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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Featured Audio: Office Hours on ‘The Law is Not of Faith’ | Main | What is Forgiveness? »

    The Certain Triumph of Christ

    Now that we have seen the universal opposition to God and his Christ, we will examine the certain triumph of Christ. It would seem that the threat which the world has to offer the godly is very great: Satan is furious against Christ and all who are in him, and he has subverted the whole world to working out his designs for their evil. And yet, when we enter the eternal counsel of God, all this fearful opposition is lighter than chaff, it is so small and insignificant a threat that God laughs at them in derision. From this, we must learn that, if we would comfort ourselves in any opposition, we must take firm hold in our minds of the eternal decree of God, for when we are firmly rooted in this immutable counsel, we too may laugh at the designs of the wicked, knowing that God will infallibly work out all things for our eternal good. For not only does the rest of the psalter speak in several instances of how God will laugh at all his enemies (e.g. Psalm 37:13; 59:8; cf. also Prov. 1:26), but it also teaches us that the righteous who trust in God may laugh at all their enemies’ designs, even as the psalmist says elsewhere, “The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!” But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever” (Psalm 52:6-8, ESV).

    When we look to God who reigns upon his throne, we see that he is neither surprised nor ruffled by this universal opposition. They are dashing themselves against the immutability of his purpose, and can no more budge his decree than a gnat can budge an anvil when he flings his little body against it in rage. They will destroy themselves in their mad uprising, and he will only laugh in contempt. But will you see the perfect fulfillment of this prophecy? Then look to where all the forces of the world raged the most wickedly, where they put the Lord’s Christ to a shameful and bloody death: but even in this they were so far from preventing God’s eternal decree, that they actually accomplished it, and did all that his sovereign plan had predestined to take place. For this Jesus, against whom the nations raged, and who was “crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men,” was delivered up to them “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Act 2:23, ESV).

    But not only is God unruffled by such worldwide opposition; he has also determined, and he will not revoke it, that he will actively pour out his wrath and judgment upon all this world of ungodly men. He will judge them reasonably, as is signified by that expression, “he will speak unto them in his wrath” — for in that he will speak to them, it is clear that he will declare to them precisely why and for what reason he is about to send them into torments; but that judgment will not only be reasonable and just, it will also be horrible enough to terrify and overwhelm them forever; as indeed it should be, seeing they have raged against so high and exalted and eternal a God, before whom there is no other. This prophecy was fulfilled, in one sense, when God in his anger destroyed Jerusalem, where his Christ had been slain, and did not leave one stone upon another when he overthrew the temple where men had despised their Maker and the true Temple of God; but even that unspeakable horror of AD 70 is but a foretaste and hint of the fearful judgment to come. For soon, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10, ESV); and ah what horrors of darkness await the enemies of Christ on that day I could never express. -- from Kiss the Son

    Posted by Nathan on November 21, 2009 01:18 PM

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