Saturday, January 13, 2018

WITHOUT EXCUSE

Stephen Charnock lists ten attributes of God that may be recognized by the light of Nature: 1. the power of God, in creating a world out of nothing 2. the wisdom of God, in the order, variety, and beauty of creation 3. the goodness of God, in the provision God makes for His creatures 4. the immutability of God, for if He were mutable, He would lack the perfection of the sun and heavenly bodies, “wherein no change hath been observed” 5. His eternity, for He must exist before what is made in time 6. the omniscience of God, since as the Creator He must necessarily know everything He has made 7. the sovereignty of God, “in the obedience his creatures pay to him, in observing their several orders, and moving in the spheres wherein he set them” 8. the spirituality of God, insofar as God is not visible, “and the more spiritual any creature in the world is, the more pure it is” 9. the sufficiency ofGod, for He gave all creatures a beginning, and so their being was not necessary, which means God was in no need of them 10. His majesty, seen in the glory of the heavens All of these attributes of God may be known by sinful man by observation of the natural world. Charnock, The Knowledge of God, in Works, 4:115; cited from Beeke, Jones, A Puritan Theology, p. 17. While the gospel may not reach every individual person in their lifetime, everyone is without excuse for sinning against the light God did give them in these four books. “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:19-21).

Saturday, December 30, 2017

SERIOUS AND CHEERFUL

Christians should be grave and serious, though cheerful and pleasant. They should feel that they have great interests at stake, and that the world has too. They are redeemed—not to make sport; purchased with precious blood—for other purposes than to make men laugh. They are soon to be in heaven—and a man who has any impressive sense of that will habitually feel he has much else to do than to make men laugh. The true course of life is midway between moroseness and levity; sourness and lightness; harshness and jesting. Be benevolent, kind, cheerful, bland, courteous—but serious. Be solemn, thoughtful, deeply impressed with the presence of God and with eternal things—but pleasant affable and benignant. Think not a smile sinful; but think not levity and jesting harmless. —Albert Barnes

Contentment

Contentment, then, is the product of a heart resting in God. It is the soul’s enjoyment of that peace that passes all understanding. It is the outcome of my will being brought into subjection to the Divine will. It is the blessed assurance that God does all things well, and is, even now, making all things work together for my ultimate good. A.W. Pink

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

MERCY IS HIGHER THAN SIN, SO JOY IS HIGHER THAN SORROW

And since the greatness of God's mercy is far above our sins as the heavens are above the earth, our faith and joy in God's mercy ought to be far above our sadness for our sins. ~Henry Scougal

ATONEMENT- MacArthur

The fallout of that would be like this. Hell is full of people for whom Christ died. I’ll say it another way. Hell is full of people whose sins were paid for in full on the cross. That’s a little more disturbing when you say it like that, isn’t it? Another way to say it would be that the lake of fire, which burns forever with fire and brimstone, is filled with eternally damned people whose sins Christ fully atoned for on the cross. God’s wrath was satisfied by Christ’s atonement on behalf of those people who will forever stay in hell.
Now by the way, heaven will also be populated by the souls of those for whom Christ died. So, Christ did exactly the same thing for the occupants of hell as He did for the occupants of heaven. That makes the question a little more disturbing. The only difference is the people in heaven accepted the gift, the people in hell rejected it. That’s pretty much the traditional evangelical view. But it just sounds strange when you start to kind of pick it apart a little bit, doesn’t it? That Jesus died and paid in full the penalty for the sins of the damned, and died and paid in full the penalty for the sins of the glorified, that Jesus did the same thing for the occupants of hell that He did for the occupants of heaven, and the only difference hinges on the sinner’s choice?
That is to say, the death of Jesus Christ, then, is not an actual atonement, it is only a potential atonement. He really did not purchase salvation for anyone in particular. He only removed some kind of barrier to make it possible for sinners to choose to be saved. So the message then - the typical evangelical message - is to sinners, “God loves you so much He sent His Son who paid in full the penalty for your sins. And won’t you respond to that love, and not disappoint God, and accept the gift, and let Him save you since He already paid in full the price for your sins?” The final decision is up to the sinner.
And it kind of carries the notion that God loves you so much, you’re so special, He gave His Son and He paid in full the penalty for your sins, and that’s supposed to move you emotionally to love Him back and accept this gift. And so you kind of work the sinner, and kind of manipulate the sinner in that direction, trying to find a psychological point, a felt-need point, play the right organ music, sing the right invitation hymn. You know, grease the slides and get him moving in the direction of making the choice.
Now we’ve got a problem here, folks. We’ve got a big problem. We saw in our last study that no sinner on his own can make that choice, right? This is the doctrine of absolute inability. He can’t make it. He cannot make that choice. All people - all people - are sinners, and all sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins. All of them are alienated from the life of God. All do only evil continually. All are unwilling and unable to understand, to repent and to believe. All have darkened minds, blinded by sin and Satan, all have hearts that are full of evil, all are wicked, desperately wicked. All desire only the will of their father who is Satan. All of them are unable to seek God. They are all trapped in absolute inability and unwillingness.
So how then can the sinner make the choice? I don’t care what felt need you might find. I don’t care what you might think you see “in his heart” that will let you lead anyone to Christ. I don’t care how many invitation verses you sing, or how much organ music or mood music you play to try to induce some kind of response, the sinner on his own cannot understand, cannot repent, and cannot believe.
Remember what we saw in John 1? To as many as believed He gave the authority, “the right to become children of God but not by the will of man or the will of the flesh. Ephesians 2:8-9. “By grace are you saved through faith; but that not of yourselves.” It is through Him that you are in Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:30. Salvation is from God. We saw that. He has to give life to the dead. He has to give sight to the blind. He has to give hearing to the deaf. He has to give understanding to the ignorant. He has to give repentance to those who love sin. He has to give faith to those who can’t believe. -- JOHN MACARTHUR

Monday, November 20, 2017

Place of Repose

"This was the one who had reclined on Jesus' bosom at the supper . . . " John 21:20

The bosom of Jesus still pillows the head of the weary, loving disciple of the Lord. There is no real rest for the soul, but in Jesus.

Where should the Christ-loved, the Christ-loving disciple lean, with his sins and sorrows, with his weariness and want--but upon the bosom of his Lord? It is the place of repose, of faith, and of love.

There is room for you there amid the countless ones who fly to it for consolation, safety, and repose. Go and lean with your burden, your grief, and your sin--where the beloved disciple reclined; and you shall realize the blessedness of the oneness, confidence, and affection which exist between Jesus and all the disciples whom He loves.