Posted tagged ‘Inclusion’

The Sovereignty of Grace

July 4, 2020

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For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God’s approach present, not of works, lest anyone should be boasting. For His achievement are we, being created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God makes ready beforehand, that we should be walking in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Salvation, justification and glorification are all gifts from God, that His beloved Son “… be Firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:28-30). These same gifts cannot be gained or forfeited through any subsequent disobedience or failure. Indeed, any further act of sin would simply call forth greater increases in the provision of grace (Romans 6:1)! … Such love confirms the sovereignty of grace.

The love of God has been poured out in our hearts … [and] Neither death nor life, nor messengers, nor sovereignties, nor the present, nor what is impending, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Romans 5:5; 8:38-39).

Donald Fielding
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 85

The Contrast

June 22, 2020

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Sin is the masterful and critical aspect of God’s creation that allows us to see and experience the backdrop – THE CONTRAST – which is necessary for us to enter the resurrection with amazement. When we are resurrected, it will be the sin, death, pain, misery, etc. that will help us to see His love, redemption and mercy for ever and ever.

Mike Owens
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Making All Things Right

June 20, 2020

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As a reminder of God’s incredible power over creation (see Psalm 135:6-7), throughout history darkness during the day has been seen as abnormal and foreboding (cf. Exodus 10:21; Matthew 27:45), a sign that everything is not as it should be.

This is what darkness signified for Amos, a prophet during the time of the divided monarchy in ancient Israel. Amos warned the Northern Kingdom that destruction would come if they continued to turn away from God. As a sign, God would “make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos 8:9, ESV).

Yet God’s ultimate desire and purpose was – and is – to make all things right. … Even when life is at its darkest, like Israel we can find comfort in knowing that God is at work to bring light and hope back – to all people (Acts 15:15-17).

Lisa M. Samra
Our Daily Bread, May 4, 2020
(adapted & edited)
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All of God’s Creatures Will Finally Be Happy

June 18, 2020

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Nothing can be more contrary to the divine nature and attributes than for a God all-wise, all-good, all-powerful, and all-perfect, to bestow existence on any being whom He foreknows must terminate in wretchedness and misery without respite of end. His goodness could never give birth to any one being, and much less to numberless beings whose end He foresaw would be irretrievable misery; nor could even His justice inflict everlasting punishment.

God made all of His creatures finally to be happy; He could never make any whose end He foreknew would be misery everlasting. God is love; infinite benevolence alone prompted Him to action, and infinite benevolence combined with unerring wisdom, and supported by irresistible power, will infallibly accomplish its purpose in the best possible manner.

Thomas Newton (1704-1782)
Dissertations on the Final State of Mankind
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All Shall Be Saved – It’s in the Book

April 10, 2020

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In my work as a hospice chaplain I have discovered that virtually all Texans of a certain age can quote John 3:16 from memory (invariably from the King James Version):

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Few, however, have memorized the verse that follows:

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him, might be saved.

In I Timothy the writer celebrates

God our Savior, Who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one Mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, Himself human, Who gave Himself a ransom for all (2:3-5).

And there’s I Corinthians 15:22,

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

The clearest enunciation of this teaching comes in the second chapter of Philippians where Paul … hails that great gettin’ up morning when,

at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (:10).

All shall be saved. It’s in the book.

Alan Bean
Heaven-or-Hell Theology May be Simple, but it is Neither Biblical nor Morally Defensible
Baptist News Global (Opinion), March 5, 2020
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The God Who Loves Sinners

April 6, 2020

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He has a single, relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods – the gods of human understanding – despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of Grace.

Brennan Manning (1934-2013)
The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 18
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My Conviction of the Salvation of All Men

April 2, 2020

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My conviction of the truth of this doctrine was derived from reading the works of Stonehouse, Seigvolk, White, Chauncey and Winchester, and afterwards from an attentive perusal of the Scriptures.

Benjamin Rush (1746–1813)
Founding Father, signer of the Declaration of Independence, founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA
Travels through Life (reprinted in Memoirs of the Spirit: American Religious Autobiography from Jonathan Edwards to Maya Angleou, ed. by E.S. Gaustad, p.38)
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I Receive Gladly That God is Love

March 28, 2020

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I received gladly, both with feeling and understanding, the doctrine that God is love. Everything which opposes this – a burning hell, therefore, whose fire endures forever – I could not recognize.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875)
The True Story of My Life, p. 77
Translated by Mary Howitt (1847)
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Incompatible with His Holy Nature

March 24, 2020

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In my survey and meditation on the theory of hellfire and damnation, or a living, conscious, Eternal punishment after death, for any of the creatures of His Powerful Hand, I find that it is not compatible with the Holy Nature of the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity. And if true, would bar, and exclude Him from the Divine Attributes of Love, Justice and Mercy with which He is so magnanimously endowed. God is Love. We cannot conceive of Him violating the holy faculties of his Person by consigning any part of his helpless creation to interminable torture.

Charles F. Nickles (1881-1949)
Primitive “No-Heller” Baptist
Scott County, Virginia
Cited by Howard Dorgan
In the Hands of a Happy God: The “No-Hellers” of Central Appalachia
University of Tennessee Press/Knoxville 1997, p.88
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Guaranteed Success

March 22, 2020

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This is our guarantee for the success of His plan for all of humanity – even all creation. According to the pleasure of His will and the counsel of God from eons past, He will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven and which are on Earth – in Him” (Ephesians 1:10).

Ernest Ferdinand Stroeter (1846-1922)
The Gospel of God’s Reconciliation of All in Christ
Translated by J.H. Tonn (pp. 236-7)
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