Keep Looking: A Response to Greg Morse and Desiring God

Late Night Theology

KEEP LOOKING

My parents will be the first to tell you, I can really put my foot in my mouth. I often don’t say the right thing. Often times, I can frustrate Allyson because I try to hunt for just the right words for the situation. Different people interpret words differently. My family knew that frustrated, mad, and pissed we’re all different levels. Her family will use them all interchangeably. It causes confusion.

When I read the now infamous Piper article about sanctification I was hopeful that perhaps this was just a misstatement. I’m often not clear and so want to be gracious in this area. However, yesterday evening, Greg Morse (a Desiring God affiliate) wrote again in this issue and said exactly the same thing. Taking up the topic of killing sin, Morse seems to redirect and go on a tangent:

“But what about being saved by faith alone? You’re not…

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Justification

 

Q.33. What is justification?

A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.                                               Westminster Shorter Catechism

 

Of Justification

Those whom God effectually calls, he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.

From the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

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Watch and Pray

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming–in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning– “lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”                                                                               Mark 13:32-37

 

At the conclusion of His teaching Christ repeatedly called His disciples to watch, watch, watch. The biblical doctrine of Christ’s second coming is not something to stimulate curiosity and speculation about a timetable of events. It is a summons to spiritual alertness and constant prayer, since we do not know when the Lord will appear.

—- Copied from notes in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible

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John Newton On the Holy Spirit

“It remains therefore a truth, in defiance of all the cavils of the ignorant, that the Holy Spirit does influence the hearts of all the children of God, or, in other words, they are inspired, not with new revelations, but with grace and wisdom to understand, apply, and feed upon the great things already revealed in the Scriptures, without which the Scriptures are as useless as spectacles to the blind.” — From Letters to a Nobleman (XV)

 

Here, in one long sentence, Mr. Newton reminds us of at least three things; 1) that God has given all his children the Holy Spirit in order “that we might understand the things freely given us by God“, 2) no one can comprehend the Word of God apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” and 3) there are no new revelations apart from the truths revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

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Father’s Day Thoughts from the pen of my wifey

Source: Father’s Day Thoughts

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From the Pen of D.E. Young

Thy Will Be Done (II)

(Luke 6:46)

If with my lips I call You Lord

Then be Your law in heart adored.

And let me choose what You command

As in Your presence sweet I stand.

June 2017

Purity (II) 

(Proverbs 22:11)

Let me, my God, love purity

of heart, and be it found in me.

And may it so my sin displace

That e’en my words be filled with grace

That Heaven’s King my friend may be

If purity be found in me.

June 2017

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God’s Eternity by Charnock

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.    Ps. 90:2

The word eternity is easily pronounced but hardly understood. This is due in part to man’s frailty of nature, as a creature bound to time. Eternity, being in conflict with time, is an attribute of God that largely exceeds man’s mind. Eternity is perpetual duration having neither beginning nor end; time has both. Eternity and time differ in much the same way as the sea and rivers: the sea never changes place and is always one water, but the rivers glide along and are swallowed up by the sea. Such is time in relation to eternity.

This difficulty in understanding eternity is increased because the term is used to describe things that are only partially perpetual and not properly eternal. Eternity can be used of something having a long duration but possessing an end (Gen. 17:8; Lev. 6:20; Deut. 15:17) or of something having no end though having a beginning—such as angels and souls. Nonetheless, when eternity is used of God; it means something further; as the Scriptures attest “even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Ps. 90:2). Therefore eternity in this sense refers to the duration of God’s essence. When God is called eternal, all possibility of beginning and ending—any flux and change—is excluded. Consequently, the eternity of God is best understood negatively, as a denial that God has any measure of beginning, end or succession.

God is without beginning as the everlasting God (Gen. 21:33; Rom. 16:26; cf.Gen. 1:1; Dan.7:9). This is necessary according to God’s existence and status as Creator; for, if God does exist, and He has not received His being from another, then He must exist from eternity.

God is without end. This aspect refers to immortality, which is spoken of in Scripture more frequently than the other aspects of God’s eternity. He shall endure forever (Ps. 9:7; James 1:17; Rev. 4:9-10). His years are numberless (Job 36:26-27). This is evident by the name He gives Himself (Ex. 3:14) and the fact that He is life in His own essence (Dan 6:26; John 5:26; cf. Acts 17:28; 1 Tim. 6:16).

God is without succession. He is always the same (Ps.1 02:27; Heb. 1:10-12) and has no new progression of quantities or qualities in Himself. Of a creature, it may be said that “he was,” “he is, “or “he will be,” but of God it can only be said that “He is.” There is no increase in His knowledge (Acts 15:18) or fluctuation in His decrees (Eph. 1:4). There is no abrogation of any of His attributes. Furthermore, if God were not eternal, all His other attributes would be maimed beyond recognition. God would not be immutable (cf. Job 37:23; Mal. 3:6), infinitely perfect (cf. Job 11:7; Ps. 41:13) omnipotent (cf. Isa. 2:22; Rev. 1:8), or the first cause of all.

The eternity of God holds a word for both the unbeliever and the Christian. For the former, God’s eternity is a terror. What a folly and boldness there is in sin, since an eternal God is offended thereby! All sin is aggravated by God’s eternity. The blackness of the pagan idolatry was in exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for things contrary to His immortal nature (Rom 1:23). It is dreadful to lie under the stroke of this eternal God, who is the “living God, and an everlasting king…the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation” (Jer.10:10). God’s eternity makes His punishment more dreadful than His power alone; His power makes it sharp, but His eternity renders it perpetual—ever to endure is the sting at the end of every lash.

But for the Christian the reality that God “remains forever” (Lam 5:19-20) is the fountain of comfort. Peace is found in fellowship with the ever merciful, good, wise, and faithful God. His eternity governs His covenant with His people—thereby He swears by Himself (Heb 6:13,16,17; Rev. 14:6 cf. Rev 4:3), and so the believer may proclaim, “This God is our God for ever and ever” (Ps. 48:14) and “Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps.90:1; cf. Gen.49:26). Moreover, the eternity of God ensures that the enjoyment of God in heaven will be as fresh and glorious after many ages as it was at first.

Copied from The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible which they —adapted from Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse upon the Eternity of God”, in The Existence and Attributes of God

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