God and Man

March 31, 2011

Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. This is something difficult for our minds to understand, however it is revealed biblical teaching and is orthodox church doctrine.

We call the truth the hypostatic union. The word hypostatic is rooted in the greek word hupostasis. That is the word used in Hebrews 1:3

Hebrews 1:3 ESV

3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

This is a doctrine that is taken from more than one passage however. It is spread out over the New Testament.

Jesus is shown as man:

He was tempted.

Matthew 4:1ESV

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

He is spoken of as a mediator for men.

1 Timothy 2:5 ESV

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

He died.

Romans 5:8 ESV

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus is shown as God:

John 1:1 ESV

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Colossians 2:9 ESV

9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

John 20:28 ESV

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 10:30 ESV

30 I and the Father are one.”

Jesus is shown as both God and man:

John 1:14 ESV

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Philippians 2:6-11 ESV

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So we see that biblically Jesus Christ is both God and man. In order for him to be our savior it needed to be that way. Since the fall, only God can be sinless naturally and only a sinless man can make atonement for other men.

Isaiah 53:11-12 ESV

11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see  and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, 
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, 
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

–David

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Why is there Evil?

March 29, 2011

The question is often asked of christians “Why does evil exist if God is both good and sovereign?” This is a favorite of atheists and is a question that will creep into the heart of every Christian at one point or another.

Is the answer easy? No. Is it a dangerous topic? Yes. For a finite man to contemplate the greatness of the infinite is like trying to drink the ocean with a shot glass. However, where scripture leads us we can safely go. We should never go beyond scripture but we should never ignore it either. The Holy Spirit inspired it to be read and understood.

In short, evil exists for a short while because God is glorified in its destruction and His elect are edified in the knowledge of God’s character that is opposed to evil and in the witness of His power over all things. So, it is good that evil exist for the time that God has ordained it to exist because it is better for his glory and for the edification of the elect than if it had never existed at all.

Romans 11:32 ESV
32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

This is an incredible revelation indeed! The Spirit inspired Paul to burst forth in adoration upon writing it!

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

One may err and take the word all in verse 32 to mean every person who ever lived, however that cannot be the case or this would be the proof text for universalism. The bible flatly rules out universalism.

John 3:18 ESV
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

So we know that the mercy spoken of in Romans 11:32 was on all nations, not just Jews. Each nation contains elect people in it and it is for God’s glory and for the benefit of God’s elect family that this current reality in time exists. This is a common theme in the bible as it was indeed a great revelation that all people would glorify God.

Psalms 86:9 ESV
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.

So we see that God has had mercy on people of all the nations of the world.

God, before the world began elected to create a people for the purpose of adopting them into his family. The story of our world is the story of God’s plan of adoption in action.

This is the biblical order of salvation in the life of every elect individual:

Election, Predestination, Gospel Call, Effectual Call, Regeneration, Faith, Repentance, Justification, Indwelling, Sanctification, Glorification.

Romans 8:28-30 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:3-11 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Where does that leave the reprobate? Why does God still find fault? It is evident that we are exploring the biblical doctrine in its depths as the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to record this reply to that question.

Romans 9:11-23 ESV
11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

This is a straightforward and irrefutable answer to the question from the pen of the inspired apostle! The reprobate was prepared for destruction and his purpose is to maintain an evil world for the benefit of the elect so that God can make his power and the riches of his glory known to those he has chosen for adoption.

So God’s plan does indeed work out for the good for those who love him. God is not the author of sin and evil, that distinction is left for those who do the sinning and tempt others to sin. God is however the ordainer of sin and evil and has decreed that it will be allowed to exist for a limited time so that he can teach the elect the needed lesson and display his love and mercy and power to them.

People are culpable because of who they are and what they intend as opposed to the righteousness of God who has for a good purpose decreed all things.

Genesis 50:20 ESV
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

God’s plan is a plan of family and love. He loved his Son and us so much that he gave His only Son to be sacrificed for his glory and for our benefit.

John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

We know that Jesus Christ is worthy of glory and honor because of who he is and what he has done. If evil never existed we wouldn’t know those things. I take confidence in God’s perfect plan. I urge everyone to trust in the Lord for he is good!

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

–David

“The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.” –C. H. Spurgeon

I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. –C.H. Spurgeon

Link: http://www.spurgeon.org/calvinis.htm

The five points of Calvinism were not written by John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. They were certainly described, but not written out explicitly in five points. The five points are a point by point response to the Arminian Remonstrance. These five points are a summary of the Synod of Dordt. They form a comprehensive soteriological explanation of proper exegesis of scripture regarding the subject.

There is an acronym for the five points called TULIP. I will give a short explanation for each point using the TULIP formula below. I have provided three proof texts for each point. There are many more.

T – Total Depravity

Since the fall man’s nature has been totally depraved. He is unable to do anything at all that will effect his salvation on his own without the intervention of God’s grace. Total depravity doesn’t mean that man is as depraved as he can be all the time. It means that he is naturally inclined to wickedness, he is comfortable with his wickedness and is spiritually dead.

Psalm 51:5 ESV
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

U – Unconditional Election

God from before the foundation of the world has elected some men to salvation based on no merits of their own whatsoever. His election is undeserved favor and his elect have met no condition to earn it.

Luke 18:7 ESV
7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

Romans 8:33 ESV
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Romans 9:16 ESV
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

L – Limited Atonement

Christ’s atoning work on the cross is definite in design and accomplishment. It is intended to provide complete satisfaction for elect sinners. It secures salvation for this elect group. Christ died for his people so the atonement is limited to them, and applied to them when they believe in Christ and repent. The gospel call is given to all who hear the gospel but only those effectually called will believe, repent and receive atonement.

John 10:14-15 ESV
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Acts 20:28 ESV
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Hebrews 9:28 ESV
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

I – Irresistible Grace

All who hear the gospel receive a gospel call. However when the time of an elect person to be saved is accomplished God gives that elect person an effectual call in which the Holy Spirit works regeneration in the elect sinner inevitably bringing him to faith and repentance.

 1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 8:28-30 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Acts 13:48 ESV
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

P – Perseverance of the Saints

The elect are saved by God’s power and kept by his power to ensure their perseverance and final salvation. This is the doctrine commonly called “once saved always saved.” I prefer to say IF saved always saved.

John 6:47 ESV
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

John 10:27-30 ESV
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,  is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Romans 5:8-10 ESV
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

–David

OB”, please grab a few of these and help us understand how you perceive them. A dozen or so, more if you feel like it.

1Tim4:1 some will fall away by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demon doctrines
1Tim6:10 love of money will cause some to wander away from the faith
1Tim6:20-21 some have gone after empty chatter and gone astray from the faith
2Cor11:3 We are at the same risk of deception from the devil as Eve was
Col2:6-8 Walk in Christ, guard yourselves against deceivers trying to take you captive
Rom14:15 & 1Cor8:11 Do not destroy your brother, for whom Christ died
Rom11:18-23 It is arrogant to think we cannot be cut off for unbelief
Eph4:17ff Do not walk as heathens, ignorant and darkened, excluded from the life of God

Heb2:1-3 Be diligent not to drift away; we shall not escape who forsake so great a salvation
Heb3:6 We are Christ’s house if we hold fast our confidence & boast of our hope firm until the end
Heb3:8-13 Do not harden your hearts; guard against deceitful sin lest you fall away from God
Heb3:14 We are partners in Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end
Heb4:1 Therefore let us fear lest ..any of you fall short of entering God’s rest
Heb4:11 Do not fall and fail to enter God’s rest by imitating their disobedience and unbelief
Heb6:4-6 Those who were saved, but now fall away, won’t want to repent
Heb6:11-12 You need diligence, so as to realize full assurance firm until the end,
…..that you not be sluggish but imitate those who by faith and patience inherit the promises
Heb10:26-29 If WE continue sinning willfully, Jesus’ sacrifice no longer covers us
Heb10:35 Do not throw away your confidence (10:19, 6:19, “don’t throw away JESUS!”)
Heb10:36 You need endurance, so that when you have done God’s will you may receive the Promise
Heb12:7-9 If WE refuse God’s discipline, we will no longer be His children but illegitimate and will not live
Heb12:25 Much less shall they escape who turn away from God!
Heb13:9 Do not be carried away by strange teachings

Gal3:3 They were begun in the Spirit
Gal4:9 They were known by God (but turned back to weak worthless things)
Gal5:7 They were running well, obeying the truth
Gal5:4 By forsaking “grace” and trying to return to “law”, they are severed from Christ and FALLEN from GRACE

James1:14-16 Sin can deceive us to thanatos-death-and-Hell, do not be deceived beloved brethren
James5:19-20 Any one of you who wanders away from the faith, if another leads him back know his soul is saved and many sins covered

2Pet1:5-11 Supply in your faith godly fruits like perseverance; he who lacks them has forgotten former purification
…..therefore be diligent to make your calling and election steadfast, …that the gates of Heaven be provided to you.
2Pet2:20-22 The “true escapees” (vs18) were enticed back into defilements by the false teachers and
…..false prophets, and turned away from their salvation, and are worse than before they were saved
2Pet3:14 & 17 Be diligent to be FOUND blameless …guard yourself against deceivers lest you fall from your own steadfastness!!!

I’ll take them all actually. None of them are talking about a true saved believer becoming lost again. The answer is simple. An elect person will never become un elect. People become members of the visible church through profession of faith and baptism. Partaking in those and becoming a visible member does not mean one is elect and in the invisible church of only true believers. Some who are associated with the visible church are not in the invisible church and will fall away from that affiliation. However, those in the invisible Church of only true believers will never fall away because they are elected and predestined to salvation by God.

John 10:11 ESV
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:27-30 ESV
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

–David

how is it just for a just God to deny a ‘good’ heathen, or jew, or buddhist, or moslem, a place in heaven? Admit it – one’s faith is accident of birth and temperament, and entirely arbitrary, and no justifiable criterion on which to dish out either eternal bliss or eternal torment.

The answer is quite simple really. (Isaiah 53)

The truth is there are no “good people” at all. Everyone deserves to go to hell because all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). So for God to be a just God everyone would go to hell because at heart everyone is born wicked (Psalm 51:5) (Genesis 8:21) (Jeremiah 17:9). If the inner most thoughts of man were made public knowledge he would hide himself from the shame and fear of being known for what he is. God isn’t obligated to save anyone at all.

 God can’t just pardon wickedness without punishment, that would be injust and God is perfect. He is perfectly just and good. So he does things perfectly.

Here’s how he justifies sinners:

Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, came to earth took on flesh and fullfilled God’s will by his personal obedience. He is righteous and good and never sinned. He willingly gave his life in God’s plan for those who God selected to pardon. When he died on the cross he took on their punishment by being crushed by the righteous wrath of God against sin and was seperated from him and counted as sin itself (2 Corinthians 5:21). “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Matt 27:6 Psalm 22:1) He bore our burden freely and for the sake of Him God raised him from the dead and gave him a people out of the world to glorify him as Lord and king. (Isaiah 53:12) God imputes the righteousness of Christ to worthless sinners by faith in Jesus Christ and saves them from sin and death. Those who have faith in him are those who are his. When God sees one who is clothed in the righteousness of Christ he no longer sees a sinner who deserves the outpouring of his wrath he sees his beloved child, so we call God “Our Father”.

There is salvation in no one else:

Acts 4:11-12 ESV
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Thus God being a just and merciful God gives mercy to some because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ that paid the debt owed by willingly taking the punishment due his sheep upon himself in their place, and he gives Justice to the rest. (Romans 9:22-23)

Mercy and Justice are both attributes of God who himself has defined good as there are none greater. (Isaiah 45:22)

Everyone gets what they want in a way. There is no cruelty only justice and mercy. All those in heaven love God and want to worship him forever and all those in hell hate him and want to curse him forever. In heaven is eternal life in the family of God in hell is eternal torment in hatred and rebellion under the just outpouring of the wrath of God upon all wickedness.

To be saved one must realize they need a savior. One must see their sin for what it is and the seperation that it puts between them and a Holy God. When they see that sin and repent and put to death the things of the flesh and trust in Christ alone for their salvation they are saved by his grace and walk in the Spirit of God loving God and others and hating sin.

I urge anyone who wants to be saved from sin and death to repent and trust in Jesus and be saved.

(Romans 10:9-13) (John 3:5-7, 16-21) (1 John 3:4-10)

–David

Divorce and Remarriage

March 28, 2011

Here is the Westminster Confession of Faith on Divorce and Remarriage:

V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.

VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage: wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.

Scripture Proof:

Matthew 5:31-32 ESV
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9 ESV
9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

1 Corinthians 7:15 ESV
15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

Here is R.C. Sproul’s position:

“So I take the position that an innocent party in divorce is free to remarry. Now, when we say innocent or guilty, we recognize that everybody contributes to the breakdown of a marriage. By “guilty party” I mean the one who committed the sin serious enough to dissolve the marriage. But I would also say that even the guilty party can get remarried if there is authentic repentance.”

Link: R.C. Sproul’s Position on Divorce and Remarriage

Here is John Macarthur’s position:

“So God’s utter hatred of divorce is very clear in Scripture.
Nonetheless, there are two extraordinary cases in which Scripture teaches that God does permit divorced people to remarry.
First, note that Jesus Himself included this exception clause: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” (Matt. 19:9, King James Version, emphasis added). He allows an exception in this one case, only “because of the hardness of your hearts” (Matt. 19:8). Clearly, Jesus is treating divorce as a last resort, only to be sought in the case of hard-hearted adultery.
The apostle Paul allows one more reason for divorce: if an unbelieving spouse abandons a believer, the believer is under no obligation in such a case (1 Cor. 7:14). This would free the abandoned spouse to remarry.
But we must emphasize that apart from those two specific, exceptional cases, divorce is not sanctioned in Scripture.”

Link: John Macarthur’s Position on Divorce and Remarriage

Here is John Piper’s position:

“Conclusions and Applications

In the New Testament the question about remarriage after divorce is not determined by:
The guilt or innocence of either spouse,
Nor by whether either spouse is a believer or not,
Nor by whether the divorce happened before or after either spouse’s conversion,
Nor by the ease or difficulty of living as a single parent for the rest of life on earth,
Nor by whether there is adultery or desertion involved,
Nor by the on-going reality of the hardness of the human heart,
Nor by the cultural permissiveness of the surrounding society.
Rather it is determined by the fact that:
Marriage is a “one-flesh” relationship of divine establishment and extraordinary significance in the eyes of God (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8),
Only God, not man, can end this one-flesh relationship (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9—this is why remarriage is called adultery by Jesus: he assumes that the first marriage is still binding, Matthew 5:32; Luke 16:18; Mark 10:11),
God ends the one-flesh relationship of marriage only through the death of one of the spouses (Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39),
The grace and power of God are promised and sufficient to enable a trusting, divorced Christian to be single all this earthly life if necessary (Matthew 19:10-12,26; 1 Corinthians 10:13),
Temporal frustrations and disadvantages are much to be preferred over the disobedience of remarriage, and will yield deep and lasting joy both in this life and the life to come (Matthew 5:29-30).
Those who are already remarried:
Should acknowledge that the choice to remarry and the act of entering a second marriage was sin, and confess it as such and seek forgiveness
Should not attempt to return to the first partner after entering a second union (see 8.2 above)
Should not separate and live as single people thinking that this would result in less sin because all their sexual relations are acts of adultery. The Bible does not give prescriptions for this particular case, but it does treat second marriages as having significant standing in God’s eyes. That is, there were promises made and there has been a union formed. It should not have been formed, but it was. It is not to be taken lightly. Promises are to be kept, and the union is to be sanctified to God. While not the ideal state, staying in a second marriage is God’s will for a couple and their ongoing relations should not be looked on as adulterous.”

Link: John Piper’s position on Divorce and Remarriage

Macarthur and Sproul agree with the Westminster confession. Piper’s position is a little different.

I agree with the Westminster Confession on this because scripture testifies to the same. However, I also agree with Piper that there should be repentance for all failed marriages.

There is always sin involved in causing the first marriage to fail, but once one is divorced and free of the contract is it then sin to remarry? Sproul and Macarthur say it is not sin to remarry and one is free to do so because the scriptures allow divorce (a total freeing of the bond) in those cases so one who is free is indeed as free as if they were never married.

Piper thinks that there is nothing that actually can separate the bond, so he sees scriptural divorce as simply allowed separation and not real divorce as the Sproul, Macarthur and the writers of the Westminster Confession interpreted. Piper’s view is very close to the Roman Catholic view. The real question he brings up is does one need to feel guilty for the “sin” of remarrying and thus repent and ask forgiveness of it even though they were scripturally divorced before it?

I agree with the WCF here and think the bible is clear that we are free after divorce for the reasons of adultery or abandonment, but I also agree with Piper that we should repent of the sins that caused our marriage to fail and then the sin of giving up on reconciliation with our separated spouse.

–David

  Reasons to believe the Bible is true.

The Classical Reason

1. The bible has been proven by history, archeology, and textual criticism, to be a reliable and trustworthy historical document. It has been preserved and passed down by God’s people throughout the ages.

As a matter of fact, if we were to throw out the New Testament on the grounds of textual scrutiny we would by the same logic be forced to throw out all of our ancient history as well and we would be blind to the past entirely. The New Testament doesn’t just win the textual criticism argument it clears the field.

Author Date Written Earliest Copy Span between original and copy Number of Copies Accuracy of Copies
Lucretius Before 53 B.C. N/A 1100 Years 2 ????
Pliny 61-113 A.D. 850 A.D. 750 Years 7 ????
Plato 427-347 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 Years 7 ????
Demonsthenes 4th Century B.C. 1100 A.D. 800 Years 8 ????
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 Years 8 ????
Suetonius 75-160 A.D. 950 A.D. 800 Years 8 ????
Thucydides 460-400 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 Years 8 ????
Euripides 480-406 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1300 Years 9 ????
Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 Years 10 ????
Caesar 100-44 B.C. 900 A.D. 1000 Years 10 ????
Livy 59 B.C. – A.D. 17 N/A ????? 20 ????
Tacitus 100 A.D. 1100 A.D. 1000 Years 20 ????
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1400 Years 49 ????
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. 1000 A.D. 1400 Years 193 ????
Homer 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 Years 643 95.00%
New Testament 50-100 A.D. 130 A.D. Less than 100 Years 5600 99.50%

The above chart is better listed and detailed at: CARM Manuscript Evidence

2. So, given that we believe in God and given the basis that the New Testament has withstood textual scruitiny to be shown as a reliable document, we have sufficient reason to believe with confidence that Jesus Christ is the Son of God based on the testimony of the text.

3. Since Jesus Christ is the Son of God he is an infallible authority.

4. Jesus Christ teaches that the Bible is the written Word of God.

Matthew 24:35 ESV
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Matthew 4:4 ESV
4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 22:29 ESV
29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

John 10:35 ESV
35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—

5. Since the Word comes from God it is utterly trustworthy because God is utterly trustworthy.

Conclusion: On the Infallible Authority of Jesus Christ we believe the Bible is the written Word of God.

Presuppositional Reason

1 The Bible is the infallible word of God. This is known based on the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit only available to the regenerate indwelt believer.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 ESV
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

John 10:27 ESV
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

2. The bible attests to it’s own infallibility.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

3. The self attestation of scripture is an infallible attestation.

Conclusion: The Bible is the written Word of God

–David