Archive for the ‘Christ’ Category

He knew the unknowable: the human heart and all thing

August 9, 2014

He knew the unknowable: the human heart and all things;
He loved the unlovable: the human sinner;
He did the impossible: He died and rose again;
He was the impossible: a sinless character.

source unknown

Jesus – the author and perfecter of faith

December 19, 2011

Jesus is described as the “author and perfecter” of faith. The Greek words chosen by the author are most interesting: ἀρχηγòν καὶ τελειωτὴ ν. Archegon refers to the origin, source, beginning, and then by extension, author. Teleiotes refers to one who completes and perfects. Consider what this means: Jesus is the origin and source of faith, the goal of faith, the one who completes and perfects faith. It surely does not seem that much room is left for the pot to boast about contributing his free will act of faith, does it? For the Christian these are precious words. When we are weak, when we are discouraged, when it seems that we cannot possibly go on, what is our sole confidence? Christ. God will not abandon His own. We are kept indeed by the power of faith, but it is not a merely human faith, but a divine faith, a gift from God! Why do some stumble and fall while others persevere? Is it that some are better, stronger, than others? No. The reason lies in the difference between having saving faith and a faith that is not divine in origin or nature. Many are those who make professions not based upon regeneration, and the “faith” that is theirs will not last. Jesus taught this truth in the parable of the soils in Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23. Some of the seed that was sown resulted in immediate growth. But the growth produced no fruit and did not last. These are those who have false, human faith that does not last. But those with true faith produce fruit and remain.

James White, The Potter’s Freedom, 2nd ed., 2009, p.293

September 6, 2011

In his novel The Age of Longing, Koestler describes the plight of Hydie, a lapsed Catholic:

Oh, if only she could go back to the infinite comfort of father confessors and mother superiors, of a well-ordered hierarchy which promised punishment and reward, and furnished the world with justice and meaning. If only she could go back! But she was under the curse of reason, which rejected whatever might quench her thirst, without abolishing the urge; which rejected the answer without abolishing the question. For the place of God had become vacant, and there was a draught blowing through the world as in an empty flat before the new tenants have arrived.

Precisely Koestler’s own predicament, and that of modern man.

Theodore Dalrymple

But ‘reason’ did not disprove God or miracles, only naturalistic presuppositions did.  Koestler didn’t need to give up reason to have the comfort of faith; he needed to doubt the assumptions of naturalism. He could have found Christ the source of living water and still rejected the superstitions of Roman Catholicism.

Christ – the Final Word in the Sentence

August 16, 2010

The Old Testament has been compared by Dr. Emil Brunner to the first part of a sentence and the New Testament to its second and concluding part. This comparison is all the more forceful if we think of a complex sentence in Dr. Brunner’s native German tongue, where the sense of the whole cannot be comprehended until the last word is spoken. So God, to the fathers through the prophets, spoke the first part of His salvation-bringing sentence; but the last word, completely revealing and redeeming, was spoken in His Son.

FF Bruce, The Book and the Parchments

Christ’s Return Completes His Work

June 5, 2010

Christ does not return to do some new or different work. His return in glory will be to consummate the finished work of his life, death and resurrection. That which the believer now owns by faith and which is in Christ, his substitute, will be perfected as the reality in himself.

Goldsworthy Trilogy, 2008, p.175

as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother

May 11, 2010

With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother. …

Pope Leo XIII encyclical, September 22, 1891

evangelism is the issuing of a call to turn, as well as trust

January 12, 2010

Evangelism…means summoning men to receive Christ Jesus as all that He is—Lord, as well as Saviour—and therefore to serve Him as their King in the fellowship of His church…In other words, evangelism is the issuing of a call to turn, as well as trust; it is the delivering, not merely of a divine invitation to receive a Saviour, but a divine command to repent of sin. And there is no evangelism where this specific application is not made.

J.I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991), 39-40, quoted in Michael A. Robinson, God Does Exist!, Author House 2006, p.160

Thy righteousness is in heaven

November 24, 2009

(Bunyan was under terrible conviction of sin. He was aware of is own shortcomings yet knew what the Law of God demanded of him)

“‘But one day, as I was passing in the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest yet all was not right, suddenly, this sentence fell upon my soul, ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven,’ and methought withal I saw, with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand: there, I say, as my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, He wants my righteousness, for that was just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.

“‘Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed: I was loosed from my affliction and irons, my temptations also fled away; so that from that time those dreadful Scriptures of God left off to trouble me; now went I also home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press, 2008, p.116-17

When he speaks of his ‘frame’ he is speaking of his ‘frame of mind’, as we might say today.

Touching the Void tells the true story of climber Joe Simpson who broke his leg on a descent high in the Andes

November 17, 2009

Touching the Void tells the true story of climber Joe Simpson who broke his leg on a descent high in the Andes. He then fell several metres into a crevasse and was given up for dead by his fellow climber. Making his way off the mountain without food or water was an agonising and slow process. Each movement sent pain through his body. He lost consciousness many times and came close to just lying down and giving up the ghost. At altitude, loss of water is a serious problem, but on his descent he finally comes across a trickle of melt water on a rock. He pushed his face to the rock and sucked till he was gorged. He said he felt revitalised and had the energy to get off the mountain to the camp. The water saved his life.


The leg does not feel the chains when the mind is in heaven

October 30, 2009

140-230 AD Tertullian, encouraged a group of local Christians who were languishing in a Roman dungeon with these words, “Blessed ones, count whatever is hard in this lot of yours as a discipline of your powers of mind and body. You are about to pass through a noble struggle, in which the living God is your manager and the Holy Spirit is your trainer. The prize is an eternal crown of angelic essence-citizenship in the heavens, glory everlasting.” He also told them, “The prison does the same service for the Christian that the desert did for the prophet. Our Lord himself spent much time in seclusion so he would have greater freedom to pray and so he would be away from the world…. The leg does not feel the chains when the mind is in heaven.

Tertullian To the Martyrs chaps. 2, 3