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“But God’s firm foundation stands . . .” 2 Timothy 2:19
The foundation upon which our faith rests is that “Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). The great facts on which genuine faith relies is, that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), that “for Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18), and that “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24).
In one word, the great pillar of the Christian’s hope is substitution. The vicarious sacrifice of Christ for the guilty, Christ being made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, Christ offering up a true and proper expiatory and substitutionary sacrifice in the room, place, and stead of as many as the Father gave him, who are known to God by name, and are recognized in their own hearts by their trusting in Jesus—this is the cardinal fact of the gospel. If this foundation were removed, what could we do? But it stands firm as the throne of God.
We know it, we rest on it, we rejoice in it, and our delight is to hold it, to meditate upon it, and to proclaim it while we desire to be actuated and moved by gratitude for it in every part of our life and conversation.
In these days a direct attack is made upon the doctrine of the atonement. Men cannot bear substitution. They gnash their teeth at the thought of the Lamb of God bearing the sin of man.
But we, who know by experience the preciousness of this truth, will proclaim it in defiance of them confidently and unceasingly. We will neither dilute it nor change it, nor fritter it away in any shape or fashion. It shall still be Christ, a positive substitute, bearing human guilt and suffering in the stead of men. We cannot, dare not, give it up, for it is our life, and despite every controversy we feel that “God’s firm foundation stands.”
~ Charles Spurgeon
(HT: The Resurgence)
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Those who truly serve God are made to feel more and more forcibly that ‘life is real, life is earnest’, if it indeed be life in Christ. In times of great pain, and weakness, and depression, it has come over me to hope that, if I should again recover, I should be more intense than ever; if I could be privileged to climb the pulpit stairs again, I resolved to leave out every bit of flourish from my sermons, to preach nothing but present and pressing truth, and to hurl it at the people with all my might; myself living at high pressure, and putting forth all the energy of which my being is capable. I suppose you, too, have felt like this when you have been laid aside. You have said to yourself, ‘Playtime is over with us, we must get to work. Parade is ended, now comes the tug of war. We must not waste a single moment, but redeem the time, because the days are evil. When we see the wonderful activity of the servants of Satan, and how much they accomplish, we may well be ashamed of ourselves that we do so little for our Redeemer, and that the little is often done so badly that it takes as long to set it right as we spent in the doing of it. Brethren, let us cease from regrets, and come to actual amendment.'” [An All Around Ministry, 162]
Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Evaluation of ministry is good and necessary, but moving forward from the lessons learned by the grace of God is better. God’s mercies are new every morning and even if have wasted time in the past, God is sovereign in using our rags for His glory. But let us not waste a single moment in our service for Christ because “playtime is over”. Let us put our full effort into being faithful to God and to His word in every aspect of our lives, laboring with all our might for His glory and at the end of each day as the chips fall where they may, rest in the glorious truth that “Our God is in the heavens, He does all that He pleases” (Psalm 115.3), including using mere men for the glory of His name however He should choose.
“Having made Jesus your all, you shall find all in Jesus.”
Through the Gospel, you begin to find that the more you put your energy into knowing and loving Jesus, the more satisfying He becomes and the more the things of this world taste like the death they are. Colossians 2.9-10 says, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” We are filled in Christ! All your heart desires, all you think you want to find in this life, everything you hope the things of this world like your possessions, your looks, your friends, your family, your job, your achievements, you accolades… everything you hope to find satisfaction in is already yours in Christ. It’s already yours!! Praise be to the amazing grace of God who made us “alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:13-15).
“True faith takes its character and quality from its object and not from itself. Faith gets a man out of himself and into Christ. Its strength therefore depends on the character of Christ. Even those of us who have weak faith have the same strong Christ as others!”
~ Sinclair Ferguson, The Christian Life
(HT: Paul Levy)
Five Points Community Church is hosting Andrew Peterson on October 20th @ 7pm. Counting Stars is Andrew’s 6th studio album release. You can listen to samples and download the album here…
“Every generation will inevitably struggle with the same question, “what is truth?” Songs are a beautifully simple way to engage people with Truth, that is, what is certain, real and everlasting. When we worship it is imperative to set before our minds and our hearts the attributes of God…His character, His grace and His mercy. This is why His word so powerfully leads us in worship! When we practice this, we set ourselves up to respond appropriately in His presence. The idea and the heart around “A Mighty Fortress” is just that…to renew our minds of who God is and then respond with all eyes and hearts set on Him. We live in a cold, unpredictable world, but it is wonderfully alarming and freeing to sing Truth when all around us is crumbling. This song proclaims that we have protection and take refuge in God and His kingdom is an unshakable kingdom, one in which we will someday reign victorious because of Christ!
When I write and lead songs, often I imagine and picture a “generation” grasping who God is and responding to Him inside of and in spite of the current circumstances of our world and our surroundings. This song was written with a heart to support and cradle that kind of powerful revelation and response…”
Listen, look and worship!
Our church, Five Points Community Church in Auburn Hills, MI, will be hosting Andrew Peterson in concert on October 20th at 7pm. We are aiming this evening as an outreach to our community and through you to your neighbors as we press on in our vision of seeing the nations and our neighbors pursue their joy in Christ alone. Andrew is a gifted singer/songwriter and his music is Spirit-led, Christ-centered and God-exalting. We hope you can attend this time of worship and we ask you to use it as an opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors to hear the gospel in song and to see that Five Points is all about the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
Due to the public nature of the event and our prayers that God will bring many into the church that evening, we have asked all ministries to be a part of this event instead of meeting as they are normally scheduled on Wednesday evenings. Tickets are $5/person or $20/family and can be purchased ahead of time through the office or at the door the evening of the event. The building will open at 6pm, and while you may have not heard of Andrew Peterson before, he is quite well-known in the Christian music industry, so plan on arriving early.
We ask that you would pray alongside church leadership as we seek above all else to see God glorified through the proclamation of the gospel in both word and song October 20th. Pray that God would bring salvation to households in our communities and that the body of Christ would be greatly encouraged as we worship our great Savior.
If you have any questions about this outreach event, please contact the church office at 248-373-1381.
God is infinitely happy in being God. He does not need us. The Father, Son and Spirit are perfect, needing nothing, and all-glorious in who they are.
“He is the great God… “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” and created not angels and men because he wanted them, for he is being itself, and as such must necessarily be infinitely happy in the glorious perfections of his nature from everlasting to everlasting; and as he did not create, so neither did he redeem because he needed us; but he loved us because he loved us; he would have mercy because he would have mercy; he would show compassion because he would show compassion.”
~ Susannah Wesley
From Fred Sanders, The Deep Things Of God, 67
For Martin Luther, “the theologian was one who had been seized by the Word, gripped by the address of God, whose very identity was determined by the this prior address of God which then compelled and shaped any response he might care to give. This process was agonizing, existential, redefining at the most fundamental level the person’s own self-understanding as the huge gulf that exists between Creator and creature in all of its terrifying glory comes home to the theologian and drives him again and again out of himself and to the cross where hangs the Incarnate God. A theologian — a true theologian — was one who, through agonizing struggle was driven again and again by the Spirit to wrestle with the text of scripture so as to discern its meaning, and then communicate that meaning in the power of the Spirit to others.”
~ Carl Trueman, Luther On Being A Theologian 1