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What is the Meaning of "Alone" When We Confess Grace Alone or Christ Alone


"Even Roman Catholics believe that salvation is by grace... that is not the issue...and never has been ... the issue is that salvation is by grace ALONE. In other words, Jesus is not only necessary but sufficient to save us to the uttermost."

Sadly, even many Protestants claim they believe in "grace alone" in their confession but deny it with their theology. In many cases, such claims are largely meaningless and without substance. For example, if you believe a man can lose his salvation then, by definition, you already affirm that YOU must maintain your own just standing before God. Christ may be necessary in the process but He only partly helps - or maybe even contributes a large part. But "part" is not "all" of Christ, or else loss of salvation would be an impossible supposition ... but because there is something you could do to lose it, you must, therefore, maintain it. With the help of grace yes... but such grace, by itself, is not enough if you can do something to lose it ... it is grace plus my effort. That is not "All of Christ" or "Christ alone" by any definition.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:19 -- john_hendryx

One Must be "In the Spirit" to Exercise Faith

The Bible declares that there are only two conditions which human beings find themselves: Those who are 1) in the flesh, and those who are 2) in the Spirit (John 3:6). Jesus explains that those who are in the flesh "can do nothing" (John 6:63)... and "nothing" here in the context of HIs words includes the utter inability to exercise faith in Jesus Christ. How do I know? Emphasizing this very truth, the very next words of Jesus are “This is why I told you that no one can COME TO ME unless it is granted him by the Father.” (John 6:65) This demonstrates that the necessity of being "in the Spirit" before coming to faith in Jesus is not something up for debate among Christians but is an established truth of the Bible. No one can come to faith in Jesus while still in the flesh but must be made alive, quickened, regenerated. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

"...no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God." (1 Cor 2:11-12)

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

"The natural person [those without the Spirit] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14)

"even when we were dead in our trespasses, [He] made us alive together with Christ" (Eph 2:5)

No one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3).  

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 14:19 -- john_hendryx

Warnings to the Churches (eBook) by J. C. Ryle

by J. C. Ryle

This exceptional book is now available free from Monergism in mobi and ePub formats. I would encourage every Christian to carefully read and digest the contents.. Ryle's words speak directly to the condition of many modern churches. These words are gems full of wisdom from a wise pastor which will edify and equip you for discernment.

In .mobi and ePub formats

The ambiguity and obscurity of statements from religious leaders today often confuse ordinary Christians. J.C. Ryle s writings were of a different character. His outspoken comments can still help us towards clear Bible-based convictions.

The church s doctrine and practice are in constant danger of being corrupted from their original divinely-given character. Seeing this, Ryle felt compelled to utter a warning, however controversial this might prove. As he observes, There are times when controversy is...a benefit. Give me the mighty thunderstorm rather than the pestilential malaria. The one walks in darkness and poisons us in silence...The other frightens and alarms us for a little season. But it is soon over, and it clears the air .

Strong convictions and clarity of expression always mark Ryle s writings. Nowhere is this more evident than in the addresses and articles brought together as Warnings to the Churches.

Notable Quote

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 13:28 -- john_hendryx

If All is Predetermined Then How Can you Speak of Danger?


I recently commented on Facebook that our greatest danger is not from without (Satan, the world) but from within ... and a long-time visitor and commenter on our Facebook page (who holds to synergistic doctrine) critiqued the statement with the following objection:

Visitor:
There is no danger according to your doctrine. All is already predetermined and no one is really at risk of anything. Those that are saved have always been saved [and can never lose salvation] and those that are left to die will die. So what danger?. 

Response:

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 16:53 -- john_hendryx

New & Notable Books - 02/17/14


Preparing Your Teens for College: Faith, Friends, Finances, and Much More

Alex Chediak

Will my teens' faith be strong enough to withstand the tests of college? Will they focus on their studies or squander their free time? Will they form healthy friendships or join the wrong crowd? Dr. Chediak has watched too many college students flounder over these and other issues. Sadly, 44 percent of those who start off at a four-year college will not complete their degree in six years. At a time when college has never been more expensive, too many of our children are failing. What makes the difference? Character, a strong faith, and a willingness to delay gratification. And where is that learned? Ideally, at home.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 14:10 -- john_hendryx

Some Ideas are True and Some Ideas are False


Visitor: Is it reasonable to you that homosexuality is punishable by death, but rape is only punishable by death in the case that the woman is married or betrothed? Rapists who chose their victims intelligently would pay a fine and have a wife for the rest of their days (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), and homosexuals in consenting relationships should be executed.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 14:32 -- john_hendryx

Common Objections: Right and Wrong Simply a Matter of Personal Choice


If the concepts of right and wrong are simply a matter of personal choice, we must abandon any idea of declaring moral judgments on the ideas and actions of others. A relativist cannot rationally object to genocide, torture, rape, female circumcision, racism, sexism or slavery if those actions are consistent with another person's moral understanding of what is right and good. When they declare some action as wrong we must honestly ask them, what standard is he/she appealing to that makes it binding on anyone else?

Telling others that it is "best for society" to reject these practices is, at best, a personal preference, and therefore it is wildly inconsistent to bind others to a personal standard by stigmatizing their practices as wrong or evil. While relativists can personally believe others are wrong, but such a belief can only be lived out consistently in silence, even though ironically, like a drumbeat or the drip of a leaky faucet, we hear relativists day after day speaking out about the immorality and bigotry of others as if they really believed it were wrong. We are not declaring that it is wrong to make moral pronouncements, or that relativists are somehow less moral people than others... on the contrary, we are demonstrating with clear and irrefutable reason that they cannot account for the morality they wish to make others live by.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:51 -- john_hendryx

Common Objections: The Old Testament is Full of Rape, Murder, Slavery, Homophobia


Visitor: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then where does evil come from? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" Why don't we talk about the old testament?. Why don't you explain to me all the stories of the old testament. Oh wait that's right we don't talk about the old testament because it's full of rape, murder, slavery, homophobia, & god murdering people &making people sacrifice their Children. And why is it not in the 10 commandments that we shall not rape or own people as slaves. Please Rape all you want & treat humans & women as if they were dirt but don't say the lord's name in vein or he'll get upset.

Response: Thank you for your comment. Appreciate your participation ...

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 18:26 -- john_hendryx

Monergism - Weekly Link Roundup 2-9-2014


Featured Links on Monergism.com
A Vision for a Gospel Centered Life (Free eBook) by Dr. Timothy Keller
Exposition of Revelation (MP3 Series) by G. K. Beale
109 Sermons on the First Chapter of the Gospel of John by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MP3 Series)
Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson (MP3 Resources by Series)
Eric Alexander (MP3 Resources by Series)
Exposition of the Epistle of the Ephesians (230-Part MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans (MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Practical Religion by J. C. Ryle (Free eBook) - available in Kindle .mobi and ePub formats
Yielding to God’s Providence by J.C. Ryle
Biography Of J.C. Ryle - Philippians 3:17-18,4:8 (MP3) by Bart Carlson
Bible Secrets Revealed: The Complete Series by Michael J. Kruger
 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 18:02 -- john_hendryx

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