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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Free is the Will? pt 3

How Free is the Will pt 3

- There are two common accusations against this teaching.

o Man cannot be responsible if he is not able.

§ Fallen men do have the mental and physical ability, but deliberately reject God and His gospel.

· They love sin more than God.

§ They freely and willingly oppose the God of the scriptures and this is precisely why man is responsible.

- What about “Whosoever will”?

o Does this imply ability?

§ This is not about man’s ability, but about God’s promise to those who do come.

o God commands us to do things everyday that we do not have the ability to accomplish.

- For the unbeliever, the command to love God with all their being is just as much applicable to them as us…

o Not to mention the rest of the commandments and

- Yet no unbelieving person can love God OR come close to obeying Him without the Spirit of God!

o Even as Christians, we cannot fulfill a single command without God.

- Jesus says you can do nothing apart from Him in John 15:5 - that is, you cannot bear fruit apart from Christ and...

§ We do not rely on our natural ability, but upon Christ for everything we do!

o The general command is a promise for those who do come to God through Christ.

§ Are these people unknown to God? NO!

· God is omniscient and He knows who will come to Him AND He draws those who come to Him (John 6:44)

- What is the purpose of these commands and truisms?

o One is to describe what it means to come to Christ.

§ We must repent and believe in Him.

· This describes the attitude of the heart of a true believer.

o There are two distortions of this teaching.

§ First, there are men who genuinely want to come, but can’t come to Christ because they are not the elect.

§ Second, men are forced against their will to come to Christ even though they do not want to come.

· They are the elect so too bad!

o This is a BAD caricature of the teaching and is only meant to poison the well.

§ Those who do want to come to Christ represent those who are the elect.

§ Those who do NOT want to come to Christ may represent those who are not elect.

o I use the word may because until someone dies there is hope for their salvation.

§ If you do not know whether you are the elect, do not delay, but repent and trust in Christ ALONE for your salvation.

· Not in works of religion, works of good deeds, being a faithful church member BUT in Jesus Christ and nothing else.

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