September 2014

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Faith 2

Justification/salvation by grace through faith is not just a faith in the existence of God. The Bible says that -- But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (James 2:18-19, ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Grace 2

Dr. James Packer in his book Knowing God addresses the subject of God’s grace and mankind’s antagonism toward it. Antagonism or opposition towards God’s grace! How? God’s grace, as the Scriptures teach, is to be understood in light of the following four biblical truths:

Dr. James Packer in his book Knowing God addresses the subject of God’s grace and mankind’s antagonism toward it. Antagonism or opposition towards God’s grace! How? God’s grace, as the Scriptures teach, is to be understood in light of the following four biblical truths:

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Praise 1

Thus far we have seen that God is the giver of many wonderful gifts. He has given us the gift of His Word. He has given us the gift of His grace. He has given us the gift of saving faith in His Son Jesus Christ. He has, most significantly, given us His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

The Gift of Praise: The Appropriate Response  

Thus far we have seen that God is the giver of many wonderful gifts. He has given us the gift of His Word. He has given us the gift of His grace. He has given us the gift of saving faith in His Son Jesus Christ. He has, most significantly, given us His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Wonderful gifts! God-given gifts! Eternal gifts!

But what may believers give God in return for all that He has given? The Bible tells us that the gift we may give God in return for all that He has given us is the gift of praise.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Christ 1

In the Middle Ages, the pastor or priest was seen as having a special relationship with God, as he mediated God's grace and forgiveness through the sacraments. But there were other challenges. We often think of our own age as unique, with its religious pluralism and the advent of so many religions. However, not too long before the Reformation, the Renaissance thinker Petrarch was calling for an Age of the Spirit in which all religions would be united.

In the Middle Ages, the pastor or priest was seen as having a special relationship with God, as he mediated God's grace and forgiveness through the sacraments. But there were other challenges. We often think of our own age as unique, with its religious pluralism and the advent of so many religions. However, not too long before the Reformation, the Renaissance thinker Petrarch was calling for an Age of the Spirit in which all religions would be united.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Faith 1

As a faithful Roman Catholic, Martin Luther (1483-1546), the father of the Protestant Reformation, strove with all of his might to attain salvation while serving as a monk in the little town of Wittenberg. He prayed earnestly, studied tirelessly, held countless vigils, recited numerous masses, and harshly mistreated his body all with the goal of bringing his unruly flesh into submission.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Scripture 8

What is the goal of these benefits from Scripture? The purpose is, “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” “Sola Scriptura” benefits a particular class of people, a unique kind of people: a man of God. The phrase “man of God” may refer to human beings, whether male or female, who belong to God. These then are the redeemed.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)

God reveals the Purpose for Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) in 2 Timothy 3:17.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Grace 1

We have seen that the first and foundational gift from God is the Gift of Scripture (Sola Scriptura). The second eternal gift from God is the Gift of Grace: Sola Gratia. God’s Grace is the only motivation by God for salvation toward sinners.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Scripture 7

Scripture alone is the believer’s final authority. The church must remain committed to this truth. Why is a commitment to Sola Scriptura so necessary? It is within the latter part of vs. 16 and all of vs. 17 we witness the necessity for Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)

Scripture alone is the believer’s final authority.  The church must remain committed to this truth. Why is a commitment to Sola Scriptura so necessary? It is within the latter part of vs. 16 and all of vs. 17 we witness the necessity for Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Scripture 6

“All Scripture.” All Scripture! Notice the universal positive statement by the apostle. There are no exceptions regarding a particular group of writings which are identified as being Scripture. Therefore, the Bible does not become the Word of God, neither is there only a portion of the Bible identified as God’s Word, but rather God declares all Scripture to be His inspired Word.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)

The Meaning of Sola Scriptura is seen in the first part of 2 Timothy 3:16.

Five Eternal Gifts from God - Scripture 5

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) means that Scripture alone is the believer’s preeminent authority. It is the final influence by which the Christian’s conscience is bound. It is the believer’s understanding and commitment that anything besides Scripture including feelings, passions, church traditions and teachings, along with personal convictions are secondary to God’s Word being the ultimate authority within the believer’s life. Dr. Michael Horton writes, “Scripture not only has the final say, but it is the formal principle of everything we believe about doctrine and conduct” (Sola Scriptura xvi).

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) means that Scripture alone is the believer’s preeminent authority.  It is the final influence by which the Christian’s conscience is bound.  It is the believer’s understanding and commitment that anything besides Scripture including feelings, passions, church traditions and teachings, along with personal convictions are secondary to God’s Word being the ultimate authority within the believer’s life.  Dr.

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