Tag Archives: Christian (Reformed)


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.

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(I'm not going back)


I will call Bible things by Bible names:

- Predestined, elect, justification, sanctification

I will not be a wuss about using "Reformed" terms.

- "Doctrines of Grace"

I have hesitated because - that's what Reformers called TULIP but I've been a bit timid about using the term...because I'm afraid of "Dave Hunt."

No more.

😉 some of us have a "mid life crisis" - or "second childhood."

I may be having a "second cage phase"

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.

Reason #2 - I'm not going back

OK - maybe not the whole thing. Taken one piece at a time.

A self-challenge. It just hit me today how comforting it is to believe that God has me. No matter what, who, how, where, when. God HAS ME.

I was listening to Matt Chandler. No matter what things come my way, if God's not in control, what good is suffering? If God cannot make this work out for good, why suffer?

Even if we cannot comprehend what good "this" could be...God does know, He has us in His hands.

Also reading Acts 9. Saul was minding his own business (of persecuting Jesus) when he was knocked on his butt. Not exactly consensual.

Later in the chapter, Peter raised Dorcas from the dead. Was she exercising her "free will"?

I need to touch base with the fundamentals. This challenge will be a cool start.

Reason #2 - I'm not going back.

Perseverance and assurance may go hand in hand, but they're not the same thing.

Perseverance and "once saved always saved" may sound like they're the same, but they're not.

Assurance is in the "now" - right now, you can be sure of your salvation.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life - 1 John 5:13

"Assurance" means that right now, this very minute, you can know that you have eternal life. It may be, if you believe such things, that tomorrow or the next day...or sometime in the future...you may sin too much or do too little and lose it. You can be assured now...but tomorrow may be a different story. You have the choice, in the future, to walk away.

"Once saved, always saved" gives the impression that..well, just what it says. No matter what you do or believe, you have no choice. It's the "fire insurance" way of thinking. Even if you want to walk away...shoot...even if you DO walk away...you're stuck with your salvation. "Once saved, always saved" is about what you have.

"Perseverance of the saints" is very different. It's not our salvation that is preserved...it's God who makes us persevere. If we are in Christ, we don't WANT to walk away.

"6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" ` Philippians 1:6

We are now, and will be, assured of our salvation because we are preserved and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

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, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory ` Eph. 1:11-14

Conclusion - both "perseverance" and "once saved, always saved" comes with assurance, and even "I can lose it later" can have assurance in the present.

"OSAS" - you don't have a choice if you wanted it
"POTS" - even if you have the choice, you are sealed by the promise that you won't want the choice.

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing

This was in my daily reading and it hit me again...without Jesus, I can do nothing, I can accomplish nothing...I AM nothing.

I'm not clean because of the works that I do, the choices that I make. It's not my works, it's the WORD that Jesus has spoken.

Before they (I) even knew..."Already you are clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you."

Sola Scriptura...The Word.

One letter apart...one very small difference...

"...for apart from me you can do nothing"

No longer are my works making me "good enough" - my works are a result of the Word and my gratitude that Jesus spoke.


yet, such a huge impact on my life. I got off of the works treadmill, to rest gently in the Word.

Maybe I'll start counting...Reason #1; I'm Not Going Back

I'm reading  "God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology."

The main message in the book tells that throughout redemptive history, God has shown us a pattern.

Man sins, God judges, God redeems His people.

Only after judgement, can salvation come.  Without judgement, why do we need salvation at all?

Only through judgement can God's holiness shine, can salvation come, can the remnant be redeemed.



The first part of the book is reviewing the opposing doctrines. I grew up in a church that taught pre-trip rapture (and was in that vein until I "reformed") but if the teaching was "dispensational" I don't remember it.

I don't like learning about doctrines from the opposing view, but when I googled and located teaching from dispensationalist, it sounded even stranger than when Riddlebarger explained it.

So I'll just go with that for now.

When I'm following my self-imposed schedule, I blog "Reformed" on Sundays - so I'm planning getting through TULIP for the next few weeks, on Sundays.

This all falls or stands together (with the possible exception of Limited Atonement), so I'm going  to start at the beginning.

T - Total Depravity of Man.

“Man, by his fall Into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.” (Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. IX, sec. III.)

There is a list of Scripture proofs (I'll add them at the bottom) but to explain "total depravity" in my own words is easy.

It's not that we're all equally bad, or that all of us are as bad as we could possibly be.

It's that no matter what part of our own selves we examine, that part is tainted with sin.

It's the knowing my own self well enough, and dropping my own pride far enough to know that there is nothing in me that would seek after God, unless He was the one bringing me into life.


  • I Cor. 2:14: The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.
  • Rom. 5:12: Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.
  • II Cor. 1:9: Yea, we ourselves had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.
  • Eph. 2:1-3: And you did He make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom ye also all once lived in the lusts of your flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
  • Eph. 2:12: Ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
  • Jer. 13:23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
  • Rom. 3:10-12: As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one;
  • There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God;
    They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable;
    There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one.
  • Job 14:4: Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
  • I Cor. 1:18: For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.
  • Acts 13:41: Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you.
  • Prov. 30:12: There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes,
    And yet are not washed from their filthiness.
  • John 5:21: For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom He will.
  • John 6:53: Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have not life in yourselves.
  • John 8:19: They said therefore unto Him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye know neither me, nor my Father; if ye knew me, ye would know my Father also.
  • II Cor. 5:17: if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.
  • John 14:16: (And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever,) even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; ye know Him; for He abideth with you, and shall be in you.
  • John 3:19: And this is the judgment, that light is come unto the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.