Today is December 19th, 2012.
For some time now I have owned this domain and had this blogging site ready to go. The problem is I had planned to use it for fashion photography, but that was before I realized that it wasn’t what God wanted me to pursue. So here I am, about to celebrate 3 years of knowing Christ, I was just baptized last Sunday, and I am ready for the next phase. This morning I was going to begin to dissect the book of Joshua when it occurred to me that maybe I should be putting this somewhere where others might find it useful as well.
A light went off in my brain as I realized that maybe this is the reason I have this open domain out there in the big web world… to write about what I am learning, line by line, from God’s word. I must warn you that I have already gleaned so much in my first few years as a Christian. God has revealed himself to me in ways I never even imagined. For example I have recently become aware of the full extent of God’s sovereignty. That may seem ridiculous, but try to understand that when you say God is sovereign you are saying that every single little jot and tittle that occurs in this place is because God has ordained it. He has not just set the wheels in motion, but actively moves them along, telling them where and how to roll. For example, the original name of this site was Oh! Magazine (oh-mag for short cause oh! magazine was taken). How appropriate it is that now it is Oh! My Awesome God! Funny how things work.
I realize now that I agree with the 5 points of Calvinism (which were not founded with Calvin at all, but by the apostle Paul), and you will see that reflected in my writing. If you are unfamiliar with them, as I was before God revealed to me that I already agreed to them (even before I knew what they were!) here is a list, and brief explanation of each:
- Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin) – Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3)
- Unconditional Election – God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21)
- Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement) – Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many’; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).
- Irresistible Grace – When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy“; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out,” (John 6:37).
- Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved) – You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return. (This has been a source of contention for some as it seems that many Christians do leave the faith, but as 1 John 2:19 states, they were never saved to begin with).
These 5 truths of God, and His character are only just the beginning of understanding when it comes to doctrine. While we are on the subject of doctrine, I want to define it, as some believe that the word is meant for people who are making up their own kinds of religion surrounding the Bible.
- teaching, instruction
- something that is taught
- a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief
- a principle of law established through past decisions
- a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations
- a military principle or set of strategies
You see it is essential that the body of Christ (the church) be aware of, and know correct doctrine. We cannot fully understand the ways and character of God without them. The Bible itself speaks clearly on where we are to stand when it comes to sound teaching.
1 Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
He (a church elder) must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
So this is my introduction to what is about to transpire here. I hope that this will be a place of study and information that is glorifying to God, and God alone.