Archive for February, 2011

"Let the laying hold of Christ as my propitiation be the unvarying initial act of every morning."

Source: Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Chalmers, p. 248.

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Free will

According to the Scriptures, an unregenerate person has an enslaved will – enslaved to rejecting God every time all the time. Such a person willingly and voluntarily wills according to their sinful nature to reject God.

When God regenerates a person he gives them a new nature whereby they become able to choose God as is consistent with that new Spirit-created nature.

A person has a will that is voluntary to act according to one’s nature.

  • In the case of the unregenerate that will is enslaved to sin and rejection of God (although still voluntary).
  • In a regenerate person the will has been freed from bondage to sin and is able to choose what is pleasing to God.

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The will of man without the grace of God "is not free at all, but is the permanent prisoner and bondslave of evil since it cannot turn itself to good."

Source: Martin Luther

"We are all sinners by nature ,therefore we are held under the yoke of sin . But if the whole man is subject to the dominion of sin , surely the will , which is it’s principal seat , must be bound with the closest of chains."

Source: John Calvin

"Before the fall, man had been created with a free will, so that, had he been willing, he might have kept the law; his nature was pure; the disease of sin had not yet reached him … But having desired to be as God, he died – and not he alone, but all his posterity. Since then in Adam all men are dead, no one can recall them to life, until the Spirit, which is God himself, raises them from the dead."

Source: Ulrich Zwingli

"Free will I have often heard of, but I have never seen it. I have always met with will, and plenty of it, but it has either been led captive by sin or held in the blessed bonds of grace."

Source: C. H. Spurgeon

"There has been no such thing as freedom since Adam fell. Adam was free. Not a single child of Adam has ever been free… Man’s will has been bound ever since the fall of Adam. By nature man is not free to choose God … Do not talk to me about free will; there is no such thing. There is no such thing as free will in fallen man. The Bible teaches that."

Source: Martyn Lloyd-Jones Romans – Assurance

"The choices a fallen man makes are voluntary and self-determined, not coerced, but are in bondage and taken captive by sin, so they make evil choices of necessity, so they are not free. Free from coercion yes, but not free from necessity, due to a corruption of nature. Calvin said, "We do not say that fallen man is forced unwillingly into sinning, but rather that because his will is corrupt he is held captive under the yoke of sin (Rom 7:6; 2 Tim 2:26) and therefore sins of necessity."

"We do not make choices contrary to our desires or natures, nor separately from God’s meticulous providence."

Source: John Hendryx

"…we allow that man has choice and that it is self-determined, so that if he does anything evil, it should be imputed to him and to his own voluntary choosing. … We deny that choice is free, because through man’s innate wickedness it is of necessity driven to what is evil and cannot seek anything but evil. … we do not say that man is dragged unwillingly into sinning, but that because his will is corrupt he is held captive under the yoke of sin and therefore of necessity will in an evil way. For where there is bondage, there is necessity. But it makes a great difference whether the bondage is voluntary or coerced."

Source: John Calvin from Bondage and Liberation of the Will

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Greek words for love

Phileō (φιλεω) was the general verb for “love.” It has a wide range of meanings, stretching from hospitality to affection to love, even “to kiss.” It is not necessarily a softened form of love, and is used of God’s love for his Son and our love for God. For example, “the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does” (John 5:20). Paul warns the Corinthians, “If anyone does not love the Lord — a curse be on him” (1 Cor 16:22). Jesus loved Lazarus (John 11:3). [In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers]

Eros (ερως) was basically sexual love between a man and a woman. BDAG lists it’s gloss as, “to feel passionately about, have a longing for, feel fervently about.“ It does not occur in the New Testament.

Storge (στεργω) is more the idea of affection [and is used for a person’s affection like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.] It does not occur in the New Testament except in compounds.

Agápe (αγαπη) was a colorless word without any great depth of meaning. [Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings for a spouse.] Perhaps it is because the word was so colorless that the New Testament writers chose it to express a specifically Christian kind of love, most importantly God’s love for his unlovely creation. All those great talks you have heard about αγαπη love being an undeserved love for the unlovely really has nothing to do with what the Greek word meant in the Koine. Rather, the word was infused with God’s love and so after the first century carried the biblical nuances of God’s love.

φιλεω phileō overlaps in meaning with αγαπη agápe so care needs to be exercised in assuming there are always specific differences in meaning between these two words. One of the famous passages is John 21:15-17 where the risen Jesus asks Peter if he loves him, switching the words for love (as well as other words that appear to be in parallel, e.g., “feed”).

The fact of the matter is that Leon Morris has proven that John likes to use synonyms, and variations do not necessarily have any meaning other than stylistic concerns. And the variations here make no sense if φιλεω is a watered down form of love (e.g., “like”). B.B. Warfield’s, The Terminology of Love in the NT (PTR 16, 1918, 1–45, 153–203) is the classic work on the meaning of these words.

Source: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=135020225952

William D. Mounce (PhD, Aberdeen University) lives as a writer in Spokane, Washington. He is the president of Biblical Training, a non-profit organization offering the finest in evangelical teaching to the world for free. See BillMounce.com for more information. Formerly he was the preaching pastor at a church in Spokane, and prior to that a professor of New Testament and director of the Greek program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of the bestselling New Testament Greek resources, Basics of Biblical Greek, and served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version translation of the Bible.

Note: [text] is not the writing of Mounce

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Union with Christ

Decreetal Union (Ephesians 1:4) – Union with Christ in election before the creation of the world in past ages eternal.

Redemptive-Historical Union (Romans 6:1-11) – Union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

Experiential Union (Romans 16:7) – Union with Christ by faith in time and for future ages eternal.

James S. Stewart wrote that “union with Christ, rather than justification or election or eschatology, or indeed any of the other great apostolic themes, is the real clue to an understanding of Paul’s thought and experience” (A Man in Christ [Harper & Bros., 1955], vii).

John Murray wrote that “union with Christ is . . . the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation. . . . It is not simply a phase of the application of redemption; it underlies every aspect of redemption” (Redemption—Accomplished and Applied [Eerdmans, 1955], pp. 201, 205).

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Imaging Christ

You particularly image Christ by looking out for the well-being of those God has placed within your care. – David Powlison

Do my children look to the way I lead my wife and the way I lead them and see a reflection of the love of Christ?

Do the men and women of Church see me leading them and learn that Christ labors for them in prayer, that he longs for them to know the Father through the Word?

Source: Imaging Christ | Challies Dot Com http://www.challies.com/christian-living/imaging-christ

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Men are pursuers. Women are responders.  Because gender is a picture of the gospel. God’s “role assignments” for men and women are a living picture of Christ’s pursuit and provision of us, the church, his bride. … females, are designed to be responders. Not as punishment for being less skilled or weak, but because this is how Jesus asks us to glorify him. Your Savior is asking you to be the responder … in your marriage, in your church – so that His redemptive salvation is declared to the world.

source: http://www.girlsgonewise.com/me-tarzan-you-jane/

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Things to read one day on God’s sovereignty and human will

Part I: The Will and Affections are in Bondage to Sin

A Treatise on Grace and Free Will by St. Augustine
Grace Creates a Truly Free Will
by St. Augustine
Short Excerpt From Packer’s Intro to Luther’s Bondage of the Will
by J. I. Packer
Key Quotes from "The Bondage of the Will"
by Martin Luther
Bondage of the Will
by Martin Luther (Book)
Man Now Deprived of Freedom of the Will, and Miserably Enslaved
by John Calvin
Freedom of the Will
by Jonathan Edwards (Book)
Augustine & The Pelagian Controversy
by B. B. Warfield
Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism & Augustinianism
by A. A. Hodge
Law and Grace
by John Murray
Free Will and Merit Fairly Examined
by Augustus Toplady
Man’s Free Will or Impotency and the Punishment Due Upon Sin
by Wilhelmus à Brakel
Free Will – A Slave
by C. H. Spurgeon
Human Inability
by C. H. Spurgeon
God’s Will and Man’s Will
by C. H. Spurgeon
Adam’s Fall and Free-Will
by R. L. Dabney
God Sovereign and Man Free: or the Doctrine of Divine Foreordination and Man’s Free Agency, Stated, Illustrated, and Proved from the Scriptures
by N.L. Rice, D.D. (book)
Arminianism Restrictive of Divine Free Agency
by Rev. Samuel J. Cassells
Free Will
by A. A. Hodge
Arminianism: The Golden Idol of Free Will
by Augustus Toplady
The Arminian Theory of Redemption
by R. L Dabney
The Theology of the Reformation
by B. B. Warfield
The Doctrine of Man’s Impotence
by A. W. Pink (book)


Part II: God’s Sovereignty and Free Will

God’s Sovereignty and the Human Will by A.W. Pink
God’s Foreknowledge and Free Will
by Stephen Charnock
Is Predestination Inconsistent With the Free Agency And Moral Responsibility of Man?
by Loraine Boettner
The Potter and the Clay
by George Whitefield
God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
by John Murray
God’s Will and Man’s Will
by Horatius Bonar
Grace Does Not Destroy Free Agency
by R. L. Dabney
Of The Freedom of the Will of Man
by John Gill
How Can God be Sovereign and Man Still be Free?
by John Hendryx



Arguments in Support of Free Will Refuted by John Calvin
Eleven (11) Reasons to Reject Libertarian Free Will
by John Hendryx
Does Forseen Faith Allow for Libertarian Free Will?
by John Hendryx
Bible Logic Fallacies of Synergism & Libertarian Free Will Theism
by John Hendryx & Roger Smalling
Does God Have A Libertarian Free Will?
by John Hendryx
The Gospel: Offer or Command?
by John Hendryx
Free Will in Philemon 1:14
by John Hendryx
Question on The State of Man’s Will Before the Fall
by John Hendryx
Free Will, Election & Foreknowledge

If Divine Election is True, and Man has No Free Will, Then What Need is There to Preach the Gospel? by John Hendryx
Conversation with a Synergist on Free Will
by John Hendryx
Responsibility, Inability and Grace (Chart)
by John Hendryx
Is the Will Free by Nature or by Grace?
by John Hendryx
Does the Title"The Need for Grace Does Away With Free Will Altogether" Overstate the Case? by John Hendryx

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Today’s Bible Talk

As I was talking about our total inability to choose God in our unregenerate state, Matthew leaned over to his mum and said:

I want to get born two times because I don’t want to die. When I die Jesus will raise me up.

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Source: George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1993), pages 483–484:

Justification, which primarily means acquittal at the final judgment, has already taken place in the present. The eschatological judgment is no longer alone future; it has become a verdict in history. Justification, which belongs to the Age to Come and issues in the future salvation, has become a present reality inasmuch as the Age to Come has reached back into the present evil age to bring its soteric blessings to human beings. An essential element in the salvation of the future age is the divine acquittal and the pronouncement of righteousness; this acquittal, justification, which consists of the divine absolution of sin, has already been effected by the death of Christ and may be received by faith here and now. The future judgment has thus become essentially a present experience. God in Christ has acquitted the believer; therefore he or she is certain of deliverance from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9) and no longer stands under condemnation (Rom. 8:1). …

Justification is one of the blessings of the inbreaking of the new age into the old. In Christ the future has become present; the eschatological judgment has in effect already taken place in history. As the eschatological Kingdom of God is present in history in the Synoptics, as the eschatological eternal life is present in Christ in John, as the eschatological resurrection has already begun in Jesus’ resurrection, as the eschatological Spirit is given to the church in Acts (and in Paul), so the eschatological judgment has already occurred in principle in Christ, and God has acquitted his people.

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