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Showing posts with the label Grace

Believer, You Are Being Graciously Sanctified

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : An HB reader writes to ask “in what senses are we under the covenant of works?” I reply Christians are in no sense under the covenant of works for our standing with God or for our salvation. Our justification and our sanctification are by grace alone ( sola gratia ), through faith alone ( sola fide ). It is not as some seem to be suggesting that our salvation is begun by grace but is ultimately completed by works. This is a false gospel that Paul himself repudiated in Galatians 3:1–6: O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so

Justice, Mercy, and Grace

By T.M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe : We need them all, and they're all there for us in Jesus. “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.” - Matthew 5.7  If only you shape your own path and build up peace, you shall see no end to mercy. - The Advice of Addaon, Early Welsh Justice, mercy, grace: three words we use a good deal in the Christian community, each of which has a distinct meaning and impact. Yet none of which do we understand as well as we should. Justice can be summarized as getting what you deserve. On the one hand, because we are the image-bearers of God, all humans deserve respect, honor, love, encouragement, and so forth. On the other hand, because we are sinners, we deserve only wrath and judgment from our sovereign and holy God. These are the proper desserts of those who walk in rebellion against Him, denying that He is their Creator, ignoring His Law, or rationalizing it out of their Christian lives. Justice is what we deser

'My son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found'

The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo Batoni  (Wikipedia) Luke 15:11-32  (AKJV) 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, an

Unconditional Election, Mercy, and Assurance (Knox)

Posted at  The Reformed Reader : In 1591 a London publisher released this book: An Answer to a Great Number of Blasphemous Cavailations Written by an Anabaptist, an Adversary to God’s Eternal Predestination . The author of this book was Scottish pastor-theologian, John Knox (d. 1572); the book is found in the fifth volume of Knox’sWorks . This treatise on unconditional election might be called one of Knox’s best works; it is extremely biblical, pastoral, and informative. Right at the outset Knox noted that election is an essential teaching of Christianity because, as found in Scripture, it humbles the sinner and magnifies the free grace of our loving God. In other words, it is practical: “For first, there is no way more proper to build and establish faith, than when we hear and undoubtedly do believe that our Election (which the Spirit of God doth seal in our hearts) consisteth not in ourselves, but in the eternal and immutable good pleasure of God. And that in such firmne

Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter XVIII I. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God, and estate of salvation [1] (which hope of theirs shall perish): [2] yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, [3] and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed. [4] II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope; [5] but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation , [6] the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, [7] the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God, [8] which Spirit is the ea