians should be taught, unless they are rich enough, it is their duty to keep what is necessary for the use of their households, and by no means to throw it away on indulgences.
47. Christians should be taught, the buying of indulgences is optional and not commanded.
48. Christians should be taught, the Pope, in selling pardons, has more want and more desire of a devout prayer for himself than of the money.
49. Christians should be taught, the Pope’s pardons are useful as far as one does not put confidence in them, but on the contrary most dangerous, if through them one loses the fear of God.
50. Christians should be taught, if the Pope knew the ways and doings of the preachers of indulgences, he would prefer that St. Peter’s Minster should be burnt to ashes, rather than that it should be built up of the skin, flesh, and bones of his lambs.
51. Christians should be taught, the Pope, as it is his bounden duty to do, is indeed also willing to give of his own money – and should St. Peter’s be sold thereto – to those from whom the preachers of indulgences do most extort money.
52. It is a vain and false thing to hope to be saved through indulgences, though the commissary – nay, the Pope himself – was to pledge his own soul therefore.
53. Those who, on account of a sermon concerning indulgences in one church, condemn the word of God to silence in the others, are enemies of Christ and of the Pope.
54. Wrong is done to the word of God if one in the same sermon spends as much or more time on indulgences as on the word of the Gospel.
55. The opinion of the Pope cannot be otherwise than this:- If an indulgence – which is the lowest thing – be celebrated with one bell, one procession and ceremonies, then the Gospel – which is the highest thing – must be celebrated with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, and a hundred ceremonies.
56. The treasures of the Church, whence the Pope grants his dispensation are neither sufficiently named nor known among the community of Christ.
57. It is manifest that they are not temporal treasures, for the latter are not lightly spent, but rather gathered by many of the preachers.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and of the saints, for these, without the Pope’s aid, work always grace to the inner man, cross, death, and hell to the other man.
59. St. Lawrence called the poor of the community the treasures of the community and of the Church, but he understood the word according to the use in his time.
60. We affirm without pertness that the keys of the Church, bestowed through the merit of Christ, are this treasure.
61. For it is clear that the Pope’s power is sufficient for the remission of penalties and forgiveness in the reserved cases.
62. The right and true treasure of the Church is the most Holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63. This treasure, however, is deservedly most hateful, for it makes the first to be last.
64. While the treasure of indulgence is deservedly most agreeable, for it makes the last to be first.
65. Therefore, the treasures of the Gospel are nets, with which, in times of yore, one fished for the men of Mammon.
66. But the treasures of indulgence are nets, with which now-a-days one fishes for the Mammon of men.
67. Those indulgences, which the preachers proclaim to be great mercies, are indeed great mercies, forasmuch as they promote gain.
68. And yet they are of the smallest compared to the grace of God and to the devotion of the Cross.
69. Bishops and curates ought to mark with eyes and ears, that the commissaries of apostolical (that is, Popish) pardons are received with all reverence.
70. But they ought still more to mark with eyes and ears, that theses commissaries do not preach their own fancies instead of what the Pope has commanded.
71. He who speaks against the truth of apostolical pardons, be anathema and cursed.
72. But blessed be he who is on his guard against the preacher’s of pardons naughty and impudent words.
73. As the Pope justly disgraces and excommunicates those who use any kind of contrivance to do damage to the traffic in indulgences.
74. Much more it is his intention to disgrace and excommunicate those who, under the pretext of indulgences, use contrivance to do damage to holy love and truth.
75. To think that the Popish pardons have power to absolve a man even if – to utter an impossibility – he had violated the Mother of God, is madness.
76. We assert on the contrary that the Popish pardon cannot take away the least of daily sins, as regards the guilt of it.
77. To say that St. Peter, if he were now Pope, could show no greater mercies, is blasphemy against St. Peter and the Pope.
78. We assert on the contrary that both this and every other Pope has greater mercies to show: namely, the Gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc. (1.Cor.XII).
79. He who says that the cross with the Pope’s arms, solemnly set on high, has as much power as the Cross of Christ, blasphemes God.
80. Those bishops, curates, and theologists, who allow such speeches to be uttered among the people, will have one day to answer for it.
81. Such impudent sermons concerning indulgences make it difficult even for learned men to protect the Pope’s honor and dignity against the calumnies, or at all events against the searching questions, of the laymen.
82. As for instance: – Why does not the Pope deliver all souls at the same time out of Purgatory for the sake of most holy love and on account of the bitterest distress of those souls – this being the most imperative of all motives, – while he saves an infinite number of souls for the sake of that most miserable thing money, to be spent on St. Peter’s Minster: – this being the very slightest of motives?
83. Or again: – Why do masses for the dead continue, and why does not the Pope return or permit to be withdrawn the funds which were established for the sake of the dead, since it is now wrong to pray for those who are already saved?
84. Again: – What is this new holiness of God and the Pope that, for money’s sake, they permit the wicked and the enemy of God to save a pious soul, faithful to God, and yet will not save that pious and beloved soul without payment, out of love, and on account of its great distress?
85. Again: – Why is it that the canons of penance, long abrogated and dead in themselves, because they are not used, are yet still paid for with money through the granting of pardons, as if they were still in force and alive?
86. Again: – Why does not the Pope build St. Peter’s Minster with his own money – since his riches are now more ample than those of Crassus, – rather than with the money of poor Christians?
87. Again: -Why does the Pope remit or give to those who, through perfect penitence, have already a right to plenary remission and pardon?
88. Again: – What greater good could the Church receive, than if the Pope presented this remission and pardon a hundred times a day to every believer, instead of but once, as he does now?
89. If the Pope seeks by his pardon the salvation of souls, rather than money, why does he annul letters of indulgence granted long ago, and declare them out of force, though they are still in force?
90. To repress these very telling questions of the laymen by force, and not to solve them by telling the truth, is to expose the Church and the Pope to the enemy’s ridicule and to make Christian people unhappy.
91. Therefore, if pardons were preached according to the Pope’s intention and opinion, all these objections would be easily answered, nay, they never had occurred.
92. Away then with all those prophets who say to the community of Christ, “Peace, peace”, and there is no peace.
93. But blessed be all those prophets who say to the community of Christ, “The cross, the cross,” and there is no cross.
94. Christians should be exhorted to endeavor to follow Christ their Head through Cross, Death, and Hell,
95. And thus hope with confidence to enter Heaven through many miseries, rather than in false security.
That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as having faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the word of Christ.
Posted in Books, Calvinism, Church History, Doctrine, Indian River Baptist Church, tagged Books, Calvinism, Church History, Doctrine, Indian River Baptist Church, Sovereignty on September 27, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
What, then, does the Bible tell us about the doctrine of providence? Again, we are looking at a very difficult subject. The particular doctrines of salvation that we shall be considering are very simple in comparison with a doctrine like this. It is one of those inscrutable doctrines and there is a hymn which reminds us of that. ‘God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform,’ says William Cowper, and, ‘Blind unbelief is sure to err.’ And not only blind unbelief, but lack of faith, but a desire to understand that which is impossible, are certain to lead us into trouble if not into error. Therefore let us approach the doctrine of providence with reverence and humility, going as far as Scripture takes us, but not going beyond that.
Now the Bible teaches everywhere, very clearly, as I shall show you, that God is in control of all things. Psalm 104 is enough, in and of itself, to establish that doctrine. There is no limit to what He does. Psalm 103:19 also says, ‘The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.’ Everywhere. And the Bible teaches us that first of all, as over against deism, to which I have referred, that doctrine which regards the universe as a kind of watch made by the watchmaker, wound up by him, and then put down to run itself out. But the doctrine of providence contradicts that, and I rather like the comparison which was once used to show the difference. The doctrine of providence tells us that the universe, and everything within it, is like a great ship which is being piloted from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute, second to second, by God Himself. Furthermore, of course, it is over against pantheism also, which says that God is everything, and in everything, and that therefore you cannot differentiate between the universe and God Himself. The doctrine of providence contradicts both these views.
How, then, do we find this doctrine in the Bible? Well, first of all we find it in a number of very direct statements in the Scriptures. I shall give you a list of them later on. Then another very powerful argument for the doctrine of providence is based upon the fact of prophecy. It would not be possible for a man inspired by God to predict what is going to take place, perhaps in several hundreds of years, unless God controlled everything. Prophecy is not merely foreknowledge, it is a guarantee—that the prophesied events are going to happen because God is in control.
Then another great argument, as we have seen, is derived from answers to prayer. If we did not believe that God controlled everything, there would be no point in praying—we would not pray for sunshine, we would not pray for rain; we would not pray for health and for the control of disease. Prayer, in a sense, would be ridiculous if we did not believe in the doctrine of providence. And that is why deists do not believe in prayer. Pantheists do not pray; there is no purpose in it. But those who believe in the doctrine of providence obviously pray because the very idea of that doctrine immediately leads to prayer.
And our last general argument is the argument from miracles. Were it not that the doctrine of providence is true, if it were not the case that God has His hand upon everything, and is controlling everything, then miracles simply could not take place at all.
So then, what exactly do we mean by providence? I cannot think of a better definition or description than this: ‘Providence is that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator upholds all his creatures, is operative in all that transpires in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end.’ We shall consider the biblical proof for that statement later on. Now there are three elements in this idea of providence, and we must differentiate between them in thought as well as in practice, though, of course, the three tend to work together. You can look at the three aspects of providence from different angles. The first is the aspect or the element of preservation—‘that continuous work of God by which He maintains the things which He has created, together with the properties and powers with which He has endowed them.’ Now this is most important. The Bible teaches that God preserves everything that He has made. It is a continuous work. Some have tried to say that this doctrine of preservation simply means that God does not destroy the work He once made, but that is not preservation. It means more than that; it means that He keeps everything in being.
Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1996). God the Father, God the Son (142–144). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
From “The Christian’s Reasonable Service,” on sale now at Reformation Heritage Books.
Fifthly, although love for our own well-being is not the basis for the fear of God, we nevertheless may and must be stirred up by it. It is noteworthy that so many blessings are expressed and so many benefits are promised to the godly. Consider the temporal benefits.
(1) There is satisfaction: “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure” (Prov 15:16).
(2) There is sufficient daily supply: “Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! ” (Ps 34:9); “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Ps 33:18-19); “He provides food for those who fear him” (Ps 111:5).
(3) There is sacred protection: “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Ps 34:7).
(4) There is abundance: “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” (Prov 22:4).
(5) There is all salvation: “Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him” (Ps 85:9).
Consider the promises relative to the soul.
(1) There is the revelation of heavenly mysteries: “Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him s will he instruct in the way that he should choose. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” (Ps 25:12, 14).
(2) There is divine compassion: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion v to those who fear him. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,” (Ps 103:13, 17).
(3) There is the answering of prayers: “He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” (Ps 145:19).
(4) Let me thus bring it all to a conclusion: “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD” (Ps 112:1); “yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God” (Eccles 8:12); “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you” (Ps 31:19). If it pleases the Lord to stir you up by so many benefits and promises, it ought to please you to be stirred up by them. Being desirous for the promises, you must seek their fulfillment in the way whereby the Lord wishes to do so, for the fear of the Lord is so desirable in and of itself.
Be therefore resolved to do so and make it your great endeavor; you will learn from being thus engaged. And since we are too corrupt, turn therefore to the Lord, praying, “Unite my heart to fear your name” (Ps 86:11). Make yourself familiar with the Word of God; it is a means whereby you may fear the Lord. “He shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God” (Deut 17:19). May the Lord bless these words. “Fear God and give him glory” (Rev 14:7). Amen.
Posted in Bible Study, Church History, Doctrine, Indian River Baptist Church, tagged Christ, Christianity, Church History, Doctrine, Gospel, Indian River Baptist Church, R. C. Sproul, Sin, Theology on September 5, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
In this video, Dr. Sproul explains a crucial difference between Roman Catholic and Reformation teaching concerning salvation. The phrase means, “at the same time just and sinner.” This is not a contradiction, as he says in the video:
And so with this formula Luther was saying, in our justification we are one and the same time righteous or just, and sinners. Now if he would say that we are at the same time and in the same relationship just and sinners that would be a contradiction in terms. But that’s not what he was saying. He was saying from one perspective, in one sense, we are just. In another sense, from a different perspective, we are sinners; and how he defines that is simple. In and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin; we’re still sinners. But, by imputation and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just or righteous. This is the very heart of the gospel.
Dr. Sproul uses the word “imputation” here – imputation means “to declare,” or “reckon,” or “to count as.” Rome, at the Council of Trent in the 16th Century, declares anathema upon one who affirms the imputation of the work of Christ in this manner:
If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema.
This goes to the heart of the differences between Rome and Reformationists – how is a man justified? Dr. Sproul thus explains:
Posted in Bible Study, Calvinism, Church History, doctrines of grace, Free Will, Indian River Baptist Church, tagged Calvinism, Church History, Doctrine, Free Will, Indian River Baptist Church on August 10, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
“I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want “free-will” to be given me, nor anything to be left in my own hands to enable me to endeavour after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground ; but because even were there no dangers. I should still be forced to labour with no guarantee of success. But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. Furthermore, I have the comfortable certainty that I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favour promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God.”
from “The Bondage of the Will,” thanks to EffectualGrace.com.
Posted in Books, Calvinism, Church History, Doctrine, doctrines of grace, Indian River Baptist Church, Sovereignty, Theology, Truth, tagged Baptist, Bible, Calvinism, Christ, Christianity, Church History, Indian River Baptist Church, Theology, Truth on August 8, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Appearing in my Gmail box today….a recommendation from Amazon: