Holy and true,
Who opens and none can shut,
As You have set before Your church an open door,
Strengthen Your servants to boldly enter in
And to declare Your name,
That they who oppose may yet come to worship
And may know that You love Your church.
Grant to Your people patience to keep Your Word,
And keep them from the hour of trial which is coming
Upon the whole world to try them who dwell on the earth,
And encourage all Christians in every land
To hold fast that which You have given,
That the crown of glory be not taken away,
But that having overcome, they may stand before You
As pillars in the temple of God
And bear the name of the heavenly city
And Your own new name, O Christ our God.
Father, we commend to You all who are joined to us
By natural bonds of love;
The little children dear to our hearts,
And all who for our sakes daily deny themselves.
May all our kindred,
Having Your Holy Spirit as their helper,
Be at peace and have unfeigned love among themselves.
And grant them, O Lord, not only what is sufficient to supply
The needs of this present life but also the good
And eternal gifts that are laid up for them who do Your commandments
Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
–Columba, as quoted in Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent(Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 155-156.
Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Church Fathers, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Missions, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel
“The glory of Christ is the more wonderful precisely because it is twofold. He chose to walk among us with a rather paradoxical glory of humiliation, in order to save us and raise us to heaven’s heights, enabling us to see the unqualified brilliance of the divine glory rightfully His.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest Man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by Thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest Man.
Frank Houghton (1894–)”
–D.A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14–17 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 205.
“The beginning of the biblical story is about God with man. It is only secondarily about the perfect world they share. Likewise the end of the biblical story is about God with man.
It is only secondarily about the renewed paradise in their midst. Heaven shines bright because the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Rev. 21:23; 22:5). If we want people to know heaven, we’ll do what we can to get them to know God.
We must never forget that if any are to enjoy cosmic re-creation, they must first experience personal salvation. Romans 8 must be read more carefully. Paul does not say individuals will be redeemed as the whole universe is redeemed. He says the opposite.
Creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God, and creation will be set free from its bondage to corruption only as it is carried along in the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:19, 21).
Universal shalom will come, but personal redemption comes first—first in temporal sequence, first in theological causality, and first in missions priority.
God will make all things new, but our job in the world is to help all peoples find a new relationship with God. We are not called to bring a broken planet back to its created glory. But we are to call broken people back to their Creator.”
–Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church?(Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 247-248.
“Just as it is God and not we who will establish His kingship over the world, so it is God and not we who will create the new earth in which that kingship is exercised. In fact, that’s really the glorious thing about the gospel of Jesus.
Everything we have—and everything we will ever have—is given to us. We will not have earned it; we will not have built it. We will simply have received it all.
When eternity finally comes, we will live in a land that was made and created for us, under a kingdom that was won and established for us by a Savior who died and was resurrected for us. Put simply, the gospel is the good news of a salvation, in all its parts, that is for us, and not in the least by us.”
–Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 208.