Saturday, April 29, 2006

They Have Been With Jesus - Matthew Henry

Context: Peter and John are being questioned by the Sanhedrin for preaching Christ. We find the following verse right after Peter answers them with such amazing clarity and boldness that the 70 did not know how to respond.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Act 4:13

They could not, with all their pomp and power, face down Peter and John. This was a miracle not inferior to the cure of the lame man, considering both what cruel bloody enemies these priests had been to the name of Christ (enough to make any one tremble that appeared for him), and considering what cowardly faint-hearted advocates those disciples had lately been for him, Peter particularly, who denied him for fear of a silly maid; yet now they see the boldness of Peter and John, Act_4:13. Probably there was something extraordinary and very surprising in their looks; they appeared not only undaunted by the rulers, but daring and daunting to them; they had something majestic in their foreheads, sparkling in their eyes, and commanding, if not terrifying, in their voice. They set their faces like a flint, as the prophet, Isa_50:7; Eze_3:9. The courage of Christ's faithful confessors has often been the confusion of their cruel persecutors. Now, (1.) We are here told what increased their wonder: They perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men. They enquired either of the apostles or themselves or of others, and found that they were of mean extraction, born in Galilee, that they were bred fishermen, and had no learned education, had never been at any university, were not brought up at the feet of any of the rabbin, had never been conversant in courts, camps, or colleges; nay, perhaps, talk to them at this time upon any point in natural philosophy, mathematics, or politics, and you will find they know nothing of the matter; and yet speak to them of the Messiah and his kingdom, and they speak with so much clearness, evidence, and assurance, so pertinently and so fluently, and are so ready in the scriptures of the Old Testament relating to it, that the most learned judge upon the bench is not able to answer them, nor to enter the lists with them. They were ignorant men - idiōtai, private men, men that had not any public character nor employment; and therefore they wondered they should have such high pretensions. They were idiots (so the word signifies): they looked upon them with as much contempt as if they had been mere naturals, and expected no more from them, which made them wonder to see what freedom they took. (2.) We are told what made their wonder in a great measure to cease: they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus; they, themselves, it is probable, had seen them with him in the temple, and now recollected that they had seen them; or some of their servants or those about them informed them of it, for they would not be thought themselves to have taken notice of such inferior people. But when they understood that they had been with Jesus, had been conversant with him, attendant on him, and trained up under him, they knew what to impute their boldness to; nay, their boldness in divine things was enough to show with whom they had had their education. Note, Those that have been with Jesus, in converse and communion with him, have been attending on his word, praying in his name, and celebrating the memorials of his death and resurrection, should conduct themselves, in every thing, so that those who converse with them may take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus; and this makes them so holy, and heavenly, and spiritual, and cheerful; this has raised them so much above this world, and filled them with another. One may know that they have been in the mount by the shining of their faces.

- Matthew Henry; Commentary on Acts-

Be sure to be with Jesus today!


Friday, April 28, 2006

Do Not Neglect the Priesthood

The New Testament Scriptures tell us that we are a Holy Priesthood, and the reformers pointed out the priesthood of all believers. This is because we have all been given the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16), and most importantly because Christ has opened the way in order for us to have access to God. This is seen when the veil was torn in two, making access for believers into the Holy of Holies. With each believer being part of the priesthood, what are the implications of it on our lives? I want to quickly look at three.

First, we have immediate access to the throne of Grace (Heb 4:16). Stop and realize what a blessing this is. Sinful men and women as we are, by Christ’s work, are actually able to approach Him confidently and make our requests known. He waits to hear and answer prayer. Every prayer of the believer will be answered. They may not always be answered the way we want them to be, but they will always be answered in a way that is for our benefit. With this in mind it is impossible pray without being blessed.

Second, scripture tells us that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that we should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1Pe 2:9). This means that one of our blessed duties is to show forth praises of Him. Every time we do this we have the privilege of bringing glory to the one who saved us by calling us out of darkness. The neglecting of this duty stems from neglecting the truth that we have truly been redeemed, and to neglect this has a tendency to put us back under the burdens of the law. Not actually, because His grace is irrevocable, but psychologically we begin to weigh ourselves down with our duties without the joy of our salvation.

Third, scripture tells us that, “we also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:5). The blessing of this aspect of the priesthood is to realize that we can actually do things that bring pleasure to the Lord. Before, we could not please Him; this is because without faith it is impossible to please God. Now when we offer the spiritual sacrifices of our work for Him (study of His word, ministry to others, etc.), it actually sends up a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord. Not the actual stench of our blemished sacrifices, but by faith, the wonderful aroma of our Lord Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. To neglect this is to neglect one of the greatest privileges of salvation, which is bringing pleasure to our Lord.

Have you been neglecting the great honor that has been bestowed upon you? Remember, Christ gave His life to give us these privileges. To neglect them is to neglect three of the greatest blessing we have been given.

-Doug Eaton-

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Christ's Active Righteousness (2)

In a previous post I was trying to dig into the question of Christ’s Active Righteousness and its relationship to the Mosaic Law. In other words, did Christ have to perfectly obey the Mosaic Law in order to save us?

There were a couple of things that we all seemed to agree upon. First, that the Mosaic Law could not save anyone. In the words of one comment, the law was given to define righteousness not create it. Second, Christ did not have to obey the law to become righteous. He lived a righteous life because He was righteous. And third, Christ had to be sinless or righteous in order to save us for if He had sinned He could not have been our savior. And I think we all agreed that because of all this Christ had to be actively righteous in order to save us. This follows from the fact that Jesus being inactively righteous and saving us seems to make no sense, so He must have had to be actively righteous.

But the area that there seemed to be a bit of disagreement was if it was necessary for Christ to keep the Mosaic Law (moral, judicial, and ceremonial) or did he only fulfill the moral aspect?

As I have been thinking about it I have become more convinced that Christ had to fulfill the Mosaic Law in order to be our Savior. But just to be clear I am not saying that Jesus had to fulfill the law to become righteous, but that He had to fulfill the law to stay righteous. But why do I say the Mosaic Law? I will try to answer it with a few questions.

First, if a man were to violate any aspect of the moral law in the time of Jesus, would it be a sin? The answer to this question seems to be an obvious yes because Christ had not yet died to initiate the new covenant. Which leads us to our second question, if Jesus would have violated the Mosaic Law, would it have been a sin for Him? To me the answer seems to be yes also. In order to give the answer “no” there would need to be an explanation as to how Christ could have violated the Mosaic Law at this point in History and still have been righteous. At this point I don’t have that answer, but maybe there is one.

This leads me to my conclusion which is, in order for Christ to save us He had to keep the Mosaic Law perfectly. In other words, His active righteousness to the Mosaic Law was required in order to save us. Not that it made Him righteous, but that it expressed His righteousness. Much like the definition of the Mosaic Law which was given earlier, it defines His righteousness.

Any thoughts?


Da Vinci Code Seminar

For those of you in the Southern California area, we are hosting a great event tomorrow night, Thursday, April 27. Visit the Trinity Law School website for more info and to RSVP. For those of you who can't make it, we will will have it available on DVD and audio CD if you are interested. They will be available through the schools website about a week later.

God Bless,


EVENT: The Da Vinci Code Controversy: What you Need to Know!
WHEN: Thursday, April 27th
TIME: 7:00 - 9:00 PM
WHERE: at the Orange County Worship Center
1440 E. Santa Clara, Santa Ana, CA (east of the school)

This free event will feature best-selling author, commentator, and news analyst James Hirsen, along with professor Craig Hawkins from Trinity Graduate School and a panelist from Come find out what you, your church, your family, and your friends need to know about the Da Vinci Code controversy.

**Groups are welcome. Please RSVP!**

PHONE: 800-922-4748

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Christ's Healing Look - Thomas Watson

"Christ heals with more ease than any other. Christ makes the devil go out with a word (Mark 9:25). Nay, he can cure with a look: Christ's look melted Peter into repentance; it was a healing look. If Christ doth but cast a look upon the soul he can recover it. Therefore David prays to have a look from God, 'Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me' (Psalm 119:132)."


Monday, April 24, 2006

Christ's Active Righteousness

Bobby Grow has posted an interesting article asking about the Mosaic Law and its relationship to Christ righteousness which is imputed for our salvation. I find this quite fascinating as it relates to the dispensational and covenantal views on the Mosaic Law. The first question that arises is did Christ have to actively keep a law in order to save us? And second was it the Mosaic Law?

It seems to me that the idea of Christ active obedience to some kind of moral standard was required in order for him to be our Savior. He had to be a lamb without blemish. If he had sinned He would have had to die for His own sins not ours. A Christ who committed adultery would be no Christ at all. Maybe there is some view that would deny this, and if you hold to one I would be interested in hearing about it. But with that being said it seems that active righteousness was needed for our salvation.

But this does not answer the question of which law Christ had to fulfill. Was it the Mosaic Law or some other law? Do we make a distinction here between the moral law of God and the Mosaic Law?

To dig a bit deeper into this question it would be helpful to ask what law did Abraham and Jacob have to live by before the Mosaic Law. The reformed view seems to believe that it was God’s Moral Law which stems from His nature. Since God nature is unchanging so is His moral law. The reformed view tends to believe that the Mosaic Law is the clearest expression of His moral law, but the Mosaic Law has more in it than moral laws. It has judicial law, and ceremonial law. In fact, many in the reformed camp actually see the ceremonial laws as Gospel, because they paint a picture of the redeemer and the Lord never actually had to give this part of the law to us. So in one sense the Mosaic Law contains Grace. The New Testament does not seem to distinguish between these different aspects of the Mosaic Law. It tends to treat it all like one big sheet of glass. If you break one aspect of it, moral, judicial, or ceremonial, you are guilty of all of it. In other words you have shattered the entire pane of glass.

So this leaves us with the question, was Christ’s active obedience based on keeping the entire Mosaic Law or just the moral aspect of it? I’m still working through this at this point but I would say it at least dealt with the moral aspect of it, and most likely all of it.

Scripture tells us,

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

I have always understood this to mean that He did what we could not, He kept the Mosaic Law.

Any thoughts?


Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Dispensational Distinctive

There are many distinctives to dispensationalism, its view on the dispensations, it Israel/Church distinction, its strong view on the fulfillment of the promises to Israel in the millennium, and its almost unanimous view of the pre-tribulational rapture. All of these are important to dispensationalism, but I have been looking for the sine qua non of dispensationalism, the one or two distinctives that without which dispensationalism ceases to be dispensationalism. Or to phrase it in the positive, if you want to be a dispensationalist the one or two things to which you must hold.

I find this question intriguing because in discussing some of these distinctives I have found that some times we all agree on an issue yet one person claims to be dispensational and the other claims to be covenantal.

From what I can see there seems to be two things that a person must hold to be a dispensationalist. If you hold to these you are a dispensationalist, and if you deny one of them you are not. The first place you would think to look would be the idea of dispensations, after all this constitutes the name of the position. If someone were to say that they do not believe in dispensations then I don’t think they could be considered a dispensationalist, so it is extremely important. But to believe in dispensations does not necessarily make you a dispensationalist, so the answer must include something else.

The other distinctive a person must hold to besides some kind of belief in dispensations is the Israel/Church distinction. This seems to be one of the most important points in dispensationalism, if not the most import point. It seems to me that if a person holds to the idea that there is one people of God made up of Jews and Gentiles as I proposed in a post entitled Federal Headship and the Israel/Church Distinction, they are not really a dispensationalist even if they hold to many of the other doctrines that dispensationalism teaches. To truly be a dispensationalist you must believe that Israel and the church are distinct. The church is not Israel either ethnically or spiritually even if all have been saved by grace. The two groups have two distinct sets of promises and purposes and we cannot confuse them. To deny this seems to put a person outside of true dispensationalism and into some kind of middle ground position.

This seems to have been the position held by Dr. S. Lewis Johnson who stopped considering himself a dispensationalist because of his belief in the one people of God, and also strongly attested to by dispensationalists such as Ryrie, Scofield, Darby, and Chafer. Though I have not worked it out completely this is what I see as setting dispensationalism apart.

I do not write this as my dogmatic answer to the question but in seeking to work it out. So what do you think? Is this the sine qua non of dispensationalism? If not, what is?

God bless,


Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Evidence of Things Unseen

But I will hope continually. Psalm 71:14

Hope is one of God's precious gifts to us. As we meditate on hope, we must realize people hope in all kinds of things that will eventually disappoint them. The atheist hopes there is no God, because he knows the consequences of such a belief if there is one. The farmer hopes for good weather for his crops. Sometimes it happens, other times storms dash his hopes. So what is different when it comes to hoping in the Lord? How do we know that our hope is not in vain? What is the evidence that what we hope for is true even though it is yet unseen?

To answer this question we must look at what hope in Christ implies. The very fact that we need to hope in Christ, shows us that we realize something about ourselves that many never see or choose to acknowledge. What we see is that we are not what we should be. What we see is our depravity, and we long for deliverance. On top of that we have lost all hope that our good works will do anything for us. We have come to a point where we say, "Jesus, you are my only hope of righteousness” If we did not see these things, there would be no reason to hope in the Lord.

This is significant because of how we got to this point. Scripture tells us that we are dead in our trespasses, blind, and slaves to sin. What this means is we were lost and didn't even realize it. We were so blind that we couldn't even see our condition. But God in his grace began to reveal our condition to us through His Word, using preachers, teachers, friends, and family to show us the truth. He then went on to convict us with His Holy Spirit, to where we had nowhere else to turn. Like Christian in Pilgrims Progress, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to recognize the burden of sin that is on our back. Because of this, we clamor and strain for it's removal, but find that nothing we do will give us relief, until we come to the cross and our burden falls off and rolls into Christ's empty tomb never to be seen again.

We are now free, and by grace we have been saved through faith. What this means is God's grace reached out to a lost sinner and opened our understanding which was darkened, showed us our burden, and gave us only one option for it's removal, which was Christ and His sacrifice. His grace being effectual, left us with no option except to willingly run into his loving arms. Thus, through Christ's grace He gave us faith, which is how we are saved.

So what does this have to do with hope not being in vain? Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things unseen. The very fact that we have faith, is evidence that what we hope for is real. Why? Because you could not have faith unless God did his work of grace in you, and if God did this work then we know the rest is true.

So like the Psalmist I will hope continually. Though all of the promises have not yet come true. I know one day my sanctification will be complete, glorification will mine, and I will be with Him face to face, where there will be no more pain and sorrow. This is my hope and I know it is true because faith is the evidence.

-Doug Eaton-

A Few Quotes on Christian Zeal

"I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men."

-Richard Baxter-

“It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?”

-John Wesley-

"The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil."

-Leonard Ravenhill-

"I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure so that I may save souls. When I sleep I dream of them; when I awake they are first in my thoughts…no amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep impassioned sympathetic love for human souls."

-David Brainerd-

Friday, April 21, 2006

God's Sovereignty and Man's Evil Acts

There have been some great questions raised regarding God’s sovereignty and man's evil acts in the post entitled Tozer’s Famous Quote. I thought I would try to give some of my thoughts in a new post. The questions centered on hurts that we experience in this life such as assaults, broken relationships, and pretty much any evil act of man that causes pain in our lives. Does God bring these about in our lives to discipline us? Can/Should we attribute these hurts to God? And does this make God a utilitarian?

My belief is that God does bring these into our lives to discipline us and love us. And we can and should attribute these events to the sovereignty of God. To explore this I want to give a few scriptures in support.

Scripture is full of passages where God’s sovereignty is seen even in the evil events of mankind. First we see in Genesis where Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers. What the brothers did was an evil act yet God takes credit for intending the entire thing. Speaking of the brother’s sinful act, scripture says,

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Another passage that always intrigues me about God’s sovereignty has to do with David’s sin of numbering the people. First we can see a scripture where David realizes that the numbering of the people was a sin and he takes responsibility for it.

2Sa 24:10 And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

Next we see a scripture that Satan was involved and provoked David to number Israel.

1Ch 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

Then last but not least we see that the Lord caused the entire event.

2Sa 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

When we put it all together we see that God, in order to chastise Israel, used Satan which caused David to sin.

Does this make God the author of sin? Not according to scripture, nor does it make him a utilitarian because God never actually sinned, it was David and Joseph’s brothers who sinned. Nowhere does scripture show God as directly doing anything evil, but rather bringing about evil deeds through willing actions of moral creatures. Scripture never blames God nor does it excuse human actions because of His sovereignty.

For the believer this is an encouragement. To know that nothing can come into our lives outside of God’s plan for us. Even if evil and pain come into our lives, scripture tells us…

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

There is my feeble attempt to shed some light on an extremely deep topic. Any other thoughts you have are welcomed.

God Bless,


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Worship Focused on Christ

I am not a major critic of modern worship, in fact I enjoy a lot of it, but there is a portion of it where the lyrics seem to be more focused on the person doing the worshipping than on Christ. For an example of this, click here. I realize that many Christian who sing these types of songs do so for the right reasons and are actually worshipping with it, but nevertheless the focus of the song seems to be more on me as the singer than on Christ. That is why when I read the following I thought it was a good reminder of the tendency we all have of slipping into looking at ourselves and not Christ even during our times of worship, prayer, and study of the Word.


Do not be so often considering how much you love
Jesus--but how much He loves you. Your love is but
the effect; His is the cause. And the more you have
to do with the cause, the more fully will the effect
flow from it.

Just so with faith. If you would have it grow, it must
be by looking at Jesus--not by looking at your faith.

The more you "consider Him," and are continually
coming unto Him--the more lively and healthy will
be the graces of the Spirit in your soul. And you will
rejoice--not in your fruitfulness--but only in Him and
in what He has done and suffered.

-Ruth Bryan-

Tozer's Famous Quote

"It's doubtful that God can use any man greatly until he's hurt him deeply." A.W. Tozer

Do you agree or disagree?


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Different Kind of Fear

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

There seems to be plenty to fear in this life, and many people tend to live with fears that plague them from time to time. Some of the common fears involve our family, our employment, and our reputation. It is possible to live our lives in constant fear. Scripture tells us on many occasions not to fear, but on another occasion we are told to fear the Lord.

There is a different kind of fear that will make you fearless. Many of God’s great saints have gone through times which shook them with such great fear that they felt paralyzed. It is in those times that we learn that Christ is everything. Facing dark nights when we feel that God has forsaken us has a way of breaking all that encumbers the heart and turns its focus to the only one who can help. These are the times when we look and see our sinful hearts in all their depravity. When we go through one of these times, there is nothing that we will not surrender to God because we know without Him we have nothing. It is in these times where our boldest prayers are offered. We are willing to say, Lord, take everything from me if I am not in your will, my reputation, my job, even my family if necessary. There is only one thing that will satisfy me, and that is to know I am right with you. Spurgeon gives a great example of this when he states, "If a man is in this position you can lay the wealth of India at his feet and he'll say take it away, what use is that to me."

When a person goes through a time like this and comes out on the other side, that person is changed, and many times the Lord left everything intact, the reputation, the job, and the family, but at the same time the Lord has taken it from him. The fears that once tormented are gone because this person has seen the greatest truth, that he is Christ's and Christ is sovereign. This freedom emboldens the man do and say things that he once could not because of his fears. It gives him the ability to take a stand for Christ no matter what the cost. We see this in John Bunyan being able to spend years in prison without denying Christ, or Luther to stand before the powers of Rome and say, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” They had been through times where their sins tormented them, and during those times they saw the worthlessness of everything in comparison to Christ.

There is a great picture of this in the movie "The Four Feathers". The main character is in a group of military friends who are told they will be going to battle. He is afraid so he resigns. From this, four of his closest friends each give him a feather signifying that he is a coward. Seeing the result of his decision he heads off to Saudi Arabia to find this group and redeem his cowardly act. The things he faces make going to war pale in comparison. In the midst of his ordeal a man says to him "why did you not go to war?" His reply is "I was afraid". The man who asked the question began to laugh out loud and says "you afraid? I found you half dead in the middle of the desert by yourself." To which his response is "it's a different kind of fear".

It's a different kind of fear to fear the Lord. Not the kind of fear that will cause you to run away, but a fear that will cause you to run to Him and stand strong. In finding this fear all encumbrances of fear begin to break. Praise God for teaching our hearts to fear.

When I cling to earthly things
Within my heart, fear pulls the strings
Lord, all these things, take if you must
For in your Love, I'll place my trust.

-Doug Eaton-

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Effects of Sound Theology

(Click on picture for larger view)

On a lighter note, this cartoon seems to illustrate the point quite nicely. God Bless, Doug

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Sunday, April 16, 2006 The Easter Show

Here is the link to the latest radio show I was involved in. If you are interested you can download the MP3 for free at the link below, or go to and download it as a podcast. The Easter Show

God Bless,


Saturday, April 15, 2006


Our Faith is not in vain!

We are no longer in our sins!

Those who have died in Christ are with Him!

We are the least to be pitied because our Hope is not in vain!
(1 Cor. 15:13-20)

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, our regeneration is insured. He rose from the dead to bring us new life, for the same power that raised Christ from the dead is raising us also (Eph 1:18-20). For we have been buried with Him by baptism into death and raised through His resurrection so we can walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4,11).

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, our justification was insured. As His word says, He was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). In the resurrection God the Father gave His Amen to Christ’s propitiating work.

Through Christ's death and resurrection we are promised that we too will be resurrected in bodies that are imperishable (1Cor. 15: 42-44). For He is the “first fruits” of many brethren (1 Cor. 15:20), as His word promises, “God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power (1 Cor 6:14).” Be not dismayed though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (1 Cor. 4:16). And yet even though the outward man perish now, we to can cry out with Job, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:25-26).

Happy Easter!



Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Necessity of Christ's Death

Why did Jesus have to die? Many object to the fact that Christ had to be put to death and that blood had to be shed for the remission of sins (Matt 26:28). They believe this is unbecoming of God. Others believe that if we as humans can forgive others without punishment and God cannot, then humans are more kind and forgiving than God.

These objection will be heard quite frequently, sometimes even coming from church pulpits. Besides their lack of understanding Scripture these arguments escape reason. They escape reason because the same people who make these arguments then go on to make distinctions between good and evil, and preach moral living. Why should man be moral? Why is it wrong to be immoral? These are the very questions Anselm raised when dealing with the necessity of Christ’s death. He went on to say; to remit sin without satisfaction or adjustment is not to punish it. And if sin needs no adjustment or punishment, then the one who sins is no different before God than the one who does not sin. And if there is no adjustment that needs to be made before God, then what needs to be forgiven? Following this logic there is no reason for forgiveness at all because to be unrighteous or righteous makes no difference before God. All of this is said to say that it is unbecoming of God not to punish sin because it would make evil and good equal in His sight. Since this cannot be the case, then God must punish sin.

The wages of sin is death according to scripture (Rom. 6:23). For God to offer forgiveness, the satisfaction of these wages must be met. This is what Good Friday is all about. Christ bearing upon Himself the sins of all those who come to Him through faith. It necessarily had to happen in order for God to be both just and the justifier of those who believe in Him (Rom. 3:26).

Every sin will be paid for, either we will pay for it ourselves or through faith we will accept His payment upon the cross.

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

-Doug Eaton-

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Bonds of Death Could Not Hold Him

The bonds of death could not hold our Lord Jesus. This has been proven by His resurrection. Because of this, there are many truths about Christ that have been proven and show us that it was never possible for Him to be held by the bonds of death. Here are four of those truths.

1.) The bonds of death could not hold Him because of his inherent power. Christ told us in John 10:18 No man taketh it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. Having such inherent power he cannot be subject to death, instead death is subject to Him.

2.) Death could not hold him because of the dignity of His person. He gave His life because no one could demand it from Him. Christ had not sinned and therefore was not under its wages. This simply means that death had no authority to take Him or hold Him.

3.) Death could not hold Him because His redeeming work was done. He was hostage to our debt, but that debt had been paid on the cross. The sins of His people demanded death as a payment because of God’s justice. Christ died to pay for those sins (propitiation) and rose for our justification.

4.) Death could not hold Him because He had His Father’s promise that it would not, and who can stay His hand. If he opens a door, who can shut it (Rev. 3:8)?

Since Christ cannot be held in bondage, neither can anything that belongs to Him. Christ’s resurrection is with such force and power that He pulls up with Him the dead souls of all who are His Children. He not only defeated death for himself but for all of the Children of God. He is the “first fruits” of many brethren.

We serve a Christ of inherent power who can not fail in His work in our lives, and if death could not hold Him either can any bond that hold us. We serve a Christ of perfect righteousness who has imputed it to us for our justification. We serve a Christ who did not fail in his redeeming work for us and will not fail in its application to us through faith. And God the Father works in concert with Him to save us, and who can stay His hand.

What a mighty God we serve!

-Doug Eaton-

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Federal Headship and the Israel/Church Distinction

What follows is exploratory writing as I try to put into words some of my studies of dispensational and covenantal theology.

Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The idea of federal headship can be seen in Scripture when Paul speaks of the two Adams. The first Adam was told to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he failed in his obedience to God. Because of this, death is passed to all mankind. The Last Adam (Christ) lived perfectly yet was put to death and bore our sins. In Him we are made alive.

In short you are under one of the two Adams as your representative head. When we come into this world all men are under the first Adam receiving his guilt and death. But by the grace of God through faith man can be placed under the representative head of Christ receiving his righteousness and life. All who have been or will be saved must find it under the headship of Christ. This is seen in Hebrews 10 when it tells us that it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin, and then we are told…

Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Christ sanctifies all who will be saved, even those in the Old Testament, because the sacrifices they offered could not really remove the guilt of sin. This means that even the true believers in the Old Testament, if they are to be saved, must find it under the headship of Christ.

What does this have to do with the Israel/Church distinction that is debated in covenantal and dispensational theology? Simply that there can be no distinction spiritually between Israel and the Church when it comes to salvation. All of God’s elect people from the entirety of the Scriptures find their Salvation in Christ.

Ethnically we can keep some type of distinction as we know the Church is made up of Jews and Gentiles, but spiritually it seems that it is hard to keep that distinction, since Israel finds it’s salvation in Christ. Paul tells us that we have been grafted in to the tree. What have we been grafted into? Since the tree represents Israel, we have become part of Israel. This is not replacement theology as some decry. The Church has not replaced Israel. Spiritually it is Israel, as it constitutes one tree. A tree that finds it’s salvation under the headship of Christ. It is true that Paul seems to go on and state that in the end many people from the Jewish line will be saved and be part of the tree, but there will only ever be one people that will find it’s salvation in Christ their eternal King who is seated on the Davidic throne forever.


Monday, April 10, 2006

From the Triumphal Entry to the Cross

Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed behind cried out, saying; Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest! Matt. 21:9

Though it is called the triumphal entry we know that Jesus had only one purpose in mind when he came to this earth, and that was to be our sacrifice. As he entered Jerusalem He rode on the donkey heading for His destination, the cross. In the words of songwriter Steve Bell, we who know this can cry "Ride on King Jesus, no one can hinder Thee.

Jesus was not merely riding into the city, but riding forward to the cross. He knew by the end of the week He would be beaten, spit upon, and crucified. But the thought of this torturous death was not the most grueling image, It would have been thoughts of that final moment, when He was to take on the sins of us who call on Him as Lord, and His Father whom He had obeyed perfectly would turn His face away from His son and pour His justice and wrath upon Him. In anguish, He knew, He would cry out "Father why have you forsaken me".

On the way to the cross, the entry must have been bittersweet. As we consider this moment we know that nothing could have hindered Him from reaching His goal. As He rode, His mind would have most likely been directed to those He came to save. Maybe He saw our faces, knowing that without His death, he would have to watch us die. For we were born sinners, hopeless, condemned already. Maybe He looked at us, as a man who would look into the eyes of His bride as disease steals her away.

Whatever He was thinking, He was not going to let anything stand between Him and His bride. He was driven by His love for us, and as Friday night came, He reached His destination. Upright, between two thieves, nailed to the cross, and having a spear thrust into His side, the cleansing blood and water flowed. His final cry was “It is finished”. The purchase had been made, and the powers of Hell had been broken. In the words of Charles Spurgeon “no sin of the believer can now be an arrow to mortally wound Him”.

All those who have faith in Him have been saved by His grace, and have every reason to sing…

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the Highest!

-Doug Eaton-

Sunday, April 09, 2006

On The Triumphal Entry

When we celebrate Palm Sunday we are celebrating a great event. As we see Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and allow the people to praise Him as king, there are many things we can learn. But there is one aspect that is fascinating as it deals with Passover. We know that Passover was only four days away which made the day of the Triumphal Entry the tenth day of the month. We can see the significance of this when we read Exodus 12:3, 5-6, which says,...

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.. . ..Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

As Jesus was riding in and the people were crying “Hosanna in the highest,” unbeknownst to them they were selecting the paschal lamb for sacrifice; the one and only sacrifice that can take away sin and cause death to pass over us.

Praise God for His willing Lamb,


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Trust and You Shall Never Die - C.H. Spurgeon

"If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" - Luk_23:31

Among other interpretations of this suggestive question, the following is full of teaching: "If the innocent substitute for sinners, suffer thus, what will be done when the sinner himself -the dry tree-shall fall into the hands of an angry God?" When God saw Jesus in the sinner’s place, he did not spare him; and when he finds the unregenerate without Christ, he will not spare them. O sinner, Jesus was led away by his enemies: so shall you be dragged away by fiends to the place appointed for you. Jesus was deserted of God; and if he, who was only imputedly a sinner, was deserted, how much more shall you be? "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" what an awful shriek! But what shall be your cry when you shall say, "O God! O God! why hast thou forsaken me?" and the answer shall come back, "Because ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." If God spared not his own Son, how much less will he spare you! What whips of burning wire will be yours when conscience shall smite you with all its terrors. Ye richest, ye merriest, ye most self-righteous sinners-who would stand in your place when God shall say, "Awake, O sword, against the man that rejected me; smite him, and let him feel the smart for ever?" Jesus was spit upon: sinner, what shame will be yours! We cannot sum up in one word all the mass of sorrows which met upon the head of Jesus who died for us, therefore it is impossible for us to tell you what streams, what oceans of grief must roll over your spirit if you die as you now are. You may die so, you may die now. By the agonies of Christ, by his wounds and by his blood, do not bring upon yourselves the wrath to come! Trust in the Son of God, and you shall never die.

C.H. Spurgeon

Friday, April 07, 2006

Dispensationalism and the Pre-Tribulational Rapture

The idea of the pre-trib. rapture is held by many. It is held by theologians in several different camps such as, covenantal, epigenic, and dispensational, but it seems to be a defining trait in dispensationalism. You will rarely find a dispensationalist who would be post-trib. There are a few of course, but they are so few in number it is hardly noticeable.

Why is it that dispensationalism seems to demand a pre-trib. rapture? I understand that the reason most dispensationalist would give for this is because they believe it is Biblical, but why do they all seem to end up there?

The answer seems to be found in the Israel/Church distinction. I’m not sure of progressive dispensationalists on this point, but Lewis Sperry Chafer believed that because of this distinction there was actually more than one Gospel that was, is, or is going to be preached. In fact he believed in four different Gospels. I just want to focus on two. The first one we are familiar with, it is the Gospel of grace. It is being preached now in the church age. The other one is the gospel of the kingdom. Since there are two different people groups to be saved, Israel and the church, there must be at least two gospels. Chafer says this gospel is the proclamation of God setting up the Davidic kingdom. He goes on to say that this Gospel has two preachings. It started with John the Baptist and ended with the Jewish rejection of the king (Jesus). The other preaching of this Gospel is to be preached in the future during the tribulation.

How does this play into the pre-trib rapture? It has to do with the fact that you can’t have two different gospels being preached at the same time, so in order to preach this gospel during the tribulation you must remove the Church. If we had two different preachings going on, one saying just believe and receive Grace, and another that says line up under Israel because their kingdom is going to be established, this would lead to some confusion, because which gospel would the people pledge their allegiance to? In order to avoid this confusion, the rapture is needed to be able to move on to the next stage in God’s work of setting up the earthly kingdom.

I’m not necessarily against the pre-trib. rapture, but Chafer and Scofield’s view seems a bit strange.

God Bless,


P.S. On a personal note I was saved in 1982 after watching the second movie in the Thief in the Night series. In fact I have a copy of all four movies in my library just as a remider. They are hard to sit through by today's movie standards but I owe the people who put those movies together a bit of gratitude because God used them to call me to faith in Him.

A Land Forever in the Abrahamic Covenant

The Abrahamic covenant is one of the most amazing passages of scripture. God making a covenant to bless the nations of the earth through one man by whom and entire nation, a kingly line, and the promised seed will come. The fact that this is an unconditional covenant is seen in the fact that it is only God who passes through the divided animals. This signifies that this covenant will be fulfilled by God with no conditions upon Abraham. Any conditions that lie on Abraham or His descendants, deal with their enjoyment of the promises but not the fulfillment of them. The fulfillment of them rests entirely upon God.

As stated in other posts one of the main promises in this covenant was for a land.

Gen 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

Dealing with the dispensational and Covenantal theologies, the question arises as to whether or not the true fulfillment of this promise is to be spiritual or physical. The physical fulfillment of these promises is expected during the millennial kingdom according the dispensationalists. I believe those who hold this view do so based on some pretty good reasons. There is however one phrase in verse 15 that causes me to think. It is the fact that God had promised the land to Abraham’s seed “for ever.”

Yesterday, I was speaking with a well educated theologian friend of mine on this topic, and he asked me, “if this promise has to be fulfilled physically on this earth, then why is the millennium only a 1000 years and not forever? Obviously he is a covenantal theologian as you probably guessed, but he raised an interesting point. The only land that the people of God will inherit eternally is heaven.

This spurred me on to check a couple sources on this passage and here are three views I found regarding this passage.

Here is what Matthew Henry has to say about it…

“The granting of it to him and his seed for ever intimates that it was typical of the heavenly Canaan, which is given to the spiritual seed of Abram for ever, (Heb_11:14).”

Matthew Henry sees the physical land as typical of the true land we all will inherit.

Here is what Matthew Poole had to say…

“Question. How was this “for ever,” when after some hundreds of years they were turned out of it? Answer, The word olam, rendered forever, doth not always signify eternity, but a long continuance, as is evident from Gen. 17:13; 48:4; Ex. 21,6, and many other places in scripture; and in particular, when it is applied to the Jewish rites and privileges, it commonly signifies no more than during the standing of the commonwealth, or until the coming of the Messiah; and so it may here be understood.

John Gill says…

and to thy seed for ever; the meaning is, that he gave it to his posterity to be enjoyed by them until the Messiah came, when a new world would begin; and which Abram in person shall enjoy, with all his spiritual seed, after the resurrection, when that part of the earth will be renewed, as the rest; and where particularly Christ will make his personal appearance and residence, the principal seed of Abram, and will reign a thousand years; see Gill on Mat_22:32; besides, this may be typical of the heavenly Canaan given to Abram, and all his spiritual seed, and which shall be enjoyed by them for evermore.

It seems the three writers view the physical aspect as fulfilled from the promise to the coming of the messiah, then after that it becomes spiritual. I didn’t have any really good dispensational commentaries on this so if any of you have one I would love to hear their thoughts.

I know the answer is probably found in understanding some New Testament texts and I’m eventually going to have to exegete Romans 9-11, but I don’t see that as the easiest task to fulfill. But we will get there eventually. I’m still trying to go through the historical covenants at this point.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On the Church/Israel Distinction

So far in my studies of progressive dispensationalism and covenantal theology, two things seem to cause the biggest rift between the two views. First is the Church/Israel distinction and second is the fulfillment of the promises to Israel in the Old Testament. Were these promises fulfilled in the Church or are they yet to be fulfilled. As you can see these two issues are closely related. How you see the Israel/Church distinction will determine to a strong degree how you see the promise fulfillment issue and vise versa.

So far in my looking at the Israel/Church distinction, it does seem that the New Testament makes a distinction between the two. Paul in Galatians says,

Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

The term “Israel of God” seems to be set out separate from the Church to whom Paul was speaking. This passage is debated though, in fact the NIV says, “EVEN the Israel of God” which seems to equate the church with Israel. I don’t have a definitive answer, but the KJV seems to have the correct rendering of the Greek word “kai” in this context. This verse is a bit crucial, because if the NIV’s rendering is correct then this is the only verse where the Church is specifically called Israel, and we have a definitive case of the Church being called Israel in Scripture. This is not to say that there are not many passages which allude to continuities and discontinuities between the two, but none explicitly say the Church is Israel or not Israel

The distinction in this verse does not really answer the question as to what the distinctions are. Though the New Testament seems to keep a distinction between Israel and the Church, even covenantal theologians make a distinction to some degree. No covenantal theologian would argue that the Church is Israel in the sense of physical Jewish descendants. But spiritually we are the one people of God.

Interestingly the Old Testament Septuagint uses the word “Ekklesia” several times in referring to Israel as the people of God. Now those of you who know a little Greek will know that this is the word for Church that is used in the New Testament. In this case the word carries with it the idea of assembling of the “people of God”. So it seems in one sense that the people of God are the Church, in the Old and New Testaments. But this is an extremely general use of the term Church. As most of you know, words have different senses depending upon the context. So in one sense we can keep the distinction, the church is not primarily Jewish descendants. But in another sense the church constitutes the people of God, just like the people of God in the Old Testament. In this sense they are the same.

There seems to be several other distinctions between Israel and the New Testament Church. We are not under the Mosaic sacrificial system, and we have the Holy Spirit in a different sense than they did (still working on this distinction so if anyone has any clarifications feel free). According to Charles Ryrie, the church is distinct in three different ways at least. 1) It has a distinct character in its relationship to Christ, 2) It has a distinct time, and 3) It is not the nation of Israel physically. In the most basic form I agree with this and I would also add that one thing that is distinct about the Church is that the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile has been abolished, and it is one new man (Eph. 2:15).

Even with all of these distinctions it does not mean that the believers in the Old Testament and the believers in the New Testament do not form one spiritual body constituting the people of God. We are all heirs of the promise of Abraham. In this there seems to be no distinction.

But this does not answer the eschatological question of are there distinct ends for the Church and Israel? This will bring up the other dividing point between covenantal and dispensational theologians, which has to do with the kingdom promises and whether they are spiritual or physical? This is a question I’m still working through and it will probably take the rest of my life, but it seems the way you will answer this is somewhat dependant upon what you think scripture is most focused on when it makes its promises to Israel. Is it more focused on the physical descendants (national Israel) or is it more focused on the believers within Israel (spiritual Israel), those who are circumcised of heart within national Israel?

As you can see this is a work in progress.

God Bless,


Fasten to Eternal Things - James Meikle

In a little while--it will be eternity with us all!

Our best wisdom will be--to hold a loose grip on every comfort which can perish, and to fasten our grip on eternal things. The more we have our hearts in heaven--the less will the troubles of time distress us.

-James Meikle-

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness: The Fourth Beatitude -A.W. Pink

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness. for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

In the first three Beatitudes we are called upon to witness the heart exercises of one who has been awakened by the Spirit of God. First, there is a sense of need, a realization of my nothingness and emptiness. Second, there is a judging of self, a consciousness of my guilt, and a sorrowing over my lost condition. Third, there is a cessation of seeking to justify myself before God, an abandonment of all pretenses to personal merit, and a taking of my place in the dust before God. Here, in the fourth Beatitude, the eye of the soul is turned away from self toward God for a very special reason: there is a longing after a righteousness that I urgently need but know that I do not possess.

The sinner is destitute of righteousness, for “there is none righteous, no, not one” ( Romans 3:10). God has, therefore, provided in Christ a perfect righteousness for each and all of His people. This righteousness, this satisfying of all the demands of God’s holy Law against us, was worked out by our Substitute and Surety.

This righteousness is now imputed to (that is, legally credited to the account of) the believing sinner. Just as the sins of God’s people were all transferred to Christ, so His righteousness is placed upon them ( Corinthians 5:21). These few words are but a brief summary of the teaching of Scripture on this vital and blessed subject of the perfect righteousness that God requires of us and that is ours by faith in the Lord Christ. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

Hungering and thirsting expresses vehement desire, of which the soul is acutely conscious. First, the Holy Spirit brings before the heart the holy requirements of God. He reveals to us His perfect standard, which He can never lower. He reminds us that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven” ( Matthew 5:20). Second, the trembling soul, conscious of his own abject poverty and realizing his utter inability to measure up to God’s requirements, sees no help in himself. This painful discovery causes him to mourn and groan. Have you done so? Third, the Holy Spirit then creates in the heart a deep “hunger and thirst” that causes the convicted sinner to look for relief and to seek a supply outside of himself. The believing eye is then directed to Christ, who is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” ( Jeremiah 23:6).

The one who longed to be saved by Christ, now yearns to be made like Him. Looked at in its widest aspect, this hungering and thirsting refers to a panting of the renewed heart after God ( Psalm 42:1), a yearning for a closer walk with Him, and a longing for more perfect conformity to the image of His Son. It tells of those aspirations of the new nature for Divine blessing that alone can strengthen, sustain, and satisfy.

Our text presents such a paradox that it is evident that no carnal mind ever invented it. Can one who has been brought into vital union with Him who is the Bread of Life and in whom all fullness dwells be found still hungering and thirsting? Yes, such is the experience of the renewed heart. Mark carefully the tense of the verb: it is not “Blessed are they which have hungered and thirsted,” but “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst.”

Do you, dear reader? Or are you content with your attainments and satisfied with your condition? Hungering and thirsting after righteousness has always been the experience of God’s true saints ( Philippians 3:8-14). “They shall be filled.” Like the first part of our text, this also has a double fulfillment, both initial and continuous. When God creates a hunger and a thirst in the soul, it is so that He may satisfy them. When the poor sinner is made to feel his need for Christ, it is to the end that he may be drawn to Christ and led to embrace Him as his only righteousness before a holy God.

He is delighted to confess Christ as his new-found righteousness and to glory in Him alone ( 1 Corinthians 1:30,31). Such a one, whom God now calls a “saint” ( 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1), is to experience an ongoing filling: not with wine, wherein is excess, but with the Spirit ( Ephesians 5:18).

He is to be filled with the peace of God that passeth all understanding ( Philippians 4:7). We who are trusting in the righteousness of Christ shall one day be filled with Divine blessing without any admixture of sorrow; we shall be filled with praise and thanksgiving to Him who wrought every work of love and obedience in us ( Philippians 2:12,13) as the visible fruit of His saving work in and for us. In this world, “He hath filled the hungry with good things” ( Luke 1:53) such as this world can neither give to nor withhold from those who “seek the Lord ( Psalm 34:10). He bestows such goodness and mercy upon us, who are the sheep of His pasture, that our cups run over ( Psalm 23:5,6). Yet all that we presently enjoy is but a mere foretaste of all that our “God hath prepared for them that love Him” ( 1 Corinthians 2:9). In the eternal state, we will be filled with perfect holiness, for “we shall be like Him” ( 1 John 3:2). Then we shall be done with sin forever. Then we shall “hunger no more, neither thirst any more.

-A.W. Pink -abridged

Monday, April 03, 2006

Continuity and Discontinuity: Hermeneutics Part 2

Another distinction that we find in the hermeneutics of dispensational and covenantal theology has to do with continuity and discontinuity. When it comes to the dispensations, dispensationalists tend to hold to a discontinuity between each age. This means there tends to be a break between the old dispensation and the new. It is discontinuous. This tends to come from the fact that many dispensationalist tend to see dispensations as tests for which man must pass or fail. In dispensational theology every dispensation, at least up to this point, ends in failure of the test (many hold to the fact that man will fail in every dispensation even the millennial reign when Satan is released). This leads to God ending the old test to start a new dispensation.

Covenantal theologians tend to hold more of continuity between the dispensations. In other words, when a new dispensation begins they see it more as a continuous development of the old dispensation. There is now a new dispensation but it retains much of the old. This stems from the fact that to the covenantal theologian a dispensation is a new period where God is revealing more of his covenant of Grace, seeing this as a progressive revelation of the same covenant leads to looking for more similarities between the dispensations, rather than looking for dissimilarities.

This affects the hermeneutic of both views. The dispensationalist when interpreting scripture tends to see a complete break between dispensations and nothing from the old dispensation will continue into the new unless it is specifically stated in the new dispensation. For the covenantal, it is the other way around. Everything from the old dispensation will continue in the new dispensation unless it is specifically said to be discontinued in this new dispensation.

This means that we will have to also do some hermeneutics to discover which hermeneutic is correct. Both views have claimed to have done this, but for many of us we simply lean on the hermeneutic we have been taught without checking our foundation.

God Bless,


Different Modes of Salvation

One of the objections that is usually made against Dispensational theology is that it teaches different modes of salvation. This objection usually frustrates dispensationalists because this type of dispensationalism is nearly non-existent today. Though this objection stems from a lack of understanding of dispensationalism as it is held today, it has its warrant against some of its founders. I found these quotes reading through a few sections of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology.

On Justification he said,

“A distinction must be observed here between just men of the Old Testament and those justified according to the New Testament. According to the Old Testament men were just because they were true and faithful in keeping the Mosaic Law. Micah defines such a life after this manner: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Men were therefore just because of their own works for God whereas New Testament justification is God's work for man in answer to faith (Rom. 5:1).”

Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 7 p.219

On Assurance of Salvation he said,

“Assurance was in the past age (Old Testament) a recognition of one’s own righteous character: but in the present age it is a recognition of the righteousness of God which is imputed to all who believe.”

Vol. 7 P.21

I bring this up because about I year ago I was speaking with a professor from Lewis Sperry Chafer Theological Seminary and I had asked him this same question, whether or not Dr. Chafer believed in different ways of salvation. The answer was a resounding no, with a further explanation that he had never taught anything like that.

I do not bring this up because I want to harp on dispensationalism, the seminary, or Dr. Chafer himself (I actually have respect for all three), but it seems that this is another area where we tend to talk past each other. Dispensationalist need to recognize why Covenantal theologians make this objection and Covenantal theologians need to realize that this type of dispensationalism is rarely held today.

I’m currently trying to push my way through the Israel/Church distinction. I see many passages which seem to make this distinction but what exactly are those distinctions? Especially since we are all saved by grace through faith. I'll let you know if I come to any conclusions.

God Bless,


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Looking Upwards In A Storm - William Cowper

God of my life, to thee I call,
Afflicted at thy feet I fall;
When the great water-floods prevail,
Leave not my trembling heart to fail!

Friend of the friendless and the faint!
Where should I lodge my deep complaint?
Where but with thee, whose open door
Invites the helpless and the poor!

Did ever mourner plead with thee,
And thou refuse that mourner’s plea?
Does not the word still fix’d remain,
That none shall seek thy face in vain?

That were a grief I could not bear,
Didst thou not hear and answer prayer;
But a prayer-hearing, answering God,
Supports me under every load.

Fair is the lot that’s cast for me;
I have an Advocate with thee;
They whom the world caresses most
Have no such privilege to boast.

Poor though I am, despised, forgot,
Yet God, my God, forgets me not:
And he is safe, and must succeed,
For whom the Lord vouchsafes to plead.
-William Cowper-

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