Impossible

Impossible with earthly eyes

to see your sin or realise,

that all the world’s a battery

running on self-ish flattery.

 

Impossible with earthly eyes

to see that high and holy prize,

for sinners want to claim credit

thus die ever in sin’s debit.

 

Impossible with earthly eyes

to grasp the God above all skies,

and God is here in spirit, truth

though we do roam, blind beasts, uncouth.

  

Impossible with earthly eyes

to grasp the God-man we despise,

we couldn’t see the Christ we killed

until the day our Father willed.

Total Depravity 5

The notion that a Christian has made not one millimetre of progress in the flesh despite years of being converted, is one which is potentially troubling.  ‘Surely I’m a better person now than I was all those years ago?’ one might reasonably ask. ‘Surely sin has less power over me, less attraction, presents less danger than it did before I was converted?’, are thoughts which might reasonably be posited by the reflective, ruminating mind.

However, the answer is that there has been ZERO progress, and that one is as dead and unworthy and vulnerable now as one was then, for the body is dead because of sin (Rom 8:10). Dead is dead and never can be made alive, never be improved, never earn a thing in God’s sight. And if Christ be in you (v. 10) then this is so. We are effectively put to death at conversion, and stay dead the whole way along.

Nevertheless, when we pick up a Bible with sorrow or shame or expectation or hope, it is the Spirit leading us to do so.  When we have a desire for Christian fellowship, to attend church, to listen to a sermon, to do an act of kindness, to stop short of committing a sin in thought or word, to reach out with the Gospel message to another soul, to collapse in confessional prayer to our Father, to change a plan because it seems not to be God’s will, to dwell at length upon a particular portion of Scripture that comes to us, it is because the Spirit is life (v. 10) within us.

Meanwhile, even as we are being led heavenward by the Spirit, our hearts, our flesh, our personalities, our old natures, all self-created words, thoughts and deeds remain dead because of sin. A paradox in the world’s mind is to the Christian mind the path of daily progress and betterment in the SPIRIT, believing that one can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil 4:13).

O wretched man

O wretched man, your root of sin

is not your deeds, your lose and win,

it’s you – at core – who are at fault

you are a sinner by default.  

 

O wretched man, your glory, power

wilts away, a fading flower,

look to God, the gardener

the source of souls, the pardoner.

 

O wretched man, sky scraping still

remember God did Babel kill,

look now to Christ, you may be found

He meets with those of zero ground.

 

O wretched man, ignore man’s poll,

Emmanuel’s the only goal,

for heaven knows we have no right,

we left our darkness, by His light.

Soli Deo Gloria 5

It is a sad thing when saints lose the passion, the joy and amazement of their first love (Rev 2:4).  Daily duties, distractions and preoccupations inevitably come in, and it is for us to set before us Him who has transformed us from being arrogant, worldly subjects into heavenly-minded citizens.

The religious pharisee Saul is described as having fell to the earth (Acts 9:4), trembling and astonished (v. 6), as the sheer otherness of his encounter with the Lord Jesus overwhelmed him.  The intellectual prophet Isaiah felt undone and unclean (Is 6:5) upon witnessing something of the transcendent glory of God.  We may not have had identical experiences, but ought we not to feel a similar sense of amazement and humility on a regular basis?  Christ being the amazing reality of our undeserving lives, can we not tune into Him more often than we do?

Let us be mindful of the human infirmity of the beloved John, when he endeavoured to bow before the feet of the angel (Rev 22:8), not long after having worshipped Christ Jesus in the self-abasing reverence of someone who was as dead (Rev 1:17).  Thankfully there is our loving heavenly Saviour reassuring him, commanding him to Fear not (v. 17), and surely commanding us (who are even less worthy) to do the same.

May we approach our Lord Jesus Christ with the appropriate godly fear and reverence, yet not in a way of impossible severity or strictness.  And may we, in all our Godward intentions still feelingfully remember the evangelistic whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Rev 22:17), Alpha words which may be sincerely offered to dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters  (Rev 22:15), until that irrevocable day of Omega (Rev 22:13).

The overwhelming

Oh but the unapproachable light,

the utter trembling reality of it all,

when at His feet you fell

and felt what the sun

can but reflect!  

 

Oh but the unspeakable holiness,

the tragic fallenness of us all,

when of His throne you heard

and couldn’t stop hearing

Holy, holy, holy . . .  

 

Oh but the awesome majesty,

the angel’s face you did appal,

when stumbling in worship

you faltered,

as do all.  

 

Oh but the Alpha – Omega,

the justice, then judgement for

every one by One . . .

how every knee

shall bow!

Solo Christo 5

It is hard to imagine the agony of being in hell.  In the gospel of Luke we get a glimpse of it when Lazarus complains that he is tormented in this flame (16:24).  It is interesting to notice how he calls for a heaven-dwelling finger, in order to alleviate the pain being experienced in his hell-dwelling tongue.

The earth-dwelling tongue only stops being set on fire of hell (Ja 3:6) when the spiritual fingers of Christ Jesus the Lord are put into one’s ears and the ears are opened (Mk 7:33-35).  Before that time our tongues are full of deceit, and the poison of asps is under our lips (Rom 3:13).

The apostle Paul arguably did more good with his finger than he ever did with his tongue.  Being restricted to confined quarters in Rome, he could do very little with his tongue.  Therefore, I write these things being absent, he said, knowing well that power had been given him to edification, and not to destruction (2 Cor 13:10).

May our hearts burn within us (Lk 24:32) for all the right reasons, as we consider not only that we have the word of God but that it is Christ himself, the God-man, who has personally opened to us the scriptures (v.32).  May our tongues remember that it is He who has granted them the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15), and the soothing sincerity of confession (Rom 10:8-10).

Iceberg

We only see the iceberg’s tip

our lives being lived as on a ship,

and so we see the Saviour’s pain

and dare to think we can explain.

 

But oh the depths of judgement, hell

deeper than earthquake, magma well,

the punishment of one soul there

transcends the whole of earth’s despair.

 

The Saviour suffered all our loss

compressing all upon the Cross, 

for souls like stars or grains of sand

He bore God’s wrath, for none could stand. 

 

God’s judgement mankind terrifies

for all have sinned and dwell in lies

but Christ came here to sacrifice

your guilt is burning?  Seek His ice.