Thursday, June 30, 2016

Crushed Beneath His Foot

"On the back of Satan's neck is a nail-scarred footprint." -- C.S Lewis

The Biblical Language for Conversion

I think it would be very wise and helpful if we would primarily stick to the Biblical language for what happens when a person truly is converted/saved. Here are two examples: " turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God..." (1 Thess. 1:9). "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance." (Rom. 6:17). (Compare also Paul's phrase: "the obedience of faith" in Rom 1:5 and 16:26.) The language of 'accepting Christ' is unhelpfully vague, and only loosely connected to a few Biblical references (e.g., John 1:12).

Conversion and Repentance

“Conversion applies to all people, demanding a complete commitment that seeks forgiveness in full trust and surrender. Faith is its positive aspect (cp. Mk.1:15). It is God’s gift, but as such a binding requirement. By the baptism of the Spirit Jesus imparts the divine power that creates those who are subject to the divine rule, i.e., converted people. In all its severity, then the message is one of joy. ‘Repentance’ is not law, but gospel." -- Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

Divided Loyalty Is Idolatry

“A man may work for two employers; but since ‘single ownership and full-time service are the essence of slavery’ (Tasker), he cannot serve two slave-owners. Either God is served with a single-eyed devotion, or he is not served at all. Attempts at divided loyalty betray, not partial commitment to discipleship, but deep-seated commitment to idolatry.” -- D.A. Carson (on Matt. 6:24)

J.I. Packer on 'Faith'

"What did the apostolic writers have in mind when they spoke of faith? Nothing less than what they took to be the distinctive essence of Christianity: namely, a belief-and-behavior commitment to Jesus Christ, the divine-human Lord, who came to earth, died for sins, rose from death, returned to heaven, reigns now over the cosmos as his Father’s nominated vice-regent, and will reappear to judge everyone and to take his own people into glory, where they will be with him in unimaginable joy forever." -- J.I. Packer

Love and practice humility...

"Love humility in all its instances. practice it in all its parts, for it is the noblest state of the soul of man; it will set your heart and affections right towards God, and fill you with every temper that is tender and affectionate towards men. Let every day therefore be a day of humility; condescend to all the weakness and infirmities of your fellow-creatures, cover their frailties, love their excellencies, encourage their virtues, relieve their wants, rejoice in their prosperities, be compassionate in their distress, receive their friendship, overlook their unkindness, forgive their malice, be a servant of servants, and condescend to do the lowest offices to the lowest of mankind... Have no desire to put any of your equals below you, nor any anger at those that would put themselves above you. If they are proud, they are ill of a very bad distemper, let them therefore have your tender pity ; and perhaps your meekness may prove an occa,eoa of their cure. But if your humility should do them no good, it will however be the greatest good that you can do to yourself. Remember that there is but one man in the world, with whom you are to have perpetual contention, and be always striving to exceed him, and that is yourself. "

-- William Law