Six Things God Cannot Do

dolomite-mountains-italy

I know. You didn’t think there was anything God couldn’t do. Well, as John Frame explains in his excellent book The Doctrine of God (pp.518-521), there are several things He can’t do, namely:

1.) Logically contradictory actions, such as ultimately saving and condemning the same individual, making a round square, or making a rope with only one end. God’s illogicality is prevented by His righteousness, faithfulness, truth, rational speech, knowledge, and wisdom. In other words, because of His strengths, not weaknesses.

2.) Immoral actions, like lying, stealing, coveting, and breaking His promises.

3.) Actions appropriate only to finite creatures, like buying shoes, celebrating one’s birthday, or taking medicine for a cough. God’s inability to do these things is not due to any lack of power. He is quite capable of taking on human form and doing all these things. His “inability” exists only in His nonincarnate state, and in that state, the reasons He “cannot” do these things pertains to His strengths, not His weaknesses.

4.) Actions denying His own nature as God, such as making another god equal to Himself, abandoning His divine attributes, or absorbing the universe into His own being. God necessarily exists as the one true God. If He were to perform any of these actions, He would no longer exist as the one true God. The world would then no longer be a theistic universe, but rather a chaos. But in fact there could be no such world. So these actions are impossible. Even God cannot perform them.

5.) Changing His eternal plan. God’s eternal plan is unchangeable.

6.) Making a stone so large that He cannot lift it. This is the famous “paradox of the stone,” loved by philosophers. What keeps God from making such a stone is His infinity–again, not a weakness, but a strength.

So, even God’s “weaknesses” and “inability” are due to His strengths. How awesome then is our God?

C.M. Granger

What is a Biblical Peacemaker?

 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9)distant horizon

“PEACE”

What was the first thing that came to your mind when you heard the word peace? Did you think of someone holding up two of his fingers?  Or did you imagine a bunch of people sitting around smoking drugs and listening to the Beatles? Maybe images of people marching across a bridge, while dogs attack them came to your mind, or people who are pacifists.  If your brain automatically associates words with pictures, then you probably thought of an upside broken cross with a circle around it, or a blue ocean; but whatever association we attribute to this word, if it is not biblical, we will misunderstand these familiar words of Jesus The Messiah.

It is true that Christians are commanded to pursue what makes for peace (Romans 14:19), and so far as it depends on us, we should live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18), but is the war between men the predominate meaning that Jesus wanted to convey?  Is one who seeks peace with men a biblical peacemaker?

On the surface it might seem that way, but man’s biggest spiritual problem is not war against himself, but war against a holy God.  God revealed Himself as holy.  He is also just.  He must judge sin.  Man is sinful and stands condemned before a holy God. God’s wrath is poured out on all mankind (Romans 1:18).  Man is separated from God and there is a gulf that cannot be crossed (Isaiah 59:2).  The good news [the Gospel] is that God has bridged that gap through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Now for those that embrace Jesus as the Messiah, He is our peace, for both the Jew and the Gentile (Ephesians 2:14).

God is the God of peace.  He has already reconciled some to Himself through the finished work or Christ on the cross.  Christians don’t make peace between man and God, but we are ambassadors for Christ.  God is making His appeal through us – we implore men on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20).  I believe that the true blessing Jesus speaks of in Matt 5:9 is not for marching men with peace signs, but is poured out on Christian men marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.  Peacemakers are those men who proclaim, “Be reconciled to God!”— Christ completed the work of redemption on the cross.

 

Repent and receive Jesus as your personal Savior and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) AND YOU can become a biblical Peacemaker today.

 

Brian L. Spivey – D.O.C.

 

Is Christ Really In the Old Testament?

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Beginning At Moses

Michael P.V. Barrett

327 pages

Ambassador-Emerald International

“Too many Christians approach the Old Testament as if they were fishing in the bathtub, expecting nothing, but at least fulfilling ‘devotion’ time” – Michael Barrett.

When I first received Christ as my personal Savior in the early 90’s, the one thing I remembered was how much I loved reading the Word of God.  I liked reading it and my desire to hear it proclaimed grew more and more each Sunday; but I was plagued by one question.  As I progressed in my relationship with Christ, the question seemed to grow in intensity.  I asked many people, but I never received a satisfactory answer.  At the time, I thought no one else wondered why the Old Testament seemed so disconnected from the New Testament.  Why were so many sermons delivered from the New Testament, when more than half of God’s Word was located in the Old Testament?   When someone did preach from the OT, the connection between Christ and the Old Testament seemed so unnatural. Why did those messages often lack a clear presentation of Christ?

I might have discovered the answer, or better yet, I believe that Michael Barrett has provided part of the answer in his book, Beginning At Moses.

Barrett broke this book into two sections, “Whom to look for,” and “Where to look.”  There are three chapters in part I, but seven chapters in the second section.  Barrett provides the layperson with comprehensible tools that will help “naturally” connect the Old Testament to the person and work of Christ.  It is clear by his credentials and frequent references to theological terms, that Barrett is an accomplished theologian.  He has taught Hebrew and other Old Testament classes in at least two seminaries, but he has written this book for those who are not familiar with theological terms, or the original biblical languages.

There are many gems in this book, but I think what was most beneficial was Barrett’s simple explanation of how Christ can be referred to as the everlasting Father, and still be distinct from The Father.  If you ever had that nagging question about how Christ is connected to the Old Testament, then I would strongly urge you to get a copy for yourself.  I am sure that your study will increase your awe and devotion of our Savior – Jesus The Christ.

In Him

Brian Spivey