The Meaning of All Misery

“Therefore, the meaning of all misery in the world is that sin is horrific. All natural evil is a statement about the horror of moral evil. If you see a suffering in the world that is unspeakably horrible, let it make you shudder at how unspeakably horrible sin is against an infinitely holy God. The meaning of futility and the meaning of corruption and the meaning of our groaning is that sin — falling short of the glory of God — is ghastly, hideous, repulsive beyond imagination.

Unless you have some sense of the infinite holiness of God and the unspeakable outrage of sin against this God, you will inevitably see the futility and suffering of the universe as an overreaction. But in fact the point of our miseries, our futility, our corruption, our groaning is to teach us the horror of sin. And the preciousness of redemption and hope.”

– John Piper, “Subjected to Futility in Hope, Part 1” (sermon preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church on April 22, 2002)

HT: OFI

Whew – heavy!

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Leaning upon Christ

“Everything that a man leans upon but God—will be a dart which will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ—lives the highest, choicest, safest and sweetest life.” – Thomas Brooks

HT: OFI

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote since I first saw it a few days ago.  There’s so much truth and wisdom here!  (I love the first comment for it, so do click on the OFI link.)  Of course, the “safe” life spoken of here might just be the “safe” life of Paul, or Stephen – the life foretold for us by Christ.  But a safe life – one hidden with Christ in God – nonetheless.

“Behold, I make all things new!”

OFI has a great quote from Spurgeon here.   It’s about finding your joy in Christ, the only source of all lasting joy.  Note that I’m not saying that you can’t find joy in things here on earth… Far from it.  You can find a short-lived joy in the things of the world, which do not satisfy (see Ecclesiastes, or any believer whom God has chastened because of their love for the things of this world).  You can also find real joy in things received from Christ while on this earth – such as your spouse – things received from and blessed by Him. 

If you haven’t already, may you begin to find lasting joy in Christ this year!  It is worth all that you have and are in exchange.

Spurgeon on OFI

This was on OFI on January 30th:

Spurgeon on objections to Isaiah 45:22: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other!”But thou sayest sin will not let thee look. I tell thee, sin will be removed the moment thou dost look. “But I dare not; He will condemn me; I fear to look.” He will condemn thee more, if thou dost not look. Fear, then, and look; but do not let thy fearing keep thee from looking. “But He will cast me out.” Try Him. “But I cannot see Him.” I tell you, it is not seeing, but looking. “But my eyes are so fixed on the earth, so earthly, so worldly.” Ah! but, poor soul, He giveth power to look and live. He saith – “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

– Charles Spurgeon, Sovereignty and Salvation

Macleod quote from OFI

This was on OFI last month:

“The whole initiative in reconciliation rests with God. It is an expression of His love: ‘God was reconciling the world to himself.’ But God’s love is not itself reconciliation. Between love and reconciliation there lies the great transaction referred to in 2 Corinthians 5:21: ‘[God] made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.’ There is a staggering amount of theology crammed into these few words. There is the sinlessness of Christ; there is the fact that whatever it was He suffered, God was the ultimate cause of it; and there is the fact that His suffering itself amounted to His being made sin. He bore it. He identified with it. He was treated as it deserved to be treated – bruised for it (Isaiah 53:10), accursed for it (Galatians 3:13) and rejected for it (Mark 15:34).

But how did Christ contract such sin? How did He become vulnerable to its retribution? What right did God have to bruise Him? Because He was for us. That made His condemnation – His expulsion to the Far Country – righteous. But then, beside the for, there is another preposition, in. The for made Him guilty. The in makes us righteous: ‘We are the righteousness of God in Him.’ That is why God is reconciled to us – because we are righteous. That is why God justifies us – declares us righteous: because we are righteous. We have in Christ all the righteousness God can require. We are righteous as Christ himself. Indeed, we are God’s own righteousness – we have kept the covenant as faithfully as God Himself.”

– Donald Macleod, Behold Your God (Fearn, UK: Christian Focus, 1995), 105-106.

He’s right – there’s a ton of theology in that short verse! His unpacking of it looks ok to me – how about you?

A couple of OFI quotes

I’m a bit behind in both reading and posting about some great quotes from OFI….

Here’s a recent one:

“What matters supremely is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it–the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind.

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