The Wednesday Word: Sin Put Away

“Now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

What does it mean to put away sin? We can learn much about this from the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Israelites were commanded to put away all leaven out of their houses (Exodus 12:15;19). Leaven is usually a picture of sin and this ‘putting away’ was a thorough job. The cupboards and drawers were emptied and their floors were very carefully swept in case a crumb of leaven bread should remain (see also Exodus 13:3-16; Leviticus 23:6-8; Deuteronomy 16:8; John 6:51).

In the New Testament, sin, not leaven, was put away by Jesus. He, as it were, cleaned house. If it had been left to us to clean our houses, we would have missed some of our hidden sins. We don’t realise how great a mountain of sin and lurking darkness we accumulated during our lifetime.

Question: How did Jesus put away sin?

Answer: “He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” Hebrews 9:26.

Spurgeon says, “All your sins—every size, shape, form, hue, degree, or fashion, are altogether gone! Crimson sins, black sins, crying sins, every sort of iniquity from your childhood until now, and right on till you enter into the rest of the Beloved; they were all taken and laid upon Christ. He made an end of them all when He offered up His great sacrifice; He has put away sin as a whole for His chosen; this is a glorious truth! “

C.H. Spurgeon: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit: Volume 16 The Putting Away Of Sin: Sermon No. 911

If our sins have been put away, why do we think we can be saved and then lost? Can Jesus lose us? If He can, then Jesus didn’t put all our sins away. If we think we can be saved and lost, far be it from us to sing “Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever” (Revelation 1:5-6).

Notice the words, “forever and ever!” If Christ can lose us, we need to take that passage out of the Bible.

To ‘put away’ means literally a disannulling, a total abolition and an annihilation of sins. Christ has done away with the sins of His people! “The iniquities of Israel,” He says, “shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found” (Jerimiah 50:20). To fear that we as believers could eventually perish is to look at Jesus with a heart of doubt. May we learn to endorse the words of Augustus Toplady who wrote,

“Complete atonement Thou hast made

And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate’er Thy people owed.

How then can wrath on me take place,

If sheltered in Thy righteousness

And sprinkled with Thy blood?”

May each of us know that Jesus Christ has put away our sin – all of it. We are now accepted as though we are fully righteous.

Do you mean we are innocent?

No! Much more than innocent. He has clothed us in His righteousness. And, listen to this, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). The eternal God never says then unsays, never does then undoes, never gives then un-gives. If we have been declared not guilty, then we are indeed not guilty, and no one can ever condemn us (see Psalm 103:12).

This is wonderful! Dear believer, we can never go down into the pit of hell; God can never be so angry with us as to utterly forsake us! We are both saved and safe!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XXVII- The practical importance of the doctrine

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XXVII

THE PRACTICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE DOCTRINE

6. THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY AND THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION

This system of Theology, which is usually referred to as Calvinism or the Reformed Faith, finds its most perfect expression in the Westminster Confession. The Westminster Assembly was called together by the English Parliament. Its work extended over a period of five and one half years, and was finished in 1648. It was a representative body, made up of one hundred and twenty-one ministers or theologians, eleven lords, twenty commoners, from all the counties of England and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, with seven commissioners from Scotland. And whether judged by the extent and ability of its labors, or by its influence upon later generations, it stands first among Protestant councils. The most important production of the Assembly was its Confession of Faith, a matchless compendium of Biblical truth which was the noblest achievement of the best period of British Protestantism. It has rightly been called the theological masterpiece of the last four centuries. Dr. Warfield said of the Westminster Confession that it was “The most complete, the most fully elaborated and carefully guarded, the most perfect, and the most vital expression that has ever been framed by the hand of man, of all that enters into what we call evangelical religion, and of all that must be safeguarded if evangelical religion is to persist in the world.”

Dr. F. W. Loetscher, in an address before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A., 1929, referred to the Westminster Standards as, “these incomparable works of religious and theological genius;” “those noblest products of the great religious revival that we call the Reformation; those matchless formularies which at least English-speaking Christendom has come to regard as the most comprehensive, precise, and adequate embodiment of the pure Gospel of the grace of God.” And in the same address he also said, “I realize that such a characterization of these venerable documents will appear to many, even among those whom I have the honor of addressing on this occasion, as an unwarranted exaggeration, if not a sheer anachronism. For the fashion of the day minimizes the value of creeds, and our Confession, like many others, must often undergo the sorrowful experience of being damned with faint praise even in the home of its reputed adherents.”

Dr. Curry, who for a time was Editor of the “Methodist Advocate” of New York, in an editorial on Creeds, called the Westminster Confession “the ablest, clearest, and most comprehensive system of Christian doctrine ever framed — a wonderful monument to the intellectual greatness of its framers.”

In these standards we have the grandest conception of theological truth that has ever entered the mind of man. As a system it exhibits far more depth of theological insight than does any other, and it is worthy the admiration of the ages. It is a system which produces men of strong doctrinal convictions. The person who holds it has a definite basis for belief and is not “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error.”

But while the Westminster Confession is so logically wrought out, so clear and comprehensive in its statements, how sadly it is neglected today by the members and even by the ministers of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches! “The Confession of Faith,” says Dr. Frank H. Stevenson, the first president of the Board of Trustees of Westminster Theological Seminary, “remains in the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church, neglected, well-nigh forgotten, but unamended, untinkered with in twenty-five years of doctrinal confusion. It is the creed of the church, and every line sustains a courageous stand. Not for its own sake alone, but because it gives full honor to Christ it is a worthy standard beneath which to carry on what Paul prophetically called ‘the good fight of faith.’ “9 With those words we fully agree.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

 

Our reason for referring to this paltry quibble is because it illustrates a very superficial approach to God’s Word

Our reason for referring to this paltry quibble is because it illustrates a very superficial approach to God’s Word which is becoming more and more prevalent in certain quarters, and which stands badly in need of being corrected. Words are only counters or signs after all (different writers use them with varying latitude, as is sometimes the case in Scripture itself); and to be unduly occupied with the shell often results in a failure to obtain the kernel within. Some Unitarians refuse to believe in the tri-unity of God, merely because no verse can be found which categorically affirms there are “three Persons in the Godhead” or where the word Trinity is used. But what matters the absence of the mere word itself, when three distinct divine persons are clearly delineated in the Word of truth! For the same reason others repudiate the fact of the total depravity of fallen man, which is the height of absurdity when Scripture depicts him as corrupt in all the faculties of his being.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

But now, to wind up our description of this covenant, it is sure

But now, to wind up our description of this covenant, it is sure. If I were a rich man, there would be but one thing I should want to make my riches all I desire, and that would be, to have them sure, for riches make to themselves wings, and fly away. Health is a great blessing, and we want but to write one word on it to make it the greatest blessing, that is the adjective “sure.” We have relatives, and we love them; ah! If we could but write “sure” on them, what a blessed thing it would be. We cannot call anything “sure” on earth; the only place where we can write that word is on the covenant, which is “ordered in all things and sure.” Now there is some poor brother come here this morning who has lost his covenant, as he thinks. Ah! Brother, you once had peaceful hours and sweet enjoyment in the presence of God, but now you are in gloom and doubt; you have lost your roll. Well, let me tell you, though you have lost your roll, the covenant is not lost, for all that. You never had the covenant in your hands yet; you only had a copy of it. You thought you read your title clear, but you never read the title-deeds themselves, you only held a copy of the lease and you have lost it. The covenant itself; where is it? It is under the throne of God; it is in the archives of heaven, in the ark of the covenant; it is in Jesus’s breast it is on his hands, on his heart-it is there. Oh! If God were to put my salvation in my hands, I should be lost in ten minutes; but my salvation is not there-it is in Christ’s hands. You have read of the celebrated dream of John Newton, which I will tell you to the best of my recollection. He thought he was out at sea, on board a vessel, when some bright angel flew down and presented him with a ring, saying, “As long as you wear this ring you shall be happy, and your soul shall be safe.” He put the ring on his finger, and he felt happy to have it in his own possession. Then there came a spirit from the vasty deep, and said to him; “That ring is nought but folly;” and by cajolery and flattery the spirit at last persuaded him to slip the ring from off his finger, and he dropped it in the sea. Then there came fierce things from the deep; the mountains bellowed, and hurled upward their volcanic lava: all the earth was on fire, and his soul in the greatest trouble. By-and-bye a spirit came, and diving below, fetched up the ring, and showing it to him, said, “Now thou art safe, for I have saved the ring.” Now might John Newton have said, “Let me put it on my finger again.” “No, no, you cannot take care of it yourself,” and up the angel flew, carrying the ring away with him, so that then he felt himself secure, since no cajolery of hell could get it from him again, for it was up in heaven. My life is “hid with Christ in God.” If I had my spiritual life in my own possession I should be a suicide very soon, but it is not with me; and as I cannot save myself, as a Christian I cannot destroy myself, for my life is wrapped up in the covenant: it is with Christ in heaven. Oh, glorious and precious covenant!

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

I, in the second place, remark that this Judaistic argument for infant baptism cannot be maintained, because it is directly in conflict with Christianity as taught by Christ and his apostles

2. I, in the second place, remark that this Judaistic argument for infant baptism cannot be maintained, because it is directly in conflict with Christianity as taught by Christ and his apostles.

Essays to commingle Judaism with the gospel commenced immediately after the ascension of our Redeemer. The Judaism then preached was precisely such as our Pedobaptist brethren now claim as legitimate in religion. It did not indeed, include infant baptism, but advocated instead literal circumcision. The discovery that “Jewish circumcision before Christ, and Christian baptism after Christ, is one and the same seal, though in different forms,” was not yet made, nor did it come to light until some centuries after. The principle however was the very same. Glance through the history of the first period of the church, as contained in the Acts of the Apostles, and you will find that, as soon as the gentiles began to embrace the religion of Christ, there were instantly among them Christianized Jewish priests, urging upon the converts the absolute necessity of adding to the gospel the doctrines and rites of Moses. They said, in substance, to these disciples, The religion of Christ is true, and necessary, but it is not enough;

“Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1.)

The agitations and proceedings consequent upon this teaching in the church at Antioch in Syria, and subsequently in the council at Jerusalem, with the numerous admonitions regarding them contained in all the epistles, will fully instruct you as to the rise of Judaism in the Christian church, its nature as then taught, and the manner in which it was met and resisted by the apostles. “Certain men that came down from Judea,” says Luke, thus “taught the brethren.”

“When therefore Paul and. Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.” (Acts 15:1-2.)

We saw in the last chapter an instance of the influence of Judaism among the Corinthians, and the painful perplexity it occasioned regarding domestic and social intercourse. Among the Galatians were those who desired to be under the law, (Galatians 4:21) and they constrained their brethren to be circumcised. (Galatians 6:12-13) Indeed, the epistles evince conclusively, that the churches of the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Colossians, and the others, were constantly excited, and agitated with Judaism. This fact cannot have escaped the attention of any intelligent Christian. Perpetually repeated efforts were made by converted priests, and others, to engraft its forms, and ordinances, upon the gospel of Christ.

How was this subject regarded by the inspired apostles? Did they look upon the matter as of little importance? They taught the churches that it was in conflict with Christianity, and could result only in confusion and disaster. Corresponding with these sentiments were the measures they adopted respecting it. Let us turn to their inspired instructions, and be enlightened. Protesting against the introduction of the doctrines and rites of Judaism, Paul, for example, thus admonishes his brethren. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?” “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain, if it be yet in vain? He that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” You wish to conform to the law of Moses that you may be accounted the children of Abraham. Remember that “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” And further. “After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire to be again in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” And still further. “They [the Judaizing teachers] zealously affect you, but not well; yea they would exclude you that ye might affect them.” “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice, for I stand in doubt of you. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” “It is written, Abraham had two sons, the one [Ishmael] by a bond maid, the other [Isaac] by a free woman. But he who was of the bond woman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory; [the two sons were typical] for these are [figures of] the two covenants; the one [that shadowed forth by Ishmael is the covenant] from Mount Sinai [the law] which gendereth to bondage, which is [the son of] Agar.” The other, that prefigured by Isaac, is the covenant of grace in our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaac was by promise; Isaac was free; and “we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise,” and like him we are free;

“For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made us free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2.)

“What saith the scriptures? Cast out the bond woman and her son [this law of ceremonies and external observances from Sinai], for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.”

“Brethren, we are not children of the bond woman, but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage” “the yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear.” (Acts 15:10.)

Behold I Paul, say unto you that if ye be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing.” “Christ has become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit do wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” “He that troubleth you shall bear his judgment Whosoever he be.” “I would that they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.” (Galatians 3, 4, 5.)

Once more. In Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him which is the head of all principality and power; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, [purified in heart by the Spirit] in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:9-17.)

In this manner did the apostles meet, and resist Judaism in the church of Christ. If any conclusion can be drawn from their language which is beyond question correct, it certainly is that they regarded its introduction as in conflict with Christianity, and portending destructive consequences. Judaism was thus suppressed for the time, but it was not cast out. As some of the Canaanites were left in Israel, so Judaism remained in the church, to try the faith of the people of God. Nor did it lie inactive, but as time passed, and piety waned, it gained strength; and at the present hour, though slightly changed in form from what it was originally, it has, as we have already seen, with all the sects, more influence in their ecclesiastical polity, and their administration of ordinances, than has even the gospel itself of the grace of God.

We have thus seen how Judaism is embodied in the argument before us, by which infant baptism is sustained and defended. We have seen how it arose in the church, how deleterious was its influence, and how it was met and resisted by the apostles. And are we after all, to be told that it is legitimate and scriptural? Are we now to hear it defended by grave and learned divines? That very corruption once so warmly deprecated by Paul, and James, and Peter, and John, and the others, as so insufferable that they spoke of cutting off those who troubled the churches with it, is it now to be assumed as granted, and made the foundation for infant baptism? No, we cannot. We will not. We repudiate it. We protest against it. We denounce it as condemned by the word of God, in conflict with Christianity, and an offense to our adorable Redeemer.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 3- Infant baptism is an evil because it engrafts Judaism upon the Gospel of Christ

 

If you feel you are a sinner in that sense, Christ died for you

Methinks I hear one say, “I am a great, sinner, I am in the very front rank of the army of guilt. I have verily transgressed and gone astray from the Most High. Tell me, did Jesus die for me? Did he die, — not as some say he died, for all men, — but in that special sense which ensures salvation?” I will answer thee. Canst thou say, “I am a sinner,” not as a kind of idle compliment that most men pass when they say they are sinners, and do not mean what the word implies, for they no more mean that they are sinners than that they are horses; but do you really believe that you are sinners deserving God’s wrath and the fire of hell for ever? Then the Lord Jesus died for you; and “this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” If the word is to be understood in the sense in which Hart uses it when he says, —

A sinner is a sacred thing,

The Holy Ghost hath made him so;” —

If you feel you are a sinner in that sense, Christ died for you. But you say, “I wish he had set my name down in the book, that I might read it.” Why, my friend, if he had done so, you would believe it was intended for somebody else! If the book contained the name of Smith, in such a street, Smith would declare that there were so many Smiths, that it could not be meant for himself; and if you could read your name, you would still doubt that it could, by any possibility, be a description of you, since another person might bear the same title. But since it says “sinners”, Satan himself cannot beat you out of that. God has taught you what the term “sinner” means, and Satan cannot unteach you that. Are you, then, a sinner, fully, wholly, in all the black sense of the word? Then Christ died for you. Cast yourself upon that truth, Christ died for sinners.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

The Wednesday Word: A Simple Word For Us All

Have you been called to minister? Whether you know it or not, you have, all believers have. We´re here to extend the claims and fame of Jesus. We’re here to help non-believers and believers alike to see how wonderful Jesus is.

As God´s servants, may we continually show each another that Christ is precious. May we be helped to know that our sins have been cast behind God’s back (Isaiah 38:17). May we continually remind one another that the Lord´s sacrifice at Calvary was so powerful that, although He is all-seeing, the Father will never again catch sight of our sins.

Consider this, God said that He beheld no iniquity in Jacob (Numbers 23:21). But there was iniquity in Jacob, lots of it! Was God lying? No, that would be impossible!(Numbers 23:19). But, here´s the thing, because Jacob´s sin was put away at Calvary, the Father could say I find no iniquity in Him. And He says the same about us.

Calvary! What a powerful sacrifice! Eternal glory is due to the lovely Lord Jesus Christ because of it! He is the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness! (Zechariah 13:1).

It is written, “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound” (Psalm 89:15). In the Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God, we hear the ‘joyful sound’…here’s part of it.

Christ was made a curse for His people.

Under our sins, we can write in large, bold letters, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

The English/Canadian theologian, Arthur Custance, astutely observed, “Any one of a number of deaths were possible for a condemned man under Roman law. That they should choose crucifixion was no accident since it was one form of capital punishment wherein a man was not merely put to death but was also accursed in the sight of God (Galatians 3:13). In other words, they forced upon Jesus, who was innocent, not merely the condemnation of the court, but the condemnation of God also.” (Arthur Custance, Doorway Papers).

Christ took the death of His people, and now, death has no sting with which to wound God´s elect. May we hear this frequently when we fellowship with one another.

But, it doesn´t end there. Christ Jesus is now made the Righteousness of God to His people. And how is this done? It is done by imputation. The believer is now reckoned as having the actual, entire righteousness of Christ (see Romans 4:6-8; 3:21-22; 2 Corinthians 3:21).

Believers in their new identity in Christ have no sin, curse or death. That message will never grow old. We are declared not guilty for all eternity. As it is written, ‘Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condems? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, is risen again, and is rather at the right hand of God (the place of power and acceptance) who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:33-34).

If our dear ministers in the pulpit made the gospel more prominent, it would be a blessing to their ministries. It would also encourage believers to build one another up in the most holy faith and to strive earnestly for the name and fame of the Lord Jesus.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XXVII- The practical importance of the doctrine

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XXVII

THE PRACTICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE DOCTRINE

5. THESE DOCTRINES NOT UNREASONABLE WHEN UNDERSTOOD

Perhaps no other system of thought has been so grossly and grievously and at times so deliberately misrepresented as has Calvinism. Many of those who have criticized Calvinism have done so without making any adequate study of the system, and it may truly be said that our opponents in general know little of our opinions except what they have picked up by hearsay in which there is neither connection nor consistency. The doctrine of Predestination especially makes the wisdom of the world a laughing stock, and in turn the wisdom of the world scoffs at Predestination. If any doctrine is to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness, certainly this one is. Nakedly stated, the doctrine of Predestination seems paradoxical; and those who are acquainted with no more than the mere statement of it are likely to feel surprised that it could have been maintained by the pious and thoughtful minds that have maintained it. But in this case, as in many others, when we carefully examine its ground and construction, its paradoxical character is at least diminished, if it does not disappear altogether.

Hence we ask that this system shall be examined without passion and that it shall be studied in its relations and logical consistency. We have already seen that it is abundantly established on Scripture authority; and when we add to this the evidence which comes from the laws of Nature and the facts of human life, it becomes altogether possible, probable, just, and righteous. Viewed in this light it ceases to be the arbitrary illogical, immoral doctrine that its opponents delight to picture, and becomes a doctrine which sheds glory on the divine Majesty. These, of course, are not the doctrines which the natural man expects to find. Salvation by works is the system which most naturally appeals to unenlightened reason; and if we had been left to develop a system ourselves, there is hardly one chance in a thousand that we would have developed a system in which a redeemer acting in his representative capacity would have earned these blessings and graciously given them to his people. Says Zanchius, “The judgment of the flesh, or of mere unregenerates reason, usually starts back from this truth with horror; but, on the contrary, the judgment of a spiritual man will embrace it with affection,” (p. 152). “If Arminianism most commends itself to our feelings,” says Froude, “Calvinism is nearer to the facts, however harsh and forbidding those facts may seem.” It is plain that Calvinism makes its appeal to Divine revelation rather than to man’s reason; to facts rather than sentiment; to knowledge rather than supposition; to conscience rather than to emotion.

As stated before, many people see nothing in this system but a strange sort of foolishness. But when studied with a little care these doctrines are found to be neither so uncertain nor so difficult as men would lead us to believe; and the uncertainty and difficulty which does attach to them is due largely to our pride, love of sin, and ignorance of the real state of our heart. Those who have come to accept this system almost feel that they are living in a different world, so different is their outlook upon life. “Wherever the sons of God turn their eyes,” says Calvin, “they behold such wonderful instances of blindness, ignorance and insensibility, as fills them with horror; while they, in the midst of such darkness, have received Divine illumination, and know it, and feel it, to be so.” 7

If we may paraphrase the words of Pope we can most fittingly say of this subject: “A little Predestination is a dangerous thing; Then drink deep, or else touch not the sacred spring.” Here, as in some other instances, first draughts confuse and unsettle the mind, but deeper draughts overcome the intoxicating effects and bring us back to our right senses.

This sublime philosophy of God’s sovereignty and man’s freedom is found in all parts of the Bible. No attempt, however, is made to explain to us how these two factors are related. The unvarying assumption is that God is the Sovereign Ruler who governs even the intimate thoughts and feelings and impulses of men; yet on the other hand man is never represented as anything else than an intelligent, free, moral agent who is responsible for his actions. The doctrines of foreordination, sovereignty, and effectual providential control, go hand in hand with those of the liberty and responsibility of rational creatures. It is not claimed that the doctrine of Predestination is free from all difficulties, but it is claimed that its denial is attended with more and greater difficulties. That a Being of infinite wisdom, power and goodness would create a universe and then turn it adrift like some huge vessel without a pilot, is a supposition which subverts our basic ideas of God, which contradicts the repeated testimony of the Scriptures, and which is contrary to our daily experience and common sense. Charles Hodge prefaces his discussion of “The Decrees of God,” with the following statement: “It must be remembered that Theology is not Philosophy. It does not assume to discover truth, or to reconcile what it teaches as true with all other truths. Its province is simply to state what God has revealed in His word, and to vindicate those statements as far as possible from misconceptions and objections. This limited and humble office of Theology it is especially necessary to bear in mind, when we come to speak of the acts and purposes of God. ‘The things of God knoweth no man; but the Spirit of God’ (1 Corinthians 2:11). In treating, therefore, of the decrees of God, all that is proposed is simply to state what the Spirit has seen fit to reveal on that subject.” 8

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

 

It may be well to obviate an objection which some are likely to make against the whole subject

Before entering into detail upon the nature and terms of the compact which God made with Adam, it may be well to obviate an objection which some are likely to make against the whole subject; namely, that since the word covenant is not to be found in the historical account of Genesis, therefore to speak of the Adamic covenant is naught but a theological invention. There is a certain class of people, posing as ultraorthodox, who imagine they have a reverence and respect for Holy Writ as the final court of appeal which surpasses that of their fellows. They say, Show me a passage which expressly states God made a covenant with Adam, and that will settle the matter; but until you can produce a verse with the exact term “Adamic covenant” in it, I shall believe no such thing.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

It is ordered in all things

But notice the next word, for it is a sweet one, and we must not let one portion go; It is ordered in all things.” “Order is heaven’s first law,” and God has not a disorderly covenant. It is an orderly one. When he planned it, before the world began, it was in all things ordered well. He so arranged it, that justice should be fully satisfied, and yet mercy should be linked hand-in-hand with it. He so planned it that vengeance should have its utmost jot and little, and yet mercy should save the sinner. Jesus Christ came to confirm it, and by his atonement, he ordered it in all things; he paid every drop of his blood; he did not leave one farthing of the ransom-money for his dear people, but he ordered it in all things. And the Holy Spirit, when he sweetly applies it, always applies it in order, he orders it in all things. He makes us sometimes understand this order, but if we do not, be sure of this, that the covenant is a well-ordered covenant. I have heard of a man who bought a piece of land, and when the covenant was being made, he thought he knew more about it than the lawyer; but you know it is said that when a man is his own lawyer he has a fool for his client. In this case the man had a fool for his client; and he drew up the covenant so badly, that in a few years it was discovered to be good for nothing, and he lost his property. But our Father’s covenant is drawn up according to the strictest rules of justice; and so is ordered in all things. If hell itself should search itif it were passed round amongst a conclave of demons, they could not find a single fault with it. There are the technical terms of heaven’s court, there is the great seal at the bottom, and there is the signature of Jesus, written in his own blood. So it is “ordered in all things.”

That word things is not in the original, and we may read it persons, as well as things. It is ordered in all persons-all the persons whose names are in the covenant; it is ordered for them, and they shall come according to the promise: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” O my beloved Christian, stop at this promise a moment, for it is a sweet well of precious water to slake thy thirst and refresh thy weariness. It is “ordered in all things.” What dost thou want more than this? Dost thou need constraining grace? It is “ordered in all things.” Dost thou require more of the spirit of prayer? It is “ordered in all things.” Dost thou desire more faith? It is “ordered in all things.” Art thou afraid lest thou shouldst not hold out to the end? It is “ordered in all things.” There is converting grace in it, pardoning grace in it; justifying grace, sanctifying grace, and persevering grace; for it is “ordered in all things, and sure “Nothing is left out, so that whene’er we come, we find all things there stored up in heavenly order. Galen, the celebrated physician, says of the human body, that its bones are so well put together, all the parts being so beautifully ordered, that we could not change one portion of it without spoiling its harmony and beauty; and if we should attempt to draw a model man, we could not, with all our ingenuity, fashion a being more wondrous in workmanship than man as he is. It is so with regard to the covenant. If we might alter it, we could not change it for the better, all its portions are beautifully agreed. I always feel when I am preaching the gospel covenant that I am secure. If I preach any other gospel, I am vulnerable, I am open to attack; but standing upon the firm ground of God’s covenant, I feel I am in a tower of strength, and so 2 long as I hold all the truths, I am not afraid that even the devils of hell can storm my castle. So secure is the man who believes the everlasting gospel; no logic can stand against it. Only let our preachers give the everlasting gospel to the people, and they will drink it as the ox drinketh water. You will find they love God’s truth. But so long as God’s gospel is smothered, and the candle is put under a bushel, we cannot expect men’s souls will be brought to love it. I pray God that the candle may burn the bushel up, and that the light may be manifest.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855