God's Plan

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Biblical Significance

Psalms 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

God’s Plan of Salvation

Hebrews 2:16-17 For verily He (Jesus) took [manifested] not on Him [the likeness or] the nature of angels; but He took (manifested) on Him [as a human in] the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things [as an incarnated human] it behoved Him to be made [human] like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful [Melchisedec] High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people [and not reconciliation for the sins of the fallen angels].

Romans 2:14-16 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature [a good conscience] the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


Recovering the Gospel — Why Belief in an Unlimited Atonement Matters

I expect there will be no disagreement on the affirmation regarding the penal substitution of Christ. The penal substitutionary atonement, though often attacked and vilified in modern theology, is the bedrock doctrine for explaining the work of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. Sin can only be atoned by the shed blood of Christ on the cross as our substitute. The word “penal” connotes legal imagery. Jesus’ death on the cross satisfied the justice and wrath of God against our sin. Apart from Christ, there is no salvation. Apart from his atonement, there is no salvation. Only the cross of Christ provides an available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person. ... When it comes to the atonement, it is crucial to keep three major concepts in mind: 1) intent, 2) extent, and 3) application. The “intent” of the atonement answers the question: “What was God’s purpose in providing the atonement. The “extent” of the atonement answers the question: “For whose sins did Christ die?” The “application” of the atonement answers the question: “When and to whom is the atonement applied?” Though these questions are interrelated, my comments below will be focused primarily on the question of “extent.” ... The key issue in the debate over the extent of the atonement has to do with the “sufficiency” of Christ’s death. All Calvinists will affirm this sufficiency as “infinite” to save any and all. But, and this is crucial, what those who hold to limited atonement mean by this is that Christ’s death could have paid for the sins of the whole world had God intended for it to do so, but He did not intend such and hence the death of Christ is limited to the sins of the elect. We believe, along with all Calvinists who reject limited atonement, that Christ’s death is actually sufficient for the sins of all because it actually paid for the sins of all. This is called “infinite” or “universal” sufficiency. ...

By David L. Allen, Professor of Preaching, George W. Truett Chair of Ministry, Director of the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching, and Dean of the School of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


Article Seven: The Sovereignty of God of "A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation" sbctoday.com

For most of us, it is moral and ethical character and not skilled intimidation that elicits praise. What is truly praiseworthy about God’s sovereignty is not that He exercises a power He obviously has, but that, because of His character, He does not exercise all the power He could. Perhaps the greatest testimony to God’s sovereignty is that God created beings who possess the power to say no to Him. ~ Dr. Bruce McLaughlin


Review by Mike Leake (blog: Borrowed Light) of the book "Killing Calvinism" by Greg Dutcher Borrowed Light

Here are his eight ways that Calvinists can destroy Calvinism

  1. By loving Calvinism as an end in itself
  2. By becoming theologians instead of disciples
  3. By loving God’s sovereignty more than God himself
  4. By losing an urgency in evangelism
  5. By refusing to learn from non-Calvinists
  6. By tidying up the Bible’s “loose ends”
  7. By being a bunch of arrogant know-it-alls
  8. By scoffing at the emotional hang-ups others have with Calvinism


Reading through Dutcher’s work exposed a few vestiges of both pride and inconsistency in my walk with Christ. There were a few moments in the book where I found myself soundly rebuked. Funny thing is I think I had even taught some of these points myself, but the way that Dutcher worded them and proclaimed them brought conviction to my soul. Here is a helpful sample for you to see how Dutcher is passionate, forceful, and yet very gracious: A disciple is a student of Christ—someone who spends time with the Savior in order to come to know him better and resemble him more closely. As a pastor, I have found that many Christians simply assume that learning more and more about the Bible and theology—Reformed theology in particular—is the same thing as growing as a disciple. It isn't. Robust theology can be a powerful catalyst in this process, but like anything else, we can turn it into an idol. The danger is that, while we may begin with Reformed theology as the framework by which we more coherently understand and appreciate our faith, over time it can become the substance of our faith. At that point, daily living is more about mastering Reformed doctrine than being mastered by Jesus and his total claim over every area of life. ~ Mike Leake


The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Hebrews 10:14-25 For by one [atonement] offering He (Jesus) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the Covenant [New Testament] that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into [the opened way – into the presence of God - and eternal life - provided by the atonement] the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated [atoned] for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an [Melchisedec] High Priest over the House of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised; And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day [return of Jesus Christ] approaching.

When the broken relationship is identified as broken, it is then possible to determine a remedy (Atonement). It is up to the offended party to declare what is suitable to repair the relationship and it is up to the offending party to desire to remedy the relationship otherwise the relationship will remain broken.

God being the offended one has declared that a relationship in the current sinful physical state of man is not acceptable. God has determined that to repair the relationship it will be necessary to have a new birth, a new Spiritual Born Again birth. Now it would normally be up to the offending party to meet the needs of the offended one therefore restoring the relationship. In this case, man is not able to repair the breach, the brokenness is too broken for us to repair. In this case God, has sent Himself to repair (atone) the separation on man's behalf.

The atonement is what the offending party is offering to the offended party. God has a special category of people that make offerings to Him. This group of people is called priests. A priest offers to God on behalf of man, where a prophet receives from God and offers it to man. Because God is not upset with Himself and God is not in a broken relationship with Himself, God has no need to make atonement with Himself. For this reason God had to become a man. God had to become a man and serve as a priest to offer atonement (repair) for the broken relationship between man and God.

After the offending party offers the repair (atonement) it is up to the offended party to determine if the offering is acceptable and if acceptable, therefore repairing and restoring the relationship. We know beyond any doubt that Jesus and what Jesus did as a Priest in offering atonement to God is acceptable to God and has repaired the relationship between man and God. The reason that we know this is that God resurrected Jesus from death in an eternal Spiritual body.

Romans 1:3 Concerning His (Father's) Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

The atonement between man and God is complete and completed; there is no current or future work of atonement. We have received the work that Jesus as our High Priest did for us on the cross. The relationship between man and God is now open and available. The atonement is a sacrifice that is offered from a priest to God. We do not receive atonement [directly] from God. God is not offering atonement directly to us because He has not offended us. Now that the relationship between God and man has been atoned (repaired) by the cross of Jesus Christ it is now the responsibility of each individual person to take advantage of the repaired relationship and enter into the atonement of Jesus Christ and have a relationship with God.

It should also be noted: Regarding the incorrect doctrine of 'Limited Atonement' that the Atonement [Christ] was sacrificed here on earth - there is no atonement blood being sacrificed in heaven to be given down to mankind. The atonement blood sacrifice was shed on the cross of Jesus on earth and the works of the cross of Jesus offered up and accepted by God the Father in Heaven creating a completed atonement [the repaired relationship between the Holy God and a sinful mankind] at one time for all mankind; past, present and future. -- "Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." -- "Leviticus 6:7 And the priest (Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:20) shall make an atonement for him [sinner] before the LORD [God]: and it shall be forgiven him [sinner] for any thing of all that he hath done [sins] in trespassing therein." -- Also Note: The atonement sacrifice of Jesus is complete, conclusive and eternal for all mankind who are willing to receive it because the blood that Jesus shed on the cross after His death [full payment for our sins] is blood that is sinless [unlimited], Holy [in fellowship with God] and eternally [pre-existent] alive [Spirit life]. We receive our eternal life from the eternal life of the blood (Leviticus 17:11) of Jesus promised at the Last Supper Communion (Matthew 26:28) then shed and poured out (John 19:34 - Psalms 22:14 - Isaiah 53:12) on the cross. -- David Anson Brown

John 1:1-18 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word (Jesus Christ) was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (Jesus Christ); and without Him was not any thing made [created] that was made. In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man [John the Baptist] sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He [John the Baptist] was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That (Jesus Christ) was the True Light, which lighteth [gives life to] every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name (Jesus Christ): Which were born [Spiritually], not [physically] of blood, nor of [physical effort] the will of the flesh, nor of the will [human desires] of man, but of God. And the Word (Jesus Christ) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth. John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He (Jesus Christ) that cometh [physically] after me is preferred before me: for He [eternally] was before me. And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; [only] the only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), which is in the bosom of the Father, He (Jesus Christ) hath declared Him.

God's Knowledge

Omniscience

Omni - all, complete; Science - knowledge, wisdom, understanding, design

Verses - 1st Samuel 23:11,12; Job 11:8; Psalms 104:24; John 18:4 19:28; Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:9 2:3 3:16; James 1:5

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.

Colossians 2:2-3 ... to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God [Holy Spirit] and of the Father [God] and of Christ [Jesus Christ - the Son]; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Source Basic Christian: Theology

God's plan for His creation

God has a plan and as His plan His creation has been manifested into existence, including all of time [past (history), present and future] and within it all the entirety of humanity.


God’s complete Omniscience knowledge as it affects mankind is commonly referred to in three parts or three phases.

  1. God’s knowledge of His originally intended plan [aka God’s necessary knowledge – God’s perfect will] i.e. mankind created and originally intended to remain in the Garden of Eden without sin or the knowledge and experience of sin.
  2. God’s knowledge of all possible events [aka God’s middle knowledge – God’s common grace] within the Freewill of His creation, especially regarding the freewill of mankind.
  3. God’s knowledge and ability [aka God’s reality, ontology – God’s special grace] to be brought about throughout the freewill of His creation. God's intended and desired results.


Biblical Examples

  • God’s necessary knowledge – God’s perfect will

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven [sky] and the earth.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us [Father, Son, Holy Spirit] make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.


  • God’s middle knowledge – God’s common grace

1 Samuel 23:1-5 Then they told [King] David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors. Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. And David's men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines? Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

1 Samuel 23:9-14 And [King] David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod. Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down. Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up. Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth. And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.

Acts 9:10-12 And there was a certain disciple [common Christian] at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Acts 16:9-10 And a vision appeared to [Apostle] Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed [asked] him, saying, Come over into Macedonia [Greece], and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them.


  • God’s reality, ontology – God’s special grace

Revelation 21:1-4 And I saw a New Heaven [sky] and a New Earth: for the First Heaven [sky] and the First Earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.


David Anson Brown 08:03, 17 December 2011 (MST)