…deep in their hearts they remembered hell. The Almighty Judge of good deeds and bad, the Lord God, Head of heavens and High King of the World, was unknown to them. Oh, cursed is he who in time of trouble has thrust his soul in the fire’s embrace, forfeiting help; he has nowhere to turn. But blesses is he who after death can approach the Lord and find friendship in the Father’s embrace.
After its birth in Asia, Christianity had its most vigorous growth as it moved steadily westward and northward. As more and more people in the West embraced Christianity, the statistical center of gravity moved north and west. However, beginning in 1900, the statistical center began to dramatically shift southward, and in 1970 it began to move eastward for the first time in 1,370 years! Today, the statistical center of Christianity is located in Timbuktu! This means that for the first time since the Reformation, the majority of Christians (approx. 67%) are now located outside the Western world.
-Timothy Tennent, Theology in the Context of World Christianity
Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord’s table. Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord’s sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God’s elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of his two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die. Heart searching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord’s table. “Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart.”
Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
We are soldiers lifted under the banner of Christ, and have proclaimed open war at our baptism, against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The Most High is ace Drihten, the ‘eternal Lord.’ ‘The Almighty drove those demons out.’ (1.108). In our earlier history, Thor and Odin had the power to frighten us-we are pitiful creatures who crawl on the ground, after all- but when all is said and done, we came through the kindness of the gospel to understand that they were mere creatures as well. Thunder is bigger than we are, but a creature still. Our gods lived with us, fellow wretches, on the outskirts of inexhaustible eternity. Only one is able to inhabit eternity, and He is the Almighty. The gospel came and ushered us into fellowship with that personal eternity through the Lord Christ.”
“The Almighty God is sigma Sopcyning, the ‘true King of victories’. ‘No man could enter the tower, open hidden doors, unless the Lord of Victories, He who watches over men, Almighty God Himself, was moved to let him enter, and him alone'(11.3053-3057). Whether the victory is Grendel falling before Beowulf, or Satan crushed beneath the heel of Christ, God is the only One to bestow any victory. The psalmist asked the God of Israel to rise up and scatter His enemies; whenever the Power of His right hand is pleased to do so, those enemies are driven before Him like smoke in a gale. The Church today is a stranger to victories because we refuse to sing anthems to the king of all victories.”
- Angels in the Architecture, Douglas Wilson & Douglas Jones
Homer once sang of his Hellenes and Trojans
and Vergil composed verse about the descendants
Let us sing about the kindly deeds of the king
whom the world never ceases joyously to praise.
Homer and Vergil took pleasure in speaking about
the flames that brought
sudden destruction to Troy and about the struggles
of their heroes,
but our delight is to sing of Christ
drenched in blood after vanquishing the prince of
They were both learned in how to compose
with an appearance of truth and how to deceive an
we prefer to sing hymns of fine praise
to the power of the Father and His true wisdom.
Let us therefore hold the supreme victories of Christ
as brilliant stars in our minds.
Behold the four corners of the world are clasped by
the wooden cross.
- John Scotus (A.D. 810-877)
Day returned to work, having spent Monday and Tuesday at the pastor’s conference. I thought it might do me well for archival purposes to put down some points that I can draw upon in ministry.
Where is our gospel of grace most explicit? Is it easier to be moralistic rather than be grace-centered in my approach to ministry? Is the church more pharisaical than its ever been?
Galilee was predominantly gentile, so therefore it was primarily sinful as well.
Our western world doesn’t care about our moral standards.
We need to recalibrate to a radical gospel of grace.
“And, my last word of all is, again, a word primarily to preachers–indeed it’s a word to everybody in the sense that if ever you are putting the Gospel to another person, you’ve got a very good test whether you are preaching the Gospel in the right way. What’s that? Well, let me put it like this to you: If your presentation of the Gospel does not expose it to the charge of Antinomianism you are probably not putting it correctly. What do I mean by that? Just this: The Gospel, you see, comes as this free gift of God–irrespective of what man does.” – M. Lloyd Jones
A fresh understanding and articulation of grace while presenting the truth of the gospel is essential. They cannot be divorced from one another.
We are all recipients of God’s grace and it is grace that sustains us and progresses us.
We are not OT prophets, we are heralds of grace.
Two carnal temptations for us today: Offense and Entitlement.
Defense against offense and entitlement: Grace and Truth
We are not OWNERS of God’s grace, we are STEWARDS of God’s grace.
Luke 17:7-10 destroys our sense of entitlement. We are exhausted but called to work for the glory of God.
Am I a disciple or a poser? Christ tells me to love them or resign from the ministry.
Grace and truth decreases the exercising of my rights for His ultimate glory.
“Justification by faith is the essential doctrine.” – Martin Luther
Paul pleased others above himself. Paul pleased God above others.
Jews and Gentiles are saved by the same terms of the Gospel. There is no prerequisite that we might add on to the salvation message, because our personal degree of sinfulness.
“Seem rebellious concerning the centrality of the Gospel.” – Martin Luther
TRUTH: “All men are created in the image of God, and thus, all live in God’s reality.” – O.S. Guinness