For Sure & For Certain

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We hope for things we do not have. But if we have faith we are sure we one day will. We can be certain of things we cannot see, if we have faith. If we have faith, we do not have to see to believe.

My Advice – If your sureness is based upon only what you have, not what you hope for, and only on what you can see, it is not much of a faith. Trust God to fulfill your hopes and give you certainty in the face of uncertainty.

Patient Waiting

Hebrews 6:15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Sometimes answers will come swiftly. Other times, not so swiftly. Good things come to those that wait.

My Advice – Be patient if the answer is slow in coming. The time may not be right. This calls for patience. Sometimes the answer is no. Because our motives were wrong, it was not good for us, or God has something better. This call for faith.

Hold On Tight

Hebrews 4:14Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Wouldn’t it be nice if we held as tightly onto our faith as we do to some of the sinful habits that we don’t want to let go of?

My Advice – Hold onto your faith tightly. There will be blatant and subtle, direct and indirect, expected and unexpected attempts to make you let loose. Be on guard.

Show and Tell

Philemon 6I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Witnessing is more than just how we “show” our faith by how we live our lives. It is also about how we “share” our faith in words. People need evidence (show) and testimony (share) in order to reach a verdict about accepting Christ.

My Advice – Don’t be afraid to share your faith with others. Some will reject, some will ridicule, some will hate. But none of this is directed at you. And remember, some will accept Christ, and that is a great thing to be a part of.

Study 4 – All Christians Believe In God’s Drawing?

Screenshot (55)

John 6:65“This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled [granted, given] him.” (NIV 1984)

No One – Universal (absolute) negative. All inclusive, without exception.

Can – Often erroneously mistaken to mean the same as may. Can has to do with ability. No one (without exception) has the natural ability.

Come – Man, in and of Himself does not have the ability to come to Jesus. No exception.

Unless – Exceptive clause. Points to a necessary condition (prerequisite). Something that must happen first. It does not guarantee that it will happen. A sufficient condition would guarantee a result (suffices), but this verse is a only a necessary condition (not a sufficient condition).

Given, Granted, Enabled – The word itself is ambiguous. But what is clear is that it is something that God does that is a necessary condition (that must happen first).

The question is: what is the real meaning of this necessary condition?

This is why I told you” is a repetition of John 6:44 – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (NIV 1984)

Draw – One cannot come to Jesus unless drawn by the Father. Both Calvinists and Arminians agree that this is a necessary condition. What they disagree on is what “draws” means.

Arminian – To draw means to entice, woo, attract. Through prevenient grace (divine enabling) God must entice before a human can make a decision to come to Jesus. This is a grace that exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. But in the end, the “drawing” is still resistible.

Calvinist – To draw means to drag or coerce. Taken from other verses with same Greek word that is interpreted here as “draw.” It means to compel by irresistible superiority.

James 2:6Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? (NIV 1984)
Acts 16:19They seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. (NIV 1984)

The question is: Why did translators use draw (resistible attraction) in the John 6:44 instead of drag (irresistibly compel)?

We do not know for sure. Maybe they felt it might be offensive to the reader (isn’t the Gospel offensive?). Greeks elsewhere used the word to man draw water out of a well. Water is still subjected to an irresistible (not enticed) force, not on its own.

Thus, the question becomes: which makes more sense?

Arminian – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me [entices] him.

Calvinist – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me [irresistibly compels] him.

Notes from: Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul

A Sincere Faith

1 Timothy 1:5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – A sincere faith leads to a pure heart, which in turn leads to a conscience that is clear. The final result is love.

My Advice – Keep your faith in God and Christ sincere. It is the key to a pure heart, a clear conscience and love for others.

Stand Firm, Hold On

2 Thessalonians 2:15Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We do not live for ourselves only. We need to pass on to others the things we learn from God and from His Word.

My Advice – Remember the things your mother and I taught you and tried to model to you. Hold onto them. They are a part of who we are. By holding onto them you are holding onto a part of us, even long after we are gone.