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Foundations Of GraceI’ve been reading Steve Lawson’s Foundations of Grace and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand God’s grace in a Biblical, thorough, and exegetical way.  Lawson starts in Genesis and goes through Revelation and has done an outstanding job of documenting many passages of Scripture that deal with God’s grace.  Currently I am reading the chapter on the Gospel of John, which Lawson calls The Mount Everest of Theology.  During my reading time this morning, I read the following:

Selective Choice.  Christ has chosen His people out of the world of lost sinners.  Because this divine choice does not include everyone, those who are not chosen hate the elect:

  “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  – John 15:19

Jesus openly taught His disciples the doctrine of election.  Making no apology, He cited this cardinal truth as a chief reason why the world hates them.  (James Montgomery) Boice explains, “What is the meaning of this?  It is merely the old subject of election.  Christ elected the disciples to salvation.  He chose them for a specific work in this world.  Therefore, although the world rejects Christ’s salvation and despises His work, it hates those who have been chosen by Him for it.  There is probably nothing that the world hates more than the doctrine of election.  Certainly it was this more than anything else that caused the world’s virulent hatred of Christ during the days of His ministry…. Nothing so stirs up the hatred of the worldly mind than the teaching that God in sovereign grace elects some and does not elect others.”  Of course, Christ’s choice was preceded by the eternal choice of the Father.  (William) Hendriksen notes, “The act which took place in time was based upon an act which occurred in eternity (Eph 1:4).”  The divine choosing by the Father and the Son distinguished believers from the world, stirring the hatred of unbelievers.

We all want to be liked and loved and certainly do not want to be hated.  But this is just another area in which we Christians will be hated by the world.  It isn’t pleasant, but it is to be expected.

Spurgeon Thursday

LITTLE SINS
NO. 248

DELIVERED  ON SABBATH MORNING, APRIL 17, 1859
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.

“Is it not a little one?” Genesis 19:20.

THESE words we shall take for a slogan, rather than a text in the ordinary acceptation of that term. I shall not this morning attempt to explain the context. It was the utterance of Lot when he pleaded for the salvation of Zoar. But I shall take it altogether away from the connection in which it stands and make use of it in another fashion. The great Father of Lies has multitudes  of devices by which he seeks to ruin the souls of men. He uses false weights and false balances in order to deceive them. Sometimes he uses false times, declaring at one hour that it is too early to seek the Lord and at another that it is now too late. And he uses false quantities, for he will declare that great sins are but little and as for what he con- fesses to be little sins, he makes them afterwards to be nothing at all—mere peccadilloes, almost worthy of forgiveness in themselves! Many souls, I doubt not, have been caught in this trap and being snared thereby, have been destroyed. They have ventured into sin where they thought the stream was shallow and, fatally deceived by its depth, they have been swept away by the strength of the current to that waterfall which is the ruin of such vast multitudes of the souls of men!

spurgeon5It shall be my business this morning to answer this temptation and try to put a sword in your hands to resist the enemy when he shall come upon you with this cry—“Is  it not a little one?” and tempt you into sin because he leads you to imagine that there is but very little harm in it. “Is it not a little one?”

With regard, then, to this temptation of Satan concerning the littleness of sin, I would make this first answer, the best of men have always been afraid of little sins. The holy martyrs  of God have been ready to endure the most terrible torments rather than step so much as one inch aside from the road of truth and righteousness! Witness Daniel—when the king’s decree went forth that no man should worship God for such-and-such a time, nevertheless he prayed three times a day as before, with his window open towards Jerusalem, not fearing the king’s commandment. Why could he not have retired into an inner chamber? Why might  he not have ceased from vocal prayer  and have kept his petitions  in his thought  and in his heart? Would he not have been as well accepted as when he kneeled, as usual, with the window open so that  all the world  might  see him? Ah, but Daniel  judged  that  little  as the offense might seem, he would rather  suffer death at the jaws of the lion than he would by that little offense provoke the anger of his God, or lead men to blaspheme His holy name because His servant had been afraid to obey! Mark, too, the three holy children. They are asked by king Nebuchadnezzar simply to bend the knee and worship the golden image which he had set up. How slight the homage! One bend of the knee and all is done! Continue reading