An Amazing Thought for Holy Week

“We are adopted into God’s family through the resurrection of Christ from the dead in which he paid all our obligations to sin, the law, and the devil, in whose family we once lived. Our old status lies in his tomb. A new status is ours through his resurrection.”

Sinclair Ferguson, Children of the Living God (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1989), 4.

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Christ Satisfied Justice

“There was only one, and there will not need to be another, who bore the full weight of the divine judgment upon sin and bore it so as to end it. The lost will eternally suffer in the satisfaction of justice. But they will never satisfy it. Christ satisfied justice.”

—John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied

(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1955), 77

On Young People and the Emerging Church

“Young people will give their lives for an exclamation point, but they will not give their lives for a question mark, not for very long anyway.  Once the protest runs out and the emerging church has its own blogdom, and conferences, and church networks, and book deals, there will be no exclamation point, and all that’s left will be ethical intentions and passionate appeals for kingdom living.  This will not sustain a movement – the protest will for a while, but once that’s gone there will be no great vision of God, no urgent proclamation of salvation, no eternal judgment or reward at stake, just a call to live rightly and love one another.  That message will sell on Oprah, Larry King, and at the Oscars, but it won’t sustain and propel a gospel-driven church, because it isn’t the gospel.”

Kevin DeYoung, in Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be

What do you think?

C.J. Mahaney On Parenting

“As I understand it, parenting is about preparation.  Preparation for our children’s future and preparation for the fast-approaching final day of judgment.  If you are a father or mother, let me ask you: How’s the preparation going?  What is your plan for preparing your child?  What are the content and goals of your preparation?  What kind of legacy will you be leaving for your son or daughter?  Have you given this much though?  You should.”

“All parenting is ultimately a preparation for that day when your child will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account.”

humility

from Humility: True Greatness

The Prodigal’s Suspicion

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
1 John 3:1

“No doubt, at first, the prodigal boy did not believe what was happening. There was his father, running, throwing his arms around his wayward child, embracing him, ‘filled with compassion for him’ as Jesus says. But the son’s heart was probably still saying: ‘I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ His sin had so burdened him with guilt that he just could not have expected his father’s loving gestures. How could his father still love him?”

“Many Christians go through much of their life with the prodigal’s suspicion. Their concentration is upon their sin and failure; all their thoughts are introspective. That is why (in the Greek text) John’s statement about the Father’s love begins with a word calling us to lift up our eyes from ourselves and take a long look at what God has done: Behold! – look and see – the love the Father has lavished upon us!”

Sinclair Ferguson, Children of the Living God

More On Our Greatest Need

“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.”

– D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers


Is Religion A Part of Your Life?

So often people speak of religion today as if it were just another element to life, like any other hobby or interest that someone might pursue.  They will speak in very complimentary ways of all the positive things that spirituality contributes to life, putting it on the same level as exercising regularly or flossing every day.  This is especially true when dealing with religion in general, and even sometimes with respect to Christianity.  It is often presented as a message of, “Is your life a puzzle that’s not quite coming together?  Jesus may be the missing piece you’re looking for; try Him out and see what He can do for you!”

But our problem is much deeper than a “missing piece to the puzzle of life”.  The problem is that sin has not only separated us from God, but it has placed us under His wrath, completely condemned and without hope.  This is why the gospel of “give Jesus a try” is ultimately a failure; it offers no answer for the real problem we all face.  The spiritual things we may do – praying, reading the Bible (or other holy books), doing good deeds, etc., may give loads of warm fuzzies, but in the end they are ultimately and completely worthless.

Jesus did not come to show us what a good life well-lived looks like.  He did not come merely to show us how to serve and forgive.  He came because without His sacrificial death and resurrection, every person stands condemned by his or her sin, and can never escape the wrath of a just and holy God.  This has never been a popular message, but to understand otherwise is to be terribly deceived.

I was reminded of this when I read this quote:

“What Christ is as Savior perfectly dovetails our deepest and most ultimate need.  This is just saying that Christ’s sufficiency as Savior meets the desperateness and hopelessness of our sin and misery.

Christ is exactly suited to all that I am in my sin and misery and to all that I should aspire to be by God’s grace.  Christ fits in perfectly to the totality of our situation in its sin, guilt, misery, and ill-desert.”

– John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1955), 111

Christ came to meet our most desperate need.  Not the need to “live your best life now”, but to have life, and to stand justified before the Father, through the work of the Son.  If you don’t have that, then all you have is religion.