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Archive for January, 2019

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 205

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

To [Rev. Newman Hall, LL.B.].

MENTONE, Jan. 20.

BELOVED BROTHER, —

Your love allows brevity. Thank you. I am arising from stupor to pain, from pain to intervals of ease, from coughing hard to a weak voice, from writhing to wriggling about in an initial style of walking with a chair for a go-cart. I have had an escape which makes me shudder with gratitude. Here is a man who knocked out his teeth and yet did not cut his flesh, and turned over twice so completely as to put his money into his boots. Something of the comic attends solemnity when I am in the midst of it. I have not lost a grain of peace or even of joy, yet I pity a dog that has felt so much in all his four legs as I have had in one. All is well. I shall be home soon.

Yours most lovingly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Enough When We Sin?

January 23, 2019 3 comments

God has never forced us to sin. To our shame, we sin willingly and gladly. If the truth were known, there’s a part of us that quietly loves depravity. We may hate its consequences, but if left to our own devices we gravitate away from God. All of us have been smitten with the sin virus (Romans 6:6); it is, so to speak, lurking in our blood, continually spawning its foul children (sins) (Romans 5:12).

The awful problem with sin, however, is that it brings separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). God is holy and because He is holy, He hates sins and hates all workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5). It may seem like a foreign concept to our ears to associate ‘hatred’ with the God of love but before objecting to this picture, let me warn against the subtle sin of idolatry.

Idolatry?

Yes, idolatry! When we reject God’s self-declaration and substitute Him for the God we’d like Him to be, we have become idolaters (see Romans 1:21,25). Much as we would like God to be simply the God of love who is never angry at sin or sinners, we must not project this false picture onto Him.

Here’s a word of warning that comes from antiquity; “If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you dislike, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself” (Augustine).

God refuses to fit our concept of who we want Him to be, … in fact, He won’t even try. He’s got better things to do! As for us, the best thing we can do is bow before, worship and enjoy Him as He is and for who He is.

God is Holy, and we are not. This knowledge is where false religion finds a natural breeding ground as it germinates in the fears and guilt of sinful man. We really are laughable; we cannot create ourselves but think that by practicing some religion or other, we can save ourselves. Yet, no matter how involved we become in our religion, no matter how zealous we are, we are impotent to stop the tendency towards sinning … and sins separate us from God.

Religion cannot remove the virus of sin. Although for the follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will limit and restrain the production of sins, we remain sinners until the day we die. Remember this, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

The good news for sinners (us), however, is that God is not only holy, He is also just. But how is this Good News? I can take some comfort knowing that He is loving, but surely there is no comfort in knowing that, in His unswerving justice, He will punish us and our sins?  A just God will surely mete out punishment. This is far from good news. So then, how can God be just, and yet save me a ruined sinner?

Which brings us back to the Gospel, the best news, the old news and the ever-new news—Jesus!

Only in Jesus is God discovered to be both loving and just. Between the all-holy God and sin-filled believer, there stands the remarkable sinless person of the God/Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is enough for both the sinner, and the Father. God punished our sins on Him, the beloved son (Isaiah 53:10). In grace, He became accountable for us and poured out His blood for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7).

Jesus, the Lord of glory, became a surety (Hebrews7:22) and substitute for His people (1 Peter 2:24). He took our place in his doing, dying and rising again.  He then ascended to the right hand of the Father (the place of cosmic authority) for us. And now, because of Jesus and His accomplishments, not only love but also justice endorses our acquittal.

Jesus is Enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!
Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XII-Limited Atonement

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XII

Limited Atonement

1. Statement of the Doctrine. 2. The Infinite Value of Christ’s Atonement. 3. The Atonement is Limited in Purpose and Application. 4. Christ’s Work as a Perfect Fulfillment of the Law. 5. A Ransom. 6. The Divine Purpose in Christ’s Sacrifice. 7. The Exclusion of the Non-Elect. 8. The Argument from the Foreknowledge of God. 9. Certain Benefits Which Extend to Mankind In General.

1. STATEMENT OF THE DOCTRINE

The question which we are to discuss under the subject of “Limited Atonement” is, Did Christ offer up Himself a sacrifice for the whole human race, for every individual without distinction or exception; or did His death have special reference to the elect? In other words, was the sacrifice of Christ merely intended to make the salvation of all men possible, or was it intended to render certain the salvation of those who had been given to Him by the Father? Arminians hold that Christ died for all men alike, while Calvinists hold that in the intention and secret plan of God Christ died for the elect only, and that His death had only an incidental reference to others in so far as they are partakers of common grace. The meaning might be brought out more clearly if we used the phrase “Limited Redemption” rather than “Limited Atonement.” The Atonement is, of course, strictly an infinite transaction; the limitation comes in, theologically, in the application of the benefits of the atonement, that is in redemption. But since the phrase “Limited Atonement” has become well established in theological usage and its meaning is well known we shall continue to use it.

Concerning this doctrine the Westminster Confession says: “. . . Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed in Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.” 1

It will be seen at once that this doctrine necessarily follows from the doctrine of election. If from eternity God has planned to save one portion of the human race and not another, it seems to be a contradiction to say that His work has equal reference to both portions, or that He sent His Son to die for those whom He had predetermined not to save, as truly as, and in the same sense that He was sent to die for those whom He had chosen for salvation. These two doctrines must stand or fall together. We cannot logically accept one and reject the other. If God has elected some and not others to eternal life, then plainly the primary purpose of Christ’s work was to redeem the elect.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

But it is in the New Testament that the majority of mistakes occur

But it is in the New Testament that the majority of mistakes occur. There we find a number of passages where needless additions have been made and where the meaning has been misapprehended, falsified, by the words the translators inserted. In Romans 8:27, “the will of God” is too contracted—His covenant, His word, His grace and mercy are not to be excluded. The “from another” in 1 Corinthians 4:7, unduly narrows the scope—from what you were as unregenerate is not to be excluded. “Inspirer” is preferable to “author” in 1 Corinthians 14:33, for God is the Decreer of all things (Romans 11:36), yet not the Prompter of confusion. It is very doubtful if “the nature of” is permissible in Hebrews 2:16, for is it not the Divine incarnation which is there in view (that we have in 5:14), but rather the purpose and consequence of the same. Its opening “For” looks back, remotely, to verses 9 and 10; immediately, to verses 14 and 15. In verse 16 a reason is given why Christ tasted death for “every son,” and why He destroyed (annulled the power of) the Devil in order to liberate his captives: it was because He laid hold of (espoused) not the cause of (the fallen) angels, but the chosen seed of Abraham—thus a foundation is here laid for what is said in verse 17.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Introducing the ‘Baptist Library Vol I

Reformedontheweb is excited to present to you: “The Baptist Library Vol I.” Each book is in adobe reader format, and is a searchable document. I only have one scanned file in this entire collection. My goal is to produce a library that is Baptist friendly and that focuses primarily on particular Baptist doctrine. This does not mean that all the files on this Cd are by particular Baptists. Some are by paedobaptist and are included because they present Biblical truth that particular Baptist agree with; such as: Boettner’s ‘The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.’ This is what the collection includes:

A workable index– search the entire library through one master index. Each collection has its own index, however, send a shortcut of the master index to your desktop and access all files through the master index. The master index is titled ‘baptistvol1.index’

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WHAT contempt hath God poured upon the wisdom of this world

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”- 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24.

WHAT contempt hath God poured upon the wisdom of this world! How hath he brought it to nought, and made it appear as nothing. He has allowed it to work out its own conclusions, and prove its own folly. Men boasted that they were wise; they said that they could find out God to perfection; and in order that their folly might be refuted once and for ever, God gave them the opportunity of so doing. He said “Worldly wisdom, I will try thee. Thou sayest that thou art mighty, that thine intellect is vast and comprehensive, that thine eye is keen, that thou canst unravel all secrets; now, behold, I try thee: I give thee one great problem to solve. Here is the universe; stars make its canopy, fields and flowers adorn it, and the floods roll over its surface; my name is written therein; the invisible things of God may be clearly seen in the things which are made. Philosophy, I give thee this problem-find me out. Here are my works-find me out. Discover in the wondrous world which I have made, the way to worship me acceptably. I give thee space enough to do it-there are data enough. Behold the clouds, the earth, and the stars. I give thee time enough; I will give thee four thousand years and I will not interfere; but thou shalt do as thou wilt with thine own world. I will give thee men in abundance, for I will make great minds and vast, whom thou shalt call lords of earth; thou shalt have orators, thou shalt have philosophers. Find me out, O reason, find me out, O wisdom; discover my nature, if thou canst: find me out unto perfection, if thou art able; and if thou canst not, then shut thy mouth for ever, and then I will teach thee that the wisdom of God is wiser than the wisdom of man; yea that the foolishness of God is wiser than men.” And how did the reason of man work out the problem? How did wisdom perform her feat? Look upon the heathen nations; there you see the result of wisdom’s researches. In the time of Jesus Christ, you might have beheld the earth covered with the slime of pollution-a Sodom on a large scale, corrupt, filthy, depraved, indulging in vices which we dare not mention, revelling in lusts too abominable even for our imagination to dwell upon for a moment. We find the men prostrating themselves before blocks of wood and stone, adoring ten thousand gods more vicious than themselves. We find, in fact, that reason wrote out her own depravity with a finger covered with blood and filth, and that she for ever cut herself out from all her glory, by the vile deeds she did. She would not worship God. She would not bow down to him who is “clearly seen” but she worshipped any creature; the reptile that crawled, the crocodile, the viper, everything might be a god, but not, forsooth, the God of Heaven. Vice might be made into a ceremony, the greatest crime might be exalted into a religion, but true worship she knew nothing of. Poor reason! poor wisdom! How art thou fallen from heaven! Like Lucifer-thou son of the morning thou art lost. Thou has written out thy conclusion, but it is a conclusion of consummate folly. “After that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 5d-The Covenant of promise in Christ to Abraham

Forty-four years after this event, the same covenant was repeated, and transferred to Jacob, the son of Isaac, and grandson of Abraham. Jacob had now reached the age of’ manhood. Painful events had occurred in his father’s house. He was about to leave the scenes of his early days, and enter the great theatre of life, preparatory to which his father gave him his formal blessing. How full of tenderness and affection was that prayer! “God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land in which thou art a stranger, which God gave to Abraham. And Isaac sent away Jacob” (Gen 28:3-5). And “Jacob went out from Beersheba and went towards Haran. And he lighted on a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set. And he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed; and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending, and descending upon it! And behold the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth. And thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. And in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Gen 27:11-14). Such is the form and language, in which the covenant is transferred to Jacob. This also, contains within itself, as did that to Isaac, the declaration that it is identically the same covenant previously given to Abraham. Jacob is now assured that he is to be the Father of Messiah.

The scenes in the life of Jacob, were many and various, and not a few of them of the most touching character. When “his pilgrimage upon earth” was about to close, seventy one years after he had been honored with the covenant, he assembled in his chamber, in Goshen, his twelve sons, and in an address replete with affection, faith, piety and eloquence, constituted them into “the means literally a rod, and does not, as so many have imagined, refer here to the regal rule of Judah, but is used metaphorically, to represent the tribe. The substance of this part of the passage is therefore, an assurance that whatever may become of the other tribes, the rod, or tribe of Judah, shall endure in its distinct, and separate, and full existence, until the Messiah promised—the Shiloh—springing from that tribe, shall come and accomplish his mission upon earth. I may also remark that the term rendered LawgiverTwelve Tribes of Israel” Upon each of the tribes he pronounced an appropriate blessing, prophetic of its future circumstances, and character; he assigned them all their places in the promised land; but to Judah alone, and especially, he transmitted the covenant received from his fathers. “The promised land,” Bishop Newton justly observes, “Jacob might divide among all his children. But the promise of being the progenitor of Messiah, must be confined to one only.” That distinction, by divine direction, was conferred upon Judah. Thus he blessed that favored tribe:- “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen 49:10). The sense of the covenant in the form which it here assumes, need not be mistaken, and yet it has been somewhat embarrassed, partly perhaps, because the authors of our common version of the scriptures seem not to have understood it; and partly because expositors generally, appear not to have comprehended its true relations. A few remarks in explanation from me, is therefore necessary. I may just observe that the word translated scepter[8] [9]here means simply, a teacher, or prophet, and nothing more. With these corrections, the whole text will read truly, and plainly thus:- From Judah his distinct existence as a tribe shall not depart, nor among his offspring shall a teacher be wanting, till Messiah come, and unto him shall all people be gathered. God here pledges that he will himself watch over and preserve this tribe, until “the desire of all nations shall appear.” And how faithfully, in his good providence, this pledge was redeemed, is in the subsequent history of his people, familiar to all who study the sacred records. The other tribes, as is well known, fell into the grossest idolatry, from which no admonitions, or judgments, could recall them. They were at length abandoned to the fury of their enemies, by whom they were overcome, and carried into hopeless captivity. More than seven hundred years before Shiloh appeared, they were all irrecoverably lost, among the nations of the east. Judah by the evident intervention of almighty power, was indestructible, until the promise in this covenant, was gloriously accomplished.

8. shebet (Hebrew)

9. chaqaq (Hebrew)

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants