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Doctrine #5- of Perserverance. Part 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 29 September 2008 20:40

In this Series, I have tried to explain, in short and simple outline, that God, in His Sovereignty, before Creation, pre-destined, unconditionally, particular sinners to be members of His Covenant People, the Elect, the Church and to ultimately share in His Glory. He effectively called these people through their hearing of His Word (the Law and the Gospel) and in so doing regenerated them, freeing their will from its bondage to their fallen sin nature and thus enabling them to choose Christ. And then to choose daily to obey Christ as His Disciple.


This begins the process of Salvation [have been saved, am being saved, shall be saved]. There is an order to this process: Regeneration, Faith, Repentance, [Conversion], Union with Christ, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification and Glorification.  


Much frustration, failure, disappointment and discouragement with Christians and with the Christian Life comes from failure to know  about this process and its stages.   And in my experience, almost no laypeople have this knowledge, especially today’s young people.  Let’s go over a few basics more deeply.


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Doctrine #5- Perserverance, Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 29 September 2008 20:35


Sanctification

Out of our standing, our legal or “forensic” position (being in union with Christ), comes our experience. This is the necessary process of sanctification. "Necessary" because all who are declared or reckoned to be righteous in Christ must go on to actually be righteous, holy or sanctified. If this were not the case, our justification would be legal fiction. And that will not fly, because it is still true that practicing sinners have no place in a sinless Heaven. Darkness can have no fellowship with Light. Without holiness, no one will see God. The children must become like the Father. We must become holy, even as He is holy.  We set our hearts and minds on this goal.

 

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Introduction to Covenant Theology- Part 5 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 14:51
Reformed Christians argue about the difference between the so-called invisible Church, meaning the Elect and the visible Church meaning the institution in which are both the Elect and the non-Elect together. I believe the latter is what we should consider to be the primary and functional meaning of “Church”.

God the Son not only died for the Elect, He actually founded an organization: “I will build my Church”. He meant an institution of which the Elect would be members. He was not talking about an invisible Body of the Elect. The Church He would build has ordained Leaders (Apostles), a Doctrinal Foundation (based on revealed Truth and grounded in who Christ is), Sacraments (Baptism and Lord‘s Supper), Regulated Worship, and Discipline. This is not an invisible, spiritual Body, but a very visible one. There is no union with Christ apart from union with His Body. This Body, while definitely not synonymous with it, is inseparable from the organized Church. Those who come to saving faith and enter into union with Christ also enter into union with the corporate Body of all other Covenant People.
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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2008 13:36
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Introduction to Covenant Theology-Part 4 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 14:46
What practical difference does all this make? The first difference is in the amount of glory God receives. In this Two-Man, Covenantal approach- salvation is all God, beginning to end. In the usual evangelical approach it is part God and part Man: God offers Salvation, Man decides whether to accept and keep what God offers. In practice, doesn’t that make Man superior?

The second major difference is that the Two-Man, Covenantal approach is a better foundation for assurance and daily Christian living. That is because both of them are grounded and secure in God Himself. It teaches the difference between our objective standing or position in Christ and our subjective experience of being in Christ. Without the former foundation, the latter depends a lot on changing circumstances and feelings and requires the constant search for something to pump us up spiritually.
The third very practical difference has to do with Ecclesiology. I will try to explain next the Church as a Covenant Community.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2008 13:37
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Introduction to Covenant Theology- Part 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 14:41
He began to reveal a Plan in the Bible, called The Covenant of Grace, that He would make with the Elect to counter the effects of the Covenant of Works He had made with Adam.  He began to reveal this Plan to Adam himself, right after his big transgression. This Plan would not fail. The heart of it was (and is) the perfect life and obedience of the One of whom Adam was the “type” (in the Bible, a type is a person or thing prefiguring a future person or thing, such as the Tabernacle was a type of Heaven) Christ is the Second Adam. All of human history is grounded in these two Figures. Amazing! All human beings today are either in union with the First Adam or with the Second Adam. (The most important question you could ask anyone is: “Are you in Adam or in Christ?” Of course, most will have no idea what you are talking about!)

Millions of men, since Adam, had lived, done millions of things, and died. The historical life and singular act of only one of them is “mythic” in the same sense that Adam’s was. The life and act of this one man would change the eternal destiny of hundreds of millions of the sons and daughters of Adam. Christ’s perfect obedience would counter Adam’s disobedience and by it, billions of lost sinners would be saved and become the People that God always wanted.
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