“This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3).
What does it mean to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent?
Let J.I. Packer answer.
First, knowing God is a matter of personal dealing, as is all direct acquaintance with personal beings. Knowing God is more than knowing about him; it is a matter of dealing with him as he opens up to you, and being dealt with by him as he takes knowledge of you.…
Challenged by a Jehovah’s Witness heckler to defend the doctrine of the Trinity from Scripture, J.I. Packer argued along the following lines:
- endorsed Old Testament monotheism (Mark 12:29), yet,
- regarded himself as ‘the Son’ in a unique sense (Matt. 11:27; Mark 12:1-12; 13:32), and prescribed and accepted worship of himself as Son of God, treating this as a proper expression of faith (John 5:23; 9:35-38; 20:28); and,
- promised the Holy Spirit as ‘another Comforter’ in succession to himself, to carry on his own manysided ministering role (John 14:16); and,
- bracketed Father, Son and Spirit together as the triune ‘name’ (singular, note, not plural) into which — that is, into a relationship with which — future disciples were to be baptized (Matt.
Regenerations, according to T.C. Hammond, is ‘a spiritual resurrection into a new sphere of life, in which he is alive to God and united to him in Christ. God has implanted in the new-born soul a totally new principle of life.’ (In Understanding Be Men).
We look, accordingly, for signs of life in the new-born Christian.
J.I. Packer writes that ‘the signs whereby a regenerate person may be known correspond to the natural actions of the newborn child.’…
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is given as ‘”another (i.e. a second) Paraclete” (Jn. 14:16), taking over Jesus’ role as counsellor, helper, strengthener, supporter, adviser, advocate, ally (for the Gk. paraclētos means all of these).’
The personality of the Holy Spirit is clear: ‘Like the Father and the Son, he acts as only a person can do—he hears, speaks, convinces, testifies, shows, leads, guides, teaches, prompts speech, commands, forbids, desires, helps, intercedes with groans (Jn.…
The ‘Holy Spirit’ is named as such only three times in the Old Testament: Psa 51:11; Isa 63:11, 12. The concept of ‘progressive revelation’ reminds us that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, like a number of other doctrines, is present in the Old Testament only in embryonic form.
If the Christian era is identified as ‘the ministry of the Spirit’ (2 Cor 3:8) then it is to be expected that that era will be characterised by a clearer and fuller revelation of the person and work of the Spirit.…
In 1990, aware that respected evangelicals such as John Stott, Philip Edgcumbe Hughes and John Wenham had recently lent their support to annihilationism/conditionalism, J.I. Packer gave a lecture on ‘The Problem of Eternal Punishment.’
Packer began by affirming what all evangelicals should affirm, namely that our views about ultimate destiny should be shaped not by what what we might like to be so, but by what Scripture actually says is so. Packer also observed what many before and after him have observed: that the Scriptural voice which speaks most frequently and firmly about hell is that of Jesus himself.…
‘The Virgin Birth meshes harmoniously with the rest of the New Testament message about Jesus. He himself worked miracles and rose miraculously from the dead, so no new problem is involved in affirming that he entered the world miraculously. He left the world supernaturally, by resurrection and ascension, so a supernatural way of arriving was entirely fitting. The stress laid on Jesus’ preincarnate dignity and glory (Jn 1:1-9; 17:5; 2 Cor 8:9; Php 2:5-11; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:1-3; 1 Jn 1:1) made a mode of entry into incarnate life that involved proclamation of the glorious role he was coming to fulfill (Mt 1:21-23; Lk 1:31-35) more natural than any alternative.…
‘The justice of God’s final judgment, which Jesus will administer, according to the Gospel, lies in two things: first, the fact that what people receive is not only what they deserve but that they have in effect already chosen — namely, to be forever without God and therefore without any of the good that He gives; second, the fact that the sentence is proportioned to the knowledge of God’s Word, work and will that was actually disregarded (cf. …
Legalism is a distortion of obedience. It is guilty of:-
- a skewed purpose, seeing good works as ways of earning God’s favour;
- an arrogant attitude, leading to contempt for those who do not make the same effort to gain God’s favour;
- a loveless focus on self, squeezing kindness and compassion out of the heart.
In the New Testament, legalism is found in two main forms:-
- Jesus confronted legalism in the Pharisees, who boasted of their privileged status as children of Abraham and their law-keeping.