Tag Archive | Grace

What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?

What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?

By Richard Phillips

Free kindle book for a limited time

In What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?, the Rev. Richard D. Rick Phillips shows that the doctrines of grace, those theological tenets more popularly known as the five points of Calvinism, are comforting, faith-strengthening, and humbling teachings. In six short chapters, Rev. Phillips demonstrates conclusively from Scripture that this view of salvation exalts God and makes plain His great love for man, which drove Him to do all that was necessary to redeem a people for Himself. In his opening chapter, Rev. Phillips cites the calling of Isaiah the prophet to show that a proper understanding of the sovereignty of God leads to a willingness to serve, a humble obedience to God s commands, a holy boldness, and a firm reliance on sovereign, saving grace. Then, over the next five chapters, he deals with the five doctrines of grace one by one-total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints providing thorough explanations, answering objections, and showing how the doctrines advance Christian living. What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? is a compact, highly readable treasure chest of scriptural wisdom.


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Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love

Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love by Jerry Bridges

The freedom in falling short of God’s standard relies on His gift of grace. Unfortunately, too many of us forget the free offer. We spend our lives basing our relationship with God on our performance rather than on Him. We see our identity as never being worthy of His love.

Isn’t it time to stop trying to measure up and begin accepting the transforming power of God’s grace?

The product of more than 10 years of Bible study, Navigator author Jerry Bridges’ Transforming Grace is a fountainhead of inspiration and renewal that will show you just how inexhaustible and generous God’s grace really is.

Free Kindle book.


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Barry King – The Grace of the Doctrines of Grace

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Message 8 – Barry King – The Grace of the Doctrines of Grace

 

The text for the sermon is Ephesians 4:32.

 

God in Christ forgave you. This is the essence of the doctrines of grace. The doctrines of grace are not hidden under the rocks of scripture. They are on top of the rocks. The text tonight is not primarily about the doctrines of grace, it is about the grace of the doctrines. We are woefully deficient in practicing the grace of the doctrines of grace. We must be broken-hearted over our lack of practicing the grace of the doctrines of grace. Do we operate with grace with whom we disagree?

 

A. The grace of kindness

1. This particular word is used quite sparingly in the scriptures.

a. In 1 Corinthians 13 it is used to describe how members of a church are to receive one another in regard to their use of spiritual gifts.

i. We will not all share the same views. But a spirit of Christian love must pervade. We must be kind to one another.

b. In Philippians 4, kindness is reflected in our attitude toward our spiritual leaders.

i. We must remember that those leaders who a generation ago defended orthodox Christianity against liberalism were not Calvinists.

ii. We are more kind to preachers on the internet than we are to our own leaders.

c. In 2 Timothy 2, kindness is typical of a mature pastor toward his congregation, particularly the difficult members of the congregation.

d. In Titus 2, we are called to be kind to those in our family. And kindness is tied to submissiveness.

B. The grace of tender-heartedness

1. We have become tender-skinned and tough-hearted.

C. The grace of forgiveness

1. We need to forgive others while it is still in our power to do so.

2. We need to regret the harsh words we have spoken against those with whom we disagree.

3. We have received unmerited favor and grace, and therefore we need to show unmerited favor and grace toward others.


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A Treatise on Grace

A Treatise on Grace by Jonathan Edwards.

Free eBook in Kindle or ePub from Monergism, for a limited time.

This wouldn’t fall in the light reading category. 🙂

SUCH phrases as common grace, and special or saving grace, may be understood as signifying either diverse kinds of influence of God’s Spirit on the hearts of men, or diverse fruits and effects of that influence. …

HT: Nathan Bingham



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Expositor’s Conference – Session 4 – Preaching the Grace of God (Steve Lawson)

Session 4 – Preaching the Grace of God (Steve Lawson)

Steve Lawson is the preacher for the fourth session, with the subject of preaching the grace of God. His text is Ephesians 1:3-14.

Paul understood grace because he had lived through a revelation of God’s grace on the road to Damascus. Paul understood that all that he was was because of the grace of God.


1. Electing grace. Grace begins in eternity past, before the foundation of the world (verse 4). The word means to be drawn out and set apart for a purpose. To chose out from among the many. God chose by Himself and for Himself according to the tense of the verb. See 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. God’s choosing is not based on merit.  Notice the two modifiers of this choosing: in Christ and in love. The order of this electing grace can be constructed from four key words in Ephesians 1:11 – first there is the counsel of God. Out of this counsel comes the will of God. Out of the will of God comes purpose. And what God purposes, He predestines to guarantee the certainty of fulfillment. This grace causes us to preach with humility.


2. Redeeming grace. Verse 7 tells us of the redeeming grace of God. To redeem is to pay a price that a person cannot pay for themselves to purchase their freedom. The price paid was the blood of Jesus Christ. See Ephesians 5:25-27. This grace allows us to preach with compassion.


3. Regenerating grace. This is the grace which has made us alive. This is the grace of the new birth. See Ephesians 2:4-5. The dead person can do nothing. The sinner is spiritually dead, and therefore can do nothing spiritually, However, God, having made us alive spiritually, gives us the ability to do something spiritually. This grace allows us to preach with boldness.


4. Preserving grace. This is seen in verse 13.  We have been sealed up in the life of Christ. What has been done in eternity cannot be undone in time. What can separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing. Even our glorification is spoken of in the past tense. This grace allows us to preach with confidence.


This is the grace which we preach. This is the only grace. Any grace which is not these four things is not grace at all.






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Unbelief a Choice; Faith a Gift

Here’s something to ponder.

Unbelief a Choice; Faith a Gift – Don Fortner

Unbelief is a choice men make, a decision of the rebel will of unregenerate souls. Again and again we read this accusation against the wicked in the Book of God: — “Ye will not believe.” In fact, this is set before us as the very core of wickedness in fallen man. — “They believe not on me” (John 16:9). The wicked perish because they choose not to trust the Son of God. Men and women shall justly bear the judgment of God forever in hell because they will not to believe.

But faith in Christ is never spoken of in Scripture as a decision people make. Faith is never represented as something men will to do. Faith in Christ is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). It is the operation of God the Holy Spirit in us (Colossians 2:12), born in us by that same omnipotent, resurrection power of God that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19). Faith in Christ is the fruit of life bestowed. As the new born infant finds himself breathing, so the heaven born soul finds himself believing.

If you now find yourself believing on the Son of God, it is because He has given you everlasting life. If you will not to believe, it is because the wrath of God abides on you (John 3:36).

Any thoughts?



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Is It God Plus Man or God Alone?

John Murray

“The denial of unconditional election strikes at the heart of the doctrine of the grace of God. The grace of God is absolutely sovereign and every failure to recognize and appreciate the absolute sovereignty of God in His saving grace is an expression of the pride of the human heart. It rests upon the demand that God can deal differently with men in the matter of salvation only because they have made themselves to differ. In its ultimate elements it means that the determining factor in salvation is what man himself does, and that is just tantamount to saying that it is not God who determines the salvation of men, but men determine their own salvation; it is not God who saves but man saves himself. This is precisely the issue.”

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John Macarthur –

“…modern easy believism has made faith itself a wholly human work. Why do I say that? Because it is fragile and temporary. It may or may not endure and that is not true of that which God gives. You see that? So that is a salvation by works which a man may do and then not do at his own whim. But if you believe that salvation is by God’s grace and that God grants that faith, then the faith that God grants is not temporary, it is enduring and it is not subject to a whim of a man. There is no more reason to believe that a man living the Christian life could cancel out his God-given faith than that a man could have generated it in the beginning to be saved. If it is from God, it is divine. If it is from God, it is enduring. And easy believism does not save the gospel from works, it becomes a work salvation by which a man gives and takes his faith at his own will. That’s not biblical faith. To say one may have it at the moment of salvation as a gift of God but chuck it anytime that he wants does not make sense. That denies God’s work, it denies that God is the one who gives and sustains the grace that makes faith endure.”

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Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. ESV

John Hendryx –

“As evidenced by this passage, and many others, that it is by the Holy Spirit within us that we EVEN have the faith, or the strength to do, believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock; It reveals that the assistance of grace does not even depend on the humility or obedience of man since it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, … “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). So Christ purchases, not only the opportunity for His people to be saved but makes certain they are saved by doing all for them that they are unable to do for themselves, including granting them understanding and the faith to take hold of the promises.”

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Charles Spurgeon –

“Remember this; or you may fall into error by fixing your minds so much upon the faith which is the channel of salvation as to forget the grace which is the fountain and source even of faith itself. Faith is the work of God’s grace in us. No man can say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost. “No man cometh unto me,” saith Jesus, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” ( John 6:44) So that faith, which is coming to Christ, is the result of divine drawing. Grace is the first and last moving cause of salvation; and faith, essential as it is, is only an important part of the machinery which grace employs. We are saved “through faith,” but salvation is “by grace.” Sound forth those words as with the archangel’s trumpet: “By grace are ye saved.” What glad tidings for the undeserving!”


When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul – when they were as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron; and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown all of a sudden from a babe into a man – that I had made progress in scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God … I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, I ascribe my change wholly to God. (Autobiography: 1, The Early Years, Banner of Truth, p. 164-165)


I will go as far as Martin Luther, where he says, “If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly.” Sermons, Vol. 1, p.395

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Salvation is totally up to God:

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.

Verses Salvation is God plus man:

Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond) – man’s response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, “choose” to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be recipients of the gift of salvation.

From A Comparison of Calvinism & Arminianism by David Steele and Curtis Thomas

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John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. ESV

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. KJV

Romans 11:7-8
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,
8 as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”
ESV

Ephesians 2:1-9
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast
.
ESV

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. ESV



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If It Weren’t For Grace …

We can argue and twist words all we want but Scripture is clear that if not for God’s Grace and Mercy you would not have…

salvation.

believed.

had ears to hear the gospel, truly hear and understand with faith granted by God.

believed the words that you heard from Scripture.

even been exposed to the Scripture.

lived in a country that has free access to preaching and God’s Word.

lived in a free society that would allow you to hear God’s Word without being disowned or killed by family members.

We can go on.

If it weren’t for God’s Grace and Mercy…

You wouldn’t be breathing right now having this discussion.

You wouldn’t have the intelligence to read and write.

You wouldn’t have been born with ears that can hear, eyes that can see, mouth that can speak, hands that can type, or a brain that can think.

You wouldn’t have been afforded the opportunity to study and educate yourself.

You wouldn’t have survived growing up to this point.

You wouldn’t have had parents that choose to raise you as opposed to sell you for a slave.

You wouldn’t have been killed by many childhood diseases.

You wouldn’t have starved to death like many children.

You wouldn’t have had parents that allowed you to be born instead of aborting you.

You can think that you participated and that it was God plus something you did to deserve Salvation but if it weren’t totally for God’s Grace and Mercy you would not have done anything.

Reminds me of the song “Were It Not For Grace”

I measured out my days
Life carried me alone
In my soul I yearn to follow God
But knew I’d never be so strong
I looked hard at this world
To learn how heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began
Where human effort is all in vain

Were it not for grace
I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road
To no where
With my salvation up to me
I know how that would go
The battles I would face
Forever running
But losing the race
Were it not for grace

Give credit where credit is due.

To God and God alone!

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Election and Predestination Precede Salvation by Spurgeon

September 20, 1857

by C. H. SPURGEON

… Before Salvation came into this world, Election marched in the very forefront, and it had for its work the billeting of Salvation. Election went through the world and marked the houses to which Salvation should come and the hearts in which the treasure should be deposited. Election looked through all the race man, from Adam down to the last, and marked with sacred stamp those for whom Salvation was designed. “He must needs go through Samaria,” said Election; and Salvation must go there.

Then came Predestination. Predestination did not merely mark the house, but it mapped the road in which Salvation should travel to that house, Predestination ordained every step of the great army of Salvation, it ordained the time when the sinner should be brought to Christ, the manner how he should be saved, the means that should be employed; it marked the exact hour and moment, when God the Spirit should quicken the dead in sin, and when peace and pardon should be spoken through the blood of Jesus. Predestination marked the way so completely, that Salvation doth never overstep the bounds, and it is never at a loss for the road.

In the everlasting decree of the Sovereign God, the footsteps of Mercy were every one of them ordained. As nothing in this world revolves by chance—as even the foreknown station of a rush by the river is as fixed as the station of a king—it was not meet that Salvation should be left to chance; and therefore God has mapped the place where it should pitch its tent, the manner of its footsteps to that tent, and the time when it should arrive there. …


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