Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 21, 2018

“So then it (salvation) does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 15:16-41.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then they *brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.  They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh;  but He did not take it.  And they *crucified Him, and *divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.  It was the third hour when they crucified Him.  The inscription of the charge against Him read, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

They *crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”  Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha!  You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”  In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others;  He cannot save Himself.  Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!”  Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.  At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”  When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.”  Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.”  And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.  And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”  Mark 15:22-39.

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What did Jesus accomplish on the cross?

Did Jesus only accomplish the possibility that some could be saved, which possibility is dependent on the alleged free-will action of man whether it be works or the will of man to be saved?

Or, did Jesus accomplish on the cross the purchase also known as the redemption of all of God’s elect?

Other doctrine is radically different from Reformed Doctrine.

The doctrine taught in most churches is that on the cross, Jesus only accomplished the possibility that some could be saved, which possibility is dependent on the alleged free-will action of man whether it be works or the will of man to be saved.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that Jesus accomplished on the cross the purchase also known as the redemption of all of God’s elect.  In other words, Jesus Christ by the blood of the cross effectually redeemed out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation.  Jesus bestowed upon them alone the gift of justifying faith with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation.

“Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing;  and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.”  

The true doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:

I Who teach:  That God the Father has ordained his Son to the death of the cross without a certain and definite decree to save any  …

III. Who teach: That Christ by his satisfaction merited neither salvation itself for anyone, nor faith …”  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby of Canons of Dordt.

There is a huge difference to “effectually redeem” each and every one of the elect and “to bring them infallibly to salvation” as compared to only earn the possibility that man could be saved which salvation is ultimately dependent on the alleged free-will of man who is “dead” in sin (Ephesians 2:1), who does not understand nor seeks God (Romans 3:10-11), who is hostile to God (Romans 8:7 and Colossians 1:21) who is in bondage to sin (Romans 7:14-15), and whose natural condition Reformed Doctrine summarizes as “Total Depravity”.

There is only one doctrine of good news.  There is only one Gospel.  

“How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  …
The Lord has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:7 and 10.

God controls the smallest details of life on earth so that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of God (Matthew 10:29), and God certainly not giving up any control over what is most important, namely salvation of man.  God saves according to His purpose, according to His choice, not because of works nor even the will of man.  “For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.


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