FAITH

FAITH IS

“To believe, in the language of the New Testament, is simply to trust….Every one that believes on the Son of God, and trusts his soul to Him, is at once pardoned, forgiven, justified, counted righteous, reckoned innocent, and freed from all liability to condemnation” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p181).

“…doing something by relying on the strength which God supplies simply means doing it by faith” John Piper (ref#220, p245).  “…it is simply going out of yourself and taking up your rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 22nd).

“A true faith includes more than a mere belief; it is accepting the gospel…It is something more than a mere assent of the understanding, because it is called obeying the gospel…(1 Pet 4:17)” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p93).

“…anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:35 ESV).

“…faith is trusting God and responding to him” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2104, [Acts 10:35]).  “Faith consists in two things: in being persuaded of the promises and in embracing them…(Heb 11:13)” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p94).

“True belief in Christ is the unreserved trust of a heart convinced of sin, in Christ, as an all-sufficient Saviour.  It is the combined act of the whole man’s head, conscience, heart and will” J.C Ryle (ref#273, p183).  “The belief of an individual involves ‘the mind, emotions and the will’” Josh McDowell (ref#275, p4).

“Faith is likened to looking to Christ, and following Christ, and fleeing to Christ….Faith brings nothing to Christ but an empty hand, by which it takes Christ and all that is in Him” Albert N. Martin (ref#221, p18).

“Faith is the ceasing from all nature’s efforts, and all other dependence; faith is confessed helplessness casting itself upon God’s promise, and claiming its fulfillment; faith is the putting ourselves quietly into God’s hands for Him to do his work” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p83).

JESUS

SIN’S REMEDY

FATHER, You have put us all in the prison of sin.  We all start out in identical conditions (Rom 3:9).  Then You invite all to come to the cross of CHRIST.

“The cross of Christ triumphs only in the hearts of believers over the devil and the flesh, over sin and wickedness, when they lift their eyes to behold the power of the resurrection” John Calvin (ref#313, p82-83)

“…God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone”(Rom 11:32 NLT).

“Sin is every human being’s core disease.  It is completely beyond the power of any human being to escape it.  It separates you from God, for whom you were created. It damages every aspect of your personhood.  It makes it impossible for you to be what God created you to be and to do what God designed you to do.  It robs you of inner contentment and peace, and it puts you at war with other human beings. It renders you blind, weak, self-oriented, and rebellious.  It reduces all of us to fools, and ultimately it leads to death.  Sin is an unmitigated, almost incalculable disaster…you and I have no ability whatsoever to escape from the hold that sin has on us.  It is the moral Vice-Grip that has held the heart of every person who has ever lived” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 29th).

“It is the cross of Christ that brings us all down to the same place. ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ The differences between nations and groups within them and individuals are nothing when you look at the cross of Christ.  We are all miserable, helpless, hopeless sinners” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 15th).

“…the eternal Word Who became man, uniting a true human nature to his divine nature…the two natures joined in the one Person forever….if your personal problem of sin is ever to be remedied in a biblical way, it will be remedied only as you have personal dealings with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Such is the unique stand of the Christian faith: the sinner in all his need, united to the Savior in all the fullness of His grace; the sinner in his naked need, and the Savior in His almighty power, brought directly together in the gospel.  That reality is the glory of God’s good news to sinners” Albert N. Martin (ref#221, p10-11)!

JESUS

APPEASING WRATH

 “…the cross is the monumental display of how God can be just and still pardon guilty sinners.  At the cross, God, having imputed the sins of His people to Christ, pronounces judgment upon His Son as the representative of His people.  There on the cross God pours out the vials of His wrath unmixed with mercy until His Son cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’” Albert N. Martin (ref#221, p12).

“He is treating His Son as a criminal.  He is causing Jesus to feel in the depths of His own soul all of the fury of the wrath that should be vented upon us” Albert N. Martin (ref#221, p12).

“We begin to take seriously that we have dared to defy the God Who consigned angels to everlasting darkness when they rebelled against Him” Albert N. Martin (ref#221. p13).

“The cross of Jesus displays the most awful exhibition of God’s hatred of sin and, at the same time, the most impressive manifestation of His readiness to pardon it….The death of Jesus was the opening and emptying of the full heart of God; it was the outpouring of that ocean of infinite mercy that longed for an outlet; it was God showing how He could love a poor guilty sinner” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 29th).

FATHER, You used Your own Son to propitiate Your wrath toward us.  “propitiate– to cause to become favorably inclined; win or regain the good will of; appease or conciliate…” (ref#110, p1079).  May I daily contemplate CHRIST’s suffering for my sins and offer thanks for such love from Him and You.

JESUS

THE DIVINE REMEDY FOR SIN

“A biblical Christian is one who has seriously considered the one divine remedy for sin….all of our true help comes down from above and meets us where we are” Albert N. Martin (ref#221, p9).

FATHER, I lose my way around the Bible if I take my eyes off JESUS (Alistair Begg). When GOD first spoke of evil in Gen 3:15, He announced His remedy to defeat the now prince of the power of earth’s air, satan.  A descendent of Adam would crush his head.  Throughout the Old Testament, I see glimpses of GOD working out His plan until finally JESUS, born of a woman (Adam’s descendent) comes to earth.  The entire Bible presents GOD’s plan to redeem men back to Him.  It portrays a loving GOD’s effort to save a people for Himself.

There are few passages that capture the disaster of sin and what it does to people made in God’s image better than Genesis 6:5-6:

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (ESV)

“Note two things from this passage.  First, the affect of sin on people was deep, heart deep.  Sin is not just a matter of bad behavior.  It is a condition of the heart.  That’s why you cannot free yourself from it.  Second, the effects of sin on you and me are comprehensive. Note the words ‘every intention’ coupled with the words ‘only evil continually.’  But the passage tells us more.  God was not satisfied leaving us in the disaster of sin.  The disease that infected the heart of every human being produced sorrow in his heart.  But his sorrow was not just the sorrow of remorse or the sorrow of judgment; it was the sorrow of grace.  The words of Genesis 6:8—‘But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD’—tell you that Genesis 6 is not the end of the story.  God would not just punish sin; he would raise up a nation out of which his Son would come to live and die to deliver us from it.  The cross of his Son stands as a lasting reminder of just how desperate our need is for the grace that that cross represents” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 29th).

“…’there is no condemnation’ to a poor soul that shelters itself beneath the cross of Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 5th).