Let us make our calling and election sure


by Mike Ratliff

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:2-4 (NASB) 

Is it possible to know whether we are genuine partakers of the divine nature and not simply religious converts? Let us look at the Apostle Peter’s understanding of this. If anyone would understand that our own efforts to please God are a total waste of time, Peter would be the man. He declared to our Lord on the night of His arrest that he would rather die with Him than desert Him. However, we all know that Peter not only deserted our Lord that night, he denied Him three times. From that failure and his later restoration by our Lord after He was resurrected, we know that we cannot please God with our own efforts. Any work that we do that is outside of His Grace is just works of the flesh and totally worthless. Continue reading

Growth in Christian virtue


by Mike Ratliff

1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:1-4 (NASB) 

Is it possible to know whether we are genuine partakers of the divine nature and not simply religious converts? Let us look at the Apostle Peter’s understanding of this. If anyone would understand that our own efforts to please God are a total waste of time, Peter would be the man. He declared to our Lord on the night of His arrest that he would rather die with Him than desert Him. However, we all know that Peter not only deserted our Lord that night, he denied Him three times. From that failure and his later restoration by our Lord after He was resurrected, we know that we cannot please God with our own efforts. Any work that we do that is outside of His Grace is just works of the flesh and totally worthless. Continue reading

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure…


by Mike Ratliff

3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

We have spent a large amount of time lately looking at forms of “Christianity” that are really forms of apostasy or heresy. We have also compared their false beliefs with those of other aberrant forms of our faith such as the Emergent movement and “liberal Christianity.” There are others to be sure, but what has been amazing is how they all do the same thing. They elevate Man and demote God. They teach salvation by works instead of by grace through faith as a gift from God.

Continue reading

How Vital Is It that We Have Full, Precise, Thorough, And Correct Knowledge Of God?


by Mike Ratliff

15 Διὰ τοῦτο κἀγὼ ἀκούσας τὴν καθʼ ὑμᾶς πίστιν ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους 16 οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου, 17 ἵνα ὁ θεὸς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης, δώῃ ὑμῖν πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐν ἐπιγνώσει αὐτοῦ, (Ephesians 1:15-17 NA28)

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Ephesians 1:15-17 ESV)

Post-modernism has as one of its tenets “relativism” that, of course, leads to ambiguity not revelation nor precision in our understanding of the truth. In fact, I have been rebuked more times than I can count by those who hold to that false religion called the “Emergent Church” that I was full of pride and not humble because I declared that I knew truth revealed to us by God in His Word as absolute truth, authoritative and without error. The liberal insists that to be humble we must declare that we do not know the truth nor are able to know God or understand His Word. Continue reading

What is Knowledge?


by Mike Ratliff

8 ἀλλὰ μενοῦνγε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου, δι’ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα, ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω 9 καὶ εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ, μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ, τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει, 10 τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ [τὴν] κοινωνίαν [τῶν] παθημάτων αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ, 11 εἴ πως καταντήσω εἰς τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν. (Philippians 3:8-11 NA28)

8 But even more so I consider all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom all things I suffered loss and I consider them dung, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having my own righteousness that is of the law, but the righteousness through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based upon faith,  10 to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being conformed to his death, 11 that if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11 a personal translation from the NA28 Greek text)

Speaking from experience, which I am sure most of you can relate to very much, one the most frustrating things for me to bear is to have to be subjected to a teaching or information or even something shared about a situation or another person that I know to be false beyond any doubt and yet those expounding what is not true either will not listen to the truth or are beyond the reach of my revealing the truth to them. It is an amazing thing to witness those sure in what they perceive to be the light of a truth that really is darkness. Those mired in postmodernism may at this moment be wanting to scream at me that “truth is relative,” however that stance is illogical and the orthodox Christian doctrinal stance says that God’s truth is revealed to us in his Word and his truth is immutable, eternal and authoritative. This being so, and since believers should seek to be Orthodox Christians who reveal their authenticity through their Orthopraxy as they abide in Christ, through this they must come to a true knowledge of their Saviour. In fact, genuine Christians have that hunger born of the Spirit as Paul declared in the passage above that to “know him” was worth losing all things that this world has to offer. I submit that in our time there are many declaring that they have attained this knowledge, but what they proclaim reveals that they are liars because what they are saying our Saviour is like or what he is saying the Church is to be about is not Biblical. We know they are liars and are, therefore, false teachers or wolves in sheep’s clothing, because we compare their teaching with the straight line of God’s Word, our Orthodoxy and this reveals that what they are saying is Orthodoxy is, instead heterodoxy, that is, another truth, therefore, a lie.  Continue reading

Knowledge


by Mike Ratliff

8 But even more so I consider all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom all things I suffered loss and I consider them dung, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having my own righteousness that is of the law, but the righteousness through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based upon faith, 10 to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being conformed to his death, 11 that if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

In our last post, A Real Jerk, we looked at the true nature of all those who operate in the flesh. They think they have true knowledge, but they do not. That faulty knowledge can even come from Seminary training or years of sitting under the teaching of other theologians, but if the one being trained is in the flesh then it does not matter if they hear and read the truth or not. Of course, a lot of that stuff that passes for Seminary teaching and Christian preaching and teaching in our time really isn’t. True knowledge that comes from God is entirely different. It is not for those who operate in the flesh. It is only for those in Christ, those who abide in him (John 15). This knowledge has a divine purpose.  Continue reading

Make Your Calling and Election Sure


by Mike Ratliff

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

We have spent a large amount of time lately looking at forms of “Christianity” that are forms of apostasy or heresy such as the Word-Faith movement. We have also compared their false beliefs with those of other aberrant forms of our faith such as the Emergent movement, the ReThinking of Christianity, and Oneness Pentecostalism. There are others to be sure, but what has been amazing is how they all do the same thing. They elevate Man and demote God. They teach salvation by works instead of by grace through faith as a gift from God. Continue reading

The People Who Know Their God Shall be Strong


by Charles Spurgeon

“The people that do know their God shall be strong.”-Daniel 11:32

Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to “have an unction from the Holy One,” and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith. Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love Him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what He has done for us, and what He is doing now, we cannot love Him much; but the more we know Him, the more we shall love Him.

Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence?  Hope may be the telescope, but till we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence. Knowledge supplies us reasons for patience. How shall we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us? Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace, but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.