Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Disciples Worst Day Ever

     Here is a good article by Dan Phillips on the Pyromaniacs blog on what happened the day after the Cross . . . with a good reminder for us to believe the promises of God.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Have You Done Enough? Christ Has!

     In this brief article by pastor Jim Savastio, he reminds us that we can never do enough to warrant God's favor.  But Christ always obeyed the Father and His active obedience has been imputed to all who are in Him!  Christ's record is what has earned us the favor of God, and He grants His grace to us through faith in Christ alone.  The salvation of God in Christ is much more than the forgiveness of our sins earned by Christ at Calvary, it is also the gift of Christ's perfect righteousness credited to us!  A Christian brother reminded me of this staggering truth recently and it was timely . . . so I thought I would remind you.  The truth of the gospel is that if we are looking to do more for the glory of God (and we should be), the grace of God in Christ must be the fuel.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What is the Gospel? Fridays: Use of Law and Gospel in Evangelism

"Let the power of the law first break and bruise, which is a necessary preparative for the plantation of grace: and then pour in (and spare not) the most precious oil of the sweetest Evangelical comfort."  Samuel Bolton

"The sharp point of the law must prick the conscience, before the creature by the promises of the Gospel be drawn to Christ.  The field is not fit for the seed to be cast into it, till the plough hath broken it up; nor is the soul prepared to receive the mercy of the Gospel, till broken with the terrors of the law."
William Gurnal

"The conscience is not to be healed, if it be not wounded."
Augustine
    
     Way of the Master recently posted a good illustrated video on the use of God's law in evangelism.  Is it just me or does it seem there are an abundance of self-sufficient 'Mr./Mrs./Ms. Nice Guys' out there?  Without the proper use of God's law there cannot be a right understanding of sin.  Without a right understanding of sin, there can be no salvation.  All those 'nice' people out there need to be convinced by God's moral law that they are transgressors according to that law, alienated from God, without strength, and under the just condemnation of their Creator.  When the Spirit applies God's law with the conviction of sin, 'Mr. Nice Guy' is ready for the good news of Jesus Christ . . . but not before.  The good news lies in our Savior's vicarious obedience to the same law in both it's rigor and penalty.  Christ's perfect conformity to the law of God in His sinless life and His perfect sacrifice for sin at Calvary are precious to all who cry under the burden of the law, "God have mercy on me a sinner."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What is a Christian?

     A great quote from Bob Jennings on glorying in Christ as the defining characteristic of every Christian,
You want a simple definition of a Christian, a true Christian? He is one who glories, who boasts, who rejoices in Christ Jesus. His glory is not ambition, work, women, hobby, house, nor hunting trips. One dear old lady, whenever convenient, would bring the conversation around to her grandchildren. That was her glory. I’ve known folks that had collections of cars, tools, arrowheads, or even buttons. That is what made them stand out. For some, it is a weird hairstyle, a piece of clothing, or even their poverty. For some it is their church or their ministry. Folks must have something in which to glory, even if it is their sin, their shame, Philippians 3.19.  But the Christians glory in Christ Jesus – His person and His work. We boast of His eternal existence, His humble incarnation, His perfect life, His miraculous deeds, His substitutionary death, His powerful resurrection, His supreme exaltation, His effectual intercession, His sovereign reign, His second coming and righteous judgment. We boast of His incomparable love, His incomprehensible peace, His tender mercy, His incredible forgiveness, His great salvation, His majestic saints, His surpassing wisdom, and His blessed hope. It is the nature of a Christian to shun boasting in anything but the cross of Christ where his sin-guilt was put away, Galatians 6.14. The Christian has seen that there is nothing else worthy in which to boast. All else is passing, is frail, is weak, is dust. All else is relative and next year someone else will do it better and then die. Kings die. Empires crumble, forgotten. But Christ Jesus lives and reigns. In the end, all will appear before Him and He will get the glory. We shout it from the housetops. Are you proud of Christ Jesus?”  

Friday, April 1, 2011

What Is the Gospel? Fridays

The gospel of Christ in general is this: It is the good tidings that God has revealed concerning Christ. More largely it is this: As all mankind was lost in Adam and became the children of wrath, put under the sentence of death, God, though He left His fallen angels and has reserved them in the chains of eternal darkness, yet He has thought upon the children of men and has provided a way of atonement to reconcile them to Himself again...Namely, the second person of the Trinity takes man's nature upon Himself, and becomes the Head of a second covenant, standing charged with sin. He answers for it by suffering what the law and divine justice required, and by making satisfaction by keeping the law perfectly, which satisfaction and righteousness He tenders up to the Father as a sweet savor of rest for the souls that are given to Him...And now this mediation of Christ is, by the appointment of the Father, preached to the children of men, of whatever nation or rank, freely offering this atonement unto sinners for atonement, requiring them to believe in Him and, upon believing, promising not only a discharge of all their former sins, but that they shall not enter into condemnation, that none of their sins or unworthiness shall ever hinder the peace of God with them, but that they shall through Him be received into the number of those who shall have the image of God again to be renewed unto them, and they they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.--Jeremiah Burroughs on the Gospel from monergism.com