December 2013

Flesh and Blood Has Not Revealed this to You & John 3:16

by John Hendryx

The commandments of God were never meant to empower us but to strip us of trusting in our own ability so that we would come to an end of ourselves. With striking clarity, Paul teaches that this is the intent of Divine legislation (Rom 3:20, 5:20, Gal 3:19,24).  A command or invitation with an open ended hypothetical statement such as John 3:16 ('whosover believes') does not imply the ability to fulfill it. This is especially true in light of texts such as John 1:13, Rom 9:16, John 6:37, 44, 63-65; Rom 3:11; Matt 16-26' 1 Cor 2:14 and many more which show man's moral inability to come to faith or believe the Gospel in their fallen state. In our unregenerate nature we do not want God but rather love darkness and "will not come into the light" * (John 3:19, 20).

If men are never found naturally willing to submit in faith to the humbling terms of the gospel of Christ, then how can it be good news? (Rom 3:11; John 6:64,65; 2 Thessalonians 3:2) Because in Christ Jesus, God gives to us freely, what he demands from us. In the gospel God reveals the same righteousness and faith for us that God demands from us. What we had to have, but could not create or achieve or fulfill, God grants us freely, namely, the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21) and living faith that unites to Christ. He reveals, as a gift in Christ Jesus, the faith and righteousness that was once only a demand. Faith is not something that the sinner contributes towards the price of His salvation. Jesus has already paid that price in full for us.  Faith is our first gasp of breath in our new birth, so to speak.  It is a witness of God's work of grace already haven taken place within us (Eph 2:5, 8; 2 Tim 2:25; 1 John 5:1; John 6:63, 65). 

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:14 -- john_hendryx

Helpful Theological Essays for Your Smart-Phone

From time to time here at Monergism we plan on taking some good theological resources and making them available in a way that they can easily be read in a smart-phone friendly format. Of course these can also be read on your laptop or tablet, but many of these were previously only available in such a way that smart-phone users could only see them in tiny almost unreadable text.

The following are a few that I have been working recently on that I thought you would find helpful and edifying.

What is Covenant Theology? by J I Packer

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Mortality; Judgement; Heaven; Hell by J I Packer

Man's Own Character No Ground Of Peace by Horatius Bonar

The Present State of the World by Herman Bavinck

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - Each Part in Saving Sinners by James Buchanan

Five Arguments for the Unity of the Covenant of Grace by Robert L Reymond

The Knowledge of Christ Crucified by Stephen Charnock

Verifying The Resurrection: Six Evidences by James Montgomery Boice

The Virgin Birth and History by James Montgomery Boice

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:51 -- john_hendryx

The Moral and Immoral Both Alienated from God

Both moral and immoral people are alienated from God. God is offended by both. This may be counter-intuitive but moral people are lost because of their "goodness". Why? It is often the case that goodness keeps people from God. In fact many people avoid Jesus by avoiding sin because they are trying to become their own saviors ... attempting to justify themselves. But the gospel is neither moralism nor relativism so it is equally offensive to the moral and the irreligious. But Christ calls us to repent of both our good and bad works, for we have no righteousness of our own.

As an example of Jesus dislike of people who trusted in their own morality, Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains." (John 9:41) Those who think God will accept us based on goodness actually understand only part of the truth. Yes, God loves what is good. But since He also loves the truth, we must confess that, in light of God's holy law, we are not good and have woefully failed to do what is pleasing to God, replacing God with worthless self-pleasing idol substitutes, and so we justly deserve to be punished for it. Those who think they have done enough to please God have not understood or considered the seriousness of their condition. John Calvin once said, "Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God's majesty." In light of the holiness of God all persons, even the best of us, would become undone. This was the case even with the holiest of the saints of the Bible. When it pleased God to reveal himself to them, they fell at his feet as though dead. God created us to enjoy and glorify Him, but humans voluntarily rebelled against God falling into the bondage of the self-centeredness of sin and cannot help themselves out of it.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:59 -- john_hendryx

Free MP3s on Every Chapter of Scripture - For Smart Phones

Those who love listening to sermons and MP3s, especially smart-phone users, check out the following page. It is a hub for MP3s on every chapter of Scripture - including only solid Reformed pastors and teachers or teachers we otherwise think are helpful. There are thousands of free MP3s here that are just waiting for you to download into your smart-phone or tablet.

This is a must see >>> Bookmark this page <<<

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 10:07 -- john_hendryx

Thirty-Six Sermons of John Calvin (eBook)

by John Calvin

This eBook by John Calvin comes complete with an actively linked Table of Contents making navigation quicker and easier. Read it in your Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, iPad or other hand-held device.

in ePub and .mobi formats

Table Of Contents

Sermon on the Deity of Jesus Christ - John 1:1-5

Sermon on the Nativity of Jesus Christ - Luke 2:1-14

First Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 26:36-39

Second Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 26:40-50

Third Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 26:51-66

Fourth Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 26:67-27:10

Fifth Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 27:11-26

Sixth Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 27:27-44

Seventh Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 27:45-54

Eighth Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Matthew 27:55-60

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:1-10

On Perverting the Gospel of Christ - Galatians 1:6-8

Justification is by Grace Alone - Galatians 2:15-16

We All Stand Condemned by the Law - Galatians 3:11-12

When Curse Becomes Blessing - Galatians 3:13-18

The Many Functions of God - Galatians 3:19-20

Freedom from the Bondage of the Law - Galatians 4:21-26

On Discerning Who Belongs to the True Church - Galatians 4:26-31

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 15:51 -- john_hendryx

Understanding 2 Peter 3:9 by John Samson (Guest Post)

Without doubt, this is the single most popular verse used to dismiss the biblical doctrine of election, bar none. The meaning of the verse is simply assumed, and because of this, no time is taken to study it, which is the very hallmark of tradition. I have to admit that I did this for many years. Those most enslaved to tradition are those who think they do not have any.

First of all then, let us read the verse in its context:

2 Peter 3:1-9––“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 11:19 -- john_hendryx

Tip(s) for Using the New Monergism

Question: What happened to your sermon manuscript link? I found it a wonderful resource. Keep us all posted.

Answer: Thank you for your question. We have combined MP3s, Sermon Manuscripts and Commentaries all under one link now for your convenience. Go to the home page and look underneath the search bar you will see four choices 1) Topic 2) Author 3) Scripture and 4) Series.

If you click either Old or New Testament under the "Scripture" selection it will take you to a new page which displays a list of all the books of either the Old or New Testament, whichever you select. Click on a book of the Bible and it will display a drop down menu with two choices:

A1) MP3s by Scripture (which has MP3 on every chapter of the Bible). We have gathered MP3s for Reformed sermons and lectures over many years so now we have 10s of thousands of useful links in this section.


A2) Sermon Manuscripts and Commentaries.
This link will give you access to written sermon manuscripts, commentaries, introductions, outlines, studies and other resources for every book of the Bible. 

If you have a smart phone the MP3 by Chapter of Scripture section is perhaps the part of the site you will use most because you can download the files directly to you phone in a smart phone size window.


2) Question Can you make it possible to switch back to the old format for those of us who hate the new format?

Sat, 12/14/2013 - 11:30 -- john_hendryx

“Problematic Texts” for Definite Atonement in the Pastoral and General Epistles by Thomas R. Schreiner

The following is an excerpt from From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective by David and Jonathan Gibson

Is definite atonement actually taught in the Scriptures, or do prejudiced interpreters read it into biblical texts? I. Howard Marshall asks the right question: “Is it possible to interpret the election statements in such a way as to be consistent with the universal statements without twisting the meaning of either? I will argue here that supporters of definite atonement can answer that question in the affirmative. A number of texts in the Pastoral Epistles, the Petrine Epistles, and Hebrews that speak to the issue of definite atonement will be considered. Many of the texts examined here are part of the arsenal of those who defend unlimited/general atonement. In this chapter, I will argue that (1) understanding some of these texts in a way that supports definite atonement is more persuasive exegetically and theologically; and (2) those texts which do concern God’s salvific stance to all kinds of people (1 Tim. 2:4; 4:10) or to everyone (2 Pet. 3:9) do not in fact disprove the doctrine of definite atonement—God’s desire for people to be saved and his intention to save only the elect are compatible elements in biblical soteriology.

Read More ...

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 21:36 -- john_hendryx

What About Lost Loved Ones? by John Samson (Guest Post)

Let me address this question by telling you a story from history. In the 4th century, there was a very devout Christian lady named Monica. She was married to a prominent man who did not share her Christian faith. He was often very cruel to her, causing her physical abuse. Every day she would go to the church and pray for his conversion. Later on in his life, he did in fact become a Christian.

Yet the pain and anguish her husband caused her seemingly paled into insignificance compared to that which she suffered because of her oldest son. Her mother’s heart was broken, time after time, seeing the reckless life her son was leading. He not only did not share his mother’s faith but would join himself to anti-Christian groups, using his sharp mind to seek to convince others to follow him. He lived a very immoral life. He had a mistress but left her for another and had a son born out of wedlock, named Adeodatus. Monica was not personally able to convince her son of the truth claims of Christianity, but she determined never to stop praying that he would turn to the Lord.

For two decades this went on, with Monica persisting in prayer for her son, seemingly seeing no results. Her son was later to write about all this and tells us that she wept more for his spiritual death than most mothers weep for the bodily death of their children. Distraught, she went to see the well known Bishop Ambrose of Milan to speak about her plight. Knowing her anguish of soul he said, “Go your way and God will bless you, for it is not possible that the son of these tears should perish.” She accepted the answer as though it were a word from God Himself.

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 04:23 -- john_hendryx


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