Round Up

Bound to Work: 3 Reasons You Should Not Try To Bind Satan – Spiritual warfare is real. It might not make the news; but it ought to.

The Problem’s Never At God’s End – “When people don’t get healed, the problem is never at God’s end.” Pithy, popular, memorable, intuitive – but also misleading, and sometimes very unhelpful.

Who Is Responsible For Your Spiritual Growth?Our spiritual growth clearly involves human exertion. But what, then, are we to make of God’s sovereignty over our growth?

The Perfect Hamburger? – It’s summer time, so, how to make a great hamburger is a question that has bedeviled the nation for generations, for as long as Americans have had griddles and broilers, for as long as summertime shorts-wearing cooks have gone into the yard to grill.

Quote:

The whole world is not a theater large enough to display the glory of Christ upon or unfold even half of the unsearchable riches that lie hidden in Him. And such is the deliciousness of this subject, Christ, that were there ten thousand volumes written upon it, they would never become tiring to the heart. We used to say that any one thing can finally tire us and this is true, except about this one eminent thing, Christ, and then one can never tire, for such is the variety of sweetness in Christ. – John Flaval

God Intended the Fall of Man

While listening to a theology course from Jim McClarty I heard the following and wanted to share it:

God was under absolutely no obligation to tell us anything about himself.  He was not obligated to do it at all.  When Adam fell, once Eve rebelled, they were in opposition to God.  God could have very well said, “Well, that’s it, you rebels, I gave you a shot, I gave you a nice place to stay, all I told you to do was tend the garden, make some kids, don’t eat from that tree.”

 But, as soon as there was a sinner, God demonstrated himself as savior.  And you might notice that when Adam and Eve fell, they did not go looking for God, they ran from God.  Part of their fall was their realization that they were naked, they were sinful, and that God was a judge. They did not find out that they were good or right or holy, they found out that they were in trouble, and they ran, they hid, they sewed together fig leaves, that was their plan.  God came looking for them. He was under no obligation to do so, but he did it out of mercy and grace. 

In other words, part of the reason that God created humanity, and part of the reason that in his grand sovereignty he brought about the fall, was because God was going to reveal himself.  He wanted to reveal himself in the broad spectrum of his character, his nature, and his attributes.  All of his attributes, every single one reveals some part of God.  Even the names of God found in the Bible are revelatory of the character of God.  God is in the process of revealing himself, showing himself to his creation.

The reason that God sovereignly brought about the fall of man was because he was intending to reveal himself and this was the method he used in order to do it.  People struggle with that!  If you take the view that Adam and Eve by their free will chose to rebel against God but that they had the option not too, that they could have simply just not rebelled. Then you are also saying that God would not have been able to reveal himself as merciful, or as savior, or as gracious, or as long suffering, or as kind.  All those wonderful attributes of God would have never been known because human being would never need them.  Instead God intended the fall, the same way he intends everything.

Here is the proof.  “Don’t eat from that tree.”  If God really didn’t want Adam and Eve to  eat from the tree, he would not have put it in the garden.  Now, if I can figure that out, I’m sure that God could figure that out.  So, what does God do, he puts that tree in the garden as a temptation.  Adam and Eve do a pretty good job of keeping their hands off.  They understand that they aren’t supposed to eat from it.  Eve even went so far as to say to the serpent that they weren’t supposed to touch it.  They got it.  They understood what God said.  And by the way, they didn’t need that tree because every other tree that bears fruit is good food for them.  They really don’t even need that tree.

Then Satan comes in the form of a serpent and he has a conversation with Eve.  Where is God at this moment?  One of the attributes of God is that he is omnipresent, he is everywhere at once.  So, what is God doing?  Why didn’t he interrupt the conversation?  “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, hey there, shut your mouth, you serpent.  Who do you think you are talking too?”  God could have said that to either party.  Later in the Genesis narrative you see that God put enmity between the serpent and the woman.  He drove them apart.  Why didn’t he do that before the conversation?  He certainly could have, but he didn’t.

So, not only did he provide the temptation, he provided the tempter. Then he just stood back and let things take their natural course.  Why?  Because without the fall, without sin, there would be no need of a savior.  Before the foundation of the world, Jesus is referred to as the “lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”  Why does there need to be a lamb slain?  Because there is definitely going to be a people who need a savior.  And those people are going to be given to him as trophies of grace so that through all eternity he gets all the glory for those people being in the presence of God.  It’s all about God, it’s all about his worship.  God is in the enterprise of glorifying himself.  So, everything, including the fall is part of God’s revelation of himself because he wanted to reveal himself in a full spectrum.

This is not a word for word transcript, but it is very close and captures the context of Pastor McClarty’s teaching.  If you want to listen for yourself, here is the link to the message.  Either listen to the whole thing or scroll up to the 48 minute mark in the sermon and listen from there.

They Still Speak – Charles Spurgeon

CHRIST THE CONQUEROR  OF SATAN

NO. 1326

 A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 26, 1876,

BY C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

 

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

Genesis 3:15.

THIS is the first Gospel sermon that was ever delivered upon the surface of this earth! It was a memorable discourse, indeed, with Jehovah, Himself, for the preacher and the whole human race and the Prince of Darkness for the audience. It must be worthy of our heartiest attention.  Is it not remarkable that this great Gospel promise should have been delivered so soon after the transgression?  As yet no sentence had been pronounced  upon either of the two human offenders, but the promise was given under the form of a sentence pronounced upon the serpent. Not yet had the woman been condemned to painful travail, or the man to exhausting labor, or even the soil to the curse of thorn and thistle.

Truly “mercy rejoices against judgment.” Before the Lord had said, “Dust you are and unto dust you shall return,” He was pleased to say that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head! Let us rejoice, then, in the swift mercy of God, which in the early watches of the night of sin came with comfortable words to us. These words were not directly spoken to Adam and Eve, but they were directed distinctly to the serpent, himself, and that by way of punishment to him for what he had done. It was a day of cruel triumph to him—such joy as his dark mind is capable of had filled him, for he had indulged his malice and gratified his spite.

He had, in the worst sense, destroyed a part of God’s works. He had introduced  sin into the new world.  He had stamped the human race with his own image and gained new forces to promote rebellion and to multiply transgression and, therefore, he felt that sort of gladness which a fiend can know who bears a Hell within himself. But now God comes in, takes up the quarrel personally, and causes him to be disgraced on the very battlefield upon which he had gained a temporary  success. He tells the dragon  that He will undertake to deal with him—this quarrel shall not be between the serpent and man, but between God and the serpent!

God said, in solemn words, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed,” and He promises that there shall rise, in fullness of time a Champion, who, though  He suffers, shall smite in a vital part the power of evil and bruise the serpent’s head. This was all the more, it seems to me, a comfortable  message of mercy to Adam and Eve, because they would feel sure that the tempter would be punished. Perhaps, however, by thus obliquely giving the promise, the Lord meant to say, “Not for your sakes do I do this, O fallen man and woman, nor for the sake of your descendants, but for My own name and honor’s sake, that it be not profaned and blasphemed among the fallen spir- its. I undertake to repair the mischief which has been caused by the tempter,  that My name and My Glory may not be diminished among the immortal spirits who look down upon the scene.”

All this would be very humbling, but yet consolatory to our parents if they thought of it, seeing that mercy given for God’s sake is always, to our troubled apprehension, more sure than any favor which could be promised to us for our own sakes. Divine Sovereignty and Glory afford us a stronger  foundation  of hope than merit, even if merit can be supposed to exist.

Now we must note concerning this first Gospel sermon that on it the earliest Believers stayed themselves. This was all that Continue reading