Blog

For those Christians who are concerned that their sin has disqualified them for heaven.

by John Hendryx

You said you trust in Jesus yet you claim YOUR sin has disqualified you. Consider ... this means you are not trusting in Christ alone but, at least partly, in your own ability to maintain a just standing before God. Still trusting in your own goodness to win Gods approval. But in Christ you already have his approval ...The gospel is good news that Christ ALONE saves, not you. You will never defeat sin by trying, only Christ can do so in and through you. If you believe you don't deserve heaven, by the grace of God flee from trusting in your own righteousness ... all of it... you have nothing to offer God. You are spiritually bankrupt and can only come to him with empty hands as a poor sinner. Trust in Jesus alone.

It seems that your sin deeply concerns you. This is a sign of life, for those without the Holy Spirit would be unconcerned, indifferent or hostile to God, rather than concerned or broken over their sin. In 1 Cor 11:31-32 it teaches than when a believer sins either we judge ourselves, or the Spirit will discipline us until we do so that we will not be condemned along with the world. That is good news .. the Spirit is working in you to be convicted over your sin, to hate it and, by the grace of God, to put it to death.... and you will be fighting it all you life .. in fact all of us are... when you fall though, the Spirit will ensure that you get back up and persevere to the end. Being a Christian does not mean you are sinless, but that you are united to the one who was, and God accepts you because of Him. Your cannot maintain your own standing before God ... that is the Lord Jesus' office, and His alone.

If you trust in Christ, your sins are forgiven... Because of Him, "the Father ... has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." - Col 1:12

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 14:28 -- john_hendryx

That the Law is Designed to Lead to Christ by Giving Knowledge of Sin

by Martin Luther

And here is the solution of the question which the Diatribe repeats so often all through the book: 'if we can do nothing, what is the purpose of all the laws, precepts, threats and promises?' Paul here gives the answer: 'by the law is the knowledge of sin' (Rom 3:19) His answer to the question is far different than the ideas of man, or of 'free-will". He does not say that 'free-will' is proved by the law, nor that is cooperates unto righteousness; for by the law comes, not righteousness, but knowledge of sin. This is the fruit, the work, the office of the law; it is a light to the ignorant and blind, but one that displays disease, sin, evil, death, hell and the wrath of God. It does not help nor set them free from these things; it is consistent merely to point them out. When a man discovers the sickness of sin, he is cast down and afflicted; nay, he despairs. The law does not help him; much less can he heal himself. Another light is needed to reveal a remedy. This is the voice of the gospel, which displays Christ as the Deliverer from all these evil things. But neither reason, nor 'free-will' points to him; how could reason point to him, when it is itself darkness and needs the light of the law to show it its own sickness, which by its own light it fails to see, and thinks is sound health?

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 13:42 -- john_hendryx

If the Doctrine of Election is True, Why Preach the Gospel?

Visitor: if election is true, why preach the gospel?

Response: why preach the gospel? because "election" saves nobody by itself. Salvation is by Christ. Election is merely a blueprint of what God intends to do in history through Christ. The Father elects, the Son redeems and the Spirit quickens and unites the sinner to Christ through the gospel.

The gospel is like a seed. We cast the seed indiscriminately, as God commands, and it goes into the heart of man... but unless the Holy Spirit germinate the seed, so to speak, it falls on fallow ground. 'No one says 'Jesus is Lord' apart from the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3)

Jesus declared, "all that the Father give to me will come to me" John 6:37

Notice, Jesus says the Father giving them to the Son precedes their coming to faith in him... in addition Jesus says all, not some, but all that the Father gives to Jesus come to faith in him.

The main difference in understanding the bible is between monergism and synergism. .. does Jesus provide everything we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe (Deut 30:6; Ezek 36:26; John 6:63), or does Jesus only provide some of what we need? Does Jesus rescue us or help us rescue ourselves?

The issue is all about whether we are saved by Christ alone or not .. and the answer is in Scripture, the Christians' sole authority.

God has made us the means and instruments by which God disseminate the live-giving gospel. We are not called to discover who the elect are or to be concerned with the ultimate results, but to faithfully go about sowing the seed of the gospel. He will take care of produce the crop.  The Apostle Paul said, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." (1 Cor 3:6-7)

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 12:42 -- john_hendryx

God has Sent the Spirit of His Son into Our Hearts - Galatians 4:4-7

by Martin Luther

"...when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." - Galatians 4:4-7

The Holy Spirit is sent forth by the word into the hearts of the believers, as here stated, "God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." This sending is accomplished by the preaching of the Gospel through which the Holy Spirit inspires us with fervor and light, with new judgment, new desires, and new motives. This happy innovation is not a derivative of reason or personal development, but solely the gift and operation of the Holy Spirit.

We ought to have no doubt about whether the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We are "the temple of the Holy Spirit."(I Cor. 3:16.) When we have a love for the Word of God, and gladly hear, talk, write, and think of Christ, we are to know that this inclination toward Christ is the gift and work of the Holy Spirit. Where you come across contempt for the Word of God, there is the devil. We meet with such contempt for the Word of God mostly among the common people. They act as though the Word of God does not concern them. Wherever you find a love for the Word, thank God for the Holy Spirit who infuses this love into the hearts of men. We never come by this love naturally, neither can it be enforced by laws. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit.

- Martin Luther

------

Sat, 02/11/2017 - 14:00 -- john_hendryx

Does Definite Atonement Undermine Our Zeal for Evangelism?

by Jonathan Gibson

The Achilles Heel of Reformed Theology?

The doctrine of definite atonement, known historically as “limited atonement” or “particular redemption”, has always courted controversy. It has been called a grim and textless doctrine, the Achilles heel of Reformed theology (see, for example, Karl Barth and Broughton Knox). Of the many objections to the doctrine, one of the strongest is that definite atonement undermines a zeal for evangelism. If Christ died only for the elect, can we sincerely offer the gospel to everyone?

However, when definite atonement is placed alongside other biblical truths, the question does not follow. Particularity of grace in election or atonement does not mitigate a universal gospel offer. This is where we should follow Christ’s example.

Biblical Examples

In Matthew 11, Jesus explains that no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him (v. 27). The particularity is explicit. Yet in the very next verse, Jesus gives a universal offer to everyone to come to him and find rest (v. 28).

In John 6, Jesus claims that he has come from heaven to do his Father’s will, which is to lose none of those given to him but to raise them up on the last day (v. 39). This is actually the reason why (“For”) whoever comes to him will never be turned away (v. 38). The Father’s will is that “everyone” who looks to the Son and believes will have eternal life (v. 40). Christ’s purpose in coming was particular; the work he performed in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension was particular (cf. John 17); and yet his invitation was universal. It was also sincere.

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 15:35 -- john_hendryx

Demonizing our Opponents

Brothers and sisters, I am sure many of you have noticed that there is a significant group of people in the USA who have taken up a kind of mob mentality, who think that if you disagree with them on just about any issue you are either a bigot, a racist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a white supremacist, a misogynist, or the like. Labeling people with these terms has become a common fear tactic as an answer to almost any argument. By charging your opponent with the ugliest, most dehumanizing slander ... by demonizing them and painting them in the most monstrous colors, the hope appears to be that you will realize you have committed the "unforgivable sin" and will drive you and the rest of society, through fear, in the political trajectory of the accusers.

Sadly, I will be the first to acknowledge, that hate, racism, xenophobia and the like are real problems in our world ... problems that we need to face up to as a society, but when terms like this are flung about so casually and used so habitually ...the banality, the predictability, and the all to common use these terms have robbed them of their force. It makes combating the real thing all that much harder. In addition those who use this labeling system for the smallest disagreement or infraction end up making themselves just as bad, because they are doing the very thing they accuse others of.

Brothers and sisters, I would discourage you from using these tactics when discussing issues with others. It is unbecoming, ungracious and is perhaps one of the greatest causes of the irreconcilable divisions that exist in our society today. Power is not that important that you have to sink to these kind of tactics. Obey the Lord and let the chips fall where they may.

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 19:05 -- john_hendryx

How Does God Use Persecution to Strengthen and Advance His Church?

by Jason A. Van Bemmel

Today's Reading: Acts 8:1-3 & Proverbs 10:12-23

And Saul approved of his execution.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. - Acts 8:1-3, ESV
 

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 00:42 -- john_hendryx

Comfort For Those Who are Called According to His Purpose.

Jerome Zanchius, 1516-1590

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son!" Romans 8:28-29

The sovereignty of God is a comfort for suffering saints, acting to remove anxiety. How sweet must the following considerations be to a distressed believer!

1. There most certainly exists an almighty, all-wise and infinitely gracious God (Hebrews 11:6).

2. His love for His elect people is immutable; He never repents of it nor withdraws it (Jeremiah 31:3).

3. Whatever comes to pass in time, is the result of His sovereign will from everlasting (1 Corinthians 8:6).

4. Consequently my afflictions are a part of His sovereign will, and are all ordered in number, weight, and measure (Psalm 22:24).

5. The very hairs of my head (every one) are counted by Him; nor can a single hair fall to the ground but in consequence of His wise determination (Luke 12:7).

6. Hence my afflictions and distresses are not the result of chance, accident, or a fortuitous combination of circumstances (Psalm 56:8).

7. They are the providential accomplishment of God's eternal purpose (Romans 8:28), and are designed to answer some wise and gracious ends (James 5:10-11).

8. Nor shall my affliction continue a moment longer than God sees fit (2 Corinthians 7:6-7).

9. He who brought the affliction to me — has promised to support me under it and to carry me through it (Psalm 34:15-17).

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 17:32 -- john_hendryx

Online Bible Commentary Resources

Many thanks to Travis Fentiman for putting this resource together.

The largest theologically conservative & Reformed Bible Commentary collection now available online:

Bible Commentaries – ReformedBooksOnline   2,200+ works

Whole Bible Commentaries

Whole Bible Commentaries  60+

Bible Background, Survey & Introduction  78+
Biblical Theology  30+

Old Testament Commentaries  1,200+

Commentaries on the Whole Old Testament  12+
.
.       Old Testament Background, Survey, Authenticity & Introduction  35+
.       Old Testament Theology  10+

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 11:37 -- john_hendryx

Pages

Subscribe to Monergism.com Blog Feed

By Topic

Joy

By Scripture

Old Testament

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

New Testament

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Revelation

By Author

Latest Links