All Posts (Page 34)

All Posts (Page 34)

Statement of Purpose

  Christ Fellowship Statement of Purpose We exist to love God with our warmest affection and highest devotion to love one another as Christ has loved us, and to love others as we desire to be loved ourselves. Why love? What about worship, teaching, preaching, personal holiness, and evangelism? Should our focus really be so narrow when the Christian life involves so many other necessary things? In the New Testament, love is consistently viewed as the highest of Christian virtues-the…

Thinking and Speaking Biblically About the Death of Christ, Part 1

Part 1: Thinking Biblically The Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century rightly claimed that justification comes through faith alone, in the person and work of Christ alone—not through works of righteousness done by the individual. Their claim, however, was not well received by the professing Christian leaders of the time, men who held that in addition to faith, there remained other requirements for final salvation. They held that various forms of religious activity, such as baptism, confession, participation in the…

Thinking and Speaking Biblically About the Death of Christ, Part 2

The Unambiguous and Unified Teaching of Scripture The Bible makes it clear that Jesus did not intend to merely make all men savable. His purpose was to actually "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Jesus described His own mission on earth, saying, "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10, also see Ezekiel 34:11-15). And the saving of all of His people, God’s elect, is consistently said not only…

Thinking and Speaking Biblically About the Death of Christ: Appendix 1

Appendix 1: Passages that Seem to Say God Wants to Save Everyone  (1 Timothy 2:4; Ezekiel 18:23, 30-32; 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9) 1 Timothy 2:4 In 1 Timothy 2, Paul says to Timothy that it is desirable for Christians to "lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (vv.…

Thinking and Speaking Biblically About the Death of Christ: Appendix 2

Appendix 2: Passages that Seem to Say Christ Died for Everyone (1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Since the Bible is the Word of God it is self-consistent. Consequently if we find a passage which in itself is capable of two interpretations, one of which harmonizes with the rest of the Scriptures while the other does not, we are duty bound to accept the former. (Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination) …

Thinking and Speaking Biblically About the Death of Christ: Appendix 3

   Appendix 3: The Redemptive Love of God and the Meaning of “the World” in John 3:16    All that are within the circle of Christ’s love must be within the circle of our love, and to contend for doctrine in a manner which ignores this truth is a rending of the unity of the true church, which is His body. Nevertheless it is equally evident that no man’s beliefs or preaching are above the need of testing, and it is the duty of…

Understanding Creation – "Basic Truth" series, #3

Creation Ex Nihilo Paul described God as the One “who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist” (Romans 4:17, NASB). His words are the perfect definition of the Hebrew word for “create” (bara) used in Genesis 1:1. The word literally means “to bring something into existence that did not exist before.” God created everything that now exists ex nihilo, a Latin term meaning “out of nothing.” A sculptor will take a rough piece…

Understanding God – "Basic Truth" series, #2

How does the Bible describe God? God is Perfect We might describe our mother as “a good person.” We might say that an honest judge is “a just man.” But only God is perfectly good and perfectly just. All human beings, even those we admire and trust, are, by nature, imperfect, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But “As for God,” David writes in Psalm 18:30, “His way is perfect.” God is…

Understanding God’s Purpose in Sending His Son – "Basic Truth" series, #7

  . . . and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)   God the Father sent His Son into the world with a definite purpose. It was a purpose that can even be seen in His name. When the angel spoke to Joseph, he told him to name the baby “Jesus” because He would save His people from their sins. The name Jesus is the Latin form of the…

Understanding Man’s Inability – "Basic Truth" series, #6

The Bible speaks of two kinds of people: those who have been “born again” (John 3:3, cf. James 1:18), and those who remain in their sinful corruption—the “natural man” (1 Cor. 2:14). Only the person who understands the gospel and believes in Jesus Christ will be saved. But which kind of person truly believes? A better question might be this: Which kind of person is able to believe? God: Life-Preserver or Life-Giver? The analogy of a drowning person has often…

Understanding Providence (part 1) – "Basic Truth" series, #4

Meticulous Providence “Providence” is a theological term describing God’s ruling and governing of His creation. “Meticulous” providence depicts God as ordering and directing everything—every detail in the universe. In Ephesians 1:11 we are told that God “works all things according to the counsel of His will.” And consider the words of Romans 11:36: “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (emphasis added in each case). What relationship does God…

Understanding the Fall of Man – "Basic Truth" series, #5

Adam and Eve were the only two human beings (apart from Christ) to enter into life with a will that was truly free. Unlike every one of their descendants, they alone began life with the ability to reflect God’s holiness—the ability to remain sinless. But things soon changed for the worse. The Fall of Man God granted Adam and Eve free access to a rich variety of fruit with only one restriction. They were not to eat the fruit of…