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There is a predestination of some particular persons to life and some to death

November 29, 2013 4 comments

Chapter II

WHEREIN THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION IS EXPLAINED AS IT RELATES IN GENERAL TO ALL MEN.

Thus much being premised with relation to the Scripture terms commonly made use of in this controversy, we shall now proceed to take a nearer view of this high and mysterious article, and-

I.-We, with the Scriptures, assert that there is a predestination of some particular persons to life for the praise of the glory of Divine grace, and a predestination of other particular persons to death, which death of punishment they shall inevitably undergo, and that justly, on account of their sins –

(1) There is a predestination of some particular persons to life, so “Many are called, but few chosen” (Mat 20:15), 1:e., the Gospel revelation comes, indiscriminately, to great multitudes, but few, comparatively speaking, are spiritually and eternally the better for it, and these few, to whom it is the savour of life unto life, are therefore savingly benefited by it, because they are the chosen or elect of God. To the same effect are the following passages, among many others “For the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened ” (Matt. xxiv. 22). “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed” (Acts 13:48). “Whom He did predestinate, them He also called” (Rom 8:30), and ver. 33, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” “According as He hath chosen us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy . . . Having predestinated us to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph 1:4,5). “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us, in Christ, before the world began” (2Ti 1:9).

(2) This election of certain individuals unto eternal life was for the praise of the glory of Divine grace. This is expressly asserted, in so many words, by the apostle (Eph 1:5,6). Grace, or mere favour, was the impulsive cause of all: it was the main spring, which set all the inferior wheels in motion. It was an act of grace in God to choose any, when He might have passed by all. It was an act of sovereign grace to choose this man rather than that, when both were equally undone in themselves, and alike obnoxious to His displeasure. In a word, since election is not of works, and does not proceed on the least regard had to any worthiness in its objects, it must be of free, unbiassed grace, but election is not of works (Rom 11:5,6), therefore it is solely of grace.

(3) There is, on the other hand, a predestination of some particular persons to death. ” If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2Co 4:3). “Who stumble at the word being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed” (1Pe 2:8). “These as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed” (2Pe 2:12). “There are certain men, crept in unawares, who were before, of old, ordained to this condemnation” (Jude 1:4). “Whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev 17:8). But of this we shall treat professedly, and more at large, in the fifth chapter.

(4) This future death they shall inevitably undergo, for, as God will certainly save all whom He wills should be saved, so He will as surely condemn all whom He wills shall be condemned; for He is the Judge of the whole earth, whose decree shall stand, and from whose sentence there is no appeal. “Hath He said, and shall He not make it good? hath He spoken, and shall it not come to pass?” And His decree is this: that these (i.e., the non-elect, who are left under the guilt of final impenitence, unbelief and sin)” shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous (i.e., those who, in consequence of their election in Christ and union to Him, are justly reputed and really constituted such) shall enter into life eternal” (Mat 25:46).

(5) The reprobate shall undergo this punishment justly and on account of their sins. Sin is the meritorious and immediate cause of any man’s damnation. God condemns and punishes the non-elect, not merely as men, but as sinners, and had it pleased the great Governor of the universe to have entirely prevented sin from having any entrance into the world, it would seem as if He could not, consistently with His known attributes, have condemned any man at all. But, as all sin is properly meritorious of eternal death, and all men are sinners, they who are condemned are condemned most justly, and those who are saved are saved in a way of sovereign mercy through the vicarious obedience and death of Christ for them.

Now this twofold predestination, of some to life and of others to death (if it may be called twofold, both being constituent parts of the same decree), cannot be denied without likewise denying (1) most express and frequent declarations of Scripture, and (2) the very existence of God, for, since God is a Being perfectly simple, free from all accident and composition, and yet a will to save some and punish others is very often predicated of Him in Scripture, and an immovable decree to do this, in consequence of His will, is likewise ascribed to Him, and a perfect foreknowledge of the sure and certain accomplishment of what He has thus willed and decreed is also attributed to Him, it follows that whoever denies this will, decree and foreknowledge of God, does implicitly and virtually deny God Himself, since His will, decree and foreknowledge are no other than God Himself willing and decreeing and foreknowing.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

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A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-6-Jesus Christ-God

November 28, 2013 2 comments

Jesus Christ—God

 

1. Was Christ merely a man?

No; He was God also.

2. By what name is He called as such?

The only Begotten Son of God.

3. How is He described in Hebrews?

As the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person.

4. What language does God use to the Son?

Unto the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.”

5. Is Jesus Christ called God in any other place in the Bible?

Yes; in the first Epistle of John, speaking of Him, it says, “This is the true God.”

6. Did He ever allow himself to be addressed as God?

Yes; Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and My God.”

7. In what other ways does the Bible teach the Divinity of Christ?

It ascribes to Him the possession of every perfection ascribed to God.

8. Mention some of these.

Omniscience, omnipresence and eternity of existence.

9. Is the work of creation ever ascribed to Him?

Yes; the Bible says all things were made by Him.

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

November 28, 2013 4 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Day.

 

THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER

 

“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” — Psalm 65:11.

POSSIBLY objections might have been raised to a day of thanksgiving for the abundant harvest if it had been ordered or suggested by Government. Certain brethren are so exceedingly tender in their consciences upon the point of connection between Church and State, that they would have thought it almost a reason for not being thankful at all if the Government had recommended them to celebrate a day of public thanksgiving. Although I have no love to the unscriptural union of Church and State, I should on this occasion have hailed an official request for a national recognition of the special goodness of God. However, none of us can feel any objection arising in our minds if it be now agreed that to-day we will praise our ever-bounteous Lord, and as an assembly record our gratitude to the God of the harvest. We are probably the largest assembly of Christian people in the world, and it is well that we should set the example to the smaller Churches. Doubtless many other believers will follow in our track, and so a public thanksgiving will become general throughout the country. I hope to see every congregation in the land raising a special offering unto the Lord, to be devoted either to his Church, to the poor, to missions, or some other holy end. Yes, I would have every Christian offer willingly unto the Lord as a token of his gratitude to the God of providence……….

All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer his children with his love. Like a river his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fullness inexhaustible as his own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days appears to gladden us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen with the rain, and as the atmosphere itself on occasions is fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God: it hath its golden hours, its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace and lifteth high his love before the sons of men.

Charles H. Spurgeon-A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Morning, September 27th, 1863

Question 47-Puritan Catechism

November 28, 2013 2 comments

Spurgeon 3Q. Which is the third commandment?

A. The third commandment is, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

Peace through the Blood Part 3

November 27, 2013 1 comment

The Wednesday Word: Peace through the Blood Part 3

 

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, (Colossians 1:20 a)

 

One of the excellent benefits of the gospel is peace. God is the God of peace. He is surrounded by peace and is at peace within Himself. There is neither turmoil nor disturbance within His psyche. His thoughts towards us are ones of peace and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). Being that God is the God of peace, it is not surprising to discover that, when Jesus hung on the cross, peace was made between God and sinners. At the cross, Christ was chastised to the extreme, and in our place (Isaiah 53:5). Because of this, we now have peace with God. Because of the shed blood our sins are removed, and we stand before God in the full knowledge that His war with us is over. We have peace with God.

Octavius Winslow said it like this,

“The atoning blood is everything to us. It is the groundwork of our salvation- yes, it is salvation itself. It is the source of our peace …. yes, it is peace itself. It is the open door of heaven- yes, it is heaven itself. All that is really holy and precious to a poor believing penitent is bound up in the atoning blood of Jesus.”

Of course, there are many who, because of their spiritual dullness, see the shedding of Christ’s blood as a pointless exercise. They have no concept that man, by nature, is a God hater and rebel against the Almighty. They fail to see that, man the rebel is under the wrath of the almighty.

By the way, if it seems too extreme to say that by nature man is a God hater, I would point you to the source of this teaching in John 7:7 where we read, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” Who taught this? It was none other than the Lord Jesus! Now, here’s the unpleasant truth; man, left to his own devices has freely chosen to live in defiance and hatred of God. The only hope man has, therefore, is God’s intervention with the blood of the crucified Christ. It alone has made peace. Indeed, it is impossible to, by faith, embrace the lamb of God dying in our place and not have peace. Christ has shed His blood, and the Father has accepted that same blood on the mercy seat (Hebrews 9:24). Since this same Christ, who was once crowned with thorns, is now crowned with majesty, we can behold Him by faith and have peace.

Centuries before Jesus was born, the cross had been used as an instrument of torture and death. In 519 BC, for example, the Persian King, Darius I, crucified 3,000 political enemies in Babylon. The cross as a method of execution was later adopted by the Romans but used only on non-citizens and slaves. When Jesus Christ came and bore our sins, however, the cross took on a new significance. There the Saviour, “through the blood of His cross,” made peace. The gospel turned the wretched instrument of torture into God’s glorious negotiating table. In Christ alone, the Father and the sinner meet. When they meet, they both behold the blood. The Father’s looks at the blood and sees that His Son has died in the place of the sinner. The sinner looks at the blood and sees that Christ has died instead of him. Thus, the Father and the sinner are both satisfied with the blood. They come into agreement through and by the blood. The result is peace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth

 

Please feel free to forward, blog or post the Wednesday Word.

Miles McKee Ministries,

7235 Bonneval Rd.

JacksonvilleFL.

32256. USA

Or the UK and Ireland

Miles McKee

8 Ard Beg,

Newbawn, County Wexford, Ireland.

www.milesmckee.com 

Abstract of Systematic Theology

November 27, 2013 3 comments

Abstract of Systematic Theology

by

Rev. James Petigru Boyce, D.D., LL. D.,

Joseph-Emerson-Brown Professor of Systematic Theology

in The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

First published in 1887

 

To the

HON. JOSEPH E. BROWN,

 

President of the

Board of Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,

 

this book is respectfully dedicated, as a token of high personal esteem, and in recognition of his deep interest in the cause of education, and especially of the theological education of the Christian ministry; as evinced, among other generous gifts, by his endowment in The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of the Chair of Systematic Theology, with which the author is officially connected.

 

CONTENT

Chapter 1 The Science of Theology

Chapter 2 The Being of God

Chapter 3 Reason and Revelation

Chapter 4 The Unity of God

Chapter 5 Spirituality of God

Chapter 6 Divine Attributes

Chapter 7 The Immutability of God

Chapter 8 The Power of God

Chapter 9 The Knowledge of God

Chapter 10 Holiness, Goodness, Love, and Truth

Chapter 11 Justice of God

Chapter 12 The Will of God

Chapter 13 The Decrees of God

Chapter 14 The Trinity

Chapter 15 Personal Relations in the Trinity

Chapter 16 Outward Relations of the Trinity

Chapter 17 Creation

Chapter 18 Creation of Angels

Chapter 19 Fallen Angels

Chapter 20 Creation of Man

Chapter 21 Providence

Chapter 22 The Fall of Man

Chapter 23 The Effects of the Sin of Adam

Chapter 24 The Headship of Adam

Chapter 25 Christ in the Old Testament

Chapter 26 The Person of Christ

Chapter 27 The Offices of Christ

Chapter 28 The Atonement of Christ

Chapter 29 Election

Chapter 30 Reprobation

Chapter 31 Outward and Effectual Calling

Chapter 32 Regeneration and Conversion

Chapter 33 Repentance

Chapter 34 Faith

Chapter 35 Justification

Chapter 36 Adoption

Chapter 37 Sanctification

Chapter 38 Final Perseverance of the Saints

Chapter 39 Death and the Soul’s Immortality

Chapter 40 Christ’s Second Coming and the Resurrection

Chapter 41 The Final Judgement

Chapter 42 The Final States of the Righteous and the Wicked

 

Rev. James Petigru Boyce, D.D., LL. D.,–Abstract of Systematic Theology–First published in 1887 

The authority of scripture is sealed on the hearts of believers by the testimony of the Holy Spirit

November 27, 2013 2 comments

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Last and necessary conclusion, That the authority of Scripture is sealed on the hearts of believers by the testimony of the Holy Spirit. The certainty of this testimony. Confirmation of it from a passage of Isaiah, and the experience of believers. Also, from another passage of Isaiah.

5. Let it therefore be held as fixed, that those who are inwardly taught by the Holy Spirit acquiesce implicitly in Scripture; that Scripture carrying its own evidence along with it, deigns not to submit to proofs and arguments, but owes the full conviction with which we ought to receive it to the testimony of the Spirit. Enlightened by him, we no longer believe, either on our own judgment or that of others, that the Scriptures are from God; but, in a way superior to human judgment, feel perfectly assured — as much so as if we beheld the divine image visibly impressed on it — that it came to us, by the instrumentality of men, from the very mouth of God. We ask not for proofs or probabilities on which to rest our judgment, but we subject our intellect and judgment to it as too transcendent for us to estimate. This, however, we do, not in the manner in which some are wont to fasten on an unknown object, which, as soon as known, displeases, but because we have a thorough conviction that, in holding it, we hold unassailable truth; not like miserable men, whose minds are enslaved by superstition, but because we feel a divine energy living and breathing in it — an energy by which we are drawn and animated to obey it, willingly indeed, and knowingly, but more vividly and effectually than could be done by human will or knowledge. Hence, God most justly exclaims by the mouth of Isaiah, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he,” (Isaiah 43:10.)

Such, then, is a conviction which asks not for reasons; such, a knowledge which accords with the highest reason, namely knowledge in which the mind rests more firmly and securely than in any reasons; such in fine, the conviction which revelation from heaven alone can produce. I say nothing more than every believer experiences in himself, though my words fall far short of the reality. I do not dwell on this subject at present, because we will return to it again: only let us now understand that the only true faith is that which the Spirit of God seals on our hearts. Nay, the modest and teachable reader will find a sufficient reason in the promise contained in Isaiah, that all the children of the renovated Church “shall be taught of the Lord,” (Isaiah 54:13.) This singular privilege God bestows on his elect only, whom he separates from the rest of mankind. For what is the beginning of true doctrine but prompt alacrity to hear the Word of God? And God, by the mouth of Moses, thus demands to be heard: “It is not in heavens that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart,” (Deuteronomy 30:12, 14.) God having been pleased to reserve the treasure of intelligence for his children, no wonder that so much ignorance and stupidity is seen in the generality of mankind. In the generality, I include even those specially chosen, until they are ingrafted into the body of the Church. Isaiah, moreover, while reminding us that the prophetical doctrine would prove incredible not only to strangers, but also to the Jews, who were desirous to be thought of the household of God, subjoins the reason, when he asks, “To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1.) If at any time, then we are troubled at the small number of those who believe, let us, on the other hand, call to mind, that none comprehend the mysteries of God save those to whom it is given.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 7-Henry Beveridge Translation