Some Interesting Doubles

A. God is known to double a name, especially of someone or something under His special care to get their attention: 1. Moses. EXO 3:4. 2. Saul. ACT 9:4. 3. Martha. LUK 10:41. 4. Simon. LUK 22:31. 5. Jerusalem. MAT 23:37.

B. One of the most stirring examples of double-calling is God’s dealings with Abraham. 1. After waiting about twenty-five years for the birth of the promised son and watching him grow into a young lad, God called, “...Abraham...” and instructed him to offer Isaac. GEN 22:1-2. 2. On the basis of that simple imperative, Abraham obeyed promptly. GEN 22:3 c/w PSA 119:60. a. Abraham walked in Job’s understanding of God. c/w JOB 1:21. b. Abraham trusted God to keep His promise because he saw Christ in it. HEB 11:17-19; JOH 8:56. 3. God interrupted the fatal blow, calling, “...Abraham, Abraham...” (GEN 22:10-11). a. This certainly got Abraham’s attention! b. His reply was “...Here am I.” This was the same basic reply Abraham had given to the first call in GEN 22:1. c. There was no embittered reply like, “Now what?” or even “Thank you, Lord, I was beginning to doubt your faithfulness.” d. Faith’s reply to God should be the same in times of ease and distress: when God smiles on us and even when He challenges or chastens us. e. Obedience is easy in easy times but what about when we are pressed out of measure? JER 12:5 c/w PRO 24:10. f. A lesson that I am slowly learning over the years is that any trouble, affliction or grief that I must go through is either a test of my faith (in which case I should be thankful and steadfast) or a chastening for disobedience (in which God is always just and is dealing with me as His son, HEB 12:7), and this helps me. g. God does not now audibly call from heaven but His gospel calls men for its duty, and the best reply is as Abraham’s. c/w 1SAM 3:9; ISA 6:8; ACT 9:6. h. The gospel is to be preached “...in season, out of season” (2TI 4:2) and received in like manner. Skip the “convenient season” idea. ACT 24:25.

C. When God desires to underscore the certainty of a thing or command our special attention, He is prone to double the message. c/w GEN 41:32. 1. The Law and the Prophets spoke of Christ. JOH 1:45; 5:39. a. Both spoke that He should suffer, die and rise again. LUK 24:44-46. b. Both spoke that through Him, light should be sent to the Gentiles. ACT 26:22-23. c. Both spoke that righteousness comes not by the law but by Christ’s faith. ROM 3:20-22. d. Both spoke that Israel’s true hope is His resurrection power. ACT 24:14-15. e. Both have a conviction on par with resurrection power. LUK 16:29-31. 2. There are two testaments that declare Christ: the Old by prophecy, types, shadows and figures; the New by declaration of His person and works, a better light. 2PE 1:19. 3. Both the Father and the Son bear witness of Christ. JOH 8:17-18. 4. Pay special attention to the times when Jesus says, “Verily, verily...” since they are some of the most profound declarations of His doctrine. JOH 3:3, 5, 11; 5:19, 24-25; 6:47; 8:51. 5. Consider even the declaration of His solemn judgments. REV 18:6.

D. There was one profound time when His double-call arrested nothing. MAR 15:34. 1. God spared Abraham’s son but not His own. ROM 8:32. 2. But this was necessary to implement a double-call for the elect’s sake: a. the call to inward life from spiritual death. JOH 5:25; ROM 8:30. b. the call to resurrection of the body and change. JOH 5:28-29; ROM 8:11. 3. The Father and Son work together to call the elect unto eternal life. 1PE 5:10.

E. The work of the elect’s eternal salvation is completed, eliminating any doubling. HEB 1:3; 9:12. 1. Christ will never have to be re-offered. HEB 9:28; 1PE 3:18. 2. Believers must understand that the work has been done for them. Their works do not regulate His work. 2TI 1:9; TIT 3:5. 3. Adding sinners’ works to Christ’s work amounts to “double, double toil and trouble” (Shakespeare’s Macbeth), the stuff of witchcraft. GAL 3:1.

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