For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Super-Marital Intimacy With Christ

Raymond Ortlund writes:
. . . the believer is even more intimate with the Lord than with his or her spouse, for this is a union of spirit, and spirit always leads one more deeply into reality than does flesh . . . No more profound communion exists than that between the believer and the Lord, and Paul's logic encourages the view that this communion is, as it were, super-marital in nature and already joined.

Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Whoredom: God's Unfaithful Wife In Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 146.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Infinite Riches In Christ!

John Calvin wrote:
Without the gospel everything is useless and vain;

Without the gospel we are not Christians;

Without the gospel all riches is poverty,
all wisdom folly before God;
strength is weakness, and all the justice of man is under the condemnation of God.

But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made
children of God,
brothers of Jesus Christ,
fellow townsmen with the saints,
citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven,
heirs of God with Jesus Christ, by whom

the poor are made rich,
the weak strong,
the fools wise,
the sinner justified,
the desolate comforted,
the doubting sure,
and slaves free.

It is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe.

It follows that every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone.

For, He was sold, to buy us back;
captive, to deliver us;
condemned, to absolve us;

He was made a curse for our blessing,
[a] sin offering for our righteousness;
marred that we may be made fair;

He died for our life; so that by him fury is made gentle,
wrath appeased,
darkness turned into light,
fear reassured,
despisal despised,
debt canceled,
labor lightened,
sadness made merry,
misfortune made fortunate,
difficulty easy,
disorder ordered,
division united,
ignominy ennobled,
rebellion subjected,
intimidation intimidated,
ambush uncovered,
assaults assailed,
force forced back,
combat combated,
war warred against,
vengeance avenged,
torment tormented,
damnation damned,
the abyss sunk into the abyss,
hell transfixed,
death dead,
mortality made immortal.

In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and goodness all misfortune.

For all these things which were to be the weapons of the devil in his battle against us, and the sting of death to pierce us, are turned for us into exercises which we can turn to our profit.

If we are able to boast with the apostle, saying, O hell, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? it is because by the Spirit of Christ promised to the elect, we live no longer, but Christ lives in us; and we are by the same Spirit seated among those who are in heaven, so that for us the world is no more, even while our conversation is in it; but we are content in all things, whether country, place, condition, clothing, meat, and all such things.

And we are comforted in tribulation,
joyful in sorrow,
glorying under vituperation,
abounding in poverty,
warmed in our nakedness,
patient amongst evils,
living in death.

This is what we should in short seek in the whole of Scripture: truly to know Jesus Christ, and the infinite riches that are comprised in him and are offered to us by him from God the Father.

From John Calvin's preface to Pierre Robert Oliv├ętan's French translation of the New Testament (1534).

HT: Justin Taylor

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Highest Of All God's Commands - Look To Christ!

Martin Luther wrote to a struggling Christian:
The highest of all God’s commands is this, that we hold up before our eyes the image of his dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Every day he should be our excellent mirror wherein we behold how much God loves us and how well, in his infinite goodness, he has cared for us in that he gave his dear Son for us . . . Contemplate Christ given for us. Then, God willing, you will feel better.

From Timothy George, Theology Of The Reformers (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1988), 78-79.

Christ Is All, Not Luther!

Martin Luther commented on the absurdity of Christians calling themselves "Lutherans:"
The first thing I ask is that people should not make use of my name, and should not call themselves Lutherans but Christians. What is Luther? The teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone . . . How did I, poor stinking bag of maggots that I am, come to the point where people call the children of Christ by my evil name?

Cited from Timothy George, Theology Of The Reformers (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1988), 53.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jesus Is Heaven

Spurgeon writes:
... strengthened and consoled by Jesus, the believer is not afraid to die; no he is even willing to depart, for since he has seen Jesus as the morning star, he longs to gaze upon Him as the sun in his strength. Truly, the presence of Jesus is all the heaven we desire. Jesus is at once: The glory of our brightest days; the comfort of our nights.
Charles Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, July 2.