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May 2013 9 May 9, 2013
1

We’ve finally come to the conclusion of this series of articles on what it means to be Reformed. Here is number 10. (10) To be Reformed means that you are a compatibilist. Many insist that God’s exhaustive foreknowledge of everything that comes to pass is incompatible with genuine human freedom of choice. If God knows everything from eternity past, all things will necessarily come to pass in precisely the way known by God. And necessity is incompatible with...Read More

May 2013 9 May 9, 2013

Jonathan Edwards wrote extensively on the nature of genuine, heaven-sent revival. During the First Great Awakening he mentioned that one of the characteristics of revival is that God accelerates and intensifies his normal manner of work. He writes: "God has also seemed to have gone out of his usual way, in the quickness of his work, and the swift progress his Spirit has made in his operations on the hearts of many. It is wonderful that persons should be so suddenly and y...Read More

May 2013 9 May 9, 2013
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Although it may sound strange to many of you, consider what I believe to be the inescapable fact that (9) only the Reformed can consistently and sincerely pray for God to save souls. Here is J. I. Packer again: “You pray for the conversion of others. In what terms, now, do you intercede for them? Do you limit yourself to asking that God will bring them to a point where they can save themselves, independently of Him? I do not think you do. I think that what you ...Read More

May 2013 8 May 8, 2013

When it comes to how far is too far in pre-marital sexual activity: “I’ve never heard a Christian couple regret all they didn’t do before they were married” (Kevin Deyoung, The Hole in our Holiness, 114)....Read More

May 2013 8 May 8, 2013

The eighth dimension of a Reformed faith is the shortest of our posts, but is not for that reason less important than the others. (8) To be Reformed means that you will always resist the temptation to become pragmatic or manipulative in your evangelistic outreach. J. I. Packer explains: "While we must always remember that it is our responsibility to proclaim salvation, we must never forget that it is God who saves. It is God who brings men and women under the sound ...Read More

May 2013 7 May 7, 2013

“In more than a decade of pastoral ministry I’ve never met a Christian who was healthier, more mature, and more active in ministry by being apart from the church. But I have found the opposite to be invariably true” (Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in our Holiness, 132). May I add this one thought? In nearly four decades of pastoral ministry I've found it to be even more invariably true!...Read More

May 2013 7 May 7, 2013

The fifth feature of a Reformed view of God and life takes an interesting turn. (5) To be Reformed means you humbly receive suffering as a gift of God’s grace no less so than you do the blessing of salvation. Many are inclined to protest the notion that persecution is in any sense “from God” (see Phil. 1:28). After all, don’t pain and oppression and rejection and slander mean that God doesn’t care about us anymore? Far from it, says Paul, ...Read More

May 2013 6 May 6, 2013

Here is the fourth characteristic feature of being Reformed. (4) To be Reformed means that you affirm the necessity and passionately pursue the use of God’s ordained means as much as you celebrate and confidently rest in the certainty of his ordained ends. Here we’ll consider the role of prayer in 2 Corinthians 1:10-11 and its utter and absolute necessity in the achievement of God’s ordained purposes. Paul writes: “He delivered us from such a de...Read More

May 2013 4 May 4, 2013
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Today’s (5-4-13) headline of the Life section of my local newspaper (The Oklahoman) could hardly be missed: “Marks of the Beast? Scanners prompt biblical concerns.” The related headline also declares: “Technology renews questions on end time, ‘mark of the beast’” (by Carla Hinton). The article mentions a local woman who “said she was concerned that biometric palm scanners used by her hospital employer to collect patient in...Read More

May 2013 3 May 3, 2013
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One often hears that penal substitution is merely one model or theory of the atonement and thus should not be elevated as central to defining the way in which we are saved and reconciled to God. One author appeals to an analogy with golf. Just as Phil Mickelson, for example, would never think of playing in the U.S. Open with only a putter or a nine-iron, neither should we portray the saving work of Christ as if penal substitution were all there is to his sacrifice on th...Read More