Bought by the Blood

February 6, 2011

Redeeming Love

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God…For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.
(Deuteronomy 4:24 & 31 ESV)

The fire of Yahweh as a jealous God is the fire of an exclusive commitment to this people that demands an exclusive commitment in return.  It is, in short, the fire of redeeming love that had brought them out of the fires of bondage and would therefore tolerate no rival…It was the fire of God’s jealousy that protected the strength of God’s mercy and covenant faithfulness to this people.  In rebellion and idolatry they would find the God of verse 24.  In return and obedience they would find the God of verse 31.  This is the same unchanged God, responding to a tragically unchangeable people.

– Christ Wright

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November 13, 2009

Biblical Parenting

Filed under: Character of God,Deuteronomy,Family,leadership — cubsfan1980 @ 3:26 pm
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Great article on The Gospel Coalition blog on Biblical Parenting, how to do it and what it looks like.

The Purpose of biblical parenting: That the coming generations might put their hope in God.

The goal or purpose of biblical parenting is not mere Bible knowledge or well-behaved kids; the true goal of biblical parenting is that the coming generations may not forget God but instead, set their hope in God (Psalm 78:7). We should be painting such a large picture of God in our homes as we talk about Him and His strengths and His wondrous works and His glory, that our children would have confidence in God, not in this world or the things of this world. Note this well, our goal is not simply that OUR children would hope in God, but that the coming generations would hope in God-our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Can you imagine what a legacy we would leave if we passed on such truths to our children and their children.

You can read the rest here The Goal of Biblical Parenting – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

July 30, 2009

I will never leave you nor forsake you

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  – Hebrews 13:20-21

The second reason why we can have assurance of our salvation stated by the Westminster Confession of Faith is because of God’s “decree and covenant to give them perseverance.”  There are three proof text used (2 Timothy 2:19, Hebrews 13:20-21 and 2 Samuel 23:5), but I only want to look at one and that is Hebrews 13:20-21.  To read more about God’s covenant with sinful man you can read a post I wrote called, “All We Need is Love,” today I want to focus on God’s decree and what He has decreed about us that give us confidence in our salvation.  The beauty of this doctrine that we see in Hebrews 13:21 is that it is about God’s glory.  If it was for our name sake and who we are that we have confidence in our persevering until we are glorified then we’d not have anything weighty to rest on.  Our salvation is not for the purpose of making much of us, but it is for God’s namesake (Psalms 106:8) and to make much of Him, therefore our foundation is not something imperishable, but the imperishable blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:23).  God is glorified in the fact that we can’t fall away because as Michael Horton states, “Of what sort of regeneration would the Holy Spirit be the author if those whom He he has resurrected and given eternal life are capable of dying spiritually again.”

What God has declared over us is peace, we are no longer at enmity with Him, the hostility that we had against God is over as we are now reconciled by Christ blood.  God is our peace and has made it so that no sin will ever come between us and him (Ephesians 2:14-18).  Once we were God’s enemies, but now He has adopted us into His family.   To borrow an illustration from Horton, no child can tell their parents that the mother did not give birth to them or that the dad is not their natural father.  As hard as we may try to run or fight against God, His love will always be victorious and secure those who He has called.  This is because of grace, it is by grace we have been saved and no good works of our own Ephesians 2:8-10).  What comfort we can draw from this truth of adoption by God’s grace, that there is no more striving but only feeding on God’s grace and living by His unmerited favor as He grows us.

Lastly, it is important to note that God is equipping and working in us, He is the One making it possible for us to persevere.  He has begun a good work and is faithful to bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).  If He did not work in us, then we would have plenty of reason to worry, we can trust that if He brought us out of sin and into newness of life then He will sustain us and bring us home safely to glory.  When the Israelites escaped Egypt and backslid, God could have wiped them out, but He preserved them for His glory so that all would see His power (Deuteronomy 9:25-28).  It is the same with us, God has promised to be gracious to us, and in spite of our sin and continual failure, He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  Grace is not just the basis of our salvation, but it also enables us to keep on trusting on God and works in us to bring us home to Heaven. Jesus has decreed “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29).”  Let us take Him at His Word and believe and rest in the grace that gives eternal life from start to finish.

June 3, 2009

A greater mediator than Moses

because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. – Deuteronomy 32:52

Moses is being disciplined by God for his lack of faith and not trusting God’s Word. Moses is a great man of God and even considered the most humble ever. God once even proposed to Moses that due to the sinfulness of the people of Israel that it might be worth a shot to wipe them and start over with the seed of Moses. Here we find that Moses is not perfect, even though God choose him as the mediator between himself Israel we need a better mediator than Moses. There is no one perfect, there is no one who continually lives a righteous life that glorifies God, even the best ones fall short.

Praise God that we have a better mediator than Moses. There is one mediator between God and man, that is Christ Jesus. His blood welcomes us into a covenant of grace that is based upon His finished work on the cross. Since he is our mediator with the Father our surety is safe and secure. We have no condemnation or wrath to fear from God. Because we are children by Christ blood, we can welcome God’s discipline knowing that although it is not pleasant it aids in us sharing in Christ righteousness so that we may bear good fruit. We will all still fail to live a righteous life, but we now have Christ righteousness imputed to us.

Being in Christ we are called to live holy as He is holy. This means treating God as holy and living a life that is set apart for His glory instead of for this world. Every moment of our lives is spiritual worship where we offer up ourselves as living sacrifice to the one who sacrificed Himself for us on the cross. Christ has set us free from our flesh, so that we may not be entangled by sin or the matters of this world. Since there is no yoke of slavery we are free to pursue God and be transformed by His grace. Let us therefore treat God as our hope and refuge in this depraved world so that unbelievers may see Him in us and be compelled to ask questions and come to know Him.

May 27, 2009

Jesus, my treasure

Filed under: Deuteronomy,grace,Hope,John Piper,Peace,Sermon on the Mount — cubsfan1980 @ 12:45 pm
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Today’s poem is a continuation of yesterday’s poem.  Yesterday’s poem talked about the treasure that Jesus and I wanted to delve deeper into that concept.  It is so important that we realize that Jesus is the reward that we are seeking that he refers to in the sermon on the mount.  John Piper talks about this in “God is the Gospel”

The highest, best, final, decisive good of the gospel, without which no other gifts would be good, is the glory of God in the face of Christ revealed for our everlasting enjoyment.  The saving love of God is God’s commitment to do everything necessary to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying, namely himself.  Since we are sinners and have no right and no desire to be enthralled with God, therefore God’s love enacted a plan of redemption to provide that right and that desire.  The supreme demonstration of God’s love was the sending of His Son to die for our sins and to rise again so that sinners might have the right to approach God and might have the pleasure of his presence forever.

On a slightly unrelated note, in Deuteronomy 28:1-15 God gives a list of blessings for obedience.  I read the list and it all sounds like really great things, but if I was an Old Testament Israelite, I would ask God to add two blessings to that list.  In the section where it talks about blessed shall be the fruit of the womb, I would ask that the fruit of the womb would produce non-stinky diapers and never fuss.  I am pretty sure that stinky poop is a product of the fall and when we have our resurrected bodies our digestive tracks will produce scentless stool.  Enough of this nonsense, I am surprised if you stuck with that last sentence and didn’t just skip right to the poem.

Jesus, I need more of you,
Make my heart yearn for you.
Wean me from this world,
So that my appetite is whetted for your word.
Open my eyes to see wondrous truths about you.
Enlarge my heart to desire you above all else.

Redeemer and Savior all glory is yours.
You are my rock and stronghold
Where I find peace and comfort.
All hope is found in your grace.

Your undeserved favor makes my life worth living.
I long to see you face to face,
So I can express my gratitude
For your precious blood that was shed
To make atonement for my sins.

Lord Jesus come quickly,
Make my faith sight.
End this battle with my flash
So that my joy may be unhindered
As I have you for all eternity.

April 5, 2009

Shema

4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Dear Miya,

It is amazing to think that you are only a week old. As you grow older there will be many idols that compete for your affections. The other gods that will tempt you are friends, beauty, boys and so many others. These are not bad things in and of themselves, but only when not viewed biblically and placed above the one true God.

I was looking at your precious face the other morning and was thinking about your sweet ears in relation to the above verse. The two truths that I want you to never tire of hearing are your mother and father’s love for you. More important than that is the love of the Lord our God, because it is by the love that He has shown to us that we are able to love you.

He is holy, holy, holy and because of your sin you cannot be in relationship with Him. Your mother and I have both offended His holiness and are not worthy to be recipients of His love. He is a gracious and merciful God, there is none like  Him. He is the only god worthy of your worship. The good news about this God is that He offers a way for you to redeemed from your sins and reconciled to Himself through the blood of His Son Jesus. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience and died the death that you deserved, so that you may have his righteousness and be made alive to God.

Since God has taken the initiative and brought us into relationship with Him, we seek to live our lives for Him. It is not to earn His favor, because we could never earn it. It is in faith, as a way to say thank you and bear our family resemblance to him. Our desire, as we proclaim who God is to you is that you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  We don’t know if we will homeschool you or what education will look like, but every chance we get will tell you about God’s love for you and His call on your life.

It may not always be in word, but our heart is that our deeds will always reflect the Father’s love to you.  When you see our lives, our desire is that you will see a life that is lived under influence of God’s love.  In the way we care for you see the Father’s care.  In the way we dote over you see God’s delighting over you.  In the way we delight to spend time with you be more aware of God’s delight to spend time with you.  As we journal His wondrous deeds, notice that He is always the same and never changes.  As we encourage you to make godly friendships allows those to point to the character of God.  When we discipline you know we do it because we love you and  it prepares you for God’s discipline as well as is good for you because it teaches you right from wrong. In the way we love to hold you, see how God is always holding in His arms of love.

Little Miya, you are so precious to your mom and I.  As we think about the love that we have for you, one of the things that amazes us, is how great our Heavenly Father’s love is.  We love because He first loved us.  Our love is nothing compared to His.  Inside of us, our love feels so great and so big for you, if we love you this much than His love is truly unimaginable.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current
Of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to
Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth
never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
died to call them all His own
how for them He intercedeth, watcheth
o’er them from the throne!

January 9, 2009

Deuteronomy quote

Filed under: Deuteronomy — cubsfan1980 @ 3:51 am
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“When you have small children, you can simply never realize what it is going to be like to one day face them, as adults, with the realization that YOU have shaped them into the persons they will be for all of their lives. If we realized what it really means to create, nurture and shape another person in the deepest of human ways, we’d be frozen with fear. So much of what they are comes from us in ways that were unintended, or unknown or unplanned. Your children are truly a legacy of the kind of person you really are, and of how you’ve lived, how you’ve loved and what you’ve considered most important.”

from “Reflections on Being a Parent of Adult Children” by Michael Spencer on his blog, internetmonk.com

(HT: Vitamin Z)

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