Archive for April, 2011

Jesus’ way is not our way

22 April 2011

I am the way to God: I did not come
To light a path, to blaze a trail, that you
May simply follow in my tracks, pursue
My shadow like a prize that’s cheaply won.
My life reveals the life of God, the sum
Of all he is and does. So how can you,
The sons of night, look on me and construe
My way as just the road for you to run?
My path takes in Gethsemane, the Cross,
And stark rejection draped in agony.
My way to God embraces utmost loss:
Your way to God is not my way, but me.
Each other path is dismal swamp, or fraud.
I stand alone: I am the way to God.

~ D A Carson on John 14.6

Jesus, our substitute

11 April 2011

Biting off more than I could chew, last night we thought through how to describe the substitution of Jesus for his people (springboarding from John 11.45-57). This is surely one of the greatest and most wonderful themes of the bible. Used 4 words: personal (it’s for specific people), voluntary (Jesus did it of his own accord), hellish (he suffered what we deserve), and sufficient (it is complete and all we need). Great to be reminded of Christ for us.

John 11.49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

 

Susan asks ‘But what does it all mean?’ Aslan answers, ‘It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.’

 

Common invitations

8 April 2011

The invitation of God and Satan sound quite similar (Pro 9.4-5, 16-17):

Wisdom: Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! To him who lacks sense she says, ‘Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.’

Folly: Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! To him who lacks sense she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’

Same audience offered food and drink, though one leads to life and one to death. Going all the way back to Eden, the question comes, ‘Who will you listen to, and who will you obey?’ That’s to say, who is your God? To make a promise is one thing, to keep it, well, only the Living God does that.

Guilt, Grace & Gratitude…to music

7 April 2011

Many will know that the format of the Heidelberg Catechism falls into the categories of guilt, grace, and gratitude. Or, how great my sins and misery are, how I may be delivered from them, and how I should respond for such deliverance. It seems quite a helpful paradigm to think in. You can see it very clearly with Isaiah (ch 6), the shepherds (Lk 2) and Peter (Lk 5.1-11).

I don’t know if this paradigm was in the author’s mind, but the song All I Have is Christ from Sovereign Grace follows this pattern. Here is a live version of the song with the lyrics following:

GUILT

Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.

GRACE

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.

GRATITUDE

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life