Why should we know God's Word?

In our day and age where anti-intellectualism runs rampant in the visible church, it is not surprising to see poll after poll verify what students of scripture have known for many years. The visible church does not know much about the scriptures they profess to believe in. This is sad considering many saints during the Reformation period lost their lives for the sake of being able to read and study God's word. Not to mention the many passages in scripture that speak as such:

Isaiah 66:2 This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Psalm 19:7-8 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

The posts on this blog will address essential Biblical doctrines of the Christian faith. You can find much of the background for the posts here. My prayer for these posts is that the people who read them will be encouraged to open their Bibles and not just read a verse or two, but learn them and indeed, be transformed by them. As Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17). This is my prayer as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

How Free is the Will? pt 1

How Free is the Will pt 1

- Much of this was based off of Mitch Cervinka’s excellent article on free will found here.

- Do we have a free will? If so, how free is the will? What do the scriptures say about our will?

o As we looked at here, the scriptures clearly teach we are all sinners by nature.

§ We are not sinners because we sin, but sin because we are sinners.

· Because of our sinfulness we sin willingly and constantly by choice.

§ Until we are converted to Christ, we will always choose sin instead of righteousness.

o What about good works then? How about unbelievers who feed & provide for the poor? Who do many beneficial things for those less fortunate?

§ Romans 14:23 - …whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

§ Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please him (God)

§ Isaiah 64:6 – Righteous acts = filthy rags.

§ Romans 3:10,12 – There is none righteous, not even one. There is none good, not even one.

o Again, any so-called good works done by an unbeliever are done for reasons other than for the glory of God.

§ They are not done to magnify God’s Name and exalt Jesus Christ.

· There is none good, not even one.

o Until we realize that our character, our nature, the essence of our being is utterly sinful, then we will never see ourselves as God sees us, nor will we fully appreciate the depth of our sin and our desperate need for Christ.

- What about the will?

o It is not autonomous, being independent of all other things.

§ Our choices are always based on rational and emotional considerations.

o For example, given a choice of a beefy burger or a salad, we might choose one or the other or both for various reasons.

§ We consider our health, our desire for juicy burgers, our financial situation, or even our dislike for either one.

o We do not make random choices, but our choices are based on values or priorities at any given time.

§ An evil or sinful value system pits our desires, goals, etc, over against God’s.

§ A godly value system is based ultimately on the love for God and desire to glorify Him.

· Our will or choices are a reflection of the heart

o An evil heart will reflect self-centered sinful choices.

o A godly heart will display choices that honor God.

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