On John 1:1-5 – Reformed Theology Commentary

Previously I’ve dealt with sin, and man’s relation to sin, before and after Christbut what about Christ can make us free? How is freedom even possible? These and many questions ran through my own mind when I was first introduced to the  doctrine of Total Depravity/Radical Depravity/Radical Corruption. I was so focused on man’s fallen state, that for a time I lost sight of the glory, power, deity, and perfectness of Christ. Thankfully, the very next Doctrine of Grace that I was introduced to was Unconditional Election/Sovereign Election, which magnifies the power, glory, justice, and mercy of the Godhead. But we are not going to focus on Total Depravity, nor on Unconditional Election, but rather on the deity of Christ, that and that alone.

So turn you’re attention to John 1:1-5. I’ll post it up in full below, then after that we shall dissect it phrase by phrase:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness,I and the darkness has not overcome it.   – John 1:1-5

So now that we see the text let’s dive right into it:

  
1. In the beginning was the Word,

Here we see the deity of Christ out forth with pure, untainted boldness, showing the eternal nature of the λόγός (logos;word), which also infers the work of Christ being God’s word manifest in the flesh (v. 14). But but in the Greek text the word Έν which is translated “In” does not merely mean “in” but can also mean “at”, which would read just fine (just as good, in fact, as if it were translated “in”) but this Greek word can also be translated “before”, which, in terms of edifictation, would be very good; for we’re it to read, “At the beginning was the Word,” the reader would think that that λόγος has a beginning, which we all know not to be the case; but were it translated “Before the beginning was the Word,” I would think it would only bolden the expression of the deity of Christ.

Now noticice if you will the use of of the word “was”, a past tense verb, with “the Word” being the direct object; the use of this past tense verb declares that at the beginning the λόγος already was! The λόγος was before the beginning, for if the λόγος was not before the beginning how could the author then truthfully declare in verse three, “All things were made through him (meaning the λόγος), and without him (meaning the λόγος) was not any thing made that was made.”? So we see that the λόγος must be before the beginning, or else there would be nothing!

and the Word was with God,

Here again, we see the strong putting forth of the deity of Christ, who is the λόγος. Here the author speaks, again, to the eternal nature of the λόγος, as it is well understood that God is an eternal being, even secular minds have admitted that is God exists that He must be, among other things, eternal; and here the author is doing nothing less than making the λόγος equal with God. But also this phrase tells us something of the λόγος’s relationships with God. The Greek word for “with” is πρός which can also mean “toward”, “against” (as in being pressed against something), “in company with”, “along side of”, “in the presence of”. So we see that the λόγος was πρός God; He was in the presence of God, in company with God; He was along side God, towards God; the λόγος was πρός God.

and the Word was God.

In the Greej the order is actually, “καί θεός ήν ό λόγος” which translates, “God was the Word”, which I personally have come to prefer over “and the Word was God” but yet, which ever word we pick, makes θεός (God) equal with the λόγος; and the λόγος equal with θεός. Hence, the deity of Christ unquestionably claimed in the opening verse of John’s gospel.

2. He was in the beginning with God.

The word ουτος, which is translated “he”, can also mean “this”, “this one”; “he”, etc. which is clearly referring to the λόγος from verse one. For it would make no sense for “he” to refer to θεός, for that would mean that te verse would mean “God was in the beginning with God”, thus it must “he” must referrer to the λόγος. Here the same Greek word (πρός) that is used for “with” in verse one (and the Word was with God) is also used here and here it is used in the same way, showing a intensely intimate relationship with God, but at the same time upholding the deity – namely the eternal nature – of the λόγος. For how could any non-deity be πρός (with in the most intimate way) God at/before/in (έν) in the αρχή (beginning, first; origin)? For anything to be in the mere intimate presence (πρός) of God that πρός implies demands that thing to be deity, but being that way with God before (έν) the αρχή (beginning; origin) makes is necessary for the λόγος to be equal with θεός.

3. All things were made through him,

Again speaking to the deity of the λόγος for the Greek word translated “through” is the  δί, which means “through” or “by means of”. All things were made by means of the λόγος. It’s is a very string phrase that screams of th earthly creatures dependency on λόγος which is equal with θεός.

and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Here the word “without” is χωρίς which means “without”, “apart from”, or “without relation to”. Therefore if without relation to the λόγος nothing was made. Then without the λόγος nothing couldz be made! Thus speaking to earthly creatures dependence on θεός and the λόγος in every way possible.

4. In him was life,

Those reading this have encountered the Greek word for “In” before; yet know that Έν can also be translated “at” or “before”, as well as “in”; but this two letter word can also be translated “by”, “with”, and “within”. Think of this for a moment: Within the λόγος was life; by the λόγος was life; with the λόγος was life! Frankly, that is a incredible statement for the deity of Christ, for in Genesis we see that God breathes into man the “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7) thus life is within Godbut here John is saying that within the λόγος is life; thus, saying that “Within the λόγος was life,” is as much of a claim, if not more than, the phrase, “and θεός was the λόγος.”! This not only makes the λόγος equal with God, but this makes the λόγος God!

and the life was the light of men

The word here for “the” is actually ή which normally is translated “this” or “that”. So, life is not this general “life”; no, it’s “this life that is έν (within) the λόγος! Now what is meant by the word light (φως) here? The scripture says, “This life was the φως (light, with theological connotation) of ανθρώπων (man, human being; people, humankind). What does that mean? Here John is referring to the spiritual light of th Gospel, which is in Christ, and Christ alone. 

5. The light shines in the darkness,

This is a vivid of what the gospel is: a light shining forth into the darkness. But also this is an active thing: “the light φαίνει (shine, give light, appear, be seen, be or become visibke, be revealed) in the darkness. This is an active making known of something, not a passive action.

and the darkness has not overcome it.

 Here the word “darkness” is speaking to the depravity of man, and thus to the world. But here instead of the Greek word κατέλαβεν meaning “come upon” or “overtake” as it generally does, here it means “realize”, “understand”, “learn”; “see”, “find”.  Here John is saying, “The light shines in the world, but the world does not understand it, the world does not see it; as our Lord said, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13). This the world sees the light but they do not see it; they do not grasp it nor do they understand it, unless it is given them of the Father (John 6:44,65; Matthew 13:11; Matthew 19:11). 

Reflect on the words of Christ:

And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.  – Matthew 13.11

Blessings to all my brothers and sisters in Christ,

Michael Hall

On John 1:1-5 – Reformed Theology Commentary

On Sin – First Enslaved, Then Freed

Previously, I touched on how sin scars the conscience and makes us heavy with guilt. Today, I wish to look at man in two states in relation to sin: before Christ and after Christ. And knowing where we were before Christ is very important, for how can you be truly grateful for God’s mercy and love in salvation if you don’t know what you were saved from? Thus, knowledge of man’s state pre-regeneration is important, and does play into you’re Christian walk.

So, what was man like in relation to sin before Christ?

Now many verses speak to the all encompassing depravity of man (also know as Total Depravity/Radical Depravity), such as the following: ‘as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” ‘ (Romans 3:10-12); “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” (John 3:19-20) but why cannot man simply by his will shake off sin and live righteously? Why not?

Well, the harsh reality is simply this:

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Man is in bondage to sin, as our Lord says:

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.”     – John 8:32

     But what does Jesus mean when he says “a slave to sin”? Is he signifying that even as slaves we are able to revolt against sin and overthrow it’s hold over us? No, rather quite the opposite: in the Greek the word for ‘slave’ is δοῦλός (doúlos) which means: someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own;completely controlled. This is not speaking of a person who’s will is on fire for freedom, but a person whose will is completely subjected, and even enjoys it’s subjection as Christ Himself says, “”And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19). Man kind loves sin; he does not love darkness more than light, but “rather than light” meaning “instead of” or “in place of”. Man’s love of darkness is not simply more than his love of light, but rather his love is wholly for darkness, for Christ again says, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” (John 3:20). Jesus doesn’t say “everyone who does wicked things loves the darkness more than the light”; no, He says “everyone who does wicked things hates the light”! So not only is man totally, completely, and entirely controlled by sin, but he also loves what he is controlled by – that being sin. 

     Paul also declares this:

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
– Romans 6:20

     Here Paul is inferring that the believers who he is writing to were at one time “slaves of sin”, and when they were slaves they were  “free in regard to righteousness”. Truly, it is universal truth that we all were slaves to sin before we came – or really were drawn by the Father (John 6:44) – to Christ.

     Again Paul boldly points out:

But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin…   – Galatians 3:22a

     Here Paul declares that scripture declares that “the whole world is a prisoner of sin”! Sin, according to this verse, is our jailer and we are in the jail cell that is tightly locked and secured. We have no hope of escaping by any might, will, or determination that we posses; and furthermore, not only is our jail cell tightly locked and in every way secured so that it is inescapable, but it is furnished! It is comfortable and enjoyable for us; we, by nature, love our jail cell and our jailer.

     So then, what are we, in relation to sin, after Christ? Still enslaved or free? Scripture declares us free!

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But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  – Romans 6:22

     Here the Apostle insists that we have been “set free from sin” and are now “slaves of God”. One may scoff and say, “For what good is it to trade one slavery for another?” But I answer him, “For which is better, to be a slave to sin and the fruits of that slavery to be death or to be a slave to God and the fruits of that slavery is eternal life? Furthermore, if one is a slave to sin, he is also, by logical implication, a slave to the devil, who is wholly evil and wicked to no end. I would rather be a slave to a kind Master, who gave His own Son that I might be set free from my former master.” This being “slaves of God” is not a bad thing, for we have a kind, merciful, and loving Master, who cares for us, and wants whats best for us, despite the many times we have wronged Him. We have a Master who loves us unconditionally.

     And Christ Himself, in the reading of the prophet Isaiah says thus:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”    – Luke 4:18

     Notice the phrases such as “to set at liberty those who are oppressed” or “to proclaim liberty to the captives” or “recovering of sight to the blind”, who is the oppressed or the captives, or the blind in these instances? Us! Here Christ is saying that He has come to set us at liberty from our oppression! Truly that is the greatest promise of Christ: that through Him we are freed!

     But, our freedom is not an excuse to sin, for Paul writes:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.      – Romans 6:1-14

Here Paul is urging to get it through our thick skulls that we have died to sin, and therefore cannot continue to live in it! The whole point of Christ death, in relation to our enslavement to sin, was that “we would no longer be enslaved to sin”. Because our “old self was crucified with him” we are free from the enslavement to sin “for one who has died has been set free from sin”. Christ himself died a death so that he has “died to sin” and “the life he lives he lives to God”. And we too “must consider [ourselves] dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”. Paul also says that we should not let sin reign in our mortal body, nor let it make us obey its passions. For we are to present ourselves to God, not in spiritual death, but rather in spiritual life and thus in righteousness and dead to sin.

Thus it is to be understood that we do have liberty in Christ, and apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.) but this liberty in Christ, this freedom from sin because we are not under the law but under grace is not an excuse to live in sin nor to practice it, for Paul writes, For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ‘ (Galatians 5:13-14) and Peter also says concerning this, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16).

In closing I shall leave you some of the most comforting words of Christ I have ever read:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

                          – John 8:36

On Sin – First Enslaved, Then Freed

On Guilt of Sin & The Conscience

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     For me, I find the sins that I commit to be a literal scar upon my conscience, and the more I study God’s Word, the more I feel the damnation in sin itself, but yet I continue to do what I hate. And at times, it depresses me; at others, it infuriates me; but at the end of the day, I feel the weight of condemnation on my conscience by my sinful acts. For me there is no greater comfort than God’s Word so let us turn there together, my brothers and sisters in the faith.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. – Romans 7:15

     This perfectly describes my feelings about my sin. I do not understand why I do what I do, I hate these things I do with a righteous hatred (not that I am righteous in and of myself, but that my hatred is not a malicious hatred but a hatred of sin, a just hate, a righteous hatred), but yet I still do them, as if I desire to do them. But yet that desire is only momentary, lasting as long as the act, and after the act all I feel is shame and damnation, and yet another slash across my conscience; just as the Psalmist declares: “For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.” (Psalm 38:4) and again: “For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.” (Psalm 38:17-18). And that feeling of condemnation only increases when the cross is brought to the forefront of my mind’s eye. I don’t believe that anything can be more convicting than when one sins to have the cross immediately put before their eyes after their deed of wickedness is done.

     Let us see more of what Paul has to say:

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. – Romans 7:17-20

     Here Paul exemplifies the struggle that I, and many, if not all, of my brothers and sisters in the faith are continually going through, this warring of two natures within us: the flesh, in which “nothing good dwells” and the reborn nature in which we have “the desire to do what is right”, but yet our flesh removes our “ability to carry it out” (“it” being the desire of the reborn nature). For what we wish is not what we do but the evil that we do not want to do. But here the comfort comes in verse twenty: “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me”. Here the comfort is in a few things: firstly, that Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus, fought this same battle before us; secondly, that it is not us who do these things but our flesh, in which sin dwells. Not that we are not responsible for our sin – I assure you that we are accountable for every deed and word – but rather that the work that God has done in us [(making us alive in Christ Jesus and giving us a new heart and a new desire (Ephesians 2:1-10)] is not defective or somehow not true. The issue, as it appears to me in my life, is that we do not “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” enough, because we often forget that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure”.

     And as for the conscience of the believer whose sin is ever before him, Paul says to you:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. – Romans 8:33-34

     Who is to accuse us? If Christ has paid for our sin, then God “will be merciful toward [our] iniquities, and [He] will remember[our] sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). And who is to condemn? Did not Christ bear our griefs and carried out sorrows? Was He not pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities? And hasn’t the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all? (Isaiah 53:4-6). If Christ has not only died but risen that we might be made righteous in the eyes of God, then how shall our sin make us any less His children? Not that we ought to live however we please, on the contrary, we are to live “in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called” (Ephesians 4:1), but Christ Himself declares that “no one will snatch [us] out of [His] hand” (John 10:28). And John also declares, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Let not our weaknesses make the cleansing work of Christ any less effective, but rather strive to live “worthy of the calling” but yet, at the same time, do not think that God will cast you out for your sin, for Christ Himself says, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37); the work of God will be done, and Christ will never cast out whoever that comes to Him.

And so, in closing I shall leave you all with this quote from the movie ‘Luther’, in which the actor that plays Martin Luther says these words which I find comfort in:

“So when the devil throws your sins in you face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God. Where He is, there I shall be also.”
– Martin Luther

Blessings to you, and remember the words of Christ: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27).

Michael Hall

On Guilt of Sin & The Conscience

On Faith

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     Faith, a word that we use so often, but do we ever stop to consider what it means, what faith looks like – in our own life and in others. Do we ever stop to ask the question: is my faith merely intellectual knowledge/agreement or is it genuine faith that is firmly rooted in out hearts? Or what does it look like for us to actually live by faith? And are we doing that? Do we “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5)?
Sadly, we often do not ask ourselves these kind of hard questions; in fact, we often skirt over a sober analysis of ourselves and whether our faith is genuine. But not today; today, I will, Lord willing, do a very sober analysis of what faith is, what does it look like in ones life – essentially everything about faith I shall try to deal with in this post.

Paul writes, “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7), and again, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17). Here we are not only said to live by faith, but also commanded that we should live by faith. And in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (quoted earlier) we are instructed by the Apostle to examine ourselves to see whether we really are in the faith. Thus, it should naturally be understood that our understanding of what faith is, and what faith looks like, and everything else about faith, is of the up most importance. After all Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8a) which only further highlights the importance in faith, since it is through faith that we gain salvation.

First off, what is faith? What is our definition of faith? What does the scripture say faith is?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.                                                                                                                            – Hebrews 11:1

Faith is not a hope, but rather an “assurance of things hoped for”; faith is not some uncertain thing, but a firm conviction. Faith is not an abstract concept, but a tangible thing. However faith is not mere intellectual agreement, as James writes, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19), rather faith is deeper than that it is real, and not only real but faith is an “assurance” and a “conviction”, but of what? What “things hoped for” does our faith act as a assurance of? Or what “things not seen” does our faith act as a conviction of? Well very simply, of the promises of God. Now one may scoff and say, “What good is a promise of things that have not been seen? What good is that?” I answer: the promises that we have faith in is not promises of men, who so often break their word, but of God, who has never in all eternity past, present, and future broken His word. We trust in not the finite beings that are so easily deceived, tricked, or killed, but in the infinite Being, who through His power and mercy has saved us from our own natures. We hope not in the sinful, but in the holy and perfect. We hope in God. We hope in θεὸς (God) not in ἄνθρωπος (mankind,man). You see trust in a promise does not stem from the promise itself but from the one who makes the promise. How much more will you trust the promise of an eternal just, good, loving, caring God over that of wicked, sinful, fallen man?

So what is faith? Faith is hope in God, no faith is sure trust in God; faith is assurance in God, as the apostle writes: “who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:21) and again: “so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5). For of what value would our faith be were it to rest on the virtue and power of fallen man? What assurance would be in it? What trust or hope? Thus, faith – true faith – must rest on God, and on God alone. For if we put our faith and trust into man – fallen man – we will only have our trust and faith betrayed, but yet God will not betray our faith and trust, for Paul says, “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!” (Romans 9:14).

So we’ve established what faith is, and who our faith rests upon, but what does it mean to “live by faith” (Romans 1:17)?

Well, if our faith is in God, then living by faith is living in God and in what God desires for our lives. If we live in sin we are not living by faith but by fleshly desires; if we live in total conformity to the standards of the world, we are not living in faith but in the world. To live by faith is to follow the God whom you have put your trust; it is to act on your trust, to not just talk the talk but walk the walk. As the Apostle writes:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
– Hebrews 11:8

Here the faith of Abraham is not passive, but active. “By faith” he obeyed, not by intellectual understanding for the Apostle hastens to add: “And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Not to say that our faith is blind or not useful but rather that faith – true, genuine faith – rests solely on God and not on our understanding; but yet, despite how Abraham did not know “where he was going” he still “went out” regardless of his “not knowing”. Faith isn’t knowledge or intellectual agreement, but trust and assurance. And not only that trust and assurance but action upon that trust and assurance. As James says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14) and again, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17). Faith without action is dead and of no consequence, thus action upon faith must accompany faith. Not that we are saved by works, but rather that as James says, “I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18c). You see, our faith must be an active faith; it cannot be a “I go to church on Sundays and that’s good enough”, for James says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17) because true faith will not be without works, for true faith is not dead, but alive!

In conclusion, faith is not merely an intellectual understanding or agreement, but a thing of the heart, something that is important – vastly important- and rests on God alone. It is also not a passive thing, but an active thing that must be acted upon daily, so that we may “show…[our] faith by [our] works”.

Blessings,
Michael Hall

On Faith

Introductory Post

Hello all, my name is Michael Hall, I’m the soon to be host of Michael Hall Theology Podcasts, but also I am a rigorous studier of God’s Word and of Reformed Theology, Systematic Theology, and Biblical Theology. I plan on using this blog and my upcoming podcasts as my online ministry to the world.
I’m a firm Calvinist and I adhere to the Doctrines of Grace and to the Five Solas, which I will list and explain briefly below:

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Sola Gratia – which means that we are saved by grace alone, not by any merit or righteousness that we posses but by the sheer grace of God

Sola Fide – which means that salvation is through faith alone, not of works or deeds, but solely through faith.

Solus Christus – which means that we are saved by Christ alone, not by any other thing hat is in the world.

Simply put these three of the five Solas mean simply this: We are saved by Grace Alone (Sola Gratia), through Faith Alone (Sola Fide), in Christ Alone (Solus Christus).

Sola Scriptura – which means that Scripture Alone is the sole binder of the human conscience, which is a result of Scripture’s inerrancy and infallibility, as Martin Luther said, “My conscious is held captive by the Word of God, to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.”

Soli Deo Gloria – which means that everything we do, should be done, to the glory of God alone.

Now for the Doctrines of Grace:

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Total Depravity (Radical Depravity, Radical Corruption) – which means that man is thoroughly corrupted by sin, to the point that, on his own, man will never choose Christ, in fact man cannot choose Christ because he is dead. (John 3:19-20; Romans 3:10-12)

Unconditional Election (Specific Election) – which means that God chooses those to save by His sovereign and merciful hand, not by any merit or righteousness that He saw in us, but rather “according to the purpose of His will ” (Ephesians 1:5; John 6:44,65).

Limited Atonement (Definite Atonement, Specific Atonement) – which means that Christ did not die for all, but rather only for the Elect (those who have been predestined). (John 10:11,14-15).

Irresistible Grace (Effectual Calling) – which means simply, that when the sovereign, creating God calls one inwardly – that is, the Holy Spirit rebirths their heart and opens their eyes – they cannot not be effected. We resist because natural man is opposed to God, but it is effectual in that when God commands, nature must respond. (Ephesians 2:1-7; Ephesians 3:7. An excellent analogy is the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11:1-44).

Perseverance of the Saints (Sustaining of the Saints) – which means that God, in His sovereignty, holds you in His hand and no one, which includes you, can snatch you out of His hand. (John 10:28-29).

Those are the main doctrines that I adhere to. Feel free to email me at michaelhalltheology@gmail.com if you have any questions or anything at all. I hope you are edified by my upcoming blog posts and my upcoming podcasts.

Blessings,
Michael Hall

Introductory Post