|04. Search Me|
|05. Above All Else|
|06. Majesty And Mystery (Awesome God)|
|08. There's No One Like Our God|
|11. Turn Your Eyes|
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The Doctrine of Election
The Doctrine of Election:
What is it?
Election is God's decision to choose us to be saved before the foundation of the world.
Predestination is another word that will be frequently used, it is a broader term that encompasses two aspects. For believers, election; for unbelievers, reprobation. However, double predestination is not a helpful term in this discussion. It gives the impression that both election and reprobation are carried out in the same way by God and have no essential differences between them. This is not the case as we will find out in the next two posts.
Scriptural Basis for Election:
Election is an act of God before creation in which He chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His sovereign good pleasure.
A. Does the New Testament Teach Predestination?
1. Acts 13:48 "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed."
2. Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."
3. Romans 9:11-13 "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call--she was told, 'The older will serve the younger.' As it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.'"
4. Romans 11:7 "What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,"
5. Ephesians 1:4-6 "even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."
6. Ephesians 1:12 "so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory."
7. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake."
8. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 "But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."
9. 1 Timothy 5:21 "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality."
10. 2 Timothy 1:9 "who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began."
11. 1 Peter 1:1 "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,"
12. 1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
13. Revelation 13:7-8 "Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain."
14. Revelation 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come."
Clearly the New Testement teaches Election, but how are we to understand what Election is.
What can we see from these 14 passages listed?
1. There will be Gentiles among the elect.
2. The elect are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.
3. They are called, justified, and glorified.
4. Election is not from any works that we have done.
5. Election is according to God's purpose.
6. There elect Jews as well as elect Gentiles.
7. We are chosen through Jesus Christ from before the foundation of the world.
8. The purpose of Election is that the elect would live a Holy and Blameless Life.
9. The elect are Adopted through Jesus Christ.
10. Election is according to the purpose of God's Will.
11. It is also from and through God's Grace.
12. The Elect are Blessed through this election and called Beloved.
13. It is the the Praise of Jesus Christ's Glroy.
14. The elect are Loved by the Lord.
15. God does the chosing.
16. Election is realized those that receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
17. The power behind election is the working of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
18. The Holy Spirit convicts us of the Gospel and the realization of our Election.
19. God does the chosing.
20. Election is enacted by the Sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
21. Election is also enacted by Belief in the Truth (the Gospel of Jesus Christ).
22. There are Elect Angels as well as Jews and Gentiles.
23. God does the chosing.
24. The elect are called to Holy living.
25. Election is not from the works of man.
26. Election is by the Grace of God.
27. Election is according to the Purpose of God.
28. Election was determined before the beginning.
29. In Peter's day there was a dispersion of the elect out of Israel.
30. The Elect are a chosen race.
31. The Elect are a Royal Preisthood.
32. The Elect are a Holy Nation.
33. The Elect are a People for God.
34. The Elect are to proclaim the excellencies of God.
35. The Elect have been saved from Darkness and into Light.
36. Satan will not have power over the Elect, but He will be allowed to conquer them.
37. Election was determined before the foundation of the World.
38. Those who are not elect will marvel at the Beast (Antichrist).
We can group these into 3 main catagories:
A. Comfort: Romans 8:28-30 is very clear on this issue. God's foreknowledge should bring great comfort to the believer. In the past, before the foundations of the world God has predestined His people to be conformed into the likeness of Christ; in the recent past, He has called and justified those whom He has predestined; and in the future at Christ's return He will grant perfect and glorified bodies to those who have believed in Jesus Christ.
So, in the past and in the future we can see that God is working all things to the good of those who love Him, and we can deduce that even now (just like in the past and in the future) God is working all things out for our good.
B. A Reason to Praise God: Ephesians 1:5-6, 12; 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 4; and 2 Thessalonians 2:13 all speak towards this.
We are predestined to be God's sons "to the praise of His glroy." Paul gave thanks to God for those who were predestined and even in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 he said that He was bound to give thanks! We are obligated to thank God for our salvation as well as the salvation of others.
Understanding this aspect of Predestination will seriously reduce any pride that we might have towards our salvation. For in continually giving thanks to God for our salvation, we will remember that it was He who has done the saving, and we could never earn it.
C. Encouragement to Evangelism: 2 Timothy 2:10 is what Paul clings to in Evangelism. He understands that not all will be saved but is encouraged to Preach non-the-less knowing that some have been predestined and He will have some success even though for the most part He will endure suffering.
There are some Misunderstandings of the Doctrine of Election:
1. Fatalistic or Mechanistic:
2. Election is based on God's Foreknowledge of Our Faith:
What is it?
Common Grace is the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation.
Adam and Eve became worthy of eternal punishment and separation from God when they sinned!
1 Peter 2:4 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;"
God had the right to do the same with Adam and Eve...but He chose to show them Grace!
1. Physical Realm: Every breath that an unbeliever takes (for that matter that anyone takes) is a gift of God. It is undeserved! The Earth produces vegetation for us to eat and raise animals rather than being completely cursed and allowing nothing to grow like the other planets!
2. Intellectual Realm: All people have some grasp of the truth. All people have a knowledge of God (Romans 1:21). Also all Science and technology carried out by non-Christians is a result of common grace, allowing them to make incredible discoveries and inventions, to develop the earth's resources into many material goods, to produce and distribute those resources, and to have skill in their productive work.
3. Moral Realm: Common grace restrains people from being as evil as they could be. Also by giving warning of final judgment in the operation of the natural world.
4. Creative Realm: God has allowed significant measures of skill in artistic and musical areas, as well as in other spheres in which reativity and skill can be expressed, shuch as athletics, cooking, and writing.
5. Societal Realm: Families, Government, laws, police forces, judicial systems, human societies, educational institutions, businesses, corporations, and voluntary associations. All because of God's common Grace.
6. Religious Realm: Although God has not promised to answer the prayers of unbelievers...He does answer some prayers! This is out of His common Grace. And also the proclamation of the Gospel to those who do not ultimately accept it is a clear declaration of the mercy and grace of God, which gives clear witness to the fact that God does not delight in the death or condemnation of any of his creatures (Ezek 33:11, 1 Tim 2:4).
7. Common Grace and Special Grace Influence each other: The Grace that God bestows on all (common Grace) most definately influences Special Grace. God blesses His people with other gifts...but lets look at an example:
A church is looking to expand it's building, they seek out a construction company to do the work at a resonable price. Many of the men who work on the church may not be saved...but the gifts that God has blessed them with do to common grace a certainly influencing that local body of believers with a new building.
8. Common Grace does not save people: Common grace is different than saving grace! It does not change peoples hearts nor bring them to genuine repentance and faith--it cannot and does not save people. It restrains sin, but it does not change anyone's foundational disposition to sin, nor does it in any significant measure purify fallen human nature.
Also the actions of unbelievers performed by virture of common grace do not in themselves merit God's approval or favor. These actions do not spring from faith and "For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." Romans 14:23b
1. To Redeem those who WILL be Saved: The day of final judgment and punishment is being delayed because there are more people that will be saved. 2 Peter 3:9-10 "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed."
2. To Demonstrate God's Goodness and Mercy: God demonstrates His Goodness and Mercy in the Salvation of believers as well as Blessing undeserving sinners. Luke 6:35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil." God's kindness is revealed in the universe to His glory. Psalm 145:9 "9The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made." God showers untold blessings upon all men and also clearly indicates that these are the expressions of a favorable disposition in God, which falls short however of the positive volition to pardon their sin, to lift their sentence, and to grant them salvation. It is not unjust for God to delay execution of punishment upon sin and to give temporary blessings to human beings, because the punishment is not forgotten, but just delayed. In delaying punishment, God shows clearly that he has no pleasure in executing final judgment, but rather delights in the salvation of men and women. Ezekiel 33:11 "Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?" 1 Timothy 2:4 "This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." In all of this the delay of punishment gives clear evidence of God's mercy and goodness and love.
3. To Demonstrate God's Justice: When God repeatedly invites sinners to come to faith and when they repeatedly refuse his invitations, the justice of God in condemning them is seen much more clearly. Paul warns that those who persist in unbelief are simply storing up more wrath for themselvs. Romans 2:5 "But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed." On the day of judgment every mouth will be stopped and no one will be able to object that God has been unjust. Romans 3:19 "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God."
4. To Demonstrate God's Glory: Finally, God's glory is shown in many ways by the activities of human beings in all the areas in which common grace is operative.In developing and exercisin dominion over the earth, men and women demonstrate and reflect the wisdom of their Creator, demonstrate God-like qualities of skill and moral virtue and authority over the universe, and so forth. Though all fo these activities are tainted by sinful motives, they nonetheless reflect the excellence of our Creator and therefore bring glory to God, no fully or perfectly, but nonetheless significantly.
1. Common Grace does not mean that those who receive it will be saved: Even exceptionally large amounts of common grace do not imply that those who receive it will be saved. Even the most skilled, most intelligent, most wealthy and powerful people in the world still need the gospel of Jesus Christ or they will be condemned for eternity! Even the most moral and kind of our neighbors still need the gospel of Jesus Christ or they will be condemned for eternity! They may appear outwardly to have no needs, but Scripture still says that unbelievers are enemies of God and are agianst Christ. They live as enemies of the cross of Christ and have their minds set on earthly things and are by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Romans 5:10 "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."
Colossians 1:21 "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds."
James 4:4 "You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
Matthew 12:30 "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
Philippians 3:18-19 "For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things."
Ephesians 2:3 "among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
2. We must be careful not to reject the Good things that Unbelievers do as Totally Evil: By common grace, unbelievers do some good, and we should see God's hand in it and be thankful for common grace as it operates in every friendship, every act of kindness, every way in which it brings blessing to others. All of this -- though the unbeliever does not know it -- is ultimately from God and He deserves the glory for it.
3. The Doctrine of Common Grace should stir our Hearts to Much Greater Thankfulness to God: When we walk down the street and see houses and gardens and families dwelling in security, or when we do business in the marketplace and see the abundant results of technological progress, or when we walk through the woods and see the beauty of nature, or when we are protected by government, or when we are educated from the vast storehouse of human knowledge, we should realize not only that God in his sovereignty is ultimately responsible for all of these blessings, but also that God has granted them all to sinners who are totally underserving of any of them! These blessings in the world are not only evidence of God's power and wisdom, they are also continually a manifestation of his abundant grace. The realization of this face should cause our hearts to swell with thanksgiving to God in every activity of life.
Sin in Our Life
1. All people are Sinful before God:
The Universal sinfulness of mankind.
Ps. 14:3 "They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one."
1 Kings 8:46 "If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near,"
Proverbs 20:9 "Who can say, 'I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin'?"
Romans 3:9-10 "What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one;'"
Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
James 3:2 "For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body."
1 John 1:8-10 "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
2. Does our Ability Limit our Responsibility:
The idea that we are responsible before God only for what we are able to do is contrary to the testimony of Scripture, which affirms both that we "were dead through the trespasses and sins" in which we once walked (Eph 2:1), and thus unable to do any spiritual good, and also that we are all guilty before God. Moreover, if our responsibility before God were limited by our ability, then extremely hardened sinners, who are in great bondage to sin, could be less guilty before God than mature Christians who were stribing daily to obey him. And Satan himself, who is eternally able to do only evil, would have no guilt at all-- surely an incorrect conclusion.
The true measure of our responsibility and guilt is not our own ability to obey God, but rather the absolute perfection of God's moral law and his own holiness (which is reflected in that law). "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
3. Are Infants Guilty Before they Commit Actual Sins:
Some maintain that Scripture teaches an "Age of Accountability" before which young children are not held responsible for sin and are not counted guilty before God. However, the passages listed in the last post about "Inherited Sin" indicate that even before birth children have a guilty standing before God and a sinful nature that not only gives them a tendency to sin but also causes God to view them as "sinners."
The passages that speak of final judgment in terms of actual sinful deeds that have been done (Romans 2:6-11) do not say anything about thebasis of judgment when there have been no individual actions of right or wrong as with children dying in early infancy. In such cases we must accept the Scriptures that talk about ourselves as having a sinful nature from before the time of birth. Furthermore, we must realize that a child's sinful nature manifests itself very early certainly within the first two years of a child's life, as anyone who has raised children can affirm. Ps. 58:3 "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies."
What about those who die before they are old enough to understand and believe the Gospel?
Here we must say that if such infants are saved, it cannot be on their own merits, or on the basis of their own righteousness or innocence, but it must be entirely on the basis of Christ's redemptive work and regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit within them. "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Timothy 2:5 and "Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.'
" John 3:3.
Yet it certainly is possible for God to bring regeneration (that is, new spiritual life) to an infant even before he or she is born. This was true of John the Baptist, for the angel Gabriel, before John was born said, "for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb." Luke 1:15 We might say that John the Baptist was "born again" before he was born! There is a similar example in Psalm 22:10 "On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God." It is clear therefore that God is able to save infants in an unusual way, apart from their hearing and understanding the gospel, by brining regeneration to them very early, sometimes even before birth. This regeneration is probably also followed at once by a nascent, intuitive awareness of God and trust in him at an extremely early age, but this is something we simply cannot understand.
We must however, affirm very clearly that this is not the usual way for God to save people. Salvation usually occurs when someone hears and understands the gospel and then places trust in Christ.
Regarding the children of unbelievers who die at a very early age Scripture is silent. We simply must leave that matter in the hands of God and trust him to be both just and merciful. If they are saved, it will not be on the basis of any merit of their own or any innocence that we might presume that they have. If they are saved, it will be on the basis of Christ's redeeming work; and their regeneration, like that of John the Baptist before he was born, will be by God's mercy and grace. Salvation is always because of his mercy, not because of our merits (see Romans 9:14-18). Scripture does not allow us to say more than that.
4. Are there Degrees of Sin:
Are some sins worse than other? Yes or no...depending on the sense in which it is intended.
a. Legal Guilt:
In terms of legal standing before God...any one sin, even what may seem to be a very small one, makes us legally guilty before God and therefore worthy of eternal punishment!
Genesis 2:17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Romans 5:16 "And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification."
Galatians 3:10 (Paul quoting Deut 27:26) "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.'"
James 2:10-11 "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law."
Therefore in terms of legal guilt, all sins are equally bad because they make us legally guilty before God and constitute us as sinners.
b. Results in Life and in Relationship with God:
5. What happens when a Christian Sins:
a. Our Legal Standing before God is Unchanged:
When a Christian sins, his or her legal standing before God is unchanged. He or she is still forgiven, for "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1.
Why is this?
Salvation is not based on Our Merits, but it is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23), and Christ's death certainly paid for all our sins--past, present, and future-- Christ died "for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3), without distinction.
Check out these two verses from 1 John:
1 John 1:8
"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
1 John 3:2
"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is."
The fact that we have sin remaining in our lives does not mean that we lose our status as God's children!
b. Our Fellowship with God is disrupted and Our Christian Life is Damaged:
When we sin, even though God does not cease to love us, he is displeased with us.
Ephesians 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
Here God through Paul tells us that we can but should not grieve Him.
Also, Hebrews 12:6, 9-10 "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." "Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness."
When we sin as Christians, it is not only our personal relationship with God that is disrupted, our Christian life and fruitfulness in ministry are also damaged.
John 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me."
When we stray from fellowship with Christ because of sin in our lives, we diminish the degree to which we are abiding in Christ.
c. The Danger of "Unconverted Evangelicals:
While a genuine Christian who sins does not lose his or her justification or adoption before God, there needs to be a clear warning that mere association with an evangelical church and outward conformity to accepted "Christian" patterns of behavior does not guarantee salvation.
Particularly in societies and cultures where it is easy or even axpected for people to profess to be Christians, there is a real possibility that some will associate with the church who are not genuinely born again. If such people then become more and more disobedient to Christ in their pattern of life, they should not be lulled into complacency by assurances that they still have justification or adoption in God's family. A consistent pattern of disobedience to Christ coupled with a lack of the elements of the fruit of the Holy Spirit such as love, joy, peace, and so forth (Galatians 5:22-23) is a warning signal that the person is probably not a true Christian inwardly, that there probably has been no genuine heart-faith from the beginning and no regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:4 "Whoever says 'I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,'". John is speaking not of a one time occurrance, but of a consistant pattern of life.
6. The Unpardonable Sin:
Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:29-30, Luke 12:10, Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:26-27, and 1 John 5:16-17
When we examine each of these in their contexts we find that this sin consists of unusually malicious, willful rejection and slander against the Holy Spirit's work attesting to Christ, and attributing that work to Satan. A closer look at the context of Jesus' statement in Matthew and Mark shows that Jesus was speaking in response to the accusation of the Pharisees that "it is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons" (Matt 12:24).
It is only after Jesus clearly explains that what He does is by the power of God (Matt 12:28) and gives a warning to the Pharisees that you are either for or against Him, there is no middle ground (Matt 12:30), that He says that all every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit! (Matt 12:31).
Simplified this means:
1. A clear knowledge of who Christ is and of the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him.
2. A willful rejection of the facts about Christ that his opponents knew to be true.
3. Slanderously attributing the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ to the power of Satan.
In Such a case the hardness of heart would be so great that any ordinary means of brining a sinner to repentance would already have been rejected. Persuasion of truth will not work, for these people have already known the truth and rejected it. Demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit to heal and bring life will not work, for they have seen it and rejected it. In this case it is not that the sin itself is so horrible that it could not be covered by Christ's redemptive work, but rather that the sinner's hardened heart puts him or her beyond the reach of God's ordinary means of bringing forgiveness because it cuts off the sinner from repentance and saving faith through belief in the truth.
This fits well with all the verses listed above except 1 John 5:16-17. This verse seems to suggest a sin that if it is persisted in will lead to death.
This sin seems to involve the teaching of serious doctrinal error about Christ. In the context of asking in faith according to God's will (1 John 5:14-15) John simply tells us that he does not say that we can pray in faith for God simply to forgive that sin unless the person repents--but he certainly does not prohibit praying that the heretical teachers would turn from their heresy and repent and thereby find forgiveness.
7. The Punishment of Sin:
God does punish sin!
Yes, it does serve as a deterrent against further sinning and as a warning to those who observe it. But this is not the primary reason God punishes sin!
The Primary reason that GOd punishes sin is: God's righteousness demand it! So that He might be glorified in the universe that he has created.
Check this out from Romans 3
Romans 3:25 "whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."...
God put forward as a propitiation...His Son Jesus! But why would God do this?
"This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins." To show God's RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!!!
If God had not sent Jesus, God would not be shown to be righteous because He would have passed over sins and not punished them! People could then rightly, accuse God of unrighteousness.
Romans 3:26 "It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
Therefore in the cross we have a clear demonstration of the reason God punishes sin: if he did not punish sin he would not be a righteous God, and there would be no ultimate justice in the universe. But when Sin is punished, God is showing himself to be a righteous judge over all, and justice is being done in his universe.
What affect does Adams sin have on us today?
There are 2 ways in which it affects us:
1. Inherited Guilt/Original Sin: We are counted among the Guilty because of Adams sin.
Let's look at what Paul says in Romans 5:12
"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--"
And to put it in context read through verse 21!
Paul is not talking about a sin that we commit day in and day out. He is talking about the sin of Adam.
Paul says that "All men sinned."
This means that Go thought of us all as having sinned when Adam disobeyed...Paul backs that up in Vs. 13-14! Sin was in the world before the Law was given to Moses.
Proof that Sin was not counted against the Law but that Men were still held accountable was that Death was in the World! What was the penalty for eating of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Genesis 2:15-17 -- The penalty was Death!!!
But continuing on...Paul goes further to back up His point. Go back and check out Romans 5:18-19. That one man is Adam and through Him many were counted as sinners.
So may think that this is unfair!
Think about these 3 things:
1. Everyone has also voluntarily committed many actual sins for which God also holds us guilty.
2. If you were in Adams you mostlikely would have done the same thing. (But we can't test that now can we).
3. If it is unfair to be represented by Adam in the Fall. Then it is also unfair to be represented by Christ and the redemption that He offers.
God sees the Human race as an organic whole, a unity, represented by Adam as its head. And God also thinks of the new race of Christians, those who are redeemed by Christ, as an organic whole, a unity represented by Christ as head of his people.
2. Inherited Corruption: We have a sinful Nature because of Adams Sin.
Not only do we have the legal guilt that God imputes to us, but also because of Adam's Sin we inherit a sinful nature. Sometimes called "Original Sin or Original pollution." We will use the term "Inherited Corruption."
Ps. 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."
David is not talking about His mothers sin here...this whole passage from vs. 1-4, David is talking about His own sin.
Ps. 51:1-4 "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment."
See also Ps. 58:3 "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies."
Paul affirms this very thing when He writes: "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
Do you have a child? If you do, you don't need to be told that they have a tendency to do wrong...they naturally do that...they however do need to be taught how to do right!
No Inherited Corruption does not mean that people are as bad as they could be!
Many things keep people from this: Human Conscience, Expectations from Family, and Society, and Laws of Government.
A. In Our Natures we Totally Lack Spiritual Good Before God!
Every part of our being is affected by sin...not just a few parts. Our intellects, emotions, desires, our hearts (who we are at our core), our goals, motives, and our physical bodies.
Romans 7:18 "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out."
Titus 1:15 "To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled."
Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"
In these passages Scripture is not denying that unbelievers can do good in human society in some senses
. But it is denying that they can do any spiritual
good or be good in terms of a relationship with God.
Apart from the Work of Christ in our lives, we are like all other unbelievers who are "darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."
B. In Our Actions We are Totally Unable to Do Spiritual Good Before God:
Not only do we as sinners lack any spiritual good in ourselves, but we also lack the ability to do anything that will in itself please God and the ability to come to God in our own strength.
Romans 8:8 "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Eph 2:1-2 "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--"
John 8:34 "Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.'
Isaiah 64:6 (Romans 3:9-20) "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."
1 Corinthians 2:14 "The natural person 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."
John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
What do all these verses mean?
The first 2: We cannot do anything to please God apart from Christ doing the work in and through us.
The next 4: We cannot please God without Faith --- which is a gift from Him. And we were or are all dead in our sins (that is apart from Christ) and when we are living in Sin, we are slaves to Sin.
The next 1: Without Christ we cannot understand anything that is Spiritual and we cannot accept them.
The last 1: No one can accept Christ or draw near to God, unless God first draws that Person to His Son, Jesus Christ! Jesus is a gift to us from God, and unless God draws us to Jesus, we will think all that has to do with Him is foolishness and we will not accept it.
If we have a total inability to do good and to do any spiritual good in God's sight, then do we still have any freedom of Choice?
Certainly, those who are outside of Christ do still make voluntary choices--that is, they decide what they want to do, then they do it. In this sense there is still a kind of "freedom" in the choices that people make. Yet because of their inability to do good and to escape from their fundamental rebellion against God and their fundamental preference for sin, unbelievers do not have freedom in the most important sense of freedom--that is, the freedom to do right, and to do what is pleasing to God.
I can just hear William Wallace..."FREEDOM!!!!!!"
The application to our lives is quite evident: if God gives anyone a desire to repent and trust in Christ, he or she should not delay and should not harden his or her heart. This ability to repent and desire to trust in God is not naturally ours but is given by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and it will not last forever. "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." Hebrews 3:15
The Doctrine of Sin
The Doctrine of Sin:
Definition: Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.
Exodus 20:1-17 The 10 Commandments: Are not only commandments of actions, but of attitude. In verse 17 the word covet is used. How does one covet a neighbor's wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor? We covet is a word that is used to describe an attitude of the heart. A wanting of what is not yours. It is not just a passing...oh, that is a nice car...I want that. It is an attitude that says, I want that car and I will do whatever it takes to get it!
Jesus also spoke of attitudes being sinful in Matthew 5:22, 28. Andger and lust. But not only these are against God's moral law! Paul expands the list to jealousy, anger, and selfishness in Galatians 5:20.
This speaks to action and attitude, but where many differ is this last portion, our nature!
We are sinful by Nature, our character, the essence of who we are! Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:3.
Sin is directly opposite to all that is good in the charater of God, and just as God necessarily and eternally delights in himself and in all that he is, so God necessarily and eternally hates sin. It is, in essence, the contradiction of the excellence of his moral character. It contradicts his holiness, and he must hate it.
But where did sin come from?
God did not create it!!! He did not sin, and cannot be blamed for sin!!!!
It was man and angels who sinned and they sinned willfully and voluntarily.
Gods work is perfect in every way (Deut. 32:4; Gen 18:25; Job 34:10; Jas 1:13).
On the other hand though we cannot say that there is an eternally existing evil power. There is none equal to God.
But, God did ordain that sin would come into the world. He doesn't delight in it, but in giving us free will to make choices...God allowed for us to disobey and act contrary to His Character...which is SIN.
Sin was present before Adam and Eve sinned...the Angelic world had already seen the fall of Satan and the demons. But in respect to mankind...Adam and Eve were the first to sin.
How does sin typically work?
1. It stricks us at our thirst for knowledge. It gives a false answer to the question, "What is True?"
2. It stricks us at our moral standards. It gives a false answer to the question, "What is right?"
3. It stricks us at the core of who we are. It gives a false answer to the question, "Who am I?"
Correct answers to these questions:
1. God's word is truth. (Gen 2:17)
2. God's word is morally right. (Gen 2:17)
3. I am a creature of God. (Gen 1:27)
False answers to these questions:
1. Something other than God's word is truth. (Gen 3:4)
2. Something other than God's word is morally right. (Gen 3:5)
3. We can be like God. (Gen 3:5)
Sin is irrational!!!
It was foolish for Satan to rebel against God. Or for Adam and Eve to think they could gain from Disobeying God...
1. They were created by God.
2. God loved them very much.
But what is even more foolish is to continue in Sin and Rebellion against God. (Ps. 14:1; Prov 10:23; 12:15; 14:7, 16; 15:5; 18:2)
Sin at its basic level is Rebellion against God. A hatred of your creator.
When you actually think about it, sin is completely irrational:
Why would almighty God, who is love, who is good, who is just, who is HOLY (PERFECT), why would He create for anything other than to have fellowship with us and to Love us?
When we rebel against Him in sin, we break His heart. He chases after us wanting to show His Love.
God has given us a Provision for our sins! You see sin requires that a blood sacrifice be made to attone for it. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the World...not to condemn the world but to save it by going to the cross and dying in our place so that we could enjoy fellowship with the Father once again.
When we sin we trample this blood and we make a mockery of Jesus Christ!!! Our Provision!!!
But this sin that we have talked about is sin that we have committed knowingly...what about Inherited Sin?
We will get to that in the next post.
For now, know that you are Loved by God Almighty and that there is still time and still Grace for anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Salvation for their sins.
Yes I am still Alive!
I have been extreemly busy here in Chicago at Moody Bible Institute...I have 3 classes (a ton of Homework), a fulltime job (SprintNextel Repairs), and Ministry in the City!
Here is the Update:
I still plan on finishing the series that I started way back when on Humility.
The next part will be the Doctrine of Sin, followed by the doctrines of Grace.
I have also been asked to write out a Biblical support for the 5 points of Calvinism. Which I will try to do my best with.
The timeline for this is very fluid right now...I am hoping that in December I will be able to post quite regularly and get most of this done...however during the semester I am not sure how much I will be able to post. After I finish these topics I will try to post more frequently, but the topics will be based on the millions of things that I am learning in School. I am going to try to use this site as a place where I can bring all my thoughts and the teachings of those classes together. Hopefully it will all come together and be mutually edifying!
I do however have a MAJOR prayer request...without going into to much detail...please pray that God would be gracious and provide financially that I would be able to stay at Moody without going into any type of debt.
Change in Order
There is going to be a change in the order for the next posts.
The next post will be on the Doctrine of Sin followed by the Doctrines of Grace.
Also, I might not be able to post for a while:
I was just accepted to The Moody Bible Institute Seminary and will be in the process of moving and adjusting to life in Chicago for the next few weeks.
Please bear with me, I will do my best to post as soon as I can!
Thanks for understanding!