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)

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November 24, 2011

The Source of A Thankful Spirit

“Let us pray for a deeper sense of our own sinfulness, guilt and undeserving. This, after all, is the true secret of a thankful spirit.  Iy is the man who daily feel his debt to grace, and daily remembers that in reality he deserves nothing but hell, – this is the man who will be daily blessing and praising God. Thankfulness is a flower which will never bloom well excepting upon a root of deep humility.”

-J.C. Ryle

June 4, 2011

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick – A Review

With some parenting books, it is hard to read them cover to cover.  Often times when reading a parenting book I’ll go to the table of contents and flip to the section that covers the age range of my child.  “Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With The Love of Jesus” by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson is different, you will not only read it cover to cover, but also find yourself reading it again and again.  This book will help you to see that your child’s biggest problem isn’t their sinful action, but their sinful hearts.  When reading this book you will see that your parenting can never be good enough, but only God’s grace can make your parenting sufficient to transform your child.

This book is written without being divided into practical application for the age range of children.  The reason for this is because when dealing with toddlers, teenagers and even adults there is no difference with the root of issues that come up.  Kids, just like adults, don’t need more rules to make them good and bring them closer to God.  “Give Them Grace” does not ignore the need for rules, training and discipline but it gives the crucial reminder that all of that is meant to lead to kids to Jesus.  “We are commanded to give them the law so that they will be crushed by it and see their need for a Savior. The law won’t make them good. It will make them despair of ever being good enough and in that way it will make them open to the love, sacrifice and welcome of their Savior, Jesus Christ.”

It isn’t just kids who need Jesus, but also parents.  The task of parenting is impossible without God’s grace.  Our best effort at parenting might produce “good kids” but it won’t change their hearts.  “Raising good kids is utterly impossible unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to put their faith in the goodness of another. You cannot raise good kids, because you’re not a good parent. There is only one good Parent, and he had one good Son. Together, this Father and Son accomplished everything that needed to be done to rescue us and our children from certain destruction.” One of the things I appreciated about this book is the humility of the authors.  They don’t claim to have it down or be good parents.  They are in the same boat as all of us and write with humility as they proclaim their own need for grace.

I wish Crossway would allow me to give out one free chapter of this book for you to read because by just reading one chapter I know you’d be convinced to buy the whole book.  Even if Crossway would allow me to give away one free chapter to convince readers to buy the book, it would be hard for me to pick just one that I think people should read because they are all so good.  If you want to apply the gospel to parenting and have your parenting be saturated in the gospel then I could not encourage you enough to buy this book.

A quick note to the men: this is the first Elyse Fitzpatrick book I have ever read.  My wife has read me selections of “Because He Loves Me” and I thought that book sounds good, but the cover is to feminine for me, maybe I’ll read it when an edition comes out with a camouflage cover.  Next my wife shared portions of “Comforts From The Cross,” the cover was less girly, but I feared losing man points because this wasn’t “Strength From The Cross.”  Please don’t make the mistake that Elyse Fitzpatrick only writes for a female audience.  This book isn’t just for mom’s, but also for dad’s.

December 31, 2009

How To Advance God’s Kingdom

Filed under: humility,J.C. Ryle,Servanthood,Uncategorized — cubsfan1980 @ 7:27 am
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Image courtesy of kowalker.com

The world’s idea of greatness is to rule but Christian greatness consists in serving.  The world’s ambition is to receive honor and attention, but the desire of the Christian should be to give rather than receive, and to attend on others rather than be attended on himself.  In short, the man who lays himself out most to serve his fellow men, and to be useful in his day and generation, is the greatest man in the eyes of Christ…The men who are willing to be last of all, and servants of all, for Christ’s sake, are always few.  Yet these are the men who do good, break down prejudices, convince infidels that Christianity is a reality and shake the world.

-J.C. Ryle

November 29, 2009

Being Where Jesus Would Have Us to Be

“The place that Christians wish to be in, is not always the place which is best for their souls…What we like best is not always best for our souls, that the seed of grace needs winter as well as summer, cold as well as heat, to ripen it for glory…That place and position is most healthful for us in which we are kept most humble-most taught our own sinfulness-drawn most to the Bible and prayer-led most to live by faith and not by sight.  It may not be quite what we like. But if Christ by His providence has placed us in it, let us not be in a hurry to leave it.  Let us therein abide with God.  The great thing is to have no will of our own, and to be where Jesus would have us to be.”

J.C. Ryle

November 15, 2009

Aspirations for Children

Filed under: Boice,Family,Hope,humility,worldliness — cubsfan1980 @ 10:21 am
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The question that every parents needs to ask is if they want their kids to be great in the world’s eyes or in God’s eyes.  That will dictate every aspect of how we parent and the direction that we set our kids on.

“We are highly impressed with what we imagine men and women can do, and we want to achieve greatness ourselves. But usually this is mere wishful thinking. Very few of us will be great in the world’s terms. And the greatness we do achieve, if we achieve it, soon passes away and we are forgotten like the builders of Babylon. It is different when God acts for us; then, the results are permanent, and the greatness he creates is true greatness.” James Montgomery Boice

October 23, 2009

Double Dose of Fridays Are For Fathers

If there was a parenting manual this would be in chapter one.  This is only an excerpt, but I’d highly recommend the rest, especially if you’ve ever been discouraged in your inability to fulfill your role as a parent.

I have a confession to make. Parenting is the hardest, most humbling task I have to do. If ever I think I have already obtained the goal of the upward call in Christ Jesus, parenting helps me realize how far I have yet to go. While parenting our daughters, my shortcomings are magnified and my sins exposed. However, I want to suggest that parenting can and should be a means of our sanctification. Allow me to share some thoughts on why the humility of parenting is of great benefit to us.

Parenting exposes the progress of our sanctification. Before we ever teach our children the truth of who God is for us in Christ, we will be declaring our faith as we live it out before them. Our children are watching us, noticing our hypocrisies, lies, abuses, speech and conduct. Parenting is so hard and humbling because our family observes us when we respond to the difficulties of life, when we have conflict with our spouse and when we have conflict with one another. It is at home where living in light of the gospel counts the most, but for too many this is where it matters the least. Let us make it a priority to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ so that we may live holy lives before our family. May we as parents provide a picture of the gospel at home.

Parenting helps us better understand and apply the gospel. Unfortunately, much parenting has behavior modification as its ultimate goal. If this is the case with our parenting, we will necessarily be instilling in our children a works-righteousness mentality – “do this, and/or you’ll get this.” I do not mean to imply that we should not hold our children to a biblical standard or that we should not discipline our children when they transgress God’s standard. My point is simply that keeping commandments is not the ultimate goal of parenting. The ultimate aim of parenting is that our children would “set their hope in God” (Psalm 78:7) or as Paul says, that our children would become “wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 3:15).

You can read the rest at The Humility of Parenting – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

October 4, 2009

I Come Running

“You will enter Heaven as fully by grace as if you had never lived a godly life, nor had practiced a single virtue.” Charles Spurgeon

I have read this Spurgeon quote several times over and the first time it really shook me.  It definitely flies in the face of the legalistic tendency that we can be so prone to.  Spurgeon is not saying that there is no place for works.  Instead he is referencing what it takes to enter into Heaven.  Our entrance into Heaven is not based on anything that we do.  It is based on grace and not anything we do.  This statement by Spurgeon is in reference to Luke 18:16 “But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”  The way that parents unconditionally love their children is the same way that God loves us.  The Kingdom of God belongs to those who know that they can’t earn God’s favor.
Grace should motivate my obedience.  I follow God not out of obligation, but out of thanksgiving, as an overflow of how He has changed my heart.  I don’t obey God to earn His favor, because I am His adopted child, I can’t help but to want to live for Him.  My obedience can’t bring me any closer to God, so that frees me to live for Him without fear.

“The little child receives Christ humbly, for he never dreams of merit or purchase.  I do not recollect ever having met with a child who had to battle with self-righteousness in coming to Christ.” Spurgeon

If I am to be like a child I am to come empty handed.  When a child comes running to their father’s arms when the father comes home the child does not do it out of duty or out of believing they have earned the chance to be with the father, instead it is out of delight and a free relationship.  That is what it is like with communing with God, we come running to him excited to be with Him.  We don’t dread our sin impeding our relationship with Him because He sees us like He sees His only begotten Son because of Christ imputed righteousness through the cross.  This frees us to come not based on good we have done.

A child’s confidence for food and shelter isn’t in what they do and what they can provide.  Every child finds their hope for all that they need in their parents and what they provide.  The same goes for us.  Just as Miya is dependent on me, I am dependent on my Heavenly Father.  I can run to God as my refuge and ever faithful Father who gives my weary heart rest from all my troubles.

I Come Running
By: Mark Altrogge

Jesus, I am blind, be my light
Darkened in my mind, be my wisdom
Bend my stubborn will to Your own
Open up my ears to hear Your Spirit
Melt my conscience once again
Help me hate the slightest sin
And when Satan comes to tempt me

I come running to You, when I fear, when I’m tried
I come running to You, to Your blood, to Your side
And there my soul finds rest
There my soul finds rest in You

Shepherd of my soul, lead me on
To the pastures green in Your Scriptures
Make me to lie down by waters still
Fill me with Your peace in the tempest
I take my refuge in Your cross
By your sacrifice I’m washed
And when Satan comes accusing

Once I was Your foe, a slave to sin
A stranger to Your love, a hopeless outcast
But You have brought me near, I’m bought with blood
Now I’m Your precious child, an heir with Jesus
You pour heaven into my soul
Your wondrous love, it overflows
And I marvel how You love me

© 2005 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).


August 21, 2009

The Crux of Christian Ministry

Filed under: humility,leadership,links — cubsfan1980 @ 10:44 pm
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All who lead others spiritually need to ask themselves these key questions from Glen.

Does our Christian ministry seek to build the appearance of correctness, togetherness, superiority?  How much is dripping in repentance and broken-hearted humility?  Are we just trying to speak out of strength to poor sinners over there?  Or are we beggars showing other beggars where to find Bread?

You can read more here

October 26, 2007

Humble Orthodoxy

Filed under: humility,John Calvin,Mercy of God,Quotes — cubsfan1980 @ 4:28 pm
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“It’s a humbling thought, isn’t it, to know that we are saved in spite of — certainly not because of — ourselves?” World on the Web

Lately I have been amazed by this old truth, a near and dear reality check that I need continually.

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, – Titus 3:5

I come empty…I come bringing nothing…I come humbly amazed at the depths of grace and mercy that are at my disposal.

“Paul states they they have not in any way contributed to their own salvation.  They have received this blessing solely through God’s mercy.  From these words we see that we can bring nothing to God, but that he goes before us, through the initiative of pure grace, with no reference to any of our good deeds.  For when he says not because of the righteous things we have done, he means that until God regenerates us we can do nothing but sin.” John Calvin

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