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Category Archives: Romans

The Sovereignty of God and The Last Revival at Geneva

Today I listened to a wonderful sermon by the late Dr. James Montgomery Boice. The sermon is posted here at the bottom of the page. If you read the accompanying personal story written by Pastor Barry York, you will be blessed as well. I found the Gentle Reformation blog posting via the Challies feed in My Feedly. You just gotta love technology.

As I listened to Kokomo Krusade story by Dr. Boice, and as he expounded on the Romans 11, Dr. Boice mentions and emphatically recommends a commentary of Romans by Robert Haldane. This is a recommendation I could not help but research. What I found is, this Romans commentary comes highly recommended in Reformation circles. Almost as thrilling as finding this gem of a commentary is the history behind how Robert Haldane came to write his commentary. The story, along with some other tid bits about Robert Haldane  can be found here, including some encouraging info concerning the sovereignty of God through his life.

Below, I have provided a few links. The first two are links to the Haldane Romans Commentary. The first one also has a bit of the story from Dr. Boice, and the second is the commentary by itself. The last link is also the link to the story of the last known Reformation revival in Geneva Switzerland. Enjoy!

Robert Haldane by James M. Boice

Romans Commentary by Robert Haldane – PDF format

Up From the Ashes: Robert Haldane and the Revival in Geneva

Actual commentary at Amazon.com

S D G!!

 

Sin still dwells in me.

I am still thinking through this morning’s sermon from Pastor Pat. He preached through Romans 7:13-25. This used to Sin-Killsbe a confusing text for me until I understood that humans do not really do anything good or righteous. Even those folks who might call themselves “Christian”, think they are good now, but that is such a false assumption on their part. As the Apostle Paul states in the Romans 7, he does the very things that he desires not to do, and hates those things, and yet still does them. He has the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.

Now, come on, this is the Apostle Paul writing here. Surely if anyone had the ability to do good, it was him right? Not so, says the Apostle himself. For he states in verse 23 of chapter 7 that there is a war going on between the law of his mind (doing good) and the law of sin within his body. In the next verse he even refers to himself as a wretched man. Even as a follower of Christ.

He then poses the question that I did not totally grasp until later in life because I thought that since I became a Christian, I should now be doing righteous things. The question is this:

Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Or, who can save this wretched man that I am. The answer comes on the heels of the question in the form of gratitiude.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

It is only through the finished work of Christ, his life, his death, and resurrection that good things happen through man. Try as he might, he cannot do the good on his own. It is work of the spirit of Christ in him. As Christians we should never, ever boast about the good that happens through us. It is only Christ Jesus doing that good through us. We have no righteousness of our own.

If you’d like to listen to the enlightening sermon online go here. If you’d like to download it and listen to it later go here.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2009 in Apostle Paul, Patrick Abendroth, Romans, sin

 

Give Me Five – Unconditional Election

The next point in my brief postings of the Five Points of Calvinism is called “unconditional election.” The doctrine of hand-five-pointsunconditional election is thoroughly based in scripture. It is a doctrine that in affect claims that before the earth was formed God chose who would come to salvation through His son Jesus Christ. There are many texts in scripture that affirm this doctrine of unconditional election. One of my favorites for God’s sovereignty and election is the whole context of Romans chapter 9. Charles H. Spurgeon states of Romans 9 in his sermon on Unconditional Election, September 2nd, 1855:

So long as that is written there, not the most violent contortions of the passage will ever be able to exterminate the doctrine of election from the Scriptures.

This was a doctrine fully accepted within the protestant church until to the late 19th century and the teachings of Charles Finney. I used to believe and teach this as well. But a few years ago I came to understand, through scripture and the gentle dialog of a dear brother in Christ, that the most illogical theology is one that would teach that God is sovereign in everything else except salvation. They would claim that everything else is under God’s sovereignty except when it comes to something as eternal as the soul of man and his salvation. It isn’t even debated that God chose His people, the Israelites, as stated in the whole of the bible. Why is there an exception for the salvation of men from their sins?

One of the best explanations of God’s unconditional election is provided by Dr. James White in the video below. In the video Dr. White mentions some song lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman. Those lyrics can be found here.

 

Short selling the righteousness of Christ

While studying through Romans chapter 3 in our Sunday morning sermon yesterday, Pastor Pat reminds us what justification is and is not. I think many of us who have been a teacher or learner through any evangelical church has heard the phrase definition offered for the justification believers receive at salvation. The phrase I am referring to is justification = just as if I had never sinned. But when we provide this definition we are in fact selling short, and I mean way short, the righteousness of Christ in our justification. You see, when we are saved by God’s grace, we are declared righteous by God. The only way a righteous and just God can declare the sinner righteous is by imputing the righteousness of Christ on the sinner. In other words, the sinless and righteous life Christ lived for us on this earth was imputed, or attached to the sinner when by God’s grace he believes. That, my friend, is the only justification that satisfies a righteous God. So when we say that justification means that it’s as if we hadn’t sinned, that only gives us a clean slate and short sells the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But when we look at the correct meaning for righteous justification we again are focused on Christ and his righteousness and what he accomplished on the cross. Amen?

Soli Deo Gloria!

Divine Righteousness and the Cross (Romans 3:21-31)

 

God in the dock?

This weekend we continued our study of Romans. Going verse by verse, we are looking at Romans 1:18-32, mainly the wrath of God toward man’s sin. This week we looked at point two of the “Universals of God’s Wrath” regarding man’s sin to help us see just how good the “good news” of Christ is. The second universal is “God’s wrath is universally deserved.” Romans 1:18-23 tell us that God naturally gave all men the knowledge of His existence, but we have chosen to suppress it and have exchanged that knowledge for foolishness. Man has chosen to worship the creature rather than worship the Creator.

As the puritan Thomas Watson has said; “The chief end of man is to glorify God.” But man did not honor or glorify Him. This is the basic and natural function of man. Yet man did not get it right. We have no excuse. Man deserves God’s wrath. Man continues to search for the meaning of life, but his search will be futile. As Romans 1:21 (NASB) says:

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Man’s search, his speculations have become futile. And this my friends is the basis of idolatry, and deserving of God’s wrath. Pastor Pat gave as a nice quote from C.S. Lewis that fits this topic nicely and is the basis for my posting today.

Ancient man, he explains, approached God (or even the gods) as an accused person approaches his or her judge. But for modern man these roles are reversed. Man is the judge, and God is in the dock.

Modern man has God on trial. We want to see how He measures up for us. We sit in judgement of Him. Oh, how foolish we have become. We most assuredly are deserving of God’s wrath. This reality should cause us to shout and praise God for the grace of Christ and His substitutionary death. He took the wrath for us. But I am jumping ahead in Romans. That good news is described in chapter 3. More to come.

I will be posting the Romans series on my Sermon Audio page, but until then you can hear the entire sermon here.

 

Geeks and Romans

I don’t usually blog about work but I wanted to write about something God has orchestrated in my professional life. I work as a technical consultant for a local consulting firm here in Omaha. Just a couple of months ago I was doing a gig for one of our clients who is located in the heart of of downtown Omaha. I was traveling over an hour each way to do this gig. I also found myself doing basically the same kind of analyst work I’ve been doing for the past several years which is fine, but the travel each day was a killer. To shorten a somewhat long story I would just like to say that God ended that contract. He has also put me onto a project with some other consultants in our firm. I am only traveling half the distance for work and I am working with a dear friend who is a Christ follower, and with some other folks who have professional skills I dearly want to learn. The project will last a couple of years and I will be getting some wonderful hands on experience using development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005 Database, and C# (Sharp).Net. Included with these tools I will be learning about Reporting Services in the .Net framework, LINQ which stands for Language Integrated Query which is used to easily hook queried data from a database into your code, and AJAX which is a group of interrelated techniques used for creating interactive web applications. With these techniques you can retrieve data from the web server in the background without interfering with the behavior of the existing web page. Needless to say I am extremely excited. I am giving all the glory to God. Ok, enough of the geeks stuff, now for some Romans.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Who can charge God’s elect?

It’s been a while since I have posted anything. I have been a little sidetracked since the passing of my mother a few weeks ago. To be honest I have been having a hard time coming up with something to write about since attending the memorial. I had forgotten how natural it is to write about the things of Christ. As a believer in Christ and His gospel it should be at the forefront of your daily thoughts. Yesterday my son from Tennessee called to speak with my wife and I and in my conversation with him it naturally turned to the things of Christ. One of the many things we discussed were the promises to the believers found in Romans chapter 8. In particular verses 33 and 34. Two short verses with powerful implications for the believer. In verse 33 the apostle Paul poses the rhetorical question:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?

Much like what we read in Job, Satan stands in heaven accusing those that belong to God. How can he accuse? He does so because we still continue to sin. But as I mentioned above, Paul’s question is rhetorical because the believer should know full well that the punishment for our sins, past, present, and future, were satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Believers have not done anything to save their selves from the deserved punishment. For if we did, wouldn’t Satan’s accusations be credible? But thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ that our sins were paid by Him and the rhetorical question has an answer. This is found in Paul’s proclamation in the next verse.

It is God who justifies.

If it is God who justifies the sinner through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ, what leg does Satan have to stand on as he accuses? It is God who justifies the believer, His own, His elect. What this means for the believer is since God justifies, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer. In other words the sinlessness of Christ is attributed to the believer and God declares us righteous. If we have the righteousness of Christ then the accusations of Satan are null and void. He cannot make a charge against God’s elect. I am so thankful that God is the one who declares me righteous through Christ’s death and resurrection, and not something that I earn. God, who is rich in mercy and grace, is the only one who can declare you free from all charges. Forever!

Soli Deo Gloria!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2008 in Justification, righteousness, Romans, Theology