Month: January 2008

The Word of God

Q: What is the word of God?
A: The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

Q: How doth it appear that the scriptures are the word of God?
A: The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.

(Questions III and IV of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)

Putting God first

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Mt 5:5

It is well with my soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford

Joyful mourning

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Mt 5:4

Definition of a Christian

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:3

How can it be that those who are poor in spirit inherit the kingdom of heaven? How can it be that those who are poor in spirit are blessed?

The answer lies in how we stand before God. As we are, we are sinners before a holy God. We can try as hard as we can to do what is right, to score brownie points, we can read our bibles, go to church regularly, help those around us with their problems, help old ladies across the road, but as good as these actions are, they cannot deal with our sinful nature. Our sinful nature causes us to sin, to be selfish, to be arrogant, to think we are more important than others, even to think we are God.

Yet, it is so easy for us to think these good actions can make us right before God. In effect, our good actions cause us to think we are rich in spirit.

It is only when we realise that we cannot make ourselves righteous before God, when we become poor in spirit, and we repent of our sin and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, that we are made righteous. For it is only through Christ taking on our sin, and imputing his righteousness on us do we appear righteous before God. It is only when we acknowledge we are poor in spirit that we are blessed and inherit the kingdom of heaven.