Soli Deo Gloria 2

Man, fundamentally a creature of worship, has always felt the need to worship something.  If it has not been the true and living God then it has been a corrupted, changed version of God. This is clearly seen in the epistle to the Romans, where we are described as having changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen (Rom 1:25).  Such a solemn insight into the human race has been validated through the various idolatrous cultures and ideological blueprints of history, but the root cause remains the same: sin, ie. missing the mark and rebelling against God.

The current form of false worship in the West is perhaps a worship of the so-called scientific method, or faculty of reason.  Western man, in his headlong rush into reasoned and reason-less folly and error, has decided that by applying a tool useful only for observable, repeatable laboratory tests, he can peer into the unfathomable dimensions of the mind, the heart, the conscience, the soul, even God. Of course the insane pride of this project has logically had to do away with these selfsame concepts, and treat the human as robot or human as animal.  The result?  No wisdom, only sorrow (Ecc 1:18).

Moreover, under the creed of evolutionary progress, all that counts is moving the human race forward; if this means killing babies, encouraging perversions, licensing suicides then so be it.  Western man will have his way, even if the wages of such sinful activities = death (Rom 6: 23).  But why does God allow it? Well, as the Holy Spirit speaks through Paul, What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory (Rom 9:22-23).

In other words, soli Deo Gloria.

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To atheists

Atheists aren’t fond of labels,

strangely, though, are fond of fables,

thinking they believe in science

oddly, fiction’s their reliance.

 

Atheists a god believe,

their fancy’s god, their minds conceive,

some u.f.o, intelligence,

not anything of Spirit sense.

 

Atheists aren’t fond of death,

in fact are dying, breath by breath,

though constant noise, breathless distraction

dulls the pain, keeps them in traction.

 

Atheists have hope as long

as they reject not Christ as wrong,

yet every day their hearts call bluff

God may decide, enough’s enough.

Soli Deo Gloria 1

Nothing is more ferocious and impatient than a person or people who, being ignorant of God’s righteousness are going about to establish their own righteousness (Rom 10:3).  So it was in the time of Moses, so it was in the time of Jesus and so it is in the ‘last days’ of the Church today.

At the time of writing, thousands of Christians are being increasingly targetted and slaughtered across Africa and the Middle-East, there is the sudden and undemocratic legalisation of homosexual marriage across Western Europe and North America, while there are literally millions of yet-to-be born humans being murdered by the supposedly developed nations on earth.  It would seem that the devil is come down to us, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time (Rev 12:12).

And yet, when all hope seems to be lost; as in the Garden of Eden, or in the sweatshops of Pharaoh, or in the infant murders of Herod or mass beheadings of Isis, the Church has been on the move. There have been believers in the history of all nations; even now it is estimated that there more Christians in communist China than there are people in England. Then there are the births of hundreds of new churches every year in places where, humanly speaking, there is no incentive and every disincentive for there to be one (Nepal and Sri Lanka are two which come to mind).

This is entirely as we would expect, for although Israel was the first nation to contain significant numbers of spiritual sheep, Christ Jesus has always had His eye on the other sheep who shall hear my voice, since there has only, is only, will only be one fold, and one shepherd (Jn 10:16). Moreover, our Shepherd hath on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev 19:16).  Certain it is that He loves His sheep; equally certain that He will not enter into contention with the nations, for to Him they are as a drop of a bucket (Is 40:15) and are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity (v. 17).

Thy providence

Thy providence is Thine, oh Lord,

it’s perfect though misunderstood,

for who could stop them, oh my Lord,

when ‘righteous’ men nailed Thee to wood!

 

Thy providence is Thine, oh Lord,

it’s perfect though we hate the truth,

for who could plot Thy seed, oh Lord,

through Eve, Bathsheba, Mary, Ruth!

 

Thy providence is Thine, oh Lord,

it’s perfect though misunderstood,

for who would need salvation, Lord,

if our own righteousness were good!

 

Thy providence is Thine, oh Lord,

it’s perfect though we hate the truth,

for who could glean Thee, oh my Lord,

Boaz’s Boaz, we like Ruth!

Solo Christo 2

The plan of salvation seems unfair to the spiritually unseeing, unhearing human mind.  Firstly, what right have we through his poverty to become rich (2 Cor 8:9)?  Secondly, what possible incentive could He have to impoverish Himself for objects who are so unworthy and unmindful of such a glorious and unfathomable exchange; such is our frame of mind by our fallen nature that, when the light shineth in darkness (Jn 1:5) we neither understand nor desire it.

The Person of salvation is also a thing of wonder and bafflement to our proud, self-seeking natures.  We cannot fathom why it would please the Lord to bruise him (Is 53:10), yes, to bruise someone for something they have not done, and also to bruise him, him being the most wonderful being who has ever walked upon this earth.

We know, though, if our ears and eyes have been unblocked, that this plan and this Person’s actions were foreordained before the foundation of the world (1 Pe 1:20), that the Father has loved the Son before the foundation of the world (Jn 17:24) and that His will is for believers to be one, even as we are one (v. 22).

If we fear that Satan desires to have us, or that we will somehow tragically fail our great Redeemer, then let us take great heart in His words to Peter: But I have prayed for thee (Lk 22:32).  Let us marvel at the I and the have and the prayed and the thee each in turn… and yet most of all at the I, that most blessed, soul-saving and soul-keeping I.

Now’s the day

Drinking now from that deep fountain

overcoming sin’s vast mountain,

now’s the day you realise

you’ve been granted another’s prize.   

 

Walking in another’s glory

telling of another’s story,

now’s the day of your salvation

formed, but not on your foundation.

 

 Sitting under promises

 winds rage without, with false kisses,

 and at circumference, centre, Christ

 the priceless One becoming priced.

 

Now walking upright, now bowed down

the Father’s love transcends His frown,

His wrath He poured upon His Son   

we now can win what He has won.

Solo Christo 1

As well as the human conscience, the witness of creation and the testimony of multitudes of saved sinners, the specific mission of the Church on earth has been to call people, individually, to come to the royal wedding of the Son of God, the head of the body (Col 1:18) who will in due course take the body of believers, His body, into new heavens and a new earth (2 Pe 3:13) when the existing creation is dissolved (v.12).

But who will be there?  Seeing that even John the Baptist in his own right was not worthy of citizenship in this kingdom of heaven (Mt 11:11) what hope is there for the likes of us, who even in our best state are altogether vanity (Ps 39:5)?  Indeed, when God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16) would personally have gathered the citizens of Israel together, they would not have it (Lk 13:34), choosing Barabbas over Him!

Rather than providing any definitive answer to these questions, or launching into a long-winded theological treatise, let us first pause… giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Col 1:12-13).  Let us first pause upon these words, and turn again to his dear Son.