All or Some?

You deserve the glory

And the honor

Lord we lift our hands in worship

As we lift Your Holy Name

If you were asked the question, “all or some?”  What would be your answer? For most people it would be contingent upon the question, or better still, the complete question.  If the complete question was, “Do you want all or some of the money I borrowed from you?”  Most people would say all.  If the question was, “Do you want to carry all or some of the bricks?  Most would say some.  It all depends.  But as Christians, we should have an unified, universal, and unwavering answer to the following question, “Who should get all the glory for man’s salvation?”  Most Christians would say that God should and does, but is this truth reflected in the things we teach and sing?

The great puritan preacher, George Whitefield, penned these words to a follow minister in 1739, when he observed that it was “The doctrines of the Reformation that did the most to debase man and exalt the Lord Jesus.  … All others leave freewill in man and make him, in part at least, a Savior to himself.” This is a great quote, but does the Bible teach this?

“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as his heritage!”(Psalm 33:12).

“…You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off…” (Isaiah 41:9).

“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world… (Ephesians 1:4).

 Yes, the Bible teaches that salvation is all of God.  So, back to the pivotal question: when it comes to salvation, to whom should the glory go? All or some?

Maybe the words of one of my favorite modern-day “praise songs” should be sung like this:

You deserve ALL the glory

And ALL the honor…

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy will’s sake they are, and have been created. {Revelation 4:11 – 1599 Geneva Bible}

 

Brian

D.O.C.

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What is the Gospel?

Written by Greg Gilbert

Published by Crossway, © 2010 121 pages

Part of 9Marks series

9Marks is an organization that exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources.  This book by Greg Gilbert is one of those practical resources.

Greg Gilbert has been teaching theology to students for thirty years.  He has witnessed many controversial questions – questions that spark heated debates, but lately, the most controversial question that he has come across lately is, “What is the gospel?”  In his introduction, he asked this question of some Christians, ten to be exact, (not sure why he didn’t stop at nine) and listed their responses.  I was surprised that many of the answers were drastically different from one another and two were polar opposite.

Gilbert starts with this premise: the gospel is found in the Bible.  On page 31, he narrows the gospel down into four crucial questions:

(1) Who made use, and to whom are we accountable?

(2) What is our problem?  Are we in trouble and why?

(3) What is God’s solution to that problem?  How has he acted to save us from it?

(4) How do I – myself, right here, right now – how do I come to be included in that salvation?  What makes the good news for me and not just for someone else?

Gilbert believes that these four questions are essential to the gospel, and if one is missing in our presentation, then we will present an incomplete picture of good news of Jesus Christ.

Theses questions may be difficult to remember, so there are four key words we can remember when we are presenting the gospel to others: GOD, MAN, CHRIST AND RESPONSE.  If we could remember that God is holy and man is sinful, then we only have to remember that God’s only solution to bridge the gap between God and man is Jesus Christ.  After this has been presented, then the only thing that is left is to command hearers, like the apostle Peter did, to repent and be baptized.  If you are reading this and the Holy Spirit is convicting your heart, contact us so we introduce you to the Savior.

Brian L. Spivey

ARE WE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD?

“We will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Many Americans would recognize these inspiring words that were used to change the history of our country, but was MLK Jr. referring to the Biblical definition of “God’s children”?

Those who believe that the Bible teaches that all human beings are God’s children may say that God makes no distinction between people.  They may point to Malachi 2:10 as their proof text.  It states, “Don’t all of us have one Father?  Didn’t one God create us?”  To conclude that the Bible teaches all human beings are in God’s family from this verse would be to ignore other clear teachings on this subject, and to read our contemporary understanding into this verse.  In Malachi, God is clearly addressing the nation of Judah.  If they all have one Father, then why are they breaking the covenant of that One Father?  This is the intended meaning.

To take this position is also to ignore the apostle John’s teaching that the one who does what is right (righteous in God’s sight) is a child of God and the one who does evil is a child of the Devil.  Actually, this is how we can judge between the two (1 John 3:7-10).

Embracing this position would also ignore the apostle Paul’s clear teaching in Romans 8 – those who are led by the Spirit of God are God’s sons.  The people who Paul makes reference to are those who have an inner witness by the Holy Spirit that we belong to God’s family.  So we understand through the Scriptures that children of God are those who practice righteousness and are led by the Holy Spirit; but that is not all.  Paul goes on to teach that those who are heirs with Christ also suffer with him.  This suffering is not that which comes from waiting at a lunch counter, but suffering that comes from being identified with Jesus Christ.  So are you a child of God?  Have you been born of the Holy Spirit?

Repent of your sin today and receive the forgiveness of sins so that you can declare without a shadow of a doubt that you are a child of God according to the Scriptures.

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13

Brian L. Spivey