Friday, December 19

Penn is an atheist, he's from Penn and Teller fame, this will convict you CHRISTIAN!

Christian are you doing your job?
I confess Im guilty, Lord have mercy on me and those have have never heard!

Now on a lighter note...

Here's Johnny

See ya soon!

Wednesday, December 17

It's been a minute...

It's been a while since my last post, I have been CRAZY BUSY!!

But Im back, and Im gonna set it off with this Ambassador video!! HOTNESS, CRISPY and CLEAN!!

The Ambassador - "Gimme Dat!" Official Music Video from Cross Movement Records on Vimeo.

See ya real soon...

Thursday, November 6

"How can believers be in the world, but not of the world?"

When we read of the "world" in the New Testament, we are reading the Greek word cosmos. Cosmos most often refers to the inhabited earth and the people who live on the earth, which functions apart from God. Satan is the ruler of this "cosmos" (John 12:31; 16:11; 1 John 5:19). By the simple definition that the word world refers to a world system ruled by Satan, we can more readily appreciate Christ's claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition, we are being changed into the image of Christ, causing our interest in the things of the world to become less and less as we mature in Christ.

Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values (John 17:14-15). As believers, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the insipid, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). This is a daily activity and commitment.

We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it, is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something “different” about us. Christians who make every effort to live, think and act like those who do not know Christ do Him a great disservice. Even the heathen knows that “by their fruits you shall know them,” and as Christians, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit within us.

Being “in” the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world, such as the beautiful creation God has given us, but we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures. Pleasure is no longer our calling in life, as it once was, but rather the worship of God.

Click title for source

Thursday, October 30

Sola Fide - By Faith Alone

Sola Fide

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:1-4 NKJV

Perhaps no other doctrine caused as much turmoil during the Reformation as Sola Fide. It was the very doctrine that prompted Martin Luther in his 95 theses to challenge the Catholic position of indulgences. He had heard a sermon preached by a Catholic clergy which appalled him by its crude theology and materialism. Upon returning home, he drafted the theses and posted them October 31, 1517 on the church door at Wittenberg. Subsequently, the Catholic church condemned Luther’s writing and wrote an order to have his worked burned. In response, some followers of Luther burned the order. Luther became a prolific writer and composed a number of works that refuted not only indulgences but established the reformational position of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide.

Later in 1520, a more forceful edict (called a bull) was ordered that would have opened Luther to the possibility of bodily harm and no civil protection. Before imposing the bull, in 1521 Charles V gave Luther the opportunity to repent of his theology and of course he did not. The bull was then enforced and fearing his harm, Luther’s followers arranged for his kidnapping and he was hidden in the castle at Wartburg where Luther took the opportunity to begin translating the New Testament into simple German.

The Catholic position in opposition to Luther’s Sola Fide was that the grace of God, by His good pleasure was poured into us. As this pouring or infusing occurred, it made us righteous and thus able to perform good works. Our free will cooperating with the grace then performed the works and together made us fit for salvation. It was taught that only by our will cooperating with grace and producing good works was the sinner able to merit salvation. Therefore, grace was infused and we cooperate with it to produce good works that belong to us. Those good works improve with time until they are such that we have pleased God enough to grant us salvation. Justification to the Catholic mind was then a process, not an event by declaration. Perhaps nowhere can the Roman Church’s rebellion against this doctrine be found any stronger than in the 1563 Council of Trent canons.

We have already seen the authority of scripture, the lone Priestly role of Christ as Mediator and Redeemer. We have also seen that the way of salvation exists only because of the inestimable grace of God. Salvation would not exist had God in His mercy not provided a means for atonement and propitiation of His wrath. In evaluating Sola Fide, we shall see that the righteousness that the justified sinner stands in is not the works which by performing he has merited grace. Rather we will see that the only efficacious righteousness that will save us is being clothed with the righteousness of another—the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.

  • God’s Provision of Righteousness

Even from the first pages of the Scriptures we see hints of the covenant of redemption that God was revealing. In Genesis 3:21 we see an incredible provision of our Lord for the fallen Adam and Eve. Having come to see their shame, they sewed together fig leaves to attempt to hide their shame. God however, provided a durable covering of skin through the sacrifice of an animal. This early picture of the Gospel reveals God’s intent of providing a righteousness that is external or alien to the person in which they will be clothed.

In Isaiah 61:10-11 we again see that this righteousness is not caused by grace in me. Rather it is likened as clothing or a robe which the Lord puts around us and with which He covers us.

In Jeremiah 33:14-16 we see that our righteousness does not belong to us, nor is it of us in any way as we see that our righteousness belongs to and comes from the Lord of Righteousness Himself.

  • God Imputes (Not Infuses) that Righteousness and Not Our Sins

Paul declares in Romans 4:1-12 that our righteousness comes through God in His mercy, not imputing our sins to us but rather imputing His righteousness. This means that we were by the nature inherited from Adam objects of wrath. But so that the purposes of God in election might stand, some received mercy not of their own righteousness but out of His great love

  • We Receive the Imputation By Faith

Continuing in Romans 4:13-24 Paul shows how this righteousness is given through faith to all who are of the faith of our father Abraham.

In Philippians 3:1-11 Paul repudiates his works as being the basis of his salvation. Although his works may have been righteous, they were rubbish when considered as the basis for salvation. Paul does not crave his own righteousness for he knows that our own cannot save but he craves "the righteousness which is from God by faith" apart from works or any other thing at all which is to say, sola fide.

James does not teach a faith which is the opposite of Paul (James 2:14-26) but rather the same faith with a different emphasis. James teaches that this faith produces good works. This is not the same as the Catholic teaching which declares that faith comes by works. The distinction here can best be summarized by the notion that the Scripture declares that we are saved by grace through a faith that works rather than faith and works. Or another way to think of Sola Fide is that we are saved by grace through faith alone but not through a faith that is alone. It is faith alone that is the basis for our salvation, but our salvation is made clearly evident by our works. Compare also 2 Peter 1:1-11.

  • This Faith is a Gift

Ephesians 2:1-10 declares that the basis of our salvation is the grace of God in the perfect fulfillment of the law in His Son. This perfect righteousness, which is the righteousness from God, is imputed to us through faith. Knowing that the heart is deceitfully wicked, God knew that some might be tempted to boast even in this faith. Therefore, God, protecting grace, provided the faith necessary for salvation as a gift so that even the faith could not be the object of boasting. Our boasting is then in the Lord alone.

See ya soon! Happy Day of Reformation! October 31, Remember your KING this day, don't cater mainstream society with the celebration of the dead, ghouls, demons, and witches! This world is indeed ruled by the its god the devil!

Wednesday, October 29

Take a break from everything and read!

Do you know how to juggle beats better than you know the contents of scripture?

What do you spend more time doing - practicing your lyricism or learning of the God of scripture from His Word?

Do you spend more time reading systematic theologies than the Bible?

Do you spend more time watching and listening to sermons ABOUT the Bible, Christ and sound doctrine than you do actually reading your Bible and getting into these things directly?

In the past three months, how much has your understanding and knowledge of the things of God grown? What do you know now that you didn't know three months ago?

Have you spent more time on the internet (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) than you have in your Bible?

Are you treating the Bible as a supplement to the Christian life?

If you don't expect to be able to run a marathon without consistent daily, intense workout, or become a doctor without years of study, what makes you think you can live the Christian life properly with only 2-3 verses a day of Bible reading?

Has your 'Christian vocabulary' grown, or are you still asking people to simplify everything for you because you 'don't have time to go through and learn all those theological words'? (most of which are found in the Bible!)

Do you care about right doctrine and teaching in all areas, or do you think it doesn't matter because everyone has their own beliefs ? Would you apply that in the process of choosing a doctor to perform heart surgery for you ? How about to finding a mechanic to fix a $1500 problem on your only vehicle for work and the family?

Are you content with where you are in your walk right now? If not, what are you doing to grow?

What are you doing to daily deny yourself and kill sin?

Is your understanding of the faith childLIKE or childISH?

All gut check questions. You don't HAVE to respond publicly. Just a little something to push you onto maturity in the faith.
Pro 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.


Monday, October 27

"What is Sola Scriptura?"

Im starting the Solas this week! Im gonna be doing a different SOLA everyday this week! Enjoy! Be Encouraged to Study!

"What is Sola Scriptura?"

The phrase sola scriptura is from the Latin: sola having the idea of "alone," "ground," "base," and the word scriptura meaning "writings" - referring to the Scriptures. Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. "All Scripture is 'God breathed' (given of inspiration of God) and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16).

Sola scriptura was the rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior in authority to the Bible. This resulted in many practices that were in fact contradictory to the Bible. Some examples are prayer to saints and/or Mary, the immaculate conception, transubstantiation, infant baptism, indulgences, and papal authority. Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church and father of the Protestant Reformation, was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings. The Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant. Martin Luther's reply was, "Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, - unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, - and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!"

The primary Catholic argument against sola scriptura is that the Bible does not explicitly teach sola scriptura. Catholics argue, “the Bible nowhere states that it is the ONLY authoritative guide for faith and practice.” While this is true, it fails to recognize a crucially important issue. We know that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself. So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for “sola scriptura,” it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message. Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines. The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed – the Bible. We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable. The same cannot be said of tradition.

The Word of God is the only authority for the Christian faith. Traditions are valid only when they are based on Scripture and are in full agreement with Scripture. Traditions that contradict the Bible are not of God and are not a valid aspect of the Christian faith. Sola scriptura is the only way to avoid subjectivity and personal opinion from taking priority over the teachings of the Bible. The essence of sola scriptura is basing your spiritual life on the Bible alone, and rejecting any tradition or teaching that is not in full agreement with the Bible. Second Timothy 2:15 declares, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth."

Sola scriptura does not nullify the concept of church traditions. Rather, sola scriptura gives us a solid foundation on which to base church traditions. There are many practices, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, that are the result of traditions, not the explicit teaching of Scripture. It is good, and even necessary, for the church to have traditions. Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word. They must be based on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. The problem with the Roman Catholic Church (and many other churches) is that it bases traditions on traditions which are based on traditions which are based on traditions – often with the initial tradition not being in full harmony with the Scriptures. That is why Christians must always go back to sola scriptura, the authoritative Word of God, as the only solid basis for faith and practice.

On a practical matter, a frequent objection to the concept of sola scriptura is the fact that the canon of the Bible was not officially agreed upon for at least 250 years after the church was founded. Further, the Scriptures were not available to the masses for 1500+ years after the church was founded. How, then, were early Christians to use sola scriptura, when they did not even have the full Scriptures? How, then, were Christians who lived before the invention of the printing press supposed to base their faith and practice on Scripture alone if there was no way for them to have a complete copy of the Scriptures? This issue is further compounded by the very high rates of illiteracy throughout history. How does the concept of sola scriptura handle these issues?

The problem with this argument is that it is essentially saying that Scripture’s authority is based on its availability. This is not the case. Scripture’s authority is universal; because it is God’s Word, it is His authority. The fact that Scripture was not readily available, or that people could not read it, does not change the fact that Scripture is God’s Word. Further, rather than this being an argument against sola scriptura, it is actually an argument for what the church should have done, instead of what it did. The early church should have made producing copies of the Scriptures a high priority. While it was unrealistic for every Christian to possess a complete copy of the Bible, it was possible that every church could have some, most, or all of the Scriptures available to it. Early church leaders should have made studying the Scriptures their highest priority so they could accurately teach it. Even if the Scriptures could not be made available to the masses, at least church leaders could be well-trained in the Word of God. Instead of building traditions upon traditions, and passing them on from generation to generation – the church should have copied the Scriptures and taught the Scriptures (2 Timothy 4:2).

Again, traditions are not the problem. Unbiblical traditions are the problem. The availability of the Scriptures throughout the centuries is not the determining factor. The Scriptures themselves are the determining factor. We now have the Scriptures readily available to us. Through the careful study of God’s Word, it is clear that many church traditions which have developed over the centuries are in fact contradictory to the Word of God. This is where sola scriptura applies. Traditions that are based on, and are in agreement with God’s Word can be maintained. Traditions that are not based on, and/or are in disagreement with God’s Word, must be rejected. Sola scriptura points us back to what God has revealed to us in His Word. Sola scriptura ultimately points us back to the God who always speaks the truth, never contradicts Himself, and always proves Himself to be dependable.

--End of Article--

Recommended reading:
Scripture Alone by James White.

Saturday, October 11

Week 5 Day 5 last post of the series: Perserverance of the Saints

This is the last post for the Calvinism Series, I will be starting the 5 Solas, possibly next week, Im debating on whether to take a week off from thematic Posting! Anyways here's the last posting, check out this DVD called "Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism" it is a great 2 DVD set it gets very in-depth on Calvinism. Invest in it, CLICK HERE it will take you to the link for it!

Explaining the "Perseverance of the Saints"?

"The perseverance of the saints" is perhaps better construed as the "preservation of the saints".

The idea is that those that the Lord graciously saves by granting faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) he will graciously keep by keeping them in the faith.

Biblical support:

1) Those who are the Lord's sheep cannot be plucked out of Jesus' or his Father's hands. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30)

The emphasis is not on the saints ability to persevere, but on the Lord's faithfulness and ability to hold onto us. Thus, to object that the person in the Lord's hand is able to snatch themselves out would, according to verse 29 suggest that somehow they at least are in some sense greater than the Lord. Futhermore, the first promise, that they shall never perish, has no qualifications about people snatching them out of His hand at all. It is entirely unconditional. His sheep will never perish, period.

More biblical reflection might come from John 3:36 (present possesion of eternal life) Romans 8:30 (as many as are justified are glorified - so much so that the glorified is past tense!), Ephesians 31:13-14 (the present seal of the Holy spirit guaratees future inheritance).

2) This is never to be used to suggest that all who profess faith faith are eternally secure. The parable of the sower holds true. There are many who profess faith who never posses saving faith. They never have been saved. Thus it is only those who persevere to the end who have ever received saving faith.

Note the tenses of Hebrews 3:14: "We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first."

If we don't persevere, we will show that we never shared in Christ - we were never saved.

We must recongnise that the Lord keeps us by use of means. It is not that a profession of faith saves us. Persevering faith saves us, for saving faith always perseveres. If the Lord gives us saving faith, he will use means (such as Scripture, the church, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit) to keep us repenting and trusting in Jesus.

Or as Jude puts it, he keeps us from falling out of His love by calling us to keep ourselves in God's love, and enabling us by his Spirit to obey that command, and through the comunity of the church that will always be calling us back to repentance. "Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." (Jude 1:21-25)

The Baptist, John Bunyan puts it well:

The Father's grace provideth and layeth up in Christ, for those that he hath chosen, a sufficiency of all spiritual blessings, to be communicated to them at their need, for their preservation in the faith, and faithful perseverance through this life; "not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim 1:9; Eph 1:3,4).
Further reading from Baptists (There have always been baptists who have held to the perseverance of the saints).

Mark Dever is an Alliance Council member and senior minister of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

Thursday, October 9

Perserverance of the Saints Week 5 Day 4

I asked my friend Mitch (TruthWar) a couple weeks back to pick one of the 5 points of Calvinism and to write something on it so that I can post it. The following is his bit, you can visit his Blog here! Don't forget to Listen to Last weekends Sermon and to listen to "Who can pluck us" by Flame on my Media Player track 1 & 2!

C'ya Tomorrow!

Perseverence of the Saints

Can a believer lose their salvation? Stick around if you aren’t sure because this theology has major ramifications. What is perseverance of the saints(POTS)? It is a hotly debated issue, and very much confusion surrounds it. In my opinion, the confusion arises due to a lack of understanding of covenant. If you understand Gods character and how he deals with his covenant partners, you will believe in perseverance of the saints. If your understanding of covenant is off, many areas of your theology will suffer.

Lets get a good definition on the table before we go any further.

The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.
Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology (pg. 788)

The most important part of this theology is the assertion that “all those who are truly born again” will be kept by God’s power. Many people are confused because people who claim to be Christians end up becoming homosexuals, raging atheists or sexually deviant crack dealers. Most people think that these “Christians” have just backslidden, and are truly saved. Does the Bible teach that it is possible for Christians to live in habitual sin? First we need to understand what a true Christian looks like, then it will make sense when we see professing Christians fall away.

True Christians are people who recognize their own sinful state before God. Most professing Christians do not believe they are wretched sinners who deserve God’s just wrath, but rather good people who have made mistakes. They do not come to God in repentance for sinning against him and spitting in his face, but instead greedily seeking his good gifts. Many people come to Jesus because they have a “god shaped whole in their heart” and are seeking fulfillment. This is not a biblical phrase, but instead is a man centered phrase taken from a Bible verse which was violently ripped from its proper context. Jesus does not wait outside the door of a sinners heart waiting to come in. Jesus kicks the door in with a size 12 steel toed combat boot and intrudes into the sinners heart without permission and then rips the heart of stone out, and replaces it with a heart of flesh. When sinners are given a new heart, they now desire to please Jesus and that means they hate sin and love God. They will desire to read their Bibles, go to church, pray, live in holiness and worship Jesus with their lives. It is impossible to be justified (made right with God) and not be in the process of sanctification (being made more holy).

When we speak of “once saved, always saved,” we are not taking into account the full scope of salvation. We have been saved (justification), was are being saved (sanctified), and we will one day be saved (glorified). You cannot claim to have been “saved” (justified) unless you are being sanctified. Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord.
Michael Horton from Putting the Amazing Back into Grace (pg. 171)

Some people have a false view of POTS because they try and separate sanctification and justification. They teach that it is OK to be “carnal” and still be a Christian. People who reject POTS do so many times because they think that its adherents are arguing for antinomianism (no law). There were people in history who said that Christians could live in complete sin, because we were dead to the law. Antinomianism is heresy, and no true Christian believes its acceptable to live in habitual sin. It is important to make the distinction that true Christians must live a holy life, not to be saved but as evidence of true saving faith. Stated plainly, if you do not persevere in the faith, it is evidence that you were never truly saved.

The main 2 reasons I believe POTS is because God is powerful and that He always keeps his covenants. God always keeps his covenants, he is unable to break them because of his nature. There are many verses that speak about God sealing his believers with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

2 Corinthians 1:22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

2 Corinthains 5:5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

These 4 verses all have a similar meaning. When a person is born again, God places the Holy Spirit within them to dwell. Upon the Spirit of God entering a person, they are sealed for the day of redemption. It is also said in 2 Cor 1:22 that the spirit is a seal on us as a “guarantee” or an “earnest”. The Greek word used for guarantee is ἀρραβῶνα arrabon, which means earnest-money, caution-money deposited in case of purchasers, generally a pledge.

With this defenition, it claims that God placed a down payment or a deposit on HIS possession. This means that we cannot be lost eternally because we have been given the spirit as a downpayment. God has made an eternal covenant with his people, and it cannot be broken.

John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

Jesus is a perfect savior who says that he will not lose any that the Father has given him. God chooses his people in election, Jesus comes to die for his people and the Spirit comes to give them life. The triunity of God is shown clearly in the doctrine of soteriology.

John 17: 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

These verses are very clear. The Father gives people to the Son, the Son then dies for them and guards them so that they wont be lost. The reason Christians cannot lose their salvation is because Jesus is the one guarding our faith.

Here is a list of verses that teach of God’s everlasting covenant with his people.

Soli Deo Gloria-


--End of Article--

Wednesday, October 8

Perseverance of the saints Week 5 day 3

Perseverance of the saints

1. Its definition
The basic gist of this doctrine is the simple fact of once saved always saved. It is one of the greatest promises in all of scripture, if not the grandest. this says that it is possible to be sure of your salvation and that once you are saved you cannot backslide, and when destined for the kingdom you will never go to hell. The term "perseverance of the saints" emphasize that believes ("saint, as Paul calls them in his letters) will persevere in their faith. The problem with this term though is that it emphasizes the Christians work in the matter, as if we could do something to earn our salvation.

If we use the term "perseverance of Christ" we now have Him more in focus but though God does persevere, this particular terminology does not emphasize the fact that God helps US persevere. In Edwin H. Palmers book the ,"The 5 points of Calvinism" He states that 'the correct term then would be preservation of the saints'. This term emphasizes the fact that the saints are
preserved (obviously by God), and absolves any hint of human works in the matter". Also in R.C. Sproul states in his book chosen by God "this term (perseverance of the saints) is not wrong but can be misleading".

2. In Scriptural Basis
All five of the points (Of Calvinism) stand or fall together. The doctrine of Preservation of the saints naturally follows from the Biblical fact of Unconditional Election.
Election basically means that God chose some to be saved. He has ordained with certainty they will go to the Kingdom of Heaven. If, as the Arminians say, it is possible fore someone whom God has elected to slip away from the faith after he began to believe, then their is no ELECTION! In
Romans 8:29, Paul says "that those whom He foreknew, that is 'foreloved', He also foreordained to Heaven, and those He foreordained He also called, Justified, and glorified. Here Paul clearly states that those who Christ elected(foreordained) He also predestined to Heaven. Now if someone can backslide, then Gods election has no meaning, but more to the point I'm trying to make, if, as Paul says, God foreordains some to Heaven, and He has all power to do so, then logically, He preserves them.

Have a great day, and catch witht he prior posts! Make sure you listen to last weeks SERMON (#2 on the Media Player on the right) and the song WHO CAN PLUCK US by Flame (# 1)!

Tuesday, October 7

Perseverance of the Saints Week 5 Day 2

I posted the Sermon from this past weekend, again its on Marriage, and its number 2 on my Media Player on the right! Make sure you listen to it, its FIRE! The Church is Grace and Truth! Make sure you check the Song "Who can Pluck us" by Flame, number 1 on the Media Player, its keeping with the theme of the week "Perseverance of the Saints".

Hey watch this video before anything, it will definitely bring tears to your eyes!

Perseverance of the Saints

It follows from what was just said that the people of God WILL persevere to the end and not be lost. The foreknown are predestined, the predestined are called, the called are justified, and the justified are glorified. No one is lost from this group. To belong to this people is to be eternally secure.

But we mean more than this by the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. We mean that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.

The following seven theses summarize our understanding of this crucial doctrine.

Our faith must endure to the end if we are to be saved.

This means that the ministry of the word is God's instrument in the preservation of faith as well as the begetting of faith. We do not breathe easy after a person has prayed to receive Christ, as though we can be assured from our perspective that they are now beyond the reach of the evil one. There is a fight of faith to be fought. We must endure to the end in faith if we are to be saved.

l Corinthians 15:1,2, "Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast--unless you believed in vain."

Colossians 1:21-23, "And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel..."

2 Timothy 2:ll,l2, "The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him..."

Mark 13:13, "But he who endures to the end will be saved."

See also Revelation 2:7,l0,ll,l7,25,26; 3:5,ll,l2,2l.

Obedience, evidencing inner renewal from God, is necessary for final salvation.

This is not to say that God demands perfection. It is clear from Philippians 3:l2,l3 and l John 1:8-10 and Matthew 6:l2 that the New Testament does not hold out the demand that we be sinlessly perfect in order to be saved. But the New Testament does demand that we be morally changed and walk in newness of life.

Hebrews 12:14, "Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."

Romans 8:l3, "If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

Galatians 5:l9-2l, "Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not enter the kingdom of God." (See also Ephesians 5:5 and l Corinthians 6:l0.)

l John 2:3-6, "And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says, 'I know him' but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." (See also 1 John 3:4-10, 14; 4:20.)

John 8:3l, "Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.'" (See also Luke 10:28; Matthew 6:14,15; 18:35; Genesis 18:19; 22:16-17; 26:4-5; 2 Timothy 2:19.)

God's elect cannot be lost.

This is why we believe in eternal security--namely, the eternal security of the elect. the implication is that God will so work that those whom he has chosen for eternal salvation will be enabled by him to persevere in faith to the end and fulfill, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the requirements for obedience.

Romans 8:28-30, "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his propose. 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 brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified." What is evident from this passage is that those who are effectually called into the hope of salvation will indeed persevere to the end and be glorified.

John 10:26-30, "You do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (See also Ephesians 1:4-5.)

There is a falling away of some believers, but if it persists, it shows that their faith was not genuine and they were not born of God.

l John 2:l9, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be made plain that they all are not of us." Similarly, the parable of the four soils as interpreted in Luke 8:9-l4 pictures people who "hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in a time of temptation fall away."

The fact that such a thing is possible is precisely why the ministry of the Word in every local church must contain many admonitions to the church members to persevere in faith and not be entangled in those things which could possibly strangle them and result in their condemnation.

God justifies us on the first genuine act of saving faith, but in doing so he has a view to all subsequent acts of faith contained, as it were, like a seed in that first act.

What we are trying to do here is own up to the teaching of Romans 5:l, for example, that teaches that we are already justified before God. God does not wait to the end of our lives in order to declare us righteous. In fact, we would not be able to have the assurance and freedom in order to live out the radical demands of Christ unless we could be confident that because of our faith we already stand righteous before him.

Nevertheless, we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith. The way these two truths fit together is that we are justified through our first act of faith because God sees in it (like he can see the tree in an acorn) the embryo of a life of faith. This is why those who do not lead a life of faith with its inevitable fruit of obedience simply bear witness to the fact that their first act of faith was not genuine.

The textual support for this is that Romans 4:3 cites Genesis 15:6 as the point where Abraham was justified by God. This is a reference to an act of faith early in Abraham's career. Romans 4:l9-22, however, refers to an experience of Abraham many years later (when he was 100 years old, see Genesis 21:5, l2) and says that because of the faith of this experience Abraham was reckoned righteous. In other words, it seems that the faith which justified Abraham is not merely his first act of faith but the faith which gave rise to acts of obedience later in his life. (The same thing could be shown from James 2:21-24 in its reference to a still later act in Abraham's life, namely, the offering of his son, Isaac, in Genesis 22.) The way we put together these crucial threads of biblical truth is by saying that we are indeed justified through our first act of faith but not without reference to all the subsequent acts of faith which give rise to the obedience that God demands. Faith alone is the instrument (not ground or basis) of our justification because God makes it his sole means of uniting us to Christ in whom we “become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God works to cause his elect to persevere.

We are not left to ourselves and our assurance is very largely rooted in the sovereign love of God to perform that which he has called us to do. l Peter 1:5, "By God's power we are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Jude 24,25, "Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."

l Thessalonians 5:23-24, "May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."

Philippians 1:6, "And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

l Corinthians 1:8-9, "Jesus Christ will sustain you to the end; guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

Therefore we should be zealous to make our calling and election sure.

2 Peter 1:10, "Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

--End of Article--

For more visit HERE!

Monday, October 6

"Perseverance of the Saints - is it Biblical?" WEEK 5 DAY 1

Week 5, Day 1

Ya gotta listen to this past Lord's Day Sermon, it is Bread for Days! I thank God for Pastor Bob Gianserra, keep doing what you doing Bruh! Don't comprimise, keep preaching the TRUTH, keep feeding us, and MOST IMPORTANTLY we are praying for YOU! The sermon is on Marriage will be posted in the upcoming days.(That is if it was recorded, LOL!!!) Jess listen to this! Put your seatbelt on! Coming in a day or two! Visit the New Blog Links in my recommended links!

And in keeping with this weeks theme, Perseverance of the Saints, I have added this rap song by Flame its called "Who can Pluck us" listen to it, its number 1 on my media player, its an awesome song, even if you're not into Christian Rap you gonna dig this song! I made it available for FREE download for this week only! So just click the arrow next to the tag in the media player, it will open in another page, go to file, then save page as, and save (these instructions are for firefox, dont know if it will work for IE) - ENJOY!>>>

And now for our scheduled programming...

"Perseverance of the Saints - is it Biblical?"

Perseverance of the Saints is the name that is used to summarize what the Bible teaches about the eternal security of the believer. It answers the question: Once a person is saved, can they lose their salvation? Perseverance of the saints is the P in the acronym TULIP, which is commonly used to enumerate what are known as the five points of Calvinism. Because the name perseverance of the saints can cause people to have the wrong idea about what is meant, some people prefer to use terms like: “Preservation of the Saints,” “Eternal Security,” or “Held by God.” Each of these terms reveals some aspect of what the Bible teaches about the security of the believer. However like any biblical doctrine what is important is not the name assigned to the doctrine but how accurately it summarizes what the Bible teaches about that subject. No matter which name you use to refer to this important doctrine a thorough study of the Bible will reveal that when it is properly understood it is an accurate description of what the Bible teaches.

The simplest explanation of this doctrine is the saying: “Once saved, always saved.” The Bible teaches that those who are born-again will continue trusting in Christ forever. God, by His own power through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, keeps or preserves the believer forever. This wonderful truth is seen in Ephesians 1:13-14 where we see that believers are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchase possession, to the praise of His glory.” When we are born again, we receive the promised indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that is God’s guarantee that He who began a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6). In order for us to lose our salvation after receiving the promised Holy Spirit, God would have to break His promise or renege on His “guarantee,” which He cannot do. Therefore the believer is eternally secure because God is eternally faithful.

The understanding of this doctrine really comes from understanding the unique and special love that God has for His children. Romans 8:28-39 tells us that 1) no one can bring a charge against God’s elect; 2) nothing can separate the elect from the love of Christ; 3) God makes everything work together for the good of the elect; and 4) all whom God saves will be glorified. God loves His children (the elect) so much that nothing can separate them from Him. Of course this same truth is seen in many other passages of Scripture as well. In John 10:27-30 Jesus says: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again in John 6:37-47 we see Jesus stating that everyone that the Father gives to the Son will come to Him and He will raise all of them up at the last day.

Another evidence from Scripture of eternal security of a believer is found in verses like John 5:24 where Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” Notice that eternal life is not something we get in the future but is something that we have once we believe. By its very nature eternal life must last forever or it could not be eternal. This passage says that if we believe the Gospel we have eternal life and will not come into judgment, therefore it can be said we are eternally secure.

There is really very little scriptural basis that can be used to argue against the eternal security of the believer. While there are a few verses that, if not considered in their context, might give the impression that one could “fall from grace” or lose their salvation, when these verses are carefully considered in context it is clear that is not the case. Many people know someone who at one time expressed faith in Christ and who might have appeared to be a genuine Christian who later departed from the faith and now wants to have nothing to do with Christ or His church. These people might even deny the very existence of God. For those that do not want to accept what the Bible says about the security of the believer these types of people are proof that the doctrine of eternal security cannot be right. However, the Bible indicates otherwise and it teaches that people such as those who profess Christ as Savior at one time only to later walk away and deny Christ, were never truly saved in the first place. For example 1 John 2:19 says, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out from us, in order that it might be made manifest that they all are not truly of us." The Bible is also clear that not everyone who professes to be a Christian truly is. Jesus Himself says that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21-22). Rather than proving we can lose our salvation, those people who profess Christ and fall away simply reinforces the importance of testing our salvation to make sure we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) and making our calling and election sure by continually examining our lives to make sure we are growing in godliness (2 Peter 1:10).

One of the misconceptions about the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is that it will lead to “carnal Christians” who believe that since they are eternally secure they can live whatever licentious lifestyle they wish and still be saved. But that is a misunderstanding of the doctrine and what the Bible teaches. A person who believes they can live any way they want because they have professed Christ is not demonstrating true saving faith (1 John 2:3-4). Our eternal security rests on the biblical teaching that those whom God justifies, He will also glorify (Romans 8:29-30). Those who are saved will indeed be conformed to the image of Christ through the process of sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11). When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit breaks the bondage of sin and gives the believer a new heart and a desire to seek holiness. Therefore a true Christian will desire to be obedient to God and will be convicted by the Holy Spirit when they sin. They will never “live any way they want” because such behavior is impossible for someone who has been given a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Clearly the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints does accurately represent what the Bible teaches on this important subject. If someone is truly saved, they have been made alive by the Holy Spirit and have a new heart with new desires. There is no way that one that has been “born again” can later be unborn. Because of His unique love for His children, God will keep all of His children safe from harm and Jesus has promised that He would lose none of His sheep. The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints recognizes that true Christians will always persevere and are eternally secure because God keeps them that way. It is based on the fact that Jesus, the “author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2), is able to completely save those that the Father has given Him (Hebrews 7:25) and to keep them saved through all eternity.

--End of Article--

Borrowed from HERE!

Saturday, October 4

Week 4 Day 4 - 2 things today! Continuation of our series on Irresistible Grace and this article I found in the Times, very good, and interesting!

Foreclosures: Did God Want You to Get That Mortgage?
by David Van Biema

Has the so-called Prosperity gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That's what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of Pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California at Riverside, he realized that Prosperity's central promise — that God will "make a way" for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, dangerous expression during the subprime-lending boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe "God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house." The results, he says, "were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers."

Others think he may be right. Says Anthea Butler, an expert in Pentecostalism at the University of Rochester in New York: "The pastor's not gonna say, 'Go down to Wachovia and get a loan,' but I have heard, 'Even if you have a poor credit rating, God can still bless you — if you put some faith out there [that is, make a big donation to the church], you'll get that house or that car or that apartment.' " Adds J. Lee Grady, editor of the magazine Charisma: "It definitely goes on, that a preacher might say, 'If you give this offering, God will give you a house.' And if they did get the house, people did think that it was an answer to prayer, when in fact it was really bad banking policy." If so, the situation offers a look at how a native-born faith built partially on American economic optimism entered into a toxic symbiosis with a pathological market.

Although a type of Pentecostalism, Prosperity theology adds a distinctive layer of supernatural positive thinking. Adherents will reap rewards if they prove their faith to God by contributing heavily to their churches, remaining mentally and verbally upbeat and concentrating on divine promises of worldly bounty supposedly strewn throughout the Bible. Critics call it a thinly disguised pastor-enrichment scam. Other experts, like Walton, note that for all its faults, the theology can empower people who have been taught to see themselves as financially or even culturally useless to feel they are "worthy of having more and doing more and being more." In some cases the philosophy has matured with its practitioners, encouraging good financial habits and entrepreneurship.

But Walton suggests that a decade's worth of ever easier credit acted like a drug in Prosperity's bloodstream. "The economic boom '90s and financial overextensions of the new millennium contributed to the success of the Prosperity message," he wrote recently. And not positively. "Narratives of how 'God blessed me with my first house despite my credit' were common. Sermons declaring 'It's your season to overflow' supplanted messages of economic sobriety," and "little attention was paid to ... the dangers of using one's home equity as an ATM to subsidize cars, clothes and vacations."

With the bubble burst, Walton and Butler assume that Prosperity congregants have taken a disproportionate hit, and they are curious as to how their churches will respond. Butler thinks some of the flashier ministries will shrink along with their congregants' fortunes. Says Walton: "You would think that the current economic conditions would undercut their theology." But he predicts they will persevere, since God's earthly largesse is just as attractive when one is behind the economic eight ball.

A recent publicly posted testimony by a congregant at the Brownsville Assembly of God, near Pensacola, Fla., seems to confirm his intuition. Brownsville is not even a classic Prosperity congregation — it relies more on the anointing of its pastors than on Scriptural promises of God. But the believer's note to his minister illustrates how magical thinking can prevail even after the mortgage blade has dropped. "Last Sunday," it read, "You said if anyone needed a miracle to come up. So I did. I was receiving foreclosure papers, so I asked you to anoint a picture of my home and you did and your wife joined with you in prayer as I cried. I went home feeling something good was going to happen. On Friday the 5th of September I got a phone call from my mortgage company and they came up with a new payment for the next 3 months of only $200. My mortgage is usually $1,020. Praise God for his Mercy & Grace."

And pray that the credit market doesn't tighten any further.

--End of Article--

Source found HERE!

Now back to our Scheduled Programing...

Irresistible Grace

A grace that cannot be resisted and always works in the manner in which God desires.

Since grace is undeserved by any person, Irresistible Grace teaches that when the Spirit of God is sent to change a person's heart, that person cannot resist the change. This is when the Spirit of God applies the work of Christ to the soul. This does not mean that the person is unwilling to be changed because the Spirit of God is "fighting against them", rather the Spirit changes the heart of stone to beat as a heart of flesh. The change opens the eyes of the spiritually blind to the work of Christ. It is that which the Spirit of God does on his own, previous to any act of man. The Spirit of God will accomplish what He is sent out to do and will not be frustrated in His work of changing the sinner's heart. There are two types of calling upon people, external and internal. The external calling is the preaching of the Word to men's physical ears. The internal is the Spirit of God changing the heart to respond inwardly to the Gospel message. This is the means by which the blood of Christ is applied to the heart and conversion takes place. Here is where the Spirit of God alone draws men to Christ. The Spirit of God then causes the heart of the sinner to be willing to repent of his sins, believe on the Lord Jesus and come to Christ.

John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;"

John 5:21, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."

John 10:16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

Romans 8:29-30, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (See tract on Regeneration.)

Acts 13:48, "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

Ephesians 1:19-20, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,"

1 Corinthians 4:7, "For who maketh thee to differ from another?".

Puritan Quotations on Irresistible Grace:

"So that, you see, the Spirit of God, where it works in men, though they live in different places, yet they shall all believe the same truth and all receive the same faith." Christopher Love

"The internal call is when the Spirit of God accompanies the outward administration of the Word to call a man from ignorance to knowledge, and a state of nature to a state of grace." Christopher Love

"Calling is the gathering of men together in Christ so they may be united with Him." William Ames

"The passive receiving of Christ is the process by which a spiritual principle of grace is generated in the will of man." William Ames

"The inward offer is a kind of spiritual enlightenment, whereby the promises are presented to the hearts of men, as it were, by an inward word." William Ames

"That there is such a thing as a spiritual and divine light immediately imparted to the soul by God, of a different nature from any that is obtained by natural means." Jonathan Edwards

"As the prejudices that are in the heart, against the truth of divine things,
are hereby removed; so that the mind becomes susceptive of the due force of rational arguments for their truth. The mind of man is naturally full of prejudices against the truth of divine things: it is full of enmity against the doctrines of the gospel; which is a disadvantage to those arguments that prove their truth, and causes them to lose their force upon the mind. But when a person has discovered to him the divine excellency of Christian doctrines, this destroys the enmity, removes those prejudices, and sanctifies the reason, and causes it to lie open to the force of arguments for their truth." Jonathan Edwards

"This calling is an act of the grace of God in Christ by which he calls men dead in sin and lost in Adam through the preaching of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, to union with Christ and to salvation obtained in him." Francis Turretin

"Adoption gives us the privilege of sons, regeneration the nature of sons." Stephen Charnock

"In the first creation, God made man after His own Image. So in the second creation or regeneration, God doth create men after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness, true holiness, and love."
Vavasor Powell

"Repentance is a change of the mind, and regeneration is a change of the man." Thomas Adams

"There may be several things which may help to make the life fair in the eyes of men; but nothing will make it amiable in the eyes of God, unless the heart be changed and renewed. All the medicines which can be applied, without the sanctifying work of the Spirit, though they may cover, they can never cure the corruption and diseases of the soul."
George Swinnock

--End of Article--

Article borrowed from A Puritan's Mind. <<

C'ya Tomorrow!

Friday, October 3

Irresistible Grace, or The Efficacious Call - Week 4 Day 3

Moving right along, this is day 3 of the 4th week of our Calvinism Series. After the 5th point, which is Perserverance of the Saints, I will be starting a series on the 5 Solas! I hope this has been helpful to you, as it has been for me! If you haven't checked the Sermon preached at Church last week, its the first track on my Media Player on the right! Go support Fireproof the Movie also! 11 more days till ESV STUDY BIBLE is released, all my friends (not exactly all, but most) are excited about this Bible, I know I am!

Irresistible Grace

In addition to the outward general call to salvation (which is made to everyone who hears the Gospel), the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be -- and often is -- rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended. This describes in a nutshell the doctrine of Irresistible Grace, or the Efficacious Call.

Scriptural Support:
Genesis 20:6, 35:5; Exodus 34:23; Deuteronomy 2:25, 30:6; Judges 14:1-4; 1 Kings 4:29; 1 Chronicles 22:12, 29:18; Ezra 1:1, 5, 6:22, 7:27; Nehemiah 1:11, 2:8, 12; Esther 2:17, 4:14, 6:1-4; Ezekiel 36:25-32; Psalm 33:10, 65:4, 139:16; Proverbs 21:1; Isaiah 44:28; Jeremiah 10:24; Haggai 1:14; Luke 24:16, 31, 45; John 6:37, 45, 10:3, 4, 27; Acts 11:18, 13:48, 16:14, 17:26; 1 Corinthians 3:5, 12:13, 15:10; 2 Corinthians 8:16; Galatians 2:8; Ephesians 2:1-6, 3:7; Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:20; James 4:13-15.

God's call to salvation is unlimited but His redemption is limited to those who believe. (Matthew 22:14) The Holy Spirit's conviction and drawing is what drags us to God. We do not come by our own will, which is utterly depraved and naturally hostile toward God. In The word "draw", used in John 6:44, is taken from the Greek word "helkuo", which means literally, "to drag." The very same word is used in Acts 16:19, where it is translated "dragged" in the NKJV, Amplified Version, NASB, and the NIV. When the Holy Spirit draws sinners, He literally drags them. Before salvation sinners are dead in trespasses and sins. A dead person is lifeless and not able to do anything. If you wish to move a dead person without any assistance, from one end of a place to another you must drag him. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit has to do to sinners to bring them to salvation. The Holy Spirit regenerates the unregenerate by turning a spiritually dead will that is in rebellion against God to one that is spiritually alive and willingly accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Thus, salvation is all of God and not of man in any way, shape, or form. He deserves all the credit, praise, and glory.

Grace is unmerited favor. We obtain God's approval and favor by His grace through Jesus Christ, which is our unmerited pardon, reprieve, and total forgiveness. He has mercy on us. He forgives us even though we do not deserve it. God imputes the blood Christ in our stead.

On death row, who is in control of the sentence? The convict or the governor? The governor can issue the pardon, but the convict cannot pardon himself. The same is true of salvation. God can pardon us, but we cannot pardon ourselves. Even as a governor elects the convict to a pardon, God elects us to redemption. Ephesians 2:8-9 bolsters this point: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." Salvation is all of God and none of man.

At salvation God forgives our sins, but it's a continuous forgiveness. (1 John 1:5-2:1) Verse 9 in the Amplified Version says, "If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises] and will forgive our sins (dismiss our lawlessness) and continuously cleanse us from all unrighteousness -- everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action." Even after we are saved we sometimes will slip into sin, but we cannot remain there. God will continually forgive us when we confess and repent. We do not lose our salvation, but we do lose the joy of our salvation and fall out of fellowship with God when we sin. Even as grace is irresistible in salvation, grace is irresistible after salvation. God will drag us back to Himself when we stray. He will not allow us to stay in sin and enjoy it. He will chastise us. (Proverbs 3:11-12; Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5-8, 12) God will chasten us and not allow us to remain in sin. His grace in forgiving our sins after salvation is just as irresistible.

In John 6:44 Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." Clearly those who do come, come because they have been enabled to do so. Furthermore, Jesus continues in this verse to affirm that, He "will raise him up on the last day." There is no room in this passage to allow for the possibility that all who are enabled will make a decision to refuse the offer. Jesus has made that clear with His pronouncement in the second half of this verse. Moreover, to suggest that at this point those who are enabled to come can decide not to, is to destroy the natural reading of this verse. No, all those who come, are indeed only those who have been enabled to do so. And all those who are enabled to do so, are saved. That is grace with power to save; grace that is irresistible!

The Apostle John speaks of those for whom some would make the claim were drawn and yet refused this offer of grace. He says of them in 1 John 2:19, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us." As this passage indicates, one can appear to be a Christian, to be "of us," and not actually be as he seems. What is the one thing we learn from this passage? It is that genuinely born again people, drawn to Christ by the Father, never fall away. They remain. But those who refuse God's grace by turning from Him, no matter how authentic they may have appeared, prove that they were never truly born again to begin with.

--End of Article--

This article borrowed from HERE!

Thursday, October 2

What is Irresistible Grace? Week 4 Day 2

I just added the sermon from last Sunday, if you didnt get to it yesterday, go listen to it now, its the first track on my Media Player on the right. I also added some Lecrae tracks, his album "REBEL" dropped this past Tuesday, and I gotta say that its definitely FIRE!! Cop it HERE!!

Continuing with our series on the 5 pts of Calvin or TULIP, this week we started the "I" which stand for:

Irresistible Grace
by John Piper

The doctrine of irresistible grace does not mean that every influence of the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted. It means that the Holy Spirit can overcome all resistance and make his influence irresistible.

In Acts 7:51 Stephen says to the Jewish leaders, "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit as your fathers did." And Paul speaks of grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). God gives many entreaties and promptings which are resisted. In fact the whole history of Israel in the Old Testament is one protracted story of resistance, as the parable of the wicked tenants shows (Matthew 21:33-43; cf. Romans 10:21).

The doctrine of irresistible grace means that God is sovereign and can overcome all resistance when he wills. "He does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand!" (Daniel 4:35). "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases" (Psalm 115:3). When God undertakes to fulfill his sovereign purpose, no one can successfully resist him.

This is what Paul taught in Romans 9:14-18, which caused his opponent to say, "Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" To which Paul answers: "Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me thus?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?" (Romans 9:20f).

More specifically irresistible grace refers to the sovereign work of God to overcome the rebellion of our heart and bring us to faith in Christ so that we can be saved. If our doctrine of total depravity is true, there can be no salvation without the reality of irresistible grace. If we are dead in our sins, totally unable to submit to God, then we will never believe in Christ unless God overcomes our rebellion.

Someone may say, "Yes, the Holy Spirit must draw us to God, but we can use our freedom to resist or accept that drawing." Our answer is: except for the continual exertion of saving grace, we will always use our freedom to resist God. That is what it means to be "unable to submit to God." If a person becomes humble enough to submit to God it is because God has given that person a new, humble nature. If a person remains too hard hearted and proud to submit to God, it is because that person has not been given such a willing spirit. But to see this most persuasively we should look at the Scriptures.

In John 6:44 Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." This drawing is the sovereign work of grace without which no one can be saved from their rebellion against God. Again some say, "He draws all men, not just some." But this simply evades the clear implication of the context that the Father's "drawing" is why some believe and not others.

Specifically, John 6:64-65 says, "'But there are some of you that do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that should betray him. And he said, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.'"

Notice two things.

First, notice that coming to Jesus is called a gift. It is not just an opportunity. Coming to Jesus is "given" to some and not to others.

Second, notice that the reason Jesus says this, is to explain why "there are some who do not believe." We could paraphrase it like this: Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas would not believe on him in spite of all the teaching and invitations he received. And because he knew this, he explains it with the words, No one comes to me unless it is given to him by my Father. Judas was not given to Jesus. There were many influences on his life for good. But the decisive, irresistible gift of grace was not given.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 says, "The Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth."

Here, as in John 6:65 repentance is called a gift of God. Notice, he is not saying merely that salvation is a gift of God. He is saying that the prerequisites of salvation are also a gift. When a person hears a preacher call for repentance he can resist that call. But if God gives him repentance he cannot resist because the gift is the removal of resistance. Not being willing to repent is the same as resisting the Holy Spirit. So if God gives repentance it is the same as taking away the resistance. This is why we call this work of God "irresistible grace".

NOTE: It should be obvious from this that irresistible grace never implies that God forces us to believe against our will. That would even be a contradiction in terms. On the contrary, irresistible grace is compatible with preaching and witnessing that tries to persuade people to do what is reasonable and what will accord with their best interests.

1 Corinthians 1:23-24 says, "We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jew and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." Notice the two kinds of "calls" implied in this text.

First, the preaching of Paul goes out to all, both Jews and Greeks. This is the general call of the gospel. It offers salvation to all who will believe on the crucified Christ. But by and large it falls on unreceptive ears and is called foolishness.

But then, secondly, Paul refers to another kind of call. He says that among those who hear there are some who are "called" in such a way that they no longer regard the cross as foolishness but as the wisdom and power of God. What else can this call be but the irresistible call of God out of darkness into the light of God? If ALL who are called in this sense regard the cross as the power of God, then something in the call must effect the faith. This is irresistible grace.

It is further explained in 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, "The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God...It is the God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Since men are blinded to the worth of Christ, a miracle is needed in order for them to come to see and believe. Paul compares this miracle with the first day of creation when God said, "Let there be light." It is in fact a new creation, or a new birth. This is what is meant by the effectual call in 1 Corinthians 1:24.

Those who are called have their eyes opened by the sovereign creative power of God so that they no longer see the cross as foolishness but as the power and the wisdom of God. The effectual call is the miracle of having our blindness removed. This is irresistible grace.

Another example of it is in Acts 16:14, where Lydia is listening to the preaching of Paul. Luke says, "The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul." Unless God opens our hearts, we will not heed the message of the gospel. This heart-opening is what we mean by irresistible grace.

Another way to describe it is "new birth" or being born again. We believe that new birth is a miraculous creation of God that enables a formerly "dead" person to receive Christ and so be saved. We do not think that faith precedes and causes new birth. Faith is the evidence that God has begotten us anew. "Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God" (1 John 5:1).

When John says that God gives the right to become the children of God to all who receive Christ (John 1:12), he goes on to say that those who do receive Christ "were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." In other words, it is necessary to receive Christ in order to become a child of God, but the birth that brings one into the family of God is not possible by the will of man.

Man is dead in trespasses and sins. He cannot make himself new, or create new life in himself. He must be born of God. Then, with the new nature of God, he immediately receives Christ. The two acts (regeneration and faith) are so closely connected that in experience we cannot distinguish them. God begets us anew and the first glimmer of life in the new-born child is faith. Thus new birth is the effect of irresistible grace, because it is an act of sovereign creation—"not of the will of man but of God."

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This was borrowed from John Piper, more from Piper go here!!


Tuesday, September 30

"Irresistible Grace - is it Biblical?" Week 4 day 1

Im starting the series late this week, I got caught up with a bunch of stuff!! Anyhow, it's been a busy week so far, but GOD is still SOVEREIGN!

Im also posting the sermon from this week, Entitled "The Curse of Disobedience" Preached by Robert Gianserra, it was awesome! >>>>>

"Irresistible Grace - is it Biblical?"

Irresistible Grace is a phrase that is used to summarize what the Bible teaches about the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of sinners. It is represented by the “I” in the acronym TULIP that is commonly used to enumerate what are known as the five points of Calvinism or the Doctrines of Grace. The doctrine is also known as “Effectual Calling,” “Efficacious Grace,” “Efficacious Call of the Spirit,” and “Transformed by the Holy Spirit.” Each of these terms reveals some aspect of what the Bible teaches about the doctrine of irresistible grace. However what is important is not the name assigned to the doctrine but how accurately the doctrine summarizes what the Bible teaches about the nature and purpose of the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of sinful, spiritually dead men. No matter which name you use to refer to the doctrine of irresistible grace a through study of the Bible will reveal that when properly understood it is an accurate description of what the Bible teaches on this important subject.

Simply put, the doctrine of irresistible grace refers to the biblical truth that whatever God decrees to happen will inevitably come to pass, even in the salvation of individuals. The Holy Spirit will work in the lives of the elect so that they inevitably will come to faith in Christ. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit never fails to bring to salvation those sinners whom He personally calls to Christ (John 6:37-40). At the heart of this doctrine is the answer to the question: Why does one person believe the Gospel and another does not? Is it because one is smarter, has better reasoning capabilities, or possesses some other characteristic that allows them to realize the importance of the Gospel message? Or is it because God does something unique in the lives of those that He saves? If it is because of what the person who believes does or is, then in a sense they are responsible for their salvation and they have a reason to boast. However, if the difference is solely that God does something unique in the hearts and lives of those who believe in Him and are saved, then there is no ground for boasting and salvation is truly a gift of grace. Of course the biblical answer to these questions is that the Holy Spirit does do something unique in the hearts of those who are saved. The Bible tells us that God saves people “according to His mercy…through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). In other words those who believe the Gospel and are saved do so because they have been transformed by the Holy Spirit.

The doctrine of irresistible grace recognizes that the Bible describes natural man as “dead in his trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13) and because man is spiritually dead he must first be made alive or regenerated in order to understand and respond to the Gospel message. A good illustration of this is seen in Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. In John 11:43 it is recorded that Jesus told Lazarus to “come forth” and that Lazarus came forth out of the tomb. What had to happen before Lazarus—who had been dead for several days—would be able to respond to Jesus’ command? He had to be made alive because a dead man cannot hear or respond. The same is true spiritually. If we are dead in our sins, as the Bible clearly teaches, then before we can respond to the Gospel message and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we must first be made alive. As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, you must be “born again to see the kingdom of God.” John 1:12-13 tells us that being born again is not the result of something we do—“the will of man”—but is a sovereign act of God. Just as Lazarus could not bring himself back to life or respond to Jesus’ command without being brought back to life, neither can sinful man. Ephesians 2:1-10 makes it very clear that while we are still dead in our trespasses and sin God makes us alive. The Bible is very clear that the act of being born again or regenerated is a sovereign act of God. It is something He does which enables us to believe the Gospel message, not something that comes as a result of our belief.

The reason this doctrine is called “irresistible” grace is because it always results in the intended outcome, the salvation of the person it is given to. It is important to realize that the act of being regenerated or “born again” cannot be separated from the act of believing the Gospel. Ephesians 2:1-10 makes this clear. There is a clear connection between the act of being made alive by God (Ephesians 2:1,5) and the result of being saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:5,8). This is because everything pertaining to salvation, including the faith to believe, is an act of God’s grace. The reason God’s grace is irresistible and efficacious (always bringing forth the desired result) is because God “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into” His kingdom (Colossians 1:13). Or as Psalm 3:8 puts it, “Salvation belongs to the Lord.”

To understand the doctrine of “Irresistible grace,” it is important to recognize that this is a special grace given only to those God has chosen for salvation (His elect) and is different from what is known as “common grace” which God bestows on both believer and the unbeliever. While there are many aspects of common grace, including life and all that is necessary to sustain it, common grace is what is often referred to as the “outward call of God.” This is God’s revelation of Himself given to all men through the light of creation and their consciences. It also includes the general call of the Gospel that goes out anytime the Gospel message is preached. This call can be resisted and rejected by those that receive it. (Matthew 22:14; Romans 1:18-32). However, God also gives an “inward call” which always results in salvation. This is the call of God that Jesus spoke of in John 6:37-47. The certainty of this inward call is seen in John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:44 confirms this: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Other verses where irresistible grace can be seen include 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14 and Romans 8:30. In 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, after explaining why some people do not believe the Gospel (it is veiled to them and their minds have been blinded towards it) Paul then writes, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The God who said “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) is the same God who gives the light of salvation to those He chooses, and the result is just as sure. The same truth is seen in a different way in Acts 13:48. Here it is said that “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” God saves those He chooses to save; therefore His saving grace is always effective or efficacious. In Acts 16:14 we have another example of God’s irresistible grace in action. The Lord opened the heart of Lydia “to respond the things spoken of by Paul.” Finally you have what is called the “golden chain of redemption” in Romans 8:29-30. Here we see that everyone God calls to salvation (the inward call) will be saved (justified).

A common misconception about the doctrine of irresistible grace is that it implies men are forced to accept Christ and men are dragged kicking and screaming into heaven. Of course neither of these are accurate descriptions of the doctrine of irresistible grace as revealed in the Bible. In fact the heart of irresistible grace is the transforming power of the Holy Spirit whereby He takes a man dead in his trespasses and sins and gives him spiritual life so that he can recognize the unsurpassing value of God’s offer of salvation. Then having been set free from the bondage of sin, that man willingly comes to Christ.

Another misconception concerning this doctrine is that it teaches the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted at all. Yet again that is not what the doctrine teaches because that is not what the Bible teaches. God’s grace can be resisted and the Holy Spirit’s influence can be resisted even by one of the elect. However what the doctrine does correctly recognize is that the Holy Spirit can overcome all such resistance and that He will draw the elect with an irresistible grace that makes them want to come to God and helps them to understand the Gospel so they can and will believe it.

The doctrine of irresistible grace simply recognizes that the Bible teaches God is sovereign and can overcome all resistance when He wills to. What God decrees or determines will come to pass always does. This truth is seen throughout Scripture. In Daniel 4:35 we see that “He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand!” Psalm 115:3 declares, “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” God’s grace in salvation is irresistible because when God sets out to fulfill His sovereign purpose, no person or thing can successfully resist Him.

The doctrine of irresistible grace accurately summarizes what the Bible teaches about the nature of saving faith as well as what must happen to overcome man’s depraved nature. Since natural man is dead in his trespasses and sins, it stands to reason that he must be regenerated before he can respond to the outward call of the Gospel. Until that happens man will resist the gospel message and the grace of God; however, once he has been “born again” and has a heart that is now inclined toward God, the grace of God will irresistibly draw Him to put his faith in Christ and be saved. These two acts (regeneration and faith) cannot be separated from one another. They are so closely connected that we often cannot distinguish between them.

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Borrowed from HERE!

C'ya Tomorrow!
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