Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Perseverance of the Saints - God has promised the elect two things. First He promised never to forsake them. Second, He promised to work in the lives of the elect in a way that will not allow them to turn away from Him.
John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
Jeremiah 32:40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.
The elect are secure in the hands of God and of Christ, the elect like the kitten who is taken by the scruff of its neck by the mother cat, is secure for she will never allow the kitten to fall to its death, she is in complete control not the kitten.
Christ himself states the fact that the elect are secure and that He will never even loose one who has been chosen by God.
John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
Those who "fall away" were never saved to begin with. Had they been truly saved God would not have allowed them to fall but would have insured their perseverance.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Irresistible Grace - God chose the elect and Christ payed the price for their sin by His willingness to go to the cross.
God loves all people in a general sense but there is a special love for those that He has predestined or called to faith in Him and in Christ.
In Luke 6:35-36 We see that God calls the saved to have love and mercy on our enemies and those who are ungrateful and wicked as God Himself does.
35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
But this again is a love that in no way rivals the love for those God has called to Himself. Everyone has been given a common love and mercy by God, we know this due to the fact that God has allowed anyone to live at all, being all are sinners and all have fallen short of the righteousness God has called them to.
God has called all to faith, this I would say all Christians believe, but God again has done a special work in the elect.
In John 6:44 We read about this special call from God to those He has chosen and the inability of those to come to Him if He has not called them.
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
And in Romans 8:28-30 We see this process from beginning to end, God doesn't say that if after we are called if we decide to come to faith then He will see us through the rest of the process, no God says that "He" will fulfill this process from beginning to end in us Himself to assure it.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
The elect are not born again because they believe, but they believe because the are born again. God has opened up their hearts and minds to be able to be live.
Acts 16:14 14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.
John 3:3-8 3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
If it were left to us we could not come to faith in any way on our own, but it is by the sovereign grace of God and His calling to those He has chosen.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Limited Atonement - The question always seems to be who did Christ die for? Well if we look at scripture what we will find is that Christ died for those God has predestined to come to faith.
Now there is a sense in which Christ through His death and resurrection has given the world a chance to come to faith on their own and by this gain salvation.
John 3:16 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
But in another sense we see that Christ only died for the elect that God has predestined to be saved.
Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."
So which is right? Well we know that the word of God is infallible and does not contradict itself, so with that in mind we must believe that this can only fit together by the understanding that the "whoever believes" must be the predestined. We also see this in John 17:2.
John 17:2 "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him."
In Ephesians 5:25 we see an even more clearer verse showing exactly who Christs atoning death was for.
Ephesians 5:25 "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"
The fact is that on our own we have no hope because we do not seek God and righteousness through Christ, we are all undeserving sinners and if we are looking for what is fair then hell is our only option. It is only because of God and His work in us that moves us to Christ and our faith.
Romans 3:10-11 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God."