Trying to get back in the swing of things after arriving home last evening from my quick trip up to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I would like to thank Dean Arens and the staff at Moody for allowing me the great privilege of not only speaking in two consecutive chapel services (and hence getting to interact with the student body in general) but also to meet with a great group of students in a Q&A time Wednesday evening as well as the privilege of speaking in three classes the same day. I had wanted to make sure to get a chance to speak with the students, and I was surely given that opportunity.
I would especially like to than Dan Borvan, a Moody student who really made this entire trip happen, for all he did for myself and my father as we were in Chicago this week. Dan did all the “hard work” in picking is up and shuttling us around and taking us on a tour of Moody. Likewise, yesterday, on our way to O’Hare airport Dan drove us by Moody Church, and we were able to get inside and look around a bit. I hope his Greek grade does not suffer too much as a result of all the time he spent with us.
My father was able to go with me, and he was amazed at not only the changes in the past half century, but especially at the growth that has taken place on the campus. Moody is the largest owner of contiguous land in downtown Chicago, and my dad was just amazed at all the growth. Of course, we discovered that his dorm room is gone: I mean, gone. The building is still there: but they cut the end of it off! I really do not know how you cut a building basically in half (especially when it is around eight stories tall) and keep it structurally stable, but they managed to do so. So, while we stayed in the same building that he lived in more than half a century ago, it was…a bit different.
It was a real treat to interact with the students, especially after the chapel services. I also met a brother who ministers in Madrid, Spain, who listens to the Dividing Line! And good ol’ Angel came down on Wednesday for chapel and for the classes I taught thereafter. It was great to see him, too.
I quoted from my father’s Systematic Theology professor at Moody, P.B. Fitzwater (one of the buildings on campus is named after him even today), in my chapel messages. I would like to provide all of the citations I copied out of that work (I did not have a chance to quote all of them in my messages).
The doctrine of divine decrees should induce worship and adoration instead of fear. It is the basis of Christian confidence. The Judge of the earth cannot fail to do right. (238)
The believer was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. The choice was made before the believer existed. (238)
It is here declared (2 Th. 2:13) that God from the beginning had chosen certain unto salvation. To the believer this gives assurance, knowing that his salvation was included in the determinate counsel of God.
The salvation of the individual is according to the sovereign purpose of God, but that purpose included the means of its accomplishment. Salvation is dependent upon the exercise of faith on the part of the individual, but that required faith is God’s gift. (240)
God is absolutely sovereign in the matter of salvation. He is entirely righteous and holy in its offer and application….The ultimate end of all things in creation and redemption is the display or manifestation of God’s excellencies and perfections….Creation, providence, and redemption were for the purpose of the display of His glory….From the mass of fallen men God, for reasons known only to Himself, selected certain ones to salvation and passed by the rest, leaving them to the just recompense of their sins. (406)
The ground of this selection was not foreseen merit, not grace to one to the exclusion of the other, but on the basis of God’s good pleasure. (408)
For those thus chosen He gave His own Son to become Man to render obedience to His holy law and to suffer the penalty of a broken law, in the stead of His chosen ones, thereby making full satisfaction for sin and rendering the salvation for all such absolutely certain. (408)
The Holy Spirit makes efficacious God’s grace for the elect….Those sovereignly chosen to everlasting life shall certainly be brought to the knowledge of the truth to the exercise of faith and perseverance in holy living unto the end. (408)
We use the term “atonement,” then, as including all that Jesus Christ performed for His chosen people as the price of their salvation in obedience to God’s law, suffering the penalty of a broken law and in intercession. (424)
All that Christ did, whether in obedience or suffering, was in behalf of His own. All benefits accruing from His life and death were credited to them. Christ obeyed God’s law as the Representative of His people. He met the claims of law and justice in the place of and as a legal substitute for them. (424)
This begetting is a sovereign act of God, and in no sense can it be effected by human thought or effort. The sinner is dead in trespasses and sins. Regeneration must, therefore, be effected by some being from without who is capable of effecting it.