Coming or Given?
November 24, 2010
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) This promise of the Lord Jesus illustrates the beautiful yet paradoxical complementarity of the gospel. The Lord Jesus gladly receives all who voluntarily come to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” He says (Matthew 11:28). Yet those who come to Him do so because they have been given to Him by the Father. Is this a contradiction? No, because both statements come from Christ. There are many Scriptures which teach that believers have been chosen by God, then drawn to Christ. On the other hand, there are many Scriptures which teach that one may freely accept or reject Christ and is responsible for his own decision. Yet the Scriptures themselves seem unaware that they pose a problem. For example, Peter preached on Pentecost, saying, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” And again, “the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord . . . to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before |i.e., ‘predestinated’| to be done” (Acts 2:23; 4:26, 28). In these passages, divine predestination is joined with human decisions without a hint that these concepts conflict with each other. Once again, God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Like the two sides of a coin, only one of which can be seen at a time, they are complementary truths, harmonious in the mind of God, but incapable of full comprehension by human minds. We can praise the Lord both for free salvation available to all who desire it and also for the comforting assurance that those who come have been “chosen . . . in him” (Ephesians 1:4) before the world began. HMM
|Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229
November 24, 2010
November 13, 2010
|Christ Our Substitute
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)
There are two specific references in the New Testament to Christ “bearing” our sins as He died on the cross. In addition to our text above, the other is 1 Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.”
However, the same word (Greek anaphero) is also used with a similar thrust in Hebrews 7:27, where it is translated “offer up”: “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
When Christ died, He died as a substitutionary sacrifice, “offering up” our sins for judgment and punishment by a holy God, as He simultaneously “offered up” Himself as the One who would submit to that judgment and bear that punishment. He was able to do this because He was both the infinite Creator and the one sinless man, who needed not to offer a sacrifice for His own sins. He was willing to do this because He loved us and wanted to save us.
This doctrine of substitutionary sacrifice is central to the gospel of salvation, and therefore precious to the saint. But its central importance likewise means that it is profoundly offensive to the natural man. Many acclaim Him as a great martyr or a great teacher, but deny either His deity or His humanity, and certainly deny the universal efficacy of His shed blood in substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of a lost world.
Nevertheless, He did bear the sins of “the many,” and He did completely settle our account with God. In both Hebrews 7:27 and 9:28 (as cited above), the word “once” means, literally, “once for all.” He did have to die once–but only once–as our sin-bearing substitute. Thus, when He comes again, it will be “without sin unto salvation.” HMM
April 21, 2010
Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229
November 3, 2010
I do not like those messages that come to me that tell me at its end for me not to be ashamed of Jesus or of God to pass this on. Well, to begin with I admit that I am not ashamed to state that Jesus Christ is my Lord & Savior. I am even glad to share the gospel of Christ to any who wish to hear. I am not ashamed to be seen at church. Nor am I ashamed to be seen in public praying over my meals. So next time someone sends me one of those not to be ashamed messages. Please understand that I am not ashamed to be known as a Christian, but I am disappointed that someone has to send me a message to tell me not to be ashamed to forward their messages – for if you have to tell me, then you just really do not know me at all. Now to me that is something to be ashamed of.