Totally like whatever, you know?

That’s like, some good food for thought, ya know?

[From The Gospel Coalition, via @JohnPiper]
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Justification: Our legal standing with the Creator

A few weeks ago (the evening of the 6th of December, to be precise :P), I heard a great sermon on a passage in Hebrews. One of the points made about our justification before God was really eye-opening: our justification is not something that happens to us; it happens in God’s mind, or to put it a different way, it changes the way God views us. It is the bestowal of a status, or standing, not the generating within us of a new nature or character.

So needless to say, I was rather chuffed when I found the following article on Tim Challies’ blog a while later, elaborating on that idea of justification. Tim was (is?) going through John Murray’s book Redemption Accomplished and Applied.

I highly recommend reading the whole post, but this part was relevant for me:

Looking at justification in common usage (outside the Bible) Murray says it is “a declaration of pronouncement respecting the relation of the person to the law which he, the judge, is required to administer.” Justification, then, is forensic. “It has to do with a judgment given, declared, pronounced; it is judicial or juridical or forensic.” He looks quickly to regeneration again, saying “Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is a judgment of God with respect to us. The distinction is like that of the distinction between the act of a surgeon and the act of a judge. The surgeon, when he removes inward cancer, does something in us. That is not what a judge does—he gives a verdict regarding our judicial status. If we are innocent he declares accordingly.” Murray says that “the purity of the gospel is bound up with the recognition of this distinction.” This means that justification is and remains the article of the standing or falling Church.

The question now arises, how can God declare a person to be righteous when that is so evidently not the case? How can a sinful, defiled man who is at enmity with God be declared righteous by God? “The peculiarity of God’s action consists in this: that he causes to be the righteous state or relation which is declared to be.” So God not only declares righteous but he first makes righteous. “What God does in this case is that he constitutes the new and righteous judicial relation as well as declares the new relation to be. He constitutes the ungodly righteous, and consequently can declare them to be righteous.” He says further, “Justification is therefore a constitutive act whereby the righteousness of Christ is imputed to our account and we are accordingly accepted as righteous in God’s sight.” And he offers these beautiful, soul-stirring words: “God cannot but accept into his favour those who are invested with the righteousness of his own Son.” First God makes a man righteous through the work of Christ and then he declares what is now the reality—that this man is, indeed, righteous.

[Originally posted as a note to my Facebook profile on 22 January 2010]

Netbook Updates’ January 2010 Giveaway

Netbook Updates is running a giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is post a comment on this page.

This contest ends in a few days, so be sure to get your entry in!

Your Hands – JJ Heller

I came across a tweet containing the line “When my world is shaking Heaven stands When my heart is breaking I never leave Your hands”. I googled those lyrics, and I found that they’re lyrics of the song Your Hands by JJ Heller.

When I listened to it, the combination of lyrics and amazing music blew me away (yeah I know that’s so clichéd, but whatever haha). So I’ve posted it here for your listening pleasure. (lyrics are in the “More info” link on the Youtube page)

Confession with the mouth, belief in the heart.

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

There must be confession with the mouth. Have I made it? Have I openly avowed my faith in Jesus as the Savior whom God has raised from the dead, and have I done it in God’s way! Let me honestly answer this question.

There must also be belief with the heart. Do I sincerely believe in the risen Lord Jesus? Do I trust in Him as my sole hope of salvation? Is this trust from my heart? Let me answer as before God.

If I can truly claim that I have both confessed Christ and believed in Him, then I am saved. The text does not say it may be so, but it is plain as a pikestaff and clear as the sun in the heavens: “Thou shalt be saved.” As a believer and a confessor, I may lay my hand on this promise and plead it before the Lord God at this moment, and throughout life, and in the hour of death, and at the Day of Judgment.

I must be saved from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, the punishment of sin, and ultimately from the very being of sin. God hath said it—”Thou shalt be saved.” I believe it. I shall be saved. I am saved. Glory be to God forever and ever!

–Spurgeon (Faith’s Checkbook, 19th January)

[Originally posted as a note to my Facebook profile on 20 January 2010]

He is Lord – Hillsong

He is Lord – Hillsong, “This is Our God” (2008)

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

What if you saw something you didn’t like…would you change it?

“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” is a story about just that! The harsh reality of past actions is reflected to haunt seven individuals. Written and Directed by Brooke Martin for Project: Direct 2009.