The Calvinist

The Calvinist is a beautiful poem about God’s sovereignty written by Dr. John Piper. The creative team at Desiring God took the poem and produced a dramatic video presentation featuring the voices of John Piper, D.A. Carson, R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, and Sinclair Ferguson. Do yourself a favor and take some time to watch this wonderful video.

D.A. Carson on Angels in Hebrews

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) has released a short series of videos featuring Dr. D.A. Carson lecturing on the book of Hebrews.

Now then, the author hasn’t quite fully finished with his treatment of angels, but now he really spins out the argument in a different direction. In [Hebrews] 1:5 to the end of [verse] 14, he’s really talking about the Son’s superiority over angels, but the last verse, 1:14, gives a hint of where the argument is going before the embedded warning: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” So, in other words, not only is the Son superior to angels, but angels must be distinguished from human beings who inherit salvation. And the argument is going to go on to point out that there has arisen a redeemer for fallen human beings, but not for fallen angels. When the eternal Son joined us, he did not become an angel, he became a human being. That’s the thrust of the argument. And thus, the angels themselves are not only not the Son, but they’re not the redeemed either; they’re rather ministering spirits sent to help the redeemed. So what on earth are you doing fastening your attention on angels? We’re the redeemed, not they; and Christ is Lord, not they.

—D.A. Carson

This quotation is from the second video from the series TEDS Lecture Series: D.A. Carson on the Book of Hebrews.

The Glory of the Whole Blessed Trinity

This is a wonderful summary of the Trinitarian work of salvation by the great puritan John Owen:

When God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man and the saving of sinners, to the praise of the glory of his grace, he appointed, in his infinite wisdom, two great means thereof. The one was the giving of his Son for them, and the other was the giving of his Spirit unto them. And hereby was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity; which is the utmost end of all the works of God. Hereby were the love, grace, and wisdom of the Father in the design and projection of the whole; the love, grace, and condenscension of the Son in the execution, purchase, and procurement of grace and salvation for sinners; with the love, grace, and power of the Holy Spirit in the effectual application of all unto the souls of men, made gloriously conspicuous.

—John Owen
Quoted in A Golden Treasury of Puritan Devotion, edited by Mariano Di Gangi

I love the phrase “to the praise of the glory of his grace” because it reminds me very much of the words of the Apostle Paul in one of my favorite passages of scripture:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14, ESV)

An Avalanche of Promises

Our good God, our overflowing God, our God of yes and amen, has always been able to promise far more than we are able to believe. I am not here speaking of unbelief, or of hard hearts, which is an other problem. I am speaking here of a true and sincere faith, a God-given faith, but one which is still finite, and which God loves to bury under an avalanche of promises. We serve and worship the God who overwhelms, who delights to overwhelm. At His right hand are pleasures forevermore — a cascading waterfall of infinite pleasures, with no top, no bottom, no back, no front, and no sides. Nothing but infinite pleasure in motion, and every one of those pleasures is attached to His promises.

—Douglas Wilson
God Rest Ye Merry

The Abstract of Principles – Part 4

In 1858, The Abstract of Principles, developed by James P. Boyce and Basil Manly, Jr., was adopted as the official statement of faith of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

XVI. The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship.

XVII. The Lord’s Day

The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.

XVIII. Liberty of Conscience

God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

XIX. The Resurrection

The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God-the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.

XX. The Judgment

God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life.

The Abstract of Principles – Part 3

In 1858, The Abstract of Principles, developed by James P. Boyce and Basil Manly, Jr., was adopted as the official statement of faith of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

XI. Justification

Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.

XII. Sanctification

Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands.

XIII. Perseverance of the Saints

Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XIV. The Church

The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches He hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops or Elders, and Deacons.

XV. Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.