Restored to the self I had lost
“Reason & natural justice alike move me to give up myself wholly to loving Him to whom I owe all that I have and am. But faith shows me that I should love Him far more than I love myself, as I come to realize that He hath given me not my own life, but even Himself… In the first creation He gave me myself; but in His new creation He gave me Himself, and by that gift restored me to the self that I had lost. Created first and then restored, I owe Him myself twice over in return for myself. But what have I to offer Him for the gift of Himself? Could I multiply myself a thousand-fold and then give Him all, what would that be in comparison with God?”
– Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Conversion vs. consummation
“The espousals are carried on secretly; it may be the person is sitting at your side, and you do not see, nor know when Christ is making up the match; or, perhaps, on his knees at home, there is a secret transaction: but the consummation will be before millions of angels, millions of saints, and millions of spectators.”
-Ralph Erskine (1685-1752)
Una hipotética celestial
“Todo hombre que tiene su esperanza en Cristo, se purifica a sí mismo”. 1 Juan 3: 3. Un sermón de J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Suponga por un momento que a usted se le permitiera entrar al cielo sin santidad. ¿Qué haría? ¿Cuál sería el disfrute que usted podría sentir allí? ¿A cuál de todos los santos usted se uniría y al lado de quién se sentaría? Sus placeres no son sus placeres, sus gustos no sus gustos, sus caracteres no son su carácter. ¿Cómo podría usted ser feliz si no ha sido santo en la tierra?
Tal vez ahora usted ama la compañía de los livianos y los descuidados, los mundanos y los codiciosos, el revoltoso y buscador de placeres, el sin dios y el profano. No habrá ninguno de ellos en el cielo.
Tal vez ahora usted piense que los santos de Dios son muy estrictos y detallistas y serios. Prefiere evitarlos. Usted no tiene complacencia en su compañía. En el cielo no habrá otro tipo de compañía. Continue reading “Una hipotética celestial”
A heavenly hypothetical
“Every man who has his hope in Christ, purifies himself.” 1 John 3:3. A sermon by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Suppose for a moment, that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself—and by whose side would you sit? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes are not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy in heaven—if you had not been holy on earth?
Now you love the company of the frivolous and careless, the worldly-minded and the covetous, the reveler and the pleasure-seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven! Now you think that the people of God are too strict and particular and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. But remember, there will be no other company in heaven. Continue reading “A heavenly hypothetical”
From star & crescent to Christ
A tremendous story about a radical, Lebanese Muslim finding Jesus – and becoming a conservative Lutheran pastor to boot! I was struck by the close similarities he drew between the works righteousness of Islam and the old Roman bondage from which Luther was set free. “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” (Eph. 2:8-9).