Thursday, September 27, 2007

Purchased! Sealed! Free!

You are redeemed!, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as the Lamb without blemish or stain. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

These wonderful words of truth of Christ's atoning blood - the blood that purchased His people, that sealed their pardon, and made them free - were penned by Philip P. Bliss, who, although initially surviving a train wreck, was killed while trying (unsuccessfully) to rescue his wife. These lyrics were found in his belongings after the accident.

I'm humbled by these truths, and thankful to my Savior for purchasing me, pardoning me, and setting me free! Today and always I will sing of my Redeemer!

I will sing of my Redeemer, And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered, From the curse to set me free.

Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer, With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon, Paid the debt, and made me free.

I will tell the wondrous story, How my lost estate to save,
In His boundless love and mercy, He the ransom freely gave. (Refr.)

I will praise my dear Redeemer, His triumphant power I’ll tell,
How the victory He giveth; Over sin, and death, and hell. (Refr.)

I will sing of my Redeemer, And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me, Son of God with Him to be. (Refr.)

Redeemed! Purchased! Sealed! Free!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Let Them Ever Sing For Joy!

Psalm 5:11-12

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (NIV)

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. (NKJV)

- - -

Verse 11. Joy is the privilege of the believer. When sinners are destroyed our rejoicing shall be full. They laugh first and weep ever after; we weep now, but shall rejoice eternally. When they howl we shall shout, and as they must groan for ever, so shall we ever shout for joy. This holy bliss of ours has a firm foundation, for, O Lord, we are joyful in thee. The eternal God is the well-spring of our bliss. We love God, and therefore we delight in him. Our heart is at ease in our God. We fare sumptuously every day because we feed on him. We have music in the house, music in the heart, and music in heaven, for the Lord Jehovah is our strength and our song; he also is become our salvation.

Verse 12. Jehovah has ordained his people the heirs of blessedness, and nothing shall rob them of their inheritance. With all the fulness of his power he will bless them, and all his attributes shall unite to satiate them with divine contentment. Nor is this merely for the present, but the blessing reaches into the long and unknown future. "Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous." This is a promise of infinite length, of unbounded breadth, and of unutterable preciousness. As for the defence which the believer needs in this land of battles, it is here promised to him in the fullest measure. There were vast shields used by the ancients as extensive as a man's whole person, which would surround him entirely. So says David, "With favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield." According to Ainsworth there is here also the idea of being crowned, so that we wear a royal helmet, which is at once our glory and defence. O Lord, ever give to us this gracious coronation! (Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Psalm 5)

See also, Calvin's Commentary

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Mercy In Christ Than Sin in Us!

Came across this great quote by Richard Sibbes (1577 - 1635), English Puritan, pastor at Gray's Inn, and Master of St Catherine's Hall, Cambridge.

"There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us." (The Bruised Reed, Ch. 2)

I'll just let that one speak (and soak in) for itself.


For a collection of works by Richard Sibbes, go here.

And do not miss Pastor Mark Dever's work on Richard Sibbes, from Mercer Press (2000).

Finally, for more great Puritan quotes, see R.C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Jesus "Won" My Heart?

Here's a song that, when I first heard it, struck me with the use of the word "won."

At The Foot Of The Cross (Ashes To Beauty)
Kathryn Scott (c2003 Vertical Worship Songs)

At the foot of the cross where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me your love through the judgment You received
And You've won my heart
Yes, You've won my heart, now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty and wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy, I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the cross where I am made complete
You have given me life through the death You bore for me
And You've won my heart
Yes, You've won my heart, now I can

So here's my question: Is it biblical, i.e. theologically correct, to say that Jesus "won" my heart? What biblical support, or lack thereof, is there for this statement?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

We Must Continue To Pray!

Sept. 1, 2007 - The remaining South Korean Christian missionaries who were held by the Taliban as hostages for six weeks in Afghanistan arrived in Seoul. Two of the original 23 captives had been executed by the Taliban. For their return, South Korea agreed to withdraw its 200 non-combat troops from Afghanistan, who did mostly engineering and medical work; and promised to halt all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.

Thank you, Father, for Your hand upon these brothers and sisters in Christ, and for bringing them home to their families and loved ones. We pray Your peace and comfort, and healing, for each and every one of them, and the families of those martyred in Your name.

Previous Post, Aug. 9, 2007:
Pray for the South Korean Christians being held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Here's what Josh Harris had to say:
"Today a friend in Afghanistan passed on some suggestions for prayer, so I post them here for anyone who wants to join this brother and Christians around the world in praying to our great God. He writes:
- Join our Korean brothers and sisters in asking that above all, God will be honored and glorified through what has already happened and all that will take place over the coming days. Ask for a revival in this land as well as in Korea. (Phil. 1:18-21)
- Pray for strength, perseverance, and faith for those in captivity. Pray that their faith may not waver. Pray for boldness, joy, and patience. (Eph. 3:14-20)
- Many, if not all, of those being held are suffering from health problems. Two of the young ladies are very sick and will likely die soon if they don't get medical treatment. Pray that God will heal them and sustain them. Those of you who have visited Afghanistan before know how easy it is to get sick even when you drink clean water and eat good food. Knowing that these brothers and sisters have likely not had clean drinking water at all and likely don't have much food or any medicine, I imagine most of them are suffering greatly.
- These hostages have unexpected access to a very dark group of people that have likely never been around true believers. I'm sure they are praying, singing, and worshiping as often as possible. Ask that their testimony will soften the hearts and touch the lives of their captors. May they know that there is something incredibly different about the people they are holding.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will protect each captive's mind and spirit during this ordeal. As they are faced with day after day of fear, uncertainty, and death, pray that this won't have a lasting effect on their hearts and minds."
And pray for the two pastors that have already been martyred, yes, martyred, for Christ's sake. Here's what a recent National Review article had to say:
"The blood of innocent Christian missionaries spills on Afghan sands. The world watches and yawns. The United Nations offers nothing more than a formal expression of “concern.” Where is the global uproar over the human-rights abuses unfolding before our eyes? . . . Two men, 29-year-old Shim Sung-min and 42-year-old Pastor Bae Hyeong-gyu, have already been shot to death and dumped in the name of Allah. Bae was a married father with a nine-year-old daughter." (Michelle Malkin, Silently Martyred: Missionary blood spills, the world yawns, National Review, August 01, 2007) Read the full article.