Happy Reformation Day everyone. It was this day in the year 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. He posted these theses in Latin, which was not the common language of the people. He did this in order to discuss the abuses of selling indulgences and he wanted to discuss this with other scholars. The church door acted as a community board. But Martin Luthers students saw his theses and took them and printed them out. Within two weeks the whole country had heard or read about Martin Luther’s complaints and thus the Reformation began.
You can read more about this on my website www.reformedontheweb.com under the link Links to the Reformers.
This week I will again postpone my post until the AT&T network can get straightened out.
Thank you for following me in my daily blog. I hope and pray that you have been spiritually blessed in the things of which you have read. We will now pause for the weekend.God bless,
Hershel Lee Harvell Jr
“Thy sorrows outbid thy heart, thy fears outbid thy sorrows, and thy thoughts go beyond thy fears; and yet here is the comfort of a poor soul: in all his misery and wretchedness, the mercy of Lord outbids all these, whatsoever may, can, or shall befall thee.”Thomas Hooker (1586-1647)
Of The Prescience Or Foreknowledge Of God, And How It Is Questioned And Overthrown By The Arminians.First, Their doctrine of the mutability of God’s decrees, on whose firmness is founded the infallibility of this prescience, doth quite overthrow it. God thus foreknowing only what he hath so decreed shall come to pass, if that be no firmer settled but that it may [be] and is often altered, according to the divers inclinations of men’s wills, which I showed before they affirm, he can have at best but a conjectural foreknowledge of what is yet for to come, not founded on his own unchangeable purpose, but upon a guess at the free inclination of men’s wills. For instance, f39 God willeth that all men should be saved. This act of his will, according to the Arminian doctrine, is his conditionate decree to save all men if they will believe. Well, among these is Judas, as equal a sharer in the benefit of this decree as Peter. God, then, will have him to be saved, and to this end allows him all those means which are necessary to beget faith in him, and are every way sufficient to that purpose, and do produce that effect in others; what can God foresee, then, but that Judas as well as Peter will believe? He intendeth he should, he hath determined nothing to the contrary. Let him come, then, and act his own part. Why, he proves so obstinately malicious, that God, with all his omnipotency, as they speak, by any way that becomes him, which must not be by any irresistible efficacy, cannot change his obdurate heart. Well, then, he determineth, according to the exigence of his justice, that he shall be damned for his impenitency, and foreseeth that accordingly. But now, suppose this wretch, even at his last moment, should bethink himself and return to the Lord, which in their conceit he may, notwithstanding his former reprobation (which, as they state it, seems a great act of mercy), f43 God must keep to the rules of his justice, and elect or determine to save him; by which the varlet hath twice or thrice deceived his expectation.
John Owen (1616-1683)
The Sixth and last Property of the Divine Decree: It is EXTENSIVEThe Divine decree of God’s electing and predestinating love, although discriminating and particular, is, nevertheless, very extensive. “I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb . . . and cried with a loud voice, saying Salvation” (Rev 7:9). There is a general decree that relates to all created beings, both animate and inanimate, celestial and terrestrial; and extends itself to every individual in the whole creation of God. For as it gave a being to all things, so it preserves them in that being while they continue in the world; and the work of Providence, which extends itself from angels to worms, succeeds the work of creation. Now although this special Divine decree of predestination extends not (as the general decree) to every individual, it is nevertheless very extensive, even to all ranks, sexes, ages, nations and generations.
3. To all ages. To young and old, to children, and to those of riper years; yea, very infants lay in the womb of the eternal decree, before ever they came out of their mother’s womb. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations:” (Jer 1:5). John Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost, even from the womb (Luk 1:15); and it is probable David believed that his child belonged to the election of grace, and that its soul was bound up in the bundle of life; for he comforted himself thus; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2Sa 12:23). David’s going to the grave to it could yield him but little comfort.
“Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.”
John Owen (1616-1683)
Of The Prescience Or Foreknowledge Of God, And How It Is Questioned And Overthrown By The Arminians.
For every thing to be produced next and under him, God hath prepared divers and several kinds of causes, diversely operative in producing their effects, some whereof are said to work necessarily, the institution of their nature being to do as they do, and not otherwise; so the sun giveth light, and the fire heat. And yet, in some regard, their effects and products may be said to be contingent and free, inasmuch as the concurrence of God, the first cause, is required to their operation, who doth all things most freely, according to the counsel of his will. Thus the sun stood still in the time of Joshua, and the fire burned not the three children; but ordinarily such agents working “necessitate naturae,” their effects are said to be necessary.
Secondly, To some things God hath fitted free and contingent causes, which either apply themselves to operation in particular, according to election, choosing to do this thing rather than that; as angels and men, in their free and deliberate actions, which they so perform as that they could have not done them; — or else they produce effects to< sumbebhko>v, merely by accident, and the operation of such things we say to be casual; as if a hatchet, falling out of the hand of a man cutting down a tree, should kill another whom he never saw. Now, nothing in either of these ways comes to pass but God hath determined it, both for the matter and manner, even so as is agreeable to their causes, — some necessarily, some freely, some casually or contingently, yet also, as having a certain futurition from his decree, he infallibly foreseeth that they shall so come to pass. But yet that he doth so in respect of things free and contingent is much questioned by the Arminians in express terms, and denied by consequence, notwithstanding St. Jerome affirmeth that so to do is destructive to the very essence of the Deity.
John Owen (1616-1683)