God Centered Sanctification

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Don Fortner 

Jude 1

Those who teach that sanctification is a progressive work which is dependent upon and determined by man, who teach that the believer becomes more and more holy until he is at last ripe for heaven,need to seriously consider one question: Is sanctification essential to one’s everlasting salvation? Without question, it is. That being so, no one who believes the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace can consistently embrace a man centered doctrine of sanctification which would make this vital aspect of salvation something that man does. Sanctification as it is revealed in the Bible is God centered. It is God who sanctifies his elect. We do not sanctify ourselves.

In the Old Testament,it was God who sanctified the seventh day,the firstborn of Israel, and the sacrifices for sin which typified and pointed to the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Gen. 2:3; Num. 8:17-18; Jer. 23:6). In the New Testament, wherever the doctrine of sanctification is taught, we are told that the Sanctifier is God and that the work of sanctification is God’s work (John 10:36; 17:17, 19; Acts 20:32; Rom. 15:16; I Cor. 1:2, 30; 6:11; Eph. 5:26; I Thess. 5:23; II Thess. 2:13; Heb. 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12; I Pet. 1:2; Jude 1).These passages of Scripture are heavy, heavy reading for those who teach that sanctification is a work that we do by the enabling of the Spirit.

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SICKNESS

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John 11:3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

By J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

“He whom Thou lovest is sick.” – John 11:3

The chapter from which this text is taken is well known to all Bible readers. In life-like description, in touching interest, in sublime simplicity, there is no writing in existence that will bear comparison with that chapter. A narrative like this is to my own mind one of the great proofs of the inspiration of Scripture. When I read the story of Bethany, I feel “There is something here which the infidel can never account for.” — “This is nothing else but the finger of God.”

The words which I specially dwell upon in this chapter are singularly affecting and instructive. They record the message which Martha and Mary sent to Jesus when their brother Lazarus was sick: “Lord,behold he whom Thou lovest is sick,” That message was short and simple. Yet almost every word is deeply suggestive.

Mark the child-like faith of these holy women. They turned to the Lord Jesus in their hour of need, as the frightened infant turns to its mother, or the compass–needle turns to the Pole. They turned to Him as their Shepherd, their almighty Friend, their Brother born for adversity. Different as they were in natural temperament, the two sisters in this matter were entirely agreed. Christ’s help was their first thought in the day of trouble. Christ was the refuge to which they fled in the hour of need. Blessed are all they that do likewise! Continue reading

You Don’t Really Believe That Salvation is Entirely of The LORD – Do You ?

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“Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” Psalms 3:8.

By Don Fortner

We all say that we believe Jonah’s confession, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). But you do not really mean that, do you? I know that the preachers I hear on radio and television do not believe that, “Salvation is of the Lord.” So far as I know, there is not another preacher in the city where I live who really believes that “Salvation is of the Lord”. If there is, I would like to meet him. They do believe that salvation is partly of the Lord, but certainly not entirely of the Lord. And I am sure that if you believed that “Salvation is of the Lord,” you would not attend a church where it is not preached. Perhaps you are saying, “I do believe that salvation is entirely of the Lord.” I truly hope that you do. Let’s see. Continue reading

Five Slanderous Reports Confronted

Slander

By Don Fortner

Do you know what it is to be held in suspicion? Do you know what it is to be slandered, falsely accused, to have your name evil spoken of, to have your character assaulted? There are few of God’s children in this world who do not experience these things.

Noah’s son Ham sought to mar his father’s name among his own brothers. Moses was the object of much slander in Pharaoh’s house; but the slander in the house of Israel was more bitter; and the suspicions of Miriam and Aaron were even worse. Joseph’s brethren spoke evil of him. David was maligned by Saul, betrayed by Ahithophel, and cursed by Simeon. Jeremiah was falsely accused by those for whom he labored, to whom he carried the burden of the Word of the Lord. John the Baptist was praised as a great prophet one day and accused of being possessed of the devil the next. Our Lord himself was slandered, maligned, falsely accused, betrayed and looked upon by the multitudes, those who would not hear him, as a vile, reprehensible man, a glutton, a drunk, and the constant companion of sinners. The women who anointed the Savior had their motives suspected and were slandered, even by their fellow disciples. Paul was accused of being a self-serving false prophet, a promoter of licentiousness, and a wicked man. Continue reading

False Doctrine Is Worse Than Division

J.C. Ryle  ~

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.  Before certain men  came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles.  But when  they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself  from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their   hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.  When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I  said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.  How is it, then,  that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”

We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners” know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus  that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.  Galatians 2:11-16

The second is,  “That to keep the truth of Christ in His Church is even more important than to keep peace.”  Continue reading

“Jesus Will Never Cast Away His Believing People” — J.C. Ryle

 

Let all the world know that the Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities. The husband does not put way his wife because he finds failings in her. The mother does not forsake her infant because it is weak, feeble, and ignorant. And the Lord Christ does not cast off poor sinners who have committed their souls into His hands because He sees in them blemishes and imperfections. Oh, no! it is His glory to pass over the faults of His people, and heal their backslidings,—to make much of their weak graces, and to pardon their many faults. Verily, the 11th of Hebrews is a wonderful chapter. It is marvelous to observe how the Holy Ghost speaks of the worthies whose names are recorded in that chapter. The faith of the Lord’s people is there brought forward, and had in remembrance. But the faults of many a one, which might easily have been brought up also, are left alone, and not mentioned at all. Continue reading

8 Symptoms of False Doctrine

By ~ J.C. Ryle

Warnings to the Churches

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

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