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The Potter's Clay

Scripture, Theology, the Christian worldview, and other ramblings.

28 February 2005

It is Just with God...

"It is just with God eternally to cast off and destroy sinners."
When men are fallen, and become sinful, God by his sovereignty has a right to determine about their redemption as he pleases. He has a right to determine whether he will redeem any or not. He might, if he had pleased, have left all to perish, or might have redeemed all. Or, he may redeem some, and leave others; and if he doth so, he may take whom he pleases, and leave whom he pleases. To suppose that all have forfeited his favor, and deserved to perish, and to suppose that he may not leave any one individual of them to perish, implies a contradiction; because it supposes that such a one has a claim to God's favor, and is not justly liable to perish; which is contrary to the supposition.

It is meet that God should order all these things according to his own pleasure. By reason of his greatness and glory, by which he is infinitely above all, he is worthy to be sovereign, and that his pleasure should in all things take place. He is worthy that he should make himself his end, and that he should make nothing but his own wisdom his rule in pursuing that end, without asking leave or counsel of any, and without giving account of any of his matters. It is fit that he who is absolutely perfect, and infinitely wise, and the Fountain of all wisdom, should determine every thing [that he effects] by his own will, even things of the greatest importance. It is meet that he should be thus sovereign, because he is the first being, the eternal being, whence all other beings are. He is the Creator of all things; and all are absolutely and universally dependent on him; and therefore it is meet that he should act as the sovereign possessor of heaven and earth.

- Jonathan Edwards
THE JUSTICE OF GOD IN THE DAMNATION OF SINNERS
Romans 3:19 That every mouth may be stopped.
Discourse number 4 in "Five discourses on Important Subjects, Nearly concerning the Great Affair of the Soul's Eternal Salvation" Works vol 1: 668-679. Also in "Knowing Christ": Banner of Truth Trust; 114-155.

25 February 2005

Inerrancy essays

There are three good essays on inerrancy over at Challies.com. Worth the time to read.
Part 1; Part 2; Part 3

In Christ,
Joe

24 February 2005

Critique of the PDL movement

Here are two good articles on the errors in the Purpose Driven Life movement. Worth the time to read...

The Adulation of Man in The Purpose Driven Life
The Purpose Driven Life: Demeaning the Very Nature of God

Unconverted men would kill God!

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Matthew" 1856)

Pilate asked them, "what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" And they all shouted,"Crucify Him!" "Let His blood be on us and on our children!" Matthew 27:22, 25

We see in these verses, the desperate wickedness of human nature.

What had our Lord done, that the Jews should hate Him so? He was no robber, or murderer. He was no blasphemer of their God, or reviler of their prophets.

He was one whose life was love.

He was one who went about doing good, and healing those who were oppressed by the devil.

He was innocent of any transgression against the law of God or man.

And yet the Jews hated Him, and never rested until He was slain!

They hated Him, because He told them the truth.

They hated Him, because He testified that their works were evil.

They hated the light, because it made their own darkness visible.

In a word, they hated Christ, because He was righteous and they were wicked; because He was holy and they were unholy; because He testified against sin, and they were determined to keep their sins and not let them go.

Let us observe this.

There are few things so little believed and realized as the corruption of human nature. Men imagine that if they saw a perfect person, they would love and admire him. They forget that when a really perfect man was on earth, He was hated and put to death! That single fact goes far to prove that unconverted men would kill God, if they could get at Him!

Let us never be surprised at the wickedness there is in the world. Let us mourn over it, and labor to make it less, but let us never be surprised at its extent.

There is nothing which the heart of man is not capable of conceiving, or the hand of man of doing.

As long as we live, let us mistrust our own hearts. Even when renewed by the Spirit, they are still "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." (Jeremiah 17:9)

23 February 2005

Monergism Books

If you want to find some great books from a Reformed perspective, I highly recommend Monergism Books. Good selection, service, prices and a great ministry. Well worth supporting!

Monergism Books

20 February 2005

Growth in Grace

Young converts are prone to depend too much on joyful frames, and love high excitement in their devotional exercises; but their heavenly Father cures them of this folly, by leaving them for a season to walk in darkness and struggle with their own corruptions. When most sorely pressed and discouraged, however, He strengthens them with might in the inner man. He enables them to stand firmly against temptation; or, if they slide, he quickly restores them, and by such exercises they become much more sensible of their entire dependence than they were at first. They learn to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long, and to distrust entirely their own wisdom and strength, and to rely for all needed aid on the grace of Jesus Christ. Such a soul will not readily believe that it is growing in grace. But to be emptied of self-dependence, and to know that we need aid for every duty, and even for every good thought, is an important step in our progress in piety. The flowers may have disappeared from the plant of grace, and even the leaves may have fallen off, and wintry blasts may have shaken it, but now it is striking its roots deeper, and becoming every day stronger to endure the rugged storm.

-Archibald Alexander

Redeeming Time

Time is very precious, because when it is past, it cannot be recovered. There are many things which men possess, which if they part with, they can obtain them again. If a man has parted with something which he had, not knowing the worth of it, or the need he should have of it; he often can regain it, at least with pains and cost. But it is not so with respect to time. When once that is gone, it is gone forever; no pains, no cost will recover it. Though we repent ever so much that we let it pass, and did not improve it while we had it, it will be to no purpose. Every part of it is successively offered to us, that we may choose whether we will make it our own, or not. But there is no delay. It will not wait upon us to see whether or not we will comply with the offer. But if we refuse, it is immediately taken away, and never offered more. As to that part of time which is gone, however we have neglected to improve it, it is out of our possession and out of our reach.
If we have lived fifty, or sixty, or seventy years, and have not improved our time, now it cannot be helped. It is eternally gone from us. All that we can do, is to improve the little that remains. Yea, if a man has spent all his life but a few moments unimproved, all that is gone is lost, and only those few remaining moments can possibly be made his own. And if the whole of a man’s time be gone, and it be all lost, it is irrecoverable. — Eternity depends on the improvement of time. But when once the time of life is gone, when once death is come, we have no more to do with time; there is no possibility of obtaining the restoration of it, or another space in which to prepare for eternity. If a man should lose the whole of his worldly substance, and become bankrupt, it is possible that his loss may be made up. He may have another estate as good. But when the time of life is gone, it is impossible that we should ever obtain another such time. All opportunity of obtaining eternal welfare is utterly and everlastingly gone.

--Jonathan Edwards