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And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. ( Col 2:13-15)
“Oh! rejoice in the richness of our salvation! When the Lord pardoned our sins, he did not pardon half of them, and leave some of them on the book—but with one stroke of the pen he gave a full receipt for all our debts.
When we went down into the fountain filled with blood, and washed, we did not come up half-clean, but there was no spot nor wrinkle upon us—we were white as snow.”
“You should tell the devil “Just by telling me that I am a miserable, great sinner you are placing a sword and a weapon into my hand with which I can decisively overcome you; yea, with your own weapon I can kill and floor you.
For if you tell me that I am a poor sinner, I, on the other hand, can tell you that Christ dies for sinners and is their Intercessor… You remind me of the boundless, great faithfulness and benefaction of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The burden of my sins and all the trouble and misery that were to oppress me eternally He very gladly took upon His shoulders and suffered the bitter death on the cross for them.
To Him I direct you. You may accuse and condemn Him. Let me rest in peace, for on His shoulders, not on mine, lie all my sins and the sins of all the world.”
Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before His feet,
For none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea,
With this I venture nigh;
Thou callest burdened souls to Thee
And such, O Lord, am I.
Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By wars without and fears within,
I come to Thee for rest.
Be Thou my shield and hiding place,
That, sheltered near Thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him Thou hast died!
O wondrous love! To bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame,
That guilty sinners, such as I,
Might plead Thy gracious name!
HT: RUF Hymnbook
“Him we proclaim.” Colossians 1:28
Him. Paul summarized his ministry in one word: “Him.” Not “Christ + _________” but Christ as the only focus. All other topics of interest had to fit in around Him and promote Him and make Him clearer. If they didn’t serve that purpose, Paul got bored quickly.
We. Whatever others may do, this is what we do. Whatever message others may shout out, we’ll shout louder about Jesus Christ. We are responsible to Him and will give an account to Him only and finally.
Proclaim. Not beg, as if He were poor. Not suggest, as if He were doubtful. Not propose, as if He were the premise of something larger. But proclaim as the only life that is truly life, accessible to everyone on terms of grace, received with the empty hands of faith, giving all, demanding all.
HT: Ray Ortlund
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:39-40)
…our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:7b-9)
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thess 5:24)
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. (2 Thess 3:3)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil 1:6)
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)
“When we take the history of a child of God, compressed within the short period of a single day — mark what flaws, what imperfections, what fickleness, what dereliction in principle, what flaws in practice, what errors in judgment and what wanderings of heart make up that brief history — how we are led to thank God for the stability of the covenant, that covenant which provides for the full redemption of all believers, which from eternity secures the effectual calling, the perfect keeping and certain salvation of every chosen vessel of mercy!”
~Octavius Winslow (HT: Ray Ortlund)
Take heart child of God. No matter what attacks Satan masses against you today. No matter what siege the world lays to your soul today. No matter the war the flesh wages against you today. At the end of this day and ever day after this, you will still be a child of our Heavenly Father!
“at the cross, Christ has taken your story of misery upon himself and he has given you his story of resurrection and hope. we are given the successes of Christ, the record of Christ, and the love that Jesus enjoys from the Father. When you put your faith in Jesus, everything changes…
…There are future and present benefits to the blood of Jesus. Through faith, you are brought into the royal family with all its rights and privileges. At first, you might feel like a stranger who does not belong, but when the Father keeps assuring you that the cross of Christ delivered your adoption papers, you eventually begin to look around the palace corridors and say that the pictures on the walls are your relatives. Instead of asking for an audience with the king, you will say that God is your God (Ps. 63:1) and your Father (Matt. 6:9).
Edward T. Welch, Depression: a Stubborn Darkness, p. 88.
The Stand to Reason Blog has a great post answering the question “Since the bible was written by men doesn’t it have to have errors in it?”
This is their reply;
First, it doesn’t follow that because the Bible’s written by men, that it therefore must be in error. Human error is possible, not necessary. If human error were always necessary in anything man said, this challenge would be self-refuting (“suicide tactic”). If all human claims were necessarily in error, then the claim that the Bible was written by men and men make mistakes would also be in error because it’s a claim made by men who err, defeating itself. It is possible for human beings to produce something without errors. It’s done all the time. What is 2+2? What is the formula for nuclear fission?
Second, this is circular reasoning. If there’s good evidence the Bible can be trusted, then the issue of man’s involvement is moot. A simple question illustrates this: “Are you suggesting with this objection that if God does exist, He’s not capable of writing what He wants through imperfect men?” This is hard to affirm. If the answer is “No,” then the objection vanishes. If the answer is yes, then ask, “Did you ever own a dog? Could you get your dog to sit? If you can get a dumb dog to sit, what makes you think an all-powerful God can’t get a man to write just what He wants him to?” If you first establish that the Biblical record can be trusted, then the second problem—human involvement is irrelevant. If God inspires it then it doesn’t matter if men or monkeys did the writing; they’ll still write exactly what God intends.
Another way of stating it: God can’t err; the Bible is God’s Word; therefore, the Bible can’t err, even if men are involved.
A very good article by D. A. Carson on which parts of biblical teaching are still binding on us today in the sense of what he illustrate in one of his beginning paragraphs,
“Greet one another with a holy kiss”: the French do it, Arab believers do it, but by and large we do not. Are we therefore unbiblical? Jesus tells his disciples that they should wash one another’s feet (Jn 13:14), yet most of us have never done so. Why do we “disobey” that plain injunction, yet obey his injunction regarding the Lord’s Table? If we find reasons to be flexible about the “holy kiss,” how flexible may we be in other domains?…
Carson does a good job in laying out some basic hermeneutical principles to follow when coming to these passages. His six points are as followed below. Read the article for the full explanation of each point.
(1) As conscientiously as possible, seek the balance of Scripture, and avoid succumbing to historical and theological disjunctions.
(2) Recognize that the antithetical nature of certain parts of the Bible, not least some of Jesus’ preaching, is a rhetorical device, not an absolute. The context must decide where this is the case.
(3) Be cautious about absolutizing what is said or commanded only once.
(4) Carefully examine the biblical rationale for any saying or command.
(5) Carefully observe that the formal universality of proverbs and of proverbial sayings is only rarely an absolute universality. If proverbs are treated as statutes or case law, major interpretive and pastoral errors will inevitably ensue.
(6) The application of some themes and subjects must be handled with special care, not only because of their intrinsic complexity, but also because of essential shifts in social structures between Biblical times and our own day.
HT: Justin Taylor