Sunday, August 26, 2007

Repentance and Faith

"The word repentance signifies in the Greek, "change of mind;" and this change the Holy Spirit produces in connection with the gospel, not the law. "Repent and believe the gospel: does not mean get repentance by the law, and then believe the gospel; but let this good news about the kingdom which I am preaching, lead you to change your views and receive the gospel. Repentance being put before faith here, simply implies, that there must be a turning from what is false in order to the reception of what is true. If I would turn my face to the north, I must turn it from the south; yet I should not think of calling the one of these preparatory to the other. They must, in the nature of things, go together. Repentance, then, is not, in any sense, a preliminary qualification for faith, - least of all in the sense of sorrow for sin. "It must be reckoned a settled point," says Calvin, "that repentance not only immediately follows upon faith, but springs out of it...They who think that repentance goes before faith, instead of flowing from or being produced by it, as fruit from a tree, have never understood its nature. And Dr. Colquahoun remarks, "Justifying and saving faith is the mean of true repentance; and this repentance is not the mean but the end of that faith."

The entire article can be found here...


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Colin Maxwell: An Excellent Comment

First of all, in line with many (probably most) Calvinists, I do not limit the love of God only to the elect. I hold that He loves all men without exception, although He loves His elect with a deeper (and ultimately) saving love i.e. a love that effects their salvation, bringing them to actual faith in His Son etc., I think you too believe that He loves His elect people with a deeper love, because He loves them with am everlasting love and I don't think you believe that He still loves the souls in Hell who feel the manifestation of His anger and rage against them. Certainly (if you do) you could never at this stage say that He loves them just exactly as He loves His own reconciled people. At least I hope not. Secondly, my Calvinism teaches me of the universal offer of the gospel (hence the question above) that relays to me the bona fide offer of God to all sinners without exception. It is there that I must look for my answers and it is there in texts like John 3:16 and many others that I read that any soul that sincerely casts itself upon the mercy of God is saved. My guiding star is not the decree of God, much of which lies buried out of my sight, but the clear commands and promises of a God who is rich in mercy and who has no delight in the death of the wicked. My Calvinism teaches me (as indeed the gospel does) that if I cast myself upon the mercy of God like the publican in Luke 18, then I am justified and we know that such justification is eternal. Therefore I can never be lost. I will certainly persevere unto the end, not in order to be saved, but because I am saved and safe in the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. Re: spurious faith See: which I write in good old plain English and the problem of the FG position. I think we should bear in mind that God's will for His people is that they should be saved and know it and not be plagued by doubts. It is also His will that their assurance should be based on a Bible based reality, rather than a false notion that if they believe on the Mormon spirit brother of Satan Jesus or the Muslim Jesus (PBOH) or "a god called Jesus" of the Watchtower or the Wafer Jesus of Rome and are living like the Devil without any change of life whatsoever, that they are Heaven bound. I take this theme up in the posting referred to. You rightly declare that God started a work in your life when you were born again. If you see someone claiming to be born again, but with the building site empty, do you not at least draw some kind of question mark over their claim? Re: old Christians getting mental illness etc., I don't think you are going to find a Calvinist claiming that such folk are outside the pale.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Positions: They Are a Changin'

I've been doing a lot of thinking on 2 Cor. 13:5 lately. "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified."

I have Read MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus" and "The Gospel According to the Apostles" as well as "Hard to Believe". I am familiar with his take on this verse, that Christians should examine themselves to see that they are genuinely regenerate. I once held this position too. I no longer do.

Throughout this epistle Paul's apostleship is challenged. He answers those challenges. Note chapter 3, where he asks the Corinthians if he needs to commend himself or does he need letters of commendation to them or from them. His answer: "clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart."

Note he says "ministered by us". Note the Spirit's work on their hearts as a result of Paul's ministry. The work of the Spirit on the hearts of the Corinthian's was proof of Paul's apostleship.

So it is in chapter 13:5. The evidence of Paul's apostleship is to be seen in the fact that the Corinthians have exhibited spiritual life. It isn't so much a test for them as it is a testament to his apostleship.



Saturday, August 11, 2007

Speaking in Love?

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the Scripture2 Tim. 2.23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorantcontroversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must must not be quarrelsomebut kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduringevil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. Godmay perhaps grant them a knowledge of the truth, andthey may come to their senses and escape from thesnare of the devil, after being captured by him to do hiswill.I just watched it for the second time" "Lifting the Veilof Polygamy" - produced by Living Hope Ministries: And I am as, if notmore profoundly moved by it this time. Seeing howdeeply so many are mired in the false teaching,deception and heartbreak of Mormonism, both main-stream and the fundamentalist/polygamous types. Myheart just breaks.Maybe you're like me, and when you see such things,you want to come down really really hard on those whoare their apologists and missionaries. My first response(Father, please forgive me) was to want to throttle them.But of course, as our text above notes, that is not theproper response at all. In fact, just the opposite. Whichalso then begs the question of how we deal with Christiansof other stripes when we disagree. But that will have to waituntil another time. For now, I want to help us grasp just 3principles from our text, and handle them in the context ofaddressing those we interact with from cults and falsereligions.Note first, that Paul instructs Timothy to "have nothing todo with foolish, ignorant controversies." This he says onthe heels of mentioning the teaching of Hymenaus andPhiletus, "who have swerved away from the truth, sayingthat the resurrection has already happened. This is VERYserious stuff. And it must be addressed - some. But not toget ourselves all caught up in it. Some, especially thosewho major on such issues, will no doubt think us simplydismissive. So be it. Better to pour ourselves into the buildingup of the saints in Christ, and bringing the lost to Him. Yes,as Paul's second dictate will show us, we DO deal with them,but sparingly. It isn't worth the debate most of the time.Note secondly, that he bids Timothy to remember hisdemeanor is to remain "gentle" in these exchanges. I knowfor myself, the frustration of such encounters can makeyou want to wring somebody's neck. But no. Gentlenessis the approach. That is not to imply even slightly that we donot speak the truth absolutely, clearly and withoutequivocation. Precision, and firmness are essential. But alsoa gentle attitude. This is not Friday Night Smackdown - it is,it MUST be done in kindness and looking to bring correction,not win the battle or bludgeon their brains. I blush to thinkhow I have been to so many over the years. Harsh with thosein the Church over issues like the doctrines of grace, andharsh with those outside, like Mormons, Jehovah's Witnessesand the like.Lastly, we are to view these folks as certain way. A way whichprovokes compassion from our own hearts, rather than rancor.We are to treat them as those who are "captured" by thedevil, "to do his will." Can there be anything more pitiful in allthe world than one caught in the snare of the devil? This isnot a time for bombast, but beseeching prayer. Not a time forverbal floggings, but pleading and entreaty. To speak the truthclearly, gently, and lovingly - with an eye toward their liberation.Lord, make us such a people.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


This past July 22nd I was involved in a situation wherein I seriously hurt my witness for Christ- Road-rage.

This is what happened: I had just taken my son to dinner. At dinner he was telling me about how some punk was messing with him at summer-school, and how that he was intending to fight him the next day. I told him that I was once a fighter in school and had many fights then. I told him that that made me an authority, able to tell him to do the right thing by forgiving this individual. He would not hear of it. I was going nowhere here. The dinner ended, and he still did not see my point.

Fifteen minutes later, on the road home, a punk started throwing me the finger and cussing me while driving side by side with me. He apparently did not like my driving. Did I start praying for and forgiving him as I ought? No! Instead I disobeyed God's word and the leadings of God's Holy Spirit. After taking it a bit I pulled in behind him while blowing my horn, motioning in his rear-view mirror to pull over so that we could fight; all this in front of my son! He finally pulled over. We both stormed out of our vehicles and met, face to face. I pushed him backwards as other drivers converged to intervene. The police were called and I was issued an order to appear in criminal court on August 8.

Well, I had my day in court. While there I ran into somebody who used to attend a home Bible-study my wife and I had back in the mid 90's. Yup, somebody that used to hear me teach the Bible was there to see me answer to charges of harassment, 2nd degree. Yes, it was the State of New York versus Mark Pierson. There I was, one time Elder and Deacon and teacher of adult Bible-study, standing there while the Judge orders me to attend an Anger-Management class so that the charge would go away.

Mark Pierson, chief sinner, appealing to the Grace and Mercy of God in Christ. Where else can one go but to the Throne of Grace?


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Well, this is my own personal blog. I use it to share a little about me, my hobbies and stuff. I also use this blog to store material for possible use on the main blog.

I know that some of my friends do not like the direction that the main blog is going. I am sorry about that. Sometimes though we must take a stand on issues, a stand that may lose friends. If weighed in the balances the stand for truth will out-weigh friendships. One can only hope that friends will stick around in order to see why I believe as I do.