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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Benjamin Keach on Justification

by Tom Nettles

Editor’s Introduction

Benjamin Keach (1640–1704) became a Baptist at age 15, preached as a General Baptist, and suffered persecution, imprisonment, and the pillory for his convictions as a Baptist. After serving as an elder in a General Baptist congregation from 1668-1672, he became a Particular Baptist minister and founded the church at Horse-lie-Down in Southwark in London. He spent the remainder of his years as a zealous preacher of the gospel, an effective polemicist, a theoretician on principles of biblical interpretation, a poet, a hymn-writer, and a writer of allegory. His clear and bold defense of the doctrines of grace was informed by his previous years as an Arminian. He lived with sincere conviction that the doctrine of justification by faith was indeed the doctrine on which the church stands or falls. His sermons and expositional writings were filled with explanations of the centrality of this doctrine to a proper understanding of the grace of God.

In an exposition of Luke 7:42, “And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both,” Keach had an applicatory section explain how grace reigns through righteousness. Grace is not elevated in an unjust way………..

Read the entire article at Founders Ministries.

Reformed Credobaptism

In this post, I want to investigate the relation of faith to baptism in the Reformed tradition, and how it relates to modern discussions and debates.

Common Argument: Sacraments are God’s word to us, not our word to God

In my experience with debates about credobaptism vs. paedobaptism, one of the common arguments that modern Reformed Christians direct toward Baptists is that Baptists misunderstand the nature of sacraments. The common argument goes like this:

Sacraments are God’s word to us, not our profession of faith to God. Infant Baptism fits this perfectly because it is a picture of God’s grace promised to a helpless individual. Baptists turn baptism into a work performed by man, rather than a sign of divine grace given by God.

Let’s be clear, up front. It would be very easy to provide numerous examples of Baptists laying a heavy emphasis….

Read the entire article over at Petty France  

The Wednesday Word: What Faith Sees

“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). But how is faith obtained? Listen to this! “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Its no wonder the Word of God is under such attack nowadays

Real faith, is not faith in ourselves or faith in what we do. No indeed! But real faith is a living, personal faith, in that living, personal Saviour who came to earth and lived, died, was buried and rose again. And real faith now informs us that this same Saviour ascended into heaven and is now ruling and reigning and seated in cosmic authority (see Acts 2:33; Hebrews 10:12).

“Behold Him there, the risen Lord,

The sinless spotless sacrifice.

Upward I look and see Him there,

Who made an end of all my sin.”

As we listen to what God’s word says about Christ Jesus and His work for us, faith grows. Faith bows to the divine record of the person, work and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith sees, in a personal way, that the Bible is true when it says that all have sinned (Romans 3:23).

Faith causes us to agree that, in ourselves, we are lost and undone (Isaiah 53:6).

Faith leads us to fully trust in Christ Jesus as our sin-bearer (1 Peter 2:24-25).

Faith sees that Christ alone did all the work that was needed to cleanse us and make us fit for the presence of God (John 19:30).

Faith rests on the fact that the work which Christ finished on the cross 2000 years ago, is really finished.

Faith agrees that we cannot add to this work (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Faith agrees that we cannot take away from this work. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Faith grasps that peace is not only a thing of enjoyment within us, but it is Christ outside of us: for He is our peace (Ephesians 2:4).

“My love is oftimes low,

My joy still ebbs and flows,

But peace with Him remains the same;

No change Jehovah knows.”

Bonar

Salvation is received by faith plus nothing. If there was a way for us to contribute to our own salvation; or if it depended on our merits; or indeed, if there were some way we could earn it or deserve it — then we would not receive our salvation by faith alone; we would be saved by faith plus works. But salvation is God’s gift. It is all by grace! There is nothing we can possibly add to what God has already done to save us in Jesus Christ. There is no other way to receive the benefits of Christ Crucified than by faith alone.

Some years ago, an old preacher had just finished giving a lecture at a Bible College and asked for questions. One student raised his hand and asked, “Sir, when were you saved.” The old pastor knew what the student wanted to know. He wanted to know where and when the Pastor had received Christ … was it at a gospel meeting, or in a church, did he raise his hand or walk to the front of the church?

The old preacher smiled and said, “When was I saved? Ï was saved 2000 years ago at Calvary, for it says in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself not imputing their trespasses to them.” I received that salvation by faith alone 50 years ago.

To receive this glorious salvation, we don’t do anything…we simply rest on His doing, dying and rising again.

Salvation was accomplished by Christ alone, it is received by faith alone without the addition of any works of our own.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: KEPT

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last lime.”

l Peter 1: 5.

What is meant by being “kept by the power of God?” There are often great mistakes made on this point. Some teach that this verse tells us that we are:

(1) kept from accidents;

(2) kept from misfortune;

(3) kept from trials;

(4) kept from affliction; and

(5) kept from sin.

But the wording of our text, the facts of Scripture and the experience of the believer do not agree with such conclusions.

I´ve known believers who have been maimed or killed in accidents. I´ve seen believers overcome with misfortunes, trials, and afflictions. Though “kept by the power of God” believers often sin.

“What, then is the use of the power of God?” Let´s look at the text again: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” According to the text we are kept by the power of God unto salvation. Our salvation is secured. We are kept securely in Him despite all accidents, misfortunes, trials, afflictions and through all sin. What Power! What Goodness! What Grace!

God is in the keeping business. Jesus said, “Of all Thou hast given me I have lost none” (John 18:9) and “those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost” (Jn 17:12).

God’s keeping means that He preserves us through all the troubles and changes of this mortal life unto eternal glory.

Who more afflicted than Job? But he was kept!

Who was more harassed by his own wicked flesh than David? But he was kept!

Who more tried than Paul?

He was beaten by the Jews five times. But he was kept!

He was beaten with a rod three times. But he was kept!

He was stoned once. But he was kept!

He was shipwrecked three times, spending at least 24 hours afloat at sea. But he was kept!

He often fled for his life under persecution. But he was kept!

He suffered from hunger, thirst, the elements, and inadequate clothing. But he was kept!

On a personal level, I have known many uncomplicated periods free from accident and misfortune in this life. I also have known the opposite. But in all such seasons, I have been kept by the power of God. My salvation has been secure.

Believers are the children of God through Christ (Galatians 3:26). We are inheritors of everlasting life through grace alone. We have been given the Holy Spirit and we will be kept forever (John 14:16-17; 16:12-15; Ephesians 1:13-14).

So, let no one jump to false conclusions. When a saint breaks down and falls, don´t assume that he is not kept unto salvation. Don´t assume that he is a lost cause. If he is the Lord´s, he is kept by the power of God unto salvation.

May we always remember, our salvation is based on Christ´s performance not ours. He is the one who keeps. He is the Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost.

Because of the Gospel we can be assured of the power of God working on our behalf. Sometimes it feels like our faith has keeled over and died but, even so, we are “kept by the power of God.” Our God never changes. He is forever faithful to His word.

May we believe what has been written.

May we always remember that we, His blood washed people, are the objects of God’s eternal kindness, care, protection and keeping.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Vital Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is vital for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), yet faith is not our saviour. By faith, we not only acknowledge our debt of sin but also recognize that we don’t have to pay a penny of it.

Spurgeon said it like this, ´´My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in who and what Christ is, in what He has done … ´´

As we grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18) we learn more of the ways of faith.

For example,

We learn that faith is the adopting grace. “We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 26).

Faith is the justifying grace. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Romans 5:1).

Faith is the conquering grace. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5: 4).

Faith is the wonder-working grace. Saints “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11: 33-34).

Faith is not merely a hope so, it is the way forward when we are stagnant. Faith brings certainty. Faith brings us continually to the Gospel for genuine faith has the Lord Jesus as its object. Though we may be saturated with sin, faith takes us to Christ.

Faith causes us to embrace Jesus.

Faith causes us to cling to Him.

Faith sees that He is our only hope.

Henry Law said it like this,

´´Faith is the eye which sees Him,

the ear which hears Him,

the hand which holds Him,

the feet which follow hard after Him,

the heart which loves Him,

the head which knows Him,

the memory which retains Him,

the affections which are entwined around Him,

the trust which trusts in Him,

the hope which hopes in Him¨.

Indeed, faith is the entire person loving Jesus, looking only unto Him, swallowed up in Him, making Him the All in All.’ (Henry Law, Meditations on the Epistle to the Ephesians.)

There was once a French tightrope walker, Charles Blondin, who did incredible aerial feats. All over Paris, he would do tightrope acts blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow. An American promoter read about this and wrote to Blondin, saying, “Sir, I don’t believe you can do it, but I’m willing to make you an offer. For a very substantial sum of money, besides all your travel expenses, I would like to challenge you to do your act over Niagara Falls.”

Blondin wrote back, “Sir, I’d love to attempt this.”

On September 14, 1860 after a lot of promotion many people came to see the event. The tightrope acrobat was to start on the Canadian side and walk to the American side. The Drums rolled, and Blondin set out across the rope which was suspended over the most treacherous part of the falls. As usual, he was blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow!! And he made it across easily. The crowds went wild, and he came to the promoter saying, “Well Sir, now do you believe I can do it?”

“Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it.”

“No,” said Blondin, “do you really believe I can do it?”

“Well of course I do, you just did it.”

“No, no, no,” said Blondin, “do you trust that I can do it?”

“Yes,” said the Promoter, “I believe you can do it.”

“Good,” said Blondin, “then get in the wheelbarrow and I´ll take you across.”

What an excellent illustration of faith! Faith, as it were, causes us to get into the wheelbarrow of life embracing Jesus in every situation.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: SAVED

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”(Acts 4:12).

SAVED! What a great Bible term. Some people say it is antiquated, but I disagree. It means deliverance instead of destruction, life instead of death, acquittal instead of punishment and rescue instead of ruin. Saved! What a wonderful multi-faceted word! May we never drop it from our vocabulary.

We are saved!

And how did we get saved? We got saved on the basis of Christ’s finished work outside of us in history (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Believers have been delivered from damnation (Romans 5:1). We are saved.

Believers are no longer under wrath (Romans 5:9)…..we are saved.

Jesus said, ¨I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture¨ (John 10:9).

Again, In Acts 2:21 we learn that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

‘But surely I am saved by giving up my bad habits?’ Not at all! As Harry Ironside said, “The Gospel is not a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

Inspite of our unworthiness, we, by faith, receive a complete and finished salvation. We are not half condemned, we are saved. We are not half accepted, we are saved.

Because of the doing, dying and rising again of Christ Jesus we are saved completely (Colossians 2:10).

We are saved forever, (Romans 11:29).

And, we are saved for his glory (Romans 15:7).

Notice how our salvation begins with grace and ends with glory. Grace is the forerunner of Glory. Glory is the consummation of grace.

Across the history of the believer’s life is now written in large bold letters ..SAVED. The more we understand the Gospel the more we realise that the Father cannot discover any state to ‘unfit’ us for Jesus. (see Romans 8:33-39). We are saved!

It’s a wonderful thing to know that the Lord Jesus has nothing against us. We are saved! We are saved because Christ Jesus suffered on the cross. He was charged with our sin and He acknowledged our sin to be his. We are saved! In His life, He gave himself for us. At the cross, He gave Himself for us. We are saved!

What sin can keep the believer out of Glory?

Would you say blasphemy? No it can’t be blasphemy for Saul of Tarsus said, “I was a blasphemer”(1 Timothy 1:13). Yet, God saved him.

Would adultery keep a person out of Glory? That can’t be so. Rahab the harlot had practiced prostitution (Joshua 2:1). Yet God saved her.

Would you say murder would keep a person out of glory? Well, David had a hit man go and kill Uriah; that’s murder. (2 Samuel 12). Yet God saved him.

Would you say divorce would keep you out of Glory? The woman at the well was married five times (John 4:16-18). But God saved her.

We have too small a view of the Lord’s power, grace and mercy. He is the Saviour! We are the saved.

As you remember, the name Jesus comes from the Hebrew ‘Jehoshua’, meaning “Jehovah saves”. Jesus was born as our Saviour. If he loses us, he’s not the saviour who was born to save. But He died on the cross as our saviour. He was buried and rose again as our Saviour! Therefore, we are safe and we are saved!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The Unlikely Gospel!

I am so thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Gospel. He gives us faith (Ephesians 2:8) and then persuades us of impossible things, the most unlikely of these being the Gospel itself!

Have you ever considered the unlikeliness of the whole Gospel story? Here we are on a tiny, insignificant speck of a planet, un-noticeable in the vast array of galaxies and yet God, the Creator of all things, has a particular interest in us.

And the skeptic says, “What a far-fetched idea!”

Well, it may be far-fetched to some, but the truth is He came here and became one of us!

And the doubter says, “Wait a minute, I don’t believe in fairy stories!”

But this is no fairy story; not only did He become one of us, but He also died the cruelest of deaths for us as He took responsibility for our sins and failures. And not only did He die for us, but He also became a curse for us and at the cross became the greatest reject in the universe.

And the cynic says, “That’s impossible.”

Impossible to believe? Yes indeed, the whole thing is impossible to believe unless the Holy Spirit possesses us and, in grace, opens our spiritual eyes. It’s all impossible to grasp unless He gives us faith to believe. He lets us see that the baby born in the stable was the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6). He births faith that we might see that our redemption and security are in the Lamb of God alone (John 1:29). He convinces us that our righteousness is in Christ alone (Jeremiah 23:6). He shows us that, because of the blood, our conscience can be at peace (Hebrews 9:14). He guarantees us that we are fully accepted in heaven, right now and forever, because of Jesus (Ephesians 1:6). He assures us that our adversary, Satan, has been judged and defeated at the cross (Colossians 2:15). He persuades us that there is a fierce judgment to come and yet witnesses to us that as His blood washed people, we have nothing to fear (Romans 3:25).

The Holy Spirit continually takes us to the Lord Jesus whom we have never seen and does the impossible by making Him exceedingly precious to our hearts. He magnifies the Lord Jesus and causes our desires to go after Him. We could see nothing in Christ Jesus to desire were it not for the ministry of the Spirit. The great English preacher, William Romaine said it this way;

“This is the way in which the Holy Ghost glorifies Jesus: He gives the believer such views of the infinite fullness and everlasting sufficiency of Emmanuel, that he is quite satisfied with Him. William Romaine: Letter 11 (Dec. 29th, 1764).

Without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the whole Gospel record and its ensuing mercies are impossible to grasp. It is far-fetched. It is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18). Someone says, “I see what you mean, when I think about it I find it’s almost impossible to believe that one simple act of faith on my part can wipe out the entire record of sin and the accumulated filth of a lifetime of wickedness.”

Well no, that’s not what I mean. You talk about the impossibility of faith wiping out your sin—– well I agree with you. No amount of believing on your part can erase the horror and depth of your sin—that is indeed impossible! But, here’s the reality; Jesus Christ has already purged our sin. He has already redeemed (paid for) us. Because of Him, we are out of spiritual debt; we are free and clear. Our believing does not purge our sins; our believing does not redeem us. Our believing doesn’t pay our debt to God. And it doesn’t have to because Christ has already finished and accomplished our redemption at Calvary. The Holy Spirit gives faith to believe this—He gives faith to rest on this. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Rest on Him and the impossible will become a reality—you will be saved!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 7

7. Though we confess that no man doth attain unto faith by his own good will, John. 1:13, yet we judge and know that the Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so make him to believe and obey willingly; Ezek. 36:26; Psalm. 110:3; God thus working in us both to will and to do, of his good pleasure; Phil.. 2:13.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

Sandemanianism

March 16, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Haykin

Andrew Fuller and the Sandemanians

In December 1967, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave an address to what was then known as the Puritan Conference on the topic of ‘Sandemanianism’. Our initial reaction might be that the topic is esoteric, of little interest or value to modern men and women. But we would not feel this way if we were well-versed in the history of eighteenth-century Evangelicalism, the womb from which this particular doctrinal viewpoint came forth. Dr Lloyd-Jones proceeded to show that this theological aberration is of paramount importance for our own day. This article seeks to explore some aspects of the long-forgotten Sandemanian controversy.

Sandemanianism and the nature of saving faith

The roots of Sandemanianism lie in the 1720s when John Glas (1695-1773), minister of the Church of Scotland work in Tealing, Scotland, and a man of considerable erudition, gradually came to the conviction that Christ’s kingdom is one that is completely spiritual and, as such, independent of both state control and support. A church of some seventy believers was formed in the parish of Tealing, and over the next couple of decades ‘Glasite’ congregations could be found in Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh and booming textile centres such as Paisley and Dunkeld. Although the Glasites were never numerous, Glas’ views exerted wide influence throughout the British Isles and America, especially through the travels and writings of his son-in-law Robert Sandeman (1718-1771), whom Lloyd-Jones rightly describes as ‘a born controversialist’. In addition to adopting such practices as foot-washing, holy kissing, the use of lots to determine God’s will, and an insistence on unanimity in all church decisions, Glas’ and Sandeman’s followers also distinguished themselves from other eighteenth-century Evangelicals by a predominantly intellectualist view of faith. They became known for their cardinal theological tenet that saving faith is ‘bare belief of the bare truth’.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: Satisfied with Jesus

February 22, 2017 Leave a comment

If we were smart, we would line up with the Father’s thinking about the Son. In that way, we would be satisfied with Christ and would find ourselves enjoying the very life of the Gospel (John 20:31).

The Word declares that those who rest on Christ are doing the work of God (John 6:29). If we are doing God’s work, then, evidently, we are in God’s will. If we are in God’s will, then we will honour the Son as we honour the Father (John 5:23) In the heart of God’s will we come into agreement with the Father about His Son. The Father is entirely satisfied with the Son and so are we. Nothing more is required that agreement concerning the Son, but nothing less will do! The Father will not receive us on any other basis than that of the total sufficiency and acceptability of His Son.

“But,” says someone,” I must be a righteous person within myself before God accepts me!” Well actually—NO! Our acceptance is not grounded on our worthiness, but on Christ’s for the gospel concerns, “His Son” (Romans 1:1-3). The Gospel is, therefore, not about us and about how internally holy we can become. Indeed, satisfaction with our supposed inward holiness is like a wilderness path for a stray dog, it is dangerous and leads nowhere. Satisfaction with Christ Jesus, however, leads to glory, for Christ is ALL (Colossians 3:11).

The Father has said of the Lord Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”(Matthew 3:7). Notice the superlatives, Christ is not merely the Son, He is the beloved Son. The Father is not only pleased with Him, but He is also well pleased. When, therefore, we are well pleased with the beloved Son, we are in magnificent agreement with the Father.

Are you contented with the work of Christ? Are you satisfied that Christ has kept the Law perfectly on your behalf? We make problems for ourselves when we forget the necessity of a fulfilled law and view the Gospel as some sort of modified, legal arrangement with God. This kind of false thinking says, “Keeping the Law is irrelevant when it comes to salvation.” God, in this sort of thinking, was too strict in Old Testament times for He demanded perfection, but now in the New Covenant, we have the relaxed version of God. As one young girl naively put it, “God in the Old Testament was God before He got saved.”

In this new ‘chilled out’ notion of things, Christ lowered God’s demands because the commandments were too strict. Now we have milder terms more suited to our weakness.

But this is sheer nonsense!

Think about it, if the former law was too strict it was, as Bonar says, “neither holy nor good.” Is it too harsh to demand that we love God with everything we have? Has God so lowered His standards that His fundamental requirements are now obsolete? God forbid!

Faith, however, does not invalidate the law; it establishes it (Romans 3:31). God still demands perfect law keeping, and our confidence now rests in the One who has perfectly kept every aspect of the Law on our behalf. We are saved not only by Christ’s blood but also by Christ’s perfect law-keeping—He’s the one who both kept the Law’s precepts and paid the Law’s penalties. Christ’s perfect doing and dying are now imputed to us, reckoned as ours and received by us by faith alone. This is staggering!

God has nowhere relaxed His standard. It is by the perfect keeping of a perfect law that we are saved; otherwise, it would be an unholy and unrighteous salvation. Thus Christ alone is our only hope for He has kept the law for us; he has magnified it and made it honourable (Isaiah 42:21); and thus we have a holy and righteous salvation. Legally, Christ has both lived and died in our place, therefore, when God saves us he does so, not only as a matter of love and mercy but also as a matter of Justice.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

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