Monday, August 31, 2009

denomination allows drunken clergy

It was just a matter of time ...

Denomination Votes to Allow Drunken Clergy

Hot on the heels of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s decision to allow the appointment of non-celibate gays to the clergy, another prominent Christian denomination has decided this week to allow practicing drunkards in the pulpit.

...

“Bottom line, this is a heart issue,” added Lutowski. “Okay, it’s a liver issue, too, but it’s mostly a heart issue. It’s time to quit acting like pharisaical tee-totalers who are hung up on judgmental prooftexts and start showing some Christian love to our drunken brethren who want nothing more than to give out sloppy back slaps and shout, ‘I love you, man!’ to an unsaved stranger. If getting sloshed is so wrong, how come Jesus changed water into wine and jump-started the first Christian drinking party two thousand years ago?”

Read the rest ...

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

debased minds

As postmodern innovators build on a false notion of love, their redefined definition of God, and a works based means toward salvation, I couldn't help but think of God's truth (Rom 1.24-31) as I listened ... these folks have absolutely lost sight of what true grace and mercy is and have subsequently embraced their own fallenness.


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holy spirit needed

"An abundance of knowledge without the anointing of the Holy Spirit is barren of life." ~ Ron Allen, FaceBook

the target of the cross

There are two key consequences of the cross. One on God, penal substitution, i.e., Jesus satisfies God's wrath (Rom 3.25-26; Gal 3.13; 2 Cor 5.21). The other on Satan, Christus Victor, i.e., Jesus defeats the Devil (Col 2.15; Heb 2.14-15; 1 John 3.8). Secondarily (and this must be kept secondary), on us. This also manifests in two ways. The primary of these is moral influence, i.e., Jesus shows God's love to us (1 John 3.16; 4.7-12; Rom 5.8). It is this that motivates to love him back. Then, to a lesser degree, moral example, i.e., Jesus shows us how to love and trust God (1 Pet 2.21). On the cross we see how to love and trust God even in our darkest hour. In regard to us, we must take care to not make ourselves the primary object of the cross.

At the same time, all of this should be kept in mind - especially by those of us that embrace penal substitution. In our modern culture it is too easy to think only in those terms. We must remember that penal substitution is a relatively new construct. The early church focus was Christus Victor. In that sense, the postmodern innovator has done well to challenge our thinking. Unfortunately, with this, as with so much else, the pendulum is swung by them too far and in this matter, toward the secondary, i.e., the focus on us and for some, more sadly, the focus on the lesser point relative to us, i.e., Christ as a moral example (which he no doubt is).

Regarding penal substitution, we must remember that it is a bit limited in it's application. Only when we combine this with Christus Victor do we get the clearer picture of the implications of the cross in regard to the church and creation. And so while I often defend/promote penal substitution, I wanted to go on record to say I have often erred by not advocating all aspects of the cross.

the truth

"Once a man makes the conversion of sinners his prime design and all-consuming end, he is exceedingly apt to adopt a wrong course. Instead of striving to preach the Truth in all its purity, he will tone it down so as to make it more palatable to the unregenerate." —A. W. Pink

HT:The Bororean

I think that's true but with the current swell of postmodern innovators/christian universalists, the opposite seems to be more common. That is, once a man determines that all are saved or that we are only "broken", then Truth is referred to as fear mongering and it is therefore toned down to make it more palatable to the unregenerate.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

being negative

Some are bent out of shape regarding John Piper's comments around the recent tornado in Minneapolis and the decision of the ELCA to propagate sin. Others are supportive of Piper. Me, I lean slightly negative toward what he said. Those that got bent out of shape, pulled the typical fear-monger tactic of accusing the other side of being a fear-monger ... what a silly and ignorant argument. To quote one, "the God Piper lives with, one who is always ready to strike the moment John does something wrong. In contributing to a culture of fear, Piper has inadvertently revealed the culture he himself lives in." This not only demonstrates absolute ignorance of what Piper was trying to say, but it (1) reveals a critic who is quick to misrepresent the body of work of an individual and (2) speaks volumes about this person's misunderstanding of God.

Interestingly, our small group study this past week was 2 Cor 12-17. Verse 14-15 really caught my eye. If we allow him to leads us, we will be the fragrance of the knowledge of him and to those being saved, it is the aroma of Christ ... but to those that are perishing, it is the aroma of death. The post-modern innovator would have us join them in their concocted image a false God based on a false notion of love. The Biblical truth is that same Christ who is life to some is repugnant to others. While it's true many of us need to work to strip our junk from our witness, it is also a false notion to think that truth will never sting.

J.C. Ryle wrote on Mk 6.14-29 (HT:CIC):

Let it never surprise us when we hear of faithful ministers of the Gospel being spoken against, hated and reviled. Let us rather remember that they are ordained to bear witness against sin, the world and the devil, and that if they are faithful they cannot help giving offense. It is no disgrace to a minister's character to be disliked by the wicked and ungodly. It is no real honor to a minister to be thought well of by everybody. Those words of our Lord are not considered enough - "Woe to you when all men speak well of you" (Luke 6:26).

As faithful ministers, we ought be nervous if the world only sees us as friends. Kingdom living will demand a reaction. At times it will be repentance and redemption, at other times rejection. But a reaction nonetheless ... and either way, one could say a violent one. This doesn't have to be fearful as these postmodern innovators suppose. This can be loving and kind - if done as servants. Remember, to these folks, if permission isn't given to sin, they see no other option, it must be shame. They flat miss the point of grace and mercy in repentance and truth.

Related to this, we should be reminded that even after the cross, the church retained a healthy fear of sin and a healthy fear (but a different kind) of the Lord (1 Cor 11.27-32). See more here.

And so I say again, my "gut" isn't keen about Piper's post, but the responses from some have revealed the world to which Christ came to redeem and they seem proud to reside in sin.

love

"The cross is only an act of love it if solves a real problem." ~ Michael Wittmer, Don't Stop Believing

I'm not one that thinks the cross is only about penal substitution. And certainly quite a stretch is made when applying some Scripture I've seen cited as support. At the same time I've found those denying penal substitution have not adequately refuted it as one of the facets of the cross and have left large holes (if not heresy) in their thinking sans-penal substitution.

totalitarianism

When I read stuff like this I wonder how people could be as naive as this. The latter seem to think that out of control (or should I say over controlling) government is somehow unique to folks like Bush as opposed to those promising bigger government (whom they vote for).

the empty tomb

“When Jesus Christ rose from the dead that first Easter Sunday, a new epoch in redemptive history dawned. The empty tomb was the first concrete sign that the new creation had begun.”

- Kim Riddlebarger, A Case for Amillenialism

HT:FE

Thursday, August 27, 2009

kog and the church

"Our restless discontent should not be over the distance between ourselves and the first century Church but over the distance between ourselves and the Kingdom of God to which the Church then and now is the witness." - R.J. Neuhaus

HT:Alan Hirsch via Facebook

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ooh-hoo-hoo ... char-lie

This is bouncing around the net and I feel compelled to be part of that ...

The original ...



The remix ...


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NIV from antichrist

Well ... I don't like the NIV either ...


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

bringing and keeping faith

John Piper:

To guarantee that this covenant [re: Jer 31.31-34] will not fail, Christ takes the initiative to create the faith and secure the faithfulness of his people. He brings a new-covenant people into being by writing the law not just in stone, bot on the heart. In contrast with the :letter" on stone, he says "the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor 3.6). "When we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ" (Eph 2.5). This is the spiritual life that enables us to see and believe in the glory of Christ. This miracle creates the new-covenant people. It is sure and certain because Christ bought it with his own blood.

And the miracle is not only the creation of our faith, but the securing of our faithfulness. "I will make with them an everlasting covenant ... I will put the fear of me in hearts, that they may not turn from me" (Jer 32.40). When Christ died, he secured for his people not only new hearts but new security. He will not let them turn from him. He will keep them. They will persevere. The blood of the covenant guarantees it.

leadership

From Bob Hyatt on Facebook today ... "'No one will give me the opportunity to lead!' What a silly statement."

Monday, August 24, 2009

xtranormal

Thanks to Kevin DeYoung for introducing me to xtranormal video ... I like these representing a Calvinist and an Arminian approach to witnessing ...





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the problem of evil

“To people wrestling with the problem of evil: God didn’t come to explain evil; he came to utterly destroy it.” ~ Trevin Wax

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

god's great love

I thank God for His GREAT love. And I thank Him for the many wonderful ways in which He reveals this. Today I read some more of Piper's Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. In chapter 11 he writes:

Justification is not merely the cancellation of my unrighteousness. It is also the imputation of Christ's righteousness to me. I do not have a righteousness that commends me to God. My claim before God is this: "not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes from through faith in Christ" (Phil 3.9).

This is Christ's righteousness. It is imputed to me. That means Christ fulfilled all righteousness perfectly; and then that righteousness was reckoned to be mine, when I trusted in him. I was counted righteous. God looked on Christ's perfect righteousness, and he declared me to be righteous with the righteousness of Christ.

The demands of God for entrance into eternal life are not merely that our unrighteousness be canceled, but that our perfect righteousness be established.

Thank God for His mercy and grace to have saved such an undeserving sinner as I. Jesus Christ is the great and awesome servant King.

willingness

"Unbelief says, 'Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us.' Faith says, 'Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us!' With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!"

A. W. Tozer, The Counselor, page 116.

HT:RO

Friday, August 21, 2009

piper, homosexuals, and the tornado

I've read a lot about John Piper and his comments regarding the recent tornado in Minneapolis. Of those I've read, B.C. McWhite comes closest to my thoughts on Piper's comments and so I credit him and copy most of his blog post. I should also add that most of what I read (one example) from others flat misrepresent Piper and then move into their own brand of what they accuse Piper of.

1. The statement of biblical truth

Piper is absolutely correct in his stance on homosexuality as being contrary to God’s design for human sexuality, as well as his stance on the grave danger of condoning sin in the name of God. He writes, “Official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture, and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered.” Without a doubt, he is correct here. What the ELCA is doing is deeply evil because they are condoning something God condemns while claiming that the love of God justifies their actions, as though ‘love’ entails the unquestioning approval of any lifestyle a person happens to find appealing. Here I cannot fault Piper’s strong words.

2. The wisdom of publicly interpreting providence

This is where I thought Piper began to go off the tracks. It is one thing to affirm that God hates sin and to affirm that God governs everything in his creation, including weather and the tornado in south Minneapolis in particular. It is quite another thing to suggest that God sent a tornado into downtown Minneapolis to warn the ELCA against their initiatives. To be fair, Piper exhibits some caution when he writes, “Let me venture an interpretation of this Providence with some biblical warrant.” In other words, he’s not claiming that this is what God is surely doing (a la Pat Robertson post-9/11). Rather he seems to be offering a suggestion as a means to spark reflection. Moreover, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to offer tentative interpretations of providence. We all do it all the time, don’t we? Think: “I think God was probably showing me through this…,” or “Clearly, God was letting me know through this that…,” or “I know that God was trying to tell me through this that….”

Nevertheless, conclusions about what God is doing in his direction of the natural world when He himself has not given an explanation for the events (as he often has done in the history of redemption) must always remain very, very tentative and represent a very dangerous undertaking because one might publicly ascribe to God thoughts and motives that are not necessarily accurate. That’s a big wager. Even if I had made the connection Piper made between the tornado and the ELCA, I think the extent to which I would have made it public would have been saying to my wife, “I wonder if God was….”

3. Awareness of public perception

Should believers tremble to make statements that they know will be unpopular among the general public? Absolutely not. We must obey God rather than men. Should believers soft-peddle to seekers and people who are interested in Jesus but not interested in the hate-mongering that too often has characterized evangelical social and political dialogue? Not at all. We should expect our beliefs to cause consternation and stumbling. Nevertheless, I think there is a place to recognize that we, as evangelicals, have done ourselves no favors in terms of making it clear that we believe homosexuality to be contrary to God’s design for human sexuality and therefore sin and yet we believe far more ardently that those who have chosen homosexual lifestyles bear the Imago Dei, are no worse sinners than we, are not more deeply in need of saving, reconciling grace than we, and ought to receive our love and care just as fervently as any other person we encounter even as we call them to repent and trust in Christ.

Piper should have been more aware, in my opinion, that to the watching world his comments will sound identical (though they are surely not) to Pat Robertson’s unbelievably self-righteous and irresponsible remarks after 9/11. It’s not Piper’s fault that his remarks will be received that way. But it’s where we live, and I believe Piper’s remarks will make it even more difficult to win homosexuals to Christ because he has planted unnecessary stumbling blocks that have nothing to do with the gospel of Christ crucified for sinners.

To put it another way: Why this sin? If the ELCA was considering passing a resolution that allowed ordination for pastors who live in lavish houses and desire to live in comfortable affluence I highly doubt anyone would have made the tornado/ELCA connection even though the Bible speaks far more fiercely and frequently against those who desire to be rich than it does those who choose homosexuality.

That’s my two pennies.

For the record, this may now be the second thing I disagree with Piper on.

Update: Piper offers some clarifying remarks ... I take no issue with them.

Update 2: Others demonstrate an absolute failure to understand fundamental theological differences, get mad at Piper, and think their sound bites (e.g., "a theology that contributes to fear") will convince others that their side of the difference is correct. This harkens back to my point on emotionalism rather than intelligent discussion..

emotionalize

As Scooby says, "ruh roh". Greenpeace, among other dance tactics, now says that sometimes, "we have to emotionalize issues." Forget about my disagreement with the global warming thinkers, I find this an all too common approach from leaders on all sides of all issues. And what's most concerning is that it works.



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Thursday, August 20, 2009

being a christian

". . . the whole object of being a Christian is that you may know the love of Jesus Christ, his personal love to you; that he may tell you in unmistakable language that he loves you, that he has given himself for you, that he has loved you with 'an everlasting love.' He does this through the Holy Spirit; he 'seals' all his statements to you through the Spirit. . . . You believe it because it is in the Word; but there is more than that; he will tell you this directly as a great secret. The Spirit gives manifestations of the Son of God to his own, to his beloved, to those for whom he has gladly died and given himself."

D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Romans: An Exposition of Chapters 7.1-8.4, page 61.

HT:RO

frankenstein

Nearly 15 minutes of Frankenstein (live in Japan) ... it doesn't get much better ... well, ok it would be better if it was in one video ....





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marvel

“How amazing that God in Christ should do all this; that the Most High, the Most Holy should be the All Loving too; that the ineffable Majesty should stoop to take upon himself our flesh, subject to hunger and cold, death and desperation. We see him lying in the feedbox of a donkey, laboring in a carpenter’s shop, dying a derelict under the sins of the world. The gospel is not so much a miracle as a marvel, and every line is suffused with wonder.”

—Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

HT:TR

Sunday, August 16, 2009

permission v. shame

Among the many wrong minded things espoused by JB, he recently posted on permission to have sex. He described what he thought was a picture of a healthy environment for growing up in regard to sex. He boasted that in that family environment there was no shame. There was only the sense of value. I noticed that did not mention boundaries nor a basis for the value that was instilled. This could have been an omission but then he asks the following question (with the almost mandatory postmodern verbiage) ... "So what resonates with you? Did you grow up with permission or shame?"

This causes me to once again reflect on the false dichotomy imposed by our postmodern friends. The implication from JB is that where there are boundaries there is shame and that this is often sourced through the Church (i.e., doctrine). He even states, "My church took the traditional perspective of no sex before marriage and shamed people who did." But in that he doesn't note that the first part would be Biblical while the second would not. The more I read of JB the more I find someone who is wounded and rather than returning to the true love of Christ who enables freedom in obedience embraces a world without God's rule under a false notion of what love truly is.

JB tells one commenter who rightly reads his post that his is false conclusion and states that he will not respond to the questions raised. But another commenter who JB doesn't bother to correct reads he properly ... "My parents were pretty open about sex, and I was raised without church, so no real source for shame. It can't be the only reason I'm ambi-sexual, but it feels pretty natural to me to choose my partners based on things other than gender." Notice the Church and boundaries are seen as the source of shame ... and note the pride in the resulting multiple sexual relations with both genders.

Folks, we need to fight this error. We can hold to both Truth and Love. In fact, I would proffer that without true Truth there can be no true Love. Shame is never the result of this. If done by the Spirit, the result is either rebellion or freedom. Often those in rebellion confuse that with shame but ...

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rap v. rock

Percussion Instrument for Rap

Why-It-Sucks-To-Be-A-Rapper2 Html M26419C4E


Percussion Instrument for Rock

Why-It-Sucks-To-Be-A-Rapper2 Html Ma6957Fa

Thanks Guitar.Today ...

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no stairway

Almost a year later and I still think Doug Pagitt has out thought himself ...

Todd: Doug, I’m a good Buddist. Do I get to go to Heaven or Hell?
Doug: No, it’s not called systematic theology. It’s called you restating it.
Todd: Doug, I am a good Buddhist. Where do I go when I die?
[silent pause]
Doug: You, you know this is not an interesting conversation for me. Is this what we’re gonna do? You’re gonna… Your gonna put together false little dichotomies and then ask me to answer one sentence and then interrupt my answers?
Todd: I don’t know what’s hard about the question. I am a good Buddhist, where do I go when I die?
Doug: Well you probably go to the funeral home, but depending on where you’re being born if that’s what you’re talking about.
Todd: No, pastor. I’m a good Buddhist. Where do I go when I die?
Doug: [laugh] Ok. This is not.. This is just not an interesting or helpful conversation for me to be part of. So if that’s what we’re doing uh, in this conversation, then uhm… It’s.. it. Because what – what you’re asking in this - in this kind of question has to do with a place. Are you suggesting to me that Heaven is actually a place? When you say where do I go, you’re suggesting to me that the reign of God, that the place of God is an.. is an individual PLACE that you go? Is that what you’re suggesting?
Todd: Yes, sir.
Doug: Where, where is that place?
Todd: It’s called heaven.
Doug: Where is it?
Todd: We don’t know where it is exactly right now.
Doug: Then why would you ask a question, “where do I go?”

I didn't really intend to re-raise this but I was driven to find something to go along with this classic clip ...



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in and out

“All of our personal problems and church problems come because we don’t come continually back to the gospel to work it in and live it out.”

- Timothy Keller, “Being the Church in Our Culture”

HT:FE

Saturday, August 15, 2009

our works

Michael Wittmer wisely writes;

The Reformers saw Augustine's emphasis on our depravity and raised it. They taught that meritorious works are not only impossible without grace, but they are impossible period. Our sinful wills corrupt everything we do, so even our best efforts require the forgiveness of Christ. Lutherans declared that "even thought they are still impure and imperfect," yet "the good works of believers are pleasing and acceptable to God ... for the sake of the Lord Christ through faith, because the person is acceptable to God."

John Calvin called this our "double acceptance ... before God," by which God accepts both our person and our works through the blood of his Son. Just as God forgives our sinful person by covering us with the righteousness of Christ, so he forgives our sinful works in the same way.

True to the thinking of postmodern innovators, faith without works is dead (James 2). Saying we have right doctrine is empty if not played out in right practice. But contrary to postmodern innovators, good works not done as servants of Christ are as filthy rags (Isa 64.6).

Paul desired nothing more than to be known as a servant of Christ - a steward of a great mystery (1 Cor 4.1-2). He wanted nothing to do with human judgements based on either works or doctrine (1 Cor 4). His life was to be a fool for Christ (1 Cor 4.10). The Kingdom of God is not just talk - it is power. Here the postmodern innovators have it right. But it is a power based on Truth. There is no work done outside of Christ (e.g., recognizing Ramadan) that is of any worth.

As John Piper asks:

Do we do our good deeds in joyful dependence on God with a view to making known his supreme worth? Do we fulfill the overarching command to serve people "by the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet 4.11)? ... Without Christ-exalting faith, our deeds will signify nothing but rebellion.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

things that make me scratch my head

Under "things that make me scratch my head" ... today on Facebook ...

Brian D. McLaren Hey, friends - another quick update. I'm going to be observing the fast of Ramadan with some Muslim friends, beginning in about a week.

Susan Tittmar ... A fabulous idea. May you meet Christ more fully in your experience of their own spirituality.

Kristi Shirley Kernal ... Thank you, Brian for your courage to obey God and care more about what HE thinks than what people think. Can't wait to read about it.

I almost don't even want to hear the rationale ... but I couldn't resist ... I went to Brian's blog ... urgh ...

First he imagines that sharing Ramadan is like Jesus overcoming religious prejudice and learning from (and being inspired by) a Syrophonecian woman (Matthew 15:21 ff, Mark 7:24 ff). Uh, yeah, He overcame prejudice to demonstrate the Gospel ... not that He would learn and be inspired. McLaren seeks to "learn from our Muslim sisters and brothers."

McLaren then lists common commitments:


We, as Christians, humbly seek to join Muslims in this observance of Ramadan as a God-honoring expression of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness. Each of us will have at least one Muslim friend who will serve as our partner in the fast. These friends welcome us in the same spirit of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness.

Pardon my confusion but I do not understand that we share the same spirit.


We will seek to avoid being disrespectful or unfaithful to our own faith tradition in our desire to be respectful to the faith tradition of our friends. For example, since the Bible teaches us the importance of fasting and being generous to the poor, we can participate as Christians in fidelity to the Bible as our Muslim friends do so in fidelity to the Quran.

No, we have opposing objectives in mind. We seek to humbly serve Christ. They do not. Again, postmodern innovators focus on works and thereby confuse the crux of our salvation and the need of the world.


Update: the facebook brain trust continues (to prove my point) .... the following comments are from McLaren's supporters [emphasis is mine]:

Bob Melone ... Thanks ... for reminding us that a life of faith is not about 'obeying' God, it's about experiencing the presence of God, with those seeking after the things of God [ah but this is with Muslims?]!

Tracy Pace ... other religions have as much to offer as my own in terms of spirituality and service. Jesus never meant for any of us to worship him as the one and only - that came much later ...

Robert G Bob Pearson ... GOD = Allah, same same, no difference, same source in Abraham. A spiritual practice that brings you both closer to God and closer to other people cannot be questioned as a heresy.

Annie Haden Mehlhoff ... McClaren's participation in Ramadan is very similar to what Jesus did with his neighbors ... Jesus is a mediator between humanity and God, but that doesn't mean he is the only one. ... I just suggest that perhaps you listen to those other faiths. I think you'll find Jesus in them as much as Christianity.

Update 2 ... Tracy Pace couldn't help but to continue to reinforce my issue with postmodern innovators ... she speaks on ... "Men clearly had a huge political hand in the formation of the christian religions, and of the documents which came to be our Bible, which I don't see any evidence in the scriptures for Jesus having planned."

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

he loves me

Yet He loves me. Jesus Christ gave Himself to demonstrate His love for me. He loves me. He gave Himself for me (Gal 2.20; Eph 5.2, 23).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009

love

Do we love God enough to love someone like that?

the starfish

Starfish 1As a man walked a desolate beach one cold, gray morning he began to see another figure, far in the distance. Slowly the two approached each other, and he could make out a local native who kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he hurled things into the ocean. As the distance between them continued to narrow, the man could see that the native was picking up starfish that had been washed upon the beach and, one at a time, was throwing them back into the water. Puzzled, the man approached the native and asked what he was doing.

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."

"But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach," the man replied. "You can't possibly get to all of them. There are just too many. And this same thing is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"

Friday, August 07, 2009

god's love

Christ's sacrifice on the cross is not a response to our worth, it is the overflow of his infinite worth.

John Piper writes, "... divine love is in the end: a passion to enthrall undeserving sinners, at great cost, with what will make us supremely happy forever, namely, his infinite beauty." According to the riches of God's grace we have redemption and forgiveness (Eph 1.7). His eternal life was given to us even while we were still sinners (Rom 5.7-8; John 3.16).

suffering

Interestingly, Jesus, who never committed sin or spoke deceit (1 Pet 2.22), learned obedience and was made perfect through suffering (Heb 5.8; 2.10).

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

submitting to god

What God purposed for Jesus on the Cross (2 Tim 1.9; Isa 53.10), Jesus willingly submitted to (Eph 3.2).

Sunday, August 02, 2009

justification

To correctly assess the benefit of justification, people must lift up their minds to the judgment seat of God and put themselves in his presence...But when they put themselves before the face of God and examine themselves in the mirror of his holy law, all their conceit collapses, all self-confidence melts, and there is room left only for the prayer: "Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you" (Job 4:17-29; 9:2; 15:14-16; Ps. 143:2; cf. 130:3), and their only comfort is that "there is forgiveness before you, so that you may be revered" (Ps. 130:4).

(Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 4, p. 204-5)

reftagger