SALVATION IS OF THE LORD

Chosen by GodR. C. Sproul:

We conclude that our salvation is of the Lord. He is the One who regenerates us. Those whom he regenerates come to Christ. Without regeneration no one will ever come to Christ. With regeneration no one will ever reject him. God’s saving grace effects what he intends to effect by it. (Chosen by God)

CHURCH GROWTH

Samuel A CainAnd let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 ESV)

Often, Christian leaders seek to encourage church growth by preaching messages that will be popular in our post-modern culture. Yet, the Apostle John writes:

“They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:5-6 ESV) Continue reading

CHRIST ALONE

James Montgomery BoiceJames Montgomery Boice:

The church of the Middle Ages spoke about Christ. A church that failed to do that could hardly claim to be Christian. But the medieval church had added many human achievements to Christ’s work, so that it was no longer possible to say that salvation was entirely by Christ and his atonement. This was the most basic of all heresies, as the Reformers rightly perceived. It was the work of God plus our own righteousness. The Reformation motto solus Christus was formed to repudiate this error. It affirmed that salvation has been accomplished once for all by the mediatorial work of the historical Jesus Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification, and any ‘gospel’ that fails to acknowledge that or denies it is a false gospel that will save no one. (“The Five Solas of the Reformation”)

MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF GOD’S HOLINESS

R.C. SproulR. C. Sproul:

God is called holy not only because of what He does, but also because of who He is. Originally the term referred more to God’s being than His action or behavior.

For us to be called saints (“holy ones”), we must have a catharsis. We must be made clean. No unclean thing can stand before the presence of a holy God. That which is unclean is profane in His eyes. For us to be holy to God, our unclean, unholy moral imperfection must be purged and our sin removed from us. That is why the absolutely necessary condition for redemption is atonement. Without atonement we would remain always and forever unclean and unholy before His penetrating gaze.

No human is holy in himself. Holiness is foreign to us. It is alien. That is why we require the righteousness of another to cover our moral nakedness. The Holy One has given us the holiness we need in the cloak of Christ’s righteousness. Therefore we pray: “God is great, God is good. And we thank Him for the food . . . that has come down from heaven for us.”

 

The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit http://www.ligonier.org or call them at 800-435-4343. © R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved.

PRAYER MERCIES

Works of Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come. (Psalm 65:2 ESV)

It is indeed a very wonderful thing, that so great a God should be so ready to hear our prayers, though we are so despicable and unworthy. That he should give free access at all times to everyone, should allow us to be importunate without esteeming it an indecent boldness, [and] should be so rich in mercy to them that call upon him: that worms of the dust should have such power with God by prayer, that he should do such great things in answer to their prayers, and should show himself, as it were, overcome by them. This is very wonderful, when we consider the distance between God and us, and how we have provoked him by our sins, and how unworthy we are of the least gracious notice. It cannot be from any need that God stands in of us, for our goodness extends not to him. Neither can it be from anything in us to incline the heart of God to us. It cannot be from any worthiness in our prayers, which are in themselves polluted things. But it is because God delights in mercy and condescension [“voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relationship”]. He is herein infinitely distinguished from all other Gods. He is the great fountain of all good, from whom goodness flows as light from the sun. (“A Prayer-Hearing God”)

CONTINUING IN THE FAITH

Samuel A CainAnd I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13 ESV)

Many Christians are disillusioned by the times we live in. Wickedness, dishonesty, and violence appear to be increasing. An anti-Christian attitude has taken hold of the media and those who believe themselves our intellectual, cultural élite. The disintegration of the family and the growing numbers of abused children are alarming. Because of compromise with a secular culture, the Gospel is no longer preached with authority in many of our churches. Many lament: “What can we do?” Continue reading

THE CHRISTIAN MIND

Samuel A CainSet your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, (Colossians 3:2 ESV)

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15 ESV)

My college philosophy professor once said, “The man who does not know truth will not recognize evil when it comes. The man who knows truth will also know evil.” It is through the mind of Christ that we know truth. Paul writes in Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)

Natural man is born with the predisposition to set his mind on desiring the pleasures of this world, even though they bring him sorrow. (Romans 8:5-6 ESV) If a man is born again, he has access to the mind of Christ in a way which was impossible before the Holy Spirit came to dwell in him. (1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV) This partnership of the Holy Spirit and man seeks the wisdom of Christ in order to live a holy life like Jesus. Such wisdom enables us to avoid vain “philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 ESV) Continue reading

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