God’s Decree (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. This is just the third chapter of the confession. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 3 – God’s Decree (In Full)

From all eternity God decreed everything that occurs, without reference to anything outside himself. He did this by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably. Yet God did this in such a way that he is neither the author of sin nor has fellowship with any in their sin. This decree does not violate the will of the creature or take away the free working or contingency of second causes. On the contrary, these are established by God’s decree. In this decree God’s wisdom is displayed in directing all things, and his power and faithfulness are demonstrated in accomplishing his decree.

God knows everything that could happen under any given conditions. However, his decree of anything is not based on foreseeing it in the future or foreseeing that it would occur under such conditions.

By God’s decree, and for the demonstration of his glory, some human beings and angels are predestined (or foreordained) to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace. Others are left to live in their sin, leading to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.

These predestined and foreordained angels and people are individually and unchangeably designated, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or decreased.

Those people who are predestined to life were chosen by God before the foundation of the world, according to his eternal and unchangeable purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will. He chose them in Christ for eternal glory, purely as a result of his free grace and love, without anything else about them serving as a condition or cause moving him to do so.

Just as God has appointed the elect to glory, so he has by the eternal and completely free purpose of his will foreordained all the means. Therefore, those who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ and effectually called to faith in Christ by his Spirit working at the appropriate time. They are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith to salvation. No one but the elect are redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved.

The doctrine of the high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care so that those heeding the will of God revealed in his Word and obeying him may be assured of their eternal election by the certainty of their effectual calling. In this way this doctrine will give reasons for praise, reverence, and admiration of God, as well as humility, diligence and rich comfort to all who sincerely obey the gospel.

 

Chapter 3 – God’s Decree (w/ Scripture) ESV

 -From all eternity God decreed everything that occurs, without reference to anything outside himself.

(Isaiah 46:10, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’)

(Ephesians 1:11, In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,)

(Hebrews 6:17, So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,)

(Romans 9:15, For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”)

(Romans 9:18, So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.)

-He did this by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably. Yet God did this in such a way that he is neither the author of sin nor has fellowship with any in their sin.

(James 1:13, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.)

(1 John 1:5, This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.)

-This decree does not violate the will of the creature or take away the free working or contingency of second causes. On the contrary, these are established by God’s decree.

(Acts 4:27-28, for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.)

(John 19:11, Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”)

-In this decree God’s wisdom is displayed in directing all things, and his power and faithfulness are demonstrated in accomplishing his decree.

(Numbers 23:19, God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?)

(Ephesians 1:3–5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  he predestined us[a] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,)

-God knows everything that could happen under any given conditions.

(Acts 15:18, known from of old.’)

-However, his decree of anything is not based on foreseeing it in the future or foreseeing that it would occur under such conditions.

(Romans 9:1, I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit)

(Romans 9:3, For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.)

(Romans 9:11, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls)

(Romans 9:16, So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.)

(Romans 9:18, So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.)

-By God’s decree, and for the demonstration of his glory, some human beings and angels are predestined (or foreordained) to eternal life through Jesus Christ,

(1 Timothy 5:21, In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.)

(Matthew 25:34, Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.)

-to the praise of his glorious grace.

(Ephesians 1:5-6, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.)

-Others are left to live in their sin, leading to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.

(Romans 9:22-23, What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory)

(Jude 4, For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.)

-These predestined and foreordained angels and people are individually and unchangeably designated, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or decreased.

(2 Timothy 2:19, But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”)

(John 13:18, I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’)

-Those people who are predestined to life were chosen by God before the foundation of the world, according to his eternal and unchangeable purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will. He chose them in Christ for eternal glory, purely as a result of his free grace and love,

(Ephesians 1:4, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love)

(Ephesians 1:9, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ)

(Ephesians 1:11, In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,)

(Romans 8:30, And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.)

(2 Timothy 1:9, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,)

(1 Thessalonians 5:9, For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,)

-without anything else about them serving as a condition or cause moving him to do so.

(Romans 9:13, As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”)

(Romans 9:16, So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.)

(Ephesians 2:5, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved)

(Ephesians 2:12, remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.)

-Just as God has appointed the elect to glory, so he has by the eternal and completely free purpose of his will foreordained all the means.

(1 Peter 1:2, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.)

(2 Thessalonians 2:13, But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.)

-Therefore, those who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ

(1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.)

-and effectually called to faith in Christ by his Spirit working at the appropriate time. They are justified, adopted, sanctified,

(Romans 8:30, And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.)

(2 Thessalonians 2:13, But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

-and kept by his power through faith to salvation.

(1 Peter 1:5, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.)

-No one but the elect are redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved.

(John 10:26, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.)

(John 17:9, I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.)

(John 6:64, But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)

-The doctrine of the high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care so that those heeding the will of God revealed in his Word and obeying him may be assured of their eternal election by the certainty of their effectual calling.

(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.)

(2 Peter 1:10, Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.)

-In this way this doctrine will give reasons for praise,

(Ephesians 1:6, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.)

(Romans 11:33, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!)

-reverence, and admiration of God, as well as humility,

(Romans 11:5-6, So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.)

(Romans 11:20, That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.)

-diligence and rich comfort to all who sincerely obey the gospel.

(Luke 10:20, Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

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God and the Holy Trinity (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. This is just the second chapter of the confession. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 2 – God and the Holy Trinity (In Full)

The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God. He is self-existent and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him. He is a perfectly pure spirit. He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions. He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach. He is unchangeable,immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, in every way infinite, absolutely holy, perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will for his own glory. He is most loving, gracious, merciful, and patient. He overflows with goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. He rewards those who seek him diligently. At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments. He hates all sin and will certainly not clear the guilty.

God has all life, glory, goodness, and blessedness in and of himself; he alone is all-sufficient in himself. He does not need any creature he has made nor does he derive any glory from them. Instead, he demonstrates his own glory in them, by them, to them, and upon them. He alone is the source of all being, and everything is from him, through him, and to him. He has absolute sovereign rule over all creatures, to act through them, for them, or upon them as he pleases. In his sight everything is open and visible. His knowledge is infinite and infallible. It does not depend upon any creature, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain. He is absolutely holy in all his plans, in all his works, and in all his commands. Angels and human beings owe to him all the worship, service, or obedience that creatures owe to the Creator and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.

This divine and infinite Being consists of three real persons, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three have the same substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence without this essence being divided. The Father is not derived from anyone, neither begotten nor proceeding. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. All three are infinite and without beginning and are therefore only one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being. Yet these three are distinguished by several distinctive characteristics and personal relations. This truth of the Trinity is the foundation of all of our fellowship with God and of our comforting dependence on him.

Chapter 2 – God and the Holy Trinity (w/ Scripture) ESV

-The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God.

(1 Corinthians 8:4, Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”)

(1 Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.)

(Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.)

-He is self-existent

(Jeremiah 10:10; But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.)

(Isaiah 48:12, “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.)

-and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him.

(Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’)

-He is a perfectly pure spirit.

(John 4:24, God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”)

-He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions. He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach.

(1 Timothy 1:17, To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.)

(Deuteronomy 4:15-16, “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,)

-He is unchangeable,

(Malachi 3:6, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.)

-immense,

(1 Kings 8:27, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!)

(Jeremiah 23:23, “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?)

-eternal,

(Psalm 90:2, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.)

-incomprehensible, almighty,

(Genesis 17:1, When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,)

-in every way infinite, absolutely holy,

(Isaiah 6:3, And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”)

-perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will

(Psalm 115:3, Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.)

(Isaiah 46:10, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,)

-for his own glory.

(Proverbs 16:4, The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.)

(Romans 11:36, For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.)

-He is most loving, gracious, merciful, and patient. He overflows with goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. He rewards those who seek him diligently.

(Exodus 34:6-7, The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”)

(Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.)

-At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments.

(Nehemiah 9:32-33, “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.)

-He hates all sin

(Psalm 5:5-6, The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.)

-and will certainly not clear the guilty.

(Exodus 34:7, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”)

(Nahum 1:2-3, The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.)

-God has all life,

(John 5:26, For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself)

-glory,

(Psalm 148:13, Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.)

-goodness,

(Psalm 119:68, You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.)

-and blessedness in and of himself; he alone is all-sufficient in himself. He does not need any creature he has made nor does he derive any glory from them.

(Job 22:2-3, “Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself. Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?)

-Instead, he demonstrates his own glory in them, by them, to them, and upon them. He alone is the source of all being, and everything is from him, through him, and to him.

(Romans 11:34–36, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.)

-He has absolute sovereign rule over all creatures, to act through them, for them, or upon them as he pleases.

(Daniel 4:25, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.)

(Daniel 4:25,34-35, At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”)

-In his sight everything is open and visible.

(Hebrews 4:13, And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.)

-His knowledge is infinite and infallible. It does not depend upon any creature, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain.

(Ezekiel 11:5, And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the Lord: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.)

(Acts 15:18, known from of old.’)

-He is absolutely holy in all his plans, in all his works,

(Psalm 145:17, The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.)

-and in all his commands. Angels and human beings owe to him all the worship, service, or obedience that creatures owe to the Creator and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.

(Revelation 5:12–14, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.)

-This divine and infinite Being consists of three real persons, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit.

(1 John 5:7, For there are three that testify:)

(Matthew 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit)

(2 Corinthians 13:14, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.)

-These three have the same substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence without this essence being divided.

(Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’)

(John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;1 believe also in me.)

(John 14:11, Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.)

(Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.)

-The Father is not derived from anyone, neither begotten nor proceeding. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father.

(John 1:14, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.)

(John 1:18, No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.)

-The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

(John 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, the will bear witness about me)

(Galatians 4:6, And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”)

-All three are infinite and without beginning and are therefore only one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being. Yet these three are distinguished by several distinctive characteristics and personal relations. This truth of the Trinity is the foundation of all of our fellowship with God and of our comforting dependence on him.

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

The Holy Scriptures (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. This is just the first chapter of the confession. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 1 – The Holy Scriptures (In Full)

The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain, and infallible standard of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. The light of nature and the works of creation and providence so clearly demonstrate the goodness, wisdom, and power of God that people are left without excuse; however, these demonstrations are not sufficient to give the knowledge of God and his will that is necessary for salvation. Therefore, the Lord was pleased at different times and in various ways to reveal himself and to declare his will to his church.  To preserve and propagate the truth better and to establish and comfort the church with greater certainty against the corruption of the flesh and the malice of Satan and the world, the Lord put this revelation completely in writing. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures are absolutely necessary, because God’s former ways of revealing his will to his people have now ceased.

The Holy Scriptures, or the Word of God written, consist of all the books of the Old and New Testaments. These are:

THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.

All of these are given by the inspiration of God to be the standard of faith and life.

The books commonly called the Apocrypha were not given by divine inspiration and so are not part of the canon or standard of the Scriptures. Therefore, they have no authority for the church of God and are not to be recognized or used in any way different from other human writings.

The authority of the Holy Scriptures obligates belief in them. This authority does not depend on the testimony of any person or church but on God the author alone, who is truth itself. Therefore, the Scriptures are to be received because they are the Word of God.

The testimony of the church of God may stir and persuade us to adopt a high and reverent respect for the Holy Scriptures. Moreover, the heavenliness of the contents, the power of the system of truth, the majesty of the style, the harmony of all the parts, the central focus on giving all glory to God, the full revelation of the only way of salvation, and many other incomparable qualities and complete perfections, all provide abundant evidence that the Scriptures are the Word of God. Even so, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority of the Scriptures comes from the internal work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

The whole counsel of God concerning everything essential for his own glory and man’s salvation, faith, and life is either explicitly stated or by necessary inference contained in the Holy Scriptures. Nothing is ever to be added to the Scriptures, either by new revelation of the Spirit or by human traditions.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge that the inward illumination of the Spirit of God is necessary for a saving understanding of what is revealed in the Word. We recognize that some circumstances concerning the worship of God and government of the church are common to human actions and organizations and are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian wisdom, following the general rules of the Word, which must always be observed.

Some things in Scripture are clearer than others, and some people understand the teachings more clearly than others. However, the things that must be known, believed, and obeyed for salvation are so clearly set forth and explained in one part of Scripture or another that both the educated and uneducated may achieve a sufficient understanding of them by properly using ordinary measures.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the native language of the ancient people of God. The New Testament was written in Greek, which at the time it was written was most widely known to the nations. These Testaments were inspired directly by God and by his unique care and providence were kept pure down through the ages. They are therefore true and authoritative, so that in all religious controversies the church must make their ultimate appeal to them. All God’s people have a right to and a claim on the Scriptures and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them. Not all of God’s people know these original languages, so the Scriptures are to be translated into the common language of every nation to which they come. In this way the Word of God may dwell richly in all, so that they may worship him in an acceptable manner and through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

The infallible rule for interpreting Scripture is the Scripture itself. Therefore, when there is a question about the true and full meaningc of any part of Scripture (and each passage has only one meaning, not many), it must be understood in light of other passages that speak more clearly.

The supreme judge for deciding all religious controversies and for evaluating all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, human teachings, and individual interpretations, and in whose judgment we are to rest, is nothing but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit. In this Scripture our faith finds its final word.

 

Chapter 1 – The Holy Scriptures (w/ Scripture) ESV

-The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain, and infallible standard of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience,

(2 Timothy 3:15-17, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.)

(Isaiah 8:20, To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.)

(Luke 16:29, But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.)

(Luke 16:31, He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”)

(Ephesians 2:20, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,)

The light of nature and the works of creation and providence so clearly demonstrate the goodness, wisdom, and power of God that people are left without excuse; however, these demonstrations are not sufficient to give the knowledge of God and his will that is necessary for salvation. Therefore, the Lord was pleased at different times and in various ways to reveal himself and to declare his will to his church.

(Romans 1:19–21, For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.)

(Romans 2:14,15, For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them)

(Psalm 19:1–3, The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.)

-To preserve and propagate the truth better and to establish and comfort the church with greater certainty against the corruption of the flesh and the malice of Satan and the world, the Lord put this revelation completely in writing. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures are absolutely necessary, because God’s former ways of revealing his will to his people have now ceased.

(Hebrews 1:1, Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,)

The Holy Scriptures, or the Word of God written, consist of all the books of the Old and New Testaments. These are:

THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.

-All of these are given by the inspiration of God to be the standard of faith and life.

(2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,)

 (Proverbs 22:19–21, That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you. Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?)

(Romans 15:4, For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.)

(2 Peter 1:19-20, And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.)

-The books commonly called the Apocrypha were not given by divine inspiration and so are not part of the canon or standard of the Scriptures. Therefore, they have no authority for the church of God and are not to be recognized or used in any way different from other human writings.

(Luke 24:27, And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.)

(Luke 24:44, Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”)

(Romans 3:2, Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.)

-The authority of the Holy Scriptures obligates belief in them. This authority does not depend on the testimony of any person or church but on God the author alone, who is truth itself. Therefore, the Scriptures are to be received because they are the Word of God.

(2 Peter 1:19–21, And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.)

(2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,)

(1 Thessalonians 2:13, And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.)

(1 John 5:9, If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.)

-The testimony of the church of God may stir and persuade us to adopt a high and reverent respect for the Holy Scriptures. Moreover, the heavenliness of the contents, the power of the system of truth, the majesty of the style, the harmony of all the parts, the central focus on giving all glory to God, the full revelation of the only way of salvation, and many other incomparable qualities and complete perfections, all provide abundant evidence that the Scriptures are the Word of God. Even so, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority of the Scriptures comes from the internal work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

(John 16:13,14; When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.)

(1 Corinthians 2:10–12; these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.)

(1 John 2:20, 27, But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.)

-The whole counsel of God concerning everything essential for his own glory and man’s salvation, faith, and life is either explicitly stated or by necessary inference contained in the Holy Scriptures. Nothing is ever to be added to the Scriptures, either by new revelation of the Spirit or by human traditions.

(2 Timothy 3:15–17; and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.)

(Galatians 1:8-9, But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.)

-Nevertheless, we acknowledge that the inward illumination of the Spirit of God is necessary for a saving understanding of what is revealed in the Word.

(John 6:45; It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—)

(1 Corinthians 2:9–12, But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.)

-We recognize that some circumstances concerning the worship of God and government of the church are common to human actions and organizations and are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian wisdom, following the general rules of the Word, which must always be observed.

(1 Corinthians 11:13-14; Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,)

(1 Corinthians 14:26, What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.)

(1 Corinthians 14:40, But all things should be done decently and in order.)

-Some things in Scripture are clearer than others, and some people understand the teachings more clearly than others.

(2 Peter 3:16, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.)

-However, the things that must be known, believed, and obeyed for salvation are so clearly set forth and explained in one part of Scripture or another that both the educated and uneducated may achieve a sufficient understanding of them by properly using ordinary measures.

(Psalm 19:7, The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;)

(Psalm 119:130, The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.)

-The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the native language of the ancient people of God.

(Romans 3:2, Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.)

-The New Testament was written in Greek, which at the time it was written was most widely known to the nations. These Testaments were inspired directly by God and by his unique care and providence were kept pure down through the ages. They are therefore true and authoritative, so that in all religious controversies the church must make their ultimate appeal to them.

(Isaiah 8:20, To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.)

-All God’s people have a right to and a claim on the Scriptures and are commanded in the fear of God to read

(Acts 15:15, And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,)

-and search them.

(John 5:39, You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,)

-Not all of God’s people know these original languages, so the Scriptures are to be translated into the common language of every nation to which they come.

(1 Corinthians 14:6, Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?)

(1 Corinthians 14:9, So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.)

(1 Corinthians 14:11-12, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.)

(1 Corinthians 14:24, But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all,)

(1 Corinthians 14:28, But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.)

-In this way the Word of God may dwell richly in all, so that they may worship him in an acceptable manner and through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

(Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.)

-The infallible rule for interpreting Scripture is the Scripture itself. Therefore, when there is a question about the true and full meaning of any part of Scripture (and each passage has only one meaning, not many), it must be understood in light of other passages that speak more clearly.

(2 Peter 1:20-21; knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.)

(Acts 15:15-16, “After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,)

-The supreme judge for deciding all religious controversies and for evaluating all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, human teachings, and individual interpretations, and in whose judgment we are to rest, is nothing but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit. In this Scripture our faith finds its final word.

(Matthew 22:29, But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.)

(Matthew 22:31-32; And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”)

(Ephesians 2:20; built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,)

(Acts 28:23, When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

What Must I Do to be Saved?

By Steven Shaw

Based on a sermon by Dana Dill of South Shores Church in Dana Point, CA.

The question of salvation and what a person must do to be saved begins with the reality that God draws us to Him first, which is why we are able to respond to Him in the first place. However, when God speaks to our hearts and reveals our need for salvation many times we reject Him. We choose to close our hearts to God and refuse to accept that there is a sin problem that has resulted in separation from Him.

Unless our hearts are in a place of knowing that we need to be saved, it remains closed. How can our hearts become open to God and our need for salvation become apparent because we are sinners? This is where God’s word comes into play. The scriptures are God’s blueprint for salvation and the truth can be found in the Bible if we will open our hearts to God and His truth.

While some may believe there is no need for salvation and if we don’t think we need to be saved, guaranteed we will never ask for it. However, just because a person doesn’t feel or believe that they need to be saved, doesn’t mean God’s word is not true. Paul shares that all (not some) have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that all are in need of salvation through Jesus Christ.

All have fallen short of the glory of God because of the presence of evil and sin. Every person is born into sin inherited from Adam. Sin separates all people from God and it is sin that keeps us turned away from God as we are drawn into the world system of greed, pride and total depravity. Evil represents all that is not of God; and the darkness of evil stands in direct opposition to the light of God. Because God is holy and perfect the great separation between Him and evil can only be diminished through the plan that God has put in place for us.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Those who are not saved through Christ will perish, but those who recognize they are in need of salvation and accept Christ will receive eternal life. God provided the remedy for the sin problem; it is up to us to open our hearts and to believe in what we have heard as God calls us to be saved.

We all need to be saved. God has put a plan in action so that we are not left in our sin, which assures that we can be fully reconciled to Him. He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for the sin that has wreaked havoc in the world throughout history so that we would not face eternal separation from Him. Because of Christ and the gift of salvation there is no longer condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). In John’s gospel Jesus replies, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.”

When we turn to the scriptures we have full access to God’s truth and this allows for opportunity to learn about Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, there are many false doctrines and teachings that twist God’s truth so it is imperative to KNOW Gods word in order to test what you hear in the pulpit, from other people and even yourself.

I pray as you continue to read, that God reveals to your heart the dire need for salvation and that God’s saving grace will overwhelm you.

So we ask the question again: “What must you do to be saved?”

  1. You must hear the Gospel.

 What is the Gospel? The Gospel is simply this: A perfect, holy God creates humankind (Adam and Eve), they willfully sin and a breach (violation, transgression) is formed. But God, in His kindness and mercy does not leave us in our sin. He sends Himself in the form of Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, to live, die and rise from the dead for those who will believe. One day Jesus will return for His people to spend eternity forever in glory with the Trinity (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Let’s look at what the Gospel is not:

  1. The Gospel is not merely the message that, “God loves you”. Many churches teach a false doctrine that God is all love and that God loves all. While God IS love, He is a balanced God who also hates sin and will pour out His wrath against sin through judgment at the end of this age (See the Book of Revelation). A human example of this kind of balance is claiming that one loves children but somehow does not hate child abuse. God loves humanity, but hates the sin and God will judge it accordingly. Without God’s perfect and holy judgments, His love would be empty and meaningless. So, to say that God is all love without recognizing that He is also just, holy and balanced is to put forth a false doctrine of the true nature of God. God hates sin and will judge it, but those who are saved will not be judged with the wicked.
  1. The Gospel is not, “God gives you a second chance”. It is much more than that. God is not our servant or some genie in a bottle. He is not like a credit card who is only there when we need Him, or conveniently available for emergencies. God is the giver of life; He is the breath in our lungs, He is our existence and Christ holds everything together in His hands. This means that God is the center of every thing that is good and should also be the center of our lives.
  1. The Gospel is not, “God wants you to be a good person”. First off, there are no good people. Even Jesus said, there is no one good but God” (Mark 10:18). Of course what Jesus is really saying here is that he is God, which would mean that Jesus was and is good. We define “good” by human standards. But using God’s standards, no one is good. Therefore, God is not concerned with our attempts to be a good person; He is concerned with our eternal salvation that comes from His goodness.

The truth: We cannot do anything to please God or make ourselves “right” or justified before Him. It is only through the righteousness of Christ that we are able to live holy, not good… holy. The fruit of our lives may result in good things, but this is only because of Christ in us. We, as fallen humans will always be imperfect and continue to sin, but we have been declared righteous before God (2 Corinthians 5:21), and now we press on through His power until that glorious day when He returns.

The Gospel is about Jesus and what He has done through the work of the Cross. May we not grow numb and may our hearts not become dull to this amazing truth. Reading God’s word is so important because it helps us see the “macro plan” of God and the awesomeness of what He has done through His great plan of salvation. The God who has created all things and holds all power in His hands calls to our hearts to be reconciled to Him. Without the work of Christ, this world would be utterly lost. God’s holy and perfect judgment against sin would destroy every single thing, yet through Christ there is redemption. What a good God!

It is only through this reality that salvation can be obtained.

This is the most hated and fought against truth in all of history because the carnal man is at war with God and denies that salvation is necessary. Some people refuse to believe that we are innately evil and claim that we are good without God. Turn to the scriptures to find how humans and their nature and so-called “goodness” stack up to God’s perfect and holy nature. You will find that all have fallen short of His glory.

So, we return to the question, “What must I do to be saved?”

First, ask God to soften and open your heart to show you His truth. Because our hearts are naturally hardened and closed, only God can do such work within us. We are rebellious by nature and no one can receive the Gospel and truth of Christ without God working in us.

Second, you must believe in Jesus. Mere knowledge is not enough to be saved; even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). You must trust Jesus and follow Him. Pray to God and ask Him to illuminate the truth of Christ in your heart and mind. God promises, “You seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13). God wishes none would perish (2 Peter 3:9). But He will not force Himself on you. When we don’t choose Him, we do not get Him and it’s hell without Him. Not as a doomsday threat, but the literal meaning of hell is the absence of God and all that entails. If you don’t want Him you don’t get Him. Heaven will be a place that we glory in Christ for eternity. That should sound like hell to those who don’t already love Christ. That’s about as simply as I can put it.

Third, to be saved, you must trust God and repent of your sin. Trust that God is who He says He is and also trust that the work of Christ on the cross was enough to save you. Repent of your sin and rebellion against God. Ask forgiveness for those things that God is showing you that have brought harm to you and others in your life. Ask God to give you His strength and the righteousness of Christ so that you may be transformed by the renewing of you mind (Romans 12:2). Forgive others and allow God to begin to heal you in ways that only He can.

Continue growing and living through the power of the Holy Spirit who has been given to you as a free gift from God. Pray and talk to God; like any good relationship communication is essential. Most importantly, stay in God’s word, study the Bible and allow the truth of His word to shape you as you mature in your faith. God speaks through His Word so read it!

Your life with God will be filled with joy, challenges (which you will overcome with His help) and His amazing presence. I encourage you to ask God to open your heart and receive eternal life, for He is GOOD!

Closing.

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Contributing editor credit: Lisa M Johnston, Th.M. and Pastor/sozofreedom.com

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore