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Why do Christian's Always Talk About Salvation?

What do Christians mean when they say that people need to be "saved"?

Do we mean that people need to just modify their behavior and obey God's law? It would be great if it were that simple, but that is not what we mean. 

It means, rather, that human beings are prisoners, captives and slaves to their idols, to their own lusts, to the world system and to the devil. That we cannot extract ourselves from these things because, like those who have Stockholm syndrome, we have fallen in love with our captors, i.e. we love those things which are doing us the most harm. And while we all vaguely recognize that something is not right in the world and with the nature of human beings, we tend to shrug this off, suppress and ignore it, and willingly come under the illusion that we live in freedom. We cling to the falsehood of human progress and and think human ingenuity will somehow deliver us from ourselves and our problems. 

We pridefully hold to the false idea that we are something and can do something to make things right. But in the end we cannot extract ourselves from our captivity. No wisdom, no plan, no power, no understanding, and no technology can do so. The problem runs far too deep in us for that. Like the Hebrews in Egypt we are slaves needing rescue from our captivity. The tyranny of our idols and lusts are too powerful for nature to conquer. We need redemption from the outside. 

So salvation is not behavior modification. No. We are too entangled in the web of our own making to get out. We first need supernatural intervention by One like us who breaks the bonds and leads us out of slavery. Then, and only then, after being freed from our captors are we free to do right, to love mercy and do justly and to walk humbly with our God.

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 12:49 -- john_hendryx

Be Content With Your Present Condition

by Thomas Brooks

If the saints have such an excellent, such a transcendent, and such a matchless portion, oh then, let them be content with their present condition, let them sit down satisfied and contented, though they have but a handful of meal in their barrel, and a little oil in a cruse, 1 Kings 17:12. O sirs, in having of God you have much, in having of God you have enough, in having of God you have all; and why then should you not sit down quiet with your present allowance? Certainly, if much will not satisfy you, if enough will not satisfy you, if all will not satisfy you, nothing will satisfy you: Heb. 13:5, 'Let your conversation be without covetousness (or love of silver, as the Greek word signifies); and be content with such things as you have (or as the Greek hath it, ἀρκούμενοι τοῖς παρουσιν, be content with present things): for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' There are five negatives in the Greek, 'I will not, not, not, not, not leave thee nor forsake thee;' fully to assure and fully to satisfy the people of God that he will never forsake them, and that he will everlastingly stick close to them. What doth this unparalleled gemination, 'I will never, never, never, never, never,' import but this, 'I will ever, ever, ever, yea and for ever and ever take care of thee, and look after thee, and be mindful of thee.' Though they had changed their glory for contempt, Heb. 11:36–38, their fine raiment for sheep-skins and goat-skins, their silver for brass, their plenty for scarcity, their fulness for emptiness, their stately houses for holes and caves, and dens of the earth, yet they are to be contented and satisfied with present things, upon this very ground, that God will always cleave to them, and that he will never turn his back upon them.

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 18:48 -- john_hendryx

The Providence of God After the Pattern of Christ

by Thomas Boston

Observe the providence of God in the dispensations of it, about the man Christ, the most noble and august object of it, more valuable than a thousand worlds. Did not Providence keep this course with Him, first humbling Him, then exalting Him, and lifting Him up? First bringing Him to the dust of death, in a course of sufferings thirty-three years, then exalting Him to the Father's right hand in an eternity of glory? "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God. " "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him." The exaltation could not fail to follow His humiliation. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" And He saw and believed it would follow, as the springing of the seed does the sowing it. There is a near concern the humbled in humbling circumstances have here.

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 14:46 -- john_hendryx

How We Ought to Respond to Difficult Providences

by Thomas Boston

In your sufferings,

"Consider His holiness and justice, showing he wrongs you not;

His mercy and goodness, that it is not worse;

His sovereignty, that it may silence you:

His infinite wisdom and love, that may satisfy you in it."

A spirit brought down to their lot.

Their lot is a low and afflicted one; but their spirit is as low, being, through grace, brought down to it. We may take it up in these five things:

(1.) They submit to it as just. Micah 7.9, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him.” There are no hardships in our condition, but we have procured them to ourselves; and it is therefore just that we kiss the rod, and be silent under it, and so lower our spirits to our lot. If they complain, it is of themselves; their hearts rise not up against the Lord, far less do they open their mouth against the heavens. They justify God, and condemn themselves, {72} reverencing His holiness and spotless righteousness in His proceedings against them.

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 10:33 -- john_hendryx

Does God give People a Choice?

Question: Does a person have a choice when God deals with their heart?

Response: All people without exception are called to repent and believe the gospel. God holds no one back from believing. However, due to a corruption of nature all people who hear the gospel reject it. But those whom he inwardly calls by his Holy Spirit, out of all the ill-deserving sinners on earth, willingly come to Christ.

Paul declares, "we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:23-24

As you can see from the text, the gospel call goes out indiscriminately to all, both Jews and Gentiles... but to Jews it is a stumbling block, and to Gentiles it is folly (i.e. universal rejection) - but to THOSE WHO ARE CALLED out of these groups, the power to God... they all rejected the outward call but embraced the inward call. Make sure to notice the distinction Paul makes between the two types of calling in this Text.

Likewise Jesus himself declared, "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing ... that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it." John 6:63, 65

But in the same context of John 6 Jesus says "all that the Father gives me will come to me." John 6:37

Notice he says, ALL, not some, of those the Father gives him will come to faith in him.

So let's place these two statements side by side since "grant" and "give" (vs. 37 & 65) are the same Greek word here and both sentences use the phrase "come to me":

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 17:03 -- john_hendryx

Resources on Covenant Theology

"In studying divine covenants in general, one is treading through understanding God's Redemptive Plan throughout history. This is a matter of Eternal Salvation. It answers the question: How may a sinful man approach God (Exodus 3:5)?"
Herman Witsius

Free aBooks

Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man (eBook) by Herman Witsius

A View of the Covenant of Works (eBook) by Thomas Boston

A View of the Covenant of Grace (eBook) by Thomas Boston

The Marrow of Modern Divinity: Modernized and Annotated (eBook)  by Edward Fisher & Thomas Boston

Covenant Theology: A Biblical, Theological, and Historical Study of God's Covenants (eBook) by J. Ligon Duncan

The Covenants of Works and Grace (eBook) by Walter Chantry

The Doctrine of the Two Covenants (eBook) by by Ezekiel Hopkins

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 15:00 -- john_hendryx

Quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word

by Thomas Manton

1. What is quickening?

2. Why asked of God?

First, What is this quickening? Quickening in scripture is put for two things:—

1. For regeneration, or the first infusion of the life of grace; as Eph. 2:5, 'And you that were dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickened;' that is, infused life, or making to live a new life.

2. It is put for the renewed excitations of God's grace, God's breathing upon his own work. God, that begins life in our souls, carries on this life, and actuates it. Now this kind of quickening is twofold spoken of in this psalm; there is quickening in duties, and quickening in afflictions. Quickening in duties, that is opposite to deadness of spirit; quickening in affliction, that is opposite to faintness.

[1.] Quickening in duties, that is opposite to that deadness of spirit which creeps upon us now and then, and is occasioned either by our negligence or by our carnal liberty, that deadness of spirit that doth hinder the activity of grace.

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 18:50 -- john_hendryx

The Free Grace of God

by John Newton

“By the grace of God I am what I am!” 
1 Corinthians 15:10

The true Christian is sensible and mindful of indwelling sin. He confesses that in everything he comes exceedingly short, and that his best services are not only defective — but defiled.

He accounts himself as an unprofitable servant — and is abased in his own eyes.

He knows that all that distinguishes him from the vilest of men — is the free grace of God!

He derives all his hope and comfort, as well as his strength — from Jesus, whom he has known, received and loved, and to whom he has committed his soul.

He renounces all confidence in the flesh, and esteems all things as loss – compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ his Lord, for whose sake he has lost all things — considering them rubbish, that he may gain Christ!

-----

From the Letters of John Newton

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:58 -- john_hendryx

Some Important Works (We Publish) by Scottish Presbyterians

Recently I have been spending a lot of time reading the Scottish Presbyterians. I cannot get over how clear and helpful some of their works are.  I especially have enjoyed the works of Thomas Boston and James Durham.  For anyone who wants get a taste for their writting, below I am including some of the works we have published and made available for free: 

Thomas Boston

The Art of Man-Fishing (eBook)

An Explication of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism (eBook)

A View of the Covenant of Works (eBook)

A View of the Covenant of Grace (eBook)

Miscellaneous Questions (eBook)

The Crook in the Lot (eBook)

The Necessity of Repentance (eBook)

The Good Fight of Faith (eBook)

Am I Really a Christian? (eBook)

The Mystery of Sanctification by Christ Opened Up (eBook)

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 16:53 -- john_hendryx

The Difference Between the Faith of Demons and Saving Faith

The Bible declares that there are some people whose "faith" is on an equal level (or worse) than that of demons.  "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." (James 2:19) 

The faith of demons is but a mere belief in God's existence, not trusting in Christ to save them from sin (since Jesus never served as a mediator for demons), so there is no mystery that people with such faith are not justified.

True saving faith is a faith granted by God in which a person seeing the darkness of his own sin, casts aside his own righteousness, and trusts in the Savior to rescue him from God's wrath on account of his sin. Such Spirit-wrought faith binds us to Christ so that, in union with him, we participate in his righteousness, resting on the assurance of his mercy. 

When people, by God's grace, desire to be saved from sin it reveals they no longer have a love for it and want to be out from under its' tyranny, so seeing they cannot save themselves, they turn to Christ to rescue them from it. As such, they will not be fruitless believes, but because the Lord implants a new love of righteousness within, they will exhibit their faith by following and obeying their Master, Jesus Christ.  

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:49 -- john_hendryx

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