Let’s be civil, and act as mature people in Christ while dealing with the lost. Remember, the people who have modern leftists ideals are not your enemy. It is the power behind them, pulling their strings. That is why our Lord, and His apostles, when they were killed, could ask God to forgive their murderers, due to their ignorance. We are dealing with a group of people who are unable to recognize truth, reason, love, and who are enslaved to sin, their master. They are children of their father, satan. According to Romans 1, their minds are debased, and unable to reason. Pray for the miracle of regeneration to happen to them, that they would be born again, and that they would repent of their sins, and trust solely in Jesus’ work on the cross for their justification.
Who among us can examine our own thoughts, honestly appraise them, and not conclude that they are hopelessly sinful? If Christ does not save, then all of us are lost.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19, “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
God created everything for His glory, and puts His love on display for all to see, in the horror, and beauty of the cross. Christ’s agonizing death, and crushing punishment, as sin on our behalf, His burial, and resurrection, conquering sin, death, and the grave, is such a foreign demonstration of love to sinful humans, that we cannot fathom its depths. We understand just an inkling, a bare notion stirs in our minds, we can and should be awestruck. Through all of this, He provides a glorious future for us in eternity, with Him, as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and heirs.
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,”
Romans 8:12-17, ” So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
We tend to compare human volition with that of God’s. I believe this is what causes so much confusion when it comes to understanding sovereign election, and man’s culpability. We hear comments like, “If God decides who gets saved, and who doesn’t, then it doesn’t matter what I do. We are just a bunch of mindless robots.” Now we know that we are not mindless robots, and our choices have consequences. We also know from scripture that God says we are culpable for our sins. We also should know, that we as finite, cursed, creatures, can’t know perfectly the attributes of God. We can only know them as much as we are made able to know them. That isn’t to say that our knowledge is insufficient for our spiritual needs, it is simply something we must acknowledge before moving on.
I’m not going to go into great detail in this article, as I do think the subject needs deeper, and more thorough treatment. I plan on writing a larger paper, or book on the topic later. I’m only going to use a few attributes in this example. Also, please keep in mind that even though there are attributes that were communicated to us in our creation by God, making us in His image, those attributes cannot be directly compared to them as found in God, as He is incomparable, having no analogous being.
God’s will is informed by His sovereignty, omniscience, and beneficence, to only name a few of His attributes. How do you think those qualities affect His determining compared to the enslaved, ignorant, malevolently informed wills of human beings? You see, the will of man cannot be rightly compared to that of God’s. In eternity past, when God created everything out of nothing, and determined all things, He did so with perfect rights, as owner/Creator. He did so with perfect knowledge of everything in all times and places, and even of all things not constrained by space-time. Finally, He did so with perfect goodness, love, and justice, these all being informed by all of His other perfections/attributes.
When man makes a decision it is informed by his enslaved nature. He is a slave to sin unless he has been born again. Then he is a slave to Christ Jesus. Those two facts make an eternity of differences. His will is also informed by his ignorance. Man can only consider what he reasons that he knows, when making a decision. If we consider this honestly, we would admit that compared to God’s omniscience our knowledge is incomparable. They belong in different categories. Our wills cannot operate independently apart from our sinful flesh, even when we are born again, due to our residence in the unredeemed flesh.
Since these two wills operate in different conditions, one being eternal/timeless, and the other being confined to finite, unfolding time, and space, the experience of these wills is very different. I can experience the situation that requires a response, the reasoning through the known options, make a decision, and experience the consequences of my decision as they unfold in my temporal, material, experience of life as a creature. This doesn’t in any way negate the reality of God’s volition in eternity past. I, as a result of God’s will in eternity past experience my life as He has determined it.
I know this seems impossible to people. We are stuck many times trying to compare things that are not in the same categories. By looking briefly at how different the two wills are, we should be able to accept that there is an aspect of ignorance in our reasoning due to our nature as creatures, that can’t justify fully how we can have a personal volition, and that God can determine all things, without there being a conflict. Our experiences as creatures are real. We are culpable for our sins. We do make choices in the construct in which we reside. Outside of that small, finite, dark, construct exists the full, luminescent, glorious truth of God. He is sovereign, omniscient, and good. We can trust those attributes as we experience the temporal, and eternal consummation of His will.
Romans 9:6-33 (NASB Strong’s) But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “ through Isaac your descendants will be named.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. For this is the word of promise: “AT this time I will come, and Sarah shall have A son.” And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate MY power in you, and that MY name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. As He says also in Hosea,
“I will call those who were not MY people, ‘MY people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
“And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not MY people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” And just as Isaiah foretold,
“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us A posterity,
WE would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written,
“Behold, I lay in Zion A stone of stumbling and A rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
Are you Christian? Were you a Christian before you got married? Is your spouse a Christian? Were they Christian before you got married? If you are a Christian, and you are getting married to another Christian, consider the covenant you are making with God, and your spouse, in front of witnesses. Consider how serious covenants are in the word of God. Consider what it means to make a covenant with the Creator of all things. Don’t take this lightly.
There is no right, or guarantee to happiness in marriage. There is no right, or guarantee to feel loved all of the time. Marriage can be years of difficult work, with little encouraging feedback from your spouse. Keep in mind, God is using your spouse, and children for your sanctification, and spiritual maturation. He is also using you for theirs. After all, you are no picnic either. If two sinners get together in a marriage, have some kids, who are also little sinners, and you put them together under one roof, guess what they are going to do… That’s right, they are going to sin.
In a Christian home, their should be a war against sin. Kids should be taught right from wrong, parents should teach grace, and forgiveness. Actually live out the gospel in your home, in front of your family. When you get angry, and sin by saying something you shouldn’t have, or by being short with one of your kids, stop, and explain what you did wrong, and ask them to forgive you. They get to demonstrate grace to you. If one of the kids does something wrong, have them sit alone, think about what it was they did, and have them apologize, and ask to be forgiven. The same goes for husbands and wives. It doesn’t have to stop there. You can also do this in your life at work among the unbelievers. They might not understand, but at least they will get a look at it.
Inside your marriage are the thoughts, emotions, and desires of two very different individuals who have made a covenant between them, and God, in front of witnesses. It can be hard work, but it is also rewarding. It is the construct in which God has ordained for men and women to enjoy each other, and procreation. It is sanctifying like I said. When you look back over a period of time, and see how God worked in your marriage to grow you, it can be very reassuring, and encouraging. When you see your children grow into young adults, and use what you have taught them to make their way in the world it is a good feeling. Having someone joined to you by God, gives you a sense of belonging, even if you don’t fit in to most social situations. You have someone who has become part of you, and brings completion to you in the traits that you lack. The complimentary nature of the union makes for a more complete unit. Having someone with you while you are sick, or injured is comforting. Being able to comfort your spouse, and feel for them when they are sick, or injured is an opportunity to demonstrate your love for them.
Trading off spouses every few years, or forgoing marriage altogether to be promiscuous is not an option for a true Christian. It is not pleasing to God. It is sinful, selfish, and you forfeit so much of what is good in marriage when you look at it from a selfish position. View it as a way to glorify God. Be like Jesus in your selfless, grace abounding love for your family. Let the world see that marriage is serious, wonderful, and God centered.
Admittedly the market for Greek New Testaments is smaller than that of English Bibles. However, there is indeed a market. For those of you who have a desire to own a Greek New Testament, I imagine it is because you are either studying Greek, or already read Greek. The most prevalent Greek New Testament out there is the Nestle Aland 28. Crossway decided to produce this edition because of some scribal discrepancies that have come to light. Here is a link to their page with a video that explains more of the reasons why they produced this edition. Here is a link to their FAQ site. I found it helpful. You will too. My review will be more about how well this edition is made.
Judging the copy I was sent, I would say that Crossway used some pretty good materials in this edition. The paper was impressive. It isn’t a higher cotton content hardback novel type paper, and it isn’t a thin Bible paper. It has a smooth texture to it and a bit of weight without being as thick and heavy as 80# paper. Crossway says, it is a 70gsm Salzer. I like it. It doesn’t have much ghosting, but is thin enough to make a lighter volume. It is also evident that they employed line match printing. This also makes it easy on the eyes. I know that I started in the wrong order by talking about the paper first. It just impressed me 🙂 the print is nothing to be laughed at either. It is a 10 pt font. That is just about perfect for reading. This edition also comes with a higher quality black ribbon page marker. Most Bibles skimp on the ribbon markers, not this one.
The New Testament comes with a cardboard slipcase. It is pretty sturdy and handsome. Make sure to keep it for storing your New Testament on the shelf. Better to have the slipcase take the ware and tare of being shelved than the edges of your hardcover.
This edition has a sewn spine for many years of use and flexibility. The spine didn’t take hardly any break-in time. This edition is case bound obviously. It couldn’t be edge line bound because it is a hardcover. There is a genuine leather edition, but I believe it is also case bound. You could always have it sent out for a rebind if you desire an edge lined edition. This wouldn’t be possible if it didn’t have a quality sewn binding.
This is a single column, paragraph layout with book titles, chapter and verse numbers, and page numbers. It is easy on the eyes, very legible. Reading it is more of a strain on my brain as a neophyte, than it is on my eyes. If you are in the market for a Greek NT to read daily, this would be an excellent choice. I am no Greek expert, but I do know about quality in materials and manufacture. This edition is put together well, and should last you a long time.
Come, look and see who David was truly talking about.
For those who have eyes to see.
O the majesty of Christ, the holy Word of God,
Who by His perfections has ordained for us to know Him by His word.
Psalms 21 & 22 (NASB)
“For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, in Your strength the king will be glad, And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of fine gold on his head.
He asked life of You, You gave it to him, Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through Your salvation, Splendor and majesty You place upon him.
For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.
For the king trusts in the LORD, And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken.
Your hand will find out all your enemies; Your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger; The LORD will swallow them up in His wrath, And fire will devour them.
Their offspring You will destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men.
Though they intended evil against You And devised a plot, They will not succeed.
For You will make them turn their back; You will aim with Your bowstrings at their faces.
Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power.
For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.
Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them.
To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people.
All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
“Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.
Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;
They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the LORD, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’S And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
Posterity will serve Him; It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
They will come and will declare His righteousness To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.”
|What do we hear, culture, the feelings of people, or God by His word? Who should we obey, our societies culture, human feelings, or God? When other voices lie, and tell you that men and women have interchangeable roles, the word of God is clear.
Let’s start with this, “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)
“11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” 1 Timothy 2:11-15 (NASB)
This is in reference to the weekly gathering. Paul explains why this should be in verses 13, and 14. The word, “saved” is from the Greek word, “σώζω sotzo” and is more akin to being made whole, and healthy as in sanctification rather than in the justifying sense. Women are not justified by childbirth, but rather it is sanctifying. If you will notice the proviso of continuing in faith is included.
“ 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
This section of scripture not only prescribes how women should submit, but also displays how it is akin to the submission of the bride of Christ, to Christ as her head. Christ who submitted to death on the cross, to cleanse for Himself a bride. There is no disgrace in humble submission. It is beautiful. You will see this in Ephesians 5 as well.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33 (NASB)
“1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:1-15 (NASB)
“Qualifications of Elders
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” Titus 1:5-9 (NASB)
Hopefully you can see from these diverse scriptures the many and harmonious ways that authority and submission are made evident in the marriage, and The Marriage of Church to Christ. Holy submission is not a thing to be rebelled against. The world’s values are not ours. A position of authority in the Church is not an exultation of man, but rather a greater submission in humility to the commission of Christ our King. He places men as Elders to love His flock.
I just got a copy of the Banner Of Truth edition of, “Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.” This edition is the last one he wrote. He wrote it in French and it has been translated into English. I have another edition from Hendrickson that was earlier and translated from Latin into English by Henry Beveridge. I have to say, the Banner of Truth edition that was translated by Robert White is much more accessible. I’m enjoying it. It is much easier to follow and read. It is almost like reading a modern work. I highly recommend it if you have ever wanted to read Calvin, but found the Latin to English translations difficult. I’ve been told by a very educated man that Latin is a comparatively small language. I can see how the difference between the source material being written in French provides for the English translation being as easy to read as it is. If you don’t have this edition, go Get it.
We tend to be stuck in man centered thinking when it comes to human suffering, and death. We call it evil. It feels wrong to us because we are the ones it is happening to. The problem is that we are falling for a trick and a lie. The devil would have you judge God, when suffering, and death, are a judgment from God against us. You see, there was this thing that happened long ago in a garden. Adam and his wife Eve, decided to sin against God. They believed a lie too. When they ate of the one tree they were specifically warned, commanded not to eat of, they became the subjects of God’s righteous, just, and holy judgment. He placed them under a curse and punished them. All of their descendants would be born with sinful natures. All of their descendants would be sinners. The original sin was punished with more sin. Because of our sin, we deserve death and Hell. We deserve every bit of it.
So why is it that when something bad happens to us we automatically think it is unwarranted, unjust, and evil? We presuppose that God only does things to us, and for us that are pleasing to us. Our hubris knows no bounds. We are so man-centered (anthropocentric) that we can’t see we’ve inverted the positions. We’ve put ourselves in the seat of the Judge. We’ve put God in the defendants box. How on Earth did we get to this point? The primary answer is sin. I think in our fallen state we remain in ignorance of God’s word. In it, He tells us who He is, and who we are in relation to Him. He is our glorious Creator, Savior, and Master. He sustains us by the power of His word. He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him, by Him. We are His finite, sinful creatures who He made from dirt, in His image. We were made for His glory, for His pleasure.
I’d like to remind you brothers of the exclusivity of Christ, lest any of our number compromise to spare the emotions of a loved one, or to be accepted by men. We bring a good message, that is only good to those who are being saved. To the unrepentant, hard hearted man, who is not counted among the elect, the good news is offensive. Not only will he refuse to admit he is a sinner, he will insist he is good. He most certainly will not admit that there is only one way to God. If the reprobate confess to believe in a god, they will require it of you to approve, and celebrate many ways to the god they’ve imagined. If you don’t, you will be called all sorts of hateful names. You will be called, intolerant, bigoted, hateful, and you shall count it as joy. You will be told to stop, or lose your job. You will be told to stop, or lose your property. You will be told to stop, or lose your family. Ultimately, you will be told to stop, or lose your life. What are our lives for I ask you, if not to glorify God in the propagation of His gospel message? If we falter, and we will, we must repent, and begin again the work that He has for us. Remember Peter! He denied our Lord, his Lord, and Christ Jesus did not discard him, but used him greatly. Peter, ultimately was martyred. He was to be crucified. He asked to be crucified upside down, as he was not worthy of the cross of Christ, a cross that says of the man who hangs on it, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE ” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Do we take our King to mean something other than what He has said? Do we reduce the sovereign Kings oration as simply the ramblings of a crazed man? Certainly not! I exhort you brothers, be bold for the exclusivity of Christ Jesus, our Prophet, Priest, and King!