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June 05, 2014

LAW OR SPIRIT?


GALATIANS BETWEEN LEGALISM AND ANTINOMIANISM


  Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD.

Translated from German by Combron Teupe


Serious Bible students have often asked me to comment extensively on Paul's teaching in regard to legalism and antinomianism in his letter to the Galatians.  Frequently asked questions are effectively dealt with in this exposition. For example, the following six questions are noteworthy: (1) Do both the OT and NT clearly teach a distinction between ceremonial and moral laws? (2) Should Christians exalt and uphold God's moral (ethical) standards wherever found in Scripture? (3) Is it legalistic to obey God's inerrant, written will for our lives? (4) Are OT moral (ethical) laws merely external in nature? (5) Do all of the 613 laws of Moses carry the same weight, purpose, and importance? (6) Are all exhortations in Scripture a form of law?  Dr. Schirrmacher exhibits his extensive, biblical research in commenting on these and other closely-related questions.

Simply click here to read this 90-page booklet that includes details about the author and his academic credentials. All in all, you will be richly blessed in reading this well-written, Bible-based commentary. Stuck in a busy medical waiting room, I re-read Paul's entire letter to the Galatians while there (thanks to the Gideons International who placed a Bible there). Oh yes, since I wasn't the patient waiting to see the doctor, it wasn't difficult to concentrate on what I was reading (smile). Thanks for stopping by, and may our awesome God continue to abundantly bless your quest for biblical truth. Fight truth decay, study the Bible!

Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain




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May 10, 2014

DOES MONERGISM ROB HUMANITY OF FREE WILL?


by John Hendryx, Founder and Owner
Christian website: www.monergism.com


In this easy-to-understand, yet probing essay, John Hendryx provides the biblical truth about God's initiative in man's salvation. He aptly explains how God radically changes our "wanter" or desire in the regeneration process. Consequently, our desires align with God's desire for our lives. After all, God knows our needs far better than we do. 

Ultimately, at precisely the right time, our merciful God unstops the ears and opens the stony hearts of those called to be His elect by rescuing them from their hell-bent desires. Charles Spurgeon rightly assessed the dire human condition when he said, "The Lord must have loved me before I was born, or else He would not have seen anything in me to love afterwards." Indeed, He is the Potter, and we are the clay. It's all about Him! Simply click here to read this excellent, Bible-based exposition.

Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain



Today's Gem:  "Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven...I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ.  My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, 'You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.' My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will." 

--Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) "The Prince of Preachers"






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March 19, 2014

INTRODUCTION: On Covenant Theology


By J. I. Packer


The avid readers of this blog will remember J. I. Packer, a world-renowned theologian, as a thought-provoking teacher and writer.  He authored the insightful article entitled "Antinomianism" featured several years ago in this blog (click here if you missed reading it).  A British-born Canadian and an ordained Anglican priest, he is best known for his excellent book entitled "Knowing God." 

Moreover, he currently serves as the Board of Governor's Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Simply click here to access this introduction to Covenant Theology as selected by Dr. Packer. He reprinted a treatise of Herman Witsius (1636-1708) who was a notable Dutch Reformed theologian. 


Like a high-resolution photograph, Covenant Theology vividly captures the splendor of God making friends out of His enemies in the election process. Dr. Packer concludes that "God deals with mankind through two representative men, Adam and Christ; all that are in Adam die; all that are in Christ are made alive." In theological parlance, this is known as "federal headship" or "federal theology." It effectively explains the role of the first and second Adam. Thanks for stopping by!


Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain







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January 11, 2014

BORN TO BELIEVE: A Study of God's Initiative in Salvation


By Dr. Fred G. Zaspel


This biblical study is one of the best that I have ever read on this topic. You will be greatly blessed to learn how our awesome God saves "His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21 NASB) by bringing them from death to life. Absolutely nothing should stand in our way to research the Christological and soteriological aspects of God's compassionate gift of salvation. 

It is my heartfelt desire for the insightful readers of this blog to carefully and prayerfully examine this God-honoring and God-exalting exposition. We don't give birth, neither physically nor spiritually, to ourselves. It's all about Him! Simply click here to discover how our merciful, sovereign God makes friends out of His enemies in the election process. 

Here is a mere sampling of Dr. Zaspel's comments: "How do people who hate Christ all of a sudden love Him?...To believe on Christ is an act contrary to fallen human nature!...Put another way, in order for a man to believe in Christ, he would have to be born all over again. The reason people reject God is that they want to. The problem is in their will. They are biased against Him. People are not looking for God, really; they are looking to be rid of Him. They are ignorant of Him, to be sure, but they are willfully ignorant...Are we born again because we believe? Or do we believe because we are born again?"


Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain



J--Jesus
E--exactly
S--suits
U--us
S--sinners
                                                                    
                                 
                                  
                                  

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December 15, 2013

HUMAN INABILITY



by Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)



The discerning readers of this blog will greatly appreciate another relevant message from the "Prince of Preachers." Charles Spurgeon was a British author and preacher in the Reformed Baptist tradition. It is estimated that during his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people. Most people like to think that they are the captains of their eternal destiny. In this exposition, Spurgeon effectively addresses the doctrine of radical depravity due to the original sin condition of fallen man. 

Salvation is a gift to be received, not a goal to be achieved. Moreover, Spurgeon makes it clear that those who think that they deserve heaven are not Christians. In his classic book entitled "Chosen by God,"  Dr. R. C. Sproul rightly affirms that "Fallen man is still free to choose what he desires, but because his desires are only wicked he lacks the moral ability to come to Christ." It's all about Him!  Every safeguard is taken in pursuit of teaching only sound doctrine here daily. Theology matters! Without any exceptions, Christ-followers are commissioned to be missionaries and theologians. Thanks for stopping by! Simply click here to access article.


In awe of the guilt-removing, sin-atoning sacrifice of Jesus,


Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain





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November 23, 2013

IS THERE A BABY IN THE CHARISMATIC BATHWATER?


By Phil Johnson

Meet the Author:  This timely exposition exposes the facts surrounding the charismatic movement today. Truly, charismaticism is closely related to the strange reveries and extra-biblical revelations of Ellen White, the revered SDA prophetess and infallible interpreter of Scripture. Since former Adventists are vulnerable to being deceived yet again, you owe it to yourself to read or listen to this excellent discourse that fairly critiques this widespread aberration and its subsequent misuse of biblical Christianity today. Moreover, charismaticism seriously compromises the authority of Scripture.

Phil Johnson is the Executive Director of Grace to You.  He has been closely associated with John MacArthur since 1981 and edits most of John's major books. But he is best known for several popular Web sites he maintains, including The Spurgeon Archive and The Hall of Church History.  He is an elder of Grace Community Church and pastors the Grace Life fellowship group.  Phil and his wife, Darlene, have three adult sons; namely, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, and Jonathan. Simply click here to access his must-read article or listen to his recorded presentation at the Strange Fire Conference. May God continue to abundantly bless your quest for biblical truth.


Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain






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July 12, 2013


DOMA and the Rock


by Dr. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield


PROLOGUE:  In a world of shifting moral standards, this timely exposition gives the discerning reader a new appreciation for all of God's people. We are not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we are innately sinners due to our fallen nature. We are all born as rebels against God. The real truth is that we love to sin in our carnal nature. However, since regeneration precedes faith, sin no longer reigns in God's wonderful family. Although we don't completely stop sinning due to our original sin condition, God miraculously changes our "wanter" in the conversion process (i. e., Paul no longer had a desire to persecute Christians after his stunning conversion on the road to Damascus). God's elect are an entirely new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). It's not your grip on God that keeps you safe but God's grip on you (John 10:28-29).

"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one" (Romans 3:11-12 ESV).  We (all of us) are in desperate need of a Savior and Substitute. We have absolutely nothing to contribute to our salvation. Neither collectively nor individually, fallen mankind does not possess even the tiniest island of righteousness. Consequently, we are not the captains of our eternal destiny. We are saved solely by God's sovereign grace (foreordained, undeserved mercy). Both our physical and spiritual births are done for us. Indeed, the provisions of our merciful God far outweigh the stranglehold of our darkest and vilest sins. It's all about Him! Click here to read this inspiring, must-read article by Dr. Butterfield.


Dennis Fischer
Web Chaplain






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June 19, 2013

HOW CAN GOD BE FAIR IF MAN HAS NO CHOICE?


by John Hendryx


ANSWER:  What the Bible teaches, and I hope you would agree, is more important than our feelings about the way we think things should be.  And perhaps to your surprise, Calvinists would agree with you that the Bible teaches that everyone has a choice, BUT because men love darkness and hate the light (John 3:19,20) they are naturally hostile to God and think all spiritual truth to be foolish (1 Cor. 2:14), they will CHOOSE willingly to reject Him.  We (all of us) do so voluntarily.  God would therefore be just if He chose to save no one and leave everyone to their own boasted free will. But instead God is merciful and chooses to save many ill-deserving folk on earth.  As soon as you think God is somehow obligated to save you then your salvation is no longer of mercy.  

So men receive one of two things in this world, justice or mercy, but no one receives injustice.  If anyone is in hell it is because they deserved it and chose to go there willingly.  Left to ourselves that is what we all would choose and deserve.  That is why we need grace to believe. Our own hearts are hard as stone.  God must change our hearts if we are to believe (Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:26; John 6:63,65) and that is what the Bible teaches.  Are you saying that a man can come to faith in Jesus of his own free will apart from grace?  Where do you find this in the Scripture?





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June 15, 2013

The Sufficiency of Faith

by Dr. R. C. Sproul


Here is an exposition that probes the depths of faith and grace within just a few paragraphs. Those who are already familiar with Dr. Sproul's theological clarity and expertise will welcome this opportunity to read this excellent, well-written excerpt from his 219-page book entitled "Willing to Believe." 

Simply click here to read.  May our awesome, gracious God continue to abundantly bless your quest for biblical truth.







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June 12, 2013

INSIGHTS ON IMPUTATION
Romans 5:12-21


by Dr. John Stevenson


Ever wonder what it would be like to get a speeding ticket in a place without a speed law?  How could death and sin reign from Adam to Moses without the Law?  Why was Adam held primarily accountable for the sin of Eve?  What is the relationship between the First Adam (Adam) and the Second Adam (Christ)? What is Federal Headship in theology? These and other questions are answered in this must-read exposition. This brief study is a preview of Dr. Stevenson's book entitled "Romans: The Radical Righteousness of God." Serious Bible students will be awed anew to God's saving grace.  Simply click here to read.






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