Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • Exclusivity and Particular Redemption

    In John 10 Jesus describes himself as both the door and the Good Shepherd. These are metaphors used by Jesus to describe his ministry and the ways in which he relates to his people. As the door, Jesus presents himself as the only way to enter into the kingdom of God and as the Good Shepherd he not only protects and provides, he also lays down his life for his sheep. These two descriptions and their attendant implications lay the foundation for two of the most controversial Christian doctrines: the exclusivity of Christ and the particular redemption accomplished by him.

    When we speak of the exclusivity of Christ we are referring to the Biblical teaching that Jesus is the way by which fallen sinners are brought in to a covenantal relationship with the living God. Here though, we need to note … Read More »

  • Sanctification, Part 3

    The last two weeks we have been thinking about sanctification. Week one we reflected on the way the gospel empowers us in our sanctification and the way in which the law instructs us in our pursuit of holiness and righteousness. Last week we thought about sanctification of the “whole man.” Which is to say, we said that we must not content ourselves with outward moral conformity and inward corruption, nor with inward conformity and outward corruption. This week I want us to think about the positive and negative aspects of sanctification. Back to the catechism:

    Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q 35)

    Sometimes when we think of sanctification or becoming … Read More »

  • Sanctification, part 2

    Last week we thought about sanctification. It’s a good topic to think about because it is a topic about which the Bible has much to say. Sanctification is the process in which God makes us practically what we already are in position. To put it another way, what God has said about us and declared us to be in justification (righteous) becomes a reality in sanctification. It is by grace that we receive Christ and it is by grace that we have been saved (Eph. 2:8). And then the Christian life begins, a life wherein we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).

    Once again I’ll point us to our catechism for direction on this topic.

    Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the
    whole man after … Read More »

  • Sanctification

    Last week we considered not what God does for us through the work of Christ but what God does to us. Another way to think about it is that in the work of Jesus for us, God accomplishes our redemption; and through the work of the Holy Spirit in us and upon us, God applies to us that work of redemption. Those themes of regeneration and adoption flowed nicely from the text of John 8, wherein we who are slaves to sin and sons of the devil become freed by God and become sons of God. As we consider the text before us this Sunday those themes are not far from us. They remain there again. In fact, as we will see, the blind man is a sort of parable or an illustration of what God does to us in … Read More »

  • The Glory of Regeneration and Adoption

    Our passage this morning describes Jesus’ religious detractors as slaves to sin and sons of the devil! Yowzers! That’s one way to get people’s attention. But don’t forget. These aren’t just any people. These are people who never tire telling the world that they are free from sin and that they have Abraham (and by extension God) as their father. Like the tables in the temple, Jesus turns their claims upside down and exposes them for what they really are. Their slavery and sonship will fully manifest itself when they crucify the Lord of glory.

    It’s important that we don’t stop there, though. What Jesus says about them is also true of us, apart from our union with Christ. Apart from Christ, we too, are slaves to sin and can only claim the devil as father. Apart from Christ, God will … Read More »