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Calvinists, Arminians and middle of the road non-denominational denominations would all answer yes to this question. We would also agree that putting one’s faith in Christ for salvation is well pleasing to the Father. However, the Calvinist does not see eye to eye when answering the question, why one person believes in Christ and another does not. The Arminian and the middle of the roader answer this question by saying man’s “free will” is the deciding factor. They both agree that the unregenerate will of man has the ability and is capable of choosing or rejecting Christ. Both are able to produce various Bible passages that refer to man choosing to serve God, but they fail to understand “why” one is choosing to serve God.

The Calvinist or reformed, will agree that man does choose to put his faith in Christ, but it is the act of God’s saving grace which precedes personal faith that is the determining factor. The unregenerate stony heart has no ability to believe in Christ because he does not accept the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14). God first regenerates the heart of the rebel sinner, then he is able to bow the knee and confess Christ as his personal savior (Eze 36:26; Tit 3:4-7; Rom 10:9-10). Let us examine this in the light of Scripture as we exegete Romans 8:8 where Apostle Paul says, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” We immediately see that the “will” of the unbeliever is not able to please God. Paul establishes the point in Romans 8:9b that anyone void of the Holy Spirit cannot please God because they do not belong to Him.
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Mark Twain once said, “Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.” Although there may be days when we feel like he got it right, we know God has ordained work as a stewardship of his created world (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). He has designed work for his glory and our good. But how might we glorify God at work? This list is not exhaustive, but here’s at least 12 ways —

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When Sin Plays Dead

by Jason Moore on April 11, 2011

Have you ever watched an opossum escape from a predator? They use a defense mechanism distinct to only a few animals—playing dead. When faced with a threat, an opossum will often fall on the ground, close his eyes, extend his limbs, and lie very still. He appears lifeless—and harmless. But when the danger passes, he revives and scurries away. You can almost hear laughter as he makes his escape.

Playing dead seems to be an effective means of survival, but opossums aren’t the sole practitioners of that strategy.

Our sins often “play dead” too, especially when faced with the threat of execution. They fake death in order to escape it. While you may think you’ve slain a particular sin, sometimes life still pulses within your enemy and it secretly takes its leave, stays quiet, and waits on danger to pass.  READ MORE

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New Birth and Worship

by Jason Moore on April 7, 2011

Because sin is not merely doing bad things but an even deeper problem of building our identity on someone or something other than God alone, the solution to idolatry is not to change our behavior but to have a complete reorientation of our nature at the deepest level of our being, or what Jesus called being born again.

You must be born again

In the third chapter of John’s Gospel, a man named Nicodemus came to meet with Jesus. Nicodemus was a devoutly religious man. As a Pharisee, he would have committed large sections of the Hebrew Old Testament to memory and been revered as morally upright, intelligent, and among the holiest of men. In John 3:3, Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This confused Nicodemus, so Jesus explained that there are two births. The first birth is our physical birth that occurs when our mother’s water breaks and we are brought into this world. By virtue of our first birth we are physically alive but spiritually dead. The second birth is our spiritual birth whereby God the Holy Spirit causes us to be born again so that we are both physically and spiritually alive.

Unlike religion, which is based on fear that forces people to do what they do not want to do, regeneration is based on love and God inviting new people to live new lives of worship.

Nicodemus considered himself spiritually alive by virtue of his religion, spirituality, theology, and morality. But he was likely astounded when Jesus told him plainly, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).

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Robbed Hell – C.A.S.T. Pearls Presents

April 4, 2011

Robbed Hell – C.A.S.T. Pearls Presents from Canon Wired on Vimeo. In case you haven’t seen what all the Rob Bell controversy is, the Resurgence has put together a brief timeline of theologians who’ve publicly cried foul over Rob’s book.

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Glorious Freedom

March 28, 2011

From Sinclair Ferguson You may have been a Christian for some time and yet not grasped your new status in Christ. You may still be intimidated by the domineering character of the tyrant who once ruled over you. Believers sometimes wrongly assume: “I have sinned; therefore, sin still has authority over me. I cannot possibly have […]

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The “Free-Will” of Man

February 10, 2011

Apostle Paul establishes in Romans 3:9 that every human being both Jew and Gentile is under the reign of sin and prior to conversion he is enslaved to sin which results in death (Rom 3:9; Rom 6:6; Rom 6:16). The unbeliever presents himself “willingly” of his own “free will” as an obedient slave to his […]

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Man’s mind is in darkness and needs the Light of God

January 17, 2011

The unbeliever lives out his life in the worthlessness of his own mind, having a darkened understanding and excluded from the life of God because of his own ignorance and hardness of heart (Eph 4:17-18). People do not consider what life is really about and if they do, they are deceiving themselves and are not […]

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