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].

Monday, December 29, 2008

Let the Old Covenant Vanish!

The Westminster Confession of Faith states clearly that believers are not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be justified or condemned. However, it goes on say in Chapter 19, section 6 that the Law of God binds and directs Christians to walk accordingly as a rule of life informing them of God’s will and their duty. In short the WCF rejects law keeping for the purpose of justification, but endorses law keeping in sanctification.

Does Scripture support the use of the law for sanctification? I think not. The following passage seems to reject the law as being useful for sanctification:

Galatians 3:2-3 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? (3) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Paul says, having begun by the Spirit (justification), are you now being perfected by the flesh (sanctification)? This does not mean the precepts of the law have changed, but it does mean that sanctification does not proceed through the law. Paul contrasts the flesh with Spirit. Law keeping is an act of the flesh that leads to death, and Paul in the following passage in Romans makes it clear that believers are to serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code:

Romans 7:4-6 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (5) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (6) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Paul says clearly that Christians are released from the law and now serve in the new way of the Spirit. Christian service is without a doubt part of sanctification and Paul states emphatically that the written code has no place in it. Why does Covenant Theology hold on so tightly to the Old Covenant and the written code? Hebrews 7:22 states, This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. Hebrews 8:13 adds, In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Why would a covenant that is obsolete and vanishing away be considered necessary in sanctification?

Therefore, I believe Paul’s objection in Galatians is not only valid for justification; it is also valid for sanctification!

Please give your thoughts or comments.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Church Plant

Today I attended service at a church plant that has spun off my church. I enjoyed my visit.

As it turns out John Reisinger has agreed to commit to two months as interim pastor to help this little congregation onto its feet. There are about 45 people involved.

Should I become part of this new work? I don't know. It IS closer to home. It WOULD give me an opportunity to sit under Reisinger for a while.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Can A Meaningful Conversation Ever Take Place Between A Calvinist and A Person of The Zane Hodges Tradition?


For one thing it seems they never want to journey far from his claims. They seem to have been spoon-fed what it is that Calvinists believe, and it seems that he had provided for them a number of talking points to fall back on. Whenever it seems that meaningful dialogue is about to take place, BAM!, "the Calvinist teaches works righteousness", "the Calvinist can have no assurance of salvation", "the Calvinist teaches that you must surrender, give up, commit, commit, before Christ can save you".

It's beinning to seem like a gigantic waste of time talking with those people. The conversation can never progress. Every time you try to make a point with them they fall back on a tired talking point. What's disheartening is that three years of conversing with them can go all up in smoke in one comments thread when they choose to ignore and disregard ALL of the conversations you've had with them over the years.

Very sad. My sadnes here is very profound.

Perhaps it is time to move on, and not try to dialogue with them anymore.

Wayne, please let this post stand for several days.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mark asks Alvin Some Questions

The following was taken from the comments thread at Rose's Reasonings, under the post "A Thoroughly Lordship Sermon". There I asked Alvin to answer two questions. Please tell me if you think that he answered them both - You can see the whole conversation here https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=17149877&postID=1288987471223489190&isPopup=true

Mark Pierson said...
Alvin,I know I've said something similar to you before, but I'm gonna say it again - I admire your zeal for Christ, and to see souls saved!

1) where did that zeal come from?

2) why don't all professing Christians have that same zeal that you have?
12/19/2008 6:01 PM

alvin said...
Hi RoseI couldn’t keep quite if I wanted to, I have such joy way down in my soul from knowing that all my sins have been paid for too knowing I will never thirst again based solely on Jesus promise! And I know He cannot lie! I have the GREATEST message in the world to share with a lost and dying world. That message is for each and every person that Jesus paid it ALL and that’s why He can offer the living water to anyone to take of freely! Paul was compelled by the love of God, and there is no greater power!!!!!As someone has stated on this thread 70% of evangelicals believe that it’s grace and works. And that takes the joy of your salvation away, for the joy of our salvation is our strength!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Antonio's own words

Antonio has affirmed agreement to the following statement he made on another blog………

"If it is true that your eternity can be absolutely secure no matter what your behavior is (past, present, or future), then you can get fire-insurance and live like the devil."

If this were true it would logically follow that such a person would have to be unaffected by regeneration, which Paul calls being a new creation in Christ. Such a person would have to be unaffected by the indwelling Holy Spirit in contradiction to what Paul says in Romans 8. It would also mean that Jesus’ prayer in John 17 would have to go unanswered. It would have to mean that none of the fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5 would change such a person. It would mean that the works of the flesh in Galatians 5 (through which Paul says no one will inherit the Kingdom of Go) would prevail in such a person.

What are your thoughts? Is it possible for someone to come to faith in Jesus Christ and have absolutely no change in behavior even if they a live a long life in this world?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Better Covenant?

Hebrews 8:6-13 (King James Version)
6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 10:15-17 (King James Version)
15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 10:15-17 (King James Version)

A better covenant which was established on better promisses?

Some suggest that a Christian can fail and lapse into a state of unbelief, and suffer for that at the Judgement Seat of Christ. If that is so then how is the New Covenant a better covenant? After all, according to them, the results are all the same - that is that those within the covenant can fall into unbelief just as the larger part of OT Israel had. These people then are teaching that the New Covenant is not a better covenant after all.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Terry Rayburn Nails It

you can find him in the discussion here...http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2008/12/soporific-scourge-of-nomicophobia.html#links

...I agree there should be awareness and repentance upon hearing commands that one is not following. But I speak of that "feeling" which comes over Christians when they hear "convicting" preaching -- a feeling expressed within as, "Oh, yes, what a low-down scummy worm I am! Every command Pastor preaches just proves it. I GOTTA pull up my bootstraps and perform better! Surely God must be angry at me. I've confessed that sin a thousand times! I know...I'll try HARDER! Go ahead, Pastor, whip me, beat me. Oh how I deserve it. But I'll do better...['No you won't', the enemy interjects, 'you know better than that']...yes I WILL! Blah, blah, blah."

And so the "convicted" one puts himself on the ground of Law, instead of grace, which Law is the very *strength* of sin (1 Cor. 15:56). He thereby quenches the Holy Spirit and compounds his problem.

The preacher of grace should constantly short-circuit that destructive thinking with the twin pillars of the Radical Grace and the New Creation Identity of the New Covenant.

So that the sheep realize that although they once were "Sinners in the hands of an angry God", they are no longer. Now they are Saints in the hands of a loving Friend. A Friend Who is transcendent, yet indwelling us; awesomely holy, yet satisfied through Christ; having a zeal for His Law, yet seeing it fulfilled in the Son;angry with the wicked, yet fully accepting His children in the Beloved;expressing His righteous heart in commandments, yet having unilaterally forgiven the breaking of them through the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, so that there is NO condemnation to him who is in Christ Jesus.

They will follow a Friend like that.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New Books

A few weeks ago I ordered two new books from New Covenant Media.
They are:
"Abraham's Four Seeds" by John Reisinger - A Biblical Examination Of The Presuppositions Of Covenant Theology And Dispensationalism


"In Defense Of Jesus, The New Lawgiver", also by John Reisinger.

I'm looking forward to completing both books by mid 2009.

Wayne, I ordered two of the first mentioned book, one of them is for you. Please email me your mailing address so that I can get it off to you.

Also, I wonder who is interested in contributing to BC blog. My writing is not on a par with Wayne. My strength is more in the comments threads, not so much in writing posts. If you are interested please comment here.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Here cometh the snow

Yep, it's manhood season again. Once again I shall elect to keep the snowblower in the shed in favor of shoveling. I love putting this near 52 year old body through its paces.

Let it snow, baby!

While other younger men are out with their snow removal machinary I'll just do it the old fashioned way.

For those of you who think I'm one of those uncultured oaf's who goes about while dragging his knuckles upon the ground... well, you're right! (belch!)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

God's Intervening Grace and Sanctification

by Wayne

Since faith itself flows from God's intervening grace, it follows that a saved soul will be influenced positively by the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification. Calvinism precludes any human effort in being saved, but non-Calvinism depends on the initiative and decision of an unregenerate man to wisely choose his own salvation. Little wonder that such a view produces the idea that human effort is the primary cause of sanctification. Calvinism acknowledges human cooperation in sanctification, but asserts that the Holy Spirit is the engine that drives the process. All the glory and credit goes to God and there is absolutely no boasting involved.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Spurgeon On Saving Faith

(from sermon 979)
"Now we go a little further. True faith is reliance. Look at any Greek lexicon you like, and you will find that the word pisteuein does not merely mean to believe, but to trust, to confide in, to commit to, entrust with, and so forth; and the marrow of the meaning of faith is confidence in, reliance upon. Let me ask, then, every professor here who professes to have faith, is your faith the faith of reliance? You give credit to certain statements, do you also place trust in the one glorious person who alone can redeem? Have you confidence as well as credence? A creed will not save you, but reliance upon the Anointed Saviour is the way of salvation. Remember, I beseech you, that if you could be taught an orthodoxy unadulterated with error, and could learn a creed written by the pen of the Eternal God himself, yet a mere notional faith, such as men exercise when they believe in the existence of men in the moon, or nebulae in space, could not save your soul. Of this we are sure, because we see around us many who have such a faith, and yet evidently are not the children of God."


"A Call to Holy Living"—a sermon first preached on Sunday morning, 14 January 1872, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
It is a very great fault in any ministry if the doctrine of justification by faith alone be not most clearly taught. I will go further, and add, that it is not only a great fault, but a fatal one; for souls will never find their way to heaven by a ministry that is indistinct upon the most fundamental of gospel truths.The merit by which a soul enters heaven is not its own; it is the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am quite sure that you will all hold me guiltless of ever having spoken about this great doctrine in any other than unmistakable language; if I have erred, it is not in that direction.

At the same time, it is a dangerous state of things if doctrine is made to drive out precept, and faith is held up as making holiness a superfluity. Sanctification must not be forgotten or overlaid by justification. We must teach plainly that the faith which saves the soul is not a dead faith, but a faith which operates with purifying effect upon our entire nature, and produces in us fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God.

It is not by personal holiness that a man shall enter heaven, but yet without holiness shall no man see the Lord. It is not by good works that we are justified, but if a man shall continue to live an ungodly life, his "faith" will not justify him; for it is not the faith of God's elect; since that faith is wrought by the Holy Spirit, and conforms men to the image of Christ.We must learn to place the legal precepts in their right position. They are not the base of the column, but they are the capital of it. Precepts are not given to us as a way to obtain life, but as the way in which to exhibit life.

The commands of Christ are not upon the legal tenor of "this do and live," but upon the gospel system of "live and do this." We are not to be attentive to the precepts in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Our master motive is to be gratitude to him who has saved us with a great salvation.I am sure that every renewed heart here will feel no opposition to the most holy precepts of our Lord. However severely pure that law may seem to be which we have read just now from this fifth chapter of Matthew, our hearts agree with it, and we ask that we may be so renewed that our lives may be conformed to it. The regenerate never rebel against any precept, saying, "This, is too pure;" on the contrary, our new-born nature is enamoured of its holiness, and we cry, "Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes."Even though we find that when we would do good evil is present with us, yet our inmost soul longs after holiness, and pines to be delivered from every evil way. At any rate, Dear friends, if it be not so with you, you may well question whether you are indeed the children of God. My desire, this morning, is to insist upon the precepts which tend to holiness, and I pray the Holy Spirit to excite desires after a high degree of purity in all believing, hearts.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hooking up with an old friend

Yesterday I went to visit my old training partner, Bob, the one whose coaching and influence got me involved in bench-press contests back in the '80's. That's him in the flip-flops in the back-ground, watching my attempt at around 380 pounds. He and I used to work side by side back in the day, back before there were plant relocations to other parts of the world. We used to talk a lot as the job was such that we could. There were numerous times that I shared Christ with him; he even came to hear me guest speak at my church, and also came to my home study. I left no stone unturned in talking to him about eternal things. The time period covered 1982-1997.

These days those efforts of mine result merely in him watching his language infront of me.

Oh, that he and his would come to Christ! All those prayers, may they be answered.
Yesterday I took a vacation day from work. Bob and I worked out together just like the old days. He remembered other training partners that have since died, ones who were themselves world ranked in the sport. Many died of brain cancer or heart attacks.
Old age is catching up. Neither Bob nor I could lift what we once could. The days of being strong enough to compete with men under forty years old are long gone. That's reality. That's life.
Bob is my friend. Funny how that even the unsaved can have a special place in your heart.
Oh, Bob, come to Christ!


Monday, December 01, 2008

Thoughts on the New Covenant

In my own studies over the years it became apparent to me that the work of God the Holy Spirit in the believer's life is a main focal point of the New Testament. Yea, it was a main focal point in the Old Testament prophecies of the then coming New Covenant. My own prayerful meditations on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life brought me to a place where I was at odds with my Scofield Reference Bible; the very Bible that served as my devotional Bible.

It became apparent to me that His indwelling the Christian and bringing that individual to conformity to Christ was the Spirit's main emphasis. His work is to regenerate one who is dead in trespasses and sins. He works in concert with His Word (the Bible) in the regeneration of that person. He then uses His Word as a tool to sanctify that person. I acknowledge that there is a positional sanctification; please don't get me wrong there - but I also see that practical sanctification is inevitable. That the Christian is to be a temple of God in the Spirit is undeniable. Considering these things brought me to a point where I had to take a hard look at this whole idea of there being such a thing as a Christian who wilfully continued to live a life that was at variance with the commands of Christ. I examined 1 and 2 Corinthians and found that even though Paul called them carnal, yet they were a people earnestly looking for the return of Christ; a people that subbjected themselves to the rebukes of Paul - this despite the false teachers who sought to question Paul's authority - many of the repenting. Yes, this is the same congregation that Paul refered to as "epistles of Christ, written by the Spirit on the hearts, and read by men". Hardly can one find here the notion that a Christian can go on through life cold to the teachings of Christ. You won't find that notion taught in scripture; not anywhere.

Over time I began to conclude that the kingdom of God, at least the present aspect of it - His being in control over the universe and the elements is the subject for another discusion - , is centered upon people being conformed to the image of Christ. Please consider that the Spirit leads all true "sons of God". He changes the inclinations and dispositions of such so that they begin to desire the things of God, including that person's new-found desire to get into the Word. As the Christian prayerfully meditates on the teachings of Christ contained therein, the Spirit brings about a change, so that, over time, that individual's life begins to reflect the life of Christ that is within. This process, known as the sanctification process, also includes the intercession ministries of both Christ and the Spirit as well as the chastening of the Father. It also takes place within the Body of Christ as Christians live and interact with eachother.

Something else should be said at this point - The Sermon on the Mount is a description of the Spirit led life and is to be meditated on in order for the Spirit to do His work of molding the Christian into the image of Christ. Please don't treat the Sermon on the Mount as being for another people at a future time. It is to be meditated on NOW and used as a tool by the Spirit in the practical sanctification process.

Conformity to Christ is why God saved us. In my opinion this is inseparable from the Kingdom of God in its present aspect. Prayerful meditation on God's Word, obedience to it, and living within the Body of Christ are all our responsibilities in this whole idea of conformity to Christ, yea, the practical sanctification process.