“The curse of the law. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). The curse of the law is its penal sanction. This is essentially the wrath or curse of God, the displeasure which rests upon every infraction of the law’s demand. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10). Without deliverance from this curse there could be no salvation. It is from this curse that Christ has purchased his people and the price of the purchase was that he himself became a curse. He became so identified with the curse resting on his people that the whole of it in all its unrelieved intensity became his. That curse he bore and that curse he exhausted. That was the price paid for this redemption and the liberty secured for the beneficiaries is that there is no more curse” (John Murray, Redemption – Accomplished and Applied, 44).
Christians are called to mediate on Scripture (see Psalm 1), but we don’t mediate on Scripture the way Winnie the Pooh tries to conjure up ideas for how to find honey: “Think, think, think.” Rather, we mediate on Scripture with the Holy Spirit. We don’t say, “Think, think, think.” We say, “Teach me, teach me, teach me.”
As Donald S. Whitney notes, “Meditation must always involve two people — the Christian and the Holy Spirit. Praying over a text is the invitation for the Holy Spirit to hold His divine light over the words of Scripture to show you what you cannot see without Him” (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 55).
What to pray while reading Scripture: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18).
“He [Professor Weston, i.e. the antagonist] was a man obsessed with the idea which is at this moment circulating all over our planet in obscure works of “scientifiction,” in little Interplanetary Societies and rocketry Clubs, and between the covers of monstrous magazines, ignored or mocked by the intellectuals, but ready, if ever the power is put into its hands, to open a new chapter of misery for the universe. It is the idea that humanity, having now sufficiently corrupted the planet where it arose, must at all costs contrive to seed itself over a larger area: that the vast astronomical distances which are God’s quarantine regulations, must somehow be overcome. This for a start. But beyond this lies the sweet poison of the false infinite — the wild dream that planet after planet, system after system, in the end galaxy after galaxy, can be forced to sustain, everywhere and for ever, the sort of life which is contained in the loins of our own species — a dream begotten by the hatred of death upon the fear of true immortality, fondled in secret by thousands of ignorant men and hundreds who are not ignorant. The destruction or enslavement of other species in the universe, if such there are, is to these minds a welcome corollary” (C. S. Lewis, Perelandra, 81-82).
“[A]t the heart of all theology for Luther is God and how one knows God; or perhaps better said, one must start all theology with understanding how it is that God reveals Godself” (Thomas J. Davis, This Is My Body: The Presence of Christ in Reformation Thought, 58).
“Luther did not do away with the notion of good works, works of love; he repositioned good works so that they follow necessarily from the working of the Word. Good works do not effect salvation; they are its flowering. The communio sanctorum, the community of love, is thus a necessary result of the Word” (Thomas J. Davis, This Is My Body: The Presence of Christ in Reformation Thought, 58).
I spend very, very little time in the land of YouTube. However, this was too cool to pass up. Enjoyed this with my kiddos.
“Christianity is enshrined in the life: but it is proclaimed by the lips. If there is a failure in either respect the gospel cannot be communicated” (Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church, 194).
One of my pastors back in Indiana use to say, “You need to wear your theology.” In the quote above, Michael Green is saying the same thing. There are two parts to Gospel Communication: 1) Life and life-style and works — aka, one’s agenda/what you do, and 2) the words and speech that dance on your lips — aka, one’s creed and confession/what you proclaim. That is, you need to wear/live what you believe (your theology). Therefore, Gospel Communication consists of two parts, and the twain ought not to be separated.
“God must be the guide of your desires, and the ground of your expectations in prayer. . . . Keep your voice in tune for prayer, and let all your language be a pure language, that you may be fit to call on the name of the Lord, Zeph. iii. 9 (From Directions for Daily Communion with God by Matthew Henry).
“Let not any other business hinder our saying what we have to say to God. We have business with a friend, perhaps, but we cannot do it, because we have not leisure; we have something else to do, which we think more needful; but we cannot say so concerning the business we have to do with God; for that is without doubt the one thing needful, to which every thing else must be made to truckle and give way. It is not at all necessary to our happiness that we be great in the world, or raise estates to such a pitch. But it absolutely necessary that we make our peace with God, that we obtain his favour, and keep ourselves in his love. Therefore no business for the world will serve to excuse our attendance upon God; but, on the contrary, the more important our worldly business is, the more need we have to apply ourselves to God by prayer for his blessing upon it, and so take him along with us in it. The closer we keep to prayer, and to God in prayer, the more will all our affairs prosper” (from Directions for Daily Communion with God).