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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September 25, 2011

The Sacrifice God Will not Despise

[17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
(Psalm 51:17 ESV)

“It is a sharp work wrought there, no less than the breaking of the heart; not in despair (as we say, when a man is undone, His heart is broken), but in necessary humiliation and sorrow for sin. It is a heart breaking with itself, and breaking from its sin; it is a heart pliable to the word of God, and patient under the rod of God, a heart subdued and brought into obedience; it is a heart that is tender, like Josiah’s, and trembles at God’s word. Oh that there were such a heart in us!…

The breaking of Christ’s body for sin is the only sacrifice of atonement, for no sacrifice but that could take away sin; but the breaking of our hearts for sin is a sacrifice of acknowledgment, a sacrifice of God, for to him it is offered up; he requires it, he prepares it (he provides this lamb for a burnt-offering), and he will accept of it. That which pleased God was not the feeding of a beast, and making much of it, but killing it; so it is not the pampering of our flesh, but the mortifying of it, that God will accept. The sacrifice was bound, was bled, was burnt; so the penitent heart is bound by convictions, bleeds in contrition, and then burns in holy zeal against sin and for God. The sacrifice was offered upon the altar that sanctified the gift; so the broken heart is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ; there is no true repentance without faith in him; and this is the sacrifice which he will not despise.”

Matthew henry

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.

June 14, 2011

Living Supernaturally

I don’t always appreciate the writing of Andrée Seu but I thought the following was really poignant

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
(John 4:10 ESV)

If you and I knew who Jesus was—really, really knew—would we pray differently? Wouldn’t it expand our imagination? Isn’t this what Jesus is saying to this Samaritan woman he has struck up a conversation with at the well: “Lady, if you really knew who you were talking to here, you and I wouldn’t be wasting our time in theological debate; you would be inundating me with requests for all your spiritual needs”?

My dullness about God tends to fall along two lines: Dullness about how powerful he wants to be in our lives and dullness about how involved he wants to be in our lives. I act as if forgiveness of sins is His entire gift, and not also the breaking of bondages, the bending of impossibilities, and the undoing varieties of the devil’s handiwork (1 John 3:8). You can read the rest here http://online.worldmag.com/2011/06/08/if-you-knew/

When God becomes dull the problem is never God, but always me.  I have a short sighted view and miss what God eternal big picture is and how He is working.  My perspective misses what He has already done on the cross and how He has solved my greatest need and triumphed over the greatest evil and displayed more power and love then humanly imaginable.  Often times my wisdom only looks back on human history, but God goes beyond the confines times, to before there was time, when He set me apart to be holy and blameless to the praise of His glorious grace, experiencing all of the blessings of being in the beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6). Now that is supernatural.  God is not dull, and even in the mundane, I am serving a supernatural God who is calling me to live supernaturally.   

When I get bored with my circumstances, work or any aspect of daily living I need to press into Jesus knowing that this is not all He has in store for me.  I need to remember that He is bigger then I can comprehend and even in the littlest things He is working.  Even though naturally I can’t see His hand and what He is doing in every instance, I know every second He is at work refining me.  Life is never dull, because God is never dull and has more then just forgiveness of sins for me, but life and life to the full.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
(John 10:10 ESV)

October 10, 2010

Being Made Holy

I read the following Oswald Chambers quote yesterday and had my world totally rocked:

To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service.”  You can read the rest of it here The Assigning of the Call | My Utmost For His Highest.

I love the implications of this.  It is saying 1)expect to meet God in the normal and natural experiences of life and 2)Look for God to be with you in Him providentially humbling you and breaking you so that you can be built up again into more of Christ image.  Definitely an encouraging word that I often need to be reminded of.

January 3, 2010

Being Fully Surrendered to God

I have never read a daily devotional for a year straight, so I decided that this year I want to work through “My Utmost for His Highest.”  The reading for yesterday was on surrendering fears and worries to God.  It was definitely helpful for me as I want to grow in dependence on God.  You can read part of it here.

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?

Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him – what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual “going out” in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.

Read the rest at Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest”: January 2nd..

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).

December 14, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross.  It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard or will hear.

We talk glibly of the “Christmas Spirit,” rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis.  But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning.  It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas.  And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all year round.

It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians – I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians – go through this world in the Spirit of the priest and Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after a pious wish, and a perhaps a prayer, that God might meet those needs) averting their eyes and passing by on the other side.  That is not the Christmas spirit.  Nor is it the spirit of those Christians – alas, they are many – whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the submiddle class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob.  For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor – spending and being spent – to enrich their fellow  humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others – not just their own friends – in whatever way there seems need.

-J.I. Packer

Dead, yet alive!

Spurgeon was particularly on the fire with today’s reading from Morning and Evening.  I pray that one day I am half the writer he was.

“I am crucified with Christ.”

Galatians 2:20

The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the cross was the virtual dying of all his people. Then all his saints rendered unto justice what was due, and made an expiation to divine vengeance for all their sins. The apostle of the Gentiles delighted to think that as one of Christ’s chosen people, he died upon the cross in Christ. He did more than believe this doctrinally, he accepted it confidently, resting his hope upon it. He believed that by virtue of Christ’s death, he had satisfied divine justice, and found reconciliation with God. Beloved, what a blessed thing it is when the soul can, as it were, stretch itself upon the cross of Christ, and feel, “I am dead; the law has slain me, and I am therefore free from its power, because in my Surety I have borne the curse, and in the person of my Substitute the whole that the law could do, by way of condemnation, has been executed upon me, for I am crucified with Christ.”

But Paul meant even more than this. He not only believed in Christ’s death, and trusted in it, but he actually felt its power in himself in causing the crucifixion of his old corrupt nature. When he saw the pleasures of sin, he said, “I cannot enjoy these: I am dead to them.” Such is the experience of every true Christian. Having received Christ, he is to this world as one who is utterly dead. Yet, while conscious of death to the world, he can, at the same time, exclaim with the apostle, “Nevertheless I live.” He is fully alive unto God. The Christian’s life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. Dead, yet alive! crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Union with the suffering, bleeding Saviour, and death to the world and sin, are soul-cheering things. O for more enjoyment of them!

Read it at Morning and Evening: Daily Readings | Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

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).

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