Saturday, October 27, 2012

John MacArthur - The Love of God

A few years ago I wrote a commentary on John MacArthur's book, The Love of God - He Will Do Whatever It Takes To Make Us Holy. This book is riddled with contradictory statements such that I could not possibly recommend it as a guide to understanding the love of God. Indeed, why on earth would someone promote a book that purports to help a man understand the love of God, when the book itself rests on irrationalism? That is a very straightforward indictment. So much so that it may at once raise the hackles of any MacArthurite. As always, we would ask that one examine our analysis of MacArthur's teaching in light of the scriptures before coming to any conclusion.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Covenants by Elder James Oliphant (Audio Book)

In this audioblog version of his short essay, The Covenants, Elder James Oliphant gives a concise and accurate summary of some of the covenants found in the bible with particular attention given to the conditional and unconditional natures of each, and the ramifications of such on the everlasting covenant of salvation.  A proper understanding of the unconditional nature of this covenant, so far as man's participation therein is concerned, is a great remedy to many false doctrines taught today which seek to conjoin the works of God and man in the fulfillment of this covenant.

Friday, October 5, 2012

John Murray - Free Offer of the Gospel

John Murray author of The Free Offer of the Gospel

Those who have followed theearstohear's commentaries in recent years are no doubt familiar with our position that great errors in both doctrine and practice have been introduced among God's people by the false notion that the gospel is a well-meant offer
 of salvation to all of humanity. Perhaps no single work has been cited more often as definitive proof of this teaching than John Murray’s, The Free Offer of the Gospel. It is our opinion that this work clearly teaches that eternal salvation is conditioned upon acts that must be performed by men and that it is therefore not teaching salvation by sovereign grace but salvation by works.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Marc Driscoll on Hell and Salvation

This week I stumbled across an article on CNN's belief blog that asks the question:  Should we abandon the idea of hell?  Now when an outfit like CNN endeavors to grapple with matters of the Christian faith, one should approach their commentary with extreme skepticism and discernment.  In my experience, a major news outlet's handling of matters of Christian doctrine and practice is a bit like watching a chimp on a Steinway: amusing to watch but hard to listen to.  It their simian attempts at handling the truth, they juxtapose yea and nay on the abandonment of hell.  In the yea category is Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis Schaeffer, whose thoroughly unbiblical perspective can be fairly well ascertained by his closing quote, "We need 'hell' like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood."  I submit that the very fact that we would know almost nothing of the doctrine of hell were it not for the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ himself so strongly contradicts this "Frank" assertion, that such a quote deserves no further consideration among God's people.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What is the gospel?

Often asked yet rarely answered correctly.

The gospel is the good news of the finished work (John 19:30) of the Lord Jesus Christ to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Sins are the manifold instances wherein man breaks God's moral law (Exodus 20) which prove that he is both a sinner by nature (Ps 51:5), as a result of Adam's transgression (Romans 5:12), as well as by practice (Romans 3:10-18, 5:12) since all have sinned (Romans 3:23).  

As a result of Adam's fall, man is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). He is therefore utterly incapable of doing anything to merit, obtain, or effectuate his own salvation (Romans 3:10-18) because he is ungodly and without strength (Romans 5:6). Moreover, because God is Holy (Isaiah 6:3) he shall and must punish sin. Since man can do nothing to fix his sin problem (Romans 3:20), the salvation of God's chosen people is an intercessory work performed by their substitute (John 10:11) who by himself purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3), perfected his people by his one offering (Hebrews 10:14), redeemed them by his blood (Hebrews 9:12), and made them legally righteous by his obedience alone (Romans 5:19). The gospel is liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61:1) in that it proclaims the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of his people as the sole means whereby men are eternally saved (Acts 4:12) and whereby they find rest (Matthew 11:28) and comfort (Isaiah 61:2). It is the declaration that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:3-4)

What Assurances Accompany the Gospel?

It is accompanied by the assurance that those who believe this account have everlasting life (John 3:16) and have passed from death unto life (John 5:24) as a result of the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not by their works (Titus 3:5, Romans 9:16). Those who believe are admonished to repent of their sins (Acts 2:40) and be baptized into the the Lord's New Testament Church (Acts 2:41) and to walk in obedient discipleship under the precepts of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:42, John 14:15).

To Whom is the Gospel Good News?

The gospel can ever and only be received by a man who has been born again (John 8:47) who was chosen in Christ from eternity past (Ephesians 1:4) to be a son (Ephesians 1:5) and for which reason he was regenerated in time (Galatians 4:6) by the working of the same mighty power of God which resurrected the Lord Jesus Christ from the grave (Ephesians 1:19-20). Such men are described as thirsty (Isaiah 55:1, Revelation 22:17, Matthew 5:6), hungry (Matthew 5:6), blessed (Matthew 5:6) and willing (Psalm 110:3, Revelation 22:17) in the scriptures.

Who Cannot Recieve the Gospel?

Conversely, the gospel cannot be received by a man who has not been born again (John 8:47) because he lacks the spiritual eyes to see (John 3:3), lacks the capacity to receive or understand spiritual truth (I Corinthians 2:11-14, Romans 3:12), lacks any fear of God (Romans 3:18) and has absolutely no desire for spiritual things (Psalm 10:4).

So What Do We Conclude From All of This?

Salvation is all by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and any spiritual capacity you ever see in a man is never anything more than an evidence of a salvation wrought entirely by God beforehand on his behalf (Ephesians 2:10, Galatians 5:22, Hebrews 11:1).

--------------------------------------------------Supporting Scriptures----------------------------------------------

John 19:30 - When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 1:21 - And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Ephesians 2:1 - And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Romans 3:10-18 - As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Romans 5:6 - For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Isaiah 6:3 - And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 

Hebrews 1:3 - Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 

Hebrews 10:14 - For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Hebrews 9:12 - Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 

Romans 5:19 - For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Isaiah 61:1-2 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Matthew 11:28 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

Acts 4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

I Corinthians 15:3-4 - For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 5:24 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Ephesians 2:8-10 -  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 3:5 - 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

Romans 9:16 - So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 

Acts 2:40-42 - And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers

John 14:15 -  If ye love me keep my commandments.

John 8:47 - He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Ephesians 1:4-5 - According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

Galatians 4:6 - And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Ephesians 1:19-20 - And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Isaiah 55:1 - Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Revelation 22:17 - And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Matthew 5:6 - Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Psalm 110:3 - Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

John 3:3 - Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 

I Corinthians 2:14 - But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Romans 3:12 - They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psalm 10:4 - The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Michael Horton - What is the gospel?

Michael Horton answers the question - What is the gospel? Having watched innumerable YouTube videos of Christians attempting to answer this fundamental question, I found Horton's comments to be among the more profitable and rare. Among his uncommon and worthwhile observations are:
  • The gospel is not good advice.
  • The gospel never tells us something to do, the gospel tells us about something that's been done. (Amen, brother!)
  • You can't do the gospel.
  • If we confuse law and gospel we'll make our selves partly our own saviors.
I have provided a complete transcript of Horton's short video below along with teth's commentary.

Mark Dever - What is the gospel?

In this video, self-styled "slobbering five-point Calvinist" Mark Dever endeavors to answer the question - What is the gospel? Unfortunately his answer, while laden with much biblical truth, is found wanting in several respects, especially from a minister who claims to believe that salvation is monergistic. You will find below a complete transcript of Dever's comments along with theearstohear commentary in blue. We believe that Dever's errors fall into three categories:

1.  Contradictory assertions regarding man's depravity.
2.  The positing of prerequisites for obtaining eternal life.
3.  Failure to attribute man's alienation to Adam's sin.

With that by way of introduction, I will Leave it to Dever....