French Liturgy

For you, little child, Jesus Christ has come, he has fought, he has suffered. For you he entered the shadow of Gethsemane and the horror of Calvary. For you he uttered the cry, ‘It is finished!’ For you he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and there he intercedes — for you, little child, even though you do not know it. But in this way the word of the Gospel becomes true. “We love him, because he first loved us.”

– French Reformed Baptismal Liturgy

The Foot of Faith

“Through him that loved us.” Here is the great secret of our victory, the source of our triumph. Behold the mystery explained, how a weak, timid believer, often running from his own shadow, is yet “more than a conqueror” over his many and mighty foes. To Christ who loved him, who gave himself for him, who died in his stead, and lives to intercede on his behalf, the glory of the triumph is ascribed. And this is the song he chants, “Thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jews Christ.” Through the conquest which he himself obtained, through the grace which he imparts, through the strength which he inspires, through the intercession which he presents, in all our “tribulation, and distress, and persecution, and famine, and nakedness, and peril, and sword ” we are “more than conquerors.” Accounted though we are as “sheep for the slaughter,” yet our Great Shepherd, Himself slain for the sheep, guides his flock, and has declared that no one shall pluck them out of his hand. We are more than conquerors through his grace who loved us in the very circumstances that threaten to overwhelm. Fear not, then, the darkest cloud, nor the proudest waves, nor the deepest needs—in these very things you shall, through Christ, prove triumphant. Nor shrink from the battle with the “last enemy.” Death received a death-wound when Christ died. You face a conquered foe. He stands at your side a crownless king, and waving a broken scepter. Your death shall be another victory over the believer’s last foe. Planting your foot of faith upon his prostrate neck, you shall spring into glory, more than a conqueror, through him that loved you. Thus passing to glory in triumph, you shall go to swell the ranks of the “noble army of martyrs”—those Christian heroes of whom it is recorded, “THEY OVERCAME HIM BY THE BLOOD Of THE LAMB.”

No Condemnation in Christ Jesus by Octavius Winslow

Condemnation There Cannot Be

Yet more: Faith is not only the instrument by which we receive a free grace justification, but it harmonizes the outward act of God with the inward feelings of the believing heart. Thus in justification the heart of the Justifier and the heart of the justified beat in the most perfect and holy unison. It is not a stupendous act on the part of God meeting no response on the part of man. Oh no! the believer’s heart flows out in gratitude after God’s heart, traveling towards him in the mightiness and majesty of its saving love; and thus both meet in Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. Here the believer is conscious of a vital union with his justifying Lord. He feels he is one with Christ. The righteousness wrought out, is by faith wrought in, and that faith is the uniting grace of a real, personal union between the justified soul, and a risen, living Savior. “He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit.” Oh close and blessed union! Justified by God, accepted in Christ, condemnation there cannot be. I stand in the Divine presence as Joshua stood before the Lord, or as the woman stood before the Savior, charged, accused, guilty; but I am in the presence of him who, though now he sits upon the throne as my Judge, once hung upon the cross as my Savior. And, investing me with his own spotless robe, he proceeds to pronounce the sentence—”NO CONDEMNATION!” “These things write I unto you that your joy may be full.” 

No Condemnation in Christ Jesus by Octavius Winslow

The Word Made Flesh

We confess the mystery and wonder
of God made flesh
and rejoice in our great salvation
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

With the Father and the Holy Spirit,
the Son created all things,
sustains all things,
and makes all things new.
Truly God,
He became truly man,
two natures in one person.

He was born of the Virgin Mary
and lived among us.
Crucified, dead, and buried,
He rose on the third day,
ascended to heaven,
and will come again
in glory and judgment.

For us,
He kept the Law,
atoned for sin,
and satisfied God’s wrath.
He took our filthy rags
and gave us
His righteous robe.

He is our Prophet, Priest, and King,
building His church,
interceding for us,
and reigning over all things.

Jesus Christ is Lord;
we praise His holy Name forever.

Amen.

The Word Made Flesh by Ligonier Ministries

The Great God

Nothing too good for thee to give.
Infinite is thy might, boundless thy love,
limitless thy grace, glorious thy saving name.
Let angels sing for
sinners repenting,
prodigals restored,
backsliders reclaimed,
Satan’s captives released,
blind eyes opened,
broken hearts bound up,
the despondent cheered,
the self-righteous stripped,
the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,
the ignorant enlightened,
and saints built up in their holy faith.
I ask great things of a great God.

– from The Great God
The Valley of Vision

O Triune God, I Thank Thee

O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me to Jesus, to be his sheep,
jewel, portion;

O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;

O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of
grace thou hast
exhibited Jesus as my salvation,
implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him for ever.

– from The Trinity
The Valley of Vision

The Crap We Wade Through

With all of my struggles, I found out I was suffering from depression.

Now, by God’s strength and grace and his love alone, I have to battle this.

And I know that God will deliver me from this–just like he delivered me from death.

I pray:
May the LORD bless me and keep me;
May the LORD make his face to shine upon me and be gracious to me;
May the LORD lift up his countenance upon me and give me peace.

Amen.

You Can’t Tell Me Philosophy Affects Us—Just Look at the Church

1976_slide_rule“In the 1950s and ’60s, rationalism began to erode evangelical scholarship, from academia on down, resulting in a liberal theology that crept into seminaries and churches. As a defensive maneuver, conservatives grabbed hold of the pendulum and swung it all the way over to the right side, wanting to believe they’d got “God” down to a science, his thoughts and ways explainable like mathematics. Romans 11:33 tells us instead that God is incomprehensibly immense, exceedingly expansive, and eternally powerful, and so much so that time and time again our response to many of the things of God ought to be “I don’t know.” Rather than respond to his incalculable God-ness with our slide rules and flowcharts, we would do better to worship him with reverence and awe. How can God see, know, and do all that he does? I don’t know.

Matt Chandler. The Explicit Gospel. 1st ed. Crossway, 2012. 27.