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The Election Question

The Election Question

Religion and politics might be famous conversation killers to avoid at Thanksgiving. But if you really want to push Aunt Suzy to tears, defend the doctrine of election. You know… the biblical doctrine that God has foreknown and predestined those who are saved since the beginning (Matthew 22:14; Mark 13:20; John 6:37, 17:9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30, 9:11-13, 16, 18-20; Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:1-2, and many, many more…).

As important as this precious truth is, this morning’s Morning and Evening warns against the frenzy of focusing on this doctrine without Christ. He is the answer to all of election’s questions. Do you want assurance of your salvation? Run to Jesus before running to a Christian bookstore. As Spurgeon says below:

Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ, and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election.

I am so thankful for the truths of election and divine sovereignty. God has not only won the war, but every battle belongs to Him as well. Nothing surprises Him. No one fools Him. He is in complete control of all things from beginning to end. Not one of His children will slip through His fingers. He loses no one. Salvation truly belongs to the Lord. However, if I rely on my growing understanding of election while ignoring the Christ who saves, what have I gained? No, we know our election when we know the Savior.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

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For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you. — 1 Thessalonians 1:4

Many persons want to know their election before they look to Christ, but that is not possible; it is only to be discovered by “looking to Jesus.”1 If you desire to ascertain your own election, after the following manner shall you assure your heart before God.

Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty sinner? Go straight to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus so, and tell Him that you have read in the Bible, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”2 Tell Him that He has said, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”3 Look to Jesus and believe on Him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for as surely as you believe, you are elect.

If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust Him, then you are one of God’s chosen ones; but if you stop and say, “I want to know first whether I am elect,” you do not know what you are asking. Go to Jesus, just as you are, in all your guilt. Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ, and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election. The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you shall be able to say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”4

Christ was at the everlasting council—He can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way. Go and put your trust in Him, and His answer will be, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”5 There will be no doubt about His having chosen you when you have chosen Him.

Sons we are through God’s election,
Who in Jesus Christ believe.

1 Hebrews 12:2, 2 John 6:37, 3 1 Timothy 1:15, 4 2 Timothy 1:12, 5 Jeremiah 31:3

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: The Good-O-Meter

You guys take American Express, right?

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Video

 

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Morning Coffee – 05/29/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • God and Controversy
  • But that is not all Jude describes. He goes much further, showing not just how the false teachers speak and behave, but how, in response and as a defense, we are to contend for the faith.

  • Grace Is Not a Thing
  • The great American theologian Al Pacino once said, “I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”

  • The Tone Deaf Singer
  • You can be utterly tone deaf and sing beautiful music in the ear of God when the gospel is dwelling richly within and when you are singing to exult in the Savior.

Video Clip Bonus:

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Links

 

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Building on Eternal Truths

Building on Eternal Truths

In the words of my Selected General Epistles professor, “1 Peter has become a dear friend.” It is a bastion of comfort, hope, and timeless reminders. Going through a tough time? 1 Peter is your book! This morning’s Morning and Evening encourages us to search our hearts with the spotlight of self-examination.

1 Peter 2:1-3 says:

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

2 Corinthians 13:5 is a great companion to today’s devotional.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Doubt has no place in a believer’s life. However, self-examination is a healthy and necessary component for assurance. As Spurgeon urges, we should not rest until we have a full assurance of our interest in Jesus.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

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If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:3

“If.” Then this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race. “If”—then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious. “If”—then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is necessary to ask whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favor that may not be a matter for heart-searching.

But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content while there is any such thing as an “if” about his having tasted that the Lord is good. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to the question even in the believer’s heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Savior in the arms of faith and say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”1

Do not rest, believer, until you have a full assurance of your interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy you until, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit, you are identified as a child of God. Do trifle with this. Do not be satisfied with “perhaps” or “if” or “maybe.” Build on eternal truths; really build upon them. Let your anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that your soul is linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Get beyond these dreary “ifs”; stay no longer in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the promised land of peace, where the land ceases not to flow with milk and honey.

1 2 Timothy 1:12

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Passing on the Truth Part 2

Here is the follow-up message to this excellent sermon.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Video

 

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Passing on the Truth

A solid sermon concerning God’s strength and the impact of a deep-seeded conviction of the gospel…

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Video

 

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The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

All Scripture is breathed by God and profitable (2 Tim 3:16). (Yes, even the genealogies.) But some verses tower above the rest. For them, a great density of truth is tightly packed into a compact economy of words. This morning’s Morning and Evening stems from such a mountain of a verse.

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21

This truth has often been referred to as The Great Exchange: Our sin for Christ’s righteousness, and Christ’s righteousness for our sin. It is the greatest truth of all.

An understanding of this verity does not nullify all other truths we have in Jesus. We are new creations in Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit who continually wrestle with the flesh. We run to win and receive the prize before us. But what a comfort it is… to know that sin is paid for! Jesus did not begin a work for others to come along afterwards, complete it, and find salvation in the process. He finished the job by becoming sin—two thousand years ago—on the cross and conquering the grave through His resurrection.

We all need this reminder from time to time. After candidly sharing his personal struggle with sin in Romans 7, Paul’s conclusion stands as a comfort for every believer. Romans 8:1 declares,

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

May we never forget the full measure of Christ’s atonement; His endless love and obedient sacrifice. For our sake, it pleased the Father to crush Him. He became sin, though He was sinless. As a result, we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That’s good news! No wonder it’s called the Gospel.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

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For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21

Mourning Christian, why are you weeping? Are you mourning over your own sins and failings? Look to your perfect Lord, and remember, you are complete in Him. You are in God’s sight as perfect as if you had never sinned; more than that, the Lord our Righteousness has clothed you with a royal robe of righteousness, which is wholly undeserved—you have the righteousness of God.

You who are mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of your sins can condemn you. You have learned to hate sin; but you have also learned how that sin is not yours—it was laid upon Christ’s head. Your standing is not in yourself—it is in Christ. Your acceptance is not in yourself, but in your Lord; you are just as accepted by God today, with all your sinfulness, as you will be when you stand before His throne, free from all corruption.

So I urge you, take hold of this precious thought—perfection in Christ! For you are “complete in Him.”1 With your Savior’s garment on, you are as holy as the Holy One. “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”2

Christian, let your heart rejoice, for you are “accepted in the beloved”3—what do you have to fear? Keep a smile on your face! Live near your Master; live in the suburbs of the Heavenly City; for soon, when your time has come, you will rise up to where Jesus sits and reign at His right hand; and all because the Lord Jesus was made “to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

1Colossians 2:10, KJV 2Romans 8:34 3Ephesians 1:6

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Devotional

 

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