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].

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ephesians 1:3-6

Ephesians 1:3-6 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.

On the Feb. 21 posts, we looked at how Scripture teaches that fallen man has an inability to seek God. Therefore, if man cannot in and of himself seek God as Romans 3:10-11 indicates, then no one would have eternal life unless God does something. Praise God that he does intervene and do something as our Feb. 12 post showed. That something God does, as John 6:37 reveals, is give an irresistible grace that flows from regeneration. The new life of regeneration enables a sinner to willingly and eagerly come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

When the dots of these doctrines are connected, the inescapable conclusion is that God chooses, or elects, some to receive the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. All are invited and nobody is turned away, but unless God enables sinners to come and receive the free gift of eternal life, nobody will respond (John 6:65). However, the Bible does more than leave election as a conclusion drawn from other doctrines as it plainly states that God’s sovereign election is the only way to salvation. Ephesians 1:3-6, shown above, states that some sinners are chosen by God and are predestined to be adopted as sons of God. Amazingly, this passage reveals that sinners were chosen before the foundation of the world. A close look at this passage, as well as other passages such as Romans 8:29-30 & Ephesians 2:1-5, makes it clear that God does everything and man does nothing. Salvation is totally a gift of God’s grace as God gives everything required for salvation to the sinner. That is why the Bible says that even the faith to believe is a gift (Ephesians 2:8). Since those elected by God do not provide anything for their salvation, this election is an unconditional election. God’s election is not based on any merit or works in the sinner, whatsoever, which eliminates all boasting (Ephesians 2:9). If a sinner believes he brings anything (even faith) to the salvation table, then he has a reason to boast.

This doctrine is referred to as Calvinism and critics often attack it as if it were a figment of John Calvin’s imagination. However, this doctrine is a Biblical doctrine based on solid Biblical passages. Praise God that he makes it possible for sinners to receive eternal life by providing all that is needed for salvation. If he didn’t do it all, then nobody would be saved and that is the bottom line.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spurgeon: The Face Of Calvinism

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stop, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

From Spurgeon's sermon, "The Wailing of Risca"

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Well, I've taken the plunge and went Beta.

Books I have enjoyed these past few months:

C.H.SPURGEON Autobiography: Volumes 1&2 (second time through)

SPURGEON: A New Biography by ARNOLD DALLIMORE (second time through)


ALL OF GRACE by Spurgeon

Books I am working through:


I am in the home stretch of completing Wayne Grudem's SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY


I have on order from CBD Charles Hodge's SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

I have just received Justo Gonzalez' CHRISTIAN HISTORY

Lots of good reading

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Romans 3:10-11

Romans 3:10-11 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.

When a sinner seeks God and comes to place his faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, this person receives the free gift of eternal life. In Romans 3:10-11, Paul is stating unequivocally that no one seeks God. That means 0.0% of sinners seek God on their own. In Romans 8:8 Paul even says it is impossible for sinners to please God, which would certainly include seeking God. Jesus says it is impossible for sinners to seek God unless God has enabled them (John 6:65). Paul refers to this condition as being dead in sin (Eph. 2:1). He means that sinners are not just seriously ill, but they are dead to spiritual concerns such as seeking God in and of themselves.

Therefore, it is evident that man is unable to come to salvation unless God does something. He has a total inability in and of himself to seek or come to God unless God intervenes. The cat (Jazzy's sister Cuffy) in the above picture may appear to be reading the book, but she does not have the ability to do so. She may as well be blind as far as reading and understanding anything in the book. Sinners are also blind to the things of God because they are spiritually dead and must be quickened by the power of God to new life before they can respond in any way. This quickening power of God is called grace, and it is irresistible as John 6:37 points out. My last post on Feb. 12 was on John 6:37 where we took a close look at irresistible grace.

Conclusion: Nobody seeks God in and of themselves because they are dead in sin and unable to respond unless God intervenes. This intervention is called grace and is applied by the Holy Spirit. This quickening grace of the Holy Spirit is irresistible as our last post illustrated.

Praise God that he does not leave sinners in their hopeless condition of total inability.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

James White On Dave Hunt: Again


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Christ Is Preached

Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“ He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”

[b]34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”[c]38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

This portion of scripture is dear to my heart.

An angel tells Philip where to go. As Philip arrives there just happens to be a man reading from the prophet Isaiah while riding in his chariot, and what we know today as chapter 53 at that. The Holy Spirit tells Philip to join himself to this chariot. As he obediently does so he hears the man reading from Isaiah. The man could not understand who it was that Isaiah was writing about. Ah, but Philip knew. Philip knew that One Who was led like a sheep to the slaughter; he knew that One Who did not open His Mouth, Whose life was taken from the earth. Yes, Philip knew Him quite well.

You notice that from that very portion of scripture Philip was able to preach Christ to him. I imagine that conversation lasted a good while. It seems to me that Philip covered a lot of ground here. It is evident that Philip taught on discipleship, for you'll notice that the man WANTED to be baptized. I see here that Philip had the entirety of the Great Commission in view in his mind's eye as he presented the gospel message. The man was presented the Gospel message, he believed it with all his heart, was baptized, and went away a believer, a disciple of Christ.

More later.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I love it! This latest storm has dumped nearly two feet of snow; and with the drifts, more so, all on my driveway! And, to top it off, my snowblower won't start. Time to put this near fifty year old body to work.

Ya know what? With all those squats, dead-lifts, bench presses, curls, shoulder presses, bent over rows, lat raises, stomach crunches, leg raises, bridges, incline presses, and, well, all that working out stuff, I'm none the worse for ware after shoveling all that snow. I love it! Bring some more snow!

Ahhh! Manhood!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

John 6:37

John 6:37: All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

In the photo above, Jazzycat is chasing a squirrel even though she has an all you can eat buffet available 24/7. The desire to chase this squirrel is irresistible because of her God given predator nature. There are several truths in John 6:37, including the eternal security of believers and election. However, let’s focus on the first half of this verse where Jesus states: “All that the Father gives me will come to me.” We know that all human beings do not believe and come to Christ and, from verse 35, we know that coming to Christ has the same meaning as believing in Christ. Those that believe in Christ and come to Christ have eternal life. Therefore, the Father gives Jesus people who will come and receive eternal life, and all (100%) will come. The inescapable conclusion is that God intervenes and plants an irresistible desire for some to come and believe, but He does not plant this desire in everyone. If it were not irresistible, then it would not be 100% effective. If it is 100% effective, then some do not receive this desire to come. Therefore, this intervention implants a saving grace that is irresistible and that is why Jesus said, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me.” Irresistible grace gives a sinner an irresistible desire to willingly come to faith in Jesus Christ. This grace is imparted during regeneration and that is why Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:3) and Paul said that faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8). Just like Jazzycat has a God given nature and a desire to willingly be a predator, a born again sinner has a God given new nature and a desire to willingly come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Grace does more than make salvation possible: it actually saves sinners. Amazing grace. If God gives His grace to bring sinners to faith, it is logical that grace will carry them home (Romans 8:30).

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Roman Road

I have several friends who are Catholic, so I decided to learn at least a little something about the teachings of that faith. I've grown to have great respect for James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. I read his blog frequently and decided to purchase a couple of his books. Delivered to my door last week were, The Sovereign Grace of God, and the one I'm currently reading, The Roman Catholic Controversy. From reading James' blog, and listening to his webcast, The Dividing Line, I knew he had a phenomenal understanding of Scripture, and this book affirms that he knows of what he speaks. He takes the reader through the origins of Catholic doctrine - what they believe and why they believe it. He then carefully and biblically refutes the claims made by the Church in Rome. It's quite an astounding read, and I highly recommend it. And not only to gain insight into the Catholic Church, either. It's a great resource book to aid in building a solid, biblically-based foundation which enables you stand firm in the Truth.

James exhorts, "When Christians encounter falsehoods in any arena, their first obligation is to present the Gospel of Christ in a clear, convincing manner. There are times when other issues must be addressed in order to facilitate that clear presentation, but such preparatory topics should be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. They should not obscure the primary reason the Christian is engaging in dialogue with the person who is trapped in a false system. Anyone who goes into such a situation seeking only to win an argument is already on the wrong basis. And tearing down someone else's beliefs without providing a positive presentation of the truth is likely to produce a disenchanted agnostic who rejects all religion, or a surface-level "convert" who withers and dies in time. A Christian who shares with those who have a pre-existing faith system should always seek to use the hightest standards of honesty in bringing such a person to a knowledge of the truth."

Wise words for us all.

In reading this book, I have learned as much if not more about my own faith - why I believe what I do and from whence it came - as I've learned about the Catholic faith. My fervent prayer is that God would sovereignly open the eyes of those who are indeed caught up in a false system.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Prayer - Pastor Reid Ferguson

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
Luke 18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect
that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

This theme of always praying is woven throughout
the fabric of the Scriptures. The idea may be one of
simple ongoing – unbroken communion with God.
But given the various calls to prayer and its many
examples, the idea seems more to be one of an
unbroken pattern of prayer. In other words, it is not
that one can train the mind to always be in direct
communion with God (though many have indeed
made such a case – and for some may even be
possible) but more of retreating to prayer as a part
of the normal course of everyday life: habitually.
So it is while we assume Jesus Himself to be the
master of unbroken communion, still takes time to
separate Himself and to be "in prayer" as a separate
and distinct activity. Certainly we cannot do better
than He. So all of our attempts at making prayer a
mere matter of if-and-when are probably not as in
tune with the Scriptural call as we might like to
think. I know, someone will recall that none less
than the august Spurgeon (truly one of my personal
heroes) had no set time of daily prayer. It may be
so. But it is also recorded that he often stopped
where he was – even in public places and would
pray. He was given to resorting to distinct prayer all
the time, not simply living in the "spirit" of it – as
some are wont to put it. In any event, what I am
hoping to press here is simply that you and I most
likely are not as Spurgeonic as we might like to
think – and for the sake of our fleshly weakness,
would do well to cultivate such times as a part of
our regular schedule. "Legalist" one will charge. I
don't think so. Your doctor telling you that you DO
have to breathe if you want to live isn't being
legalistic – but realistic. That is all I'm after.
Recognizing that we are a people who need to
regularly and as a course of life – retreat to the
throne of grace to access the bounty of mercy and
grace and goodness He treasures up for us there.
The lifting of anxiety for instance is not to be found
in simply coming to Him when things get extra
heavy – but daily casting our cares upon Him, in
the sweet atmosphere of being with the One who
cares for us even more than we can and do care for
ourselves. Pray always. It is in fact the single best
way NOT to lose heart. Drink in deeply at this
fountain, and you'll have plenty to meet the
demands of living in this sin-wracked world. Pray.

-- Blessings: ReidDulcius Ex Asperishttp://www.responsivereiding.com/"

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish,let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them tostay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, atleast let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for." -C.H. SpurgeonFor from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Rom. 11:36 (ESV)
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A close look: John 6:47

John 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

Many single verses have great truths for believers. It is important to identify and rest on the truth found in a verse without reading something into it that is not there. John 6:47 is one of those verses. What truths can be gleaned from John 6:47?

Here are some of the basic truths from this verse:
1. When Jesus says truly, truly or verily, verily then this is a truth that can be depended on and is important.

2. “whoever believes” means there are no gender, racial, or any other restrictions on the kind of people that may be included. It does not speak to man’s ability to come to faith. It does not affirm ability to believe or deny it.
3. “whoever believes has eternal life” means that anyone that believes has eternal life. Eternal life is a done deal for whoever believes.

Truths one and two are complete and really need no more information. However, the truth in #3 does not explain what is to be believed. For example: Believing that Jesus was just a great teacher without believing that he was God and died an atoning death for sinners does not satisfy what is to be believed to have eternal life. It would satisfy believing a historical fact about Jesus and that Jesus lived, but it would be worthless for redemption. One must look elsewhere in John and Scripture to get the information that must be believed in order to secure eternal life. John in context and other Scriptures make it clear that trusting through faith alone in God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ, for dying on the cross and paying the sin debt for sinners and rising from the dead to purchase eternal life is what is to be believed. This information is not hidden and easily found, but John 6:47 does not give this information. To assert that John 6:47 gives all the information one needs for salvation is misleading.

This verse is sometimes used as a proof against predestination and for man’s ability to come to salvation apart from the effectual call. However, it is neutral on this doctrine. It is silent on man’s ability to come to faith on his own without God doing a work in their heart. Just like John 3:16, it neither confirms or denies predestination. There are verses in John 6 that speak to this point, but verse 47 merely gives an external call.

While this verse does not give all of the information about what is to be believed, it gives conclusive proof for eternal security or what is also called perseverance of the saints. Therefore, the great truth that this verse contains is eternal security. Whether you call it eternal security or perseverance of the saints, John 6:47 confirms that eternal life is a present possession of those that believe at the moment of belief. Salvations cannot be lost. Again this verse does not give the details, but elsewhere in Scripture we learn that eternal security is a work of God. God through the work of the Holy Spirit makes spiritually dead people alive and enables them to respond in faith with repentance and sanctification. God does it all and he is 100% successful. John 6:47 gives us a great truth, but it does not give the whole story of redemption.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Conformity to Christ - C.H. Spurgeon

I am anxious not to tarry over controverted matters, but to reach the subject of my sermon this morning. Here we have in the text conformity to Christ spoken of as the aim of predestination; we have, secondly, predestination as the impelling force by which this conformity is to be achieved; and we have, thirdly, the firstborn himself set before us as the ultimate end of the predestinations and of the conformity.—“that HE might be the first-born among many brethren.”
I. Mark then, with care, that OUR CONFORMITY TO CHRIST IS THE SACRED OBJECT OF PREDESTINATION. Into predestination itself I will not now pry. The deeper things shall be left with God. I think it was Bishop Hall who once said, “I thank God I am not of his counsels, but I am of his court.” If I cannot understand I will not question, for I am not his counsellor, but I will adore and obey, for I am his servant. Now, to-day, seeing we are here taught the object of his predestination, it will be our business to labor after it, to bless God that he has set such an object before him, and pray that we may be partakers in it. Here stands the case. Man was originally made in the image of God, but by sin he has defaced that image, and now we who are born into this world are fashioned, not in the heavenly image of God, but in the earthy image of the fallen Adam. “We have borne,” says the Apostle, in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, “the image of the earthy.” The Lord in boundless grace has resolved that a company whom no man can number, called here “many brethren,” shall be restored to his image, in the particular form in which his Eternal Son displays it. To this end Jesus Christ came into the world and bore our image, that we, through his grace, might bear his image. He became a partaker of our infirmities and sicknesses that we might be partakers of the divine nature in all its excellence and purity. Now, therefore, the one thing to which the Lord is working us through his Spirit, both by providence and by grace, is the likeness of the Lord from heaven. He is evermore transforming the chosen, removing that defilement of sin, and moulding them after the perfect model of his Son, Jesus Christ, the second Adam, who is the firstborn amongst the “many brethren.”