Today’s devotion comes from John 8:1-11.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him (Jesus), “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women;  what then do You say?”  They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him.  But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.  But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.  Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they?  Did no one condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.”  And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either.  Go.  From now on sin no more.”]”  John 8:3-11.

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Other doctrine teaches that God does His part for salvation and we do our part.  

For example, other doctrine teaches that verse 11 in today’s Scripture means that Jesus does His part in not condemning us and we do our part in sinning no more.  

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that God does all that is needed for salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt. 

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  John 3:17.

Notice that the foregoing John 3:17 verse does not end God’s part in salvation by the first part:  “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world”.

There is a second part which continues God’s work in salvation:  “that the world might be saved through Him.”

When Jesus commanded the woman to sin no more, He did not leave the woman alone so that whether or not she sinned any more was dependent on her own willpower.

Rather, when Jesus commanded the woman to sin more, the command (“sin no more”) came with power and spirit as part of God’s work to accomplish that she did not sin any more:  “for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction;  just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”  1 Thessalonians 1:5.

It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  John 6:63.

Consider what the Canons of Dordt states.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.  FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  To Him be dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”  1 Peter 5:10.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 12, 2019

“So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him.”

Today’s devotion comes from John 7:40-53.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+7&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.”  Others were saying, “This is the Christ.”  Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?  Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”  So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him.  Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.”  John 7:40-44.

——————-

“Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”  But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?”  And there was a division among them.”  John 9:16.

Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth?  I tell you, no, but rather division;  for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  Luke 12:51-53.

Other doctrine (which desires and therefore thinks that God loves everybody, Christ died for everyone, and that everyone is equal before God with basic goodness, wisdom, and will) is perplexed by such division.

But, Reformed Doctrine (which summarizes Scripture that God only loves His chosen people, Christ died for only His chosen people, and that only those elect are saved) joyfully receives such division as salvation.   

In the language of the following Canons of Dordt and Scripture, such division rescues us out of “the one common misery” and “this present evil age” and “domain of darkness” of “sin and destruction”.  God has called us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” and “separated” us out of all peoples to be “A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION”.

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 … FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination of Canons of Dordt. 

“For You have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as Your inheritance, as You spoke through Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers forth from Egypt, O Lord God.”  1 Kings 8:53.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore.  Amen.”   Galatians 1:3-5.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:13-14.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;  you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

Today’s devotion comes from John 7:37-39.

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”  But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;  for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”  John 7:37-39.

—————-

“13 O LORD, the hope of Israel,
All who forsake You will be put to shame.
Those who turn away on earth will be written down,
Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.
14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.”  Jeremiah 17:13-14.

“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land.  Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’”  Ezekiel 37:4.

“Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  John 4:10.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did:  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  Romans 8:2-4.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:11.

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  …  But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;  but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:5-6 and 15-18.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  …”  Galatians 5:22-23.

“…  but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4:14.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 10, 2019

“I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.”

Today’s devotion comes from John 7:25-36.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+7&version=NASB

“So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill?  Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him.  The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?  However, we know where this man is from;  but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.”  Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from;  and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.  I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.”  John 7:25-29.

—————

We can trust Jesus, because Jesus knows God.  Jesus is from God His Father Who sent Him.  Jesus can and has explained God His Father.  

“No one has seen God at any time;  the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”  John 1:18.

“Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God;  He has seen the Father.”  John 6:46.

“Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;  no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  John 14:6.

Therefore, because Jesus is the Son of God, it is more believable that God the Father only blesses us in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16.

“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 BelovedIn Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:3-12.

Today’s devotion is from John 7:19-24.

“Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law?  Why do you seek to kill Me?”  The crowd answered, “You have a demon!  Who seeks to kill You?”  Jesus answered them, “I did one deed, and you all marvel.  For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man.  If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?  Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”  John 7:19-24.

——————-

“For the Law was given through Moses;  grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”  John 1:17.

The Pharisees loved using the Law to appear righteous.  But, they were “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  Matthew 23:27-28.

Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath.  He and His disciples plucked grain on the Sabbath.  He made friends with tax collectors and sinners.  But, Jesus was perfect and “without sin”.  

Jesus said:  “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”  Matthew 11:19.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”  Hebrews 4:15.

The Pharisees were satisfied with appearing righteous:  “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken”.

But, Jesus was satisfied with making others righteous.  

“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One (Christ) the many will be made righteous.”  Romans 5:9.

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:14.

“… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27.

The Pharisees lay law upon law on the people:  “For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”  Luke 11:46.  See also Matthew 23:4.

In contrast, Jesus gave us rest and His Spirit.  Jesus said:  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart;  and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light”.  Matthew 11:28-29.

Christ tied up the heavy loads of the law and laid them on His own shoulders and gave us His Spirit as a yoke:  “in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”.  Romans 8:4.

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son;  and if a son, then an heir through God.”  Galatians 4:4-7.

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”  Philippians 3:8-9.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:4-6.

Today’s devotion comes from John 7:10-18.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+7&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory;  but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  John 7:18.

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Other doctrine seeks its own glory, boasting of its own goodness, its own wisdom, its own will, and its own works.

But, Reformed Doctrine seek God’s glory, boasting in God for providing all that is needed for salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt.

Other doctrine portrays the god of its desire as primarily a reactor who is bound to man’s alleged free-will and primarily reacts to what man does;  this god of other doctrine is a pitiful character who knocks on the door of our hearts and then just waits and wrings his hands hoping that man will exercise his free-will and choose him but who realizes that most of those whom he loves and for whom Christ died will reject him.

But, Reformed Doctrine presents the God of Scripture Who is the Great and Triumphant Initiator, the Sovereign God Who is the Victorious Warrior Who saves every one of His elect who are the only ones whom God loved and the only ones for whom Christ died.

“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”  Zephaniah 3:17.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

“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.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

Today’s devotion comes from John 7:1-9.

“After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.  Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.  Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing.  For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly.  If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”  For not even His brothers were believing in Him.  So Jesus *said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.  Go up to the feast yourselves;  I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”  Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.”  John 7:1-9.

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It is amazing to read in today’s Scripture:  “For not even His brothers were believing in Him.”  Verse 5.

And, we remember Jesus’ words in the prior chapter:   “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”  John 6:65-66.

Like many of Jesus’ disciples, Jesus’ brothers saw many of Jesus’ miracles and heard Jesus’ teaching and otherwise observed Jesus Who was “full of grace and truth” and “the Light of the world” and in Whom was life and the fullness of God.  See John 1:4, John 1:16, John 8:12, and Colossians 1:19.  But, they still did not believe Jesus.

Other doctrine is much more popular which teaches the goodness, wisdom, and free-will of man.  But, such other doctrine does not explain why so many of Jesus’ other disciples and even Jesus’ brothers did not believe Jesus considering all these advantages that they had.

But, Reformed Doctrine’s teaching of man’s “Total Depravity” does explain it. 

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.
13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”  Romans 3:10-18.

“… you were dead in your trespasses and sins,”  Ephesians 2:1.

Reformed Doctrine is not popular, because it teaches that man’s deeds are evil.

“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.”  Verse 7.

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”  John 3:19-20.

Reformed Doctrine understands and teaches that man’s only chance for salvation is that it has been granted to him by God the Father summarized by God’s “Unconditional Election”.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-9.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 5, 2019

“Did I Myself not choose you …?”

Today’s devotion comes from John 6:67-71.

“So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”  Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have words of eternal life.  We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”  Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”  Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.”  John 6:67-71.

——————–

Other doctrine focuses on man and man’s alleged free-will choice of Christ and gives man at least some credit and glory.

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God as the cause of why we believe and gives God all the credit for our faith and all the glory. 

Jesus reminds us that we believe in Him, because we were chosen by God.  Notice that in response to Peter’s confession of faith, Jesus does not praise Peter, but rather Jesus states:  “Did I Myself not choose you …?”

In a similar Scripture in which Peter likewise made a confession of faith, Jesus likewise credited God for Peter’s faith.  “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 16:16-17.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt.

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.  FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

Article 14.  Faith is therefore to be considered as the gift of God, not on account of its being offered by God to man, to be accepted or rejected at his pleasure;  but because it is in reality conferred, breathed, and infused into him;  or even because God bestows the power or ability to believe, and then expects that man should by the exercise of his own free will, consent to the terms of that salvation, and actually believe in Christ; but because he who works in man both to will and to do, and indeed all things in all, produces both the will to believe, and the act of believing also.  THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof.

“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.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-4.

“For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  1 Corinthians 4:7.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Today’s devotion comes from John 6:59-66.

“These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement;  who can listen to it?”  But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?  What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?  It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.”  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.  And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”  John 6:59-66.

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Other doctrine believes in the goodness, wisdom, and free-will of man.  But, it is still flesh.

Reformed Doctrine believes in the goodness, wisdom, and will of God.  It is the Spirit.

“It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  Verse 63.

For other doctrine, it is a difficult statement that no one can come to Christ unless it has been granted to him by God the Father.  Other doctrine thinks that it can come to Christ by its own goodness, wisdom, and free-will.

For Reformed Doctrine, it is understandable, even logical, that no one can come to Christ unless it has been granted to him by God the Father.  Reformed Doctrine believes in what Scripture states about man summarized by “Total Depravity”.

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”  Romans 3:10-12.

“… you were dead in your trespasses and sins,”  Ephesians 2:1.

Thus, Reformed Doctrine understands that man’s only chance for salvation is that it has been granted to him by God the Father summarized by God’s “Unconditional Election”.

Finally, consider that if other doctrine was true, namely that one could come to Christ by his or her own goodness, wisdom, and free-will, then many of the disciples would not have withdrawn and left Jesus.  They saw many of Jesus’ miracles and heard Jesus’ teaching and otherwise observed Jesus Who was “full of grace and truth” and “the Light of the world” and in Whom was life and the fullness of God.  See John 1:4, John 1:16, John 8:12, and Colossians 1:19.

But Scripture states:  “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”  Verses 65-66.

Today’s devotion comes from John 6:46-58.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;  if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;  and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.  This is the bread which came down out of heaven;  not as the fathers ate and died;  he who eats this bread will live forever.”  John 6:48-58.

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How can we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood?

The short answer is by faith which is the work of God.

But, consider the more lengthy answer from the Heidelberg Catechism.  I intentionally quote Article and Question 76 before Answer and Question 75 for purposes of this devotion in order to more directly and better answer the question posed above.

Q. 76.  What is it then to eat the crucified body and drink the shed blood of Christ?

A.  It is not only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin and life eternal;  but also, besides that, to become more and more united to His sacred body by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us;  so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone;  and that we live and are governed forever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.

 Q. 75.  How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord’s Supper that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all His benefits?

A.  Thus:  That Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup in remembrance of Him, adding these promises:  first, that His body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and His blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup communicated to me;  and further, that He feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with His crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.

Consider also the following partial quote from Article 35 of the Belgic Confession.

Article 35:  Of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ.

…  But for the support of the spiritual and heavenly life, which believers have, he hath sent a living bread, which descended from heaven, namely, Jesus Christ, who nourishes and strengthens the spiritual life of believers, when they eat him, that is to say, when they apply and receive him by faith in the spirit.  Christ, that he might represent unto us this spiritual and heavenly bread, hath instituted an earthly and visible bread, as a sacrament of his body, and wine as a sacrament of his blood, to testify by them unto us, that, as certainly as we receive and hold this sacrament in our hands, and eat and drink the same with our mouths, by which our life is afterwards nourished, we also do as certainly receive by faith (which is the hand and mouth of our soul) the true body and blood of Christ our only Savior in our souls, for the support of our spiritual life.  …

Going back to the short answer above, let us consider the work of God from previous Scriptures in John chapter 6.

“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:29.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:44.

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:37-39.

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