Bought by the Blood

April 14, 2010

Reflections on Jennifer Knapp And The Sin Of Homosexuality

Filed under: Homosexuality,Isaiah,jennifer knapp,John,Repentance,sin — cubsfan1980 @ 8:32 am
Tags: ,

Christianity Today recently posted an interview they did with Jennifer Knapp.  In the interview Knapp comes out about her homosexual lifestyle and also talks about her first studio recording in seven years.  You can read the interview here.  Below are some reflections from Denny Burk on the interview that I would highly recommend.

I don’t know Jennifer Knapp apart from her music. I’m just one of her fans from ten years ago. I’m also someone who believes that the Bible unambiguously marks homosexuality as sin. Nevertheless, I would never say that she is worthless. In fact, I would speak to her this way: You are not worthless. You are a sinner, but you are not worthless. The gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and raised for sinners is still for you if you will have Him. If you will repent of your sin and trust in Christ, He will not cast you out—ever John 6:37.

Pray for Jennifer Knapp. She’s been walking away from Christ for a long time, but we nevertheless believe the Lord’s arm is not too short to save Isaiah 59:1. I pray that it will reach her soon.

via » Jennifer Knapp is NOT worthless | Denny Burk.

December 5, 2009

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, – 1 Timothy 6:15

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.

For God to be blessed means that He is infinitely happy. He is sovereign and all that He purposes is accomplished (Isaiah 46:9-10).  All that God does is for His pleasure and delight (Psalm 115:3).  Even if something He ordains does not seem like it would please Him we have to remember we only have a limited perspective and the  ultimate end that He has in mind will glorify Him.  God does not need you or I for Him to blessed, we are not a blessing to God, He has all He needs in the Godhead to be supremely happy for all eternity (Isaiah 42:1).

We call God blessedness because He is the greatest blessing that we have.  The greatest joy that we can have is to be found in God, no other joy compares to knowing Him.  He is our great reward and His love is better than life (Psalm 63:1).  There is no human being that has lived who was happier than Jesus.  Jesus gave us the description of happiness in the beatitudes when he said who the blessed are and only He has perfectly lived out the beatitudes.

Only through Jesus can we have joy and have it to the full.  James Montgomery Boice once stated, “The blessing of God in an individual life begins with the forgiveness of sin.”  The Gospel is the good news that Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, there is no more striving or work that we must do to earn God’s blessing, but it is freely given to us  (Romans 9:16).  The Gospel opens our blinded eyes so that we can see God as the jewel of great worth (Matthew 13:45-46).  The greatest good and highest enjoyment we can have is knowing God and this is only possible through Christ death bringing us near to God by His blood (Ephesians 2:13).

October 8, 2009

When God Doesn’t Answer Prayer As We Desire

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. – Romans 8:26

Image courtesy of Reformation.org

Image courtesy of Reformation.org

Martin Luther on the above verse, taken from his commentary on Romans:

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. (Psalm 38:9)” It is not an evil sign, but indeed the very best, if upon our petitions the very opposite happens to us. Conversely, it is not a good sign if everything is granted to us for which we pray.

The reason for this is the following: God’s counsel and will tower high above our own counsel and will, as we read in Isaiah 55:8, 9:  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Hence when we ask anything of God and He begins to hear us, He so often goes counter to our petitions that we imagine He is more angry with us now than before we prayed, and that He intends not to grant us our requests at all.  All this God does, because it is His way first to destroy and annihilate what is in us (our own wisdom and will)  before He gives us His gifts; for so we read in 1 Samuel 2:6: “The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up..”  Through this most gracious counsel He makes us fit for us His gifts and works.  Only then are we qualified for His works and counsels when our own plans have been demolished and our own works are destroyed and we have become purely passive in our relation to Him.

The proud desire to be like God.  They want to place their thoughts not under God, but next to His, just as though they were perfect.  But that is much less possible than for the clay to tell the potter into what shape he should form it.  So we read in Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” But those who have the Holy Spirit do not despair but have faith when they see that the very opposite of what they asked for happens to them.  The work of God must remain hidden in any other form than that which contradicts our thinking and understanding.  Thus God permitted St. Augustine to fall deeper and deeper into error, despite the prayer of his mother, in order to grant her much more in the end than she had asked. This he does with all his saints.

September 27, 2009

Eternal Forgiveness

Filed under: cross,forgiveness,Isaiah — cubsfan1980 @ 10:29 pm
Tags:

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4&5)

“He says that Christ has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, that He has removed our sin.  Does that include only sin in the past? No.  It includes the sin that we have not yet committed.  That, too, is past history in God’s sight.  It is wonderful to know that in God’s sight our sin has been dealt with forever, and that His promise of forgiveness is eternal.” James Montgomery Boice

August 27, 2009

Prayer For Evangelism

Filed under: evangelism,Isaiah,obedience — cubsfan1980 @ 8:23 am
Tags: ,

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8

Here am I lord send me.
Light a fire in my heart
So that I may go to the lost.

Give me a heart of compassion
For my coworkers and neighbors,
Make my heart break for their sin.

Remind of how lost I was
Before your grace saved me.
Help me to see that I would
Be the same as them
If my life was not submitted to Christ.

I want to trust you for their salvation
And walk in obedience to plant gospel seeds
Since you are faithful to tend to them rightly.

Use my like you used others in my life.
Your fame and glory is to great
To keep to myself.

August 6, 2009

In The Grips of Grace

I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. – Jeremiah 32:40

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:28

It’s been a nice two day break and we are back to our series on how a believer cannot lose their salvation.  I am skipping the sixth emphasis that the Westminster Confession of Faith makes because it is abiding by the strength of Spirit and I did several blog posts about this earlier this summer.  You can read those related post on abiding by doing a search for abide on the right hand toolbar of the blog.  This leaves me with two points of emphasis left and today’s is that we “can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace” and this is based off of Jeremiah 32:40 and John 10:28.  If anything, I feel like this point perfectly sums up the beauty of this doctrine.  We are in a state of grace and the grace that justifies and sanctifies is guaranteed to glorify (Romans 8:30).  In this state of grace we will wander from God because our hearts are prone to wander, but God’s grace is greater than our sin, therefore we cannot totally fall away from God’s grace.

God has made an everlasting covenant with you and I.  God is eternal and knows the beginning and end of all things, therefore He is able to ensure that nothing can stop His plan for being in relationship with us for all eternity.  If God didn’t have a foreknowledge that looks into all of time, then there would be reason to doubt our eternal security since there might be something God doesn’t know.  We can also take comfort in the effectiveness of God’s will, when God wills something nothing can deter his will.  If God desires that we not turn from Him, then His giving us a fear of Him will be effectual and sure (Isaiah 46:10 and Daniel 4:35).  Lastly, God is committed to doing good for His children, His ultimate good is our salvation and no amount of sin in our lives can separate us from the Father’s love because His commitment isn’t based on our performance but Christ finished work.

Jesus came to give us life and life to the full (John 10:10).  His mission was accomplished on the cross (John 19:30).  If after receiving new life we can die spiritually then Jesus did not succeed in giving us eternal life, that would have been more like “life with the hope of eternity if we don’t mess up.”  The cross would have only made partial atonement if any amount of sin could outweigh the righteousness that was given to us by Christ death in our place.  The basis of my salvation is not how tight I am holding onto God, but how tight He is holding on to me.  Theologian J.I. Packer said in Knowing God: “Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you.”

June 30, 2009

What A Great Salvation

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared. – Psalm 130:3-4

God has a holy standard that He has called all men to live up to.  The words that God wrote to Belshazar are true for all men, “you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; (Daniel 5:27)”  The balances is that of God’s righteousness and when ours is weighed against God’s, we are found wanting, there is no curve on God’s scale.    Our best attempts of having any righteousness of our own are filthy rags when seen in light of God’s holiness.  There is no one sin that is greater than another sin, all sin is equally heinous because it is against a holy God.  You and I are in the same boat as Adolf  Hitler and have no goodness in and of ourselves to make us attractive to God.

If you and I were to stand before God, we would be trembling in fear.  When sinful man comes in contact with a holy God there is an instant realization of our smallness and unworthiness.  The media today has presented a false portrayal of angels, but the Biblical picture of angels is one that is so beyond our imagination.  Angels, are not creatures with wings and harps that belong on hallmark cards, but in Scripture when an angel speaks to man the first thing an angel says is “fear not.”  If our immediate reaction is to fear angel’s which are messengers and servants of God’s, then it is terrifying to think what our reaction would be if we actually saw God.  When Job got a greater revelation into God’s character He was reduced to stating, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further. (Job 40:4-5)”  When we are placed next to God we realize we have no room to stand or speak, we are nothing, if God is the ocean, we are but one drop of rain.

Praise God that this is not our ultimate end, God has made a way for us to be forgiven.  This forgiveness is nothing light, but it came at the price of His Son.  For those who have faith in Christ, He has passed over their sins by the means of diverting God’s wrath away from us and onto Himself.  God’s justice has been satisfied by Christ taking the holy wrath that we deserve (Romans 3:25).  Instead of God seeing us and our sinful state that is deserving of punishment, He sees Christ righteousness.  He has washed our sins away by Christ blood and cleaned us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  My sin is no longer on my record, but instead has been transferred to Christ, so that God may remember my sinfulness no more, although my sin was abounding more and more, grace abounded exceedingly more (Isaiah 43:25 and Romans 5:20).  Since we have such a great salvation, God’s wrath does not need to be feared, but instead we can worship Him and serve Him in loving reverence.

June 29, 2009

How Salvation Puts Trials In Perspective

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy! – Psalm 130:1-2


The state of the Psalmist is not any different then yours or mine.  Any cry or plea that we made to God is made from the depths.  Due to the sinfulness of our fallen hearts, we can never reach up to God and any striving that we make will still leave us in the depths.  In our own strength and power we can do nothing to come close to God, therefore we need a mediator to bring us from the depths and into God’s presence.  If God were to come down to us and we didn’t have a mediator we would cry out like Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! (Isaiah 9:6).”


Thankfully, God has provided a mediator.  It is the man, Christ Jesus, He lived a perfect and sinless life which we could never do.  His life was offered up as a ransom to purchase us from the power of sin and death.  By the blood of Jesus we have been brought into a covenant of grace that makes us the recipients of His steadfast love.  Through this covenant we have been redeemed from the slavery of our flesh and our captor the devil that once held us prisoner (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 9:15, 12:24).  We now have the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our eternal inheritance, the benefits of this we already enjoy because we have been lifted up from the depths and are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3,13-14).

Even though we are seated with Christ above, emotionally the circumstances of life can still make us feel like we are in the depths.  At times like this we must be become the most talkative people that we know.  First, we have to talk to ourselves instead of listening ourselves.  We need to drown out the voice of our feelings and remind ourselves of the truth that if God would send His Son to die for us, how will He not do all other things (Romans 8:28).  We must also use our voices to speak to God and cry out to Him.  He is ready to listen and ready to answer our prayers.  He is rich in mercy and like all good fathers He is a protector of His children.

June 8, 2009

Man up = abiding

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
2 Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
-Proverbs 30:1-2

I used to think of this verse as a rebuke for any man unable to man-up. After meditating on this passage and what it means to be weary, this verse is more of a rebuke for those who do not a have heavenward gaze. It is not uncommon for youths to be weary and exhausted. The problem that we find in this verse is that the man is complaining about his weariness. Whenever weariness sets in our response should not be that of grumbling, but that of prayer. When we have a prayerful attitude than we are aware of our own strength. By running to prayer we put to death self-sufficiency and go to the source of our strength. Isaiah says in his prophecy that at the first sight of weariness we do not need to muster up more strength, but to wait on God.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
-Isaiah 40:28-31

Notice how in Isaiah that renewed strength does not come from one’s own discipline, but from the LORD, who is the everlasting God. He created all things and he can miraculously give your strength when you feel like you have none left. He has understanding that is unsearchable, therefore He will not put you or I in a situation where we will utterly despair or be overpowered. To complain against God due to weariness is to not know God. Those who grow weary to the point where they complain have not known or heard the character of God. To summarize the book of Proverbs, all people fall into two categories, they are either or wise or they are a fool. A wise person knows who God is and lives their life according to His will so as to please Him. The fool says in his heart that there is no God and lives a life that exhibits this world view. To have your strength renewed, you must wait on God and you cannot wait on Him who you do not know.

How do you avoid playing the fool? In one word, abide. To abide means to remain. J.C. ryle expounds on the definition of abiding by saying, “Cling to Christ. Stick fast to Christ. Life the life of close and intimate communion with Christ. Get nearer and nearer to Christ. Roll every burden on Christ. Cast your whole weight on Christ. Never let go your hold on Christ for a moment. Be as it were rooted and planted in Christ. Do this, and Christ will never fail you. He will always remain in you if you abide in him.” In day to day life what does it mean to abide? We’ll look at that next time.

May 16, 2009

God With Us

Filed under: communion with God,Isaiah,Matthew,worship — cubsfan1980 @ 4:33 pm
Tags:

Too often I view Jesus as “God up there,” instead of “God with us.”  He has come to dwell in my heart and that is why I commune with Him and live for Him.  The intimacy He desires with me is divine and there is no earthly equivalent for it.  The closest we have on this side of eternity is that of a husband and wife.  Just like my wife isn’t distant, Jesus is close, but my nearness with him never ends.  Wherever I go He is there, therefore I should take every opportunity to be mindful of Him and find every moment as an opportunity for worship.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.