Archive for December, 2013

Christ’s Love

Posted: December 31, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“There is no other solution to the marvellous mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial Death but this: Christ has loved us.

There is not a circumstance of our Lord’s history which is not another form or manifestation of love.

His incarnation is love stooping.
His sympathy is love weeping.
His compassion is love supporting.
His grace is love acting.
His teaching is the voice of love.
His silence is the repose of love.
His patience is the restraint of love.
His obedience is the labor of love.
His suffering is the travail of love.
His cross is the altar of love.
His death is the burnt offering of love.
His resurrection is the triumph of love.
His ascension into heaven is the enthronement of love.
His sitting down at the right hand of God is the intercession of love.

Such is the deep, the vast, the boundless ocean of Christ’s love!

— Octavius Winslow

 

HT:OFI

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10 Principles for Reading OT Narratives

Posted: December 30, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

Reformedish

old testamentIt’s safe to say that “narratives” is the most predominant type of literature in the Bible. Leaving aside the New Testament, over 40 % of Old Testament are narratives.  Given that, especially in light of the New Year when a bunch of us will finally be tackling the OT again, it’s kind of important to know what you’re doing when approaching these texts, especially when reading for theological and moral content. For instance, what do we do with the story of Abram giving Sara to the king of Egypt out of fear and gaining great wealth (Gen. 12)? Is this acceptable behavior for us? I mean, he is a patriarch? Or what about the story of Gideon and the fleece (Jdg. 6)? Should we set up little tests for God in order to figure out his will for our lives?

With these sorts of problems in mind Gordon Fee and Douglas…

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Kingdom of the cross

Posted: December 27, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“For all of its joy and celebration and for all of its gifts of life and grace, the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of sacrifice. The central event in the history of this kingdom is a shocking and unthinkable sacrifice. This moment of sacrifice confounded the followers who were there to see it and has interested theologians ever since. It is at once the most terrible and most beautiful event in the kingdom. It is a sacrifice that makes perfect sense and no sense at all. And this sacrifice forms the operating agenda of the kingdom from that time on.

Jesus, by his bleeding and broken body on the cross, not only gave the kingdom of God its life and hope, but its paradigm for living as well. That history-changing death on the cross is also the life-changing call of Christ to everyone who would follow him. And as it did on the cross, that willingness to die will always result in life. This kingdom is a kingdom of the cross, and everyone who celebrates that sacrifice is called to drag a cross along with them every day.

— Paul David Tripp
A Quest for More
(Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2007), 178

 

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Reformedish

athanasiusblackdwarfThere is a reason everyone still quotes Athanasius around Christmas:

For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world. In one sense, indeed, He was not far from it before, for no part of creation had ever been without Him Who, while ever abiding in union with the Father, yet fills all things that are. But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us.

He saw the reasonable race, the race of men that, like Himself, expressed the Father’s Mind, wasting out of existence, and death reigning over all in corruption. He saw that corruption held us all the closer, because it was the penalty for the Transgression; He saw, too, how unthinkable it would be for the law to be repealed before it was fulfilled. He saw how unseemly it was that the very things of which He Himself was the Artificer should be disappearing. He saw…

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Our Sin is cast into the depths

Posted: December 23, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

“God the Father takes the pen, dips it in the blood of his Son, crosses off the sinner’s accounts, and blots them out of his debt-book.

The sinner outside of Christ is bound over to the wrath of God; he is under an obligation in law to go to the prison of hell, and there to lie until he has paid the utmost farthing.  But now, being united to Christ, God says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom!’ (Job 33:24). The sentence of condemnation is reversed, the believer is absolved, and set beyond the reach of the condemning law. His sins, which were set before the Lord (Psalm 90:8), so that they could not be hidden—God now takes and casts them all behind his back (Isaiah 38:17).

Yes, he casts them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). What falls into a brook may be retrieved—but what is cast into the sea cannot be recovered. But there are some shallow places in the sea; true—but their sins are not cast in there—but into the depths of the sea; and the depths of the sea are devouring depths, from whence they shall never come forth again. But what if they do not sink? He will cast them in with force, so that they shall go to the bottom, and sink as lead in the mighty waters of the Redeemer’s blood.

— Thomas Boston
Human Nature in Its Fourfold State
(Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 1964)

 

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Glory of The Cross

Posted: December 21, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“We want the fact of substitution to strike us, and then the cross will grow sublimely great. In vision I behold it! Its two arms are extended right and left till they touch the east and west and overshadow all races of men; the foot of it descends lower than the grave, till it goes down even to the gates of hell; while upward the cross mounts with a halo round about it of unutterable glory, till it rises above the stars, and sheds its light upon the throne of the Most High.

Atonement is a divine business; its sacrifice is infinite, even as the God who conceived it. Glory be to his name for ever! It is all that I can say. It was nothing less than a stretch of divine love for Jesus to give himself for our sins. It was gracious for the Infinite to conceive of such a thing; but for him to carry it out was glorious beyond all.

— Charles Spurgeon
“Jehovah-Jireh” in Human Depravity and Divine Mercy: Sermons on Genesis

 

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He atoned for your sins

Posted: December 20, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“One of the sweetest statements from the lips of Jesus is this: ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matt. 25:34b).

There is a plan of God designed for your salvation. It is not an afterthought or an attempt to correct a mistake. Rather, from all eternity, God determined that He would redeem for Himself a people, and that which He determined to do was, in fact, accomplished in the work of Jesus Christ, His atonement on the cross.

Your salvation has been accomplished by a Savior, One who did for you what the Father determined He should do. He is your Surety, your Mediator, your Substitute, your Redeemer. He atoned for your sins on the cross.”

— R. C. Sproul
The Truth of the Cross

HT:OFI