Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Truth...

 ...from my favorite source...


 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to meis greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”
~John 10:24-30


Are you looking to grow in your walk with Christ? I desire to share some things that are on my heart. Deep truth that many don't understand. :) I pray you will grow in knowledge and wisdom...beginning here and through deeper studies of your own as the Lord leads!

Notice what I have in bold in the verses above the photo. Jesus did not say that the pharisees were not His sheep because they didn't believe. Realize what He *did* say...they *cannot* believe because they are not His sheep. Ponder that a moment and let the truth sink in.

Many Christians today would say this verse couldn't be true. They would say that the pharisees had the *chance* to believe but because they didn't (believe)...they did not become sheep. However, this is absolutely incorrect. Jesus spoke plainly. One cannot believe *unless* they *are* one of His sheep.

Every single person is born blind, spiritually. From the Fall, we are all utterly depraved, separated from God. We love our sin and are slaves to it. We can't earn our way to Him and don't even have a desire to because we love ourselves more. We are wretched, filthy sinners. No one is righteous...not one of us. It can seem like a terribly hopeless situation!

However, the Almighty, Creator God, in His infinite love, wisdom and grace, before the beginning of time chose to save His beloved. Not because of anything we have done...but out of His incredible mercy. He knew we would never be able to do anything to save ourselves...so He sent His Son to live a perfect, sinless life and bear the penalty and sins of His people on the cross. He imputes His righteousness to us...so we are redeemed only in His perfect work!

 If we believe that Christ is the Son of God and our Savior...it is *only* because God opened our eyes to Him first. If He doesn't do that for a person, they will never believe because they are walking around spiritually blind. Many see it as unfair for God to choose His people..but truly, at the Fall we all became blind to Him. No one would have any hope. It's a wonder and absolutely astounding that He would choose any of our wretched souls to save! All we can do is fall to our knees in humble adoration and gratitude and thank Him. He is worthy of *all* our praise!


So, then it is *always* asked...."If God chose certain people for His own...why evangelize?". The answer is simple really...but two-fold. 1. Christ *told* us to...so we obey. 2. God uses us as the *means* to bring people to Him. We can evangelize until we are blue in the face (or pink or purple! ;)...but not one single heart will turn to Him if He hasn't ordained it and opened their eyes to the truth of Him. 

“Faith is not the cause of the new birth, but the consequence of it. This ought not to need arguing. ... Faith is a spiritual grace, the fruit of the spiritual nature, and because the unregenerate are spiritually dead--‘dead in trespasses and sins’--then it follows that faith from them is impossible, for a dead man cannot believe anything” (The Sovereignty of God, p. 73). 
~ A.I. Pink

For those new to the Doctrines of Grace, it can seem like such an overwhelming thing to wrap your mind around...it can take a lot of time studying and praying to truly see. But as you pray for wisdom and keep diligently searching the scriptures...He will reveal it all to you! 

Along with studying your Bible...here are some links to help you in your learning:

The Doctrines of Grace (sermon series) ~ from Grace to You ministries (John MacArthur)

The Doctrines of Grace (written by D.James Kennedy) ~ Reformation Theology

Directory of Theology ~ Monergism.com

The Doctrine of Total Depravity (youtube sermon) ~ Voddie Baucham

Grace Alone ~ RC Sproul

Reformed Theology ~ Dr. James White


And for many more great resources check out my page HERE! :)

If you have questions, please ask. I am happy to help you understand the truth of God's sovereignty. I don't have all the answers....but I will do my best, with the ability God gives me, to help you try to grasp it all! :o)

Thank you for stopping by! I look forward to (hopefully) a lovely discussion (in the comment section) on all this. You don't have to agree...but gentle, loving, respectful words are mandatory in this conversation (Ephesians 4:1-6).

***I will quickly add that yes, I am quite disappointed in the election results for our president. However, knowing God is sovereign and in control of all things...I trust and find total comfort and peace in that! ♥

♥ In loving kindness,
Katy

22 comments:

  1. Katy, you have gone deeper into not only the doctrine of grace, but of election itself. I believe that we must all study to show ourselves approved. I know I need to do that even more. I hope what you share, and others as well, will help and encourage many. Blessings.

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    1. Yes, indeed! I love theology and enjoy studying it, sharing it and living it! :)

      Thanks so much for visiting!

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  2. Katy,

    I hadn't really considered that God "chooses" His people so much, as that we are to evangelize and be used to bring people to Him. It makes sense now that as you say, one can evangelize until they're "blue in the face," (; but some just won't get it. Oh my gosh - - that thought truly makes me sad!! Thinking back though, it makes sense. Thank you so much Katy for sharing this very profound post. It encourages me to remain in prayer and do my best to do what God asks -- letting Him take care of the rest.

    God bless you my friend!

    Mitzi

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    1. Oh, my friend, it is an infinitely true and hard-to-grasp realization! God has His elect...it's true...but not because of the good we have done, but out of His mercy in eternity past, out of His good pleasure He knew who were to be His sheep. What a great and mighty God we serve. :)

      Have a great weekend!

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    2. Thank you Katy. You have a nice weekend too! I keep checking back , because like you I was hoping for several responses and I'm curious to read them. I know this post was heartfelt and took a lot of your time. I appreciate it. (:

      Mitzi

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  3. I, too, have been heartsick today over the election results. But I serve an all-powerful, awesome God in heaven who rules all the nations and will have the final say in ALL things. Knowing He is in control brings me great comfort and hope. I cannot imagine what it must be like to not have that knowledge or comfort to cling to. I enjoyed your posting today. God Bless.

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  5. Katy,

    Wonderful post on this subject. Just reading Jesus' prayer to the Father in John 17, is a beautiful illustration of the purpose of His death. The Holy Spirit revealed these truths to us about 4 years ago. It gives me more confidence in witnessing to people because I know that it is not up to me to "convince" them of their need for salvation. It is very freeing to share the gospel and let the Holy Spirit do His work in their hearts. I love Steve Lawson's sermon series on the Doctrines of Grace in John. You can get it through Ligioner Ministries.

    The fiction book that I am reading is from the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. There are 9 books in the series. They are wonderful books! I don't care for murder mysteries!

    Bless you,

    Cindy

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    1. Cindy,

      I couldn't agree more. I used to feel defeated and confused when people didn't understand or get the Gospel. How could people be so blind? Then, when God revealed the Doctrines of Grace to me...it all became clear! We're ALL blind and wretched until He mercifully opens our eyes! All glory to Him!!! :)

      Kindly,
      Katy

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  6. John 3:16. God so loved the WORLD (in the Greek the world means the world). Your theology says that God only loved some of the world, or that He loved some of the world more than He loved the rest of it. That is not agape love. Either God is Love, or He is not. In Eph 2:8-9," we are saved by grace through faith," not faithed by grace through salvation. In the Greek the next part about it being a gift can only refer to salvation as a whole, not faith because in one instance the word is in the neuter case and in the other it is not.(I think you are doing Latin so that should make sense to you). Your theology also requires that God compel people to believe in Him who wouldn't choose to do so; i.e. irresistible grace. Grace Himself walked among us and was rejected. Jesus never forced anyone to believe in him. You are correct that those to whom Jesus was talking could not believe in Him because they weren't His sheep. God did not call them because of his sovereign foreknowledge. I suggest that you read Chosen But Free by Norman Geisler. But first read the gospel of John: John 20:31. John tells you how to be saved. Also reference I John 2:2 "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the WHOLE WORLD." I John 4:14 "And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." Cyril of Jersalem: "For if thou wert a fornicator of necessity then for what cause did God prepare hell? If thou wert a doer of righteousness by nature and not by will, wherefore did god prepare crowns of ineffable glory?"
    Thomas Aquinas "Man has free choice, otherwise counsels, exhortations, precepts, prohibitions, rewards, and punishments would all be pointless..."
    Finally, taking your theology to one logical conclusion, God caused Adam to sin (because he has no choice), and God CANNOT cause or have anything to do with sin.

    In Christ's love

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    1. And it begins... ;) As I knew it would.

      We are all born Arminians...believing that *we* choose God...rather than the other way around. We just think we choose Him because we believe we have come to the glorious realization of the truth of Christ...all on our own. :) Salvation is not part Christ, part me...it's *ALL* of Him. Have you ever sung Amazing Grace (from a calvinist song-writer)!?

      Oh, God *is* love...He is also just, omnipotent, omniscient, all-powerful, and hates sin. You can not take one of God's attributes and not all of them.

      You also cannot just pick and pull verses out without putting them in proper context. Who exactly is being talked to in each passage...what are the circumstances surrounding what is being said?

      I have read John...many, many times and we are actually going through it verse-by-verse in our church sermons! It is an amazing book to read, isn't it? In 1 John 2:2, is the whole world mean every single person in the entire world? If so, you would have to be a universalist...as the blood of Christ is covering everyone and all will be saved. We know from scripture that this isn't so. John is saying that Christ is the propitiation for not *just* the Jews..but all people groups. Remember, for years and years..Jews only saw themselves as the people of I AM. To suggest that gentiles could then be part of God's people was astounding to them!

      You can see a wonderful response to Norman Geisler's Chosen but free by James White here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSA34eSC_GI

      God, who is in complete control of everything, did not cause Adam to sin. He decreed it...but did not cause it. Jesus is *not* plan B. This was the plan from all eternity. I really hope you will just check out some of the links I provided.

      I know I have nothing to boast in. I have faith only because God opened my eyes to the truth of Himself and His Son. It's not because I chose and made the "right decision" and others just didn't have the sense to. It's because God planned it out, completely...from eternity.

      And...in kindness, I truly want to add my curiosity in the fact that all people who post something who disagree with me (on any post) always do so anonymously...? I wonder what that is???

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  7. Another Amazing sermon by Voddie Baucham..."Who do you think you are?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJweG-naCS0

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  8. Katy,

    Can I ask you what religion you are? My family attends an Episcopal church. One of my favorite quotes is "Faith is not faith until that is all you are holding on to." My not be correct word for word and I can't remember where in the bible I read it.

    Hope you have a good weekend!
    Sandy

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    1. I am a Christian. I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I follow Reformed Theology and believe that grace is all of Him and not me. :)

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  9. Only one question. How do you get all people groups from the word world? It is only to satisfy your theology; there is no way the Greek word can mean that. It's like saying that wine wasn't really wine in the Bible because they can use words that actually mean grape juice--as I have heard from some of my Baptist friends. I am not taking things out of context. And I don't believe in universalism. Anonymous because I didn't want to seem to argue with you--just give you food for thought. I am not Arminian either; I am a Biblicist, a Berean, if you will. Although I have read many books from many points of view, I defer to scripture, not someone else's view of it. I don't need a theologian to tell me what scripture says, just the Holy Spirit. In the end, it doesn't really matter. Jesus' blood saves--nothing else--not even your beloved reformed theology (nor mine). God's blessings on your day.

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    1. I also consider myself a Biblicist. There is a point to the church and teachers. If we didn't need each other and teachers God would not have given us churches and called people to the ministry.
      As much as you think the Holy Spirit is guiding you in these beliefs, you need to remember you have a finite, faulty mind (as every one of us does). You *do* need to go to teachers who God has given wisdom to guide us. You can't explain away the elect...(and to say He chooses those who He knows will choose Him completely defeats the point of the word "elect").

      Jesus saves is the only truth..you are right...but to walk around without correct theology isn't good. This isn't about me insisting I am right...it's about love and concern for fellow Christians.

      You may go on patting yourself on the back for "choosing" to believe in Christ on all your own (which may sound harsh but is true)...I will continue on praising God for being merciful to me and drawing me to Himself...of which I would never have done on my own.

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  10. I couldn't agree more Katy! A few years ago when we first started visiting our church (that we still go to) this whole concept made me so upset. My husband was turning towards the Doctrines of Grace and so he wanted us to start going to a new church....I struggled with it!! My husband and Pastor started telling me all of these books I needed to read. I decided that NO I didn't want to read anything other than what God's Word said about it. So I started praying and I started in Matthew...before I even got through the Gospels, I was convinced of God's complete Sovereignty in our salvation!! That was a few years ago, and now I am amazed at what the Lord has taught me through His Word! Thank you again... We must know what we believe and why we believe it. :)

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    1. What a beautiful testimony to the true moving of the Holy Spirit! :) I'm so glad He brought you to this wonderful truth! :)

      BTW, the comment below this one was removed because it was spam..not because someone disagreed with me or anything like that! :)

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  12. In response to the person that said that Jesus died for the whole world.....

    The word "world" is translated many different ways in the Bible. If Jesus died for the who world (literally) then there would not be a hell. That would be double payment. Every sin ever committed or will be committed will be paid for either by Jesus, or by eternity in hell. Jesus' death was for a specific purpose. Read the Lord's Prayer to God the Father the night before his death in John 17. He came for "the ones my Father has given me".

    I know it is hard to understand and seems unmerciful. It truly is mercy that God would save ANYONE. None of us deserve Heaven. We have to preach what is written, not what we want it to say. We need to study our Bibles more and see the literal translation of many of these words.

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  13. This is where some people are just not spiritually mature enough for the truth. Growing pains hurt, as do spiritual growing pains. And the truth hurts, but at the end it's the truth that stands. Not all will be saved, that is the reason for hell. And guess what some "good" people will be there. It's a harsh reality but one has to be accepted with the truth. Of course this is not to you Katy, just your unknown readers ;) I praise God that he called my heart to be saved! Blessings to you and yours!

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy