Having Jesus As Our Greatest Treasure – A Prayer

. Scotty Smith: Philippians 3:7 – I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. Lord Jesus, as I meditate on the Apostle Paul’s words, I smell the aroma of a free man, a joyful man, and a grace-man–a man I want to become more like. Things he once treasured became Paul’s “garbage.” Old stuff that used to consume him, no longer even amused him. Enjoying an intimate and robust relationship with you mean more to Paul that any other competing currency and treasure. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with

read more Having Jesus As Our Greatest Treasure – A Prayer

The eternality of the Son of God

  Kevin DeYoung: There never was when he was not. That was the bone of contention with Arianism, the fourth century heresy which rejected the full deity of the Son of God. The issue was not whether the Son was divine in some sense, but whether he shared the same essence (homoousia) as the Father. In particular, Arius held that sonship necessarily implied having a beginning. While Arius affirmed that Christ was preexistent and that all things were created through him, he also believed that the Father created the Son. According to Arius, “If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten has a beginning of existence; hence it is clear that there was when he was not.” Arius was careful not to use the word “time,” because he believed the Son existed before the ages began, but for Arius eternality and sonship could not go together. The Son was a divine being, but a created being with a

read more The eternality of the Son of God

It is finished: A reflection on John 19:30

Matthew Barrett: Looking back upon the first half of the twentieth century, H. Richard Niebuhr famously described liberal Christianity’s understanding of the gospel like this: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.” Sadly, such a view is alive and well today in the twenty-first century. The reason we cannot begin to fathom a God who is holy and just, and the reason we are so hostile to a God who executives his wrath and judgment is because we do not truly understand two things: (1) Just how holy God is, and (2) just how sinful we are. Bad news Because we do not understand how desperately wicked and depraved we are, nor how offensive and hideous our sin is to a righteous Judge, a God who pours out his wrath through a cross is offensive, foolish, detestable, and sour to our taste buds. Unfortunately, many

read more It is finished: A reflection on John 19:30

I press on, because . . .

Ray Ortlund: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Philippians 3:12 The New Testament rings with two glorious themes.  One is the grace of Christ.  He has made us his own.  Think of the sweep of thought from election to predestination to creation to fall to promise to Old Covenant to New Covenant to atonement to resurrection to outpouring to conversion to growth to glorification.  When Christ Jesus makes us his own, he draws us into a massive reality. The other theme is how we respond to the magnitude of all that Christ brings to us.  We have not yet obtained the fullness of his grace.  We are not already perfect.  But we are pressing on.  We are not wallowing in defeatism and self-pity.  We are highly motivated for whatever next step the Lord is calling us to venture.  Why?  Because Christ Jesus

read more I press on, because . . .

For His Name’s Sake

Sam Storms: Why do you exist? What energizes your actions? How do you account for your life and behavior and the choices you make throughout the course of a day? My answer to those questions, and I hope yours as well, is that it’s all for his name’s sake. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Jesus commended the believers there for “enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake” (Rev. 2:3). People all over the world endure pain for any number of reasons, some of which are noble and others not. Some persevere for profit and others to elicit compassion for themselves. But Jesus makes it clear that, for the Christian, endurance under duress is never an end in itself. Suffering for suffering’s sake is stupid, if not a sign of mental illness. Jesus commends the Ephesian believers because their motivation was the fame of the name of Christ. That is to say, they endured with a

read more For His Name’s Sake

The One Who Poured Himself Out

Commenting on Philippians chapter 2, Gordon Fee writes: “Here we see why the ‘scandal of the cross’ was so central to [Paul’s] understanding of everything Christian. For in ‘pouring himself out’ and ‘humbling himself to death on the cross,’ Christ Jesus has revealed the character of God himself. Here is the epitome of God-likeness: the pre-existent Christ was not a “grasping, selfish’ being, but one whose love for others found its consummate expression in ‘pouring himself out,’ in taking on the role of a slave, in humbling himself to the point of death on behalf of those so loved.” Gordon Fee – Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, page 197 (HT: Josh Harris)