All of them agree with the doctrines of grace; but refuse to associated with any “ism”.
Just curious if they are consistent with their disassociation with "any ism"? For example, do they want nothing to do with Presbyterianism, or Congregationalism, or Continental Reformism, or Evangelicalism... or Confessionalism even?
I echo Robin's response. The Scriptures are clear as a bell on this as Paul, by the inspiration of the Spirit wrote:
Romans 1:16-21 (ASV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, [even] his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: 21 because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.
Whoever believes that "Natural Theology" can lead someone to salvation in Christ, 1) cannot believe in the doctrine of Total Depravity/Inability, and 2) that knowledge of Christ isn't necessary for salvation. For Natural Theology in and of itself reveals nothing of the Son of God becoming man, living a perfect righteous life, being crucified as the Lamb of God (the antecedently absolutely necessary substitutionary atonement), the death of Christ and His resurrection. Nor does it reveal the absolute necessity of the supernatural new birth and power of the Spirit giving and leading a sinner to repentance and faith in Christ.... etc. (cf. Rom 10:14-17; 1Cor 1:18-24; 1Thess 2:13; 2Thess 2:13,14; 1Pet 1:23-25)
To a lesser extent, substitute Classical Apologetics for Natural Theology and the same applies. I don’t believe there is a better substitute than leading with the Word, nor should acceptance of the hearer be presupposed. But that cannot impact what we know to be true, nor can we sacrifice anything….
All reborn eventually realize the invaluable paces in the Father’s school of learning, which is most understood through traversing its difficulties, hardness and trials. We white-knuckle the paces initially, but progressively learn that the lessons are rigged, for none of them can escape the pre-planned work of the Father to be beneficial “to” our “good” (Ro 8:28). Thus each trial encountered, whether white-knuckled or not, is used by Him to teach us to entrust all to Him (1Pe 5:7). Being presently in the residences of this wilderness earth and in heaven (Eph 2:6), believers are assured of the Spirit to progress in appropriating the supplies above, to strengthen their walk below. NC
The longer you are in the wilderness as a Caleb, with an actual acquaintance with Hebron, the more truly and really does your heart make ready for possession, as well as being enriched with the durable nature of the Father’s mercies to you here. “Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell” (Deut 8:4). Hence, the longer one is on the journey, the more marvelous the unchanging character of His care and ways with us.
The wilderness was immensely different to Caleb and the rest of Israel. He was not in the land, he was traveling on to take possession, but of a country known, not only by report, but where he had been; and as he travelled on, he was learning that the very same care of provision made for him at the first, remained fresh and unworn up to the last.
Each year your heart is deepened in the care of the Father in the wilderness, and has a brightened consciousness of your heavenly possession, which becomes more enjoyable to you, while heaven is more and more within your reach. You can say, “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God” (Ps 92:13). You are blessed with the upper springs and the nether springs, and they increase simultaneously. It is as I enjoy the upper springs that I am conscious of the nether; as I eat of the corn of the land, so do I practically partake of the manna; as my heart is occupied with the glorified Lord Jesus, so are my steps here in His life and grace on earth.
The less you have from earth and the world, the more you are in the wilderness; and it is in the wilderness, and in the absence of natural supplies, that you know the Father’s care, and that the knowledge of heaven brightens. If you lose naturally, you gain spiritually as to both. The more the wilderness is the wilderness, the more the Father’s resources are made known to you. The moment we gain from the earth or man, we are losing the wilderness, and with it the divine comforts of it.
If I have nothing but my Father, I am in the wilderness, and I am supremely happy. It is the admixture of the old and new wine which occasions our ups and downs here. The wilderness is having all our resources in the Father on earth, and without any check in heaven. I might retire from the world politically and positionally, and yet enjoy the things that are in it; and inasmuch as I do so, I am not in the wilderness in the true sense of the word, nor enjoying the Father’s provisions for me when in it.
The Father will take care that my needed comfort shall not be impaired, nor my natural force abated. The more all my springs are in Him, the more I really enjoy heaven, where all my springs shall be in Him, with everything to cooperate and nothing to distract or hinder. It is only as you are thus truly in the wilderness that you are in the joys of the Father, or are able to discern what is of Him all round you.
If I am in the light I know what light is, for it aids me; and I know darkness, for it opposes me. “He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1Co 2:15). It is not that you have spiritual knowledge, but that you are spiritual, living on divine springs; and then you can determine like test-paper the reality of each, and you seek it too. You know nothing but as you have been in it; you cannot know the heavenly but as you have been in it; and you cannot discern in another what you have not known in yourself. You may see what you have not known yourself. You may see more in another than in yourself, but you could not see it at all if it were not, in some measure, in yourself.
- J B Stoney (1814-1897)
M J Stanford online devotional excerpt for October 22
“OF HIM ARE YE IN CHRIST JESUS, WHO OF GOD IS MADE UNTO US. . . SANCTIFICATION” (1 COR. 1:30).
If we keep in mind that the Lord Jesus is our Sanctification, the seemingly difficult subject will clearly unfold for us day by day.
“But yet you are sanctified. Sanctification has nothing whatever to do with the extinction of evil in the flesh. That idea, begun with Pelagius, revived by Thomas a’Kempis, handed down through Jeremy Taylor, the French and Dutch mystics, Wm. Law and John Wesley, has passed into other communions where they have no notion whatever whence it came.” -W.K.
The thing that seemed to give the PCA a big hard push back to it's roots at the last General Assembly was the overwhelming number of "Ruling Elders" (that is, non-professionals) that have had enough of the highly-super-educated-and wise-far-beyond-us-mere-mortals clergy (so-called "Teaching Elders") whose great worldly wisdom has led to a bunch of "woke" crud creeping in.
It is not "natural Theology and Special Theology, have equal authority" which is meaningless on its face. Theology is the study of God and whatever is to be known about God, He Himself must reveal it. Thus, the actual issue is with Natural revelation vs. Special Revelation. One cannot even begin to comprehend the created without the supernatural, inspired Revelation of God as the "sole and final authority in all matters of faith and practice". Everything is meaningless without God, for all things are in some way an expression of Himself. And the incarnate Son of God is the ultimate and perfect Revelation of the living God (Col 1:9-17; Heb 1:3) who cannot be known apart from the ONLY authoritative written Revelation of God, the Bible.
Disagreements occur when one, the other or both fail to practice biblical hermeneutical principles to interpret the Bible. And, we must never underestimate the noetic effects of sin upon the mind and hearts of even the regenerate which often clouds sound judgment. Now, we know in part... but that does not in any way diminish the principle of "Sola Scriptura"; the Scriptures ALONE! it being the only inspired, infallible, inerrant supernatural communication from God to mankind, which is wholly authoritative over all things.
Interesting to note: The new "fully FDA-approved" Cominaty vaccine from Pfizer has not yet been released in the United States. Probably for two reasons:
There are still a zillion and twelve doses of the old stuff still to be given. They're not going to just toss all that.
Pfizer can be sued for damages caused by a fully-approved medication / vaccine, unlike one released under Emergency Use Authorization.
No one in the United States has been given the new Cominaty vaccine at all. There are still solid legal grounds for refusing the vaccine because the ones being distributed in the US are in fact still experimental.
Dialogues with unbelievers over doctrine can actually be dangerous to ourselves and also sin.
A while back I learned from a man, Dean Gotcher of Authority Research about the dangers of dialogues with unbelievers on scripture/doctrine. Eve dialogued with Satan, bad move. She became deceived. Because she ended up questioning God's Word and also mishandled or twisted what God said.
In Matthew chapter 4 the exchange between Satan and Jesus has Jesus simply, correctly, quoting scripture, to refute Satan. Big difference.
With the ones that are in my life, who are unsaved, I do not ever discuss those 'political' hot topics. Because it's rooted in spiritual deception anyway. They don't get it.
The real problem is that my loved ones are not saved. So there can be no understanding of what I might say to them regarding for instance, the stand that even supposed Christians are now taking regarding abortion, homosexuality, or any other morality issue that is embraced by an unbeliever.
I find that it's important to pray always for those that I love and are deceived. I pray constantly for their regeneration and salvation. God's timing is not mine. It's hard to watch the deceived ones you love promote deception and lies.
But pray always, and look for or wait for those opportunities to share the gospel. You can only plant seeds or water those seeds. If you get to reap a harvest know that every false belief will be taken care of, as the Holy Spirit teaches and leads them into truth. I see the embracing of false theology or 'political' abhorrent beliefs as symptoms. Its a symptom of spiritual deadness or at least of a weak and ignorant believer. Pray always.
“If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26 KJV).” “If we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins” (NLT).
If it were said that one received the truth (the Gospel), it could be correctly conceived that one believed and accepted salvation. But this passage refers to, not the truth but the “knowledge of the truth.” Can one reborn (saved) continue to live sinning intentionally—as was prior to rebirth? No! This would prove the absence of rebirth. The design of the passage intends the sense of one coming to know what the Gospel is, and continues to willingly live in sin, without receiving the Gospel—but only receiving (discovering) the knowledge of it.
“It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness (receive the knowledge of the truth), than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment” (2Pe 2:21). “They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin” (Jhn 15:22, 24).
“And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luk 12:47, 48). This answers to the saying that “proportionate to a man's light is his guilt!”
Simply that all true believers who are, for example, called to the gospel ministry in some form, are done so by the Spirit of God working in that individual's mind and soul. This is not to be construed that God the Spirit actually speaks verbally and directly to that individual, but rather through guidance, the Scriptures and secondary means. (I'm a cessationist) Before Christ's resurrection, He commissioned His disciples personally. But thereafter, having promised to send them and all true believers "another comforter/advocate", i.e., the Holy Spirit who would dwell within them, it is He the Spirit who does that work. And, as I mentioned before an exception was the Apostle Paul (Gal 1:10-12; Acts 9:3-6).
I see, I thought you meant after our resurrection. I too, and most of Christendom are cessationists. Thanks, for the explanation and God bless!
One of the primary goals for believers is to “exhort one another” (Heb 10:25; also Heb 3:13; 1Th 4:18; 5:11), for as they grow in Christ (Eph 4:15; Eph 2:21; 1Pe 2:2; 2Pe 3:18) they become more aware of identifying “the old man” or “sin that dwelleth within” (Ro 7:17, 20) and its devices. Learning the correct response to it is where the growth is learned. Nothing can inhibit the work of God’s salvation performed within a soul, but there can be delay concerning spiritual growth, which results in excessive discouragement. “The lost need saved and the saved need delivered,” from self, Satan and society. God give us to “be strong,” not in self but “in the Lord” (Eph 6:10). NC
The plant called “hen and chickens” is a very beautiful illustration of the new man—Christ and His own. The stem and large central flower is the parent plant, and growing out of the stem all around are small blossoms, alike in color and material to the central one, and differing only in size. The color always indicates the material, and morally the outside must be in keeping with the life within. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect (mature—NC) man” (Jas 3:2).
Our great study should be to increase the treasure within (not salvation but fruit of the Spirit in our walk—NC), for according to as I am a mirror, I reflect the Lord Jesus—that is, in the moral order which is suited to, and emanating from the Father. There it is that my spiritual tastes are formed, and there they are fed, and I am to be an epistle here of what is written on me there. I find no help from my body, but it is an “earthen vessel that the excellency of the power may be of God” (2Co 4:7). I acquire the tastes, for use here, and I seek to express them here (formed There—used here—NC).
It is not merely conscience judging whether I am up to the Word or light made known to me; but spiritual taste is much more—it is nature (the nature of a being is the most important attribute, as it determines the quality of the soul’s thoughts and decisions—NC). My taste is formed in glory, and there it is nurtured and strengthened, and as it is, so do I find nothing here in keeping with my taste (other than other believers of course—NC). Association with the Son of Man, the One most perfect, and in every way most beautiful, develops my new life and nature, which are the same as His (minus the deity of course – Col 3:4—NC). Where He is, is my home—there I feed and rest; but here on earth, I am learning to set aside in death everything in me which hinders the “manifestation” of the Lord Jesus in my “mortal flesh” (2Co 4:11).
Now if I have only conscience, and if I hear much truth, or see much light, I am ever judging myself as to the extent in which I have received it. Conscience never imparts (but supplies what you are to impart or decide—NC). It is like a register, which keeps an account of all the changes of conditions, or a pedometer, that only goes as you move, and therefore records how much you have walked. It occupies you with your condition.
On the other hand, taste is ever set on finding something to suit itself. The blessed Lord walked about on earth—His own estate—looking for everything in it which could suit His taste (possibly during His growth years—NC). He required no register, no action of conscience (no need to discern good and evil for He already kows—NC), but He found very little here for His taste, while He continued in heaven, though manifestly on the earth (Jn 3:13 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven,” which manifests Christ’s omnipresence. The phrase "who is in heaven” is omitted in the modern inferior translations—NC). He was the “Son of Man which is in heaven.” I do not say for a moment that we can go on without the conscience—it is quite right that the register should take note of the changes of condition, but this of itself would never advance us (e.g. how one responds to the conscience is what can cause advancement—NC).
Where the taste is the primary thing, then the conscience only warns or intimates to us that the taste has not been, as I may say, consulted. You can discern a person’s taste by the company he seeks. If you choose company below what your conscience approves of, your tastes are low, and you will sink—the dead are there; but if you seek the company morally superior to you, your tastes are good, and you will be helped and strengthened even though you may feel your own inferiority.
As I cultivate divine taste, I am occupied with good, and the more I am so, the stricter becomes my conscience to record the changes of condition. How different the experiences, “My soul thirsteth for Thee” (Psa 63:1), and “Why art thou cast down oh my soul?” In the former I am occupied with Him who satisfies me; my taste has found its object. But when I am watching (applying excessive reference—NC) what the conscience records, I am occupied with the result of life, rather than with the strength to support it, and this always depresses.
—J B Stoney (1814-1897)
MJS devotional excerpt for October 12
“If our affections are true to the glorified Lord Jesus, they will make this world a wilderness to us but if our affections do not make it a wilderness His government will. The Father loves us too well to allow our hearts to nestle here; and He makes us conscious that it is a wilderness that He may have opportunity in our loneliness and our sorrow to speak to our hearts. The Voice that could not be heard in the din and bustle, and amid the laughter of the city, can be heard in the silence and solitude of the wilderness.” -C. A. Coats (1862-1945) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
Is it just me or did MacArthur seem to gloss over the fact that (quoting from Pilgrim's pamphlet, 'A Summary of the Gospel') "there is absolutely nothing we can do to even initiate this supernatural work with in us. Yet, it is absolutely necessary that it happen." Repentance and belief without the sovereignty of God makes faith meritorious instead of instrumental. Sounds Arminian.
Nothing relating to the future is in anywise uncertain so far as the actualization of God's counsels are concerned. None of His decrees are left contingent either on creatures or secondary causes. There is no future event which is only a mere possibility, that is, something which may or may not come to pass: "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning" (Acts 15:18). Whatever God has decreed is inexorably certain, for He is without variableness, or shadow of turning (James 1:17).
Therefore we are told at the very beginning of that book, which unveils to us so much of the future, of "Things which must shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1:1). The perfect knowledge of God is exemplified and illustrated in every prophecy recorded in His Word. In the Old Testament are to be found scores of predictions concerning the history of Israel, which were fulfilled to their minutest detail, centuries after they were made.
In them too are scores more foretelling the earthly career of Christ, and they too were accomplished literally and perfectly. Such prophecies could only have been given by One who knew the end from the beginning, and whose knowledge rested upon the unconditional certainty of the accomplishment of everything foretold.
In like manner, both Old and New Testament contain many other announcements yet future, and they too "must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44), must because foretold by Him who decreed them.
It should, however, be pointed out that neither God's knowledge nor His cognition of the future, considered simply in themselves, are causative. Nothing has ever come to pass, or ever will, merely because God knew it. The cause of all things is the will of God.
The man who really believes the Scriptures knows beforehand that the seasons will continue to follow each other with unfailing regularity to the end of earth's history (Genesis 8:22), yet his knowledge is not the cause of their succession. So God's knowledge does not arise from things because they are or will be, but because He has ordained them to be. God knew and foretold the crucifixion of His Son many hundreds of years before He became incarnate, and this, because in the divine purpose, He was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world: hence we read of His being "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23).
A word or two by way of application. The infinite knowledge of God should fill us with amazement. How far exalted above the wisest man is the Lord! None of us knows what a day may bring forth, but all futurity is open to His omniscient gaze.
The infinite knowledge of God ought to fill us with holy awe. Nothing we do, say, or even think, escapes the cognizance of Him with whom we have to do: "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3). What a curb this would be unto us, did we but meditate upon it more frequently! Instead of acting recklessly, we should say with Hagar, "Thou God seest me" (Genesis 16:13).
The apprehension of God's infinite knowledge should fill the Christian with adoration. The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him!
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5). God not only knows whatsoever has happened in the past in every part of His vast domains, and He is not only thoroughly acquainted with everything that is now transpiring throughout the entire universe, but He is also perfectly cognizant of every event, from the least to the greatest, that ever will happen in the ages to come. God's knowledge of the future is as complete as is His knowledge of the past and the present, and that is because the future depends entirely upon Himself.
Were it in anywise possible for something to occur apart from either the direct agency or permission of God, then that something would be independent of Him, and He would at once cease to be Supreme.
Now the divine knowledge of the future is not a mere abstraction, but something which is inseparably connected with and accompanied by His purpose. God has Himself designed whatsoever shall yet be, and what He has designed must be effectuated. As His most sure Word affirms, "He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand" (Daniel 4:35). And again, "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand" (Proverbs 19:21).
The wisdom and power of God being alike infinite, the accomplishment of whatever He has purposed is absolutely guaranteed. It is no more possible for the divine counsels to fail in their execution than it would be for the thrice holy God to lie.
To the believer, the fact of God's omniscience is a truth fraught with much comfort. In times of perplexity he says with Job, "But He knows the way that I take" (23:10). It may be profoundly mysterious to me, quite incomprehensible to my friends, but "He knows"! In times of weariness and weakness believers assure themselves, "He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). In times of doubt and suspicion they appeal to this very attribute, saying, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23,24).
In time of sad failure, when our actions have belied our hearts, when our deeds have repudiated our devotion, and the searching question comes to us, "Lovest thou Me?", we say, as Peter did, "Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee" (John 21:17).
Here is encouragement to prayer. There is no cause for fearing that the petitions of the righteous will not be heard, or that their sighs and tears shall escape the notice of God, since He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is no danger of the individual saint being overlooked amidst the multitude of supplicants who daily and hourly present their various petitions, for an infinite Mind is as capable of paying the same attention to millions as if only one individual were seeking its attention. So too the lack of appropriate language, the inability to give expression to the deepest longing of the soul, will not jeopardize our prayers, for "It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24).
Editor's note: To these wonderful thoughts we would add these words of the Spirit through the Apostle Paul, in which He tells us of the continual conversation among the Persons of the Godhead on behalf of the saints:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts [that is, our Lord Jesus] knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:26-31)
How solemn is this fact: Nothing can be concealed from God! "For I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them" (Ezekiel 11:5). Though He is invisible to us, we are not to Him. Neither the darkness of night, the closest curtains, nor the deepest dungeon can hide any sinner from the eyes of Omniscience.
The trees of the Garden were not able to conceal our first parents. No human eye beheld Cain murder his brother, but his Maker witnessed his crime. Sarah might laugh derisively in the seclusion of her tent, yet was it heard by Jehovah. Achan stole a wedge of gold and carefully hid it in the earth, but God brought it to light. David was at much pains to cover up his wickedness, but ere long the all-seeing God sent one of His servants to say to him, "Thou art the man!" (2 Samuel 12:7). And to writer and reader is also said, "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).
Men would strip Deity of His omniscience if they could - what a proof of Romans 8:7, that "the carnal mind is enmity against God"! The wicked do as naturally hate this divine perfection as much as they are naturally compelled to acknowledge it. They wish there might be no Witness of their sins, no Searcher of their hearts, no Judge of their deeds. They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts: "They consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness" (Hosea 7:2).
How solemn is Psalm 90:8! Good reason has every Christ-rejecter for trembling before it: "Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance."
If honest he must acknowledge that his own consciousness testifies to the fact that he sins willingly and therefore willfully, and that his conscience registers condemnation upon him. The very facts that we sin freely and that conscience accuses us show we ought to have avoided it. Whatever line a man takes in attempting to justify his own wrongdoing, he promptly forsakes it whenever his fellow-men wrong him. He never argues that they were unable to do otherwise,nor does he excuse them on the ground of their inheriting a corrupt nature from Adam! Moreover, in the hour of remorse, the man who has squandered his substance and wrecked his health does not even excuse himself, but freely owns, “What a fool I have been! There is no one to blame but myself.” The impotence of the natural man to choose God for his portion is greater than that of an ape to reason like an Isaac Newton, yet there is this vital difference between the two: The inability of the former is a criminal one, that of the latter is not so because of its native and original incapacity. Man’s moral inability lies not in the lack of capacity but in lack of desire. One incurs no guilt when there is a willingness of mind and a desire of heart to do the thing commanded but no capacity to carry it out. But where there is capacity (competent faculties) but unwillingness, there is guilt—wherever disaffection for God exists so does sin. Man’s moral inability consists of an inveterate aversion for God, and it is this corruption of heart which alone has influence to prevent the proper use of the faculties with which he is endowed, and issues in acts of sin and rebellion against God. Even the bare knowledge of duty in all cases renders moral agents under obligation to do it: “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It is very necessary that the preacher should be perfectly clear in his own mind that the moral impotence of the natural man is not of such a nature as to exempt him from God’s claims or excuse him from the discharge of his duties. Our Accountability to God ~ Arthur W. Pink
There is in the minds of unregenerate persons a moral Impotency, which is reflected on them greatly from the will and affections, whence the mind never will receive spiritual things; that is, it will always and unchangeably reject and refuse them, and that because of various lusts, corruptions and prejudices invincibly fixed in them, causing them to look on them as foolishness. Hence it will come to pass that no man shall be judged and perish at the Last Day merely on the account of his natural impotency. Every one to whom the Gospel has been preached, and by whom it is refused, shall be convinced of positive actings in their minds rejecting the Gospel for the love of self, sin, and the world. Thus our Savior tells the Jews, that no man can come unto Him unless the Father draw him, John 6:44. Such is their natural impotency that they cannot, nor is it to be cured but by an immediate divine instruction or illumination, as it is written, they shall be all taught of God, v. 45. But this is not all, He tells them elsewhere: you will not come unto me that you may have life, John 5:40. The present thing in question was not the power or impotency of their minds, but the obstinacy of their wills and affections which men shall principally be judged upon at the Last Day. For this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. John 3:19.
Regardless the reasons one might consider why man is born a sinner and needs saved, it’s my understanding that whatever may be conceived in thought concerning all the inquiries related to this or any other type of reasoning related to God’s ways, I’ve learned there’s nothing comparable to the worth of what God desires for us through enduring the trials, hardships and difficulties which He allows believers to encounter—because of “the old man.” It matters not why we have a sin nature, the prominent issue is that of not being too concerned of this truth, but gladly accepting that it’s obviously God’s way of manifesting Himself to those who will be His, or He would have performed it all another way, seeing He foreknew how all would transpire.
Ok you can breathe now and sorry for the two-sentenced paragraph!
Sometimes it is beneficial to return to "the basics" and do a review of those fundamental truths that are too often forgotten. This month's article does just that. The fundamental truths which the late Ernest Reisinger wrote about are the biblical doctrinal system of the faith; Calvinism, and one of the two main responsibilities of the Church and its members; evangelism. With the rapid erosion of sound doctrine there inextricably comes a distortion or even rejection of the Gospel. The result is always, without exception... FATAL! So, this month's article reviews both of these subjects and shows how they are inseparable despite what the majority view(s) of the world thinks. FYI, whenever you come across the writings of Ernest Reisinger don't pass them by. He was one of those 'notobles' which God blessed throughout his life and who was a blessing to those around him.