Posted by Jerry White on Apr 26, 2015
In the light of the Lord’s presence sin’s putrid ugliness is exposed. Against the backdrop of His beautiful holiness our deformity of wretched sinfulness is displayed. If we see ourselves, like Isaiah did, as recorded in 6:1-5, our heart responds, “Woe is me,” or like Paul exclaimed in Romans 7:24, “Wretched man that I am!” With David, one’s soul cries out, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil I your sight” (Psalm 51:4). Deep awareness and conviction of our sin is necessary to humble us so that we pray in true repentance like the tax collector, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Then comes God’s loving response because His Son poured out His blood in death on the cross. He purchased our complete forgiveness by satisfying God’s wrath and justice, and therefore His Word asks, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33).
The Lord’s words lovingly applies healing to repentant, believing hearts and ushers in His peace.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalms 103:8-14 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 19, 2015
“With penetrating insight A. W. Tozer wrote decades ago:
‘One distinguishing mark of those first Christians was a supernatural radiance that shined out from within them. The sun had come up in their hearts and its warmth and light made unnecessary any secondary sources of assistance. They had the inner witness. It is obvious that the average evangelical Christian today is without this radiance. Instead of the inner witness we now substitute logical conclusions drawn from texts…
Nothing can take the place of the touch of God in the soul and the sense of Someone there. Where true faith is, the knowledge of God will be given as a fact of consciousness altogether apart from the conclusions of logic. The spiritual giants of old experienced God.
We are only now emerging from a long ice age during which an undue emphasis was laid upon objective truth at the expense of subjective experience. Wise leaders should have known that the human heart cannot exist in a vacuum. If Christians are forbidden to enjoy the wine of the Spirit they will turn to the wine of the flesh for enjoyment… Christ died for our hearts and the Holy Spirit wants to come and satisfy them.’
Dr. Tozer also wrote, ‘When the Spirit presents Christ to our inner vision it has an exhilarating effect on the soul much as wine has on the body. The Spirit-filled man may literally dwell in a state of spiritual fervor amounting to a mild and pure inebriation. God dwells in a state of perpetual enthusiasm. He pursues His labors always in a fulness of holy zeal’” (Gems from Tozer, Selections from the Writings of A. W. Tozer, 18-19).
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 210-211
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 12, 2015
Forgiveness given and received renders freedom. Lack of forgiveness binds the soul. Christians need to receive forgiveness, and extend forgiveness freely. Scripture admonishes strongly and often about the necessity of forgiving one another because it is God’s way of love.
God, as Father to His children, forgives again and again without end. Perfect, infinite love extends forgiveness perfectly and infinitely to each one of His beloved children. This He can do because His only begotten Son fully paid the price for each sin by His blood poured out in death under His Father’s wrath. Not one sin need remain upon the soul of His child. Allowing any sin and subsequent guilt to remain denies God’s love and forgiveness that flows freely and profusely from His throne of grace. The Father wants His children to live in the overflowing fullness of His love, peace, and joy—all the time. Simple confession of known sins by name and receipt of God’s forgiveness by saying thank you, allows the Holy Spirit to make His forgiveness real in one’s heart. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Psalm 32:1).
Living in a world where every human being is sinful, it is inevitable that each of us is going to be sinned against. Yes, many times. Also each one of us will sin against others many times. As much as we need God’s forgiveness, others also need our forgiveness and we need theirs. We should extend forgiveness freely and repeatedly to those who sin against us. The Lord Jesus said, And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark11:25). This is not conditioned on their asking for forgiveness. In prayer, even before they ask, we tell God we forgive the person who offended us. It is a choice of our will, not a feeling in our emotions.
We also need humbly to ask for forgiveness when we have sinned against another. The Lord Jesus also said, So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).
Forgiveness releases both the one forgiving and the one receiving. The Lord Jesus explains the seriousness of not forgiving others like the Father forgives us in Matthew 6;14 and 18:21-35.
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 5, 2015
“We are forced back to the simple conclusion that fits all the facts and agrees with all the records—-the body of Christ was actually raised from the dead. His was no mere ‘spiritual resurrection,’ nor were His appearances mere spiritual manifestations (Luke 24:36-43).
He appeared in His resurrection body, not in the dusk but in lighted rooms in the light of day, visible and tangible. He appeared in the same body in which He had been entombed, but possessed new characteristics. It was easily recognizable, but could become unrecognizable or invisible at will (John 20: 14-15; 21:4, 12). It transcended the laws of matter, and experienced no interference from closed doors (John 20:26). Unlike that of Lazarus, who was raised to die again, the body of Jesus was immortal (Romans 6:9-10).
With Paul we can cry with glad assurance, ‘Now IS Christ risen from the dead’ (1 Corinthians 15:20).
George Creel puts these words into the mouth of the Roman centurion who stood guard at the tomb, as he related to his wife what had happened.
This morn it was, just ere dawn,
The heavens parted wide;
The whole earth shook: with palsied tongue
Our grief could not be cried.
And when at last we raised our heads,
The stone was rolled aside,
The ponderous stone was rolled aside,
The angel sat thereon;
The glory of His countenance
Like lightning shot the dawn.
We pierced the tomb with streaming eyes,
and saw His body gone.”
J. Oswald Sanders
The Incomparable Christ, 214-215
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:14 (ESV)