Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We Must Get to the Cross, and Dwell There

“Every plant must have both soil and root. Without both of these there can be no life, no growth, no fruit. The root is ‘peace with God’; the soil in which that root strikes itself, and out of which it draws the vital sap, is the free love of God in Christ. ‘Rooted in love’ is the apostle’s description of a holy man.

The secret of a believer’s holy walk is his continual recurrence to the blood of the Surety, and his daily intercourse with a crucified and risen Lord. All divine life, and all the precious fruits of it, pardon, peace, and holiness, spring from the cross. All fancied sanctification which does not arise wholly from the blood of the cross is nothing better than Pharisaism. If we would be holy, we must get to the cross, and dwell there; else, notwithstanding all our labour, diligence, fasting, praying and good works, we shall be yet void of real sanctification, destitute of those humble, gracious tempers which accompany a clear view of the cross.”

- Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chosen By God

What exactly does the Bible mean that we are "chosen" by God?

Ephesians 1:3 - 10 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

I see that there are 2 primary beliefs in Christiandom as to what this means:

1. God sovereignly chooses whom He will bring to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ by effectually drawing them by the power of His Holy Spirit. Thus, He gives faith and repentance to those whom He chose before the foundation of the world.

2. God chooses those who choose - of their own free will - to repent of their sins and believe in His Son's death, burial and resurrection as their complete payment for their sins. Thus, the faith (from a seed given by God to every man) and repentance are self-produced out of their own free will.

Which view is Biblical? Is it one or the other or a combination of both?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Grace of God in My Family

Today my 6 year old daughter (Jenna) was baptized! She was born again on September 16, 2007 and it took a little while for her to "get up the courage" to be baptized.

We are praying that Elijah and Rayanne will also be drawn to Jesus for salvation.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Be More Afraid of Your Duties Than of Your Sins

“It was the saying of a precious saint that he was more afraid of his duties than of his sins; for his duties often made him proud, but his sins always made him humble. It was good counsel Luther gave, ‘We must take heed not only of our sins, but of our good works.’

Duties can never have too much diligence used about them, nor too little confidence placed in them. They are good helps, but bad saviors. It is necessary we do them, but it is dangerous to rely upon them. If the devil cannot dissuade us from performing pious duties, then his next work will be to persuade us to rely upon them, to make saviors of them; because this will as certainly ruin our souls, as if we had wholly neglected them.

Now, let all these things work you to renounce your own righteousness—and to take sanctuary alone in the pure, perfect, and most glorious righteousness of Jesus Christ, and in the free grace of God.”

- Thomas Brooks, A Cabinet of Choice Jewels

Was(Is) Jesus a Calvinist?

Dr. Sam Storms gives an explanation of what he believes about Jesus being a "Calvinist". See here for his explanation and exegesis.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Power of God

“Outside of heaven, the power of God in its highest density is found inside the gospel. This must be so, for the Bible twice describes the gospel as “the power of God.” Nothing else in all of Scripture is ever described in this way, except for the Person of Jesus Christ.

Such a description indicates that the gospel is not only powerful, but that it is the ultimate entity in which God’s power resides and does its greatest work. Indeed, God’s power is seen in erupting volcanos, in the unimaginably hot boil of our massive sun, and in the lightning speed of a recently discovered star seen streaking through the heavens at 1.5 million miles per hour.

Yet in Scripture such wonders are never labeled “the power of God.” How powerful, then, must the gospel be that it would merit such a title! And how great is the salvation it could accomplish in my life, if I would only embrace it by faith and give it a central place in my thoughts each day!”

- Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer

Monday, November 26, 2007

Be A Kinder Christian

Is it true that there are Calvinists that are outright mean? Unfortunately that is the case. Is it true that there are mean Arminians? Unfortunately...Yes. Is it true that there are mean Christians that are neither Calvinist or Arminian? Unfortunately...Yes. Check out this post from Abraham Piper on why we ALL need to be more kind.