Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Excerpt: When I Don't Desire God, How to Fight for Joy (Part two)

You can find Part one by clicking here.

But we are not without a Savior. Jesus Christ has come. And he is a great Savior. Every need we have, he supplies. And his death on the cross is the price that purchases every gift that leads to deep and lasting joy.

Is there wrath and curse hanging over us?

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13)

Is there condemnation against us in the courtroom of heaven?

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died. (Rom. 8:33-34)

Are there innumerable trespasses mounting up against us?

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Eph. 1:7)

Is righteousness required that we cannot produce?

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). By the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Rom. 5:19)

Are we cut off from eternal life?

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)

Are we trapped in the dominion of sin that ruins our lives?

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).

He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:15)

Will all the follies and failures of our past drag us down with irrevocable, destructive consequences?

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

Have we lost all the good things God planned for his children?

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)

Is there any hope that sinners like us could spend an all-satisfying eternity with God? Can I ever come home to God?

Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18)

Oh, what a great salvation Jesus Christ accomplished when he died and rose again! All that, and more, Christ purchased by his death. Therefore, Christ crucified is the foundation of all honest and everlasting joy. No self-deception is necessary to enjoy it. Indeed all deception must cease in order to enjoy it to the full.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quote from JC Ryle

Part two of the book excerpt is coming, I'm just lazy because it takes a lot of formatting and I have been not feeling well. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, here is a very good quote by JC Ryle, I got from this site.

Young men, God does not show favoritism or respects the honors bestowed by men. He rewards no man’s heritage, or wealth, or rank, or position. He does not see with man’s eyes. The poorest saint that ever died in a ghetto is nobler in His sight than the richest sinner that ever died in a palace. God does not look at riches, titles, education, beauty, or anything of the kind. There is only one thing that God does look at, and that is the immortal soul. He measures all men by one standard, one measure, one test, one criterion, and that is the state of their souls.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Book Excerpt: When I Don't Desire God, How to Fight for Joy (Part one)

If you know me at all, or read my blog, you know that joy is a struggle for me. A friend suggested a book by John Piper, When I Don't Desire God, How to Fight For Joy. It continues to be a real encouragement to me, and when I read this last night, I had a deep desire to share it with you. You can read the book in full in PDF by clicking here.

This is a two part excerpt. Part two will come tomorrow or Monday. But here is part one, taken from page 72:

Jesus Christ came into the world as the divine Son of God in order to die for our sins and rescue us from the wrath of God, the burden of guilt, the condemnation of justice, the bondage of sin, the torment of hell, and the loss of all that is good—especially the loss of God. Our problem is not merely our own corruption but, more seriously, God’s condemnation. To be sure, we are corrupt, or as the old theologians said, depraved. Paul’s way of saying it is that “all . . . are under sin. . . . ‘None is righteous, no, not one’” (Rom. 3:9-10).

This corruption is a massive obstacle to everlasting joy. We desire the wrong things, and we desire right things in the wrong way. And both are deadly—like eating pleasant poison. But our corruption is not our main obstacle to joy. God’s wrath is greater. God is infinitely valuable, and we have offended him infinitely by valuing other things more. We have exchanged the glory of . . . God” (Rom. 1:23). Or as Paul says in Romans 3:23, we all “fall short of the glory of God.”

Therefore, God’s holiness and justice will move him to settle accounts with us in his wrath. “Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them” (Gal. 3:10). The consequence of this curse and wrath is eternal misery apart from the glory of God. “Those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus . . . will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess. 1:8-9). The iceberg just ahead is no happiness forever, only misery.

We are on a doomed Titanic because of our sin—all of us without exception. “Every mouth [is] stopped, and the whole world [is] held accountable to God” (Rom. 3:19). The sinful ship of our lives is headed for everlasting ruin because of God’s righteousness and wrath. Without a Savior, that’s the reality we must keep out of our minds in order to be happy on the Titanic of this world.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Gospel

“The gospel is saying that, what man cannot do in order to be accepted with God, this God Himself has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ. To be acceptable to God we must present to God a life of perfect and unceasing obedience to his will. The gospel declares that Jesus has done this for us. For God to be righteous he must deal with our sin. This also he has done for us in Jesus. The holy law of God was lived out perfectly for us by Christ, and its penalty was paid perfectly for us by Christ. The living and dying of Christ for us, and this alone is the basis of our acceptance with God”
- Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom, p86

Taken from: Of First Importance

I heartily recommend this site for any serious Christ-follower.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have nothing to say.

Several events have happened in the last couple of months that have come together to produce a writer's block of sorts. I feel like I have no business sharing anything about the gospel with anyone.

It has been said that "Christians like me" are part of the reason that some are turned off of Christianity.

Several people who I have communicated with regularly have ceased communication with me, most without letting me know why, just silence.

I feel pigeon-holed by some interactions on an online forum where I have previously been very active, and unwelcome there and elsewhere.

All this together has me evaluating everything from my own walk and relationship with Christ, to my effectiveness as a minister of the gospel, which is truly my heartbeat. But if I alienate more than I draw, I'm useless and worse.

Thus my silence. I have nothing to say.

I will try to post two posts a week of things that are currently impacting me. At least someone else can say what I want to, and I can still share.

Thanks for reading, whatever your reasons are. I appreciate it.