The Lord has Spied out the Land

Father

We are gathered in. The Lord himself has spied out the land, tasted of its plenty and declared the promises fulfilled. He has declared the year of the Lord. We huddle in the upper room of heaven gripped in fear. Fear that leads to wisdom that frees us from ourselves, fear that leads us here, to worship for it is the fear of awe.

We are gathered in and the scarlet cord hangs form our window. The house that belongs to the Lord shall stand, even as the wall of humanity falls in destruction. We shall be passed over as you march from the river to the sea and subdue it all. It is finished. Even now we feast at the banquet set amidst our enemies. Let our joy be an example, may your spirit be theirs; those at home now lost in their worldly pursuits, may they know this elation secured by Christ, that they too might stand with us and look upon you in Spirit and truth. We are gathered in. Hear us. Not because we are righteous, but because of your son, the Christ, the Emperor of the cosmos, who gave this right to us, to ask in his name…

Amen

5-1-2011

The Man behind the Curtain

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...
English: the first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So often we teach that abiding in Christ means spending time with Him in His Word and prayer. In so doing, we may tend to neglect a proper emphasis on Christ Himself. It is not the Word of God itself or even prayer that supplies the power and grace to live the Christian life. It is Christ who is our life (see Colossians 3: 4). The Word of God and prayer are the primary means by which the Holy Spirit mediates Christ’s life to us. But we must never so emphasize the Word and prayer, which are God’s instruments of grace, that we lose sight of Christ, who is the source of our life. We must actively “abide in Christ”; that is, we must look to Him by faith to sustain us, nurture us, and provide all that we need to live a life pleasing to God and worthy of Him. When we come to Christ for salvation, we renounce any confidence in ourselves, placing our trust entirely in Him. In the same way, as we live the Christian life, we should continue to renounce any confidence in ourselves, placing our trust entirely in Him. But this does not mean we should become passive in a “let go and let God” approach to the Christian life. Rather, we are called to a dependence on Christ, as well as a dependence on the Holy Spirit, whose work it is to mediate the life of Christ to us, enabling us to live the kind of lives that are pleasing to God.

Bridges, Jerry (2012-09-14). True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia (Kindle Locations 311-320). Navpress. Kindle Edition.

The Tie that Binds

It is this spiritually organic relationship that forms the basis of true Christian community. It is not the fact that we are united in common goals or purposes that makes us a community. Rather, it is the fact that we share a common life in Christ. There are many organizations, both secular and Christian, whose members work together to pursue common goals. Some of these groups may call themselves communities. But biblical community goes much deeper than sharing common goals, though it ultimately involves that. Biblical community is first of all the sharing of a common life in Christ. It is when we grasp this truth that we are in a position to begin to understand true community.

Bridges, Jerry (2012-09-14). True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia (Kindle Locations 108-113). Navpress. Kindle Edition.

Extravagant Love

The word Extravagant means to exceed the limits of reason or necessity.

That is the kind of love Jesus exhibits. Jesus didn’t need a throne; he had one already. Jesus didn’t need men. Who needs broken clay jars? Jesus has authority over everything; in Him everything that is, was made. God made man in His own image and Jesus is jealous enough for even the image of God, that He could not allow the dishonor of the fall to stand. He wanted God’s creation to fulfill its creation purpose; to live in harmony worshiping God.

So Jesus took on flesh; the infinite took on the limits of creation. The king became a carpenter’s son. He slept in open boats and ate meals. He argued with self-righteous hypocrites and endured the confused bombastic yapping of His apostles.

The Maker let His creation slap him, tear His beard out and nail iron into His flesh. Iron, which was made in and through Jesus, Jesus allowed to be driven through the flesh He didn’t need, to die a death we caused, to win us back to a Father we rejected.

This is a love that exceeds the limits of reason and necessity.

Lion of Judah

Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, a symbo...
Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, a symbol in Abyssinia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A god that does not

nor cares to

walk upon the shore of a vast sea,

breathing in the salty air,

relishing what he himself

made

Is not worth a prayer

 

A god who does not buckle on

scabbard and mail

to go before his children

to seek his enemies upon the field,

foes for the slaughter,

is not worth a lighted candle

 

A god who does not

stand at the tomb

of him whom he loved

and weep

is worth no devotion of any kind

 

A god who does not taste

or breath or hate

who does not curse or love

or serve, nor cares to

is a god worth mere disdain

no more than mockery

 

is no God at all.

It is as God decreed

WCF, Chapter 3
Introduction

God’s plan includes all things – everything! Nothing is too insignificant or complex to be included. God’s decree is not contingent upon anything, except His own decree. God decress the outcomes of human events. God decrees that some will be obedient and some will remain in their sin.

He shows mercy to whom he shows mercy and hardens whom he hardens. In order to display his grace, his power and control over sin and salvation, as well as to humble men’s hearts, who quickly make their obedience the cause and not the result of God’s mercies. God decrees the means. Section 6 refers to calling, repentance, justification, sanctification etc. These are addressed individually throughout the rest of the Confession. 

Today we may wonder If God has elected certain men to salvation, then why pray, preach, witness, etc.? Right, this was asked last week. Continue reading “It is as God decreed”

To wield a mirror and sword

Thus, the apologetic task will consist, not of externally verifying the Christian presupposition but, of applying it by (1) bringing God’s truth and commands to bear upon the lives of unbelievers, appealing to the image of God in them (distinguishing between present remnants of man’s original nature and the ever-present nature of fallen man), pointing out that every fact of the world bears witness to God, and (2) doing an internal critique of the non-Christian’s system, calling down its idols, and pointing out the absolute necessity of Christian presuppositions if logic, factuality, history, science, and morality are to have any meaning, validity, and application at all. The Christian apologetic will not concede intellectual ground to Christianity’s cultured despisers or allow them to exploit theoretical foundations to which they have no legitimate claim without depending on the Christian faith. Thus, part of the Christian’s reasoned defense of the faith will be an aggressive offense.

Bahnsen, Greg (2009-03-01). Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated & Defended (Kindle Locations 433-442). American Vision. Kindle Edition.

The Nature of God’s Holiness

God’s holiness isn’t simply the absence of defilement, a negative thing. The holiness of God is positive and active. It’s God’s perfect nature at work in accomplishing God’s perfect will.

Wiersbe, Warren W. (2010-11-01). Be Holy (Leviticus): Becoming “Set Apart” for God (The BE Series Commentary) (p. 17). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.

A Seattle Winter

As the days waiver
and the sun goes to seed
in the flooded heavens

The temptation to blend in
with the drab palllete of
mirthless winter, overshadows

A people of evergreen and slate, waiting for the bus

As the will of the drab master seeps in
driving us away, from outside
we turn inward

But the rebel in citrus and rose
enters the scene of decay like
a whisper, turns one head
then another

A dawn of recollection
Eyes yawn from the sleep of winter hues
The flash turns minds out
toward ripeness and hope

Stirs, for a moment
tastes of Spring

The Triune God

Introduction to WCF, Chapter 2

Nature confesses there is a God. As Calvin stated:

“There exists in the human minds and indeed by natural instinct, some sense of Deity, we hold to be beyond dispute, since God himself, to prevent any man from pretending ignorance, has endued all men with some idea of his Godhead” (Institutes, 3.1)

The Christian’s knowledge of the Godhead is special because it is relational; it is covenantal. We know who God is because of what he does and what he tell us of himself.  The Lord’s creation, actions and disclosures recorded in the bible are the source for our special knowledge of him. Knowledge that goes beyond mere instinct or a vague “sense;” the God of the bible is relational and personal. Continue reading “The Triune God”