Bought by the Blood

April 17, 2012

The Glorification of God and the Humility of Man

All we have we have from God as the fountain, and in and through Christ as the channel of conveyance. He is made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption: all we need, or can desire. We are foolishness, ignorant and blind in the things of God, with all our boasted knowledge; and he is made wisdom to us. We are guilty, obnoxious to justice; and he is made righteousness, our great atonement and sacrifice. We are depraved and corrupt; and he is made sanctification, the spring of our spiritual life; from him, the head, it is communicated to all the members of his mystical body by his Holy Spirit. We are in bonds, and he is made redemption to us, our Saviour and deliverer. Observe, Where Christ is made righteousness to any soul, he is also made sanctification. He never discharges from the guilt of sin, without delivering from the power of it; and he is made righteousness and sanctification, that he may in the end be made complete redemption, may free the soul from the very being of sin, and loose the body from the bonds of the grave: and what is designed in all is that all flesh may glory in the Lord. Observe, It is the will of God that all our glorifying should be in the Lord: and, our salvation being only through Christ, it is thereby effectually provided that it should be so. Man is humbled, and God glorified and exalted, by the whole scheme.

-Matthew Henry on 1 Corinthians 1

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

(1 Corinthians 1:28-31 ESV)

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You”

“All I Have Is Christ” by Jordan Kauflin

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

February 24, 2012

Grace and Glory

Such a great truth from Matthew Henry on God’s two greatest promises!

The Lord will give grace and glory. Grace signifies both the good-will of God towards us and the good work of God in us; glory signifies both the honour which he now puts upon us, in giving us the adoption of sons, and that which he has prepared for us in the inheritance of sons. God will give them grace in this world as a preparation for glory, and glory in the other world as the perfection of grace; both are God’s gift, his free gift. And as, on the one hand, wherever God gives grace he will give glory (for grace is glory begun, and is an earnest of it), so, on the other hand, he will give glory hereafter to none to whom he does not give grace now, or who receive his grace in vain. And if God will give grace and glory, which are the two great things that concur to make us happy in both worlds, we may be sure that no good thing will be withheld from those that walk uprightly. It is the character of all good people that they walk uprightly, that they worship God in spirit and in truth, and have their conversation in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity; and such may be sure that God will withhold no good thing from them, that is requisite to their comfortable passage through this world. Make sure grace and glory, and other things shall be added. This is a comprehensive promise, and is such an assurance of the present comfort of the saints that, whatever they desire, and think they need, they may be sure that either Infinite Wisdom sees it is not good for them or Infinite Goodness will give it to them in due time. Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us.

April 2, 2010

Why Is It Good Friday?

Filed under: cross,F.F. Bruce,God's Glory — cubsfan1980 @ 11:00 am
Tags: ,

“”The christian affirmation that God is love is not sustained by ignoring the cross, in all its stark obscenity, but by setting it in the forefront of the situation.” F.F. Bruce

“The Crucified One is the true king, the kingliest king of all; because it is He who is stretched on the cross, He turns an obscene instrument of torture into a throne of glory and reigns from the tree.” F.F. Bruce

February 24, 2010

The Meaning of Life

Filed under: ephesians,God's Glory,Matthew Henry,worship — cubsfan1980 @ 2:55 pm
Tags: ,

“We should live and behave ourselves in such a manner that His rich grace might be magnified, and appear glorious, and worthy of the Highest praise…For this we were made, and for this we were were redeemed; this is the great design of our Christianity, and of God, in all that he has done for us: unto the praise of His glory.” Matthew Henry

November 25, 2009

God is glory

After several months off I am finally returning to my “Who is God” series. Expect to see other old favorites of the blog return soon also.

The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, – Acts 7:2

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

I was created for glory, but so often settle for less.  The only way I can know glory is by knowing God.  His glory is what I live for and hope in.  All other promises of glory are lies.  Every deed that God does proclaims His glory.  God’ glory should give me a sense of worship and ware towards Him for no one and nothing is as glorious as Him.

God’s glory is most clearly seen at the cross where reconciles sinful man to Himself.  I am a glory thief and want His glory for myself.  I have even gone to the length of nailing God’s Son to the cross so that glory can be mine.  Despite all of this God took on flesh to die in my place so that His wrath can be satisfied.  All of God’s glorious attributes are on display in Christ atoning death for my sins.

It is hard to describe God’s glory because it so beyond our finite comprehension.  The implications of God being glory is that it radically transforms our lives.  God is glorious and therefore His call on my life is higher than any other call.  The hope that I have in His glory far surpasses anything else this world offers for me to hope in.  By choosing to wait on God I proclaim that I would rather have what comes from His good and wise will because it is for His glory instead of making things happens for my glory; if I chose the former it will always work out for my good.

September 10, 2009

The Gospel in Ezekiel

And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?” Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”- Ezekiel 9:8-10

I love Chris Wright’s exposition of the above passage.  It shows us who God us in His justice and compassion while pointing us to the cross.  In God’s judgment of Israel we see the true of sinfulness of sin.  Wright also uses the example of Ezekiel for showing us a model of God honoring prayer.  I highlighted some of my favorite parts and was definitely tempted to highlight the whole thing.  All of the last paragraph is highlighted because as I read it this morning during my quiet time I was led to worship and adoration of Christ atoning death for me on the cross and how great the sacrifice was to redeem me from my sins.

Ezekiel’s intercession, then, like that of Abraham and Moses, is based not merely on heart wrenching pity for those who were being slain, but on the ultimate purpose and glory of Yahweh among the nations.  In that respect, also like Abraham and Moses, it stands as a model for what ought to be the primary motivating force behind all our own intercession for the world, and especially for the church when, through hardness, disobedience and apostasy, it puts itself in the path of God’s imminent judgment. It is of course entirely right to pray out of compassion for others.  Jesus and Paul both did.  But Ezekiel models an even deeper foundation for intercession – passion for the glory and purposes of God in the world

It would be easy to, with all the surrounding scenes of armed execution and terrible carnage, to image God’s words being spoken with vicious coldness and implacable malice.  Actually we need to remember that they were being spoken by the God who longed more than anything else to show pity, by the God who had spent centuries with this people withholding the full extent of his wrath, by the God whose very name ‘Yahweh’ is defined as ‘compassionate and gracious.’   If there was steel in the voice, there were tears in the eyes and unbearable pain in the heart…

And yet, he had to do so because of their unchanged rebellion, and the northern kingdom was destroyed in 721 BC.  This is the same God whose mercy long to triumph over justice, whose love outlasts his punishment on a scale of 1,000 to 1, who is ‘slow to anger and rich in love’, and who is ‘good to all’ and ‘has compassion on all he has made’.  For such a God to be brought to the extermity of having to utter the terrifying words we read here speaks more loudly than anything else could of the horrific, detestable, and intolerable nature of human sin, and the moral necessity of its being finally and justly punished.

Rather than merely recoiling from the iciness of the words, we should reflect on what it cost the heart of the God of all love, mercy and pity to have to utter such words at all.  And such reflections will ultimately drive us to the cross, for only there do we find the mystery of the infinite justice of God fully exposed before human gaze.  For there, under the whips, swords, nails and torture of Roman rather than Babylonian enemies, God’s love absorbed God’s justice in God’s own self, and the words’ I will not…pity or spare’ were breathed again by the Father as, for our sake, he turned his eyes away from the agony of his own beloved son.

August 18, 2009

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  – Psalm 23:6

We know the goodness of God through the fact that we are in relationship with Him.  God is our ultimate good and by communing with Him we have the highest privilege and pleasure that anyone could ever ask for.  Thomas Manton has stated,He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him.”

We know God’s goodness through the mercy He has shown us on the cross.  We have all sinned and because of this do not deserve to know God’s goodness.  God is merciful and with Christ blood has paid the price that we could not, so that through His mercy we can be in relationship with Him and experience more of His goodness.  His mercy endures for all the days of our lives, so we never have to fear being cut off from Him.  It is by sovereign grace that we receive mercy and it is nothing that we can earn.

Since we have received such awesome mercy and goodness from God our lives should be lived for His glory.  We are called to live in the fear of the Lord, because like any proud parent, He is always near by to support us.  There is no moment in this life when we are not dwelling with Him, so our actions should reflect this great truth.  Let us not settle for the counterfeit glory that this world has to offer, but instead strive to be satisfied with His glory in our lives.  The one thing we thing should seek to gain is not more money, fame or prestige but a greater awareness of how our shepherd is transforming our lives and living within our hearts to prepare us for the eternal glory He has called us to.

August 7, 2009

Soli Deo Gloria

who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:5

We now come to our conclusion on our confidence in our eternal security, based on the Westminster Confession of Faith.  If you want to read more, the larger catechism does expound upon this topic more in questions 80 and 81.  The last statement we find in question 79 on why we can be assured of salvation is because we “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation,” and this is based on 1 Peter 1:5.  One of the five solas of the protestant reformation is sola fide, which in English is “By Faith Alone.”  If our salvation was by works and not faith then we’d have plenty of reason to think we could fall away.

It is faith that guards us and this faith is a gift of God .  It is important that we never forget that faith comes from outside of us and is not a muscle that we flex to impress God and so that He grants us salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).  The faith that saves us is a like a shield protecting us from satan who wants to steal us away from God and our flesh which wants to lead us to death.  Faith keeps us safe until the last time when our inheritance is revealed in the last day and there is no more sin to battle with and satan is no more.  The strength of this shield is based on the power of God and all other powers are less than nothing when compared to the power of God.

The protestant reformers preached, “Once saved always saved,” and that salvation is by faith alone for the purpose of another sola, sola deo gloria, or as translated in English means “Glory to God Alone.”  The purpose of our salvation and our hope for eternity isn’t to make much of us, but instead to make much of God.  Salvation has been accomplished by God for His glory, so our proper response is to glorify Him.  We don’t talk about these doctrines to make much of ourselves and our knowledge of the Scriptures, but instead to make much of God and to give Him the glory He rightly deserves.  For the Christian whose eternal state is secure in Christ, this life is preparation for eternity where we will be under the face and authority of God, so we should live for His glory now as we will continually in the last time.

July 21, 2009

Great is God’s faithfulness

It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” – Jeremiah 36:3

It has been said before that what separates the God of the Bible from the God of other religions is His grace and mercy towards sinners.  When God makes a covenant with sinners it is for His glory and namesake and not on the basis of anything deserving in us.  If God’s relationship with Israel was based on Israel’s merit then He would have left Israel in the wilderness and found a new people.  In the days of Jeremiah the people of Israel had denied God and sought only evil.  Because of their sin, instead of receiving blessing, they got disaster and judgment by means of the exile.

Although God’s people were defeated by the Babylonians, had their city burned and taken captive into a faraway land, all was not lost.  God was still faithful to His people and using judgment to teach them His holy nature, wrath towards sin and the weight of being called to live for His glory.  God’s faithfulness is also seen in the promises that He made to Israel while they are in exile.  Just because they were in exile does not mean that God give up on them or disowned them. Israel was still God’s people and their sin could never change that.  He has a plan and purpose and will protect and preserve His people through judgment (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

God has faultless foreknowledge and knows that Jehoiakim will not listen to the prophecy from Jeremiah, but still He provides warning, so that the people may have a way to repent and receive forgiveness.  Even when Jehoiakim rips up God’s Word He continues to turn the other cheek by having Jeremiah write another scroll.  God’s heart for us does not change even though our hearts are distant from Him (Ephesians 2:8).  When He seals us with the blood of Christ, we are His forever and He cannot deny those who are in Christ (Romans 3:3).  What great encouragement this is for us when we are facing the consequences for sin.  Even when God disciplines us, He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 12:6-11,13:5. When sin abounds, grace abounds even more Romans 5:20).

July 8, 2009

Idol Factories

The Lord once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.” – Jeremiah 11:16-17

One of the greatest sins that we can commit is that of idolatry.  The first two sins listed in the ten commandment speak out against idolatry and the rest of the sins are listings of the overflow of an idolatrous heart. Idolatry is having something else as a functional god in our lives, that something else can be other things, other people, or even ourselves.  In Jeremiah’s time the primary idol of that time was Baal and Israel’s worship of Baal provoked God to anger.  No matter what idol we have in place of God, He views all idolatry as shocking, appalling and a cause for us to be utterly dismayed (Jeremiah 2:12).

Our glory is in having the one true and living God as our God.  If we turn from him to an idol, then we have no source of glory (Jeremiah 2:11).  All of our boasting and joy will be empty without Him.  God has made us beautiful, but because of sin that beauty has been marred and we need Christ imputed righteous to restore us to the beauty that God intends.  Our purpose is to bear good fruit for God, but no one does that without God.  If we are not fruit bearers, but instead weeds then God will set fire to us and we will burn up in the eternal torment of hell.

When we commit idolatry two evils are functioning in our lives.  First, we forsake the fountain of living waters and find no satisfaction in this life.  Idolatry is a slow and steady spiritual death as our souls cannot get the water that will nourish and refresh us.  Secondly, idolatry denies God glory and seeks to brings us to the point of a relentless pursuit after nothing.  The other gods that we worship besides the one true God are nothing, they have no worth and no value.  If you seek an idol, it will only leaving you wanting more and when you get to it you will never be filled up.  Going to an idol is similar to driving a car with an oil leak, it will eventually break and leave you stranded and in despair (Jeremiah 2:13).

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.