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Showing posts from April, 2012

Christ's death even for Christian failure

Here's an older article in Modern Reformation by Rod Rosenbladt in on how some views of sanctification destroy confidence in our once-for-all salvation by grace... What should the Christian do if he is reading the law and says, "This is not yet true of me: I don't love God with all my heart, and I certainly don't love my neighbor as I love myself. In fact, just today I failed to help a poor man on the side of the road who was having car trouble. I must not yet be a Christian." The answer of the Higher Life movement to the struggling Christian is, "Surrender more!" or, "What are you holding back from the Lord?"  The Reformation answer is different: "You hurry back to the second use of the law and flee to Christ where sanctification is truly, completely, and perfectly located." After this experience, the believer will feel a greater sense of freedom to obey (thus fulfilling the third use of the law), and this is the only way that o

the cost of non-commitment

My friend Don shared this quote the other day at lunch... "By no means does He [God] guarantee an easy life.  But He does promise to spare us the bitter results of going our own way.  His way may be harder  for  us, but it is easier  on  us.  The cost of non-commitment far exceeds the cost of commitment, for self-rule ultimately brings self-ruin."   --Warren & Ruth Myers,  Praise: A Door to God's Presence , p. 82

time paradox -- so true

how people see calvinists

Courtesy of Credo House .   

to remember the benefit

“Luther taught that every time you insist that I am a sinner, just so often do you call me to remember the benefit of Christ my Redeemer, upon whose shoulders, and not upon mine, lie all my sins. So, when you say that I am a sinner, you do not terrify, but comfort me immeasurably.”   --Thomas Oden, The Justification Reader (Eerdmans, 2002)

excerpts, true spirituality

Reading again (and profiting again!) from Francis Schaeffer's True Spirituality .  Schaeffer, like Keller today, does such a great job integrating justification by faith with an active faith of sanctification.   Some recent highlights... Only one is self-sufficient in himself, and he is God. But now as Christians we are introduced to the great reality: our calling is to be creatures in this high, tremendous, and glorious way, not because we must be, but by choice.  ...the scriptural teaching [about faith] is not mere resignation. I am a creature, it is true, but I have a calling to be the creature glorified. I must be the creature, but I do not have to be the creature like the clod in the field, the cabbage that is rotting in the field as the snows melt. I am called to be a creature by choice, on the basis of Christ’s finished work, by faith: the creature glorified. Justification is once for all. At one moment my guilt is declared gone forever, but this [spiritual life

stand and gaze upon truth

I got me flowers to straw thy way; I got me boughs off many a tree: But thou wast up by break of day, And brought’st thy sweets along with thee. The Sunne arising in the East, Though he give light, and th’ East perfume ; If they should offer to contest With thy arising, they presume. Can there be any day but this, Though many sunnes to shine endeavour ? We count three hundred, but we misse: There is but one, and that one ever. (George Herbert)

a boundary event

“It is obvious that the story of the empty tomb cannot be fitted into our contemporary worldview, or indeed into any worldview except one of which it is the starting point.  That is, indeed, the whole point.  What happened on that day is, according to the Christian tradition, only to be understood by analogy with what happened on the day the cosmos came into being.  It is a boundary event, at the point where (as cosmologists tell us) the laws of physics ceased to apply.  It is the beginning of a new creation – as mysterious to human reason as the creation itself.”   (Lesslie Newbigin: The Gospel in a Pluralist Society ).  

the new gardener

"...then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed." (Genesis 2:7-8 ESV) Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." (John 20:15) "How intriguing that He should be buried in a garden, and that His first steps as the resurrected Adam should be in a garden, and one of His most devoted disciples should (mistakenly) address Him as though He were the gardener (John 20:15). Gardener? In truth He was … taking His first steps in the resurrection body, the first fruits of the final restoration."   (--Sinclair Ferguson in " Jesus our Navy Seal ") "For as by a man

a clear conscience

From Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die , by John Piper... #16 To Give Us a Clear Conscience "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our  conscience from dead works to serve the living God."  (Hebrews 9:14) Some things never change. The problem of a dirty conscience is as old as Adam and Eve. As soon as they sinned, their  conscience was defiled. Their sense of guilt was ruinous. It ruined their relationship with God—they hid from him. It  ruined their relation to each other—they blamed. It ruined their peace with themselves—for the first time they saw  themselves and felt shame. All through the Old Testament, conscience was an issue. But the animal sacrifices themselves could not cleanse the  conscience.  “Gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food  and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until