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The Wednesday Word: It”s Personal

The Grace of God has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word made flesh. He is full of grace and truth” and “of His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:14,16). Literally, we have received grace “piled upon” grace. In much the same way the seashore is subject to the continual arrival of wave after wave so we have received and are receiving continual waves of grace in Christ Jesus.

Do we believe that? If we believe it, we will enjoy it!

Jesus is the Grace of God in human form. He is the full illustration and explanation of Grace. We sometimes forget that Grace is a person (Titus 2:11). When we, therefore, say we are saved by Grace, we are declaring that we are saved by someone other than us. We are actually saved by Christ Jesus and His accomplishments. To consent to be saved by Grace is to consent to be saved by the works of another. Christ’s work for us was perfect, His work is sufficient and by faith alone, His work is ours.

May we never rest on anything or anyone other than Jesus. May we never rest on the fact of our conversion to save us. May we never rest on our faith to save us. May we never rest on ‘Christ in us’ to save us. May we rest on Christ and His finished work alone. May He be personal to us. May we be able to speak of Christ my Saviour not merely of Christ the Saviour.

When Christ manifests His grace, He manifests Himself.

This is why His grace is Glorious (Ephesians 1:6);

Abundant (Acts 4:33)

Rich (Ephesians 1:7).

Manifold (many-sided) (1 Peter 4:10)

Sufficient (there is never a shortage) (2 Cor 12:9).

All the worth and preciousness of Christ is ours. All the guilt we had is His. This is pure grace. All our debt in the past has been settled by grace. All our debt in the present has been settled by grace. All our debt in the future has been settled by Grace.

May we all learn what it is to receive the abundant grace of God for ourselves.

The following is a marvellous illustration of grace in action.

In the 1800’s London had two famous preachers, Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker. On one occasion, Parker commented about the poor condition of children admitted to Spurgeon’s orphanage. Word of this came to Spurgeon but by the time it arrived, it was reported to Spurgeon that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. Spurgeon blasted Parker from his pulpit and the attack was printed in the newspaper and became the talk of the town. Londoners flocked to Parker’s church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal. Here’s what Parker said, “I understand Dr. Spurgeon is not in his pulpit today, and this is the Sunday they use to take an offering for the orphanage,” Parker said. “I suggest we take a love offering for the orphanage.” The crowd was delighted; ushers had to empty the collection plates three times. Later that week, there was a knock at Parker’s study. It was Spurgeon. “You know, Parker, you have practiced grace on me,” he said. “You have given me not what I deserved; you have given me what I needed.”

May we all have the grace to live as though grace has indeed arrived and may we learn to practice grace on one another!

We can make it personal!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter X-Total Inability-3- The Defects in Man’s Common Virtues

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter X

Total Inability

3. THE DEFECTS IN MAN’S COMMON VlRTUES

The unregenerate man can, through common grace, love his family and he may be a good citizen. He may give a million dollars to build a hospital, but he cannot give even a cup of cold water to a disciple in the name of Jesus. If a drunkard, he may abstain from drink for utilitarian purposes, but he cannot do it out of love for God. All of his common virtues or good works have a fatal defect in that his motives which prompt them are not to glorify God, — a defect so vital that it throws any element of goodness as to man wholly into the shade. It matters not how good the works may be in themselves, for so long as the doer of them in out of harmony with God, none of his works are spiritually acceptable. Furthermore, the good works of the unregenerate have no stable foundation, for his nature is still unchanged: and as naturally and as certainly as the washed sow returns to her wallowing in the mire, so he sooner or later returns to his evil ways.

In the realm of morals it is a rule that the morality of the man must precede the morality of the action. One may speak with the tongues of men and of angels; yet if he Is lacking that inward principle of love toward God, he is become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. He may give all his goods to feed the poor, and may give his body to be burned; yet if he lacks that inward principle. it profits him nothing. As human beings we know that an act of service rendered to us (by whatever utilitarian motives prompted) by someone who is at heart our enemy, does not merit our love and approbation. The Scripture statement that “Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto God,” finds Its explanation in this, that faith is the foundation of all the other virtues, and nothing is acceptable to God which does not flow from right feelings.

A moral act is to be judged by the standard of love to God, which love is, as it were, the soul of all other virtue, and which is bestowed upon us only through grace. Augustine did not deny the existence of natural virtues, such as moderation, honesty, generosity, which constitute a certain merit among men; but be drew a broad line of distinction between these and the specific Christian graces (faith, love and gratitude to God, etc.), which alone are good in the strict sense of the word, and which alone have value before God. This distinction is very plainly illustrated in an example given by W. D. Smith. Says he: “In a gang of pirates we may find many things that are good in themselves. Though they are in wicked rebellion against the laws of the government, they have their own laws and regulations, which they obey strictly. We find among them courage and fidelity, with many other things that will recommend them as pirates. They may do many things, too, which the laws of the government require, but they are not done because the government has so required, but in obedience to their own regulations. For instance the government requires honesty and they may be strictly honest, one with another, In their transactions, and the division of all their spoil. Yet, as respects the government, and the general principle, their whole life is one of the most wicked dishonesty. Now, it is plain, that while they continue in their rebellion they can do nothing to recommend them to the government as citizens. Their first step must be to give up their rebellion, acknowledge their allegiance to the government, and sue for mercy. So all men, in their natural state, are rebels against God, and though they may do many things which the law of God requires, and which will recommend them as men, yet nothing is done with reference to God and His law. Instead, the regulations of society, respect for public opinion, self-interest, their own character in the sight of the world, or some other worldly or wicked motive, reigns supremely; and God, to whom they owe their heart and lives, is forgotten; or, if thought of at all, His claims are wickedly rejected, His counsels spurned, and the heart, in obstinate rebellion, refuses obedience. Now it is plain that while the heart continues in this state the man is a rebel against God, and can do nothing to recommend him to His favor. The first step is to give up his rebellion, repent of his sins, turn to God, and sue for pardon and reconciliation through the Savior. This he is unwilling to do, until he is made willing. He loves his sins, and will continue to love them, until his heart is changed.”

The good actions of unregenerate men, Smith continues, “are not positively sinful in themselves, but sinful from defect. They lack the principle which alone can make them righteous in the sight of God. In the case of the pirates it is easy to see that all their actions are sin against the government. While they continue pirates, their sailing, mending, or rigging the vessel and even their eating and drinking, are all sins in the eyes of the government, as they are only so many expedients to enable them to continue their piratical career, and are parts of their life of rebellion. So with sinners. While the heart is wrong, it vitiates everything in the sight of God, even their most ordinary occupations; for the plain, unequivocal language of God is, ‘Even the lamp of the wicked, is sin,’ Pro_21:4.” 5

It is this inability which the Scriptures teach when they declare that “They that are in the flesh cannot please God,” Rom_8:8; “Whatsoever Is not of faith in sin,” Rom_14:23; and “Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing to Him,” Heb_11:6. Hence even the virtues of the unregenerate man are but as plucked and fading flowers. It was because of this that Jesus said to His disciples, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And because those virtues are of this nature, they are only temporary. The one who possesses them is like the seed which falls on the stony soil, which perhaps springs up with promise of fruitage, but soon withers in the sun because it has no root in itself.

It follows also from what has been said that salvation to ABSOLUTELY AND SOLELY OF GRACE, — that God Is free, in consistency with the infinite perfections of His nature, to save none, few, many, or all, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His will. It also follows that salvation is not based on any merits in the creature, and that it depends on God, and not on men, who are, and who are not, to be made partakers of eternal life. God acts as a sovereign in saving some and passing by others who are left to the just recompense of their sins. Sinners are compared to dead men, or even to dry bones in their entire helplessness. In this they are all alike. The choice of some to eternal life is as sovereign as if Christ were to pass through a graveyard and bid one here and another there to come forth, the reason for restoring one to life and leaving another in his grave could be found only in His good pleasure, and not in the dead themselves. Hence the statement that we are foreordained according to the good pleasure of His will, and not after the good inclinations of our own; and in order that we might be holy, not because we were holy (Eph_1:415). “Since all men alike deserved only God’s wrath and curse the gift of His only begotten Son to die in the stead of malefactors, as the only possible method of expiating their guilt, is the most stupendous exhibition of undeserved favor and personal love that the universe has ever witnessed.” 6

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter X-Total Inability-2-The Extent and Effects of Original Sin

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter X

Total Inability

2. THE EXTENT AND EFFECTS OF ORIGINAL SIN

This doctrine of Total Inability, which declares that men are dead in sin, does not mean that all men are equally bad, nor that any man is as bad as he could be, nor that any one in entirely destitute of virtue, nor that human nature is evil In Itself, nor that man’s spirit is inactive, and much less does it mean that the body is dead. What it does mean is that since the fall man rests under the curse of sin, that he is actuated by wrong principles, and that he is wholly unable to love God or to do anything meriting salvation. His corruption is extensive but not necessarily intensive.

It is in this sense that man since the fail “is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil.” He possesses a fixed bias of the will against God, and instinctively and willingly turns to evil. He is an alien by birth, and a sinner by choice. The inability under which he labors is not an inability to exercise volitions, but an inability to be willing to exercise holy volitions. And it is this phase of it which led Luther to declare that “Free-will is an empty term, whose reality is lost. And a lost liberty, according to my grammar, is no liberty at all.” 2 In matters pertaining to his salvation, the unregenerate man is not at liberty to choose between good and evil, but only to choose between greater and lesser evil, which is not properly free will. The fact that fallen man still has ability to do certain acts morally good in themselves does not prove that he can do acts meriting salvation, for his motives may be wholly wrong.

Man is a free agent but be cannot originate the love of God in his heart. His will is free in the sense that it is not controlled by any force outside of himself. As the bird with a broken wing is “free” to fly but not able, so the natural man is free to come to God but not able. How can he repent of his sin when he loves it? How can he come to God when he hates Him? This is the inability of the will under which man labors. Jesus said, “And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil,” Joh_3:19; and again, “Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life,” Joh_5:40. Man’s ruin lies mainly in his own perverse will. He cannot come because he will not. Help enough is provided if he were only willing to accept it. Paul tells us, “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God:” Rom_8:7.

To assume that because man has ability to love he therefore has ability to love God, is about as wise as to assume that since water has the ability to flow, it therefore has the ability to flow up hill; or to reason that because a man has power to cast himself from the top of a precipice to the bottom, he therefore has equal power to transport himself from the bottom to the top.

Fallen man sees nothing desirable in “the One who is altogether lovely, the fairest among ten thousand.” He may admire Jesus as a man, but he wants nothing to do with Him as God, and he resists the outward holy influences of the Spirit with all his power. Sin, and not righteousness, has become his natural element so that he has no desire for salvation.

Man’s fallen nature gives rise to a most obdurate blindness, stupidity, and opposition concerning the things of God. His will is under the control of a darkened understanding, which puts sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet, good for evil, and evil for good. So far as his relations with God are concerned, he wills only that which is evil, although he wills it freely. Spontaneity and enslavement actually exist together.

In other words, fallen man is so morally blind that he uniformly prefers and chooses evil instead of good, as do the fallen angels or demons. When the Christian is completely sanctified he reaches a state in which he uniformly prefers and chooses good, as do the holy angels. Both of these states are consistent with freedom and responsibility of moral agents. Yet while fallen man acts thus uniformly he is never compelled to sin, but does it freely and delights in It. His dispositions and desires are so inclined, and he acts knowingly and willingly from the spontaneous motion of the heart. This natural bias or appetite for that which is evil is characteristic of man’s fallen and corrupt nature, so that, as Job says, he “drinketh iniquity like water,” 15:16.

We read that “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned,” 1Co_2:14. We are at a loss to understand how any one can take a plain common sense view of this passage of Scripture and yet contend for the doctrine of human ability. Man in his natural state cannot even see the kingdom of God, much less can he get into it. An uncultured person may see a beautiful work of art as an object of vision, but he has no appreciation of its excellence. He may see the figures of a complex mathematical equation, but they have no meaning for him. Horses and cattle may see the same beautiful sunset or other phenomenon in nature that men see, but they are blind to all of the artistic beauty. So it is when the Gospel of the cross is presented to the unregenerate man. He may have an intellectual knowledge of the facts and doctrines of the Bible, but he lacks all spiritual discernment of their excellence, and finds no delight in them. The same Christ is to one man without form or comeliness that he should desire Him; to another He is the Prince of life and the Savior of the world, God manifest in the flesh, whom it is impossible not to adore, love and obey.

This total inability, however, arises not merely from a perverted moral nature, but also from ignorance. Paul wrote that the Gentiles “walk in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart,” Eph_4:17, Eph_4:18. And again, “The word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,” 1Co_1:18. When he wrote of “Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God hath prepared for them that love Him,” he had reference, not to the glories of the heavenly state as is commonly supposed, but to the spiritual realities in this life which cannot be seen by the unregenerate mind, as is made plain by the words of the following verse: “But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit,” 1Co_2:9, 1Co_2:10. On one occasion Jesus said, “No one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal Him,” Mat_11:27. Here we are plainly told that man in his unregenerate, unenlightened nature does not know God in any sense worthy the name, and that the Son is sovereign in choosing who shall come into this saving knowledge of God.

Fallen man then lacks the power of spiritual discernment. His reason or understanding is blinded, and the taste and feelings are perverted. And since this state of mind is innate, as a condition of man’s nature, it is beyond the power of the will to change it. Rather it controls both the affections and volitions. The effect of regeneration is clearly taught in the divine commission which Paul received at his conversion when he was told that he was to be sent to the Gentiles “to open their eyes, that they might turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God,” Act_26:18.

Jesus taught the same truth under a different figure when He said to the Pharisees, “Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do,” Joh_8:43, Joh_8:44. They could not understand, nor even hear His words in any intelligible way. To them His words were only foolishness, madness; and they accused Him of being demon possessed (vss. 48, 52). Only His disciples could know the truth (vss. 31, 32); the Pharisees were children of the Devil (vss. 42, 44), and bondservants of sin (vs. 34). although they thought themselves free (vs. 33).

At another time Jesus taught that a good tree could not bring forth evil fruit, nor an evil tree good fruit. And since in this similitude the good and evil trees represent good and evil men, what does It mean but that one class of men is governed by one set of basic principles, while the other class is governed by another set of basic principles? The fruits of these two trees are acts, words, thoughts, which if good proceed from a good nature, and if evil proceed from and evil nature. It is impossible, then, for one and the same root to bring forth fruit of different kinds. Hence we deny the existence in man of a power which may act either way, on the logical ground that both virtue and vice cannot come out of the same moral condition of the agent. And we affirm that human actions which relate to God proceed either out of a moral condition which necessarily produces good actions or out of a moral condition which necessarily produces evil actions.

“In the Epistle to the Ephesians Paul declares that Prior to the quickening of the Spirit of God each individual soul lies dead in trespasses and sins. Now it will surely be admitted that to be dead, and to be dead in sin, is clear and positive evidence that there is neither aptitude nor Power remaining for the performance of any spiritual action. If a man were dead, in a natural and physical sense, it would at once be readily granted that there is no further Possibility of that man being able to perform any physical actions. A corpse cannot act in any way whatever, and that man would be reckoned to have taken leave of his senses who asserted that it could. If a man is dead spiritually, therefore, it is surely equally as evident that he is unable to perform any spiritual actions, and thus the doctrine of man’s moral inability rests upon strong Scriptural evidence.” 3

“On the principle that no clean thing can come out of what is unclean (Job_14:4), all that are born of woman are declared ‘abominable and corrupt,’ to whose nature iniquity alone is attractive (Job_15:14-16). Accordingly, to become sinful, men do not wait until the age of accountable action arrives. Rather, they are apostates from the womb, and as soon as they are born go astray, speaking lies (Psa_58:3); they are even shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin (Psa_51:5). The propensity of their heart is evil from their youth (Gen_8:21), and it is out of the heart that all the issues of life proceed (Pro_4:23; Pro_20:11). Acts of sin are therefore but the expression of the natural heart, which is deceitful above all things and exceedingly corrupt (Jer_17:9).” 4

Ezekiel presents this same truth in graphic language and gives us the picture of the helpless infant which was cast out in its blood and left to die, but which the Lord graciously found and cared for (Chapter 16).

This doctrine of original sin supposes that fallen men have the same kind and degree of liberty in sinning under the influence of a corrupt nature as have the Devil and the demons, or that the saints in glory and the holy angels have in acting rightly under the influence of a holy nature. That is, men and angels act according to their natures. As the saints and angels are confirmed in holiness, — that is, possessed of a nature which is wholly inclined to righteousness and adverse to sin, -so the nature of fallen men and of demons is such that they cannot perform a single act with right motives toward God. Hence the necessity that God shall sovereignly change the person’s character in regeneration.

The Old Testament ceremonies of circumcision of the new-born child, and of purification of the mother, were designed to teach that man comes into the world sinful that since the fall human nature is corrupt in its very origin. Paul stated this truth in another and, if possible, even stronger way in 2Co_4:3, 2Co_4:4: “And if our Gospel is veiled it is veiled to them that perish; in whom the god of this world (by which he means the Devil) hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.” In a word, then, fallen men without the operations of The Spirit of God, are under the rule of Satan. They are led captive by him at his will, 2Ti_2:26. So long as this “strong man fully armed” is not molested by the “stronger than he.” he keeps his kingdom in peace and his captives willingly do his bidding. But the “stronger than he” has overcome him, has taken his armor from him, and has liberated a part of his captives (Luk_11:21, Luk_11:22). God now exercises the right of releasing whom He will; and all born again Christians are ransomed sinners from that kingdom.

The Scriptures declare that fallen man is a captive, a willing slave to sin, and entirely unable to deliver himself from its bondage and corruption. He is incapable of understanding, and much less of doing, the things of God. There is what we might term “the freedom of slavery,”–a state in which the subject is free only to do the will of his master, which in this case is sin. It was this to which Jesus referred when He said, “Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin,” Joh_8:34.

And such being the depth of man’s corruption it is wholly beyond his own power to cleanse himself. His only hope of an amendment of life lies accordingly in a change of heart, which change is brought about by the sovereign re-creative power of the Holy Spirit who works when and where and how He pleases. As well might one attempt to pump a leaking ship while the leak is still unmended, as to reform the unregenerate without this inward change. Or as well might the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots, as he who is accustomed to do evil correct his ways. This transfer from spiritual death to spiritual life we call “regeneration.” It is referred to in Scripture by various terms: “regeneration,” a “making alive,” a “calling out of darkness into light,” a “quickening,” a “renewing,” a taking away of the heart of stone and giving the heart of flesh, etc., which work is exclusively that of the Holy Spirit. As a result of this change a man comes to see the truth and gladly accepts it. His very instincts and intimate impulses are transferred to the side of law, obedience to which becomes but the spontaneous expression of his nature. Regeneration is said to be wrought by that same supernatural power which God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead (Eph_1:18-20). Man does not possess the power of self-regeneration, and until this inward change takes place, he cannot be convinced of the truth of the Gospel by any amount of external testimony. “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rise from the dead.”

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The Wednesday Word: For Us!

We are saved entirely by the work Christ has done for us, not by His work in us.

Consider this; He was born for us. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace’. Isaiah 9:6. The eternal God entered into time and history in the person of His Son. He did so for us. The Creator became a creature for us. He Lived For Us!

Paul says—-“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” 2 Cor. 8:9. He came into this world as an infant, and there was no place in the inn for Him. He walked the dusty roads of Israel, and at times there was no place for Him to lay His head. He humbled Himself, yet the world scorned Him. He humbled Himself, but they called Him Beelzebub, He humbled Himself, but they called Him a bastard—-an illegitimate child. He humbled Himself, but they said he was just “the carpenter’s son.” ——-Even at His trial, one man could only refer to Him as “this fellow.” (Matt. 26:61).

All this was for us. But more than that, He was executed, and they had to borrow a grave for His body. When He took our place, He had nothing. But, while He lived here on earth, He was wholly set apart for us (John 17:19). He was made a curse for us. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), Galatians 3:13. He was wounded for us. “But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5—— It is Finished!

Some of us have become immune to hearing about Him, and how He came here for us and went to the cross. We tire of hearing that He was wounded for us. WARNING! If you become immune to these truths you will wither spiritually! “Lest I forget Gethsemane,’ Lest I forget thine agony, Lest I forget thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary’.

He was born for us, He lived for us, He died for us and He arose and ascended to heaven for us (Rom.4:25; John 14:2). And right this moment He is living for us and praying for us (Heb. 7:25). And when He finally comes again, He’ll come back for us (John 14:3). It is all finished! His intercession for us at this very moment is based on His finished, accomplished work. His returning for us is to consummate and crown with glory all that He accomplished in His doing and dying and rising again! It is Finished Everything Jesus intended to do He accomplished! If we want to build a strong Christian life we must lay the foundations broad and deep.

The deepest and strongest foundation is the Person and Finished Work of Christ! If we want to be effective in the Gospel then we will dwell much on the Gospel! May we learn that it is finished. May we grasp that all that is necessary for our salvation has been completed and accomplished! His work was a total success.

He finished the work that the Father gave Him to do!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter X-Total Inability-1-Statement of the Doctrine

August 1, 2018 2 comments

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter X

Total Inability

1. Statement of the Doctrine. 2. The Extent and Effects of Original Sin. 3. The Defects in Man’s Common Virtues 4. The Fall of Man 5. The Representative Principle 6. The Goodness and Severity of God. 7. Scripture Proof.

1. STATEMENT OF THE DOCTRINE

In the Westminster Confession the doctrine of Total Inability Is stated as follows: — “Man, by his fall Into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.” 1

Paul, Augustine, and Calvin have as their starting point the fact that all mankind sinned in Adam and that all men are “without excuse,” Rom_2:1. Time and again Paul tells us that we are dead in trespasses and sins, estranged from God, and helpless. In writing to the Ephesian Christians he reminded them that before they received the Gospel they were “separate from Christ, alienated from the common. wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world,” 2:12. There we notice the five-fold emphasis as he piles phrase on top of phrase to stress this truth.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The Wednesday Word: It is Finished!

It is reported that when Queen Elizabeth 1 of England lay dying she said, “My God, my God it is over. I have come to the end! In her wardrobe, she had 2,000 costly dresses and gowns yet she called out, “All my possessions for just one more day.” Pathetic words from a dying monarch.

How wonderful then, by contrast, are the words of the dying Saviour who declares from the cross—IT IS FINISHED!

In those three words, we learn that salvation has been completed, accomplished and perfected. Notice, there is not a hint of worry, anxiety or despair. How unlike the words of the dying Queen who said, “My God My God it is over, I have come to the end.” See how Christ’s words, “It is Finished”, are filled with glorious victory.

When He said, ‘It is Finished’ it means it is done and completed. But, what is done and completed? It means that redemption is both done and completed. Salvation has been obtained and accomplished! You see, this English phrase of ours, this little sentence, is not in the Greek at all. In the Greek, it is just one word: FINISHED! And Christ cried it out with a loud voice (Matthew 27:50). He wasn’t finished. He wasn’t the victim, He was the victor. But how was Redemption finished? It was finished by the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

He finished and fully completed the work He had been sent to do! It is Finished! When we look at the tense of the Greek we discover that it is the perfect tense which means that although the action has been completed in the past, the results continue into the present. So, when Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” he meant, “It was finished in the past, it is still finished in the present and it will remain finished in the future.”

Listen to Paul as he tells the Hebrews of the Christ who finished His work, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Hebrews 1:3.

It is finished! That means, Justice was satisfied and is still satisfied. That means, the Father was satisfied and is still satisfied. The righteous demands of the law were satisfied and are still satisfied. That means, the Old Testament sacrifices were finished and are still finished. That means, the Prophets were fulfilled and are still fulfilled. It is Finished. What a wonderfully grand and glorious statement by the God/Man, the amazing Prince of glory! When a work is Finished, it is Finished, there is no need to add anything to it!

So, neither man nor angel needs add anything to His finished work. And a good thing too. Wouldn’t it be just dreadful if our salvation was based on any of our efforts! Our efforts at best are incomplete. We haven’t served God perfectly and we have left things undone. There’s so much we should have done but haven’t! But the Lord Jesus left nothing of our salvation incomplete! It Is Finished! He did not partially save or partially ransom—It Is Finished! Everything He did for us, He did perfectly—-It is Finished! There is no one like Christ Jesus in any of the World’s Religions.

This one expression—IT IS FINISHED explodes every other religion on earth! They are all fakes. They are all useless. Mohammed did not complete redemption for his people, Buddha did not atone for His people –only Christ Jesus ransomed, redeemed and reconciled us back to God.

It is Finished! ‘Lifted up was He to die It is Finished was His Cry. Now in heaven exalted high Hallelujah, What a Saviour.’

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination-The Five Points of Calvinism

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

The Five Points of Calvinism

The Calvinistic system especially emphasizes five distinct doctrines. These are technically known as “The Five Points of Calvinism,” and they are the main pillars upon which the superstructure rests. In this section we shall examine each of these, giving the Scripture basis and the arguments from reason which support them. We shall then consider the objections which are commonly brought against them.

As will be shown, the Bible contains an abundance of material for the development of each of these doctrines. Furthermore, these are not isolated and independent doctrines but are so inter-related that they form a simple, harmonious, self-consistent system; and the way in which they fit together as component parts of a well-ordered whole has won the admiration of thinking men of all creeds. Prove any one of them true and all the others will follow as logical and necessary parts of the system. Prove any one of them false and the whole system must be abandoned. They are found to dovetail perfectly one into the other. They are so many links in the great chain of causes, and not one of them can be taken away without marring and subverting the whole Gospel plan of salvation through Christ. We cannot conceive of this agreement arising merely by accident, nor even being possible, unless these doctrines are true.

Let it be borne in mind that in this book we do not propose to discuss in detail those other doctrines of the Scriptures which are accepted by evangelical Christendom, but to set forth and defend those which are peculiar to the Calvinistic system. Unless this be kept in mind much of the real strength and beauty of generic Calvinism will be lost and the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism,” – which historically and in reality are the obverse of what might be called the “Five Points of Arminianism,” – will assume undue prominence in the system. Let the reader, then, guard against a too close identification of the Five Points and the Calvinistic system. While these are essential elements, the system really includes much more. As stated in the Introduction, the Westminster Confession is a balanced statement of the Reformed Faith or Calvinism, and it gives due prominence to the other Christian doctrines.

The Five Points may be more easily remembered if they are associated with the word T-U-L-I-P; T, Total Inability ; U, Unconditional Election; L, Limited Atonement; I, Irresistible (Efficacious) Grace; and P, Perseverance of the Saints.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination