Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knowing God

J.I. Packers book "Knowing God" has been one of those books that has had a great impact on my thinking, relationship with the Lord and theology. Packer is NOT anti Charismatic, but believes it is a move of God, however, addresses its abuses in this book briefly. This is a book I am constantly coming back to. I here just wanted to share a few thoughts of the many Packer writes about.

Packer: "There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that God sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see and I am glad! and he sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which in all conscience, is enough). There is also great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that for some unfathomable reason he wants to be my Friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given his Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose..."

".... God does not shield us from the world the flesh and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstances, nor by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperaments and psychology; but exposes us to all these things as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy insure that we will hold him fast...."

Friends of God - Packer
"The Lord said to Moses(insert your name) I am pleased with you and I know you by name Ex 33:17. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you (insert your name) apart Jer. 1:5 I am the good shepherd and you are my sheep I lay down my life for the sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they will NEVER PERISH... Here Gods knowledge of his own implies personal affection, redeeming action, covenant faithfulness and providential watchfulness towards those whom God knows. It implies, in other words, salvation, now and forever..."

"....Being Known: What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it-the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eyes are off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment when his care falters..."

"If You Can Believe: continues Packer, This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort-the sort of comfort that energizes be it said, not enervates-in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me...."

He continues..."God spends so much of His time bringing home to us that we are deficient, both mentally and morally and dare not trust ourselves to find, or follow the right road. "

"The God who restores: One of the most startling things is that god uses our sins and mistakes to this end. He employs the educative discipline of failures and mistakes very frequently, it is striking to see how the Bible deals with Godly people making mistakes..." end of packer

He's pretty cool! This Book is great, full of hope and encouragement!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Christians Assurance, Hope & Security

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)

Of The Perseverance of the Saints.

They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

Can a Christian lose their salvation? I don't believe we can! I take great comfort in this truth mainly because I know myself to well and my security in the Lord is not dependant upon my ability or even my willingness to stay in Him but His ability to keep me. We,"I" stumble, and fall and even doubt our "my" salvation at times but He will never let us go, we will never be lost! Feel free to let me know what you think!