Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Westminster Larger Catechism: Question 4

Question 4

How doth it appear that the scriptures are of the word of God?

The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty (Hos. 8:12, 1 Cor. 2:6–7,13, Ps. 119:18,129) and purity; (Ps. 12:6, Ps. 119:140) by the consent of all the parts, (Acts 10:43, Acts 26:22) and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; (Rom. 3:19,27) by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: (Acts 18:28, Heb. 4:12, James 1:18, Ps. 19:7–9, Rom. 15:4, Acts 20:32) but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God. (John 16:13–14, 1 John 2:20,27, John 20:31)

The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Notice that the Larger Catechism says that the "consent of all the parts" is a means by which we can know that the Bible is the very word of God.  Of course, that would imply the doctrine of plenary verbal inspiration and inerrancy.  I should also point out that the "heart" in Scripture is not the seat of the emotions but is in fact synonymous with the mind or soul of man.  The "heart," like the "mind," thinks.  So the Bible teaches "head knowledge."  There is no distinction in Scripture between "head" knowledge and "heart" knowledge.  Feelings cannot think propositionally.  Emotions have little to do with true Christian faith.  It is in fact the mind that understands the propositions of Scripture, assents to them and believes them.  Faith, trust, and assent are synonymous in the Bible and knowledge is what is assented to or believed.

The Holy Spirit uses Scripture as the means of persuading the mind of His elect that the Scriptures are the "very word of God," not just an analogy of it.  In other words, the Bible is univocally the same words and thoughts of God that God intended to convey to us on our creaturely level and these words are a point of convergence between what God thinks and what we think.

I would add here that even certain people who claim to be Scripturalists deny that the believer can know or deduce from Scripture that he is saved or that he is one of the elect.  I disagree since to do so is to open the door to skepticism.  Without Scripture knowledge of salvation or election is in fact impossible (1 John 5:13; John 17:17; Romans 10:17; 2 Peter 3:18).

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