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Category Archives: Monergism

Monergism Launches eBooks

If you are like me in searching for some great theology, church history, and Christian living books for your new text device like Kindle or iBooks? Then look no further. Monergism Books has just launched their eBooks eCommerce site.

Monergism Books has been providing great reformation resources for many years. They began as a website providing resources as a directory of theology including sermon text and audio. The have since expanded to an eCommerce site providing books, DVD’s, CD,s and software. Last year Monergism took the risky step of opening a brick and mortar business in Portland, Oregon. Monergism has been a wealth of resources over the years for folks like myself who are interested in learning about the reformed doctrine, church history, and gospel-centered theology. In closing I will post the about statement found on the web site.

Monergism Books is a Reformed Christian Internet bookseller with the goal of equipping Christians in the truth by making available the finest classic resources of historical orthodoxy. This is done in the hope that the church will embrace, and recover a Christ-centered gospel and the true Biblical doctrines of the historic faith.

 
 

The God Who Declares the Guilty Just

If anything could be considered my all-time favorite act of God in His relationship toward man, the act of God declaring the guilty to be just would be it. Without it I would stand condemned. The above title is the title to one of the lessons presented by D.A Carson in his series of lectures on “The God Who Is There”. This series of lectures is prepared for the “seekers” of God’s truth, and for the newly converted. I have also been blessed by the series. I have been listening to it on my 25 mile commute to and from work. The lesson I would like to focus on in this post is the 11th one in the series. The following is what I have gleaned from it.

The Bible goes to great lengths to show the reader that our sin is repulsive to God. Yet the Apostle Paul goes to great lengths as well to explain how the cross itself shows God to be simultaneously both just and the one to declare guilty people just.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, describes in great lengths how our sin makes us guilty before a holy God. This is accomplished in Romans 1:18 – 3:20. In these verses Paul unravels the truth that we all stand guilty before God. On every front we are a guilty people, no matter what our heritage is. As a matter of fact Paul contends that if you come from a heritage that knows what God’s standard is and yet still remain in rebellion, you may even be guiltier still. Paul drives home this guilty theme home with a shotgun blast of Old Testament quotations in Romans 3:10-18.

10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now some might contend here that there are good people in the world. What about the doctors who discover the cure for illnesses and diseases? What about the folks like firefighters or police who risk their lives to help others? Those things are indeed good things but they do not in fact make the people good? The heart of evil is God’s creation, all of us, desiring to go our own way and rebelling against the God who made us. Don’t believe this? In Matthew 22:35 Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is. In the next four verses Jesus declares:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Does anyone truly do this? I know I fall completely short of it and should be considered guilty. We are all fallen and cursed. The only cure is provided through Jesus Christ the savior of the fallen and cursed. This is unpacked by the apostle Paul in Romans 3:21-26 and the following argument made in 27-31.

But now

I love that “But now” (ESV). Paul begins to write of how the guilty, the fallen and cursed, are declared just. The first thing Paul lays out (v. 21) is the revelation of God’s righteousness and its relationship to the Old Testament. He goes on to contend that this same righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ. All have sinned (v. 23) and fall short of being just, but are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption (purchased back from our sin debt) that comes through Jesus Christ. Christ was put forward by God as a propitiation (satisfying) atonement by Christ’s blood shed. In other words instead of God showing His wrath toward us, God is now favorable to us through Christ’s blood. Through Christ our relationship with God drastically changes.

Verses 26 and 27 of Romans 3 drive home the conclusion of the title. They are so important. Because the text shows that not only does God provide the propitiation for our sin debt but he also demonstrates his justice by being the just God, and the justifier. God is the justifier by providing the satisfaction of the believer’s sin debt to Himself through Christ, but he also demonstrates His own righteousness by doing this. God’s justice is most powerfully demonstrated in the cross of Christ. In the audio, D.A. Carson puts it so eloquently: “There, Jesus, the God-man, bore Hell itself.” Because of this God can look at the believer as righteous. Because of this God can also look at the believer as justified. God is glorified. I am declared not-guilty.

The whole CD collection can be obtained free from Monergism Books here. I will also find a way to post the MP3 files for download below.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 
 

Why can’t they see this?

While looking for some sermon audio on Monergism.com I conversationcame across an article by Tom Nettles that really peaked my interest. The article attempts to answer the questions: Why do my Christian friends have such an aversion to the Doctrines of Grace? How can I keep the channels of communication open and still make progress in helping them to understand? I will share it with you here and provide some highlights in an outline form. I will provide the link to the article at the bottom.

Difficulties and Priorities

He starts off by encouraging us not to get too obsessed with this personal dilemma. The highest priority is to share the gospel with folks. But he also shares 3 John 3 & 4:

3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

“Only rarely does something compare with the spiritual delight of seeing a friend, fellow Christian, or fellow minister embrace and enjoy this truth.”

Principles to Encourage Patience

Having a high view of God flies in the face of our natural tendency for pride, self-sufficiency, and independence.

Principle of growth

Maybe the reason they can’t understand is that they are in fact unregenerate.

In Ephesians 1:3-14 Paul provides a “clear and moving affirmation of the glory of God in His sovereign bestowal of salvation”, and then in 1:17-23 he prays for their understanding. So pray for your brother or sisters’ understanding as well.

Prayer, patience, and self-sacrifice are fundamental in discussing these truths.

Principle of common ground

Start by re-establishing the common ground of the gospel and common evangelical creeds.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Praise from a free will theologian

songs of praise“How Great I Art”, “To Me Be the Glory”, “Great Is My Faithfulness”, and “I Need Me Every Hour” could be the hymns of choice based on a free will theology. If you are not sure what free will theology is please follow the link provided above. 

I held this very view for more years than I haven’t. And even though I would not admit these hymns even remotely described my theology,  I still affirmed man’s free will in salvation. So if you hold the view that man is ultimately responsible for his salvation because He chooses God then you should indeed pat yourself on the back and sing a praise in your behalf.

Now some might think this a bit too far fetched. But if you honestly look at the rational conclusion from the theology that says salvation has been provided by God and it was up to you to choose God, then you should rejoice in your salvation. And not only praise God for your salvation you should also rejoice and praise yourself as well. This is much like what a pastor friend of mine once envisioned getting to heaven and high-fiving Christ and proclaiming “We did it!”

But if you are from the “God does it all” camp then the stuff above would seem pretty silly. This is the camp I now sing around campfires in. And sing I do. If it wasn’t for the grace of God who gave me the faith to believe I would still be in opposition to a holy God. I would still be destined to be condemned to God’s just wrath for my sin. For it is God and God alone, which is known in theological circles as monergism, that provides the way and the means for salvation. He does it all. This my friends causes me to greatly praise my God.

Check out the lyrics for the following song.

It Was Your Grace

Praise on!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2007 in Arminianism, free will, Monergism, Praise, Theology