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, March 26, 2010

Definite Atonement as opposed to "Universal" Atonement pt 2

Definite Atonement as opposed to Universal Atonement pt 2
-                     Last time we showed how definite atonement is confirmed through the triumphant death of Christ.
o      He has perfectly satisfied divine justice and removed our sins on the cross therefore anyone for whom Christ died will be saved.
§       That is not the only proof for definite atonement.
o      There are at least two other rock-solid, Biblical arguments demonstrating the limited application of Christ’s death.
-                     Second argument relates to our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
o      In Romans 6:3, Paul tells us, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”
§       The answer is YES!  Those who have been baptized in Christ were baptized into Christ’s death.
o      Paul tells us the implications of this in vs 4, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
§       If there was any confusion, Paul reiterates in vs 5, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
o      Easy question, “Who was united to Christ on the cross?”
§       Paul very confidently says that if someone was united to Christ in His death, then they will certainly be united with Him in His resurrection.
·       Only those who died with Christ were united to Christ on the cross.
§       As Paul succinctly says in vs 8, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
o      This is another way of saying that Christ triumphantly secured the salvation of only the elect of God.
§       For all who were united to Christ in His death on the cross will certainly be raised to newness of life.
o      Although we will address this passage when we look at common objections to definite atonement, we should note 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 should be interpreted in light of Romans 6.
§       Unless, of course universalism is to be adopted, which obviously is not true, see Revelation 21:7-8.
-                     Third argument – The perfect agreement between the Trinity.
o      Salvation is ultimately a Trinitarian work within the Godhead.
§       This mysterious plan was determined before the foundation of the world.
o      Although we would wholeheartedly agree that the triune God was involved in each aspect of man’s salvation…
§       We see the scriptures describe the roles that each person of the Trinity plays within the plan of redemption.
o      The Father is said to have predestined us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5).
§       The Father sent His Son into the world to accomplish the Father’s will of saving the elect (6:37-39, 44).
o      The Son died on the cross as a substitute for His people, bearing their sin and punishment (Romans 3:24-25, Revelation 5:9, Hebrews 9:28).
§       The Holy Spirit applies the work of redemption through regeneration (Titus 3:5, John 3:5-8).
o      This is a simplified summary of the Trinitarian work, but shows the point I am trying to make.
§       The Father does not elect some and send His Son into the world to die for every single person.
o      The Holy Spirit does not apply redemption to anyone who was not predestined by the Father.
§       There is not confusion in the Godhead as to who should or should not be saved.
o      There was a plan before the foundation of the world and the triune God worked it out to perfection.
§       We will address the objections next time and see they are only faint hopes of saving a baseless theological system (Arminianism).
o      The bedrock of the Christian’s faith is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ – the gospel.
§       If we say God is uncertain who or who will not be saved by the gospel, then that bedrock becomes a foundation of sand that will not hold.
-                     Praise God, Jesus laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:15) and because of that, He promises to raise them up on the last day (John 6:39,44).
o      This is why Jesus can dogmatically say, and for us Christians, glory in John 10:27-30
§       “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”

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