The Quotable Round-Up #29

Here are the quotes for the week featuring the book by R. C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics”. Enjoy and God bless!

“The agent of predestination is God. In his sovereignty he predestinates. Human beings are the object of his predestination. In short, predestination refers to God’s sovereign plan for human beings, decreed by him in eternity. We must add, however, that the concept of predestination includes more than the future destiny of humans. It also includes whatever comes to pass in time and space.”

“For a person to be able to come to Christ, it must first be granted or “given” to that person to come to Christ. God must do something for us to overcome our moral inability to come to Christ. We cannot embrace Christ in the flesh. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit, we cannot come to Christ.”

“The humanistic and pagan view of free will is that the will acts from a posture of indifference. By indifference we mean that the will is inclined to neither good nor evil but exists in a state of moral neutrality. The mind of fallen man has no bias, no predisposition to evil. This view of free will is on a collision course with the biblical view of sin.”

”If we still have a will, why are we unable to convert ourselves or even prepare ourselves for conversion? The simple answer is this: because we do not want to. We have no desire for the righteousness of God, and free choice, by definition, involves choosing what we desire.”

To say that mankind is radically corrupt is to say that sin penetrates to the root or core of our being. Sin is not tangential or peripheral, but arises from the center of our being. It flows from what the Bible calls the “heart,” which does not refer to the muscle that pumps blood throughout our bodies but to the “core” of our being. Even the word core derives from the Latin word for “heart.”

“The covenant of redemption demonstrates the harmony within the Trinity. Over against theories that pit one member of the Godhead against the other two, the covenant of redemption stresses the total agreement between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the plan of salvation. This covenant defines the roles of the persons of the Trinity in redemption. The Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son enters the arena of this world by incarnation voluntarily. He is no reluctant Redeemer. The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to us for our salvation. The Spirit does not chafe at doing the Father’s bidding. The Father is pleased to send the Son and the Spirit into the world, and they are pleased to carry out their respective missions.”

“Every written document has a structure or format by which it is organized. Paragraphs have subjects and chapters have focal points. Reformed theology sees the primary structure of biblical revelation as that of covenant. This is the structure by which the entire history of redemption is worked out.”

“Jesus is enthroned at God’s right hand, and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. It is a profound political reality that Christ now occupies the supreme seat of cosmic authority. The kings of this world and all secular governments may ignore this reality, but they cannot undo it. The universe is no democracy. It is a monarchy. God himself has appointed his beloved Son as the preeminent King. Jesus does not rule by referendum, but by divine right. In the future every knee will bow before him, either willingly or unwillingly. Those who refuse to do so will have their knees broken with a rod of iron.”

The Quotable Round-Up #28

Here are the quotes for the week featuring the book by R. C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics”. Enjoy and God bless!

“The remission of sins is tied to the atoning work of Christ. In the atonement both propitiation and expiation are involved. Propitiation refers to Christ’s satisfaction of God’s justice, making it “propitious” for God to forgive us. Propitiation may be seen as a vertical act of Christ directed to the Father. At the same time, Christ is an expiation for our sins, removing or carrying away from us our sins.”

“True faith is never alone. It always manifests itself in works. Works that flow out of faith, however, are in no way the ground of our justification. They contribute nothing of merit before God. The only ground or basis of our justification is the merit of Christ. Nor is faith itself a meritorious work or the ground of our justification.”

“The dispute between justification by the infusion of Christ’s righteousness and the imputation of his righteousness is no tempest in a teapot. It makes all the difference in the world whether the ground of my justification rests within me or is accomplished for me. Christ fulfilled the law for me and gained the merit necessary for my justification. This is the ground not only of my justification, but also of my assurance of salvation. If I must wait until I cooperate with the righteousness of Christ infused within me, to the degree that I become inherently righteous, I despair of ever attaining salvation. This is not gospel or “good news”; it is bad news.”

“In our justification, faith is the means by which we are linked to Christ and receive the benefits of his saving work. By faith we receive the transfer or imputation of the righteousness of Christ. Faith is not only a necessary condition, it is a sufficient condition for Christ’s righteousness to be imputed to us. Faith, true faith, is all that is required to be justified by the righteousness of Christ. Faith trusts in and lays hold of a righteousness that is not our own.”

“Forensic justification means we are declared righteous by God in a legal sense. The ground of this legal declaration is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account.”

The doctrine of justification deals with what may be the deepest existential problem a human being can ever face: How can a sinner, an unjust person, ever withstand the judgment of a holy and just God?

5 Uncomfortable Situations That You Can Still Find God (Part 1)

Where has life lead you today? Are you walking in places that you feel that God is not there? We have all been there. We all know the heartaches it brings. It feels like God has abandoned us. The truth is God is there and doesn’t mind to be there for us. God is not always in place we are happy. He is also there in those times that we feel that He is not there to help us. As we read our passage for this lesson we can see that Jerusalem is besieged by the Babylonians. Some of them were carried to Babylon and some are left in the midst of the ruins. Judgment befalls the people of God because of their constant rebellion to God. But still in the midst of God’s righteous anger, He still extents His goodness to remnants as they seek for Him. These remnants came to the prophet Jeremiah to inquire for God. Let us look at our passage then go to our first point:
Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near,
And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)—Jeremiah 42: 1-2

1.) When people around you are few
“pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)”—Jeremiah 42: 2
I can easily relate with this because of our small church. As our church goes to challenges that really shook us, we are few in numbers. Sometimes we get discourage of our number that we tend to look at how big churches do. We long for that quantity of members and also the quality of the leaders. We desire and pray of kind of ministry that is growing. Frustrations set in when some of our members left our already small church. For me this is one difficult time that really pulls our strength.
But this verse tells us that God is willing to meet these rebellious remnants (see verse 9). If God is reaching out for the welfare of these stubborn people, how much more to us that didn’t jump over board. Despite on what situation we are on whether it’s a small church, a minority in our place, or a leader with a handful of loyal follower God is willing to meet us there in that circumstances. Do we feel small, insignificant and unworthy because we keep seeing the stats and not God? Remember the people in the ark, Gideon’s army and the people at the foot of Christ’s cross. Remember this group of remnants. Remember God is there and willing to deal with us.
(To be continued next week…)

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 4)

Before we go to the last point on our list, I would like to thank you for giving your time to read this article for the pass weeks. I hope and pray that you have been edified with the topic. If you haven’t accepted Christ as Lord and personal Savior, prayer goes out with you. If you have questions please free to ask me by posting it on the comment section or just simple sending a personal message. I will try to answer your questions. And now for #7 which is no surprise if we neglect the gospel. Heaven is last on the list because I want to show you that what you gain with salvation is not just heaven.
7. Heaven
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3: 19-20

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. in my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, i would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. and if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come again, And receive you unto myself; that where i am, there ye may be also” John 14: 2-3 (KJV)
Heaven is not a reward. Reward has to be worked out. Jesus already did it for us. The promise of heaven is included with the gift of salvation. It is based upon the grace of God. Rejecting the gospel forfeits us for receiving heaven. The soul has two destinations. Its either Heaven or Hell. And what you do with the gospel will determine where you will spend eternity. Will you accept the gospel today?

Book Review: “The DNA of Relationships” by Gary Smalley

Dr. Smalley has been writing for decades now about relationship (a trip to Book Sale or any 2nd hand bookstore will affirm that) which it is a no surprise that he would release another one on that subject. You might think what else he could write about or this might contain the usual advice he gives in his previous books. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing that we have some tools that are up to date and can be use to improve our relationship.
In “The DNA of Relationships” Team Smalley delivers well crafted research on relationship that is distilled in this short book. We must remember that life is relationships. We build relationships and we are wired for relationships. Relationship does have a share of the good, the bad and the ugly. Every struggle will eventually hurt people and dishonors God. “The DNA of Relationships” brings upfront “self care” that is not centered with us but exalts God and uplifts others in the process. Self care according to the book is revolutionary and can be attained by having a healthy communication, finding a win-win solution and changing one’s self.
Some advice here are common but you can still find nuggets of wisdom in this book. This book is a good tool to aid us in fixing our relationships.

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 2)

I heard a preacher once said that the word “free gift” in Ephesians 2: 8-9 lost its meaning in our time. We are incline to pay or work to get what we want. That’s how the real world works. Receiving something free is beyond how we are wired. Also when pride sets in our heart it wouldn’t allow us to accept the gospel. Unless God makes the initiative, salvation won’t be possible. Will you accept the gospel today? Now let’s go on with #3 and #4 of our list of things we miss out if we don’t turn to the gospel:
3. Truth

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

“even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14: 17

Everyone doesn’t want to dwell in falsehood. We want to be in the good or right side. Even if culture suppresses having the concept of truth, there is truth. We don’t want to deceive or be deceived. We want to know if what we believe is the truth. Truth being subjective is a farce. There is objective truth. Jesus invites us to come to Him if we want to know the truth. Rejecting the gospel is rejecting the truth. What is left when we reject the truth is, by default, we accept falsehood.

4. Adoption

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Romans 8:15-17

“to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4: 5-7

“he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” Ephesians 1:5

There is a song that became the theme of Pope Francis visit here in the Philippines. The message of it is that “we are God’s children”. But biblically that is not true. Not all are God’s children. We are all made in the image of God but according to John 1: 12” But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”. There’s a difference between an image bearer to a legitimate son. Our physical birth enables us to be bearers of His image, being born again grants us to be God’s children. Believing in Jesus is our ticket to become sons of God. That is the very core of the gospel. Immediately, when we receive the gospel, we became God’s children. Rejecting this truth will keep us on bondage with sin and Satan. Salvation is not just rescuing us from our sin but giving us a new identity. Salvation will not just take us to heaven but most importantly it gives us rights on why we are to be there with God. Are you a child of God?

(to be continued next week…)

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 1)

The gospel is God’s precious message to the fallen humanity. It is “good news” for us who are in bondage of sin. It doesn’t just guarantee us heaven but that the wrath of God and guilt of sin were relinquished by the power of the cross. No other news in the world or history compares to the gospel that saves. Having that reality applied to us, the elect is truly the privileged ones on earth. But what if we reject this gospel? What are the consequences for neglecting such precious news? Here are 7 things we will surely miss if we don’t receive this love from God:
1. Peace
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

 

Peace is a scarce commodity in this world. Wars, violence, heartaches are some of the things that will bog us down. Yet ignoring the call of the gospel, we deprive ourselves with this rare commodity. This peace is not just something that will give us a good night sleep. Nor it will erase every conflict that we know of. Its peace that is promised by God through Jesus Christ that we can hold on to here and in eternity. Conflict will still be there but God will give us strength to endure such situations. Do you want peace? Receive the gospel today!

2. Love

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 6-8

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15: 9

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,”
Ephesians 2: 4

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4: 10

“Love” is a four letter word that has be marred with twisted definitions by this world. Love according to God’s Word is not just loving the unlovable but dying for the unlovable. The unlovable humanity hasn’t, can’t and will not prove anything to gain a good standing before a holy God. Yet out of the mercy of God, He took the initiative to love the unlovable. This love is an everlasting love written with God’s blood. Rejecting the gospel is rejecting true love. This world is hungry for true and deep love. God’s love can be yours if you accept His gospel. Neglecting the love of God will cost you a loveless eternity.

(to be continued next week…)

The Quotable Round-Up #18

 

Happy New Year to all!!!! Its a brand new year for all of us Christians as we look forward for God’s wonderful blessings in store for us. I have been caught by the busy holiday but I’m back to deliver some quote goodies. Now lets dive away to these awesome quotes.

“Our problem is not that we don’t know that God exists. Our problem is that we refuse to acknowledge the God whom we know to be true.”
–R. C. Sproul

“Only the Spirit can raise spiritually dead hearts to believe the gospel.”
–Steven J. Lawson

“Without the divine light of the Spirit, the Bible remains a closed book.”
— Steven J. Lawson

“Leadership in a gospel framework humbly serves those under its guard.”
–Matthew B. Sims

“The quest for God doesn’t begin until conversion. Prior to our conversions, we run as fast and as relentlessly as we can away from God.”
–R. C. Sproul

“Everywhere else we’d go would be a disaster for us.Any answer but Jesus is no answer at all.And yet, even when we run,His,grace reaches us.”
–Matt Chandler

“The Spirit of God is the sole, santifying agent in our life, but He regularly uses ordinary means to do so. He uses reading the Word,praying,preaching,fasting and meditation.”
–Matthew B. Sims

 

Four Stages on How an Unbeliever Comes to Jesus Part 3

Wrapping up our discussion of the 4 phases, let us move now to two pointers we should remember as we meet people who we will lead to Jesus:
1.) Setting our priorities
“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” Song of Solomon 2: 7
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Always put God on top. Give him prominence in your life. If you want to win people to Christ, put God first. Let not the world interrupt your love for Christ.
2.) Keep on pointing people to Christ
“Go out, O daughters of Zion, and look upon King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.” Song of Solomon 3: 11
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:14-18

Keep on sharing the gospel no matter what is the reaction. Point them to Jesus who is the Savior, not you, the church you belong, your pastor nor your good works. Constantly pray to God to give you opportunity to tell someone the good news.

The Quotable Round Up #13

As I have said last week, the recently concluded Manila International Book Fair proves that Filippinos love books and spirituality. It’s a great venue to share the gospel and let Christ shine. Although that is the case, I also observe that majority of teens and young adults go for romance and anime themed books. Adults are more geared towards anything spiritual. With this observation, I think Christian publishers should further strengthen their reach for teens and young adults. I hope and pray they produce more books that are gospel driven. Now for our weekly dose of quotes:
“Every believer is called to ministry. We’re called to see that all of the tasks of the kingdom take place-that the poor are ministered to, the gospel is proclaimed, the Word of God is taught, and worship takes place.”
–R. C. Sproul
“A means of grace is a tool or instrument that God uses to strengthen and nurture us so that we grow in conformity to Christ. We don’t always think about service as a means of grace, but we grow as we serve. The more we are able to serve in the kingdom of God, the more Christ like we become.”
–R. C. Sproul

“We know that God is not restricted to the building, but we are aware that this is a sacred hour that God has set apart and declared to be a holy time of visitation between Himself and His people. So we leave worldly cares and concerns for a while and focus on God. We come to hear a word from God, and it is the pastor’s responsibility to make sure what we hear from the pulpit is the Word of God, not pop psychology. The power is in the Word, for it is the truth.”
–R. C. Sproul

“The primary reason to be in church is to worship the living God, and for this we must bring a sense of reverence and adoration for His transcendent majesty.”
— R. C. Sproul

“Once we believe into Christ and embrace Christ, then we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is, in reality, Christ in us. So the mystical union is that once we are born of the Spirit and are given the gift of faith and move into Christ, then we are in Christ and Christ is in us.”
–R. C. Sproul

“The whole basis for our relationship to God is grace. It is not something we earn or deserve or purchase. It is a gift.”
–R. C. Sproul

“The atoning death of Christ gave us a new, freer kind of access to the Father. Christ won for us peace with God and the end of estrangement.”
— R. C. Sproul