Check it out: “By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?”

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Magazine-By the Book | No Comments
Check it out: “By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?”

Check it out! The new issue of Credo Magazine: “By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?”


View the magazine as a PDF (Click Here)

Credo Feb 2015 Cover-01How well do you know your Bible? Now that is a scary question, even if you have been a Christian for a long time. Between church events, little league games, and a full-time job, finding time to read and study Scripture is a herculean task. To make matters worse, when you finally do escape to read the Bible you struggle to understand what it means. At times you can relate with the Ethiopian eunuch who said to Philip when asked if he understood what he was reading, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”

In this issue of Credo Magazine we are here to help! If you feel tired and frustrated, this issue will give you that shot of adrenaline you need to keep going. And if you feel like you just don’t have the tools in your belt to interpret the Bible properly, then you are in good hands. Consider this an exercise in going to the hardware store to find those tools you need to comprehend the Bible. Obviously this issue of the magazine won’t give you all the tools you need, but we hope to get you started, even provide you with the motivation you need to study the Bible on your own. Sure, it’s hard work. But hard work pays off. And maybe one day you will be able to say, “Hey, I do know the Bible, and I think I can help someone else understand it too.”

Contributors include: Robert Plummer, Ardel Caneday, Michael Kruger, Deven K. MacDonald, Paul D. Wegner, Augustus Nicodemus Lopes, Kevin DeYoung, Douglas Moo, and Thomas Schreiner.

Here are the articles to get you started:

Credo Feb 2015 Kruger Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 Wegner Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 MacDonald Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 Plummer Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 Caneday Slider-01

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Part 2: Interview with Matthew Barrett on Salvation by Grace

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Interviews, Matthew Barrett | No Comments
Part 2: Interview with Matthew Barrett on Salvation by Grace

Books at a Glance has interviewed executive editor of Credo Magazine, Matthew Barrett, on his recent book, Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration (P&R). Yesterday we included an excerpt to Part 1 of the interview. Here is the start of Part 2 as well:

BarrettBooks At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):
I understand that this book is the result of your doctoral thesis at Southern Seminary. How did you come to take up this subject? Is this area of study a matter of long-standing interest?

Barrett:
Two events/people stand out as instrumental. I remember walking through the halls of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary while Tom Schreiner told me to choose this topic because he had students in his classes asking questions about it. I also remember going out to lunch with Bruce Ware, my doctoral supervisor, and discussing a couple of different possible topics to explore. Monergism rose to the top of the list because it became clear that there was yet to be written a book-length, contemporary treatment of the topic that also dealt with the many recent Arminian, Wesleyan, and modified views. Plus, it became evident to me that Warfield was right; monergism is the hinge on which Calvinism turns! And yet, little attention has been given to the ins-and-outs of effectual calling and regeneration.
Books At a Glance:
One question that comes to mind concerns the need for such a book. This, after all, is not a subject Calvinists have ignored! After many centuries of Reformed soteriology, what distinguishes your work? What is the contribution you are hoping to make here?

Barrett:
While monergism is an old doctrine, its relevance today is apparent as the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries have been characterized by a resurgence of Calvinism, and with it a resurgence of predestinarian theology which exalts God’s sovereignty rather than the will of man. As J. Ligon Duncan III explains, “A fever for the glory of God has gotten into the bloodstream of a new generation.” The resurgence of Calvinism has occurred in part because Christians are famished with the small view of God they have been fed and are hungry for the “big view of God” portrayed in the Scriptures and systematically articulated in the doctrines of grace. The doctrines of effectual calling and monergistic regeneration are but a slice of this biblical view of God, and yet they may be the very hinge of the Calvinist position. So, my book is a real effort to feed the hungry!

On a more academic note, though, my book not only presents a historical, biblical, and theological case for monergism but also a case against synergism. Few books I know of actually interact at great length with the various Arminianisms as well as the recent modified views that have been proposed in the last ten years. These diverse viewpoints are taught both in academic institutions and in local churches, yet there has not been a robust reply. My book seeks to show the exegetical and theological problems with such views, old and new, and persuade readers to return to the Reformed heritage first and foremost because when it is most faithful to Scripture.

A more thorough and extensive treatment of all of this can be found in the unabridged version here. …

Read the rest of this interview at Books at a Glance.

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Books at a Glance Interview with Matthew Barrett on Salvation by Grace (Part 1)

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Interviews, Matthew Barrett | No Comments
Books at a Glance Interview with Matthew Barrett on Salvation by Grace (Part 1)

Books at a Glance has interviewed executive editor of Credo Magazine, Matthew Barrett, on his recent book, Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration (P&R).

Today Part 1 of the interview released and tomorrow Part 2 will be published.

Here is the start of the interview:

In his Salvation By Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration Matthew Barrett provides a thorough discussion of this (as Warfield called it) “hinge of Calvinistic soteriology.” His work brings definitive clarity to the subject for all involved, and it demands a hearing from any who would take an opposing position.

Book pic with Schreiner quoteHere’s how I (Fred Zaspel) tried to capture its significance in my endorsement:

Barrett’s examination of this critical area of theology is historically informed, providing an accurate setting and perspective for the discussion. It is also theologically precise, providing definitive expositions of all sides of the debate. It is surprisingly exhaustive, treating all the primary arguments and related responses responsibly. And, most importantly, it is exegetically compelling, bringing God’s own Word to bear on a doctrine designed to bring him glory. A valuable resource indeed! Highly recommended.

Matthew, Executive Editor at Credo Magazine is a good friend of Books At a Glance, and we’re glad to have him talk to us today about his work – and about this doctrine that demonstrates so compellingly that salvation is by grace.

Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):
First, what is your thesis in this book? Can you summarize for us the doctrine you are seeking to expound and defend? And while you’re at it, perhaps you could explain the terms “synergism” and “monergism.”

Barrett:
Salvation by Grace argues that in Scripture God’s saving grace is monergistic—meaning that God acts alone to effectually call and monergistically regenerate the depraved sinner from death to new life — and therefore effectual calling and regeneration causally precede conversion in the ordo salutis (i.e., order of salvation), thereby ensuring that all of the glory in salvation belongs to God not man. Stated negatively, God’s grace is not synergistic — meaning that God cooperates with man, giving man the final, determining power to either accept or resist God’s grace — which would result in an ordo salutis where regeneration is causally conditioned upon man’s free will in conversion and, in the Calvinist’s opinion, would rob God of all of the glory in salvation. As J. I. Packer states, “All Arminianisms involve a measure of synergism, if not strong (God helps me to save myself) then weak (I help God to save me).” And as John R. de Witt concludes, synergism essentially is “an attack upon the majesty of God, and puts in place of it the exaltation of man.”

Books At a Glance:
What passage or passages of Scripture would you think state or summarize your thesis most clearly?

Barrett:
There are so many of them! In fact, there are so many it might take a 400 page book to address them. But seriously, there are some that really stand out. Here is a short list for unacquainted readers to start with.

  • Effectual Calling: John 6:35-65; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9-10.
  • Monergistic Regeneration: Jeremiah 31:33; 32:39-40; Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:3-8; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Ephesians 2:1-7; Colossians 2:11-14; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 5:1; 1 Peter 1:3-4.

These are only a small slice of the pie, but they will whet your appetite for more.

Books At a Glance:
Explain for us how this discussion is related to the doctrine of total depravity.

Barrett:
Perhaps the best way to answer this question is by picking on an analogy that is often used. Our salvation, it is said, is like a man who has fallen into the ocean and is drowning. Jesus comes along and throws a life preserver near the drowning man. However, as much as Jesus pleads with the man to take the life preserver, ultimately everything comes down to whether the man in the water will swim over and take it. Everything depends upon his choice.

In light of what Scripture has to say, this is a very inaccurate analogy. We are not trying to keep our heads above water. No, we have already drowned and our body lies dead at the bottom of the ocean. We don’t need a life preserver. We need a resurrection!

In other words, Scripture speaks of man as totally depraved, spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-3). To change imagery, we are enslaved to sin. As Luther said, our will is in total bondage. Therefore, as Calvin explains, “Because of the bondage of sin by which the will is held bound, it cannot move toward good, much less apply itself thereto; for a movement of this sort is the beginning of conversion to God, which in Scripture is ascribed entirely to God’s grace.”

These words are a lethal blow to the common man’s optimism concerning his natural ability in matters of salvation. Calvin’s words, however, parallel what Scripture says. For example, Jesus himself states in John 8:34 that “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” Likewise, the apostle Paul tells us that man is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and all of us are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). The sinner is very much like Lazarus, dead in the tomb, rotting away. As John Owen states, we have no more power than “a man in his grave hath in himself to live anew and come out at the next call.”

Therefore, what the sinner needs is to hear the equivalent of the resurrection words of Christ, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43) Only then, as Calvin says, will the sinner be converted to God entirely by God’s grace. …

Read the rest of this interview here.

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An Interview with Haykin and Robinson on Calvin’s Missiology

An Interview with Haykin and Robinson on Calvin’s Missiology

The difference between a mixture and a solution is that in the former two elements are mixed together but never joined in a complimentary way that produces a new chemical state. For some, the combination of Calvinism and missions can at best only be a mixed up arrangement. But in their recent book To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy, Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Jeffrey Robinson demonstrate that the elementary nature of Calvinism actually produces (and has produced) a solution that infuses missiology with new power, new motivation, and new confidence. To give us a flavor of how these things combined so well, both authors answered some questions for Credo.

What are the arguments for and against interpreting Calvin as a promoter of missions?

It is often said that the Reformers did not have an evangelistic vision and considered Matthew 28:19-20 to no longer apply to the church. And the fact that no cross-cultural missions were initiated by the Reformers is often cited as proof that they had no such vision. But Calvin saw his primary mission field to be Europe. He did not see the European Churches as Christian, but ones sunk in spiritual darkness and in need of hearing the gospel. So he did evangelize: but Europe. And then when he did get an opportunity to send a missions overseas—in this case to Brazil—he leapt at the opportunity by sending two missionary pastors on board the ships being sent to Brazil.

Its one thing to say that Calvinists did engage in missions, its another to say their theology was consistent with it. What is it about the distinctives of Calvinism that make missions a logical pursuit?

God claims sovereignty over the entirety of the earth, and as such wants all men and women to hear of his Son’s life and work. Christ died for elect men and women of every tribe and tongue, hence the need to take the gospel to every people group.

How does the Reformed teaching of the “two-wills of God” avoid charging God with duplicity or double-speak when it comes to the offer of the gospel?

The Reformed tradition as it flowed from the Genevan stream affirmed what is sometimes called the “two wills of God”—which is God’s so-called will of decree and will of command”—because it represents the full-orbed, nuanced way in which Scripture speaks of God’s will. Calvin’s debate with Albert Pighius (1490-1542), a Dutch Roman Catholic theologian, is a prime example of the Calvin’s deployment of this argument. In the debate in 1542, Calvin, rightly, accused Pighius of rationalizing God and recasting Him in the image of man. Calvin argued that the two wills of God takes seriously the full witness of Scripture without removing one side of the will of God as it is presented in the Bible. Calvin essentially told Pighius that we speak of the two wills of God because that is how God has spoken to us of His will. The reformer insisted that Roman Catholicism sought to remove a measure of incomprehensibility from God by seeking to solve the biblical tension between the two wills by rejecting God’s will of decree. For Calvin, as for many faithful biblicists in his wake, this teaching is by no means novel.

Could you provide some direct statements from Calvin that should put to rest any uncertainty over his mission-minded credentials?

9781433523540mHere are three excellent samples, but it’s clear throughout Calvin’s writings from the Institutes to the commentaries and polemical works.

Comments on Ezekiel 18:23 (“Have I any pleasure at all in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God? . . .”): “We maintain that God does not will the death of sinners, since he equally calls all people to repentance and promises that he is prepared to receive them if they only seriously repent.”

Comments on John 3:16: “And he has employed the universal term ‘whosoever,’ both to invite all indiscriminantly to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term ‘World,’ which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favour of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to faith in Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.”

Comments on 1 Tim. 2:4: “. . . the Apostle simply means, that there is no people and no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation; because God wishes that the gospel should be proclaimed to all without exception. Now the preaching of the gospel gives life; and hence he justly concludes that God invites all equally to partake of salvation.”

 Tell us about how Calvin directed and spread the Reformation through his organizational genius. What might be some take-aways for modern missions?

First, he regularly prayed for the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth. Second, he trained church planters in his Geneva Academy for Europe, especially France. Third, he corresponded with and built relations with rulers throughout Europe, hoping that such friendships would lead to open doors for the Gospel. In doing so, he was following the 1 Timothy 2:1‑2. Finally, he cultivated Geneva as a missionary center with over 30 publishing houses pumping out literature in a variety of European languages.

 Its likely that not many are familiar with the ministry of Samuel Pearce. Tell us a little bit about his life and why you have featured him to support your thesis that Calvinism and evangelism go hand in hand?

Samuel Pearce was born into a humble Baptist home in 1766. After conversion in 1782 and baptism, he was sent by his local church to train for the ministry. He graduated in 1789 and his first and only pastoral charge was at Cannon Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, England. Here he began to labour for the conversion of many of the illiterate poor of Birmingham who had been drawn to the city because of work in the factories of the Industrial Revolution. He saw some 335 converted and baptized during his ten-year ministry. His passion for the lost found outlet in other venues though: preaching in neighbouring villages, writing tracts for Muslim sailors and dock workers in London, ardently supporting the first missionary society, the Baptist Missionary Society that sent William Carey to India in 1793 (Carey was one of his closest friends), going on an arduous mission to Ireland for six weeks and preaching to Roman Catholics. In short, his friend Andrew Fuller saw him as a paradigm of missionary spirituality. No wonder Fuller prayed: “May the God of Samuel Pearce be my God!”

Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books, including Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church.

Jeff Robinson (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an editor for The Gospel Coalition. He serves as senior research assistant for the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and adjunct professor of church history at Southern Seminary. He is co-author with Michael Haykin of the book To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Mission Vision and Legacy. Jeff and his wife, Lisa, have four children. They live in Louisville. You can follow him on Twitter.

Matthew Claridge is an editor for Credo Magazine and is Senior Pastor of Mt. Idaho Baptist Church in Grangeville, ID. He has earned degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Cassandra and has four children: Alec, Nora, Grace, and Julie.

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Credo's cache | One Comment
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. Pastors, Prioritize PrayerBy D.A. Carson- Carson says: “Are we confused about our roles? If we remember what we have been called to and devote ourselves to praying for what is best, we may care a little less about the opinions of a secular world and devote ourselves more scrupulously to serving the only Master whose opinion matters.”

2. Whatever It TakesBy Jonathan Parnell - Parnell notes: “In fact, it is the various situations of our lives that invite us to witness to the abundance of Jesus’s glory. It is through the gains and losses, triumphs andsetbacks, that Jesus shows himself enough for us.”

3. Around and Around We GoBy Scott Oliphint- Oliphint says: “One of the most common objections against a “Covenantal” (or presuppositional) approach to apologetics is that it reasons in a circle, and thus provides no real argument for its position.”

4. 3 Reasons We Must Not Forget the PsalmsBy Austin Gohn- Gohn says: “I began to realize that true gospel-centered discipleship requires us to become friends with David, Asaph, Solomon, the Sons of Korah, Moses, Ethan the Ezrahite, and the dozens of other unknown Psalmists.

5. A Happy FaithBy Micah Fries - Fries says: “As I look across contemporary Christianity I see a lot of Christians who seem to feed off a pessimistic view of life and even the future. Too many seem to prey on that, understanding that they can even monetize that pessimism, and have been quite successful in doing so.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary.

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New Issue…”By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?”

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Magazine-By the Book | 3 Comments
New Issue…”By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?”

The new issue of Credo Magazine is now here! “By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?”


View the magazine as a PDF (Click Here)

Credo Feb 2015 Cover-01How well do you know your Bible? Now that is a scary question, even if you have been a Christian for a long time. Between church events, little league games, and a full-time job, finding time to read and study Scripture is a herculean task. To make matters worse, when you finally do escape to read the Bible you struggle to understand what it means. At times you can relate with the Ethiopian eunuch who said to Philip when asked if he understood what he was reading, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”

In this issue of Credo Magazine we are here to help! If you feel tired and frustrated, this issue will give you that shot of adrenaline you need to keep going. And if you feel like you just don’t have the tools in your belt to interpret the Bible properly, then you are in good hands. Consider this an exercise in going to the hardware store to find those tools you need to comprehend the Bible. Obviously this issue of the magazine won’t give you all the tools you need, but we hope to get you started, even provide you with the motivation you need to study the Bible on your own. Sure, it’s hard work. But hard work pays off. And maybe one day you will be able to say, “Hey, I do know the Bible, and I think I can help someone else understand it too.”

Contributors include: Robert Plummer, Ardel Caneday, Michael Kruger, Deven K. MacDonald, Paul D. Wegner, Augustus Nicodemus Lopes, Kevin DeYoung, Douglas Moo, and Thomas Schreiner.

Here are the articles to get you started:

Credo Feb 2015 Kruger Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 Wegner Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 MacDonald Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 Plummer Slider-01

Credo Feb 2015 Caneday Slider-01

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Credo's cache | One Comment
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. 8 Essential Components for Discerning God’s WillBy David Sills- Sills says: “I know that some people maintain that God doesn’t have a will for our lives beyond our sanctification, but He does. No, we cannot sit down and pray to know it until He reveals a fully developed life plan, but He has put us in the places we are, the times in which we live, the background we have, and given us the personality and preferences we have in order to guide us in right choices.”

2. Going to HeavenBy Mike Wittmer - Wittmer notes: “Here’s the tension: we must hold the comfort of heaven with the ultimate hope of the new earth. If we leave the impression that our loved ones in heaven are perfect in every way, we minimize the need for Jesus’ return and the resurrection of the body.”

3. How Richard John Neuhaus Changed the Way I ThinkBy Bruce Ashford- Ashford says: “I am grateful for my encounters with Richard John Neuhaus. From him, we can learn the value of reading widely and leveraging that knowledge in an appropriate manner in the public square.”

4. America’s Most Tolerated SinBy Johnathon Bowers- Bowers says: “Gluttony is perhaps the most tolerated sin in American Christianity. I say this, not as someone who is immune from the attractions of the buffet line, but as someone who needs all the help he can get.”

5. Awesome God in a Boring ChurchBy Trevin Wax - Wax says: “The surveys and statistics are consistent: people who attend church services regularly are much more likely to adhere to Christianity’s doctrines and moral teachings.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary.

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Coming soon…By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Coming soon…By the Book: How Well Do You Know the Bible?

The January/February issue of Credo Magazine is almost here!

Here is the cover…

Credo Feb 2015 Cover-01

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Tragically Beautiful Love (Chris Marley)

Tragically Beautiful Love (Chris Marley)

The narrative of creation and fall in Genesis, depending on with whom you speak, is beloved or hated, mysterious, absolute or debatable, unquestionable, or a mixture thereof. Unfortunately in the fervor of the issues, especially regarding the historicity of the account, the bridal analogy is often overlooked. My purpose in previous articles (such as Bridefall, where I addressed the sin and the fig leaves) has been to draw these elements to light. In Genesis 3, the Bride falls. Eve falls, but the church falls too. In a sense, though, it is in the fall and promise of redemption that the Bride is made.

The church’s identity is found in Christ and in Christ alone. She is nothing without Christ and him crucified. It is his shed blood that animates her. She cannot be except through him. There is no bride without shed blood. The church is conceived in the first gospel, Genesis 3:16, the protoevangelium. It is in the 21st verse of the same chapter wherein they are clothed by God in the skins of animals. This is not just to show that God chose leather pants over organic fig leaves for clothing his people, but to show the need for the blood of atonement. From her birth she is clothed through sacrifice, a promise by God who will not repent of his decision. She has to be clothed in the “garments of salvation…as a bride adorns herself with jewels” (Isa. 61:10; cf. Rev. 3:18).

If you are a husband or wife, you have an abundance of beautiful opportunities in tribulation and trial to show love for your spouse. Allow me to tell you a story.

In April of 2010, my wife and I found out that we were going to have a child. It was three days before we were scheduled to leave for a three week vacation, two weeks of which would be spent overseas in Ireland. We were absolutely overjoyed and terrified, as most expectant parents are when they get the news. When we had flown to Boston, there was a misunderstanding with the tickets, and we ran in panic all the way to our terminal only to find out we had an hour yet to wait. I was trying to find food, but Leah was just starting to get morning sickness and nothing sounded edible to her. When I finally came back with food to the gate, I found her finishing up a phone call to her sister with tears streaming down her face. She was exhausted and hormonal. She looked up at me and said, “You can just leave me here if you want.” I laughed, and hugged her, because I realized, by God’s grace, that He had given me a wonderful opportunity to show Christ’s love to my wife. We did make it, by the way, only to be stranded an extra week by a volcanic eruption, but that’s another story altogether.

There are a myriad of other examples I could give, and I am sure that there are even more that my wife could give of me, but my point is certainly not to show how wonderful a husband I am (because I am not) or how daunting the trials are that I have been through (because they are not). What is evidenced, here, is that what we experience in a miniscule way relates to us the reality of the majesty of Christ’s love for his church, as only the God who is “most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth…” (Second London Baptist Confession, 2:1) come in the flesh could love.

When we examine the church, we see that she exists only through the sacrifice of Christ on her behalf. This is orchestrated in God’s perfect wisdom to show Christ’s perfect love. By Christ loving a fallen bride instead of a perfect one, a more beautiful love is shown. If my wife were perfect and without sin, never offending or making a mistake, my love for her would be untested and simple. I may love her just as much, but that love would not be displayed to the same degree. In the same way that a light is most evident in darkness, love is most beautiful in a fallen world. The flame of the candle is easily forgotten in broad daylight, but for the person groping through darkness, the candle light is not only obvious, but precious.

Likewise, as God is love and unchanging, the fall did not cause God to love His creation. Yet, because of the fall, we are able to really see it. The beauty, the depth, the magnificence of God’s love is shown because he loves his church after the fall.

Chris J. Marley is the Senior Pastor of Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott, Arizona.  He holds an M. Div. from Westminster Seminary California (2009).

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