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Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

The Wednesday Word – Grace and Truth

“The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” John 1:17.

Moses gave the Law, but the Law it did not come by Moses. Moses, for all his moral rectitude, was not the originator of Law. He gave the Law, but he didn’t invent it.

Moses had to receive the Law. It was not his own. It was not a part of his being. He was not Law incarnate. The Law was delivered to him and he, in turn, gave it to others.

Grace and truth, on the other hand, were not “given” to Christ, they came by Christ for grace and truth were His essence. He was grace and truth incarnate. It is interesting to note that Christ could have come as Law incarnate for, indeed, He was the quintessence of the Law. But when He came to us, He came as the embodiment of grace and truth.

The Law was given to, among other reasons, expose our inability to please God. Our hearts towards God had been frozen in a glacier of self-will and destruction. God, therefore, did not hope that we would keep the Law, He knew we couldn’t. Rather, He gave it so that every mouth would be stopped and all the world become guilty before Him (Romans 3:19).

But there’s good news! Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. When Christ appeared, grace and truth appeared in all its fullness. Grace and truth descended to earth in the person of Jesus the God/Man. He alone is our Gospel. We dare not add to or subtract from Him.

There are no two things in the Bible more different than Law and Gospel. Either we obtain salvation in all its facets by contributing our works, or we freely receive salvation by faith alone in the doing, dying and rising again of our Lord Jesus …plus nothing!

For a moment then, let’s consider some of the differences and contrasts between Law and Gospel!

The Law demands righteousness; the Gospel gives it.

The Law requires good works; the Gospel provides them.

Under the Law, the source of our blessings is from our obedience. But under the Gospel, blessings are a gift based upon Christ’s obedience.

“The Law threatens, the Gospel heals.

The Law shows us our wretchedness. The Gospel takes our misery away.

The Law was not given to save us but to damn us.

The Gospel, on the other hand, was given, not to damn us but to save us.

The Law was not given to bless us, but to curse us.

The gospel was given to set us free from the curse .

The Law puts on its black cap of damnation and sentences men to death. The Gospel, by contrast, put on the white cap of mercy and brings dead men to life.”

The Law tells us what we must do to get right with God. Grace, on the other hand, tells us what God has done for us to get us right with Himself.

When Moses gave the Law, his face shone. But when grace and truth came, the full light of the knowledge of the glory of God was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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He Who Confesses and He Who Does Not Confess: John’s Confession of Faith

September 13, 2016 Leave a comment

by Tom Nettles

The substantial theological differences that began to emerge in the days of the apostles caused them to develop short, pithy confessional statements that summarized vital elements of the apostolic teaching. These served as a dividing point between teachers of truth and teachers of error. The apostle John found some teachers infiltrating the church who taught that Jesus was only a spirit who appeared to be in a true body. Others taught that Jesus was only a man who served for a short while as a vehicle for the presence and teaching of a divine spirit who left him just before he died.

In order to expose the teachers of both these errors, John set forth a simple but highly evocative confessional statement: “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:2, 3). The negative part of the confession borrows the context from the first part—that is, one is not from God who will not confess that the man named Jesus is the Christ who has come in the flesh.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Attributes of God: Truth- Book 2- Chapter 2- Section 8

Book Second

CHAPTER II.

SECTION VIII. – TRUTH.

GOD IS A BEING OF INVIOLABLE TRUTH.[50]

The truth of God includes veracity and faithfulness: –veracity in his declaration of things as they are, and faithfulness in the exact fulfilment of his promises and threatenings. Men often err in their testimony from mistake of facts, and fail through inability to fulfil promises which they have made with honest intentions. The omniscience of God renders mistake with him impossible; and his omnipotence and unchangeableness render the fulfilment of his intentions certain. Truth, as a moral attribute, is the agreement of what is spoken with the mind of the speaker. We never charge men with want of veracity, when they err in their testimony through mere mistake; or with want of faithfulness, when they fail to fulfil their promises entirely from inability. God’s testimony is true, because it agrees perfectly with his view of things, and that this view agrees with the actual state of things, results, not from his truth, but his omniscience. His promises are true because they agree precisely with his intentions; and that these intentions are exactly fulfilled, results from other attributes, as has been explained. Truth is understood for the most part to refer to something spoken or written; but the truth of God may be understood, in a wider sense, to denote the agreement of all the revelations or manifestations which he has made of himself, with his mind and character.

Because God’s manifestations of himself are true, it does not follow that they are complete and perfect. He showed his glory to Moses; but it was only a part of his glory that he exhibited, because Moses was unable to bear the full display. All manifestations to his creatures are necessarily limited; and they are made as seems good in his sight. Our knowledge of God, which is necessarily imperfect because of our weakness, is often erroneous, through our misuse of the manifestations which he has made. So the heathen world, when they knew God, glorified him not as God, but changed the truth of God into a lie.

When men abuse the knowledge of God which they possess, and the means of knowledge which he has afforded them, it is not inconsistent with his character to give them up, in righteous judgment, to their own hearts’ lusts. Because they receive not the love of the truth, God shall send them strong delusions,[51] that they should believe a lie. So Ahab desired a false prophecy, and his prophets desired to gratify him, and God gave him up to be deceived.[52] This is expressed, in the prophetic imagery of Scripture, by his sending a lying spirit into the prophets. Ahab was deceived; but it was in spite of the true word of God, by the prophet whom he rejected. Jeremiah complains that God had deceived him; but this, in the most unfavorable construction that can be put on his language, amounts to nothing more than an impatient exclamation of the prophet, under a severe trial.

We can have no knowledge of God, except by the manifestations he has made of himself. When we receive these, however made, as expressing to us the mind and character of God, we exercise faith in God. But when we close our understandings and hearts against these manifestations, or, through disrelish of them, misinterpret them in any manner, we are guilty of the great sin of unbelief, which rejects the testimony of God, and makes him a liar.

[50] Deut. xxxii. 4; Ps. cxix. 142; John viii. 26; Rom. iii. 4; Tit. i. 2; Heb. vi. 18; Rev. iii. 7.

[51] 2 Thess. ii. 11.

[52] 1 Kings xxii.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Why I Lovingly Push Reformed Theology

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment

By William F. Leonhart III

Periodically, an article is published to which I am compelled to respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to respond with nastiness or even direct disagreement. A response is not a reaction. The following article is an attempt at a friendly response to an article published today over at RAANetwork. The goal here is not to discredit the article or punch holes in its reasoning. My goal isn’t even to correct anything I believe to be improperly stated. Rather, my goal here will be to offer an alternative viewpoint, or perhaps to approach the subject from a bit of a different angle.

Defining Our Terms

Many well-intentioned articles have been written to persuade Reformed Christians to go easy—fly under the radar—in the discussion over Calvinism and non- (or anti-) Calvinism. Let us take a moment before diving into this discussion ourselves to discuss some important definitions. It’s important that we all understand from the outset that, when we say someone is Reformed or Calvinistic, we don’t all mean the same thing. Some equate Reformed Theology with Calvinism. Others recognize that Calvinism has come to be defined in Evangelicalism as a much different thing from Reformed Theology. For the purposes of this article, I will be using the two terms to describe two different, but related, concepts.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Though he slay me yet will I trust in Him

SpurgeonAgain: the most likely way for you ever to receive God’s grace is to believe God’s truths. Never kick against God’s doctrines, but receive them. And I have one thing to say to thee this morning, if in thy heart, poor sinner, thou canst say, “I believe God’s gospel to be a glorious gospel,” thou art not far from something else. If thou canst say. “I submit to all its demands, I believe God just if he destroys me, and if he saves me, it will be of his sovereign mercy only,” then, sinner, there are good hopes of thee, thou hast proceeded some way on the road to heaven. If thou canst but do one thing more, and say, “Though he slay me yet will I trust in him,” and if thou canst come to the cross of Christ, and say, “Jesus, I love thy gospel and I love thy truth; if I perish, I will perish believing all thy truth, I will perish clasping thy cross, if I die, I will die owning that thou art a just and gracious God, and still in my poor way, holding fast the form of sound words,” I tell thee, poor soul, God will never damn thee. If thou dost believe in Jesus Christ, and holdest fast his words, he will look upon thee in love, he will say, “Poor soul! though he does not know that these truths are his, yet he thinks them precious; though he dares not hope that they belong to him, yet he will fight for them; though he does not know that he is really a soldier of the cross, chosen of me ere time began, yet see how valiantly he strives for me,” and the Lord will say, “Poor soul, thou lovest the things that thou thinkest are not thine own—-I will make thee rejoice in them as thine own, by my grace; thou lovest election, though thou thinkest thou art not elect—-that is an evidence that thou art mine.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be baptized, and thou shalt be saved.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth

Spurgeon 1And then the second holdfast is love. Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth, for Christ’s sake and if you love the truth you will not let it go. It is very hard to turn a man away from the truth he loves, “Oh!” says one, “I cannot argue with you about it, but I cannot give it up: I love it, and cannot live without it; it is a part of myself, woven into my very nature; and though my opponent says that bread is not bread, and I cannot prove that it is, yet I know I go and eat it; it is wonderfully like it to me, and it takes away my hunger. He says that stream is not a pure stream. I cannot prove that it is, but I go and drink of it, and find it the river of the water of life to my soul.” And he tells me that my gospel is not a true one: well, it comforts me, it sustains me in my trials, it helps me to conquer sin and to keep down my evil passions, and brings me near to God, and if my gospel be not a true one, I wonder what sort of thing a true one is: mine is wonderfully like it, and I cannot suppose that a true gospel would produce better effects. That is the best thing to do, to believe the Word, to have so full a belief in it, that the enemy cannot pull you away. He may try to do it, but you will say,—- —

“Amidst temptations sharp and long,
My soul to the same refuge flies;
Faith is my anchor, firm and strong,
When tempests blow or billows rise.”

Hold on then, Christian, to “faith and love which are by Christ Jesus” — two blessed holdfasts, wherewith we grasp the truth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

If you would hold fast the truth, pray yourselves right into it

Spurgeon 6But then, Christian men, above all things, if you would hold fast the truth, pray yourselves right into it. The way to get a doctrine is to pray till you get it. An old divine says, “I have lost many things I learned in the house of God, but I never lost anything I ever learned in the closet.” That which a man learns on his knees, with his Bible open, he will never forget. Well, have you ever bowed your knees, and said “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law?” If you have seen that wondrous thing you will never forget it. He that prays himself into a truth, will never be got out of it by the very devil himself, though he were to put on the garb of an angel of light. Pray yourselves into the truth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856