Archive for September, 2016

19
Sep
16

I thank you, Lord of Earth and Heaven

I thank you, Lord of earth and heaven,
That from the wise you’ve hidden light
But unto babes your truth have given,
For this was pleasing in your sight.
Into the hands of Christ, the Son,
All things are from the Father given.
His purpose is to make him known;
It was for this he came from heaven.
No one can truly know the Son
Except the Father on the throne.
The Father none can know, not one
Unless the Son should make him known.
To weary ones bowed down with sin
The Savior calls with tender voice
And promises sweet rest within
To all who in his name rejoice.
“Come unto me,” he calls aloud
To helpless ones who’ve fallen down
And lie beneath the heavy load
Of sin, and of Jehovah’s frown.
“Take on my yoke and learn from me
For I, in heart, am meek and low.”
In coming you will be made free
And given grace my rest to know.
Randy Seiver
Based on Matthew 11:25-29

17
Sep
16

Objections to Sovereign Election

There are two objections that are commonly brought against the doctrine of divine sovereignty in the salvation of sinners. Paul introduces both these questions in Roman’s chapter nine. It is impossible to say whether these are objections that had been introduced by real detractors or if he introduced them for the sake of making a point. One is that if sovereign election is true, it would make God unfair–“What shall we say then, is there unrighteousness with God?” The other is that if the bestowal of mercy is not of him who wills or of him who runs but of God’s who shows mercy, and if God grants mercy to whomsoever he will show mercy and hardens whomsoever he wills, how can he hold his creatures responsible? –“Why does he still find fault, for who has resisted his will?” The will about which the apostle has written must be God’s will of decree since we have all resisted his revealed will from time to time.  If all that occurs has been decreed by God, how can he hold people responsible for our actions?

 

Both these question could have been answered very simply with one statement.  All Paul needed to explain is that God has left the issue of our salvation to libertarian free will.  If only he had explained that God’s choice of certain sinners was based on the faith and perseverance that he foresaw in them, neither of these questions would have arisen. Their very presence is the evidence that God’s foresight of certain sinners’ faith could not have been the basis for his choice. What better place could there have been for Paul to give such an explanation? Yet, there is not the slightest hint that God’s choice was determined by the sinner’s free will choice. Instead, he doubled down on his insistence that salvation depended on the will of the sovereign potter.  There are two important truths he offers to help his readers understand the true doctrine of God’s saving activity.  One concerned the proper relationship between God and his creatures. He asked, “Who are you, the creature, to question the Creator?”  As you consider this issue, you need to remember that there is only one true God and that God isn’t you. You aren’t in control, God is. The second answer to these questions concerns the nature of that “lump” out of which God forms one vessel for honor and another for dishonor.  Notice that he refers to the vessels of honor as “vessels of mercy.” That tells us that these vessels did not deserve God’s favor any more than did the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction.  God being righteous [fair] would have condemned the entire sinful lump.  How can God hold sinners responsible for our sins when we are simply fulfilling his decree? Because when we sin we are doing what we desire most. We are acting according to the sinful nature that we share with the rest of mankind.

14
Sep
16

The Great Exchange

In Christ we’re reconciled to God.

He’s caused our war with heaven to cease.

Viewing his plan, we’re over-awed;

A great exchange has won our peace.

 

Our lives were filled with sin and shame;

His life was lived in righteousness.

He stood for us and bore our blame

That we might wear his heavenly dress.

 

He stood before God’s judgment bar

As if our sins were all his own.

A crown of thorns his brow did mar;

An emblem of creation’s groan.

 

He suffered in his peoples’ place;

The object of God’s holy ire.

That God might treat us in his grace

As objects of his love’s desire.

 

Randy Seiver

 

Based on 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

02
Sep
16

Upon the Promises of God

Upon the promises of God

The sons of Zion rest our case.

At times with doubts but over-awed

We revel in his sovereign grace.

 

Though nursing mothers may forget

The babes they nourished at their breasts,

Our Father’s love is stronger yet

And on that solid ground we rest.

 

Our names in marks of gracious love

Upon his hands are scored in blood,

And naught on earth can e’er remove

Names written on the hands of God.

 

His grace is like a fortress strong

Within whose walls we dwell secure.

Redeeming grace will be our song

As long as heaven and earth endure.

 

Randy Seiver

 

Based on Isaiah 49:14-16