Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 Year Ago

Well....Red died one year ago today. I can't believe it! 0.0 My poor baby...I still miss him. If you'd like to watch the slideshow for him again, you can go here.

Also; this post was published on a I'm not back yet. :) Two months to go. The things that ARE published are on timers...I'll let you know when I'm officially back. Sorry about such a short notice on's the way my life goes.

Love you SO much!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Until Then....

I'll not be on the computer until probably the end of January. I'm taking a break of sorts, so if you don't hear from me, that's what I'm doing. Try not to send me e-mails because that will REALLY pile up. Thanks for being such great readers of my blog.

I love you so much.

Until then....


I took a bunch of notes Sunday on the sermon, and wanted to share them with you, though in more detail. The sermon followed along the Westminster Confession of Faith outline for chapter 3, "Of God's Decree". I'll warn you now; this post is VERY long, but please read it. If you don't want to read my post, you can go to the SermonAudio link on my side-bar and listen to it. :) I'm also going to be following the sermon outline that we get on Sundays, so what's typed in a different text is the outline, and what's typed in This are my own notes/thoughts.
Let's start.

The Sovereignty of God in Salvation
(Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:3-14)

Introduction: For two thousand years, the church has been defending the Biblical gospel of grace from those who wish to introduce some ground for men's works. The sovereignty of God in salvation is necessary to grace. When men's works are introduced into grace, grace is denied. (As in, man did this so God did this in return.) Grace requires that eternity determines time. If time determines eternity, then God does not rule but responds to His circumstances, of which man is the author. If God can't control the "little things", it's impossible for Him to control the "big things". The "little things" are what determine the "big things", and the circumstances leading up to it. 
       If God responds to His circumstances, He truly isn't God. God is the one that controls the circumstances. He doesn't respond to them. 
      According to Pelagius, (Pelagius ca. AD 354 – ca. AD 420/440) was an ascetic who denied the doctrine of original sin as developed by Augustine of Hippo, and was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism. Taken from Wikipedia), even after the fall of man, man was still capable of good, and that salvation is not by grace alone, but by man's contribution of works, i.e., man is capable of saving himself, with God's help. The church in the early 400's judged correctly that this was a heresy. Sadly today, most of the church and her pastors have adopted this view and are teaching it loudly. Man can NOT save himself. A dead man can't do anything.
He can't bring himself back to life, he can't even think a thought to do so. He's dead. Only One can bring a man back to life, and that One is Jesus. Thus, it is salvation by grace. 

1. The Westminster Confession of Faith's third chapter, "Of God's Decree," is one of the greatest summary statements of the Biblical declaration of God's sovereignty over all, and in particular, salvation. A confession is NOT Holy Spirit inspired, as the Bible is; it's a result of man's studying the Scriptures, as we are commanded to do. The writing and reading of creeds and confessions is therefore godly and commanded. Those who are anti-creedal (the word 'creed' means 'belief'), are truly 'open minded', though they may not realize it. A creed or confession is a statement of faith, which should be wholly based on the Bible, which the WCF is. (Almost all of it is made up of Scripture references!) As Christians, we should have a statement of faith, and I'm not by any means saying that the WCF is our only statement, and we do NOT hold it higher than the inspired Word of God. Since confessions aren't inspired, they should be ever so carefully critiqued. We do not believe the WCF because some church said 'this is right'; we believe it because it is proved under the light of the Bible. With this said, I'm going to continue with the outline. It has the confession cut up into sections so that it's easier to follow, and then the Scripture references in the confession to back up what is said. I'm going to type some of the references here, but for the ones I don't, please look them up!
2. Section One - "God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:..." 
Eph. 1:11:
In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
Romans 11:33:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!
Hebrews 6:17;
Romans 9:15, 18:
For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then He has mercy on whomever He wills, and He hardens whomever He wills. 
No comment! This is as clear as it can possibly be!
3. Section two - "Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath He not decreed anything because He saw it as future or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions." 
Romans 9:11, 13, 16, 18 (I've just typed vs 11/13)
...though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 
Mind bender! God knows every possible thing that could happen under any other circumstance! Wow! Think of everything that our simple brains go 'what if this happens?'. He is ALL KNOWING, and since He knows everything that could or possibly would happen, like so many believe, He didn't decree something around what He saw when he peeked down the 'tunnel of time'. God doesn't peek down the 'tunnel of time'; He writes time! That would declare that God isn't God, and once again, it says that God responded to His circumstances. "Oh, I see that Vick will choose Me, so I'll choose him." That puts man in control. God would be responding to what man is doing...thus He would not be God. If 'Vick' is going to one day call Christ his Lord, he's doing so because Christ first chose him. I refer you back to Romans 9:15-18. He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He hardens whom He will harden (Pharaoh? Hitler?). 
4. Section three - "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life and others foreordained to everlasting death."
1 Timothy 5:21;
Romans 9:22-23:
What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory--
Ephesians 1:3-7: (I've added verses 3, 4, and 7 for context; the original was 5-6)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.
Of course, God has a purpose for choosing His elect. Today we've forgotten this. Here's something else major we've forgotten: God does not exist for you. His sole purpose and delight is not to give you candy. He does do that, but it's secondary. His sole purpose is to tell us dim-wits "I AM WHO I AM" and the manifestation of His glory! Thus He predestines to life and death for His glory! What a God we serve! 
5. Section four - "These angels and men, thus predestined, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed and their number so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished." 
2 Timothy 2:19:
"But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His." and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity."
1 John 10:27:
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."
We are sealed to Christ. God knows who His chosen are. He knows His elect. The number of the elect can NOT be changed! Christ has us in His hand, (and how big is that!?) and the Father has HIS hand wrapped around Christ's! We should never be afraid! 
6. Section five - "Those of mankind that are predestined unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace." (Whew! That was ONE sentence! 0.0) 
Ephesians 1:4, 9, 11: (I skipped verse 4, since I already typed it above, and added verses 7-8 for context to 9.)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ...
(verse 11:) In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the counsel of His will....
Notice that it's always "His purpose" and "His will". Nobody councils Christ. He is who He is.
7. Section six - "As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hat He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only."
Ephesians 1:4-5; 
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2 Thessalonians 2:13:
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10:
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.
Titus 2:14:
...who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify us for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.
Romans 8:30:
And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.
Ephesians 1:5;
2 Thessalonians 2:13;
Romans 8:28-39; (this one is really long, and I've already taken up a ton of room, so please look this one up for yourself!)
8. Section seven - "The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice."
Romans 9:17-18:
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then He has mercy on whomever He wills, and He hardens whomever He wills. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? (skipping verse 22...already typed it!:) 
2 Timothy 2:19-20:
But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows who are His." and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity."
There is no such thing as a 'Christian' who does not live according to God's law. Now, they may, in time, become a Christian, but for the time being, if they claim Christ, but you look at them and really wonder...that's a sign they are not truly Christians. Their hearts may turn, and we should pray diligently that they do, as it's our duty. We need to pray for them that they truly will be. They are lost like the rest of the world. They need prayer. A true Christian shows fruit
9. Section eight - "The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in His word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford manner of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel." 
Romans 9:20;
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!
Ephesians 1:6;  Romans 11:33;
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 
11:17-20: (I added verses 17, 18 and 19 for context.)
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
Romans 8:33:
Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Why is there no reverence for God? It's this high mystery of predestination that produces fear, and in our man-centered culture, this 'great mystery' has been denied. If God decides who will be saved and who will not, then we truly are saved by grace. If you deny, grace is no longer grace. If we are not saved by grace, then we are saved by some sort of effort on our part...but there's a problem. Dead men cannot attempt an effort. Say our boy 'Vick' is dead. Literally. Cold dead. Can he attempt to get back up and save himself from being buried? No. Only One person can come and do CPR on Vick, and get him up on his feet to continue life. Is Vick going to get up, brush himself off, twitch his chin up in a matter-of-fact way, and say to the One who saved him, "I wasn't dead, I was sick. I still had breath in me. Anyway, thanks for the help; I'll be on my way now"? Absolutely not! Vick was dead, and Christ saved him. Vick couldn't do anything. Vick didn't have any breath in him. Christ gave it to him, and only then was Vick able to get up and walk.  Take into account Lazarus; this is a word picture of God raising our dead souls. Read John 11:17-44. AMAZING!
   It is very clear that God had only one purpose, and it was from all eternity. His plan was never thwarted by His creatures, so He never had to make amendments to His one eternal plan.
So many deny this creature humbling but Creator exalting doctrine. They hate it. They want so badly to have a part in their salvation, and scream that man is sick, and not dead, not totally fallen. This sounds like a smack of humanism to me, does it not? "I chose God. I came to Christ." A question, dear friends: How can a dead man choose? How can a dead man go anywhere? God chose you, and God brought you to Him. You are His. He saved you. Now, this does NOT mean we are robots. Can anyone explain this? No. Can I explain how God ordains our every thought, word and action, and yet we still make our own choices, and God is not the author of sin? No. But I can say that we are not robots. It says in Scripture that we will "choose between right and wrong", and yet, "even the casting of lots is ordained by Him", and still yet, "God is not the author of sin". No...I can't explain it. No one but Christ can, and thus I leave you with this piece of Scripture - Deuteronomy 29:29: 
"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,  that we may do all the words of this law."

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I know it's SO long, but it's so, so important. Please think about these things ever so carefully, and always under the light of the Bible.'s our greatest weapon. Our sword and shield. Always trust in Him.