Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Blogging Thoughts About 2012

I wanted to write a final post about 2012 as we move forward into 2013.  The main posts that I focused in on in 2012 was on the subject of original sin and how various Christians approached the doctrine.  I tried to balanced on the subject by allowing many sides to state their cases.  Calvinists clearly affirm the doctrine of original sin and some go so far as to make it an issue of orthodoxy.  Arminians have not been as clear on the doctrine.  Arminius affirmed it along with others such as John Wesley (though he felt that each person would be condemned for their own sins) and men such as Adam Clarke and Richard Watson.  Arminians have never taught though as strong a view of the doctrine as Calvinists have mainly because we believe in the free will of humanity and prevenient grace toward all wherever the gospel is preached.

I have mixed thoughts about the doctrine of original sin.  I affirm that Scripture is clear that Adam’s transgression brought condemnation and destruction to the human race (Romans 5:12).  I affirm that sin is universal (Romans 3:23).  I affirm that the atonement of Christ is necessary because of the nature of Adam’s sin.  Christ, the second Adam, came to die for our sins and to suffer in our place so that through faith in Him, we might be justified before God by grace through faith (Romans 5:12-21).  None can be saved but through faith in Jesus (Romans 10:17).  Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 14:6).  We are not saved by merely belief in God (James 2:19) or affirming doctrinal truths but through personal saving faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:23).  The way is narrow to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).  This is why we must preach the saving gospel to all of creation (Mark 16:15).

2012 was also a year of hardship for me.  I lost my precious mother in August.  I miss her still.  The precious promises from God’s Word of His Presence with me has been of much comfort to me (Romans 8:31-39).  I remember sitting by her bed while she was dying reading from John 11, 1 Corinthians 15, and Revelation 22 about the promises of God concerning death and heaven and life in Jesus’ name.  I remember reading Psalm 27 and Psalm 116 over and over again while she lay dying from cancer knowing that God was faithful to the very end, that He is a Father to the fatherless.  He would be my comfort (John 14:26) and He has been.  I will always miss my mama.

Trial have a way of either being used by the enemy to try to push away from Christ or trials push us closer to God.  James 1:2-7 speaks of the blessing of trials.  The text reads:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

I like how the NKJV says that we are to count it all joy when we fall into various trials.  Isn’t that the truth about trials?  We don’t go looking for trials.  We fall into them.  Just like we don’t run into sin (James 1:14), we don’t go looking for trials.  Trials do come.  Our response to them is critical.  We can either praise God through them or we fall into despair.  I have learned that when we face trials, we should praise God despite them.  Our focus should not be on the temporal but upon the eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).  Soon all trials will be past and we will spend eternity with Christ (John 14:1-3).  He is a worthy reward (Hebrews 11:6, 13-16).  I long to see Him.  More than I long for heaven itself or to see my mama, I long for Christ.  I long to behold the One who shed His blood for me.  I long to worship at His throne, the One who alone is worthy to be praised.  I long to see Him face to face (1 John 3:1-3).

I look forward to seeing what God will do in 2013 and what I can do to further His kingdom (Matthew 6:10).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/01/2013 at 2:06 PM

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