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Real Conversion


In the post on October 6th Thomas Schreiner is quoted as saying: “The ultimate reason for a mission to the Gentiles was not the salvation of the Gentiles but the proclamation of the name of Jesus Christ.” And John MacArthur, “The decision of yielding, surrendering and then acting, is between the hearer and God, not between the hearer and the preacher.”

Thanks to reformed geek there are two videos of Paul Washer preaching on true conversion and puts into words some thoughts I’ve had recently.

“The task of Christian scholarship is to study reality as a manifestation of God’s glory, to speak about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it. I think Edwards would regard it as a massive abdication of scholarship that so many Christians do academic work with so little reference to God. If all the universe and everything in it exists by the design of an infinite personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God’s glory is not scholarship but insurrection.”
–John Piper

So many in the church today believe that once you pray the sinner’s prayer, you’re in and that’s about all there is to it except for going to church and maybe having a quiet time.

Thomas Schreiner in his Romans commentary says, “…preaching the gospel for Paul involved more than initial conversion. His goal as an apostle was to bring about the obedience of faith, which as 1:1-7 shows is part and parcel of the gospel community. Paul often insists that perseverance to the end is necessary for salvation (e.g. Rom. 8:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 15:1-2; Gal. 5:21; 6:8-9; Col. 1:21-23).”

Others that I have collected:

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
Romans 11:22 NRSV

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NRSV

Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Galatians 5:2-4 NRSV

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Philippians 2:12 NRSV

I’m finally ready to start writing about what I’ve been learning. I’m currently going through 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)but want to backtrack and try to write about some things from reading Romans and Romans (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Thomas Schreiner.

The first thing that struck me is that according to Schreiner, “The ultimate reason for a mission to the Gentiles was not the salvation of the Gentiles but the proclamation of the name of Jesus Christ.”

I can tie this in with what Garland says in his commentary on 1 Corinthians. He quotes Litfin (1994: 261) outlining five steps of persuasion in Greco-Roman rhetoric (which would be very common in Corinth): (1) attention, (2) comprehension, (3) yielding, (4) retention, and (5) action.

Galand says Paul left the third step, yielding, to the persuasion of the Spirit.

To the Corinthians Paul preached Christ crucified which was foolishness to the Corinthians. (1 Cor. 1:18-25) With no art of persuasion in preaching how else could they believe except through the Holy Spirit? It’s only through the Holy Spirit that we are baptized and saved, not through persuasion and intellectual knowledge.

Here is a great quote from John MacArthur:

The decision of yielding, surrendering and then acting, is between the hearer and God, not between the hearer and the preacher. It is the Holy Spirit’s work.Preaching is proclaiming saving truth, sanctifying truth, and strengthening truth from Scripture, the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. So Paul says, I was entrusted with the proclamation. That’s all that I can do. All I can do is to get their attention and bring comprehension. The message is the Scripture, and since the message is the Scripture, beloved, it should be patently obvious to everyone that the proper kind of preaching should be “expository preaching.” That is the only legitimate way to be true to the divine message.

You know as well as I know that I could manipulate people with stories. I mean, you could tell a tear-jerking story and effect emotional trauma on people. You can move people with things other than the Scriptures, but you are working on their feelings and not on their mind. The message is Scripture. And if the message is Scripture and the preacher is to preach the message he has to preach the Scripture; and preaching the Scripture means you must exposit the Word.

This found at reformed geek. Follow the link and discussion for more.

I’ve been participating in a discussion here:

Sproul On Hell: Is It The Absence Of God?