Bought by the Blood

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.

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
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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.

February 8, 2010

Experiencing Sanctification

Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God’s point of view. It means to secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God’s purpose alone. Are we really prepared for God to perform in us everything for which He separated us? And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself . . .” ( John 17:19 ). The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s perspective. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God…The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?

via The Cost of Sanctification – My Utmost For His Highest.

December 24, 2009

God and Sinners Reconciled

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? Mark 8:35-37

In the beginning was God. He created all things and through Him all things were created.  He was eternally and infinitely blessed with there being nothing that could ever add to His happiness (John 1).  Despite all of this, God made Himself nothing and gave His all to save the souls of man.  He came down from His throne in Heaven and forfeited His perfect communion with the Father as well as all the attributes of the Godhead to rescue sinners.  By taking on flesh He was able to die our death and give up His righteousness so that our penalty could be His and we can have an inheritance greater than the whole world (2 Corinthians 5).

Although He was God, He took on the form of a helpless baby. His was a lowly status so that He could serve all mankind, to return to us the soul’s that we lost at the fall when sin and death took Adam’s helpless race into bondage.  Jesus embodied humility and this is evident by His life of obedience and submission to His Father’s will (Philippians 2).  He counted the cost and bore the scorn and shame of the cross to save sinners.  The Son of God gave up His life on the tree so that we could have it to the full.

Therefore how should we live?  The Christmas story calls us to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5). Our lives should be joyous ones because we have been given good news of great joy (Luke 2:10).  Every step we should take should be one of liberation because one who was fully God and fully man has broken the head of satan who enslaved us to unrighteousness and sin (Genesis 3).  Jesus lost His life so that we can gain ours, therefore we need to find our life in Him and be a people defined by His redeeming work.  Our greatest profit is the reward of being reconciled to God.   Christ was born in a manger on Christmas day, died on the cross in our place, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so that we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

October 7, 2009

The Holy Spirit Illuminates God’s Word

Filed under: Holy Spirit,J.C. Ryle,John,Uncategorized — cubsfan1980 @ 9:01 am
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When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. – John 16:13-15

“The Spirit of Truth,” says our Lord to his weak and half-informed followers, “shall guide you into all truth.”  That promise was for our sakes, no doubt, as well as for theirs.  what ever we need to know for our present peace and sanctification, the Holy Ghost is ready to teach us…Into all spiritual truth that is really profitable, and that our minds can comprehend and bear, the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to guide us.  Then let us never forget, in reading the Bible, to pray for the teaching of the Holy Ghost.  We must not wonder if we find the Bible a dark and difficult book, if we do not regularly seek light from Him by whom it was first inspired.  In this, as in man other things, “we have not because we ask not.” – J.C. Ryle

October 1, 2009

Faith and Works

Filed under: ephesians,Faith,grace,J.C. Ryle,John,obedience — cubsfan1980 @ 8:30 pm
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“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” – John 14:21

We are not to suppose for a moment that “keeping Christ’s commandments” can save us.  Our best works are full of imperfection.  When we have done all we can, we are feeble and unprofitable servants.  “By grace you are saved through faith-, not of works. (Ephesians 2:8)” But while we hold one class of truths, we must not forget another.  Faith in the blood of Christ must always be attended by loving obedience to the will of Christ.  What the Master has joined together, the disciple must not put asunder.  Do we profess to love Christ?  Then let us show it by our lives.  The Apostle who said, “Thou knowest that I love Thee!” received the charge,  “Feed my lambs.”  That meant, “Do something. Be useful: follow my example. (John 21:17)” J.C. Ryle

September 28, 2009

Before the Throne of God Above

Filed under: J.C. Ryle,Jesus Christ,John,music — cubsfan1980 @ 6:58 am
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“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

“Let us believe that there is nothing too hard or too great for believers to do, so long as their Lord intercedes for them in Heaven. Let us work on in faith, and expect great great thing, though we feel weak and lonely, like the disciples.  Our Lord is working with us and for us, though we cannot see Him. It was not so much the sword of Joshua that defeated Amalek, as the intercession of Moses on the hill (Exodus 17:11)”  J.C. Ryle

Before the Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

By Vikki Cook and Charles Bancroft

August 13, 2009

J.C. Ryle on how to measure sin

Filed under: cross,Gospel,J.C. Ryle,John,Redemption,sin — cubsfan1980 @ 8:22 am
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Image courtesy of http://www.tracts.ukgo.com/

“Let us mark what kind of Being the Redeemer of mankind must need to be, in order to provide eternal redemption for sinners.  If no one less than the Eternal God, the Creator and Preserver of all things, could take away the sins of the world, sin must be a far more abominable thing in the sight of God than most men suppose.  The right measure of sin’s sinfulness is the dignity of Him who came into the world to save sinners.  If Christ is so great, then sin must indeed be sinful.” J.C. Ryle from expository thoughts on the Gospel of John

August 10, 2009

The Lord is My Shepherd; I shall not want

The Lord is my shepherd;I shall not want- Psalm 23:1

As I proclaim with David that the LORD is my Shepherd, I am also proclaiming that I am a sheep.  To be called a sheep is not a compliment, but instead is humbling and self abasing, all sheep cry out with the John Baptist that I must become less and he must become greater (John 3:30.  This is because I am nothing and He is my everything.  I am making a statement about my weakness and need for a protector.  I am telling of my foolishness and that on my own I am prone to wander and easily get lost.  As a sheep, I am looking to my shepherd to be the one who provides for me, protects me and directs me.

In Christ, we have the Good Shepherd, the one who gladly protects and leads us back home to the Father.  He has laid down His life for you and I, taking our sin and curse, so that we may live through Him and have His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Through His atoning death for us, we have died to this world and our flesh so that we may live to God and have the hope of life forever in Heaven (Romans 6).  He has intimate knowledge of His sheep and will not leave one behind, but has died so that we may have no fear of death.  The Son is in perfect relationship with the Father and because we are in union with the Son and call Him our shepherd, the Father sees nothing hindering our relationship with Him, so that we can be adopted sons and daughters (John 10:14-15).

If we are adopted children of God, that then begs the question of how should we live?  We are to live as sojourners, we are to be people not of this world since we are just passing through (Hebrews 11:8-10).  There should be nothing in this world that captures our wants and desires because our greatest want is more of God.  If our hope is above then there is nothing in this life that can fulfill and satisfy us.  Any wants I have, I lay before the cross knowing that if it is of God then He will provide it for me (Hebrews 11:26).  It is not an issue of not wanting, but conforming my wants to God’s wants for me because I know if my desires are aligned with His then He will gladly give them to me (Psalm 34:4).

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.”

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