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The Divinity of the Spirit proved

November 26, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The Divinity of the Spirit proved.
I. He is the Creator and Preserver of the world.
II. He sent the Prophets.
III. He quickeneth all things.
IV. He is everywhere present.
V. He renews the saints, and fits them for eternal life.
VI. All the offices of Deity belong to him.

14. In asserting the divinity of the Spirit, the proof must be derived from the same sources. And it is by no means an obscure testimony which Moses bears in the history of the creation, when he says that the Spirit of God was expanded over the abyss or shapeless matter; for it shows not only that the beauty which the world displays is maintained by the invigorating power of the Spirit, but that even before this beauty existed the Spirit was at work cherishing the confused mass. 96 Again, no cavils can explain away the force of what Isaiah says, “And now the Lord God, and his Spirit, has sent me,” (Isaiah 48:16,) thus ascribing a share in the sovereign power of sending the prophets to the Holy Spirit. (Calvin in Acts 20:28.) In this his divine majesty is clear.

But, as I observed, the best proof to us is our familiar experience. For nothing can be more alien from a creature, than the office which the Scriptures ascribe to him, and which the pious actually feel him discharging, — his being diffused over all space, sustaining, invigorating, and quickening all things, both in heaven and on the earth. The mere fact of his not being circumscribed by any limits raises him above the rank of creatures, while his transfusing vigor into all things, breathing into them being, life, and motion, is plainly divine. Again, if regeneration to incorruptible life is higher, and much more excellent than any present quickening, what must be thought of him by whose energy it is produced? Now, many passages of Scripture show that he is the author of regeneration, not by a borrowed, but by an intrinsic energy; and not only so, but that he is also the author of future immortality. In short, all the peculiar attributes of the Godhead are ascribed to him in the same way as to the Son. He searches the deep things of Gods and has no counselor among the creatures; he bestows wisdom and the faculty of speech, though God declares to Moses (Exodus 4:11) that this is his own peculiar province. In like manner, by means of him we become partakers of the divine nature, so as in a manner to feel his quickening energy within us. Our justification is his work; from him is power, sanctification, truth, grace, and every good thought, since it is from the Spirit alone that all good gifts proceed. Particular attention is due to Paul’s expression, that though there are diversities of gifts, “all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:11,) he being not only the beginning or origin, but also the author; as is even more clearly expressed immediately after in these words “dividing to every man severally as he will.” For were he not something subsisting in God, will and arbitrary disposal would never be ascribed to him. Most clearly, therefore does Paul ascribe divine power to the Spirit, and demonstrate that he dwells hypostatically in God.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation

The Wednesday Word: Who is this man Jesus? Part 3

November 19, 2014 2 comments

Jesus is the Creator: What a beautiful view of County Sligo!

But not only is the Lord Jesus the Creator, He is the Christ.

By the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the people had long held the hope of a coming deliverer to route their enemies. In fact, this expectation of an emancipator began way back in Genesis 3:15 with the promise of the coming seed. This coming one would be a champion of their cause. He would crush the enemy’s head. This anticipated one was their hope. He would overcome all oppressors. Generation after generation added to this expectation as the seers gave prophesy after prophesy concerning Him and His arrival.

This champion would be descended from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. He was to be the anointed one (Psalm 2:2: Daniel 9:26). He would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2). Indeed, so numerous are the prophesies, types and shadows concerning Him, we can sum up the Old Testament with three words, “Behold He Comes.”

Who is this man Jesus?

He is the Christ!

This is what Peter confessed. The Lord asked, “Who do you say that I the Son of man am?” Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God.” The woman at the well left her water pot and went back to the town, saying, “Come see a man that has told me everything I have done. Is not this the Christ” (John 4:29)? The apostle John asks in 1 John 2:22; “Who is a liar?” Then he informs us that “he that denies that Jesus is the Christ. The same is both a liar and an antichrist.”

When we confess Jesus as the Christ, we are declaring that He is the anointed one. We are affirming that He is the appointed one, chosen to deliver His people from the penalty and power of sin (Luke 4:18; Matthew 1:21).

As the Christ, Jesus fulfills the role of Prophet, Priest and King. He is the prophet, because He spoke the final word of God to man (John 1:1–18; 14:24; Luke 24:19; Hebrews 1:1-3). He is the priest, because His death atones for our sins and reconciles us to the Father (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14). He is the King because all authority is given unto Him (John 18:36; Ephesians 1:20–23; Revelation 19:16).

Who is this man Jesus Christ? He is pictured throughout the Old Testament. Here are but a few of the portraits.

Genesis: The Seed of the Woman

Exodus: The Passover Lamb

Leviticus: The High Priest

Numbers: The Pillar of Cloud and The Pillar of Fire by night Deuteronomy: The Prophet like Moses and the Great Rock

Joshua: The Captain of the Lord of Hosts

Judges: The Judge and Lawgiver

Ruth: The Kinsman Redeemer

1 & 2 Samuel: The Trusted Prophet

1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles: The Reigning King

Ezra: The Lord of Heaven and Earth

Nehemiah: The Rebuilder of the Broken Walls

Esther: Mordecai

Job: The Daysman Mediator

Psalms: The crucified one of Psalm 22

Proverbs & Ecclesiastes: The Wisdom of God

The Song of Solomon: The Lover & Bridegroom and the Chief among 10,000

Isaiah: The Suffering Servant, the Mighty God and the Prince of Peace

Jeremiah & Lamentations: The LORD our Righteousness and the Weeping Prophet

Ezekiel: The Wheel Turning and The Four faced man.

Daniel: The 4th Man in the Fiery Furnace

Hosea: The Faithful Husband

Joel: The One Who Pours out His Spirit

Amos: The Restored Tabernacle of David

Obadiah: Deliverance

Jonah: The God of a Second Chance

Micah: The One who will be ruler in Israel

Nahum: The Publisher of Peace

Habakkuk: The Minister of God crying out For Revival

Zephaniah: The Restorer of God’s Lost Heritage

Haggai: The Glory of the Latter House

Zechariah: The Fountain opened up for Sin and uncleanness

Malachi: The Son of Righteousness rising with healing in His wings

He is the Christ, the prophesied One. He is the One who conquered death and is alive forevermore. You can trust Him with your soul and be safe.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles

 

www.milesmckee.com 

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Christ the Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and Searcher of hearts

November 12, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Christ the Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and Searcher of hearts.
Therefore, the Eternal God.

12. The divinity of Christ, if judged by the works which are ascribed to him in Scripture, becomes still more evident. When he said of himself, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work,” the Jews, though most dull in regard to his other sayings, perceived that he was laying claim to divine power. And, therefore, as John relates, (John 5:17,) they sought the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. What, then, will be our stupidity if we do not perceive from the same passage that his divinity is plainly instructed? To govern the world by his power and providence, and regulate all things by an energy inherent in himself, (this an Apostle ascribes to him, Hebrews 1:3,) surely belongs to none but the Creator. Nor does he merely share the government of the world with the Father, but also each of the other offices, which cannot be communicated to creatures. The Lord proclaims by his prophets “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake,” (Isaiah 43:25.) When, in accordance with this declaration, the Jews thought that injustice was done to God when Christ forgave sins, he not only asserted, in distinct terms, that this power belonged to him, but also proved it by a miracle, (Matthew 9:6.) We thus see that he possessed in himself not the ministry of forgiving sins, but the inherent power which the Lord declares he will not give to another. What! Is it not the province of God alone to penetrate and interrogate the secret thoughts of the heart? But Christ also had this power, and therefore we infer that Christ is God.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation

Objection answered-the Word began to be when the creating God spoke

October 15, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Objection, that the Logos began to be when the creating God spoke.
Answer confirmed by Scripture and argument.

8. Here an outcry is made by certain men, who, while they dare not openly deny his divinity, secretly rob him of his eternity. For they contend that the Word only began to be when God opened his sacred mouth in the creation of the world. Thus, with excessive temerity, they imagine some change in the essence of God. For as the names of God, which have respect to external work, began to be ascribed to him from the existence of the work, (as when he is called the Creator of heaven and earth,) so piety does not recognize or admit any name which might indicate that a change had taken place in God himself. For if any thing adventitious took place, the saying of James would cease to be true, that “every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” (James 1:17.) Nothing, therefore, is more intolerable than to fancy a beginning to that Word which was always God, and afterwards was the Creator of the world. But they think they argue acutely, in maintaining that Moses, when he says that God then spoke for the first time, must be held to intimate that till then no Word existed in him. This is the merest trifling. It does not surely follow, that because a thing begins to be manifested at a certain time, it never existed previously. I draw a very different conclusion. Since at the very moment when God said, “Let there be light,” the energy of the Word-was immediately exerted, it must have existed long before. If any inquire how long, he will find it was without beginning. No certain period of time is defined, when he himself says, “Now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was,” (John 17:5.) Nor is this omitted by John: for before he descends to the creation of the world, he says, that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” We, therefore, again conclude, that the Word was eternally begotten by God, and dwelt with him from everlasting. In this way, his true essence, his eternity, and divinity, are established.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation

All blessings are gifts and we have no claim to them by our own merit

September 22, 2014 1 comment

SpurgeonWe must assume, before we commence our discourse, one thing certain, namely, that all blessings are gifts and that we have no claim to them by our own merit. This I think every considerate mind will grant. And this being admitted, we shall endeavor to show that He has a right, seeing they are His own to do what He wills with them — to withhold them wholly if He pleaseth — to distribute them all if He chooseth — to give to some and not to others — to give to none or to give to all, just as seemed good in His sight. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

Is it not lawful for God to do what he will with his own?

September 1, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 1“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” (Matthew 20:15).

The householder says, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” and even so does the God of Heaven and earth ask this question of you this morning, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

Predestination is to be preached because the grace of God (which stands opposed to all human worthiness) cannot be maintained without it

Chapter V

SHOWING THAT THE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION SHOULD BE OPENLY
PREACHED AND INSISTED ON, AND FOR WHAT REASONS.

UPON the whole, it is evident that the doctrine of God’s eternal and unchangeable predestination should neither be wholly suppressed and laid aside, nor yet be confined to the disquisition of the learned and speculative only; but likewise should be publicly taught from the pulpit and the press, that even the meanest of the people may not be ignorant of a truth which reflects such glory on God, and is the very foundation of happiness to man. Let it, however, be preached with judgment and discretion, 1:e., delivered by the preacher as it is delivered in Scripture, and no otherwise. By which means, it can neither be abused to licentiousness nor misapprehended to despair, but will eminently conduce to the knowledge, establishment, improvement and comfort of them that hear. That predestination ought to be preached, I thus prove:-

II.-Predestination is to be preached because the grace of God (which stands opposed to all human worthiness) cannot be maintained without it. The excellent St. Augustine makes use of this very argument. “If,” says he, “these two privileges (namely, faith itself and final perseverance in faith) are the gifts of God, and if God foreknew on whom He would bestow these gifts (and who can doubt of so evident a truth?), it is necessary for predestination to be preached as the sure and invincible bulwark of that true grace of God, which is given to men without any consideration of merit.”* Thus argued St. Augustine against the Pelagians, who taught that grace is offered to all men alike; that God, for His part, equally wills the salvation of all, and that it is in the power of man’s free-will to accept or reject the grace and salvation so offered. Which string of errors do, as Augustine justly observes, centre in this grand point, gratiam secundum nostra merita dari:that God’s grace is not free, but the fruit of man’s desert.

* De Bono Persever. cap. 21.

Now the doctrine of predestination batters down this delusive Babel of free-will and merit. It teaches us that, if we do indeed will and desire to lay hold on Christ and salvation by Him, this will and desire are the effect of God’s secret purpose and effectual operation, for He it is who worketh in us both to will and to do of His own good pleasure, that he that glorieth should glory in the Lord. There neither is nor can be any medium between predestinating grace and salvation by human merit. We must believe and preach one or the other, for they can never stand together. No attempts to mingle and reconcile these two incompatible opposites can ever succeed, the apostle himself being judge. “If (says he) it (namely, election) be by grace, then is it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace:but, if it be of works, then be it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work” (Rom 11:6). Exactly agreeable to which is that of St. Augustine:”Either predestination is to be preached as expressly as the Scriptures deliver it, namely, that with regard to those whom He hath chosen, ‘the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,’ or we must roundly declare, as the Pelagians do, that grace is given according to merit.”* Most certain it is that the doctrine of gratuitous justification through Christ can only be supported on that of our gratuitous predestination in Christ, since the latter is the cause and foundation of the former.

* De Bono Persever. cap. 16.

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