Archive for the ‘salvation’ Category

Feb 1

(Octavius Winslow)

 

Jesus is the one great theme both of the Old Testament and the New. The whole Bible is designed to testify of Christ, “The Scriptures point to Me!” John 5:39

In Christ the Messiah, in Jesus the Savior, in the Son of God the Redeemer all the truths of the Bible center.

To Him all the types and shadows point!

Of Him all the prophecies give witness!

All the glory of the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation culminates at the cross of Christ!

The Bible would be an inexplicable mystery apart from Christ, who unfolds and explains it all.

He is the golden Key which unlocks the divine treasury of Scriptural revelation!

Until He is seen, the Bible is, in a sense–a great mystery. But when He is found, it is a glorious revelation.
Every mystery is opened,
every enigma is explained,
every discrepancy is harmonized, and
every truth and page, sentence and word–is quickened with a life and glowing with a light flowing down from the throne of the Eternal God.

Christ is the substance of the Gospel.
All its divine doctrines,
all its holy precepts,
all its gracious instructions,
all its precious promises,
all its glorious hopes–
meet, center, and fill up their entire compass in Jesus!

He is the Alpha and the Omega of the Bible–from the first verse in Genesis, to the last verse in Revelation.

Oh, study the Scriptures of truth with a view of learning Christ. 

Do not study the Bible as a mere history.
Do not read it as a mere poem.
Do not search it as a book of science.
It is all that, but infinitely more.
The Bible is the Book of Jesus! 
It is a Revelation of Christ!

Christ is the golden thread which runs through the whole!

Blessed Lord Jesus! I will read and study and dig into the Scriptures, to find and learn more of You!
You, Immanuel, are the fragrance of this divine box of precious ointment.
You are the beauteous gem sparkling in this divine cabinet.
You are the Tree of life planted in the center of this divine garden.
You are the Ocean whose stream quickens and nourishes all who draw water out of this divine well of salvation.
The Bible is all about You!


Emmanuel!

posted by pastorken
Dec 15

“Immanuel”

A poem by Charles Spurgeon

 

When once I mourned a load of sin,
When conscience felt a wound within,
When all my works were thrown away,
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel!

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,
When waves of care around me roll,
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,
That word, Thy name, Immanuel!

When for the truth I suffer shame,
When foes pour scandal on my name,
When cruel taunts and jeers abound,
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell,
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel!

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,
When Satan stops my path before,
When fiends rejoice and wait my end,
When legion’d hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel!

When down the hill of life I go,
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,
When in the deep’ning flood I sink,
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell,
Thy lovely name, Immanuel!

When tears are banished from mine eye,
When fairer worlds than these are nigh,
When Heaven shall fill my ravish’d sight,
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel!

What a wonderful testimony of the Christian’s life and hope!


Nov 1

The Minimum Christian!:      

(C.H. Spurgeon, “Sword and the Trowel” 1876)

 

The minimum Christian! And who is he? The Christian who is going to heaven at the cheapest rate possible. The Christian who intends to get all of the world he can and not meet the worldling’s doom. The Christian who aims to have as little religion as he may without lacking it altogether.

The minimum Christian goes to worship in the morning; and in the evening also unless it rains, or is too warm, or too cold, or he is sleepy, or has the headache from eating too much at dinner. He listens most respectfully to the preacher, and joins in prayer and praise. He applies the truth very judiciously sometimes to himself, oftener to his neighbors.

The minimum Christian is very friendly to all good works. He wishes them well, but it is not in his power to do much for them. The Sunday-school he looks upon as an admirable institution especially for the neglected and ignorant. It is not convenient, however, for him to take a class his business engagements are so pressing during the week that he needs the Sabbath as a day of rest; nor does he think himself qualified to act as a teacher. There are so many persons better prepared for this important duty that he must beg to be excused. He is very friendly to home and foreign missions, and colportage, and gives his mite, but he is quite unable to aid in the management, for his own concerns are so excessively important. He thinks there are “too many appeals;” but he gives, if not enough to save his reputation, pretty near it at all events he aims at it, and never overshoots the mark.

The minimum Christian is not clear on a number of points. The opera and dancing, the theater and card-playing, and large fashionable parties give him much trouble. He cannot see the harm in this, or that, or the other popular amusement. There is nothing in the Bible against it. He does not see why a Christian may not dance or go to the opera. He knows several excellent persons who do so at least, so he says. Why should not he? He stands so close to the dividing-line between the people of God and the people of the world that it is hard to say on which side of it he is actually to be found.

Ah, my brother, are you making this attempt? Beware, lest you find at last that in trying to get to Heaven with a little religion you miss it altogether; lest without gaining the whole world you lose your own soul. True godliness demands self-denial and cross-bearing and if you have none of these, you are making a false profession!


This Is No Gospel!

posted by pastorken
Sep 15

The Evangelistic Methods of Our Present Golden-calf Christianity!      (A.W. Tozer)

 

Any objection to the evangelistic methods of our present golden-calf Christianity, is met with the triumphant reply, “But we are winning the lost!”

And what are you winning them to?

To true discipleship?
To cross-carrying?
To self-denial?
To separation from the world?
To crucifixion of the flesh?
To holy living?
To nobility of character?
To a despising of the world’s treasures?
To total committal to Christ?

Of course, the answer to all these questions is NO!


They Will Never Perish!

posted by pastorken
Sep 1

If Only One of God’s Sheep were to Perish!   

                                                    (Darvin Pruitt)

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish – ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” John 10:27-28

If only one of God’s sheep were to perish
. . .
the purpose of God would be frustrated,
the power of God would be resisted,
the promise of God would be broken,
the faithfulness of God would be a mockery
and the Word of God proved to be a lie.

“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Romans 8:38-39


Aug 15

The Matchless Wisdom of God which Devised this System of Salvation!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her!” Ephesians 5:25

The more I consider the doctrine of substitution the more is my soul enamored of the matchless wisdom of God which devised this system of salvation. As for a hazy atonement which atones for everybody in general, and for nobody in particular; an atonement made equally for Judas and for John – I care nothing for it. But a literal, substitutionary sacrifice, Christ vicariously bearing the wrath of God on my behalf – this calms my conscience with regard to the righteous demands of the law of God, and satisfies the instincts of my nature which declare that, as God is just, He must exact the penalty of my guilt!

 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep!” John 10:11


Precious Jesus!

posted by pastorken
Apr 15

My Needs – His Fullness!

                                                         (James Meikle, 1757)

All plenitude is in Christ, to answer all the needs of His people. In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, that out of His fullness, I may receive all spiritual blessings!

Have I destroyed myself by sin?
I have deliverance from Him who is mighty to save from sin and wrath!

Is my life fleeting and passing away like a shadow?
Jesus is the Ancient of days, and endures forevermore!

Are my days short-lived and full of trouble?
Jesus is my life, and the joy of my heart!

Am I exposed to contempt?
Jesus shall be my crown of glory, and diadem of beauty!

Am I traveling through the wilderness?
Jesus is my staff, and on Him I lean all the way!

Am I on my last journey to my long home?
Jesus is my leader, and my rewarder!

Am I a sheep?
Jesus is my pasture, and my green pasture too!

Am I hungry and thirsty?
Jesus is my heavenly manna, and gives me to drink of the water of life!

Am I weary?
Jesus is my rest and refreshing!

Am I weak?
Jesus is my strength!

Am I oppressed and wronged?
Jesus is my judge and my avenger!

Am I reproached?
Jesus will wipe away the reproach of His people!

Am I a soldier?
Jesus is my Captain and shield!

Must I fight in the field of battle?
Jesus is my armor in the day of war!
Do I sit in darkness?
Jesus is my light!

Do I have doubts?
Jesus is my counselor!

Am I ignorant?
Jesus is my wisdom!

Am I guilty?
Jesus is my justification!

Am I filthy?
Jesus is my sanctification!

Am I poor?
Jesus is the pearl of great price, and has immeasurable riches laid up for me!

Am I blind?
Jesus, and none but He can open the eyes of one born blind!

Am I naked?
Jesus has white clothing to cover the shame of my nakedness!

Am I in the very utmost necessity?
Jesus is a very present help in time of trouble!

Am I exposed to the hurricanes of adversity?
Jesus is . . .
a refuge from the storm,
a shelter from the blast,
rivers of water in a desert,
the shadow of a great rock in a weary land!

Am I afraid of being left alone?
Jesus will never leave me, nor forsake me!

Do friends and brethren prove false?
Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother!

Am I in danger from disease and death or from sin and Satan?
My life is hidden with Christ in God! When He shall appear, I shall appear with Him immortal in my body, and glorious in my soul!

Is my case considered in the court of Heaven?
There Jesus is my Advocate!
Do I offend the Father?
Jesus is my Intercessor!

Do I suffer in my body, and am I grieved in my mind?
Jesus bore my infirmities, and carried my griefs!

Is my mind disquieted, and my soul debarred from peace?
Jesus is my sympathetic High Priest! He was tempted in all points, and knows how to support those who are tempted!

Am I poor in my circumstances?
Jesus, the heir of all things! Though He was rich, yet for my sake He became poor–that I through His poverty might be made rich!

Do I suffer in my character?
Jesus was numbered with transgressors, called a glutton, a drunkard, and a devil!

Am I bereaved or alone?
Jesus, my best friend, can never die!

Must I undergo death and be laid in the grave?
Jesus has taken away the sting of death, and robbed the grave of its victory!

Must I rot in the grave?
Jesus shall be my resurrection, and raise me to immortality and bliss!

Would I go to God and to glory?
Jesus is my way, and must admit me into the palace of the great King, where I shall abide forever!

My needs are many, but His fullness is infinitely more!

The morning dews and fructifying showers water the fields, and refresh the parched furrows. But what are they, compared to the exhaustless ocean of Jesus?

What is all that I enjoy here below, compared to the exuberant fullness of Heavenly bliss? O! then, how shall my soul be replenished when possessed of this infinite All, through eternity itself!


Who Does He Think He Is?

posted by pastorken
Feb 1

Who Does He Think He Is?        

(Frank Hall)

 

“Is it not lawful for Me to do what I wish with what is My own?” Matthew 20:15

 

How dare people walk their pets on leashes to control them!

How dare parents force their children to obey their rules!

How dare employers insist that their employees do their jobs!

How dare governors rule over the people!

How dare policemen take criminals to jail without their permission!

 

How dare God have His way with His creatures!

How dare the Potter make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor!

How dare God love and hate whom He will!

How dare God the Father choose to save whom He will!

How dare God the Son die for whom He will!

How dare God the Spirit call whom He will!

How dare the Almighty have His way with all men, in all places, at all times!

How dare God save and damn whom He will!

How dare God judge us!

How dare God call us into question!

How dare the indisputable Sovereign of the universe do . . .   what He pleases,   when He pleases,   where He pleases,   how He pleases, and   with whom He pleases!

 

Who does He think He is – God?

“Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases!” Psalm 115:3

“I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths!” Psalm 135:5-6

“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have You done?” Daniel 4:35


What Would You Ask For???

posted by pastorken
Dec 1

What Would You Ask For?  

(Joseph Alleine, “Alarm to the Unconverted” 1671)

“That night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” 2 Chronicles 1:7

If God would give you your choice, as He did to Solomon – what would you ask for?

Go into the gardens of pleasure, and gather all the fragrant flowers there – would these satisfy you?

Go to the treasures of mammon – suppose you may carry away as much as you desire.

Go to the towers, to the trophies of honor – and become a man of renown.

Would any of these, would all of these satisfy you, and make you to count yourself happy? If so, then certainly you are carnal and unconverted. Converting grace turns the heart from its idols to the living God. Before conversion, the man minded his farm, friends, pleasures more than Christ. He found more sweetness in his merry company, worldly amusements, earthly delights than in Christ. Now he says, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ!” Philippians 3:7-8


Oct 15

Adoption and Spiritual Warfare

15 June 2015

 

This post was adapted from Adoption: What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us about This Countercultural Choice by Russell Moore.

 

 

You Are Loved:

The couple looked familiar to me as I saw them approaching, smiling, pushing a stroller toward me, but I couldn’t place their names. It was the annual summer meeting of my denomination, so I was used to renewing old acquaintances from all over the country.

The husband was the first to speak, and he told me that he and his wife had met with me about adoption a few years earlier when they were students at the seminary I served. They wanted me to see the little boy they had adopted, from a former Soviet state. I knelt down to talk with the little fellow as he shyly curled back in his seat. The little boy had beautiful olive skin coloring, looked as though he had Arabic or perhaps Persian roots, and had cute little chubby cheeks. As I played peekaboo with the little boy, I asked the parents if they’d had any trouble with bureaucracy along the way.

“The only problem we had was with the judge,” the wife said. “The judge thought there was some mistake that we’d want this child because he’s dark skinned. The judge said no one would want a child like that and that there were plenty of light-skinned babies available. He just couldn’t believe that we would want him and almost treated us as though we were up to something shady because we did.”

I wasn’t expecting that, and as I stroked this little boy’s cheek, those words struck me: “No one would ever want a child like that.” I picked him up from his stroller and hugged him, hoping I wouldn’t start crying in front of my denominational peers walking up and down the corridor of the convention hall. “You’re loved and wanted,” I told him. “Isn’t that great?”

After I finished the conversation with the family and went back to the relative inanity of voting on resolutions and motions on the convention floor, I couldn’t get the horror of that situation off my mind. How could a judge sit in his chair and deem that lovable child to be unworthy of love simply because of the shade of his skin? What kind of backward Philistines were they dealing with in that courtroom?

And then I remembered that my denomination, in whose deliberations I then sat, was formed in a dispute with other American Christians over the slavery of other human beings because of the color of their skin. And my people had been on the slaveholders’ side. Previous generations of preachers just like me (indeed probably some related to me) had argued that some children were unworthy of freedom because of the shade of their skin. My own ancestors had seen to it that children of a darker skin than themselves were made orphans. As the resolutions flew around the convention hall about “the sanctity of marriage,” I realized that previous generations of preachers in this very same context had propped up a system in which parents couldn’t marry legally because that would make it more difficult to sell them individually when necessary.

A similar story could be told a billion times over in virtually every human society throughout history. There seems to be an orphan-making urge among us, whether we see it in the slave culture of centuries past or the divorce culture of today. But where does it come from?

 

Satan’s Rage Against Christ and Children:

It’s not just impersonal economic and sociological factors at work. “The course of this world” is driven along by “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Jesus showed his disciple John what the story behind the story is. It’s the picture of a woman giving birth to “a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5). Crouching before this woman’s birth canal is a dragon, the Serpent of old, who seeks to “devour” the baby (Rev. 12:4). That dragon then “became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring” (Rev. 12:17) and has done so ever since.

The demonic powers hate babies because they hate Jesus. When they destroy “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40, 45), the most vulnerable among us, they’re destroying a picture of Jesus himself, of the child delivered by the woman who crushes their head (Gen. 3:15). They know the human race is saved—and they’re vanquished—by a woman giving birth (Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:15). They are grinding apart Jesus’s brothers and sisters (Matt. 25:40). They are also destroying the very picture of newness of life and of dependent trust that characterizes life in the kingdom of Christ (Matt. 18:4). Children also mean blessing—a perfect target for those who seek only to kill and destroy (John 10:10).

But Satan always uses human passions to bring about his purposes. When new life stands in the way of power—whether that power is a Pharaoh’s military stability or a community leader’s reputation in light of his teenage daughter’s pregnancy—the blood of children often flows. Herod loved his power, so he raged against babies. In the middle of all of this stood Joseph, an unlikely demon wrestler.

Far More than Charity:

The protection of children isn’t charity. It isn’t part of a political program fitting somewhere between tax cuts and gun rights or between carbon emission caps and a national service corps.

It’s spiritual warfare.

Our God forbids Israel from offering their children to Molech, a demon-god who demands the violent sacrifice of human babies (Lev. 20:1–5). Indeed, he denounces Molech by name. He further warns that he will cut off from the people of God not only the one who practiced such sacrifice but also all who “at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech” (Lev. 20:4). Behind Molech, God recognizes, there is one who is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).

The spirit of Molech is at work among us even now. Even as you read this page, there are bones of babies being ground to unrecognizable bits, perhaps even a few short miles from where you’re sitting. There are babies lying in garbage receptacles waiting to be taken away as “medical waste.” These infants won’t have names until Jesus calls them out for the first time. There are little girls waiting in Asia for a knock at the door, for an American businessman who’s paid a pimp to be able to sexually assault them. There are children staring out the window of a social worker’s office, rubbing their bruises as they hear their mother tell the police why she’ll never do it again.

Aborted babies can’t say, “Abba.” But the Father hears their cries anyway. Do we?

The universe is at war, and some babies and children are on the line. The old Serpent is coiled right now, his tongue flicking, watching for infants and children he can consume. One night two thousand years ago, all that stood in his way was one reluctant day laborer who decided to be a father.

 

 

Russell D. Moore is the eighth president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. A widely-sought commentator, Dr. Moore has been called “vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate” by the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including The Kingdom of Christ, Adopted for Life, Tempted and Tried, and Adoption: What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us about This Countercultural Choice, and he blogs regularly at RussellMoore.com. He and his wife, Maria, have four sons.