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)

August 13, 2011

Every Spiritual Blessing

By God’s grace, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, believers are assured of “every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

  • We are justified; that is, we receive here and now advance declaration by God of the verdict of his court on the day of judgment, that we are included among those whom he will declare righteous on account of our faith in Jesus and his obedience unto death.
  • We are saved; that is, we are delivered from the wrath to come, rescued from the anger of God against all wickedness and rebellion.
  • We are reconciled; that is, the enmity between us and God has been removed, because God himself bore our sins in the person of his own Son on the cross.
  • We are forgiven: that is, God chooses to “carry” (the Hebrew word usually translated “forgive” our sins, rather than repay them to us, because they have been “carried” by Jesus on the cross.  They will never be held against us.
  • We are redeemed: that is, God has achieved our liberation from all the bondage of sin, as he rescued the Israelites out of Egypt, through the sacrificial blood of Christ.
  • We are adopted: that is, God includes us among his children, or more specifically, treats us as firstborn sons (whether male or female) and thus as his heirs, sharing in the inheritance that belongs to Christ.
  • We are made alive: that is, from the death of sin we are given new life, the resurrection life of Jesus himself.
  • We have the Spirit: that is, the promise that God made to Israel, that would bring about their renewal and “resurrection” and obedience, is now poured out in us, bearing the fruit of transformed lives.

The above is taken from the book, “The Mission of God’s People” by Chris Wright

May 10, 2010

God Saves Sinners

For to Calvinism there is really only one point to be made in the field of soteriology: the point that God saves sinners.

God: the triune Jehovah – Father, Son, and Spirit; three Persons working together in sovereign wisdom, power, and love to achieve the salvation of a chosen people, the Father electing, the son fulfilling the Father’s will by redeeming, the Spirit executing the purpose of Father and Son by renewing. Saves: does everything, first to last, that is involved in bringing man from death in sin to life in glory: plans, achieves, and communicates redemption, calls and keeps, justifies, sanctifies, glorifies.

Sinners: men as God finds them, guilty, vile, helpless, powerless, blind, unable to lift a finger to do God’s will or better their spiritual lot. God saves sinners – and the force of this confession may not be weakened by disrupting the unity of the work of the Trinity, or by dividing the achievement of salvation between God and man and making the decisive part man’s own, or by soft-pedaling the snner’s inability so as to allow him to share the praise of his salvation with his Savior.  This is the one point of Calvinistic soteriology that the ‘five points’ are concerned to establish and Arminianism in all its forms to deny: namely, that sinners do not save themselves in any sense at all, but that salvation, first and last, whole and entire, past, present, and future, is of the Lord, to whom be glory for ever, amen!

-J.I. Packer

November 30, 2009

Boice On The Church Today

Filed under: Boice,Repentance,salvation,sin — cubsfan1980 @ 9:29 pm
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Image courtesy of tenth.org

“The problem is that the evangelical movement in America today is shallow. It speaks of salvation, but it does not grapple with sin. And since it does not grapple with sin, there can be no true repentance.” James Montgomery Boice

 

October 9, 2009

Fridays are for Fathers

Filed under: Charles Spurgeon,Come Ye Children,grace,Prayer,salvation — cubsfan1980 @ 7:05 pm
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Currently I am reading “Come Ye Children” by Charles Spurgeon.  This book has a lot of encouragement about having faith for kids coming to Christ at an early age and what it looks like to take seriously the responsibility to train and teach them.  Below is one of my favorite quotes that I’ve come across so far in the book.

“Go on, dear teachers, and believe that God will save your children.  Be not content to sow principles in their minds which may possibly develop after years, but be working for immediate conversion.  Expect fruit in your children why they are children.  Pray for them that they may not run into the world and fall into the evils of outward sin, and then come back with broken bones to the Good Shepherd;  but that they by God’s rich grace be kept from the paths of the destroyer, and grow up in the food of Christ, first as lambs of His flocks, and then as sheep of His hand.”

October 5, 2009

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

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

“What does this mean?  It means that filial fer, the fear of a son for His father, is produced by God’s love for us.  More exactly, it is the result of discovering that the God whom we thought of with slavish, servile fear, the holy righteous, terrifying God of judgment and majesty, is also the God who forgives us through Jesus Christ.  He is just, yet he justifies the ungodly (Romans 3:26; 5:6).  He is righteous, yet he counts sinners as righteous.  One reason why we know so little of such filial fear is that we do not appreciate the Gospel!  If we would grow in grace so that we fear God like this, we must first return to the Gospel, and to the meaning of the cross…Filial fear is always the grateful response of sinners who have become saints.”  Sinclair Ferguson on the above verse.

There are two kinds of fear that we can experience.  The first kind of fear is one that we typically think of when it comes to fear, that of dread and worrying of if we can measure up to God’s approval.  This is servile fear, from servile we get servant or slave, this is a fear for those that are working to pay off someone they are underneath.  The other kind of fear is filial and it means reverence and awe.  The latin of filius is “son” and that is where this type of fear comes from.  It is in reference to how a child fears their father and because we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, this allows us to experience filial fear with God.  Sinclair Ferguson says about this kind of fear:

“It is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what he has done for us.  It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases him.”

Yesterday I talked about how our standing with God never changes.  The way we walk in fear of God can change our experience of God.  We were created for intimacy and communion with God, but sin brings a barrier between us and God.  Through Christ death on the cross that relationship has been restored, but it won’t be fully realized until we are in Heaven.  While in this life, our walk with God will have varying degrees of closeness based on how we fear Him and if we choose closeness with God or closeness with the world.  The more I fear God the closer my friendship with Him. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,” Psalm 25:14

We were not given grace to remain stagnant in it, but we were given grace to grow in it (2 Peter 3:18).  As we grow in grace we will be made more like Christ and our intimacy with God will increase.  Experience is very subjective and not always the best measure of if we are growing in the fear of the Lord.  Some effects of fearing God that we can be on the lookout for that will positively impact our experience of knowing God are as follows:

If I am fearing God I will grow in my desire to live a life of obedience.  “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)”  My life will be characterized by wanting to bring pleasure to God.  Ultimately I will place my hope in finishing the race well and hearing “Well done good and faithful servant.”  The smile of God will be more important to me then the praise of the world.  Children are called to respect and obey their parents and I am called to respect and obey God.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

On the flip side of that, fearing God will mean not wanting to displease God or grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  I will desire to put death to sin as sin blocks my view of God and feeds me lies about God’s love for me and who He is.  If I believe the promise of God and what He has done for me through the cross then I will seek to lay aside everything that hinders me from knowing Him more fully (Hebrews 12:1).  Fearing God means fiercely doing battle with my sin so that I can make my Father proud and give Him no reason to grieve over me.

Fearing God changes how I view the circumstances of this world.  If I fear God then I have nothing to fear in this life.  He is my stronghold and refuge, if He can save me from the hopeless situation that my sin had me in, then I can have hope no matter what I am facing.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).”  When I fear God my perspective is changed and I see that if God is worthy of awe and reverence then He is also worthy of my trust.  Just a child trust their parents for everything, I can trust God for all that I need.  “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)”

We have the privilege of being considered sons and daughters of God because of His awesome and unconditional love.  We were orphans with nothing good to contribute to God’s family and no merit of our own, but God freely chose us to be His own.  Our status before God saved us was dead in sin with nothing desirable to offer, but God didn’t bring us to life because of what we could bring to the table, but only by His grace did He regenerate us.  The reality of what God has done for us should transform how we view our blessing of knowing and communing with Him because we are completely undeserving.  His praises should ever be on our lips because He has given us everything.  My fear of God should be evident by how I proclaim His love for sinners because of what He has done for me.  As a child likes to look up to and brag on their parents I should do the same thing with God .

Psalm 111
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!P
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

February 10, 2009

Reflecting the Glory of God

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
-2 Corinthians 3:18

You are I were created for one purpose and that is to glorify God.  When man was made in God’s image, God’s purpose for us as image bearers was to be beacons of His glory.  Due to the fall, we are spiritually blind and unable to see God.  We have veils on our face and any of God’s glory or his other attributes that we seek to reflect are but dim reflections.  When Christ came and covered us with His redeeming blood we are given new eyes and with unveiled eyes we are able to see God as He is.  As we see  God we fall more in love with Him because of who is and all that He’s done for us that we do not deserve.

When we see God rightly and He is in His rightful place than we desire to grow to be more like Him.  Growing to be more like Him is not something that we do on our own or a desire that even comes from within.  It is His Spirit that works in us and gives us the desire to reflect His glory.  The Holy Spirit also empowers us and gives us strength to deny our flesh and live for eternity.  Defeating sin in our daily lives is only possible through the power of the cross where Christ triumphed over sin and this gives us confidence that sin no longer controls us or has any power over us.  We are able to live for God’s glory by the new life that has been given to us by Christ death and resurrection, a sign that we are in union with Christ is our desire for God to be glorified in our lives.

Our hope isn’t in how well we reflect God’s glory, because even as those bought by the blood, we will still sin.  Our hope is in Christ completed work on the cross.  The transformation we are undergoing of being image bearers of God will not be finished until we reach Heaven.  This life is a battle against sin, the victory has been won, but the fight still continues.  We can be confident that no matter what our progress looks like in the fight, our standing before God is firm and secure.  Because of God’s grace, we have been adopted into His family, we are  but little children now who will stumble and fall, but the Father will always pick us up.  Because of His mercy, we are considered sons and daughters, right now we are in the process of growing and we can be confident that He who began a good work in us will bring to completion (Philippians 1:6).

January 10, 2009

Starlight cannot compare to the noon-day

Meditating on Exodus 19 has increased my thankfulness for the Gospel.  God is still the same God to the Israelites then as He is to me now.  Because of Christ completed work on the cross, I have the benefits of relating to Him in a fuller and better than way than the people of Israel did.

12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.  (V.12)

I am thankful that because of the gospel I get to draw near to God and do not have to be at a distance from Him.  There is no limits to the intimacy that I get to share with my creator.  I was a man with unclean lips, but because I have been washed by Christ blood, I am free to enter His presence.  Death and condemnation I no longer dread because the penalty for my sins  has been paid.  I have been made holy and righteous.  As one who is in Christ, I have free access to the Father and get to dwell with Him for all my days.  In Him I find life to the full, joy to the full and peace that surpasses all understanding.  There is no partiality to my relationship with God, but I get to experience Him fully.

On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. (V.16)

All that has been said about me has been said at the cross, so I have no need to tremble.  The worst proclamation about my sinfulness, Christ has testified to and I have affirmed it when he died for my sins.  I do not have to tremble at God’s judgement of me, because the judgement has been passed.  I am guilty as charged, but Christ has died in my place and taken my sin upon Himself, so I can be found with no sin.  I marvel at His holiness but am not consumed by it.  Continually I am amazed that He would let a sinner like me experience such grace and forgiveness, but there is no fear because perfect love cast out fear.

The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. (V.20)

Moses interceeded for the people and spoke to God on their behalf.  There is no longer a middle man between God and man.  He has condescended to my level and made a way for me to be in relationship with the Father.  Christ Jesus is my mediator, and because I am in Him I never have to fear falling out of favor with God.  I do not have to go up to God because He has come down to me in the form of Jesus.  I do not need to do any works or have a person go before God for me because I have Jesus.  Jesus’ death has purchased my salvation and satisfied the requirements of the law.  He has paid my ransom, so I am no longer enslaved to sin, but get to live for for God, purifying my conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  (John 1:16-17)

“Moses was employed by God ‘as a servant,’ to convey to Israel the moral and ceremonial law (Heb. 3:5).  As a servent, he was faithful to Him who appointed him, but he was only a servant.  The moral law, which he brought down from Sinai, was holy and just and good.  But it could not justify.  It had no healing power.  It could wound, but it could not bind up.  It ‘worked wrath’ (Rom. 4:14).  It pronounced a curse against any imperfect obedience.  The ceremonial law, which he was commanded to impose on Israel, was full of deep meaning and typical instruction.  Its ordinances and ceremonies made it an excellent schoolmaster to guide men toward Christ (Gal. 3:24).  But the ceremonial law was only a schoolmaster.  It could not make him that kept it perfect, as pertaining to the conscience (Heb. 9:9).  It laid a grievous yoke on men’s hearts, which they were not able to bear.  It was a ministration of death and condemnation (2 Cor. 3:7-9).  The light which men got from Moses and law was at best only starlight compared to the noon-day.

Christ, on the other hand, came into the word ‘as a Son,’ with the key of God’s treasury of grace and truth entirely in His hands (Heb. 3:6).  Grace came by Him when He made fully known God’s gracious plan of salvation, by faith in His own blood, and opened the fountain of mercy to all the world.  Truth came by Him, when He fulfilled in His own Person the types of the Old Testament, and revealed Himself as the true Sacrifice, the true mercy seat and the true Priest.  No doubt there was much of ‘grace and truth’ under the law of Moses.  But the whole of God’s grace, and the whole truth about redemption, were never known until Jesus came into the world and died for sinners.”  J.C. Ryle

April 30, 2007

John Stott on the Christian Life

Filed under: holiness,John Stott,salvation — cubsfan1980 @ 11:01 pm

“He called us to Christ and holiness, to freedom and peace, to suffering and glory. More simply, it was a call to an altogether new life in which we know, love, obey and serve Christ, enjoy fellowship with him and with each other, and look beyond our present suffering to the glory which one day will be revealed. This is the hope to which he has called you. Paul prays that our eyes may be opened to know it.” John Stott

John Stott on the Christian Life

Filed under: holiness,John Stott,salvation — cubsfan1980 @ 11:01 pm

“He called us to Christ and holiness, to freedom and peace, to suffering and glory. More simply, it was a call to an altogether new life in which we know, love, obey and serve Christ, enjoy fellowship with him and with each other, and look beyond our present suffering to the glory which one day will be revealed. This is the hope to which he has called you. Paul prays that our eyes may be opened to know it.” John Stott

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