Regeneration: Quite Apart from Our Doing

Source: Regeneration: Quite Apart from Our Doing

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Unplug and rest

We as a culture are so incredibly inundated with social media. I mean, this is where we get our news, it’s how we communicate with family who live in other states or with friends who live across the world. 

I’m not going to demonize social media because it can be viewed as a good gift from God or can be a useful tool in getting the Gospel to those that we associate with on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. 

However, we as a country rely very heavily on Social Media and this is my point of contention. Think about it! Most of us probably own smartphones and tablets and on those mobile devices are apps that connect us to our social media outlets. We feel so connected to the world yet so distant to those around us. 

I struggle with spending too much time with Facebook. I am constantly checking it, constantly checking my phone, and constantly looking at people’s profiles who post beliefs about God that come from out in Left Field (As in where Manny Ramirez played).  I struggle so much with this that I fail to steward my time well! I struggle to work solid hours because I have to constantly pick up my phone to see my notifications or type in the url into Safari to take me to Facebook. 

This is where unplugging comes into play. When was the last time any of us have just left our phone at home? When was the last time that we turned our phone off when we got home from work? When was the last time we completely shut everything off from the outside and spent time with our families?  Please do not think that I am condemning anyone who spends all their time with social media but I am saying that we need to find times to unplug and rest. 

Beware of Antinomian False Teachers. 

Recently while I was scrolling through Facebook and I came across a post that made me stop dead in my tracks!  So I had to take a screen shot of the said post so that I could decipher further what this person was saying.

Mind you this person is in the same city as I and I have seen a few people that I know like some of his posts. This post in particular a local Pastor’s wife had liked. I don’t normally take screen shots of people’s personal Facebook posts, but in this case something needs to be done.


In cases like this I believe it is important for believers to point out error and apostasy.  For someone to equate God’s law with what is deemed as the mark of the beast is absurd and very dangerous.  It is important to note that we as believers do not believe that the Law justifies us in anyway.  We are solely justified by what Christ accomplished on the Cross and we have been given faith to trust and to believe in that work.  We also believe and affirm that through God’s Law we know the character of God.  We know that the law will no longer condemn us which in turns sets us free to accept it as our own guide for please the One who died in our place (RSB).

So lets first talk about antinomianism.  I am going to use an article from The Reformation Study Bible because it does a great job of explaining antinomianism.  Antinomianism simply means against law or anti-law.  It denies or downplays the significance of God’s law in the life of the believer.  It is opposite of its twin heresy, legalism.

Antinomians acquire their distaste for the law in a number of ways.  Some believe that they no longer are obligated to keep the moral law of God because Jesus has freed them from it.  They insist that grace not only frees us them from it.  They insist that grace not only frees us from the curse of God’s law but delivers us from any obligation to obey God’s law.  Grace then becomes a license for disobedience.

The astounding thing is that people hold this view despite Paul’s vigorous teaching against it.  Paul, more than any other New Testament writer, emphasized the differences between law and grace.  He gloried in the new covenant.  Nevertheless, he was explicit in his condemnation of antinomianism.  In Romans 3:31 he writes, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

Martin Luther, in expressing the doctrine of justification by faith alone, was charged with antinomianism.  Yet he affirmed with James that “faith without works is dead.”  Luther contested with his student Johann Agricola on this issue.  Agricola denied that the law had any purpose in the life of the believer.  He even denied that the law served to prepare the sinner for grace.  Luther responded to Agricola with his work Against the Antinomians in 1539.  Agricola later recanted his antinomian teachings, but the issue remained.

Subsequent Lutheran theologians affirmed Luther’s view of the law.  In the Formula of Concord (1577), the last of the classical Lutheran statements of faith, they outlined three uses for the law: (1) to reveal sin; (2) to establish general decency in the society at large; and (3) to provide a rule of life for those regenerated through faith in Christ.

Antinomianism’s primary error is confusing justification with sanctification.  We are justified by faith alone, apart from works.  However, all believers grow in faith by keeping God’s holy commands – not to gain God’s favor, but out of loving gratitude for the grace already bestowed on them through the work of Christ.

It is a serious error to assume that the OT was a covenant of law and the NT, a covenant of grace.  The OT is a monumental testimony to God’s amazing grace toward His people.  Likewise, the NT is literally filled with commandments.  We are not saved by the law, but we demonstrate our love for Christ by obeying His commandments.  “If you love me,” Jesus said, “keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

We frequently hear the statement, “Christianity isn’t a lot of do’s and don’ts; it is not a list of rules.”  There is some truth in this deduction, inasmuch as Christianity is far more than a mere list of rules.  It is, at its center, a personal relationship with Christ Himself.  Yet Christianity is also not less than rules.  The NT clearly includes some do’s and don’ts.  Christianity is not a religion that sanctions the idea that everyone has the right to do what is right in his own eyes.  On the contrary, Christianity never gives anyone the “right” to do what is wrong.

I think it is time to start really looking and examining people’s teachings according to what we see in Scripture.  Statements, like the one above, are dangerous, damaging, and destructive.  It is time to point out these errors in love with the truth of Scripture as our weapon.

Grace and Peace

Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter XVI—Of Good Works

1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His holy Word, (Micah 6:8, Rom. 12:2, Heb. 13:21) and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention. (Matt. 15:9, Isa. 29:13, 1 Pet. 1:18, Rom. 10:2, John 16:2, 1 Sam. 15:21–23)

2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: (James 2:18, 22) and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, (Ps. 116:12–13, 1 Pet. 2:9) strengthen their assurance, (1 John 2:3, 5, 2 Pet. 1:5–10) edify their brethren, (2 Cor. 9:2, Matt. 5:16) adorn the profession of the gospel, (Tit. 2:5, 9–12, 1 Tim. 6:1) stop the mouths of the adversaries, (1 Pet. 2:15) and glorify God, (1 Pet. 2:12, Phil. 1:11, John 15:8) whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, (Eph. 2:10) that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life. (Rom. 6:22)

3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. (John 15:4–6, Ezek. 36:26–27) And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure: (Phil. 2:13, Phil. 4:13, 2 Cor. 3:5) yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them. (Phil. 2:12, Heb. 6:11–12, 2 Pet. 1:3, 5, 10–11, Isa. 64:7, 2 Tim. 1:6, Acts 26:6–7, Jude 20–21)

4. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do. (Luke 17:10, Neh. 13:22, Job 9:2–3, Gal. 5:17)

5. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, (Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4:2, 4, 6, Eph. 2:8–9, Tit. 3:5–7, Rom. 8:18, Ps. 16:2, Job 22:2–3, Job 35:7–8) but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: (Luke 17:10) and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit; (Gal. 5:22–23) and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment. (Isa. 64:6, Gal. 5:17, Rom. 7:15, 18, Ps. 143:2, Ps. 130:3)

6. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him; (Eph. 1:6, 1 Pet. 2:5, Exod. 28:38, Gen. 4:4, Heb. 11:4) not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God’s sight; (Job 9:20, Ps. 143:2) but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. (Heb. 13:20–21, 2 Cor. 8:12, Heb. 6:10. Matt. 25:21, 23)

7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: (2 Kings 10:30–31, 1 Kings 21:27, 29, Phil. 1:15–16, 18) yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; (Gen. 4:5, Heb. 11:4, 6) nor are done in a right manner,according to the Word; (1 Cor. 13:3, Isa. 1:12) nor to a right end, the glory of God, (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16) they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: (Hag. 2:14, Tit. 1:15, Amos 5:21–22, Hosea 1:4, Rom. 9:16, Tit. 3:5) and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God. (Ps. 14:4, Ps. 36:3, Job 21:14–15, Matt. 25:41–43, 45, Matt. 23:23)

Free: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (eBook)

Excellent resource available for free! Go get this

The Domain for Truth

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ eBook MonergismI’m very grateful for all the free resources Monergism.com has provided.  If you ever need to purchase books you should consider visiting their bookstore as a way of supporting them and the good work they do.

They have made available for free the classic work by John Owen titled “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.”  I have yet to read this book (hopefully this Summer).

It is AVAILABLE IN EPUB, .MOBI AND .PDF FORMATS.

Monergism has also made available the outline of the book if you were interested:

Table of Contents

Introductory Essay by J. I. Packer

BOOK I

Chapter 1. In general of the end of the death of Christ, as it is in the Scripture proposed

Chapter 2. Of the nature of an end in general, and some distinctions about it

Chapter 3. Of the agent or chief author of the work of our…

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The Five Points of Calvinism

This article was taken from The Calvinist Corner. Here is the link to the original http://www.calvinistcorner.com/tulip.htm

There are two mains camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin. Calvin lived in France in the 1500’s at the time of Martin Luther who sparked the Reformation.

The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples’ sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

Basically, Calvinism is known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They simply represent some of its main points.

Total Depravity:

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, “In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”

Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

Unconditional Election:

God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

Limited Atonement:

Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many’; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

Irresistible Grace:

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy”; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out,” (John 6:37).

Perseverance of the Saints:

You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

Westminster Confession of Faith: CHAPTER IX—Of Free-Will

1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil. (Matt. 17:12, James 1:14, Deut. 30:19)

2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God; (Eccl. 7:29, Gen. 1:26) but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it. (Gen. 2:16–17, Gen. 3:6)

3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: (Rom. 5:6, Rom. 8:7, John 15:5) so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, (Rom. 3:10, 12) and dead in sin, (Eph. 2:1, 5, Col. 2:13) is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. (John 6:44, 65, Eph. 2:2–5, 1 Cor. 2:14, Tit. 3:3–5)

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He freeth him from his natural bondage under sin; (Col. 1:13, John 8:34, 36) and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; (Phil. 2:13, Rom. 6:18, 22) yet so, that by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. (Gal. 5:17, Rom. 7:15, 18–19, 21, 23)

5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only. (Eph. 4:13, Heb. 12:23, 1 John 3:2, Jude 24)