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Atonement

(43 posts)

Lord’s Day 27, 2008

Sunday··2008·07·06
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Law and Gospel Samuel Davies (1723–1761) With conscious fear and humble awe, I view the terrors of the law; Condemned at that tremendous bar I shrink, I tremble, and despair. But hark, salvation in my ears, Sounds sweetly and dispels my fears; Jesus appears, and by His cross, Fulfills His Father’s broken laws. Jesus, Saviour! Dearest name! By Him alone salvation came; Terror, destruction, and despair, Where e’er I look besides appear. Adam, my head and father fell, and sunk his offspring down to hell; And the dread sword of justice waits, To guard me from the heavenly gates. Unnumbered crimes of dreadful names Call loud for everlasting flames; And all the duties I have done, Can neither merit, nor atone. Yet weak and guilty as I am, I fix my trust in Jesus name. Jesus, whose righteousness alone Can for the deepest crimes atone. On Him, my soul, on Him rely; The terms are fixed—Believe or die. Thee let the glorious gospel draw, Or perish by the fiery law. —Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). Psalme 102 (Geneva Bible) A prayer of the afflicted, when he shall be in distresse, and pour forth his meditation before the Lord. 1 O Lord, heare my prayer, and let my crye come vnto thee. 2 Hide not thy face from me in the time of my trouble: incline thine eares vnto me: when I call, make haste to heare me. 3 For my dayes are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burnt like an herthe. 4 Mine heart is smitten and withereth like grasse, because I forgate to eate my bread. 5 For the voyce of my groning my bones doe cleaue to my skinne. 6 I am like a pelicane of the wildernesse: I am like an owle of the deserts. 7 I watch and am as a sparrowe alone vpon the house top. 8 Mine enemies reuile me dayly, and they that rage against me, haue sworne against me. 9 Surely I haue eaten asshes as bread, and mingled my drinke with weeping, 10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast heaued me vp, and cast me downe. 11 My dayes are like a shadowe that fadeth, and I am withered like grasse. 12 But thou, O Lord, doest remaine for euer, and thy remembrance from generation to generation. 13 Thou wilt arise and haue mercy vpon Zion: for the time to haue mercie thereon, for the appointed time is come. 14 For thy seruants delite in the stones thereof, and haue pitie on the dust thereof. 15 Then the heathen shall feare the Name of the Lord, and all the Kings of the earth thy glory, 16 When the Lord shall build vp Zion, and shall appeare in his glory, 17 And shall turne vnto the prayer of the desolate, and not despise their prayer. 18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people, which shalbe created, shall prayse the Lord. 19 For he hath looked downe from the height of his Sanctuarie: out of the heauen did the Lord beholde the earth, 20 That he might heare the mourning of the prisoner, and deliuer the children of death: 21 That they may declare the Name of the Lord in Zion, and his prayse in Ierusalem, 22 When the people shalbe gathered together, and the kingdomes to serue the Lord. 23 He abated my strength in the way, and shortened my dayes. 24 And I sayd, O my God, take me not away in the middes of my dayes: thy yeeres endure from generation to generation. 25 Thou hast aforetime layde the foundation of the earth, and the heauens are the worke of thine hands. 26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: euen they all shall waxe olde as doeth a garment: as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. 27 But thou art the same, and thy yeeres shall not fayle. 28 The children of thy seruants shall continue, and their seede shall stand fast in thy sight. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ Our Substitute

Wednesday··2008·07·09 · 1 Comments
It is not by incarnation but by blood-shedding that we are saved. . . . If Christ be not the Substitute, He is nothing to the sinner. If He did not die as a Sin-bearer, He has died in vain. Let us not be deceived on this point, nor misled by those who, when they announce Christ as the Deliverer, think they have preached the gospel. If I throw a rope to a drowning man, I am a deliverer. But is Christ no more than that? . . . The very essence of Christ’s deliverance is the substitution of Himself for us, His life for ours. . . . He did not redeem us by a little loss, a little sacrifice, a little labour, a little suffering, “He redeemed us to God by His blood;” “the precious blood of Christ.” —Horatius Bonar, Christ Is All, ed. Darrin R. Brooker & Michael Haykin (Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), 83–84.

Lord’s Day 28, 2008

Sunday··2008·07·13
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Let Us Draw Near Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Why stand I lingering about, In fear, and weariness, and doubt, When all is light within? Thou, the new and living way, The trembler’s Guide, the sinner’s Stay, My High Priest, lead me in! I know the mercy-seat is there, On which thou sit’st to answer prayer; I know the blood is shed; The everlasting covenant sealed, The everlasting grace revealed, And life has reached the dead! Not the mere Paradise below; The heaven of heavens is opened now, And we its bliss regain. Guarded so long by fire and sword, The gate stands wide, the way restored, The veil is rent in twain! Without the cloud and gloom appear, The peril and the storm are near, The foe is raging round; Then let me boldly enter in, There end my danger, fear, and sin, And rest on holy ground. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 109 (Geneva Bible) To him that excelleth. A Psalme of David. 1 Holde not thy tongue, O God of my praise. 2 For the mouth of the wicked, and the mouth full of deceite are opened vpon me: they haue spoken to me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my friendship they were mine aduersaries, but I gaue my selfe to praier. 5 And they haue rewarded me euil for good, and hatred for my friendship. 6 Set thou the wicked ouer him, and let the aduersarie stand at his right hand. 7 Whe he shalbe iudged, let him be condemned, and let his praier be turned into sinne. 8 Let his daies be fewe, and let another take his charge. 9 Let his children be fatherlesse, and his wife a widowe. 10 Let his children be vagabonds and beg and seeke bread, comming out of their places destroyed. 11 Let the extortioner catch al that he hath, and let the strangers spoile his labour. 12 Let there be none to extend mercie vnto him: neither let there be any to shewe mercie vpon his fatherlesse children. 13 Let his posteritie be destroied, and in the generation following let their name be put out. 14 Let the iniquitie of his fathers bee had in remembrance with the Lord: and let not the sinne of his mother be done away. 15 But let them alway be before the Lord, that he may cut off their memorial from ye earth. 16 Because he remembred not to shew mercie, but persecuted the afflicted and poore man, and the sorowfull hearted to slay him. 17 As he loued cursing, so shall it come vnto him, and as he loued not blessing, so shall it be farre from him. 18 As he clothed himselfe with cursing like a rayment, so shall it come into his bowels like water, and like oyle into his bones. 19 Let it be vnto him as a garment to couer him, and for a girdle, wherewith he shalbe alway girded. 20 Let this be the rewarde of mine aduersarie from the Lord, and of them, that speake euill against my soule. 21 But thou, O Lord my God, deale with me according vnto thy Name: deliuer me, (for thy mercie is good) 22 Because I am poore and needie, and mine heart is wounded within me. 23 I depart like the shadowe that declineth, and am shaken off as the grashopper. 24 My knees are weake through fasting, and my flesh hath lost all fatnes. 25 I became also a rebuke vnto them: they that looked vpon me, shaked their heads. 26 Helpe me, O Lord my God: saue me according to thy mercie. 27 And they shall know, that this is thine hand, and that thou, Lord, hast done it. 28 Though they curse, yet thou wilt blesse: they shall arise and be confounded, but thy seruant shall reioyce. 29 Let mine aduersaries be clothed with shame, and let them couer themselues with their confusion, as with a cloke. 30 I will giue thankes vnto the Lord greatly with my mouth and praise him among ye multitude. 31 For he will stand at the right hand of the poore, to saue him from them that woulde condemne his soule. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Incarnation and Atonement

Thursday··2008·07·24
The incarnation was essential to but not adequate for the atonement. Sinclair Ferguson writes, Atonement was impossible without an incarnation. Hebrews explains why the Son of God “had to be made like his brothers in every way.” It is so “that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17, NIV). Our salvation requires not only the conquest of our enemy, Satan, but the removal of a yet more terrifying enmity: the wrath of the holy God of heaven. “Purification” and “atonement” must be made “for the sins of the people” (Heb. 1:3; 2:17, NIV). This was made clear to the people of God in the Old Testament by the constantly repeated ritual sacrifices they were required to make. They thus learned that they deserved death because of their sins; but they also were taught that in grace God Himself provided a sacrifice to take their place. However, even an Old Testament believer could see that the animal sacrifices could not in themselves make adequate atonement (Heb. 10:11). Otherwise there would have been no need for them to be repeated. The flesh and blood of bulls and goats could not atone for the sins of human flesh and blood (Heb. 10:4)! Only human flesh and blood could be an appropriate substitute-sacrifice. So the author of Hebrews says: When [Christ] came into the world, He said: “. . . a body you have prepared for me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come’ In the volume of the book it is written— To do your will, O God.’” —Hebrews 10:5–7 Jesus offered Himself as the substitutionary atonement! Sometimes theologians have spoken misleadingly, as though the incarnation is itself the atonement (the “at-one-ment” of God and man in Christ). It is not. But without it there could be no atonement. He took our nature in order to bear our punishment. Only thus can we be at peace with God. —Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life (Reformation Trust, 2007), 26–27.

Horror and Glory

Tuesday··2008·07·29
Sinclair Ferguson on the priesthood of Christ: [O]n the Day of Atonement, Aaron slew a sacrifice, entered the Holy of Holies with the blood, and poured it out on the mercy seat between the cherubim (Lev. 16:15–16). This ritual was an acted parable, a copy of what Christ was to do on the great day when He made atonement. The blood of animals is both inappropriate and inadequate to provide the cleansing necessary to approach God. Animal sacrifice could not atone for human sin. Neither could any finite individual atone for sin against the infinite God. Only the blood of the divine image incarnate could cleanse our sin and enable us to enter safely into the presence of God, who is a consuming fire (Heb. 1:3; 12:29). The work of atonement took place in the presence of the God of heaven. Indeed, it involved a transaction within the fellowship of the persons of the eternal Trinity in their love for us; the Son was willing, with the aid of the Spirit, to experience the hiding of the Father’s face. The shedding of the blood of God’s Son opened the way to God for us (Acts 20:28). That is both the horror and the glory of our Great High Priest’s ministry. —Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life (Reformation Trust, 2007), 54–55.

Lord’s Day 33, 2008

Sunday··2008·08·17
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed Godby Samuel Stennett (1727–1795) What wisdom, majesty, and grace, Through all the gospel shine! ’Tis God that speaks, and we confess The doctrine most divine. Down from His starry throne on high, The almighty Savior comes; Lays His bright robes of glory by, and feeble flesh assumes. The mighty debt that sinners owed, Upon the cross He pays; Then through the clouds ascends to God, ’Mid shouts of loftiest praise. There He, our great High Priest, appears before His Father’s throne; Mingles His merits with our tears, And pours salvation down. Great God, with reverence we adore Thy justice and Thy grace; And on Thy faithfulness and pow’r Our firm dependence place.—Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). Psalme 144 (Geneva Bible) A Psalme of David. 1 Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth mine hands to fight, and my fingers to battell. 2 He is my goodnes and my fortresse, my towre and my deliuerer, my shield, and in him I trust, which subdueth my people vnder me. 3 Lord, what is man that thou regardest him! or the sonne of man that thou thinkest vpon him! 4 Man is like to vanitie: his dayes are like a shadow, that vanisheth. 5 Bow thine heauens, O Lord, and come downe: touch the mountaines and they shall smoke. 6 Cast forth the lightning and scatter them: shoote out thine arrowes, and consume them. 7 Send thine hand from aboue: deliuer me, and take me out of the great waters, and from the hand of strangers, 8 Whose mouth talketh vanitie, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 9 I wil sing a new song vnto thee, O God, and sing vnto thee vpon a viole, and an instrument of ten strings. 10 It is he that giueth deliuerance vnto Kings, and rescueth Dauid his seruant from the hurtfull sworde. 11 Rescue me, and deliuer me from the hand of strangers, whose mouth talketh vanitie, and their right hand is a right hand of falshood: 12 That our sonnes may be as the plantes growing vp in their youth, and our daughters as the corner stones, grauen after the similitude of a palace: 13 That our corners may be full, and abounding with diuers sorts, and that our sheepe may bring forth thousands and ten thousand in our streetes: 14 That our oxen may be strong to labour: that there be none inuasion, nor going out, nor no crying in our streetes. 15 Blessed are the people, that be so, yea, blessed are the people, whose God is the Lord. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why the God-Man?

Tuesday··2008·09·23 · 3 Comments
In his work Cur Deus Homo? (Why the God-man?), Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109) sought to answer the question of why the incarnation was necessary. R. C. Sproul writes, At the heart of Anselm’s answer to that question was his understanding of the character of God. Anselm saw that the chief reason a God-man was necessary was the justice of God. That may seem to be a strange answer. Thinking of the cross and of Christ’s atonement, we assume that the thing that most strenuously motivated God to send Christ into the world was His love or His mercy. As a result, we tend to overlook the characteristic of God’s nature that makes the atonement absolutely necessary—His justice. God is loving, but a major part of what He loves is His own perfect character, with a major aspect being the importance of maintaining justice and righteousness. Though God pardons sinners and makes great provision for expressing His mercy, He will never negotiate His justice. If we fail to understand that, the cross of Christ will be utterly meaningless to us. —R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Reformation Trust, 2007), 18–19.

Cosmic Treason

Wednesday··2008·09·24
Sin, R. C. Sproul writes, “is cosmic treason.” We rarely take the time to think through the ramifications of human sin. We fail to realize that even the slightest sins we commit, such as little white lies or other peccadilloes we are violating the law of the creator of the universe. In the smallest sin we defy God’s right to rule and reign over His creation. Instead, we seek to usurp for ourselves the authority and power that belong properly to God. Even the slightest sin does violence to His holiness, to His glory, and to his righteousness. Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is truly an act of treason against a cosmic King. There are two aspects of the one problem we must understand if we are to grasp the necessity of the atonement of Christ. . . . God is just. In other words, He cannot tolerate unrighteousness. He must do what is right. . . . The other aspect of the problem [is that] we have violated God’s justice and earned His displeasure. We are cosmic traitors. We must recognize this problem within ourselves if we are to grasp the necessity of the cross. —R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Reformation Trust, 2007), 32–33.

Spots and Blemishes

Thursday··2008·09·25
R. C. Sproul, considering the separation between God and man that made a substitutionary atonement by a God-man necessary, draws three circles. The first represents the character of man. Imagine a circle that represents the character of mankind. Now imagine that if someone sins, a spot—a moral blemish of sorts—appears in the circle, marring the character of man. If another sin occurs, more blemishes appear in the circle. Well, if sin continues to multiply, eventually the entire circle will be filled with spots and blemishes. . . . Human character is clearly tainted by sin . . . The sinful pollution and corruption of fallen man is complete, rendering us totally corrupt. . . . To take it further, when the apostle Paul elaborates on this fallen human condition, he says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; . . . There is none who does good; no, not one” (Rom. 3:10b-12). That’s a radical statement. Paul is saying that man never, ever does a good deed, but that flies in the face of our experience. When we look around us, we see numerous people who are not Christians doing things that we would applaud for their virtue. . . . But how can there be these deeds of apparent goodness when the Bible says that no one does good? The reason for this problem is that when the Bible describes goodness or badness, it looks at it from two distinct perspectives. First, there is the measuring rod of the law, which evaluates the external performance of human beings. For example, if the law says you are not allowed to steal, and you go your whole life without stealing, we could say that you have a good record. You’ve kept the law externally. But in addition to the external measuring rod, there is also the consideration of the heart, the internal motivation for our behavior. We’re told that man judges by outward appearances, but God looks on the heart. From a biblical perspective, to do a good deed in the fullest sense requires not only that the deed conform outwardly to the standards of God’s law, but that it proceed from a heart that loves Him and wants to honor Him. You remember the great commandment: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’” (Matt. 22:37). Is there anyone reading this book who has loved God with all of his or her heart for the past five minutes? No. Nobody loves God with all of his heart, not to mention his soul or mind. . . . If we consider human performance from this perspective, we can see why the apostle would come to his apparently radical conclusion that there is no one who does good, that there’s no goodness in the full sense of the word found among mankind. Even our finest works have a taint of sin mixed in. I have never done an act of charity, of sacrifice, or of heroism that came from a heart, a soul, and a mind that loved God completely. —R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Reformation Trust, 2007), 85, 87–89.

Why the God-man? (2)

Friday··2008·09·26 · 6 Comments
R. C. Sproul draws three circles illustrating the separation between God and man that made a substitutionary atonement by a God-man necessary. The first circle represented the character of man. Sproul continues: Imagine a second circle, just like the one we had for man, to represent the character of God. How many blemishes would we see in this circle? Absolutely none. We are totally depraved, but God is absolutely holy. In fact, He is too holy to even look at iniquity. He is perfectly just. Here, then, is the crux of the problem: how can an unjust person stand in the presence of God? Or, to put the question another way, how can an unjust person be made just, or justified? Can he start all over again? No. Once a person commits one sin, it is impossible for him ever to be perfect, because he’s lost his perfection with his initial sin. Can he pay the penalty for his sin? No—unless he wishes to spend an eternity in hell. Can God simply overlook the sin? No. If God did that, He would sacrifice His justice. Therefore, if man is to be made just, God’s justice must be satisfied. Someone must be able to pay te penalty for man’s sin. It must be a member of the offending party, the human race, but it must be one who has never fallen into the inescapable imperfection of sin. Given these requirements, no man could qualify. However, God Himself could. For this reason, God the Son came into the world and took on humanity. As the author of Hebrews says, “He had to be made like His brethren . . .” (Heb. 2:17a, emphasis added). —R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Reformation Trust, 2007), 90–91.

Power in the Blood

Thursday··2008·10·02 · 1 Comments
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder working pow’r In the blood of the Lamb; There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder working pow’r In the precious blood of the Lamb. Or is there? The blood of Christ is often given magical, mythical power in the minds of Christians. In the classic 1959 movie Ben-Hur, the blood of Christ drips from the cross. As it begins to rain, the blood merges with the rain water, and as the rain falls on Judah Ben-Hur’s leprous mother and sister, they are healed. Healing power was attributed to the physical blood of Christ. John MacArthur has been branded a heretic by some for denying that the physical blood of Christ possesses any divine character or power. Is there “power in the blood”? If so, what does that mean, biblically? R. C. Sproul answers the question, “What is the significance of the shedding of blood in the atonement?” The idea that there’s some intrinsic or inherent power in the blood of Jesus is a popular concept in the Christian world. It even crops up from time to time in various hymns and praise songs. This idea reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of the blood as it relates to atonement from a biblical perspective. I once heard my dear friend John Guest, who is an Anglican evangelist, preach on the cross and the blood of Christ. He asked this question: “Had Jesus come to earth and scratched his finger on a nail so that a drop or two of blood was spilled, would that have been sufficient to redeem us? That would have constituted the shedding of blood. If we’re saved by the blood of Christ, wouldn’t that have been enough?” Obviously the point John was trying to make is that it’s not the blood of Christ as such that saves us. The significance of the blood in the sacrificial system is that it represents life. The Old Testament repeatedly makes the point that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). Therefore, when the blood is poured out, the life is poured out. That’s significant, because under the covenant of works in the Garden of Eden, the penalty that was laid down for disobedience was death. God required that penalty for sin. That is why Jesus had to die to accomplish the atonement. When the blood is shed and the life is poured out, the penalty is paid. Nothing short of that penalty will do. —R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Reformation Trust, 2007), 155–156.

Hymns of My Youth: Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus

Saturday··2011·04·23
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. Isaiah 53:3–6 This hymn seems to be a rip-off of Wesley’s Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus. The Concordia tune is Lord Victorious, of which I have previously expressed my disdain. The tune below is Hyfrydol, which you will certainly recognize. The Concordia text differs somewhat from examples I have found at cyberhymnal.org and elsewhere, reflecting a particular vs. universal atonement. I can’t say which is correct according to the author, but this is surely the theologically correct version. 221 Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus Hail, Thou once despisèd Jesus! Hail, Thou Galilean King! Thou didst suffer to release us; Thou didst free salvation bring. Hail, Thou agonizing Savior, Bearer of our sin and shame! By Thy merits we find favor; Life is given through Thy Name. Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, All our sins on Thee were laid; By almighty love anointed, Thou hast full atonement made. All Thy people are forgiven, Through the virtue of Thy blood; Opened is the gate of Heaven, Peace is made ’twixt man and God. Jesus, hail, enthroned in glory, There forever to abide; All the heav’nly hosts adore Thee, Seated at Thy Father’s side. There for sinners Thou art pleading, There Thou dost our place prepare, Even for us interceding, Till in glory we appear. Worship, honor, power and blessing, Thou art worthy to receive; Loudest praises, without ceasing, Meet it is for us to give. Help, ye bright angelic spirits, Bring your sweetest, noblest lays; Help to sing of our Savior’s merits, Help to chant Immanuel’s praise! —The Concordia Hymnal (Augsburg Publishing House, 1960).

Hymns of My Youth II: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?

Saturday··2012·02·04
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. —Isaiah 53:3–6 Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed? Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sov’reign die? Would he devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker, died For man the creature’s sin. But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away— ’Tis all that I can do. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Hymns of My Youth II: Jesus Paid It All

Saturday··2012·03·17
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. —Isaiah 1:18 Jesus Paid It All I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small! Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.” Refrain: Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain— He washed it white as snow. Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone. Refrain For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim— I’ll wash my garments white In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. Refrain And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, “Jesus died my soul to save,” My lips shall still repeat. Refrain —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Hymns of My Youth II: Praise Him!

Saturday··2013·01·19
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! —Psalm 150 Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer! Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy Name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, In His arms He carries them all day long: Refrain Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness. Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song! Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died. He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong. Refrain Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever. Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming! over the world victorious, Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong. Refrain —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Hymns of My Youth II: To God Be the Glory

Saturday··2013·01·26
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. —Psalm 145:10–13 To God Be the Glory To God be the glory—great things He hath done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin And opened the Life-gate that all may go in. Refrain Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, thru Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory—great things He hath done. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood! To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. Refrain Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, And great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. Refrain —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Hymns of My Youth III: Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned

Saturday··2013·06·01
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. —Isaiah 53:4–5 This is one of those long Puritan hymns that has only partially survived in the hymnal. You can find the full text here. 130 Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned Majestic sweetness sits enthroned Upon the Savior’s brow; His head with radiant glories crowned, His lips with grace o’erflow, His lips with grace o’erflow. No mortal can with Him compare Among the sons of men; Fairer is He than all the fair Who fill the heav’nly train, Who fill the heav’nly train. He saw me plunged in deep distress And flew to my relief; For me He bore the shameful cross, And carried all my grief, And carried all my grief. To Him I owe my life and breath And all the joys I have; He makes me triumph over death, And saves me from the grave, And saves me from the grave. —Favorite Hymns of Praise (Tabernacle Publishing Company, 1967).

Hymns of My Youth III: Jesus, Thy Blood

Saturday··2013·07·06
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. —Romans 3:21–26 I love this hymn in spite of the implication of universal atonement in the fourth stanza. 169 Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness My beauty are, my glorious dress; ’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, With joy shall I lift up my head. Bold shall I stand in Thy great day, For who aught to my charge shall lay? Fully absolved through these I am, From sin and fear, from guilt and shame. Lord, I believe Thy precious blood, Which, at the mercy seat of God, Forever doth for sinners plead, For me, e’en for my soul, was shed. Lord, I believe were sinners more Than sands upon the ocean shore, Thou hast for all a ransom paid, For all a full atonement made. —Favorite Hymns of Praise (Tabernacle Publishing Company, 1967).

Real, or Potential?

Friday··2013·11·29
Did Jesus actually atone for sins on the cross, or did he only achieve a potential atonement? When he said, “It is finished,” was anything really finished, or was the finishing just made possible? Are the sins of lost souls in hell forgiven? These are the questions that must be answered by teachers of universal atonement. John Owen, in his seminal treatment of limited atonement, points out the sequence of Arminian reasoning. First, “Christ died for all and every one, elect and reprobate.” But second, “Most of them for whom Christ died are damned.” According to this view, most of the people for whom Christ offered atonement do not have their sins atoned for. If God intended the salvation of all, His intention clearly failed. John Murray observes: The very nature of Christ’s mission and accomplishment is involved in this question. Did Christ come to make the salvation of all men possible, to remove obstacles that stood in the way of salvation, and merely to make provision for salvation? Or did he come to save his people? . . . Did he come to make men redeemable? Or did he come effectually and infallibly to redeem? The doctrine of the atonement must be radically revised if, as atonement, it applies to those who finally perish as well as to those who are the heirs of eternal life. In that event we should have to dilute the grand categories in terms of which the Scripture defines the atonement and deprive them of their most precious import and glory. —Richard D. Phillips, What’s So Great about the Doctrines of Grace? (Reformation Trust, 2008), 54–55.

No End in Itself

Friday··2013·12·06
As we look forward to celebrating the incarnation of our Messiah, let us remember that we are not to obsess over a baby in a manger. The birth of Jesus is no end in itself, but is part of the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption. Jesus exercised the offices of prophet, priest, and king in his role as mediator, and especially took on human flesh that he might suffer in that flesh, offering himself as a substitutionary sacrifice, to atone for the sins of his people. —The Incarnation in the Gospels (P&R Publishing, 2008), xi.

Lord’s Day 51, 2013

Sunday··2013·12·22
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. —Philippians 2:6–8 Hymns of Thanksgiving Hymn XI. On the Birth of Christ. Augustus Toplady (1740–1778) Amplest grace in thee I find, Friend and Saviour of mankind, Richest merit to atone For our sins before the throne. Born to save thy church from hell, Once thou didst with sinners dwell; Was to earth a prophet giv’n, Now our Advocate in heaven. Well might wond’ring angels cry, “Glory be to God on high, Peace on earth, good will to men, Lost mankind is found again.” Join, my soul, their holy song, Emulate the brighter throng, Hail the everlasting word, Welcome thy descending Lord? Grace unequall’d! Love unknown! Jesus lays aside his crown, Clothes himself with flesh and blood, Takes the manhood into God. Harden’d rebels tho’ we are, Lo, he comes to sojourn here: See him lie where oxen feed, This his chamber, hay his bed! God (O hear it with surprise!) For a manger leaves the skies. By assuming flesh beneath, Render’d capable of death. From their Maker turn’d aside, As in Adam all have died, So whoe’er his grace receive, Shall in Christ be made alive. —The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady (Sprinkle Publications, 1987). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 5, 2014

Sunday··2014·02·02
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. —Leviticus 16:21–22 Hymns of Thanksgiving Hymn XIV. Thanksgiving for the Suffering of Christ. Augustus Toplady (1740–1778) O thou who didst thy glory leave Apostate sinners to retrieve From nature’s deadly fall; He thou hast purchased with a price, Nor shall my crimes in judgment rise, For thou hast borne them all. Jesus was punished in my stead, Without the gate my Surety bled, To expiate my stain; On earth the Godhead deign’d to dwell, And made of infinite avail, The suff’rings of the man. And was he for his rebels giv’n? He was: th’ incarnate King of heav’n Did for his foes expire; Amaz’d, O earth, the tidings hear— He bore, that we might never bear, His Father’s righteous ire. Ye saints, the man of sorrows bless, The God for your unrighteousness Deputed to atone: Praise him till, with the heav’nly throng, Ye sing the never-ending song, And see him on his throne. —The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady (Sprinkle Publications, 1987). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

The Camera Cannot Capture the Curse

Wednesday··2014·03·05
With the coming of the Son of God movie it has been observed that, like The Passion of the Christ, Son of God will show crucifixion, not the cross. This will always be the problem with dramas and sermons that focus on the physical brutality of the execution of Jesus. R. C. Sproul writes: There is a sense in which Christ on the cross was the most filthy and grotesque person in the history of the world. In and of Himself, He was a lamb without blemish—sinless, perfect, and majestic. But by imputation, all of the ugliness of human violence was concentrated on His person. Once sin was concentrated on Jesus, God cursed Him. When the curse of the law was poured out on Jesus, He experienced pain that had never been suffered in the annals of history. I have heard graphic sermons about the excruciating pain of the nails in the hands, of hanging on a cross, and of the torturous dimensions of crucifixion. I am sure that they are all accurate and that it was a dreadful way to be executed, but thousands of people in world history have undergone the excruciating pain of crucifixion. Only one man has ever felt the pain of the fullness of the unmitigated curse of God on Him. When He felt it, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” . . . God certainly did forsake Him. That is the whole point of the atonement. Without forsakenness, there is no curse. God, at that moment in space and time, turned His back on His Son. The intimacy of the pros relationship that Jesus experienced with the Father was ruptured (in His human nature). At that moment God turned out the lights. The Bible tells us that the world was encompassed with darkness, God Himself bearing witness to the trauma of the hour. Jesus was forsaken, He was cursed, and He felt it. The word passion means “feeling.” In the midst of His forsakenness, I doubt He was even aware of the nails in His hands or the thorns in His brow. He was cut off from the Father. It was obscene, yet it was beautiful, because by it we can someday experience the fullness of the benediction of Israel. We will look unveiled into the light of the countenance of God. —R. C. Sproul, Who Is Jesus? (Reformation Trust, 2009), 88–89.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: To God Be the Glory

Saturday··2014·07·19
To God Be the Glory The Lord has done great things for us; We are glad. Psalm 126:3To God be the glory—great things He hath done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin And opened the Life-gate that all may go in. Refrain Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, thru Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory—great things He hath done. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood! To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. Refrain Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, And great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. Refrain —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 31, 2014

Sunday··2014·08·03
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. —Hebrews 4:1–11 A Psalm of Praise for the Lord’s Day William Burkitt (1650–1703) This is the day, the Lord’s own day, A day of holy rest; O teach our souls to rest from sin, That rest will please Thee best. This is the day, Thy day, O Lord, On which Thou didst arise; For sinners having made Thyself A sinless sacrifice. Thou, Thou alone, redeemed hast Our souls from deadly thrall; With no less price than Thine own blood, The purchase of us all. Had Thou not died we had not lived, But died eternally; We’ll live to him that died for us, And praise his name on high. Thou died, and Thou did rise again, And did ascend on high, That we poor sinners, lost and dead, Might live eternally. Thy blood was shed instead of ours; Thy soul our guilt did bear; Thou took our sins upon Thyself; Thy love’s beyond compare. How dear and welcome, Lord, to me Is Thy most holy day! But what a Sabbath shall I keep For evermore with Thee? I come, I wait, I hear, I pray; Thy footsteps, Lord, I trace. I joy to think this is the way To see my Savior’s face. These are my preparation days, And when my soul is dressed, These Sabbaths shall deliver me To mine eternal rest. —Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: What a Wonderful Savior!

Saturday··2014·08·16
What a Wonderful Savior! We have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world. John 4:42 Christ has for sin atonement made— What a wonderful Savior! We are redeemed, the price is paid— What a wonderful Savior! Refrain What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Jesus! What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Lord! I praise Him for the cleansing blood— What a wonderful Savior! That reconciled my soul to God— What a wonderful Savior! Refrain: He cleansed my heart from all its sin— What a wonderful Savior! And now He reigns and rules therein— What a wonderful Savior! Refrain: He gives me overcoming pow’r— What a wonderful Savior! And triumph in each trying hour— What a wonderful Savior! Refrain: —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music). It’s difficult to find good audio/video for some of these hymns and gospel songs. I almost gave up on this one. This is the best I could do.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Glorious Is Thy Name

Saturday··2014·08·23
Glorious Is Thy Name Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13 Blessed Savior, we adore Thee, We Thy love and grace proclaim; Thou art mighty, Thou art holy, Glorious is Thy matchless name!Refrain Glorious, Glorious, Glorious is Thy name, O Lord! Glorious, Glorious, Glorious is Thy name, O Lord! Great Redeemer, Lord and Master, Light of all eternal days; Let the saints from ev’ry nation Sing Thy just and endless praise! Refrain From the throne of heaven’s glory To the cross of sin and shame, Thou didst come and die a ransom, Guilty sinners to reclaim! Refrain Come, O come, Immortal Savior, Come and take Thy royal throne; Come and reign, and reign forever, Be the Kingdom all Thine own! Refrain —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 34, 2014

Sunday··2014·08·24
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13 Hymn 133. (C. M.) Love and Charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 2–7, 13. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Let Pharisees of high esteem Their faith and zeal declare, All their religion is a dream, If love be wanting there. Love suffers long with patient eye, Nor is provoke’d in haste; She lets the present injury die, And long forgets the past. [Malice and rage, those fires of hell, She quenches with her tongue; Hopes and believes, and thinks no ill, Though she endure the wrong.] [She nor desires nor seeks to know The scandals of the time; Nor looks with pride on those below, Nor envies those that climb.] She lays her own advantage by To seek her neighbour’s good; So God’s own Son came down to die, And bought our lives with blood. Love is the grace that keeps her power In all the realms above; There faith and hope are known no more, But saints for ever love. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 38, 2014

Sunday··2014·09·21
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. —1 Corinthians 15:22 The Sin and the Sinbearer Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Humanity hath sinned! Not Adam, but the race has met its fall; Life has gone out from earth, Who shall that life recall? He only who is man! Man and yet God, he can undo the fall; True flesh and blood of earth, He can that life recall. Creation has been struck! Not Eden, but the universal earth; All things beneath the sun Are smitten from their birth. He only loves and saves! Whose cross hath borne creation’s deadly wrong Whose blood shall purge away Creation’s stains ere long. He, the last Adam, lives! He died, was buried, and yet liveth still; Victor o’er hellish hate, Victor o’er human ill! His life is life for us! His joy, his crown, his glory are our own; For us he fought the fight, For us he won the throne. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Praise Him

Saturday··2014·10·11
Praise Him! Worthy are You . . . for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Revelation 5:9 Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy Name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, In His arms He carries them all day long: Refrain Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song! Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died; He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows; Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong: Refrain Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming! over the world victorious, Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong: Refrain —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned

Saturday··2014·10·25
Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned And all were . . . wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; Luke 4:22 Majestic sweetness sits enthroned Upon the Savior’s brow; His head with radiant glories crowned, His lips with grace o’erflow, His lips with grace o’erflow. No mortal can with Him compare Among the sons of men; Fairer is He than all the fair Who fill the heav’nly train, Who fill the heav’nly train. He saw me plunged in deep distress And flew to my relief; For me He bore the shameful cross, And carried all my grief, And carried all my grief. To Him I owe my life and breath And all the joys I have; He makes me triumph over death And saves me from the grave, And saves me from the grave. Since from His bounty I receive Such proofs of love divine, Had I a thousand hearts to give, Lord, they should all be Thine, Lord, they should all be Thine. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Join All the Glorious Names

Saturday··2014·11·01
Join All the Glorious Names . . . far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named . . . Ephesians 1:22 Join all the glorious names Of wisdom, love, and pow’r, That ever mortals knew, That angels ever bore: All are too mean to speak His worth, To poor to set my Savior forth. Great Prophet of my God, My tongue would bless Thy Name: By Thee the joyful news Of our salvation came, The joyful news of sin forgiv’n, Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n. Jesus, my great High Priest, Offered His blood, and died; My guilty conscience seeks No sacrifice beside: His pow’rful blood did once atone And now it pleads before the throne. Thou art my Counsellor, My Pattern, and my Guide, And Thou my Shepherd art; O, keep me near thy side; Nor let my feet e’er turn astray To wander in the crooked way. My Savior and my Lord, My Conqu’ror and my King, Thy scepter and Thy sword, Thy reigning grace, I sing: Thine is the pow’r; behold I sit In willing bonds beneath Thy feet. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: One Day

Saturday··2015·01·24
One Day When they saw the star, they rejoiced . . . and worshiped Him. Matthew 2:10 11 One day when Heaven was filled with His praises, One day when sin was as black as could be, Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin, Dwelt among men—my Example is He! Refrain Living—He loved me, dying—He saved me, Buried—He carried my sins far away; Rising—He justified freely forever: One day He’s coming—O glorious day! One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, One day they nailed Him to die on the tree; Suffering anguish, despised and rejected, Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He! Refrain One day they left Him alone in the garden, One day He rested, from suffering free; Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil— Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He! Refrain One day the grave could conceal Him no longer, One day the stone rolled away from the door; Then He arose, over death He had conquered, Now is ascended, my Lord evermore! Refrain One day the trumpet will sound for His coming, One day the skies with His glories will shine; Wonderful day, my belovèd ones bringing! Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine! Refrain —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: What a Savior

Friday··2016·01·15
Hallelujah! What a Savior! He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; Isaiah 53:3 “Man of Sorrows!” what a name For the Son of God, who came Ruined sinners to reclaim. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood— Sealed my pardon with His blood: Hallelujah! What a Savior! Guilty, vile, and helpless we, Spotless Lamb of God was He; Full atonement! can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior! Lifted up was He to die, “It is finished!” was His cry; Now in Heav’n exalted high: Hallelujah! What a Savior! When He comes, our glorious King, All His ransomed home to bring, Then anew this song we’ll sing: Hallelujah! What a Savior! —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: What Wondrous Love

Saturday··2016·01·23
What Wondrous Love Is This . . . he who is hanged is accursed of God . . . Deuteronomy 21:23 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul! What wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, To bear the dreadful curse for my soul? When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down, When I was sinking down, sinking down, When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul. To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing, To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, To God and to the Lamb who is the great “I am,” While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, While millions join the theme, I will sing. And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, And through eternity I’ll sing on. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: O Sacred Head

Saturday··2016·01·30
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; Mark 15:17 O sacred Head, now wounded, With grief and shame weighed down, Now scornfully surrounded With thorns, Thine only crown, How Pale Thou art with anguish, With sore abuse and scorn, How doth Thy visage languish Which once was bright as morn! What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, Was all for sinners’ gain; Mine, mine was the transgression, But Thine the deadly pain. Lo, here I fall, my Savior; ’Tis I deserve Thy place; Look on me with Thy favor, Assist me with Thy grace. What language shall I borrow To thank Thee, dearest Friend, For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end? O make me Thine forever, And should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never Outlive my love to Thee. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music). O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden Joy Tuggy, 91 years old

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Arise, My Soul, Arise

Saturday··2016·03·05
Arise, My Soul, AriseTherefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 Arise, my soul, arise, Shake off thy guilty fears. The bleeding sacrifice In my behalf appears. Before the throne my Surety stands, Before the throne my Surety stands; My name is written on His hands. He ever lives above For me to intercede, His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead. His blood atoned for all our race,* His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace. Five bleeding wounds He bears, Received on Calvary. They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me. “Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry, “Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry, “Nor let that ransomed sinner die.“ The Father hears Him pray, His dear Anointed One; He cannot turn away The presence of His Son. His Spirit answers to the blood, His Spirit answers to the blood, And tells me I am born of God. My God is reconciled; His pard’ning voice I hear. He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear. With confidence I now draw nigh, With confidence I now draw nigh, And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music). * This hymn comes with the same disclaimer as this: “. . . in spite of the implication of universal atonement.”

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed

Saturday··2016·03·19
Alas! and Did My Savior BleedFor the word of the cross . . . is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sov’reign die? Would he devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He suffered on the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the great Redeemer, died For man the creature’s sin. Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes to tears. But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away— ’Tis all that I can do. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Jesus Paid It All

Saturday··2016·03·26
Jesus Paid It AllFor you have been bought with a price 1 Corinthians 6:20 I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small! Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.” Refrain: Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain— He washed it white as snow. Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone. Refrain For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim— I’ll wash my garments white In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. Refrain And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, “Jesus died my soul to save,” My lips shall still repeat. Refrain —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 8, 2017

Sunday··2017·02·19
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of Him, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as it was not without an oath (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever’”); so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail. Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. —Hebrews 7, 9 Hymn 145. (C. M.) Christ and Aaron. Hebrews vii and ix. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Jesus, in thee our eyes behold A thousand glories more, Than the rich gems and polish’d gold The sons of Aaron wore. They first their own burnt-off’rings brought, To purge themselves from sin; Thy life was pure without a spot, And all thy nature clean. [Fresh blood as constant as the day Was on their altar spilt; But thy one off’ring takes away For ever all our guilt.] [Their priesthood ran through sev’ral hands, For mortal was their race; Thy never-changing office stands Eternal as thy days.] [Once in the circuit of a year, With blood, but not his own, Aaron within the veil appears Before the golden throne: But Christ, by his own powerful blood, Ascends above the skies, And in the presence of our God Shows his own sacrifice.] Jesus, the King of glory, reigns On Sion’s heav’nly hill; Looks like a lamb that has been slain, And wears his priesthood still. He ever lives to intercede Before his Father’s face: Give him, my soul, thy cause to plead, Nor doubt the Father’s grace. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

God Will Punish Sin

Thursday··2017·11·02
Having seen why God must punish sin, and knowing that we are all sinners, we are left in an apparently hopeless position. Since there is such necessity that sin be punished, and the Lord so highly concerned to inflict the penalty due to sin, either the sinners themselves must bear the penalty, or some other for them; if the sinners themselves must bear the punishment, no flesh could be saved, all mankind must be eternally miserable, for it is the penalty expressed by death and curse. If some other bear the penalty for them, it must be such a person, and in such a way, that will be as satisfactory to justice, and as full a salvo to the divine perfections concerned in his law and government, as if the sinners themselves suffered it. The design of the law must be secured, and the ends of divine government attained, and the justice, holiness, truth, and wisdom of God vindicated and manifested, as much as if the penalty was inflicted upon the transgressors themselves. —David Clarkson, Justification by the Righteousness of Christ, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:284. But there is good news: We have a substitute. It was Christ that undertook this, and the way wherein he effected it was by suffering in our stead. This is it which we are concerned to maintain; Christ suffered in our stead; for if he did not, the punishment due to sin is not inflicted (since his bearing the punishment due to our sin, and his suffering in our stead is all one), neither we nor any for us undergo it. Thus sin, as to all that are saved, will go unpunished every way, and so the ends of government are neglected by the infinite wise and righteous Governor of the world, and the glory of his wisdom, truth, justice, and holiness are by himself exposed and left to suffer without any salvo. If we be saved in a way that will not secure the honour of the divine perfections, salvation will be effected in a way not consistent with the honour of God. But no salvation can be expected on these terms, and therefore either none will be saved by Christ, or else it is upon the account of his bearing the penalty of the law in their stead. But by Christ’s suffering in our stead all is secured, justice is satisfied for them, sin hath its deserts, that which is due to it, and which justice requires should be inflicted for it; his holiness is demonstrated, for what clearer evidence, that he is of purer eyes than to behold it, that he perfectly hates it, than by punishing it in his own Son, when he appeared but in the room of sinners. His truth is manifested, when the Lord of life must die, rather than what the law denounced shall not be executed; his wisdom is no way impeached, the ends of government fully attained, the law vindicated from contempt, the authority of the great lawgiver upheld, and the children of men deterred from sin, when the Son of God must suffer for it. I need not here give an account of that abundant evidence we have in Scripture that Christ should suffer in our stead, only this in short: the several notions whereby his death is represented to us in Scripture, make it plain that he suffered and died not only for our good, but in our stead. His death is held forth as a punishment, as a ransom, and as a sacrifice. His death was a punishment: He was ‘wounded for our transgressions;’ he died for our sins; that is, he suffered what our sins deserved, that we might not suffer; and this is the very thing that we mean by his suffering in our stead. His death was our ransom, Mat. xx. 28. He paid that in our behalf which justice required of him, and this is to pay it in our stead. His death was a sacrifice: he died that we might escape that death which was the penalty of the law transgressed by us. As the life of the sacrifice went for the life of the sinner for whom it was offered; this is to die in our stead, as the sacrifice died instead of the offender. —Ibid. (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:284–285.

God Is Satisfied

Friday··2017·11·03
God must punish sin, and Christ has taken that punishment. With that, God is satisfied. Christ’s sufferings were accepted for us, and accepted as suffered in our stead. None who believe he suffered will question but his sufferings were accepted; nor will any deny that they were accepted as suffered in our stead, but those who against all evidence of Scripture deny that he suffered in our stead. (1.) The ground of his death and suffering; (2.) The end and design of them; (3.) Their full sufficiency for their end; (4.) The dignity and quality of the person suffering; everything, in a manner, which occurs therein tends to make this unquestionable among all Christians. It was the will of the Father, expressed in the form of a covenant between Father and Son, that the Son taking our nature should thus suffer, Ps. xl. 6–8, Heb. x. 5. The Father promises that these sufferings should be accepted, Isa. liii. 10, 11. The Son, upon assurance of the Father’s acceptance, submits to the sufferings. He suffered all that in justice was required, that way might be made for our acquitment. His sufferings were a full demonstration of his truth, wisdom, holiness, justice, yea, of his mercy too; the Lord was hereby every way transcendently glorified, and that which thus glorifies him must needs be highly acceptable. He that suffered was not only man, but God, of the same essence, power, and will with the Father. His sufferings and blood was the sufferings and blood of him who is God, and therefore of infinite value, and so most worthy of all acceptance, such as could not in justice but be accepted. The Lord was herewith fully satisfied, and that which fully satisfied him was unquestionably accepted. —David Clarkson, Justification by the Righteousness of Christ, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:285.

Lord’s Day 46, 2017

Sunday··2017·11·12
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived. —Numbers 21:6–9 Ecce Homo! Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Jesu, Saviour, Son of God, Bearer of the sinner’s load; Breaker of the captive’s chain, Cleanser of the guilty’s stain; Thou the sinner’s death hast died, Thou for us wast crucified; For our sin thy flesh was torn, Thou the penalty hast borne, Of our guilt, upon the tree, Which the Father laid on thee! Saviour, Surety, Lamb of God, Thou hast bought us with thy blood; Thou hast wiped the debt away, Nothing left for us to pay; Nothing left for us to bear, Nothing left for us to share, But the pardon and the bliss, But the love, the light, the peace. I to thee will look and live, And, in looking, praises give. Looking lightens, looking heals, Looking all the gladness seals; Looking breaks the binding chain, Looking sets us free again; Looking scatters all our night, Makes our faces shine with light; Looking quickens, strengthens, brings Heavenly gladness on its wings! Jesu, Saviour, Son of God, Bearer of the sinner’s load, I would rise to thee above, I would look, and praise, and love; Ever looking let me be At the blood-besprinkled tree, Blessing thee with lip and soul, While the endless ages roll. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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