Oct 30, 2006

Divine Providence

This is going to be a lame blog entry. So readers (all 2 of you) brace yourselves:

I was on a plane heading back to Minneapolis from Dallas and I realized that the only reason the plane had not plummeted thousands of feet to the ground was not by science or logic, but only by the mere pleasure of God to do so. Even if the weather was perfect, the plane was mechanically functioning, and there were no terrorists on board, planes only stay up in the air if God so choses to make them stay in flight! Now, I know this is a rather ridiculous conclusion (I say that meaning it is something we should all realize!) but for some reason it became more real to me that day. In most of my day to day mundane life, I know intellectually that God is in control. Every breath I take is only because it pleases God for me to take that breath! Every morning when I wake up, it is only because of His grace that He's even allowed me to awake! However, it wasn't until I was on that plane that I finally felt completely helpless and solely dependent on His Hand. And by His grace, the plane landed and I was able to make it safely home. But even if the plane had crashed, it was His Sovereign Hand that allowed it...for His pleasure & His glory.

For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men. To crush under His feet All the prisoners of the land, To deprive a man of justice In the presence of the Most High, To defraud a man in his lawsuit--Of these things the Lord does not approve. Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth?
Lamentations 3

Oct 26, 2006

The unworthiness and unlikeliness of its objects

(Arthur Pink, "The Attributes of God")

"The Gospel addresses men as guilty, condemned, perishing criminals. It declares that the most chaste moralist is in the same terrible plight as is the most voluptuous profligate; and the zealous professor, with all his religious performances, is no better off than the most profane infidel.

The Gospel contemplates every person as a fallen, polluted, hell-deserving and helpless sinner. The grace which the Gospel publishes is his only hope! Grace is a perfection of the divine character which is exercised only toward the elect. Divine grace is the sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them, and for which no compensation is demanded from them.

Nay, more; grace is the favor of God shown to those who not only have no positive deserts of their own, but who are thoroughly ill-deserving and hell-deserving! Divine grace is completely unmerited and unsought, and is altogether unattracted by anything in or from or by the objects upon which it is bestowed. Grace can neither be bought, earned, nor won by the creature. If it could be, it would cease to be grace. When a thing is said to be of "grace," we mean that the recipient has no claim upon it--that it was not in any way due him. It comes to him as pure charity, and, at first, unasked and undesired.

Because grace is unmerited favor, it must be exercised in a sovereign manner. Therefore does the Lord declare, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious." Exod. 33:19 The great God is under no obligation to any of His creatures, least of all to those who are rebels against Him.

The distinguishing grace of God is seen in saving those people whom He has sovereignly singled out to be His high favorites. By "distinguishing" we mean that grace discriminates, makes differences, chooses some and passes by others. Nowhere does the glory of God's free and sovereign grace shine more conspicuously, than in the unworthiness and unlikeliness of its objects.

Nothing more riles the natural man, and brings to the surface his innate and inveterate enmity against God, than to press upon him the eternality, the freeness, and the absolute sovereignty of divine grace. That grace cannot be earned or won by any efforts of man, is too self-emptying for self-righteousness. And that grace singles out whom it pleases to be its favored object, arouses hot protests from haughty rebels. "

Oct 23, 2006

Their foot shall slide in due time - Deuteronomy 32:35

"The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. -- "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." -- By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God's mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment."

- Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Oct 12, 2006

Who will set me free from the body of this death?

"We flatly reject the idea that one can have salvation and be an adulterer/murderer at the same time, unlike Calvinism. So YES, we do definitely reject and oppose Calvinism. We believe the Bible."

I want to address the above statement, (an email I received...I'll leave the author unknown) because I believe this is a common misunderstanding of what "Calvinists" believe.

First and foremost, the idea that I do not "believe the bible" is simply ludicrous. My doctrinal beliefs are based on the bible. I do not call myself a Calvinist because I agree with everything Calvin taught. I believe the bible to be the complete Word of God and I do not value man's opinion or theology higher than God's. And that is not to say I feel my beliefs are perfect to what God's are...but from my studying, I agree that the 5 points of Calvinism are indeed biblical and call to us to glorify God to the fullest.

All right. With that said, let me address this: " We flatly reject the idea that one can have salvation and be an adulterer/murderer at the same time, unlike Calvinism"

I, a 5 point Calvinist, flatly reject the idea that one can have salvation and be an adulterer/murderer at the same time also! How could one, a slave to sin, inherit the Kingdom of God? No "sinner" will be in heaven. But those who have been forgiven and are now a new creation, no longer desiring to sin against our loving and beautiful God will be in heaven with Christ. We will be in heaven with Christ because we are sinners who've been forgiven.

When we have died to sin and are buried with Christ through baptism (note, not regeneration at baptism...read Romans 6) we are new creations. No longer does sin have control over us. While we had no light, we continued in our sin. The evil in this world controlled us and our sinful nature had dominion over our souls. We had no choice but to continue in disobedience until the light of Christ shined in our hearts. The Law showed us our sins. It was like a mirror; we saw ourselves as God see's us. It wasn't only our actions that God looked at, but also the meditations of our heart. Jesus told us that even lusting in our heart was committing adultery in our hearts. And anger in our hearts was the same as murder in our hearts. It is not only the act in itself that is sinful, but the heart itself, in its corruption, that is the cause of sin in the first place.

When we have been saved, we all still sin. But Paul says "consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus" -Romans 6:11. We are dead to sin; we are no longer slaves to it, but slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18). With the Spirit of God living in every true believer, He will guide us and sanctify us as we carry out His will.

However, when we (as believers) commit sin, we do not delight in it. Remember what Paul said,

"For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin."

Even Paul battled against his flesh, and it will be a constant battle until we have new bodies and this world has been made perfect. Even so, "if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin."-Romans 6:5-7

How amazing!! If I am have been saved, I've been washed in His blood, my sins have been crucified with Him and I am now free to live righteously, through Christ Jesus living in me. I am no longer a liar, an adulterer, murderer, or a coveter. My true self is now in Jesus. "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me!"

"...if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."

Amen! May the love of Christ rule in your hearts.

Oct 9, 2006

Just to clarify

I just wanted to clarify my last post:

We are "being saved." When we come to know Christ and are "saved" it's not as if we are completely sanctified at that moment. It's a constant growing in grace, a growing in holiness. We are not perfect, but we are being made perfect.

SO...when I say that "Total Depravity, The Trinity, and Justification by faith alone" are essential for "salvation" I mean that they will come to be known as truth. The work of the Holy Spirit is not going to lead us to believe false doctrines, is He? So as we grow in grace, we should, when examining ourselves, come to understand and believe these doctrines.


Also, this is an awesome interview with Paul Washer and Kirk Cameron. Let me know what you think. Oh, and if you'd like to download any of his sermons, click here.

Kirk and Todd interviews Paul Washer

Oct 5, 2006

This is me talking with love

It is not my intention to be harsh, or rude. Nor is it my intention to argue about meaningless doctrines. It is my intention to speak the truth with love...and when I write my posts I never desire to attack anyone. However, there are some things I do strongly stand against and sometimes I get hot-headed and start spewing out words that sound cruel.

For that, I want to apologize to anyone I've offended.

But I cannot apologize for my beliefs. If you disagree with me, that is completely fine and I have no problem discussing it! Iron sharpens iron, right? And I believe with my heart that God teaches us through His people. I try to read every thought with an open mind, but if I match it up to scripture and it is found to be a lie, then I have to bring it to light! I have to defend God's Word! My Pastor once said, "God is not a respecter of persons!" And he's right! It doesn't matter if you've studied the bible for 35 years, whether or not you've been an elder or if all your friends tell you that you are the nicest person in the world! That doesn't matter if you are not saved.

The doctrines I believe are essential for salvation are:
  • Total Depravity
  • Justification by faith alone
  • The Trinity
Why these, you ask? Well, if you don't understand how totally depraved your mind is, how your wicked works have made you an enemy of God, how your greatest deeds are like flilthy rags to God, then how can you understand God's mercy? If you don't understand that you've sinned against a perfect, holy and just God, then how will you ever have remorse for breaking His laws?

Secondly, if you do not understand that faith is a gift from God...
Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
well, then how can you understand His grace?

And lastly (these aren't an any particular order) if you do not believe that God sent His Son into the world to die for your sins...then how can you believe anything the bible teaches? The Trinity is so plain in scripture, it just makes me want to pull my hair out when people do not recognize it!

This is God's Truth we are speaking of. It cannot be taken lightly.

Any opinions would be lovely!! And if you think there are other essentials, then comment.

(ps) I'm 5'1 and very quiet. When I speak, people normally do not listen. My voice is pretty quiet. So try and imagine that when I blog. :D

Oct 3, 2006

Spurgeon speaks

"We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next question-Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They say, "No." They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died so that any man may be saved if"-and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say then, we will just go back to the old statement-Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say "No;" you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why you... We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it." (Charles Spurgeon, Sermon 181, New Park Street Pulpit, IV, p. 135)