Monthly Archives: May 2010
“Christians, and especially very active ones, should take time out frequently to search their souls to be sure of their motives. Many a solo is sung to show off; many a sermon is preached as an exhibition of talent; many a church is founded as a slap at some other church. Even missionary activity may become competitive, and soul winning may degenerate into a sort of brush-salesman project to satisfy the flesh. Do not forget, the Pharisees were great missionaries and would compass sea and land to make a convert” From Tozer’s “The Root of the Righteous”, 1955, page 103.
“After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers feared Joseph would now wreak vengeance for what they had done to him years before. Joseph reassured them that all had been forgiven, and pointed out that in the providence of God, their evil acts had been turned to a good purpose. Genesis shows that sin does not thwart God’s purposes. God created this world with a positive destiny and fully intends to bring that destiny to pass. God is able to redeem humanity and work in such a way that positive results come even from evil actions. The fall of Adam did not change his purpose, nor was he thwarted by the universal wickedness of humanity before the flood. The doctrine of divine providence comes from the Latin provideo, and means that God literally oversees everything. This means more than that God foresees and knows everything before it happens. It means God sees in order to superintend everything. Everything in space and time is fully before the view and administration of God.
That God sees everything we do is an uncomfortable truth. We want God to notice us when we are in distress, but we do not want him watching when we sin. In the Bible, however, providence focuses on the fact that God sees for the purpose of working all things for our good. God’s governing of history cannot be resisted or overthrown. People may rebel against God, but as Psalm 2 points out, God simply laughs at their efforts. No matter how much evil they plan, the rulers of the sons of Adam cannot bring them to pass to overthrow the King God has established. What is intended for evil God simply works so that it brings good in the end. When Joseph’s brothers sought to eliminate him they advanced God’s plan of redemption. Satan thought he had defeated God when Jesus was crucified, but he that sits in the heavens laughed: Satan had merely sealed his own doom.” Sproul, R. (2000, c1994). Vol. 3: Before the face of God
“The Bible teaches three kinds of election. One is God’s theocratic election of Israel (Deut. 7:6). But that had no bearing on personal salvation. Racial descent from Abraham as father of the Hebrew people did not mean spiritual descent from him as father of the faithful (Rom. 4:11). A second kind of election is vocational. The Lord called out the tribe of Levi to be His priests, but they were not guaranteed salvation. Jesus chose twelve men as apostles, yet Judas was not a believer. The third kind of election is salvational, the type Paul is referring to in Ephesians 1:4. Jesus explained, “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). No one is saved unless he is drawn (Gk., helku?). That term is used in nonbiblical writings to speak of an irresistible force. For example, it is used of a hungry man being drawn to food and of the power of love that draws two people together. This drawing force of God can be likened to an electromagnet that draws iron while leaving nonferrous metal unmoved. God’s election is irresistible to those upon whom He has set His love. The elect will respond in faith to the divine magnet. Completely apart from any merit of any individual, God chose us in Christ. By God’s sovereign election, those who are saved were placed in eternal union with Christ Jesus before creation even took place. Although man’s will is not free in the sense that many people suppose, it is still part of his being. Apart from God, that will is captive to sin. But he still has the capacity and responsibility to choose God because God makes that choice possible. And God has to do it, because if left to our own abilities, we could never choose Him (Rom. 3:11). Jesus said that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16) and that “everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (11:26). The frequent commands to the unsaved to respond to the Lord (e.g., Matt. 3:1-2; 4:17; John 11:28-30) clearly indicate the responsibility of man to exercise his own will. Yet the Bible is just as clear that no person receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord who has not been chosen by God (cf. Rom. 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2). Jesus gives both truths in one verse in the Gospel of John: “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).” Taken from John MacArthur’s book… First Love