Bought by the Blood

July 22, 2011

There Is No Better News

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July 16, 2011

The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders: A Review

In today’s evangelical culture where phrases like “Christ-Centered” are in vogue and topics of the Gospel and Christ finished work are common place, I found reading “The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything,” by Fred Sanders quite refreshing. Many of the books that I’ve read lately have been more on the topic of practical application, parenting and other assorted topics.  This was my first time reading a theology book in ages, and being a parent of a toddler my brain has limited bandwidth and I definitely noticed this book stretching my brain in ways that it hasn’t in a while.  With all of that said, I would not recommend this book if you are looking for a light read.

Starting the book, the first chapter was definitely intimidating.  Sanders lays out a philosophical argument for why the trinity should be important for Christians today. To be honest, this chapter was hard to read and my fear was that if the rest of the book was like that then it would be hard to finish.  I did finish the book and after the first chapter, the information became easier to process.  Sanders uses the first chapter to lay a foundation for the rest of the book, from there he spends the bulk of book talking about how the gospel finds its root in the trinity.  The book concludes with reflections on how the trinity relates to Bible reading and prayer.

Theology for theology sake is useless.  What Sanders excels in with this book is taking the reader past a knowledge of God and to the worship of God.  In chapter two I found myself worshipping God for who He is, particularly His self-sufficiency within the trinity and how He doesn’t need anyone or anything else to complete or satisfy Himself.  In chapter three I found myself worshipping God for all of His acts, particularly that of saving me.  In chapter four I found myself worshipping God for the access He has provided by adopting me through the work of the trinity.  In chapter five I found myself worshipping God for the specific roles He fulfills in the trinity and how He welcomes me to commune with each specific role.  In chapter six I found myself worshipping God for allowing me to encounter Him through His Word which is the breath of His Spirit.  In chapter seven I found myself worshipping God for how as His adopted child I get to each experience person of the trinity in prayer.

If you are wondering why you should buy this book, I will let  the author tell you why from a chapter called, “Into The Saving Life Christ,”

When evangelical Christians come to understand the trinitarian soteriology we have been describing in this book, they tend to describe it as a moment of insight that changes everything about their life and faith. At the very least, they see it as a breakthrough to a new level of depth in the things they had known before.

There is nothing wrong with being  Christ-centered, problems arise when this causes us to becomes Father-forgetting and/or Spirit-ignoring.  When we are Spirit-ignoring and Father-forgetting we shrink the size of the gospel.  The trinity is important because it expands our size the gospel.

A gospel which is only about the moment of conversion but does not extend to every moment of life in Christ is too small. A gospel that gets your sins forgiven but offers no power for transformation is too small. A gospel that isolates one of the benefits of union with Christ and ignores all the others is too small. A gospel that must be measured by your own moral conduct, social conscience, or religious experience is too small. A gospel that rearranges the components of your life but not put you personally in the presence of God is too small.

July 12, 2011

Your Gospel Is Too Small

A gospel which is only about the moment of conversion but does not extend to every moment of life in Christ is too small. A gospel that gets your sins forgiven but offers no power for transformation is too small. A gospel that isolates one of the benefits of union with Christ and ignores all the others is too small. A gospel that must be measured by your own moral conduct, social conscience, or religious experience is too small. A gospel that rearranges the components of your life but not put you personally in the presence of God is too small.

-The Deep Things of God, by Fred Sander

July 7, 2011

Casey Anthony and the Cross

Chris Brauns has some great insight on how Christians should respond to the Casey Anthony verdict.  Below are a couple of highlights, but you can read the rest here

  • Point people to the Cross. Situations like this are the opportunity for Christians to point to a balanced view of forgiveness that stresses love, justice, and grace. Casey Anthony is not the only one who will stand before her Creator. We are all sinners, and we will all be there. If we don’t know Christ, then the wrath of God abides on us (John 3:36).
  • Examine yourself. If you find yourself feeling terribly ungracious towards Casey Anthony, then perhaps it is because you haven’t been thinking enough about God’s grace in your life.  Indeed, this is what happened with the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35. Do you get more energized about the sin or perceived sin of someone else or your own? Consider 2 Corinthians 13:5.

July 4, 2011

If The Son Sets You Free You Will Be Free Indeed – john 8:36

Please take some time to read the following meditation on freedom by J.C. Ryle as we celebrate America’s freedom today

Liberty, most Englishmen know, is rightly esteemed one of the highest temporal blessings.  Freedom from foreign dominion, a free constitution, free trade, a free press, civil and religious liberty, – what a world of meaning lies beneath these phrases! How many would sacrifice life and fortune to maintain the things which they represent! Yet, after all our boasting there are many so-called freemen who are nothing better than slaves. There are many who are totally ignorant of the highest, purest form of liberty. The noblest liberty is that which is the property of the true Christian. Those only are perfectly free people who the Son of God “makes free.” All else will sooner or later be found slaves.

Wherein does the liberty of true Christians consist? Of what is their freedom made up? They are freed from the guilt and consequences of sin by the blood of Christ.  Justified, pardoned, forgiven, they can look forward boldly to the day of judgment and cry “Who shall lay anything to our charge? Who is he that condemns?”  They are freed from the power of sin by the grace of Christ’s Spirit. Sin has no longer dominion over them. Renewed, converted, sanctified, they mortify and tread down sin, and are no longer led captive by it. Liberty, like this, is the portion of all true Christians in the day that they flee to Christ by faith, and commit their souls to Him. That day they become free men. Liberty, like this, is their portion for evermore. Death cannot stop it. The grave cannot even hold their bodies for more then a little season. Those whom Christ makes free are free to all eternity.

Let us never rest till we have some personal experience of this freedom ourselves. Without it all other freedom is a worthless privilege. Free speech, free laws, political freedom, commercial freedom, national freedom, all those cannot smooth down a dying pillow, or disarm death of his sting, or fill our conscience with peace. Nothing can do that but the freedom which Christ alone bestows.

July 3, 2011

Disney Isn’t The Enemy and The Offices of Christ

Earlier this week I read a great blog post from Allen Yeh called, “Why Disney Princesses Are Bad.”  Allen makes some great points about how the Disney princess mindset isn’t helpful for Christian girls and instead we should instill in them the mindset that are priests and not princesses, based on Hebrews 4:16.  The article is excellent, especially for anyone raising daughters.

My only one gripe with the article, is that as we think about Christ Offices, He was more then just a priest, He was also a king and a prophet.  Since Christ is a king, that means that as his adopted children, we are all princes and princes.  Here is a great excerpt from Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book, “Give Them Grace,” on that topic.

Little girls should be protected from thinking that their worth is measured by whether a little boy likes them and think they’re cute or pretty. They need to be taught that loves has been given to them by their Savior and that they don’t need to dress up like a princess to get it. They can be taught that they are the love and delight of their Savior and that he is indeed the great Prince of Heaven. They can read stories about princesses and dress up and pretend. They can use their imagination to imagine being loved by a great prince because, after all, they have been.

Boy should be encouraged to love their sisters and friends who are girls and to respect women and not treat them as having no value except in their appearance. Young boys need to be taught to love, respect, and protect girls because they have been created in the image of God and have been loved by the great warrior Prince.

Lastly, we all fulfill the role of prophet.  That does not mean we walk around saying, “Thus say the Lord,” as we give out revelations from God’s unrevealed will. To raise my kids to be prophets will be to raise them to love God’s Word and encourage them to be quick to build others with wisdom from the Bible and not from secular culture.  Girls will have a tendency to gossip, so if I raise my daughters to be prophetesses that means they will put to death gossip and only speak that which is true and builds others up.  Girls, may also be quick to listen to their feelings, so it is my job to teach them to listen primarily to God’s Word and have that be the primary voice that they echo and let guide them.  Boy can exalt in sports teams and have athletes be their heroes, but as a prophet, instead of celebrating a great sports highlight, I will teach them to ultimately exalt in what Jesus did for them on the cross. A prophet hears God’s word and communicates it to others, that is my prayer for my kids.

July 1, 2011

If You Have A Free Hour This Weekend

Focus On The Family did a great two part series this week featuring David Barton on the faith of the founding father’s.  In today’s secular society it is easy to lose sight of the Christian principles America was founded.  The series was really refreshing and eye-opening as it presented a side of American history that is often neglected.  You can listen to part 1 here and part 2 here.  David Barton is a member of a group called Wall Builders and there website is here http://wallbuilders.com/

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