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Old Testament, New Testament, Same Word: Judgment

Psalm 50:19–23

“You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

“Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!” (ESV)

Promises for Believers

This is a great list of promises from God for believers, written up by Ken Miller at Christ Chapel Bible Church. There are certainly many others, but this is a great summation. Reciting the promises of God, from Scripture, is a sure way to stoke and kindle your faith. It is these promises that motivate the heart unto obedience and faith. Gospel-motivated obedience is sure to last if we return to these truths, and more, daily. Just trying harder is not the answer, because you rely upon your strength to maintain your own righteousness, which is sure to fail. When your perspective is changed to see you are completely accepted by God through the finished work of His Son, regardless of your moral record, “good” or bad, because of His works and promises, you are freed from the heart to obey. Meditate on these things, let them soak into your heart. In Christ alone, and His perfect work in His life, death and resurrection are these established for us, and by them we know that God is for us, when circumstances are excellent or terrible. This is solid ground to stand upon. What a sure, true and faithful word! You can hover over each of the verses to read these great truths!

  • Promises guaranteeing the safety and security of the true believer: John 5:24; 6:37-40; 6:47; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1; 8:28-29; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 24-25
  • God’s constant care – 1 Pet. 5:7
  • God’s great faithfulness – Lam. 3:21-23; 1 Cor. 1:9; Heb. 11:11
  • God’s sufficient grace – 2 Cor. 9:8; 12:9; John 1:16-17
  • God’s eternal love – Jer. 31:3; John 31:1 ; Rom. 8:35-39
  • God’s unfailing promise – Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18; Num. 23:19; 2 Cor. 1:20; Rom. 4:20-21; Heb. 11:11
  • God’s abiding presence – Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6,8; Matt. 28:20
  • God’s mighty working – Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 3:20-21; Heb. 13:20-21
  • God’s adequate supply – Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19; Psalm 23:1; 34:10
  • The promise of God’s peace – Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:6-7; 4:9; John 14:27; 16:33
  • The promise of God’s joy – John 15:11; Gal. 5:22
  • The promise of God’s rest – Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:1-11
  • The promise of forgiveness and cleansing from sins – 1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:5; Prov. 28:13
  • The promise of answered prayer – John 14:13-14; 15:7; 1 John 3:22; 5:14-15; Matt. 7:7-11
  • Promises for new strength – 2 Cor. 12:9-10; Phil 4:13; Isa. 40:28-31; 41:10
  • Promises for needed wisdom – James 1:5-7
  • Promises for needed help – Heb. 13:6; Isa. 41:10,13
  • Promises for needed comfort – 2 Cor. 1:3-5; John 14:16-18; 2 Thess. 2:16-17
  • Promises for needed guidance – Prov. 3:5-6; Psalm 23:2-3
  • Promises for needed faith – Rom. 10:17; Hebrews 11
  • Promises for victory over sin – Romans 6; John 8:31-36
  • Promises for victory over temptation – 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15-16
  • Promises for victory in the midst of trials – Heb. 12:5-11; James 1:2-12; 1 Pet. 1:6-8; 4:19
  • Promises for victory in the midst of suffering – Rom. 8:18,28; 2 Cor. 1:3-4
  • Promises for victory over the world system – 1 John 2:17; 5:4-5
  • Promises for victory over Satan – James 4:7; 1 John 4:4
  • The promise of reward for keeping God’s commandments – John 14:21,23; Psalm 19:11
  • The promise of reward for seeking God – Heb. 11:6; Matt. 7:7; Jer. 29:13; Deut. 4:29
  • The promise of reward for faithful living – 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 4:2-5; Luke 16:9-10
  • The promise of a future heavenly home – 1 Pet. 1:4; Rev. 21:3-5; John 14:1-3; Heb. 11:10
  • The promise of the return of Christ – John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 John 2:28-3:3; Tit. 2:13

Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

Reading Psalm 40 today, I came across a verse that really spoke to me. Psalm 40:11 says, “As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me.”

This has been a joyful thought ringing in my heart today after I read it. Notice it isn’t our love, our faithfulness, our toiling, and our working that acquires the faithfulness of God for us, His people. Rather it is the Lord loving and being faithful to us, despite us. This is pure gospel. His love and faithfulness will ever preserve me, for eternity. He is committed to me, demonstrated and effected on the cross. He will preserve me and all of His people in the wake of His resurrection, never to perish, but always to live for His glory.

What a thought that He will ever preserve us and always remain faithful. This is solid ground and food for weary souls worn out from sin.

The Book of Ruth: Reigning Providence

Sermons on Ruth – John Piper

In my yearly trek through the Scriptures, I have come today to the book of Ruth. I have read this book many times, but never studied it in depth. So I thought it would be good to look up a sermon series on this book and I came across some sermons by none other than John Piper, who preached on this book in four sermons in 1984. I really was taken aback by the first one in how he displays so clearly the beautiful providence of God in the midst of deep, bitter trial, designing and intending it for good. There are so many things I have missed in this wonderful little book. I highly recommend these sermons.

The Singularity of Israel for All Time

“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles … were … separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” – Ephesians 2:11-12

When reading this statement by Paul, in his mind, being separated from Christ means being separated from the commonwealth of Israel and the covenants of promise. They are all one in the same. The promise made to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets, is the same promise we Gentiles inherit through faith alone in Christ alone. We are grafted into the Vine, which is Christ. We become a part of Israel, that is, God’s saved people for all time. There is no segmentation of Israel versus Gentiles. Christ has brought that wall down and we are the same: Israel, the people who have believed God and are reckoned as righteous on the basis of the righteousness of Another, Christ.

David, the Bread of Presence and the King of Glory

Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David trembling and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away. – 1 Samuel 21:1-6

Sin is Divine Treason – It is Indeed a Fearful Thing

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:26-31

“Sin is divine treason.” – Thabiti Anyabwile, from the Ligonier Conference, speaking on the divine treason of sin in light of God’s holiness. How often do we really see sin as it is? I confess that I just don’t many times because well, I’m a great sinner and am still blinded to a great amount of my own wickedness. We certainly don’t talk about sin like this nowadays, even in church where we should be. Sin is treason, divine treason. Think about the seriousness of treason at the political level. You can be thrown into prison for life or worse, executed for committing this crime, because you, being a citizen of this country, are betraying her through your actions. Yet how much worse is divine treason against a holy, eternal God! And this is every sin! God has every right to punish all of us to hell for eternity. He would be right and just to do so. And yet in great mercy, Christ condescended of His own free will and choice in order that we would be rescued, not because we were worth it or even wanted it or even saw our need for it, but because He is Amazing.

Jesus As Judge

This isn’t a portrayal of Jesus we like to ascribe to Him very often because, frankly, it is terrifying. Tim Keller has concisely and eloquently said, “If we play down ‘bad’ or harsh doctrines within the historic Christian faith, we will find, to our shock, that we have gutted all our pleasant and comfortable beliefs, too.” And this is certainly true with how we envision Jesus. Jesus is fully God and as such He is the same God of the Old Testament. Yes Jesus is fully loving as clearly demonstrated in His very condescension to man, His whole life lived, His death, and His resurrection for sinners! Yet He is also fully just and is the very One who will judge the world. This seems to easily slip past us very often. There is simply no way to escape this picture in the Scriptures. And it’s either true or it’s not.

MP3 Sermons on Romans 9 – John Piper

If you really want to dive deep into the implications and ramifications of God’s grace and mercy to us in Christ, you really need to take the time to listen to this series of sermons on Romans 9 by John Piper. It is unfortunate these passages get skimmed over, ignored or nuanced to such a great degree there is nothing left but hollow theology. There is gold here if you will spend the time with it. Romans 9 answers these questions (though Romans 10-11 continues the answers as well):

  1. “If God has made such great promises to us in Christ that will NEVER fail (as explained in Romans 8), why is it that a majority of Israel rejected Christ, the only One who could save them?”
  2. “If all of Israel is not saved, and God’s promises have failed them, what are we to make of the promises of God given to us in Romans 8?”
  3. “Is God required to show mercy to everyone?”
  4. “Is God free to show mercy to whom He pleases?”
  5. “Is God bound by what the creature does or doesn’t do, or is He free to do as He pleases, to His own glory and for His own purposes?”
  6. “From where did our faith come from?”

Radical Grace Produces Radical Forgiveness

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.’ So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this command before he died, “Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, ‘Behold, we are your servants.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” – Genesis 50:12-21

Often people wonder how in the world they can possibly forgive someone who has injured them so deeply. Whether it was a parent (or parents), a boyfriend, a rapist, a boss, a spouse, or a murderer who took away their child’s’ life, how can we forgive from the heart and it not be a forced thing that we know we’re supposed to do? How can forgiveness just come naturally as a way you operate when offended?

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