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What I Read Online – 01/11/2012 (a.m.)

11 Jan
    • Because the believer will never be entirely free from sin in this life
    • This promise of preservation does not mean, however, that true believers will never fall into serious sin (5.4). On the contrary, even believers can commit “monstrous sins” that “greatly offend God.” When we sin in such egregious ways, we “sometimes lose the awareness of grace for a time” until we repent and God’s fatherly face shines upon us again (5.5). God being for us in Christ in a legal and ultimate sense does not mean he will never frown upon our disobedience. But it does mean that God will always effectively renew us to repentance and bring us to “experience again the grace of reconciled God” (5.7). Therefore, we ought to be assured that true believers “are and always will remain true and living members of the church, and that they have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life” (5.9).
    • In other words, believers find assurance in the promises of God, the witness of the Spirit, and evidences of Christ’s grace in our lives.
    • As precious as assurance is for the believer, it is not itself a requirement of true faith. Believers contend with doubts in this life and do not always experience this full assurance of faith (5.11). But assurance of perseverance is the goal. God wants us to have confidence. This is one of the reasons the perseverance of the saints should never lead to sloth and immorality.
    • Believers should not look only to their holy living for assurance, but this should be one place they look. When we see evidences of God’s grace in us, we should have confidence that God is at work. And he who begins the good work will be faithful to complete it.
    • This is an illegitimate demand because it leaves the decision when to interpret literally and when to interpret symbolically up to the modern interpreter. It is the original author and his cultural and linguistic context that determine whether an expression or a statement should be interpreted literally or not.
    • Charles Spurgeon [sermon #2234 (1891)]:

       

      Give yourself to the church. You that are members of the church have not found it perfect, and I hope that you feel almost glad that you have not. If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.

    • He preached as “a dying man to dying men,” which, with the Spirit’s blessing, resulted in numerous conversions. “My writings were my chiefest daily labor,” he wrote, whereas “preaching and preparing for it, were but my recreation”.
    • In 1662, Baxter was ejected from the Church of England by the Act of Uniformity. He continued to preach for the rest of his life where he could, but never gathered a congregation of his own.
    • He was imprisoned at least three times for preaching and never again resumed a pastoral charge; even his books were taken from him. His response was, “I found I was near the end of both that work and that life which needeth books, and so I easily let go all.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

 
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Posted by on 11/01/2012 in Current Issues

 

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