Faith

silasgrave

“The faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” is not that grace of faith which “is the fruit of the Spirit,” but that doctrine and order of the gospel in which the salvation of God is made known to the saints in the world. This is that “mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest unto his saints,” and this mystery “is Christ in them the hope of glory.” (Eph. iii. 5; Col. i. 26, 27.) This doctrine of salvation by grace, and the order of the gospel, was delivered unto the saints on the day of Pentecost, when the gospel church was established. The apostles were charged with the authority to teach it to the saints, and to set all the commands of Jesus concerning the church in order, as judges sitting upon thrones, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

All this gospel system is made known to the faith of God’s people. It is not understood by the natural mind, but by an understanding especially given for this purpose. (1 John v. 20; Eph. i. 17-23.) This doctrine of God is spoken of as “the faith of the gospel.” Paul uses the word faith in this sense, as a system of faith, in Romans i. 5; xvi. 26; Gal. i. 23, and in other places. This faith, or doctrine, in which the eternal salvation of the saints is declared and made manifest in the world, is of the utmost importance and value to the saints. It is more than all the world to them. It sets forth and declares “the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”–I Cor. ii. 7.

It declares the ways and wisdom of God in salvation, as contrasted with the ways and wisdom of men. It was once delivered unto the saints in the morning of the gospel dispensation, and it is needful that they earnestly contend for it, for the whole world, and all the influences of the world, are opposed to it.” – Silas Durand

Good People

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Good PeopleWe have many ideas about what a person has to do to get to heaven.  Some believe we must follow the “Golden Rule,” and do good deeds which will eventually outweigh the bad we have done, tipping the scales in our favour….after all, we are all basically good people…right?

If we assume we are good people we are also assuming a standard for what we consider good.  Since we assume there is an absolute standard for what is good there must be an absolute standard giver.  The Bible repeatedly states that God has given mankind a holy, universal Law, that is written on our hearts and our conscience bears witness to this Law.  This Law is revealed and summarized in the Ten Commandments.  When we look at God’s Law, we must understand that we have all sinned in some way or another; remember, you don’t have to break all Ten to be guilty of breaking the Law.  The Bible warns, For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

“… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”  Hebrews 9:27

Let’s look at a few of the Commandments and see how we fare:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Have you ever taken God’s name in vain?  If you have, you are a blasphemer and can not enter the Kingdom of God.

“Honour your father and mother.” Have you always honoured your parents in a respectful manner?  In a way that God would consider honouring?

“You shall not steal.” Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you (irrespective of its value)?  What do you call someone who takes something that doesn’t belong to them?  A thief – You cannot enter God’s Kingdom.

“You shall not bear false witness.” Have you ever told a lie?  Just one?  What do you call someone who told a lie?  A liar.  The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire.

You and I are guilty of sinning against God by breaking His Law, and because we have a conscience, we have sinned “with knowledge.” Isn’t it true that when you steal, lie, etc. you know that it’s wrong?  Does the fact that you have sinned against God bother you?  The punishment for breaking God’s Law is Hell.  Eternal Death.

“Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail.[1]”

WHAT MUST YOU DO TO BE SAVED FROM THE PENALTY OF BREAKING GOD’S LAW?

There is good news, there is a GOSPEL. God the Father has given us a mediator in Jesus Christ who is the incarnation of God.  Jesus took upon Himself man’s nature, becoming subject to the Law of God, and perfectly obeying the Law in thought and deed for His entire lifetime on earth.  While on earth Christ took the sins of His people upon Himself, and suffering the punishment due to all their sins paid the penalty by dying on the Cross, “…for the wages of sin is death.”

By dying in place of His people Jesus Christ became the mediator between God and man and revived in His people the righteousness, holiness and true knowledge lost as a consequence of sin.

As we find ourselves before a holy God we are convicted for breaking His righteous Law.  The Holy Spirit moves in the soul to bring us to acknowledge our guilt and brokenness before God and His righteousness.  We come to hate sin and find Jesus Christ precious.  The Holy Spirit convinces the broken sinner of the shamefulness of sin and then brings the offender to a place where they can, “repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

If you feel the weight of sin on your heart and have come to see the blackness of your soul in the light of God’s Law…if you have been brought to a place where you dread the judgement of the trice holy God, BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!  If you believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins the Bible assures us that, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

__________________________________________________

[1] quote taken from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

In Danger?

Posted in 2012: “Do you feel in danger? are you afraid of losing the word, of missing it, as Paul says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God” (Heb. 12:15); lest professing it, he should not process it? Then this prayer will suit you, it will suit you as an individual; and if we as a people realize our weakness and our enemies, and the devils that are within us and without us, it will be a suitable prayer to us: “Take not the word of truth away from us.” If the Lord should walk among us, what would He see? May He grant there may be no prevailing heresy, no prevailing evil to provoke Him to threaten to remove the candlestick. I can but say, as I have said before, we are in a solemn time; and the Lord’s absence is very, very visible to some people, and the lack of power is mournfully felt and acknowledged by some. What He will do with us as a nation, what will become of the churches that profess the truth, I do not pretend to say; but I do, speaking in a general way, believe that solemn times are upon us, and that the churches will know it. “All the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts” (Rev. 2:23). The whole world shall know it, for the center of the world is the church. There will begin the judgments of God. May, then, this be our prayer, may this be our petition, poor people we are, we need it; ministers need it, greatly need it. They may be supposed to have some knowledge of truth, but it will only be dry and sapless and useless, if they only speak out of naked knowledge. Hearers need it; they may think they can discern the truth, but they may be blind all the while. So we need the Holy Spirit greatly, to do for us that for which the psalmist here prays, and for which he prays in another place in different words, “Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” Let the gospel continue, let it be in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance in our hearts and in our midst. Amen.”  – J. K. Popham

Grace and Salvation

Amen, be encouraged, it is all of GRACE! john_gill

“That there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men, I utterly deny; nay I deny that they are made to any; no not to God’s elect: grace and salvation are promised for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit.” John Gill, The Doctrine of Predestination Stated

Salvation is a gift!

Rolfe Barnard, “Salvation is not an offer to be considered, salvation is God’s gift to men. Thanks be unto God (with the Apostle Paul say) for the unspeakable gift. A Bible scholar told me that that Greek word was nearer if we translated it thanks be unto God for his untraceable gift You just can’t figure it out, it just goes back to the heart of God. Thanks be unto God! Not that He fixed it so that we could consider the matter and use our little old brains and our will but it is all conquering grace, He gives eternal life to men and women. Salvation’s a gift, it’s not an offer.” (FROM A SERMON TITLED, “6 THINGS WE FACE IN PREACHING”)

Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (Final Post)

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT SIN IN SUMMARY:

This is where we need to begin…again. We must understand what it cost God to send His son to die in our place. Sin is not something that makes you sick but kills you. It murders and is murderous. We cannot allow Arminian tradition to downplay how devastating sin actually is. So, to summarize the biblical teaching we must understand that the same death Adam experienced passes upon us all (Romans 5:12) making it necessary for God to quicken us (Ephesians 2:1-3), to make us alive (Colossians 2:13) because the thoughts of our hearts are evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Like David we are sinners from our conception (Psalm 51:5), wicked from birth (Psalm 58:3) and continue in evil (Genesis 8:21, Ecclesiates 9:3). For this reason it is necessary to receive the gift of regeneration from God the Holy Spirit to even see the spiritual offer of the Gospel (John 3:5-6). Don’t trust the traditions of man or the inclinations of your own heart (Jeremiah 17:9) for all evil comes from a depraved heart (Mark 7:21-23). Humanity loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19), for in the flesh, the natural mind is at enmity (that means extremely hostile to) toward God (Romans 8:7-8). I cannot emphasis this enough, the unregenerate cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14) due to their sin making them total unable to understand (Ephesians 4:17-19). All of us were once in this state (Ephesians 5:8) and performed the devil’s will (John 8:44), willingly following the him. (Titus 1:15). Therefore Doctrines of Grace aka “Calvinism” is in fact the correct exegesis of scripture.

I would like to finish up this series of posts with a word to those who have not heard the Gospel or have not had the Gospel presented clearly.

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THE BIBLICAL GOSPEL

Jesus answered them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”

We have many ideas about what a person has to do to get to heaven. Some believe we must follow the “Golden Rule,” and do good deeds which will eventually outweigh the bad we have done, tipping the scales in our favour….after all, we are all basically good people…right?

If we assume we are good people we are also assuming a standard for what we consider good. Since we assume there is an absolute standard for what is good there must be an absolute standard giver. The Bible repeatedly states that God has given mankind a holy, universal Law, that is written on our hearts and our conscience bears witness to this Law. This Law is revealed and summarized in the Ten Commandments. When we look at God’s Law, we must understand that we have all sinned in some way or another; remember, you don’t have to break all Ten to be guilty of breaking the Law. The Bible warns, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

“… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

Let’s look at a few of the Commandments and see how we fare:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? If you have, you are a blasphemer and can not enter the Kingdom of God.

“Honour your father and mother.” Have you always honoured your parents in a respectful manner? In a way that God would consider honouring?

“You shall not steal.” Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you (irrespective of its value)? What do you call someone who takes something that doesn’t belong to them? A thief – You cannot enter God’s Kingdom.

“You shall not bear false witness.” Have you ever told a lie? Just one? What do you call someone who told a lie? A liar. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire.

You and I are guilty of sinning against God by breaking His Law, and because we have a conscience, we have sinned “with knowledge.” Isn’t it true that when you steal, lie, etc. you know that it’s wrong? Does the fact that you have sinned against God bother you? The punishment for breaking God’s Law is Hell. Eternal Death.

“Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. [from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards titled, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God]

WHAT MUST YOU DO TO BE SAVED FROM THE PENALTY OF BREAKING GOD’S LAW?

There is good news, there is a GOSPEL. God the Father has given us a mediator in Jesus Christ who is the incarnation of God. Jesus took upon Himself man’s nature, becoming subject to the Law of God, and perfectly obeying the Law in thought and deed for His entire lifetime on earth. While on earth Christ took the sins of His people upon Himself, and suffering the punishment due to all their sins paid the penalty by dying on the Cross, “…for the wages of sin is death.”

By dying in place of His people Jesus Christ became the mediator between God and man and revived in His people the righteousness, holiness and true knowledge lost as a consequence of sin.

As we find ourselves before a holy God we are convicted for breaking His righteous Law. The Holy Spirit moves in the soul to bring us to acknowledge our guilt and brokenness before God and His righteousness. We come to hate sin and find Jesus Christ precious. The Holy Spirit convinces the broken sinner of the shamefulness of sin and then brings the offender to a place where they can, “repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

If you feel the weight of sin on your heart and have come to see the blackness of your soul in the light of God’s Law…if you have been brought to a place where you dread the judgement of the trice holy God, BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! If you believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins the Bible assures us that, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Yours in Christ,

j