VIDEO Nothing but the Blood

Feb 22, 2009

Hillsong United Band, Australia

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus
O Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

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Why Not Give God Your Worries?

When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me.
PSALM 32:3

Ask yourself two questions: Is there any unconfessed sin in my life? Confession is telling God you did the thing he saw you do. He doesn’t need to hear it as much as you need to say it. Whether it’s too small to be mentioned or too big to be forgiven isn’t yours to decide. Your task is to be honest …

Are there any unsurrendered worries in my heart?

“Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). The German word for worry means “to strangle.” The Greek word means “to divide the mind.” Both are accurate. Worry is a noose on the neck and a distraction of the mind, neither of which is befitting for joy.

from WHEN GOD WHISPERS YOUR NAME

Thinking About the Trinity

Thinking About The Trinity
As a young man, I was an aggressive atheist.

In fact, when I read the writings of Richard Dawkins, I get all nostalgic. You see, I used to be like that as well! I regarded religious people as deluded, believing all sorts of ridiculous nonsense. If I had been asked to single out what I regarded as the most absurd aspect of Christian belief, I would have pointed to the doctrine of the Trinity. How can God be three and one at the same time? It was irrational gibberish.

After discovering Christianity while I was a student at Oxford University, I began to explore the landscape of faith. It was an exciting and rewarding process. I found that I was able to make sense of a lot of basic Christian ideas quite quickly. But the doctrine of the Trinity still seemed nonsensical. That’s my reason for wanting to explain why this doctrine is so important and how we can make sense of it.

Let’s begin by asking what theology tries to do. One of the best answers is that it aims to weave together the threads of Scripture. It’s about trying to tell the full story so that we do justice to the wonder and glory of God. The Christian faith is like a lens that helps us bring things into focus, or a light that lights up the landscape of life so that we can see it more clearly. C. S. Lewis made this point brilliantly when he said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

So how do we do justice to God? God is so great that our little minds just can’t fit Him in! When we’re confronted with something too big for us to fully understand, our natural instinct is to scale it down. There’s nothing wrong with that—unless, of course, we think that our reduced version of reality is the way things really are. In the end, our minds just aren’t big enough to cope with God. He simply overwhelms our mental capacities.

Sometimes, in our attempt to master something complicated, we make it simple. Yet you can’t make something complicated simple. What you’re really doing is leaving out the complicated bits, or forcing something complex into a little box, and throwing away the bits that don’t fit. Simplification is always about reduction. And sometimes it’s about distortion as well.

That’s true in our thinking about God. You can’t fit God into a neat little slogan. It’s like trying to capture smoke in your hands or the fragrance of a summer meadow in a jar. God just can’t be mastered. He is supremely resistant to our attempts to reduce reality to our level. When Paul declares that the peace of God “surpasses all comprehension” (Phil. 4:7), he is not suggesting it is irrational. Rather, he is pointing out the inability of the human mind to cope with such things.

Back in the fifth century, Augustine of Hippo—one of Christianity’s early theologians—wrote about this problem. Taking a break from writing his major work On the Trinity, he went for a stroll along a beautiful beach nearby. As he walked, he came across a young boy behaving rather strangely. Time after time, the child went to the edge of the shoreline, filled a shell with seawater, and then emptied it into a hole he had dug in the sand.

Augustine watched for some time, mystified. Eventually, he decided to ask what was going on. Pointing to the Mediterranean Sea, the boy said, “I am going to empty the ocean into this hole in the sand.” According to the legend, Augustine smiled and said, “You can’t do that—you’ll never fit the ocean into that tiny hole you’ve dug.” The boy replied: “And you’re wasting your time writing a book about God. You’ll never fit God into a book.”

It’s a good point! The doctrine of the Trinity stops us from reducing God to the level of what we can cope with. It aims to tell the truth about God, no matter how difficult we find it to be. God is our Creator. He redeems us in Christ. And He is present with us right now in the Holy Spirit. The Trinity makes us tell the full story of God and stops us from diminishing His grandeur. After all, that’s one of the reasons why Christians worship. We realize that God is so great and glorious that we want to praise Him.

by Alister McGrath

The Christian Rest

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:9-10)

This is an important New Testament affirmation that God’s work of creation was “finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:3). The reference is to Genesis 2:1-3, where the writer has told us that God had “rested from all his work which God created and made,” thus completely denying the contention of theistic evolutionists that the processes of “creation” (that is, evolution) are still going on.

In addition, it makes a significant comparison between the believer’s rest and God’s rest. The word “rest” here is not the usual word for “rest” and is used only this once in the New Testament. It means, literally, “sabbath rest,” or “keeping of the Sabbath.” In the context of chapters 2 and 3 of Hebrews, the concept of rest is being expounded with several meanings. The original warning was in Psalm 95:11, where it referred both to the Israelites entering into the promised land under Joshua and to God’s own rest after His work of creation. Psalm 95 is repeatedly quoted in Hebrews, where other meanings are also implied: the keeping of a weekly Sabbath in commemoration of God’s rest after creation; the promised future rest to the world and its believing inhabitants—possibly in the millennium but certainly in the new earth; and the believer’s present spiritual rest after he puts his faith in Christ, no longer trusting in his works for salvation.

With such a rich investiture of meaning in the fact of God’s past rest and the promise of our future rest, it is appropriate that there should be a perpetual weekly commemoration and expression of faith in that rest in every generation, until its ultimate fulfillment in the eternal rest in the New Jerusalem.

In the meantime, we are urged to “labour” to “enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:11). HMM

The Lord is my light and my salvation

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?—Psalm 27:1.

GOD is my strong salvation,
What foe have I to fear?
In darkness and temptation,
My light, my help, is near.
Though hosts encamp around me,
Firm to the fight I stand,
What terror can confound me
With God at my right hand?
JAMES MONTGOMERY.

ALL the spiritual enemies, all the enemies of a man’s own house, are to be destroyed by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, working by His grace in the heart. And when salvation is brought home to the heart, and wrought out there by the Lord, it is to be enjoyed and abode in, and the soul is not to return back again into captivity; but, being delivered out of the hands of its inward and spiritual enemies, is to serve God in the dominion of His Son’s life, in holiness and righteousness all its days here upon the earth. ISAAC PENINGTON.

Who does not know what it is to rise up from a fault—perceived, confessed, and forgiven—with an almost joyous sense of new energy, strength, and will to persevere? H.L. SIDNEY LEAR.

They sang as it were a new song

They sang as it were a new song.
Revelation 14:3

A new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us. — Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. — By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory. — Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. — Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by
blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. — I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, … cried … saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Hebrews 10:20. Titus 3:5,6. Ephesians 2:8,9. Psalm 115:1. Revelation 1:5. Revelation 5:9. Revelation 7:9,10.

The living God giveth us richly all things to enjoy

The living God giveth us richly all things to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17

Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; … then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God: … for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. — They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them — There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

Deuteronomy 8:11,12,14,18. Psalm 127:1,2. Psalm 44:3. Psalm 4:6.