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An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 15

15. As we mind that our whole salvation is given unto us of the Father by Jesus Christ, and for His sake; so we likewise mind, that the Father’s giving Jesus Christ for us, and to us, and so saving us in Him, and for His sake, is the acting and manifesting of that free love of His towards us, which was in Himself from all eternity, John 17:23; Eph. 1:4,5.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

God is an infinite being and therefore cannot change

CharlesSpurgeon3. Again, there is the fact of God’s infinity, which puts change out of the question. God is an infinite being. What do you mean by that? There is no man who can tell you what he means by an infinite being. But there cannot be two infinities. If one thing is infinite, there is no room for anything else, for infinite means all. It means not bounded, not finite, having no end. Well, there cannot be two infinities. If God is infinite to-day, and then should change and be infinite tomorrow there would be two infinities. But that cannot be. Suppose he is infinite and then changes, he must become finite, and could not be God, either he is finite to-day and finite to-morrow, or infinite to day and finite to-morrow, or finite today and infinite tomorrow- all of which suppositions are equally absurd. The fact of his being an infinite being at once quashes the thought of his being a changeable being. Infinity has written on its very brow the word “immutability.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855

God is unchanging in the objects of his love

December 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 36. We must just hint at one thought before we pass away, and that is-God is unchanging in the objects of his love- not only in his love, but in the objects of it.

“If ever it should come to pass

That sheep of Christ might fall away,

My fickle, feeble soul, alas,

Would fall a thousand times a day.”

If one dear saint of God had perished, so might all; if one of the covenant ones be lost, so may all be, and then there is no gospel promise true; but the Bible is a lie, and there is nothing in it worth my acceptance. I will be an infidel at once, when I can believe that a saint of God can ever fall finally. If God hath loved me once, then he will love me for ever.

“Did Jesus once upon me shine,

Then Jesus is for ever mine”

The objects of everlasting love never change. Those whom God hath called, he will justify; whom he has justified, he will sanctify; and whom he sanctifies, he will glorify.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1-Chapter 19-The Love of God

April 10, 2015 3 comments

CHAPTER 19-THE LOVE OF GOD

Henry Drummond says that love is the greatest thing in the world. And from our point of view love is the greatest thing in God. Without love His justice would cut us off; His holiness would put us out of His sight; and His power would destroy us. Love is the one hope of sinners, and our great concern should be to discover God’s love to us.

With regard to His moral nature, God is said to be two things: light and love. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (#1Jo 1:5). In Scripture, “darkness” stands for sin and ignorance, and “light” is a symbol of holiness and understanding. “God is love”: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (#1Jo 4:8). Light and love are balancing perfections in the Divine nature. Because God is light, His love is not amiable weakness or good natured indulgence. Because God is light, His love is a holy love and not a mere sickly sentiment. God’s love never conflicts with His holiness. Because God is light, He never overlooks sin even in His own people, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (#Heb 12:6).

The love of God may be defined as that eternal principal of His nature by which He is moved to bestow eternal and spiritual blessings. Love is the moving cause of all His acts of mercy and grace. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (#Eph 2:4). The love of God is the guarantee that all things work together for the ultimate good of His people; it is the basis of all His redeeming activities.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S LOVE

1. It is eternal. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee” (#Jer 31:3). Here we have the secret drawing of the sinner to the Savior explained. He draws because He loves. “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple” (#Ps 65:4). The love that bought us also sought us and brought us to the place of safety, even to the Mercy Seat; Jesus Christ. There was never a time when God did not love His people, and there will never be a time when He will not love them. He loved us as much before we were saved as He does since we have been saved, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (#Ro 5:8).

2. God’s love is immutable. God changeth not and there can be no change in His love. “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (Jno. 13:1). God’s love for His people had no beginning and blessed be His Name, it shall have no ending. It is like Himself, from everlasting to everlasting. Paul’s grand argument for the security of the believer is based upon the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God nothing in the grave of the past, nothing in the perils of the present, and nothing in the womb of the future. The love of God is subject to no vicissitude.

“His love no end nor measure knows,
No change can turn its course,
Eternally the same it flows
From one eternal source.”

3. God’s love is sovereign. This is self evident. God Himself is a Sovereign, consulting His own imperial pleasure, and working all things after the counsel of His own will. And it necessarily follows that His love is sovereign. He alone selects the objects of His love. If He loves Jacob and hates Esau, who is to criticise Him? If He loves fallen sinners of the human race and hates fallen angels, who is to gainsay His right to do so. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (#Ro 9:18); “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (#Ro 9:20).

There is absolutely nothing in sinners to cause God to love them; nobody can claim the right to God’s love; His love is sovereign and free. What was there in this poor sinner to attract the heart of God? Absolutely nothing! On the other hand there was everything to merit His hatred; everything for which He might have loathed me.

“What was there in me that could merit esteem,
Or give the Creator delight?
‘Twas even so, Father, I ever must sing,
Because it seemed good in Thy sight.”

4. The love of God is effectual. This is obvious, for it is the love of the Almighty. It means something; yea, it means everything, to be loved by God. We are often loved by those who are helpless to help us. They are powerless to do for us what they would like to do. Their love is helpless because they lack power to make their love effectual. Darius loved Daniel but was powerless to save him. But we are loved by the Almighty, with whom nothing is too hard. The objects of God’s love are eternally safe. He who can make sure that God loves him may also be assured of a home in heaven. Here is a most important question: How may I know that God loves me? How can I be assured that all things work together for my good? By making sure that I love God. My love for God is inward evidence of His love for me. “We love him, because he first loved us” (#1Jo 4:19). His love for us created our love for Him. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is (Gk. has been) born of God, and knoweth God” (#1Jo 4:7).

MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD’S LOVE

God is love and He manifests what He is. There are no idle attributes in God. There is no such thing as secret love. Love will win out, whether it is the love of God or the love of man. Love is an acting, working principle of life.

1. God’s love to sinners was manifested in the gift of His Son. Love gives. Love gives the best. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (#Joh 3:16). Christ so loved the church that He gave Himself for it: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (#Eph 5:25). “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (#Joh 10:11). As a typical Jew, Nicodemus thought God loved nobody but Jews, but our Lord told him that “God so loved the world (Gentile as well as Jew), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (Gentile or Jew) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (#Joh 3:16). Until they were taught better, Christ’s own apostles thought all the sheep were among the Jews, but the Savior corrected them by saying, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (#Joh 10:15,16). The sheep among the Jews were in a fold, a ceremonial enclosure which distinguished them from the Gentiles. The sheep among the Gentiles had not been subjected to ceremonial laws. In saving the sheep among the Jews Christ led them out of the fold (Judaism), and made them one with the Gentile sheep that heard His voice, so that there is only one flock and one Shepherd. All of God’s people are one in Christ, for “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (#Ga 3:28). This does not teach that there are no distinct spheres of service, but it means that all the saved have a common salvation.

2. God’s love is manifested in the new birth. By nature we are children of wrath; by a supernatural birth we become the children of God. “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (#Ro 9:8). John says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (#1Jo 3:1). We are not only named children, but we are made children of God by the new birth. We are children by a Divine call; that effectual call which comes in connection with the new birth.

3. God’s love is manifested in discipline. Discipline is an expression and proof of love. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth”
(#Heb 12:6).

Here is ample evidence that none of God’s children are perfect. They all need the Father’s chastening rod. The word for “chasten” means to train as a child, and the word for “scourge” means to whip or flog. Children need training and whipping, and the love of God will give us what we need. Chastisement is from the loving hand of a wise Father; condemnation is from the truthful lips of a just Judge. “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (#1Co 11:32). Chastisement is not pleasant, but it is profitable; it increaseth the fruit of righteousness and maketh us partakers of His holiness: “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (#Heb 12:10,11).

VARIOUS ASPECTS OF GOD’S LOVE

Some theologians speak of several kinds of Divine love, but we prefer to think of one Divine principle with varying emotions, according to the object upon which the love is bestowed. We like what Dr. Kerfoot has to say on this point:

“If the object loved is lovely, then the emotion of loving is that of complacency. If the object loved is one needing kindness or beneficence, the emotion is that of benevolence. If the object is in distress, the emotion is that of compassion or pity, etc. Just as the active principle of fire is the same, whatever may be the character of the material upon which it lays hold, so the principle of love is always the same.”

1.When God’s love terminates upon Himself or upon innocent creatures, it is the love of complacency. This is the aspect of His love for His Son with Whom He is always well pleased, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me lone; for I do always those things that please him” (#Joh 8:29). “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (#Mt 3:17), and in whom He ever takes delight. His love for the holy angels is likewise a love of complacency and delight.

2. When the love of God is towards sinners as objects of misery, then it is the love of compassion or pity. “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (#Eph 2:3-5). In mercy He quickens dead sinners into life, and this marvelous mercy is on account of His great love. Great love for sinners fruits in “plenteous mercy,” and “abounding grace.”

A dirty, drunken, ragged harlot, howling and filling the air with obscene language, was being dragged down the street by policemen. A refined and elegantly dressed woman stepped out into the street and kissed the vile wretch. Startled into sobriety for the moment, the vile creature asked in surprise: “What made you do that?” “Because I love you,” was the prompt reply. Are you surprised at this example of love? Then remember that the moral distance between God and the sinner, any and every sinner, is far greater than that between these two women; and yet He stoops to give us the kiss of reconciliation.

“I’ve found a Friend; O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him.
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever;
For I am His and He is mine,
Forever and forever.”

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1

Whatever Happened to Rob Bell

December 29, 2014 3 comments

(Do you remember the name Rob Bell? Have you wondered what happened to him after writing his book “Love Wins?” As of today, he has left the Church and has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey. Go figure.)

 

 

 

(RNS) Rob Bell was once the evangelical It Boy, the hipster pastor with the thick-rimmed glasses and the skinny jeans whose best-selling theology was captured in books with names such as “Velvet Elvis” and “Sex God.”

By 2006, the Chicago Sun-Times wondered aloud whether the Michigan megachurch pastor could be the next Billy Graham.

And then he went to hell.

In 2011, his book “Love Wins” pushed the evangelical envelope on the nature of heaven, hell and salvation. Many dismissed him as a modern-day heretic, unwilling to embrace traditional evangelicals beliefs about the hereafter.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Without preaching predestination we cannot enjoy a lively sight and experience of God’s special love and mercy towards us

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:-

V.-Without the doctrine of predestination we cannot enjoy a lively sight and experience of God’s special love and mercy towards us in Christ Jesus. Blessings, not peculiar, but conferred indiscriminately on every man, without distinction or exception, would neither be a proof of peculiar love in the donor nor calculated to excite peculiar wonder and gratitude in the receiver. For instance, rain from heaven, though an invaluable benefit, is not considered as an argument of God’s special favour to some individuals above others: and why? because it falls on all alike, as much on the rude wilderness and the barren rock as on the cultivated garden and the fruitful field. But the blessing of election, somewhat like the Sibylline books, rises in value, proportionably to the fewness of its objects. So that, when we recollect that in the view of God (to whom all things are at once present) the whole mass of mankind was considered as justly liable to condemnation on account of original and actual iniquity, His selecting some individuals from among the rest and graciously setting them apart in Christ for salvation both from sin and punishment, were such acts of sovereign goodness as exhibit the exceeding greatness and the entire freeness of His love in the most awful, amiable and humbling light.

In order, then, that the special grace of God may shine, predestination must be preached, even the eternal and immutable predestination of His people to faith and everlasting life. “From those who are left under the power of guilt,” says Augustine, “the person who is delivered from it may learn what he too must have suffered had not grace stepped in to his relief. And if it was that grace that interposed, it could not be the reward of man’s merit, but the free gift of God’s gratuitous goodness. Some, however, call it unjust for one to be delivered while another, though no more guilty than the former, is condemned; if it be just to punish one, it would be but justice to punish both. I grant that both might have been justly punished. Let us therefore give thanks unto God our Saviour for not inflicting that vengeance on us, which, from the condemnation of our fellow-sinners, we may conclude to have been our desert, no less than theirs. Had they as well as we been ransomed from their captivity, we could have framed but little conception of the penal wrath due, in strictness of justice, to sin; and, on the other hand, had none of the fallen race been ransomed and set at liberty, how could Divine grace have displayed the riches of its liberality?”* The same evangelical father delivers himself elsewhere to the same effect. “Hence,” says he, “appears the greatness of that grace by which so many are freed from condemnation, and they may form some idea of the misery, due to themselves, from the dreadfulness of the punishment that awaits the rest. Whence those who rejoice are taught to rejoice not in their own merits (quae paria esse vident damnatis, for they see that they have no more merit than the damned), but in the Lord.”+

* Epist. 105, ad Sixt. Presb.

+ De Predest. Sanctor, lib. 1, cap. 9.

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

Happy New Year 2014

January 1, 2014 5 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

 

Here is a thought to meditate on as we go into the New Year.

 “God Richly Blesses Us”

 All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer his children with his love. Like a river his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fullness inexhaustible as his own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days appears to gladden us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen with the rain, and as the atmosphere itself on occasions is fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God: it hath its golden hours, its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace and lifteth high his love before the sons of men.

Charles H. Spurgeon-A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, September 27th, 1863