Monday, January 30, 2006

the garden of God

Here's a great quote concerning the theme of the bible:

"The "law" given to the first Adam, the first son of God, was broken, and mankind was thrown out of the garden into the wilderness. The law given to Israel, the son of God, was broken, and the nation was thrown out of its promised land into the wilderness of exile. A last Adam came as the truly obedient covenant partner of God, signifying his identification with a people that desperately needed his help. We can almost hear heaven's sigh of relief, 'At last! A true Son of God.' 'You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased' is God's word of approval. Then this true Adam, this true Israel, goes out into our wilderness to be tempted and to be victorious, so that he might make for us a way back into the garden of God."
-G. Goldsworthy

Monday, January 23, 2006

a completed sacrifice

And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering: and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. (Leviticus 1:4)

If by that laying on of his hand the bullock became the offerer's sacrifice, how much more shall Jesus become ours by the laying on of the hand of faith?
My faith doth lay her hand On that dear head of Thine, While like a penitent I stand, And there confess my sin.

If a bullock could be accepted for him to make atonement for him, how much more shall the Lord Jesus be our full and all-sufficient propitiation? Some quarrel with the great truth of substitution; but as for us, it is our hope, our joy, our boast, our all. Jesus is accepted for us to make atonement for us, and we are "accepted in the Beloved." Let the reader take care at once to lay his hand on the Lord's completed sacrifice, that by accepting it he may obtain the benefit of it. If he has done so once, let him do it again. If he has never done so, let him put out his hand without a moment's delay. Jesus is yours now if you will have Him. Lean on Him -- lean hard on Him -- and He is yours beyond all question; you are reconciled to God, your sins are blotted out, and you are the Lord's.

-C.H. Spurgeon

Thursday, January 19, 2006

calvin on good works

1. We have no good works which God rewards but those which we derive from his grace.

2. The good works which we perform by the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, are the fruits of that adoption which is an act of free grace.

3. They are not only unworthy of the smallest and most inconsiderable reward, but deserve to be wholly condemned, because they are always stained by many blemishes; and what have pollutions to do with the presence of God?

4. Though a reward had been a thousand times promised to works, yet it is not due but by fulfilling the condition of obeying the law perfectly; and how widely distant are we all from that perfection!

Let Papists now go and attempt to force their way into heaven by the merit of works. We cheerfully concur with Paul and with the whole Bible in acknowledging, that we are unable to do anything but by the free grace of God, and yet that the benefits resulting from our works receive the name of a reward.

Monday, January 16, 2006

keeping watch

“What are the signs of the end and how do amillennial Christians interpret them?”

read Keeping Watch by Kim Riddlebarger

Thursday, January 12, 2006

pray for the peace of jeru... i mean, the church

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" was on a bumper sticker I saw a few days ago. Is it wrong to pray this? No. But if you insist it's because God wants us to pray for the nation of Israel because they are His chosen people, well then I'd have a problem with that. Why? Read below:

O. Palmer Robertson on the Israel of God:
The recognition of a distinctive people who are the recipients of God’s redemptive blessings and yet who have a separate existence apart from the church of Jesus Christ creates insuperable theological problems. Jesus Christ has only one body and only one bride, one people that he claims as his own, which is the true Israel of God. This one people is made up of Jews and Gentiles who believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

This is taken from an article by Michael Marlowe called The Israel of God

Read more

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

the church's one foundation

The Church's One Foundation
by Samuel J. Stone (1866)

The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her and for her life He died.

She is from every nation, yet one o'er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her, and false sons in her pale,
Against or foe or traitor she ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song!

’Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious, her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won,
With all her sons and daughters who, by the Master’s hand
Led through the deathly waters, repose in Eden land.

O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains, where in sweet vales the Bride
With Thee by living fountains forever shall abide!