Wednesday, August 29, 2007

With All Creation I Will Sing Praise to the King of Kings!

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." ()

Wow. Powerful song of worship of our Most Holy and Coming King! This is worship leader Kari Jobe at Christ for the Nations.

Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat [2X]

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
to You the only wise King

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power
Breath, and living water
Such a marvelous mystery
(Jennie Lee Riddle, The Revelation Song, Glorious, 2004.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Redemption: So Much More Than a Talent Show Theme!

There sure has been quite a bit of talk lately about High School Musical 2 over on the Disney Channel. Just the other night my 8- and 11-year-olds watched it, along with a few million other pre-teens. I lasted for maybe 45 minutes, but long enough to catch the name of the theme of the talent show at the country club in which the actors were to dance and sing. The theme was, "Redemption." I guess they used that name as the "evil" girl of the show was going to redeem her chances with the lead male character of the movie, stealing him away from his little girlfriend. As the kids say (or at least use to say), whatever.

Obviously what struck me was the word Redemption. The use of a Biblical term in this secular, teenybopper movie. I wondered how many other people out there also caught the use of this word?!

I began thinking about true, Biblical Redemption, and now I want to pass along a number of resources for your consideration and use as you, hopefully, help me recapture this word and the true meaning behind it.

> "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24)

> "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7)

> Redemption: "Christ saves us neither by the mere exercise of power, nor by his doctrine, nor by his example, nor by the moral influence which he exerted, nor by any subjective influence on his people, whether natural or mystical, but as a satisfaction to divine justice, as an expiation for sin, and as a ransom from the curse and authority of the law, thus reconciling us to God by making it consistent with his perfection to exercise mercy toward sinners" (Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology).

> Redemption ". . . gives expression not merely to our sense that we have received salvation from Him, but also to our appreciation of what it cost Him to procure this salvation for us. It is the name specifically of the Christ of the cross. Whenever we pronounce it, the cross is placarded before our eyes and our hearts are filled with loving remembrance not only that Christ has given us salvation, but that He paid a mighty price for it." (Warfield, Benjamin B. "Redeemer" & "Redemption", The Princeton Theological Review [Vol. 14, 1916, pp. 177-201]).

> Webster's 1828 Dictionary
REDEMP'TION (n), from the Latin word, redemptio.
1. Repurchase of captured goods or prisoners; the act of procuring the deliverance of persons or things from the possession and power of captors by the payment of an equivalent; ransom; release; as the redemption of prisoners taken in war; the redemption of a ship and cargo. . . .
6. In theology, the purchase of God's favor by the death and sufferings of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law by the atonement of Christ. In whom we have redemption through his blood. Eph. 1; Col. 1.

> Murray, John. Redemption, Accomplished and Applied.
In this absolutely powerful and rich work, John Murray considers the necessity, nature, perfection, and extent of the atonement; as well as provides an expositional study of the scriptural teaching of calling, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.

> Chapter 27, The Atonement, of my favorite reference source - Wayne Grudem's, Systematic Theology.

> Chapter 14, Paid in Full, of James Montgomery Boice's work, Foundations of the Christian Faith.

> Question and Answer No. 31 of the Heidelberg Confession:
Q. Why is He called Christ, that is, Anointed?
A. Because He has been ordained by God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of His body has redeemed us, and who continually intercedes for us before the Father; and our eternal King, who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us.

> The Canons of Dort
The Second Head of Doctrine: The Death of Christ, And The Redemption of Men Thereby.

>'s treasure trove collection on Redemption.

> Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It! (Fanny Crosby)
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell. (Refrain)

I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song. (Refrain)

I know there’s a crown that is waiting,
In yonder bright mansion for me,
And soon, with the spirits made perfect,
At home with the Lord I shall be. (Refrain)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Staring At An Empty Plate?

Are you trying to avoid Biblical doctrines that may be controversial? Do you think that doctrines on "divide" and are to be avoided? Well, think again, or be ready to feast on an empty plate and a bunch of nothing.

"Are there any significant biblical teachings that have remained untainted by controversy? If you have any acquaintance with the history of the Christian church whatsoever, then your immediate answer will be 'of course not.' Whether we’re talking about the triune nature of the Godhead, or justification by faith alone, or the personhood of the Holy Spirit, or the deity of Jesus Christ, or the content of the canonical scriptures, as Christians we have never had the luxury of living in a world where the most nourishing of Biblical truths have existing without opposition. And so when someone expresses a sentiment such as the following: 'I don’t like to talk about a particular doctrine because it is controversial,' we’re not confronted at that point with an expression of great piety or godliness, but rather in most cases a display of Biblical laziness, and in all cases a manifestation of immaturity and ignorance. If your commitment is to feed your soul on only those spiritual truths that have been or are presently non-controversial, than you’ll find yourself staring at an empty plate."

Dr. Arturo G. Azurdia's, Unconditional Election, part of the The Doctrines of Grace Series.

Bon Appétit!