Friday, January 26, 2007

Believe it or not, you can read it.

I saw the following paragraph on an e-mail I got and thought it was interesting. Nothing to do with theology, but interesting all the same.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg.The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch atCmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in awrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer bein the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raedit wouthit a porbelm Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed erveylteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Sovereignty of God: Part 3

Another aspect of the sovereignty of God is God’s omnipresence. Omnipresence can be defined in this way: God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with His whole being, yet God acts differently in different places. (Grudem, 173)

God is present everywhere.

Psalm 139:7-12

7 "Where shall I go from your Spirit?Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, you are there!If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morningand dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10even there your hand shall lead me,and your right hand shall hold me. 11If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,and the light about me be night," 12even the darkness is not dark to you;the night is bright as the day,for darkness is as light with you."

Jeremiah 23:23-24

23"Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off? 24Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD."

God does not have spatial dimensions.

1 Kings 8:27

"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!"

God acts differently in different places. He can be present to punish, to sustain, or to bless.

A. Present to punish.

Amos 9:1-4

1 "I saw the LORD standing beside the altar, and he said:"Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people; and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away; not one of them shall escape. 2"If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down. 3If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them. 4And if they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good."

B. Present to sustain.

Colossians 1:17

"And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

Hebrews 1:3

"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

C. Present to bless.


"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

2 Corinthians 3:17

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."


Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Sovereignty of God: Part 2

Part of God’s sovereignty is His omniscience. This means that God knows all things. He doesn’t merely know the things that are, or the things that have been, but He also knows all that will be. Even further, I would add, God knows all things that could have been if He had wanted them to be so. God knows everything there is to know including the things that are not a reality. The ultimate answer to why God knows all things is because He is the one who ordained all things. God does not merely look into the future, He writes the future. More accurately I should say He has already wrote the future. God exists outside of time and views the past the present and the future like one masterful painting that He has already finished.

Let’s look at the Scripture and let it speak for itself about God’s omniscience.

Psalm 139:1-6

"1O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up;you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying downand are acquainted with all my ways. 4Even before a word is on my tongue,behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 5You hem me in, behind and before,and lay your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;it is high; I cannot attain it."

"Too high" indeed! God’s knowledge is tremendously superior to that of His creation. There is nothing that escapes the knowledge of God. Verse 5 stands out strongly to me when David says "You hem me in, behind me and before, and lay your hand upon me." How in credible that God is behind us and in front of us as well as lays His very hand upon us. God Is God of our coming and going and indeed He directs our every step.

The omniscience of God is well displayed in the person of Jesus, the "God-man." In the gospel of John chapter 4, Jesus has an encounter with a woman of Samaria and reveals His detailed knowledge of a person whom He had never met.

John 5:16-19

"16Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true." 19The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet."

So enamored with the knowledge that Jesus had of her life the woman went into the town and proclaimed "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" (Jn. 4:29)

Matthew 9:4

"But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?"

Luke 11:17

"But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls."

Above are two example out of a number we could pull out where Jesus as God knows the thoughts of those around Him.

It only makes sense that God as creator would no everything about His creation. God, afterall, is the designer of the earth and all that is in it. Henry Ford knew all the ends and outs of the Model-T, why because he designed it and put it all together. In Job chapter 38 God outs Job in his place because of his questioning God. God asks Job a series of piercing questions that reveal God’s omnipotent power and by default His omniscience of all things as the author of all that exists.

Job 38:1-41

1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3Dress for action
like a man;I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?Tell me, if you have understanding. 5Who determined its measurements--surely you know!Or who stretched the line upon it? 6On what were its bases sunk,or who laid its cornerstone, 7when the morning stars sang togetherand all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8"Or who shut in the sea with doorswhen it burst out from the womb, 9when I made clouds its garmentand thick darkness its swaddling band, 10and prescribed limits for itand set bars and doors, 11and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther,and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?
12"Have you commanded the morning since your days began,and caused the dawn to know its place, 13that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,and the wicked be shaken out of it? 14It is changed like clay under the seal,and its features stand out like a garment. 15From the wicked their light is withheld,and their uplifted arm is broken.
16"Have you entered into the springs of the sea,or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? 18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?Declare, if you know all this.
19"Where is the way to the dwelling of light,and where is the place of darkness, 20that you may take it to its territoryand that you may discern the paths to its home? 21You know, for you were born then,and the number of your days is great!
22"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23which I have reserved for the time of trouble,for the day of battle and war? 24What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25"Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rainand a way for the thunderbolt, 26to bring rain on a land where no man is,on the desert in which there is no man, 27to satisfy the waste and desolate land,and to make the ground sprout with grass?
28"Has the rain a father,or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29From whose womb did the ice come forth,and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? 30The waters become hard like stone,and the face of the deep is frozen.
31"Can you bind the chains of the Pleiadesor loose the cords of Orion? 32Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth
in their season,or can you guide the Bear with its children? 33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34"Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,that a flood of waters may cover you? 35Can you send forth lightnings, that they may goand say to you, 'Here we are'? 36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
37Who can number the clouds by wisdom?Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, 38when the dust runs into a massand the clods stick fast together?
39"Can you hunt the prey for the lion,or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40when they crouch in their densor lie in wait in their thicket? 41Who provides for the raven its prey,when its young ones cry to God for help,and wander about for lack of food?

God designed you and me and all that we see, and He intimately knows how all of it works. God is the chief scientist if you will, as much as that statement would gripe an atheist.

So we see that Scripture does in deed teach the omniscience of God. The given examples are but a drop in a very, very large bucket about what the Bible has to say about the omniscience of God. It would not be hard to find numerous more examples of God’s omniscience, but I am not trying to give an exhaustive list. My intent was to show that Scripture does indeed teach the omniscience of God. I think that has been clearly demonstrated.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Is God "begging" for people to trust in Him?

In the first 20 or so min. of the Dividing Line with James White, on January 16th, '07 he talks for a while about the misconception of people's view of God in relationship to us and his desire for our salvation. It makes pretty clear that most churches in America "share" the gospel in a way that makes God look like a weak and desperate God. Truth be told, I too have been guilty of sharing the gospel this way in the past. Let's all be resolved not to from now on though, ok? I quit, you can to!

Click on the following link and find the show for Jan. 16th and click on the link there to listen.


The Sovereignty of God: Part 1

A simple definition of the sovereignty of God might be "God is completely in control." But just to clarify and a void confusion I will state the sovereignty of God in more depth and in this way:

"God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere at once). God is eternal (He always existed eternity past and will exist eternity future). God is immutable (He never changes and is unchangeable). God is the creator of all things and in control of all things created. God is Holy, perfect and sinless and is Himself the author of truth, the standard of good. Anything that pleases God to do, He does. Nothing can hinder the plans and/or the will of God."

That said, everything that will be said from here (looking at the sovereignty of God) on through the study of the five points of Calvinism will be approached with the assumption that the reader believes in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible as the word of God. I am not out (at least in this series) to provide proof that Scripture is indeed "God breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). This study and discussion is for those who already accept the Bible as the word of God. Also, I should note, we will be discussing these things with the assumption that the reader believes or at least understands that I believe in the orthodox view of the trinity. Now, let’s begin.

What does the Bible say about God’s sovereignty? Where do we find the biblical claims to back up my given definition above? Let’s break down the given definition and explore each claim one by one, until we can indeed walk away from the Scripture knowing that it does indeed teach the Sovereignty of God.

"God is omnipotent (all powerful)"

The most obvious place to start when making the argument that Scripture teaches that God is unlimited in His power is Genesis1:1.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

The very opening statement in the Bible is one that assumes the infinite power of God. It assumes that there is a God and that God created everything. We see furthermore in Genesis 1 that God does not appear to exert any great force that would cause Him to be drained of energy, He is not lifting beams to reinforce the structure of the earth or lugging dirt here and there or using a crane to place the moon and planets where they are, instead we see a certain phrase repeated. Here is the phrase, "And God said" (Gen. 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24). And almost every time we read "And God said" we see further down the sentence or paragraph something like "and there was" or "And it was so." The mere spoken word of God was what he used to create "the heavens and the earth."

So the opening chapter of the Bible clearly assumes and demonstrates God’s unlimited power. We could stop here but let’s look at some more examples of God’s omnipotence.

We could take so many examples here but let’s just run through some of them. Exodus 7-12 and the ten plagues that God brought upon Pharaoh and his people. This shows God’s total control over the elements (Ex. 7:14-25; 9:13-35; 10:21-29) and the animals (Ex. 8:1 through 9:7; 10:1-20) and in the end life itself (Ex. 12:29-32). I might add also that this again shows that God is unstoppable. His plans cannot be foiled by the intentions of man. God desired that the Hebrew people leave Egypt, and He made it happen.

We see in the New Testament that Jesus exercises His sovereign control over creation in these very familiar passages: Matthew 21:18-19, Jesus curses a fig tree and it dies. Jesus multiplies food, Mark 8:1-10. Jesus walks on water, Mark 6:45-52. Jesus raises a man from the dead, John 11:38-44. There are many more example we could give, but we don’t have that kind of time to go through the thousands of verses in Scripture that demonstrate the omnipotence of God. I would note that Jesus too often merely spoke a command and it was so. Scripture very clear teaches that nothing is impossible for God, He is omnipotent.

I have other things to get to today, so we will pause here for now, and pick up next right where we left off with "God is omniscient."

In Him -Jacob

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good and funny quote

I got this from another blogger friend's website when he was talking about why do evangelism if you're a calvinist. You can check it out at or click on the link on my sidebar. Anyway, here is a quote that made me laugh.

Consider this quote by Spurgeon: “If God would have painted a yellow stripe on the backs of the elect I would go around lifting shirts. But since He didn’t I must preach `whosoever will’ and when `whosoever’ believes I know he is one of the elect.”

Amen. A funny way to respond to why do evangelism if you believe in election, but it makes the point.


Monday, January 15, 2007

The Doctrines of Grace

An easy way to help remember the five doctrines of grace (also known as the five points of Calvinism) is the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

T, is for Total Depravity.

U, is for Unconditional Election.

L, is for Limited Atonement.

I, is for irresistible grace.

P, is for perseverance of the Saints.

In the following posts each will be defined and discussed in detail. In James White’s book The Sovereign Grace of God, he starts the conversation of the five points of Calvinism with a discussion of God’s Sovereignty before he ever talks about the five points. I think this is wise, after all if a person doesn’t accept the sovereignty of God in the first place then everything else that follows will certainly be rejected.

So my first post in the upcoming series will be on the Sovereignty of God. Hopefully I’ll get to it sometime this week.

In Him -Jacob

P.S. I reccomend James White's book mentioned above, it can be found here:

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Welcome to my new blog. As I have recently come to embrace the doctrines of grace (the five points of calvinism) I decided that a new blog would be good. After all it's sort of a new chapter in my life and the way I view Christian theology has changed. Now I'll say that much has remained just the same, after all I haven't joined a cult. More accurately I've come accross inaccuracies in what I was believing as 4 out of 5 point Calvinist. And as I've read so many times, I have now realized it is true, that to believe only 3 or 4 out of the 5 points in inconsistent. I've finally been confronted with Scripture on the issue of Limited Atonement and now that the light bulb has come on, it has opened a door to a whole new world of how I view God in His sovereignty and in His love for sinners, as well as His justice. It has been an illuminating couple of months as I have been studying and thinking over the doctrines of grace and even my view of election and the other points that I already embraced have been deepened in their understanding. The truth is, I feel like this is an exciting time in my walk with the Lord Jesus and I am eager to explore deeper and deeper into His word with my new grasp on what is and always was His eternal truth.

I will be doing a series of posts on the five points of calvinism very soon and look forward to putting it all out there for discussion with friends and family and even strangers. I hope to be able to show you how powerfully Scripture has gripped me and convinced me in these truths and perhaps challenge those of you who read this to consider these truths for yourselves.

I'm excited, I hope you are too!