justification

The gospel has me reconsidering the typical way we think about Christian growth: spiritual measurements and maturity; what it means to change, develop, grow; what the pursuit of holiness and the practice of godliness really entails.

If we’re serious about reading the Bible in a Christ-centered way; if we’re going to be consistent when it comes to avoiding a moralistic interpretation of the Bible; if we’re going to be unswerving in our devotion to understand the many parts of the Bible in light of its unfolding, overarching drama of redemption, then we have to rethink how we naturally and typically understand what it means to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Let Grace Kill Your Natural Instinct

In his 2008 movie The Happening, writer, producer, and director M. Night Shyamalan unfolds a freaky plot about a mysterious, invisible toxin that causes anyone exposed to it to commit suicide. One of the first signs that the unaware victim has breathed in this self-destructing toxin is that they begin walking backwards—signaling that every natural instinct to go on living and to fight for survival has been reversed. The victim’s default survival mechanism is turned upside down.

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The Law & the Gospel

by Jason Moore on April 9, 2011

This post originally appeared on White Horse Inn.

“The Gospel is the message, the salvation-bringing proclamation concerning Christ that he was sent by God the Father…to procure eternal life. The Law is contained in precepts, it threatens, it burdens, it promises no goodwill. The Gospel acts without threats, it does not drive one on by precepts, but rather teaches us about the supreme goodwill of God towards us.”  –John Calvin

Law & Gospel: the “two words” of Scripture

In order to recover the sufficiency of Scripture we must once again learn to distinguish the Law and the Gospel as the “two words” of Scripture. For the Reformers, it was not enough to believe in inerrancy. Since Rome also had a high view of Scripture in theory, the Reformers were not criticizing the church for denying its divine character. Rather, they argued that Rome subverted its high view of Scripture by the addition of other words and by failing to read and proclaim Scripture according to its most obvious sense. READ MORE

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Romans 3:24 “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

There is truly nothing more wonderful in the world than these words penned by Apostle Paul. The glorious Gospel of God’s free choice to justify the ungodly by His grace alone, in Christ alone! I live off of these words and if Paul would not have explained it so plainly I would never have believed it. Praise to the glory of God for this “Good News.”

1. Justification is an act performed by God on behalf of the believing sinner.

It is something that God does for us. He is the one acting, not us. We do not justify ourselves, nor does anyone else justify us. The church cannot justify us, and we cannot justify ourselves. God is the one that performs this transaction between Himself and the sinner, with no intermediaries. God is the one that justifies us, to demonstrate His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom 3:26). God is the one working and justifying the ungodly, the believer does no work at all and his faith is accounted to him for righteousness (Rom 4:5). And again we read that God is the one who predestines, He is the one who calls, and He is the one who justifies (Rom 8:30). It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing (John 6:63).

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Originally posted heretheresurgence.com

Personal testimonies, as part of Christian worship, are a good thing to do. And I think we need more of them. I wonder, though, if sometimes our testimonies might unintentionally empower Satan rather than combat him.

By a “testimony,” of course, I mean a believer’s sharing of the story of how he or she came to faith in Christ. Almost all evangelical churches have something along these lines. If not a verbal testimony from behind the pulpit, these stories still tend to show up. Sometimes they’re in a video shown during the offering or in an illustration in the pastor’s preaching. Sometimes they’re in our evangelical magazines or websites. And, of course, we perhaps most often find our testimonies in what we sing together (from “Amazing Grace” right on down).

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Continual Repentance

September 27, 2010

O God of Grace, You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much […]

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The Lordship of Christ

October 22, 2009

This was originally posted in the October 2009 edition of TableTalk magazine, for the 22nd day devotional. Get out your napkins….here comes all meat, no bones. Gospel pwnge 😉 Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will […]

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