Great-heart & Christiana From “Pilgrim’s Progress”

Pilgrim's ProgressI love Pilgrim’s Progress! You can read my full book review by clicking here. I’m sharing some of my favorite passages from this classic.

This is part of a dialogue between Great-heart and Christiana—

Great-heart: “He [Christ] has more righteousness than you have need of, or than He needeth Himself.”

Christiana: “Pray make that appear.”

Great-heart: “With all my heart: but first I must premise, that He of whom we are now about to speak, is one that has not His fellow. He has two natures in one person, plain to be distinguished, impossible to be divided. Unto each of these natures a righteousness belongeth, and each righteousness is essential to that nature; so that one may as easily cause the nature to be extinct, as to separate its justice or righteousness from it. Of these righteousnesses therefore we are not made partakers, so as that they, or any of them, should be put upon us, that we might be made just, and live thereby. Besides these, there is a righteousness, which this person has, as these two natures are joined in one. And this is not the righteousness of the Godhead, as distinguished from the manhood; nor the righteousness of the manhood, as distinguished from the Godhead; but a righteousness which standeth in the union of both natures, and may properly be called the righteousness that is essential to His being prepared of God to the capacity of the mediatory office, which He was to be intrusted with. If He parts with His first righteousness, He parts with His Godhead; if He parts with His second righteousness, He parts with the purity of His manhood; if He parts with this third, He parts with that perfection which capacitates Him for the office of mediation. He has therefore another righteousness, which standeth in performance, or obedience to a revealed will; and that is it that He puts upon sinners, and that by which their sins are covered. Wherefore He saith, As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.”

Christiana: “But are the other righteousnesses of no use to us?”

Great-heart: “Yes; for though they are essential to His natures and office, and so cannot be communicated unto another; yet it is by virtue of them that the righteousness that justifies is for that purpose efficacious. The righteousness of His Godhead gives virtue to His obedience; the righteousness of His manhood giveth capability to His obedience to justify; and the righteousness that standeth in the union of these two natures to His office, giveth authority to that righteousness to do the work for which it is ordained.

“So then here is a righteousness that Christ, as God, has no need of; for He is God without it. Here is a righteousness that Christ, as man, has no need of to make Him so; for He is perfect man without it. Again, here is a righteousness that Christ, as God-man, has no need of; for He is perfectly so without it. Here then is a righteousness that Christ, as God, as man, as God-man, has no need of with reference to Himself, and therefore He can spare it; a justifying righteousness, that He for Himself wanteth not, and therefore He giveth it away. Hence ’tis called the gift of righteousness. This righteousness, since Christ Jesus the Lord has made Himself under the law, must be given away; for the law doth not only bind him that is under it, to do justly, but to use charity. Wherefore he must, he ought by the law, if he hath two coats, to give one to him that has none. Now our Lord indeed hath two coats, one for Himself, and one to spare; wherefore He freely bestows one upon those that have none.”

Read a dialogue between Faithful, Christian, and Talkative by clicking here.

And a dialogue between Christian and Hopeful by clicking here.

Thursdays With Oswald—Anarchy!

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

Anarchy! 

     Every other view of sin, saving the Bible view, looks on sin as a disease, a weakness, a blunder, an infirmity; the Bible revelation shows sin to be an anarchy, not a missing of the mark merely, but a refusal to aim at the mark. 

From Christian Disciplines

Pulling no punches, Oswald Chambers calls sin exactly what it is: anarchy against God.

Sin is not something we can cure or tame; it’s not something we can inoculate ourselves against. Sin must be put to death! We cannot do this. Only Christ can put sin to death, so we must surrender to Him.

The Bible uses the word Atonement. I like to think of it this way: at one-ment with Jesus. I can only be forgiven and free of sin if I am at one-ment with the only One who can kill sin: my Savior Jesus Christ.

Have you completely surrendered to Jesus? You cannot fight off sin on your own. Until you surrender to Christ, you will remain in open rebellion—anarchy!—against God. Don’t wait another day, surrender to Christ now.

Thursdays With Oswald—Confident Access

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

Confident Access

     It is not our earnestness that brings us into touch with God, nor our devotedness, nor our times of prayer, but our Lord Jesus Christ’s vitalizing death; and our times of prayer are evidences of reaction on the reality of Redemption, so we have confidence and boldness of access into the holiest. 

     What an unspeakable joy it is to know that we each have the right of approach to God in confidence, that the place of the Ark is our place, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness.” What an awe and what a wonder of privilege, “to enter into the holiest,” in the perfectness of the Atonement, “by the blood of Jesus.” 

From Christian Disciplines

It’s not what I do that gives me access to God, but what Jesus already did! He paid the price that was beyond my reach so that I can now come directly into God’s presence in full confidence that He will receive me.

Amazing love!

Sacrifice

Christ in youSometimes people get bogged down in some of the Old Testament books because it seems so tedious. And, honestly, some of it can seem irrelevant to today’s Christian. B.B. Warfield described the Old Testament as a richly furnished but dimly lit house. Only when the lights are turned on can we appreciate the beauty that was there all along. In Jesus Christ the light is on, and we can see the beauty of the Old Testament!

In the first seven chapters of Leviticus the sacrifices are described in detail. There are some repeating phrases that we should note: without defect … without yeast … of the proper value. The sacrifices were to be of the best quality, without any “strings attached,” and well thought-out.

Sacrifices were not only physically given, but given emotionally and mentally too. They shouldn’t be given begrudgingly as a “have to” sacrifice, but joyfully as a “get to” sacrifice.

The Archeological Study Bible has an interesting commentary on the sacrifices: “The sacrificial system was not magical. Its efficacy depended not upon the offering of a particular animal… but on God Himself, Who ordained these sacrifices. Fully as important, without an attitude of repentance, perfunctory observation of sacrificial rituals was meaningless.”

Jesus was the once-for-all sacrifice. And if you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, the Bible says Christ is now in you and you are new creation. You are blameless in God’s sight!

So today the best sacrifice you can give God is: YOU. When you joyfully give God your life and talents as a living sacrifice with a grateful attitude, God sees Christ’s sacrifice in you as perfect—no defect, no hypocrisy, a sacrifice of inestimable value!

If Jesus Christ is in you, you are a perfect sacrifice, so don’t hesitate to give yourself to God.

Thursdays With Oswald—The Production Of A Saint

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

The Production Of A Saint

     The production of a saint is the grandest thing earth can give to Heaven. A saint is not a person with a saintly character: a saint is a saintly character…. 

    A saint is a living epistle written by the finger of God, known and read of all men. A saint may be any man… who discovering himself at Calvary, with the nature of sin uncloaked to him, lies in despair; then discerning Jesus Christ as the Substitute for sin and rising in the glamour of amazement, he cries out—“Jesus, I should be there.” And to his astonished spirit, he receives justification from all his sinfulness by that wonderful Atonement. 

     Then, standing in that great light, and placing his hands, as it were, over his Savior’s crucified hands, his feet over His crucified feet, he crucifies forever his right to himself, and He baptizes him with the Holy Spirit and fire, substituting in his a new principle of live, and identity of holiness with Himself, until he bears unmistakably a family likeness to Jesus Christ. 

From Christian Disciplines 

YES!!

20 Quotes From “The Highest Good”

The Highest GoodSome of my most highlighted books are Oswald Chambers’ books, so The Highest Good was no exception. It was difficult to narrow down, but here are 20 of my favorite quotes from this book. (If you would like to read my book review of The Highest Good, click here).

“If I am a child of God, distress will lead me to Him for direction. The distress comes not because I have done wrong, it is part of the inevitable results of not being at home in the world, of being in contact with those who reason and live from a different standpoint.” 

“Spiritual insight is not for the purpose of making us realize we are better than other people, but in order that our responsibility might be added to.”

“God expects us to be intercessors, not dogmatic fault-finders, but vicarious intercessors, until other lives come up to the same standard.” 

“In times of prosperity we are apt to forget God, we imagine it does not matter whether we recognize Him or not. As long as we are comfortably clothed and fed and looked after, our civilization becomes an elaborate means of ignoring God. … But remember God’s blessing may mean God’s blasting. If God is going to bless me, He must condemn and blast out of my being what He cannot bless. ‘Our God is a consuming fire.’ When we ask God to bless, we sometimes pray terrible havoc upon the things that are not of God. God will shake all that can be shaken, and He is doing it just now.”

“God intends our attention to be arrested, He does not arrest it for us. … We are apt to pay more attention to our newspaper than to God’s Book, and spiritual leakage begins because we do not make the effort to lift up our eyes to God.” 

“The majority of us do not enthrone God, we enthrone common-sense. We make our decisions and then ask the real God to bless our god’s decision.”

“When I wish I was somewhere else I am not doing my duty to God where I am.” 

“Let us not be so careful as to how we offend or please human ears, but let us never offend God’s ears.”

“We have not only lost Jesus Christ’s idea of righteousness, but we laugh at the Bible idea of righteousness; our god is the conventional righteousness of the society to which we belong.” 

“It is so absurd to put our Lord as Teacher first, He is not first a Teacher, He is a Savior first. He did not come to give us a new code of morals: He came to enable us to keep a moral code we had not been able to fulfill. … If He is a Teacher only, then He is a most cruel Teacher, for He puts ideals before us that blanch us white to the lips and lead us to a hell of despair. But if He came to do something else as well as teach—if He came to re-make us on the inside and put within us His own disposition of unsullied holiness, then we can understand why He taught like He did.”

“The only way to get out of our smiling complacency about salvation and sanctification is to look at Jesus Christ for two minutes and then read Matthew 5:43-48 and see Who He tells us we are to be like, God Almighty, and every piece of smiling spiritual conceit will be knocked out of us for ever, and the one dominant note of the life will be Jesus Christ first, Jesus Christ second, and Jesus Christ third, and our own whiteness nowhere. Never look to your own whiteness; look to Jesus and get power to live as He wants; look away for one second and all goes wrong.”

“For the past three hundred years men have been pointing out how similar Jesus Christ’s teachings are to other good teachings. We have to remember that Christianity, if it is not a  supernatural miracle, is a sham.”

“The point is that Jesus saw life from God’s standpoint, and we don’t. We won’t accept the responsibility of life as God gives it to us, we only accept responsibility as we wish to take it, and the responsibility we wish to take is to save our own skins, make comfortable positions for ourselves and those we are related to, exert ourselves a little to keep ourselves clean and vigorous and upright; but when it comes to following out what Jesus says, His sayings are nothing but jargon. We name the Name of Christ but we are not based on His one issue of life, and Jesus says, ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world’—and he can easily do it—‘and lose his own soul.’” 

“It is remarkable how little Jesus directed His speech against carnal and public sins, though He showed plenty of prophetic indignation against the sins of a wholly different class, He preached His grandest sermon to a bad, ignorant woman (John 4:10-14), and one of His most prominent disciples was a publican named Matthew. The one man He ever said He wanted to stay with was another publican called Zaccheus, and some of the most fathomless things He said were in connection with a notoriously bad woman (Luke 7:36-50). … Jesus aroused the conscience of the very worst of them by presenting the highest good.”

“Ask yourself, then, what is it that awakens indignation in your heart? Is it the same kind of thing that awakened indignation in Jesus Christ? The thing that awakens indignation in us is the thing that upsets our present state of comfort and society. The thing that made Jesus Christ blaze was pride that defied God and prevented Him from having His right with human hearts.” 

“If we know that we have received the unmerited favor of God and we do not give unmerited favor to other people, we are damned in that degree.”

“‘If ye then, being evil…’ (Luke 11:13). Jesus Christ is made to teach the opposite of this by modern teachers; they make out that He taught the goodness of human nature. Jesus Christ revealed that men were evil, and that He came that He might plant in them the very nature that was in Himself. He cannot, however, begin to do this until a man recognizes himself as Jesus sees him.” 

“The holiest person is not the one who is not conscious of sin, but the one is more conscious of what sin is. … The purer we are through God’s sovereign grace, the more terribly poignant is our sense of sin. … Sin destroys the capacity of knowing what sin is. … We shall find over and over again that God will send us shuddering to our knees every time we realize what sin is, and instead of increasing hardness in us towards the men and women who are living in sin, the Spirit of God will use it as a means of bringing us to the dust before Him in vicarious intercession that God will save them as He has saved us.”

“‘God is able to make all grace abound toward you.’ Have you been saying, ‘I cannot expect God to do that for me’? Why cannot you? Is God Almighty impoverished by your circumstances? Is His hand shortened that it cannot save? Are your particular circumstances so peculiar, so remote from the circumstances of every son and daughter of Adam, that the Atonement and the grace of God are not sufficient for you? Immediately we ask ourselves these things, we get shaken out of our sulks into a simple trust in God. When we have the simple, childlike trust in God that Jesus exhibited, the overflowing grace of God will have no limits, and we must set no limits to is.” 

“The love of God rakes the very bottom of hell, and from the depths of sin and suffering brings sons and daughters to God.”

At Last!

Jesus is our atonementThe Day of Atonement was a very special day for the Jewish people. It was called by some the Sabbath’s Sabbath, as it was the most holy day of the year. It was the day everyone looked forward to, because finally they could have forgiveness for their sins.

The word atonement in the Hebrew meant that a payment was made that was equivalent to the offense that was committed. The offense was huge: Sin was open rebellion against Almighty God, it was to spit in the face of our Heavenly Father, it was to slap away His hands that were reaching out to embrace us. Nothing short of a death could atone for that sort of offense!

So the high priest would go through an elaborate ceremony of washing himself and putting on special garments that were only to be worn on this Day of Atonement. Because the high priest was also a sinner himself, his first sacrifice was a bull. The blood from this sacrifice was taken by the high priest into the Most Holy Place of the temple to cover his own sins, before he could even approach God to ask for the forgiveness of the sins of anyone else.

After having completed this step, the high priest could then proceed. He would sacrifice a goat as a sin offering for the people. As he did with the bull’s blood, he would take the goat’s blood back into the Most Holy Place to ask God to show mercy toward people who had sinned, to turn away His holy wrath against their rebellion. Then the priest would lay his hands on a second goat, one that was still alive, and confess all of the sins of the people. This goat (called the scapegoat) was then taken out into the desert. This symbolized the removal of the people’s guilt, making it possible for them to be in relationship with God once again.

This was repeated year after year after year. It was repeated because the people continued to sin. It was repeated because these rituals were only a shadow of what God really wanted to accomplish. David wrote about the futility of these sacrifices—

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire—but a body You have given me—burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do Your will, my God; Your law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:6-8)

A beautiful thing happened through the ministry of Jesus on earth. Jesus came to be both the perfect high priest (one without sin, who did not need to purify Himself), and the perfect sacrifice. Jesus is called the once for all sacrifice of atonement for us, as He embodied the cry David made nearly 1000 years earlier. Hebrews 10:5-7 says that the words uttered by David prophetically were repeated by Jesus: “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do Your will, my God; Your law is within my heart. I will be the once for all sacrifice.”

When Jesus told us the the new covenant was in His shed blood on Calvary’s Cross, He was saying that no longer would we have to wait until the Day of Atonement to find forgiveness; no longer would we have to wait upon an imperfect earthly priest to offer a sacrifice for us; no longer would we have to carry around the guilt of our sin and feel separated from God’s presence while waiting for a special ceremony. AT LAST! We can have immediate forgiveness, eternal redemption, and an everlasting relationship with God because of what Jesus did for us once for all!

As you celebrate Holy Week, be thrilled with the truth that Jesus’ death on the Cross makes it possible for you to have complete atonement. Our Savior has redeemed us AT LAST!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,039 other followers

%d bloggers like this: