Categories
Theology

Jesus, the Lamb of God Who Never Went Astray

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments. (Psalm 119:176)

This verse ends the longest chapter in the Bible.  Psalm 119 is all about God’s word and the psalmist’s desire to follow it. Often he makes bold statements, as he does in verse 176, petitioning God to “seek his servant” because he “does not forget God’s commandments.”

If you read the whole chapter, however, you will notice that this is rooted in repeated requests from the psalmist for God to teach, open eyes, give mercy, give understanding, and be gracious. Our “remembrance” of God’s commands is rooted in one thing: God sovereignly and generously granting it. Thankfully, God does grant it to some.

This psalm looks forward to the Messiah, because the ability to remember God’s word and rejoice in it “like one who finds great spoil” (v. 162) was ultimately purchased by Jesus, the great treasure (Matt. 13:44) and the perfect Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is not just God’s servant like the psalmist; he is the Suffering Servant who took the iniquity of the sheep who have gone astray (Isa. 53:6), and he becomes our Good Shepherd and gives life to God’s flock (John 10:10). He does not simply “not forget” God’s commandments, he is the only one who has perfectly communicated God’s word, being, and character to the world (John 1:1-5; 14:5; 15:15; 17:8, 14; Heb. 1:1-3).

If you want to know, remember, and rejoice in God’s word, you must know Jesus, and all of your failures to do what God demands must be cast upon him. Run, silly sheep, and embrace your Good Shepherd.

Categories
Life

“Once for All (Free from the Law)”

By Philip Bliss (1873)

Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus has bled and there is remission,
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.

Chorus
Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O brother, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.

Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,
Jesus provides a perfect salvation.
“Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.

“Children of God,” O glorious calling,
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call;
Blessèd salvation once for all.

 

Categories
Ministry

Joburg Summer Project

Part 8 in a 10 part series. View series intro and index.

There are too many pictures from this 5-week period to share them all.  These don’t do justice to the wonderful, Christ-filled experience of this mission’s trip!

Categories
Theology

Sermon 8: Sin Darkened Hearts

Sin Darkened Hearts
Series: Redemption
Pastor Steve Moltumyr

Romans 1:18-32

  • God reveals righteousness and wrath.  Both of them reveal who God is.
  • The wrath of God is a permanent, consistent attribute of God that is a holy response to everything that is unholy.

Why do we deserve God’s wrath?

  • We suppress the truth about God.
    • We don’t lack information about God, we deliberately reject what is uncomfortable for us to hear.
    • The universe is God’s signpost that points us to his power and nature.
    • At the most basic level, we suppress truth because we don’t like it.
  • We refuse to glorify and thank God.
    • We are not courteous to God.  This cosmic ingratitude causes us to live in the illusion of self-sufficiency.
    • Our refusal to acknowledge God is at the root of all our sin.  In essence, we want to be our own god.
  • We create idols to replace God.
    • Idols do not have to be primitive statues of wood or stone.
    • If you rest your security in anything other than God, you are putting your hope in an idol.  You are an idolater.
    • The end result of consistent, unrepentant idolatry is that God gives us what we want.

The Solution

  • As we look at this vice list, it should be like looking in a mirror.
  • We must look to Jesus, the only one who never committed one of these sins listed.  Even though he was innocent, he took on our sin and God’s wrath so that we might be forgiven and become his righteousness.
Categories
Life

Father, Long Before Creation

This is one of my favorite hymns. It was originally a Chinese hymn, and it was translated by Francis P. Jones.  It was most recently re-recorded by Matthew Smith on the Beams of Heaven: Indelible Grace IV project.

*               *               *

Translated by Francis P. Jones
Music and Chorus by Andrew Osenga

Father, long before creation
Thou hadst chosen us in love,
And that love so deep, so moving,
Draws us close to Christ above.
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us
Firmly fixed in Christ alone.

Though the world may change its fashion,
Yet our God is e’er the same;
His compassion and His covenant
Through all ages will remain.
God’s own children,
God’s own children
Must forever praise His name.

God’s compassion is my story,
Is my boasting all the day;
Mercy free and never failing
Moves my will, directs my way.
God so loved us,
God so loved us
That His only Son He gave.

Loving Father now before Thee
We will ever praise Thy love,
And our songs will sound unceasing
‘Til we reach our home above,
Giving glory,
giving glory
To our God and to the

Giving glory,
giving glory
To our God and to the Lamb.