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Mike Horton on The Gospel Commission

Mike Horton discusses his Gospel Driven trilogy (Consisting of Christless Christianity, The Gospel Driven Life, and The Gospel Commission). Listen how his latest book The Gospel Commission fits in the flow of thought from description, prescription to application.

Maybe They Really Don’t Get It (via Heidelblog)

Justification has been for some, an area of debate as people considered “How are we made right with God?” Is it over time? Do I contribute to my justification? Or is once and forever? The Reformed faith has claimed that Justification and Sanctification need to always be distinct. This helps in our understanding of Salvation and Assurance.

Maybe They Really Don't Get It Over the years of battling the moralists (Federal Visionists, Norman Shepherd et al) I’ve not always been certain whether the moralists understand the orthodox doctrine of justification and reject it or if they think they’re really teaching it.  Here’s a post from one of them that gives evidence that they really don’t understand what the Westminster Divines and the Protestant Reformers before them were trying to do. For a 1000 years the medieval … Read More

via Heidelblog

Man Before the Majesty of God


“Thus it comes about that we see men who in his absence normally remained firm and constant, but who, when he manifests his glory, are so shaken and struck dumb as to be laid low by the dread of death – are in fact overwhelmed by it and almost annihilated. As a consequence, we must infer that man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God’s majesty.” Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.3
When the natural man is fresh and far from God it seems as if he is almost untouched by conscience. The natural man sees no need to reconcile with his sin because he doesn’t see it. It isn’t till the light of the Law of God shines on man’s sin that man is then able to see that it was there all along. It isn’t till man sees the sheer holiness of God that he is able to perceive true beauty. When we ourselves are compared to God we cannot stand and our knees break. Who can stand in His aweful presence? When a sinful being is seeing the majesty of God his only desire is for self annihilation.
The Gospel however, is that God condescends to us. He enters into Creation as a helpless babe. Ordained to die and then through the death and resurrection of his son we can live. Now we don’t stand before a holy majestic king on our own strength but IN the one who has earned the right to stand before God. God the Son. Jesus Christ.

The Promise of Heaven is Through Faith Not Our Works


Paul, emphasizes the faith of Abraham by which the promise was appropriated, a feature which betokens the grace character of God’s promise covenant with the patriarch. “It is of faith that is may be according to grace”. Inheritance of the promise was not through the works principle of the law, for that is contrary to the promise-grace-faith-forgiveness principle. The promise of the kingdom was rather through the righteousness of faith. If justification and kingdom inheritance are by works, the glory foes to oneself as a matter of merit and due “but not to God” or , as otherwise understood, “yet not against God”. But in God’s covenant with Abraham justification was by faith’s “Amen” to God’s promises. It was by believing on him who justifies the ungodly. In this promise-faith situation, the glory goes to God, being a matter of sovereign grace.
M. Kline

 

Why the Cross?

Today I read through the crucifixion with my family. One of my sons had never heard the account of the death of Jesus while the other was able to recount to us what happened.  The one who had never heard said “I know that Jesus died so that we wouldn’t go to hell but I don’t know why we would go to hell without him.”

The innocence of the statement spoke volumes. Because we all think naturally that we stand innocent before God. We all think pretty much the same, while we’re not mass murderers we surely don’t deserve eternal punishment or hell. Therefore the death of Jesus seems more like an option rather than an absolute of any type.  Everyone has messed up somewhere along the line (and I more than anyone know that I have) but really isn’t it kind of over the top?

What people fail to realize is that God doesn’t see this “problem” the same as we do. We don’t even see God the way we should. We think we are indifferent or that we are okay with God. But the reality is we hate Him. The reality is that we want anything except the truth of Him. We would prefer the perversion of the truth to the wholeness of it.  It seems tiring, the same old message. “Sinners, Hell, Jesus, yada” But really the church shouldn’t preach a message that is all that different.

Thinking of our problem from a different perspective gives a different light to the cross. God knowing who His children were going to be, long before the world was created sees our hopeless situation. We stand guilty before Him and there is no hope. We can’t stop telling lies, committing blasphemy or having adulterous thoughts. Therefore these “crimes” must have a punishment. There must be justice. But God, in His mercy rescues His people. He enters into creation and suffers the punishment due to His children. The defeating of death demonstrates power over death and sin. Giving His children hope to their own resurrection.

God now holds the cross before all man. He holds it before all men not passively but active. He commands repentance to all men. There is no room for indifference. There is no option to have no opinion. He hold the cross before you and commands a response today. To those who come, they come sorry and heavy hearted for their grievances. They now trust in the love God has demonstrated to them and come in faith.

To those who continue to reject the cross before them, God’s anger is now two-fold. First for the rejection of that which was most precious to Him, His son. Rejecting His son can only be offensive. Secondly, their sin still saturates them. It permeates through every pore of their being and the odor is wretched.

God though angry at our sin, is patient and loving. The Holy Spirit is moving throughout bringing people to repentance by the Father’s will. The Spirit is still wooing. But one day, it will be over. And when Christ comes back as Judge there will be none that are held blameless.

A Soldier Died This Week

As a chaplain in a new unit, the first experience we had was a soldier dying. At age 38 he suffered from a blood clot of some sort. It’s always sad when a soldier dies. He was Christian while his family were Buddhist. Obviously making the prayer challenging. Nonetheless I am reminded of the hope christians have and I am sad for those outside of Christianity. There is no hope outside of Christ and I don’t know how many times the church will have to scream it to the world. My prayers are for this soldiers family. Perhaps one of them will be moved by his death to look at the gospel and trust Christ.