Thursday, July 30, 2009
- Michael P.V. Barrett, Complete In Him
-- from a FB comment.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1Co 2.14)“Take notice that this is a moral ‘cannot,’ not a physical ‘cannot.’ When Paul says, ‘The natural person…is not able to understand them,’ he means that the heart is so resistant to receiving them that the mind justifies the rebellion of the heart by seeing them as foolish. This rebellion is so complete that the heart really cannot receive the things of the Spirit. This is real inability. But it is not a coerced inability. The unregenerate person cannot because he will not. His preferences for sin are so strong that he cannot choose good. It is a real and terrible bondage. But it is not an innocent bondage.”
-- (John Piper, Finally Alive), p. 52
Monday, July 27, 2009
-Outwardly you keep the law with works out of fear of punishment or love of gain. Likewise you do everything without free desire and love of the law; you act out of aversion and force. You'd rather act otherwise if the law didn't exist. It follows, then, that you, in the depths of your heart, are an enemy of the law.
-In chapter 7, St. Paul says, "The law is spiritual." What does that mean? If the law were physical, then it could be satisfied by works, but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it unless everything he does springs from the depths of the heart. But no one can give such a heart except the Spirit of God, who makes the person be like the law, so that he actually conceives a heartfelt longing for the law and henceforward does everything, not through fear or coercion, but from a free heart. Such a law is spiritual since it can only be loved and fulfilled by such a heart and such a spirit. If the Spirit is not in the heart, then there remain sin, aversion and enmity against the law, which in itself is good, just and holy.
- You must get used to the idea that it is one thing to do the works of the law and quite another to fulfill it. The works of the law are every thing that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law. But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless.
- But to fulfill the law means to do its work eagerly, lovingly and freely, without the constraint of the law; it means to live well and in a manner pleasing to God, as though there were no law or punishment. It is the Holy Spirit, however, who puts such eagerness of unconstained love into the heart, as Paul says in chapter 5. But the Spirit is given only in, with, and through faith in Jesus Christ, as Paul says in his introduction. So, too, faith comes only through the word of God, the Gospel, that preaches Christ: how he is both Son of God and man, how he died and rose for our sake. Paul says all this in chapters 3, 4 and 10.
-- it is only unbelief which sins and exalts the flesh and brings desire to do evil external works.
-- That is why only unbelief is called sin by Christ, as he says in John, chapter 16, "The Spirit will punish the world because of sin, because it does not believe in me." Furthermore, before good or bad works happen, which are the good or bad fruits of the heart, there has to be present in the heart either faith or unbelief, the root, sap and chief power of all sin. That is why, in the Scriptures, unbelief is called the head of the serpent and of the ancient dragon which the offspring of the woman, i.e. Christ, must crush, as was promised to Adam (cf. Genesis 3).
-- Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God (cf. John 1).
-- Ask God to work faith in you; otherwise you will remain eternally without faith, no matter what you try to do or fabricate.
-- Neither nature nor free will nor our own powers can bring about such a justice, for even as no one can give himself faith, so too he cannot remove unbelief. How can he then take away even the smallest sin?
In chapters 9, 10 and 11, St. Paul teaches us about the eternal providence of God. It is the original source which determines who would believe and who wouldn't, who can be set free from sin and who cannot. Such matters have been taken out of our hands and are put into God's hands so that we might become virtuous. It is absolutely necessary that it be so, for we are so weak and unsure of ourselves that, if it depended on us, no human being would be saved. The devil would overpower all of us. But God is steadfast; his providence will not fail, and no one can prevent its realization. Therefore we have hope against sin.
source: Monergism Books
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
And this willingness and desire of doing evil he cannot, by his own power, leave off, restrain, or change; but it goes on still desiring and craving. And even if he should be compelled by force to do any thing outwardly to the contrary, yet the craving will within remains averse to, and rises in indignation against that which forces or resists it.
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
For if, as long as he has any persuasion that he can do even the least thing himself towards his own salvation, he retains a confidence in himself and do not utterly despair in himself, so long he is not humbled before God;
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
“Who will believe (you say) that he is loved of God?” — I answer, no man will believe it! No man can! But the Elect shall believe it; the rest shall perish without believing it, filled with indignation and blaspheming, as you here describe them...And as to your saying that — “by these doctrines the flood-gate of iniquity is thrown open unto men” — be it so. They pertain to that leprosy of evil to be borne, spoken of before. Nevertheless, by the same doctrines, there is thrown open to the Elect and to them that fear God, a gate unto righteousness, — an entrance into heaven — a way unto God!.;
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
...where is, I will not say your modesty, but that fear of, and that reverence which is due to the true God, when you say, that nothing is more useless to be proclaimed than that Word of God! What! shall your Creator, come to learn of you His creature, what is useful, and what not useful to be preached? What! did that foolish and unwise God, know not what is necessary to be taught, until you His instructor prescribed to Him the measure, according to which He should be wise, and according to which He should command? What! did He not know before you told Him, that that which you infer would be the consequence of this His paradox? If, therefore, God willed that such things should be spoken of and proclaimed abroad, without regarding what would follow, — who art thou that forbiddest it?
note again the last sentence: If, therefore, God willed that such things should be spoken of and proclaimed abroad, without regarding what would follow, — who art thou that forbiddest it?
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio, p.29
THE “Form” of Christianity set forth by you (Erasmus), among other things, has this — “That we should strive with all our powers, have recourse to the remedy of repentance, and in all ways try to gain the mercy of God; without which, neither human will, nor endeavour, is effectual.” Also, “that no one should despair of pardon from a God by nature most merciful.” —
These statements of yours are without Christ, without the Spirit, and more cold than ice: so that, the beauty of your eloquence is really deformed by them. Perhaps a fear of the Popes and those tyrants, extorted them from you their miserable vassal, lest you should appear to them a perfect atheist. But what they assert is this — That there is ability in us; that there is a striving with all our powers; that there is mercy in God; that there are ways of gaining that mercy;
Here you plainly assert, that the will does something in those things which pertain unto eternal salvation, when you speak of it as striving: and again, you assert that it is passive, when you say, that without the mercy of God it is ineffective. Though, at the same time, you do not define how far that doing, and being passive, is to be understood: thus, designedly keeping us in ignorance how far the mercy of God extends, and how far our own will extends; what our own will is to do, in that which you enjoin, and what the mercy of God is to do.
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio
If you speak of the external clearness, nothing whatever is left obscure or ambiguous; but all things that are in the Scriptures, are by the Word brought forth into the clearest light, and proclaimed to the whole world.
-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio, p.23
Monday, July 20, 2009
"We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated." – D. A. Carson
-- D. A. Carson, For the Love of God, Volume Two (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1999), 23.
via: Ryan Miley
Sunday, July 19, 2009
“God has declared in the gospel that whenever we come to him, we are to call upon him freely and openly as our Father, who has adopted us as his children. If we do not have this assurance, the thought of serving God will make us grind our teeth.
If, however, we are persuaded that God looks upon us favourably; if, though we are weak and can do nothing worthy of his approval, he accepts us in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we will surely be filled with courage.
We will be like a ship’s sail that has been stretched and filled by the breeze! Thus, our hearts will run to obey him, like a ship driven along by its sail, when we know that God delights in us and accepts our works, not wanting us to be compelled into servitude. He is happy for us to be his children, and that we desire to obey him.”
Friday, July 17, 2009
-- Jonathan Edwards
CHRIST EXALTED, Or JESUS CHRIST GLORIOUSLY EXALTED ABOVE ALL EVIL IN THE WORK OF REDEMPTION, August 1738
CANON 7. If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, "For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, "Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).
-- Council of Orange (529)
CANON 6. If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).-- Council of Orange (529)
Council of Orange (529 AD)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
- John MacArthur
"Prick John Bunyan anywhere and he will bleed Bible." Let it not be said of the King's heralds: 'Prick him and he bleeds movies."
(both from Mark Calhoun)
“If God is awesome, sovereign and holy; if human beings are small, sinful, and lost; if Christ died and rose again by a most miraculous and costly act of grace, then this should impact the way things happen in church. This is not to argue for a one-size-fits-all-my-way-or-the-highway approach to church. Context and culture are important; but what is expressed through the idioms of particular cultural manifestations of the church should be awe, reverence, and, above all seriousness – not a colourless and cold miserable seriousness but a fitting amazement at the greatness of God and His grace.
A church service involving clowns or fancy dress or skits or stand-up comedy does not reflect the seriousness of the gospel; and those who take the gospel seriously should know better. Frankly, it is more appropriate to liberal theology which does not take the gospel, or the God of the gospel, seriously. Serious things demand serious idioms.
– Carl Trueman, “Look, It’s Rubbish!”
-- Thomas Watson;
-- C.H. Spurgeon;
The very soldiers who nailed Jesus to the Cross where having their own heart beat, lungs, and brain signal provided by the second-by-second provision of Jesus' merciful upholding hand.
Heb 1:3 ...he upholds the universe by the word of his power..
Act 17:28 for "'In him we live and move and have our being;
John 19:11 Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin."
- J.C. Ryle (via: Ryan Miley)
A Puritan Prayer: Source: gracegems.org
(Octavius Winslow, "The Preciousness of Christ's Blood") via: gracegems.org
But He overwhelms her by responding,"You are all beautiful, my love, there is no spot in you!"
Then she exclaims, "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death!" He replies, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine!
(Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1849) (source: Grace Gems.org)
(Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1849) (source: gracegems.org)
But she is filthy and polluted! (Ezek. 16:6; Job 15:14-16; Isa. 64:6) Then His own precious veins shall pour forth the rich crimson flood to cleanse her, (Rev. 1:5) and His Spirit shall open the fountain to wash her from her sin and uncleanness. (Zech. 13:1)
But she is naked and bare! (Ezek. 16:22) Then He will cast His skirt over her, (Ezek. 16:8) and will for her, weave in the loom of the Law (Rom. 5:19) fine linen--clean and white--a robe in which she shall be fit to appear at His court!
Moreover the Spirit shall bring near the righteousness of Jesus, (Isa. 46:13) clothing her with "the garments of salvation," and covering her with the "robe of righteousness," "as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
(Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1849) (source: Grace Gems.org)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
O if only you knew his worth and excellency, what he is in himself, what he has done for you, and deserved from you, you would need no arguments of mine to persuade you to love him!
-- John Flavel
-- Horatius Bonar
(source: S.M. Whitley)
The "I will" of Jehovah, is the spring and the origin of all that is done throughout the universe, great and small, among things animate and inanimate. It was this "I will" that brought angels into being, and still sustains them. It was this "I will" that was the origin of salvation to a lost world. It was this "I will" that provided a Redeemer, and accomplished redemption.....Everything that can be called good in man, or in the universe, originates in the "I will" of Jehovah.
-- Horatius Bonar (source: ondoctrine.com)
I do not deny that in conversion man himself wills. In everything that he does, thinks, feels, he of necessity wills. In believing he wills; in repenting he wills; in turning from his evil ways he wills. All this is true..... But while fully admitting this, there is another question behind it of great interest and movement. Are these movements of man's will towards good the effects of the forthputting of God's will?
Is man willing, because he has made himself so, or because God has made him so? Does he become willing entirely by an act of his own will, or by chance, or by moral suasion, or because acted on by created causes and influences from without?
I answer unhesitatingly, he becomes willing, because another and a superior will, even that of God, has come into contact with his, altering its nature and its bent.
-- Horatius Bonar (source: ondoctrine.com)
-- Horatius Bonar. (source: ondoctrine.com)
If salvation is made to hinge or any desert or fitness in man, seen or foreseen, grace is at an end.
-- Horatius Bonar; (source: ondoctrine.com)
Man finds fault with election, as a mere system of arbitrary partiality and favoritism; and tells us if there be such a thing as total helplessness in man and sovereign election in God, then man is not to blame if he be lost. Man's entire apostasy and death in sin, so he cannot save himself, and God's entire supremacy, so that He saves whom He will, are doctrines exceedingly distasteful to human pride, but they are Scriptural.
-- Horatius Bonar; (source: ondoctrine.com)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
In vain are all your cares and studies for their bodies, whilst their souls perish for want of knowledge. You rejoiced at their birth, but they will have cause to curse the day they were born of you and say, you were solicitous for their bodies, but careless of their souls; earnest to see them rich, but indifferent whether there were gracious; you neglected to teach them the way of salvation, but the devil did not neglect teach them the way of sin. You will one day wish you had never been parents, when the doleful cries of your damned children shall bring such notes as these in your ears: "0 cursed Father! Oh cruel, merciless mother! Whose examples have drawn me after you, into all this. You had time enough, and motives enough to have warned me of this place and misery whilst my heart was tender, and my affections pliable:
Had it not been as easy to have put a Bible as a play-book before me? To have chastised me when I provoked God by sin, as when I provoke you about a trifle? One word spoken in season might have saved my soul; one reproof wisely given and set on by your example, might have preserved me. Had it not been the same pains to have asked me, child, what wilt thou do to be saved? As, what wilt thou do to live in this world? Or, had I but observed any serious religion in you, had I but found or heard my father or mother upon their knees in prayer, it might have awakened me to a consideration of my condition. In my youth I was shame-faced, fearful, credulous, and apt to imitate; had you but had wisdom as other parents have, to have taken hold of any of these handles in time, you had rescued my soul from hell.
Nay, so cruel have you been to your own child, that you allowed me no time (if I had had a disposition) for any exercise of religion; yea, you had quenched and stifled the sparks of convictions and better inclinations that sometimes were in my heart. O happy had it been if I had never been born of you, or seen your faces." This must be the result and issue of your negligence, except God, by some other hand (which is no thanks to you) rescue them from their impending ruin.”
The Works of John Flavel Volume 3 - Pneumatologia: A Treatise of the Soul of Man
source: Gene Long
- Soren Kiekegaard;
(source: Jason Martin)
[note: I am not an expert in Kiekegaard's material, I think though he did have some skewed ideas, but forget exactly what they were, so I am not endorsing him specifically, but this point is accurate.]
-- Wayne Schmidt
(source: Jason Martin)
What is held by some, that none can be in a state of salvation before they have particularly acted a reception of the Lord Jesus Christ for a Savior, and that there cannot be sanctification one moment before the exercise of faith, as they have described it, cannot be true, as they explain this reception of Christ. There must be the principle before there can be the action, in all cases; there must be an alteration made in the heart of the sinner before there can be action consequent upon this alteration; yea, there must be a principle of holiness before holiness is in exercise. Yea, this alteration must not only be before this act of faith in nature (as the cause before the effect) but also in time, if this embracing of Christ as a Savior be a successive action, that is, an action where one thought and act of the mind in any wise follows another, as it certainly is.
For first, there must be an idea of Jesus Christ in the mind, that is an agreeable and truly lovely idea to him; but this cannot be before the soul is sanctified. There must also be the acts of true belief, of his willingness to receive, etc.; neither can this be before sanctification. There must also be a hatred of sin before Christ can be received as a Savior from sin; neither can this be without sanctification. And after this, there must be the act of embracing; neither is there properly an act of faith, as they explain [it], before this is done. Now these thoughts must succeed one another, whether in this order or not, although it be as quick as one thought can follow another; but sanctification must be in the soul before one of them is in the mind.
Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 13, The “Miscellanies:” Entry Nos. a–z, aa–zz, 1–500, ed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 244-245.
This sanctification is not referring to a Christian's spirtual growth after salvation and justification, but that of "being set apart for a holy use" as the tabernacle furniture was sanctifed;
"No wonder you live so inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your plan. Consider the greatness and glory of Christ, who has undertaken all in the stead of sinners, and you would find it quite impossible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin. Oh, what low, despicable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanuel! Lift your eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer - look upon Jesus. It is good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider Jesus. Oh, believer, consider Jesus. Meditate on these things. Look and look again, until your peace flows like a river."
- Robert Murray M'Cheyne
via: Ryan Miley
Happy were it, if puzzled and perplexed Christians would turn their eyes from the defects that are in their obedience, to the fullness and completeness of Christ's obedience; and see themselves complete in Him, when most lame and defective in themselves.
- John Flavel,
John Owen. A Display of Arminianism. Chapter 6 (p.64)
This assumption is alien to the New Testament. There simply is no biblical teaching to indicate that church size is the measure of success."
Monday, July 13, 2009
If I have a mission to the sovereign of these realms—some petition to prefer—and I linger upon the steps that conduct me to the royal presence, or in the corridor that leads me into the royal chamber, what marvel if I have no audience, and, consequently, no response to my request? That lofty flight of steps, that magnificent corridor, are but introductions to my approach to the sovereign, not the sovereign herself. Such is faith! Divine and precious as it is, faith is but the path that leads us to the King.”
- Octavius Winslow's, The Preciousness of Faith
WALKING WITH GOD.—Genesis v.24.
by William Cowper(1731-1800)
Oh! for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and his word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoy’d!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void,
The world can never fill.
Return, O holy Dove, return!
Sweet messenger of rest:
I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
And drove thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame:
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.
‘Firstly, you should know that Holy Scripture is such a book as to make the wisdom of all other books foolishness, because it is the only book that teaches about eternal life. Therefore you should immediately despair of your reason and understanding. They will not gain you eternal life, but, on the contrary, your presumptuousness will cast you and others like you out of heaven (as happened to Lucifer) into the abyss of hell. But kneel down in your little room and pray to God with real humility and earnestness, that he through his dear Son may give you his Holy Spirit, who will enlighten you, lead you, and give you understanding.
‘Thus you see how David keeps praying in the above-mentioned Psalm, “Teach me, Lord, instruct me, lead me, show me,” and many more words like these. Although he well knew and daily heard and read the text of Moses and other books besides, he still wants to lay hold of the real teacher of Scripture himself, so that he may not grasp it in a disordered way with his reason and become his own teacher. For such practice gives rise to factious spirits who allow themselves to nurture the delusion that Scripture is subject to them and can be easily grasped with their reason, as if they were Markolf or Aesop’s Fables, for which no Holy Spirit and no prayers are needed.’
- Martin Luther.
- Every resolution written by Edwards is great and profitable, but tonight, here are a few that really jump out to my mind and heart as a needful place to begin in my own life:
BEING SENSIBLE THAT I AM UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT GOD' S HELP, I DO HUMBLY ENTREAT HIM BY HIS GRACE TO ENABLE ME TO KEEP THESE RESOLUTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY ARE AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, FOR CHRIST' S SAKE.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
-- Johnathan Edwards, Resolutions, Excerpts.
- Thomas Brooks
via: Ryan Miley
This same election took place, not on the basis of foreseen faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, or of any other good quality and disposition, as though it were based on a prerequisite cause or condition in the person to be chosen, but rather for the purpose of faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, and so on. Accordingly, election is the source of each of the benefits of salvation. Faith, holiness, and the other saving gifts, and at last eternal life itself, flow forth from election as its fruits and effects. As the apostle says, He chose us (not because we were, but) so that we should be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph. 1:4).
Canons of Dort. Article 9. 1619. In response to the errors of the Remonstrance in 1610.
The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act-- unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just--of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God's Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.
Canons of Dort. Article 6. 1619 in response to the errors of the Remonstrance writings in 1610.
-- John Owen. p.61 A Display of Arminianism.
In other words, you were entirely insensible to these things; they did not affect you, they made no impression upon your minds, any more than if they did not exist, and, in fact, you did not at all realize their existence. You were alive to other objects. You possessed an animal life, which enabled you to have communion with the irrational animals in the pleasures of sense. You possessed what may be called rational or intellectual life, by which you were qualified to maintain intercourse and communion with your rational fellow creatures in the pursuit and enjoyment of worldly objects. But of that spiritual life, which renders the soul susceptible of impressions from spiritual objects, and prepares it for the enjoyment of intercourse with God and holy beings, you were entirely destitute. Being thus spiritually dead, you were, of course, devoid of spiritual sense. You could neither hear, nor see, nor feel. You could not hear God’s voice, either in his word, or in the dispensations of his providence. He spoke once, yea, twice, but you perceived it not; nor did you ever truly hear a single sermon, though you might, perhaps, listen to many. You were also spiritually blind. You saw no glory in God, no beauty in Christ, no hatefulness in sin, no excellency in the plan of salvation revealed in the gospel.
Like all men in their natural state, you received not the things of the Spirit of God, but they were foolishness to you; neither could you know them, because they are spiritually discerned, and you had no spiritual sight. Nor were you less destitute of feeling. You felt nothing of the load of guilt, which pressed you down; nothing of the wickedness and hardness of your own hearts; nothing of the goodness of God and the dying love of Jesus Christ.
You did not even feel, that you were dead, but lay buried in a grave of trespasses, and wrapped up in a winding sheet of sins, as insensible of your situation as a corpse, and as completely cut off from all intercourse or communion with God and holy beings, as a corpse is from intercourse with the living; nor did you any more desire to rise from this state, than a corpse desires to rise from the slumbers of the grave.
Edward Payson, on Ephesians 2, Sermon XVI, The Dead in Sin Made Alive.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
John Owen. A Display of Arminianism p.28;
postquam (when, after, because) Christiana (Christian) esse (to be) gens (clan, race, people) capit (caepit, he takes, they take) : My frail, unverified, translation: Never did any men “When people taking (claiming to be) the Christian label” more eagerly endeavor the erecting of this Babel than the Arminians, the modern blinded patrons of human self-sufficiency;
-- John Owen, A Display of Arminianism p. 28,
some errors that are most plausible, intending chiefly an introduction of them that are more palpable, knowing that if those be for a time suppressed until these be well digested, they will follow of their own accord. .... .... it will appear how, under a most vain pretense of farthering piety, they have prevaricated (intentional lie to misdirect) against the very grounds of Christianity"
- John Owen, A Display of Arminianism. p.25
"A Display of Arminianism, being a discovery of the old Pelagian idol Free-will with the new goddess Contingency, advancing themselves into the throne of God of heaven, to the prejudice of His grace, providence, and supreme dominion over the children of men.
Wherein the main errors by which they are fallen off from the recieved doctrine of all the Reformed Churches, with their opposition in divers particulars to the Doctrine established in the Church of England, are discovered and laid open out of their own writings and confessions, and confuted by the Word of God. "
author: John Owen
- Martin Luther [Luther’s Works – vol. 32, pp. 112, 113]
Saturday, July 11, 2009
-- A.W. Pink (Comfort for Christians)..."daughter of Rome"
The Kingdom Hall does not find the doctrine of Jesus' deity to be palatable, The Arminian does not find the doctrine of: Depravity, Election, Atonement, Effectual Grace, Divine Sovereignty, Reprobation, to be palatable. I would not want to go around saying that the Kingdom Hall is just "on the milk" and will eventually "mature" in time. Mormons redefine grace and faith though they use the terms, and I submit that the "true" Arminian has also redefined grace and faith. Catholics after all agree to the deity of Christ, just as the "true" Arminian does.
They hold that there was no particularity and specialty in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them, as much for Judas in Hell as for Peter who mounted to Heaven. They believe that for those who are consigned to eternal fire, there was as true and real a redemption made as for those who now stand before the Throne of the Most High. Now we believe no such thing. We hold that Christ, when He died, had an object in view and that object will most assuredly and beyond a doubt, be accomplished.
For we declare that the measure of the effect of Christ’s love is the measure of the design of it. We cannot so belie our reason as to think that the intention of Almighty God could be frustrated, or that the design of so great a thing as the atonement can by any way whatever, be missed of. We hold—we are not afraid to say what we believe—that Christ came into this world with the intention of saving “a multitude which no man can number.”
And we believe that as the result of this every person for whom He died must, beyond the shadow of a doubt, be cleansed from sin and stand, washed in His blood, before the Father’s Throne. We do not believe that Christ made any effectual atonement for those who are forever damned. We dare not think that the blood of Christ was ever shed with the intention of saving those whom God foreknew never would be saved—and some of whom were even in Hell when Christ, according to some men’s account,
died to save them.
NO. 181 A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, FEBRUARY 28, 1858,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, FEBRUARY 28, 1858,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
Friday, July 10, 2009
- Charles H. Spurgeon.
via: Charlie Khen
Jonathan Edwards, Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol 13, Yale UP, 1994, 212
There is no broader way to apostasy than to reject God’s sovereignty in all things concerning the revelation of himself and our obedience, refusing to ‘bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’. From the refusal to submit to God’s sovereignty over all things, including our eternal salvation, arose Pelagianism, Arminianism and every present-day heresy.
— John Owen
A great sickness has developed in contemporary evangelical Christianity that is built around self. The emphasis on self image, self esteem, and self worth is nothing more than humanistic worldliness. Self-ism has twisted evangelicalism from a God-centered to a man-centered perspective. Salvation is now seen from the viewpoint of what can it do for us? That is a horrifying error.
— John MacArthur
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I think that what happens for many pastors is that the ministry does not flourish with as much power and joy as they had hoped and just to survive emotionally they start to give way to amusements and diversions and hobbies.
>The ministry becomes a 40-hour-a-week job that you do like any other, and then the evenings and days off are filled up with harmless, enjoyable diversions. And the whole feel changes. The radical urgency fades. The wartime mentality shifts to a peacetime mentality.The lifestyle starts to get cushy. The all-consuming singleness of vision evaporates.
Let me say it again. Our people need a God-besotted man. Even if they criticize the fact that you are not available at the dinner on Saturday night because you must be with God, they need at least one man in their life who is radically and totally focused on God and the pursuit of the knowledge of God, and the ministry of the word of God.
How many people in your churches do you know that are laboring to know God, who are striving earnestly in study and to enlarge their vision of God. Precious few. Well then, what will become of our churches if we the pastors, who are charged with knowing and unfolding the whole counsel of God, shift into neutral, quit reading and studying and writing, and take on more hobbies and watch more television?
—The Pastor as Theologian: Reflections on the Life and Ministry of Jonathan Edwards, a sermon delivered on April 15, 1988 by John Piper at the 1988 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.
pulled off: http://newdemonstration.com/quotes/john-piper/the-all-consuming-singleness-of-a-vision-of-god
“Precisely because his was an actual, not an imaginary or hypothetical, sacrificial death in which he vicariously bore their curse, paid their debt, endured their judicial rejection by God, as evidenced by his cry of dereliction from the cross, and died their death, Christ actually accomplished and procured everything essential to the salvation of the elect. In sum, he did not simply open the way of salvation to all men and promise to aid them if they would also do something to procure it and keep it their own. Nor did he simply make the salvation of the elect possible. Rather, he actually did everything necessary to the infallible securing of the salvation of the elect, his people, his sheep, his own–even those whom the Father gave to him.“
Taken from A New Systematic Theology Of The Christian Faith [2nd Edition] (pp.667-668)
Stolen from: Reymond on the Perfection of Christ’s Cross Work
- C.H. Spurgeon (sermon no. 2103: The Hunger And Thirst Which Are Blessed")
via: Kim P. Nejudne
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
10 or more other great accounts can be found by going to those links and seeing who they are following. It is neat to know John Calvin is following Johnathan Edwards. I have not seen any accounts for Pighius, I don't guess Calvin is going to follow him.
ff. UNION WITH CHRIST.
By virtue of the believer’s union with Christ, he doth really possess all things. That we know plainly from Scripture. But it may be asked, how [doth] he possess all things? What is he the better for it? How is a true Christian so much richer than other men? To answer this, I’ll tell you what I mean by “possessing all things.” I mean that God three in one, all that he is, and all that he has, and all that he does, all that he has made or done—the whole universe, bodies and spirits, earth and heaven, angels, men and devils, sun moon [and] stars, land and sea, fish and fowls, all the silver and gold, kings and potentates as well as mean men—are as much the Christian’s as the money in his pocket, the clothes he wears, or the house he dwells in, or the victuals he eats; yea more properly his, more advantageously more his, than if he [could] command all those things mentioned to be just in all respects as he pleased at any time, by virtue of the union with Christ; because Christ, who certainly doth thus possess all things, is entirely his: so that he possesses it all, more than a wife the share of the best and dearest husband, more than the hand possesses what the head doth; it is all his.
The universe is [his], only he has not the trouble of managing of it; but Christ, to whom it is no trouble, manages it for him a thousand times as much to his advantage as he could himself if he had the managing of all. Every atom in the universe is managed by Christ so as to be most to the advantage of the Christian, every particle of air or every ray of the sun; so that he in the other world, when he comes to see it, shall sit and enjoy all this vast inheritance with surprising, amazing joy. And how is it possible for a man to possess anything more than so as shall be most to his advantage? And then besides this, the Christian shall have everything managed just according to his will; for his will shall so be lost in the will of God, that he had rather have it according to God’s will than any way in the world. And who would desire to possess all things more than to have all things managed just according to his will? And then besides, he himself shall so use them as to be most to his own advantage in his thoughts and meditations, etc.
Now how is it possible for anyone to possess anything more than to have it managed as much as possible according to his will, as much as possible for his own advantage, and for him himself to use it [as] much as possible according to his advantage? But it is certain, so much shall the true Christian possess all things; ’tis not a probable scheme, but absolutely certain. For we know that all things will be managed so as shall be most agreeable to his will. That can’t be denied, nor that it shall be most for his advantage, and that he himself shall use [it] most to his own advantage. This is the kingdom Christ so often promised—they shall be kings with a witness at this rate! This is the sitting in Christ’s throne and inheriting all things promised to the victors in the Revelation and the like in many other places.
Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 13, The “Miscellanies:” Entry Nos. a–z, aa–zz, 1–500, ed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 183-185.
Monday, July 6, 2009
-- Martin Luther
At times, I have I made the most of (and thus idols of):
1. My own blog, FB, twitter.
2. The blog, FB, twitter, of other people.
3. Certain Pastors, Reformed Writers, Theologians, Apologists, Puritans.
4. A sermon, book, sermon notes.
5. A Christian pianist, guitarist.
6. The Desktop, Printer, Laptop, electro-techno gimzos
- David Wells
My note: This sounds like an intro to a Piper sermon on "Enjoying God forever." It really opens a lot of thought to why we sing corporately? Out of dry duty? Out of pride of theological orthodoxy? Out of empty custom and no thought to the lyrics? Or, with an ecstatic joy in the glory and greatness of God, not that the focus would be "our joy", but that as water by definition includes hydrogen, so to God glorified by definition includes a response of singing with joy. How angry we should be to waste our AM services singing Happy Birthday to one another.
Is this why our prayers lag? We are bored with God? We are bored with praying?
Is this why our witnessing lags? We are bored with God? We are bored with telling of His glory and grace?
is this why private daily worship lags? We are focused on the visible? and otherwise glory in a golfer, being bored with God, and bored with singing to Him;
This quote would be a nice 40 minute sermon of probing to repentance.
"God does not bestow the Spirit on his people in order to set aside the use of his Word, but rather to render it fruitful."
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth attacked and yet would remain silent.
“There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence”
There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
Man is never sufficiently touched & affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself w/ God's majesty.
"I offer my heart to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely."
"Every one of us is, even from his mother's womb, a master craftsman of idols."
"…believers stand unconquered through the strength of their king, and his spiritual riches abound in them." Institutes 2.15.5
“Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day; set him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.”
"Ignorance of Providence is the greatest of all miseries, and the knowledge of it the highest happiness."
We must make the invisible kingdom visible in our midst.
I call 'piety' that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces.
Let us so adhere to the Word of God that no novelty may captivate us and lead us astray.
- John Calvin
tweet credits: @jmaxim: @arawleigh:@accordanceguy:@akabeardman.@Jdomingo82 @joethorn @graceforums, (and many, many others);
I take the last quote as not only a reference to novelty by wrong teaching, but also novelty by earthly-sight mindedness i.e sports, movies, vacations, suppers, gizmos.
Spend 20 minutes analyzing this verse in prayer and grace, and also in the context of the preceding 13 verses.
a. the God of hope
b. fill you with
c. all joy
d. and peace
e. in believing,
f. so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
g. you may abound
h. in hope.
Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
1John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
1 Tim 4:10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. "So
Christ was once offered.": By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here
he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is
sacrificed. On this account are [the words] "was offered." "Was once
offered" (he says) "to bear the sins of many." Why "of many," and not
"of all"? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is
His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction
of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were
not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.
This is not a contradiction in terms, it is a proposition that fits into God's redemptive plan - that is:
1) Christ's death was of general benefit to all Mankind, in that the guarantee of His sacrifice was the source of our just God extending grace to Adam and not immediately and utterly destroying Man at the Fall or allowing Man, in his own total depravity and slavery to sin, destroy himself- thus Unlimited in application in that sense. "who is the Savior of all people"
2) Christ's death was of specific benefit to the Elect, in whom He, by His grace, has given the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit, resulting in true spiritual and saving belief in Christ. "especially of those who believe"