I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Posts Tagged ‘salvation

Andrew Osenga on humility and gratitude

leave a comment »

“And the bitter man is angry; angry man just thinks he’s right — too right to see mercy when he’s standing in its light! We can shed tears over dying, we can rage and we can fight, but we cannot forget that we were loved before we opened up our eyes — such foolish pride!” — Andrew Osenga, “The Story,” performed by Caedmon’s Call, In the Company of Angels II: The World Will Sing.

Written by Scott Moonen

November 20, 2006 at 11:59 am

Murray on our union with Christ

leave a comment »

In his book, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, the late John Murray presents an excellent summary of what it means that believers live in union with Christ. He writes that “if we did not take account of [union with Christ], not only would our presentation of the application of redemption be defective but our view of the Christian life would be gravely distorted. Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ” (p. 161). On the following pages he goes on to enumerate what it means to be united with Christ:

The fountain of salvation itself in the eternal election of the Father is “in Christ.” . . . The Father elected from eternity, but he elected in Christ. . . .

It is also because the people of God were in Christ when he gave his life a ransom and redeemed by his blood that salvation has been secured for them; they are represented as united to Christ in his death, resurrection, and exaltation to heaven. . . .

It is in Christ that the people of God are created anew. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). . . .

But not only does the new life have its inception in Christ; it is also continued by virtue of the same relationship to him. It is in Christ that Christian life and behavior are conducted. . . .

It is in Christ that believers die. They have fallen asleep in Christ or through Christ and they are dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:14, 16). . . .

Finally, it is in Christ that the people of God will be resurrected and glorified. It is in Christ they will be made alive when the last trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:22). It is with Christ they will be glorified (Rom. 8:17).

Lauterbach on gospel-driven living

leave a comment »

[Peter] wants them to live by faith in the finished work of Christ. He knows that mere commands do not give hope. He is not opposed to specific obedience. He is opposed to self-sufficient obedience.

This takes me back to this point in Gospel-centrality. The Gospel is not the entry to the Christian life — it is all of the Christian life. It is not the ABC’s but the A to Z (to quote Keller). I can find no other NT method or model for ministry. I find myself asking this — do I lead my people and my family and myself FIRST in fresh faith toward the Savior and all that he has won; and only SECOND to the specifics of application?

— Mark Lauterbach

Read the whole thing. Then bookmark Mark’s blog.

Redemption Accomplished and Applied

with one comment

murrayMurray, John. Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984.

The late John Murray presents a brief overview of Jesus’s work of redemption. This book is divided into two parts: Redemption Accomplished, which describes our need of a savior, God’s provision of a savior, and what Jesus accomplished on the cross; and Redemption Applied, which describes how all of redemption is worked out in the life of the believer.

This book was a helpful overview of Jesus’s work on the cross and of God’s work in bringing me to salvation.

Of all of the chapters, the one that was most provocative to me was the chapter on faith and repentance. Murray presents a wonderful reminder of where our assurance of salvation is located — nowhere other than Jesus himself.

Following are this and some other quotes I’ve collected from the book.

On Assurance (pp. 107ff)

Murray reminds us that our assurance does not consist in peering into the secret decrees of God to discern whether he loves us or has elected us unto salvation (see also The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God), nor does it consist of our subjective sense of nearness to God. It consists in placing our trust here and now wholly in Jesus for mercy:

What warrant does a lost sinner have to commit himself to Christ? How may he know that he will be accepted? How does he know that Christ is able to save? How does he know that this confidence is not misplaced? How does he know that Christ is willing to save him? . . .

From whatever angle we may view [the offer of the gospel], it is full, free, and unrestricted. The appeals of the gospel cover the whole range of divine prerogative and of human interest. God entreats, he invites, he commands, he calls, he presents the overture of mercy and grace, and he does this to all without distinction or discrimination. . . .

When Christ is presented to lost men in the proclamation of the gospel, it is as Savior he is presented, as one who ever continues to be the embodiment of the salvation he has once for all accomplished. It is not the possibility of salvation that is offered to lost men but the Saviour himself and therefore salvation full and perfect. There is no imperfection in the salvation offered and there is no restriction to its overture — it is full, free, and unrestricted. And this is the warrant of faith.

The faith of which we are now speaking is not the belief that we have been saved but [it is] trust in Christ in order that we may be saved. And it is of paramount concern to know that Christ is presented to all without distinction to the end that they may entrust themselves to him for salvation. The gospel offer is not restricted to the elect or even to those for whom Christ died. And the warrant of faith is not the conviction that we are elect or that we are among those for whom, strictly speaking, Christ died but [it is] the fact that Christ, in the glory of his person, in the perfection of his finished work, and in the efficacy of his exalted activity as King and Saviour, is presented to us in the full, free, and unrestricted overture of the gospel. It is not as persons convinced of our election nor as persons convinced that we are the special objects of God’s love that we commit ourselves to him but as lost sinners. We entrust ourselves to him not because we believe we have been saved but as lost sinners in order that we may be saved. It is to us in our lost condition that the warrant of faith is given and the warrant is not restricted or circumscribed in any way. In the warrant of faith the rich mercy of God is proffered to the lost and the promise of grace is certified by the veracity and faithfulness of God. This is the ground upon which a lost sinner may commit himself to Christ in full confidence that he will be saved. And no sinner to whom the gospel comes is excluded from the divine warrant for such confidence.

On Union With Christ (pp. 162-163)

Murray presents an excellent summary of what it means to be in union with Christ. He writes that “if we did not take account of [union with Christ], not only would our presentation of the application of redemption be defective but our view of the Christian life would be gravely distorted. Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ” (p. 161). He goes on to enumerate what it means to be united with Christ:

The fountain of salvation itself in the eternal election of the Father is “in Christ.” . . . The Father elected from eternity, but he elected in Christ. . . .

It is also because the people of God were in Christ when he gave his life a ransom and redeemed by his blood that salvation has been secured for them; they are represented as united to Christ in his death, resurrection, and exaltation to heaven. . . .

It is in Christ that the people of God are created anew. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). . . .

But not only does the new life have its inception in Christ; it is also continued by virtue of the same relationship to him. It is in Christ that Christian life and behavior are conducted. . . .

It is in Christ that believers die. They have fallen asleep in Christ or through Christ and they are dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:14, 16). . . .

Finally, it is in Christ that the people of God will be resurrected and glorified. It is in Christ they will be made alive when the last trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:22). It is with Christ they will be glorified (Rom. 8:17).

Written by Scott Moonen

June 20, 2005 at 3:52 pm

Purpose-driven life

leave a comment »

Warren, Rick. The Purpose-Driven Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002.

I am delighted to see a popular book that exhorts Christians to consider God first, and to remember that we are God’s and not our own. One of the overwhelming concerns of this book is countering self-centeredness and directing believers to God, and there are many helpful exhortations to this end. This is excellent.

However, there are some aspects of the book that I am concerned about:

  • Scripture. The book seems to play fast and loose with Scripture. Most scripture quotations are given entirely out of context, and many are used to argue points they were not intended to make, or at least were not intended to make conclusively or universally.
  • Holiness. God’s holiness is largely absent, while His love is heavily emphasized; this tends to give an inaccurate picture of God’s love. It’s not that the book doesn’t touch on sin and forgiveness; but it doesn’t convey the gravity of man’s sinful estate before a holy God. I would say that the true gospel seems almost absent.
  • The gospel. Beyond that, the book declares hope to unbelievers before it has portrayed their helplessness and need for mercy. The hope that is thus declared is a very false and shallow hope. And when the book finally does answer “what must I do” (pp. 58-59), there is only very oblique mention of our need for forgiveness, mercy, redemption, etc. How sad that this crucial aspect of the cross should be so neglected! The salvation thus proclaimed cannot be genuine salvation.
  • Sanctification. There is some imbalance between exhortation to obedience and faith, and a reminder that obedience and faith are empowered by the Spirit and grounded in the cross. Both are present, though the latter isn’t attested to nearly as much; this frequently lends the impression that obedience is to be in our own strength.
  • Suffering. There is little mention of genuine suffering in this book. The apostle Peter goes so far as to say that “you were called for this purpose” — namely, to patiently and joyfully endure suffering for God’s glory. Without an acknowledgment that we are called to be united with Christ in suffering, receiving his strength and reflecting his glory, this book is missing a significant aspect of God’s purpose in our lives for displaying his glory and refining and proving our faith. This leaves Christians ill prepared to endure suffering in faith.

I fear that this book will serve to leave unbelievers empty-handed, looking to Jesus as a source of tranquility, happiness, satisfaction, and purpose — but not as a mediator, redeemer, or savior. I also fear that, by leaving the gospel and the cross behind the scenes, it may serve to subtly distract the church from that which is most important.

As an alternative to The Purpose-Driven Life, I highly recommend C. J. Mahaney’s The Cross-Centered Life.

You may also be interested in 9 Marks Ministries‘ very helpful reviews of The Purpose-Driven Life, The Purpose-Driven Church, and 40 Days of Purpose.

Rick Warren also has his own website related to the book.

Written by Scott Moonen

January 13, 2005 at 10:24 am

Posted in Books

Tagged with , , ,