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Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

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Does this mean Jesus “loved a good party”? Or that He “hung out with drunks”? Or that he “didn’t take sides”?

What exactly does it mean that Jesus was a friend of sinners?  Read this short but helpful essay by Kevin DeYoung who in part writes:

Jesus was a friend of sinners not because he winked at sin, ignored sin, or enjoyed light-hearted revelry with those engaged in immorality. Jesus was a friend of sinners in that he came to save sinners and was very pleased to welcome sinners who were open to the gospel, sorry for their sins, and on their way to putting their faith in Him.

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“Everything that is coming to us from God comes through Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus has won our pardon; he has reconciled us to God; he has canceled our sin; he has secured the gift of the Spirit for us; he has granted eternal life to us and promises us the life of the consummation; he has made us children of the new covenant; his righteousness has been accounted as ours; he has risen from the dead, and all of God’s sovereignty is mediated through him and directed to our good and to God’s glory.”–Don Carson!

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“The revelation made of Christ in the blessed gospel is far more excellent, more glorious, more filled with rays of divine wisdom and goodness than the whole creation, and the just comprehension of it, if attainable, can contain or afford. Without this knowledge, the mind of man, however priding itself in other inventions and discoveries, is wrapped up in darkness and confusion.

This revelation therefore deserves our deepest thoughts, the best of our meditations, and our utmost diligence and energy in them. For if our future blessedness shall consist in living where Christ lives, and beholding His glory, what better preparation can there be for it than a constant previous contemplation of that glory as revealed in the gospel, that by a view of it we may be gradually transformed into the same glory?” (John Owen, The Glory of Christ, p. 25-26)

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Herman Bavinck:

Whatever apostasy occurs in Christianity, it may never prompt us to question the unchanging faithfulness of God, the certainty of his counsel, the enduring character of his covenant, or the trustworthiness of his promises. One should sooner abandon all creatures than fail to trust his word. And that word in its totality is one immensely rich promise to the heirs of the kingdom.

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30).

Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:612) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28). The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:134:30).

The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16-18;13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31-32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10;10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9;Phil 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:232 Thess. 3:31 Peter 1:4-5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:1120), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), he is to behold his glory (John 117:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Excerpted from Reformed Dogmatics 4.269-70 (paragraph breaks are mine)  (HT: Kevin DeYoung)

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Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3 ESV)

Theologians call this “the beatific vision.” We will call it the greatest moment of our lives—to see Christas he is; not as he was. . .

Keep reading “Our Greatest Moment” by Steve DeWitt.

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Born as a son,
led forth as a lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
he rose from the dead as a God,
for he was by nature God and man.

He is all things:
he judges, and so he is Law;
he teaches, and so he is Wisdom;
he saves, and so he is Grace;
he suffers, and so he is sacrifice;
he is buried, and so he is man;
he rises again, and so he is God.

This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.

– Melito, bishop of Sardis (d. 180) 

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