Theology Thursday: Saved into Good Works


WALTER MARSHALL
God saves us from our sinful uncleanness by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, as well as from hell hereafter (Ezek. 36:29; Titus 3:5). Christ was called JESUS, that is, a Saviour, because He saved His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). Therefore it is a part of our salvation to deliver us from our sins, which is begun in this life by justification and sanctification, and perfected by glorification in the life to come.

Though we are not saved by good works, as procuring causes, yet we are saved to good works, as fruits and effects of saving grace, which God has prepared that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). It is, indeed, one part of our salvation to be delivered from the bondage of the covenant of works; but the end of this is, not that we may have liberty to sin (which is the worst of slavery) but that we may fulfill the royal law of liberty, and that we may serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (Gal. 5:13; Rom. 7: 6). Yea, holiness in this life is such a part of our salvation as is a necessary means to make us suitable to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in heavenly light and glory; without holiness we can never see God (Heb. 12:14), and are as unfit for the glorious presence as swine for the presence chamber of an earthly prince. I confess, some may be converted when they are so near the point of death that they may have little time to practice holiness in this world, but the grace of the Spirit is active like fire (Matt. 3:11), and, as soon as it is given, it will immediately produce good inward working of love to God and Christ and His people. This will be sufficient to manifest the righteous judgement of God in saving them at the great day, when He shall judge every man according to His work; though some possibly may not have so much time to discover their inward grace in any outward works, as the thief upon the cross (Luke 23: 40,43). . .

Great multitudes of ignorant people that live under the gospel harden their hearts in sin, and ruin their souls for ever, by trusting on Christ for such an imaginary salvation as does not consist at all in holiness, but only in forgiveness of sin and deliverance from everlasting torments. They would be free from the punishment due to sin, but they love their lusts so well that they hate holiness, and would not be saved from the service of sin. The way to oppose this pernicious delusion is not to deny, as some do, that trusting on Christ for salvation is a saving act of faith, but rather to show that none do or can trust on Christ for true salvation, except they trust on Him for holiness; neither do they heartily desire true salvation, if they do not desire to be made holy and righteous in their hearts and lives. If ever God and Christ give you salvation, holiness will be one part of it; if Christ does not wash you from the filth of your sins, you have no part with Him (John 13:8). What a strange kind of salvation do they desire, that do not care for holiness? They would be saved, and yet be altogether dead in sin, aliens from the life of God, bereft of the image of God, deformed by the image of Satan, his slaves and vassals to their own filthy lusts, utterly unsuitable for the enjoyment of God in glory. Such a salvation as that was never purchased by the blood of Christ, and those that seek it abuse the grace of God in Christ and turn it into lasciviousness.

From Walter Marshall’s. The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.

Originally posted on Monergism.com

Faith’s Checkbook


Loved unto the End”
“For the LORD will not cast off for ever” (Lamentations 3:31).

He may cast away for a season
but not forever. A woman may leave off her ornaments for a few days,
but she will not forget them or throw them upon the dunghill. It is not
like the LORD to cast off those whom He loves, for “having loved his own
which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Some talk of our
being in grace and out of it, as if we were like rabbits that run in and
out of their burrows; but, indeed, it is not so. The LORD’s love is a
far more serious and abiding matter than this.

He chose us from eternity,
and He will love us throughout eternity. He loved us so as to die for
us, and we may therefore be sure that His love will never die. His honor
is so wrapped up in the salvation
of the believer that He can no more cast him of than He can cast off
His own robes of office as King of glory. No, no! The LORD Jesus, as a
Head, never casts off His members; as a Husband, He never casts off His
bride. Did you think you were cast off? Why did you think so evil of the
LORD who has betrothed you to Himself? Cast off such thoughts, and
never let them lodge in your soul again. “The LORD hath not cast away
his people which he foreknew” (Romans 11:2). “He hateth putting away”
(Malachi 2:16).

Christmas Eve


In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin 1 John 4:10

This is my favorite scene in my favorite Christmas movie:

In it Scrooge says that he doesn’t deserve to be this happy but he can’t help himself.

Consider for a moment Christmas. We don’t deserve Christmas. We deserve wrath. We are enemies of God. Haters of Him, in joyful rebellion against everything He stands for. (Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:3)

Yet God loved us enough to give us His Son while we were hating Him!

Think about it, repeat it aloud, God loved us to give us His Son while we were busily hating God.

We don’t deserve Christmas. Yet we get it all the same. We get Christmas!

If this doesn’t make you incredibly happy you are missing the point. We get Christmas, we get a savior, we get our sins forgiven, we become children of God. We don’t deserve it but we get it.

We get Christmas.

Fourth Sunday in Advent ~Love


Here we are just a few short days from Christmas, where we are going tocelebrate the incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.

Reading for fourth Sunday in Advent:
For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. John 3:16-19

This last Sunday, as we try to shrug off the stress of those presents that haven’t quite arrived yet, or finding that last roll of wrapping paper doesn’t quite cover that big present.

Put aside the worries and the stress and think about the fact that the love of God was such that in order to save us he sent his Son to become a man, the God-man, in order to die for our sins, to pay a penalty due us that He didn’t deserve.

Alternate readings: Psalm 24:1-10; Isaiah 7:10-14; Luke 2:8-20; John 1:14; 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:10

Gambol for Joy


For behold, the day comes that shall burn like an oven, and all the proudnand arrogant, yes, and all that do wickedly and are lawless, shall be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and gambol as calves of the stall. Malachi 4:1-2

Have you ever gamboled for joy? No I didn’t spell that wrong, I am not talking about playing with cards. I am talking about leaping for joy! Take a look at the video of theses calves coming out for their first day of spring.

They leap feeling the sun on their skin. Malachi uses this symbol to speak of the joy that the day of the Lord will bring to those that fear His name.

Christ is returning! Gambol for joy! Christmas is coming! Gambol for joy!

Advent Hymn: For you who fear my name Welcome Wagon

Third Sunday in Advent


The third Sunday in Advent is dedicated to Joy.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

This week we will meditate on the joy of Christ’s coming

Alternate readings: Psalm 146:5-10; Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 2:8-14

Prepare to be comforted


Comfort you, comfort you my people, said your God. Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:1-3

Does Christmas comfort you? Or does the thought of the return of Christ comfort you?

Are you instead looking at the date and thinking about what you haven’t bought. Or are you waiting for what you bought to come in the mail? Does this bring you comfort?

The time before Christmas can be the most uncomfortable time. Because we are concentrating on something other than what Christmas is all about.

Paul says this in Corinthians:

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Are you having troubles? Allow God to comfort you. Are friends having troubles? Go comfort them with the comfort God has prepared.

Be prepared…


So once upon a time I was a boy scout. Now this was when you earned merit badges for knot tying, and learning how to construct a campfire correctly. But one of the things they stressed above almost anything was to be prepared.

Now consider this man:

And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:25-26

Here is a man who was prepared to meet Christ. Nothing in the text suggests at what age the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he was going to see Christ. Personally I think that he was maybe in thirties when it was revealed. But that is purely speculation. Point is Simeon woke up every day prepared to meet the Lord’s Christ. Every day he waited for the appearance. And when it wasn’t that day he went back home and trusted what the Holy Spirit told him. He was prepared every day to meet Christ.

Now Advent has two aspects. First it is to prepare us for Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation of the God-Man Jesus. But it is also to remind us that Christ is returning. We have, like Simeon, a testament from the Holy Spirit. The only difference is that it is written one.

So every day are we prepared to meet Christ? Let’s be prepared.