Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lord's Day Meditation: Spiritual worship and blessing the LORD

Bless the Lord, O my soul

"..Unless the spirit or soul of a man, is engaged in the service of God, it is of little avail; for bodily exercise profiteth not; preaching, hearing, praying, and praising, should be both with the spirit, and with the understanding: here the psalmist calls upon his soul to "bless" the Lord; not by invoking or conferring a blessing on him, which as it is impossible to be done, so he stands in no need of it, being God, all sufficient, and blessed for evermore; but by proclaiming and congratulating his blessedness, and by giving him thanks for all mercies, spiritual and temporal."

John Gill on Psalm 103:1

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Anselm: Christ Alone

I found this awesome quote from St. Anselm from an old magazine called "The Presbyterian Guardian."  In this quote Anselm lays out what Protestants identify as the active and passive aspects of Christ's obedience:

"While there is life in thee, in this death alone place thy trust, confide in nothing else besides; to this death commit thyself altogether; with this shelter thy whole self; with this death array thyself from head to foot. And if the Lord Thy God will judge thee, say, Lord, between thy judgment and me I cast the death of our Lord Jesus Christ; no otherwise can I contend with Thee. And if He say to thee, Thou art a sinner, say Lord, I stretch forth the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between my sins and Thee. If He say, Thou art worthy of condemnation, say, Lord, I set the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between my evil deserts and Thee, and His merits I offer for those merits which I ought to have, but have not of my own. If He say that He is wroth with thee, say, Lord, I lift up the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between Thy wrath and me."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Christian Worship - The Example of Cornelius

William Burkitt is so practical; below is another great snippet from "The Poor Man's Help and Rich Man's Guide:"

Man's chief prerogative and dignity which he hath to glory of, is this, that he is the only creature in the visible world, made to worship and enjoy his great creator.  All other creatures are servants, but man only is a priest to God; they obey their maker, he only worships him.  This worship, under the law, was limited to a particular place, to wit, the tabernacle and temple.  But under the gospel, Almighty God has declared that it is his will that "Men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or doubting."  Almighty God therefore not only allows Christians the liberty, but enjoins them the duty of worshiping him with their household: And accordingly we find, that religious householders have, in all ages, constantly and conscientiously performed this duty.  Devout Cornelius stands upon record for his family religion, Acts 10:2, "He feared God, and all his house; that is, he reverenced and worshiped him: It is added, that he "gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always." Surely, he that was so charitable at his door to refresh the pinched bowels of his poor neighbors, could not be so cruel to the souls of his relations and servants within his house, as to lock up his religion in a closet for them.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

God's covenant not determined by human action

"God's covenant love to us in Christ is another stream, flowing from the fountain of unmingled grace. And here, as in the preceeding instance, every truly awakened person disclaims all title to praise; shoves it away from himself, with both hands; and not only with his hands, but with his heart also; while his lips acknowledge, "Not unto us, O Thou divine and coeternal Three, not unto us, but to Thy Name, give glory!"

How is it possible, that either God's purposes, or that His covenant concerning us, can be, in any respect whatever, suspended on the will or the works of men; seeing, both His purposes and His covenant were framed, and fixed, and agreed upon, by the Persons of the Trinity, not only before men existed, but before angels themselves were created, or time itself was born? All was vast eternity, when grace was federally given us in Christ ere the world began (see II Timothy 1:9). Well therefore might the Apostle, in the very text where he makes the above assertion, observe, that the holy calling, with which God effectually converts and sanctifies His people, in time, is bestowed upon us, "not according to our works," but according to God's own free purpose and eternal destination."