“There are so many people trying to diagnose the human situation; and they come to the conclusion that man is sick, man is unhappy, man is a the victim of circumstances. They believe therefore that his primary need is to have these things dealt with, that he must be delivered from them. But I suggest that that is too superficial a diagnosis of the condition of man, and that man’s real trouble is that he is a rebel against God and consequently under the wrath of God.” ~ D. Martin Llyod-Jones (Preaching and Preachers, p.38)
But if justification is a declaration of a God who never changes, it is as secure as God is faithful. Salvation was accomplished in the past, is experienced in the present, and guaranteed in the future. Because it was not earned, it cannot be unearned. Because it was not deserved, it cannot be undeserved. Our justification [salvation in Christ] is a past event, anchored in eternity, accomplished at the cross, declared in time, presently possessed, and which cannot be lost.
Quote from Terry L. Johnson, The Case for Traditional Protestantism: The Solas of the Reformation
I am convinced that fellowship around the Word of God is absolutely necessary for the survival of today’s family. The souls of our children are at stake in today’s world and parents must be at the front-lines of the battlefield. The only way I know to fight this war and win is with the Sword of the Spirit (Hebrews 4:12), the Word of God.
In many Christian homes the Word of God is taught, learned, and celebrated through an ancient tradition called family worship. Family worship is not a church service in your home every night but it is a reverent, important, set-apart time to fellowship around the Word and to teach children about worshiping the Triune God of the Bible. Other important elements of this time are prayer, singing, and thanksgiving.
Rob Reinow has an important word for us on the importance of family worship and teaching our children about corporate worship.
Family Worship is a foundation for corporate worship on Sunday. If children do not regularly experience worship in their homes, how can we expect them to feel comfortable in church on Sunday morning? Without family worship as a catalyst, worship in church on Sunday can be a rather bizarre hour of their week. All of a sudden they are expected to sit, listen, sing, follow along in their Bibles, and turn their hearts to spiritual things. The reason many children cannot sit still in church services has nothing to do with a so-called short attention span. It is most often a lack of training.
This semester I have the privilege of teaching through the entire chapter, verse by verse, of Romans chapter 8 to the Highlands Presbyterian Church College class on Sunday mornings. One of the commentaries that I am gleaning much insight and wisdom from is D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposition of Romans. It is quite a work – in fact it is 14 volumes on the book of Romans that he preached for many years.
Below is a wonderful quote from Lloyd-Jones on Romans 8:1.
‘No condemnation’. ‘There is therefore now no’. ‘Therefore’, ‘now’, ‘no’ – what important words they are! The words remind us of our position now as Christians. Look at that word ‘no’ – ‘No condemnation’! What a statement! ‘No’ is a little word of two letters; but are we aware of its full meaning? It is entire, it is complete, it is absolute. In other words, Paul is saying that a Christian is a person who has been taken entirely outside the realm of any possible or conceivable condemnation. The Christian has finished with the realm of condemnation; he has been taken right out of it; he has nothing more to do with it. There is no condemnation to the Christian ‘now’ and never can be! Have you realized that? Not only is the Christian not in a state of condemnation now, he never can be; it is impossible.
This news is simply GLORIOUS!
Happy St. Patrick Day! One of the things about St. Patrick that we can appreciate from church history is his recorded prayers. This is one that I like….
As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
On the cross…
Jesus, the Maker of the world, was being unmade. Why? Jesus was experiencing our judgment day. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It wasn’t a rhetorical question. And the answer is: For you, for me, for us. Jesus was forsaken by God so that we would never have to be. The judgment that should have fallen on us fell instead on Jesus.
~From Tim Keller, Kings Cross, p. 202
Jesus understands that there is a God who is uncreated, beginningless, infinitely transcendent, who made this world, who keeps everything in the universe going, so that all the molecules, all the stars, all the solar systems are being held up by the power of this God …… And Jesus says, That’s who I Am.
~ Tim Keller, King’s Cross, p.44