Reformation Theology Blog
by Jonathan Dickinson
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. By grace ye are saved. –Ephesians 2:4, 5
HAVING, understood from scripture, somewhat distinctly the considered the sad effects of our original apostasy…
…I am now led by the words before us, to take notice of the methods of our recovery from the misery, death, and ruin, which the fall has brought upon us. In the text we have,
In the decrees of the Council of Trent: Canons on Justification, Roman Catholics proclaim a curse (anathema) on anyone who affirms the loss of free will after the fall. In Canon 5, it declares:
"If anyone says that after the sin of Adam man's free will was lost and destroyed, or that it is a thing only in name, indeed a name without a reality, a fiction introduced into the Church by Satan, let him be anathema."
Thomas Brooks farewell address to his people is peculiarly adapted for usefulness. Brooks ends with giving his people some hints of advice, which he calls legacies, hoping they might be of use to them in the perusal when he had not the advantage of speaking to them in public.
1. Secure your saving interest in Christ. This is not a time for a man to be between hopes and fears. Take not up with an outward form, crying, "The Temple of the Lord."
2. Make Christ and Scripture the only foundation for your souls, and for faith to build upon.
Both moral and immoral people are alienated from God. God is offended by both. This may be counter-intuitive but moral people are lost because of their "goodness". Why? It is often the case that goodness keeps people from God. In fact many people avoid Jesus by avoiding sin because they are trying to become their own saviors ... attempting to justify themselves. But the gospel is neither moralism nor relativism so it is equally offensive to the moral and the irreligious. But Christ calls us to repent of both our good and bad works, for we have no righteousness of our own.
"The Spirit quickens [regenerates], 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
In the same context Jesus declares, "All the Father gives me will come to me..." - John 6:37
"All", not some. All the Father gives the Son will come to Him. And the "giving" of the Father to the Son precedes their coming to faith in Him.
The words "grant" (v 65) and "give" (v 37) are the same Greek word.
“We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.” ― Francis A. Schaeffer
"Statism is the natural and ultimate enemy to Christianity because it involves a usurpation of the reign of God." R. C. Sproul
by Jim Elliff
You may disagree, but I believe biblical history and subsequent Christian history demonstrates that radical internal holiness, godly enthusiasm to follow Christ, and courageous truth-inspired faith in him regardless of the societal externals or the diffidence and even hatred of those around us, do more to accomplish the will of God in the world than the seating of any government over the people.