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Monergism


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  1. What do Christians mean when they say that people need to be "saved"? Do we mean that people need to just modify their behavior and obey God's law? It would be great if it were that simple, but that is not what we mean. It means, rather, that human beings are prisoners, captives and slaves to their idols, to their own lusts, to the world system and to the devil. That we cannot extract ourselves from these things because, like those who have Stockholm syndrome, we have fallen in love with our captors, i.e. we love those things which are doing us the most harm. And while we all vaguely recognize that something is not right in the world and with the nature of human beings, we tend to shrug this off, suppress and ignore it, and willingly come under the illusion that we live in freedom. We cling to the falsehood of human progress and and think human ingenuity will somehow deliver us from ourselves and our problems. We pridefully hold to the false idea that we are something and can do something to make things right. But in the end we cannot extract ourselves from our captivity. No wisdom, no plan, no power, no understanding, and no technology can do so. The problem runs far too deep in us for that. Like the Hebrews in Egypt we are slaves needing rescue from our captivity. The tyranny of our idols and lusts are too powerful for nature to conquer. We need redemption from the outside. So salvation is not behavior modification. No. We are too entangled in the web of our own making to get out. We first need supernatural intervention by One like us who breaks the bonds and leads us out of slavery. Then, and only then, after being freed from our captors are we free to do right, to love mercy and do justly and to walk humbly with our God. View the full article
  2. by Thomas BrooksIf the saints have such an excellent, such a transcendent, and such a matchless portion, oh then, let them be content with their present condition, let them sit down satisfied and contented, though they have but a handful of meal in their barrel, and a little oil in a cruse, 1 Kings 17:12. O sirs, in having of God you have much, in having of God you have enough, in having of God you have all; and why then should you not sit down quiet with your present allowance? Certainly, if much will not satisfy you, if enough will not satisfy you, if all will not satisfy you, nothing will satisfy you: Heb. 13:5, 'Let your conversation be without covetousness (or love of silver, as the Greek word signifies); and be content with such things as you have (or as the Greek hath it, ἀρκούμενοι τοῖς παρουσιν, be content with present things): for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' There are five negatives in the Greek, 'I will not, not, not, not, not leave thee nor forsake thee;' fully to assure and fully to satisfy the people of God that he will never forsake them, and that he will everlastingly stick close to them. What doth this unparalleled gemination, 'I will never, never, never, never, never,' import but this, 'I will ever, ever, ever, yea and for ever and ever take care of thee, and look after thee, and be mindful of thee.' Though they had changed their glory for contempt, Heb. 11:36–38, their fine raiment for sheep-skins and goat-skins, their silver for brass, their plenty for scarcity, their fulness for emptiness, their stately houses for holes and caves, and dens of the earth, yet they are to be contented and satisfied with present things, upon this very ground, that God will always cleave to them, and that he will never turn his back upon them. View the full article
  3. by Thomas BostonObserve the providence of God in the dispensations of it, about the man Christ, the most noble and august object of it, more valuable than a thousand worlds. Did not Providence keep this course with Him, first humbling Him, then exalting Him, and lifting Him up? First bringing Him to the dust of death, in a course of sufferings thirty-three years, then exalting Him to the Father's right hand in an eternity of glory? "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God. " "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him." The exaltation could not fail to follow His humiliation. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" And He saw and believed it would follow, as the springing of the seed does the sowing it. There is a near concern the humbled in humbling circumstances have here. View the full article
  4. by Thomas BostonIn your sufferings, "Consider His holiness and justice, showing he wrongs you not; His mercy and goodness, that it is not worse; His sovereignty, that it may silence you: His infinite wisdom and love, that may satisfy you in it." A spirit brought down to their lot. Their lot is a low and afflicted one; but their spirit is as low, being, through grace, brought down to it. We may take it up in these five things: (1.) They submit to it as just. Micah 7.9, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him.” There are no hardships in our condition, but we have procured them to ourselves; and it is therefore just that we kiss the rod, and be silent under it, and so lower our spirits to our lot. If they complain, it is of themselves; their hearts rise not up against the Lord, far less do they open their mouth against the heavens. They justify God, and condemn themselves, {72} reverencing His holiness and spotless righteousness in His proceedings against them. View the full article
  5. Question: Does a person have a choice when God deals with their heart? Response: All people without exception are called to repent and believe the gospel. God holds no one back from believing. However, due to a corruption of nature all people who hear the gospel reject it. But those whom he inwardly calls by his Holy Spirit out of all the ill-deserving sinners on earth, most willingly come to Christ. Paul declares, "we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:23-24 As you can see from the text, the gospel call goes out indiscriminately to all, both Jews and Gentiles... but to Jews it is a stumbling block, and to Gentiles it is folly (i.e. universal rejection) - but to THOSE WHO ARE CALLED out of these groups, the power to God... they all rejected the outward call but embraced the inward call. Make sure to notice the distinction Paul makes between the two types of calling in this Text. Likewise Jesus himself declared, "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing ... that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it." John 6:63, 65 But in the same context of John 6 Jesus says "all that the Father gives me will come to me." John 6:37 Notice he says, ALL, not some, of those the Father gives him will come to faith in him. So let's place these two statements side by side since "grant" and "give" (vs. 37 & 65) are the same Greek word here and both sentences use the phrase "come to me": View the full article
  6. "In studying divine covenants in general, one is treading through understanding God's Redemptive Plan throughout history. This is a matter of Eternal Salvation. It answers the question: How may a sinful man approach God (Exodus 3:5)?" Herman Witsius Free aBooks Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man (eBook) by Herman Witsius A View of the Covenant of Works (eBook) by Thomas Boston A View of the Covenant of Grace (eBook) by Thomas Boston The Marrow of Modern Divinity: Modernized and Annotated (eBook) by Edward Fisher & Thomas Boston Covenant Theology: A Biblical, Theological, and Historical Study of God's Covenants (eBook) by J. Ligon Duncan The Covenants of Works and Grace (eBook) by Walter Chantry The Doctrine of the Two Covenants (eBook) by by Ezekiel Hopkins View the full article
  7. by Thomas Manton1. What is quickening? 2. Why asked of God? First, What is this quickening? Quickening in scripture is put for two things:— 1. For regeneration, or the first infusion of the life of grace; as Eph. 2:5, 'And you that were dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickened;' that is, infused life, or making to live a new life. 2. It is put for the renewed excitations of God's grace, God's breathing upon his own work. God, that begins life in our souls, carries on this life, and actuates it. Now this kind of quickening is twofold spoken of in this psalm; there is quickening in duties, and quickening in afflictions. Quickening in duties, that is opposite to deadness of spirit; quickening in affliction, that is opposite to faintness. [1.] Quickening in duties, that is opposite to that deadness of spirit which creeps upon us now and then, and is occasioned either by our negligence or by our carnal liberty, that deadness of spirit that doth hinder the activity of grace. View the full article
  8. by John Newton“By the grace of God I am what I am!” - 1 Corinthians 15:10 The true Christian is sensible and mindful of indwelling sin. He confesses that in everything he comes exceedingly short, and that his best services are not only defective — but defiled. He accounts himself as an unprofitable servant — and is abased in his own eyes. He knows that all that distinguishes him from the vilest of men — is the free grace of God! He derives all his hope and comfort, as well as his strength — from Jesus, whom he has known, received and loved, and to whom he has committed his soul. He renounces all confidence in the flesh, and esteems all things as loss – compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ his Lord, for whose sake he has lost all things — considering them rubbish, that he may gain Christ! ----- From the Letters of John Newton View the full article
  9. Recently I have been spending a lot of time reading the Scottish Presbyterians. I cannot get over how clear and helpful some of their works are. I especially have enjoyed the works of Thomas Boston and James Durham. For anyone who wants get a taste for their writting, below I am including some of the works we have published made available for free: Thomas BostonThe Art of Man-Fishing (eBook) An Explication of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism (eBook) A View of the Covenant of Works (eBook) A View of the Covenant of Grace (eBook) Miscellaneous Questions (eBook) The Crook in the Lot (eBook) The Necessity of Repentance (eBook) The Good Fight of Faith (eBook) Am I Really a Christian? (eBook) The Mystery of Sanctification by Christ Opened Up (eBook) View the full article
  10. The Bible declares that there are some people whose "faith" is no better than that of demons. "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." (James 2:19) The faith of demons is but a mere belief in God's existence, not trusting in Christ to save them from sin, so there is no mystery that people with such faith are not justified. True saving faith is a faith granted by God in which a person seeing the darkness of his own sin, casts aside his own righteousness, and trusts in the Savior to rescue him from God's wrath on account of his sin. Such Spirit-wrought faith binds us to Christ so that, in union with him, we participate in his righteousness, resting on the assurance of his mercy. When people, by God's grace, desire to be saved from sin it reveals they no longer have a love for it and want to be out from under its' tyranny, so seeing they cannot save themselves, they turn to Christ to rescue them from it. As such, they will not be fruitless believes, but because the Lord implants a new love of righteousness within, they will exhibit their faith by following and obeying their Master, Jesus Christ. View the full article
  11. by John CalvinIf these matters had in bygone ages been treated and dealt with in proper order, so many tumults and dissensions would never have arisen. Paul says that in the upbuilding of Christian teaching we must keep the foundation that he had laid among the Corinthians [cf. 1 Cor. 3:10], “beside which no other can be laid, which is Jesus Christ” [1 Cor. 3:11]. What sort of foundation have we in Christ? Was he the beginning of our salvation in order that its fulfillment might follow from ourselves? Did he only open the way by which we might proceed under our own power? Certainly not. But, as Paul had set forth a little before, Christ, when we acknowledge him, is given us to be our righteousness [1 Cor. 1:30]. He alone is well founded in Christ who has perfect righteousness in himself: since the apostle does not say that He was sent to help us attain righteousness but himself to be our righteousness [1 Cor. 1:30]. Indeed, he states that “he has chosen us in him” from eternity “before the foundation of the world,” through no merit of our own “but according to the purpose of divine good pleasure” [Eph. 1:4–5, cf. Vg.]; that by his death we are redeemed from the condemnation of death and freed from ruin [cf. Col. 1:14, 20]; that we have been adopted unto him as sons and heirs by our Heavenly Father [cf. Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:5–7]; that we have been reconciled through his blood [Rom. 5:9–10]; that, given into his protection, we are released from the danger of perishing and falling [John 10:28]; that thus ingrafted into him [cf. Rom. 11:19] we are already, in a manner, partakers of eternal life, having entered in the Kingdom of God through hope. View the full article
  12. Visitor Christians are bigots. They tell gay people that their very identity is unnatural and that they should not live their lives based on their sexuality. Response Christians believe all people without exception are under the wrath of God for their sin, not just homosexuals. So no one is being singled out here. We were all born in sin. Which is why we must be born again. So when Christians declare homosexuality sinful it is no different than if they say fornication or adultery is sinful. All are summoned to come to Christ to be liberated from the guilt and power of sin. We all desperately need Christ. I am no better than someone who self identifies as a gay person and definitely do not deserve heaven more than he does. Visitor Can’t you see that this idea of needing Christ is nothing more than a religious and cultish tactic to keep you in? Now consider that no evidence has ever been revealed for this god. For someone so impactful in human history all he can leave behind is a book that has many contradictions and bad morals. Also to follow many supernatural explanations have been replaced with natural ones while the opposite has not happened. Also I am no better than a gay person? You are implying that there is something wrong with being gay. This is because your bible was written at a time where this sort of thing was akin to cannibalism in terms of how taboo it was, with that in mind it makes far more sense that the bible is just a book projecting mans pride into a being that is portrayed as the hero but is really the villain that constantly says he loves us just to stop us from rejecting him. Response By changing the subject I assume that you acknowledge that the original charge that Christians are bigots was spoken presumptuously. View the full article
  13. Does Christ require the sinner to "stop sinning and you'll be pardoned"?, or something else? When you trust in Christ for the first time, you are trusting in Him as a Savior FROM SIN, both its guilt and power. No one "just believes" in Christ's existence to be saved; we come to him, rather, to be rescued from sin's tyranny. We know we can do nothing to save ourselves from sin so we (by the grace of God) turn to Christ to be rescued from it. This demonstrates, without a doubt, that at the time you trust Christ you no longer want to be under sin's tyranny or dominion but want Christ to deliver you from it. So in our initial repentance we are not called to "stop sinning and you'll be pardoned." No, rather its "Lord. I am a slave to sin, save me and break the chains of my sin and forgive. I have no hope without you" Thus, to want to be saved by Christ from sin already reveals a heart of repentance in it. Otherwise you would not want to be saved at all. If you see faith as merely a belief in God's existence then YES faith precedes repentance, but if you define faith as trusting in Christ as Savior from sin, then while faith and repentance can be distinguished, they cannot be separated. Consider: For what purpose are you coming to faith in Jesus if not to be rescued from sin? NOTE: Christ intended to pardon us prior to both our faith and repentance, so neither faith nor repentance are actually the originating cause of our pardon. Pardon was purchased in Christ's redemption for us. The application of our redemption is when the Holy Spirit brings us into union with Christ's death and resurrection. He regenerates us, our faith and repentance springs from our renewed heart which issues from God's grace alone. ----- View the full article
  14. by Jonathan EdwardsWhere [grace] does truly exist in the heart, all its enemies cannot destroy it, and all the opposition made against it cannot crush it. It endures all things, and stands all shocks, and remains notwithstanding all opposers. And the reason of this may be seen in these two things: View the full article
  15. It is a myth that Christians think they are good people, entitled to sit in judgment over others because they are morally superior. On the contrary, a true Christian knows with certainty they are NOT good, that they are no better than anyone else... that they are rebel sinners who justly deserve God's wrath ... and that's why they need a merciful Savior who, in spite of themselves, forgives them, adopts them as His children and gives them a seat at His table. So if a Christian points out that you need a Savior, it isn't because he hates you, or thinks he is better. No, it's because he loves you and is just like you. He shares a common humanity with you and is a sinner like you and wants you to know God's love and forgiveness in Christ. View the full article
  16. by Tim Keller & Charles GarlandAbout every other week, I confront popular pluralist notions that have become a large part of the way Americans think. For example, pluralists contend that no one religion can know the fullness of spiritual truth, therefore all religions are valid. But while it is good to acknowledge our limitations, this statement is itself a strong assertion about the nature of spiritual truth. A common analogy is often cited to get the point across which I am sure you have heard — several blind men trying to describe an elephant. One feels the tail and reports that an elephant is thin like a snake. Another feels a leg and claims it is thick like a tree. Another touches its side and reports the elephant is a wall. This is supposed to represent how the various religions only understand part of God, while no one can truly see the whole picture. To claim full knowledge of God, pluralists contend, is arrogance. When I occasionally describe this parable, and I can almost see the people nodding their heads in agreement. View the full article
  17. The following are some expositons on Paul's Epistle to the Romans that we highly recommend. Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by Sinclair B. Ferguson Exposition of Romans, 6-16 (MP3 Sermon Series) by Voddie Baucham Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series by Edward Donnelly Expositon of Romans (audio series) by R. C. Sproul Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by Thomas R. Schreiner Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by Steven Lawson Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by J. V. Fesko Exposition of Romans by Kim Riddlebarger Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by Nick Batzig View the full article
  18. Modern society tends to be deeply incoherent. On the one hand our culture demands justice for the oppressed and impartial benevolence toward all. On the other hand it teaches that no one has the right to declare right and wrong to anyone else, as secularism asserts that every person must determine his or her own moral values. This is cognitive dissonance. It demands moral behavior of others and yet insists morality is relative. The idea undermines itself. The promotion of universal justice, human rights, self-sacrifice, a commitment to human dignity and considering the poor can only coherently make sense in a world where morality is objective and whose source is God. But the inconsistency does not end there. Their view of the world also forces them to pretend in many other areas as well. ----The Secularist Dilemma --- There is no meaning, but let's pretend there is. There is not objective morality, but let's pretend there is. There are no voluntary choices, but lets pretend there are. (since choices are hardwired) The Christian view makes more sense of the real world we live in because we do not have to pretend thee is meaning, morality and real choices. The reason there appears to be objective morality, meaning, logic, responsibility, and coherence is because there actually are such objective things in reality. View the full article
  19. Do not replace Christ with political tribalism or the state. These are false christs which cannot save you. View the full article
  20. Question: Can someone receive Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord? Answer: When God opens someone's eyes to recognize and trust Jesus as Savior, they already affirm Him as Lord. The concepts are so interrelated that cannot really be separated. Here's why: If, by grace, you want Jesus to save you from the guilt and power of sin, then it shows that you no longer want to be under sin's tyranny, but want Him to rescue you from it. And if you want to be out from under sin's tyranny then it reveals you want to be under the yoke of Christ. For to be under anything apart from Christ is sin. On the other hand, those who want Jesus to rescue them from sin's guilt, but leave them under its power, have not understood the gospel. A truly regenerate person wants Jesus to save from both sin's guilt AND power. Jesus did not come to approve or validate us in our sins, but to rescue us from our sins. That is why He is called the Savior. That is why the no-Lordship position makes absolutely no sense. If you are not coming to Jesus to save you from sin then what are you coming to Him for? View the full article
  21. Adoptionism The belief Jesus is not eternally God but became God sometime after His birthAntinomianism The belief that Christians are not bound by God’s law and are free to sin as they please. That Jesus' rescues from the guilt of sin but not its power..Anti-Paulism The belief that the Apostle Paul was a heretic and that the books he wrote are not a part of Biblical CanonArianism The belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were lesser, created beings and not persons of the Godhead .Christian Deism The belief that God does not intervene in or interact with the worldDocetism - Believes that Jesus was divine but only seemed to be human.Donatism - Efficacy of the sacraments depends on character of the minister.Dual Covenant Theology The belief that Jews can still be saved without believing in JesusEutychianism - Jesus finite human nature is swallowed up in His infinite divine nature.Gay Theology - The belief that homosexuality is not a sin.View the full article
  22. Israel in the Plan of God Replacement theology is understood to be the view that the Church has replaced God's chosen people, the Jews, entirely, and that God wants nothing more to do with them as a people. It says that since Israel rejected their Messiah, they forfeit all of their God-given promises over to the Church. So given this definition, is Covenant Theology the Same as Replacement Theology? This phrase is often used as a pejorative term for what some imagine is Covenant Theology to be, but as the following resources point out, it is a false accusation. The following are some resources we have found that gives some thought to the subject. Essays The Church, Israel, and "Replacement" Theology - Part 1 by Sam Storms The Church, Israel, and "Replacement" Theology - Part 2 by Sam Storms The Church, Israel, and "Replacement" Theology - Part 3 by Sam Storms The Church and Israel in the New Testament by Keith Mathison Not Replacement... Expansion! by Fred Klett View the full article
  23. by John CalvinFrom Calvin's Institutes 3.3.15-21, pg 607-617 15. Repentance according to 2 Cor. 7:11 It is for a very good reason that the apostle enumerates seven causes, effects, or parts in his description of repentance. They are earnestness or carefulness, excuse, indignation, fear, longing, zeal, and avenging [2 Cor. 7:11]. It should not seem absurd that I dare not determine whether they ought to be accounted causes or effects, for either is debatable. And they can also be called inclinations joined with repentance. But because, leaving out those questions, we can understand what Paul means, we shall be content with a simple exposition. Therefore, he says that from "sorrow … according to God" [2 Cor. 7:10] carefulness arises. For he who is touched with a lively feeling of dissatisfaction with self because he has sinned against his God is at the same time aroused to diligence and attention that he may escape from the devil's snares, that he may better take precaution against his wiles, and that he may not afterward fall away from the governance of the Holy Spirit, nor be lulled into a sense of security. View the full article
  24. by John Newton Dear Sir, Your letter breathes the spirit of a Christian, though you say you are not a Calvinist. I would have still confined myself, in my letters, to the great truths in which we are agreed, if you had not invited me to touch upon the points wherein we differ. If you were insistent in your present sentiments, I would not think it my duty to debate with you: in that case, we might contend as much for victory as for truth. But as you profess yourself an inquirer, and are desirous of forming your judgment agreeably to the word of God, without being influenced by the authority of names and parties, I willingly embrace the occasion you offer me. You say, that though you are not prejudiced against the doctrines of election and perseverance of the saints, they appear to you attended with such difficulties, that you cannot yet heartily and fully assent to them. May the Lord the Spirit, whose office it is to guide his people into all truth, dictate to my pen, and accompany what I shall write with his blessing. It is not my intention to prove and illustrate these doctrines at large, or to encounter the various objections that have been raised against them. So much has been done in this way already, that I could only repeat what has been said to greater advantage by others. Nor need I refer you to the books which have been professedly written upon this argument. In a letter to a friend, I shall not aim at the exactness of a disputant, but only offer a few unpremeditated hints, in the same manner as if I had the pleasure of personally conversing with you. View the full article
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