Come Ye Sinners

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Friends, we are all sick with sin. Every one of us is diseased with iniquity. We hear each other saying, “I’m broken and guilty,” and we think to ourselves, “If only they knew – it’s me. I’m the worst.” We live in fear of shining a light on the very darkest parts of our hearts—afraid to whisper those dark parts by name, let alone hold them in our outstretched hands in plain sight of the One who bled and died to redeem them.

Jesus our Healer, says, “Come.” Yes, you are very sick, but that’s why I’m here!

Jesus our Justifier, says, “Come.” Child, you are ill, and I am the only One who can make you well.

We live in shame and fear, afraid to come into the light until we we know the Physician will be pleased with what He sees. We’re worried we’ve waited too long. The author of the hymn “Come, Ye Sinners” echoes Christ Himself when he says, don’t wait another minute!

“If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.”
“Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of him.”

Do you need Him today, Sisters? Come to Him.
Are you waiting to be better one your own? Come to Him.
In Him you will find not condemnation, but healing.

COURTESY OF SHE READS TRUTH

The rest of this article can be found here: http://shereadstruth.com/2014/11/10/come-ye-sinners/

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Do You Love Me

“Do you love Me?” John 21:16

A true Christian is not a mere baptised man or woman. He is something more. He is not a person who only goes, as a matter of form, to a church or chapel on Sundays, and lives all the rest of the week as if there was no God. Formality is not Christianity.Ignorant lip worship is not true religion. The Scripture speaks expressly: “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). The practical lesson of those words is clear and plain — all are not true Christians, who are members of the visible church of Christ.

The true Christian is one whose religion is in his heart and life. It is felt by himself in his heart. It is seen by others in his conduct and life. He feels his sinfulness, guilt and badness — and repents. He sees Jesus Christ to be that divine Savior whom his soul needs — and commits himself to Him. He puts off the old man with his corrupt and carnal habits — and puts on the new man. He lives a new and holy life — fighting habitually against the world, the flesh and the devil.

Christ Himself is the cornerstone of his Christianity. Ask him in what he trusts for the forgiveness of his many sins, and he will tell you — in the death of Christ. Ask him in what righteousness he hopes to stand innocent at the judgment day, and he will tell you it is the righteousness of Christ. Ask him by what pattern he tries to frame his life, and he will tell you that it is the example of Christ.

But, beside all this, there is one thing in a true Christian which is eminently peculiar to him. That thing is love to Christ. Knowledge, faith, hope, reverence, obedience — are all marked features in a true Christian’s character. But his picture would be very imperfect, if you omitted his “love” to his divine Master. He not only knows, trusts and obeys. He goes further than this — he loves.

This peculiar mark of a true Christian is one which we find mentioned several times in the Bible. “Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ” is an expression which many Christians are familiar with. Let it never be forgotten that love is mentioned by the Holy Spirit in almost as strong terms as faith. Great as the danger is of him “who believesnot,” the danger of him that “loves not” is equally great. Not believing and not loving — are both steps to everlasting ruin.

Hear once more what our Lord Jesus Christ said to the Apostle Peter, after He rose from the dead. Three times He asked him the question, “Simon, son of Jonah, Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-17). The occasion was remarkable. He meant gently to remind His erring disciple of his thrice-repeated fall. He desired to call forth from him a new confession of faith, before publicly restoring to him his commission to feed the church. And what was the question that He asked him? He might have said, “Do you believe?” “Are you converted?” “Are you ready to confess Me?” “Will you obey Me?” He uses none of these expressions. He simply says, “Do you love Me?” This is the point which He would have us know, on which a man’s Christianity hinges. As simple as the question sounded — it was most searching. As plain and easy to be understood by the most unlearned poor man — it contains matter which tests the reality of the most advanced apostle. If a man truly loves Christ — then all is right; if not — then all is wrong.

Taken from the book ‘Holiness!’ by JC Ryle

Isaac’s Substitute Explained

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“Many readers over the years have had understandable objections to this story. They have interpreted the ‘moral’ of the story as meaning that doing cruel and violent things is fine, as long as you believe it is God’s will. No one has spoken more vividly about this than Søren Kierkegaard, whose book Fear and Trembling is based on the story of Abraham and Isaac. Kierkegaard ultimately reasons that faith is irrational and absurd. Abraham thought the command made no sense at all and contradicted everything else God had ever said, yet he followed the command.

Would this command have been totally irrational to Abraham? Kierkegaard’s interpretation of the story does not take into consideration the meaning of the firstborn son in Jewish thought and symbolism. Jon Levenson, a Jewish scholar who teaches at Harvard has written The Death and Ressurection of the Beloved Son. In this volume he reminds us that ancient cultures were not as individualistic as ours. People’s hopes and dreams were never for their own personal success, prosperity or prominence. Since every was part of a family, and no one lived apart from the family, these things were only sought for the entire clan. We must also remember the ancient law of primogeniture. The oldest son got the majority of the estate and wealth so the family would not lose its place in society.

The Bible repeatedly states that, because of the Israelites’ sinfulness, the lives of their firstborn are automatically forfeit, though they might be redeemed through regular sacrifice (Exodus 22:29, 34:20) or through service at the tabernacle among the Levites (Numbers 3:40-41) or through a ransom payment to the tabernacle and priests (Numbers 3:46-48). When God brought judgment on Egypt for enslaving the Israelites, his ultimate punishment was taking the lives of their firstborn. Their firstborns’ lives were forfeit, because of the sins of the families and the nation. Why? The firstborn son was the family. So when god told the Israelites that the firstborn’s life belonged to him unless ransomed, he was saying in the most vivid way possible in those cultures that every family on earth owed a debt to eternal justice – the debt of sin.

Why had Isaac not been sacrificed? The sins of Abraham and his family were still there. How could a holy and just God overlook them? Well, a substitute was offered, a ram. But was it the ram’s blood that took away the debt of the firstborn? No.

Many years later, in those same mountains, another firstborn son was stretched out on the wood to die. But there on Mount Calvary, when the beloved son of God cried, ‘My God, my God – why hast thou forsaken me?’ there was no voice from heaven announcing deliverance. Instead, God the Father paid the price in silence. Why? The true substitute for Abraham’s son was God’s only Son, Jesus, who died to bear our punishment.

The only way that God can be both ‘just’ (demanding payment of our debt of sin) and justifier (providing salvation and grace) is because years later another Father went up another ‘mount’ called Calvary with his firstborn and offered him there for us all.

Only if Jesus lived and died for us can you have a God of infinite love and holiness at once. Then you can be absolutely sure he loves you.”

Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods (Hodder & Stoughton, 2009) 

(I do not own this material)

It is 1am and I am typing all this out. This is how much this story means to me. This is how much Jesus means to me. God bless.