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Archive for September 7th, 2012

The Foundation of the Gospel

September 7, 2012

 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

 The foundation of the gospel is God’s character and nature, a foundation laid right at the start of Scripture. Genesis 1 states most of God’s attributes implicitly or explicitly. For example:

 (1) His freedom: “In the beginning God created” implies that, before the beginning of time, space, and man, only God was. No one was present to compel or instruct God to create; He did it of His own, un-influenced free will.

 (2) His sovereignty, omnipotence, and rule: “God said . . . and it was so” (Genesis 1:9, 11, 24, etc.). We never find a verse that says “God said…and it failed.” The entire universe obeys His commands.

 (3) His omniscience: Before the universe was created, it existed only in His mind–He knows all things!

 (4) His omnipresence: Since God created space and time, He is not bound by it.

 (5) His transcendent holiness: Is there any being or substance with these attributes? Our God is far above and distinct from His creation!

 (6) His goodness: “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good”--a comforting thought for children of this absolute, sovereign Monarch. Thus, Genesis 1 eminently displays the glory of God.

 What does His nature have to do with the gospel? Consider that the only logical responses of created beings to this glorious God are to glorify Him as the God that He is and to give Him thanks for His goodness and creation. Our inborn failure to do this (Romans 1:21) earns us just punishment–the eternal wrath of the glorious God (Romans 1:18). Only by hiding behind the sacrifice of the obedient Christ are rebels like us saved from the holy wrath of the transcendent Creator. NTJ

Institute for Creation Research| 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229

 www.icr.org

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GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY

 

In studying God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, with respect to salvation, it is important to hold to a balanced Biblical position. Many have erred by emphasizing one side of the truth to the neglect of the other side. The truth lies somewhere between. Both are clearly taught in the Word of God. We do not understand how they can both be true. God has not told us that we need to fully understand these things; however we do need to humbly bow before the authority of His Word and believe what God has revealed.

Those who are saved have only God to thank; those who are lost have only themselves to blame. God gets all the credit for man’s salvation; the unsaved man must take full responsibility for his eternal damnation. The saved person thankfully says, “I’m in heaven because of God!” The lost person must truthfully say, “I’m in hell because of me!” Those who are damned will never be able to blame God or say, “I’m damned because God did not choose me.” Their damnation is based not upon God’s rejection of them but upon their rejection of God (Mk. 16:16; Jn. 5:40; 2 Thes. 2:12).

Man does not contribute to his own salvation. It is the work of God, “not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). God does not contribute to man’s unbelief. That is man’s work. God alone must do the saving. Man must do the believing. God must get all the glory and all the credit: “That no flesh should glory in His presence….That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:29-31). Unbelieving man must take the blame. The believer saved by grace can gratefully sing, “To God be the glory great things He hath done!” “Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!”

 

Like the Trinity, the Doctrine of Election must be accepted by faith!

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