Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jesus Is Big!

This is a chapter from Joe Thorn's book called, "Note to Self". I have been edified by this book tremendously. You can get the book here.

"Dear Self,
Take note-your view of Jesus tends to shrink over time. It is not that your theology itself drifts, but sometimes you so focus on one aspect of Jesus that you tend to forget the rest. The result is a shrinking Jesus (in your faith). And as your shrinking Jesus becomes small Jesus, he is easily eclipsed by your idols and ego.

The bigger and more biblical your understanding of who Jesus is, the more likely he is to be such an object of love and adoration that the idols that aim at capturing your attention and swaying your allegiance will lose their power. This is why you sometimes lack earnestness for the kingdom and the glory of God while you overflow with passion concerning temporal things. Instead of making a joyful noise and singing earnestly for the victory Christ has over sin and death, you express a dispassionate approval and mouth the words to the songs sung in worship. But there is often fire in your belly and shouts of joy when your favorite college football team is victorious over the competition. This is probably why the church is shrinking in North America-because small Jesus does not inspire awe, command respect, lead to worship, or compel us to talk of him (much less suffer for him). And small Jesus is too little to arrest the attention of the world.

So please remember-Jesus is bigger than you tend to think.  He is the perfect revelation of God, the radiance of his glory, the exact imprint of his nature; he is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Everything belongs to him and exists for him. He is the author of your salvation, the perfecter of your faith, and the only one in whom you can find life."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Look and Live!

Any true Christian will confess that living the Christian life is not easy. Period. We have to deal with our own flesh, corrupt as it is, yet we also have a raging enemy around us in the devil. And to top it off we have this ungodly world influencing us against Christ every day.

What do we do? Where do we look for motivation? Where do we look for freedom and peace?

Well, one thing I've been blessed to learn from others is that the Christian life does not grow out of the cross of Christ. In other words, after conversion we don't just leave the cross behind. Rather, we grow and are revived the more we learn about what Christ did for us on that tree. 

I truly believe if the church would simply learn more about the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we would see remarkable growth in and outside the church.

Tullian Tchividjian explains how Christians grow, " Sanctification is the daily hard work of going back to the reality of our justification–receiving Christ’s words, “It is finished” into new and deeper parts of our being every day, into our rebellious regions of unbelief.  It’s going back to the certainty of our objectively secured pardon in Christ and hitting the refresh button a thousand times a day."

The church of Jesus does not need new topics to study, the church does not need new people with flashy speaking to attract people, no the church needs to go back to that blood-stained monument of the cross of Christ. 

So, look to the cross of Christ, look at his obedient life for you, look at his death for you, look at him rising for you, and go live likewise. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It is Finished Indeed!

It is Finished! (John 19:30)

Our Lord Jesus uttered this saying, the sixth saying on the Cross at Calvary, saying “It is Finished”.  In this one word we have our glorious redemption explained.  Jesus’ fifth saying on the cross was, “I thirst,” that one speaking of his humiliation, but now in verse 30 we have the triumph of the cross.  What was finished? 

1. His obedient life: In Philippians 2:8, Paul explains that Jesus, “Humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. Here we see that Christ had to live a perfect life for his sheep, we who are unrighteous people, need righteousness to stand before God. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law”. This is glorious news for sinners like us. Because of the Lord Jesus’ obedient life, perfectly obeying the law of God, us sinners have Jesus’ righteousness credited to our account by faith.

2. His sufficient death: Not only did Jesus live that perfect life for us, he went to that cross and died for us, he stood in our place. He satisfied the justice and wrath of God for us! His death was sufficient because Jesus is God. He is infinite, therefore his death is sufficient. Christ cried out, “It is finished” because it was! Christ accomplished the great work of redemption for his people.

3. Our Sin: Because of Jesus’ life and death for us, our sin is gone! Our sin is nailed to the cross with Christ and we bear it no more.  Sure, we still sin, and we will have sin in us till glorification, but the glorious news of the gospel is that our sin is not counted against us, because Christ bore it. As the prophet Isaiah says, “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 54:6).

So because of Jesus’ life and death our sin has been removed, and we can only marvel at our Savior!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.