We wrap up a discussion of the Westminster Confession with the “Bad News” that leads to the “Good News”!
A week for many questions, much interaction, and some speculative Theology. Please listen carefully for how often I qualify my answers and explanations. There is so much speculative theology out there that is taught as if it is fact. I am sure some of my thoughts can be corrected (I say so) but I’m also sure that many “answers” are confident speculation. That being said I hope this lesson will spur on personal thought, meditation, and study.
Another missing week sorry! Week 11 The Church is no longer in my files. May have to come back to that one since it’s such an important doctrine.
However, this lesson on other issues is a good one.
You may need a copy of the book of confessions to make sense of this study it can be found here
The real meat and potatoes of the Reformed Tradition. How do you know you are saved? What merit does your good works bring to God? Can you lose your salvation? All these are centered in the absolute Sovereign Grace of God. Not in your weak and temporary choices!
Praise be to God for sanctification. What a wonderful gift and doctrine!
Oh NO Mr. Bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The audio of week 7 is missing. Nowhere to be found on my hard drive. Here’s an outline of the lessons plan. You will need and EPC copy of the Westminster Confession and of course a Bible ( I normally read from the NIV (Reformation Study Bible of course) due to the common use of this text (although I strongly recommend the ESV Study Bible as well when asked).
The Westminster Confession of Faith
Week 7: Justification and Saving Faith
2 Corinthians 4:13-15 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Read Chapter 11 section 1 of Westminster Confession
Read Chapter 11 Section 3:
So we are justified by Faith – what is faith?
“A firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence towards us,
founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ,
both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts
through the Holy Spirit.”
John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Read chapter 14 section 1 – of Westminster Confession – Saving Faith
Faith is a gift from God read:
Hebrews 12:2-3 .
We also show our salvation in our behavior:
So this leads to a very common question: “Am I saved”?
• Are you aware of the debt of death your sins bears?
• Do you; despite that knowledge, know and believe that God loves you?
• Have you submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
If you answer yes then you have been chosen by God – otherwise you couldn’t even feel that way.
Our confidence in salvation is not in our own confession of Christ but in Christ himself!
Read Chapter 11 Section 5
Chapter 14 Section 3:
1 Corinthians 10:13
Hebrews 10:22-25 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The truth is that many try to say there is a war between my Choosing God and God Choosing me in scripture they will point to texts that in essence say, “Choose you this day….” But then they want to ignore texts that say things like, “You were saved by grace not by works …” The reality is that the Christian must have a doctrine that allows all of scripture to be true. You can believe that God sovereignly chooses to save whom He will, and that because of that I am able to choose God in return.
You cannot say both, “God is sovereign over all the world, God rules over every mote of dust in the universe” and “I can deny His grace”. Well you can say it but you can’t say it and remain, biblical or logical. God is either God or He is not.
don’t read Phillipian’s 2:12 without reading verse 13 also:
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
This paradox of the faith is not to be denied. I must work out my faith with fear and trembling while at the same time being comforted by the truth that God works in and through me for His good purpose.
Amen, hallelujah, and all glory be to God!
Before you get very upset I would suggest you study all the scriptures above. Your argument is ultimately with scripture not with this mere mortal man.
Do we have Free Will? The short answer is yes! But the more important question is What is free will? Let’s find out:
It’s fun listening through (parts) of these lessons. This week I’m being rushed along as the praise team is playing in the sanctuary because I’ve run over on Sunday School. I have to say I like our new (old) schedule of Church first then Sunday School!
Hope you enjoy the lesson.
My nickname for God’s eternal decrees – The Inconvenient Doctrine is explained as we look at God’s total and complete Sovereign Grace
I can’t deny the complexity of the topic – and I pray this brings more clarity than confusion.