A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Friday, June 06, 2014

Let Him Glory in the Lord!

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and
sanctification, and redemption:  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."  1
Corinthians 1:30,31

We confess, O Lord that not many of the wise, the strong, and the noble are called to eternal life.  The
outward call of the gospel is to all, but your secret call in the hearts of Your elect is according to your counsel
from the foundation of the earth.

You have chosen the foolish to confound the wise; the weak to confound the mighty, and the things that are
weak and vile and despised to bring to nothing the things that are noble in the sight of men.  Hence, no flesh
can glory in Your presence, because we are favored by Your choice and not by ours.

All of our blessings come from You, O God. They are of You, or from You, or because of Your doing.  Chief 
among these blessings from You is our union with Christ.  You appointed Him the Mediator, O Precious 
Father, and deposited all Your gifts in Him so that He could give them to those whom You had given to Him, 
as He Himself prayed [John 17:2].

We have no wisdom, but You have enriched us with that wisdom stored up in Jesus Christ and we are
therefore, though fools, made wiser than our teachers.

We have no righteousness, but You have clothed us with the righteousness of Christ and we are, therefore,
though our own rags are filthy, possessed of a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes the Pharisees.

We have no holiness, but those You love You chasten that we may be like Christ and partake of His holiness.
You have called us from the filthiness of the world and purified our hearts by faith.  You disciple us to put off
the old man and his filthy deeds and put on the new man of true holiness.  Therefore, though of the world and
its corruption, we are predestined by You, O Father, to be conformed to the image of Christ.  By Your
grace alone, we have purified our hearts by faith, being born of an incorruptible seed.

We are poor indeed, O Precious Father, and have not the price of our redemption.  But the Son of man
came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. [Mr 10:45].
Therefore, though we are helpless in the face of our abject poverty, we have Your promise that "the
ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they
shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

Hence, O precious Heavenly Father, we have nothing to glory in or boast.

And That's the Truth!

And That’s the Truth

“The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:14 “I am the truth….” John 14:6

Two questions have perplexed the philosophers. The first concerns the reality of the objective world. How
do I know that everything is not just a dream? Hinduism thinks that everything ismaya, or illusion. This 
thinking influenced Mary Baker Eddy, and was expressed in Christian Science. There is no objective world, 
all is Mind, and evil is illusion. Divine healing is very important to Christian Science for it illustrates the power 
of Mind over Matter, that matter can be changed through a change of mind. But in spite of philosophical 
idealism (Mind is everything; matter is nothing), these people still get sick, break bones, and die. Funerals are 
held for Christian Scientists and for Hindus.

The other question concerns the reality of spirit or mind. How do I know that my mind is not just a very 
complicated and wonderful computer, fully understandable by natural, material processes? Materialism sees 
all things in terms of molecules, electrons, sub-atomic particles, and physical processes. “The Cosmos is all 
that is or ever was or ever will be,” is the way Carl Sagan began his book Cosmos. If materiality is all there 
is then mental, moral, and spiritual processes can be explained and controlled by material substances. Drugs 
will change the way people behave; physical processes can remake human nature. There can be no spirits 
like angels, demons, God, or the Devil. Physical processes are all there is.

How wonderful are the words of John: “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Wisdom of 
God became flesh!

There is no necessary connection between mind and body. The connection is God the Creator, who in grace 
created us with the capacity to know both God and His creation. We know that something mysterious 
happens when a baby is born, or when a person dies, but we cannot explain it. There is a strange and 
wonderful union of flesh and spirit in every human being that takes place when we are born, and is somehow 
severed when we die. Philosophy has puzzled and speculated, from Anaximander’s materialism to Hegel’s 
idealism, but cannot explain the connection between soul and body, and must either deny the one or the 
other. What is the truth?

The truth lies in the words of Christ: “I am the truth.” It is grace that forms the connection between soul and 
body. It was in gracious love that God stooped down and formed man of the dust of the ground, as a potter 
would form an exquisite work of art. It was gracious love that breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, 
so that he became the image of God. God gave the ability to see, to hear, to rejoice in the world around him.  
It was gracious love that put man into loving, covenantal connection with the world of materiality, but also put 
heaven in his heart that he might thirst after the God who created him.

The Bible reveals Jesus of Nazareth as a most unique person, one who was both God and Man. He was the 
eternal God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who “proceeded and came forth from God.” (John 8:2 
and Proverbs 8:25). In like manner, though not of the essence of God, all souls come from God, for He is 
the Father of Spirits. Just as we reverence our earthly fathers, we are called to be in subjection to the “Father 
of Spirits,” in order to live (Heb. 12:9). Though there is some analogy to Jesus Christ, yet there is major 
difference, for He is the Only Begotten Son, of the very essence of God, who was united to our human 
nature—both of body and human soul, that He might be an offering for sin. We are created souls, without 
proper immortality, but upheld by the power and word of God.

“The Word became Flesh.” The early church rightly opposed and condemned the Gnostics, who denied the 
true Incarnation of Christ. The Fathers of the church clearly saw that Gnosticism would destroy the link of 
grace between soul and body, leaving only the alternatives of a vicious materialism or an equally vicious 
idealism. The Incarnation was real and demonstrated to the world that God in His grace had made man both 
soul and body, to praise and glorify God forever. The body is not illusion, and the soul is immaterial. The 
connection between them is of grace.

“I am the truth.” Without God’s word the world is a confusing place. Without God’s word, how do I know 
that what I see or hear is real? Maybe the world is illusion. Maybe history is conspiracy, stage-managed by 
very clever people with smoke and mirrors. Maybe there is no soul and when I die I am dead. “What 
happens when people die,” someone asked Dr. Kevorkian. “They rot,” was his reply. Without grace man 
rots, both in body and soul.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you,” are the words of Jesus 
(John 14:3) “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave 
it,” said the Preacher (Ecc. 12:7). “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but 
rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” are again the words of Jesus (Matt. 
10:28). And that is the truth.


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