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Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

How blessed we are!

By God’s grace, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, believers are assured of “every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph 1:3).

  • We are justified; that is, we receive here and now advance declaration by God of the verdict of his court on the day of judgment, that we are included among those whom we will declare righteous on account of our faith in Jesus and his obedience unto death.
  • We are saved; that is, we are delivered from the wrath to come, rescued from the anger of God against all wickedness and rebellion.
  • We are reconciled; that is, the enmity between us and God has been removed, because God himself bore our sins in the person of his own Son on the cross.
  • We are forgiven; that is, God chooses to “carry” (the Hebrew word usually translated “forgive”) our sins, rather than repay them to us, because they have been “carried” by Jesus on the cross. They will never be held against us.
  • We are redeemed; that is, God has achieved our liberation from all the bondage of sin, as he rescued the Israelites out of Egypt, through the sacrificial blood of Christ.
  • We are adopted; that is, God includes us among his children, or more specifically, treats us as firstborn sons (whether male or female), and thus as his heirs, sharing in the inheritance that belongs to Christ.
  • We are made alive; that is, from the death of sin we are given new life, the resurrection life of Christ himself.
  • We have the Spirit; that is, the promise that God made to Israel, that would bring about their renewal and “resurrection” and obedience (as, e.g., in Ezek. 37), is now poured out in us, bearing the fruit of transformed lives.

– Christopher Wright, The Mission of God’s People193. (HT: Trevin Wax)

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One can we learn from the conversion of the thief on the cross? What should it teach us about waiting till later to trust Christ?

“”One alone was saved upon the Cross that none might despair; and only one, that none might presume.”

The real lesson from the conversion of the criminal on the cross was not that he was saved in the nick of time but that he was saved at all!  Every child of God ought to remember that the wonder of salvation is not that God saves some, but that God says anyone!

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We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the mountains, cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing above the battle strife:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout it brightly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Give the winds a mighty voice:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free;
Highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!–Priscilla Owens

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Paul makes a great point. If all religions were true, then God would be cruel and incompetent.

If Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and all the other world religions are true paths to God, then why did God kill his Son, Jesus, in order to make a way for men to come to him? The very notion is absurd and insulting to God. It paints a portrait of a God who is just plain cruel. He sent Jesus into the world to live a miserable life of scorn, rejection, poverty, betrayal, humiliation, sorrow, and ultimately, torture and death, in order to create a path whereby men can come to know him. Yet all the while he knew that following the Five Pillars of Islam or the Noble Eight-fold Path could accomplish the same thing. What a waste! Jesus’ life—God’s plan of salvation— is completely in vain, for the same result could be achieved by simply adhering to the tenets of any world religion. God is not only cruel but also incompetent for putting into effect the worst salvation plan possible.

But God is not cruel. He is not incompetent. He would not kill his Son needlessly. He would not put into effect a ridiculous or cruel salvation plan for mankind. Hence, religious pluralism cannot be true. This argument does not show Christianity to be true, but it does show that not all religions can be true, for if they were, then God would not be a God of love.

This is the conclusion from this short post “If All Religions Are True, Then God Is Cruel.”

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Grab some tissue and read this story!  Amazing! My heart goes out to so many who have been through tough times with loved ones suffering through dementia.  Most are excruciatingly painful–which is how this story begins:

Walking down the long hospital hallway, I approached the room in the emergency area where they had told me she would be found. As I came near the door, I found a security guard sitting there. He looked at me with sympathy as I identified myself and, with a warning and sad shaking of his head, gave me permission to enter.

I stepped into the room, my eyes adjusting to the dim lighting. On the bed, I began to make out the figure of a woman lying there, the loose-fitting hospital gown twisted around her. She was curled up, yet rocking and even writhing about on the bed. Groaning, she had her back to me. But the moment I spoke, she jerked up and, turning, glared at me. ”I know who you are,” she growled at me with eyes I could now see were wild with fear and anger. “You are Mr. Holy-Holy-Holy!”

The next moments stunned me. Despite past experiences of being near and ministering to people high on drugs, involved in the occult, or living in mental asylums, never had I witnessed anything like this. Without hyperbole, I can only describe it as demonic. Lashing out, she commanded me to leave. ”Get out of here! Now! Get him away from me!” I felt hopelessness and darkness begin to cast a shadow on my soul, as if I were peering into the pit of hell. Though I tried to speak peace and gently used her name, my efforts only made the situation worse. The security guard stepped in and suggested I come out of the room. I complied. Passing through the doorway, I leaned against the wall of the hallway, scarcely believing what I had just seen.

What made this all the more awful? The woman in the room was my mother.

Read the rest of the story by Barry York. It has a surprising ending.

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5 Questions to Ask When Reading Your Bible:  Steve Lawson shares five simple questions to ask every time you read a passage from God’s Word. Thy revolve around five key words: command, promise, sin, example and principle

Have you considered the wonder of your salvation lately?  Think on the list of “75 Astonishing Things that Happen at Conversion” compiled by Paul Tautges.

Jim Stitzinger offers “4 ways to cultivate evangelistic instincts:”

An Ordinary Girl of Extraordinary Faith – Be sure to read this short biography of Lady Jane Grey. “As sixteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey stood on the scaffold on a gray winter morning, she looked calmly out over the crowd of spectators. Then, mustering the strength she had asked God to provide, she spoke with such a poise and conviction that even her executioners were moved.”

Marie writes about The Seductive Lie of Immodesty, and Re-Claiming Your Identity in Christ:  This is not another article on Matthew 5:28, hem lengths, or the horrors of uncovered shoulders. Today I’m writing more as the concerned mother of a teenage girl than as a biblical counselor. I want to take an unflinching look with young people of both sexes at the reality behind immodest dress; the desire to be desired; and where it can lead

 

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Could man have dreamed that he was the object of eternal love, and that God would assume his nature? Could we have imagined that the Almighty would give his only-begotten Son to die for guilty man? The atonement was a thought which never would have crossed man’s mind if it had not first of all been revealed to him by the great Father. The divine way of lifting up the poor from the dust and the needy from the dunghill, by his rich, free, omnipotent grace, is not of man nor by man.
The Lord’s thought of choosing the base things of this world, and things that are not to bring to nought the things that are, his thoughts of sovereignty and thoughts of grace, all consistent with his thoughts of justice, are far above human invention, and out of man’s range of thought. Even when the Lord explains his thoughts and ways to us, and brings them down to our comprehension as far as they can be, yet we cannot fail to wonder at their elevation and grandeur…

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “God’s Thought And Ways far Above Ours,” delivered December 2, 1877 

HT: The Daily Spurgeon

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