Monthly Archives: January 2014

Perfect Righteousness

Perfect Righteousness

This morning’s Morning and Evening should be an encouragement to every believer. It is true that everyone is wicked, fallen, and freely evil (even Christians who have been saved by grace alone). Those of us who hold tightly to the doctrine of “total depravity” have a tendency to bang that drum as loud as we can (as if it were our job to keep everyone humble). If we are not careful, the joyous and glorious truth of Christ’s perfect righteousness can be subtly lost in the dwelling of our own corruption.

That said, you can’t have the good news without the bad news. Paul recognized this when he penned his letter to the church in Rome. Romans 1:18-3:20 contains a lot of bad news for mankind. This section begins with the wrath of God being revealed from heaven and concludes with no one being justified in God’s sight according to the law. Thankfully, Paul doesn’t end the letter there.

Romans 3:21-5:21 provides good news for the people of God. Here, Paul opens with the phrase “But now…” and proceeds to demonstrate how faith in Christ provides peace with God and eternal life. The bad news is essential and should not be neglected. However, we cannot afford to dwell in the dreariness of our own self-darkness and obvious short-comings. It is a good thing to dig deep into the foundation of our faith in Christ. But if we never focus on the walls and roof of the structure, we will find ourselves occupying a pit of self-focused piety. Rather, let us rejoice as Paul does in Romans 5:1-2 when he says,

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

I like how Spurgeon puts it in today’s devotional.

There are some who are always talking about corruption and the depravity of the heart and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further and remember that we are perfect in Christ Jesus.

What a glorious truth to consider! Christ’s perfect life has been added to our account. He was tempted in every way, but never fell. Through His sacrifice, our scarlet sins have been washed away in His perfect righteousness. May we perceive our sinfulness when we see ourselves, but forever keep our focus on the glorious Subject of our salvation.

Here is Alistair Begg’s paraphrase of the Spurgeon classic.

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The LORD is our righteousness. — Jeremiah 23:6

It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ.

How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would be if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption and the depravity of the heart and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further and remember that we are perfect in Christ Jesus.

It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind “Christ Jesus, whom God made . . . our righteousness,”1 we shall be of good cheer. What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord—Christ has done it all. On the cross He said, “It is finished!” and if it be finished, then am I complete in Him and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”2

You will not find on this side of heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on Him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus,” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought: “Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him and serve Him, seeing that I am saved by His merits?” “The love of Christ controls us,”3 “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”4 If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.

11 Corinthians 1:30, 2Philippians 3:9, 32 Corinthians 5:14, 42 Corinthians 5:15

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Devotional


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Morning Coffee – 01/30/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • Don’t Miss the True Bread
  • Jesus promised eternal life not to those who eat and drink from His broken body, but to those who believe in why His body was broken — to pay in full the penalty for their sin and to freely give them His perfect righteousness in exchange for their unrighteousness.

  • Sola Scriptura
  • Contrary to common straw men erected by those opposed to this powerful doctrine, Sola Scriptura does not mean that there is no use for experience or tradition in the life of the church or believers.

  • A Catechism on the Heart
  • It is a truism to say that, in terms of our response to the gospel, the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. But truism or not, it is true.

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Links


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Not Fair

Why do the wicked prosper? My Hebrew Exegesis professor preached this message through Psalm 73 in chapel last week.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Video


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Complete In Christ

Complete In Christ

This morning’s Morning and Evening addresses the present reality and future hope of every believer in Christ. Colossians 1:17 says,

And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

How comforting it is to know that all things rest in the grip of our perfect Savior! Our standing, growth, maturity, and completion in Him is no exception. Philippians 1:6 says,

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Here is Alistair Begg’s paraphrase of the Spurgeon classic.

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…mature in Christ. — Colossians 1:28

Do you not feel in your own soul that maturity is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear that trickles from your eye weeps “imperfection;” every harsh word that proceeds from your lip mutters “imperfection.” You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you—you are perfect or “mature in Christ.” In God’s sight you are complete in Him; even now you are “blessed in the Beloved.”1

But there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, that is just as sure. Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? The Church of Christ then will be so pure that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so glorious that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said—

With my Savior’s garments on,
Holy as the Holy One.

Then shall we know and taste and feel the happiness of this vast but short sentence, complete in Christ. Not till then shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the salvation of Jesus.

Does not your heart leap for joy at the thought of it? Filthy as you are, you shall be clean. Oh, it is a marvelous salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel; Christ takes a dirty and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire this blessed truth of maturity in Christ.

1Ephesians 1:6

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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Devotional


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An Interruption

An Interruption

We interrupt this blog to bring you an important message: I’m sick.

Prayers are appreciated and hopefully I will be up and blogging next week.

Until then, here is something completely different…

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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Video


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Happy Monday: Asleep in Church

Don’t let this happen to you. Get plenty of sleep the night before…


Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Video


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Nunc Dimittis

Alistair Begg preaches an encouraging and educational sermon concerning the blessings of salvation. “Let’s do what God says, and we’ll see what God does.”

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Video


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