BF&M – God’s Purpose of Grace

There is quite a bit of talk about grace.  It may be more among Christians than others, but it is a good topic.  How can grace be defined?  My definition is this;  It is a gift from God which we do not deserve, and cannot earn.  It is something for which those who have received it should be forever grateful.  It is an eternal gift which God chooses to give by His own will.

Here is our SBC Statement of Faith on “God’s purpose of Grace”:

V. God’s Purpose of Grace

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

There are some who want to tell us that people who were saved in the Old Testament were saved by their works.  That is not so.  They were all saved by faith looking forward to the cross of Jesus Christ.  People today are saved looking back to the cross of Jesus.

It is said of Noah, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8 (KJV).  The word ‘Grace’ is found more often in the book of Genesis than in all four New Testament Gospels combined.  Now, would someone tell me that the Old Testament people were saved by their works.  Go figure.

The one New Testament Scripture that stands out as a favorite for all Christians is Ephesians 2:8-10.  That is right I include verse ten.  It is one we too often leave out.  “For by grace are ye ssaved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Trust the God of grace.

I am Tim A. Blankenship

Problem With Mixed Marriages

Genesis 6:1-22 continuing…

In chapter four we had the story of the genealogy of Cain, and that was following his murdering his brother Abel. Cain’s record is a record of the ungodly. “Cain went out from the presence of the LORD…” (4:16). The New Testament speaks of Cain as being one who hated God; Jude 11 mentions “the way of Cain” that would be not to seek the Lord, and attempt his own way of worship. First John chapter three and verse twelve tells us, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”

In chapter five we have the story of the genealogy of Seth, “The Appointed”, and within it the story of redemption and the glory of God. Its story runs from Seth through Noah, and includes his three sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth.

It is my conclusion that since we have the genealogies of Cain and Seth here – back to back so to speak – that chapter six is referring to the Cainites as producing the “Daughters of men”, and the “Sons of God” are reference to the lineage of Seth. That does not give us a real bright picture of Seth’s sons, but that is how I will be presenting this.

“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Genesis 6:1-2 (KJV).

In looking at this we have to take it back to even before the lineage of Cain is given. It was then that people were beginning to populate the earth. We must remember that Adam and Eve had other children other than what is written in the pages in the early chapters of Genesis. With Cain and Seth we are given the truth of God that there are generally two types of people on the earth. Those who love God, because they have themselves received God’s love for them; and then, there are those like Cain who had no heart for God. This is the story that must be seen if we are to believe that men/women are accounted for their actions.

The women or “daughters of men” must have been very alluring, attractive, and seductive. Sometimes even the best of men will fall for something of beauty. These daughters of men, being from the lineage of Cain would, most likely, had no problem deceiving, luring, and lying to the sons of God, in order to achieve what they desired, thus luring many of them away from God. Those men who are named in the godly line of Seth were probably the ones who maintained somewhat of a fellowship with God, the LORD. It this is all there were, then, wickedness would surely have had a strangle hold on their society.

There are some who believe that the “sons of God” are fallen angels, as those mentioned in Jude 6, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”, and also they refer to Job 1:6 and 2:1 where it says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”, and 2:1 stating, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.” My question concerning this idea is, What would an angel, even a fallen angel, see in the “daughters of men”? There is no problem with seeing these “sons of God” as being from the lineage of Seth. As a matter of fact it solves a whole passel of problems. I am not going to deal with the matter of the angels here, because I do not see them as being involved in this text.

You could call the joining of the godly line with the ungodly line a case of “Mixed Marriages”. That is forbidden by God in the Scriptures today, though, there would have been no law concerning the matter in the early parts of the Beginning. Surely some sense of decency and thoughts of right and wrong would have been there, but maybe not. God now definitely forbids the Christian from marrying a non Christian. There are far too many “Mixed Marriages” in our society and it could be a death knell to the family. We are told in the New Testament,

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (KJV).

Now there are many people who have heard this taught and preached again and again. Young ladies who know better, professing to be Christian; marry a man who is the dream of her life, but he is not a Christian, and she finds out later that life with this man is a nightmare, they cannot agree on much, if anything, and he gets more and more rebellious toward the things of God as life goes along. In some rare cases the man comes to faith in Christ, and things can get better. God does not approve of Mixed Marriages concerning faith.