Union with Christ

“In all that, Christ was on the one hand so one with God that what he did, God did, for he was none other than God himself acting thus in our humanity. And therefore there is no other god for us than this God, and no other action of God toward us than this action in which he stood in our place and acted on our behalf. On the other hand, he was so one with us that when he died we died, for he did not die for himself but for us, and he did not die alone, but we died in him as those whom he had bound to himself inseparably by his incarnation. Therefore when he rose again, we rose in him and with him, and when he presented himself before the face of the Father, he presented us also before God, so that we are already accepted of God in him once and for all.”
(Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, ed. Robert T. Walker)

Be Followers of Me

“This habit that modern people often have of thinking and speaking of the new birth as if it could be perceived in the soul and is something to be possessed in themselves is a great snare to many humble and earnest believers; it drives them to despair or turns them into hypocrites, for though they try to live up to “born-again and converted” lives, they know secretly how sinful they are, and that considered in their deepest selves they are not new creatures. That is not the way of Jesus but the way of the Pharisees. Just as it is not in ourselves that we have to seek our righteousness but in Christ, so it is not in ourselves that we have to seek our new birth but in Christ alone. The animal is made to have its life in its own carnal experience, but man is made to find his life in God and not in himself. The Christian who lives out of his own experience of new birth is a carnal Christian, and has not yet learned to know that new birth is from above, and is of the Spirit, and therefore that it cannot be discerned below but only discerned above in Christ.

….Nicodemus was a deeply religious man, but it was precisely to him that Jesus spoke so strongly of the need for new birth and birth from above. There was another Pharisee of whom we know much more than Nicodemus, Saul of Tarsus, who had an outstanding conversion which changed his whole life and who, as born again and baptized in Christ, was known by a new name, Paul. But Paul never spoke of new birth or of conversion as a psychological experience; from beginning to end it was of “the new man in Christ” that he spoke, because it is in Christ that we are given to share in the new life of the new creation. It is in St. Paul that we find the perfect fulfillment of what Jesus Christ taught to Nicodemus, and it was St. Paul who said,’Be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ.'”

T.F. Torrance, pg 74-75 “When Christ Comes and Comes Again”

God is Truth

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent” ~John 5:30-38.

“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established” ~Deuteronomy 19:15.

“On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness” ~Deuteronomy 17:6.

  • God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • God is Truth because He (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) testifies of the Truth
  • Because God is Who He is, He is not a single witness; He is One God
  • We, who are true Children of God, should be lovers of Truth because God is Truth for the Spirit of Truth indwells us
  • The law reflects Who God is

The Nations are Christ’s Heritage

“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession” ~Psalm 2:8

Did Jesus forget to ask the Father for the nations?

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” ~Matthew 28:18-20.

The nations are the Heritage of Jesus. Go and preach the Gospel.

The Mercies of God

21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

  • God is faithful to everyone that is His
  • God’s mercies are new every morning
  • There is not a moment on earth when morning is not breaking

The Gospel of Enoch

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. ~Genesis 5:21-24

  • Enoch may have been pious, but God taking him is not the result of piousness
  • God took Enoch as an act of mercy
  • God is merciful to all those who do not deserve it
  • Just like Enoch received mercy instead of what he deserved, Jesus received judgment instead of what He deserved

Putting on the Whole Armor of God Which is Christ

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit,with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. ~Ephesians 6:10-20

  • “Having fastened on the belt of truth” – Jesus is the Truth
  • “Having put on the breastplate of righteousness” – Jesus is our Righteousness
  • “As shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” – Jesus is our Peace
  • “Take up the shield of faith” – Not just faith but Jesus is the foundation and cornerstone of our Faith
  • “Take the helmet of salvation” – Jesus is our Salvation
  • “The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” – Jesus is the Word of God made Flesh

The Gospel (i.e. Jesus and His birth, life, fulling of the law, death, burial and resurrection) changes everything.

Help My Unbelief

Words: John Newton (1725-1807), Music: Clint Wells (2005)
From the album “Help My Unbelief”

I know the Lord is nigh,
and would but cannot pray,
for Satan meets me when I try
and frights my soul away.
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
till Jesus makes it soft.
Till Jesus makes it soft.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have pow’r to move
a soul as base as mine.
A soul as base as mine.

I would but cannot rest
in God’s most holy will;
I know what he appoints is best
and murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I am Indeed in Need

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil din your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in aright sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 51