One thing which seems to be deeply lacking in much of modern evangelicalism is the study of God's attributes. I believe if more of us set aside serious time to study God and His perfections we would not only know him better but it would cause us to worship God in awe - and it would change our lives. Below we have a short description of God from the Westminster Confession of Faith with links to more in-depth studies in most of the attributes it lists. Then, below that I have posted many free resources like eBooks and lecture series' on God and His attributes. Lastly I have selected a few books for purchase in case you want to even go deeper.
by Thomas Watson
Before all else let us remember, our love to God is a sign of his love to us. 'We love him because he first loved us.' I John 4: 19. By nature we have no love to God; we have hearts of stone. Ezek 36: 26. And how can any love be in hearts of stone? Our loving him is from his loving us. If the glass burn, it is because the sun has shone on it; so if our hearts burn in love, it is a sign the Sun of Righteousness has shone upon us.
The First Sign. If we love God, our desire will be after him. 'The desire of our soul is to thy name.' Isa 26: 8. He who loves God, breathes after communion with him. 'My soul thirsteth for the living God.' Psa 42: 2. Persons in love desire to be often conferring together. He who loves God, desires to be much in his presence; he loves the ordinances: they are the glass where the glory of God is resplendent; in the ordinances we meet with him whom our souls love; we have God's smiles and whispers, and some foretastes of heaven. Such as have no desire after ordinances, have no love to God.
Thomas Hartwell Horne (editor)
London: Henry G. Bohn, 1844-45. Reproduced from the 6th & 7th edns. These books are in the Public Domain
Table of Contents
How many of us try to clean ourselves up before approaching the Lord's Table, as if there were some degree or level of purity that we could reach that would make us acceptable to God? The command to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself should be sufficient to make you recognize your utter inability to do so. In all likelihood, the thinking that we have to make ourselves right and acceptable before God before he will accept us probably derives its origin from the influential but flawed theology of Pietism. For what man could ever clean himself up enough to make himself acceptable to God? And if he could clean himself up to that degree, then what further need would he have of a Savior or the nourishment of the Lord's Supper? He would be self-sufficient. The whole point of both the gospel and the Lord's Supper for Christians is to continually recognize our own spiritual bankruptcy and dependency on the grace and promises of Christ.
In his letter to the Galatians Paul asks Christians who were in danger of thinking they could add to Christ's work or make themselves acceptable by some other way, "Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:3). No, this is folly, because what God still wants from us as Christians is a broken Spirit, one which still recognizes its own moral and spiritual inability and complete need of God's grace to move on. One that says, "have mercy on me, I am insufficient for the task.". Anyone who thinks, therefore, that they can approach the Lord's table with a pure undefiled heart are really missing the point of the gospel.
Here is the now completed series of B.R.I.D.G.E. Ministries (Laredo, Texas) podcasts covering the doctrines of grace (the so called TULIP acrostic):
Teachers include Dr. John Frame, Pastor Jeff Durbin, Pastor John Samson, Dr. James White, Dr. Tim Trumper & Dr. Joel Beeke.
1. The Sovereignty of God - Dr. John Frame:
"so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” - 1 Cor 1:29-31
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
There is no doubt that the Bible teaches that God works in us, and we work. (Phil 2:13). And it is certainly true that good works may be described as a cooperation of sorts, but (and here is the kicker) good works are not the same thing as sanctification.
- Repentance is a gift from God. We mustn’t assume that repentance has its origin within us. God gives repentance as a gift of grace through the work of the Spirit in His people and as such ought to be treated as a gift with an awareness of an undeserved mercy. (2 Tim. 2:25)
- Repentance is recognizing that our offense is primarily a transgression against God, His holy character, and His Law, and secondarily a transgression against our neighbor as His image bearer. Therefore real repentance is to be offered for real sins and real transgressions and not for illusory or made-up offenses. (Matt.
As Phil Johnson once posted,
I often ask Arminians, 'Why do you even pray for the lost? Your theology tells you God has already done everything He could possibly do to save them and now its all up to them. So why do you pray for your lost relatives? Something in you knows that God is sovereign over their hearts'."
Johnson is right. As we read through the Scripture, it is clear we are to pray for the lost. Paul prays for his fellow unbelieving Jews, "Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved." (Romans 10:1)
But the Arminian almost always asks,
"Why do YOU pray for the lost if GOD already choose to save them or not."