Thursday, March 10, 2011

The bible's primary purpose

"Scripture is of no use to us if we read it merely as a handbook for daily living without recognizing that its principle purpose is to reveal Jesus Christ and his gospel for the salvation of sinners. All Scripture coalesces in Christ, anticipated in the OT and appearing in the flesh in the NT. In Scripture, God issues commands and threatens judgment for transgressors as well as direction for the lives of his people. Yet the greatest treasure buried in the Scriptures is the good news of the promised Messiah.

Everything in the Bible that tells us what to do is “law”, and everything in the Bible that tells us what God has done in Christ to save us is “gospel.” Much like medieval piety, the emphasis in much Christian teaching today is on what we are to do without adequate grounding in the good news of what God has done for us in Christ. “What would Jesus do?” becomes more important than “What has Jesus done?” The gospel, however, is not just something we needed at conversion so we can spend the rest of our Christian life obsessed with performance; it is something we need every day–the only source of our sanctification as well as our justification. The law guides, but only the gospel gives. We are declared righteous–justified–not by anything that happens within us or done by us, but solely by God’s act of crediting us with Christ’s perfect righteousness through faith alone."

- Michael Horton, Justified: Modern Reformation Essays on the Doctrine of Justification.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Do it again!

H.T. Justin Taylor

G.K. Chesteron:

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.

But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun: and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.

It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.

—”The Ethics of Elfland,” chapter 4 in Orthodoxy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

When are you the most happy?

“I do not know when I am more perfectly happy than when I am weeping for sin at the foot of the cross.”
- Charles Spurgeon

Theses on how the Christian fulfills the law of liberty, by John Piper

• Our fulfilling of the law of liberty refers to a life of real love for people (Rom 13:8,10 / Gal 5:13-18)

• It is not the ground of our justification, it is a fruit of it.

• It is rendered NOT in our own strength, but by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

• It is rendered by FAITH as we trust Christ. This faith is the faith that justifiies - i.e. it is a gift.

• It is NOT a perfect love in this life. (Rom 7, Phil 3)

• It will become perfect when I die. (Rom 8:30 / Heb 12:23). It will be perfectly fulfilled in the future. But, we will be no more than justified sinners, and nothing more. Our righteousness is imputed. May Jesus' name be praised alone.

• It is sometimes called the "law of liberty", or "the law of Christ".

• It is performed by means of trusting another who's obedience was already perfect.

• It is always pointing away from me and towards Jesus.

"When you pursue love... pursue it as one who is free from the law as the ground of your acceptance with God. Pursue it as the law of liberty!"

Our pursuit of love is an "indirect pursuit". We first go through Christ, not directly to the commandment, to love God and neighbor.

Your God-dependent, Christ-exalting, Faith-based love for people which is based on your justification, is a REAL kind of love, it's really what the law requires.

The goal of the law is Christ for righteousness (Rom 10:4)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

all you need is need

“If you want God’s grace, all you need is need, all you need is nothing. But that kind of spiritual humility is hard to muster.”

- Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods