ELECTION

FOREKNOWLEDGE

“Scripture affirms that God, in His sovereignty, singled out certain ones to be recipients of His distinguishing favors (Acts 13:48), therefore, He determined to bestow upon them the gift of faith.  False theology makes God’s foreknowledge of our believing the cause of His election to salvation.  However, God’s election is the cause, and our believing in Christ the effect” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p25-26).

“Why He chose the ones He did, we do not know.  We can only say, ‘Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.’” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).

FATHER, Your “foreknowledge” does not mean that Your actions are based on what You know I am going to do.  I’m sure You know what I have done and am doing now and what I will do but You do what You do independent of what I do, for You developed Your plans before You formed the earth.  And You choose me for salvation!!

“…God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Th 2:13)” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).  Because You foreknew me You predestined me to be conformed to the image of Your Son.   “…God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were conformed.  On the contrary, those whom He foreknew (i.e., loved and elected) He predestinated ‘to be conformed.’  Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).

“…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him…” (Eph 1:4 ESV).

FATHER, You have predestined me to be holy and blameless, now I have to prove by my actions that I am holy and blameless.  Help me in that joyous endeavor as I work out what You have worked in me—that hidden holiness shining bright in my members.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

HIS PREDESTINED CHOSEN ONES

“Blessed be…God…even as he chose us…before the foundation of the world…he predestined us …according to the purpose of his will,” (Eph 1:3-5 ESV).

“It was ‘in love’ that God…predestined His chosen ones…according to what?  According to some excellency He discovered in them?  No.  What then?  According to what He foresaw they would become?  No; mark carefully the inspired answer: ‘According to the good pleasure of his will’” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p23).

“Nothing shall happen to us which God has not foreseen; no unexpected event shall destroy His plans; no emergency shall transpire for which He has not provided; no peril shall occur against which He has not guarded; there shall come no remarkable need which shall take Him by surprise; He sees the end from the beginning, and the things that are not as though they were.  To God’s eye there is no past and no future; He fills His own eternal NOW; He stands in a position from which He can look down upon the whole, and see the past, the present, and the future at a single glance!  All, all, all of the future is foreseen by Him, and fixed by Him” Charles Spurgeon (“A Safe Prospective”)!

“God is all-sufficient in Himself, having had no need to create any of His creatures.  The creature can neither add glory nor felicity to Him.  However, it has pleased the Lord to create creatures in order to communicate His goodness to them and consequently render them happy” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#232, p5-6).

“Isaiah reveals the sovereign ways of God with the nations, for he is no local, tribal deity but the Judge and Savior ruling over all the world.  His purpose is moving human history forward for the benefit of his people” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1265, [Isa 13:1-27:13]).

FATHER, I did not choose to be created, yet as You created You provided a way for my happiness.  Happiness is better than having no life at all.  I praise You for the work You do for Your children’s happiness.  You, all Love had to have someone to love.

“…The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” (Exod 34:6 ESV).  “…I made the…house of Israel and the…house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory…”  (Jer 13:11 ESV).  “For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant…The zeal of the LORD will do this” (2 Kings 19:31 ESV).

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

GOD’S DECREES OF LOVE

“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18 KJV).

“…prior to the creation and existence of the world, He ordained all the events that He would bring into existence, that is, the time and place, means of execution, individual activities, and the individual circumstances from beginning to end for each” Wilhelmus e Brakel (ref#232, p8).

“…I, the LORD, have spoken, and my words will come true” (Amos 9:12 CEV).

“God was alone when He made His decrees, and His determinations were influenced by no external cause.  He was free to decree or not to decree, and to decree one thing and not another.  This liberty we must ascribe to Him Who is supreme, independent, and sovereign in all His doings” A.W. Pink (ref#231, p3).

“…when I was still in my mother’s womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity…” (Gal 1:13-16 MSG).

“…He chose us…before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love” (Eph 1:4 NASB).

You were hardwired for love, so everything you decide, desire, think, say, and do is an expression of love for someone or something….Your capacity to love was created for him.  Your desire to love was meant to draw you to him.  Your heart was designed to long for love, and that longing was meant to find its final and complete fulfillment in him” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 28th).

FATHER, in Your “sheer generosity” Your have chosen me.  And by Your sovereign will You lead me circumstance by circumstance so I find my joy in You.  How You love is by doing everything You have to do to bring me to the place where I make much of You. “Love is when God gets you to God.” (John Piper)  You make all choices; may I learn to be humble and flexible and keep in step with what You choose for me so I might revel in Your magnificence.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

THE UNCHANGEABLE PLAN OF GOD

“…I the LORD do not change…” (Mal 3:6 ESV).  “…he is unchangeable…What he desires, that he does” (Job 23:13 ESV).

“…from eternity God has had an unchangeable plan…God never has an afterthought…He is omniscient and omnipresent; He knows everything from the beginning to the end…Nothing is accidental, haphazard, uncertain, or…happening by chance….Everything that God has done and has brought to pass is according to His own eternal plan, and it is fixed, certain, unchangeable, and absolute” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#233, p11).

“When we say that God is sovereign, we affirm His right to govern the universe, which He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases….He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any….He is sovereign in all His attributes, He is sovereign in the exercise of His power.  His power is exercised as He wills, when He wills, where He wills” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p19-20).

“…I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish.  I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it’” (Ezek 17:24 ESV).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV).

God is sovereign in the exercise of His grace….grace is favor shown to the underserving, yea, to the hell-deserving.  Grace is the antithesis of justice.  Justice demands the impartial enforcement of law….Justice…shows no pity and know no mercy.  But after justice has been fully satisfied, grace flows forth.  Divine grace is not exercised at the expense of justice, but ‘grace reigns through righteousness’ (Rom 5:21); and if grace ‘reigns,’ then grace is sovereign” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p23).

FATHER, as a changeable creature—deciding one thing one minute and changing it the next, I don’t take lightly Your rock-solid unchangeableness.  You give me peace that my life is under control.  All praise to You.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

WHAT IS MEANT BY THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD?

“The sovereignty of God—what do we mean by this expression?  We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God.  To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God…(Dan 4:35)… (Ps 115:3)…(1 Tim 6:15).  Such is the God of the Bible” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p18).

“God has eternally made a decree, according to which proceeds all that transpires in this time state….We cannot analyze in what manner the Lord decrees and establishes His counsel and purpose.  We know, however, that He does so and that our human terminology gives expression to the unsearchable wisdom and immovability of God’s purpose, as well as His comprehensive plan concerning all things as to the manner of their existence and the time of their occurrence” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#232, p7).

“The LORD has done what he purposed; he has carried out his word…” (Lam 2:17 ESV).  “Have you not heard that I determined it long ago?  I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass…” (2 Kings 19:25 ESV).

“He fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals and all the particulars that comprise the history of the human race from commencement to close….Our days are numbered, and so are the hairs of our heads” A.W. Pink (ref#231, p2).

“God, by definition, is absolutely sovereign—that is, He controls and superintends every circumstance of life either by direct miraculous intervention or by the ordinary outworking of His providence…it denies that anything occurs outside of God’s control” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p146).

REDEMPTION

REGENERATION—THE SOLE WORK OF THE SPIRIT

“In regeneration one of God’s elect is the subject, and the Spirit of God is the sole agent.  The subject of the new birth is wholly passive; he does not act, but is acted upon” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“’No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him’ (John 6:44).  No sinner ever knocks (Matt 7:7) at His door for mercy, by earnest and importunate prayer, until Christ has first knocked (Rev 3:20) at his door by the operations of the Holy Spirit” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p88)!

“…back of our turning, and believing, and accepting of Christ, there was God’s almighty power doing its work—inspiring our will, taking possession of us, and carrying out its own purpose of love in planting us into Christ Jesus” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p44).

“The Spirit of God undertakes the achievement of an amazing work.  He enters the soul, and proposes to restore the empire of grace, the reign of holiness, and the throne of God.  He works to form all things anew, to create a revolution in favor of Christ and heaven.  He undertakes to change the heart, turning its enmity into love; to collect all the elements of darkness and confusion, changing them into perfect light and perfect order; to subdue the will, bringing it into harmony with God’s will; to explore all the recesses of sin, turning its very impurity into holiness; in a word, to regenerate the soul, restoring the divine image and fitting it for the full and eternal enjoyment of God in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th).

FATHER, the SPIRIT regenerates; that is His first assignment in converting the soul.  This act is not gradual.  “It is a secret, inscrutable operation that cannot be directly perceived…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).  After that initial operation He begins restoring me back to Your divine image.  FATHER, I give You praise for I am Your child slowly gaining a holiness like Your holiness.

REDEMPTION

SABBATH RENEWAL

“…we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16 ESV).

“…the Spirit’s quickening is only the beginning of God’s work of grace in the soul.  This does not wholly renew the heart at once: no indeed, the inner man needs to be ‘renewed day by day’…” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p65).

“…the Sabbath…God is not satisfied by the people’s merely resting from their weekly labors; rather, inward sanctification is the primary purpose of the Sabbath…Sabbath is a sacrament of regeneration…” John Calvin (ref#164, May 10th).

“…though spiritual things always remain the same, yet we do not experience their effect or perceive their value unless we are careful that our lack of faith does not profane what God has consecrated to our salvation….Merely taking time off from work and going to church perfunctorily may be missing the most crucial benefit of all: the blessing of the Spirit in our inward sanctification.  By faith we must observe the wondrous grace of the sacraments, including this sacrament of regeneration” John Calvin (ref#164, May 10th).

FATHER, I learn keeping the Sabbath is just as important as following Your commands for You always link Sabbath-keeping with a call for obedience. One example:  “…they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths…” (Ezek 20:16 ESV).

I ask that You fulfill my need for day to day regeneration by forever reminding me to keep the Sabbath so that I might not “lose the blessing of the Spirit” John Calvin (ref#164, May 10th).

REDEMPTION

RENEWED AND RECTIFIED

“…a new man…is but the original man ‘renewed’” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p55).

“he saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5 ESV).

“In regeneration nature is not ruined, but rectified.  The convert is the same man, but new made….God in conversion does not bestow a new understanding, but a new light to the old; not a new soul, but a new life to the old one…We put off the rags of the old man, and put on the robes of the new man, and continue in regard of substance the same man” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“…when this new building of regeneration is erected, the Spirit of God makes use of the old substantial materials—the soul and its faculties, the body and its members which were in man before, only he now polishes and purifies them, and squares them according to the rule of God’s Word” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“Regeneration consists…of grace infused into the soul…the powers of the soul are spiritualized and made alive unto God, fitted to enjoy God and hold communion with Him.  Regeneration consists in a radical change of heart, for there is implanted a new disposition as the foundation of all holy exercises; the mind being renovated, the affections elevated, and the will emancipated from the bondage of sin” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“The change in my disposition does not mean that I have a greater intellect now than I had before….But because the disposition governing it is changed, my mind is operating in a different realm and in a different way…it is exactly the same with the feelings…The will…was obstinate and rebellious, but now it desires, it is anxious, it is concerned about the Gospel” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).

“Salvation is all of the grace of God; damnation is all of the will of man.” Charles Spurgeon

REDEMPTION

THE TRIUNE GOD IN REDEMPTION

“Redemption is the result of the compassion of all three Persons in the Trinity” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p173).

“…one God without division in a Trinity of persons, and three persons without confusion in an unity of essence….The Trinity is a mystery which my faith embraces as revealed in the Word, but my reason cannot fathom” John Arrowsmith (ref#225, May 18th).

“God the Father has made everything through the Son by the Holy Spirit.  The blessed Trinity is operative in the whole work, always, but labor is divided up” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 10th).  “In the economy of redemption all is from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.  All proceeds from the foreordination of the Father, all that comes to the believer is through Christ, that is, on account of His infinite merits: all is actually wrought by the Spirit, for He is the Executive of the Godhead, the active Agent in all the works of redemption” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p169).

God said, Let us make man in our image” (Gen 1:26).  Do not let man be content until he knows something of the ‘us’…Endeavor to know the Father…Sit at His table, and let your heart be made merry in His grace.  Then press forward and seek to know much of the Son…Know Him in the unique complexity of His nature: eternal God, yet suffering finite man….Do not forget the Holy Spirit…who first of all moved upon chaos and brought forth order; who now visits the chaos of your soul and creates the order of holiness” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 8th PM).

FATHER, I marvel at the complexity of the Godhead.  I marvel more that You have shown me love through redemption.

SCRIPTURE

INFLUENCE OF SCRIPTURE

“Our convictions and values will come from society around us (the world), or they will come as our minds are renewed by the Word of God.  There is no third option” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p167-168).

FATHER, like no other book Your words change my very nature.  Externally I conclude, by the actions of the HOLY SPIRIT, that the Bible is unique in that every book in it agrees with every other book in it.  I also grasp the internal evidence.  I feel in my reading that it is Your Word explicitly.  The HOLY SPIRIT too, brings this to me. (ref#189, Dec 14th)

“The human task of thinking about God on the basis of his Word is the place where God ‘grants understanding.’  It is a gift….(Prov 2:2-6)” John Piper (ref#220, p285).

“…the word of God…performs its work in you who believe” (1 Thes 2:13 NASB).

“Many can bring the Scriptures to the mind, but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 19th PM).  “…the Holy Scriptures cannot be penetrated by study and talent is most certain.  Therefore our first duty is to begin to pray, and to pray to this effect that if it please God to accomplish something for His glory—not for yours or any other person’s—He very graciously grant you a true understanding of His words….You must, therefore, completely despair of your own…ability and rely solely on the inspiration of the Spirit” John Piper (ref#220, p291).

“The Word of God…is the weapon that God designs to use in penetrating the kingdom of darkness and gathering the children of light…His whole redemptive plan for the universe hangs on the success of his word…” John Piper (ref#220, p222).  “The great design…is to reveal the love of God to His people, and thereby recover their love to God, that they may love Him again who first loved them” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p128).