God Demonstrates His Salvational Love for All through Israel

Frequently, it seems, we think of the New Testament as demonstrative of God’s salvific love for all and the Old Testament as demonstrative of God’s holiness. While the Old Testament does demonstrate God’s holiness, it also demonstrates his heart for all to come to know him as the one true God before it is everlastingly too late. (See my article, God Demonstrates His Salvific Love for All Through Pharaoh) Continue reading →

God Demonstrates His Salvational Love for All through Pharaoh

We can safely say, prior to the death of Christ on the cross, one was still saved by faith, and God was righteous to forgive one’s sin based upon the merits of the gospel that Christ would die for the sins of the world (even though one could not as yet hear and believe in the gospel proper). This forgiveness covers sins committed before and after his death on the cross (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2). This reminds us that the salvific work of Christ is ontologically necessary (will necessarily and certainly take place as we now know it did) for the salvation of anyone at any time, even though it may not be epistemologically necessary (one did not have to know in detail how and when as we now know and understand). Continue reading →

Why Use the Grammatical Historical Method to Study Scripture

The Grammatical Historical Method (GHM) approaches the Bible as the holy word of God and therefore strives to discover the biblical author’s initially intended meaning in the verse and passage under consideration. In other words, the interpreter asks, what did the author (like Matthew, Paul, or Peter) mean by what he said, and how did the original recipients understand his words. If correctly done, this method results in a biblically faithful interpretation, which permits us as interpreters, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to correctly apply the passage in various ways based upon the author’s meaning. Continue reading →

The Dynamic Gospel Encounter: John 12:35-36

This passage gives insight into the very nature of the gospel encounter. We see the genuine offer of the gospel, and the need and urgency to accept it, which the listeners can do; or they can reject it with full knowledge and remain in their sin.

“So Jesus said to them, For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light. These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them” (John 12:35-36). Continue reading →

Teaching the Basics: Important but Insufficient!

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). (underline and embolden added)

Most often, this passage is referenced in order to emphasize missions and evangelism, and those are indeed vital components; however, the teaching task is often, albeit unwittingly, reduced to a secondary or tertiary status. Additionally, the essentialness of the breadth and depth of the teaching component is often obscured by our words and practice. Continue reading →

Pastors Dare Not Become Enablers of Spiritual Milkoholics

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Note the past tense verb, gave milk, referring to times in the past when Paul taught the Corinthians milk because they were not ready for meat and that was okay; but the poignant criticism is indeed, even now, you are not yet able. Even now, still, at this point they were not able, when in reality they should have been much more mature and able to think as spiritual followers, feeding on the meat of the Word. Continue reading →

Grace Enablements

The means of this grace enablement include but are not limited to: Gods salvific love for all (John 3:16), God’s manifestation of His power so that all may know He is the Sovereign (Isaiah 45:21-22) and Creator (Romans 1:18-20), which assures that everyone has opportunity to know about Him. Christ paying for all sins (John 1:29), conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11), working of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:1-6), enlightening of the Son (John 1:9), God’s teaching (John 6:45), God opening hearts (Acts 16:14), and the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16), without such redemptive grace, no one seeks or comes to God (Romans 3:11).

Further, I believe that man, because of these gracious provisions and workings of God, can choose to seek and find God (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:11-12). Moreover, no one can come to God without God calling (Acts 2:39) and drawing (John 6:44), and that God is drawing all individuals (John 12:32). The same Greek word for draw, helkuo, is used in both verses. “About 115 passages condition salvation on believing alone, and about 35 simply on faith.”[1] Other grace enablements may include providential workings in and through other people, situations, and timing or circumstances that are a part of grace to provide an opportunity for every individual to choose to follow Christ.[2]

updated 6-27-16

Ronnie W. Rogers 2016

[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. VII, (Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), 273-274.

[2] These are grace enablements in at least three ways: first, they are provided by God’s grace rather than deserved by mankind; second, the necessary components for each and every individual to have a real opportunity to believe unto salvation are provided or restored by God; third, they are provided by God without respect to whether the individual will believe or reject, which response God knew in eternity past.

The offer of the gospel is unconditional, but God sovereignly determined that the reception of the offer was conditioned upon grace-enabled faith. Thus, faith is the means to being regenerated and saved, not the reason for being saved. Finally, this truth of Scripture does not imply that God was held captive to the choice of man, but rather that God coextensively determined to create man and provide this genuine offer in eternity past; additionally, in order to fulfill this plan, God is not obligated to disseminate the gospel to people that he knows have rejected the light He has given them in creation and will in fact reject the gospel that He enables the lost to believe or reject; although He may still send the gospel to them.

Human Wisdom Is Not a Substitute for Divine Wisdom

We can see the cooperation between human wisdom and divine wisdom in the need to build and maintain the physical church building with primarily human wisdom, and the spiritual church building with exclusively divine wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:1-21). Blurring this distinction results in being in opposition to God. We build the temple according to God’s blueprint alone, which is both lucid and sufficient. When man’s wisdom is in play, elevated, sought, and depended on, teaching the Scripture will be marginalized. Continue reading →