Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ Category

love-god-purse-holiness-slide

 

In light of our new Disciple Hour series, “The Pursuit of Holiness”, it’s important that we consider the Biblical motivations for such a pursuit. There’s no doubt that the primary catalyst for our desire to strive for holiness is the gospel. In fact, if our central motivation is not gospel-centered, it’s safe to say that we’re missing the point. Yet, at the same time, as Kevin DeYoung recently wrote about in an article titled, “How Many Motivations are there for Godliness”, Scripture does provide us with other distinct reasons to pursue godliness, which are directly connected to the gospel. Here’s what he wrote:

 

“Is there just one proper gospel-centered rationale for holiness? Should we, in speaking about sanctification, avoid threats and warnings and coming judgment and focus simply on our acceptance in Christ? How many motivations does the Bible have for godliness?

 

I see at least twenty. In the three chapters of 2 Peter alone.

 

1.    We pursue holiness so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

2.    We make every effort to grow in godliness because God has already set us free from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Pet. 1:4).

3.    We grow in grace so we will not be ineffective and unfruitful  in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:8).

4.    We pursue Christlike character so we will not be blind, having forgotten that we were cleansed from our former sins (2 Pet. 1:9).

5.    We work hard at holiness in order to make our calling and election sure, so that we will not fall (2 Pet. 1:10).

6.    We practice these godly qualities so there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom (2 Pet. 1:11).

7.    We pursue godliness because Jesus is coming back again in great power, and we know this to be true because of the glory revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration and because of the prophecy of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:16-21).

8.    We walk in obedience to Christ because those who wander into sensuality are condemned and will be destroyed (2 Pet. 2:3).

9.    We are serious about holiness because we believe God knows how to judge the wicked and save the righteous (2 Pet. 2:4-10).

10.    We turn from ungodliness because those who revel in sin are ugly blots and blemishes, irrational animals, unsteady souls, and accursed children (2 Pet. 2:10-16).

11.    We pursue holiness because sin never delivers on its promises (2 Pet. 2:17).

12.    We pursue holiness because those who live in their sin again are like those returning to slavery, returning to mire, and returning to vomit (2 Pet. 2:19-21).

13.    We must remember to be holy because in the last days scoffers will come following their own sinful desires (2 Pet. 3:3).

14.    We make every effort to be godly because the world will not always continue as it does now; the heavens and the earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly (2 Pet. 3:4-7).

15.    We must take Christlikeness seriously right now because we do not know when the Lord will return (2 Pet. 3:10).

16.    We pursue holiness because all our works will be exposed on the last day (2 Pet. 3:10).

17.    We pursue holiness because whatever we live for in this life will be burned up and dissolved (2 Pet. 3:11).

18.    We strive to walk in obedience and repentance because in so doing we may hasten the coming of the day of God (2 Pet. 3:12).

19.    We living in righteousness now because we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness will dwell forever (2 Pet. 3:13).

20.    We pursue godliness so that Christ might be glorified both now and to the day of eternity (2 Pet. 3:18).”

 

Source: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2014/02/04/how-many-motivations-are-there-for-godliness/

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

 

race

Seven laws for running the [Christian] race:

 

1) Run to win: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

 

2) Observe strict discipline: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

 

3) Don’t look back: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

 

4) Get constant encouragement: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us…run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

 

5) Throw off restraints: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

 

6) Discount pain: “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:22-24).

 

7) Don’t let up until you cross the line: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

 

Source: Jim Elliff

Read Full Post »

 “If the Father was pleased to make a gift of certain sinners to His most blessed Son, you may rest assured that the Son will neither despise nor deny His Father’s gracious generosity. [There is] the certainty of ultimate and absolute salvation for those who come to the Son… Their life in Christ is eternal and irrevocable because that is the will of the Father; a will or a purpose that the whole of Christ’s person and work was designed to secure, a will or purpose that shall ultimately be (Psm. 115:3; 135:6; Dan. 4:34-35; Eph. 1:11; Ac. 4:28). What did Jesus come to do? He came to do the Father’s will (Jn. 6:38). What is the Father’s will? The Father’s will is that all those He has given to the Son be fully and finally saved (Jn. 6:39). Oh, what a glorious thought it is!”

If a true believer could fully and finally fall away, what it would mean for God the Son?

  1. Christ will have failed in the purpose for which He died (Jn. 6:37-40; 10:14-18, 27-30).
  2. Christ will have failed in the purpose for which He was raised (Rom. 4:24-25).
  3. Christ will have failed in the purpose for which He now intercedes in the presence of the Father (Rom. 8:31-34; 1 Jn. 2:1-2; Heb. 7:25).
  4. Christ will fail to accomplish the goal for which He is to return to this earth (Jn. 6:40b).
  5. Christ will prove to have been a liar (Jn. 6:37; 10:27-28).

If a true believer could fully and finally fall away, what it would mean for God the Holy Spirit?

  1. The Holy Spirit will have failed in his work of sealing (2 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30).
  2. The Holy Spirit will have failed in his ministry as a pledge of the future consummation of our redemption (2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5).
  3. The Spirit will have failed in his ministry as firstfruits (Rom. 8:23).

 –Sam Storms  (A Defense of the Perseverance of the Saints – Part II, November 6, 2006, www.enjoyinggodministries.com.)

Read Full Post »

“There is Hope”

by Stanford Murrell

 

Years ago an S-4 submarine was rammed by a ship off the coast of Massachusetts. It sank immediately. The entire crew was trapped in a prison house of death. Every effort was made to rescue the crew, but all ultimately failed. Near the end of the ordeal, a deep-sea diver who was doing everything in his power to find a way for the crew’s release thought he head a tapping on the steel wall of the sunken sub. He placed his helmet up against the side of the vessel and he realized it was Morse Code. He attached himself to the side and he spelled out in his mind the message being tapped from within:

“Is… there… any… hope?”

 

Sometimes we ask ourselves a similar question. We ask such things as, “Is there any hope for our nation?” “What hope does my family have?” “What hope is left for the Church?” “What hope is there for this relationship?” “Is there any hope?”

 

Many people conclude there is no hope and end their life or abandon themselves to a reckless lifestyle. But the Christian can ask, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance” (Ps 42:5).

 

The Bible contains a message of hope. Paul declared, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). Peter says we have been “begotten unto a living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3). True and lasting hope comes as we embrace the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore let the heart sing,

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
 

Refrain

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain 

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”

 

Today, we exhort you to turn to Christ and let hope live again in your heart.

Read Full Post »

Spiritual-Growth

“We habitually and instinctively look to other things besides God and his grace as our justification, hope, significance, and security. We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels we do not. Human approval, professional success, power and influence, family and clan identity- all of these things serve as our heart’s ‘functional trust’ rather than what Christ has done, and as a result we continue to be driven to a great degree by fear, anger, and a lack of self-control. You cannot change such things through mere willpower, through learning Biblical principles and trying to carry them out. We can only change permanently as we take the gospel more deeply into our understanding and into our hearts. We must feed on the gospel, as it were, digesting it and making it part of ourselves. That is how we grow.

Tim Keller, The Prodigal God, p. 115

Read Full Post »

What is the biblical evidence for the imputation of Adam’s Sin?

The doctrine of the imputation of Adam’s sin means that when Adam first sinned, that sin (and its blame) was rightly regarded by God to be our sin as well.

John Piper writes:

The problem with the human race is not most deeply that everybody does various kinds of sins—those sins are real, they are huge and they are enough to condemn us. Paul is very concerned about them. But the deepest problem is that behind all our depravity and all our guilt and all our sinning, there is a deep mysterious connection with Adam whose sin became our sin and whose judgment became our judgment. (John Piper, “Adam, Christ, and Justification: Part 1“)

God ordains that that there be a union of some kind that makes Adam’s sin to be our sin so that our condemnation is just. (“Adam, Christ, and Justification: Part 5“)

The biblical basis for this doctrine of imputed sin is discussed thoroughly in John Piper’s five sermons on Romans 5:12-21. Here we will simply seek to summarize some of the primary evidence from this text.

Sin Entered the World Through One Man
First, Paul states in 5:12 that all sinned in Adam: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Paul seems to be equating the “because all sinned” with “through one man sin entered into the world.”

Sin is Not Imputed Where There is no Law
Second, in verses 13-14 Paul adds a clarification which confirms that he does indeed have the imputation of Adam’s sin in view in the phrase “because all sinned” rather than our individual sins. He states: “For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.” In other words, Paul concedes that personal sin was prevalent in the world before Moses (“until the Law sin was in the world…”). But he adds that these personal sins were not the ultimate reason people died in that time period: “But sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses.” As Piper summarizes:

People died even though their own individual sins against the Mosaic law were not the reason for dying; they weren’t counted. Instead, the reason all died is because all sinned in Adam. Adam’s sin was imputed to them. (John Piper, “Adam, Christ, and Justification: Part 2“)

Death Reigned Even Over Those Who Did Not Sin Like Adam
Third, Paul’s statement at the end of verse 14 further clarifies that he does not have personal sins in view as the reason for human death: “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam.” Piper notes:

In other words, yes Paul concedes that there are other kinds of laws before the Mosaic Law, and yes people broke those laws, and yes, one could argue that these sins are the root cause of death and condemnation in the world. But, Paul says, there is a problem with that view, because death reigned “even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam.” There are those who died without seeing a law and choosing to sin against it.

Who are they? I think the group of people begging for an explanation is infants. Infants died. They could not understand personal revelation. They could not read the law on their hearts and choose to obey or disobey it. Yet they died. Why? Paul answers: the sin of Adam and the imputation of that sin to the human race. In other words, death reigned over all humans, even over those who did not sin against a known and understood law. Therefore, the conclusion is, to use the words of verse 18: “through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men.” (Ibid)

So the purpose of verses 13 and 14 are to clarify verse 12 in this way:

At the end of verse 12 the words, “death spread to all men, because all sinned” mean that “death spread to all because all sinned in Adam.” Death is not first and most deeply because of our own individual sinning, but because of what happened in Adam. (Ibid)

Paul’s Emphasis Upon the One Transgression
Fourth, at least five times in the following verses Paul says that death comes upon all humans because of the one sin of Adam:

Verse 15: by the transgression of the one the many died

Verse 16: the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation

Verse 17: by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one

Verse 18: through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men

We are all condemned not ultimately because of our individual sins, but because of one sin (verse 18). We die not ultimately because of personal sins, but because of Adam’s one transgression (verse 17). It is not ultimately from our personal sins that we die, but rather “by the transgression of the one the many died.” Paul states over and over again that it is because of one sin that death and condemnation belong to us all. In other words, we are connected to Adam such that his one sin is regarded as our sin and we are worthy of condemnation for it.

The Direct Statement of Verse 19
Fifth, verse 19 provides us with a direct statement of imputation:

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Paul here says that we are made sinners by the sin of Adam. Due to his disobedience, we are regarded as sinners. We cannot take “made sinners” here to be referring to original sin in which we become inherently sinful because it is paralleled with “made righteous.” The phrase “made righteous” in this context is referring to the great truth of justification. Justification does not concern a change in our characters, the infusion of something inherent in us. Rather, it involves a change in our standing before God. In justification, God declares us righteous because He imputes to us the righteousness of Christ–not because He makes us internally righteous (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus, when Paul says “made righteous” here, he means “imputed with righteousness” not “infused with righteousness.” Since “made sinners” is paralleled with “made righteous,” it must also be referring to imputation. Thus, Paul is saying that we are all made sinners in the sense that we are imputed with Adam’s sin.

-sermon by John Piper (www.desiringgod.org)

Read Full Post »

In Christ we have:

A love that can never be fathomed

A life that can never die

A righteousness that can never be tarnished

A peace that can never be understood

A rest that can never be disturbed

A joy that can never be diminished

A hope that can never be disappointed

A glory that can never be clouded

A light that can never be darkened

A purity that can never be defiled

A beauty that can never be marred

A wisdom that can never be baffled

Resources that can never be exhausted.

Author Unknown

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »