Friday, June 27, 2014

he comes not as a stranger

"The Christ who appears on earth in the fulness of time is therefore, according to the account which Holy Scriptures gives of Him, not a man as other men are, not a founder of a religion and a preacher of a new moral law.  His position is unique.  He was from eternity as the only-begotten of the Father.  He was the Creator, Sustainer, and Governor of all things.  In Him is the life and the light of men.  When He appears in the world, He comes to it not as a stranger, but as its Lord, as one who is related to it.  The redemption or re-creation is related to the creation, grace to nature, the work of the Son to the work of the Father.  Redemption is built on foundations laid in creation."

(Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, p. 283)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

sunday quote

“What determines our brotherhood is what a person is by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is true not merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, for eternity.” 

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

clement on divisions in the church

But Jesus...

We take pride in birth and rank, but it was said of Jesus, "Is not this the carpenter's son?"  

We take pride in possessions, but Jesus said, "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."  

We take pride in our respectability, but it was said of Jesus, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  

We take pride in our personal appearance, but it was said of Jesus, "He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him."  

We take pride in our reputation, but it was said of Jesus, "Here is a glutton and a drunkard."  

We take pride in our friendships, but it was said of Jesus, "He was a friend of tax collectors and sinners."  

We take pride in our independence, but Jesus gave himself to people, and asked the woman at the well to draw water for him.  

We take pride in our degrees and learning, but it was said of Jesus, "How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?"  

We take pride in our position, but Jesus said, "I am among you as one who serves."  

We take pride in our success, but it was said of Jesus, "He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him," and "He was despised and rejected by men."

We take pride in our self-reliance, but it was said of Jesus, "He went down to Nazareth and was submissive to his parents."  

We take pride in our abilities, but Jesus said, "I can do nothing on my own."  

We take pride in our self will, but Jesus said, "I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me," and "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."  

We take pride in our intellect, but Jesus said, "I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me."  

We take pride in our resentment and justifiable pride, but Jesus said, "Father, forgive them."  

We take pride in our holiness, but it was said of Jesus, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."  

We take pride in the fact we are the righteousness of God, but it was said of Jesus, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

[This article has been around some time, and is of unknown origin. The painting is of Christ reading the Scriptures with his mother, by Henry Ossawa Tanner, ca. 1911]

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

on the reliability of the gospels

Handy chart which summarizes Warner Wallace's cumulative case for the reliability of the Gospels.  I recommend his book, and he has quite a few Bible inserts like this, available for download here (look for his "Monthly Bible Insert").  

gospel conviction

“If you know what He has done at infinite cost to himself—He’s put you into a relationship so that you’ll never be rejected by Him—then your motivation when you sin is to go get Him. You want fellowship with Him. 

"When the thing that most assures you is the thing that most convicts you, you’ll be okay because when you’re convicted of sin in a gospel way it drives you toward God.  

"Without the gospel we hate ourselves instead of our sin. Without the gospel we’re motivated through all sorts of awful fear and pride to change and it doesn't really change our hearts; it just restrains our hearts.” 

(Tim Keller, "How the Gospel Changes Us", posted by Of First Importance)