The ‘Law of Full Mention’

December 11, 2018 Leave a comment

30. The law of full mention. We have treated the principle of first mention, and showed that the initial reference to a subject or the earliest occurrence of a term indicated from its context and the manner in which it was used would be its force in all later references. This we followed with the law of progressive mention, wherein it was seen that the Holy Spirit has observed an orderly development in the unfolding of each aspect of the Truth; that as it is naturally, so in connection with Divine revelation: there is first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. That may be further illustrated by a simple and well-known example, namely the three allusions made to Nicodemus in John’s Gospel. In John 3 we behold the midnight condition of his soul; in 7:50, 51, we see, as it were, the dawning of twilight; but in 19:39, 40, the daylight had fully broken. Now those principles are augmented by a third, for, as A. T. Pierson pointed out in his most helpful book The Bible and Spiritual Criticism (now out of print), somewhere in the Bible each of its prominent themes is given a complete and systematic presentation. In other words, a whole chapter is devoted to an exhaustive treatment of what is more briefly mentioned elsewhere. Below, we barely mention examples of this fact— culled from Dr. Pierson, supplemented by our own researches.

Exodus 20 gives us the complete Decalogue, the ten commandments of the moral law being stated clearly and orderly. Psalm 119 sets forth at length the authority, the importance and the manifold excellency of the written Word of God. In Isaiah 53 we have a full-length picture of the vicarious sufferings of the Savior. John 17 contains a complete outline on the subject of intercession, revealing as it does the substance of those things which our great High Priest asks of the Father for His people. In Romans 3:10-20, we have the most detailed diagnosis of the depraved condition of fallen man to be met with in the Bible. In Romans 5:12- 21, the foundation doctrine of federal headship is developed at length. In Romans 7 the conflict between the “two natures” in the believer is described as it is nowhere else. In Romans 9 the awful sovereignty of God, in election or reprobation, is dealt with more largely than elsewhere. In 1 Corinthians 15 the resurrection of the believer’s body is depicted in its full-robed splendor. In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 every aspect of Christian giving and the varied motives which should prompt our benevolences are stated. In Hebrews 2:6-18, we find the clearest and most comprehensive setting forth of the reality of our Lord’s humanity. In Hebrews 11 we have a wonderfully complete outline of the life of faith. Hebrews 12 furnishes us with an extensive treatment of the subject of Divine chastisement. In James 3 we have summed up what the rest of the Bible teaches concerning the might and malice of the tongue. The whole of Jude 1: is devoted to the solemn theme of apostasy.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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God the Holy Ghost is an active Comforter

December 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Moreover, the Holy Ghost is an active Comforter: he does not comfort by words, but by deeds. Some comfort by “Be ye warmed and be ye filled, giving nothing.” But the Holy Ghost gives, he intercedes with Jesus; he gives us promises, he gives us grace, and so he comforts us. Mark again, he is always a successful Comforter; he never attempts what he cannot accomplish.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 4i-The Covenant of Redemption

Let us now, for a moment, consider the promises embodied in the covenant of redemption.

Some of these promises are made exclusively to the Son, as the Messiah:-” The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool. The Lord will send the rod [the people] of thy strength out of Zion. Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing, in the day of thy power.” And again. “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” And again “His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” In view of these and similar declarations, an Apostle says, “God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 198

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

To [The Misses Blunson].

BOROUGH, March, 1854.

MY DEAR FRIENDS, —

I have not forgotten you, although I have been silent so long. I have thought of your trials, and have requested of my Master that He would comfort and sustain you. If you have a portion in Him, your troubles will be blessings, and every grief will be turned into a mercy.

I am very well, and everything goes on even better than I could have hoped. My chapel, though large, is crowded; the aisles are blocked up, and every niche is packed as full as possible. I expect to come and see you in about a month. I hope to be at Waterbeach the fourth Sabbath in April. I get on very well in my present lodgings ; — but not better than with you, for that would be impossible. I had nothing to wish for better than I had, for your attention to me was beyond all praise. I cannot but feel very much for you, and only wish that I knew how I could serve you.

I hope you will not give way to doubts and despondency; but do what you can, and leave the rest to God. Blessed is the man who has the God of Jacob for his Helper; he need not fear either want, or pain, or death. The more you can realize this, the happier you become; and the only means for so doing is to hold frequent communion with God in prayer. Get alone with Jesus, and He will comfort your hearts, and restore your weary souls. I hope you have let your rooms. I think I shall stop at Mrs. Warticker’s; but I will be sure to come and see you, and leave something to remember me by. Trust in God, and be glad, and —

Believe me to be,

Yours truly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Introducing the Reformedontheweb Library

December 5, 2018 7 comments

As you all know I have not been on this blog for a while with any special articles. All you see posted are quotes from various authors and ‘The Wednesday Word.’ If you have been following this blog for the past few months you will know that it is because I have been working behind the scenes on my website and placing into Adobe Reader format the works of various authors. This leads me to my next point.

I have a website of which I have been running for years. During those years I have paid for the web hosting and the web space which I have. The past few months I have just about filled that web space up. As some of you might know, I have been working on John Bunyan’s Works. I have finished his entire collection, but am at a loss of how to get it online, unless I again, pay for more web space. Therefore, I have decided to place the entire collection on Cd and offer it for sale, in order to support the website. I am doing the same with Arthur W. Pink’s Works. I have built an index page for both of these collections and the entire library of each author is accessible through their particular index.

So I introduce to you:

The Reformedontheweb Library

The John Bunyan Collection

This collection includes:

A workable index:…..open all files from one file

Memoirs by:…………..George Offor, George Cheever, Edmund Venables, and James Anthony Froude

Additional notes:…….on the Pilgrim’s Progress by George Offor

Bonus Books: ……. Two Bibles, Two Study Helps, Two Confessions, Two Volumes of Theology, The Institutes, and The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Buy: The John Bunyan Collection 

The Arthur W. Pink Collection

This collection includes:

A workable index:…..open all files from one file

Bonus Books: ………..Two Bibles, Two Study Helps, Two Confessions, Two Volumes of Theology, The Institutes, and The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Buy: The Arthur W. Pink Collection 

 

Thank you all for following this blog.

The Wednesday Word: Barabbas and the Gospel

December 5, 2018 6 comments

And so Pilate, … released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, … to be crucified (Mark 15:6-15).

Pilate freed Barabbas, the felon, and sent Jesus to the cross.

Pilate, as you remember, had no love for Barabbas, but wanted to save Jesus. So, he hit on the idea of offering the people a choice between the two men. It was customary to free a prisoner at the time of the Feast of Passover; so, Pilate asked the crowd, “Which of the two do you want me to release?” (Matthew 27:21-22).

He was astonished when the people enthusiastically called out, “Barabbas!”

Who was Barabbas?

To the Romans, Barabbas was a terrorist who had committed murder during a rebellion (Mark 15:7). John adds that Barabbas was also a robber (John 18:40).

The name Barabbas is interesting. It means “son of the father.” Some suggest that it means son of a Rabbi. If so, Barabbas was a preacher’s kid! … and so was John Wesley Hardin…one of the most notorious killers of the Wild West.

Barabbas had been condemned to die. He was a rebel against the law, a robber and a murderer. And now the outraged law had apprehended him and he’s on Death Row.

BTW,…everyone reading this who has not come to Christ as a hell-deserving sinner looking for mercy is sitting on death row. You are not on probation but under damnation.

Suddenly, people were calling his name, “Barabbas! Barabbas!” The next thing he heard was a crowd yelling, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Perhaps, he thinks it’s a lynch mob. He’s terrified. Then, he hears the prison door slowly opening and a bewildered guard said, “Barabbas! There’s a man named Jesus who is going to die in your place. He is going to be nailed to your cross. You are free to go.

As Barabbas emerged from the jail, the crowd was surging toward Calvary. And legend has it that Barabbas followed them. Think of it, he hears the hammer and knows that the blows that are fastening Jesus to the cross were meant for him. He knows that, quite literally, he, Barabbas, is the one who should be executed.

Barabbas, as he looked at Jesus on the cross, must have received a clear understanding of the Gospel. He must have thought,

“That man took my place.

I am the one who should have died.

I am the condemned murderer.

That man did nothing wrong.

He is dying instead of me.”

Barabbas sees Christ upon his cross. After that, he had no need to go to seminary to understand the Doctrine of Substitution.

Barabbas knew that he was a guilty, worthless wretch, under the condemnation of the law.

Barabbas saw the meaning of the cross. Jesus was actually dying in his place. Barabbas would have known that he had done nothing whatever to deserve Christ dying in his place. He knew that Christ’s death for Him was an act of pure, undeserved grace.

Because of the cross, Barabbas was free from the penalty of the Law. Suppose a soldier had recognized Barabbas and tried to arrest him. He legally could not have done it! Barabbas was a free man. The substitute had died in his place.

All Barabbas would have needed to say was ‘Jesus has died for me.’ Likewise, when the Law points its condemning finger and says we’re guilty…we point toward Jesus and say…He died for me….and I am free!

Remember this, if sin speaks louder in our conscience than Christ, it is because we have taken our eyes off the Gospel.

To be frank, I’ve never liked Barabbas. I wanted the crowd to yell,

“Release Jesus!”

“Crucify Barabbas!”

But instead, they roared for the opposite.

Barabbas, a villain, was set free and Jesus took his place. I hate that.

But, when I look inside myself I realize I am Barabbas. I’m in the same shoes. And you are Barabbas, too. We’re the guilty ones. We’re the scoundrels, but we go free because Jesus died in our place.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XI-Unconditional Election-Continued-C

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XI

Unconditional Election [contd]

6. INFRALAPSARIANISM AND SUPRALAPSARIANISM

Among those who call themselves Calvinists there has been some difference of opinion as to the order of events in the Divine plan. The question here is, When the decrees of election and reprobation came into existence were men considered as fallen or as unfallen? Were the objects of these decrees contemplated as members of a sinful, corrupt mass, or were they contemplated merely as men whom God would create? According to the infralapsarian view the order of events was as follows: God proposed (1) to create; (2) to permit the fall; (3) to elect to eternal life and blessedness a great multitude out of this mass of fallen men, and to leave the others, as He left the Devil and the fallen angels, to suffer the just punishment of their sins; (4) to give His Son, Jesus Christ, for the redemption of the elect; and (5) to send the Holy Spirit to apply to the elect the redemption which was purchased by Christ. According to the supralapsarian view the order of events was: (1) to elect some creatable men (that is, men who were to be created) to life and to condemn others to destruction; (2) to create; (3) to permit the fall; (4) to send Christ to redeem the elect; and (5) to send the Holy Spirit to apply this redemption to the elect The question then is as to whether election precedes or follows the fall.

One of the leading motives in the supralapsarian scheme is to emphasize the idea of discrimination and to push this idea into the whole of God’s dealings with men. We believe, however, that supralapsarianism over-emphasizes this idea. In the very nature of the case this idea cannot be consistently carried out, e.g., in creation, and especially in the fall. It was not merely some of the members of the human race who were objects of the decree to create, but all mankind, and that with the same nature. And it was not merely some men, but the entire race, which was permitted to fall. Supralapsarianism goes to as great an extreme on the one side as does universalism on the other. Only the infralapsarian scheme is self-consistent or consistent with other facts.

In regard to this difference Dr. Warfield writes: “The mere putting of the question seems to carry its answer with it. For the actual dealing with men which is in question, is, with respect to both classes alike, those who are elected and those who are passed by, conditioned on sin; we cannot speak of salvation any more than of reprobation without positing sin. Sin is necessarily precedent in thought, not indeed to the abstract idea of discrimination, but to the concrete instance of discrimination which is in question, a discrimination with regard to a destiny which involves either salvation or punishment. There must be sin in contemplation to ground a decree of salvation, as truly as a decree of punishment. We cannot speak of a decree discriminating between men with reference to salvation and punishment, therefore, without positing the contemplation of men as sinners as its logical prius.”25

And to the same effect Dr. Charles Hodge says: “It is a clearly revealed Scriptural principle that where there is no sin there is no condemnation …. He hath mercy upon one and not on another, according to His own good pleasure, because all are equally unworthy and guilty. . . Everywhere, as in Rom_1:24, Rom_1:26, Rom_1:28, reprobation is declared to be judicial, founded upon the sinfulness of its object. Otherwise it could not be a manifestation of the justice of God.”26

It is not in harmony with the Scripture ideas of God that innocent men, men who are not contemplated as sinners, should be foreordained to eternal misery and death. The decrees concerning the saved and the lost should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but this sovereignty is not exercised in an arbitrary way. Rather it is a sovereignty exercised in harmony with His other attributes, especially His justice, holiness, and wisdom. God cannot commit sin; and in that respect He is limited, although it would be more accurate to speak of His inability to commit sin as a perfection. There is, of course, mystery in connection with either system; but the supralapsarian system seems to pass beyond mystery and into contradiction.

The Scriptures are practically infralapsarian, — Christians are said to have been chosen “out of” the world, Joh_15:19; the potter has a right over the clay, “from the same lump,” to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor, Rom_9:21; and the elect and the non-elect are regarded as being originally in a common state of misery. Suffering and death are uniformly represented as the wages of sin. The infralapsarian scheme naturally commends itself to our ideas of justice and mercy; and it is at least free from the Arminian objection that God simply creates some men in order to damn them. Augustine and the great majority of those who have held the doctrine of Election since that time have been and are infralapsarians, — that is, they believe that it was from the mass of fallen men that some were elected to eternal life while others were sentenced to eternal death for their sins. There is no Reformed confession which teaches the supralapsaian view; but on the other hand a considerable number do explicitly teach the infralapsarian view, which thus emerges as the typical form of Calvinism. At the present day it is probably safe to say that not more than one Calvinist in a hundred holds the supralapsarian view. We are Calvinists strongly enough, but not “high Calvinists.” By a “high Calvinist” we mean one who holds the supralapsarian view.

It is of course true that in either system the sovereign choice of God in election is strewed and salvation in its whole course is the work of God. Opponents usually stress the supralapsarian system since it is the one which without explanation is more likely to conflict with man’s natural feelings and impressions. It is also true that there are some things here which cannot be put into the time mould, — that these events are not in the Divine mind as they are in ours, by a succession of acts, one after another, but that by one single act God has at once ordained all these things. In the Divine mind the plan is a unit, each part of which is designed with reference to a state of facts which God intended should result from the other parts. All of the decrees are eternal. They have a logical, but not a chronological, relationship. Yet in order for us to reason intelligently about them we must have a certain order of thought. We very naturally think of the gift of Christ in sancification and glorification as following the decrees of the creation and the fall.

In regard to the teaching of the Westminster Confession, Dr. Charles Hodge makes the following comment: “Twiss, the Prolocutor of that venerable body (the Westminster Assembly), was a zealous supralapsarian; the great majority of its members, however, were on the other side. The symbols of that Assembly, while they clearly imply the infralapsarian view, were yet so framed as to avoid offence to those who adopted the supralapsarian theory. In the ‘Westminster Confession,’ it is said that God appointed the elect unto eternal life, and the rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice: It is here taught that those whom God passes by are ‘the rest of mankind; not the rest of ideal or possible men, but the rest of those human beings who constitute mankind, or the human race. In the second place, the passage quoted teaches that the non-elect are passed by and ordained to wrath ‘for their sin.’ This implies that they were contemplated as sinful before this foreordination to judgment. The infralapsarian view is still more obviously assumed in the answer to the l9th and 20th questions in the ‘Shorter Catechism.’ It is there taught that all mankind by the fall lost communion with God, and are under His wrath and curse, and that God out of His mere good pleasure elected some (some of those under His wrath and curse), unto everlasting life. Such has been the doctrine of the great body of Augustinians from the time of Augustine to the present day.”27

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination