Things New & Old

Ancient truths revealed in the Scriptures are often forgotten, disbelieved or distorted, and therefore lost in the passage of time. Such ancient truths when rediscovered and relearned are 'new' additions to the treasury of ancient truths. Christ showed many new things to the disciples, things prophesied by the prophets of old but hijacked and perverted by the elders and their traditions, but which Christ reclaimed and returned to His people.

There are things both new and old here. "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things"
2Ti 2:7.


Monday, January 16, 2017

The Salvation Series - by Serious Animation



Watch this little animation and hear more about salvation than almost anywhere. Tony wisely and graciously responds to questions to help Steve and poor Barry see more than they ever imagined.

http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/salvation/animation/salvation-series.php

When were you saved?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Order of Salvation - Ordo Salutis

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, 
as in all churches of the saints. 1Co 14:33

The Order of Salvation - Ordo Salutis                                                                                             

Introduction
Rom 8 29 ¶ 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. 30 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.

It is helpful to distinguish the various elements in the Ordo Salutis into DISTINCT and LOGICAL facets
a. Salvation purposed/decreed by God... in eternity, before time.
b. Salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ… at the cross.
c. Salvation applied by the Holy... to each elect personally.
d. Salvation experienced... through faith in Jesus Christ.
e. Salvation consummated… at resurrection and glorification at Christ return.

2. In the salvation purposed/decreed by God, there are:
- Election by the Father...
- Foreknowledge...
- Predestination by the Father...
- Christ appointed as their Mediator...
- etc etc. See Mt 25:34; John 17:24; Eph 1:4,5,11; 1Pet 1:20; Rev 13:8, 17:8; Acts 2:23

3. In the salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ:
a. Incarnation, the eternal Word made flesh, Son of God was born. John 1:1,13;
- The Son of God was born first, then sent officially at water baptism. Gal 4:4, Mt 3:17.
- Perfect sinless life of obedience to all the laws of God secured the righteousness needed for the justification of His people under the condemnation of sin and death. No righteousness, no justification!
- Substitutionary death to bear away the righteous wrath of God secured forgiveness of sins. Rm 5:18.
- Christ lived the life we must live, and died the death we deserved to die. He is a perfect substitute for both, in securing our righteousness which we do no have, and the forgiveness that we need.
- Christ resurrection unto power and glory… vindication of all that He claimed and taught.

b. LEGAL justification: all the sins of all the elect that God the Father has given to Christ, were imputed to Christ, and Christ suffered for them fully; Christ righteousness was imputed to each and every one of them – all whose names had been written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world. All the names of those that are given to Christ by the Father had been written in the Book of Life. Phi 4:3, Rev 13:8, 17:8.
- (I know many will jump and rave at this... let me just remind you that the condemnation of sin in Adam's sin was EVEN SO imputed to all he represented at the fall.) Rom 5:18.

c. Justification by the faith/righteousness/blood of Christ is different from Justification by grace and is different from Justification by believing in Jesus Christ. Take note of the distinction, and the context.
- There is vast difference between the faith OF Christ (the faithfulness of Christ which secured our redemption, Rom 3:22-24) and a man’s faith IN Christ (a man’s act of believing and resting in Christ)
- By faith of  Christ: Rm 3:22, Gal 2:16,17, 3:22. Ph 3:9…. By God’s free grace: Rm 3:24, Eph 2:8-9, Rm 8:30, Tit 3:7. By faith in Christ: Gal 3:26, Col 1:4, 2:5, John 3:15,16, Jam 2:24.
- Both faith in Christ, and works of righteousness are EVIDENCE of salvation, they evidence salvation.
- Justification by the righteousness/blood/faith of speaks of the legal basis of justification.
- Justification by God’s free grace declares the manner the righteousness of Christ is applied to us.
- Justification by faith in Jesus Christ declares the means to experience the blessings of justification.

4. In the salvation applied to individual by the Holy Spirit:
a. It is HERE that sinners become PERSONALLY and VITALLY affected. What was LEGAL for the whole elect is APPLIED to each individual elect personally. How is it applied to spiritually dead sinners?
- Before salvation is applied upon an elect personally, he is dead in trespasses and sins. He is in enmity against God. He is ungodly. He is a child of wrath. He is a rebel, etc. Eph 2:ff.
- In such condition, the sinners are absolutely passive when acted upon by God's gracious and powerful act of applying eternal salvation to them. They are utterly unable to aid or cooperate or assist in the application of the accomplished salvation to them personally.
- In fact, in their native state of sin and death, they are in active enmity and rebellion against God.
b. When salvation is applied, God freely and effectually calls a sinner who is by nature in the state of SIN and DEATH to that state of GRACE and SALVATION… Rom 5:18. Eph 2:8-9
- Salvation applied brings a sinner from a state of condemnation of death to that of justification of life,
- It must be applied FREELY, without man meeting any condition – if there were any condition imposed that sinners must meet, it would be disastrous, for none could ever be met. None would ever be saved.
- In the OT, the application is based prospectively (looking forward) on the work Christ will do; in the NT it is based retrospectively (looking back) on the work Christ has done. There is only one SAME basis.

c. In the effectual calling a sinner out of the state of sin and death to that of grace and salvation, God by His free and sovereign grace and power must execute these gracious acts - in these exact NUMBER and LOGICAL ORDER – justification, regeneration, adoption, Spirit of adoption.
- Justification to remove the condemnation... by APPLYING the righteousness of Christ to the individual elect personally. This JUSTIFICATION BY GOD'S GRACE gives divine warrant/basis for the Holy Spirit to regenerate an elect dead in trespasses and sins. Rm 5:18                            
- Regeneration to remove spiritual deadness, and bring the justified to eternal life, communion with God.
- Adoption of the regenerated to remove the alienation, and bring him into the family of God...
- And the giving of the Spirit of adoption to dwell in the child of God, who works all the saving graces in them. John 1:12-13, Rm 8:15, Gal 4:6

d. All these, i.e. justification by grace, regeneration, adoption, and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit to dwell in the child of God happen in that LOGICAL ORDER, but chronologically, they are simultaneous.
- Effectual calling out of the state of sin and death to that of grace and salvation is an instantaneous and gracious act by God’s free grace FREE, and involves all the above distinct divine acts.
- One who is effectually called by God to grace and salvation is fully and perfectly FITTED for eternal glory... Nothing more is needed for eternal glory. Eternal salvation is by grace ALONE… plus nothing!
- God the Spirit sovereignly applies eternal salvation to each and every one whom He gave to His Son, and for whom Christ died to redeem. Eternal salvation is by grace ALONE… plus nothing!
- This is ETERNAL SALVATION... by God's free grace PLUS nothing. Grace alone means grace alone, and not grace alone plus something. Eternal salvation is by grace ALONE… plus nothing!

5. In salvation experienced and evidenced by the gospel ministry:
a. One who is effectually called is enabled/capacitated by the Holy Spirit working in him the manifold graces of salvation, including the grace of faith and repentance, works of righteousness, fear of God. Behold Cornelius, the Ethiopian eunuch, the devout Jews on the day of Pentecost, etc. etc. who were converted. Effectual call to grace and salvation makes conversion possible!  Gal 5:22, Eph 5:9

b. When such a one is reached with the gospel ministry, he is able to respond to the gospel call to repentance and faith. The gospel truth is ALREADY true of him... God has freely applied salvation to him. When he believes, his faith evidences the salvation that has been applied to him by God's free and sovereign grace.
- The gospel ministry is the means appointed by God to gather His children He has begotten into the churches of Jesus Christ. They are sheep, they needed to be gathered into the sheepfold, and be nourished, and taught to live godly, soberly and righteously. They are the harvest of the Lord. Feed them, gather them in.
- When he believes, his experiences in a most personal way the love of God in Christ for him...

c. The gospel ministry is absolutely important for his well-being as a child of God. The gospel ministry plays absolutely no role in his being as a child of God. The gospel ministry instructs and informs and edifies and nourishes a child of God. It brings temporal salvations.  Phi 2:12 – work out your own salvation.
- The gospel ministry does not play any role in giving eternal life to a sinner... But it is absolutely needful for their well-being, for their temporal salvation here and now in this life on earth.
- Each of God's children, by His free and sovereign grace, experiences and evidences a VASTLY different degree of benefits from the gospel ministry. Some have none... others have little... still, others have husk feed to them... some are well nourished under faithful gospel ministry... More or less, each and every one of them are fitted for eternal glory by God's free and sovereign grace.

6. In salvation glorified at Christ’s returned...
a. You fill in the blank... if you can... it is too wonderful for me to express it in words.
- The Scriptures about out glorification… Read 1Cor 15… 1Jn 3:1…
This is the only order of salvation taught in the Scriptures. It declares eternal salvation by God’s free grace.


Romans 8:29 ¶ 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. 30 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.

These two verses of the Holy Scriptures are probably the most tortured and abused passages of the Bible. Even the Calvinistic folks messed it up big time!

A few obvious facts about the passage:

1. The object acted upon by the divine activities are co-extensive throughout, an EXACTLY SAME number of, and EXACTLY SAME people are involved in each activity of God, not one more and not one less, that is, every action spoken of applies to EVERY elect, without any exception. That's pretty obvious... "whom he did... he also... whom he did... he also..."

2. The divine activities here - foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification - are all the sole activities of God. All these activities are by the free and sovereign grace of God, i.e. not conditioned upon anything in, by or of the objects. Those acted upon in these divine activities are completely passive, absolutely incapable of helping or even cooperating. In fact, they, by nature, were actively in ENMITY and REBELLION against God.

3. Those acted upon in these divine activities are EQUALLY ACTED upon - they are ALL EQUALLY foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified - no one more, and no one less. Every free grace divine action applies to ABSOLUTELY EVERY ELECT, in absolutely equal and same extent. No exception. The activities here deal with, and secure ETERNAL salvation for the elect.

4. The divine activities stated here are all that are necessary for the ETERNAL salvation of every elect, without exception. There is no room to place other activities into the five-link chain. The five-link chain is complete and DOES NOT NEED other activities of God; it DOES NOT PERMIT any activities of man.
- Why is there no regeneration… sanctification… conversion… repentance, etc etc?
- Ask if you wish to know.

5. This passage says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, ZILCH about all those needful activities that involve human instrumentality (means) and are needful for the TEMPORAL salvation of God's children already made fit for eternal glory. If you imagine any such activities necessary for eternal salvation, then you have prostituted the pure gospel of grace, deny true monergism, and end up with a synergistic view of salvation - which is so common even among many Calvinists!

6. One more observation: all the divine activities are expressed in the simple past tense... even glorification of all the elect? The explanation is quite simple. Since all these are divine activities, and God has decreed to do them, they are considered as good as have been completed. Those activities are absolutely certain and assured of the execution and accomplishment and fulfillment.

When this passage is properly understood, then eternal salvation by God's free grace is adequately appreciated. I know many people have some objections.

The gospel of free grace declares Eternal Salvation, WITHOUT any human means! (You must not confuse this as saying that temporal salvation by the obedience of God's children is without means. The gospel ministry is vital for the temporal salvation of God's children. Your inability to distinguish the two is the source of your confusion!)

There is the ETERNAL salvation which God in Jesus Christ has completely and perfectly work out for His people, and applies to each elect by His Spirit, perfectly fitting each for eternal glory... no human instrumentality is involved the eternal salvation. God alone purposed it, Christ alone accomplished it, and the Spirit alone applies it.
- This is the true context/sphere of 'divine sovereignty' in salvation.

There is the TEMPORAL salvation which God's children (those already bestowed with eternal salvation by God's free grace) have to work out for themselves with fear and trembling for their well-being and usefulness in this present life.

The gospel ministry, administered through human instrumentality, is the divinely ordained means for this specific purpose of saints working out their own salvation: Titus 2 "12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2.
- This is the true context/sphere of 'human responsibility' in salvation. God's children are responsible to work out their own salvation through obedience to the Father's will.

The measure to which men cannot distinguish eternal salvation from temporal salvation is the same measure to which they are messed up in their understanding of salvation by grace alone! They give lip service to salvation by grace alone but in reality are all work-based salvation to a different degree... EVEN the Calvinists!

‎1. The object acted upon by the divine activities are co-extensive throughout, an EXACTLY SAME number of, and people are involved in each activity of God, not one more and not one less, that is, every action applies to EVERY elect, withOUT any exception.

Necessary implications:
- The call is the effectual call because ONLY in the EFFECTUAL CALL is every elect called. This is God calling an elect out of his native state of sin and death to that of grace and eternal salvation.

There is absolutely no gospel call here because there are God's children (regenerated elect) that are incapable of being called by the gospel, either because of inability or not reached by the gospel call., therefore no opportunity to believe.

Gospel call has to do with the temporal salvation of God's children. And there are God's children who are not called by the gospel. The gospel call is NOT NECESSARY for the eternal salvation of God's elect. It is the eternal salvation by God's free and sovereign grace that enables a child of God to believe.

However, because the Calvinists being ignorant of the distinction between ETERNAL salvation and TEMPORAL salvation, insist that the gospel call is necessary for one's eternal salvation!

2. The justification here is the vital justification by God's free grace because this aspect of justification is true of every elect. This is God's act of justifying the condemned by applying the righteousness of Christ to him personally and forgiving him his sins... when he is utterly incapable of believing, being under the condemnation of sin and death.
- Justification of life, applying Christ’s righteousness give warrants to eternal life…
There is no justification by man's act of believing here because there are God's children who are INCAPABLE of believing... either because of their inability to hear or not called by the gospel.

However, because the Calvinists being ignorant of the distinct aspects of justification, confuse the VITAL justification by the free grace of God as the EXPERIENTIAL justification by their faith in Christ.

There is so much confusion on this most basic subject. I hope reading and thinking through this article has helped to dispel some confusion, outright lies and fables, blatant inconsistencies and fictions. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Church of Christ Jesus, and the local churches

2 Tim 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

The Church of Christ Jesus, and the local church of which you are a member...

An elect is united to THE ONE glorious church of Jesus Christ, in time, by the grace of God alone, through the effectual calling out of the state of sin and death, in which he is in by nature, to grace and salvation, without his meeting any condition (obviously one in the state of sin and death can't possibly meet any condition, can he?). This is eternal salvation by God's free grace ALONE. And ALONE means ALONE.

A child of God (an elect that has been effectually called) becomes a member of a local church through obeying the command of Christ to 'repent and be baptized.' And he maintains his membership by his walking in the ways of the Lord - daily entering the strait gate, and walking the narrow way. This is working out his own salvation with fear and trembling. This is temporal salvation conditioned on the obedience of God's children.

1689.26.5 -
"In the execution of this power wherewith He is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the world unto Himself, through the ministry of His Word, by His Spirit, those that are given unto Him by His Father,(9) that they may walk before Him in all the ways of obedience, which He prescribeth to them in His Word.(10) Those thus called, He commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or churches, for their mutual edification, and the due performance of that public worship, which He requireth of them in the world.(11)"

The Lord God CALLS out of the world unto Himself, through the ministry of His Word, and by His Spirit (this is the same as the effectual calling stated in 1689.10.1 - "Those whom God hath predestined unto life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call,(1) by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ...) ...

Those that are thus called out of the world into His one church by His sovereign grace, He commands to walk together in particular churches through the gospel ministry.

There is one general church of Jesus Christ...
and...
there are many particular churches of Jesus Christ, a partial manifestation of that one Church in time.

"An elect is united to THE glorious church of Jesus Christ, in time" - i.e. at God's own appointed and accepted time. The time an elect is united with the ONE glorious church of Jesus Christ is determined by the Triune God alone.

The time a child of God united himself with a particular church is co-determined by himself and that particular church.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Put Christ back into your Christmas, you say?

This is a feast to the LORD who brought us out of Egypt! 

Aaron sincerely put the LORD God into his idolatry of the golden calf, and the people happily declared, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt... To morrow is a feast to the LORD."

Like so many are clamouring to put Christ back into Christmas (they realized there was no Christ in the pagan Christmas); they sincerely dedicate a festival of pagan origin to Christ Jesus, claiming that it is all for His glory and honour.

Exodus 32
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

It was a feast dedicated to the LORD, unto His honour and glory; they sincerely intended that. How pious of! But what was the LORD's response?

Ecc 1:9
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sonship and Discipleship...

Enjoying a picnic dinner by the FTZ coastal park.
Picture was taken by Brother Ban YS.

Here are two questions.
"What must I do to be born again?"
"What must I do to be saved?"

Do you know the difference? Many don't have a clue! They see them as synonymous!

"What must I do to be born again?" - Before having been born again, a man is dead in trespasses and sins... such a man is actively in enmity and rebellion against God, and loves wallowing in this state of sin and death. There is nothing he can or will do to be born again. It is absolutely a nonsensical question. It is like a dead man asking what he must do in order to be raised from the dead!

"What must I do to be saved?" - ONLY an elect whom the Lord God has bestowed eternal salvation through the effectual call [whereby a man is called out of his native state of sin and condemnation to that of grace and salvation in Christ Jesus] is able to ask a question like that. And the salvation such a person is inquiring is the temporal salvation... there are lots of things a child of God must do, in obedience to God's will for him, in order to work out HIS OWN salvation with fear and trembling.

Our four children were conceived and born without them making any decision or doing anything. That's begetting and sonship.

They were nurtured and trained to grow up (with the help and involvement of not a few others); these require their active obedience. That's parenting and discipleship.

Get it?

============
Great Mama so often prepared picnic dinners and got the family out to the beach along the FTZ. She makes the "bestest of the worlderest" pizzas and garlic bread. With roast chicking, steamed corn cobs, and cucumber, what great time we so often had along that stretch, with nice cycling path for children.
Blessed be the Lord for all His great kindness and mercies.

(Photo was taken by Brother BYS who was visiting us then. We thank the Lord for every remembrance of that kind Brother.)