The uncomfortable truth about Babylon Bee


Babylon Beel iconIf you avoid social media and barely tap into the internet, then you have probably missed one of the best inventions the interwebs has to offer for Christians. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating but the new site Babylon Bee has broken through walls like the Koolaid guy from the commercials. Often, I burst out in laughter just reading the titles!

Babylon Bee is a satire site and it IS GOOD. I’ve posted a number of articles on Facebook because of the absurdity and divine humor of the posts. You see, the beauty of satire is that it exposes absurdity of particular beliefs and practices through exaggeration or irony. In other words, satire has a way of pointing to truth in a rather amusing way.

The site was started by Adam Ford, who also publishes the Adam4d comics. While digging up more information, I discovered in this Washington Post article that Ford…

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Key Events in David’s Life




The Lord choses David to be king 1 Sam 16.1-13 Ps 78
David plays the harp for king Saul 1 Sam 16.14-23
David kills Goliath 1 Sam 17.1-54
Saul becomes jealous of David 1 Sam 18.6-30
David’s marriage to Michal 1 Sam 18.20-28; 19.9-17; 2 Sam 6.20-23 Ps 59
David’s friendship with Jonathan 1 Sam 18.1-4; 20.1-42; 23.14-18; 2 Sam 1.1-27 Ps 54;63
David meets and marries Abigail 1 Sam 25.1-44
David becomes king of Judah 2 Sam 2.1-7
David becomes king of Israel 2 Sam 5.1-5; 1 Chr 11.1-3
David captures Jerusalem 2 Sam 5.6-12; 1 Chr 11.4-9; 14.1-2
David brings the sacred chest to Jerusalem 2 Sam 6.1-19; 1 Chr 13.1-14; 15.1–16.3,43
David and Bathsheba 2 Sam 11.1–12.25 Ps 51
Solomon is born 2 Sam 12.24,25
Absalom rebels against his father David 2 Sam 15.1-12 Ps 3
Absalom dies and David mourns 2 Sam 18.7–19.8
David counts the people 2 Sam 24.1-25
David gives instructions to his son Solomon 1 Kgs 2.1-9
David dies 1 Kgs 2.10-12

Source: American Bible Society

Dealing With Church “Troublers”

The Reformed Reader

Most pastors, elders, and members know what it’s like to have a person in the church who is a troubler.  I’m not writing this based on any current issues or troublers in the church I serve now, but I know from past experience and other people’s stories that not every church member is content with peace and unity.  Some people are always grumbling, griping, and complaining about one thing or another in the church.  I appreciate how Presbyterian pastor Thomas Murphy (b. 1823) wrote about those that trouble the church.  Murphy was specifically talking to pastors, but his words are helpful for us all to read:

The pastor need not be surprised if he finds troublers in his church. The discovery of such persons among the professed people of God sometimes shocks ministers, especially inexperienced ones, and discourages them, and sometimes leads them unwisely to give up their charges. But…

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Of Providence

DSCN3386Providence, Berkhof

THE IDEA OF PROVIDENCE. Providence may be defined as that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator preserves all His creatures, is operative in all that comes to pass in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end. This definition indicates that there are three elements in providence, namely, preservation (conservatio, sustentatio), concurrence or cooperation (concursus, co-operatio), and government (gubernatio)  …..But while we distinguish three elements in providence, we should remember that these three are never separated in the work of God. While preservation has reference to the being, concurrence to the activity, and government to the guidance of all things, this should never be understood in an exclusive sense. In preservation there is also an element of government, in government an element of concursus, and in concursus an element of preservation. Pantheism does not distinguish between creation and providence, but theism stresses a twofold distinction: (a) Creation is the calling into existence of that which did not exist before, while providence continues or causes to continue what has already been called into existence. (b) In the former there can be no cooperation of the creature with the Creator, but in the latter there is a concurrence of the first Cause with second causes. In Scripture the two are always kept distinct.

The French Confession of Faith, 1559

Article 8: The Providence of God

We believe that he not only created all things, but that he governs and directs them (Ps 104; Job 34:14-15;John 5:17; Heb 1:3), disposing and ordaining by his sovereign will all that happens in the world (Gen 27:20; 2 Sam 2:6; 1 Kgs 22:34; Ps 75:6-7; 115:3; 119:89–96; 139:2–6, 13–18; 147; Prov 16:4; 21:1; Isa 10:5-7; 45:7; Lam 3:37-38; Matt 10:29; Acts 2:23; 4:28; 14:17; 17:24, 26, 28; Rom 9:11; Eph 1:11; Jas 4:15); not that he is the author of evil, or that the guilt of it can be imputed to him (Job 1:22; Ps 5:4; Hos 13:9; Gal 5:19-21; 1 John 2:16; 3:8), as his will is the sovereign and infallible rule of all right and justice (Job 1:22; Ps 5:4; 45:6; 119; Rom 9); but he hath wonderful means of so making use of devils and sinners that he can turn to good the evil which they do, and of which they are guilty (Gen 45:8; 50:20; Job; Acts 2:23-24, 27; 4:27-28; Rom 8:28). And thus, confessing that the providence of God orders all things, we humbly bow before the secrets which are hidden to us, without questioning what is above our understanding (Rom 9:19-20; Rom 11:33); but rather making use of what is revealed to us in Holy Scripture for our peace and safety (Job 1:21; Ps 10:14; 37:5; Rom 5:3-4; 8:28–29; 2 Cor 4:7-18; 1 Thess 5:18; Jas 1:1-3), inasmuch as God, who has all things in subjection to him, watches over us with a Father’s care, so that not a hair of our heads shall fall without his will (Matt 6:25-34; 10:30; Luke 21:18). And yet he restrains the devils and all our enemies, so that they can not harm us without his leave (Job 1:12; Job 2:6; Gen 3:15; Isa 45:1-8; Matt 8:31; John 19:11).

Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561

Article 13: Of Divine Providence

We believe that the same [or this good] God, after he had created all things, did not forsake them, or give them up to fortune or chance, but that he rules and governs them, according to his holy will (John 5:17;Heb 1:3; Prov 16:4; Ps 104:9; 139:2), so that nothing happens in this world without his appointment (Jas 4:15; Job 1:21; 1 Kgs 22:20; Acts 4:28; 1 Sam 2:25; Ps 115:3; 45:6; Amos 3:6; Deut 19:5; Prov 16:1, 9, 33; 21:1; Ps 105:25; Isa 10:5-7; 2 Thess 2:11; Ezek 14:9; Rom 1:28; Eph 1:11-12; Gen 45:8; 50:20; 2 Sam 16:10;Gen 27:20; Ps 75:6-7; Isa 45:7; Prov 16:4; Lam 3:37-38; 1 Kgs 22:34, 38; Exod 21:13); nevertheless, God neither is the author of, nor can be charged with, the sins which are committed (Jas 1:13; 1 John 2:16). For his power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible, that he orders and executes his work in the most excellent and just manner even when the devil and wicked men act unjustly (Matt 8:31-32; John 3:8; Job 1:21; Isa 10:5; 45:7; Amos 3:6; Acts 2:23; 4:27–28). And as to what he doth surpassing human understanding we will not curiously inquire into it further than our capacity will admit of; but with the greatest humility and reverence adore the righteous judgments of God which are hid from us (1 Kgs 22:12-23; Rom 1:28; 11:33–34; 2 Thess 2:11), contenting ourselves that we are disciples of Christ, to learn only those things which he has revealed to us in his Word without transgressing these limits (Deut 29:29; 1 Cor 4:6).

This doctrine affords us unspeakable consolation, since we are taught thereby that nothing can befall us by chance, but by the direction of our most gracious and heavenly Father, who watches over us with a paternal care, keeping all creatures so under his power (Matt 8:31; Job 1:12; 2:6) that not a hair of on our head (for they are all numbered), nor a sparrow [un petit oiseau], can fall to the ground, without the will of our Father (Matt 10:29-30), in whom we do entirely trust; being persuaded that he so restrains the devil and all our enemies that, without his will and permission , they can not hurt us (Gen 45:8; 50:20; 2 Sam 16:10; Rom 8:28, 38-39).

And therefore we reject that damnable error of the Epicureans, who say that God regards nothing, but leaves all things to chance.

Heidelberg Catechism, 1563

Of God the Father and our Creation

Lord’s Day 9

26. What do you believe when you say: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?”

That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who of nothing made heaven and earth with all that in them is, who likewise upholds, and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence, is for the sake of Christ, His Son, my God and my Father, in whom I so trust as to have no doubt that He will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul; and further, that whatever evil He sends upon me in this troubled life, He will turn to my good; for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing also, being a faithful Father.


Lord’s Day 10

27. What do you understand by the providence of God?

The almighty, everywhere-present power of God, whereby, as it were by His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth with all creatures, and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things come not by chance, but by His fatherly hand.

28. What does it profit us to know that God created, and by His providence upholds, all things?

That we may be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and for what is future have good confidence in our faithful God and Father, that no creature shall separate us from His love, since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.

 Westminster Confession of Faith, 1643-1649

Chapter V: Of Providence

1. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold (Neh 9:6; Ps 145:14-16; Heb 1:3), direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things (Dan 4:34-35; Ps 135:6; Acts 17:25-26, 28; Job 38-41), from the greatest even to the least (Matt 10:29-31; 6:26, 30), by his most wise and holy providence (Prov 15:3; 2 Chr 16:9; Ps 104:24; 145:17), according to his infallible foreknowledge (Acts 15:18 [TR]; Ps 94:8-11; Isa 42:9; Ezek 11:5), and the free and immutable counsel of his own will (Eph 1:11; Ps 33:10-11), to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy (Isa 63:14; Eph 3:10; Rom 9:17; Gen 45:7;Ps 145:7).

2. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly (Acts 2:23; Isa 14:24, 27); yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently (Gen 8:22; Jer 31:35; Exod 21:13; Deut 19:5; 1 Kgs 22:28, 34; Isa 10:6-7).

3. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means (Acts 27:31, 44; Isa 55:10-11; Hos 2:21-22), yet is free to work without (Hos 1:7; Matt 4:4; Job 34:20), above (Rom 4:19-21), and against them (2 Kgs 6:6;Dan 3:27), at his pleasure.

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men (Isa 45:7;Rom 11:32-34; 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; 1 Kgs 22:22-23; 1 Chr 10:4, 13-14; 2 Sam 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28); and that not by a bare permission (John 12:40; Acts 14:16; 2 Thess 2:11), but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding (Ps 76:10; 2 Kgs 19:28), and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends (Gen 50:20; Isa 10:6-7, 12); yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin (Jas 1:13-14, 17; 1 John 2:16; Ps 50:21).

5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled (2 Chr 32:25-26, 31; 2 Sam 24:1; Deut 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32); and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends (2 Cor 12:7-9; Ps 73; 77:1-12; Mark 14:66-72; John 21:15-17).

6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden (Rom 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8), from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts (Deut 29:4; Mark 4:11-12); but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had (Matt 13:12; 25:29; Acts 13:10-11), and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin (Gen 4:8; Deut 2:30; 2 Kgs 8:12-13; Matt 26:14-16); and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan (Ps 81:11-12; 109:6; Luke 22:3; 2 Thess 2:10-12), whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others (Exod 7:3; 8:15, 32; 2 Cor 2:15-16; Isa 8:14; 1 Pet 2:7-8; Isa 6:9-10; Acts 28:26-27).

7. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof (1 Tim 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt 16:18; Rom 8:28; Isa 43:3-5, 14).

The Second Helvetic Confession, 1566

Chapter VI: Of the Providence of God

1. [1.] All Things Are Governed by the Providence of God. We believe that all things in heaven and in earth and in all creatures, are sustained and governed by the providence of this wise, eternal, and omnipotent God. For David witnesses and says, “The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord, who dwelleth on high, and yet humbleth himself to behold things that are in heaven and earth?” (Ps 113:4-6). Again, he says, “Thou hast forseen all my ways; for there is not a word in my tongue which thou knowest not wholly, O Lord,” etc. (Ps 139:3-4). Paul also witnesses and says, “By him we live, move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28); and “of him, and through him, and from him are all things” (Rom 11:36).

2. Therefore Augustine both truly and according to the Scripture said, in his book De agone christiano, chap. 8, “The Lord said, ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without the will of your Father’ (Matt 10:29). By speaking thus he would give us to understand whatsoever men count most vile, that also is governed by the almighty power of God. For the truth, which said that all the hairs of our head are numbered, says also that the birds of the air are fed by him, and the lilies of the field are clothed by him (Matt. 6:26-29; 10:30; Rom 12 [?])” (De agone christiano 8).

3. [2.] The Epicureans. We therefore condemn the Epicureans, who deny the providence of God (cf. Cicero, De natura deorum 1.2.3; 1.19.51), and all those who blasphemously affirm that God is occupied about the poles of heaven, and that he neither sees nor regards us or our affairs. The princely prophet David also condemned these men when he said, “O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? They say the Lord doth not see, neither doth the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, ye unwise among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? and he that hath formed the eye, shall he not see?” (Ps 94:3, 7-9).

4. [3.] Means Not to Be Despised. Notwithstanding, we do not condemn the means whereby the providence of God works as though they were unprofitable; but we teach that we must apply ourselves unto them, so far as they are commended unto us in the Word of God. Wherefore we dislike the rash speeches of such as say that if all things are governed by the providence of God, then all our duties and endeavors are unprofitable; it shall be sufficient if we leave or permit all things to be governed by the providence of God; and we shall not need hereafter to behave or act with carefulness in any matter. For though Paul did confess that he did sail by the providence of God, who had said to him, “Thou must testify of me also at Rome” (Acts 23:11); who, moreover, promised and said, “There shall not so much as one soul perish, neither shall a hair fall from your heads” (Acts 27:22, 34); yet, the mariners devising how they might find a way to escape, the same Paul says to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these remain in the ship, ye can not be safe” (Acts 27:31). For God, who has appointed every thing his end, he has ordained the beginning and the means by which we must attain unto the end.

[4.] The heathen ascribe things to blind fortune and uncertain chance; but St. James would not have us to say, “Today or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and there buy and sell;” but he adds, “For that which ye should say, If the Lord will, and if we live, we will do this or that” (James 4:13, 15). And Augustine says, in his exposition of the 148th Psalm (Enarrationes in Psalmos), “All those things which seem to vain men to be done advisedly in the world, they do but accomplish his word because they are not done by his commandment.” And it seemed to be done by chance that Saul, seeking his father’s asses, should light on the prophet Samuel; but the Lord had before said to the prophet, “To-morrow I will send unto thee a man of the tribe of Benjamin,” etc. (1 Sam 9:16).

Catechism of the Church of Geneva, 1537; 2nd ed., 1541

What is Meant by this Word Almighty

23. M. In what sense do you give him the name of Almighty?
S. Not as having a power which he does not exercise, but as having all things under his power and hand; governing the world by his Providence, determining all things by his will (Eph 1:11), ruling all creatures as seems to him good.

Concerning the Providence of God

27. M. But why do you call God a Creator merely, while it is much more excellent to defend and preserve creatures in their state, than to have once made them?
S. This term does not imply that God created his works at once, and then threw off the care of them. It should rather be understood, that as the world was once made by God, so it is now preserved by him, and that the earth and all other things endure just in as far as they are sustained by his energy, and as it were his hand. Besides, seeing that he has all things under his hand, it follows, that he is the chief ruler and Lord of all. Therefore, by his being “Creator of heaven and earth,” we must understand that it is he alone who by wisdom, goodness, and power, guides the whole course and order of nature: who at once sends rain and drought, hail and other storms, as well as calm, who of his kindness fertilizes the earth, and on the contrary, by withholding his hand, makes it barren: from whom come health and disease; to whose power all things are subject, and whose nod they obey (cf. for instance Ps 148:8).

Westminster Larger Catechism, 1643-1649

Q. 14. How doth God execute his decrees?
A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence (Rev 4:11; Isa 40:12-31), according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will (Eph 1:11; Ps 148:8; Dan 4:35; Acts 4:24-28).
Q. 18. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are his most holy (Ps 145:17; Lev 21:8), wise (Ps 104:24; Isa 28:29), and powerful preserving (Heb 1:3; Ps 36:6; Neh 9:6) and governing (Ps 103:19; Job 38-41; Ps 145:14-16) all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions (Matt 10:29-31; Gen 45:7; Ps 135:6), to his own glory (Rom 11:36; Isa 63:14).
Q. 19. What is God’s providence towards the angels?
A. God by his providence permitted some of the angels, wilfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation (Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4; Heb 2:16; John 8:44), limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory (Job 1:12; Matt 8:31; Luke 10:17); and established the rest in holiness and happiness (1 Tim 5:21; Mark 8:38; Heb 12:22); employing them all (Ps 103:20; 104:4), at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice (2 Kgs 19:35; Heb 1:14).
Q. 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
A. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth (Gen 2:8, 15-16); putting the creatures under his dominion (Gen 1:28), and ordaining marriage for his help (Gen 2:18; Matt 19:3-9; Eph 5:31); affording him communion with himself (Gen 1:26-29; 3:8); instituting the Sabbath (Gen 2:3; Exod 20:11); entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience (Gen 2:16-17; Rom 5:14; Gal 3:12; Rom 10:5; Gal 3:10; 1 Cor 15:22, 47; Hos 6:7), of which the tree of life was a pledge (Gen 2:9; 3:22-24); and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death (Gen 2:17; Jas 2:10).

Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1643-1649

Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?

A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence (Ps 148:8; Isa 40:26; Dan 4:35; Acts 4:24-28; Rev 4:11).
Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are, his most holy (Ps 145:17), wise (Ps 104:24; Isa 28:29), and powerful preserving (Heb 1:3; Neh 9:6) and governing all his creatures, and all their actions (Ps 103:19; Matt 10:29-31; Eph 1:19-22).
Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience (Gal 3:12); forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death (Gen 2:17; Jas 2:19).


berkhofThe widespread denial of the covenant of works makes it imperative to examine its Scriptural foundation with care.

  1. THE ELEMENTS OF A COVENANT ARE PRESENT IN THE EARLY NARRATIVE. It must be admitted that the term “covenant” is not found in the first three chapters of Genesis, but this is not tantamount to saying that they do not contain the necessary data for the construction of a doctrine of the covenant. One would hardly infer from the absence of the term “trinity” that the doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the Bible. All the elements of a covenant are indicated in Scripture, and if the elements are present, we are not only warranted but, in a systematic study of the doctrine, also in duty bound to relate them to one another, and to give the doctrine so construed an appropriate name.  In the case under consideration two parties are named, a condition is laid down, a promise of reward for obedience is clearly implied, and a penalty for transgression is threatened. It may still be objected that we do not read of the two parties as coming to an agreement, nor of Adam as accepting the terms laid down, but this is not an insuperable objection. We do not read of such an explicit agreement and acceptance on the part of man either in the cases of Noah and Abraham. God and man do not appear as equals in any of these covenants. All God’s covenants are of the nature of sovereign dispositions imposed on man. God is absolutely sovereign in His dealings with man, and has the perfect right to lay down the conditions which the latter must meet, in order to enjoy His favor. Moreover Adam was, even in virtue of his natural relationship, in duty bound to obey God; and when the covenant relation was established, this obedience also became a matter of self-interest. When entering into covenant relations with men, it is always God who lays down the terms, and they are very gracious terms, so that He has, also from that point of view, a perfect right to expect that man will assent to them. In the case under consideration God had but to announce the covenant, and the perfect state in which Adam lived was a sufficient guarantee for his acceptance.
  2. THERE WAS A PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE. Some deny that there is any Scripture evidence for such a promise. Now it is perfectly true that no such promise is explicitly recorded, but it is clearly implied in the alternative of death as the result of disobedience. The clear implication of the threatened punishment is that in the case of obedience death would not enter, and this can only mean that life would continue. It has been objected that this would only mean a continuation of Adam’s natural life, and not what Scripture calls life eternal. But the Scriptural idea of life is life in communion with God; and this is the life which Adam possessed, though in his case it was still amissible. If Adam stood the test, this life would be retained not only, but would cease to be amissible, and would therefore be lifted to a higher plane. Paul tells us explicitly in Rom. 7:10 that the commandment, that is the law, was unto life. In commenting on this verse Hodge says: “The law was designed and adapted to secure life, but became in fact the cause of death.” This is also clearly indicated in such passages as Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:13. Now it is generally admitted that this glorious promise of unending life was in no way implied in the natural relation in which Adam stood to God, but had a different basis. But to admit that there is something positive here, a special condescension of God, is an acceptance of the covenant principle. There may still be some doubt as to the propriety of the name “Covenant of Works,” but there can be no valid objection to the covenant idea.
  3. BASICALLY, THE COVENANT OF GRACE IS SIMPLY THE EXECUTION OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT BY CHRIST AS OUR SURETY. He undertook freely to carry out the will of God. He placed Himself under the law, that He might redeem them that were under the law, and were no more in a position to obtain life by their own fulfilment of the law. He came to do what Adam failed to do, and did it in virtue of a covenant agreement. And if this is so, and the covenant of grace is, as far as Christ is concerned, simply the carrying out of the original agreement, it follows that the latter must also have been of the nature of a covenant. And since Christ met the condition of the covenant of works, man can now reap the fruit of the original agreement by faith in Jesus Christ. There are now two ways of life, which are in themselves ways of life, the one is the way of the law: “the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby,” but it is a way by which man can no more find life; and the other is the way of faith in Jesus Christ, who met the demands of the law, and is now able to dispense the blessing of eternal life.
  4. THE PARALLEL BETWEEN ADAM AND CHRIST. The parallel which Paul draws between Adam and Christ in Rom. 5:12-21, in connection with the doctrine of justification, can only be explained on the assumption that Adam, like Christ, was the head of a covenant. According to Paul the essential element in justification consists in this, that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, without any personal work on our part to merit it. And he regards this as a perfect parallel to the manner in which the guilt of Adam is imputed to us. This naturally leads to the conclusion that Adam also stood in covenant relationship to his descendants.
  5. THE PASSAGE IN HOS. 6:7. In Hos. 6:7 we read: “But they like Adam have transgressed the covenant.” Attempts have been made to discredit this reading. Some have suggested the reading “at Adam,” which would imply that some well-known transgression occurred at a place called Adam. But the preposition forbids this rendering. Moreover, the Bible makes no mention whatever of such a well-known historical transgression at Adam. The Authorized Version renders “like men,” which would then mean, in human fashion. To this it may be objected that there is no plural in the original, and that such a statement would be rather inane, since man could hardly transgress in any other way. The rendering “like Adam” is after all the best. It is favored by the parallel passage in Job 31:33; and is adopted by the American Revised Version.

Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, pp. 213-215

We Are Not Ruled By Chance

Do things happen by chance in God’s world? In a word, no , there is no such thing as chance, or fate, or good luck, or bad luck.

A faithful servant of God should be absolutely convinced inside that all things happen by God’s decree and not by chance or by good luck or bad luck.

As a Reformed pastor / theologian put it:

the church teaches according to the word of God, that nothing exists, or comes to pass in the whole world, unless by the certain and definite, but nevertheless most free and good counsel of God.  Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary On The  Heidelberg  Catechism.

There are many testimonies from Scripture to support this truth.

The Apostle Paul reminded the Athenians of God’s work in the details of human life:

24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find  Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Acts 17:24-28

And Jesus reminds us of God’s concern for sparrows and for the number of hairs on our heads:

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29, 30

We are supposed to draw comfort and encouragement from this teaching.

  1. God cares about sparrows and about the number of hairs on my head
  2. I am more valuable to God than many
  3. I should not fear.
  4. I can trust God to provide for my needs.

 Jesus also draws our attention to God’s care for wildflowers and wild grass.

 25 For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27

What comfort and encouragement do we see here?

  1. The birds of the air don’t sow, or reap, or gather into barns.
  2. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
  3. You are worth much more than they.
  4. Therefore, don’t worry about life (eat or drink); nor for your body, as to what you will put on.

And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Matthew 6:28-30 What comfort and encouragement do we see here?

  1. Wild lilies don’t work or spin cloth.
  2. But not even Solomon (the richest king on earth in his time) in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
  3. So, if God so clothes the grass of the field (which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace)
  4. Will God not much more clothe me?
  5. I can trust God for clothing, and for whatever else I need for survival.

Finally, Jesus tells us to get our priorities straight:

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Don’t forget the guarantee of all promises: the Son, through whom the lilies, little birds, illnesses, enemies, and everything in heaven and on earth have been created and by the word of His power are upheld (Hebrews 1:3). This Son, who has been appointed heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2), the Father gave to die for you as the guarantee of His love, and He freely, by grace, ordained you to be joint heirs with

His Son. How is it then possible for you to be harmed by any created thing, which can neither live nor move without the direct operation of the Son of God?

All created things exist in Him and are ruled by Him, and you are a joint heir with Him. Should it not be impossible, therefore, for created things to do anything but serve you and work together for your good, even when it appears as though most of them oppose you? The Apostle Paul looks to this guarantee in Romans 8:31, 32: “What more shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?”

So be encouraged, brothers and sisters, God has got everything under control. He is working everything out for His glory and for our good.