Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Salvation and the Sovereignty of God: Robert Murray McCheyne

August 24, 2010

Robert Murray McCheyneBut remember, God is a sovereign God. Do not cry to Him to convert you, as if it were a debt He owed you. There is only one thing you can claim from God as a right, and that is a place in hell. If you think you have any claim on God you are deceiving yourself. You are not yet convinced of sin. Lie at the feet of God as a sovereign God — a God who owes you nothing but punishment. Lie at His feet as the God who alone can reveal Christ unto you. Cry night and day that He would reveal Christ unto you — that He would shine into your darkness, and give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. One glimpse of that face will give you peace. It may be you shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.

From “What Does It Mean To Be Saved? by Rev. Robert M. M’Cheyene

http://www.the-highway.com/saved.html

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A Problem for Dispensationalism: Zion

February 13, 2010

What is “Zion”?

Dispensationalism quickly answers, “Jerusalem”.

Now Dispensationalism has a problem.  Not only does the New Testament forthrightly define Zion as the Church, but the Old Testament frequently refers to Zion in an idealistic, metaphorical way, pointing to a place of eternal wonder and perfection.  This certainly does not, nor did it ever, describe the earthly Jerusalem.

William Gadsby, an early 19th century Baptist Pastor, preached a sermon called “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities.

Here is the first paragraph taken from the web site http://www.truegospel.net/Gadsby/016.htm:

By Zion I understand the real church of Christ, and, in the strictest sense, the whole body elect, chosen, and secured in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world: “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (Ps. 132:13,14) So that Zion is the spiritual property, the glorious church, and the eternal residence of Jehovah. Here the Lord not only declares but subscribes his name, and maintains all the honours of his glorious nature; and to this blessed Zion every real believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is brought by the power of the Holy Ghost; as it is written, “But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” (Heb. 12:22-24) From this statement we learn that Zion is the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the glorious vision of peace, where God lives and dwells as the God of peace, and that it consists of an innumerable company of angels; and if by angels the glorious angelic host above is intended, they are an innumerable company indeed; for “the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels;” (Ps. 68:17) and the mountain was full of them for the protection of Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)

I would invite my dispensational Baptist friends to click on the link and read the rest of the sermon.

It’s interesting that dispensationalists like to brag about their version of the faith being “old fashioned”, yet even the most shallow review of Baptist history reveals that no Baptists believed in the dispensational scheme before the 1920’s.  The true “old fashioned” version of Baptist theology is Covenantal, mostly in the Amillennial mode, and to a lesser degree, in the Historic Premillennial mode, but never is it Dispensational before World War I.

The true Old Fashioned Gospel tells us that God has made “of twain” (Jew and Gentile) “one new man” (The Church) (Eph 2:15).  With the finished work of Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” in the eyes of God (Gal 3:28).  The hope of salvation for the Jews is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, not Moses.  They are commanded to enter into the New Covenant in His Blood, signified by Baptism and Lord’s Supper.  They are not to continue in Temple worship, or offer sacrifices of any sort, lest they tread the Blood of Christ under foot.  They must repent.  They are not God’s people by the blood of Abraham.  Only through the Blood of Christ may they be restored to God.  This is “dispensational” truth.  The old dispensation is over, and the new has been inaugurated.  The old dispensation is over, God ain’t goin’ back to it.  Jews must be “born, not of blood [Abraham’s], nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).

You Can Not Be Saved by Just Saying a Prayer

July 3, 2008

1 Kings 3:5-13 (KJV) 5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

Luke 18:13-14 (KJV) 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Romans 10:10-11 (KJV) 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Acts 16:30-31 (KJV) 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts 8:36-37 (KJV) 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

2 Timothy 1:12 (KJV) For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

When Solomon became King of Israel after the death of his father David, he prayed to God at a special time in which God invited Solomon to ask whatever he desired and He would grant it.  Solomon was a pretty clever guy, and figured that if he asked God for wisdom to rule the nation, God would be pleased and give him unspeakable riches to go along with his wisdom.  And sure enough, God responded to Solomon’s prayer for wisdom by giving him both wisdom and riches.  Pretty good plan, eh?

Is this really what happened?  OF COURSE NOT!  God cannot be fooled that way.  God knew the heart of Solomon, that his true desire was for wisdom to rule the nation.  God added riches, but NOT FOR SOLOMON’S BENEFIT, BUT FOR THE SAKE OF HIS OWN GLORY AND NAME. 

So what does this prove?  Well, it proves that the heart is the essential factor in communicating with God.  The words of a prayer are incidental, but when they do not reveal the true feelings of the heart, they constitute a lie.  

So what’s all this got to do with anything?  Well, it’s like this – a person can pray for salvation all they want to, but to no effect unless the prayer comes from a heart of true faith.  This is what the Apostle Paul means when he  says “for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”, and “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

Some well-meaning pastors and evangelists have taken these verses and applied them to what is commonly refered to as “the sinner’s prayer”.  Luke 18 is thrown in for good measure, where it speaks of the publican, who prayed a certain prayer and “went down to his house justified”.  But was it the actual saying of a prayer that “justified” that man?  When we examine the text more closely (see text above), we see that the publican “smote on his breast”.  Why did he do this?  Because his heart was troubled within him.  His sin had separated him from God, and being made sensible of this separation, and longing to have the assurance of God’s forgiveness, his mouth cries out what his heart feels – “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  And this truly is the prayer of a repentant sinner before the Righteous Judge.

Now some might say, “what if he felt this conviction in his heart, but yet refused to pray”.  My answer is this:  then he is not truly convicted, for he is not yet convinced of his doom, esle he would cry out.  But have I just contradicted myself, seeing that I have said that the prayer is incidental but yet the man would cry out if truly convicted?  No, I have not contradicted myself, but I have merely clarified the issue.  You see, the order of events matter.  One must have received the regenerating Spirit within his bosom before he can cry out to God in true converting contrition and repentance.  Consider the pattern clearly established in Romans chapter 10, in particular verses 10 – 11 (posted above).  What does it say?  Let’s break it down:

1.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; [the role of the heart]

2.  and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation [the role of the mouth]

3.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [the reason why this takes place – the heart of faith activates the mouth of confession] 

But what about people that are incapable of saying words?  Are they barred from God’s salvation because they cannot pray with words?  Of course not.  Ah, but you say, “they are the exception”.  No my friend, they are not the exception, but in fact, they are the rule.  It is only the heart of belief that saves, or else Paul would have exhorted the Phillipian jailor to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ AND CONFESS HIM” or “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ AND SAY THIS PRAYER AFTER ME” or “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ AND WALK THE AILSE” and so on.  One can add any number of additions to JUST BELIEVING, which is exactly what Paul told the jailor to do – “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.  FAITH ALONE IS THE ESSENTIAL MEANS OF ACCESS TO GOD’S SALVATION!  

Some preachers are afraid to let God be God.  Apparently, they do not trust God’s ability to save those that believe.  There must be more to it, they think.  There must be some way, some method, some activity, that we can “seal the deal” and make it sure.  Let’s have them say a prayer, or raise a hand, or walk an ailse, or kneel on an altar, or sign a committment card, or any other innumerable devices which might be used to add to God’s work, which in their minds is simply not sufficient.

Now don’t get me wrong.  We should expect a confession of salvation in some form or another from those that HAVE BEEN saved.  When a person expresses that they have trusted Christ, and express a desire to obey their Lord in baptism, they ARE confessing unto salvation.  They are not confessing to GET SAVED, but they are confessing that they ARE SAVED.  This is a crucial difference and if we miss this understanding we miss the biblical Gospel.  

We must be willing to stand aside and let God do the work of salvation, let God implant the faith, and let God bring forth the fruit of repentance.  We may preach the word, plant the seed, water the ground, but God gives the increase.  But we are often too impatient to wait on God.  Although conversion can be instant, assurance can take months, even years, to come about.  Our testimony must come around to “I know whom I have believed”, not “I know what I prayed”.

Dear friends, don’t be fooled by the shallow promises of smooth preachers.  Jesus said “ye must be born again”.  The Ethiopian Eunuch asked Phillip to baptize him.   The eunuch said, “what hinders me to be baptized?”; to which Phillip replied, “You may, IF YOU BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART”.  The eunuch’s reply?  “I prayed the sinner’s prayer”?  NO!  His reply was:  “I BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD”!!!  You see, the eunuch had had a born-again experience.  He once was lost, but now was found, was blind, now he sees! 

Only God can give you assurance of salvation.  If you can say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against that day”, then Christian, rejoice in your salvation!  Faith is the only way. 

 

+++see a related post here:  http://reformedevangelist.com/?p=154  “21 flaws of the “Alter Call” by Pastor David Wooten — I will post the entire article in a new post.

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

April 24, 2008

“What must I do to be saved?”  So many who have been awakened to their need of salvation are asking this question.  Looking at the stats for this blog, I’ve noticed that the most viewed post is the one entitled “How Does God Save People?”, https://sovereigngod.wordpress.com/2007/08/21/how-does-god-save-people/, so I wanted to make this new post to make sure it’s clear for those that may have questions about it.  

In Acts 16, we read of the jailor in Philippi that has come trembling to Paul and Silas, being convinced of God’s impending judgment upon him.  The jailor had witnessed the testimony of the apostles, had heard of Christ, and had experienced the terrible earthquake that had broken the prison doors down and gave freedom to his prisoners.

With this gripping fear of God’s wrath fixed in his heart, he knelt down and cried out to Paul and Silas:  “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

And their answer?

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.

Dear reader, if you are not sure, and you want to know if you are saved from the wrath to come, I simply ask you this – has God worked repentance in your heart?  Have you been convinced that your sins have separated you from God?  Have you been made willing to turn from all your sins, and confess them to Christ?  Have you faith in your heart to trust Christ alone for the sacrifice and righteousness that God requires as payment for your sins? 

If this is the condition of your heart, then turn at once and forever to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith, believing with all your heart on Him as your Lord and Savior.  God saves people that are of a contrite heart.  Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:27-28a).  In another place he said “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I shall in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

But if your heart has not been moved to true repentance and faith, then pray that God would make your offense of His Law and His hatred of your sin real to you.  Pray that He will give you a new heart whereby you may be converted.  Believe that He is able, but do not trust in your own abilities.  God will save you from your sins, but He will not save you in your sins.  You must be willing to repent, so pray that you might be made willing. 

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…” (Psalm 110:3a)

If you know that you have received Christ as your Lord and Savior, then rejoice in “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6).  Your confidence in Christ and assurance of salvation will grow stronger over time as you continue to walk in the Lord’s revealed will, enduring the trials of your faith, being strengthened by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in you.  

Soli Deo Gloria

Does God Love Us Just The Way We Are?

April 2, 2008

This is one of the frequent sayings of contemporary evangelists.  But is it true?  Does God really love us just the way we are?  If so, then why does the Bible say:

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”  (Act 17:30)

Why repent, if God loves us just the way we are?  And this:

 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.  (Psalms 11:5)

And what about this:

Romans 2:8-9 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

And again, this:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 )

Which God do you serve?  The figment god of the modern gospel that is indifferent towards sin, or the Holy God that loves righteousness and hates rebellion?

If you’re reading this and have not cast your hopes for salvation upon Christ, I invite you to turn in repentance from the sins that have offended the God of Heaven, and turn to the true and Living God, seeking forgiveness and renewal at the merciful feet of Jesus, whose blood was shed for the salvation of his people.
 

What Does “Sovereign God” Mean?

March 10, 2008

“Sovereign God” represents our view of who God is.  God is the Sovereign of the Universe.  He is not weak and effeminate.  He does not seek permission from man to execute his will.  He has no obligations to man whatsoever.  No one can say to Him “what doest thou?”  He does as He pleases.  He doesn’t just know the future, but He has in fact decreed the future.  Nothing can happen that He has not determined, from the dropping of one hair from my head, to the Grand Finally of the world.  God can save whom He wishes to save, and damn those He wishes to damn.  Man can not be saved unless God saves him, and if he is saved, he is saved on God’s terms and in God’s time.  Man can not command God’s Spirit to indwell him, and neither can man resist, though he may try, the determined power of God’s Spirit coming in to the heart.  God leaves nothing to chance.  God saves those He loves without any possibility of failure, and those He does not favor, He leaves in sin to their own desires.  Whatever God does is good – because He is God.  God is answerable only to God and none other – neither man, nor angels, nor gods, nor creation, nor philosophy, nor futility can make Him accountable to them.  God is justified in condemning sinners, and infinitely merciful in saving some of them.  But He is not obligated to save one of them.  If God let the entire human race go to Hell, He would be justified.  It is because of man’s wicked pride that he demands his own notion of “fairness” from the Creator of creatures.  Some people have said, “I will not serve a God like that.”  But that is the God you are serving, whether you want to or not.  Man’s effort to make God into a controllable, subservient, subordinate, frustrated, weepy-eyed, genie in a bottle is futile.  God has determined the end from the beginning, and everything in between the end and the beginning is merely the means by which He has predetermined to execute His sovereign will.

The knowledge of God’s Sovereignty should frighten us.  I know that it is not popular today to fear God, but that’s exactly what the Bible tells us to do – FEAR GOD.  We imagine Him to be our homeboy, a dude, our pal, a good-ole-boy that likes us just the way we are.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.  God is Holy.  God is the Almighty.  Jesus is the Lord God Omnipotent.  He demands of us a life of repentance and faith.  Let us fear, lest any of us should seem to come short of it.  We must not live in a high-minded conceit, trusting in some shallow profession of faith; but we must earnestly seek assurance that God has favored us with new birth, shedding the love of God abroad in our hearts, causing us to love Him and His law, His people, His ways, and His word.  Those of us that have been blessed with the assurance of God’s working in us may bask in the sweetness of His love, and we may glorify Him, being the objects of His unmerited favor, having nothing in ourselves by which we may boast.  But for those have no working of God in their souls, tribulation, wrath, and vengeance to every creature that loves not God.  Cry against Him, curse Him, defy Him, all unbelievers – and you will build your indictment and seal your judgement on that terrible day!

Soli Deo Gloria!  To God Be The Glory!

    

An Exceptional Sermon

February 7, 2008

Here is a link to a great sermon by Jeff Noblit of First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  It covers the issue of how a person is saved, and how they may have assurance that they are saved.

 http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=51107114615

http://playmp3.sa-media.com/media/51107114615/51107114615.mp3

How Does God Save People? Part 2

December 11, 2007

      In part 1 of “How Does God Save People” we explored the truths of the things which God did before time began in order to save people.  We spoke of foreknowledge, election, and predestination.  These are great truths that ensure that God will lose none of those He has chosen unto salvation.  We find great comfort in these truths, knowing that nothing is left to chance, and nothing is an “accident” in the life of God’s chosen; not only that, but no such thing as an “accident” really even exists, whatsoever.

Among those things that are not accidents is the conversion of God’s children.  The only reason any of us ever heard the Gospel is because God determined to send it.  The only reason any of us ever received the Gospel is because God determined to send the Spirit to quicken us.  The only reason any of us fight against our sinful natures in order to please God is because God works in us to do and to will of His good pleasure.  The only reason any of us will live forever in the glory of God is because He determined to lead us into the Promised Land.  Salvation is the work of God from beginning to end.  He is the author and finisher of our faith.  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The events that God determined to take place during time in order that we may be saved are:  1) gospel call 2) inward call 3) regeneration, 4) conversion (faith & repentance), 5) justification, and 6) sanctification.  The last event – glorification – takes place after we depart the physical world and is completed in the final consummation of time and thereafter.   You may notice that in Part 1 I listed the events differently, most notably placing regeneration first in the order.  I had thought to delve into controversy in that area due to the fact that I allow for the possibility that regeneration can come before a person ever even knows of the Gospel message.  But, subsequent to the publication of Part 1, having considered the matter much further, I find myself having much lesser confidence in that position than I formerly held.  I will therefore present a standard reformed version of the order of salvation.

I.  The Gospel Call

This refers to the ministry of the word through preaching or other communication (tracts, the Bible itself, etc.) of the Gospel message.  The Gospel is simply the promise of God to provide a savior – that Savior being the crucified, buried, risen, and crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, but not to everyone.  That’s right – some people are not effected by Gospel preaching.  Oh, they “hear” the Gospel (with their physical ears), but they do not “hear” the Gospel (with their spiritual ears, i.e., in the heart, or in the “inner man”).  For the Gospel to be effective, there must be something else – the inward call. 

II.  The Inward Call

This the “hearing” of the Gospel – that is, not with physical ears, but with spiritual ears.  “Him that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit sayeth”.  This is the voice of the Sheppard that the sheep will hear.  For these people, the Gospel is effective, “effectual”, to their salavtion.  It is meaningful.  It changes them.  It brings a new hope, and a new worldview.  And it works hand-in-hand with regeneration.

 III Regeneration

John 3:7-8 (KJV) 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Titus 3:5 (KJV) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

John 1:13 (KJV) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1 Peter 1:23 (KJV) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

James 1:19 (KJV) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

When we are born into this world, we are born with a “nature” that is common to all human beings without exception.  The Bible tells us that the “natural man” will not receive the things of God (1 Cor 2:14).  The nature with which we are born is at “enmity” against God, and the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God (Rom 8:7).

Since our nature is opposed to God, we need a new nature.  And just how could we get this new nature?  The answer is that God, in a supernatural act of His divine power, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, imparts HIS nature into the hearts of those He has elected to be saved.  When this happens, a person is “born again”.

The born again person is a person that has been made willing to repent of sin and trust Christ, loves God, desires to know Him, hates the sin that besets him, and longs for the day of perfect fellowship with God.

People cannot give birth to themselves.  This is true literally and spiritually.  The new birth is the work of God through the Holy Spirit.  Let’s look at a portion of the John 3 passage:

8 The wind…

The word “wind” in the original greek is the word “pneuma”, which is the same word that is translated “Spirit” elsewhere.  So we can easily see that the wind is symbolic of the Spirit of God.  And what does it do? 

…bloweth where it listeth…

The word “listeth” means “wills, or desires”.  So we see that God’s Spirit moves where He desires.  This is in perfect keeping with the idea that only the Spirit can birth a child of God, as we see in John 1:13: “who were born…of God”.

No one can control God.  No one can demand, or claim, or convince God to act.  God, and God alone, is in control of the world, and He will send blessing and bring judgement by His own decree. 

On a related subject, many people wonder at what precise time they come to be saved.  I will deal with this issue more in the section on conversion, since faith and repentance are the first consciouse, knowable eveidences of being born again.  It is often, if not usually, hard to determine the exact point in time in which an individual passes from a state of unbelief to a state of belief.  Some people have instantaneous, spectacular conversion experiences that give a definite mark in time as to their conversion.  I think of C. S. Lewis’ own testimony of his conversion:

“I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.”

While he still lacks the knowledge of the precise moment of conversion, nevertheless he can point to a particular span of time in which his conversion took place.

Others come into the kingdom by increments, and their conversion is more aptly described as taking place in a “season” rather than a moment.  John Bunyan’s conversion experience can be described in these terms.  Sometimes, these “seasons” can last for years.

Such is the experience of the new birth.  It is a supernatural act of God. Man can not identifify the exact moment of the new birth, for man has no control over it.  He can neither cause it nor prevent it.  Man did not concieve his spiritual self; and he can not birth his spiritual self, anymore than the could he could physically concieve himself and give birth to himself.  Man can only examine himself for the evidences of the new birth, whether he possesses them or not.  And what are these evidences?  They are nothing less than certain continuing aspects of salvation that will be dealt with in future articles; namely, repentance, faith, and sanctification.  Justification is a legal aspect of salvation, and does not carry “evidences” per se, and glorification certainly is an outward evidence of salvation, being the very consummation of salvation, but it does not take place in this life, but in the eternal day.   

Regeneration is the beginning of our life in Christ, but we will continue our journey in later articles as we examine these important aspects of the experience we call “salvation”.

 

A.W. Pink: How may I know I have understood the gospel and that I am elect?

November 10, 2007

From time to time I will be posting some of the great quotes from some of the great Bible teachers.  And the most quotable of quotable men is Arthur Walkington Pink.  Here he tells us some things about knowing and having assurance that one is “elect”.  This quote is a perfect capstone to my previous articles “How Does God Save People?” and How Can A Person Know If They Are Saved?“.

“How may I know I have understood the gospel and that I am elect? “First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced. Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition. Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope. Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me – a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ. Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it. Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness. Seventh, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end. Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative.” – A .W. Pink