Tag Archives: Election

It Was Grace and Only Grace

 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Isaiah 53:1

SpurgeonIn Gods case, if He had said in the infinite sovereignty of His absolute will, “I will have no substitute, but each man shall suffer for himself, he who sinneth shall die,” none could have murmured. It was grace, and only grace which led the divine mind to say, “I will accept of a substitute. There shall be a vicarious suffering; and My vengeance shall be content, and My mercy shall be gratified.”  (C.H. Spurgeon Expiation, Sermon 561)

It was grace, and only grace

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Why do People Deny the Doctrine of Election?

I was listening to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Romans 9 and he said something that really brings out the problem with people denying the doctrine of election and the sovereignty of God in Salvation…

martyn-lloyd-jones1“The trouble with people who argue against Christian doctrine is that they do not know their bibles, If they only knew their Bibles they would say much less and indeed all they say, has already been answered.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

We can’t allow people to just gloss over this great doctrine of God like it doesn’t even exist.

I was always told “God loves you, Jesus died for you, now it’s up to you” 

But it wasn’t until after I really got serious with my bible I began to see that though there is a sense of human responsibility in the word of God, it clearly states without a doubt that salvation is from the Lord Jonah 2:9 It clearly states that we’re chosen before the world began Ephesians 1:4. It clearly states that He began the work of salvation in us and will see it through until the end Philippians 1:6 and Romans 8:28-39.

Our response shouldn’t be to take a sharpie and cross out all the places where we find the doctrine of election or gloss over them like they don’t even exist. Our repose shouldn’t be to explain them away like they are a trivial part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our response should be a sense of amazement and thankfulness that He has chosen us.

Look for more from Romans 9 as I continue to prepare to teach this great section from God.

I’ll close with these words which we should all heed from Paul my hero in the faith.

Paul2But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.  2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14, 15, 16 and 17

So then, brethren, stand firm and
hold to the traditions which you were taught,
whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Picture Perfect Painting

I wanted to post this yesterday on my birthday, but didn’t want to seem self-promoting, hey everyone it’s my birthday! I wanted to share with you folks one of the gifts I received from a dear friend who has, I think a really great talent as a painter. You’re looking at it now saying “But It’s 5 Tulips” Yeah it is! But those 5 tulips represent Picture Perfect Historical Biblical Theology!

  • T — total depravity.
  • U — unconditional election.
  • L — limited atonement.
  • I — irresistible grace.
  • P — perseverance of the saints.

Click on Picture to make larger and use as wallpaper!

Picture Perfect Painting

 

To help you see that it’s all throughout the bible, here is a great free e-book (By Grace Alone)

By Grace Alone a doctrinal study by Jim McClarty

Below is a great explanation of The Doctrines of Grace.

Doctrines of grace tulip

TOTAL DEPRAVITY

Man’s depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total. All men are born into this world spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; the sinner’s heart is desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature. Therefore, he has lost his ability to choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. It takes more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring the sinner to Christ -it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation – it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

Psalm 51:5, 58:3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3, 8:44; Romans 3:10-12, 5:12; Ephesians 2:2-3; I Corinthians 2:14

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION

God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause, of God’s choice. Election, therefore, was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus, God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

Deuteronomy 7:6-7; Isaiah 55:11; John 6:44, 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28; 9:11-13; II Timothy 1:9

LIMITED ATONEMENT

Christ’s death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save only the elect (those whom the Father had given him) and actually secured salvation for them. Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for the elect’s salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The elect are the sole object of God’s saving grace.

Matthew 1:21, 20:28; John 10:14-18, 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:8-9; Titus 2:14; Revelation 5:9

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (made without distinction) can be and is often rejected; whereas the internal call (made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited by man’s will or dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinners to cooperate, to believe, to repent, and to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

Ezekiel 11:19-20; John 6:37; Romans 8:30; Colossians 2:13; James 1:18; Titus 3:5

PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS

All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and, thus, persevere to the end. Therefore, salvation is wholly dependent upon the God who has willed to save those whom He gave to His dear Son. Their salvation can never be lost. The elect are kept by God’s power through faith, and nothing can separate them from His love. They have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been given as the guarantee of their salvation, and they are thus assured of an eternal inheritance. This doctrine does not maintain that all who profess the Christian faith are certain of heaven. Many who profess belief and then “fall away” do not fall from grace; they were never in grace. True believers fall into various temptations and commit grievous sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation or separate them from Christ.

Isaiah 43:1-3; Jeremiah 32:40; Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; I Thessalonians 5:23-24; Jude 24-25

CONCLUSION

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, and the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process of election, redemption, and regeneration is the work of God and is by His grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation

John 1:12-13; John 15:16; Romans 9:14-16; Ephesians 1:2-14

HT: Highway

The entire process of election,
redemption, and regeneration
is the work of God and is
by His grace alone.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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He saved us!

He Saved us

He Saved us

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

I can’t seem to get this out of my mind, that God saved me, but just maybe there was a chance that I could have canceled out my salvation by exercising my free will and refusing His grace through the work of His Son.

No! The word says “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44

Look what Paul says in Titus…

  1. He saved us not on the basis of deeds done in righteousness.
  2. But according to His mercy He washed us by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  4. So that being justified by His grace.
  5. We would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is all the work of God regenerating me by the Holy Spirit and giving me faith to believe.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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MacArthur Monday

You didn’t participate in your physical birth; you didn’t participate in your spiritual birth. It is a work of God, a divine, creative miracle.

You didn’t participate in your physical birth; you didn’t participate in your spiritual birth. It is a work of God, a divine, creative miracle.

It’s a work of God; it’s a divine work, a work of sovereign grace and sovereign power. It’s a monergistic, unilateral work of God that’s not a synthetic work where you have God participating with man. It’s not some kind of coalescing of the will and power of man, with the will and power of God. It’s a singular work of God by which He comes down from heaven, irresistibly brings a call–we call it an effectual call on the heart of a sinner–draws that sinner to himself, regenerates that sinner, and then justifies that sinner, sanctifies that sinner and then glorifies that sinner.

It’s a work of God. The new birth being born from above, in the very illustration of birth, makes the point because no one participates in his own birth. You didn’t participate in your physical birth; you didn’t participate in your spiritual birth. It is a work of God, a divine, creative miracle.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” Romans 11:33

The first thing to acknowledge is this, what God knows and what God understands is vastly beyond us. It is at a depth we cannot fathom. In fact, he says, how unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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MacArthur Monday

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

“God genuinely desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Yet in “the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” Ephesians 3:11, He chose only the elect “out of the world” John 17:6. Since God desires all men to be saved, we are not required to ascertain that a person is elect before praying for that person’s salvation. God alone knows who all the elect are (2 Tim. 2:19). We may pray on behalf of all men with full assurance that such prayers are good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”

“The Lord knows those who are His,”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Free Will or Free Grace?

but I believe you will before you enter heaven

Free-will doctrine – what does it? It magnifies man into God; it declares God’s purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent upon human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice it holds God to be a debtor to sinners, so that if He gives grace to one He is bound to do so to all. It teaches that the blood of Christ was shed equally for all men and since some are lost, this doctrine ascribes the difference to man’s own will, thus making the atonement itself a powerless thing until the will of man gives it efficacy. Those sentiments dilute the scriptural description of man’s depravity, and by imputing strength to fallen humanity, rob the Spirit of the glory of His effectual grace: this theory says in effect that it is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, and not of God that showeth mercy. ( Spurgeon from A Jealous God, you can view Here.)

Spurgeon writes further… I believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistible grace of God. 

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Grace Always Comes By Jesus Christ

Here are two important truths. (And I want you to take it and the next time you hear a professor or a preacher say otherwise, go to him and remind him of this.) The first truth is that no one ever was saved, no one is now saved and no one ever will be saved except by grace. Before Moses nobody was ever saved except by grace. During Moses’ time nobody was ever saved except by grace. After Moses and before the cross and after the cross and since the cross and during all that dispensation, during any dispensation, anywhere, any time since Abel offered his first lamb before God on the smoking altar—nobody was ever saved in any other way than by grace.

The second truth is that grace always comes by Jesus Christ. The law was given by Moses, but grace came by Jesus Christ. This does not mean that before Jesus was born of Mary there was no grace. God dealt in grace with mankind, looking forward to the Incarnation and death of Jesus before Christ came. Now, since He’s come and gone to the Father’s right hand, God looks back upon the cross as we look back upon the cross. Everybody from Abel on was saved by looking forward to the cross. Grace came by Jesus Christ. And everybody that’s been saved since the cross is saved by looking back at the cross.

(The Attributes of God Volume 1, Chapter 6, God’s Grace)

His Amazing Grace

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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A Tale of Two Ponds

This morning my post is about one man, two ponds and a bunch of fish and one giant lesson learned. I was going to write about what I’m thankful for like I do every year around this time. Normally I would write something like this… The word says “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18″ So I’m thankful for my wife of 30 years, for all my family and friends. I’m thankful for my Church and Church family and all the many blessings, trials and tribulations I receive from the Lord. Those are wonderful things to be thankful for, but It says, “in everything give thanks”  Everything!

This past week the Lord showed me something that I needed to be thankful for and He used an unlikely person to get His point across. Here’s what happened last week.

Story telling is not my strongest suit, but it begins like this…..

I walked into a break room of one of my accounts to service their machines and a man was in there that is always friendly to me, he began to tell me a story about his two ponds he had by his house, one was a man-made pond, that he had filled with fish and the other farther down the driveway near the entrance that was a spring fed pond. The man-made pond had a bunch of trees around it. This past fall the leaves had fallen and most of them landed in the man-made pond.

One night coming home from work he noticed that the water in the man-made pond was brown and filling up with leaves… He looked and thought the fish were all dead or gasping for clean water. They were all on their side floating like dead fish in this nasty polluted water. He didn’t know what to do, but just like that a plan came to him… Nah he said that won’t work, but I have to try something, what about the clean spring fed pond that’s been around since I was a kid? So he told me he gathered up all those helpless fish and carry them to the clean fresh spring water and waited to see what happens, but his hopes weren’t very high that something would happen but it was worth a try.

The story goes on that his daughter came home before he did the next day and in her amazement all the fish had life and all were swimming around in the fresh clean spring fed water. She phoned her dad and told him the great news and he just said Amazing, those fish were helpless and all it took was for me to gather them up and move them from the polluted dirty water to the fresh clean water and something happen there I can’t explain and they are alive. I walk over to him after he had finished the story and shook his hand and said thank you, he replied for what? I said for showing me what Amazing Grace is! He replied back ok what ever, it was just a story.

Amazing what clean fresh flowing spring fed water will do! I was in total amazement, that was the greatest and clearest illustration of the sovereignty of God in salvation I have every heard and it was from an unbeliever… Oh how God can use a crooked stick to draw a straight line. Just like those fish, we who are saved were dead in our trespasses and sin and by His great mercy saved us Ephesians 2:1, 2 and 3, 4.

I could help but to think of the words Jesus said in John 6: 37 and 44 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. Then look and verse 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD (Isaiah 54:13).’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. I think from these verses we can conclude that everyone that hears and learns from God, will be drawn to God and come willingly, ultimately bringing conversion to that person. Then look at John 6:65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” The word draw is an interesting word… Except the Father draws him (hélkō) God’s drawing power. The basic meaning is “to draw,” “tug,” or, in the case of persons, “compel.”

Luther says on this passage: “The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but it is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willingly goes.”

I’m thinking of those fish, they had no power to refuse the gracious hands of that man to bring them to the fresh saving water of that clean pond and to save them from death. I can’t ever remember reading about anyone drowning who says while someone is saving them, “No don’t save me” What do they do, they come willingly with the one who is saving them, that’s efficacious irresistible grace.

Lazarus was as dead as they come (just like those fish) and it was Jesus who spoke life into Him, When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” John 11:43 Lazarus had no power or life in him to say “NO” Lord! I will “NOT” come forth and you will not bring me back from the dead. What happen then “The man who had died came forth” John 11:44 Those fish went from death to life 2 Corinthians 5:17 just like we have, who have been saved from the wrath to come.

I’m thankful that God supernaturally taught me the things concerning His son and I came willingly, I wanted to be saved despite myself. I was given to the Son from the Father and I came and He will not cast me out. Just like those fish they came to that man willingly, they did not fight back and say let us die! That man was gracious and did not cast the out but saved them by placing them from death to life.

You see folks the Lord puts His spirit in us to hear the gospel call and we come freely for that I say Thank You Lord Jesus Thank You!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelation 22:17. So you hear now come! Repent and believe! Mark 1:15 Confess your sins Romans 10:9, 10 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Just like those fish it will alter your life!

and that’s what I’m thankful for!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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Lets Get Theological / Synergism or Monergism?

I was having coffee with a friend yesterday and we were talking about God’s work in salvation… and how great it is to see and hear men be confronted with the truth of God’s word written only in scripture about their salvation … Hearing them say I’m chosen by God and giving God all the glory for it. So! Is it really all God in salvation or does the spiritual dead and unregenerate sinner have to meet God half way? Is salvation really from the Lord Jonah 2:9 and do we have to help out God just a bit? Well! That would be a ridiculous thought that God actually needs our help in saving ourselves from His wrath and Judgment. That led me to bring out two words in our conversation we had last night Synergism and Monergism. I often hear this verse in John 1:12 quoted over and over and over… But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, But fail so often to complete the firm statement with verse 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:13 As you can see you’re not saved by a man-made system or personal effort or the human will of manBUT of God. Ephesians 2:4

1. Synergism, which I completely disagree with, is the doctrine that the act of being born again is achieved through a combination of human will and divine grace. (From Greek sunergos, working together : sun-, syn- + ergon, work). Though there are godly men who believe this all to be true, there are many, many other godly men that just don’t see synergism in God’s word.

The Century Dictionary defines synergism as… “The doctrine that there are two efficient agents in regeneration, namely the human will and the divine Spirit, which, in the strict sense of the term, cooperate. This theory accordingly holds that the soul has not lost in the fall all inclination toward holiness, nor all power to seek for it under the influence of ordinary motives.”

Why do people believe this? I can only guess it is because by nature we want to maintain an island of righteousness, a last bastion of pride in thinking that he can still contribute something, be it ever so small, to our own salvation. It would involve great humility on our part to admit this. If the Church took more efforts to search the Scriptures and reform her doctrine on this point, I am convinced that a great deal of blessing would be restored and God would remove much of the current worldliness in our midst.

2. Monergism… The word “monergism” consists of two main parts. The Greek prefix “mono” signifies “one”, “single”, or “alone” while the suffix “ergon” means “to work”. Taken together it means “the work of one”. All of God as scripture so clearly point out.

The Century Dictionary’s definition of monergism: In theology, [monergism is] “the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration [the new birth] – that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated [born again], and therefore cannot cooperate in regeneration.”

Very simply, then, monergism is the doctrine that our new birth (or “quickening”) is the work of God, the Holy Spirit alone, with no contribution and without the cooperation of fallen man, since the natural man, of himself, has no desire for God and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14, Rom 3:11,12; Rom 8:7; John 3:19, 20).

Man remains resistant to all outward callings of the gospel until the Spirit comes to disarm us, call us inwardly and implant in us new holy affections for God. Our faith comes about only as the immediate result of the Spirit working faith in us in the hearing of the proclamation of the word. But just as God does not force us to see against our will when He gives us physical eyes, so God does not force us to believe against our will when giving us spiritual eyes. God gives the gift of sight and we willingly exercise it. To conclude, “…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3) …who is the deposit guaranteeing what is to come (2 Corinthians 5:5).

Thus it should become plain to us that not everyone receives this redemptive blessing from Christ. God bestows it mercifully on whom He will according to His sovereign good pleasure (Rom 9:15-18; Eph 1:4, 5). The rest will continue in their willful rebellion, making choices according to their natural desires and thus receive the wrath of God’s justice. That is why it is called “mercy” – not getting what we deserve. If God were obligated to give it to all men then, by definition, it would not longer be mercy. This should not surprise us … what should surprise us is God’s amazing love, that He would save a sinner like me at all. (Taken from Monergism vs. Synergism by John Hendryx)

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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