I saw this was posted on Monergism and I felt it was worthy of sharing with my readers. We live on the shoulders of giants and we benefit from the studies of great men of God who pondered God’s word. Today with the benefit of the internet, we can access many of the best bible study resources available online in electronic format including various bible translations, commentaries, lexicons and plenty of seminary courses and sermons. In the above mentioned post, you will have a mixture of all these fantastic resources for free.
I would encourage Christians to use these resources and many others that are available online. Let’s prepare our hearts for a worthy study of the Word of God in 2015.
Humility and self-diffidence, and an entire dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ, will be our best defense. Let us therefore maintain the strictest watch against spiritual pride, or being lifted up with extraordinary experiences and comforts, and the high favours of heaven, that any of us may have received. We had need, after such favours, in a special manner to keep a strict and jealous eye upon our own hearts, lest there should arise self-exalting reflections upon what we have received, and high thoughts of ourselves, as being now some of the most eminent of saints and peculiar favourites of heaven, and that the secret of the Lord is especially with us. Let us not presume, that we above all are fit to be advanced as the great instructors and censors of this evil generation; and, in a high conceit of our own wisdom and discerning, assume to ourselves the airs of prophets, or extraordinary ambassadors of heaven. When we have great discoveries of God made to our souls, we should not shine bright in our own eyes. Moses, when he had been conversing with God in the mount, though his face shone so as to dazzle the eyes of Aaron and the people, yet he did not shine in his own eyes; “he wist not that his face shone.” Let none think themselves out of danger of this spiritual pride, even in their best frames. God saw that the apostle Paul (though probably the most eminent saint that ever lived) was not out of danger of it, no not when he had just been conversing with God in the third heaven: see 2 Cor. xii. 7. Pride is the worst viper in the heart; it is the first sin that ever entered into the universe, lies lowest of all in the foundation of the whole building of sin, and is the most secret, deceitful, and unsearchable in its ways of working, of any lusts whatever. It is ready to mix with every thing; and nothing is so hateful to God, contrary to the spirit of the gospel, or of so dangerous consequence; and there is no one sin that does so much let in the devil into the hearts of the saints, and expose them to his delusions. I have seen it in many instances, and that in eminent saints. The devil has come in at this door presently after some eminent experience and extraordinary communion with God, and has woefully deluded and led them astray, till God has mercifully opened their eyes and delivered them; and they themselves have afterwards been made sensible that it was pride that betrayed them.
As a sort of follow up to my post this week titled A Slight Case of Reverenitis, I thought I would post this article that I saw on the Gospel Coalition website by Jason Holopoulos. Jason writes on the approach that makes for a good elder and in return for a strong church & Christian witness. I found his analysis of what makes for a good elder insightful and I would recommend to take a few moments to read over his thoughts .
“If Christ and therefore salvation in its fullness and perfection- is offered, the only doctrine of the atonement that will ground and warrant this overture is that of salvation wrought and redemption accomplished. And the only atonement that measures up to such conditions is a definite atonement. In other words, an atonement construed as providing the possibility of salvation or the opportunity of salvation does not supply the basis required for what constitutes the gospel offer. It is not the opportunity of salvation that is offered; it is salvation. And it is salvation because Christ is offered and Christ does not invite us to mere opportunity but to Himself.”
– John Murray
From Heaven He Came and Sought Her is a book that was released shortly before the end of 2013. It is a multi-author volume edited by David & Jonathan Gibson and published by Crossway. FHHCSH addresses the topic of Definite Atonement[i]. For those who are unfamiliar with Definite Atonement, it is the discussion of the extent, intent and effect of the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. It deals with the questions for whom did Christ die, what did the Father and Son have in mind that the death of Christ would result in and what was that result after Christ’s death. The subject has been a controversial point amongst most Christian of the idea that the atonement was universal in its scope.
The book is an in-depth and rich look at the topic it addresses. It stands at close to 700 pages of actual materials spread out in 23 chapters and divided into four sections. The four sections are
- Definite Atonement and Church History
- Definite Atonement in the Bible
- Definite Atonement in Theological Perspective
- Definite Atonement in Pastoral Practice
I will give a brief overview of each chapter in the book and at the end of this review I would like to give a few general observations
The foreword to the book was written by none other than J.I. Packer and anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy Packer especially his introductory essays. This portion was not disappointing to say the least and sets the tone for the rest of the book.
The opening chapter was an overview written by the editors David and Jonathan Gibson. They laid out some of the themes and topics that would be addressed throughout the book. I felt that they explained well by means of introduction to some of the arguments that would be laid out in future chapters as well as some opposing arguments that would be addressed. For someone who is not familiar with the whole discussion, this chapter will be essential.
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