solideogloria

#1: Depravação Total

Explanação: 

 O ponto de vista que alguém toma a respeito da salvação será determinado, em grande escala, pelo conceito que essa pessoa tem a respeito do pecado e de seus efeitos sobre a natureza humana. Por isso, o primeiro ponto é a doutrina bíblica da depravação total.  Uma definição desse conceito, é: “Nossa corrupção pecaminosa é tão profunda e tão forte que nos torna escravos do pecado e moralmente incapazes de vencer nossas próprias rebelião e cegueira. Tal inabilidade de salvarmos a nós mesmos é total. Nós somos completamente dependentes da graça de Deus para vencer a nossa rebelião, nos dar olhos para ver e, efetivamente, nos aproximar do Salvador”. (Cinco pontos- John Piper). Quando nós falamos do homem como sendo totalmente depravado, quer dizer que sua natureza é corrupta, perversa e totalmente pecaminosa. O adjetivo “total” não significa que cada pecador está tão completamente corrompido em suas ações e pensamentos quanto lhe seja possível ser. O termo é usado para indicar que todo o ser do homem foi afetado pelo pecado. A corrupção estende-se a todas as partes do homem, corpo e alma. O pecado afetou a totalidade das faculdades humanas - sua mente, sua vontade, etc. (Confissão de Fé, VI, 2). Também se pode usar o adjetivo “total” para incluir nele toda a raça humana, sem exceção. Como resultado dessa corrupção inata, o homem natural é totalmente incapaz de fazer qualquer coisa espiritualmente boa. É o que se quer dizer por “inabilidade total”. A inabilidade referida nessa terminologia é a “inabilidade espiritual”. Significa que o pecador está tão espiritualmente falido que ele nada pode fazer com respeito à sua salvação. É evidente que muitas pessoas não salvas, quando julgadas pelos padrões humanos, possuem qualidades admiráveis e realizam atos virtuosos. Porém, no campo espiritual, quando julgadas pelos padrões divinos, são incapazes de fazer o bem (Confissão de Fé, XVI, 1 e 7). O homem natural está escravizado pelo pecado: é filho de Satanás, rebelde para com Deus, cego para com a verdade, corrompido e incapaz de salvar-se a si mesmo ou de preparar-se para a salvação. Em resumo, o não regenerado está morto em pecado e sua vontade está escravizada à sua natureza má. O homem não veio das mãos do seu Criador nessa condição depravada. Deus fez a Adão perfeito, sem qualquer maldade em sua natureza. Originalmente, a vontade de Adão estava livre do domínio do pecado. Ele não estava sujeito a qualquer compulsão natural para escolher o mal; porém, por sua queda, trouxe a morte espiritual sobre si mesmo e sobre toda a sua posteridade. Desse modo, lançou a si mesmo e a toda a raça na ruína espiritual e perdeu para si e para os seus descendentes a habilidade de fazer escolhas certas no campo espiritual. Seus descendentes ainda são livres para escolher - todo homem faz escolhas em sua vida - mas, visto que a geração de Adão nasce com natureza pecaminosa, não tem a habilidade para escolher o bem ao invés do mal. Por conseguinte, a vontade do homem não é mais livre (i.e., livre do domínio do pecado) como era livre a vontade de Adão, antes da queda. Em vez disso, a vontade do homem, como resultado da depravação herdada, está escravizada à sua natureza pecaminosa. A Confissão de Fé de Westminster nos dá uma declaração clara e concisa dessa doutrina: “O homem, caindo em um estado de pecado, perdeu totalmente todo o poder de vontade quanto a qualquer bem espiritual que acompanhe a salvação, de sorte que um homem natural, inteiramente adverso a esse bem e morto no pecado, é incapaz de, pelo seu próprio poder, converter-se ou mesmo preparar-se para isso” (IX, 3). 1. Como resultado da transgressão de Adão, os homens são nascidos em pecado e são, por natureza, espiritualmente mortos; portanto, para se tornarem filhos de Deus e entrarem no Seu reino precisam nascer de novo, do Espírito. 1. Como resultado da transgressão de Adão, os homens são nascidos em pecado e são, por natureza, espiritualmente mortos; portanto, para se tornarem filhos de Deus e entrarem no Seu reino precisam nascer de novo, do Espírito. a) Quando Adão foi colocado no jardim do Éden, foi advertido para não comer do fruto da árvore do conhecimento do bem e do mal, sob pena de imediata morte espiritual; b) Adão desobedeceu e comeu do fruto proibido (Gn 3:1-7); por conseguinte, trouxe morte espiritual sobre si mesmo e sobre a raça; c) Davi confessou que tanto ele, como os demais homens, foram nascidos em pecado (Sal. 51). d) Porque os homens são nascidos em pecado e são, por natureza, espiritualmente mortos. Jesus ensinou que, para alguém entrar no reino de Deus, é preciso nascer de novo. (Jo. 3.5-7) 2. Como resultado da queda, os homens estão cegos e surdos para a verdade espiritual. Suas mentes estão entenebrecidas pelo pecado; seus corações são corruptos e malignos (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Ec. 9:3; Jr. 17:9; Mc. 7:21-23; Jo. 3:19; Ro. 8:7-8; 1Co. 2:14; Ef. 4:17;19, 5:8; Tt. 1:15) ): 3. Antes dos pecadores nascerem no reino de Deus pelo poder regenerador do Espírito, são filhos do diabo e estão debaixo de seu controle. São escravos do pecado (Jo. 8:34, 44; Rom. 6:20; Ef. 2:12; 2Tim. 2:25-26; Tt. 3:3; 1Jo. 3:10); : 4. O domínio do pecado é universal: todos os homens estão debaixo do seu poder; por conseguinte, ninguém é justo, nem um só (Rom. 3:9-18). 5. Os homens, sendo deixados em seu estado de morte, são incapazes, por si mesmos, de se arrepender, de crer no evangelho ou de vir a Cristo. Não têm poder, em si mesmos, para mudar sua natureza ou preparar-se para a salvação (Jer. 13:23; Mt. 7:18; Jo. 6:37, 44, 65 Rom. 11:35; 1Co. 2:14; 2Co. 3:5). Em suma, a depravação total  se refere a respeito do homem não ter o poder de escolher a Deus, pois por causa de sua morte espiritual, quando Adão pecou escolhendo o mau automaticamente todos pereceram, toda a raça humana nasceu no pecado com um passado manchado pelo  pecado, e feito isso não habita em nós a vontade de buscar o Criador pois quando Adão pecou ele estava se rebelando contra o próprio Deus e agora toda humanidade carrega a culpa e mancha do pecado por causa da escolha de Adão. Porém o termo “depravação total” não quer dizer que o homem seja TOTALMENTE mau, ao ponto de não fazer nada de “bom”, o que este ponto quer dizer é que o ser humano não poder ir a Deus por si mesmo, ninguém quer buscar ao Criador pois não é de sua natureza buscar ao Senhor. E por isso o ser humano em si não pode escolher á Deus pois está morto em seus pecados e delitos e se não fosse Deus que o salvasse estávamos perdidos, podíamos até ter a consciência  que existisse um Deus mas nunca íamos estar em comunhão com esse Deus perfeito e vivo por causa da nossa condição, pois o pecado desperta a ira de Deus e nos afasta Dele, os seus próprios mandamentos revelam quem somos e escancara a nossa condição de perdidos.

 Aplicações

 Ao terminamos esse estudo, devemos nos perguntar, o que esse conhecimento trará de novo e transformador nas nossas vidas, pois não adianta guardamos essas informações apenas como triunfo para nosso intelecto, portanto cabe a nós, aplicarmos essa doutrina tão importante na nossa vida. O que nós aprendemos pelo ensinamento de nossa depravação total é uma explicação para todos os problemas que encontramos em nosso mundo de ódio, guerra, pobreza, ganância, drogas, promiscuidade sexual, rebelião, entre outros. Mesmo se todo o mundo se convertesse, não seriam resolvidos todos os nossos problemas, uma vez que os cristãos ainda são pecadores. Mas nós vemos que o Evangelho nos leva a resolver os problemas no mundo até que Jesus venha, quando todas as coisas serão renovadas Uma segunda aplicação que poderíamos tirar desse estudo é que estamos em uma condição terrível em nossa própria depravação. Isso nos dá uma noção da urgência de buscar a Deus. Nós percebemos que não há esperança longe da graça imerecida de Deus. Isso deveria nos levar a apelar a Deus por misericórdia, deveria nos levar a nos prostramos em prantos de joelhos diante do Senhor. Nós deveríamos chamar a Jesus para nos salvar de nossa condição miserável.

No entanto, se Deus me criou, se Deus me planejou, eu lhe devo tudo – vida, respiração, e tudo mais. E, se não vejo as coisas dessa maneira, estou em desarmonia com o meu Criador […] Deus nos criou, e somos devedores a ele. Se não reconhecemos esta verdade simples, então, de acordo com a Bíblia, essa cegueira é, em si mesma, uma evidência de quão alienados estamos de Deus.
—  D. A. Carson

It is not disheartening to me when Christians pass away. In fact, it doesn’t even make logical sense to get sad. Everything we do in life, we do to prepare for that moment. In the words of J Pipes, “Death is like my car. It takes me to where I want to go.” It offers the best worldly thing for us humans. And by Christ’s standard, we died a long time ago when we surrendered our lives. The cliche thing we often hear about funerals is that it’s “a celebration of life.” Can’t think of a better way to word it, myself. The only reason why I mourn is to mourn with those who aren’t quite there yet with this persepctive.

Pastor Francisco Vega Jr. was the closest embodiment of Paul I have seen. He was raised in an environment where Christianity had no place and was a victim of that upbringing. By the grace of God, he became a faithful servant, to the point of death.  He constantly sacrificed, even powered through immense physical pain, yet all he thought about was how to serve others.  He was encouraging, even though the environment demands a human being to be hard. And when he spoke, he was confident, yet humble at the same time, just like Paul was. Pastor Vega pointed to God in all things, his gifts and his shortcomings.  Now, perpetual pain has been replace with eternal rest. I would imagine the conversation between him and the Lord during his judgment to be like this:

“What have you brought me?”

“Nothing. I used it all up and gave it all away.”




I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. — 2 Timothy 4:7

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The Perfection OF Beauty-Shai Linne & Blair Linne

Why'd you let him go?

ENG - This particular wednesday was a wonderful day. In the morning I took a stroll in a sunny autumn Lisbon, while I killed some time. Campo de Ourique revealed it’s splendor, I’m not fond of grey weather so any bit of sun lifts my spirits. Had an orange juice at a bakery, wondered through the street, snapped some pictures on my way to the studio I’m working in.
 

 The day was full and fruitful, and by night as I made my way out of the studio with my friend Elisa to what I thought was my car, I saw someone inside it. I blinked my eyes twice, and double checked if it was in fact my car, I pressed my remote, and the lights blinked…it was my car!

 This man sitting on the passenger side, made his way out of my car, dropping a shoulder bag on the way. I don’t know what happened but all of a sudden I’m grabbing him and I’m pushing him against the wall in what seemed like a split second, and I’m yelling “What were you doing in my car?” to his face repeatedly. He’s taller than me, good looking, and though he won’t sit still, I make sure he knows he isn’t going anywhere, and he’s scared. 
 Some random shady looking guy that was walking his dog as we left the studio asks me what happened, as I explain “This guy was in my car”. I didn’t even have time to ask for help, and he pins the guy. I could tell he was strong. I start frisking the intruder, empty his pockets, find no money, a screw driver, one document, nothing really, and ask my friend that was with me “Go get someone in the studio, and check the car, see if anything is missing”, she tries, but she doesn’t know what to look for. “Check if the doors are busted”, she seems confused, so I ask my new found friend to hold the guy while I check the car. I realized I had documents, valuables, and a guitar inside, and then I see that the bag he dropped was actually my laptop! I was confused on why it was there but felt relieved I had everything, and that the car was untouched. The bulky guy asked: “Look at me…did you do time?Were you locked up?” The other guy said “Yes, I got out in August”. “Are you high? Tell me men, what are you on? Coke?” The intruder couldn’t even give a straight answer as it dawned on him he wasn’t going anywhere, and one of two things could happen, either he was gonna get beat up, or he was going in…or both.
 
 “Look at you man…just look at you! You look good, you can work…why do you this to yourself? You don’t need this man!” He tried to reply with the typical stuff, “life’s hard, I can’t find a job, I can’t get my act together, I’m alone”, etc. And then the unexpected happened, my new “friend” tells him “Look, I know what it’s like, because not to while ago I was in your place. I did drugs, I stole, I did time, and I’m telling you YOU DON’T NEED THIS!
I know it’s hard but you can get a job, or you can keep trying, you look good, you clothes are fine, look at your shoes…they’re better than mine!”
 Intruder: “Well I got them in a dumpster" to which he got the reply 
"See these pants? I got ‘em in the dumpster too! Man you look better than me!”  He did…

 I start speaking to him telling him that under no circumstance should someone take someone else’s property and he said “The car was unlocked man” repeatedly, and I said “So what? See this computer? This is my life, you take this from me and my life is over. How could you?”“The car was unlocked man”. It drove me mad that he was saying that. I got close to his face and said: “Look at me”.
and he just wouldn’t. He would turn his face around and not look me in the eye. I asked him why, and he said: “I’m ashamed, I can’t look at you”.
 I said “Look me in the eyes, you can trust me, I am not going to harm you in any way, please just look me in the eyes”, and he finally did.
 
 My heart was crushed. I could see the fear, the panic, the shame… I told him “I can hurt you really bad, and still call the police and you’re done. If I was someone else it probably would happen, but I want you to think of this as your last chance. I want you to think really good about this, about your life, about the destruction you impose on yourself and others. You don’t need to do this." 

 At this point my "friend” turns him around violently, and has him face an abandoned shop window. I thought he was going to smash his face against  it to be honest, but then he straightens the intruder’s clothes and says: “I know it’s not a mirror but it will do. Look at yourself. Is this you who you really are? Is this who you wanna be? You’re better than this, you don’t need this…Do you have anything else?” He said he did.We found a stolen car stereo in his pants, and told him to give it back. He said he got it way far from where we were. We checked the cars next to us, and none was broken into. We let him go, and he did, slowly, shaken, afraid, humiliated and somewhat baffled. 

 Me and my new found friend exchanged some words, said our good byes and I got in my car. I held the steering wheel, tilted my head down, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Times have been challenging and this seemed like yet another unnecessary thing or weight to carry. “Why me?" I said.

 My friend Elisa was by this time sitting on the passenger seat still a bit shocked and said: "I’ve never seen you like that, I didn’t know you could be like that”
 “Like what?” I asked. “Aggressive, strong, violent. But I was scared that your macho stuff could have ended differently. What if he had a knife or something? He could have stabbed you and you wouldn’t even know" 

 I snapped out of feeling sorry for myself immediately…"You’re right…I didn’t even…think”.

 She continued “And you know what? This wasn’t bad, in fact it was great, but not for you, for him. This was all about him, this is what he needed. Had we gotten out a minute too soon or too late we would have missed him, the other guy too. Had it been somebody else, he could’ve well be lying on the floor right now, but you…let him go. This is huge…for him.”

 We took off, and our night was never the same. He was on our conversations, our thoughts, and even our prayers.

The next day I’m at the studio and I get asked: “Ben can I ask you something? Why’d you let him go?”

I said: “Well… I don’t know…why wouldn’t I? I just had too, I don’t know. He’d been locked up, and it sure didn’t change anything, and I just felt I should, I can’t really tell you why.”

He said: “I was in a similar situation when I was younger. I stole something, I was caught, beat up, humiliated, they called the police, I was too young so I wasn’t arrested, but I had a huge fine to pay. I never did anything like that again, it worked for me…but maybe you’re right, he was already in jail, and it didn’t work for him, so maybe this is what he actually needed, another chance.”  I said: “Well I think he needed what’s called grace. See the world is all cause and effect, but grace unbalances everything, it gives us what we could never deserve. I just felt he needed it more than anyone, and I didn’t have any way to deny him of it, I just couldn’t.”

We stood in silent for a bit, just contemplating what had happened. A few hours later someone knocks at the door, and who is it but our “new found friend”. He lived across the street, saw my car, and wanted to say hi. He thanked me for doing what I did, I thanked him, and said that it was totally God that he was there at that time, being who he was with all he’d been through, He said he’d seen our intruder that day, and smile and waved at him. As he was about to leave I asked “Hey by the way, I never got your name?”, “Emanuel” he replied.

Emanuel means “God is with us”.

He sure was.

I met up with an old ACFer who most people do not know. His name is Joshua Chen.  During our entire dinner, he was sharing about how God changed perspectives in his life about living as an upper middle class Christian.  What he really was doing was challenging me the whole time by challenging himself. He spoke of his many friends who had dreams of ministering to the rich and powerful (which may be a ministry of mine as well), and how their lives are so marginal in making a difference that he has a hard time saying they’re living for Christ. Direct quote: “My brother tells his friends straight up, give this Christian organization $30,000. Because you can and 30,000 is just spending money. They can’t do it.” I can totally see that happening to me.  As soon as I got my offer at Booz, I made a promise to myself to give my entire life not to live it for myself.  It was part of the deal. It was part of dying to myself.  But when we took our trip to Viriginia, one of the places we almost picked to live was partially because it was comfortable. It had a homey feel. Comfortable. What a dangerous word.  I strongly urge all Christians, especially those who are educated and headed for the working world, to purposefully do things out of their comfort zone. I stake my soul in saying Jesus would want us to do radical things to serve him, and that definitely includes giving up worldly comforts.  I mean, think about what we’d define a solid Christian as: “Wow that person is so passionate about Jesus that he’ll sit in a room for three hours twice a week, and ocassionally give 10% even!”  Of course not.

The place we chose is the same price, but has a hideous interior. It does not feel like home, and it certainly isn’t comfortable. I am still taken aback at the fact that it looks so uncomfortable.  But it is close to the city, where I plan to commit much of my time to an inner city ministry. God willing, I will let go of my time and resources to serve those less fortunate than I am.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ” — Matthew 25:40 NIV

Victories and Blessings. :)

October 13-20, 2012 is the most uncomfortable week for me. Although ito ang unang week ng sembreak, hindi talaga ako masaya. Marami kasi ang bumabagabag sa akin. Una na dun ay yung na-assign ako na mag-worship lead sa next Sunday. Medyo kinakabahan ako dahil ilang buwan din akong hindi nagpapakita sa church namin and nabigyan ako ng assignment to lead the worship. At pangalawa ang grades ko, nung last day ng exams ko, on my way home, iniisip ko kung makakapasok ba ako sa dean’s list. Ang makapasok kasi sa dean’s list ang goal ko this semester. Medyo maganda naman ang performance ko sa ibang subjects ko, so I’m confident na hindi talaga ako babagsak, except for BevMa and Stat. 

Habang papalapit ang October 20, gumagawa ako ng paraan para kahit papano ay maibaling sa ibang bagay ang worries and doubts ko sa mga grades ko, it worked pero pagdating ng friday night, hindi na ako mapakali, aligaga ako, kinakabahan at hindi ako nakatulog ng maayos.

October 20 na!!!!! Ang araw ng kinakatakutan ng iba at isa ako dun. Yung iba, excited to see their grades, pero ako hindi, talagang kinakabahan na ako, parang nagkape ako ng 10 tasa (medyo exaggerated. :D) sa sobrang nerbyos at kaba. Ramdam ko ang kabog ng puso ko habang papalapit sa computer namin, hanggang sa pag-on at pag-access ng site for the grades. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang magiging reaction ko pag nakita ko ang grades ko, pero sinabi ko sa sarili ko na kahit ano man ang mangyari NGUMITI lang at sabihing THANK YOU LORD! :)

Nasa site na ako kung saan ko makikita ang grades ko, MAS KINABAHAN ako sa mga maaaring sumunod ng mangyari, pag click ko sa tab to view my grades, napasigaw ako, as in parang nakakita ako ng ipis sa harap ko, at dali-daling bumaba sa hagdanan at isinigaw na, “DEAN’S LISTER akoooooooo!” Umiiyak ako sa sobrang saya, kasi parang natanggal yung mabigat na nakadagan sa puso ko nung nakaraang linggo.

It’s amazing how I harvested the fruits of my labor as a student. Hindi madali ang gumising ng maaga, magpuyat, mag-sakripisyo, magmemorize ng mga drink recipes, mag-prove ng mga hypothesis, at mag-aral ng french. I’m glad na God has been so good hindi lang sa pagkakataong ito dahil maraming beses na nyang pinatunayan sa akin ang Kanyang greatness if I continue to pray and believe His power. Hindi pa natatapos dito, meron pa akong 3 semesters to show people how the Lord will continually work in my studies. Thank you Lord, with lots and lots of cherries on top. :)

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