Quote of the Week

Today we hear from Doug Kelly, from his commentary on Revelation, p. 292:

I have never understood how, when the gospel is explained, and the great love of God to us in Jesus is held forth, some people are angered and will not accept it. After a fairly long preaching and teaching ministry, I have gained the impression that preaching the sheer grace of God is far more likely to anger sinners than preaching the requirements of the law. In my early years, I had assumed that it would be the opposite, but the years taught me better.

I will never forget one Sunday night, many years ago, at an evening service at the First Presbyterian Church, Dillon. I preached a rather long sermon on Psalm 22, setting forth the wonderful grace of God in Christ, who was forsaken that we need never be forsaken, whose blood is the only thing that can get any sinner into heaven. One man at that service became extremely angry. he was not angry over the length of the sermon, but over what was said. At times, I have made people angry, but I have never seen a person more infuriated than on that night. That older gentleman said something like this: “What do you mean by saying we cannot do something to please God to help us get into heaven, and that if we do good works, they are not sufficient? I have never heard such things! You are excluding people here who are trying to do good.” I quietly and calmly replied, “Well, do not argue with me; argue with the Lord.”

It worked out well. Time went by, and he was getting into the Word of God, attending every service and reading Holy Scripture daily. God saved his soul! Then he was very glad that grace would be preached. Sinners do not like the law, but there is something they like even less: the mercy of God in the cleansing blood of Christ, that requires them humbly to bow at the foot of the cross. But keep preaching it, for it is the only way lost men and women can get in touch with that tabernacle and the God whom it represents.

10 Comments

  1. September 17, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Wow. What a powerful example of how the gospel, preached without compromise, confronts sinners. A well-chosen “quote of the month . I’m waiting, semi-patiently, for the final two volumes of Kelly’s systematic theology. (Yes, it’ll be four volumes!)

  2. Kevin said,

    September 19, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Getting people to understand Romans 5:10 we will be saved by His life and not ours is one of the biggest challenges in sharing with lost people, especially those in the meritocracy of Rome.

  3. Reed Here said,

    September 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    :)

  4. roberty bob said,

    September 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    What a lovely :) smile!

    at #2 Kevin . . .

    The Romans 5:10 reference pertains to our Lord’s resurrection life, which rejuvenates all Christian believers [yes, we are saved by his atoning death, but think of how much more we will be saved when the full impact of his resurrection has its powerful transforming effect upon us and within us!]. As important as it was for Jesus to live a life free from sin before he laid down his life as a sacrifice of atonement, the Apostle is not drawing our attention to the idea that Jesus lived the perfect life that was beyond our ability to live.

    I get the sense, Kevin, that whenever you mention “being saved by His life” from Romans 5:10, as you have done many times, that you are pointing at Jesus sinless life the preceded his the cross rather than the power of his resurrection life that is now poured out by his Holy Spirit.

    You may correct me if I have misrepresented your position.
    ……

    As for exhorting everyone to do what is good, is this not a priority in our preaching? Consider the Apostle Paul’s example in Titus chapter 3, where he says, “And I want you to stress these things [the gospel of justification by grace through faith] so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”
    ……

    So, is it possible to preach the gospel of saving grace in a way that also encourages everyone to devote themselves to doing good since the doing of good is excellent and profitable for everyone, and well pleasing to the Lord?

  5. Kevin said,

    September 23, 2015 at 8:23 am

    robery bob, absolutely those jbfa do good. Those are the works preparrd for us by God. We dont need our works, God doesnt need them, they ate for our neighbor.

  6. Kevin said,

    September 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Observation, i am watching the worship of a man as it had never been seen in the modern world, the media fully complicit. People fawning all over him, touching, kissing, one man went into convulsion. All for a man whose religion has bewitched the gullible world. In total form, the pope canonized a man name serra yesterday who tortured and imprisoned native americans when the Catholic Church missionaries came to California in the early 1800’s. He mortified himself by by strapping wire to himself, whipping himself, and burning himself with candles. If he would have known the pope was going to make him a saint, could have saved allot of pain. Not one crusader martyr made sainthood that was promised forgiveness of sins and sainthood for martyrdom in the Catholic crusades, but this guy is golden. Amazing stuff. The grestest hoax ever perpetuated on the world, 1.25 billion of them. Wide is the gate.

  7. Kevin said,

    September 26, 2015 at 10:28 am

    30000 people standing ovation at mass Madison square garden, fawning, kissing his ring, pawing at him, and lttle Jesus on the pope stick still on the cross. No words necessary. Thats Roman Catholicism. 1 billion of them. And Protestants just embeacing it, media complicit. Its bewitched the gullible world.

  8. roberty bob said,

    September 26, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    to #5 Kevin,

    Tomorrow morning in my adult class I am teaching from Matthew 5:17-48. At verse 19 Jesus says, “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments [of the Torah] and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpass that of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    So, the same commandments given by God through His servant Moses are being fulfilled by our Lord Jesus and by all who faithfully practice and teach them. Yes, our neighbors will be blessed by our obedience to God’s commandments.

    But you say that we don’t need to do these works, and that God doesn’t need them from us. Are you saying, then, that the commandments do not have to be practiced by us and taught by us?

    Or do you agree with me that we do have to practice them and teach them, as Jesus said, but that our justification [being saved / reckoned as righteous before God] is not attained for having done any of what Jesus commanded?

  9. Kevin said,

    September 27, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Roberty bob, news flash, Jesus already FULFILLED the law. He lived the law in our place, fulfilled all righteouness. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Abraham wasnt righteous because he practised righteouness, he was righteous because he believed. God did a covenant ratification ceremony right after 15:6, Abe was in good standing. The medieval church saw the gospel as enabling someone thru obedience and compensation for their lack to attain salvation. But Jesus isnt a softer Moses with an easier law, He is the fulfilment of the law. We arent in a savable state, vut a saved state. Ephessians 1 : 7. We HAVE redemption, not will have.

  10. roberty bob said,

    September 28, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Kevin, I believe, as you do, that Jesus fulfilled the Law. He obeyed the Law to its fullest extent. He also taught and interpreted the Law in a way that revealed its true meaning — how we, his disciples, must live according to it. This is evident in Matthew 5:17 on through the end of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. So, our Lord fulfilled all righteousness.

    If by saying “He lived the law in our place . . . doing for us what we could not do for ourselves” you imply that it is not necessary for us to live according to the Law since we can’t succeed at doing it perfectly, I disagree. While it is clear from Scripture that Christ died in our place, it is never explicitly stated that Christ lived the Law in our place. My view is that by fulfilling the Law through his sinless obedience, Christ could offer himself as the Lamb of God to make the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. Then, as a result of the atonement and of Christ being raised to newness of life, the Holy Spirit is poured out and the “Law of the Spirit of Life” holds sway in the justified believer so that the righteous requirements of the Law are fully met in him.

    Abraham believed God’s promise, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness. This is what the Lord says about Abraham: I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him (Gen. 18:19). As you can see, it was necessary for Abraham the justified believer to practice righteousness by doing what is right and just in order for the promise to come come to fruition.

    You are right, Jesus is not a softer Moses with an easier Law. He is a mature Moses who leads us into the heavenly kingdom by teaching us how to live like our Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48). Jesus goes far beyond the childish Pharisees and teachers of the Law who claimed to be followers of Moses, but were not.


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