From one mother’s heart to four families we know and now four new sons.
Not In This Soup Alone
I know four little boys born within about a week of each other. Each one precious in the sight of the Lord. Each one with families who love them. It keeps reminding me that yes, life goes on.
First is Ryker, born to a young man, Jarrod, whom I have known since he was about nine months old. He holds a special place in my heart. Jarrod has had a lot of ups and downs in his life, but he is now a wonderful father who is following Christ.
Next is Elijah. His daddy is also special to me because I got to know him as we went through the new members class at our church. Then he got married and is now a father of two. Elijah’s mommy, if she has her way, will be sure he grows up to be a Harry Potter fan. 🙂
Born the same…
View original post 133 more words
The Lord Saves
A very renowned, and fairly sound, continental theologian of recent times scolded, or perhaps mildly ridiculed, certain types of Christians who moved quickly to the theme of sin in their doctrinal and preaching priorities. The topic of sin was viewed as a mordant obsession of a particular cast of mind that viewed the Bible simplistically in a legalistic, overly-literalistic, and fundamentalist fashion. Surely there has to be a better “opener” into the understanding of the person of Jesus Christ. Must he not be estimated in a more ennobled and acceptable way than as a dealer with the problem of human evil, and the unpleasantness, discomfort and judgment that attaches to the predicament of our race. Can we not perceive him in a more philosophical manner, as an ethical idealist, or a reformer of human behavior and social conduct? Do we not have to sophisticate Jesus and improve his image for wider approval? Sin is a pretty basic, vulgar topic for consideration, it is commonly supposed. Surely religion should consider matters at a more elevated level that doesn’t result in listeners’ blush.
The evangelist Matthew doesn’t seem to think so, Straight away he defines Jesus the Messiah as the one who “will save his people from their sins” (v21). He doesn’t come to educate or civilize. He comes to rescue the wicked. Immediately, Matthew begins his description of Jesus as the Savior of sinners. The identification is crisp and clear. Salvation through Christ is the divine priority for the very name of Messiah is Jesus – Joshua, God saves.
This is the primary thing to make known about the Son of God born of Mary. Jesus and John the Baptist both began their ministries with the exhortation to “repent for the kingdom of God is near”. His cross is the inevitable and essential message concerning Jesus. “We preach Christ crucified” avers the apostle Paul. Those people whom Jesus came to save stand in need, great need, of the atonement he eventually wrought. Without his sacrifice salvation could not take effect.
Of course, many sublime themes, lines of thoughts, and precious truths, emerge from the saving work of Christ, but he is the embodiment of the glorious fact that God saves. All people need the Savior and must be encouraged to lodge their confidence in him for deliverance from sin and death and for eternal wellbeing. The cross, the substitutionary Savior, sincere repentance and true faith are all ingredients of the true and only apostolic gospel. Its proclamation is indispensable. Every Christian minister is charged to declare it.
How is it, then, that the principal church leaders in our time failed to preach salvation through Christ to the vast audiences that they address at this season of the year (Christmas). As an Anglican it grieves me to observe that many of the archbishops of our communion preach on topics that exclude the facts of the Saviorhood of the Lord Jesus and the call for repentance for sin. The bishop of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury can only be charged with gross dereliction of duty. How can the masses of hearers come to salvation through the vacuous orations of these men? RJS
O Almighty God, who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto your people that they may love the thing which you command, and desire that which you do promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
From the pen of Shane Lems.
The Reformed Reader
Near the end of Josiah Bull’s biography of John Newton, there’s a quote by Newton that is somewhat critical of the great American theologian, Jonathan Edwards. Here it is:
“Mr. Edwards was an excellent man, but some of his writings are too metaphysical, and particularly that book [The Freedom of the Will]. If I understand it, I think it rather establishes fatalism and necessity than Calvinism in the sober sense. I could object likewise to his book on Original Sin, though there are many excellent things in it” (p. 328).
These statements really made me want to hear more from Newton on Edwards, since I too am somewhat critical of Edwards’ theology.
Reading through Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., I did find more. In a letter Newton wrote to Ryland in 1778, he criticized New England theology. Though Newton wasn’t writing…
View original post 831 more words
via Stay-at-home mom? Or career woman?
by Sam Powell
or as I’d like to affectionately title it, Can you “pickup Legos with your toes”?
An excellent read.
In a sermon on John 1:29, John Newton discussed definite atonement and the free offer of the gospel. He admitted there is mystery in this area of Scripture’s teaching: “I am not disheartened by meeting with some things beyond the grasp of my scanty powers in a book which I believe to be inspired by […]
via Definite Atonement, the Gospel Call, and Rejecting Christ (Newton) — The Reformed Reader
Question 60. How are you righteous before God?
Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. That is: although my conscience accuse me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and that I am still prone always to all evil, yet God without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sin, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me, if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.
Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?
Answer: Because the righteousness which can stand before the judgment-seat of God, must be perfect throughout and wholly conformable to the divine law; whereas even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.
From The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23 & 24
“We basically have a medieval view of repentance today in a lot of Protestant churches. If I just rededicate my life, if I just promise to do better, if I just show God that I really mean business this time. Instead of saying, you know what, no. Actually, its going to be harder than this. Your whole life, you’re going to be dying daily.It’s not going to be this extraordinary moment of repentance and flush all your garbage down the toilet and start all over again. No, every day you’re going to have to die to yourself and live to Christ. And this repentance is going to be a daily, very hard, very difficult task…”
“Again, this is what happens when you have a high view of God, a high view of his righteousness and holiness, a high view of his word, a high view of his commands and then that leads you to, how could I find a gracious God? And it’s the grace of God that leads us to repentance. Our whole life, therefore, is one of repentance.”
by Michael Horton from a White Horse Inn broadcast titled Sin & Grace in the Christian Life, March 26, 2017
Sometimes when you are grieving it helps to talk to someone. But, sometime it helps to just lose yourself in a book (or TV show) and relate to a fictional character or situation. And cry. “When you lose someone suddenly and unexpectedly it hurts differently…it’s like a lightning bolt you can’t even see reaching inside […]
via Grief — Not In This Soup Alone
O Almighty God, who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant to your people that they may love the thing which you command, and desire that which you do promise, that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
From the Book of Common Prayer.