Archive for November, 2011

How Shall I go to God?

Posted: November 30, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

“Imputed righteousness must come first. You cannot have the righteousness within—until you have the righteousness without; and to make your own righteousness the price which you give to God for that of His Son—is to dishonour Christ, and to deny His cross.

The Spirit’s work is not to make us holy, in order that we may be pardoned; but to show us the cross, where the pardon is to be found by the unholy; so that having found the pardon there, we may begin the life of holiness to which we are called.”

— Horatius Bonar

“How Shall I Go to God?    


Where He is there I shall be also

Posted: November 28, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!

–Martin Luther

Bless the Lord

Posted: November 25, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

The unassailable home base

Posted: November 22, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

“Justification by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone does not lead to more sinning. On the contrary, it is the only sure and hopeful base of operations from which the fight against sin can be launched. All the bombers that go out to drop bombs on the strongholds of sin remaining in our lives take off from the runway of justification by faith alone. The missiles that we shoot against the incoming attack of temptation are launched from the base of justification by faith alone. The whole lifelong triumphant offensive called “operation sanctification” – by which we wage war against all the remaining corruption in our lives – is sustained by the supply line of the Spirit that comes from the secure, unassailable home-base of justification by faith alone. And it will be a successful operation – but only because of the unassailable home base.”

-John Piper

a section of a mother’s day sermon by John Piper:

Sin only has power because of the promises it makes. Promises for happiness. Nobody sins out of duty. We sin because we believe the promise of sin that we will be happier. The only way to defeat the power of sin’s promise is with the power of a superior promise.

For example, how does the Bible free us from the love of money and the sin of anxiety and greed?

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me” (Heb 13:5–6)?We are freed from the sin of loving money by the pursuit of “contentment” in God. And that contentment is rooted in a superior promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

This is the whole secret of sanctification: The expulsive power of a new affection!

hear it all or read it here

“This is the scandal of justification: How can God declare us righteous if we are not inherently righteous? Isn’t this a legal fiction? Doesn’t it make God a liar? But that’s like thinking that God cannot say, ‘Let there be light’ unless there is already a sun to give it. God himself creates the conditions necessary for the existence of his work. When he says, ‘Let there be light!’ the sun exists. When he says, ‘Let this ungodly person be righteous,’ ‘this barren woman be pregnant,’ ‘this faithless person embrace my Word,’ it is so.

When we really understand justification, we really understand how God works with us in every aspect of our lives before him. Christ lived the purpose-driven life so that we would inherit his righteousness through faith and be promise-driven people in a purpose-driven world. He did gain the everlasting inheritance by obedience to everything God commanded, driven by the purpose of fulfilling the law for us, in perfect love of God and neighbor, and he bore its judgments against us. His resurrection guarantees that the law of sin and death does not have the last word over us. He fulfilled the original purpose and commission for human existence, glorifying and enjoying his Father to the fullest. And he did this as our covenantal head, our representative, not simply as a moral example. Just as we were ‘in Adam’ at the fall, we were legally included ‘in Christ’ as he fulfilled all righteousness, bore our sins, and rose from the dead in victory.”

— Michael Horton
The Gospel-Driven Life
(Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2009), 141-142


God….Your love to me was wonderful

Posted: November 17, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Spurgeon

“Can you imagine it, that God, who is greater than immensity, whose life is longer than time, that God the all-boundless One, should love you? That He should think of you, pity you, consider you, this is all very well—but that He should love you, that His heart should go out to you, that He should choose you, that He should have engraved you on the palms of His hands, that He should not rest in Heaven without you, that He should not think Heaven complete until He brings you there, that you should be the bride and Christ the Bridegroom, that there should be eternal love between Him and you—oh, as you think of it, lift up your hands with adoring wonder and say, ‘Your love to me was wonderful.’” – C.H. Spurgeon

Letter 44 to Fulk Ellis by Samuel Rutherford


And if there had not been such a thing as the grace of Jesus,I should have long since given up with heaven, and with the expectation to see God. But grace, grace, free grace, the merits of Christ for nothing, white and fair, and large Saviour-mercy ( which is another sort of thing than creature mercy, or law-mercy, yea, a thousand degrees above angel-mercy) hath been and must be the rock that we drowned souls must swim to.

New washing, renewed application of purchased redemption by that sacred blood that sealeth the free covenant, is a thing of daily and hourly use to a poor sinner. Till we be in heaven, our issue of blood will not be quite dried up; and therefore we must resolve to apply peace to our souls from the new and living Way; and Jesus, who cleanseth and cureth the leprous soul, lovely Jesus must be our song on this side of heaven’s gates.

And even when we have won the castle, then must we eternally sin, ‘Worthy, worthy is the Lamb, who hath saved us and washed us in his own blood.’I would counsel all the ransomed ones to learn this song, and to drink and be drunk with the love of Jesus.

O fairest, O highest, O loveliest One, open the well!

O water the burnt and withered travelers with this love of thine!

(paragraphing mine)

Letters of Samuel Rutherford, pgs 129-130

Jesus prays for you

Posted: November 15, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“When a Christian is weak, and can hardly pray for himself, Jesus Christ is praying for him; and he prays for three things.

First, that the saints may be kept from sin (John 17:15). “I pray that thou shouldest keep them from evil.” We live in the world as in a pest-house; Christ prays that his saints may not be infected with the contagious evil of the times.

Second, for his people’s progress in holiness. “Sanctify them” (John 17:17). Let them have constant supplies of the Spirit, and be anointed with fresh oil.

Third, for their glorification: “Father, I will that those which thou hast given me, be with me where I am” (John 17:24). Christ is not content till the saints are in his arms. This prayer, which he made on earth, is the copy and pattern of his prayer in heaven. What a comfort is this; when Satan is tempting, Christ is praying! This works for good.”

– Thomas Watson: All Things for Good, 1663, (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2008), 23




Spiritual Discipline

Posted: November 14, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

The whole article from D.A. Carson is well worth the time. Here’s a piece from the beginning:


What is universally presupposed by the expression “spiritual discipline” is that such disciplines are intended to increase our spirituality. From a Christian perspective, however, it is simply not possible to increase one’s spirituality without possessing the Holy Spirit and submitting to his transforming instruction and power. Techniques are never neutral. They are invariably loaded with theological presuppositions, often unrecognized.

How shall we evaluate this popular approach to the spiritual disciplines? How should we think of spiritual disciplines and their connection with spirituality as defined by Scripture? Some introductory reflections:

(1) The pursuit of unmediated, mystical knowledge of God is unsanctioned by Scripture, and is dangerous in more than one way. It does not matter whether this pursuit is undertaken within the confines of, say, Buddhism (though informed Buddhists are unlikely to speak of “unmediated mystical knowledge of God“—the last two words are likely to be dropped) 3 or, in the Catholic tradition, by Julian of Norwich. Neither instance recognizes that our access to the knowledge of the living God is mediated exclusively through Christ, whose death and resurrection reconcile us to the living God. To pursue unmediated, mystical knowledge of God is to announce that the person of Christ and his sacrificial work on our behalf are not necessary for the knowledge of God. Sadly, it is easy to delight in mystical experiences, enjoyable and challenging in themselves, without knowing anything of the regenerating power of God, grounded in Christ’s cross work.


read more here

The Great Redeemer

Posted: November 14, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Spurgeon

“See, then, how the great Redeemer blessed us: Jesus the Christ does all things well; he clears the understanding; he breaks the power of sinful habits; he removes the load of despondency; he doth it all.

Christ Jesus, Mary’s son and Jehovah’s son man, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, yet God over all, blessed for ever; he who died on Calvary, whose precious blood is the panacea for all human ills, he it is, and he only, who is the Liberator of our fallen race.”

— Charles Spurgeon
“Victor Emmanuel, Emancipator”

Confidence from Christ

Posted: November 10, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

When we are deeply conscious of our defects in duty. If we compare our best performances with the demands of the law, the majesty of God, and the unspeakable obligations we are under; if we consider our innumerable sins of omission, and that the little we can do is polluted and defiled by the mixture of evil thoughts, and the working of selfish principles, aims, and motives, which though we disapprove, we are unable to suppress; we have great reason to confess, “To us belong shame and confusion of face.”

But we are relieved by the thought, that Jesus, the High Priest, bears the iniquity of our holy things, perfumes our prayers with the incense of his mediation, and washes our tears in his own blood.

This inspires a confidence, that though we are unworthy of the least of his mercies, we may humbly hope for a share in the greatest blessings he bestows, because we are heard and accepted, not on the account of our own prayers and services, but in the beloved Son of God, who maketh intercession for us.

“The Intercession of Christ,” Sermon 47, The Works of John Newton, vol. 4, 1820 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007), 531

(HT: Jonathan Parnell)


Posted: November 8, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Reformed Theology, The Christian Life

from Greg Forster’s forthcoming book The Joy of Calvinism: Knowing God’s Personal, Unconditional, Irresistible, Unbreakable Love (Crossway, coming in February 2012)


State of man before salvation: wholly defiled
Work of the Father in salvation: unconditional choice
Work of the Son in salvation: personal salvation
Work of the Spirit in salvation: supernatural transformation
State of man after salvation: in faith, perseverance


Tongue in cheek, Forster writes:

This gives us the handy mnemonic WUPSI, pronounced “whoopsie”—as in, “whoopsie, we just realized that TULIP is giving everyone heinously false ideas of what Calvinism is all about.” Perhaps it’s not as memorable as TULIP, but it has other virtues to make up for that.

read the whole post here from Justin Taylor



Divine Sovereignty

Posted: November 8, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity, Reformed Theology, Spurgeon, Uncategorized

C. H. Spurgeon once preached:

“There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation (more…)