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King Alphonso's Folly!

by John Newton

King Alphonso of Portugal said that if God had consulted him at the creation, about the placements and motions of the planets and stars, etc. — that he would have contrived them better than they are. I suppose the poor man took the schemes and dreams of the astronomers of his day — to be an accurate representation of the solar system.

It sounds, however, like a blasphemous speech in our ears. We take it for granted that the Sun, the Moon, planets, and the stars are exactly where they should be — and move just as they ought.

But if we are content that the Lord should manage the heavenly bodies without our assistance — we are ready enough to advise Him how He should manage of our insignificant selves! We think we could point at twenty things in our situation which might be mended; and that we would serve Him much better than we do — if we were but at liberty to choose where and how we would be thus placed.

Thus we rightly censure King Alphonso's folly — without being aware that the thoughts that we sometimes indulge, are no less vain and arrogant than his! We might with as much reason, offer to assist God in the government of the universe — as in the direction of our own paltry concerns!

"All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" Daniel 4:35

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From The Letters of John Newton (eBook)

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 13:17 -- john_hendryx

'Irresistible' and 'Resistible' Grace

by Herman Bavinck

The term “irresistible grace” is not really of Reformed origin but was used by Jesuits and Remonstrants to characterize the doctrine of the efficacy of grace as it was advocated by Augustine and those who believed as he did.  The Reformed in fact had some objections to the term because it was absolutely not their intent to deny that grace is often and indeed always resisted by the unregenerate person and therefore could be resisted.  They therefore preferred to speak of the efficacy or of the insuperability of grace, or interpreted the term “irresistible” in the sense that grace is ultimately irresistible.  The point of the disagreement, accordingly, was not whether humans continually resisted and could resist God’s grace, but whether they could ultimately–at the specific moment in which God wanted to regenerate them and work with his efficacious grace in their heart–still reject that grace. 

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Reformed Dogmatics (4 Volume Set) , 4:82-83, 1895-99

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 17:31 -- john_hendryx

Ultimate Collection of Free Presuppositional Apologetics Lectures

SLIMJIM over at the blog The Domain for Truth has compiled a list of apologetics media resources.  He reconstructed is list that was originally listed on a now deleted blog account elsewhere on the web .This is an amazing collection and a great service to the Church. I am thankful for his permission to share these with you here.

Camden Bucey
1. Defending the Faith

Shane Kastler
1. Expositional Apologetics

Fred Butler
1. Apologetics Evangelism 101

Jonathan Harris
1. Apologetics Sunday School Class 2011

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:52 -- john_hendryx

Are You Wearing The Right Wedding Garment?

A guest post by Justin Hoke

Matthew 22:1-14  1And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:  2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,  3 "and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.  4 "Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding." '  5 "But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.  6 "And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.  7 "But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.  9 'Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.'  10 "So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good.

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 14:51 -- john_hendryx

A Life of Obedience by Grace

Don't make a savior of your morality. It cannot deliver you. Repent of trusting in your own righteousness and instead believe on Christ alone.

Remember, grace is not earned by meeting a condition, or it would no longer be grace. It is not a reward for either faith or obedience but the cause of them.(Eph 2:8-10). Obedience, rather, springs from a renewed heart which loves God (1John 3:9, 5:2-4).

Jesus calls us to a life of obedience. He says, "if you love me you will obey my commands." But the bible also teaches that our obedience does not, in any way, earn God's favor. We obey, rather, because we already have God's favor. It demonstrates the reality of God having been gracious to us (Phil 2:12-13; Eph 2:10; 1 John 3:9).

Being saved by grace alone, some actually falsely argue that Christians don't need to obey. It is as if they believed Jesus' continued intercession for us were ineffectual and his grace only delivers us from the guilt of sin but not its power... that while they rightly believe in the imputation of Christ's righteousness but wrongly ignore the impartation of His Holy Spirit to us. But the bible teaches that those who are in Christ have been set free from sin's captivity. The trajectory of our life is now one of following Christ and His commands.

So, I would argue, that those who believe we can live in Christ apart from obedience, are actually not believing in grace enough. Our faith and obedience both point to the reality of God's grace, it does not earn it. And when we do disobey, God's Spirit disciplines us so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor 11:31-32)

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:22 -- john_hendryx

How to Get Rid of the Problem of ‘Self’

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Here is a superb bit of psychology, for what after all, is the main cause of this spirit of fear? The answer is ‘self’ – self-love, self-concern, self-protection. Had you realized that the essence of this trouble is that these fearful people are really too absorbed in self – how can I do this, what if I fail? ‘I’ – they are constantly turning in upon themselves, looking at themselves and concerned about themselves.  And it is just here that the spirit of love comes in, for there is only one way to get rid of yourself. There is only one cure for self. You will never deal with self yourself. That was the fatal fallacy of those poor men who became monks and anchorites. They could get away from the world and from other people, but they could not get away from themselves. Your self is inside you and you cannot get rid of him, the more you mortify yourself the more your self will torment you.

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 13:04 -- john_hendryx

What Happens after Death (and before Resurrection)

Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

This post is adapted from Kim Riddlebarger’s chapter, "Eschatology," in Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary edited by Matthew Barrett.

"On the Sleep of the Soul"

John Calvin’s first published work of theology was the Psychopannychia (“On the Sleep of the Soul”), published in 1542, although the first draft of the manuscript was written as early as 1534, and Calvin revised it several times before publication.1

Ironically, even as Calvin took issue with those Anabaptists who held that the soul is deprived of consciousness after death, this view was quite similar to Luther’s “soul sleep.” Calvin never mentioned Luther’s view, and both Martin Bucer and Wolfgang Capito (1478–1541) urged Calvin not to publish the Psychopannychia so as to avoid exposing any differences between the Reformed and Lutherans and thus keep Roman or Anabaptist critics from pouncing.2

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:38 -- john_hendryx

The Christian's Reasonable Service (Indexed)

by Wilhelmus a Brakel

With a decidedly Puritan flavor and representing  Reformed experiential religion at its best, Wilhelmus à Brakel systematically moves through the major doctrines of the Bible in hopes of seeing the minds of God’s people renewed for the purpose of promoting godliness. Throughout his work, but particularly in the practical application of each doctrine, à Brakel strives unceasingly to exalt the name of Jesus as the name that the Father has given above every other name—there being no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). The following files are in pdf format.

The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 1 (indexed)
The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 2 (indexed)
The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 3 (indexed)
The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 4 (indexed)

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 12:57 -- john_hendryx

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