Sin, harmartia (ἁμαρτία), missing the mark of God’s perfect holiness, this is why we suffer. We are born spiritually stillborn, under the curse of the fall. We are the descendants of Adam, and in Adam have inherited a sin nature. Due to the curse, we are under the noetic effect of sin. Sin has effected every aspect of our being. We don’t perceive rightly with our senses. We don’t reason rightly with our faculties, and we don’t communicate rightly with our expressions. We are not true. God is perfect in all of His ways. When a person says that they believe in the doctrine of Total Depravity, they aren’t saying, “I can do nothing good.” They are saying, “Everything about me, has been affected by sin. Through and through, my every attribute is perverted from what was communicated during the creation.” When God created us in His image, He communicated many of His attributes in a lesser way, consistent with our nature as creatures. Original sin broke that image. So God can use us to do good things, but we are not good. We can be altruistic, but even that is tainted, or colored by our pervasive sinfulness. So the next time you want to attack the doctrine of Total Depravity as Calvinist heresy, perhaps you should do a study in hamartiology. Maybe you’ll learn just how depraved you are, and hopefully, it will magnify how much you need the Savior. When the breech is impassable, you have no hope except that which the Savior Christ Jesus has wrought in His atoning sufferings on the cross. Soli Deo Gloria!
In Amos we read of a thirst not for water, but scripture, the word of God. Later in the scriptures, we read of the Word made flesh. We learn that the scriptures are the mind of the Word made flesh, the self-existent Triune God, who created all things, for us to know Him and His will. We learn that the scriptures are the progressive revelation of Him. We also learn that they are used to change how our minds operate, how we see right and wrong, and how we get closer to Him. We also find that He put an end to the progressive revelation of His word. His incarnation inaugurated the end of it. We have all of His word for us in the Bible. We need not look any further, or to false prophets, or people who claim to be talking to Him or getting a word from Him. If you are thirsty, READ HIS WORD!!! I’m going to put two sections of scripture together. You see if it seems right.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. “People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it. “In that day the beautiful virgins And the young men will faint from thirst. “As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria, Who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’ And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’ They will fall and not rise again.”
(Amos 8:11-14 NASB)
Israel was so disobedient for so long that God was finished with them. The remnant waits now for the millennial kingdom. They want His word, but cannot have it. They are in a spiritual drought until He gives the relief.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She *said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” The woman *said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”
(John 4:10-15 NASB)
If you have know, or have the suspicion, that you are dead deep inside, if you feel like life is meaningless, or that you know the world has been lying to you about life, admit you have sinned against the true, righteous, and holy God. Admit that you deserve punishment from the just judge. Admit that He would be good and just to kill you and send you to Hell for eternity. Ask Him for forgiveness, not based on your works, but on the finished work of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, who was crucified as a propitiation, and atonement for sin. Believe in Him and His perfect sacrifice as your justification to God, and read His word, obey His commands, and love Him as your Lord, brother, and God.
- God commands it in His word. Mark 16:15 (NASB) 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
- He ordains the ends and the means.
- At that moment in time, it is not apparent to us who is among the elect. If we share the gospel with a person who is among the elect, but it is not their due time to be regenerated, then they will reject the gospel. If it is their time, they will respond with repentance and faith, that are also granted by God. If we share the gospel with a person who is not among the elect, no matter when in their life they hear it, they will never respond with true repentance and faith. Even a person who is not among the elect could affirm the gospel intellectually, but never be truly converted.
If people would look into the history of modern evangelism, they would see that many of the memorable evangelists have been Calvinists.
- The Apostle Paul 🙂
- George Whitefield
- David Brainerd
- William Carey
- Charles Spurgeon
- C.T. Studd
- Jonathan Edwards
- Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones
- Francis Schaeffer
- Francis Chan
Just to name a few. Oh, and before you get all persnickety and claim that some of the people on the list were Pastors, or theologians, remember they also evangelized. Spurgeon said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” While we are at it, we all are sinners. We have broken God’s laws and are guilty. Repent from your sins. Turn from them and obey God’s word. Believe on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He atoned for your sin. Don’t put your faith in your own efforts or works to save you. You can never satisfy the requirements of God’s righteousness, but Jesus did. His righteousness can be credited to you if you will repent and trust in Him.
As of late, you may have noticed some personal attacks on Calvinists, and on Calvinism in general coming from men within the SBC. These men are calling themselves, “Traditionalists.” I wonder whose traditions they are identifying with? I wonder if they know the real history of the SBC? I wonder if they understand that their roots are in Calvinism? I wonder, when they accuse us of following traditions of men, if they ever look at themselves and their own traditions? The following two sections of scripture are about the Pharisees and their hypocritical keeping of traditions. It is identified as wrong, and not to be emulated.
Colossians 2:8 (NASB) 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Mark 7:8-9 (NASB) 8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.
This section of scripture is about imitating Paul as he imitates Christ. This tradition is good, and to be kept.
1 Corinthians 11:1-2 (NASB) 1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.
So call yourself a traditionalist if you like. I don’t care. Hate the doctrines of grace, if that is how you think. Chase all of us evil Calvinists out of the SBC, but I’ve got news for you, we’ve been the theologically conservative salt in your denomination. When we leave, you will fly headlong down the road to liberalism and eventual irrelevance.
The last few days have been interesting. So much snow, that my gas furnace and on demand water heater both had their roof-top exhausts covered completely with snow. I didn’t want frozen pipes or a frozen house, so I had to get the exhausts cleared and call some professionals to get the over 3 ft. of accumulated snow off my roof. Thanks Arturo Martinez for all your hard work. If anyone needs some snow removed from their roof, message me and I’ll send you his number. The next morning of fun was realizing the pets could not go outside to do their business. I began to dig them a patch of ground out and wrenched my back. It gave me time to ponder deep topics like, “Will it get better or worse? Will I be able to get to work Monday? How many ibuprofen have I already taken?” One thing is for sure, is that the will of God will be done. This brings me to the inauguration. 4 and 8 years ago, I trusted in the will of God when the pro-abortion, (a.k.a. baby killing) perversion promoting, (LGBT nonsense) Barry Soetoro a.k.a. (Barack Obama) took office and kept it. Even while I wondered how people could condone the evils of perversion, (LGBT) perverse marriage, (Gay Marriage… no such thing) abortion, and socialist totalitarianism, I was comforted by the knowledge that God is sovereign and in control of all things, including the political leadership of this country. I honestly believe we were getting the leaders we deserved as an unrepentant people. We have been calling good evil and evil good for fat too long to keep on experiencing the blessings of God. Instead, for 8 long years or corrosive evil leadership, we were under the discipline of God. I hope that the people have repented, and we will be experiencing a reprieve. God willing, may America be blessed once more. I would ask all of you to repent of your sin, put your faith in the finished work of Christ, and seek God’s glory and will first and foremost in the years to come.
None of us are sinlessly perfect. Everyone of us is aware of a specific sin in our lives. Some of us wonder if we are even saved because of that specific sin that is in our lives. Some of us are at war with the sin, while others are complacently allowing for it. Which group are you in?
We are endangered when we count on our own efforts to fight the sin, and then failing time and time again, only to have doubt come in and rob us of our assurance, or we justify our sin away as if it is only a trifle, no big deal, everyone does it, and we allow for it instead of fighting against it. We count on grace to keep us safe. Both ways of thinking are wrong. We should be at war with our sins, knowing that Christ has won the war against sin once and for all. It is our lot to stand in front of the enemy before us and engage in the fight with all we have, resting in the knowledge that the outcome of the war has already been secured even if we fail in our battle time and time again, but with practice and provision from the Holy Spirit, and God’s word, we should be strengthened. God will sanctify us, and mature us out of that fight into another fight. We will keep fighting sin until we die, and are resurrected into a glorified body, that will only do that which is pleasing to God.
If you find yourself in the other group, using grace as a license for sin, sitting back in defeat, without a hope of ever growing, don’t give in. Now is the time to stand up and fight. Don’t prove you were never saved at all. Don’t harden your heart to the calling of the Holy Spirit to get in the fight. Don’t have a false assurance of your conversion. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [a]fail the test?” 2 Cor 13:5 You might experience a pleasant surprise. If you get back in the fight, repent and ask Christ to forgive you, He will. You can have assurance of your salvation. You can know you are saved. You can know through the fight, successes and failures, that drive you back to the cross again and again for grace. Don’t focus on you and your fight. Focus on Christ and His fight. Focus on His victory over sin, death and the grave. Focus on His victory imputed to you by faith and enjoy the peace between you and God in the midst of the violent war against sin in your life.
Today we are going to pick up where we left off from the last article you can read it here. Earlier we examined Genesis 15:1-2 to see that the Word of the Lord is God. We also connected these verses with John 1:1-18 to see that the Word is Jesus. Today we are going to look at Genesis 15:3-7 which will reinforce our previous assertion that the Word of the Lord is God, Jesus is the Word, and Jesus is God. [The text in the brackets is mine.] The blue text indicates who is doing the action and the red is what is being done.
Genesis 15:3-7 (NASB) 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
[If you notice, the person doing the talking is identified as “the word of the Lord.” You can tell he is a person because he is, “saying.” The word of the Lord is speaking to Abram.]
“This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said,
[Notice the Word is referred to as, “He.” What did He do? He, “took him outside and said…” How can anyone look at these verses and not come to the conclusion that the Word of the Lord is God, and how can they, in light of John 1:1-18 not see that Jesus is the Word and He is God?]
“Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.”
If this isn’t enough, I’ll post some more later on. Study the word, to know the Word, and His intent. Knowing Him is knowing God. To know God, and be known by Him, to be His adopted child and heir, is to be saved by this Triune God’s grace according to His sovereign will, regenerating and indwelling by His Spirit, and the justifying work on the cross of His Son.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the same accusation from Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons (LDS), and Muslims. They claim that Jesus is not God, but a god, good man, prophet, teacher, and so on. I think it is great that we can always go to the word of God to let it make the defense. Charles Spurgeon was quoted as saying, “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.” I agree with him.
With that being said let’s take a look at Genesis 15:1-2, and John 1:1-18.
In Genesis 15:1-2 we see that the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision. Now, you don’t hear a vision. You see it. Some people would insist that this is just Abram hearing God speak to him, but this is actually the preincarnate Christ appearing to Abram in a vision, and speaking to him. Abram said, “…O LORD God…” or אֲדֹנָי ’ăḏônây; an emphatic form of âḏôn; or (shortened) אָדֹן ’adon; from an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, i.e. controller (human or divine): — lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.; the Lord (used as a proper name of God only): — (my) Lord. In this section of God’s word ăḏônây is used in conjunction with יְהוָֹה yhwh; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; name of God: — the Lord. So essentially he is saying, Adonai YHWH or Sovereign eternal self-existent one and only true God. It is obvious that Abram believed the word of the LORD to be the one true, eternal, and self-existent God.
We can look at John 1:1-18 and see who John said the Word of God is. Again, it is obvious that Jesus is the Word.
John 1:1-18 (NASB) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The Witness John
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Word Made Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Jesus is not a god like the Mormons say. He was not Michael the angel transfigured like the Jehovah’s Witnesses would tell you. He was not just a prophet like Muslims claim. If there is any doubt now that Jesus is the Word, and the Word is God, it is not due to lack of evidence. It is due to disbelief. May God grant you true and saving faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord and God.
9781433680748, christianity, Economics of the Trinity, God the Trinity Biblical Portraits, ISBN-13: 978-1433680748, Ontology of the Trinity, Review of God the Trinity by Malcom B. Yarnell, reviews, Snyderssoapbox, Trinity, truth, Word, www.snyderssoapbox.com
Today on SnydersSoapbox we will be reviewing a book dealing with the Trinity. I know that as Christians we desire to understand the Trinity better. It is a topic that is often speculated on, and many times people just give up. Don’t feel too bad. The book and the works of the men cited by the author are all very scholarly. Some very intelligent men have been contemplating the Trinity for a very long time, and haven’t really come up with any better explanations or understandings than many of us. They just sound a lot more intelligent when they talk about it 🙂
In the field of Christian books, I am always looking for books that will add value to my library, books that will not be a waste of my time to read. This was a pretty good book overall. It was definitely NOT for laymen. It was a scholastic work. The author assumes that the reader has read, or is familiar with the works of the other men he has cited in this book. If you are not familiar with those works you can still read this book and get something out of it. It is well bibliographed, and indexed. The author throws in some Greek, not to worry, he explains what it says. He also uses several big words that you might need to grab a dictionary and look up. Do not be afraid of heady books. These things help you learn and grow. Don’t run from the challenge of education.
As far as the content of the book goes, I appreciated his explanation of the economic Trinity. This helped me understand how we are in Christ, He is in the Father, and He is in us, as well as the Holy Spirit indwelling us. It is one thing to know the words, it is another to get a better grasp on the mechanics of how that works. If you are like me, you are not satisfied until you can see all the steps, or processes of the behind the scenes workings of something. He also delved into the ontology of the Trinity. I might not of understood everything he wrote when dealing with this topic, or maybe I did, and just disagreed with him on one of his conclusions. Even so, If you are patient, and willing to do some work, I think you could learn from this book.
Yarnell also explains some non-Trinitarian heresies, defends the orthodox trinity, deals with some of the concepts of being eternally begotten, and what that looks like. He explains how Christ accepted worship from people, and he demonstrates how the Bible equates Christ with God the Father. If you take the time, this will help you with your apologetics when talking with non-Trinitarian heretics.