Monday, April 27, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Sin's Penalty Paid by Christ

Our verse for this week is found in Ephesians 2:8,9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

Let's never forget the word grace in this passage. There is no boasting. God's favor toward us was not earned in any way. In our natural state we did to seek after God nor understand anything of spiritual matters. If it were not for God's grace at work in us, we would be in the same position as countless others who do not know Christ.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hymn of the Week -- I Sought a Flag to Follow

I sought a flag to follow, a cause for which to stand,
I sought a valiant leader, Who could my love command;
I sought a stirring challenge, Some noble work to try,
To give my life fulfillment, my dreams to satisfy.

I sought a ringing answer for all my doubts inside,
A torch of truth uplifted, My searching steps to guide;
I sought a word of wisdom, A true authority,
I sought to know life's purpose, to solve it's mystery.

I sought for satisfaction, for yearnings deep within,
I sought for full deliverance, from chains of guilt and sin
I sought for peace and pardon, for freedom from my fears
I sought a hope to cling to beyond these passing years.

I found them all in Jesus, the Life, the Truth, the Way;
Beneath His flag I'll take my stand and follow Him today!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From Boy to Man

Albert Mohler had an interesting radio broadcast on the Eclipsing of Biblical Manhood. You can find the online version here. There is a serious erosion of manhood going on that partly displays itself in the extension of adolescence into a man's twenties and in some cases thirties. One of the interesting resources that Dr. Mohler included on the radio website is a list of 13 marks that indicate that a boy has moved on to manhood.

I am going to take some time personally to work through these things even though I'm 62 years old, I think there is much to learn and I would encourage all of you to take some to think about this as well. Those of you who are young men in your teens and twenties would do well to meditate on the concepts that Dr. Mohler is addressing and look for passages of Scripture that might go along with his insights. Perhaps there some areas where you would disagree. It would be interesting to talk about that as well.

So from time to time over the next few weeks look for this topic as we work through the 13 marks that he has given us.

Resources from Dr. Mohler

Albert Mohler Website

Albert Mohler Radio

From Boy to Man Part 1

From Boy to Man Part 2

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Cross - Further Considerations

Speaking of Christ, the author of Hebrews writes, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” Hebrews 9:27. Also in 10:13, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”

Several things are important to consider from these passages. First we can see that the words one and once are significant. The Old Testament High Priest had to offer sacrifices continually because those sacrifices never actually took care of the root problem. Christ’s sacrifice only needed to be offered once and in that one sacrifice there is sufficiency to put away sin. (9:26)

The second thing that strikes me here is that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. In our reading from Spurgeon this morning, he emphasized the fact that we have a representative there at the right hand of God. Sometimes we’re impressed to have a personal representative at some level of government but here we have a man who lived a perfect life, took our sins upon himself and died as we all will and now sits in a position of victory as our forerunner and representative.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Week 29 Penalty Paid by Christ

Our third verse in the series based on the truth that Christ paid the penalty for our sins. What a thought that someone else would pay for the sins that I have committed!

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

I Corinthians 15:3, 4

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hymn of the Week -- In the Cross of Christ I Glory

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering 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.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meditating on the Cross of Christ

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

With these words, Paul lays out the fact that for him there was nothing more important than the cross. He says something similar in 1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

If the truth of Christ’s death on the cross was the very center of Paul’s life, faith and ministry, shouldn’t it be the center of our focus as well?

I would like to challenge myself along with all of you to spend a lot of our meditation time this month thinking about the meaning, purpose and glory of the Cross. Let’s see if we can really encourage one another with what God is teaching us about the cross. You can respond by placing comments on this or articles on this subject here on the Faithful Men Blog, or, if you are a Facebook user, you can join the discussion in the Faithful Men group there.

I’m looking forward to all that we can learn together.

Further Reflections on the Cross

Another interesting aspect of the death of Christ on the cross is that the Lord was pleased to bruise Him. Isaiah 53:10 tells us that God put Him to grief. After He made His soul and offering for sin He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul and be satisfied.

Some would claim that it was immoral for God to put His own son to grief. We must trust Scripture and not the values we learn from the world. For our sin God did this. He could see the many children He would have as a result of His Sacrifice. He saw His seed and was satisfied. Let your heart dwell on this amazing truth.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Great Exchange

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

This is an amazing statement. The perfect Son of God who did not know sin at all was made sin. It isn’t that He just bore our sins, which he did, but He was made sin. Take a moment and think about what that is saying. Here’s a man who had lived a perfect life no feeling the full force of sinfulness and the resulting judgment of God. He was cursed by God.

Not only did He become sin, but He became sin FOR US. He was willing to go through this out of His love for us – ultimately that we might be part of His church, His bride.

Finally, and the most amazing part of the whole thing is that we, as part of this grand transaction, would be made the righteousness of God in Him. He took our sin that we might have God’s righteousness. How righteous is God? Think about it. If you have come to Christ in faith, you have been given the righteousness of God. When God looks at you, He sees His own righteousness reflected back at Him.

This is certainly completely undeserved and unearned. If you think you’ve been good enough to merit even a tiny bit of this, think again.

Take some time today to think over this grand and glorious exchange, conceived and executed by God Himself.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Week 28 Christ Paid the Penalty

When we really understand the gospel, we understand that the sins we have committed result in the death penalty for each one of us. The good news of course is that Christ paid that penalty on the cross.

This week's verse is I Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hymn of the Week -- Ah Holy Jesus

Ah, Holy Jesus (Words by Johann Heerman

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
’Twas I, Lord, Jesus, I it was denied Thee!
I crucified Thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For man’s atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Scandal of the Cross

In I Corinthians 1:21-24, Paul tells us that God, in his wisdom, decided to use what man considers foolish to bring salvation. In other words, God’s wisdom purposely turns upside down the wisdom of men. He goes on to explain that gentiles seek for wisdom whereas Jews desire proof in the form of a sign. God’s message of the cross is foolishness to the gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews. He purposely turned both upside down so that the power and true wisdom might belong to God alone.

The word “stumbling block” that he uses here is the word “skandalon” from which we get the word scandal. A skandalon was something that trips people up and impedes their easy progress. In Galatians 5:11, Paul explains the same thing when he tells us that if we accept a legalistic approach to salvation, the skandalon of the cross would cease. In other words, God does not want anything to block the wisdom of His approach by causing the stumbling block to be removed.

So as you consider the cross and what it means, do not forget that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). God’s method of salvation is to have His only Son die a criminal’s death on a cross to take our punishment in order that He might set us free. This doesn’t make sense to the world and it causes God’s own people, the Jews, to stumble, but to us who are being saved it demonstrates both the power and wisdom of God.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hymn of the Week -- For All the Saints

1. For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

2. Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

3. O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

4. O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

5. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

6. From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!