TRUST: Reliability of Apostolic Witness

“The whole of the Christian faith is based on certain historical realities, occurrences and statements that happened sometime in the past.  These events have to do, fundamentally, with the identity of one man, Jesus of Nazareth.  Can we trust the information we have about Him?”

Read entire article:  Matthew and John on the Witness Stand

NEW SELF: New Creation in Christ

“Old self” is dead, having been crucified once-for-all with Christ.

“New self” is the new life we now have in Christ: new heart, new mind, new spirit, and the Holy Spirit.

Forever forgiven.

Saved (made a new creation, through new birth in Christ) once-for-all in Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice and eternal priesthood.

All sin(s) forgiven; full fellowship now; no longer slaves to the reign of Sin (original Sin, Adam’s); now held captive by the reigning Lord of Life.

Forever are we reconciled…this is something we will reckon with daily.

As a people with new hearts/minds under a New Cov’t, we are therefore now bearing a new image (identity) that actually shapes our self awareness as Saints (no longer Sinners, in the NC sense).

LIFE & LIVING: Thru Faith in Christ

Question: “Does the Law serve ‘to correct and discipline’ Christians?”

Answer by St. John’s (abbreviated):


We are God’s children now…and hoping in Him…purifies us;

…believing in his Son Jesus Christ…is obedience.  (1Jn 3:2,3,23)


We live through Him…believing the love that God has for us

…having confidence for the day of judgment

…having no fear in love…for His perfect love casts out fear.

We love because He first loved us in Christ.  (1Jn 4:9,16-19)


We overcome the world, [flesh and devil]…by being born of God.

The victory?  Our faith…believing that Jesus is the Son of God!  (1Jn 5:4-5)

So then:  Whoever has the Son has Life! (1Jn 5:12)

We are from God!  Not as those living under the power of the evil one.  (1Jn 5:19)

My confidence:  Having faith in Christ, we know ourselves to be alive toward God and neighbor, governed by the Rule of His Spirit, even now.  (mjm)

THANKS-GIVING: For Christ, In All Things!

Rev 11:17  We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.

This alone is reason enough for disciples of Christ to give thanks and take comfort!  His power to ultimately change all things and authority to rule over all things is wondrous, indeed.

Unfortunately, how His present reign is manifest is missed or distorted, leaving genuine followers of Christ mistaken and/or confused about their involvement in His kingdom.

Repentance: What Is It, Really?

Here’s another interesting session of programming that was aired on Issues, Etc. (http://www.issuesetc.org/ondemand.html).  The topic has to with one (of many) question that tends to dog us:  Repentance, What Is It?

Go here:  http://207.57.94.117/podcast/158020509H2p.mp3

Rod gives us a substantially biblical definition of what repentance is, as well as explains what it is not (but is commonly believed to be).  The conversation affirms that Christ alone (His person/His accomplishment) is Our hope, not you, not I.

Depths: Of Sorrow and Joy

Octavius Winslow once wrote:

 “As our deepest sorrow flows from a sense of sin, so our deepest joy springs from a sense of its forgiveness…This comfort have all the saints. Your sins, O believer, are forgiven. ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins,’ says God (Isa. 44:22). You are not called upon to believe that God will pardon, but that He has pardoned you. Forgiveness is a past act; the sense of it written upon the conscience is a present one. ‘For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified’ (Heb. 10:14), has forever put away their sins…

“Thus, beloved, God comforts His conscience-troubled people. He loves so to speak to their hearts! Is it any delight to Him to see you carrying your burden of conscious sin day after day and week after week? Ah, no! He has procured the means of your pardon at a great price-nothing less than the sacrifice of His beloved Son- and will not the same love which procured your forgiveness, speak it to your heart?…Is sin your trouble? Does conscious guilt cast you down? Look up, disconsolate soul! There is forgiveness with God. It is in His heart to pardon you.”

Assurance: Christ Centered (not yoU-turned)

John Piper once said:

“Beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being changed from one degree of glory to the next,” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18. And we see the glory of the Lord, as he says five verses later, in the knowledge of the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

“So fixing our minds and our hearts mainly on the center of the Bible—which is Christ crucified, risen, reigning, and providing an alien righteousness that we have by faith alone—this glorious center of the gospel is where hope is awakened, preserved, kindled, and assurance is maintained.

Get over it…NOT!

Gerhard Forde wisely stated:

“In this life, we never quite get over grace, we never entirely grasp it, we never really learn it. It always takes us by surprise. Again and again we have to be conquered and captivated by its totality. The transition will never be completed this side of the grave. The Christian can never presume to be on the glory road, nor to reach a stage, which now forms the basis for the next stage, which can be left behind. The Christian who is grasped by the totality of grace always discovers the miracle anew. One is always at a new beginning. Grace is new everyday. Like the manna in the wilderness, it can never be bottled or stored. Yesterday’s grace turns to poison. By the same token, however, the Christian never has an endless process of sanctification to traverse. Since the totality is given, one knows that one has arrived. Christ carries the Christian totally.”

Checkmate & the Cross

David Wells has written:

“Inasmuch as the Cross is eschatological, the world of evil forces is also judged.

It is as if two people were playing chess. At a certain point, one of the players rises from the table, leaving his opponent to ponder his next move. The opponent struggles with all the possibilities because he is determined to win. What he has not realized is that there are only a limited number of moves that he can make, and not one of them can change the outcome of the game. No matter what he does, he will lose.

Just so at the Cross, the outcome of the chess game between God and Satan was decided. God will certainly win. Satan, however, is presently playing out every conceivable option, imagining that somehow his rebellion will triumph. It will not.”

The Gospel Connection

Tim Keller had said,

“…in the gospel, repentance reconnects you to the source of your power and your confidence and your joy. Why? Because the source of your self image, the source of your power, the source of your confidence is not your record, but his record. Not what you have done, but what he has done.”

Confessing Sin in light of the Gospel

I encourage you to listen to Irons preach and then consider how this compares to the general thrust of what we will hear next Sunday.  When Lee is done serving the flock the Bread of Heaven, Jesus Christ, there is a real sense of comfort and confidence about having been adopted into this great family!

Lee Irons on Confessing Our Sins

My hope is that you, my friend, are weekly provide the genuine sustenance of a Gospel ministry.

Gospel Truth precedes Godliness

Gabriel Wilson once wrote: “I heartily with you regret the great decay of practical godliness, but wonder the less of it, seeing truth is a-going; and you may believe it is vain to talk of the recovery of religion in its practice and power, in order to the revival of truth, and setting matter of doctrine to rights, for this I humbly conceive is not the due order. It will be but a perfuming and supporting a dead carcase, or forcing water forth a flint, to essay (i.e., to perform or attempt something) holiness of heart and life, without the knowledge and belief of the truth.

The gospel is a doctrine according to godliness. The love of the Spirit, and the belief of the truth, are inseparable. The doctrine of Christ being once believed and received, then, and not till then, will godliness natively and inseparably result from, and accompany it; and this, if you look back, has been the blest order in all times of reformation in the church, the light of truth coming in, the Spirit of God coming along, making it effectual to change the hearts and lives of men. O that the Sun of righteousness would return, and rise on us with his life-giving, healing light and heat!”

Faith in Christ’s Faithfulness

Christian Cryder had written:

“Scripture repeatedly attributes sanctification to God, not man: “I am the LORD who sanctifies you” (Lev 20:8; cf. Ex 31:13, Lev 21:8, Ez 20:12, etc).

“Jesus is said to be the author [justifier] and finisher [sanctifier] or our faith (Heb 12:2), and this truth is placed in the immediate context of the importance of faith (Heb 11), followed by a call to personal faith in Christ (“looking at Jesus…” in Heb 12:2). It is important to note that the author of Hebrews is speaking here to people who already believe. As believers, the way we draw near to Christ is “with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb 10:22), and our own confidence is repeatedly grounded in the faithfulness of Christ (Heb 10:23).

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Dynamic Duo!

Great conversation between two faithful teachers/students of the Text and tradition.

So too, an interesting distinction exists in each man’s grasp and emphasis on those things discussed.  Carson is not one you can easily sack, regardless of your theological bent.

Well worth the listen!

D.A. Carson & Mike Horton (part 1)

Sojourn (def)

sojourn \SOH-juhrn; so-JURN\, intransitive verb:
1. To stay as a temporary resident; to dwell for a time. 

1Pe 1:17-21  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God

* Our sojourning here is in the context of the Gospel and with feet shod with said Gospel.  (G’M)

Firmest Ground/Constant Claim

Carson:  “But in one crucial verse (Rev.12:11), John tells us how these believers overcome the devil.

(1) “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” The preposition translated as by in the NIV should be rendered “on the ground of.” When all his accusations are brought before us — so many of them entirely justified, if we gauge things only by the quality of our faithfulness — Satan is silenced when we insist that our acceptance before God is grounded not in ourselves but in the death of Jesus Christ. “Who is he that condemns?” Paul exultantly asks. “Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34). We neither have nor need another ground for our acquittal.

(2) “They overcame him by ….the word of their testimony.” This does not mean that they frequently gave their testimonies. It means, rather, that they constantly bore testimony to Jesus Christ; in short, they constantly proclaimed the Gospel.”

Apart from the Gospel…Glory hurts!

Horton:  “Apart from the gospel, when we hear that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever,” our consciences are overwhelmed with dread. Yet when in Christ we are liberated from trying to give something to God rather than reflect his lavish benevolence, it becomes our heart’s delight. We can at last glorify and enjoy God in our praise of his grace and in our love for our neighbors. God declares to you even now, in your native darkness, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.””