Month: February 2011

O how the grace of God amazes me!

Q. What is sanctification?

A. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.

(Question LXXV of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)

Fat of the land

This week’s phrase is from Genesis 45:18:

And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.

Back in the days before dieting and obesity were problems, fat was a good thing. Fat was a sign of prosperity, and so to live off the fat of the land meant to live off the prosperity, the riches, the wealth, of the land.

Fire and brimstone

This week’s phrase comes from Genesis 19:24-26:

Then the LORD rained down burning sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah— from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities— and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Fire and brimstone is not so much a phrase, but more an adjective used to indicate something involves the anger and judgement of God.

As old as Methuselah

This week’s phrase comes from Genesis 5:25-27:

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:
And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Really, really, old!

Ashes to ashes

This week’s verse is Genesis 3:19 (again!)

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

However, in this instance it is the latter part of the verse which is of interest. The Book of Common Prayer uses this verse during its Order for the Burial of the Dead.

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

Although, even outside the Church, the phrase is used widely.

Quite simply, we came from dust and we shall return to dust.