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The Cross

(32 posts)

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.

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.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:28–39 When Jesus Died on the cross, he did not merely make our salvation possible; he actually secured that salvation—and all that it entails—for each of his elect. J. I. Packer expounds this truth from Romans 8: The thought expressed by Paul’s [question in v. 32] is that no good thing will finally be withheld from us. He conveys this thought by pointing to the adequacy of God as our sovereign benefactor and to the decisiveness of his redeeming work for us. Three comments will bring out the force of Paul’s argument. Note, first, what Paul implies about the costliness of our redemption. “He did not spare his own Son.” In saving us, God went to the limit. . . . We cannot know what Calvary cost the Father, any more than we can know Jesus felt as he tasted the penalty due to our sins. . . . Yet we can say this: that if the measure of love is what it gives, then there never was such love as God showed to sinners at Calvary, nor will any subsequent love-gift to us cost God so much. So if God has already commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (5:8), it is believable, to say the least, that he will go on to give us “all things” besides. . . . But this is not all. Note, second, what Paul implies about the effectiveness of our redemption. “God,” he says, “gave him up for us all”—and this fact is itself the guarantee that “all things” will be given us, because they all come to us as the direct fruit of Christ’s death. We have just said that the greatness of God’s giving on the cross makes his further giving (if the words may be allowed) natural and likely, but what we must note now is that the unity of God’s saving purpose makes such further giving necessary, and therefore certain. At this point the New Testament view of the cross involves more than is sometimes realized. That the apostolic writers present the death of Christ as the ground and warrant of God’s offer of forgiveness, and that we enter into forgiveness through repentance and faith in Christ, will not be disputed. But does this mean that, as a loaded gun is only potentially explosive, and an act of pulling the trigger is needed to make it go off, so Christ’s death achieved only a possibility of salvation, needing an exercise of faith on our part to trigger it off and make it actual? If so, then it is not strictly Christ’s death that saves us at all, any more than it is loading the gun that makes it fire: strictly speaking, we save ourselves by our faith, and for all we know, Christ’s death might not have saved anyone, since it might have been the case that nobody believed the gospel. But that is not how the New Testament sees it. The New Testament view is that the death of Christ has actually saved “us all”—all, that is to say, whom God foreknew, and has called and justified, and will in due course glorify. For our faith, which from the human point of view is the means of salvation, is from God’s point of view part of salvation, and is as directly and completely God’s gift to us as is the pardon and peace of which faith lays hold. Psychologically, faith is our own act, but the theological truth about it is that it is God’s work in us: our faith, and our new relationship with God as believers, and all the divine gifts that are enjoyed within this relationship, were all alike secured for us by Jesus’ death on the cross. For the cross was not an isolated event; it was, rather, the focal point in God’s eternal plan to save his elect, and it ensured and guaranteed first the calling (the bringing to faith, through the gospel in the mind and the Holy Spirit in the heart), and then the justification, and finally the glorification, of all for whom, specifically and personally, Christ died. Now we see why the Greek of this verse says literally (and so the KJV renders it), how shall he not with him also give us all things? It is simply impossible for him not to do this, for Christ and “all things” go together as ingredients in the single gift of eternal life and glory, and the giving of Christ for us, to remove the “sin barrier” by substitutionary atonement, has effectively opened the door to our being given all the rest. . . . Note, third, what Paul implies about the consequences of redemption. God, he says, will with Christ give us “all things.” What does that cover? Calling, justification, glorification (which in v. 30 includes everything from the new birth to the resurrection of the body) have already been mentioned, and so throughout Romans 8 has the many sided ministry of the Holy Spirit. Here is wealth indeed, and from other Scriptures we could add to it. —J. I. Packer, Knowing God (InterVarsity Press, 1993), 264–266
Here’s a side to the Christmas story that isn’t often told. Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day walk up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant’s head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear. Jesus was born to die. —John MacArthur, God’s Gift of Christmas, (Thomas Nelson, 2006), 108–109.

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: The Old rugged Cross

Saturday··2012·02·11
In a way, this is a quintessential evangelical gospel song, with it’s emphasis on how I feel and what I’ll do. On the other hand, it does present a broad picture of what Christ accomplished on the cross: pardon, sanctification, and finally, glorification. The Old rugged Cross On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suff’ring and shame; And I love that old cross where the dearest and best For a world of lost sinners was slain. Refrain So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, Has a wondrous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above To bear it to dark Calvary. Refrain In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, A wondrous beauty I see, For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, To pardon and sanctify me. Refrain To the old rugged cross I will ever be true; Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away, Where His glory forever I’ll share. Refrain —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Hymns of My Youth II: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Saturday··2012·02·25
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” —1 Corinthians 1:30–31 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most— I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down; Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Hymns of My Youth II: In the Cross of Christ I Glory

Saturday··2012·03·10
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. –Galatians 6:14 In the Cross of Christ I Glory In the cross of Christ I glory, Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime. When the woes of life o’ertake me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy, Never shall the cross forsake me; Lo! it glows with peace and joy. When the sun of bliss is beaming Light and love upon my way, From the cross the radiance streaming Adds more luster to the day. Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified; Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).
Jesus didn’t come for the manger. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. —John 1:14

Hymns of My Youth III: In the Cross of Christ

Saturday··2013·11·16
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. —Galatians 6:14 408 In the Cross of Christ In the cross of Christ I glory, Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime. When the woes of life o’ertake me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy, Never shall the cross forsake me: Lo! it glows with peace and joy. When the sun of bliss is beaming Light and love upon my way, From the cross the radiance streaming Adds more luster to the day. Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified; Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that thro’ all time abide. —Favorite Hymns of Praise (Tabernacle Publishing Company, 1967).

Hymns of My Youth III: Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Saturday··2013·11·23
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. —Galatians 6:14 426 Beneath the Cross of Jesus Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand, The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land; A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day. Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me; And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess, The wonders of redeeming love and my own worthlessness. I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face; Content to let the world go by, to know no gain or loss, My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross. —Favorite Hymns of Praise (Tabernacle Publishing Company, 1967).

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.

The Glorious Cross

Monday··2014·01·06
The cross was an ugly thing. A brutal, bloody tool of torture and death, it was not merely a symbol of horror, but an actual horror. Yet God, as he so often does, turned that reality on its head in the crucifixion of Christ. The cross was the greatest display of the glory of God’s grace. On the very brink of his entry into Jerusalem, starting the final countdown to his crucifixion, Jesus said to his disciples, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). Jesus was not talking about the hosannahs that would greet his entry. The people were looking for him to be glorified by an ascent to military and political power. William Barclay writes, “By glorified they meant that the subjected kingdoms of the earth would grovel at the conqueror’s feet; by glorified he meant crucified. To the world, the cross was the most shameful of all things. It involved physical torture, personal humiliation, and a cursed death. This was Giod’s way of showing us the shame of our sin. But because the perfect son of God died in this way for us, the cross displays the grace of God to the highest glory of his name. And it is by seeing the glory of God’s grace in the cross that we are saved. Is the cross your glory? Is it your hope? Is it the place where your sins were put away and God’s glory shines into your heart? Paul speaks for every Christian heart when he exclaims, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:4). —Richard D. Phillips, The Incarnation in the Gospels (P&R Publishing, 2008), 186.

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.

Lord’s Day 10, 2014

Sunday··2014·03·09
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. —Ephesians 5:1–2 Hymn LIV. Christ crucified. . John Newton (1725–1806) When on the cross, my Lord I see Bleeding to death, for wretched me; Satan and sin no more can move, For I am all transform’d to love. His thorns, and nails, pierce thro’ my heart, In ev’ry groan I bear a part; I view his wounds with streaming eyes, But see! he bows his head and dies! Come, sinners, view the Lamb of God, Wounded and dead, and bath’d in blood! Behold his side, and venture near, The well of endless life is here. Here I forget my cares and pains; I drink, yet still my thirst remains; Only the fountain–head above, Can satisfy the thirst of love. O, that I thus could always feel! Lord, more and more thy love reveal! Then my glad tongue shall loud proclaim The grace and glory of thy name. Thy name dispels my guilt and fear, Revives my heart, and charms my ear; Affords a balm for ev’ry wound, And Satan trembles at the sound. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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 17, 2014

Sunday··2014·04·27
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. —Galatians 2:20 Hymn LVI. It is good to be here. John Newton (1725–1806) Let me dwell on Golgotha, Weep and love my life away! While I see him on the tree Weep and bleed, and die for me! That dear blood, for sinners spilt, Shows my sin in all its guilt: Ah, my soul, he bore thy load, Thou hast slain the Lamb of God. Hark! his dying words: “Forgive, Father, let the sinner live; Sinner, wipe thy tears away, I thy ransom freely pay.” While I hear this grace reveal’d, And obtain a pardon seal’d; All my lost affections move, Waken’d by the force of love. Farewel world, thy gold is dross, Now I see the bleeding cross; Jesus dy’d to set me free From the law, and sin, and thee! He has dearly bought my soul Lord, accept, and claim the whole! To thy will I all resign, Now, no more my own, but thine. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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 23, 2014

Sunday··2014·06·08
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” —Luke 23:34 Hymn LVII. Looking at the cross. John Newton (1725–1806) In evil long I took delight, Unaw’d by shame or fear; Till a new object struck my sight, And stopp’d my wild career. I saw one hanging on a tree, In agonies and blood; Who fix’d his languid eyes on me, As near his cross I stood. Sure, never till my latest breath, Can I forget that look; It seem’d to charge me with his death, Tho’ not a word he spoke. My conscience felt, and own’d the guilt, And plung’d me in despair; I saw my sins his blood had spilt, And help’d to nail him there. Alas! I knew not what I did, But now my tears are vain; Where shall my trembling soul be hid? For I the Lord have slain. A second look he gave, which said, “I freely all forgive; This blood is for thy ransom paid, I die, that thou may’st live.” Thus, while his death my sin displays, In all its blackest hue; (Such is the mystery of grace) It seals my pardon too. With pleasing grief and mournful joy, My spirit now is fill’d; That I should such a life destroy, Yet live by him I kill’d. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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: 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");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Saturday··2014·11·29
Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. John 1:1 Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown When Thou camest to earth for me; But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room For Thy holy nativity. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus— There is room in my heart For Thee! Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang, Proclaiming Thy royal degree; But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth, And in great humility. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus— There is room in my heart For Thee! The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest In the shade of the forest tree; But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God, In the deserts of Galilee. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus— There is room in my heart For Thee! Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word That should set Thy people free; But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn They bore Thee to Calvary. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus— There is room in my heart For Thee! When the heav’ns shall ring, and the angels shall sing At Thy coming to victory, Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room— There is room at My side For Thee.” My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus, When Thou comest and callest for me! —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: Beneath the Cross

Saturday··2016·02·06
Beneath the Cross of Jesus But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother . . . John 19:25 Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand— The shadow of a mighty Rock Within a weary land; A home within the wilderness, A rest upon the way, From the burning of the noontide heat, And the burden of the day. Upon that cross of Jesus Mine eye at times can see The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me; And from my stricken heart with tears Two wonders I confess— The wonders of redeeming love And my own worthlessness. I take, O cross, thy shadow For my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face; Content to let the world go by, To know no gain nor loss, My sinful self my only shame, My glory all the cross. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: In the Cross of Christ

Saturday··2016·02·13
In the Cross of Christ I Glory fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 In the cross of Christ I glory, Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime. When the woes of life o’ertake me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy, Never shall the cross forsake me: Lo! it glows with peace and joy. When the sun of bliss is beaming Light and love upon my way, From the cross the radiance streaming Adds more luster to the day. Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified; Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that thro’ all time abide. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Saturday··2016·02·20
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross They shall look on Him whom they pierced. John 19:37 When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most— I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down; Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small: Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: The Old Rugged Cross

Saturday··2016·02·27
The Old rugged CrossBeing found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8 On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suff’ring and shame; And I love that old cross where the dearest and best For a world of lost sinners was slain. Refrain So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, Has a wondrous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above To bear it to dark Calvary. Refrain In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, A wondrous beauty I see; For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, To pardon and sanctify me. Refrain To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away, Where His glory forever I’ll share. Refrain —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

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).

Lord’s Day 2, 2018

Sunday··2018·01·14
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. —John 19:28–30 It Is Finished. Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Christ has done the mighty work; Nothing left for us to do, But to enter on his toil, Enter on his triumph too. He has sowed the precious seed, Nothing left for us unsown; Ours it is to reap the fields, Make the harvest-joy our own. His the pardon, ours the sin,— Great the sin, the pardon great; His the good and ours the ill, His the love and ours the hate. Ours the darkness and the gloom, His the shade-dispelling light; Ours the cloud and his the sun, His the dayspring, ours the night. His the labour, ours the rest, His the death and ours the life; Ours the fruits of victory, His the agony and strife. —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 #LordsDay 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 7, 2018

Sunday··2018·02·18
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” —Matthew 16:24; Cf. Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 VII. Augustus Toplady (1740–1778) Dying Redeemer, slaughter’d Lamb, Thou poured’st out thy blood for me! O may I, kindled by thy flame, As freely give myself to thee! My heart to thee I now resign, For, Lord, it cost the blood of thine! To save my falling soul from death, Th’ immaculate Redeemer died; Lord, my offences drove the nails, The soldier I, that pierc’d thy side: For this my restless eye runs o’er, Because I can lament no more. How gladly should my head have worn The crown of thorns to hinder thine! Have suffer’d in my master’s stead, And made thy dying sorrows mine! Have stretch’d my arms upon the tree, And died myself to rescue thee. But O! no other sacrifice, The Father’s justice could appease; Ten thousand worlds had died in vain, Thy blood alone could buy our peace: The God offended must be slain, To expiate the offence of man. And shall I not his cross take up Who died upon a cross for me? Jesus, through good and ill report, I, in thy strength, will follow thee. My master liv’d despis’d, abhorr’d. And I am not above my Lord. —The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady: An Appendix, Not Properly Reducible, etc. (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 #LordsDay 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 11, 2018

Sunday··2018·03·18
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. —Romans 5:6–11 Hymn 9. (C. M.) Godly sorrow arising from the sufferings of Christ. Alas! and did my Saviour bleed? And did my Sov’reign die? Would he devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? [Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, thine, And bathed in its own blood, While all expos’d to wrath divine The glorious Suff’rer stood!] Was it for crimes that I had done He groan’d upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When God, the mighty Maker, 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 my 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 Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (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 #LordsDay 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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