Now, this is what I call music…!
In case you can’t keep up, here’s the lyrics. Read along, then consult your Bible and read and pray and think!
Here’s a controversial subject that tends to divide
For years it’s had Christians lining up on both sides
By God’s grace, I’ll address this without pride
The question concerns those for whom Christ died
Was He trying to save everybody worldwide?
Was He trying to make the entire world His Bride?
Does man’s unbelief keep the Savior’s hands tied?
Biblically, each of these must be denied
It’s true, Jesus gave up His life for His Bride
But His Bride is the elect, to whom His death is applied
If on judgment day, you see that you can’t hide
And because of your sin, God’s wrath on you abides
And hell is the place you eternally reside
That means your wrath from God hasn’t been satisfied
But we believe His mission was accomplished when He died
But how the cross relates to those in hell?
Well, they be saying:
Lord knows He tried (8x)
Father, Son and Spirit: three and yet one
Working as a unit to get things done
Our salvation began in eternity past
God certainly has to bring all His purpose to pass
A triune, eternal bond no one could ever sever
When it comes to the church, peep how they work together
The Father foreknew first, the Son came to earth
To die- the Holy Spirit gives the new birth
The Father elects them, the Son pays their debt and protects them
The Spirit is the One who resurrects them
The Father chooses them, the Son gets bruised for them
The Spirit renews them and produces fruit in them
Everybody’s not elect, the Father decides
And it’s only the elect in whom the Spirit resides
The Father and the Spirit- completely unified
But when it comes to Christ and those in hell?
Well, they be saying:
Lord knows He tried (8x)
My third and final verse- here’s the situation
Just a couple more things for your consideration
If saving everybody was why Christ came in history
With so many in hell, we’d have to say He failed miserably
So many think He only came to make it possible
Let’s follow this solution to a conclusion that’s logical
What about those who were already in the grave?
The Old Testament wicked- condemned as depraved
Did He die for them? C’mon, behave
But worst of all, you’re saying the cross by itself doesn’t save
That we must do something to give the cross its power
That means, at the end of the day, the glory’s ours
That man-centered thinking is not recommended
The cross will save all for whom it was intended
Because for the elect, God’s wrath was satisfied
But still, when it comes to those in hell
Well, they be saying:
Lord knows He tried (8x)
Thank you, Shai Linne, whoever you are.
Here’s a follow-up on my series of posts on “Compromising the Full Humanity of Christ” which dealt with the “heavenly flesh of Christ” heresy. In my reading through Calvin’s Institutes in commemoration of his quincentenary, I recently got to a passage in which he deals with this very issue, which he indicates that it predates Anabaptism, tying it to Manichaeism. Let’s read Calvin himself on this . . .
Indeed, the genuineness of his human nature was impugned long ago by both the Manichees and the Marcionites. The Marcionites fancied Christ’s body a mere appearance, while the Manichees dreamed that he was endowed with heavenly flesh. But many strong testimonies of Scripture stand against both (Book 2, chapter 13, section 1)…Marcion imagines that Christ put on a phantasm instead of a body because Paul elsewhere says that Christ was “made in the likeness of man . . . . being found in fashion as a man” (Phil. 2:7-8)…Mani forged him a body of air, because Christ is called “the Second Adam of heaven, heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:47) (Book 2, chapter 13, section 2).
You can read summaries of both of these sections at “Blogging the Institutes” from Reformation21.org, just follow the links in the two parenthetical references in the excerpt above.
Finally, in section 4, Calvin concludes his defense of the biblically orthodox view of Christ’s full humanity (which accords with the Definition of Chalcedon), explaining how it is that Christ’s human nature could be identical to our human nature without original sin–for Calvin, it’s simple, the Holy Spirit sanctified his human nature:
The absurdities with which they wish to weigh us down are stuffed with childish calumnies. They consider it shameful and dishonorable to Christ if he were to derive his origin from men, for he could not be exempted from the common rule, which includes under sin all of Adam’s offspring without exception. But the comparison that we read in Paul readily disposes of this difficulty: “As sin came in . . . through one man, and death through sin . . . so through the righteousness of one man grace abounded” (Rom. 5:12, 18). Another comparison of Paul’s agrees with this: “The first Adam was of the earth, and earthly and natural man, the Second of the heaven, heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:47). The apostle teaches the same thing in another passage, that Christ was sent “in the likeness of sinful flesh” to satisfy the law (Rom. 8:3-4). Thus, so skillfully does he distinguish Christ from the common lot that he is true man but without fault and corruption. But they babble childishly: if Christ is free from all spot, and through the secret working of the Spirit was begotten of the seed of Mary, then woman’s seed is not unclean, but only man’s (you can hear that from many independent Baptist fundamentalists in the 21st century–I heard it all my life.) For we make Christ free of all stain not just because he was begotten of his mother without copulation with man, but because he was sanctified by the Spirit that the generation might be pure and undefiled as would have been true before Adam’s fall. And this remains for us an established fact: whenever Scripture calls our attention to the purity of Christ, it is to be understood of his true human nature, for it would have been superfluous to say that God is pure. Also, the sanctification of which John, ch. 17, speaks would have no place in divine nature (John 17:19). Nor do we imagine that Adam’s seed is twofold, even though no infection came to Christ. For the generation of man is not unclean and vicious of itself, but is so as an accidental quality arising from the Fall. No wonder, then, that Christ, through whom integrity was to be restored, was exempted from common corruption! They thrust upon us as something absurd the fact that if the Word of God became flesh, then he was confined within the narrow prison of an earthly body. This is mere impudence! For even if the Word in his immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do not imagine that he was confined therein. Here is something marvelous: the Son of God descended from heaven in such a way that, without leaving heaven, he willed to be borne in the virgin’s womb, to go about the earth, and to hang upon the cross; yet he continuously filled the world even as he had done from the beginning!
That Christ’s human nature is equally sinless and at the same time the product of Mary’s reproductive system is easily seen in Scripture. The Spirit illumined this to my understanding by a simple reading of Luke 1:35 once I came to realize the modern fundamentalist heavenly flesh view with which I was raised had to be wrong:
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”
See the word “therefore” in this verse? The former activity is the reason for the latter condition; the Holy Spirit’s overshadowing Mary in Jesus’ conception is the reason for his holiness. It’s as simple as that! Long ago, I got a grasp of the fact that names in Scripture usually reflect something of the nature or behavior of the people who bear them. In this case, the Spirit’s name is “Holy Spirit.” In short, he’s the Spirit who makes people holy. The human nature of Jesus was holy because of his conception via the Holy Spirit. And believers today are being sanctified (being made holy) by the Holy Spirit through the ordinary means of the preaching of Law and Gospel, signified and sealed to them in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Just kidding. This video was linked to on the Facebook King James Bible fan page, and I’m a big fan of Chuck’s (we even share a birthday–Oct. 4!), so I just wanted to post this. Most of what he says are the right reasons to love the Authorized King James Version. There are, unfortunately, a lot of wrong reasons to love it going around. Listen to Moses . . .
One of the most effective ploys to scare Arminians and moderate Calvinists away from Calvinism is to paint John Calvin as some evil, persecuting tyrant who reigned over a theocracy of his own making in Geneva, Switzerland–twisting the facts, and omitting many other facts relevant to the unfortunate episode that was the burning of anti-trinitarian heretic, Miguel Servetus. In the following video, Reformed apologist James White sets the historical record straight by simply listing related facts that Calvin’s critics never get around to presenting which sheds a whole new light on the incident.
Yes, Calvin was a man of his times, and the part he played in the execution of Servetus is not to be excused, however, Calvin’s 21st century critics are also men of their time, and it’s equally inexcusable to slander dead Reformers (or anyone else, for that matter).
Steven L. Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Pheonix, AZ, has a very full YouTube page of videos featuring his preaching and teaching ministry. Some of the arguments made in some of the videos, it must be said, range from the average, to the illogical, to the hilariously absurd. StuffFundiesLike featured one of the more amusing ones (view it here), but Fundamentally Reformed once posted on one I’ve yet to see topped (view it here)! Compared to these two, the one I’m posting and commenting on today is rather ho-hum.
In this video, Pastor Anderson presents a few arguments from John 6 and John 15 against the doctrines of God’s foreordination of all things (Ephesians 1:11), predestination to salvation (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 9:23) and reprobation to condemnation (2 Peter 2; Romans 9:22).
Watch the video and interact with his arguments. I’m going to be out of town over the weekend and probably have little access to the internet. If you’re not familiar with the doctrines of Calvinism regarding the sovereignty of God over all things, even the salvation of sinners, feel free to ask questions. They’ll be welcomed and answered with gentleness and respect when I return, unless one of my Calvinist commenters is pleased to interact with you over the weekend (you know who you are–this is your cue!).
Here are the passages Pastor Anderson dealt with. View them for yourself and prayerfully examine their contexts and see the sovereign hand of a God who is not merely a one-dimensional “God of love” who is passive in the face of your sovereign self-determination, but “is love” and just at the same time.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16)
“Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him” (John 6:70-71; cf. Acts 1:16–indicating what Judas was actually chosen for).