Skip to main content

glorying Christianity

"...we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human remains useless and of no value for us."
-- p537, Calvin ICR III.i.1

" can there be saving faith except in so far as it engrafts us in the body of Christ?"
-- p576, Calvin ICR III.i.39
Calvin conditions his extensive discussion of Christian life upon union with Christ. The life set free from sin by grace is reborn united to Christ. He is now our life. Inseparably. He is counted to us as righteousness, and is our life. No mere lifestyle choice or shallow creed, but a new existence. Piper hits the mark when he asks us to consider the prospect of heaven without Christ - we would not be happy. Our eternity is not some self-indulgent hope, but forever face-to-face with Christ.
" is a token of the most miserable blindness to charge with arrogance Christians who dare to glory in the presence of the Holy Spirit, without which glorying Christianity itself does not stand! but, actually, they declare by their own example how truly Christ spoke: 'My Spirit was unknown to the world; he is recognised only by those among whom he abides' ...such glorying is so far from arrogance that if any man is ashamed to confess it, in that very act he betrays his extreme ungratefulness by wickedly suppressing God's goodness, more than he testifies to his modesty or submission"
-- p587-8 Calvin ICR III.i.40-41
New life marked by the Holy Spirit is the essence of our Christian life. We glory in the Cross, we glory in the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives (boasting, humbly).
"...we must not treat the atonement as if its direct benefits to the believers are the whole of our salvation, for they are not. Benefits that the atonement brings us directly are forgiveness and justification, that is, full cancellation of our demerit and present acceptance of our sinful persons into the covenant fellowship of our holy God; permanent peace with thsi God and adption into his family, establishing us as his heirs... But the taproot of our entire salvation, and the true NT frame for cataloguing its ingredient, is our union with Christ himself by the Holy Spirit"
-- Packer, The Atonement in the Life of the Christian, in Hill and James, Glory of the Atonement, pp409-425.
The Cross achieves our liberation from this present evil age, freeing us from the slavery of sin and idolatry, religious zealotry or more obvious evil. And set free from that old life we are bought into union with Christ. New Life. The application of our redemption. A cross-centred life!


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…