Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thy Mark On Me

Thy Mark On Me
Gregg Metalf
August 16, 2017

In spirit poor I came to Christ,
I claimed His cross as mine;
 now my death I gladly owned,
as I bask in love so divine.

My sin His blood did wash away,
clean now am I forever more;
behind Him He did throw my sin,
a crown of shame for me He bore.

Pierced His hands did the nails,
fastening Him to Calvary's tree;
spikes thrust deep into the wood,
held Him in place, died He for me.

My guilt, my shame, my penalty,
laid full on Him, for in my stead;
satisfied the Father's abundant wrath,
 took He my place among the dead.

No price did you deign demand,
but abounding grace given free;
you took me for your very own
and have placed Thy mark on me.






Tuesday, August 15, 2017

God Glorified in Man's Dependence

Gospel Driven Disciples periodically posts some highlights from the prolific works of Jonathan Edwards. The following excerpt is taken from his sermon entitled God Glorified in Man’s Dependence, preached on the Public Lecture in Boston, July 8th, 1731.

I Corinthians 1:29-31 - “…so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (ESV)

THOSE Christians to whom the apostle directed this epistle, dwelt in a part of the world where human wisdom was in great repute; as the apostle observes in the 22nd verse of this chapter, "The Greeks seek after wisdom." Corinth was not far from Athens, that had been for many ages the most famous seat of philosophy and learning in the world. The apostle therefore observes to them, how God by the gospel destroyed, and brought to nought, their wisdom. The learned Grecians, and their great philosophers, by all their wisdom did not know God, they were not able to find out the truth in divine things. But, after they had done their utmost to no effect, it pleased God at length to reveal himself by the gospel, which they accounted foolishness. He " chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and the base things of the world, and things that are despised, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are." And the apostle informs them in the text why he thus did, That no flesh should glory in his presence, etc.- In which words may be observed,

1. What God aims at in the disposition of things in the affair of redemption, viz. that man should not glory in himself, but alone in God; That no flesh should glory in his presence, --that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

2. How this end is attained in the work of redemption, viz. by that absolute and immediate dependence which men have upon God in that work, for all their good. Inasmuch as,

First, All the good that they have is in and through Christ; He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. All the good of the fallen and redeemed creature is concerned in these four things, and cannot be better distributed than into them; but Christ is each of them to us, and we have none of them any otherwise than in him. He is made of God unto us wisdom: in him are all the proper good and true excellency of the understanding. Wisdom was a thing that the Greeks admired; but Christ is the true light of the world; it is through him alone that true wisdom is imparted to the mind. It is in and by Christ that we have righteousness: it is by being in him that we are justified, have our sins pardoned, and are received as righteous into God's favour. It is by Christ that we have sanctification: we have in him true excellency of heart as well as of understanding; and he is made unto us inherent as well as imputed righteousness. It is by Christ that we have redemption, or the actual deliverance from all misery, and the bestowment of all happiness and glory. Thus we have all our good by Christ, who is God.

Secondly, Another instance wherein our dependence on God for all our good appears, is this, That it is God that has given us Christ, that we might have these benefits through him; he of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, etc.

Thirdly, It is of him that we are in Christ Jesus, and come to have an interest in him, and so do receive those blessings which he is made unto us. It is God that gives us faith whereby we close with Christ.

So that in this verse is shown our dependence on each person in the Trinity for all our good. We are dependent on Christ the Son of God, as he is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. We are dependent on the Father, who has given us Christ, and made him to be these things to us. We are dependent on the Holy Ghost, for it is of him that we are in Christ Jesus; it is the Spirit of God that gives faith in him, whereby we receive him, and close with him.

Monday, August 14, 2017

It Is Not OK to remain not OK

Timothy Keller tweeted this today:

"Grace means that it is OK that we are not OK."

First, let me say I do not know what the allurement is or why so many people seem to be enamoured with this guy. I have read some of his writings and not sure he has both oars in the water. 

Second, I agree with Phil Johnson of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA when he responded with, "That flatly contradictsTitus 2:1-14.

Third, The following paragraph is my response to this tweet:

The Apostle Paul argued against that thinking, when he asked the rhetorical question should we continue in sin because grace abounds. I will not judge his motive, but the statement clearly alleviates responsibility for the mortification of sin, growth in grace and Christ-likeness. It lends credibility to remaining and excusing our brokenness.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jonah Does the Unenvied (Part 2)



Sermon:               GM17-155

Series:                  Jonah: A Gospel of Grace

Subtitle:               Jonah Does the Unenvied (Part 2)

Scripture:            Jonah 3:5-9

Subject:               Jonah uses four illustrations of God’s grace to motivate his readers to repent of their sin

Scrutiny:              How does God demonstrate His grace?

Solution:              There are four ways in this passage that demonstrates the display of God’s grace

Sketch:                 1A     through the renewal of the commission (1-2) God gives Jonah a second chance to obey him. Throughout Scripture God is portrayed as a God of a second chance.                         

2A     through the response of the courier (3-4) Jonah obeys God’s call the second time. He travels to Nineveh as a living testimony of God’s grace. Jonah proclaims the Word of God to the Ninevites.

3A     through the repentance of the citizens (5-9) The citizens of Nineveh believed the Word of God proclaimed by Jonah. From the King to the lowest citizen they demonstrate their repentance by their attitude and their actions. Everyone, including the animals wear the outward signs of inward repentance.

4A     through the restraint of the creator (10) God observes the attitude and the actions of the Ninevites. God chooses to relent from performing His judgment upon the citizens and the city.

Scheme:               To provide examples of God’s grace as motivation to repent of sin in order to maintain a right relationship with God

Statement:           God is gracious

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Christians and the Game of Thrones

Disclaimer:  This is a post copied from Kevin DeYoung's blog which is part of The Gosepl Coalition. These are his words, but I agree with what he has written.
game-of-thronesThis will not be a long post. Because the issue doesn’t seem all that complicated.
I don’t understand Christians watching Game of Thrones.
Whenever there is a new episode, my Twitter feed overflows with people talking about Game of Thrones. First off, I’m always amazed that this many people have HBO. But second, and much more importantly, I’m always amazed that a number of people I respect--smart people, serious Christians, good conservative thinkers--are obviously watching (and loving) the series.
True, I haven’t seen it. Not an episode. Not a scene. I hardly know anything about the show. I know many people consider it absolutely riveting--full of compelling characters, an engrossing story, and excellent acting, writing, and aesthetics.
But isn’t it also full of sex? Like lots and lots of incredibly graphic sex? I did a Google search for “Game of Thrones sex” and found headlines (I avoided images and only read headlines) about sex scenes you can’t un-see and the best sex scenes of the series and why Game of Thrones is so committed to nudity and explicit (sometimes violent) sex. Unless I’m mistaken, the series hasn’t taken a turn toward modesty in recent months. It seems to me sensuality--of a very graphic nature--is a major part of the series. And still, a good number of conservative Christians treat the series as must-see TV.
I don’t get it.
I won’t repeat what John Piper has already written. His twelve questions are well worth asking, not only for this show, but for all our entertainment choices. I just want to ask one other question: Does anyone really think that when Jesus warned against looking at a woman lustfully (Matt. 5:27), or when Paul told us to avoid every hint of sexual immorality and not even to speak of the things the world does in secret (Eph. 4:3-12), that somehow this meant, go ahead and watch naked men and women have (or pretend to have) sex?
I know some people will say it doesn’t bother their conscience or that it’s art or they can view sinful sex without participating in it themselves. But that doesn’t change what the Bible says about the importance of purity and the power of the eye. The fact is our consciences should be smitten; steamy sex scenes are not the kind of art for which we can give thanks; and it’s hard to imagine Paul would have been cool with the believers in Ephesus watching simulated sex for a fee each month, so long as they don’t hook up in real life.
I don’t expect those who are strangers to the light to be bothered by the darkness. But for conservative Christians who care about marriage and immorality and decency in so many other areas, it is baffling that Game of Thrones gets a free pass. “Look carefully then how you walk,” is God’s word to all of us, “not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Jonah Does the Unenvied (Part 1)


Sermon:               GM17-154

Series:                  Jonah: A Gospel of Grace

Subtitle:               Jonah Does the Unenvied (Part 1)

Scripture:            Jonah 3:1-10

Subject:               Jonah uses four illustrations of God’s grace to motivate his readers to repent of their sin

Scrutiny:              How does God demonstrate His grace?

Solution:              There are four ways in this passage that demonstrates the display of God’s grace

Sketch:                 1A     through the renewal of the commission (1-2) God gives                Jonah a second chance to obey him. Throughout Scripture                God is portrayed as a God of a second chance.                         

2A     through the response of the courier (3-4) Jonah obeys God’s call the second time. He travels to Nineveh as a living testimony of God’s grace. Jonah proclaims the Word of God to the Ninevites.

3A     through the repentance of the citizens (5-9) The citizens of Nineveh believe the Word of God proclaimed by Jonah. From the King to the lowest citizen they demonstrate their repentance by their attitude and their actions. Everyone, including the animals wear the outward signs of inward repentance.

4A     through the restraint of the creator (10) God observes the attitude and the actions of the Ninevites. God chooses to relent from performing His judgment upon the citizens and the city.

Scheme:               To provide examples of God’s grace as motivation to repent of sin in order to maintain a right relationship with God

Statement:           God is gracious


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Trees and Forests: Getting Lost in the Details


Martin Lloyd-Jones once wrote of the Roman believers:


"...they have lost their balance and have developed a kind of lop-sided Christianity. This is indeed an all-important matter in connection with the Christian life. One of the greatest dangers is to be so absorbed in, and concerned about, particulars and details as to forget the whole."


--from Liberty and Conscience, 
Exposition of Romans 14:1-17, 
page 205