Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Mercy of God as revealed in the Bible

Some passages from the Bible demonstrating the character of God, especially His mercy.

Exodus 34:6-7 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Numbers 14:18-19 ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

2 Chronicles 30:9 For if you return to the Lord, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”

Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.

Nehemiah 9:31, 32 Nevertheless in Your great mercy You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; For You are God, gracious and merciful. “Now therefore, our God, The great, the mighty, and awesome God, Who keeps covenant and mercy:

Psalm 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

Psalm 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.

See Psalm 103

Psalm 108:4 For Your mercy is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the clouds.

Psalm 116:5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.

See Psalm 136

Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Joel 2:13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

Luke 1:50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.

Luke 6:36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

Romans 11:32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

James 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Memorization Monday - Hebrews 10:2

10     For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

I've included verse 1 from last week as well.  There are a couple of key points here that are very important to understand. The Old Testament Sacrifices could not make the worshippers perfect. Verse 2 tells us what would have happened if they had been successful. First, the sacrifices would have stopped because they would no longer have been needed. Second, the consciousness of sin would be no more. In other words, the cleansing would be so perfect, and sins' removal so complete that the conscience would not be constantly badgering the mind. Verse 3, which is not on our memory list tells us that the sacrificial system had the opposite effect. Rather than putting away sins, people were constantly reminded of their sinfulness because they had to keep bringing in the sacrifices.

Come back here next week to see the conclusion of this line of reasoning from verse 14.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Be Holy for I am Holy -- Another article by Stephen Charnock

You shall be holy for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16

The nature of divine holiness is freedom from all evil.  God is separate from every shade of evil.  He acts according to the likeness of his own excellence and abhors everything contrary to it.  There is no darkness in his understanding, and no in his will.  His mind is possessed with all truth, and there is no deviation in his will from it.  He loves all truth and goodness, and he hates all falsity and evil.  He loves righteousness and has no pleasure in wickedness.  He values purity in his creatures, and detests all impurity whether inward or outward.  Holiness is the essential glory of his nature, and is as necessary as his being.  He knows what is right, and must do what is just.  There can be no contradiction in the divine nature, to know what is right and to do what is wrong.  If so, he would not be ‘God over all, blessed for ever’ (Rom. 9:5).  He is as necessarily holy as he is necessarily God.  He is without sin and without change.  As he was God from eternity, so he was holy from eternity.  From eternity he was gracious, merciful, just, and holy in his own nature, even if there were no creatures created to receive it.  If God had not created the world, he still had in his own nature the power to be able to create the world.  If there never existed anything but God, he owned in himself omniscience, and would know everything that was within the scope and compass of his infinite power.  Also, he was pure in his own nature though he never had brought forth any rational creature to whom he could manifest his purity.  God is at liberty whether h will speak to man or not, but if he does, it is impossible for him to speak that which is false because of his infinite perfection of truthfulness.  Holiness is not only an act of his will, but is in his very nature.  He can by no means be unholy for it is against his nature to be so.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Who is like you, majestic in holiness?

”Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?   Exodus 15:11

This verse is one of the loftiest descriptions of the majesty of God in the whole of Scripture.  The holiness of God is his glory and crown.  It is the blessedness of his nature.  It renders him glorious in himself, and glorious to his creatures.  ‘Holy’ is more fixed as an epithet to his name than any other.  This is his greatest title of honour.  He is pure and unmixed light, free from all blemish in his essence, nature, and operations.  He cannot be deformed by any evil.  The notion of God cannot be entertained without separating from him whatever is impure and staining.  Though he is majestic, eternal, almighty, wise, immutable, merciful, and whatsoever other perfections may dignify so sovereign a being, yet if we conceive him destitute of this excellent perfection, and imagine him possessed with the least contagion of evil, we make him but an infinite monster, and sully all those perfections we ascribed to him before.  It is a contradiction for him to be God and to have any darkness mixed with his light.  To deny his purity, makes him no God.  He that says God is not holy, speaks much worse than if he said there is no God at all.  Where do we read of the angels crying out Eternal or faithful Lord God of hosts?  But we do hear them singing Holy, Holy, Holy.  God swears by his holiness (Psa. 89:35).  His holiness is a pledge for the assurance of his promises.  Power is his hand, omniscience his eye, mercy his heart, eternity his duration, but holiness his beauty.  It renders him lovely and gives beauty to all his attributes.  Every action of his is free from all hints of evil.  Holiness is the crown of all his attributes, the life of all his decrees, and the brightness of all his actions.  Nothing is decreed by him and nothing is acted by him that is not consistent with the beauty of his holiness.

Read more at http://creationrevolution.com/2012/09/daily-devotional-who-is-like-you-majestic-in-holiness/#y0mZwFgTf00F4fMB.99

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some causes of spiritual decline and death - An excerpt from J. I. Packer

I was reading J.I. Packer's Knowing God and came upon his paragraph. To me this description explains how spiritual death takes a hold in our lives. Even though we may be a believer and have eternal life, God says that sin works death in us somehow. I think this helps to frame my thinking on the subject.

 We are familiar with the thought that our bodies are like machines, needing the right routine of food, rest, and exercise if they are to run efficiently, and liable, if filled up with the wrong fuel -- alcohol, drugs, poison -- to lose their power of healthy functioning and ultimately to 'seize up' entirely in physical death. What we are, perhaps, slower to grasp is that God wishes us to think of our souls in a similar way. As rational persons, we were made to bear God's moral image -- that is, our souls were made to 'run' on the practice of worship, law-keeping, truthfulness, honesty, discipline, self-control, and service to God and our fellows. If we abandon these practices, not only do we incur guilt before God; we also progressively destroy our own souls. Conscience atrophies, the sense of shame dries up, one's capacity for truthfulness, loyalty, and honesty is eaten away, one's character disintegrates. One not only becomes desperately miserable; one is steadily being de-humanised. This is one aspect of spiritual death.

Knowing God, J.I. Packer; InterVarsity Press, Illinois, 1973; Page 102-103

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Consequences of Believing in Christ

This morning I was reviewing verses that tell us what results when we believe on Christ. I thought this was very encouraging and so I'm passing the list on to you. There are other verses, but these are the ones I was focusing on.

Jn 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jn 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jn 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Jn 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Jn 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jn 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
Jn 7:38-39 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jn 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Jn 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Ac 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Ac 13:39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Ac 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Ro 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
1 Jn 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Memorization Monday - Hebrews 10:1

Heb 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

This and the following few verses that we will post on Mondays are very interesting and extremely helpful. In this verse we see that the Old Testament law is a shadow. As a shadow the sacrifices and rituals of that law could not make those who worshipped perfect. What you're going to find in the next few verses is that what the law could not do, God was able to accomplish in Christ and that brings huge implications.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hymn of the Week - Whiter Than Snow

1. Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

2. Lord Jesus, look down from Your throne in the skies
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself and whatever I know
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

3. Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat;
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing I see Your blood flow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

4. Lord Jesus, before You I patiently wait;
Come now and within me a new heart create.
To those who have sought You, You never said "No"
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lyrics: James L. Nicholson
Music: William Gustavus Fischer

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Decision Making and the Will of God (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 here.)

What seems to be the determining factor for a lot of people is a feeling. It can be a feeling of being led or a feeling of peace. The problem with this is that feelings can originate in a lot of places. Feeling can originate in our flesh; they can originate because of some emotional state brought on by other circumstances. Feelings can originate through our physical state such as whether we are well or sick or have some kind of hormonal or other chemical imbalance at the time. Feelings generally cannot be trusted as to their source or meaning. Even so, people lean on their feelings as the primary source for direction as to what the will of God is for them.

Basically Friesen reminds us that the emphasis of Scripture is on God's moral will. He says that the teaching of Scripture may be summarized by these basic principles: (page 151-152)

1. In those areas specifically addressed by the Bible, the revealed commands of God (His moral will) are to be obeyed.

2. In those areas where the Bible gives no command or principle (nonmoral decisions), the believer is free and responsible to choose his own course of action. Any decision made within the moral will of God is acceptable to God.

3. In nonmoral decisions, the objective of the Christian is to make wise decisions on the basis of spiritual expediency.

4. In all decisions, the believer should humbly submit, in advance, to the outworking of God's sovereign will as it touches each decision.

In light of number 2, “some Christians experience feelings of guilt after making a decision that is not specifically addressed by Scripture. Why? They fear that they have missed God's individual will. Such guilt is not intended by God. If His moral will has not been violated, there has been no sin. If there has been no sin, there should be no guilt. It's as simple, and profound, as that.” (page 171)

The key is to develop the kind of wisdom which the Bible encourages. Such wisdom comes from the faithful study and meditation on the word of God. God calls us then to make decisions using Scriptural principles of wisdom and with freedom when no moral obligation is required in a particular decision.

Some people get hung up on the open doors philosophy; that being that open doors are indicators of God's will. I don't have space to go into it here, but even Paul skipped at least one open door and made a different choice without violating the will of God. Open doors are opportunities for the use of discernment and godly wisdom and they can be entered or not as you choose. There is a tremendous amount of freedom in understanding this. But if you've been taught to believe in the detailed will approach, it can leave you feeling vulnerable and almost like God is not personal any more because he isn't specifying each and every step you take. But that need not be the case. Our emphasis needs to be on developing a personal relationship with God where we focus more on who God is and who we are in relationship to him than on which car he wants us to buy. We need to be developing a deeper and stronger moral understanding of God as well as the kind of wisdom that he wants to have so that our decisions are based on that strong foundation.

To summarize then the point is that the Bible contains all of the guidance needed for decisions in life. Those decisions not spelled out in Scripture such as which college to go to should be made with wisdom using the principles the Bible contains. Since this is not a moral decision, there is no sin in “getting it wrong” because there is freedom to choose wisely. Those decisions that involve morality should be made in obedience to the Scripture. Finally we need to trust God as He works out His sovereign will in our lives.

Many of you will have questions over particular scriptures. What about this verse..., or what about when God said this to Peter, or what about Gideon? I strongly encourage you to get a copy of “Decision Making and the Will of God” and read it thoughtfully and carefully with your copy of the Bible right there. Sometimes it's hard to lay aside long-held beliefs, but we need to be willing to do so when we find out we've been wrong. Understanding that God has given us the freedom to make decisions within his moral boundaries is very freeing.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Decision Making and the Will of God (Part 1)

I posted the following article about a year ago. Currently I'm teaching a Sunday School class on this topic. If you're interested in the audio for this class and the PDF notes, you can find them here.

For some time now I have been amazed and at the same time troubled by the number of people who are trying to make decisions and are waiting on some sort of sign from God for or against the particular option they are considering. There seems to be the idea that for every decision we are called to make, God has a perfect will that He expects us to find. If we don't, we are somehow out of the will of God. He expects us to have some sign or an inner peace confirming that a decision we are about to make is the “right” one. I've always questioned this approach to the will of God, but didn't have a very good way of evaluating my concerns.

Recently I stumbled upon the book, “Decision Making and the Will of God” by Garry Friesen, published by Multnomah Press in 1980. (Amazon has it here.) The biblical reasoning that Friesen uses to counter the traditional view of the will of God struck a chord with me. What I hope to do here is to summarize the main ideas that Friesen presents along with some of the biblical support for his reasoning. I am certain that many questions will be raised that I won't have the space to deal with here and so I point you to Friesen's book for more clarification. In addition, the space here is not sufficient to clearly lay out Friesen's argument, but I think it's important enough to introduce you to the concept. Many of the principles he espouses I have used for years, but did not know how to explain. Hopefully in this short article you will get the basics of his argument and that may encourage you to investigate further.

The common view is that God has three types of wills which govern a Christian's life: Sovereign Will, Moral Will, and Individual Will. The sovereign will of God are those things that God governs and sovereignly brings to pass. These things are usually outside of our knowledge until they have occurred. God's moral will are those areas of God's will governed by the Scripture. They are the commands and precepts that God tells us to keep. The Individual Will, according to the common view, is a particular will of God that he has for each individual. It is a life plan. It encompasses essentially everything in life. Most often though, the followers of this view believe that it impacts primarily major decisions such as who should I marry, where should I go to college, and sometimes which car or house should I buy. The philosophy of the Individual Will, if truly believed, should also apply to the small decisions, i.e. which store should I shop in, which box of cereal should I buy, etc.

In his book Friesen spends a couple of chapters using a fictional scenario featuring a seminar on the will of God and in that seminar the traditional view is presented. What's interesting is that most readers will work through those first chapters nodding in agreement and saying basically, “Yep. That's what I believe. That's the way it works.” Then suddenly he begins to dismantle that view by basically saying that there is no individual will that God expects us to find. That will strike some people as almost sacriligeous.

And this is the point I have believed for a long time. There is no specific individual will for each person as to which college God wants them to attend or which person God wants them to marry. Now the fact that Mr. Friesen and I believe this does not make it true. What each person needs to do is to examine the scriptural evidence and see what the Bible teaches with respect to the individual will. Is or is there not a particular target we are called to discover when making any decision?

It's important that we come to understand that the Bible is fully sufficient to provide all of the guidance needed for a believer to know and do God's will. (page 82)

Let's take the apostle Paul for example. “In the first thirty years of the church's history covered by the book of Acts, there were at most fifteen to twenty instances of direct, personal guidance. Many of these directions were given to the Apostle Paul. Yet within the framework of his total ministry, relatively few of his decisions were determined on the basis of such leading. Most of the time he had to weigh the apparent merits of various options before settling on a course of action. In other words, when he had a decision to make, he had to decide (cf. Acts 15:36; Acts 20:16; Romans 1:10-13; 1 Corinthians 16:4-9; 2 Corinthians 1:15-2:4).”

No decision is given in the New Testament in terms of “I felt in my heart God wanted me to do it”. The apostles often gave reasons for their decisions, but never in these terms. (p. 92)

What ends up happening is that drawing the line between what are important decisions and what are not becomes difficult and sometimes stressful. Does God have a perfect will as to which brand of cereal I buy or just when the price gets up to the level of which TV to buy? Or does it start with cars? Then what do I do when two options appear to have equal validity or equal “leading”? The difficulties never stop. Some people are very stressed by this. They truly want to be a faithful Christian and they want to be pleasing to God and so, thinking that God has a specific target for them, they become stressful trying to find it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why Should We Sing in Church?

I'm reading a book called The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile. Chapter 9 is an interesting chapter entitled, Sing to One Another. I thought I would quote and summarize some of the chapter because I think there is a lot here worth thinking about. I would be interested to get your take on these thoughts.

Anyabwile begins this chapter with a quote from a blog article called "The Slow Death of Congregational Singing". He quotes the author as saying, "I turned to a friend next to me and commented, “No-one’s singing”. He looked at me as if I’d just observed that no-one was flying. Of course they’re not singing; we haven’t really sung here for years. Whatever was happening that morning, it was most decidedly not congregational singing. In many churches, genuine, heartfelt congregational singing has been in its death throes for some years now."

Is there anything wrong if God's people don't really sing when they gather, but perhaps listen to others sing to them? Is that a problem at all?

Anyabwile asks five questions: What is singing? Why are Christians motivated to sing? Who should sing and to whom should we sing? Which goals ought there to be for our singing? How should we sing?

What is singing?  According to Ephesians 5:19, singing is a form of speaking. To sing is to speak in melody. It's a form of communicating ideas and emotions with the voice and tune.

Why are Christians motivated to sing? First, Christians sing because they are filled with God's Spirit (Ephesians 5:18,19). Second, Christians sing because they are thankful (Ephesians 5:19-20; Colossians 3:16).

Who should sing, and to whom should we sing?  All Christians are priests. There is no need for a special class to lead in the worship experience as was the case in the Old Testament. All Christians are to 'make music in their heart to the Lord.'  To whom should we sing? According to Ephesians 5:19 we are to speak to one another in song.

In this section Anyabwile says something very interesting. He tells about an occasion when he was singing in the congregation and made eye contact with a friend. He first felt awkward but then realized that they were in community singing the truth about God. Then he writes:

"What are we taught to do as children when someone is speaking to us? We're taught to make eye contact. People who make eye contact politely engage in what you're saying. The eye contact communicates respect, attention, and interest. So it is when we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. The eye contact with the people we're speaking to in song asures the other person that what we're doing is real and we're not alone. On the contrary, avoiding eye contact indicates rudeness. We should make brief but good eye contact with those around us."


But why don't some sing congregationally?  He gives several possible reasons, but then he writes:

"But perhaps the most fundamental reason for the decline of congregational singing is a wrong understanding of the public gathering of the church. Our conception of Christian faith has become too privatized. Too many Christians think the public gathering of the church is basically a couple of hundred people having their personal quiet time in the same place. We tend to think that what matters is how we individually engage with God. We think we're in our 'personal space' and others should not intrude.We don't think of our public services as conversation, speaking to one another."

Which goals ought there to be for our singing?  1) To edify others (1 Corinthians 14:26). 2) To give thanks to God. 3) To be filled with God's Word (Colossians 3:16). Singing is not only speaking; it is also teaching. When we sing we are teaching one another. Therefore singing must be Word-centered and Christ-centered. Thus the church should be intentional and careful about who teaches, and what is taught, through song. Those who are in the choir or who sing as part of a praise team or in special music are part of the teaching ministry of the church.

Anyabwile asserts that "it's wrong to divide the ministry of the Word from the ministry of song, to divide the activity of singing from the activity of instruction. If we say of a church, 'I like the singing, but I can do without the Word,' or if we say, 'I like the preaching/teaching, but I can take or leave the singing,' we've missed something very vital.

What should we sing?  Because the Scripture teaches that we should sing to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, we should sing in a variety of forms, in types of songs and music blended together for praise to God, and encouragement and instruction to one another.

As far as lyrics are concerned, we want specific and detailed ideas regarding the glory and love of God for us in Christ Jesus His Son. We don't want generalities and allusions that confuse the world and the church. Our lyrics should be accurate, not false or misleading. Our lyrics should be God-centered and not man-centered. We want to sing songs rich in accuracy and truth, specific about the Lord and His work, and holy, not secular, because they enrich our knowledge of our Savior and His salvation.

Most of the content of this blog post is direct quotes or paraphrases from The Life of God in the Soul of the Church  by Thabiti Anyabwile, published by 9Marks, Christian Focus Publications

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Unchangeableness of God

They will perish, but you will remain. Psalm 102:26

According to promise, the heavens and the earth shall be melted down and moulded into a more beautiful form. The world was subjected to bondage through sin and was cursed in the fall.  Consider what a vile thing sin is, that brought the work of God to corruption. What a foolish thing it is to set our hearts upon that which will perish and vanish like smoke! Perishing things can give no support for the soul; we must run to God and rest in him. God in his perfections is without any variation from eternity to eternity. He is the same in nature, and the same in will and purpose. He changes all other things as he pleases, but he is immutable in every respect, and his wisdom, power and knowledge are always the same. God lacks nothing, loses nothing, and exists by himself. He is without any new nature, new thought, new will, or new purpose. He is infinitely good, wise, holy, and that without change. If God could change, he would not be a perfect being. Are not the angels in heaven, who are now confirmed in a holy and happy state, more perfect than when they were in the possibility of committing evil? Are not the saints in heaven, who by grace cleave unalterably to God and goodness, more perfect than if they were as Adam in paradise, capable of losing their happiness? Immutability belongs to all the attributes of God. Every one of his perfections is immutable, and none of them will appear glorious without this beam. How cloudy would his blessedness be if he were changeable. How dim would be his wisdom if it might be obscured. How feeble would his power be if it were capable of languishing. O how mercy would lose its lustre if it could change into wrath. Unchageableness is a thread that runs through the whole web of God's attributes to his eternal glory.

From Voices from the Past Published by Banner of Truth, page 246
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,   Psalm 102:26

According to promise, the heavens and the earth shall be melted down and moulded into a more beautiful form.  The world was subjected to bondage through sin and was cursed in the fall.  Consider what a vile thing sin is, that brought the work of God to corruption.  What a foolish thing it si to set our hearts upon that which will perish and vanish like smoke!  Perishing things can give no support for the soul; we must run to God and rest in him.  God in his perfections is without any variation from eternity to eternity.  He is the same in nature, and the same in will and purpose.  He changes all other things as he please, but he is immutable in every respect, and his wisdom, power and knowledge are always the same.  God lacks nothing, loses nothing, and exists by himself.  He is without any new nature, new thought, new will, or new purpose.  He is infinitely good, wise, holy, and that without change.  If God could change, he would not be a perfect being.  Are not the angels in heaven, who are now confirmed in a holy and happy state, more perfect than when they were in the possibility of committing evil?  Are not the saints in heaven, who by grace cleave unalterably to God and goodness, more perfect than if they were as Adam in paradise, capable of losing their happiness?  Immutability belongs to all the attributes of God.  Every one of his perfections is immutable, and none of them will appear glorious without this beam.  How cloudy would his blessedness be if he were changeable.  How dim would be his wisdom if it might be obscured.  How feeble would his power be if it were capable of languishing.  O how mercy would lose its lustre if it could change into wrath.  Unchangeableness is a thread that runs through the whole web of God’s attributes to his eternal glory.

Read more at http://creationrevolution.com/2012/09/daily-devotional-they-will-perish-but-you-will-remain/#XBrUIZQ91spIL7tP.99

Monday, October 14, 2013

Memorization Monday - Hebrews 9:27-28

Hebrews 9:27-28
 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,  so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.