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The Active Obedience of Christ – Wayne Grudem

The Active Obedience of Christ – Wayne Grudem

If Christ had only earned forgiveness of sins for us, then we would not merit heaven. Our guilt would have been removed, but we would simply be in the position of Adam and Eve before they had done anything good or bad and before they had passed a time of probation successfully. To be established in righteousness forever and to have their fellowship with God made sure forever, Adam and Eve had to obey God perfectly over a period of time. Then God would have looked on their faithful obedience with pleasure and delight, and they would have lived with him in fellowship forever.

For this reason, Christ had to live a life of perfect obedience to God in order to earn righteousness for us. He had to obey the law for his whole life on our behalf so that the positive merits of his perfect obedience would be counted for us. Sometimes this is called Christ’s “active obedience,” while his suffering and dying for our sins is called his “passive obedience.” Paul says his goal is that he may be found in Christ, “not having a righteousness of [his] own based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil. 3:9). It is not just moral neutrality that Paul knows he needs from Christ (that is, a clean slate with sins forgiven), but a positive moral righteousness. And he knows that that cannot come from himself, but must come through faith in Christ. Similarly, Paul says that Christ has been made “our righteousness” (1 Cor. 1:30). And he quite explicitly says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

The Sacrifice of Isaac and the Sacrifice of Christ

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

The Unreachable Demands of the Law of God

“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.” – James 2:10-11

Our culture is strongly opposed to any idea of eternal judgment, wrath, torment, and separation from God because of wrong deeds we have done. Most people would say, “Sure I’ve done wrong things. But I’m no Hitler. I’ve raised my family well, I’ve provided for them, I’ve helped the homeless, helped orphans even; I’ve given to charities, I’ve given to church. Sure I’ve done wrong things in my life, haven’t we all? But surely those good things in my life will outweigh the bad, right? Surely the Lord or Saint Peter or whoever will let me through the pearly gates because I’m basically a good person.”

When weighing our worthiness to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it is natural for all of us to instantly begin comparing and sizing ourselves up to others around us or in history. We then deceive ourselves into thinking that since we personally don’t see anything possibly worthy of eternal condemnation and punishment, then it must not be so in reality, objectively, outside of us. Yet, when weighing our worthiness or unworthiness, the Scriptures say nothing of the comparison of ourselves to others, but rather it compares us in relation to God and Him alone. Do you want to truly weigh your holiness (or lack thereof)? Then weigh it against the infinite holiness and majesty of God. Here is the place where you will see how far you fall short.

Now the unfortunate thing is that we have no ability naturally of ourselves to see the holiness and righteousness of God with which to compare ourselves to begin with, because we are spiritually blind and in fact we are, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But that is why the Lord gave us the Scriptures, so that He can sovereignly reveal Himself, by His Spirit alone. We must wait on Him and His illumination though.

But, by the grace of God, He has given us Scriptures that show us our lost condition and we have this verse in James that comes along and says, “For whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” How in the world is seeing our lost condition good news you say? Let’s continue, we’ll get to that.

Let’s just say for arguments’ sake you keep the Ten Commandments, except that you break one. According to this verse in James, you are now accountable for the whole thing, for you have become a transgressor of the Law. One sin, one falling short of the Law of God, and you are done for. And being “done for” means the Lord punishes you for eternity, because the One offended is infinitely and eternally holy.

But why is this so with the Law? Why is it breaking one Law constitutes breaking the entire thing? James explains why when he says, “For [God] 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.” Whereas we want to cut each commandment up into little pieces (originally given to us in that way so the Lord could give us specifics and no wiggle room), to the Lord, the entire Law, the summing up of God’s revealed decrees, is a whole unit. It isn’t segmented, it is one organic piece, like a window. If you break one part of the window, the window is broken. So it is with the Law of God.

Then, Jesus came along and summed up the whole Law when He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30) If we can say with Jesus that this is the summing up of the whole Law (Ten Commandments and otherwise), then it is right to say that breaking any one of the commandments of God is ultimately failing to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” So if you commit murder, you have failed to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and you are thus subject to the judgment of God for all eternity. If you commit adultery, the same stands. And so it is with all the commands of God.

Here’s where the news just gets worse for humanity, though. All of us can attest that we probably have not broken just one single commandment. If we can say that, we’re probably deceiving ourselves. But how many of us would say we’ve broken all Ten Commandments?

Many deceitful teachers of all kinds love to preach from the Sermon on the Mount. “Ah,” they say, “I just love those passages because the instructions are just so simple. I teach these things to myself daily … along with Buddha’s wise teachings. Don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t give false testimony … yes, what great passages of teaching us to do what is right.” Really? It is obvious to me when someone says they love the Sermon on the Mount in the way stated above that they have absolutely no idea what Jesus is actually saying in it. It is a hard sermon.

Let me quote you just one passage: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:21-22).

Here’s my question: just going on the text above as the definitive rule of whether or not you will go to hell based upon just one day’s worth of deeds, how many of us have broken this Law? How many of us have been unjustly angry at someone? All of us, in some form or fashion have committed this and do so daily. I myself do this all the time and am desperately wicked as a result.

So is Jesus merely giving instruction on how to live? Or is He doing something else? Could it be Jesus is showing that performing external deeds and adhering to the Law in that manner totally neglects our hearts’ disposition in obeying it in the first place? If you have been angry with anyone, ever, Jesus is calling you a murderer and you are thus liable to judgment. Let that sink in. I am a murderer. And that is just one Law that Jesus refines. Theft? Adultery? Go through and read what Jesus is saying. It is quite radical and shines a spotlight upon our ruined natures. We are desperately wicked.

All of this shows that the Sermon on the Mount was not meant to just give us more instruction to follow, because based on Jesus’ principle, it is absolutely impossible for fallen man to adhere to the Law in order that he can be saved. The Sermon on the Mount raised the bar of the Law to a level that shows us we are lost, ruined and unable to do that which God commands.

Where is there hope in all of this? What a bleak picture for humanity! And with the current cultural climate so obsessed with positive thinking therapy/salvation, it is no wonder no one wants to hear these things. The truth is very difficult to believe, which is exactly why we need the Spirit’s working in us to show us its truth and validity.

Praise God He sent Jesus to do that which we could never do, so that by trusting in Him alone, we gain all that He merited in His morally perfect life. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, right before he starts going through the refining of the Law of God, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18). Until what is accomplished? The fulfilling of the Law of God by Christ Himself.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law of God because He is the last Adam, the perfect Savior who accomplished all that we infinitely couldn’t. Whereas Adam, as humanities representative, failed in the task given to him by God, Jesus as the last Adam succeeded as the representative of all those who trust in Him alone (and not their works!) to bear their deserved wrath on the cross and credit to them all the rights and privileges earned during His earthly life.

God’s Law stands and we are required to uphold it for the glory of God, but also for own eternal futures’ sake. However, as shown above, we are incapable of upholding it ourselves and are thus thoroughly lost. Therefore Christ came and did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves, that by trusting in Him and His work, you will be saved from the coming day of judgment upon all people for all time.

The message of the Law is not one merely of giving us instruction on how to live. It is primarily about Christ and His bearing the demands of the Law on behalf of His people. The Law is a mirror we hold up to expose how far we fall short of the glory of God, and yet at the same time it points to a great Law-bearer, who came and suffered wrath in our place for all the laws we have broken and then credits us with His perfect life and righteousness. There could be nothing better!

Our Judgment Landing on Christ

Tonight, I was reading through chapters three through five of Lamentations and Hebrews eight and I noticed a giant correlation between these chapters in both the Old and New Testaments. The lesson of Lamentations, or at least one lesson amongst many, is that God is serious about sin and its resultant judgment. If you test Him with your unrepentant sin, He will bring you to nothing, mercifully emptying you in hopes that you will see His faithfulness to keep you from pursuing that which injures the glory of God and thus you. Yet if you continue in it, He may be done mercifully intervening with trials that He means to move you toward repentance and faith and trust in Him and thus leave you to your sin. This is a frightening prospect and is in itself judgment.

This should give us great pause and reflection upon our own lives and the wickedness therein. We are depraved sinners, who, even in good things transgress His holy law with motives that are not set on exalting Christ and the glory of His grace in every way. We infinitely fall short of the glory of God. Praise Him there is mercy in Christ! But may we not be evil and abuse it to our detriment! We must be on our guard.

So the overall theme of Lamentations is that God does judge sin (being that the book was written in the aftermath of God’s punishment against Jerusalem), even in those He had made a covenant with. Yet He is faithful to those who mourn their sin and seek Him, who wait on Him to act in their hearts and thus turn from those things which displease Him, only by His power. He is faithful to forgive us our debts, yet He is a just judge who rightfully acts for His own glory and name (for what in the universe is there that is better to stand up for than the glory of God and His honor?).

In Hebrews, we have an excellent picture of Christ fulfilling the old covenant within the new. But before I get to that, we must understand the old covenant first. The old covenant, the very covenant that the people of Jerusalem had broken prior to God judging them, which happened right before the context of Lamentations, is where God said, “If you are faithful and perform all that I have commanded according to this covenant, things will go well with you; if you don’t, they won’t go well with you and I will inflict my wrath upon you (my paraphrase if you can’t tell).” And that is exactly what God does.

Prior to Lamentations, Jerusalem had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord and their hearts were far from Him, disbelieving Him and turning to worthless idols and wickedness. Therefore, in anger that the Lord slowly and patiently held back, not desiring to inflict wrath on them from His heart because He loved them, He waited no longer and punished them to defend the honor of His name. And this wasn’t just a quick deal. He inflicted wrath on them worse than that of Sodom! With Sodom at least the Lord consumed them with fire and that was it. But with Jerusalem, their pain and misery lasted a long time. And it was ugly. People died of starvation and even ate their own children, amongst other things. Yeah, it was bad. People that had lived in luxury were now begging on the streets and their children were starved with no where to turn. The Lord had brought them to nothing and they were the scorn of the nations.

The Lord takes His glory, honor and name seriously. He is just. This is little studied attribute of God these days, yet it is vital to get this before we can get His amazing grace. If we defile His glory and honor with our words, thoughts, actions, and deeds, He will consume us with His burning anger. Even now, in the time after Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, is this the case. He is the same now as He was then. This is very sobering and should display to us the unfathomable justice of His character and the utter wickedness and proneness to sin of our own hearts.

Yet, the whole reason Christ came was precisely because the old covenant with all of its regulations and stipulations, could never be upheld by mankind in order to attain salvation. We are a doomed people if we attempt to win favor with God through our religious working and toiling. Just look at Jerusalem in Lamentations!

But why is this so? Because by our works, even the best that we can offer for a lifetime of good deeds, cannot make us right with this just and holy God presented to us in Lamentations (who is the same God today). Our offense against God is infinite, so even one transgression is punishable forever. Yet how many sins do we commit every minute? “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). So without faith, even our good deeds are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

But Christ came and fulfilled the covenant from our side precisely because we were unable to. All religions, in some measure, say the exact same thing, just in different ways. “Do this to get right with God, or to become (a) god,” or some other variation. And in fact, the first covenant said something to this effect. Regardless, the message is the same. But in the Gospel that God had unraveled over the course of history, by the work of Christ, the Son of God becoming a man, He did everything perfectly on our behalf and even took the punishment that we deserve in Himself at the cross, and rose from the grave proclaiming victory over death – all this for those who believe and trust in Him alone.

Without Christ we are hopeless, just as Jerusalem was in Lamentations, save God’s mercy toward them. As Hebrews 8:7 says, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” Indeed. Then as it says right before this verse in Hebrews 8:6, “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” And that promise is the hope of the glory of God for all eternity. Nothing can satisfy the human soul more. It is what we were made for!

The new and final covenant is a covenant in which instead of God telling us to do this and do that to get right with Him (as in the first covenant, the old one), Christ Himself fulfills and does it all perfectly on behalf of those who trust Him for salvation! And not only so, but He also takes the punishment that we earned for our wrong-doing against God in Himself on the cross, removing all obstacles between us and Him forever. And you think the picture in Lamentations of God’s judgment is dreadfully awful? We have absolutely no idea how infinitely and dreadfully awful the cross was for Jesus who experienced the wrath of God for us who believe in Him. And He did all this in love toward us, that we might glorify and enjoy Him forever, the very hope of heaven itself.

Christ is our only hope of salvation, for it is He who attained it for us. And this very grace in the Gospel is the only way to change from the heart and grow in His grace. May we turn to the Lord and seek His infinite grace to save and deliver us, both those who have yet to trust Him, as well as those who have.

Not One Stone Will Be Left Upon Another – Christ Our Great Reward

“And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.'” – Mark 13:1-2

Many people’s reaction to Jesus’ statement in these verses is, “Why do you have to be so serious all the time? Why can’t you just enjoy the beauty of something man has accomplished? Lighten up!” The reason is because Jesus saw the stakes of helping His disciples see the world through His eyes (the eyes of God Himself), moving them away from their temporally focused, fleshly, sinful eyes. Yes the temple was gorgeous, I’m sure. I cannot even imagine the architecture, the craftsmanship, the work involved to have made it what it was. What we have left at the present time in Jerusalem is absolutely beautiful. How much greater was it’s beauty around the time of Jesus?

Of course Jesus could appreciate beauty, He created everything that exists and is Himself the Author of beauty! (Colossians 1:16) That is not why Jesus came to this world though, to appreciate beauty. He came to show a just God who does not pass over sin without any regard for His honor and name; and He came to redeem a people for Himself by His blood. He came with specific intentions, and His disciples were the one’s through whom He would begin building His church. Jesus was not going to let them get distracted from the end for which He entered the world by man made structures and accomplishments. Jesus had an intentionally designed agenda at every point along the way in His ministry: to give them (and us) an eschatological vision that was centrally focused upon the prize, that is the glory and supremacy of God for their ultimate enjoyment and His glory in that enjoyment, forever. It pervaded everything Jesus said, His whole life. This is no exception.

The natural person will of course start questioning why Jesus could not just appreciate the temple with his disciples right before He was going to the cross. This is because 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.” Jesus’ statements make no sense to those without the Spirit. Apart from the Spirit giving us understanding into His words, His statements are mere sayings, teachings, or good wisdom. That is why you have so many theologically liberal scholars who seek to equate Jesus’ life and ministry with that of Ghandi, Buddha, and other “wise” teachers. Regardless, Jesus Himself was looking beyond this world and its riches and glory to the one to come, which is infinitely greater. The only way that world would be possible for sinners was by His nearing death and resurrection. Hence, this is why Jesus was so centrally focused upon the end goal, the joy set before Him: the glorification of God in redeeming sinners by His blood.

In Mark 13:1-2, Jesus is instructing His disciples that everything they see around them will fall apart and decay. They have no reason to set their hopes on or find their joy in these things or the things of man at all, for all is fleeting and will pass away in the twinkling of an eye. This was the message of Ecclesiastes. And the message of that book was so depressing for our natural selves really so that we are forced to find our joy not in the things that decay, fade, and fall apart, but in the Rock, in the Redeemer, in Jesus Christ alone. The last chapter of the book ends by saying, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.'” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) And we do this (fear God and keep His commandments) by daily fixing our gaze upon Him in prayer and Scripture reading, humbly depending upon the Spirit to move us and conform us to His image. For apart from Christ you can do none of these things.

“There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down,” Jesus says. Now of course, in the context of this passage, Jesus is specifically speaking about the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. But the same principle still applies for all of us in the present day. Focusing on the here and now with no eternal perspective on the end goal, the glory of God and His people enjoying the presence of His being forever, is foolishness. It is in fact absurd! If our existence upon the Earth as Christians is to just gather “stuff” that the world considers to be the end goal, then we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).

But the point of Christian existence in this world is to focus our entire worldview, our entire eschatological understanding and perspective, our entire lives even, upon the reward which is Christ Himself, at the expense of ourselves. This reward is spoken of as it pertained to Moses: “[Moses] considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:26) For the glory of God and the joy of our own hearts, we must do the same. Consider the reproach of Christ from a secular world who thinks the cross foolishness as greater wealth than the treasures it focuses upon as the ultimate joy and reason we exist. At your schools, in your jobs, and unfortunately, even in many churches nowadays, be willing to sacrifice yourselves for the cause of making Christ the center of your life and the lives of others, for He is your final, great Reward.

May we all consider that Jesus came not to give us uppity, upper-class, rich lives in the materialistic world’s eyes, or just help us live to the best of our potential, or to help us gather abundance in possessions and create and work for the ends of man. There is quite enough schlock out there already in the name of Christ to make me sick. But rather, Christ came and suffered on our behalf on the cross, so that we could also suffer with Him, and by His work in and through us, build His Kingdom, reversing the curse. And He did this that we can all, as His adopted people who trust Him alone through faith, together enjoy Him as our great Reward forever. There is indeed nothing better in all the universe. Let us look to the Reward and “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Enjoy the things God has blessed you with. I’m not saying that we should not enjoy these things, or that it is bad to have them, because they do point to the character and goodness of the One who provided them for you; enjoy what He’s given you to His glory! But let us also consider His words at the same time in the verses at the top, that not one thing around us will be left standing when He comes to execute judgment upon the Earth. Therefore, He is all that matters. We are not to set our final hope and joy upon these temporal things and make our life’s work for the world’s ends, for all of these things will quickly disappear, right before our eyes many times. Christ is the solid Rock upon which we stand, who never changes though, a Person who we can set our ultimate, final hopes upon because of His life, death, and resurrection.

Quote from The Excellency of Christ by Jonathan Edwards

“There meet in Jesus Christ, infinite justice and infinite grace.

As Christ is a divine person, he is infinitely holy and just, hating sin, and disposed to execute condign punishment for sin. He is the Judge of the world, and the infinitely just Judge of it, and will not at all acquit the wicked, or by any means clear the guilty.

And yet he is infinitely gracious and merciful. Though his justice be so strict with respect to all sin, and every breach of the law, yet he has grace sufficient for every sinner, and even the chief of sinners. And it is not only sufficient for the most unworthy to show them mercy, and bestow some good upon them, but to bestow the greatest good; yea, it is sufficient to bestow all good upon them, and to do all things for them. There is no benefit or blessing that they can receive, so great but the grace of Christ is sufficient to bestow it on the greatest sinner that ever lived. And not only so, but so great is his grace, that nothing is too much as the means of this good. It is sufficient not only to do great things, but also to suffer in order to do it, and not only to suffer, but to suffer most extremely even unto death, the most terrible of natural evils; and not only death, but the most ignominious and tormenting, and every way the most terrible that men could inflict; yea, and greater sufferings than men could inflict, who could only torment the body. He had sufferings in his soul, that were the more immediate fruits of the wrath of God against the sins of those he undertakes for.”

http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … %20Christ/

Praise God that Christ entered history in order to redeem us from eternal peril under the just wrath of God. Praise God He sent His Son into the world, as a baby born to die, and, by the power of God, rise for our justification before Him.

The Practical Implications of Calvinism – Albert N. Martin

http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … Calvinism/

For those of you who claim to be Calvinists (or even if you don’t really), this is a must read article. So you’re a Calvinist. Alright then: have you seen God, been shocked by His glory and your utter unworthiness before Him, as to why He would have mercy on you through the work of Christ and not another?

Here are some quotes:

“I say by way of application, do not talk about being a Calvinist simply because your itch for logical consistency has been relieved by Calvinism’s theological system. Have you seen God? Have you been brought near to Him? That is the issue. I remind you of the words of B. B. Warfield: ‘A Calvinist is a man who has seen God’.”

“The expression, a proud Calvinist, is a misnomer. If a Calvinist is a man who has seen God as He is high and lifted up, enthroned, then he is a man who has been brought to brokenness before that throne as was Isaiah. A carnal Calvinist? Another misnomer! The enthroned One is the holy One, and He dwells in conscious communion with those who are rightly related to Him as the enthroned One and as the holy One. These two things are brought together beautifully in Isaiah 57:15 where the prophet says: ‘Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and a humble spirit’. What is contrition? It is the reaction of a sinner in the presence of a holy God; and, what is humility? It is the reaction of a subject in the presence of a sovereign. Isaiah never forgot this vision, and he says, ‘This great God dwells in that high and holy place, with him also that is of a humble and a contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’”

“If your understanding of Calvinistic thinking has led you to the place where you can, as it were, boast in your liberty and use it as an occasion for licence, then you have never become a biblical Calvinist. God makes Calvinists today the same way he made them in Isaiah’s day.”

“I submit that a man has no right to speak of being a Calvinist because he can repeat like a parrot phrases brought to him in the great heritage of Reformed literature. He must ask himself, Has the Holy Spirit brought me to this profound sense of God that has worked in me at least in some measure the grace of humility. Has God endowed me with gifts and abilities? if so, what have I that I did not receive? Who makes me to differ? if God has endowed me with gifts and abilities whether intellectual or otherwise, I acknowledge that I have those because a Sovereign upon a throne was pleased to dispense them to me, and the only difference between me and that poor retarded child that moves the pity of my heart, is that He was pleased to make me different. ‘Who maketh thee to differ?’ The man who stands in the presence of a God upon the throne, and who has had this sight and sense of the majesty of God, recognizes that all that he has, has been given. Humility is not diffidence. Humility is that disposition of honest recognition: He is God, I am but a creature. All that I have comes from him and must be rendered to him in praise, and in honour. It will bring with it the submission that we see in Isaiah. He sits upon a throne; I have no rights to assert, but I have the unspeakable privilege of knowing and doing his will. Was not that the reflex action of Isaiah? The Lord is upon the throne; I am the creature. What else can I do but say, ‘Here am I?’”

Here is another excellent quote about the point of Calvinistic doctrine by James White:

“[The Doctrines of Grace] tell us that God is the one who saves, for His own glory, and freely. And they tell us that He does so only through Christ, only on the basis of His grace, only with the perfection that marks everything the Father, Son, and Spirit do. The doctrines of grace separate the Christian faith from the works-based religions of men. They direct us away from ourselves and solely to God’s grace and mercy. They destroy pride, instill humility, and exalt God. And that’s why so many invest so much time in the vain attempt to undermine their truth. The religions of men maintain authority over their followers by 1) limiting God’s power, 2) exalting man’s abilities, and 3) ‘channeling’ God’s power through their own structures. A perfect salvation that is freely bestowed by God for His own glory is not a ‘system’ that can be controlled by a religious body or group. And even more importantly, such a system is destructive of any sense of pride in the creature man, and if there is anything man’s religions must safeguard, it is man’s ‘self esteem.'”

Best explanation of Calvinism I have read (Another must read!): http://www.davidwesterfield.net/static. … =calvinism

David Phillips – One Year Since His Death

Well, I cannot believe it has already been a year since Dave died. It seems like forever ago and at the same time it seems like yesterday. I can remember exactly how I felt as well as the circumstances in which I found out. Courtney and I had decided to stay home because of the ice, and then got a call from someone we didn’t expect to hear from saying, “Tell me this isn’t true!” We had no idea what they were talking about, but then it was confirmed. Dave had died. Man how sad that day was. But my fellowship with Christ was so sweet during those sad days. “He must increase but I must decrease.” And trials make that reality so true. So many things have already changed; Dave’s immediate influence and input on matters pertaining to the ministry have ceased, but the doctrines he so fervently taught have remained because these doctrines are scriptural (salvation and justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, spiritual growth through the preaching of the Gospel to our dead hearts, the sovereignty of God in all things amongst many others). Despite the changes that have occurred within the student ministries over the past year and the adjustments that have been made, Christ has stayed the same and caused His church to persevere through sustaining our faith by the Holy Spirit after his passing. I have listed a few of Dave’s sermons here that I have on my site in remembrance of him. Praise God for the years the Lord gave us with Dave. Man how the Lord used him as an instrument to change my life by showing me the value, worth, sufficiency, and glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen for our sins. O how we miss you Dave! It saddens my heart greatly that you are no longer with us … but praise God that you are now with the treasure of all who call upon Him, Jesus Christ.

Introduction to Romans (MP3)
Knowing God (MP3)
Romans 4 (MP3)
The Perpetual Gift (MP3)

My Grace is Sufficient for You – Various Quotes

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

– Ephesians 2:8-9

“Christian! The only thing that makes you differ from the vilest being that pollutes the earth, or from the darkest fiend that gnaws his chains in hell, is the free grace of God!”

– Octavious Winslow

“This [conversion of the will], I maintain is wholly the work of God, because, as the Apostle testifies, we are not ‘sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves,’ (2 Cor. 3: 5.) Accordingly, he elsewhere says, not merely that God assists the weak or corrects the depraved will, but that he worketh in us to will, (Philip. 2: 13.) From this it is easily inferred, as I have said, that everything good in the will is entirely the result of grace.”

– Calvin, Institutes, II.VI

“Christ has conquered all in his own person first, and he is ‘over all, God blessed for ever’ (Rom. 9:5), and therefore over sin, death, hell, Satan and the world. And, as he has overcome them in himself, so he overcomes them in our hearts and consciences. We commonly say that conscience makes a man kingly or contemptible, because it is planted in us to judge for God, either with us or against us. Now if natural conscience be so forcible, what will it be when, besides its own light, it has the light of divine truth put into it? It will undoubtedly prevail, either to make us hold up our heads with boldness, or abase us beneath ourselves. If it subjects itself, by grace, to Christ’s truth, then it boldly faces death, hell, judgment and all spiritual enemies, because then Christ sets up his kingdom in the conscience and makes it a kind of paradise. The sharpest conflict which the soul has is between the conscience and God’s justice. Now if the conscience, sprinkled with the blood of Christ, has prevailed over assaults fetched from the justice of God, now satisfied by Christ, it will prevail over all other opposition whatsoever.”

– Richard Sibbes

“I know that through grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ.”

– Polycarp

“Now, the wonder of wonders is, that we are proved guilty, and yet we are justified: the verdict has been brought in against us, guilty; and yet, notwithstanding, we are justified. Can any earthly tribunal do that? No; it remained for the ransom of Christ to effect that which is an impossibility to any tribunal upon earth. We are all guilty. Read the 23rd verse, immediately preceding the text—’For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ There the verdict of guilty is brought in, and yet we are immediately afterwards said to be justified freely by his grace.”

– C.H. Spurgeon

Archived Articles Pertaining to David Phillips … also, News Archive

For those of you who are interested, I’ve archived the internet articles written after Dave’s death on Feb. 19th and 20th of this year.

Feb 19th Article
Feb 20th Article

Also, I have setup an archive section on my site where I’m going to be saving articles and various things I’ve found interesting on the net. I’ll be going through a categorizing stuff in the near future as well to make it easy to find articles. So check it out … www.westerfunk.net/archives

To find more articles pertaining to David Phillips, go here: www.westerfunk.net/archives/personal.

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