I’m Not Going Back

Reason #ILostCount - I'm not going back"I'm not going back" is a refrain at our house, and we have reasons...we usually make up a number (reason #848) but I just lost count.

And I'm not going back.

My daddy died last week and  I know that he's with Jesus.  I heard another refrain:  If you want to see Jesus, you need to be holy.

Here's the thing - if you're holy enough to get yourself into heaven - raise your hand.

I'm not.

I'm not holy enough - far, far from it.  To paraphrase Mark Driscoll - this kind of teaching leads to either pride or despair.  Pride (I got this) or despair (I can't do this.)

Reason #ILostCount

When Dad got to heaven, I know that he lived his life in faith in Christ.  He never pointed at his works; he pointed to Jesus and the cross.

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 ESV)

What is "law?"  Law (simple explanation) is God's character codified.  In the law, we learn God's character, and His standard for holiness.  God is perfect and His law is perfect.

We are not and we cannot be, this side of the grave.

Since we are not perfect, how do we see Jesus?  How are we justified?

We are justified by faith, and not by works.

Yes, sanctification is a thing and for a person who is justified by faith, that faith will be evidenced by sanctification.

I asked a Sunday School student - do you do your chores because you are part of your family?  Or do you do your chores in order to become part of your family?

Do we obey the law because we belong to Christ?  Or do we obey the law in order to belong to Christ?

The difference is worth an eternity.

So...Im reading in 1 Thessalonians....v. 4

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction

The conviction, the power and the Holy Spirit came not as the result of our choice, but of God's choice.

😉

On this Resurrection Sunday, I am reminded that

The assurance that Christians can never be separated from the love of God is one of the greatest comforts of the Christian life. To deny this doctrine is to destroy the grounds for any rejoicing among the saints on earth; for what kind of rejoicing can those have who believe that they may at any time be deceived and led astray? If our sense of security is based only on our changeable and wavering natures, we can never know the inward calm and peace which, should characterize the Christian.

(From "Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" by Loraine Boettner)

When Jesus died on that cross, He bought us with His blood. When He rose, the conquered death.

We live because He died, we die to ourselves because He lives.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I'm not going back. Here's a rundown of what I read and explored this week:
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God Did it. Man Did it! Which Is It?

If I asked you who wrote the book of Romans, would your answer be Paul or would your answer be God? Both answers are true. But it's not right to give them both equal credit. Why not? Because God is the ultimate source; they are the words that He wanted written, so we must give Him full credit. And yet, Paul and the other human authors of scripture were not merely puppets on a string; they used their own words, mind, and personality in their writing. Do you agree with everything I've just said? If so, then you also have the basic framework in place for understanding how a soul is saved.

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The Salvation of Babies Who Die (part one)

when I was making the move to the Reformed camp, Phil and I had dinner with a Calvin Seminary student and the question about babies was the first one I asked. This answer is a good answer.
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Most Perfect and Complete - a sermon and Sola Scriptura in the Belgic Confession

Virtually every cult and false religion is founded upon the following premise: “Of course, we believe the Bible. But . . . We have additional holy books that no one else has. We receive new revelations from God. We have sacred tradition in addition to the Bible. We have an inspired prophet or leader who interprets the Bible correctly unlike everyone else.” So at the end of the day, the essence of false religion is basically this: We believe in the Bible, plus, we have an additional religious authority which corrects or explains what the Bible “really” teaches, or else supplements what the Bible supposedly leaves out.

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Five Solas
- Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, taught by Scripture alone.

One Faith
- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Five Points
- Total Depravity of Man; Unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, perseverance of the saints

One Savior
- to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Zero Apologies
- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes... For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith

2 Comments

I came across this today...

"Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them."

It really doesn't sound that much like Spurgeon...but maybe it does.

Reason #3 - I'm not going back

My son was "Born With A Bomb" - he has this "thing" inserted into his DNA. It was there from birth, he inherited it from me. He went blind.

Everybody on the planet was born with a different bomb. We have this "thing" - a "sin nature" that we inherited from Adam. Because of this, we are blinded by the god of this age.

Tom cannot make himself "unblind." This is where he is. But there is hope. There's a physician (a group of them...best in the world) who have poured their lives into fixing this mess.

We cannot make ourselves unblind. This is where we are. But there is hope. There's a Great Physician who poured out His life, fixing this mess.

Tom's physician is the only one with the key to treating LHON. There is no other treatment available, and it is only available if you are chosen to receive the treatment.

The Great Physician is also the key to healing our sin nature. There is no other treatment other than Christ, and it is only available to those who trust Him.

But Tom cannot make himself unblind...

and just so, we cannot make ourselves unblind.

What happened in Sandy Hook yesterday was every parent's nightmare. I have no way to explain what was in God's mind when He allowed that to happen.

We question God. the painful cries of "why? WHY???" are in God's ears. The Holy Spirit is interceding with groans because there are parents who just don't know how to pray.

It struck me during this conversation that there is a difference between
1- questioning God's plan
2- questioning God's actions
3- questioning God's authority

The difference between "why are you doing this" and "how dare you do this?"

There is a peace in resting in the understanding that God is in control. Whatever happened yesterday, or the day before, or whatever will happen tomorrow...We are in the hand of God.

Whatever happens today, we have eternity.

God is sovereign over His creation and that includes us. That includes Lanza. And it includes the people who died yesterday.

(Romans 8:18-25

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.