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Archive for the 'Church Doctrine' Category

“Reliance” on Doctors

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

[…] It would appear that the “beloved physician” laid all aside to devote himself to the missionary enterprise, as did the fishermen and tax collectors, but I can’t see where continued use of his medical skills would be in the least conflict with the gifts of healing in the church. A couple of things do come to mind. Anyone that is biblical understands that a living faith in the promises of God is incompatible with a carnal ‘reliance’ on man or mere nature. Asa’s death was attributed to his defection of faith in that he looked to the doctors rather than to the Lord (“Yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord , but to the physicians”). However, Isaiah prescribed a poultice (“For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover”). Hence, it is obvious that the believer is no less a believer by his or her use of many things in nature. We ‘use’ many things that we dare not ‘rely’ on, theologically speaking. “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wakes in vain.” That doesn’t mean it is vain to employ a ‘watchman’. What is vain is to put one’s trust in the sufficiency of anything ‘apart’ from the blessing and grace of God. It is the independent and self-sufficient spirit that God hates and will at length bring down. However, anything that is agreeable and compatible with the humility of the Spirit is, in my view, agreeable with God. […]

Dispensationalism & More on “One or Two Peoples of God?”

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

… With the new revelation has come a new language. But this is where we need to exercise caution. We learn from the doctrine of Christ’s pre-existence that for something to be newly revealed does not mean that it has come newly into existence.; This is an important distinction when we are speaking of Christ and the church. Much has come to light in the gospel that had real existence before the dispensation of the fuller revelation. This applies as much to the ‘body of Christ’ as to Christ Himself and the unity of persons in the Godhead. …

Calvin and Freedom of the Will

Friday, April 18th, 2008

[…] All the language of the covenant (the divine “I wills”) is writ large with the prevailing power of transforming grace, which is also keeping grace. It’s the gospel of Old Testament promise, and this is precisely what’s at stake when it comes to the question of Israel in Ro 8-11. The very name and glory of God is at stake in this issue of ‘prevailing grace’. The gift of such a transforming revelation doesn’t occur in a vacuum, nor does it do violence to what I like to call ‘the rules of the race’. There is a preliminary work of the Spirit that prepares and goes before the Lord in His sovereign design to ‘quicken whom He will’. Only such ‘prevailing grace’ can guarantee that there will always be an “election according to grace.”

Now this implies no violence to the freedom of the will (properly understood). It simply leaves to God the sovereign prerogative to liberate the will from its natural bondage through a process of death and resurrection, a process that breaks the pride of our power, that shatters carnal confidence through tribulation preparing the way for revelation (compare Lev 26:19; Deut 32:36; Dan 12:7). But none of this without the hearing of faith, which assumes the role of the church as witness (Ro 10:14, 17; 1Cor 1:21). “The people (Israel) shall be ‘willing’ in the day of His power” (Ps 110:3). The time to favor Zion comes only at the ‘set time’ (Ps 102:13; “seventy weeks are ‘determined’; “that which is determined shall be done;” “the end shall be at the time appointed” etc.). And we know that that ‘set time’ is the time of Christ’s post-tribulational coming (Dan 12:1; Mt 24:29-31; 2Thes 2:8). It is then that the Deliverer comes out of Zion in order to “turn ungodliness from Jacob,” as nothing short of His return will finally accomplish the turning of the nation (Mt 23:39 with Acts 3:19-21). Paul said “when it pleased God to reveal His Son in me.” It is the same with the nation; I’m sure of that. […]