Thursday, January 24, 2008

Security (Identity) in Christ

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:1-5)."

I know that this passage might be really familiar to many of you, but I want to hit on the, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." To tell you the truth it is pretty self-explanatory. But if God made all things that are here, then we should not put our stock in them, because we know from experience that these things fail, constantly. So, why don't we put our trust in the One that is far greater than the things that will always let us down, the One that made all our "securities?" We should not be so wrapped up in something that it becomes our identity, yet it always happens (I speak from experience) and then when it fails we look for another thing to replace the first.

What I am really trying to get to is this; I myself want to be secure in Christ, and in Christ alone, so that when the walls of life crumble around me, and the ceiling comes crashing down around my head, I will walk away from the ruin that was once my life and will still live, because none of that ruin was me, my identity was Christ and Him crucified.

Let this be my challenge to you, do not be so consumed by that thing, whether it be music, sports, video games, or T.V. for it to become your identity, but be consumed by the greatest power of the universe, the One from whose mouth came the sun, in a mere word. Let Him become your significance and let His Son save you from the punishment you so justly deserve. He is the only one that will never fail you, and never forsake you, of you are His child. "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord... There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit! (Romans 7:24-25a, 8:1)" These verses bring tears to my eyes, because I am such a wretched man. I am a pride filled, lying, man and I deserve nothing more than death and hell, but because of His sheer grace, and His sheer mercy, and His sheer love, He gave me His Son that I might become His, and no longer be forsaken to hell! This God we worship is strong and mighty to save, He is awesome as well as the King from the beginning to the end. He absolutely is, and was, and will be, he is the great I AM!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scottish Hymn #3

"He is faithful."

To Thee, O Comforter Divine,
For all Thy grace and power benign
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful love had place
In God's great covenant of grace,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful voice doth sin
The wandering from the ways of sin,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful power doth heal,
Enlighten, sanctify, and seal,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee whose faithful truth is shown
By every promise made our own,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, our Teacher, and our Friend,
Our faithful Leader to the end,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, by Jesus Christ sent down,
Of all His gifts the sum and crown,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, who art with God the Son,
And God the Father ever One,
Sing we Alleluia!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Isaiah 45:22, "Look unto me and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other."
My friends, "Look unto God!" Look to the one who died upon that cross at calvary, and be saved. Direct you gaze to the Majesty of Heaven and see His indescribable glory. This King of kings, this Lord of lords, come down to sinful earth to die for you, LOOK! and be saved. All you must do is look! We sit in a circle with Christ in the middle, and all that we must do for salvation to take full hold, is gaze upon him. But we seem more content to stare at the hideous ceiling than look at the glory of God. He is a pure diamond before us all, and all we must do is look, instead we take up our shovels and walk the other direction to go and dig up a small ugly chunk of coal. We are so consumed by our quest for the fleeting that we never look at Christ! All that must be done is an impulse to our eyes that we may see, but we think it better to cause the whole body to move, and work, all the while moving and working farther from God so that we never take in the scope of His glorious Majesty. I cannot say it enough LOOK! JUST LOOK! Throw your cares upon Him that he may show you His might, give him all that is yours to give that he may show you his providence. Look not to the empty and forsaken things of this world, were moth and rust doth corrupt, but to the whole lasting things of Christ. Glimpse the one that says, "Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is no other." Isaiah 45:18

Friday, January 11, 2008

Soli Deo Gloria

1. Soli gratia
By “grace alone”: By the grace of God are we allowed to know the person of Christ, and come to salvation. Out of his sheer grace faith is allowed to us. Out of His sheer grace He gave us His Son. Out of his sheer grace we awoke this morning. And still by His sheer grace you take breath as you read this. Amazing grace must be our song until we encounter Him, for how else can we describe how humanity lingers on in our wallow of sin? I must cry grace, for it is all I will ever truly know.
Substantiating texts:
Proverbs 3:34 “He mocks the mockers, but gives grace to the humble.”
Jonah 2:8 “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, Full of grace.”
1:16 “From the fullness of his grace, we have all received one blessing after another.”
1:17 “for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Acts 15:11 “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
Acts 18:27 “… He was a great help to those who by grace had believed.”
Romans 5:20 “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
6:14 “ For sin shall not be you master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 11:5 “So too, there is a remnant chosen by grace.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 “By the grace of God I am what I am…”
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, my strength made perfect in weakness.”
Ephesians 1:6 “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us the One he loves.”

2. Soli fides
By “faith alone”: Do we come to the point of reconciliation (however, not crossing the point). After we have been given the grace to have faith in Christ then can we finish.
Substantiating texts:
Proverbs 28:20 “ A faithful man will be richly blessed…”
Isaiah 26:2“Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nations that keeps faith.”
Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud his soul is upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.”
Matthew 9:2 “Some men brought to him a paralytic man when he say their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘take heart son, your sins are forgiven you.’ “
9:22 “ …Your faith has healed you…”
9:29 “ …according to your faith it will be done to you.”
15:28 “ ‘Women you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”
21:21 “I tell you if you have faith and do no doubt not only can you do what is done to the fig tree, but also can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself in the sea.’ And it will be done.”
Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God.”
Luke 22:32 “ But I have prayed for you, Simon, that you faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Acts 3:16 “ By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”
Acts 11:24 “ He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and great number of people were brought to the Lord.”
Acts 15:9 “ He mad no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.”
Acts 20:21 “ I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 1:17 “ For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous shall live be faith.”
Romans 3:22 “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, there is no difference.
Romans 3:26 “ He did not demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be the just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus.
3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
2 Corinthians 5:7 “We live by faith not by sight.”
Galatians 3:24 “The law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”
3:26 “All you are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:8 “it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”

3. Soli Cristo
By “Christ alone”: Are we saved, no other can save us. Only through the person of Christ, who, surely, bore our transgressions upon the cross, reconciling the elect to God. Causing Salvations effect to take full hold, a hold that can never be loosed.

Substantiating Texts:
Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Recap: By the grace of God can we come to the saving faith in God, and by Jesus is Salvation made whole.

4. Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone is the glory. We receive no glory from our own salvation. The part we play is little, if any. Salvation is far to big a thing for a mere mortal selfish human to receive any of its glory. God is the instigator as well as the close of salvation. There is nothing that merits those that He chooses, nothing to separate them from the crowd, if there was something to separate you from the crowd then you are a far better person than I can ever hope to be. He chooses the elect out of His sheer pleasure, that He might receive the total summation of the glory that comes form being saved. If man were entrusted with salvation then (at lest for me) he would chose himself every time, due to his sin nature. But, once again, by the grace of God is not left up to us, He picks His elect, that he might receive the glory and that we might receive the grace.

Luther Quote

"They... desire to know who he is and not to regard what he says, while he desires them first to listen; then they will know who he is. The rule is: Listen and allow the Word to make the beginning; then the knowing will nicely follow. If, however, you do not listen, then you will never know anything. For it is decreed: God will not be seen, known, or comprehended except through his word alone. Whatever, therefore, one undertakes for salvation apart from the Word is in vain. God will not respond to that. He will not have it. He will not tolerate it any other way. Therefore, let his Book, in which he speaks with you, be commended to you; for he did not cause it to be written for no purpose. He did not want us to let it lie there in neglect, as if he were speaking with mice under a bench or with flies on the pulpit. We are to read it, to think and speak about it, and to study it, certain that he himself (not an angel or a creature) is speaking with us in it."
~Martin Luther