[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Be Obedient to Christ: Amass Treasures in Heaven / Earn Rewards!

by Guest Blogger: Marty Cauley of Silva, North Carolina

God says…

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6, Verses 19-21

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
Chapter 9, Verse 24

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

The First Letter of John
Chapter 2, Verse 28

That means…

No, it isn’t selfish to strive for rewards. How could it be if we are commanded in Scripture to do so? The Lord Jesus commands us to "lay up treasures in heaven." The apostle Paul tells us to "run in such a way that you may obtain it." The apostle John exhorts us to abide in Christ so that when He comes we might "have confidence and not be ashamed before Him."

The word selfish means "greedy at the expense of others." It isn’t selfish to strive for eternal rewards, since greed is the very opposite of what it takes to obtain rewards. We must be generous and loving toward others to lay up rewards. Besides, we aren’t competing with other Christians for rewards. God, who is infinite, will never exhaust His ability to reward His people. No one will ever be rewarded "at the expense of others."

It is important to realize that there is a difference between legitimate self interest and selfishness. God has created us with a natural desire for fulfillment and joy in life. This is not selfish, since the true path to fulfillment and joy is in loving and helping others.

The equation of self's interest with selfishness is from Kant not from Christ.

Christ endured the cross for the joy set before Him. So should we.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Which NT book?

by HK Flynn

My undying esteem to my fellow bloggers who allowed me time off when I felt overwhelmed with life's responsibilities!...

This UAG blog is a wonderful project that I'm excited (despite my long lapse) and honored to be a part of. So while I expect to be less frequent in my blogging, I look forward to reading any comments you 'guys' may have...


Of all the New Testament books, I think I'm most looking forward to seeing how Galatians is treated in the Free Grace NT Commentary that is coming out later this year, if all stays on track. It will be very powerful to be able to have immediate access to a free grace interpretation for each NT book, not just problem passages but each passage of the NT in its immidiate context. The thought of the commentary being available to the wider evangelical world is somewhat mind-boggling. Someday, this GES project might be understood as a sort of turning point when its arguments started getting traction.

Question: What book of the NT would you most like to see interpreted from a free grace perspective?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sad but True (an incomplete list)

by Antonio da Rosa

1) Christian people's faith "shipwrecked" (1 Tim 1:18-20)

2) Christians going "astray from the truth" (2 Tim 2:17-19)

3) Christians going "astray from the faith" (1 Tim 6:20-21)

4) Christians "wander[ing] from the truth" (James 5:19)

5) God's "righteous one" who has the possibility of "shrink[ing] back" (Heb 10:38-39)

6) Galatian Christians who lose their faith in Christ for grace and rely upon the flesh and law, who severed themself from Christ (Gal 5:2)

7) Galatian Christians fallen from grace (Gal 5:4)

8) Galatian Christians liable to judgment (Gal 5:10)

9) The Spirit "explicitely says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4:13) [Ed. Note: You cannot fall away from something that you were not once in]

10) Christians denying the faith and therefore are "worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim 5:8)

11) Christian widows "turn... aside to follow Satan" (1 Tim 5:14-15)

12) I see Demas (2 Tim 4:10), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Tim 1:15), and a number of unnamed people (2 Tim 4:16) abandoning Paul for wordly ambitions.

13) Christians who are "in opposition" who are in a "snare of the devil" and are held "captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim 2:24-26).

It should concern us all that there are true Christians who apostasize from the faith. They will lose their soul (life), face shame and suffer loss.

All of us have the potential to apostasize, thus the dozens of warnings against apostasy in the New Testament. There is much at stake.

Yet God be praised. One thing is eternally off the table: hell.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why do you think?

by Antonio da Rosa

Luke 22:31-32
And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

Why would Jesus pray for Peter's faith not to fail if a true Christian cannot lose their faith?

What does this have to say about perseverance of the saints?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Some Questions for Calvinists

by Matthew

Does God choose elect individuals on the basis of:

1) characteristics they posess (they may be negative or positive characteristics)?


2) no reason at all?

If the latter is the case, how does the Elect differ from being a random sample of humanity?