The use of Italics

The use of italics is also largely a matter of interpretation. In ordinary literature they are employed for emphasis, but in our Bibles they are inserted by the translators with the design of making the sense clearer. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes harmful. In the Old Testament it is, in certain instances, more or less necessary, for the Hebrew has no copulative, but joins the subject to the predicate, which gives an emphasis of abruptness to which the English mind is unaccustomed, as in “From the sole of the foot even unto the head—no soundness in it…Your country— desolate, your cities—burned with fire” (Isaiah 1:6, 7). In the great majority of cases this writer ignores the added words of men, considering it more reverent so to do, as well as obtaining more directly the force of the original. In some instances the translators quite missed the real thought of the passage, as in the last clause of Exodus 2, where “God had respect unto them” ought to be “had respect unto it,” i.e., “His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob” of the previous verse. The last word of Daniel 11:32, is too restrictive—doing His will also is included.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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What do you know of the Comforter?

And now I have done. You have heard what this babbler hath said once more. What has it been? Something about the Comforter. But let me ask you, before you go, what do you know about the Comforter? Each one of you before descending the steps of this chapel, let this solemn question thrill through your souls-What do you know of the Comforter? Oh! Poor souls, if ye know not the Comforter, I will tell you what you shall know- You shall know the Judge! If ye know not the Comforter on earth, ye shall know the Condemner in the next world, who shall cry, “Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire in hell.” Well might Whitfield call out, “O earth, earth, earth, hear the Word of the Lord! “If we were to live here for ever, ye might slight the gospel; if ye had a lease of your lives, ye might despise the Comforter. But sirs, ye must die. Since last we met together, probably some have gone to their long last home; and ere we meet again in this sanctuary, some here will be amongst the glorified above, or amongst the damned below. Which will it be? Let your soul answer. If to-night you fell down dead in your pews, or where you are standing in the gallery, where would you be? in heaven or in hell? Ah! deceive not yourselves; let conscience have its perfect work; and if, in the sight of God, you are obliged to say, “I tremble and fear lest my portion should be with unbelievers,” listen one moment, and then I have done with thee. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” Weary sinner, hellish sinner, thou who art the devil’s castaway, reprobate, profligate, harlot, robber, thief, adulterer, fornicator, drunkard, swearer, Sabbath-breaker-list! I speak to thee as well as the rest. I exempt no man. God hath said there is no exemption here. “Whosoever believeth in the name of Jesus Christ shall be saved.” Sin is no barrier: thy guilt is no obstacle. Whosoever-though he were as black as Satan, though he were filthy as a fiend-whosoever this night believes, shall have every sin forgiven, shall have every crime effaced, shall have every iniquity blotted out; shall be saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, and shall stand in heaven safe and secure. That is the glorious gospel. God apply it home to your hearts, and give you faith in Jesus!

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

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

January 11, 2019 1 comment

We now pass from the period of Abraham, and proceed to consider the frequent repetitions to his successors, at various times, during more than eight hundred years, of this same “covenant of promise confirmed before of God in Christ” (Gal 3:7).

To Isaac, his son, and heir, this covenant, about a hundred and fifty years afterwards, was solemnly renewed, and transferred. In the narrative of this transaction by Moses, you are informed that a famine prevailed in Canaan, and that to find sustenance for himself, and his family, Isaac was obliged to leave for a time, the place of his residence. He went therefore “unto Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him and said, Go not down into Egypt;”—whither it seems, he was disposed to direct his steps;—” Dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee. For unto thee, and unto thy seed, will I give all these countries. And I will perform my oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven; and will give unto thy seed all these countries. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen 26:1-5). The identity of this covenant with that of Abraham, cannot be questioned, since in the covenant itself, this fact is expressly declared :—” I will perform unto thee my oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Introducing the John Gill Collection

Reformed on the web is excited to announce its newest publication.

The Reformedontheweb Library

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The John Gill Collection

This collection contains 115 files, including: sermons, treatises, and commentary. Every book is in Adobe Reader format and is in a clear readable format. This collection includes:

A workable index– Open all files from one file

Bonus Books——Two Bibles, Two Confessions, R. L. Dabney’s Systematic Theology, Keach- The Glory of a True Church and its Discipline Display’d, Christ Exalted by Hanserd Knollys

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Buy: The John Gill Collection 

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 203

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

CLAPHAM, February 18, 1865.

MY DEAR FRIEND, —

I owe you very many thanks for the splendid addition your kindness has made to my library. I shall very greatly value the books as coming from yourself in so kind a manner, and for their own sakes too.

Mrs. Spurgeon desires her kindest thanks for your kind remembrance of her. May you have every blessing, abounding in your path, work, home, and person.

Yours very thankfully,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Jesus Himself

The Bible is a book about Jesus.

He is everywhere in the Scriptures

He is;

The Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The Anointed One (Psalm 2:2)

The Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16)

The Author of Life (Acts 3:15)

The Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)

The Branch (Zechariah 6:12)

The Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)

The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

The Christ (Matthew 1:16)

The Teacher (John 1:38)

Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)

The Door (John 10:9)

The Good Shepherd (John 10:14)

Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14)

The I Am (John 8:58)

The True Vine (John 15:1)

Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)

The King of Kings (Revelation 19:16)

The Eternal Word (John 1:1)

The Word of God (Revelation 19:13)

The Lamb of God (John 1:29).

Jesus by Himself created everything. We read, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16).

Not only did He create everything, Jesus by Himself upholds everything by the Word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Sometimes, I confess, I find it hard to stomach the ignorance of some of the God haters I’ve talked to. They arrogantly deny Christ and disparage His work. Pompous to the last, little do they realize they are dependant upon the Christ they hate for their every breath. But, thankfully, He is God and I’m not. He is much, much more gracious and merciful than am I.

Not only did Jesus create all and also sustains all, Jesus Himself is our salvation. Again, we read, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Gospel begins and ends with Christ Jesus. It is a declaration of who He is and His saving work for us. The Gospel itself is not an offer or even a free offer nor indeed a well-meant offer. The Gospel itself is not any kind of offer. It is instead a declaration of who Christ is and of what He has done, in history, in His accomplished redemption for us. His work is Finished!

Through the Gospel, we discover that Christ has already obtained redemption, (Hebrews 9:12) and that He has already put away our sin (Hebrews 1:3). The Gospel brings glad tidings of great joy telling us that Christ was born, Christ lived, and Christ was crucified, Christ was buried and that Christ rose again and has accomplished redemption.

In the light of the Finished Work, therefore, it is stunning to discover just how many people have claimed or are claiming to be Jesus. There’s A.J. Miller, for example, a former Jehovah’s Witness elder and current leader of the Australia-based Divine Truth movement. Miller claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated

There’s David Shaylor (1965–) a former MI5 agent and whistleblower who, in the summer of 2007, proclaimed himself to be the Messiah.

There’s Apollo Quiboly, the founder and leader of a Philippines-based Restorationist church, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc. He has made claims that he is the “Appointed Son of God”

We, however, must ask these self-appointed deities, if they are in fact Christ Jesus, can they do what He did?”

Can they create universes?

Can they sustain all things by the word of their power?

Can they forgive sins?

Can they walk on water?

Can they raise the dead?

Can they raise themselves from the dead?

Can they grant eternal life?

Can they give life to whom they will?

Absolutely not! They are fakes, frauds and fruitcakes!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Categories: Gospel Tags: , , , ,

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

January 9, 2019 2 comments

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XI

Unconditional Election [contd]

11. INFANT SALVATION

Most Calvinistic theologians have held that those who die in infancy are saved. The Scriptures seem to teach plainly enough that the children of believers are saved; but they are silent or practically so in regard to those of the heathens. The Westminster Confession does not pass judgment on the children of heathens who die before coming to years of accountability. Where the Scriptures are silent, the Confession, too, preserves silence. Our outstanding theologians, however, mindful of the fact that God’s “tender mercies are over all His works,” and depending on His mercy widened as broadly as possible, have entertained a charitable hope that since these infants have never committed any actual sin themselves, their inherited sin would be pardoned and they would be saved on wholly evangelical principles.

Such, for instance, was the position held by Charles Hodge, W. G. T. Shedd, and B. B. Warfield. Concerning those who die in infancy, Dr. Warfield says: “Their destiny is determined irrespective of their choice, by an unconditional decree of God, suspended for its execution on no act of their own; and their salvation is wrought by an unconditional application of the grace of Christ to their souls, through the immediate and irresistible operation of the Holy Spirit prior to and apart from any action of their own proper wills . . . And if death in infancy does depend on God’s providence, it is assuredly God in His providence who selects this vast multitude to be made participants of His unconditional salvation . . . This is but to say that they are unconditionally predestinated to salvation from the foundation of the world. If only a single infant dying in irresponsible infancy be saved, the whole Arminian principle is traversed. If all infants dying such are saved, not only the majority of the saved, but doubtless the majority of the human race hitherto, have entered into life by a non-Arminian pathway.”34

Certainly there is nothing in the Calvinistic system which would prevent us from believing this; and until it is proven that God could not predestinate to eternal life all those whom He is pleased to call in infancy we may be permitted to hold this view.

Calvinists, of course, hold that the doctrine of original sin applies to infants as well as to adults. Like all other sons of Adam, infants are truly culpable because of race sin and might be justly punished for it. Their “salvation” is real. It is possible only through the grace of Christ and is as truly unmerited as is that of adults. Instead of minimizing the demerit and punishment due to them for original sin, Calvinism magnifies the mercy of God in their salvation. Their salvation means something, for it is the deliverance of guilty souls from eternal woe. And it is costly, for it was paid for by the suffering of Christ on the cross. Those who take the other view of original sin, namely, that it is not properly sin and does not deserve eternal punishment, make the evil from which infants are “saved” to be very small and consequently the love and gratitude which they owe to God to be small also.

The doctrine of infant salvation finds a logical place in the Calvinistic system; for the redemption of the soul is thus infallibly determined irrespective of any faith , repentance or good works, whether actual or foreseen. It does not, however, find a logical place in Arminianism or any other system. Furthermore, it would seem that a system such as Arminianism, which suspends salvation on a personal act of rational choice, would logically demand that those dying in infancy must either be given another period of probation after death, in order that their destiny may be fixed, or that they must be annihilated.

In regard to this question Dr. S. G. Craig has written: “We take it that no doctrine of infant salvation is Christian that does not assume that infants are lost members of a lost race for whom there is no salvation apart from Christ. It must be obvious to all, therefore, that the doctrine that all dying in infancy are saved will not fit into the Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic system of thought with their teaching of baptismal regeneration; as clearly most of those who have died in infancy have not been baptized. It is obvious also that the Lutheran system of thought provides no place for the notion that all dying in infancy are saved because of the necessity it attaches to the means of grace, especially the Word and the Sacraments. If grace is only in the means of grace — in the case of infants in baptism — it seems clear that most of those who have died in infancy have not been the recipients of grace. Equally clear is it that the Arminian has no right to believe in the salvation of all dying in infancy; in fact, it is not so clear that he has any right to believe in the salvation of any dying in infancy. For according to the Arminians, even the evangelical Arminians, God in His grace has merely provided men with an opportunity for salvation. It does not appear, however, that a mere opportunity for salvation can be of any avail for those dying in infancy.”35

Though rejecting the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and turning the baptism of the non-elect into an empty form, Calvinism, on the other hand, extends saving grace far beyond the boundaries of the visible Church. If it is true that all of those who die in infancy, in heathen as well as in Christian lands, are saved, then more than half of the human race even up to the present time has been among the elect. Furthermore, it may be said that since Calvinists bold that saving faith in Christ is the only requirement for salvation on the part of adults, they never make membership in the external Church to be either a requirement or a guarantee of salvation. They believe that many adults who have no connection with the external Church are nevertheless saved. Every consistent Christian will, of course, submit himself for baptism in accordance with the plain Scripture command and will become a member of the external Church; yet many others, either because of weakness of faith or because they lack the opportunity, do not carry out that command.

It has often been charged that the Westminster Confession in stating that “Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ” (Chap. X. Sec. 3), implies that there are non-elect infants, who, dying in infancy, are lost, and that the Presbyterian Church has taught that some dying in infancy are lost. Concerning this Dr. Craig says: “The history of the phrase ‘Elect infants dying in infancy’ makes clear that the contrast implied was not between ‘elect infants dying in infancy’ and ‘non-elect infants dying in infancy,’ but rather between ‘elect infants dying in infancy’ and ‘elect infants living to grow up.’ ” However, in order to guard against misunderstanding, furthered by unfriendly controversialists, the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. adopted in 1903 a Declaratory Statement which reads as follows: “With reference to Chapter X, Section 3, of the Confession of Faith, that it is not to be regarded as teaching that any who die in infancy are lost. We believe that all dying in infancy are included in the election of grace, and are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when and where and how He pleases.”

Concerning this Declaratory Statement Dr. Craig says: “It is obvious that the Declaratory Statement goes beyond the teaching of Chapter X, Section 3 of the Confession of Faith inasmuch as it states positively that all who die in infancy are saved. Some hold that the Declaratory Statement goes beyond the Scripture in teaching that all those dying in infancy are saved; but, be that as it may, it makes it impossible for any person to even plausibly maintain that Presbyterians teach that there are non-elect infants who die in infancy. No doubt there have been individual Presbyterians who held that some of those who die in infancy have been lost; but such was never the official teaching of the Presbyterian Church and as matters now stand such a position is contradicted by the Church’s creed.”36

It is sometimes charged that Calvin taught the actual damnation of some of those who die in infancy. A careful examination of his writings, however, does not bear out that charge. He explicitly taught that some of the elect die in infancy and that they are saved as infants. He also taught that there were reprobate infants; for he held that reprobation as well as election was eternal, and that the non-elect come into this life reprobate. But nowhere did he teach that the reprobate die and are lost as infants. He of course rejected the Pelagian view which denied original sin and grounded the salvation of those who die in infancy on their supposed innocence and sinlessness. Calvin’s views in this respect have been quite thoroughly investigated by Dr. R. A. Webb and his findings are summarized in the following paragraph: “Calvin teaches that all the reprobate ‘procure’ — (that is his own word) — ‘procure’ their own destruction; and they procure their destruction by their own personal and conscious acts of ‘impiety,’ ‘wickedness,’ and ‘rebellion.’ Now reprobate infants, though guilty of original sin and under condemnation, cannot, while they are infants, thus ‘procure’ their own destruction by their personal acts of impiety, wickedness, and rebellion. They must, therefore, live to the years of moral responsibility in order to perpetrate the acts of impiety, wickedness and rebellion, which Calvin defines as the mode through which they procure their destruction. While, therefore, Calvin teaches that there are reprobate infants, and that these will be finally lost, he nowhere teaches that they will be lost as infants, and while they are infants; but, on the contrary, he declares that all the reprobate ‘procure’ their own destruction by personal acts of impiety, wickedness and rebellion. Consequently, his own reasoning compels him to hold (to be consistent with himself), that no reprobate child can die in infancy; but all such must live to the age of moral accountability, and translate original sin into actual sin.”37

In none of Calvin’s writings does he say, either directly or by good and necessary inference, that any dying in infancy are lost. Most of the passages which are brought forth by opponents to prove this point are merely assertions of his well known doctrine of original sin, in which he taught the universal guilt and depravity of the entire race. Most of these are from highly controversial sections where he is discussing other doctrines and where he speaks unguardedly; but when taken in their context the meaning is not often in doubt. Calvin simply says of all infants what David specifically said of himself: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me,” Psa_51:5; or what Paul said, “In Adam all die,” 1Co_15:22; or again, that all are “by nature, the children of wrath,” Eph_2:3.

We believe that we have now shown that the doctrine of election is in every point Scriptural and a plain dictate of common sense. Those who oppose this doctrine do so because they neither understand nor consider the majesty and holiness of God, nor the corruption and guilt of their own nature. They forget that they stand before their Maker not as those who may justly claim His mercy, but as condemned criminals who deserve only punishment. Furthermore, they want to be independent to work out their own scheme of salvation rather than to accept God’s plan which is by grace. This doctrine of election will not harmonize with any covenant of works, nor with a mongrel covenant of works and grace; but it is the only possible outcome of a covenant of pure grace.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination