Post-Christianity, Spurgeon’s Psalm Notes, and the Resurrection

Jerusalem_Tomb_of_the_Garden_Utilisateur_DjampaMany Christians are feeling the erosion of freedoms under post-Christianity in Western nations, or the lack of them in non-Christian nations. As we do, Psalm 2 provides a marvelous reminder of reality, snapping our present contexts into the broader present context. Here are some of Charles Spurgeon’s reflective notes on the Psalm:

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-4) Continue reading

The Love of Christ

Triumph_Name_Jesus_Baciccia“The love of Christ is eternal, because he is eternal. The love of Christ is like himself. The love of Christ, being the love of God, is infallibly effectual. It produces all the good things Christ desires to produce in his people. Christ loves life, grace and holiness into us. He loves us also into a covenant of love with himself. Christ loves us into heaven. How many millions of sins in every one of the elect, every sin sufficient to condemn them, has Christ’s love overcome! What mountains of unbelief has Christ’s love removed! Look at the behavior of any one saint. Consider his heart. See the many sinful stains and spots, the defilement and weakness with which his life is contaminated, and tell me whether the love that bears with all this is not to be admired? And is not Christ’s love the same to thousands every day? What streams of grace flow from Christ’s love every day!” John Owen, Communion With God

Thinking About Jesus

Open Bible“Brothers and sisters, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as we do of God, as judge of the living and the dead. And we ought not to belittle the one who is our salvation, for when we belittle him, we also hope to receive but little. And those who listen as though these are small matters do wrong, and we also do wrong, when we fail to acknowledge from where and by whom and to what place we were called, and how much suffering Jesus Christ endured for our sake.

What repayment, then shall we give to him, or what fruit worthy of what he has given to us? And how many holy acts do we owe him? For he has given us the light; as a father he has called us children; he saved us when we were perishing. What praise, then, shall we give to him, or what repayment in return for what we have received? Our minds were blinded, and we worshiped stones and wood and gold and silver and brass, things made by humans; indeed, our whole life was nothing but death. Continue reading

Understanding Law and Gospel

Over at Reformation21, Carl Trueman assesses a recent blog post by Tullian Tchividjian, calling for “a much needed face-to-face debate” after Tchividjian’s claim that Reformed and evangelical preachers are confusing law and gospel; Michael Kruger provides a helpful response to Tchividjian at his blog, leading to a Kruger-Tchividjian exchange in the comments section. Reading through the posts it seems plain to me that Tchividjian lacks clarity on the relationship of law and gospel–and that his counter-bloggers (Trueman, Kruger, et al) capably and clearly explain the scriptural relationship of the law and the gospel. Others have as well, including:
Continue reading

Christ the King in His Suffering

Ströhl-Rangkronen-Fig._07What does it mean for you that Jesus Christ is King?

While many of us could give a good answer, perhaps not many of us would include the profound and powerful testimony of Scripture to Christ as King in his humiliation. This is the period described in the Apostles’ Creed: he “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell.” Thinking through this time of earthly humiliation for Jesus, we might wonder whether his Kingship was evident at all.

In the Old Testament’s prophetic descriptions of the coming Messiah, we see that a number of these refer to his Kingship immediately alongside his suffering: Continue reading

Why the Incarnation?

morning star“He himself likewise shared in the same [flesh and blood]…” (Hebrews 2:14)

But why? Why would he, the eternal Son of God, the heir of all things, the Creator of all, the brightness of God’s glory, do this? Why would he take on our nature for all eternity? Why was he “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary”? Jesus did not do this simply for the sake of a shared experience; he was not a divine cultural tourist. His incarnation was and is an active, willing, pursuit of a multifaceted goal. Hebrews 2 gives at least nine reasons why the Son of God has identified with His people by His incarnation: Continue reading

Benefits of Biblical Christianity (I)

balance weigh scaleRecently in our city a group of humanists and skeptics posted a billboard ad along a major freeway proclaiming, “Millions of Americans are living happily without religion.” Among other things, it begs the question, what difference does it make to be a Christian? Will those who become Christians live more happily? Are the benefits “worth it”?

Reconciled to God

The positive benefits of biblical Christianity are vast, both present and future. In the present, by faith and repentance in Jesus Christ, the person who has become a Christian is reconciled to the one true God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. He/she is now at peace with the God whom they were previously estranged from; whose eternal wrath they had faced because of a rebel life of sin and self. For the Christian, the penalty of impending, deserved punishment has been satisfied by Christ. Continue reading

God’s Justice in Christ

owen In the penalty inflicted on Christ for sin, God’s justice is far more gloriously revealed than in any other way. To see a world made good and beautiful, wrapped up in wrath and curses, clothed with thorns and briers, made subject to vanity and in bondage to corruption; to hear it groan in pain under that burden; to consider legions of angels, the most glorious and immortal of all creatures, cast down to hell, bound with chains of darkness and kept for a more dreadful judgement, and that for one sin; to see the oceans of blood spilt on account of sin will give some insight into God’s justice and righteousness. But what is all this to that which we see with the spiritual eye in the Lord Christ? All these examples are but worms and of no value compared to God’s justice seen in Christ. Continue reading