Tag Archive | Forgiveness

Forgiveness and Abusive Men

Wise words from My Only Comfort.  I have dealt with one individual, in particular, who constantly looks for ways to cause me grief and accuses me of being Unforgiving and Unloving for not going along with their plans.  It’s nice to see that some Christians get it!:

Jehan Georges Vibert - Sneaking a peek“If they come again crying for forgiveness, this in no way obligates you to allow them back into your life where they have caused so much damage. If they are truly repentant, they will rejoice in salvation and understand the depth and depravity of their sin, and will understand and respect your desire to be left alone as a just consequence of their sin which they committed. But on the other hand, if they are not truly repentant, but merely seeking another entrance to cause you more damage, they will accuse you of hard-heartedness. They will get as many of the gullible and untaught on their side as they can. They will seek to manipulate you with their tears. They will continue cause you as much grief as you allow them to.”

Read more: https://myonlycomfort.com/2017/01/03/dealing-with-abusive-men/

Bring Your Wants To Him To Supply

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works, 1:31:

Сложенные руки человека образуют чашу для водыWhen you come to the throne of grace, come to receive out of Christ’s fulness, and come not to bring grace with you to add to Christ’s store. He loves to give, and glories in giving; but he scorns to receive grace from you; and in truth you have none but what he gives. Bring your wants to him to supply, but bring not your fulness to brag of. Spread your sins before this throne with shame and sorrow, and plead for a gracious pardon; but take heed you bring not your sorrow, tears, and repentance, nay, nor your faith itself, as a plea for that pardon. How abominable is it to Christians’ ears, and how much more unto Christ’s, to hear a man plead thus for pardon: “Here is my repentance; where is thy pardon? Here is my faith; where is thy justification?” I know men abhor to say so. But take good heed, lest any thought bordering on it enter into thy heart. Faith is the tongue that begs pardon; faith is the hand that receives it, it is the eye that seeth it; but it is no price to buy it.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90587-He-loves-to-give-and-glories-in-giving, Comment 1

Power To Give Life

Blume mit Schmetterling und Biene 1uf

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 49:

O! that is a sweet and ample commission given to our friend and brother, Jesus Christ, – power to repeal sentences passed against us; power and authority to absolve them whom justice hath condemned, and to bless whom the law hath cursed, and to open their mouth to praise whose mouth sin and guiltiness hath stopped; power to give the answer of a good conscience to thy evil self-tormenting conscience! In a word, he hath power to give life, to make alive and heal those who are killed or wounded by the commandment.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88775-A-sweet-and-ample-commission, Comment #1

Image: Vulkan at the German language Wikipedia

We Deserve Nothing Good

Jean-Baptiste Oudry - Le loup et l'agneau

Even though we grew up in a post-Christian Canada, my husband and I are in the interesting situation of knowing, among the people we grew up with, at least:

  • One Calvinistic Baptist pastor;
  • One female Baptist pastor;
  • Two Christian and Missionary Alliance pastors;
  • One Presbyterian pastor (PCC);
  • One female Presbyterian pastor (PCC);
  • Four Anglican priest(esse)s;
  • One New Testament scholar; and
  • One missionary

I wish I could say that all of the above people teach the historic Christian faith, but sadly I can’t.  In fact, I know for certain that at least one of the above-mentioned individuals is a pied piper leading people to hell.  I recently perused said pastor’s blog and read sermon after sermon assuring people that they “deserve” God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness because God has deemed human beings to be “worthy” of those blessings.  There was no mention of sin or repentance or the need to turn to God in faith.

By contrast, here is what the Bible actually teaches, as summarized in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (scripture proofs are listed below):

Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.[42]

Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin,[43] the want of original righteousness,[44] and the corruption of his whole nature,[45] which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.[46]

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God,[47] are under his wrath[48] and curse,[49] and so made liable to all the miseries of this life,[50] to death[51] itself, and to the pains of hell forever.[52]

Scripture Proofs:

[42] Genesis 3:16-19, 23. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return…. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Romans 3:16. Destruction and misery are in their ways: Romans 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Ephesians 2:1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

[43] Romans 5:12, 19. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

[44] Romans 3:10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Colossians 3:10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Ephesians 4:24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

[45] Psalm 51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. John 3:6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Romans 3:18. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 8:7-8. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Ephesians 2:3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

[46] Genesis 6:5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Psalm 53:1-3. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Matthew 15:19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: Romans 3:10-18, 23. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes…. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Galatians 5:19-21. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. James 1:14-15. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

[47] Genesis 3:8, 24. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden…. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. John 8:34, 42, 44. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin…. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me…. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Ephesians 2:12. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Ephesians 4:18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

[48] John 3:36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Romans 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Ephesians 2:3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 5:6. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

[49] Galatians 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Revelation 22:3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.

[50] Genesis 3:16-19. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Job 5:7. Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23. For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. Romans 8:18-23. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

[51] Ezekiel 18:4. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Romans 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[52] Matthew 25:41, 46. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; Revelation 14:9-11. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

May God limit the evils of the false teachers in the church and have mercy upon this wicked and adulterous generation.

They Do Not Belong To The Essence Of Humanity

The outcasts (1901) (14566079659)

It is truly not Scripture alone that judges humans harshly. It is human beings who have pronounced the harshest and most severe judgment on themselves. And it is always better to fall into the hands of the Lord than into those of people, for his mercy is great. For when God condemns us, he at the same time offers his forgiving love in Christ, but when people condemn people, they frequently cast them out and make them the object of scorn. When God condemns us, he has this judgment brought to us by people—prophets and apostles and ministers—who do not elevate themselves to a level high above us but include themselves with us in a common confession of guilt. By contrast, philosophers and moralists, in despising people, usually forget that they themselves are human. When God condemns, he speaks of sin and guilt that, though great and heavy, can be removed because they do not belong to the essence of humanity. But moralists frequently speak of egoistic animal tendencies that belong to humans by virtue of their origin and are part of their essence. They put people down but do not lift them up. If by origin we are animals, why then should we live as children of God?

~Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/87926-A-kinder-condemnation, Comment #1

A Plague On These Books!

Prof. David J. Engelsma, “A Reformed Look at Pentecostalism:”

10 Commandments“It is disturbing to find Pentecostal literature in the homes of Reformed people, for use as edifying reading–Watchman Nee; David Wilkerson; John Osteen; Arthur Wallis; The Full Gospel Businessman’s Voice; and others. Even though the material may not be Pentecostal, the devotional reading-and listening!-of some Reformed believers is to be faulted. The fare from which they regularly feed to satisfy the soul’s craving for exposition of the Christian life, experience, and practice is the best selling literature of present-day fundamentalism. At best, it is devoid of anything Reformed; at worst, it undermines everything that Reformed believers hold dear, inculcating a superficial, false view of the Christian life and experience. Where, e.g., in the frothy works on the higher, richer, fuller, deeper Christian life, with their flashy covers, that abound in the average Christian book store, do you find anything of the “out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD” of Psalm 130? Much less is this sorrow over the guilt of sin central to their vaunted higher, richer, fuller, deeper Christian life. Theirs is a higher, richer, fuller, deeper Christian life, therefore, whose heartbeat is not the forgiveness of sins in the redemption of the cross of Christ. The Christian life to which those books call the readers cannot be a life of fearing the Lord, the holy, gracious Judge, by the pardoned sinner (Psalm 130:4). Instead, they tell us how to be happy. Nor do they set forth the Christian life as obedience-costly obedience-to the Ten Commandments of God’s Law. A plague on these books; and a plague on their higher, richer, fuller, deeper Christian life!”

Read more of his analysis of Pentecostalism from a Reformed perspective: https://regenerationandrepentance.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/a-reformed-look-at-pentecostalism/

Take Your Cause First to Christ

AccusedofWitchcraft-Volk

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19

 Offences will come, both from the wicked and from other believers. We live in an ungodly world, and are members of an imperfect Church. We must not, therefore, expect freedom from wrongs and injuries, from woundings and opposition, from which none have ever been exempt, not excepting our Lord himself, who, in addition to the wrongs He personally endured, was “wounded for our offences.”

 But how are we, as believers in Jesus, to acquit ourselves under a sense of injury and injustice? Are we to take the law in our hands? Are we to revenge ourselves? Are we to vault into the judgment-seat? God forbid! The law of Christian duty touching this matter is clearly laid down. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath.”

 But does this precept of patient endurance and non-resistance imply that wrong is to go unpunished, injustice unrequited, injury unrepaired, malignity unrebuked, and falsehood unrefuted? By no means! An individual, by becoming a Christian, does not cease to be a citizen. In coming under the law of Christ, he is not the outlaw of man. His spiritual duties and privileges do not abrogate his civil rights and obligations. Our Lord was a striking and instructive example of this. He claimed justice at the hands of his accusers. “Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil–but if well, why do you smite Me?” (John. 18:23.) And Paul asserted his rights and privileges as a Roman citizen.

 Therefore, not prompted by malice or a feeling of revenge, not acting from personal resentment, or a desire to inflict an injury, but moved by a concern for the public virtue and peace, in order to maintain truth and justice, and at the same time to vindicate our personal character from slander and falsehood, it is strictly within the province of the Christian to take his case into a court of human justice; for to this end–“the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of those who do well”–the magistrate holds the sword by God’s ordinance.

 But what is the high ground the believer in Jesus should take under every species of injury, injustice, and wrong? It is first, if not exclusively, to go into God’s court of justice, to commit his case to Christ, his Advocate, who has undertaken to plead the cause of his soul. Let us look at this for a moment.

 Beloved, are you suffering injury? Has a foe assailed you? a friend wounded you? a relation wronged you? Avenge not yourself, but rather “leave room for God’s wrath;” that is, make room for it to pass by and escape; and that no feelings might possess your mind but those of pity, charity, and forgiveness, go into God’s court of justice before you go into man’s. Take your cause first to Jesus. Oh, what a powerful Advocate and wonderful Counselor is Christ! He will avenge you of your adversary, and will compensate your wrong. He will refute the foul slander, silence the lying tongue, and bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. For thus has the Lord spoken.

 But, oh, the blessedness of reposing trustfully, calmly on the bosom of Jesus amid the unkind criticisms, bitter calumnies, unjust accusations, and the cruel envyings and jealousies of man! Sheltered there, who or what can harm us? “Oh, how great is Your goodness, what You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who trust in You before the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret of Your presence from the pride of man–You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord for He has showed me His marvelous kindness in a strong city.”

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/Winslows/w19.htm