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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was Published in Christianity Today | Main | On Justification »

    Psalm Twenty-One: You Have Not Withheld the Request of His Lips

    Images of the Savior from the Psalms
    Psalm Twenty-One: You Have Not Withheld the Request of His Lips

    How rich and wonderful beyond expression was the substance of the prayer offered up for the Anointed King in the last psalm! And as we move beyond those sacred vistas into new and equally holy prospects of the most blessed psalter, how our heart thrills within us to hear that exuberant affirmation of the king, that the Lord has held back nothing of the request of his lips. Is our own salvation not thereby guaranteed by this testimony? Can we restrain our own hearts from rejoicing with the king in the strength of the Lord, and from exulting in his salvation, seeing that God has given him all his heart's desire? Not so, O Christian, if we truly belong to the Christ; for in his success and glory is our own eternal joy and salvation.

    Deep and full was the answer of the Lord to the prayers of the saints for the Kingdom of his Christ to triumph! God, the Father of the Christ and of us, hastened to meet the triumphant Savior with goodly blessings. He set a golden crown on his brow. He heard his request for life and gave it to him, even length of days forever and ever. How great did he make his glory, and how unspeakable a blessing did he make him to all his people, and how fully did he satisfy him with the pleasures of his own divine presence!

    Who can but glimpse the great glory of this King above all kings, or hear the slightest whisper of this Name above all names, and not melt with awe-struck wonder? And did we mock at his crown of thorns? Ah, but it is the golden crown of the eternal Kingdom now! And did we wonder at his death, the very God of life laid low in the grave? Ah, but now we see in him the never-ending power of eternal, resurrection life, not for himself alone, but for all whose lives are bound up in his! What knee cannot bow before such majesty, what tongue not confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father? There is none in the heaven above or the earth beneath, no, nor in the waters under the earth. Every knee will certainly so bow and every tongue so confess (Phil. 2:5-11).

    Let that certain truth, more certain than anything in all the world beside, sink into your soul. The hand of this unspeakably majestic King will indeed find out all his enemies, and cast down to hell all those who hate him. He will make them as a blazing oven, he will terrify them in his wrath and consume them in the fierceness of his anger. It matters not what plans they devise, it matters not with what subtle machinations and cruel persecutions they attack his Kingdom on earth, they can never prevail against so divine and wonderful a King, whose prayers have all been answered by the Creator of the world.

    Seeing that these things are so, beloved, how ought we to tremble, not before the world and all its petty princes and puffed-up potentates, but only that we not displease this glorious King! Shall we fear them who can only destroy the body and never harm the soul? Or shall we not rather fear him who has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell (Mat. 10:28)? And this is only Christ, into whose hand the Father has given all judgment (John 5:22-23), who died to this end, that he might be Lord both of the living and the dead (Rom. 14:9), and bring all the world into judgment. Will you not rather have this King as your friend, though it mean the enmity of all the world beside? And wonder of all wonders (think of it, believer!) all that he did, and the sufferings he endured so that he might enter into his glory, he did to befriend you, to gladden you with his presence, to give you length of days forever and ever, to crown you with a golden crown of righteousness. Will you not sing and praise the power of this Exalted One? Cast off at once all that foolish fascination with this world's approbation, and seek instead your hope and joy in him alone; and for all eternity, you will exult with wonder ever fresh and new that you did so while there was still time.

    Posted by Nathan on September 27, 2010 02:04 PM

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