Tuesday, August 27, 2013

AW Pink on the Predestinarian Cross

AW Pink wrote,
"The supreme example of controlling, directing influence which God exerts upon the wicked is the Cross of Christ with all its attendant circumstances.  If ever the superintending providence of God was witnessed, it was there. From all eternity God had predestined every detail of that event of all events. Nothing was left to chance or the caprice of man. God had decreed when and where and how His blessed Son was to die… Not a thing occurred except as God had ordained, and all that He had ordained took place exactly as He purposed."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

All the Believing Ones Are Reconciled to God by the Cross of Jesus Christ

"And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby..." (Eph 2:16 KJV).

The perpetuity (or clearness) of the written Word is that our Savior and Creator Jesus Christ (the Incarnate Second Person of the Trinity) reconciled the totally depraved sinner in radical corruption devoid of self-appointed redemption (see Rom 3ff; Ps 53ff).  He crucified the enmity of sin or the war of sin in behalf of sinners between God the Father to His Cross alone (that was the Father's design) because through His matchless Cross, Jesus provided forgiveness, cleansing and divine grace to poor elect sinners (Mt 1:21).  Some theologians add or take away from the written Scriptures, but the Scriptures are sufficient (2 Tim 3:16-17).  I am reminded of the Latin phrase Scriptura sacra locuta, res decisa est (that is, Holy Scripture has spoken, the issue is decided).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Perfect Death of Jesus Christ

The centrality and supremacy of the death of Jesus Christ should be the essence of faith for us.  It should be there when we stand, sit or sleep.  It should be there in every part of the day.  There is no escaping the divine reality of the divinely true and spiritually historic death of Jesus Christ!
Romans 5:17 NASB
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:2 NASB
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

2 Corinthians 11:23 NASB
Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.

Philippians 2:30 NASB
because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

2 Timothy 1:10 NASB
but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

Revelation 20:6 NASB
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A.W. Pink on the Cross of Jesus

Pink wrote on the Cross of Jesus,
The supreme example of controlling, directing influence which God exerts upon the wicked is the Cross of Christ with all its attendant circumstances.  If ever the superintending providence of God was witnessed, it was there. From all eternity God had predestined every detail of that event of all events. Nothing was left to chance or the caprice of man. God had decreed when and where and how His blessed Son was to die… Not a thing occurred except as God had ordained, and all that He had ordained took place exactly as He purposed. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Who Makes Us Without Spot or Wrinkle? Christ or Indulgences?

It is Christ alone that presents us without spot or wrinkle not indulgences:
Ephesians 5
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Rome says in the papal document Indulgentiarum Doctrina,
The salutary institution of indulgences therefore contributes in its own way to bringing it about that the Church appear before Christ without blemish or defect, but holy and immaculate,45 admirably united with Christ in the supernatural bond of charity. Since in fact by means of indulgences members of the Church who are undergoing purification are united more speedily to those of the Church in heaven, the kingdom of Christ is through these same indulgences established more extensively and more speedily "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the deep knowledge of the Son of God, to perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ."46
Is it Christ alone that presents us to the Father as "without blemish and defect" or is it indulgences?  Christ purged our sins at the Cross not through indulgences (see Hebrews 1:3).  It says He sat down at the right hand of God.  That is, His redemptive work and meritorious worth has been completed for His people through the Cross where He paid the spiritual debt in full.  Christians should add nothing to Christ and His matchless unified merit in the life of Christ (that earned salvation for us) and the death of Christ (that set us free concerning purification of deep sins).  Concerning chastening of the Father's fatherly displeasure, it adds to nothing to the unified merit of Christ alone in light of the Bible's teaching. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Does the Practice of Indulgences Forgive Sins? Rome's Compromise of the Cross of Jesus

The papal encyclical Indulgentiarum Doctrina by Pope Paul VI states that indulgences expiates sin,
2. It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death,3 or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or "purifying" punishments.4 Therefore it has always been the conviction of the faithful that the paths of evil are fraught with many stumbling blocks and bring adversities, bitterness and harm to those who follow them.5
The more they have been immersed in the fervor of charity, the more they have imitated Christ in His sufferings, carrying their crosses in expiation for their own sins and those of others, certain that they could help their brothers to obtain salvation from God the Father of mercies.17 This is the very ancient dogma of the Communion of the Saints,18 whereby the life of each individual son of God in Christ and through Christ is joined by a wonderful link to the life of all his other Christian brothers in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ till, as it were, a single mystical person is formed.1
Thus is explained the "treasury of the Church"20 which should certainly not be imagined as the sum total of material goods accumulated in the course of the centuries, but the infinite and inexhaustible value the expiation and the merits of Christ Our Lord have before God, offered as they were so that all of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. It is Christ the Redeemer Himself in whom the satisfactions and merits of His redemption exist and find their force.21 This treasury also includes the truly immense, unfathomable and ever pristine value before God of the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, who following in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by His grace have sanctified their lives and fulfilled the mission entrusted to them by the Father. Thus while attaining their own salvation, they have also cooperated in the salvation of their brothers in the unity of the Mystical Body.
The use of indulgences, which spread gradually, became a very evident fact in the history of the Church when the Roman Pontiffs decreed that certain works useful to the common good of the Church "could replace all penitential practices"34 and that the faithful who were "truly repentant and had confessed their sins" and performed such works were granted "by the mercy of Almighty God and . . . trusting in the merits and the authority of His Apostles" and 'by virtue of the fullness of the apostolic power', not only full and abundant forgiveness, but the most complete forgiveness for their sins possible."35
The bottom line question is: who alone can expiate sin?  It is Christ alone who atones, forgives, and expiates the sins of God's people.  Sins are not truly expiated through Rome's practice of indulgences.  It is a compromise of the expiation of the crucified Savior!
Hebrews 2:17 KJV Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Indulgences do not forgive sin as Rome teaches.  Rather only the Cross of Jesus Christ can pardon sin.  He alone made reconciliation and atonement and expiation for God's people!  If you want to stand in matchless robes of divine righteousness, look to Christ alone as the sole covering of a sinner!  A mixture of "righteousness" of the Virgin Mary, the saints and Jesus will not stand before a holy God.  You need the wholly untainted and divine and exclusive righteousness of the matchless Lamb of God alone.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How Should We View the Roman Teaching of the Roman Eucharist in light of the Cross of the Divine Scriptures?

J.C. Ryle one wrote on the Cross,
This is no mere question of controversy; this is not one of those points on which men may agree to differ, and feel that differences will not shut them out of heaven. A man must be right on this subject, or he is lost forever. Heaven or hell, happiness or misery, life or death, blessing or cursing in the last day – all hinges on the answer to this question: “What do you think about the cross of Christ?"  (J.C. Ryle, The Cross: A Call to the Fundamentals of Religion).
We must never add to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  The Roman teaching of the Eucharist adds to the divine completeness of the Cross of Jesus our Savior and God.  The Cross, not the Roman Host, is the way God deals with sinners through His alone propitiation and expiation for sins of God's elect people.

The Bible teaches that the biblical Eucharist is a remembrance of the literal body and blood of Jesus.  The Bible teaches a "real presence" of the Eucharist through the divine omnipresence and sacredness of the Word that is not the same as the Roman Eucharist.  That is, it is a real spiritual memorial because of the all-sufficient atonement and shed blood of our Savior.  It is a sacred and blessed meal because of the divine testimony of the divine Word.  The bodily resurrection of Jesus verifies that the Eucharist is a true spiritual remembrance of the all-agonizing atonement of our only Redeemer for the sins of God's people.  The Last Supper provides the Christian with nourishment, strength, hope and joy.  We are reminded that are sins are completely forgiven: past, present and future!  We are able to fellowship with the people of God and with Christ.  The very heart of holy communion is a spiritual fellowship with our Savior.  We ought to never cherish sins in our hearts when partaking of communion.  There ought to be spiritual examination before we partake of the Lord's spiritual body and blood.  For Jonathan Edwards wrote,
We ought carefully and with the utmost seriousness and consideration attend the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper: this was appointed for this end, to draw forth longings of our souls toward Jesus Christ. Here are the glorious objects of spiritual desire by visible signs represented to our view. We have Christ evidently set forth crucified…. Here we have that spiritual meat and drink represented and offered to excite our hunger and thirst; here we have all that spiritual feast represented which God has provided for poor souls; and here we may hope in some measure to have our longing souls satisfied in this world by the gracious communications of the Spirit of God.  (Jonathan Edwards Sacrament Sermon on Canticles 5:1 (circa 1729), p. 14).
We see that the biblical Eucharist is where the longing soul thirsts for Jesus Christ.  The hope of our souls is represented in the bread and wine of the Last Supper.  What is the reformed perspective on the Last Supper?  For the London Baptist Confession states,
Chapter 30: Of the Lord's Supper
1._____ The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.
( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17,21 )
2._____ In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ's own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.
( Hebrews 9:25, 26, 28; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:26, 27 )

3._____ The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants.
( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, etc. )

4._____ The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.
( Matthew 26:26-28; Matthew 15:9; Exodus 20:4, 5 )

5._____ The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.
( 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Corinthians 11:26-28 )

6._____ That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.
( Acts 3:21; Luke 14:6, 39; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25 )

7._____ Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
( 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 )

8._____ All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto; yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves.
( 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 11:29; Matthew 7:6 )
And the Westminster Larger Catechism states,
Q. 168. What is the Lord’s supper?
A. The Lord’s supper is a sacrament of the New Testament,[1077] wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, his death is showed forth; and they that worthily communicate feed upon his body and blood, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace;[1078] have their union and communion with him confirmed;[1079] testify and renew their thankfulness,[1080] and engagement to God,[1081] and their mutual love and fellowship each with the other, as members of the same mystical body.[1082]
Q. 169. How hath Christ appointed bread and wine to be given and received in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper?
A. Christ hath appointed the ministers of his Word, in the administration of this sacrament of the Lord’s supper, to set apart the bread and wine from common use, by the word of institution, thanksgiving, and prayer; to take and break the bread, and to give both the bread and the wine to the communicants: who are, by the same appointment, to take and eat the bread, and to drink the wine, in thankful remembrance that the body of Christ was broken and given, and his blood shed, for them.[1083]
Q. 170. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord’s supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?
A. As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper,[1084] and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses;[1085] so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner; yet truly and really,[1086] while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.[1087]
Q. 171. How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper to prepare themselves before they come unto it?
A. They that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper are, before they come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves[1088] of their being in Christ,[1089] of their sins and wants;[1090] of the truth and measure of their knowledge,[1091] faith,[1092] repentance;[1093] love to God and the brethren,[1094] charity to all men,[1095] forgiving those that have done them wrong;[1096] of their desires after Christ,[1097] and of their new obedience;[1098] and by renewing the exercise of these graces,[1099] by serious meditation,[1100] and fervent prayer.[1101]
Q. 172. May one who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation, come to the Lord’s supper?
A. One who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation to the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, may have true interest in Christ, though he be not yet assured thereof;[1102] and in God’s account hath it, if he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of it,[1103] and unfeignedly desires to be found in Christ,[1104] and to depart from iniquity:[1105] in which case (because promises are made, and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting Christians[1106]) he is to bewail his unbelief,[1107] and labor to have his doubts resolved;[1108] and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord’s supper, that he may be further strengthened.[1109]
Q. 173. May any who profess the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, be kept from it?
A. Such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous, notwithstanding their profession of the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, may and ought to be kept from that sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in his church,[1110] until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation.[1111]
Q. 174. What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper in the time of the administration of it?
A. It is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, that, during the time of the administration of it, with all holy reverence and attention they wait upon God in that ordinance,[1112] diligently observe the sacramental elements and actions,[1113] heedfully discern the Lord’s body,[1114] and affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings,[1115] and thereby stir up themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces;[1116] in judging themselves,[1117] and sorrowing for sin;[1118] in earnest hungering and thirsting after Christ,[1119] feeding on him by faith,[1120] receiving of his fullness,[1121] trusting in his merits,[1122] rejoicing in his love,[1123] giving thanks for his grace;[1124] in renewing of their covenant with God,[1125] and love to all the saints.[1126]
Q. 175. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper?
A. The duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, is seriously to consider how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success;[1127] if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it,[1128] beg the continuance of it,[1129] watch against relapses,[1130] fulfill their vows,[1131] and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance:[1132] but if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to, and carriage at, the sacrament;[1133] in both which, if they can approve themselves to God and their own consciences, they are to wait for the fruit of it in due time:[1134] but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled,[1135] and to attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence.[1136]
A Puritan Catechism says,

  • Q. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord's Supper? A. It is required of them who would worthily partake of the Lord's Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord's body (1 Cor. 11:28-29), of their faith to feed upon him (2 Cor. 13:5), of their repentance (1 Cor. 11:31), love (1 Cor. 11:18-20), and new obedience, (1 Cor. 5:8) lest coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves (1 Cor. 11:27-29).

  • Q. What is meant by the words, "until he come," which are used by the apostle Paul in reference to the Lord's Supper? A. They plainly teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ will come a second time; which is the joy and hope of all believers (Acts 1:11 1 Thess. 4:16).

  • We have set forth the Bible's view of the Last Supper. Hence we must ask, what are the original sources for the Roman teaching for the Roman holy communion?   We will see that Rome teaches a vastly different understanding of the Eucharist.

    The Council of Trent states the following things about the Eucharist that are unbiblical,
    Session XXII: Doctrine on the Sacrifice of the Mass
    Chapter I: On the Institution of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Foreasmuch as, under the former Testament, according to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, there was no perfection, because of the weakness of the Levitical priesthood; there was need, God, the Father of mercies, so ordaining, that another priest should rise, according to the order of Melchisedech, our Lord Jesus Christ, who might consummate, and lead to what is perfect, as many as were to be sanctified. He, therefore, our God and Lord, though he was about to offer himself once on the altar of the cross unto God the Father, by means of his death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that his priesthood was not to be extinguished by his death, in the Last Supper, on the night in which he was betrayed,—that he might leave, to his own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the cross, might be represented, and the memory thereof remain even unto the end of the world, and its salutary virtue be applied to the remission of those sins which we daily commit,—declaring himself constituted a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedech, he offered up to God the Father his own body and blood under the species of bread and wine; and, under the symbols of those same things, he delivered [his own body and blood] to be received by his apostles, whom he then constituted priests of the New Testament; and by those words, Do this in commemoration of me, he commanded them and their successors in the priesthood to offer (them); even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught.
    Chapter II: That the Sacrifice of the Mass is Propitiatory, Both for the Living and the Dead.
    For inasmuch as in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner the same Christ who once offered himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy council teaches that this is truly propitiatory, and that if we, contrite and penitent, with sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence, draw nigh to God, we obtain mercy and find grace in seasonable aid. For, appeased by this sacrifice, the Lord grants the grace and gift of penitence, and pardons even the gravest crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits of that bloody sacrifice, it is well understood, are received most abundantly through this unbloody one, so far is the latter from derogating in any way from the former. Wherefore, according to the tradition of the Apostles, it is rightly offered not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ but not as yet fully purified.

    Canon I. If any one saith, that in the mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat: let him be anathema.
    Canon II. If any one saith, that by those words, Do this for the commemoration of me (Luke xxii. 19), Christ did not institute the apostles priests; or, did not ordain that they and other priests should offer his own body and blood: let him be anathema.
    Canon III. If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities: let him be anathema.
    Canon V. If any one saith, that it is an imposture to celebrate masses in honor of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession with God, as the Church intends: let him be anathema.
    Canon VI. If any one saith, that the canon of the mass contains errors, and is therefore to be abrogated: let him be anathema (The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1919 ed.), pp. 176-180, 184-185).
    This is merely a taste of what Rome teaches because there are more primary sources that say the same thing.  The Bible teaches that Christ can never die again and there is no need to offer further sacrifices (Revelation 1:18 cf. Hebrews 10:18).  Furthermore, in Hebrews 9:26 and 10:10 the divine Word clearly says that Jesus' sacrifice is once-and-for-all.