Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 18, 2021

“without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 11:1-6.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.  By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.  By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death;  and he was not found because God took him up;  for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:1-6.

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Other doctrine is fearful, because it trusts in man’s will, even though it knows that man’s will is frail and fleeting. One day it may have faith and another day it may not have faith.

Other doctrine thinks of God as like one who dangles a carrot in front of man but yanks it up out of man’s reach. 

Other doctrine is doubting like the one described in the following Scripture.  “… the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  James 1:6-7.

But, Reformed Doctrine is full of faith, because it trusts in God’s steadfast will to save him and give him every good thing.

Reformed Doctrine believes that salvation, including every good thing, is totally dependent on God’s will.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination. 

Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.

This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification;  and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace; as it is written:  “According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love;  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,”  Ephesians 1:4,5,6.  And elsewhere:  “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called;  and whom he called, them he also justified;  and whom he justified, them he also glorified,”  Romans 8:30.

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good;  from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to that of the apostle:  “He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love,”  Ephesians 1:4.

Article 11.  And as God himself is most wise, unchangeable, omniscient and omnipotent, so the election made by him can neither be interrupted nor changed, recalled or annulled;  neither can the elect be cast away, nor their number diminished.

“Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6.

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness;  for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  Romans 8:26-32.

“11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:11-12.

In conclusion, regarding assurance that is an element of faith, consider this article also from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination. 

Article 12.  The elect in due time, though in various degrees and in different measures, attain the assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election, not by inquisitively prying into the secret and deep things of God, but by observing in themselves with a spiritual joy and holy pleasure, the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God – such as a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Verse 1. 


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