New Elder: John Dockweiler

New Elder: John Dockweiler

Announcements Word in Season

We are pleased to announce the appointment of John Dockweiler as an elder of Ridgeview Bible Church. After a process of prayer, a time for congregational input, and a sweeping vote of affirmation from the congregation last Sunday, the existing elders believe that God has led us to John as the one to join the elder team. John has accepted the position.

We will present John to the congregation this Sunday and pray together for him and his ministry. Please be praying for John and the other elders (Jason, Devin, Mike, Rob and Jim) as we seek to humbly lead and lovingly shepherd Ridgeview, for the glory of God and for the good of his people.

John & Ann are longtime members of Ridgeview, and John leads one of the adult Sunday School classes. They ranch east of town, and Ann is a registered nurse. They have one grown son, Cole. You can listen to a sermon by John here [link], and a testimony he shared during a worship gathering earlier this year by clicking here [link].

The Gospel Changes Everything

The Gospel Changes Everything

Word in Season

The gospel changes everything. Jesus and the good news of his life, death, and resurrection change everything. One perfect life, one perfect sacrifice, one perfect substitute, one king seated eternally at the right hand of God changes everything. Hostility between sinners and a holy God turns into peace (Ephesians 2:14). Dead people are set free from sin and become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). By grace alone through faith alone, to the glory of God alone changes everything. 

Nowhere in the Bible is this more clear than the life of Paul. From Christain killer to quite possibly the greatest missionary who’s ever lived. What a gift we have in God’s word as we can watch the Lord do this miraculous work in Paul’s life. What does, “everything” actually look like? 

Radical Lack of Self-centeredness: Paul is willing to lay down his freedom in Christ if it will help others know Christ and accept the gospel (1 Cor 9:19). He gladly forsakes his rights, preferences, and comforts if they put obstacles in the way of the gospel (1 Cor 8:13). He views himself as a servant to all for one purpose: “that I might win more of them” (1 Cor 9:19). He spends time understanding the people he is trying to reach with the gospel, becoming as much like them as he can, even when that is an uncomfortable inconvenience to him personally. He overlooks being misrepresented by jealous brothers aiming to take advantage of their opportunity to shine as Paul sits in a dark prison cell. Why? Because of the joy he has over Christ being preached (Philippians 1:16-18). His name means nothing, but Christ’s name, now that means everything to Paul. When Christ is exalted, Paul rejoices, no matter the cost to his reputation. 

Unusual Motivations for Living: How does Paul view life? “To live is Christ” he says in Philippians 1:21. If he is released from prison he will rejoice because this means he can continue to work for the sake of Christ. That is what he clings to in this world. Fruitful labor! And this “fruitful labor” (Philippians 1:22) means that other believers will progress and mature in their faith. What joy this is for Paul. He is willing to deny himself the gain of death for the spiritual wellbeing of others (Philippians 1:25). He says one of his main motivations in evangelizing is so that he can share with believers in the blessings of Christ! Paul labors so he can enjoy the gospel with other believers (1 Cor 9:23). Paul sees that Christ is worth more than everything so he gladly suffers the loss of all things so he can know and be known in Christ (Philippians 3:8-11). This is what is top of mind for Paul. This is what he lives for and aspires to. 

Focused Fellowship: Paul’s closest relationships were with other Christians and these relationships centered around their work together to spread the gospel. Paul thanks God for the Philippians because of their partnership with him in defending and spreading the gospel (Philippians 1:3-7). Their relationship has been strengthened and deepened by witnessing God’s grace played out in each others’ lives (Philippians 1:7) and a shared mission to bring much glory to Jesus. He has deep affection for other believers (Philippians 1:8) and this love means he will warn them when they have strayed (Galatians 1:6-9, 1 Cor 3:1-4) and pray unceasingly for them to grow in deep spiritual matters (Ephesians 1:15-22). We see him intentionally, and most likely at a great cost to his personal time, discipling a younger brother, Timothy; training him up in the way he should go (See all of 2 Timothy). 

Everyday Influence: In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul addresses a myriad of topics: arrogance, sexual immorality, lawsuits, singleness, married unions, work, diet, relationships within the church, relationships outside the church, and more. He sees all of these things as being under the influence of the gospel. In fact, we see that, for Paul, there is nothing in a Christians life that remains outside the influence of the gospel. He has died and now it is Christ who lives in him (Galatians 2:20). 

High Expectations: It is easy to brush Paul off as an uber special dose of Christian. An unattainable sort of Christian. However, it becomes harder to do that when we read his instructions to other believers that go along with his examples. Imitate me (1 Corinthians 4:16), follow my example (Philippians 4:9), learn from me (1 Corinthians 4:6). “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. Paul’s life is one to be followed because he is imitating the only one worthy of being followed, Jesus! 

Have we taken the gospel that changes everything and made it into a gospel that changes very little?

And now we come to the heart of the matter. If we are honest, as we look around our churches, is the way the gospel affected Paul the exception? Have we taken the gospel that changes everything and made it into a gospel that changes very little? We take just enough gospel to feel good but not too much that it inconveniences the comfortable lives we love. We want the gospel and the path that is wide and easy. That gospel doesn’t exist in the Bible. That gospel minimizes Christ and exalts oneself. On the contrary, the gospel we see at work in Paul’s life, exalts Christ alone. 

This knowledge of God, his Son, and the work of the Holy Spirit hasn’t yet reached and worked in our hearts and lives the way God intended. Where do we go from here? We repent and turn to the only one who can change us. We pray Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 and 3 (Ephesians 1:15-22, Ephesians 3:14-21), pleading with our Father that we understand more so we can be wholly transformed.  We strive together side by side for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). We throw off contentment and continue to press forward with our eyes fixed on Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14). We remember we have no confidence in ourselves to do this work but that our confidence remains solely in Christ (Philippians 3:3). We continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) until the gospel truly does change everything about us, to the praise and glory of God. Amen!

 

He is Our Refuge

He is Our Refuge

Word in Season

Adversity is coming your way. A day, a year, a long season. It will look different for each of us, but it is coming. This isn’t supposed to invoke fear, it is just a matter of fact for all followers of Christ.

The way is hard that leads to life, Jesus says (Matthew 7:14). Paul warns the Ephesians to prepare for battle (Ephesians 6:10-20). Peter even goes so far as to say that believers shouldn’t be surprised at the trials they are facing as though something strange is happening (1 Peter 4:12). Open the Bible and it is everywhere, from Abraham to the Prophets, John the Baptist to the Apostles. Of course, our Savior, Jesus, suffered greatly in his life. In following him we should expect to share in his sufferings.

Adversity is coming your way. You need a refuge.

Years ago, on a family vacation to the Rocky Mountains, my brother and I decided to try out rock
climbing. We hired a guide, geared up, and started to climb the face of an actual mountain. There were
no pre-determined places to grab with our hands or solid foot placements. No ledges that provided a
nice rest for our burning forearms. A place that looked friendly to grab could crumble under our weight.
A nice spot to place our foot for leverage may not be as sturdy as we thought. It was a vastly unknown
landscape with little to no direction to guide us. We were without a refuge.

Thankfully, God has not left us in this state when he brings the day of adversity our way. He, himself, is
our perfect and all-sufficient refuge during the storms of life.

The prophet Nahum has a message to deliver to the people of Nineveh. It is full of God’s justice, wrath,
power, and ability to do whatever he wills to make wrongs right. God is against the people of Nineveh
(Nahum 2:13), but in the midst of this sobering message, Nahum brings hope. If you read too fast, you
may miss it. It is hope for us as well.

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7.

The LORD is good. Period. The Bible leaves no room to question God’s goodness. He is good. We need a refuge who is good, all the time. Turn to him and trust in his goodness. He never changes. He is always
good.

The LORD is a stronghold. In the day of trouble, where will you wait out the fight? The enemy is
encamped outside your door; will your place of refuge hold? God, himself, is the impenetrable fortress
that can withstand any attack.

The LORD knows. He sees all who come to him for refuge. He knows you are turning to him for help. He sees, he knows. He is there, with you.

The Psalms are full of wisdom about God. Psalm 37 gives us much more to consider about God, our
refuge.

He loves justice (Psalm 37:28). What could be better than a refuge who loves justice? He will make all
things right. He loves doing that.

He helps those who take refuge in him (Psalm 37:40). He doesn’t just see, he helps. He is our deliverer from all evil.

He upholds. (Psalm 37:24) A refuge that protects, but also takes you by the hand so your stumble
doesn’t turn into a fall. A gentle guide when your steps seem shaky.

He foils even the best plots. (Psalm 37:12-13). Nothing surprises him. Plot after plot, attack after attack, and he laughs. He is a refuge who is never caught off guard and always has the upper hand, the final say. He brings the day of adversity (Ecclesiastes 7:14). It is all in his hands, his control.

Ultimately, there is a day of adversity no one can escape. Death. God provides refuge for this day as
well. We know our sin condemns us, our mouths are shut before the holy one. We stand guilty. Christ’s
perfect life, death, and resurrection has secured our redemption. We have a refuge in the forgiveness
that comes through his sacrifice. His life for ours. All who believe in the name of Jesus shall be saved
(John 11:26). Jesus is our peace. He has broken down the hostility between us and God (Ephesians 2:14). He is our continual refuge as he sits at the right hand of God, advocating on our behalf (1 John 2:1).
Praise God!

Where are you turning? If it isn’t to God, it isn’t a refuge that will carry you through life and death.
Adversity is coming your way. May the LORD be your refuge.

Brent Bargen, 1969-2019

Brent Bargen, 1969-2019

Word in Season

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of former Chadron State basketball coach, Brent Bargen, on May 12th in Lincoln. Brent and his wife, Leslie, attended Ridgeview regularly during their last few years in Chadron. Ridgeview was also grateful for his involvement and input at our Thursday morning men’s group. Brent was integral in the re-formation of the Chadron State Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle, which had not been active on campus for several years.

Although Brent had a passion for coaching, his former players agree that his impact went beyond the basketball court. His faith in Christ was the motivating factor behind his influence and desire to develop young men of integrity and character. Coach Bargen was a father to many of his players. He was demanding, on the court and in the classroom. There was never a doubt that his expectations for his players were grounded in his love for Jesus.

There’s no doubt that Brent would tell you he wasn’t perfect, but that was his reminder to seek daily the gift of God’s grace through Jesus. Chadron State, FCA, Ridgeview, and Nebraska are all better, more Christ-centered places because of Brent.

He will be missed. Even so, we know that Brent Bargen’s legacy and rock-solid faith will continue to make an impact for the Kingdom for years to come.

Four Reasons to Study Exodus this Summer

Four Reasons to Study Exodus this Summer

Word in Season

Our church is taking the summer to go through the book of Exodus. I can hardly contain my excitement as I type! Exodus is one book of that Bible that I can’t recommend enough for Christians to study. Why? Of course, it is God’s very own words. What could be more important to study? But what is so particularly important about Exodus and why should believers make time to study this book? Four reasons come right to mind.

You open this book and you meet God.

God makes himself known. I have yet to study another book of the Bible where so many of God’s attributes are on full display as they are in Exodus. You open this book and you meet God. Who God says he is. In fact, he even introduces himself to Moses with his name! Knowledge of God is life changing, faith-strengthening, and worship inducing. Paul often prayed for believers to increase in their knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-10). Have you ever wondered God’s ultimate purpose in revealing himself, why God saves people, how God wants to interact with his people, or even how God works amid evil? Study Exodus.

God makes his sovereignty known. This is one of those attributes I mentioned above. You may have read that God is sovereign in Romans or Ephesians, but seeing it in action throughout the pages of Exodus adds much depth to help our understanding of God’s sovereignty and why this attribute, that belongs only to him, is such a glorious truth in the life of a believer. Are you living in a world full of injustice, evil, disappointments, suffering, persecution, and wondering how God fits into that? Be encouraged in God’s sovereignty. Study Exodus.

In Exodus, we see shadows of the gospel that point us to the reality found in Christ.

God makes his plan for salvation known. Exodus is a book about redemption that points us to the ultimate redemption that comes thru Christ. Throughout Exodus, God is progressively revealing how sinful man can be made right before a holy God. What other question is there in this world that we should strive to understand? In Exodus, we see shadows of the gospel that point us to the reality found in Christ. Does water save man or blood? Will salvation come from man or God? Can man make up for his own sin enough to be in the presence of God? Saved by grace or by works? Strengthen your knowledge of the gospel. Study Exodus.

You cannot understand Christ the way the New Testament authors describe Christ and intended the original readers to understand Christ without studying Exodus.

God makes his Son known. Jesus is everywhere in Exodus. Even the Old Testament is all about him. He even said so in Luke 24:27. You cannot understand Christ the way the New Testament authors describe Christ and intended the original readers to understand Christ without studying Exodus. When John talks about Jesus being the Lamb of God (John 1:29), what does he mean? Jesus tells a group of Jews he is the “I AM” (John 8:58) and they try to kill him, why? What about Jesus as the High Priest, the mediator, the tabernacle, the bread of life, or the fulfillment of the law? Try to make sense of the book of Hebrews without Exodus, it is nearly impossible. Come to know Jesus, our savior, in all his fullness and glory. Study Exodus.

For these reasons and so many more, I pray you will study Exodus this summer with a friend, with your family, and with your church.

Why You Should Read Good Books this Summer

Why You Should Read Good Books this Summer

Word in Season

When a sunny and summery reprieve finally came a couple of eons ago, I dug out my garden gloves and headed outside to tend to our long-neglected lawn and garden. Even though I had cleaned it all up in the fall, a few months of snow and wind had left a mark. Sticks and leaves and trash had blown in, and even dog poo was left here and there, courtesy of our neighborhood pals. We weren’t paying attention and look what happened! Spring came and exposed a mess that happened gradually, all by itself. That’s a simple fact of life for you: things left to themselves tend to get messy.

You can’t expect good things to sprout without planting, or thrive without consistent pruning and care. Only weeds do that!

Yard work (and housework) has always reminded me of the work that we, as children of God, are called to do on our minds: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). Without constant and ongoing transformation, our minds fall into default mode: we become world-admiring and God-forgetting. You can’t expect good things to sprout without planting, or thrive without consistent pruning and care. Only weeds do that!

Which is why I want to make a case for putting some good books on your summer reading list! Reading good books is a big part of transforming one’s mind. And by “good” I mean a book that will encourage you in your faith, help you get better at loving others, and help you grow in your knowledge of God.

Here are some ideas (along with a lot of helpful links!).

  • Read Christian biography this summer. Looking at the life of someone who served God and finished well and seeing how God worked in difficult situations and “made all things work together for good” is incredibly encouraging. Reading biographies was helpful to me in our transition years when I didn’t have a mentor close by. I can still hear Amy Carmichael’s lessons in my head, 15 years later.
  • Read books on Christian growth. There is never a point when anyone can say: I know enough about God and the Christian faith. Our minds constantly need the fertilizer of knowledge and the pruning of solid advice.
  • If you are carrying some sort of ministry, summer is a great time to get refreshed and spurred on. As my husband says, “we’re not awesome”. We need constant input, new ideas and the examples of others. Ministry was never meant to be accomplished alone. Are you a Bible teacher? Pick up some books on Bible study this summer. Does your heart ache for the unsaved? Read books about how people from different worldviews think. Are you a parent who wants more ideas on how to instruct your children in the Lord? Read good parenting books written by godly and wise people. Do you find yourself in a lot of heavy conversations with people going through difficult times? Maybe a book on people helping or Christian suffering will help. Whatever your ministry – don’t do it alone, read a book. (Click here for a few other suggestions).
  • Read Christian classics! Books become classics not only because their messages endure, but also because these books apply to so many different settings and cultures. There may be centuries between us and John Bunyan, but I promise you, your heart will resonate with his writing as if he is your best friend, no matter where you live – Africa or Nebraska.

“But I am not a reader”, you say, “where do I begin?” Here are a few tips:

  • Very few people in our society are total “non-readers”. Most of us read something, and our brains are capable of learning new tricks. Find a 15-minute pocket of time in your day, and spend that time reading. You’ll be surprised how much you can read by reading only 15 or 20 minutes a day. What a great habit to form.
  • Read and highlight sentences that will define the lesson you can take from that book. It is impossible to remember everything the author offers. What is the one thing that is helpful for you today? What resonated with you and encouraged you?
  • Read and talk about it! Share at your dinner table, on a hike, on a playdate. You will be surprised at how this will enrich your fellowship. Remember that when you grow, others grow around you!

So this summer, instead of checking out mentally, how about nourishing your mind, tending to your soul, and planting good things in your garden by reading good books? Paul reminds us: “whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).

At the end of this summer, what will you be reaping?

Worship and the Word

Worship and the Word

Word in Season

All churches have a liturgy. It is the way in which we worship; the form that our worship takes each week. Now, we may not have the most traditional or orthodox form of liturgy, but we certainly have a form of worship that is similar from week to week and month to month. In thinking through what that form should look like, I would like to propose one thread that runs through all we do in a given service: the Word of God.

The first thing that obviously comes to mind when thinking of a worship service is singing. We spend a good amount of each gathering devoted to song. Why do we do this, other than tradition? Looking at the Bible, we see examples of singing throughout: Moses and the Israelites worshipping after God led them safely through the Red Sea (Exodus 15:1-21), David singing songs of deliverance (2 Samuel 22), Paul and Silas singing in a Philippian prison cell (Acts 16:25), and the ultimate culmination of all believers praising God through song in heaven (Revelation 5:9-14), along with many other examples. In addition, we see the command to sing to the Lord repeated throughout the Psalms (Psalm 5:11, 9:11, 30:4, 33:3, 47:6-7, 66:2, 68:4, 68:32, 81:1, 96:1-2, 98:1, 98:4-5, 100:2, 105:2, etc.) and Old Testament (1 Chronicles 16:9, 33, Isaiah 12:5-6, 26:19, 42:10, 44:23, Jeremiah 20:13, 31:17, Zephaniah 3:14). Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 both admonish us to sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” to “one another”, the church. Therefore, we believe that it is right and good to sing to the Lord when we meet together.

We want to worship in truth, not just in how we suppose God to be.

Another facet of how the Word influences our services and music lies in the songs we sing. John 4:24 says, “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” We want to worship in truth, not just in how we suppose God to be. The words of the songs we sing need to proclaim truth about God, and to be held up to the standard of God’s Word. They need to reflect his character, the gospel, and who we are in relation to him. All the songs we sing are examined to see if they are an accurate representation of God and based in the truth of the Bible. Songs teach; and we want to teach rightly.

Something else we do every week is pray. In Acts 1:14, we see the early church “in one accord devoting themselves to prayer.” In Colossians 4:2 we are told to “continue steadfastly in prayer” and in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing.” If we are to be faithful in prayer, we believe it should permeate all we do- even our worship services. How we pray at church may look different on different weeks. We pray to prepare our hearts for worship, to confess, to praise, to respond to God’s Word, and even to pray God’s Word. We pray individually and corporately. We want to be a church “devoting themselves to prayer.”

There may be some question as to why all this emphasis on the Bible, anyway? Why do we care so much about it?

The last main part of our worship form is, simply enough, reading the Word. Singing and prayer are both rooted in the Bible, but this is the actual Word being read, whether congregationally or individually. There may be some question as to why all this emphasis on the Bible, anyway? Why do we care so much about it? The answer, I think, is quite simple: it is God’s very words. In 2 Peter 2:21 we see that the human authors of Scripture “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” We also see that the Word is life-giving sustenance: “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) And, in light of this, what other response is there but to “long for the pure spiritual milk” of the Scriptures? (1 Peter 2:2) God has spoken, and we have the privilege of hearing and knowing his words.

What a gift we can share in together!

If God is Immutable, How Could Gifts Cease?

If God is Immutable, How Could Gifts Cease?

Word in Season

im·mu·ta·ble /i(m)ˈmyo͞odəb(ə)l/ adjective; unchanging over time or unable to be changed.

Someone texted in this question during the Spirit of Truth Conference Q&A panel. It seems to approach the concerns that might be brought about by a cessationist’s (one who believes certain spiritual gifts are no longer in use today) viewpoint on the spiritual gifts. The goal of the conference was not to argue cessationism vs continuationism (the view that all spiritual gifts are still active today). But it came up a handful of times, and it definitely causes disagreements in the global church.

Rather than arguing for cessationism or continuationism in this response, I think it will be more helpful to show that, while there may be good arguments for continuationism, arguing for that on the basis of God’s immutability (unchanging) is not valid.

To get to the heart of this we have to understand what God’s immutability implies. Immutability means that God is unchanging in his character, though not necessarily in his dealings with humanity. God does not change (Malachi 3:6). God does what he says he will do (Ezekiel 24:14). God does not make things up or lie (1 Samuel 15:29). God is eternal in his nature (Psalm 90:2-4). God’s holiness and glory are unchanging (John 17:5). And on we could go.

But…

Thanks be to God we in Christ can wake up each morning and praise our immutable God who changes in his interactions with sinners. He once was at war with you, and your sin was your death sentence. But, by the grace of God in Christ, we can now be called children of God – not enemies. You were once far off but are now near by the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

Every cessationist that I know of is absolutely convinced that God is unchanging in his character. God would not be God if his character changed. The view that certain gifts have ceased reflects a change in God’s dealings with his people, not his character.

The same argument could be made for Jesus’ earthly ministry. If we felt Jesus’ presence with us during his time on earth was a character trait of God, we would be terrified to see him leave us and return to Heaven. But he did go, and that is a change in God’s dealings with us, not his character. Jesus came for our salvation and returned to the Father glorified as our advocate. In Jesus, we see God’s unchanging eternal character (holiness, eternality, truthfulness, etc.), and we also see a massive change in God’s dealings with us.

Believing that certain gifts have ceased does not require God to have changed. Just as Jesus came at a time and point in history to fulfill the law of God, so viewing certain gifts of the Spirit to have been used at one time in history and now no longer used makes no impact on God’s eternal unchanging character.

The Holy Spirit and Predestination

The Holy Spirit and Predestination

Word in Season

During the Spirit of Truth Conference Q&A Panel, people texted in many questions relating to the Holy Spirit’s role in predestination. Questions like these:

  • What is the Spirit’s role in predestination?
  • Can I receive the Holy Spirit if I was not predestined to Heaven?
  • If the Spirit starts the work in someone’s heart, does that imply that there is a distinction between chosen and unchosen?

We have to begin by defining predestination. Predestination is often associated with Calvinism, but it is a doctrine found all over Scripture, especially the New Testament (Matthew 24:22, 31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 8:33, 9:11, 11:5-7, 28; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2:9; 2 Peter 1:10, et.al.). Predestination means that God sovereignly chose (elected) certain individuals to salvation before the foundation of the world.

Sometimes the word predestination makes people think of robots, with no will or role in salvation. However, Ephesians 1:11-13 makes it clear that we are predestined by the will of God AND that those who are saved “heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him.” In order to be saved, we must believe, and believing is a genuine act of our will (Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8). We are not robots; we choose to believe in the gospel by faith as it is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

So what is the Spirit’s role in this? In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” This drawing or calling to Christ is what Jesus explained to Nicodemus a few chapters earlier (John 3:7-8). After telling Nicodemus he must be born again, Jesus said: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ, and that is one of the Holy Spirit’s roles in predestination. The Spirit draws the unbeliever to Christ so that he may be born again.

When a person is drawn by the Spirit and trusts in Christ, he or she becomes a child of God and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15-17, 1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit only indwells those who hear and believe the gospel. Also, Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches that the Holy Spirit seals the believer as a guarantee that the inheritance that God promises will be fully acquired. So not only does the Holy Spirit draw us to God and indwell us once we believe, but he also seals our position as children of God for eternity!

So that is a glimpse of what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit and predestination. The Bible teaches that man can not come to saving faith in God unless the Spirit draws him. The Holy Spirit awakens our hearts to Christ, draws us to him. Because of the Spirit, we find Jesus and his gospel compelling and beautiful and true. And the Spirit indwells all those he draws to Jesus and seals the believer forever. You can see all of these truths in Romans 8:30: “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

God is so gracious to us! He not only makes the plan for our salvation through Christ, he also completes it in us through the mighty work of his Spirit.

Spirit of Truth Media and Notes

Spirit of Truth Media and Notes

Word in Season

I am so thankful for The Spirit of Truth Conference last month. It was a rich time of learning, coupled with great fellowship and wonderful worship. If you missed it, you really missed out. However, all is not lost! We have made all of the audio files available. Including these talks (click on the title to listen):

We are also making Sam Parker’s notes available (click here to download) in case you missed some of the references or want a guide to go along with Sam’s talk.

Also, coming soon, we plan to publish articles answering the Q & A Panel questions. Those will begin to roll out tomorrow morning. Check back tomorrow for Burt Newman’s take on the several questions related to predestination and the Holy Spirit.