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All Came From The Grace Of The Lord Jesus

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:163:

Christ is such a sun that all on whom his gracious beams light, are saved. He quickens all he shines upon. Men perish under the gospel indeed; but it is because the light of it shines only about them, and without them, 2 Cor. 4:4, 6, but not into their hearts. All the grace whereby any, and all the redeemed of the Lord, are converted, beautified, and saved, is from the highest spring, grace in Christ: 1 Tim. 1:14, And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant, with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. How came Paul by all the faith and love his blessed soul was filled with? All came from the grace of the Lord Jesus. And every partaker of true grace will own the same original.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/all-came-from-the-grace-of-the-lord-jesus.90911/

How to Offend God

Dave Miller, Ph.D., via Apologetics Press:

Americans have their daily concerns just as all human beings: food, clothes, housing, transportation, employment, etc. Most people give some thought everyday to such concerns, along with the broader issues that occupy national attention—the economy, foreign enemies, etc. But how many Americans ever give any thought whatsoever to whether the God of the Universe is offended by their conduct? How many contemplate the idea that the Great Ruler of Nations would actually punish an entire country for its citizens’ violations of His will? Should this consideration be of any concern to society? Should the U.S. Congress discuss this question? Should state legislatures across the country give any time or attention to such a matter?

Read more: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=314&topic=139

(Note: I do not know anything about this organization, but it does not appear to be reformed)

Why are our Hearts Shut when His Hand is Open?

Cowboy at Prayer, near Clayton, NM IMG 4952

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 223:

“If we being evil, know how to give good things to our children, how much more shall our heavenly Father give his Spirit to them that ask him?” Alas, that we should want such a gift for not asking it! My beloved, let us enlarge our desires for this Spirit, and seek more earnestly; and no doubt affection and importunity will not be sent away empty. Is it any wonder we receive not, because we ask not, or we ask so coldly, that we teach him in a manner to deny us: qui timide rogat [he who asks timidly], I may say, frigide [coldly], docet negare [teaches to refuse]. Ask frequently, and ask confidently, and his heart cannot deny. O that we could lay this engagement on our own hearts to be more in prayer! Let us press ourselves to this, and we need not press him. Albeit the first grace be wholly a surprisal, yet certainly he keeps this suitable method in the enlargements of grace, that when he gives more, he enlargeth the heart more after it, he openeth the mouth wider to ask and receive, and, according to that capacity, so is his hand open to fill the heart. O, why are our hearts shut when his hand is open!

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/ask-and-his-heart-cannot-deny.89300/, Comment 1

Hope for Prodigal Children

Burk Parsons:

As a pastor, I am often faced with the difficulty of counseling deeply saddened fathers and mothers with prodigal sons and daughters. Parents who enter my study for counsel and prayer are usually trying to come to grips with the harsh reality about a prodigal (lavishly wasteful) son or daughter. The child they have loved, prayed for, educated, nurtured, protected, and discipled has left everything to chase after the fleeting pleasures of the world, forsaking not only their father’s home but their father’s faith. There are likely many parents and grandparents reading this who have prodigal children or grandchildren, and they are greatly burdened for their souls, praying they would come to the end of themselves, trust Christ, and come home.

My greatest concern, however, is for those parents who are not burdened for the souls of their prodigal children. Because their children were raised in good families with good Christian principles, having been taught the way they should go in life, many parents have concluded that they are just fine despite their prodigal lifestyles and unbelief. They may rightly believe that God is sovereign and that He is the only one who can save their children, yet they have forgotten that God has ordained the ends as well as the means to those ends. As such, He calls parents of prodigal children of every age not to presume their salvation and pretend everything is spiritually fine, but to pray for their salvation, preach the gospel to them, and plead with them to repent and believe. When Christian parents don’t face up to the difficult reality that they have prodigal children who are wasting their lives by chasing after the temporal pleasures of the world, they likely won’t face their children with the truth of the gospel, and, what’s more, their children won’t face the difficult reality that they are facing eternal condemnation.

In His sovereignty, God uses parents to speak God’s truth and God’s gospel to the hearts and minds of their children. If parents, who are primarily responsible for training up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, choose not to admonish for fear of driving their faithless children farther away from home, their fear might ultimately reveal their own faithlessness as well. Parents must not give in to the temptation to presume their prodigal children are bound for glory, and neither should they ever give up praying for, preaching to, and pleading with their children to come to the end of themselves, trust Christ, and come home—where they will be overwhelmingly welcomed by the heavenly Father and by their earthly father, who will run to them with open arms and a prodigal (lavishly wasteful) celebration as they both rejoice coram Deo, before the face of God.

~Hope for Prodigal Children, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/hope-for-prodigal-children/, Copyright by Burk Parsons, Ligonier Ministries, http://www.ligonier.org

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Either Gross Ignorance or Malignant Opposition

John Murray, “Law and Grace:”

It is symptomatic of a pattern of thought current in many evangelical circles that the idea of keeping the commandments of God is not consonant with the liberty and spontaneity of the Christian man, that keeping the law has its affinities with legalism and with the principle of works rather than with the principle of grace. It is strange indeed that this kind of antipathy to the notion of keeping commandments should be entertained by any believer who is a serious student of the New Testament. Did not our Lord say, ‘If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments’ (John 14:15)? And did he not say, ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love’ (John 15:10)? It was John who recorded these sayings of our Lord and it was he, of all the disciples, who was mindful of the Lord’s teaching and example regarding iove, and reproduces that teaching so conspicuously in his first Epistle. We catch something of the tenderness of his entreaty when he writes, ‘Little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and truth’ (I John 3:18), ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God” (I John 4:7). But the message oi John has escaped us if we have failed to note John’s emphasis upon the keeping of the commandments of God. ‘And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily the iove of God is made perfect’ (I John 2:3-5). ‘Beloved, if our heart does not condemn, we have confidence toward God, and whatsoever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are well-pleasing in his sight . . . And he who keeps his commandments abides in him and he in him’ (I John 3:21, 22, 24). ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments’ (I John 5:3). If we are surprised to find this virtual identification of love to God and the keeping of his commandments, it is because we have overlooked the words of our Lord himself which John had remembered and learned well: ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love’ (John 15:10) and ‘He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me’ (John 14:21). To say the very least, the witness of our Lord and the testimony of John are to the effect that there is indispensable complementation; love will be operative in the keeping of God’s commandments. It is only myopia that prevents us from seeing this, and when there is a persistent animosity to the notion of keeping commandments the only conclusion is that there is either gross ignorance or malignant opposition to the testimony of Jesus.

~originally a part of  the Payton Lectures delivered by Professor Murray in March of 1955 at Fuller Theological Seminary. The entire lecture series was expanded and reprinted by Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1957 in book form with the title, Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics by John Murray.

Read more of what John Murray has to say on how the law and the gospel interrelate here: http://www.the-highway.com/lawgrace.html

He Descended Into Hell?

A little note on what this line in the Apostle’s Creed historically meant:

NaphtaliPress/Chris Coldwell:

On descended into hell, the Westminster divines add this note: “i.e. Continued in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day.” The also say “And albeit the substance of the doctrine comprised in that Abridgment commonly called, The Apostles’ Creed, be fully set forth in each of the Catechisms, so as there is no necessity of inserting the Creed itself, yet it is here annexed, not as though it were composed by the Apostles, or ought to be esteemed Canonical Scripture, as the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer (much less a Prayer, as ignorant people have been apt to make both it and the Decalogue), but because it is a brief sum of the Christian faith, agreeable to the Word of God, and anciently received in the Churches of Christ.”

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/apostles-creed-he-descended-into-hell.16619/, Comment 3

Visit the thread to read more about the meaning of this line.

Helps To Know And Guess Better What Heaven Is

Sunrise Tharandt Forstgarten 2005 01 05 P2

Robert Traill (Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith), Works 3:144-145:

There have been believers that have had heaven upon earth in this world, but when they came to enjoy heaven in heaven, they doubtless found a vast difference. At that day, says our Lord, ye shall know, that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you, John 14:20. You shall know it in a better manner than now you can imagine. All the enjoyments that God affords unto his people here, are all helps whereby believers may come to know and guess better what heaven is. They should not say, It is good to be here because of these; but he is good that gives that good here, and there are better things prepared that we should desire the more fervently. All spiritual enjoyments that are given in time are for the sharpening the believer’s appetite, and raising their spirits in desire of heaven the more fervently.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/helps-to-guess-better-what-heaven-is.92215/, Comment 1