JESUS

DELIVERED

FATHER, CHRIST saved me from Your wrath by making me acceptable to You by taking the punishment for my radical, complete, disobedience.  I am redeemed!—by CHRIST’s obedience.  You made the plan; CHRIST made it work (Eph 1:7).

“The cross declares how dire is our condition apart from Jesus.  It announces how deep the sin goes, how profound the rebellion is, how impossible is our plight apart from Help from the outside.  There’s nothing we can do, no effort we can exert, no law we can follow” (by David Mathis, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/a-reason-to-be-really-offended).

“We need to be delivered from the power of the devil, we need death and the grave to be conquered—and our Lord Jesus Christ has done it all.  And beyond all that, we need a new nature, because we need not only forgiveness of sins, but to be made fit to have communion and fellowship with God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 19th).

“He delivers us also from the power and from the pollution of sin.  His work is such that He takes away our sin in a more vital sense.  We are growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord; we are increasingly being made to conform to the image of His Son. We are being delivered—we have been, we are, and we shall be ultimately.  The glorification is coming when He will take away our sin altogether, so that we shall be blameless and faultless and spotless and perfect in His holy presence” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Oct 21st).

“’He died that we might be forgiven’; yes, but ‘He died to make us good’ is equally true” Martyn Lloyd Jones (ref#189, Oct 21st).  He “…gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works”(Titus 2:14 ESV).

“…we must never separate sanctification from justification; we must never talk about a kind of series of separate blessings.  It is all one—it all belongs together.  And it is all a matter of this law that condemns us and from which Christ delivers us through the cross and by the gift of new life.  He went to that cruel death on the cross not only so that you and I might have pardon. Thank God, that does come out of it, that is the first thing.  But He did it really to separate, to put aside, a people for Himself as a special treasure and possession who, as Paul puts it, should be ‘zealous of good works,’ who should live a holy life” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189. Oct 21st).

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

THE SINLESS LIFE

JESUS exposes the works of the devil by His sinless life: He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth”(1 Pet 2:22 ESV).  “Jesus…was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”(Heb 4:14-15 NKJV).

“He committed no act of sin” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p54).  “He remained free, uncontaminated and uncompromised” John Stott (ref#258, p62).

JESUS who knew no sin exposes sin.  “He exposes the perversion and the twistedness of evil—the foulness and ugliness of sin.  In His teaching He is undoing the lie, the works of Satan….He gets down to the depth…In the Sermon on the Mount, for instance, He says, ‘You do not have to commit sin; just to look with lust in your eyes is sufficient’ (Matt 5:28)” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p67).

FATHER, this proves to me that committing acts of sin are only symptoms; the disease is my depraved nature .  This is not a fact I figure out on my own.  In the words of Scripture delivered by JESUS I find the Truth.

“Jesus…said, ‘I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind’”(John 9:39 MSG).

“He has established…once and for ever, that the only life worthy to be called life is one which is lived in utter, absolute conformity to the commands of the holy God; in His life He denies the lie of the devil” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p67).  “This was his victory.  The devil could gain no hold on him and was obligated to concede defeat” John Stott (ref#258, p62).

“…the blessed hope that faces us as Christian people is that He will destroy these works of the devil utterly, completely and finally; evil and sin will be finally destroyed out of existence, burnt, destroyed for ever” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p69).

FATHER, I desire to contemplate this sinless life of CHRIST knowing that it is thoroughly He that restores my life.  Though through His death on the cross I am no more a captive of sin, still sin entangles me.  Therefore I need CHRIST to cloth me in His righteousness lest I die before You, Holy FATHER.

JESUS

THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD

FATHER, in the Old Covenant for a sin to be forgiven the Israelite had to place his hand on the head of a spotless young lamb that he provided and kill it.  An innocent lamb appeased Your wrath; the lamb’s blood covered the sin.

“What…the blood of the lamb was to the children of Israel, is what the atoning blood of Christ is to the believing soul” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 24th).  “In the Old Testament the Israelites transferred their guilt to a lamb, and then the lamb was killed….God took your sins and mine, and He put them on the head of His own Son, and then…He killed Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 3rd).  “…the believing though trembling penitent sees all his sins cancelled and all his transgressions pardoned through the precious blood of Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 19th).

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life”(Lev 17:11 NIV). “…the Bible reiterates in numerous scriptures that cleansing occurs through, and only through, the shedding of blood” Doug Newton (ref#166, p133).

“The atoning blood of Christ possesses the power to pardon.  Through this blood, God, the holy God against whom you have sinned…can pardon all your sins, blot out all your transgressions, and take from you the terror of a guilty conscience” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 22nd).

“’One lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even.’  The devout Israelite was thus taught to close the day as he began it: with a sacrifice for sin….How much in the transactions of a single day may there be that needs the evening’s confession with faith’s hand upon the evening Lamb” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, page vii)!

FATHER, since I don’t have the advantage of the Israelite of old and physically required to slaughter an innocent lamb, I am prone to forget my sins require blood to be blotted out.  CHRIST’s blood flows for me everyday—every minute canceling and pardoning my sin.  GOD, I need to thank You more!

JESUS

REASONS FOR THE APPEARING OF JESUS

Did JESUS come to appease an angry GOD?  From a human viewpoint that makes sense because I know I am a sinner and certainly GOD is not pleased with me.  But, no, “He has come to lift the veil and reveal the heart of a gracious, sin-pardoning God.  He declaring that the ‘Father Himself loves us,’ and that ‘he that hath seen me,’ so full of grace, ‘hath seen the Father’ (John 14:9); in other words, He affirms that He is a copy, or a representation, of the Father.  The love, grace, truth, holiness, power, compassion, and tenderness exhibited in such fullness of supply by Jesus, and distributed by Him so profusely, had their origin and their counterpart in God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 24th).

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…”(Heb 1:3 ESV).

“Why did God bruise his Son and bring him to grief?  He did it to resolve the dissonance between his love for his glory and his love for sinners….God-dishonoring sin could not be ignored….Because God loves the honor of his name….his Son…will demonstrate to all the world the infinite worth of the Father’s glory” John Piper (ref#220, p161).

“Righteousness and the glory of God are his passion….He came from heaven primarily to vindicate God’s glory and God’s honour, and not just to save us….the great motive was the glory of God, which had been violated by the Devil and by sin….His anger is roused against the enemies of his holy and righteous Father” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#265, p271).

“Jesus wants us to see that his willingness to lose his life is because of his love for the glory of the Father” John Piper (ref#220, p165).  “In that very moment when the Son was taking upon himself everything that God hates in us, and God was forsaking him to death, even then the Father knew that the measure of his Son’s suffering was the depth of his Son’s love for the Father’s glory” John Piper (ref#220, p176).

So, FATHER, to give You the deepest pleasure I need to give my life for Your glory—as one willing to show how much I love You.  Make me make it so.

JESUS

THE RESTORER

FATHER, the making of creation in six days is amazing enough but the love You show me in my recreation is beyond phenomenal!

“…the work of restoration is a greater achievement of power than was the work of creation….In one day He [GOD] made man; He spent four thousand years redeeming man.  It cost Him nothing to create a soul; it cost Him His dear Son to save it….He met with no opposition in creating man; in re-creating him, Satan, the world, and man himself are against Him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 4th, brackets mine).

“…behold what sinhas done!  Man has lost his original resemblance to God.  It is true, he still retains his spiritual, intelligent, and immortal nature: these he can never lose.  But his moral likeness to God—his knowledge, purity, justice, truth, and love—is blotted from his soul; darkness, impurity desolation, and death reign there instead. With the obliteration of his moral resemblance, the soul has lost all love to God….there is not only the absence of love, but there is active enmity….Man has revolted from God, and, having thrown off all allegiance to Him as his sovereign, he seeks to be a god to himself….This being the moral destitution of man, God has ceased to dwell in him;…it is impossible for God to make your heart His dwelling place while every thought, feeling, and passion is up in arms against Him, as it would be for Christ to dwell with Satan, or light to mingle with darkness.  You must be renewed in the spirit of your mind.  You must be born again” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 3rd).

“Here is a world that has rebelled against God.  It spat into His holy face; in arrogance it lifted itself up against Him; it said, ‘I have a right to be equal with God.’ Now, a world like that deserves nothing by punishment; it deserves perdition.  Yet into that very world…God sent His Son…His very appearing and coming…is proof that God loves us” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p67).

“’For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”(John 3:16 ESV).

CHRIST

DOOM ON THE WHOLE WORLD

“The cross does not only reveal sin for what it is…it pronounces doom on the whole world…The cross of Jesus Christ makes this great proclamation.  Unless I believe in Him, unless I believe that His death…is the only thing that reconciles me to God, I remain under the wrath of God.  If I do not see that the wrath of God against my sin has been borne there by the Son of God, then the alternative is that I must experience the wrath of God.  That is the essence of the Christian Gospel.  I either believe that my sins have been punished in the body of the Son of God, or else they will be punished in me.  It is the judgment of the world.  The world apart from Him is under the wrath of God, it is doomed, it is damned, and He alone can save it…There was no other way, for God would never have allowed His Son to endure all that if there had been another way” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 21st).

“…the Lord Jesus Christ…gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,” (Gal 1:3-4 ESV).

FATHER, I come humbly and with amazing fear—fear of Your wrath and amazed that You consider putting in the effort to save me from it.  I cannot save myself; it is beyond my abilities.  Without Your kind input I would not desire to be what You have created me to be.  I would fall completely under Your wrath (ref#190, Sept 30th).

“…we are all sinners. We are all in the same desperate condition.  None of us is better off than any other.  None of us is more righteous.  None of us is more deserving….We all need to be rescued from the dark rebellion of our own hearts” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 28th).

“If you don’t understand and accept the gravity of your condition and your inability to alter it, the Bible, and particularly the work of Christ, will make no sense to you at all.  Why did God go to the history-shaping extent of sending his Son to earth?…Why was it vital for him to suffer and die?  Why did there absolutely have to be a resurrection?  Why?  The answers to these questions can be found by tracing a thread that runs throughout the Bible….We were not only hopelessly ensnared by sin and tragically guilty before God, but we were also completely unable to help ourselves” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Sept 30th).

FATHER, “There is only one hope for us all—the amazing, forgiving, rescuing, transforming, and delivering grace of Jesus” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 28th).

CREATION

GOD’S PURPOSE IN CREATION

“…this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible,…” (John 3:5-6 MSG).

GOD created.  “God’s purpose for the earth is that it should become his dwelling place; it is not simply made to house his creatures….The concept of the earth as a divine sanctuary…runs throughout the whole Bible…” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p52, [Gen 2:1-3]).

Scripture exudes GOD’s passion to live with His creatures.  He chose a nation and poured His blessings upon them.  To announce to the whole world His love for His people He provided supernatural acts to save and keep them (Example: the plagues of Egypt.)

He sent another cluster of supernatural acts to the world when He sent His Son to earth.  He constantly keeps His chosen as a holy people to Himself (Deut 28:9) though we are obstinate and rebellious.

 “In all their affliction he was afflicted…in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;  he lifted them up and carried them…”(Isa 63:9 ESV)

We are in a special and in a peculiar relationship to GOD.  We are His people.  “…We have no being, we have no existence apart from our relationship to God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#265, p 282-283).

“…They will call upon my name,   and I will answer them.  I will say, ‘They are my people’;  and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God’”(Zech 13:9 ESV).

“This blessing finds fulfillment in the church…but it finds its greatest fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p520).  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God’”(Rev 21:3 ESV).  “…we will be in the presence of God and enjoying unhindered fellowship with him” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p1164).

FATHER, For no other reason than Your love do You care for and desire to be close to the created creatures You have chosen. Such a fact elicits my praise to You.

ASSURANCES

THAT WE MAY KNOW

“This is the essence of the Christian life, that we might have the full knowledge of God and that we may know we have it” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p638).

“…there are certain tests by which, if we apply them to ourselves, we may know that we have this knowledge of God.  The first is our belief concerning the Lord Jesus Christ Himself” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p641).

“True faith in Christ and His righteousness arises from the ruins of self-sufficiency and the death of personal excellency” James Hervey (ref#333, p274).

“Jesus Christ is absolutely essential to me….I have come to see my own unworthiness, my sinfulness, and my smallness.  I have seen it deeply and can do nothing to save myself.  How can I face God?  I have but one hope, and that is that God sent His Son” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p641).

“This leads me to the second test.  If I believe all that, I must of necessity come to love God…if I believe in the love of Jesus Christ, I believe that God sent Him.  So I believe on Him and in the love of God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p642).

“Then, thirdly…is the test of loving the brethren…men and women who are Christians will recognize other Christians…Love of the brethren is crucial!  These tests…if we apply them to ourselves we will know where we stand” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p643).

“…I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed…” (2 Tim 1:12 ESV).

“Every Christian is meant to have this certain knowledge of eternal life, this immediate fellowship and communion with God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p639).

“I have the assurance…that if I have eternal life, I shall stand one day faultless and blameless, without spot and blemish, in the presence of God’s glory. So as I meet temptation and sin in this world, I realize that I am not left to myself.  I cease to feel helpless and frustrated.  I say, ‘If God is in me, if God has destined me for that, then He will come and hold me through all hell and the devils be opposed to me’” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p654).

Certainly the above quote portrays the necessity of knowing we have eternal life.  Otherwise we will never recognize we can lean entirely on GOD to help us through the catastrophes of life.

ASSURANCES

SPIRIT CHECK

“O soul, of all the false signs of grace, none more dangerous than those that most resemble true ones, and never doth the devil more surely destroy than when transformed into an angel of light” John Flavel (ref#333, p211).

The matter of life after earthly death is not only the most important subject to embrace but we must be aware that the temporary ruler of the earth will do everything in his power to keep us from fellowship with the eternal Ruler of all.  We need to continually check our spirit to see if we are walking with the eternal Spirit.

 

Can I tell my actions are becoming more like CHRIST?

“…there is no legitimate separation between belief and behavior.  Thus, those who profess faith but do not demonstrate any progress in godliness should question their spiritual state” (The ESV Study Bible, ref#125, p2322)

 

Are you saved by feeling you are, or by believing you are?

“…the New Testament does not insist upon feeling.  It says, do you believe; are you prepared to venture your all upon this?  So it is sufficient for you to say, ‘I live by this; whether I feel or whether I do not does not matter; we are not saved by feeling but by believing’” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, ref#332, p649).

 

Does the Bible influence you to change your ways?

“If there is one fact, or doctrine, or promise in the Bible, which has produced no practical effect upon your temper or conduct, be assured that you do not truly believe it” (Edward Payson, ref#333, p327).

 

Does thoughts of your salvation give you peace?

“Is not the doctrine of the assurance of salvation a most comfortable doctrine?…except a man be persuaded of the favour of God, and the forgiveness of sins, and consequently of his salvation, what comfort can he have in anything” (Arthur Dent, ref#333, p109)?

 

Will I persevere?—failure to do so proves I am not converted.

“…If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him…” (2 Tim 2:11-12 ESV).

 

Am I looking forward to living forever with JESUS?

“Those who have eternal life want more of it” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, ref#332, p643).

 

“…men without Christ are guiltily ignorant of God, perverse more or less in their thoughts of Him, self-idolizers even in their outward worship of Him, and strangers to His friendship” (J.I. Packer, ref#312, p61).