LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A whole Christ with a whole heart

(Thomas Brooks, "Touchstone of Sincerity")

The terms upon which Christ is offered in the gospel are these: that we shall accept of a whole Christ with a whole heart. Now, mark--a whole Christ includes all His offices; and a whole heart includes all our faculties.

Christ as mediator is prophet, priest, and king.
Christ as a prophet instructs us.
Christ as a priest redeems us and intercedes for us.
Christ as a king sanctifies and rules us.

A hypocrite may be willing to embrace Christ as a priest to save him from wrath, from the curse, from hell, from everlasting burning--but he is never sincerely willing to embrace Christ as a prophet to teach and instruct him, and as a king to rule and reign over him. Many hypocrites are willing to embrace a saving Christ--but they are not willing to embrace a ruling Christ, a commanding Christ. "But those enemies of Mine who did not want Me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of Me!'" Luke 19:27

Hypocrites love to share with Christ in His happiness--but they don't love to share with Christ in His holiness. They are willing to be redeemed by Christ--but they are not cordially willing to submit to the laws and government of Christ. They are willing to be saved by His blood--but they are not willing to submit to His scepter.

But a true Christian receives Christ in all His offices. He accepts Him, not only as a saving Jesus--but also as a Lord Jesus. He embraces Him, not only as a saving Christ--but also as a ruling Christ. He received Christ as a king upon His throne, as well as an atoning sacrifice upon His cross.A hypocrite is all for a saving Christ, for a sin-pardoning Christ, for a soul-saving Christ--but has no regard for a ruling Christ, a reigning Christ, a commanding Christ, a sanctifying Christ; and this at last will prove his damning sin.

24 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

I'm baaaaack

November 02, 2006 8:50 AM

 
Blogger jel said...

I'm glad :)

November 02, 2006 9:18 AM

 
Blogger jel said...

thanks for this post!

November 02, 2006 9:20 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Before reading Reformed teaching, I had never heard of all these conditions when describing a saving relationship with Christ ... so many requirements!

Hi Mark. I hope you are well.

November 02, 2006 11:03 AM

 
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Hi brother,

But a true Christian receives Christ in all His offices.

When someone comes to Christ and embraces the saviour for the first time, do you really think it is necessary for him to have a complete knowledge of Jesus' offices? Is a new Christian damned to hell because he doesn't understand or embrace these offices? Where is room for growing in obedience according to this scheme? Where is room for learning what God has to say to that person through His Word, the Bible?

I am amazed, brother, that so many are proud to announce that they have arrived, while others who are just coming into the family of God are discounted as hypocrites. Very sad.

My pastor quotes this:
"Go to the cross to receive forgiveness and then linger there long enough to where you can forgive others."

There is a difference between being saved and being a disciple, between salvation and Christian growth.

Be a blessing,
brother John

November 02, 2006 11:18 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Great points. Regeneration is from God and requires no conditions. Once regeneration occurs things begin to happen and as the redeemed person thirsts for Christ he seeks knowledge (office of prophet). Upon gaining more and more knowledge he desires to be obedient (office of King). These flow from God's work of regeneration. They are not requirements for salvation, but are results of salvation. I think John is correct in that it does not happen all at once. However, when Jesus says come ye who are thirsty, he has started a chain of events that will lead to a Christian embracing the offices of prophet, priest, and king.

Now, if a person is not thirsty and only wants a get out hell free card (hypocrit), then there will be no knocking, seeking and finding these truths in Scripture.

Is that not the message here?

W.H.

November 02, 2006 11:45 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

I think Wayne nailed it here...
"Mark,
Great points. Regeneration is from God and requires no conditions. Once regeneration occurs things begin to happen and as the redeemed person thirsts for Christ he seeks knowledge (office of prophet). Upon gaining more and more knowledge he desires to be obedient (office of King). These flow from God's work of regeneration. They are not requirements for salvation, but are results of salvation."

When one comes to Christ he is not fully formed in his knowledge of the Savior. But, thanks to regeneration, the road to maturity has begun.

I believe a proper presentation of the gospel is important. The Bartletts, who led me to Jesus, made sure that I understood that Christ was to be my Lord as well as my Savior. It was years before I became aware that there was a teaching that people could come to Christ as Savior, only to receive Him as Lord at some later point. That concept was completely foreign to me. I was floored by it.

I was/am a sinner. I come from a human race that is in rebellion against God and is hostile to Him. Into my life comes the Savior, speaking to me through the mouth of Kevin Bartlett, and saying, "Come to Me,all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentile and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light".

That was how Jesus was first presented to me. I came to Him, and He cleansed me of my sins. I remember the rest and peace that I experienced very vividly. I realized at this point, thanks to the Bartlett's careful presentation of the gospel, that I was also taking His yoke upon myself. It was now time to spend my life learning of Him. And so I have, by His preservation of me, the leadings of the Spirit, His chastening, and the hunger He has placed in me. Did I come fully formed? No. Discipleship by the body of Christ and the offices of evangelists and pastor teachers were tools in His hand to bring about maturity.

November 02, 2006 12:47 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

The good news (ευαγγελιον) or what we call the "gospel," doesn't end with justification - that idea is a modern day spin that recent generations have been putting on it. Matthew 1:21 tells us -what- Jesus came to save us from, and it wasn't hell, it was sin.

In Hebrews 10:14 the author of Hebrews refers to Christians as "...those who are being sanctified..." and does so by linking in a moment sanctification to the same source as justification - Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Scripture paints justification and sanctification as twins born in the same moment from the same act - and we do well to take that instruction to heart.

Perhaps if Mr. Brooks should have kept it simple by saying that you cannot openly reject Christ and receive him at the same time.

I don't think you have to jump through hoops to be saved - but if you are saved it stands to reason that you have been saved from something so what are you saved from? From gambling? From lust? From gossiping and backbiting? From anger, from selfishness? If Christ saved you, what are you being saved from?

If one cannot point to a sin that one is currently being saved from or has been saved from in the past - good gravy! what exactly is one being saved from?

November 02, 2006 4:20 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I am learning more and more each day that only Grace can deliver one from the self life....and that is what God is after. Law only strengthens self. It is odd how that works. Kind of like that chinese finger trap.

November 02, 2006 6:32 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

"The warrant for a sinner to believe in Christ is not in himself in any sense or in any manner, but in the fact that he is commanded there and then to believe on Jesus Christ. Some preachers in the Puritanic times, whose shoe latchets I am not worthy to unloose, erred much in this matter. I refer not merely to Alleyne and Baxter, who are far better preachers of the law than of the gospel, but I include men far sounder in the faith than they, such as Rogers of Dedham, Shepherd, the author of "The Sound Believer," and especially the American, Thomas Hooker, who has written a book upon qualifications for coming to Christ.(wow! It was going on back then too?) These excellent men had a fear of preaching the gospel to any except those whom they styled "sensible sinners," and consequently kept hundreds of their hearers sitting in darkness when they might have rejoiced in the light. They preached repentance and hatred of sin as the warrant of a sinner's trusting to Christ.(sound familiar?) According to them, a sinner might reason thus—"I possess such-and-such a degree of sensibility on account of sin, therefore I have a right to trust in Christ." Now, I venture to affirm that such reasoning is seasoned with fatal error. Whoever preaches in this fashion may preach much of the gospel, but the whole gospel of the free grace of God in its fulness he has yet to learn. In our own day certain preachers assure us that a man must be regenerated before we may bid him believe in Jesus Christ;(uh-oh) some degree of a work of grace in the heart being, in their judgment, the only warrant to believe. This also is false. It takes away a gospel for sinners and offers us a gospel for saints. It is anything hut a ministry of free grace."
CH Spurgeon, The Warrant Of Faith

November 02, 2006 7:31 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Daniel,What you said was excellent... "The good news (ευαγγελιον) or what we call the "gospel," doesn't end with justification - that idea is a modern day spin that recent generations have been putting on it. Matthew 1:21 tells us -what- Jesus came to save us from, and it wasn't hell, it was sin."

Great, great thoughts. About that "modern day spin" that you mention - Dr. MacArthur and Dr. Grudem point to L.S. Chafer as the point of origen. As MacArthur points out, right off the bat that "spin" was denounced, and not just by Reformed theologins, but from all across the Non-Calvinist/Calvinist spectrum. It seems only those from the so called "Dallas Theology" school of thought embrace this concept. My exposure to "Dallas Theology" did not take place until about two years after Christ saved me. I was never able to get my arms around it. Even less so today.

For a while I did embrace the carnal christian concept. Then I started meditating on the new covenant prophecies in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and Ezekiel 36:25-27. I started to ponder the Holy Spirit being placed within and moving us to walk in God's ways, and God writing His laws on our hearts. Then my thinking about the carnal christian changed. I realized that position, carnal christianity, was a phase that all christians pass through; it is a place of young Christians, to be grown out of, and will be grown out of if faith is genuine. God's plan of Christians conforming to Christ will not be thwarted. He puts the hunger to grow within, and grow we shall.

November 03, 2006 7:59 AM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Mark - I believe as you do, that the carnal Christian is a baby Christian - one who knows who their father is, but has no power over sin because they are not surrendered to Christ and therefore not receiving the same Spirit that strengthened Him against sin. The "normal" Christian experience is to move beyond this state - but because the gospel is being so sorely abused in our generation, and worse, because carnal Christianity is being touted as normative and even acceptable - we see what we see in the church. The "taring" down of the wheat, so that it is far easier now to bring tares into the fold, since they look for all the world identical to the carnal wheat.

November 03, 2006 8:51 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I agree with Daniel:
The "normal" Christian experience is to move beyond this state ...

surprised?

I wonder what you think of the Spurgeon quote that Brian left, Mark.

November 03, 2006 11:54 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Daniel: In SOME "Dallas Theology" circles MacArthur is refered to as a "Deeper Lifer" and, as such, is counted as a heretic. In other cases within that camp he is not embraced because, as you said " carnal Christianity is being touted as normative and even acceptable"

The Bible is clear, and there are many who fight against this truth, that God is in the business of conforming ALL Christians into the image of His Son. See 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:19; Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 8:29, among others. But there are so many who rise up and say "yeah but". How sad; and a relatively recent developement in Christianity at that. The way some look at the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is so deficient now -He won't necessarilly change a life, but that's okay, as long as there was that single moment of "faith". That's not the Christianity that the apostles preached. The faith that saves is also the faith that obeys. See James 2:21-24; Hebrews 11:8.

I look at the Colossian church (Col.1:3-8) as the art work of God (Eph. 2:10)as He,the Artist, paints so masterfully the portrait of His Beloved Son on the canvas of lives once enslaved by sin. To God be the glory for such a thing!

Look also at the Thessalonian church. Look at chapter 1:2-10. Paul is remembering their faith, love and patience of hope (1 Cor.13). What a glorious work of the Spirit. He goes on to mention how they turned to God from idols to SERVE the living and the true God, and to wait for His Son. They received the word in much affliction from the start. Wow. A picture of the great work of God in regeneration if ever there was one.

November 03, 2006 12:10 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose: if you were to google search my blog you would see many sermons where Spurgeon both preached repentance and regeneration preceding faith. I would have to examine the context of this quote to fully answer your question. Remember, Spurgeon hated hyper- Calvinism. He denounced IT more than non-Calvinism. He often befriended non-Cals - Moody comes to mind - but ALWAYS kept his distance from the hyper- Cals.

I am in the process of studying Spurgeon's life. IMHO his views and MacArhtur's on repentance are compatible. The difference being that Spurgeon was so thoroughly convinced that repentance and faith are twins that he rarely used the word repent while begging sinners to come to Christ. Yet, he lookedfor evidence of repentance in the lives of those coming forth to be interviewed for baptism. If he was not satisfied that repentance was evident he would place that candidate in basic believers class in order to have the plan of salvation taught to that one more fully.

May the Lord bless you, dear sister.

Only one month and 26 days to go, eh?

November 03, 2006 12:35 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

The reason the "baby Christians" were Carnal is because they made their boast in other men. That is the sign of carnality. This is what inhibits us from growth and desiring the sincere milk of Scripture. I encourage you all in this direction. I think it inhibiited Spurgeon as well.

Grace is trying to unlock us out of the self life. I pray we do not resist the strength that God gives in grace and instead embrace the weakness we always tend toward as humans. We are people worshipers unfortunately and not Christ followers. Oh that the SON would totaly eclipse the moon into darkness so that we look alone to him and be released from our creeds and teachings of men that we try to harmonize with scripture and actually beguile us into believing that we have surrendered to Christ when in reality we are puffing up our ego's and bloating our self lives...but Jesus desires we wash feet and only grace can teach us that.

November 03, 2006 12:57 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

And that personally has become a deeper wound into my heart; I trust it will be to yours as well. We must encourage one another out of our weaknesses.

I love you bluey, whether you think it or not....but I think you do.

November 03, 2006 1:03 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Although I agree nearly all the time with Daniel and really appreciate his insight, I must disagree about his view of a carnal Christian as seen in his second comment in this thread which seems to somewhat contradict his first comment that I feel was excellent. Mark’s first comment after this comment of Daniel’s seems to express my view very well. I would like to add the following to Mark's points:

I understand that Daniel was talking about a general back sliding in the church, but I do not believe there is any such thing as a permanent carnal Christian (all carnal, all the time). A babe in Christ may be carnal and need to mature and a mature Christian may be carnal for a time or season, but a true Christian does not totally reject being obedient to the lordship of Christ all the time.

Rose made the following excellent point in one of her posts on her blog: “Righteousness is produced in the believer by grace, not by law (Rom. 8:3-6).” She is correct and we must consider if this grace ever totally fails. Is there anyone in this thread who wants to report back that God’s grace can totally fail in those he redeems? In John 17 Jesus prayed to God that he would sanctify his disciples. It is inconceivable that God would not answer this prayer. To believe that it is possible for a true believer not to experience any sanctification defies Scripture, insults the power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and sanctification, and means that the high priestly prayer of Jesus went unanswered. It is God’s will that believers be sanctified (1 Thess. 4:3). Do we really believe that God’s will of sanctification for believers as carried out by the Holy Spirit can fail? I think not. I would say that anyone professing faith in Jesus who totally and continually rejects being obedient, loving, and following Christ has not been regenerated and is in need of genuine faith. If they are all carnal all of the time (Rom. 8:8) then they are not saved period.

W.H.

November 04, 2006 12:27 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

I agree jazz,
there should be some fruits.

Cristina

I do love reading Thomas Brooks

November 04, 2006 9:54 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Cristina - I would have commented on your most recent post on your blog, but the comments were turned off. You are a fine devotional writer. Please keep up the good work... And turn those comments back on, please.

November 04, 2006 1:47 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hi Mark,
I dont know what happened. I made a typo on the the title and went to fix it and I could not get at it to fix it. I finally was able to delete and redo it. argggg
frustratign *S*

Cristina

November 05, 2006 7:37 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Excellent post and comments, Mark.

Everything's been said that I would probably say, so I'll just say I agree with you. :)

November 05, 2006 5:01 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

({[ Gayla ]}) !!! Good to see you again.

November 05, 2006 5:51 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Jazzy- I do not mean to suggest that a Christian can (normally) remain Carnal, especially considering that I think it is entirely impossible to begin that way.

November 06, 2006 4:29 PM

 

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