Back in Print

As I said before, this book is exceedingly timely. It was out of print for a while, but now it is back, and it is essential reading for all pastors and elders. The reason it is important is that many, many people have subscription confused. Most people today, of course, are confusing good faith subscription with loose or system subscription, which are not the same thing at all. I advocate full subscription myself.

Understanding Forgiveness

In response to Doug’s post, I have a few things to say.

Firstly, this isn’t the first time Doug has accused me of unwittingly denying justification by faith alone. What Doug seems to do in this post is say that I have basically turned understanding a doctrine into a work that then merits justification. What this accusation does, in effect, is deny that there is any notitia element to saving faith whatsoever. No doubt Doug would deny such a charge. But by his argument, it doesn’t really matter what one believes in terms of understanding. As long as there is this nebulous trust in Jesus, one is saved. Again, this is not something Doug would come out and say, and to some extent this is an extension of what he says. I am merely trying to point out here the logical consequences of denying the notitia element of faith, which, by the way, is all I’m arguing for.

When someone like me makes the claim that one must understand justification in order to be saved, what typically comes to mind in the view of critics of my position is that someone must understand Berkhof, Bavinck, Calvin, Luther, Owen, Buchanan, and Fesko in order to be saved. I am saying nothing of the sort. Can any adult (we’ll get to the problem of infants in a bit) be saved without any understanding at all of the mechanism by which one is forgiven? Can he be saved without knowing that Jesus died for him on the cross and took his guilt upon Himself, that it was a substitutionary sacrifice for sin? This is not jargon, nor is it esoteric. It is nothing less than the heart of the Gospel. I would argue that an adult cannot be saved without knowing this, and it is the lion’s share of the doctrine of justification. The double imputation is not all that hard to grasp either, but surely we would all agree that someone who believed and understood that Jesus died for him as a sacrificial offering is saved. Of course there are varying degrees of depth in which a person can understand this. But Doug seems to be denying that one even needs to understand this in order to be saved.

On the question of infants, I grant that notitia develops. Of course, we often give them too little credit for what they understand. Who is to say that an infant doesn’t know who Jesus is? An infant can certainly know (within minutes of birth!) who is mother is. John the Baptist understood who Jesus was, at least in a nascent way. So no, there is no denial of justification by faith alone in my theology, either explicitly, or implicitly.

Once more, John 15. There are several indicators of what Doug said isn’t there in the text, but actually is. First of all, Doug’s position that the branches are dead because they are fruitless, not fruitless because they are dead (which thus denies an ontological distinction between the fruit-bearing branches and the non-fruit-bearing branches) simply does not do justice to the terms of verse 2 and verse 5, and the whole passage. First point: the criterion of life is fruit-bearing (synonymous with “abiding”) in this passage, not sap. Doug does not do justice to my argument, because he does not see my point, which is that the non-fruit-bearing branch is ontologically different, having no ability to produce fruit, and is therefore as good as dead. Because they do not believe, they are condemned already. Verse 2 indicates that the criterion for whether the branch is taken away is whether it bears fruit or not, not whether it has sap or not. When Jesus continues his metaphor, fruit-bearing is explicitly linked with “abiding” (verses 4-5). Abiding equals fruitfulness, and not-abiding equals fruitlessness. Abiding equals life equals fruit. Therefore, any branch not bearing fruit has no life in it. Abiding always produces fruit. Therefore, if a branch is not producing fruit, it is not abiding, and therefore is not alive in the sense of fruit-bearing. What is tripping Doug up here is my language about not being alive because it is not fruit-bearing. The only kind of life that is important in this passage is the fruit-bearing life. Again, other kinds of life are simply not important here.

New Book on Inerrancy

There is practically a cottage industry now in books on inerrancy in evangelical circles. This newest one is a full-blown critique of Pete Enns’s book. *munching on popcorn* (not trying to be flippant), but it is a very interesting debate, and one that will no doubt continue on into the future. Reformed folk will do well to study these issues very carefully. Beale’s book will undoubtedly be an important book to read in this regard.

Reformed Catholicity

I am going to take the next section of the Joint Statement by itself, which is different from my last treatment of the subject, wherein I took the section on Reformed Catholicity and the Covenant of Life in one section.

In my last treatment, I raised the all-important question of which works are excluded from the structure of justification. I have always thought it odd that Doug entitled this section “Reformed Catholicity,” when the statement is about justification. Presumably, he means to harp on the catholic (small c) implications of the doctrine of justification. But as I also said in my earlier treatment, the field is left a bit wide open. For instance, who is meant by “everyone that God has received into fellowship with Himself?” Everyone who says, “Lord, Lord?” Every denomination who says “Lord, Lord?” The most charitable reading of my first question is that all works are excluded. However, the statement in and of itself does not necessarily exclude all works from justification. If there were works that were not revealed to us by God, but which God made us to do by His Holy Spirit (and were thus not manufactured by man), then there is at least a theoretical category of works that could be included in justification. In the second sentence, there is a word that I believe is misplaced. His sentence reads, “Because we are justified through faith in Jesus alone…” I believe the word “alone” should not come after Jesus (although we certainly want to agree that salvation is found nowhere else but in Jesus), but after “faith.” Or, even better, repeat the word “alone” after faith and after “Jesus.” Now, again to be fair, Doug uses the term “sola fide” in connection with the term “correct formulations,” which plainly indicates that he believes there is a correct formulation of sola fide.

And, also as I wrote previously, my question is this concerning the second paragraph: is Doug saying that correct understandings of sola fide are not necessary for salvation, or is he merely saying that they are not sufficient? I would agree with the latter, but certainly not with the former. The demons understand the structure of justification by faith alone, and yet it is not sufficient. However, neither do I believe that one can be saved while believing that one gets to heaven by one’s works. One might ask about the faith of infants here, since they (probably!) cannot understand justification by faith alone. Certainly a valid question. I think that any genuine faith (or seed-faith as Calvin might say) that an infant has will necessarily grow up into an understanding of justification by faith alone. On the one hand, we don’t want to say that infants cannot be saved. On the other hand, neither do we want to say that one can be saved while having a completely opposite view of salvation to what the Bible says. Navigating between these two things is a touch difficult. Any saving faith definitely has trust as an element. That infants can have. True saving faith will also grow in understanding. So, I would say that an infant can have saving faith without understanding everything about justification. But such an infant will grow up and understand justification. An adult, on the other hand, needs to understand justification in order to be saved (though that is not all he needs to have), and must also trust Jesus.

I am curious as to what theologians the FV’ers have run across who say that a correct formulation of sola fide is an infallible indicator of true faith in Jesus. Or is there a target at all there?

In response to Doug’s last post, I will say just a few things. With regard to Wilkins, a differentiation that cannot be defined is not really a differentiation in the person’s theology, is it? Substitute the word “distinction” for differentiation, and the thought becomes clearer. “Oh yeah, there’s a distinction in the covenant between the decretally elect and the non-decretally elect, but I can’t for the life of me think of how to describe that distinction.” It would be like saying, “Oh yeah, there’s a distinction between justification and sanctification, but…uh…I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is.” Is there really a distinction in this person’s theology between justification and sanctification if he has no way to express it? The obvious distinction in the administration of the covenant would be between regenerate and non-regenerate, but Wilkins has NEVER said that, because he wants to say that non-decretally elect can still be regenerate in some way (though he would say that he is using the term in a non-WCF way, no doubt).

Secondly, regarding John 15 yet again, the questions Doug asks are simply not in the text. The text is simply not interested in how the suckers grew. There is no indication of how that happened. But the text does say that in terms of what counts (fruit) the unfruitful branches are not alive at all. These branches have the kind of faith that James condemns: “faith” without works. James says that faith without works is dead. It is not true faith at all. A fruitless branch in the sense that Jesus speaks of never bore fruit, and was thus never alive in the sense that counts in Jesus’ words. To talk about being alive in another sense is over-reading the passage, eisegeting details that don’t even exist. And, as I said, the phrase “in me” simply cannot bear the union-weight that the FV’ers put on it. He asks, “what are they cut out of?” They are cut out of the visible church. But to affirm some extra kind of non-salvific (or salvific, as some FV’ers do) union from this text way over-reads the text.

What a Good Idea!

To republish this excellent work on subscription to Reformed standards (originally published in 2001) right after this book came out. For one thing, the latter book quotes the former quite a lot. I found myself wanting the former book on occasion as I was reading through the latter. I wonder if this reprint was intentionally combined with the publication of Clark’s book. It is impeccable timing for republication, nevertheless.

Omnibus Reply

Doug Wilson has taken up the discussion again in three posts, responding to my three posts. I will respond in one post, so as to make things a bit easier.

In the first post, Doug talks about the visible/invisible (v/i) church distinction as being a different distinction than the historical/eschatological (h/e) distinction. Great. I’m glad we agree on this. My position is that Doug has changed his position. In the 2002 AAPC lectures, Doug talked about tipping over the v/i distinction on its (diachronical) side, and voila, you get the h/e distinction. Forgive us for thinking that the h/e distinction (in the minds of the FV) was then supposed to supplant, not merely supplement, the v/i distinction. What does “tipping over on its side” mean but elimination of the v/i distinction? Now, keep in mind that I claimed that Doug’s position has changed. After all, we did admit (even in a retraction!) that Doug does believe in the v/i distinction. But I would argue that Doug did not articulate that in RINE, or in the 2002 AAPC lectures. Certainly, the trend in his thought at that time was towards the elimination, or at the very least, the down-playing of the v/i distinction in favor of the h/e distinction. That being said, I have this question: what Reformed theologian has ever denied that the church is militans and triumphans? I often get the impression that the FV folk get it into their head that there is an imbalance somewhere in Reformed theology, and then they seek to correct it. There are two problems with this. The first is that usually there is no such imbalance. It is an imagined imbalance. The second problem is that there is a tendency to over-correction. However, I must take issue with this quotation:

Well, another way of saying largely the same thing is to describe the visible church as the church throughout history, and the church of all the regenerate as the eschatological church.

Despite the qualifier “largely,” this quotation still assumes way more overlap between the v/i distinction and the h/e distinction than is warranted. Here are some important differences between the two distinctions: one is synchronic, and the other diachronic. That is, one is a cross-section of the current church, whereas the other is not a cross-section at all, but rather a view of the progressive, unfolding character of the church. Secondly, the v/i distinction has to do with the church as composed of individuals, either elect or non-elect, whereas the h/e distinction has to do with the church as a whole as it matures and has its wrinkles gradually eliminated. Thirdly, the v/i distinction has to do with a straight verticle line (reaching from heaven to earth) separating the believers from the non-believers, whereas the h/e distinction has to do with a ramp upon which the church travels from this world to the next. The only point of similarity between the two distinctions, in fact, is that both distinctions look at the same church, which is one, not two. But they are completely different perspectives, not largely the same.

I agree with Lane entirely that the position of the Baptist proper is to define the visible church as consisting of the regenerate only. But what we mean when we talk about “baptyerians,” for example, is that the same logic in presbyterian circles draws the same kind of line at the Lord’s Table, and not at the Font.

Maybe I can get at the real issue by asking this question: given that the vast majority of the Reformed world in its entire history has not been paedo-communion, is it even remotely fair to say that Reformed folk who are not paedo-communionists are also Baptistic in their thinking when it comes to the Table? Doug goes on to claim that “Lane believes that the standard for communicant membership in the visible church is a regenerate status.” I have never said this, and in fact do not believe this, nor do most Presbyterians of whom I am aware. The standard for communicant membership in the visible church is a credible profession of faith. Note the very key difference between those two things. That is the difference between Baptists and Presbyterians when it comes to the table. Presbyterians freely admit that many children are Christians from a very early age (I would argue that it is possible for them to be regenerate in the womb, though I would not want to presume that). But the church has to be the body that discerns this as well as it can do so. The only that can happen is by talking with the child, and asking them about their heart. All the church can go on is a profession of faith (which is, of course, connected to their baptisms). But since so many who are baptized are not regenerate, it is not unreasonable at all to require a profession of faith. This is not Baptistic.

The second post deals pretty much with the law-gospel hermeneutic. Doug says that he agrees with the law/gospel distinction as it applies to the human heart, but not with the law/gospel hermeneutic that separates one verse into law, and another verse into gospel. In other words, the distinction is not in the text, but in the application to the human heart. Doug seems to give the impression that I didn’t understand this before. I really think I did. Now let me say that of course I agree that the law/gospel distinction affects the human heart, and is a part of the application of a text. Where we disagree is in saying that the distinction is also in the text. In the Reformed theologians, I would point to these three articles (part 1, part 2, part 3, and also to Scott Clarks’s posts on the topic) which prove fairly conclusively that the law/gospel hermeneutic is Reformed. And if you look carefully, you will also see that these quotations come out of their exegesis of texts, not from thin air. Given this state of affairs, I think that the burden of proof does not rest with me to show that the Law/Gospel hermeneutic is scriptural or Reformed. It is the burden of the FV to show that it is neither Reformed nor scriptural. Now, to anticipate Doug’s reply, he will probably say that most, if not all, the quotations do not deal with the interpretation of Scripture, but rather with the application to the heart. I will simply reply that such a distinction did not exist in the time of the Reformers. Therefore, discussions about the law/Gospel distinction apply also to how they read their Bibles.

The third post argues that I have completely misunderstood the FV definition of covenant. My exact words were: “The covenant of grace is undifferentiated between the elect and the non-elect (used in a decretal sense). This is the FV definition of the covenant.” Doug argues that I have thereby completely misunderstood the FV position on this, and cites his own position as rebuttal. Let me talk about ale for a moment. The pale ale (self-described) tells the world that the dark ale is really pale ale when it comes toa particular issue. On the one hand, it accuses the world of never differentiating among the various ales, and then complains when the world does in fact differentiate among the various ales. When ale is attacked as being dark, the pale ale defends the dark ale by pointing to itself, claiming non-differentiation. However, at other times, when the world says that all ale is ale, the pale ale says that the world hasn’t been nearly careful enough in its distinctions. Which is it? It should have been clear (with the retraction made earlier about the v/i distinction within the church, which has to do with decretal election) to Doug that I recognize that his position is that the church is made up of believers and unbelievers. Therefore, when one connects the dots, I am differentiating his position from the other FV’ers on this point. For instance, I have read or listened to almost everything of importance to the FV in Steve Wilkins’s literary and auditory output. When he is not being pressed on his position, he argues that there is no distinction between the decretally elect and the non-decretally elect within the covenant. What is true of the one is true of the other, head for head (see his church Sunday School lectures on the covenant). When pressed on his position, however, he will admit a distinction without a difference by asserting that there is a distinction between the elect and the non-elect in the covenant. However, for the life of him, he can NEVER articulate what that difference is. He has never done so. Ever. It wouldn’t be that one is regenerated and the other isn’t, would it? No, that would be way too simple and direct. Instead, he abuses John 15 to say that what is true of one is true of all.

Lastly, let me just put forth my understanding of John 15. A knowledge of horticulture is handy here. There are branches that are called “suckers.” They grow straight up, never bear fruit, and simply steal away sap from the productive branches. They are parasitic, not vital. The fundamental point in John 15 is NOT the undifferentiated nature of the branches, but rather the contrast between the kinds of branches, namely, that some are fruit-bearing by their very nature, and others are not. John 15 never deals with mere branches without qualification. The branches are of two types: fruit-bearing and non-fruit-bearing. The point of John 15 is not that non-fruit-bearing branches have a vital relationship to Christ, but rather that they are as good as dead (vs 6). The FV’ers over-read the phrase ἐν ἐμοὶ to make it say something of which it cannot bear the weight. One cannot harp on the “in me” phrase to the exclusion of everything else in the passage, which clearly differentiates between fruit-bearing and non-fruit-bearing. We can ask the question this way: what constitutes life in John 15? Is it sap, or is it fruit? It is clearly the latter.

A Major Publishing Event

There are not many one-volume systematic theologies out there. Berkhof comes to mind for most. However, this volume will not only be a challenger to the position Berkhof has enjoyed, but may actually surpass it. This ST seeks to cull the best insights from biblical theology in its pages, as well as other disciplines.

A Book for the Season

Advent season is coming up (for those who want to celebrate Christmas!). I do not wish to engage in that debate. I merely want to point out a book that would be very useful for anyone desiring to focus on the beauty of the Incarnation ‘long about November 30 and following.

The book itself is a collection of sermons on the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke, as well as the first chapter of John, which focuses quite a bit of attention on the Incarnation. Dan Doriani is doing the Matthew commentary in the Reformed Expository Commentary (which will be coming out in December, Lord-willing), Phil Ryken is doing Luke, and Rick Phillips is doing John, all in this series. Luke and John will probably come out next year. In addition, then, to giving help for the Christmas season, this book also gives the reader a preview of coming attractions.

One other note is in order before continuing on to discuss the substance of what is said, and that is that there are significant liturgical helps in the back of the book, including an essay by Mark Dalbey on Christ-centered worship connected to the Nativity; an order of worship for a Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols (submitted by Rick Phillips), and 5 newly composed Christmas carols, the music written by Paul Jones (music director at Tenth Presbyterian Church), and the words written by Phil Ryken, James Boice, Paul Jones, Derek Thomas, and Eric Alexander. And lastly, there is an appendix of Dan Doriani’s reflections on Christmas customs. The appendices make for a well-rounded discussion of Christmas. The only thing lacking is a defense of celebrating Christmas, with an eye to explaining to those who don’t celebrate it why it is done. But a book cannot do everything. This book does almost everything you would want out of a book that is intended to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

The Matthew sermons take one through chapters 1-2 of Matthew. Just for comparison’s sake, here are my four sermons covering the same material (1, 2, 3, and 4). Doriani makes the following points: that the identity of Jesus if important (including the Gentiles who are in the family line!); Jesus is from the family line of David, but is not from the flesh of David (p. 23); God is with us in Jesus; how one responds to the command to worship Jesus is all-important (an interesting and helpful incidental note is that Joseph and Mary probably used the gifts of the magi to fund their flight to Egypt, p. 50); and the search for Jesus to end his life is part of the far larger picture of Genesis 3 and the battle of the seeds.

Phil’s sermons take the organization of the Latin names for the songs of the nativity in Luke: Magnificat (go here for the most beautiful musical rendering of the text EVER); Benedictus (listen to Telemann’s rendering); Gloria in Excelsis Deo (listen to Bach’s rendering); Nunc Dimittis (Holst has an excellent rendition). There is not much I could say about these sermons that wouldn’t be gilding the lily. They are simply brilliant.

Rick takes on the monumental task of preaching on John 1:1-18. He does a great job of keeping the reader’s head above water (for it would be quite easy to drown in such deep waters). Rick keeps the Gospel front and center, as is evident from pp. 144-145, where Rick ties in the living Word to our human sin problem in a very helpful way. Also, Rick uses illustrations in a way that actually supports the point he is trying to make, rather than simply quoting an illustration for the sake of telling a story to entertain. The illustration about Harry Ironside on pp. 154-155 is eminently quotable, but also makes the point that the Gospel changes people by warming them to their Savior.

New Mark Commentary

The new BECNT commentary on Mark is now out, which makes three volumes of BECNT coming out in just one month. This commentary is by one of the premier Synoptic scholars in the world, Robert Stein. One can only hope that he will also be able to write a commentary on Matthew (he has already written a commentary on Luke in the NAC series).

One Week After The Election …

And We’re Still O.k.

Post-Obama Election Reflections on God’s Goodness to His People



 Reed DePace, Pastor, 1st Presbyterian Church of Montgomery, AL

 

[I've been surprised at how many Christians were troubled by Barack Obama's election. This is an abbreviated version of a longer article I wrote for our congregation addressing this topic. So as not to take up too much of Lane's space I'm posting here the main arguments, leaving the particular applications out. You can find the full article here.]



 

           Monday, November 3, 2008; my email inbox was filled with dire warnings of the results if Senator Barack Obama was elected President. An imminent collapse into Marxism, open persecution of those who disagree with Senator Obama, riots even if he won; all these scenarios (and more) were sure to follow Senator Obama’s election to the Presidency of the most powerful nation in history.

           So here I sit one week after the election, and … well I’m still here doing what I was doing before the election of President-elect Obama. No one has taken away any of my freedoms, or the freedoms of anyone I know. The economy is still a mess, and yet we haven’t descended into a Marxist nightmare, nor are masses of Americans starving. There were no riots, no armed insurrections, and no rebellion of military units, none of the kinds of responses that so often mark contentious elections in other nations.

          Why? Why is it that not only are things the same immediately after President-elect Obama’s election as before it, as well why does it look like the election of Mr. Obama is not going to prove to be the demise of the United States, and the Church in it, that so many Christians are afraid it will be?

           I suggest that we need to consider the election of President-elect Obama through the corrective lens of the doctrine of God’s Providence[*]:

 

God[†] —the great Creator of all things— upholds1, directs, disposes, and governs all creatures, actions, and things2, from the greatest even to the least3.

 

He exercises this most wise and holy providence4, according to His infallible foreknowledge5, and the free and unchangeable counsel of His own will6, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy7.

 

          To reference just one of the biblical passages noted here, consider a rather startling one, one that reflects on circumstances even worse than the underlying fears many of us struggle with in Mr. Obama’s election: [Peter, in his sermon on Pentecost, addressing the gathering Jews, said]

 

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. ~ Acts 2:23

 

          Note what God says: men made their choice to crucify Christ, AND it was only because God sovereignly ordained beforehand that they would so choose that they did so! This is Providence at its most startling. God plans for His own Son’s death and then so directs, disposes, and governs all things that men freely fulfill His will.

          If Providence is so with the most significant event in the history of mankind, what must we conclude about the election of Mr. Obama? Must we not acknowledge that God heard the prayers of all His people, and to those of us who prayed Mr. Obama would not be our new president, God said, “no.” God, who loves his children said no. Hmmm …

          Now, I guess one could wander off at this point, like the child who goes off to sulk and wonder in increasing fear whether or not his father really does love him. But I’d prefer to act like the child who trusts his father enough to pester him with a few, “why Father, why?” If with me, you choose the latter, you will soon discover another startling truth about God’s Providence[‡]:

 

As, in general, the providence of God reaches to all creatures; so in a very special way, it cares for His Church and disposes all things for its good8.

 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

 

          Note this: God’s Providence does not rule over everything aimlessly. Even more, God’s Providence does not rule over some things for the sake of His children. God’s Providence rules over all things – everything happens the way it does because God intends to use everything that happens to bless His children. This particularly applies to the election of Mr. Obama:

 

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities [including President-elect Obama]. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. … for he [President-elect Obama] is God’s servant for your good. … ~ Romans 13:1-4

 

          Note the italicized section. Do you believe God has placed Mr. Obama in authority over you, for your good? This is God’s promise to His children. And of course, when we think about it, we are not so surprised. …

          Let’s conclude here by remembering that God’s children are called to walk by faith, not by sight (2Co 5:7).

          From sight, from the way things ordinarily work in this world of ours, we may have some justification in expecting that Mr. Obama’s election will produce harm. Yet remember that by sight we are seeing things the way they are in a world caught in the grip of a curse relentlessly bent on the world’s destruction!

          This may be the only way the unbeliever can perceive things, but not so the children of God. Scripture makes it explicitly clear, there can be no debate, that the election of Mr. Obama is a blessing from the hands of a heavenly Father Who only knows how to give His children even more than they can think to ask (Eph 3:20).

          Do you believe this? In spite of any struggles you may have had in contemplating Mr. Obama’s election, do you believe God loves you in Christ? When all the debates and disagreements are over, do you believe God cannot lie?  

          If so, I urge you, take your concerns, your doubts, and your fears, and take them to your Father and lay them before Him. Pray for your unbelief. Pray God will change your frustrations with Mr. Obama’s election into rejoicing. Pray for President-elect Obama, his conversion and his success in ruling in righteousness.

          In Mr. Obama’s election, the children of God have a great opportunity laid before them. There are no reasons to be discouraged, no call for fear. Our Father is sovereign, He does love us, and He has specifically promised that President-elect Obama is His blessing for us. Please, let us not be like children who doubt their father’s love. Instead, let us with joy pursue God’s promise to bless us in President-elect Obama.

 



 [*] Westminster Confession of Faith, Modern English Study Version, Great Commission Publications, 1993; chapter , paragraph 1.

[†] Scripture references for superscripted numbers: 1-Neh 9:6; Ps 145:14-16, Heb 1:3. 2-Dan 4:34-35; Ps 135:6; Ac 2:23; 17:25-28; Job 38:1-41:34. 3-Mt 10:29-31; see 6:26-32. 4-Pr 15:3; 2Ch 16:9. Ps 104:24; 145:17. 5-Ac 15:18; Isa 42:9; Ezk 11:5. 6-Eph 1:11; Ps 33:10-11. 7-Isa 63:14; Eph 3:10; Rom 9:17; Gn 45:7; Ps 145:7.

[‡] WCF, chapter 5, paragraph 7.

 

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