Monday, July 31

Eternal Security

A dog may snatch a dog biscuit from a persons hand, but Christians with saving faith can be secure that no one can snatch them from their Heavenly Father’s hand.
Praise God for his glorious grace which includes the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ and his promise of eternal security which Jesus affirmed in many passages such as the one above and (John 6:37-40). Jesus, in his high-priestly prayer, prayed to the father that eternal life would be given to all that the Father had given him …..For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him (John 17:2). In this passage Jesus is very clearly praying that 100% of those that are born again by the will of God will be saved, and it is inconceivable that the Father would not grant this request of Jesus. The other doctrines of grace, which are also clearly taught in Scripture, fit together with eternal security in a coherent system. These doctrines are laid out in sequence by Paul who said,….For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:29-30). Notice that these verses are all about God taking action and accomplishing his will and not about man taking any action at all. They are not about God waiting and hoping that man will make the right decision and respond to God, but are all about God accomplishing everything in salvation. This is grace and it is mercy from God as Paul goes on to say…. It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy (Romans 9:16). These doctrines of grace are God-centered in contrast to a man-centered view of salvation which hold that man can will and work himself in and back out of the Kingdom of God. Even a faith plus works view of salvation would still make works rather than faith in Christ the deciding factor. Paul said in (Galatians 2:16 and Romans 3:20) that no one will be justified by their works. Paul points out that if righteousness could be gained by the law, Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21).

Sunday, July 30


Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Persecution against Christianity is ongoing and growing in the United States. Secular culture has no problem with apathetic, nominal, or liberal Christianity. However, Christians that believe and practice Biblical teachings are a problem to them and have come under attack in the United States. Stereotypical labels and personal attacks have been used to demonize these Christians by political leaders and liberals in general for several years. The terms religious right, fundamentalist Christian, fanatical fringe, born again Christian, are some of the names given to such Christians. When a prominent senator said in July, 2004, “The religious right has never looked so ridiculous,” he was continuing the slander and manipulation that has been directed at a particular segment of Christianity for at least a decade. His slander was due to the fact that Evangelical Christians were supporting a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Also, a current United States senator publicly stated that speaking in opposition to the homosexual agenda is hate speech and such speech could incite hate crimes against homosexuals and should also be a crime. Christians should be alarmed at the danger that religious liberty would be under if speech upholding Biblical principals becomes a crime. Speech in favor of Biblical cultural values is often labeled as ‘hate speech’ by the secular left, while crude slanderous personal attacks against political conservatives and Christian leaders are called ’free speech’ by these same people. One city recently brought legal action against a group of people who were having a Bible study in their home under the pretense that they were violating a zoning ordinance. People are being asked not to wear crosses or place Bibles on their desks and the list goes on as the political correct thing has become to view Christians as intolerant, hateful, and divisive. Nativity scenes are being banned and the term Christmas is being replaced with ‘winter holidays’ in many places. However, the vile and the pornographic is being zealously protected under the guise of free speech. It has been gradual, but the loss of Christian religious freedom in the last thirty years, has been dramatic. The Bible has much to say about the Christian response to worldly secular principles such as the verse above.

Thursday, July 27


In complete harmony and unity, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three separate persons in one Godhead.
The doctrine of the Trinity is complex for the human mind to comprehend. The Bible teaches that there is one God. The New Testament clearly teach three personal agents in the godhead at the baptism of Jesus. Jesus, in his last words before his ascension, told his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Godhead have distinct roles in the salvation of fallen sinners. God, the Father, from all eternity predestined sinners for salvation….. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— (Ephesians 1:4-5). Jesus Christ, from all eternity, redeemed sinners by paying their sin debt….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,……(Romans 3:23-25). God, the Holy Spirit, quickens and makes spiritually dead sinners alive so they can respond to Jesus…..Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.' (John 3:5-7) (Also see Titus 3:5-7). J.I. Packer, in Concise Theology, says the following about two common heresies concerning the Trinity: They are not three roles played by one person (that is modalism), nor are they three gods in a cluster (that is tritheism). All non-Trinitarian formulations of the Christian message are, by biblical standards, inadequate and fundamentally false and will naturally tend to pull Christian lives out of shape.

Wednesday, July 26


Philippians 1:9-10 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

The dictionary has a lot to say in defining discernment, but perhaps the most important thing for a Christian to consider is that discernment stresses accuracy. This is important in Biblical theology because believing and following false teachers can not only have eternal consequences but, as the ‘Jim Jones’ tragedy illustrated, grave dangers in this world as well. The Bible has many warnings about false teaching and being deceived. Some of them came directly from Jesus who said…. "Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Mark 13:5). To be sure that no one deceives you requires a knowledge of Biblical doctrine. The best way to understand doctrine is through reading and studying the Bible as did the Bereans…. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). Discernment requires knowledge. Knowledge requires prayer and study (Col. 1:9) (Heb. 5:11-14). Once a person has knowledge, the Apostle Paul tells us the following: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14). Therefore, a Christian should seek knowledge in order to attain the quality of discernment.

Tuesday, July 25


A rock climber must hold firmly to a vertical cliff to reach the top and the Apostle Paul exhorts us to hold firmly to sound doctrine.
The Bible’s teaching on man, sin, God, Jesus, salvation, grace, faith, love, resurrection, atonement, heaven, hell, etc. gives human beings knowledge and information about God. A person will inevitably form opinions about this knowledge and develop a system of belief based on those opinions. This is doctrine and it is unavoidable. For someone to say that he loves Jesus Christ and doesn’t care or get involved with doctrine is pure nonsense. He must believe something about Christ to love him and that is doctrine. The four gospels are packed full of the teachings of Jesus. If someone is teaching, it requires that someone must be learning. Jesus taught and people learned and continue to learn. The knowledge people acquire from the teachings of Jesus is processed into doctrine. Doctrine may be sound, contain some minor error, or possibly come from Satan and be deadly to the soul. That is why Paul told Timothy to….Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:16). Sometimes sound doctrine will not be acceptable to worldly wisdom and Paul goes on to warn Timothy…. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). While doctrine can get quite complicated on some issues, the things necessary for salvation are clear enough that the unlearned may attain a sufficient understanding of them. Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the core and focus of the gospel message.

Monday, July 24

Don't be spun by false teachers!

While it is O.K. to be spun on a carousel, it is not good to allow false teachers to spin scared Biblical text......
Therefore, we should be careful that the exegesis we accept for a Scriptural text is based on a solid hermeneutics. This takes knowledge, wisdom, and most of all discernment.

Hermeneutics: The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially of scriptural text.

Exegesis: Critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text.

Spin: A distinctive point of view, emphasis, or interpretation.

Friday, July 21

Signs are inevitable

A free grace advocate on another blog has stated the following:

I serve Christ:

1. Out of obedience.
2. Out of gratitude.
3. To gain heavenly rewards, including the right to participate in Christ's heavenly government.
4. To avoid suffering chastening.

This is very interesting because the free grace view asserts that saving faith in some people will not produce any works or motivate a person to any action or service to the Kingdom of God. Yet this person is admitting that he has been motivated and even lists the reasons. I would like to consider reasons one and two in this post.

Why was he motivated due to reasons one and two, and why are others (the free grace carnal Christian) not so motivated? Is he smarter? Is he a better more loving person? Did God do a more thorough work in him? Why would one person with true faith do works and another do absolutely nothing?

It is understandable that Christians will have varying degrees of works or deeds. This is pointed out in the parable of the four soils where only one of the four soils produced true Christians and that soil produced Christians that produced fruit of varying amounts. I should point out that the free grace view of that parable asserts that three of the four soils produced true Christians. However, to go from varying degrees of Christian action to none whatsoever is a great leap.

For example, I am sure that fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers show varying degrees of interest, devotion, time, money, etc. in following their team. However, can you imagine someone claiming to be a Steeler fan and yet having no interest in the team’s record, or going to games, or watching them play on T.V., or reading about them, etc?

The truth is that a real fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers will inevitably show signs of being a fan. It will just result from being a true fan. I also think that a true Christian will inevitably show signs of his true saving faith. Therefore, this free grace advocate is simply showing the signs that he indeed does have a true saving faith. Sanctification happens!

Wednesday, July 19


Being on guard and having a knowledge and awareness of wind, slippery rocks, gravity, and most importantly body balance can keep a person from falling from a secure position. In a like manner knowledge is necessary in preventing a person from falling for false teachings, false religions, and cults…
The Barna research group does surveys in the United States to determine what Christians think about various subjects on Biblical and moral principles. On issues such as abortion, homosexuality, gambling, truth, marriage, etc. their research shows that a high percentage, and in some cases a majority, of professing Christians will espouse views that are unbiblical. They will be in accord with popular secular thinking but in direct opposition to Biblical teaching. The prophet Hosea said…. my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In today’s culture, some people profess a love for Christ and a desire to sing and praise God but also express a total disinterest in gaining Biblical knowledge by studying or learning from preachers and teachers. Jesus said….If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15). If a person is going to obey what Jesus taught, he must first know what he taught. This requires studying and acquiring knowledge. There are many passages in the Bible exhorting people to acquire knowledge. Paul said….Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2). The WWJD bracelets are popular in today’s culture. What would Jesus do in this or that situation is the message that the bracelet conveys. A person trying to determine WWJD can either rely on speculation and imagination or he can rely on knowledge. The importance of knowledge is shown extremely well in (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Monday, July 17


Ask the Lord, because he can make it rain in the desert!
God speaks to human beings through his Holy Word contained in the Holy Bible. Men communicate with God through prayer. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man and we can carry our prayers and petitions directly to the throne of Grace in his name (1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:13-14, 1 Peter 2:5). When men pray for insight and understanding, it should be remembered that God does not lead or inspire a person to do anything that contradicts his Word as contained in the Bible. Throughout history, many people have been led astray and even lost their lives for false prophets that have claimed to have received special revelation from God which has conflicted with what Scripture teaches. Murder and all kinds of evil have been committed by people claiming that God told them to do it. The rule is simple. If anyone claims to have received divine revelation that contradicts the Bible, it is not from God. Since Satan masquerades as an angel of light, he is probably the source of such revelation (2 Cor. 11:14-15). Prayer is a form of worship to God and should be given to none other than God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to Him alone. The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that prayer should be given according to His will, with thanksgiving, understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance (1 John 5:14). The Bible is full of passages about prayer. Jesus would spend the night praying (Luke 6:12). The angel Gabriel was sent to answer Daniel before he had even finished his prayer (Daniel 9:21-23). We are told to pray continually and to cast all of our anxiety on Him. The most important prayer a person can pray is a prayer for the salvation of his soul through faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. If a person asks God for faith and repentance to receive the gift of eternal life, God has promised that he will be saved (Acts 2:21).

Thursday, July 13

Good Works

Due to our sin we all shrivel up like a leaf and our good works cannot make us right with God. After receiving the free gift of God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone, the good works we were created by God to do flow from us not to earn salvation but as a fruit of that salvation.
There is much disagreement, misunderstanding and confusion concerning the role of good works in the life of a Christian. Are sinners made right with God by being a ‘good Christian’ and being good? Is it faith alone in Christ or is it faith in Christ plus good works? The reformed doctrine of faith alone in Christ alone, with the accompanying fruit of good works, is taught in many places in the New Testament. The most concise statement in the Bible of the proper role and order of faith and works is….“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10). One, we are saved by grace alone. Two, faith alone in Christ alone is the way to take hold of this salvation, and it is a gift of God and not generated by human effort. Three, there is no human effort of works or even producing one’s own faith since the faith to believe is also a gift. This eliminates all boasting of a human being taking credit for anything in the salvation process. Four, it is all from God through the merit of Christ Jesus for the purpose of doing good works. These good works were planned and implemented by God through his sovereignty and providence. Praise God for providing the salvation that is impossible for humanity to achieve without God’s initiative and grace.

Tuesday, July 11


A true Christian does not intentionally keep sinning and walking in darkness.
The belief that a person can be Christian and continue to live a self centered worldly life is a myth. This person is often referred to as a carnal Christian which is, supposedly, a Christian that accepts God’s grace and Jesus as savior but continues living for worldly concerns with no intention of obeying and submitting to the commands and teachings of the Lord Jesus. This doctrinal thinking is called antinomianism, which means anti-law. Antinomianism is the belief that faith alone is needed for salvation, and obeying the moral law of God is no longer necessary. While faith alone does secure salvation for a true believer, there will be such an accompanying change of heart that the person will willing submit and sincerely try to obey God’s moral law and Biblical precepts. This obedience will not be perfect and at times can be so weak as to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and bring God’s discipline to bear (Heb. 12:7-10). However, a true believer will show signs of being in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. James points out in Chapter 2 that claiming to have faith without any resulting action is dead. John says the same thing in (1 John). Paul teaches it in (Romans 6) and also when he says…. You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Paul in (Romans 8:5-17) gives more detail and states the principle very clearly in v. 12&13…. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. The Holy Bible gives no comfort to anyone that claims to have faith in Jesus Christ but has no Christian fruit in their lives. James gives us the bottom line by stating…. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (James 1:22).

Monday, July 10


God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. This statue of Moses sits on top of the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi.

The term legalism refers to a person seeking to establish his own righteousness before God based on strict conformity to the moral law of God. The result of such an effort will be the person trying very hard to follow rules to meet a performance standard that God will accept as righteous. The Bible offers no hope in this being successful. God does not grade on a curve and has clearly set perfection as the performance standard (Matthew 5:48). Paul is very clear that no one will be justified and receive eternal life based on his own righteousness... know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified (Galatians 2:16). The law leads us to Christ by making us aware of sin and our inability to be perfect in observing the law…. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin (Romans 3:20). Once led to Christ, a sinner understands that he is justified by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Does this mean that we can disregard God’s moral law and live a sinful life as long as we have faith? This would be antinomianism and the Apostle Paul says no…. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! (Romans 6:15).

We will look at antinomianism next.

Saturday, July 8

Are you hungry?

Friday, July 7

Could Hitler be in heaven?

2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

Is Hitler in heaven today?.............
In baseball the object is for the hitter to arrive safely home when his time comes to bat. A Christian also hopes to arrive safely at home in heaven when his time is complete on this earth.

Millions of human beings have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the way to achieve this goal. Millions have already died and know the answer. Is Hitler there? This sounds absurd to ask such a question. But, let us suppose for a moment that Hitler professed a sincere heartfelt profession of faith in Jesus Christ when he was 20 years old. Let us further suppose that he gradually fell away and in fact became an atheist and never changed his mind. The rest of his life unfolded just as history tells us. Could this sincere belief and profession of faith have been enough for him to have arrived safely home in heaven? Orthodox Christianity would say emphatically no because his profession was a false profession as 1 John 2:19 and many other verses testify.

However, there is a group and a people teaching an antinomian view that holds that a person who makes a sincere mental assent profession of faith is at that moment eternally secure as a believer no matter what they do from that moment own. They claim that no amount of bad deeds or apostasy would negate heaven if they were sincere when they called out to Jesus in faith. This would mean that a sincere profession by Hitler at age twenty would have assured for him a home in heaven period.

The Grace Evangelical Society of Bob Wilkin and the teaching of Zane Hodges are promoting this theology. The following is taken directly from the Grace Evangelical Society website:

1. Faith is the conviction that something is true. To believe in Jesus is to be convinced that He guarantees everlasting life to all who simply believe in Him for it

2. No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving everlasting life

3. Good works, which can and should follow regeneration, are not necessary for a person to have assurance of everlasting life

4. Therefore, obedience to the Word of God, while not necessary for obtaining everlasting life, is the essential responsibility of each Christian. However, the Bible does not teach that this obedience will be manifested in all believers.

5 The aim of GES is to promote the clear proclamation of God's free salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, which is properly correlated with and yet distinguished from issues related to discipleship.

Mr. Zane Hodges has stated that someone that has professed faith and become an unbeliever and in fact a mocker of Christianity is eternally saved even if he never becomes a believer again......

I would urge everyone to be discerning when it comes to evaluating exactly what is being espoused in blogosphere.

Wednesday, July 5

The parable of the sower

A seed is a ripened plant ovule that contains an embryo that is used to produce a new crop. When a farmer or sower scatters grain seed it is for the purpose and objective of harvesting a crop of grain, cotton or something.

This parable gives three ways that the farmer's seed can fail to produce a crop. In all three ways the seed is worthless in producing a crop. The seed that the birds ate never even got off the launching pad and thus failed to produce a crop. The seeds that fell on the rocky soil sprang up quickly, but because the soil was shallow the sun scorched the plants and they withered and never lived to produce a crop. The third case of seed that failed to produce a crop was the seed that fell among thorns which choked the plants thus preventing any crop. In all three of these cases the only objective or purpose for the farmer planting the seed failed. Although two of the three soils were able to germinate and produce a plant, no more was accomplished for the farmer than the seed that were eaten by the birds. These plants were doomed from the beginning and they never had any chance to produce a crop. However, the seed that fell on good soil produced a crop of a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. This was the only soil that achieved the objective of producing a crop.

In the parable of the sower the seed represents the word of God or the gospel. The purpose of the gospel is to produce a Christian in the one who hears the word of God. The Christian that is produced will produce a crop yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. The first failed attempt is when the evil one snatches the word away before any reaction from the hearer. This is like the seed on the path. The second failed attempt is the hearer that receives the word with joy, but he has no root and lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes, he falls away. The third failure is the hearer that hears the word but the worries and deceitfulness of life choke it, making it unfruitful. Of these three, one never professed faith and the other two had false professions. The goal of the message is to produce Christians and just as there were three soils that produced no crop for the farmer, there were three types of hearers that did not produce a Christian. There was only one soil that produced a crop of grain and there was only one type of hearer that produced a crop. The point of the parable is to make a direct comparison of the four kinds of soils with the four kinds of hearers. No crop, no Christian in three comparisons. A crop, a Christian in one and only one comparison.

Sunday, July 2

What is saving faith? What flows from saving faith?

Saving faith consists of knowledge, assent, and trust. Knowledge is awareness of the Biblical claim that faith in Jesus Christ secures eternal life. Assent is belief that this claim is true. With only these two points a person is no better off than demons (James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.) Trust is the final point that makes belief in Jesus Christ a saving faith. Trust is the gift wrought by the Spirit of Christ in a person’s heart that enables them to believe in the saving of their soul by the accepting, receiving, and resting in Jesus Christ alone. John Calvin in his Institutes of The Christian Religion says the following:

We shall now have a full definition of faith, if we say that it is a firm and sure knowledge of the divine favor toward us, founded on the truth of a free promise in Christ, and revealed to our minds, and sealed on our hearts, by the Holy Spirit. Book 3 chapter 2 section 7

There is absolutely no works involved in this definition of faith. I would offer the following analogy to saving faith:

Suppose a medical doctor was practicing on a backward isolated island where the people’s knowledge of medicine was non-existent. Then say a native complained to the doctor that his head was always aching and the doctor determined that it was just a chronic headache problem. The doctor explained to him that he would freely give him two aspirin tablets that would cure his headache. At this point the native had knowledge of the cure but he did not believe it to be true. So, the doctor brought another native into the room that testified that he also had the same problem, took aspirin, and was cured. The native now had the knowledge that aspirin would cure a headache and also assented that it was true. However, he still had the headache. He needed to take the final step of receiving and resting his hope by taking the two free aspirin tablets from the doctor. At this point his knowledge, assent, and trust worked together to receive and apply the free aspirin that did cure his headache. There were no works required and his gratitude to the doctor was so great that he believed the doctor in other matters as well. Since his cure was absolutely free, he began to show his affection and appreciation by voluntarily serving the doctor in anyway that he could. This service to the doctor did not earn the free cure that was already his, but resulted or flowed from a cured body and joyful heart.

Saving faith is from grace and this grace will change a person’s life. (Eph 2:8-10)