Archive for the ‘God’ Category

The Fear of God

February 11, 2009

Today I happened to walk into a chatroom that was on the relation of Christianity and the Church. There were a number of points raised by those leading the discussion, including issues connected to the fact that churches often act with the primary goal of promoting themselves or lining the coffers. There was also talk about the use of manipulation based on telling people that they are guilty in God’s eyes.

There was a measure of reasonableness in some of the criticisms, but then it really started to go south. One of the people started railing against God with various epithets, and declaring – in essence – that the people weren’t interested in a God who hates the wicked. A theme kept getting repeated about God (they said) wouldn’t want people to fear him, quoting something about “perfect love casts out fear” (from John’s catholic epistle).

It occurred to me that this wasn’t really the whole counsel of God (simply taking that part of one verse in isolation), so I brought up the following verse:

Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

I provided it to the room, and got back a mocking response that I had quoted a Psalm from a dead religion. I probably ought to have immediately identified the spirit of the room as opposed to God, but I thought that perhaps this was some sort of dispensational room, where people view (quite incorrectly) the Psalms as outdated and connected with Judaism.

So, I proceeded to provide a verse from the New Testament:

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

But the leaders of the room kept on claiming that any “fear of God” was a terrible idea. Suddenly it dawned on me – and I posted:

Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

This got a stronger reaction – the leaders of the group silenced my nick and complained to the effect that it was not appropriate to quote Bible verses to people who aren’t interested in them. I clarified that they really weren’t interested in the Bible, and – before they kicked me out – asked what sort of person despises the Word of God.

I was truly amazed at how openly vile and anti-Scripture the group was. The hatred for God’s word was without shame. They were only afraid to be called to task for it. They didn’t mind quoting the “warm fuzzy” verses of the Bible, but if any verse was presented that didn’t line up with their theology, it was just dismissed.

Probably I’m just too sheltered – but the pure evil of a religion that despises God’s word so openly was absolutely shocking to me. I feel so sorry for those folks – it is the “reprobate mind” of Romans 1 written large. But they are not seared in their conscience as to be able to completely ignore the Scriptures. The felt the need to mock and revile them – and to mock me for bringing them up. I’ve seen the latter from atheists – but a group of people would call themselves “Christians” while attacking the church and the Scriptures left me near speechless.

Please don’t be like those folks I encountered today. Be a God-fearer:

Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:


John Gill on God’s Love

January 9, 2009

John Gill, sometimes falsely accused (particularly by Amyraldians, and quasi-Amyraldians) of being a hyper-Calvinist, had this to say about God’s love:

2. As to the objects of God’s love, it is special and discriminating. He loves some, and not others. It is true, he has a general love and regard to all his creatures. He is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. They all share in the bounties of his providence. He makes his sun to shine on the evil and on the good. He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. But then, he has chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. Hence he bestows peculiar blessings on those to whom he bears a peculiar love. David says, Psalm 106:4, Remember me with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: very plainly intimating, that it was special and discriminating; of a different nature from that which he bore to others. A full instance of this distinguishing love, we have in Mal. 1:2, 3, I have loved you, saith the Lord; yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and hated Esau. And, as I said before, no other reason can be given of this distinction, which God makes among the lost sons of Adam, but his own sovereign will; who will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and will be gracious to whom he will be gracious, let a wrangling world say what they please.

Read this and more of Gill’s powerful insight into the love of God at the following link (link).


Times of Unpredictability

October 15, 2008

It’s time for people to remember something:

Isaiah 41:20-24
20That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. 21Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong [reasons], saith the King of Jacob. 22Let them bring [them] forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they [be], that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye [are] gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold [it] together. 24Behold, ye [are] of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination [is he that] chooseth you.

God is in control of the world economy. Not Wall St., not Main St., not Pennsylvania Ave., not Downing St., and not the Kremlin. They are all unable to predict, much less control, the future. There is a God who controls all things to the good of the elect:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Praise be to our God!


Responding to Churchfellaway

June 16, 2008

Churchfellaway (CFA) has provided a video responding to Dr. White’s response to a Muslim fellow. (link) CFA begins badly, having to ensure the audience that he is not defending the Muslim.

He wants to respond to the fact that Thomas called Jesus “God.” His first argument is that Thomas didn’t speak English (ok …) and didn’t speak Greek (how in the world does he conclude that? he does not say). He claims Thomas never would have said “theos.”

As reported by the Apostle John, however, that’s just what Thomas said:

John 20:28 και απεκριθη ο θωμας και ειπεν αυτω ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου

θεος = Theos = God

He claims that he calls Jesus “Elohim.”

He says we know that it was translated from Elohim, because we see Jesus making a reference in John 10 where Jesus is accused of making himself God. Jesus responds by quoting Psalm 82:6 to them, which states: “I have said, ye are gods …” the word being used in the Hebrew original of Psalm 82 being Elohim.

It’s a little irritating for him to keep calling Psalm 82, “Psalms 82.”

There’s an obvious problem with his argument: John 10 is not the context of John 20:28, and there’s no real reason to suppose that Thomas spoke these words to Jesus in anything other than Greek.

Furthermore, there is an underlying problem with CFA’s view of the significance of Jesus’ reference to Psalm 82:6. Jesus was not suggesting that he was merely a Psalm 82:6 Elohim: merely a judge or ruler. Instead, he was convicting them using Scripture. They could not answer him. He started from Psalm 82:6, and said if it was lawful to use the name of God to describe the judges ordained by God, how much more lawful it was for Jesus who was sent into this world by the Father to use that title. Psalm 82:6 was provided for contrast, not for explanation of his own title.

In fact, CFA is so bold as to call this an “English and Greek farce.” Of course, CFA has no good reason to suppose that the gospel of John was originally written in some other language than Greek. Greek fragments of the Gospel of John are among the earliest fragments of the New Testament in our possession. By calling John’s account a “farce,” CFA is actually opposing not Dr. White, but Scripture.


The Real Francis Turretin on: The Commands of God

May 17, 2008

Standing Solus Christus has kindly provided a new transcription of the real Francis Turretin, discussing the subject of God’s commands. (link)

Psalm 103

April 26, 2008

For those who enjoy music – for those who are merry – for who simply wish to worship God – here’s a beautiful rendition of Psalm 103 – feel free to sing along:

Bless God and don’t forget his grace!


Vengeance Belongs to Our God

March 21, 2008

As my friend TheoJunkie points out, (link), vengeance belongs to our God. That’s why, even though we may view the pope as a leading enemy of the gospel, nevertheless we do not threaten his life, or encourage others to do so.

There is, of course, no more precarious state than to be an open enemy of the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.. The Bible states:
Matthew 18:6-7
6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Luke 17:1-2
1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.


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