Posts Tagged ‘contemplation’

Christ is Risen – Matt Maher

This is really good. I know I say a variation of those words everytime I link to a song, but really – this is good. My friend posted it on Facebook, and I listened to it. I must say, the music was what caught my ear, but that turned out well: because of that, I read the lyrics more carefully, and I was duly encouraged. Enjoy.

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

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God’s grace. It really is amazing.

At the Bible study I attend, we’re currently going through a DVD that overviews the history of the doctrines of grace.

You’ve probably guessed that I believe in God’s predestination. However, I’m not here to get into theological debates, because there are countless resources that outline both sides of the predestination/free-will argument. Also, I hardly think that an argument for argument’s sake would be conducive to our mutual Christian encouragement.

But suffice it to say, I’m just blown away by the sheer magnitude of God’s grace to me, an undeserving sinner. I have brokenn all His laws and I totally don’t deserve His love. But God loves me unconditionally; so much so, He chooses to save me through the perfect sacrifice of His Son. Wow.

I’ve also been going through R. C. Sproul’s book, Chosen by God, that outlines the logical Biblical argument for the doctrine of election. It is a most excellent book. Again, the disclaimer in the 2nd paragraph above applies here. But Sproul just shows in a very straightforward and uncomplicated way how it’s only logical (and very Biblical) to believe in God’s sovereign act of choosing sinners to be His.

Arguably, the greatest thing I’ve benefited from at the Bible study is the fellowship I’m having, being able to encourage and be encouraged by those of us who attend. Watching God’s work in their lives is so encouraging. I’m blessed and undeserving to have such friends.

God’s good.

Yours to Take – Jimmy Needham

This song was playing on Sydney’s Christian radio channel, Hope 103.2, in a friend’s car coming home from Kick-off 2010 (see previous post). I really liked both the lyrics and the music, so I promptly googled the lyrics at home to get the song title. Listen to the song below, and lyrics are posted after the video (click the “Continue Reading” link).

Yours to Take is the lead single from Jimmy Needham’s new album “Nightlights”, which is planned to be released mid-May.

Continue reading

Word of Life Kick-off!

Word of Life’s annual youth event, Kick-off, happened tonight.

I went as a helper with a church that my good friends attend. Left home at 3 pm, got home at 11:40. it was a hectic day, but SO rewarding. Essentially, what I did was help with a bit of the A/V setup, and run a couple of the games that were there.

There were arcade games, air hockey, foosball (table soccer), a huge inflatable rock-climbing wall, and many other games which I won’t bother explaining. I personally manned the foosball table. It was a bit challenging to say the least, but all up, wonderful!

More soon.

Totally like whatever, you know?

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

[From The Gospel Coalition, via @JohnPiper]

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]

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]