https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beautiful_tree_at_Akershus_Fortress_(Akershus_Festning)_(29252416734).jpg“This tree is my everlasting salvation. It is my food, a shared banquet. Its roots and the spread of its branches are my own roots and extension. In its shade, as in a breeze, I luxuriate and am cared for. Its shade I take for my resting place; in my flight from oppressive heat it is a source of refreshing dew for me. Its blossoms are my own, my utter delight its fruits, saved from the beginning for my harvest. Food for my hunger and well-spring for my thirst, it is also a covering for my nakedness, with the spirit of life as its leaves. Far from me henceforth the fig leaves!

“Fearful of God, I find it a place of safety; when unsteady, a source of stability. In the face of a struggle, I look to it as a prize; in victory, my trophy. It is the narrow path, the restricted road. It is Jacob’s ladder, the passage of angels, at whose summit the Lord is affixed.  This tree, the plant of immortality, rears from earth to reach as high as heaven, fixing the Lord between heaven and earth. It is the foundation and stabilizer of the universe, undergirding the world that we inhabit. It is the binding force of the world and holds together all the varieties that human life encompasses. It is riveted into a unity by the invisible bonds of the Spirit, so that its connection with God can never be severed.

“Brushing heaven with its uppermost branches, it remains fixed in the earth and, between the two points, its huge hands completely enfold the stirring of the air. As a single whole it penetrates all things and all places.”

-Pseudo-Hippolytus (tr. by B. Ramsay)

Contemporary evangelicalism is rife with will-worship. More and more, the market rules the Church, and the customer is always right! Except when he is wrong, and silly, and downright idolatrous:

Listen to this short, 3 minute audio clip from a recent sermon on God as Warrior and Shepherd. For the complete sermon, visit here

 

nature-sky-night-star-milky-way-cosmos-atmosphere-constellation-space-galaxy-long-exposure-trees-starry-science-astronomy-stars-un“Y hasta la continuidad de la creacion, y su preservacion y gobierno, nos enseñan que si existe una Deidad, quien soporta y mantiene y preserva y siempre provee por este universo. Porque como podrian naturalezas opuestas, como fuego y agua, aire y tierra, combinarse como para formar un mundo completo, y continuan en union indisoluble, si no hubiera un poder omnipotente que los atara juntos y siempre los preserva de disolucion?”

-Juan de Damasco (c. 675-749)

nature-sky-night-star-milky-way-cosmos-atmosphere-constellation-space-galaxy-long-exposure-trees-starry-science-astronomy-stars-un“And even the very continuity of the creation, and its preservation and government, teach us that there does exist a Deity, who supports and maintains and preserves and ever provides for this universe. For how could opposite natures, such as fire and water, air and earth, have combined with each other so as to form one complete world, and continue to abide in indissoluble union, were there not some omnipotent power which bound them together and always is preserving them from dissolution?”

– John of Damascus (c. 675-749)

II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]

– Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), 26.2

57d986c9dc24e_edwards630“They shall see every thing in God that gratifies love. They shall see in him all that love desires. Love desires the love of the beloved. So the saints in glory shall see God’s transcendent love to them; God will make ineffable manifestations of his love to them. They shall see as much love in God towards them as they desire; they neither will nor can crave any more. This very manifestation that God will make of himself that will cause the beatific vision, will be an act of love in God: it will be from the exceeding love of God to them that he will give them this vision, which will add an immense sweetness to it. When they see God so glorious, and at the same time see how greatly this God loves them, what delight will it not cause in the soul! Love desires union. They shall therefore see this glorious God united to them, and see themselves united to him. They shall see that he is their Father, and that they are his children. They shall see God gloriously present with them; God with them; and God in them; and they in God. Love desires the possession of its object. Therefore they shall see God, even their own God; when they behold this transcendent glory of God, they shall see him as their own. When they shall see that glory, power, and wisdom of God, they shall see it as altogether engaged for them; when they shall see the beauty of God’s holiness, they shall see it as their own, for them to enjoy for ever; when they see the boundless ocean of God’s goodness and grace, they shall see it to be all theirs.”

– Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

“The people of God have their fulness, and although a large portion of men either neglect, or reject, the grace of the Saviour, yet there is a certain Special Universality of the elect, and foreknown, separated and discerned from the generality of all, that a whole world might seem to be saved out of a whole world; and all men might seem to be redeemed out of all men.”

-Ambrose (c. 340-397)

This quote is striking as it aligns with the later Calvinist doctrine of particular redemption (‘limited atonement’), that is, Christ died not for every human being who has ever lived, but for those chosen by God from the foundation of the world. By His blood, Christ dies for and ransoms a world out of the world, and that bought world takes its place at the end of time.

Ambrose, incidentally, was the pastor of Augustine (354-430), one of the Church’s greatest theologians.

desert_drought_dehydrated_clay_soil_clay_earth_cracked_cracks-983385

Rom. 6:17 Pero gracias a Dios que, aunque antes eran esclavos del pecado, ya se han sometido de corazón a la enseñanza que les fue transmitida.

Los fundamentos son extremadamente importantes. Una casa sin fundamento seguramente se derrumbará al suelo. Un árbol sin raíces no se mantendrá derecho en una tormenta. Así que nos empeñamos en establecer los fundamentos de la fe cristiana. ¡Edifique su vida sobre estas verdades fundamentales, y su vida estará de pie a través del tiempo y hasta la gloria eterna! Entonces sigamos estudiando las verdades básicas, esenciales de la fe cristiana, para que usted entienda, para que crea, y para que viva feliz para siempre.

Ya que hemos considerado el propósito del hombre, la Biblia, Dios—su naturaleza, su unidad y sus tres personas—su plan básico, además de la creación y la providencia, ahora hemos de enfocarnos en la segunda área de la verdad cristiana fundamental. Esto es lo que llamamos la Caída.

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