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Showing posts from September, 2015

Of Effectual Calling

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter X I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call , [1] by His Word and Spirit, [2] out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; [3] enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, [4] taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; [5] renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, [6] and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: [7] yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. [8] II. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man , [9] who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, [10] he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered

Arminianism & Its Hazards

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By Eric Davis - Posted at The Cripplegate : Chances are you’ve discussed it lately. Who chose whom? God? Man? Both? Whose will and choice triggers salvation? Man’s? God’s? Both? It’s a common occurrence to spar over Calvinism (the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace) vs. Arminianism. This post could not possibly address all the issues. Instead, it will take a brief look at some of Arminianism’s consequences. But first, a quick reminder of common Arminian teaching. Arminianism typically holds that God elects individuals to salvation based on his foreknowledge of their personal worthiness. It’s claimed that God’s election means that he chose those whom he foresaw would trust in Christ for salvation prior to them doing so. God chose those whom he foreknew would choose him. Humanity, therefore, is fallen, but not incapable of seeking God. Though sinful, man is still able to arouse his will so as to choose God savingly. Some reject election, arguing that it is incompatible with human

Of Free Will

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter IX I. God has endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined good, or evil. [1] II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God ; [2] but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it. [3] III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: [4] so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, [5] and dead in sin, [6] is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. [7] IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage under sin; [8] and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; [9] yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not

Of Christ the Mediator

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter VIII I. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man , [1] the Prophet, [2] Priest, [3] and King, [4] the Head and Savior of His Church, [5] the Heir of all things, [6] and Judge of the world: [7] unto whom He did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed, [8] and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. [9] II. The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man's nature , [10] with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; [11] being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. [12] So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably

The First Part - Of The Misery Of Man

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Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer.   2. Lord's Day  Q. 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?   A. Out of the law of God. (a)   (a) Rom.3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  Q. 4. What does the law of God require of us?  A. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On the

The Divine Light in Darkness

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By C.H. Spurgeon - From Daily Checkbook , Posted at Sermon Audio : "For Thou wilt light my candle" — Psalm 18:28 It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light. Blessed be God! He can enlighten my darkness and at once light my candle. Even though I may be surrounded by a "darkness which might be felt," yet He can break the gloom and immediately make it bright around me. The mercy is that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out of itself through the lapse of hours. The lights which the LORD kindled in the beginning are shining still. The LORD's lamps may need trimming, but He does not put them out. Let me, then, listen to the nightingale sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune. Soon I shall rejoice in a candle of God's lighting. I am dull and dreary just now. Perhaps it is the

Of God's Covenant with Man

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter VII I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant. [1] II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works , [2] wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, [3] upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. [4] III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second , [5] commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, [6] and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to be

The Lie of Unlimited Atonement

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Posted at Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation : Taken and adapted from, “AN ANTIDOTE AGAINST ARMINIANISM or A TREATISE TO ENERVATE AND CONFUTE ALL FIVE POINTS OF IT” with extracts from Dr. John Gill, Dr. Isaac Watts, Augustus Toplady, John Newton, J. Hart, etc. Recommended by Dr. John Owen, and published for the public good. Written and edited by Christopher Ness Fourth Edition published in London, in the Year 1700 The Extent of the Atonement God imposed his wrath, and Christ underwent the pains of hell either for, 1 All of the sins of all men, 2 All of the sins of some men, or 3 Some of the sins of all men. In which case it may be said: A  That if the last is true, then all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved. B  That if the second is true, then Christ suffered in their stead for all of the sins of all of the elect in the whole world – and this is the truth. C  But if the first is the case, then why are not all men free from the punishment

Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and the Punishment thereof

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter VI I. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptations of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit . [1] This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory. [2] II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion, with God , [3] and so became dead in sin, [4] and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body. [5] III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed ; [6] and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation. [7] IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good , [8] and wholly inclined to all evil, [9] do proceed all actual transgressions. [10] V. This corruption of nature, during this life, does remain in those that are rege

Of Providence

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Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter V I. God the great Creator of all things does uphold, [1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, [2] from the greatest even to the least, [3] by His most wise and holy providence, [4] according to His infallible foreknowledge, [5] and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, [6] to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy. [7] II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; [8] yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. [9] III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, [10] yet is free to work without, [11] above, [12] and against them, [13] at His pleasure. IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in H

Of Creation

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Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter IV I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost , [1] for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, [2] in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good. [3] II. After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female , [4] with reasonable and immortal souls, [5] endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; [6] having the law of God written in their hearts, [7] and power to fulfil it; [8] and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. [9] Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; [10] which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over

Lady Anne, Duchess of Hamilton: A Humble Heart

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By Angela Wittman Lady Anne, Duchess of Hamilton (Wikipedia) Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear… Psalm 10, verse 17 – KJV Lady Anne, Duchess of Hamilton was born in 1631 in Scotland to Christian parents. Her mother died when Anne was 8 years old, and her father, James, was beheaded for treason when she was only 19 years old. James Hamilton was one of the leading Royalists who supported King Charles I. He had tried to form an alliance between the King and the Earl of Argyll, a Scottish Covenanter and friend. They eventually had a falling out and their friendship became severed. James was arrested during the administration of Oliver Cromwell, charged with treason and then executed. (Source: British-Civil-Wars.co.uk) Due to the death of Lady Anne’s father and then her guardian, an uncle, she became impoverished as the family wealth was seized by the administration of Cromwell. The hardship of poverty left its im

We Attain Heaven Through Faith Alone

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : Recently an influential evangelical writer (no names please, this is about truth not personalities) wrote “right with God by faith alone, not attain heaven by faith alone.” The claim is that Christians should believe that we “attain heaven” by more than faith, i.e., by our cooperation with grace. This proposition fits with a claim made by others that we are justified by grace alone ( sola gratia ), through faith alone ( sola fide ) but that salvation, because it is a broader category, because it includes sanctification, is partly through obedience, faithfulness, or works. The Argument Here is the argument in the form of a syllogism: Salvation involves justification and sanctification. Sanctification is by grace and cooperation with grace (works) Therefore salvation is partly by works. In this discussion there have also been claims about the history of Reformed theology, that the orthodox Reformed theologians of the sevent

Marion Fairlie: Nothing but the Righteousness of Christ

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By Angela Wittman “It pleased God of his great goodness, early to incline my heart to seek him, and bless him that I was born in a land where the gospel was at that time purely and powerfully preached; as also, that I was born of godly parents and well educated. But above all things, I bless him that he made me see that nothing but the righteousness of Christ could save me from the wrath of God.” – Mrs. William Veitch (Marion Fairlie) Marion Fairlie was born in Scotland in 1638, and married William Veitch, a non-conforming minister in 1664. It has been reported that her friends tried to persuade her from marrying the young minister as he had been ejected from the pulpit for not being licensed by the bishop to preach, and for having “opinions hostile to prelacy”. Instead of listening to her friends’ advice, Marion chose to cast her all upon the LORD and to trust in His providential care. She then began a life of hardship, separation and persecution as the wife of an “ejected minister” i

Of God's Eternal Decree

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Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter III I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass ; [1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, [2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. [3] II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions ; [4] yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. [5] III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory , some men and angels [6] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. [7] IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or dimi

What is thy only comfort in life and death?

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Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 1. Lord's Day Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death? Answer. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me

Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

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Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter II I. There is but one only, [1] living, and true God, [2] who is infinite in being and perfection, [3] a most pure spirit, [4] invisible, [5] without body, parts, [6] or passions; [7] immutable, [8] immense, [9] eternal, [10] incomprehensible, [11] almighty, [12] most wise, [13] most holy, [14] most free, [15] most absolute; [16] working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, [17] for His own glory; [18] most loving, [19] gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; [20] the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; [21] and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, [22] hating all sin, [23] and who will by no means clear the guilty. [24] II. God has all life, [25] glory, [26] goodness, [27] blessedness, [28] in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standi

What about Prophecy and Tongues Today?

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By Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. - Posted at OPC.org/New Horizons : The Westminster Confession of Faith , insisting that Scripture is sufficient in our day, holds that "those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people" have "now ceased" (1.1). We who adhere to that doctrine are thus often called "cessationists." That label carries a lot of baggage. By itself, it's negative. In current debates about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it suggests what one is against. At the outset, then, we need to correct certain misconceptions about "cessationism." We do not assert that God's Spirit is no longer actively working in dynamic and dramatic ways. We earnestly believe that he is. What, for instance, can be more powerful and impressive—even miraculous!—than the 180-degree reversal that occurs when the Spirit transforms those dead in their sins into those alive for good works? This involves nothing less than a work of resurrection, of

Of the Holy Scripture

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Westminster Confession of Faith   (1646) Chapter I Of the Holy Scripture I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; [1] yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation . [2] Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; [3] and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; [4] which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; [5] those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased. [6] II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all

The Solemn League & Covenant

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By David Plant - Posted at the BCW Project : The alliance between the English Parliament and the Scottish Covenanters was sealed with the signing of the Solemn League and Covenant by both Houses of Parliament and the Scottish commissioners on 25 September 1643. It was a military league and a religious covenant. Its immediate purpose was to overwhelm the Royalists, who in 1643 seemed in a strong position to win the English Civil War. An alliance between Parliament and the Scots was first proposed by John Pym early in 1643. Parliament was anxious to secure military help from Scotland in order to counter Royalist victories in England. The Convention of Estates in Edinburgh favoured the alliance after the discovery of the Earl of Antrim 's conspiracy to bring over an Irish Catholic army to support a projected uprising of Scottish Royalists. However, the Covenanters regarded the alliance principally as a religious union of the two nations. They hoped to unite the churches of Sc

The Westminster Assembly

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This 1646 allegorical broadside shows the two houses of Parliament and the Westminster Assembly on an ark on a sea in which royalists drown. An accompanying poem calls the three the "Trinity of State". [12]   Source: Wikipedia By David Plant - Posted at  The BCW Project : The Westminster Assembly The Westminster Assembly of Divines was appointed by the Long Parliament during the English Civil War to discuss reform of the Church of England. A reforming synod was first proposed in the Grand Remonstrance of November 1641. A bill authorising an Assembly was passed by both Houses of Parliament in June 1642 but King Charles withheld his assent. A year later, with King and Parliament openly at war, Parliament passed an ordinance on 12 June 1643 calling the Assembly under its own authority. Despite a royal proclamation prohibiting its meeting, the Assembly first convened on 1 July 1643 at the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, later moving to the Abbey's Jer