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I would not want to be critical of those who say they believe “the doctrines of grace,” but we need to understand that when the word “doctrines” is used in the Word of God, it refers to religious error. (See Matthew 15:9, Mark 7:7, Colossians 2:22, 1 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 13:9.) On the other hand, except in a few cases, when “doctrine” is used, the reference is to the gospel or the truth of God, which is singular. Our Lord said, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, My speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass” (Deuteronomy 32:2). Paul frequently spoke of “the doctrine.” “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16). Notice he speaks of “the doctrine,” which is singular, and yet admonishes “continue in them,” which is plural. Though it consists of several parts, various segments, the truth is singular. The apostle wrote to Titus about adorning “the doctrine of God our Savior” (2:10). There is only one true doctrine, the gospel of God’s sovereign, saving grace. It is the glad tidings of the person and work of Jesus Christ whereby He, the Representative and Substitute of His chosen people, lived in this world according to the requirements of the law, died to make satisfaction to divine justice which demanded death for sin and was raised again because by His sacrifice He had saved, redeemed and justified His people. The doctrine of grace is that blessed truth that salvation, in its entirety, is of the Lord Who freely gives His salvation to undeserving sinners according to His eternal purpose of grace. This is the gospel of the full remission of sins by the blood of Christ and justification before God upon the basis of His imputed righteousness. Rejoice in the doctrine of grace and beware of any teaching which is contrary to this gospel. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). “Be not carried away by divers and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:9) and do not give heed “to seducing spirits or doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 John 1:10).
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
DEAD, WITHOUT DESIRE
The dead body of Lazarus was not more incapable of performing the functions of common life than we, by nature, are of performing one spiritual act, or even of feeling one spiritual desire; till He, who by His commanding Word, raised Lazarus from the grave, is pleased, by the power of His Holy Spirit, to raise us from the death of sin unto a new life of righteousness.
--- John Newton
"HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON"
Before the foundation of the world, God chose a people in Christ and purposed to be gracious to them (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Those ordained to salvation were "predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ" (Romans 8:29). Here is the question I want you to consider: what will God sacrifice in order to save the objects of His love from their sins? What was He willing to surrender so that a multitude of rebels would be justified in His sight? I will first tell you what He did not sacrifice.He did not part with His holy character by compromising His justice because "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). He did not give up His honor by lessening the standard for acceptance: "it shall be perfect to be accepted" (Leviticus 22:21). And, He did not abandon His Law which says, "the soul that sinneth shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20). I will tell you the sacrifice God gave to save His people from their sins - His own Son. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." (John 3:16). "God spared not His own Son..." (Romans 8:32). Why did God "not spare His own Son"? There was no other way He could be just and justify the ungodly. The sins of His people were imputed to Christ and as their Substitute He died and thereby satisfied the claims of justice against us. It is written, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Galatians 4:4-5). In order to make us righteous, God would not and could not surrender His holiness, His honor or His Law, but He did give His Son over to the sword of vengeance (Zechariah 13:7). The blessed Redeemer, God’s Offering for sin and our Substitute, suffered the agonizing death of the cross in order to "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). "The LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). When Christ died, the sins of God’s children were condemned, and therefore, those for whom He laid down His life shall never be condemned (Romans 8:1-3).