Tag Archive | Theology

Why Did Jesus Give Mary Into The Care Of John?

Cyril of Alexandria (patriarch 412-444) commenting on John 19:26-27:

He took thought for His mother, paying no heed to His own bitter agony, for His sufferings affected Him not. He gave her into the charge of the beloved disciple (this was John, the writer of this book), and bade him take her home, and regard her as a mother; and enjoined His own mother to regard him as none other than her true son—by his tenderness, that is, and affection, fulfilling and stepping into the place of Him,Who was her Son by nature.

But as some misguided men have thought that Christ, when He thus spake, gave way to mere fleshly affection—away with such folly! to fall into so stupid an error is only worthy of a madman—what good purpose, then, did Christ hereby fulfil? First, we reply, that He wished to confirm the command on which the Law lays so much stress. For what saith the Mosaic ordinance? Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may he well with thee. His commandment unto us did not cease with exhorting us to perform this duty, but threatened us with the extreme penalty of the Law, if we chose to disregard it, and has put sin against our parents after the flesh on a par with sin against God. For the Law which ordered that the blasphemer should undergo the sentence of death, saying: Let him that blasphemeth the Name of the Lord, he put to death, also subjected to the same penalty the man who employs his licentious and unruly tongue against his parents: He that curseth father or mother shall surely he put to death. As, then, the Lawgiver hath ordained that we should pay such honour to our parents, surely it was right that the commandment thus proclaimed should be confirmed by the approval of the Saviour; and as the perfect form of every excellence and virtue through Him first came into the world, why should not this virtue be put on the same footing as the rest? For, surely, honour to parents is a very precious kind of virtue. And how could we learn that we ought not to lightly regard love toward them, even when we are overwhelmed by a flood of intolerable calamities, save by the example of Christ first of all, and through Him? For best of all, surely, is he who is mindful of the holy commandments, and is not diverted from the pursuit of duty in stormy and troublous times, and not in peace and quietness alone.

Besides, also, was not the Lord, I say, right to take thought for His mother, when she had fallen on a rock of offence, and when her mind was in a turmoil of perplexity? For, as He was truly God, and looked into the motions of the heart, and knew its secrets, how could He fail to know the thoughts about His crucifixion, which were then throwing her into sore distress? Knowing, then, what was passing in her heart, He commended her to the disciple, the best of guides, who was able to explain fully and adequately the profound mystery. For wise and learned in the things of God was he who received and took her away gladly, to fulfil all the Saviour’s Will concerning her.

See Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Vol. 48, John IX-XXI, trans. Thomas Randell (London: Walter Smith, 1885), Vol. 2, Book XII, Chapter xix, pp. 634-635.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/why-did-jesus-give-mary-into-the-care-of-john.95357/, Comment 6

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Pelagianism in the Evangelical Church

R.C. Sproul:

One thing is clear: that you can be purely Pelagian and be completely welcome in the evangelical movement today. It’s not simply that the camel sticks his nose into the tent; he doesn’t just come in the tent — he kicks the owner of the tent out. Modern Evangelicalism today looks with suspicion at Reformed theology, which has become sort of the third-class citizen of Evangelicalism. Now you say, “Wait a minute, R. C. Let’s not tar everybody with the extreme brush of Pelagianism, because, after all, Billy Graham and the rest of these people are saying there was a Fall; you’ve got to have grace; there is such a thing as original sin; and semi-Pelagians do not agree with Pelagius’ facile and sanguine view of unfallen human nature.” And that’s true. No question about it. But it’s that little island of righteousness where man still has the ability, in and of himself, to turn, to change, to incline, to dispose, to embrace the offer of grace that reveals why historically semi-Pelagianism is not called semi-Augustinianism, but semi-Pelagianism.

…this view is the overwhelming majority report today in professing evangelical circles. And as long as semi-Pelagianism, which is simply a thinly veiled version of real Pelagianism at its core — as long as it prevails in the Church, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I know, however, what will not happen: there will not be a new Reformation. Until we humble ourselves and understand that no man is an island and that no man has an island of righteousness, that we are utterly dependent upon the unmixed grace of God for our salvation, we will not begin to rest upon grace and rejoice in the greatness of God’s sovereignty, and we will not be rid of the pagan influence of humanism that exalts and puts man at the center of religion. Until that happens there will not be a new Reformation, because at the heart of Reformation teaching is the central place of the worship and gratitude given to God and God alone. Soli Deo gloria, to God alone be the glory.

Read more: “The Pelagian Captivity of the Church,” Modern Reformation, Vol 10, Number 3 (May/June 2001), pp. 22-29, online at http://www.bible-researcher.com/sproul1.html

The Solution is Not Hermeneutical Anarchy

Keith A. Mathison:

In terms of hermeneutics, the doctrine of “solo” Scriptura is hopeless. With “solo” Scriptura, the interpretation of scripture becomes subjective and relative, and there is no possibility for the resolution of differences. It is a matter of fact that there are numerous different interpretations of various parts of Scripture. Adherents of “solo” Scriptura are told that these different interpretations can be resolved simply by an appeal to Scripture. But how is the problem of differing interpretations to be resolved by an appeal to another interpretation? All appeals to Scripture are appeals to interpretations of Scripture. The only real question is: whose interpretation? People with differing interpretations of Scripture cannot set a Bible on a table and ask it to resolve their differences. In order for the Scripture to function as an authority, it must be read and interpreted by someone. According to “solo” Scriptura, that someone is each individual, so ultimately, there are as many final authorities as there are human interpreters. This is subjectivism and relativism run amuck. The proponents of “solo” Scriptura rightly condemn the hermeneutical tyranny of Rome, but the solution to hermeneutical tyranny is not hermeneutical anarchy.

~Solo Scriptura: The Difference a Vowel Makes, Modern Reformation 16/2 (March/April 2007), pp.  25-29, available online at http://www.bible-researcher.com/mathison.pdf

The Arminian “Gospel”?

The Arminian ‘gospel’?

Spurgeon, “The Two Effects of the Gospel”

The Arminians tell us that a man may receive
spiritual life, and yet may die eternally.

That is to say, a man may be forgiven, and yet be punished
afterwards; he may be justified from all sin, and yet after that,
his transgressions can be laid on his shoulders again;
a man may be born of God, and yet die in his sins; a man may
be loved of God today, and yet God may hate him tomorrow.

Oh! I cannot bear to speak of such lies.
As for me, I so deeply believe in the immutable love
of Jesus that I suppose that if one believer were to be in hell,
Christ himself would not long stay in heaven, but would cry,
“To the rescue!”

Oh! if Jesus Christ were in glory with one the gems lacking
in his crown, and Satan had that gem, Satan would say,
“Aha! prince of light and glory, I have one of your jewels!”
and he would hold it up, and then he would say,
“Aha! you died for this man, but you had not strength enough
to save him; you loved him once–where is your love?
It is not worth having, for you then hate him afterwards!”

And how would Satan chuckle over that ‘heir of heaven’,
and hold him up, and say, “This man was redeemed;
Jesus Christ purchased him with his blood!”
And plunging him in the waves of hell, he would say,
“There ‘purchased one’ see how I can rob the Son of God!”
And then again he would say, “This man was forgiven, behold
the justice of God! He is to be punished again after he is
forgiven. Christ suffered for this man’s sins once, and yet”
says Satan with a malignant joy, “I have him now;
for God exacted the punishment twice!”

Shall that ever be said? Ah! no!
Arminian, go away with your vile gospel.
My Master said, “I give unto my sheep ETERNAL life,
and they shall never perish, neither shall any man
pluck them out of my hands.”

Let the Arminian go and preach his ‘gospel’.
Let them go and tell poor sinners, that if they believe in Jesus
they may be damned after all, that Jesus Christ will forgive
them and yet the Father may afterwards send them to hell.

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/13/arminian.htm

No Arminians in Heaven

No Arminians in heaven?

From Spurgeon’s sermon, “Salvation of the Lord”


They may be Arminians while here on earth,
but they will not be Arminians in heaven!

Here they may say, “It is of the will of the flesh,”
but in heaven they shall not think so.

Here they may ascribe some little to the creature;
but there they shall cast their crowns at the Redeemer’s feet,
and acknowledge that he did it all.

Here they may sometimes look a little at themselves,
and boast somewhat of their own strength.
But there, “Not unto us, not unto us,” shall be sung
with deeper sincerity and with more profound emphasis
than they have even sung it here below.

In heaven, when grace shall have completed its work,
this truth shall stand out in blazing letters of gold-
“Salvation is of the Lord.”

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/13/armin.htm

Arminianism versus Christianity

Arminianism versus Christianity

The Five Points of Arminianism

1. Partial Depravity.
This is the belief that the sinner is not
totally unable to come to God; instead,
the sinner has a “free will” to be able to
accept salvation or to reject salvation.

2. Conditional Election.
This is the belief that God chose to save
certain people before the foundation of
the world based on what He saw they
would do; God chose those who He
foresaw would accept salvation.

3. Universal Atonement.
This is the belief that Jesus Christ died for
everyone without exception; Jesus Christ
paid the sin debt for everyone, made an
atonement for everyone, redeemed everyone,
including those who eventually end up in hell.

4. Resistible Grace.
This is the belief that a sinner can resist
God’s will and remain unsaved even when
God wants to save him.

5. Conditional Perseverance.
This is the belief that one can lose his
salvation after being saved and that
one’s continuing in the faith is conditioned
on the person, and not on Christ’s work.

The Five Points of Christianity

1. Total depravity.
Every human being by nature is under
the wrath of God, owing a debt to God’s
law and justice that they cannot pay.
They have no ability nor desire to come
to the true God for salvation.

2. Unconditional Election.
God chose to save some people by the
blood and righteousness of Christ before
the foundation of the world based solely
upon His good pleasure to do so.

3. Particular, Effectual Redemption.
God sent Christ into the world to represent
all those whom He chose before the
foundation of the world and to make
full atonement for all God’s people.
This atonement saves all for whom it
was intended; there will not be a single
person for whom Christ died in hell.

4. Irresistible Grace.
All those whom God chose and for whom
Christ died will come to Him and will be
saved through the work of the Holy Spirit.
God is never thwarted in His plan to save
those whom He chose and for whom Christ
died.

5. Preservation of God’s People.
All those whom God chose and for whom
Christ died and who have been regenerated
by the Holy Spirit will be preserved by God
until their dying breath and caused to
continue to walk in the way of truth and
to continue believing the true gospel.

(Carpenter)

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/2001-1/arminianism_versus_christianity.htm

Not a Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Everything

Holy bible book

Joel Beeke on the limits of the sufficiency of Scripture:

The sufficiency of Scripture is, however, limited to the Bible’s purpose in revealing truth for our salvation, faith, and obedience (Ps. 19:7–11; John 20:31). The doctrine does not assert that the Bible is sufficient to guide all human activities in every respect, except in the most general way. The Bible does not claim to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of everything. Instead, it gives us “the words of the wise” so “that thy trust may be in the Lord” (Prov. 22:17, 19). The Holy Scriptures “are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). It is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (v. 16). Other matters must be governed by “the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed,” such as “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).