The old hymns have hidden truths. In the hymn “Rock of Ages,” there is a line that calls upon the blood of Christ to, “Be of sin the double cure; save me from its guilt and power.” What is the double cure? With regard to God we have two problems: First, we have broken God’s Laws and are liable for the law’s penalty. Second, we continue to sin. Because our problem is twofold, God’s grace must offer a double cure.
When a person believes in Jesus, they are justified – just-if-ied never sinned – which removes all punishment for our past sins. Secondly, the Holy Spirit enters the repentant sinner and begins the work of sanctification and regeneration. God, like a Physician, cures our sin disease and ends our continual spiritual corruption.
Sanctification and regeneration is an ongoing process in which the Christian becomes more and more separated from sin itself. It is a continual transformation of our inward character and our outward behavior. When we sin, we confess our sin, and Christ intercedes for us before God as our high priest. This is how we, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Peter 3:18).
Jesus, what a savior,
In chapters one and two of 1st John, the word abide appears nine times. When a word appears that frequently it means the author is trying to make a point. John’s point: In times like these if a Christian is to remain faithful to Jesus they must abide. Abide means to wait patiently for. As Tennyson put it, “I will abide the coming of my lord.”
How does one abide in Christ? You abide by spending time alone with God, reading the Bible, fellowshipping with Christians, and attending church. Many say, I get two days off from work and the whole church thing is a bit tedious, especially when I could be doing so many fun things.
There is an ancient story of the Spartan son who returned home and said to his aged father who bore the scars of many battles, “My sword is just a little too short for me.” The old man responded, “Add a step to it.” Do you feel your Christian walk is tedious, then add a step to your walk. You say your sword is too short for you to win, then add a step and take a harder thrust. In God’s name I commend you, add a step.
Jesus said, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear,” (John 16:12). This has always been true. God has more to say to us, but it is more than we can now bear. So God must patiently wait for our ability to bear before he speaks to us about things we should know. We see this idea expressed by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly,” (1Cor 3:2-3). Here then is the law of Divine revelation: God never leads you forward into any new truth concerning Himself, until you have not only realized a new measure of truth, but also obeyed that measure of truth.
A case of arrested development has seized the church, and by the church I mean the universal church of Christ; all Christians. We have lost our appreciation for the things Divine, and it is because we have failed to submit, failed to obey, or failed to understand. God cannot advance you in a new truth because as of yet you have not accepted a previously revealed truth.
Can I tell you what it is in your life that you have not submitted too? No! But, if you are honest with yourself, you already know! Go back through the years to the point where your last excitement for God was; the place where the fire began to grow cold; it is there where you failed to submit. Why are you not submitting? It is as G. Campbell Morgan said, “I am more afraid of light than darkness, I will hark back to the mist to escape the blinding glare of the Throne of the infinite knowledge.”
If you will finally be true to Jesus Christ, the blessing of this morning will eclipse any blessings that proceeded it.
The family is the foundation of a society. It is sad to see that our society’s families are being destroyed. As a result of that destruction many children have grown into adulthood having never known an intact home. Damaged in childhood means damaged in adulthood, for the damage doesn’t magically repair itself on the day of one’s emancipation. Naturally when something of ours is broken we spend time trying to fix it, but how does one repair a damaged childhood caused by a broken family?
Jesus said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Interesting that he did not say Elohim, not Jehovah, not Adonai, or any of the other great names of God found in the Bible. He said Father, or Abba which means daddy, or papa. I think it means that no matter how damaged a person is, our heavenly Father is able to repair what was lost or never was.
It should make us gasp that God, the one who is mighty, holy, and beneficent, is our Father who sacrificed Himself to restore what was so broken that it seemed irreparable.
This is Jesus’ story: God has suffered everything to restore what was lost.