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Would it be Unloving for God to Violate our Will?


One of the core doctrinal distinctives of many modern-day evangelicals is that the Holy Spirit would never unilaterally come in and change people's hearts against their will. But this is an assumed conviction which arises only from human reasoning or extra-biblical philosophy because none can point to anywhere in Scripture that would give authority to such an idea. Rather, the Bible teaches that the human will is always captive to sin and opposed to God such that no one would ever willingly follow Christ unless God, in His great mercy, supernaturally intervened to change the natural disposition of this heart (2 Tim. 2:26; Rom 3:11-18; 1 Cor 2:14; Deut 30:6; Ezek 36: 26; John 3:1-8; 6:63-65; Eph 2:1, 5). Man would never agree to this. But when he is given a new heart, he willingly follows the Savior.

When our children do something to put themselves in danger of losing their life, what would be the most loving? 1) to let them continue in their folly and choose for themselves or 2) to intervene, against their will, to deliver them from it? Of course #2. We know better than our children what is good for them. This everyday example disproves that tired old argument that man must have a free will for their to be real love. Actually helping someone who cannot help themselves is the most loving thing we can do.  And this is what God did for those who were captive to sin.  He delivered them. He did not consult our will ... or no one would have been saved.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 11:52 -- john_hendryx

Biblical Reflection: God's Will, I Should Lose Nothing - John 6:39-40


Jesus declared: "And this is the WILL OF HIM who sent me, that I should LOSE NOTHING of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the WILL of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:39, 40)

Jesus will lose nothing of all the Father has given him. How many people will Jesus lose of all those the Father has given Him? None of them, he says. And He further promises they will be among those in the resurrection of the righteous at the last day. Jesus declares this is GOD'S WILL and unless one thinks they can thwart God's will (an impossible supposition) or that God can reverse His promise, then the only biblical conclusion we can reach is that Christ graciously preserves all whom He saves. It would be presumptuous to say God can go against his own promise and will. In fact, to believe that one can lose his/her salvation is to say Jesus is not enough ... which is an attempt to strike or cut down the very root of the very gospel itself. Those who think they can add to Christ's work are in danger of the heresy Paul describes in Gal 3:3: "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" If you think grace is not enough but you must maintain or contribute toward your just standing before God, then you have not understood the gospel at its very heart. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus did it. He provided EVERYTHING we need for salvation including a new heart which believes and perseveres to the end. Praise the Lord (• John 6:38-40, 63-65 • John 10:28-29 • Romans 8:28-39 • Philippians 1:4-6 • Philippians 2:12-13 • 1 John 2:19 • Heb 10:9-10, 14)

 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 20:41 -- john_hendryx

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

This exceptional book is now available free from Monergism in mobi, ePub & .pdf 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. ePub & .pdf 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

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