The Suffering Savior

This is a excerpt from the book The Suffering Saviour by F.W. Krummacher:

Let us hasten to Gethsemane, therefore, when we feel oppressed in a world where selfishness reigns paramount, and what still remains of the charity of the Gospel threatens to expire in self-seeking and self-love. The loving Saviour, whom we behold struggling for us in Gethsemane, continues ours; and how faithfully, ardently and disinterestedly is He attached to us! What a price did it cost Him to elevate such unworthy creatures as we are from our misery, and to procure eternal salvation for us!

Resort to Gethsemane when you stand uncertain which way to choose–whether to give yourselves to God or to the service of the world. Gethsemane will make it evident to you what sin is. Look at Jesus. He did no sin, but only took upon Him that of others. How did it fare with Him? . . .But know that what tortured Him for a time, menaces you forever! Think of being eternally doomed to endure the society and the scoruages of the infernal powers!. . .

Let us repair to Gethsemane, lastly, when the storms of temptation roar around us, and Stan goes about seeking whom he may devour. The days in which our lot has fallen are dangerous, and few there are who are not carried away with the stream of impiety. Even in the circle of the believing and the pious, how much weakness of faith, decrepitude of spirit, want of peace, and discouragement do we perceive! He, therefore, who wishes to be secure, must resort to Gethsemane. There we shall not only find a Confederate in the conflict, who will point the way to victory–there we shall not only be aroused with the alarming cry, “Watch and pray lest ye fall into temptation;” but there the conviction is renewed within us, that the prince of this world is already judged–that every rightful claim of the adversary upon us is extinguished, and that what the evil one suggests to us fo an abominable nature against our wills, falls upon his own head, and not upon ours, since it has been long ago atoned for by the bloody sweat of Immanuel, in the case of penitent sinners, and can only have a purifying effect upon us according to the will of God. This faith is the victory, which has already overcome the prince of darkness.

Looking thus at Gethsemane, in its proper light, ti becomes to us an “Eden,” and is transformed, with its horrors, into a peaceful retreat.. . . In this garden flows the never-failing river of God, which waters the new paradise. . . . Its holy gates are open to us. Come, therefore, let us reverentially enter, and inhale its peaceful atmosphere!

I’m hoping to complete this book before Easter. Krummacher takes you from the “The Outer Courts” (the upper room, the Lord’s Supper, the journey to Gethsemane), to the “Holy Place” (Gethsemane, his arrest, the trial, the way of the cross) to the Most Holy Place (The Crucifixion, His last words, his death and burial). This is a great book to bring focus to the Easter season. Especially, in a world that only knows about bunnies and eggs.

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Another Excerpt from Michael Horton, Dealing with Third Commandment

The problem, as I see it, is not that we have “taken God out of the public schools” or that we have “removed public acknowledgment of God at the courthouse.” It is that we have taken God out of the churches and have removed public acknowledgment of God and His attributes from our personal and public lives as Christians. Why should Christians lament the day when the Ten Commandments were taken down from the wall in the classroom when few of them can name these decrees themselves? When the world forgets God, the church is called upon to proclaim Him more widely. But what happens when the church forgets God? Who speaks for Him then? Frankly, I am more offended by the hucksters, heretics, and healers who misuse God’s name than those kids who passed by my window each day, whose profanity did far less damage to the coinage of the divine name. – Michael Horton, The Law of Perfect Freedom, p 96

Excerpt from The Law of Perfect Freedom by Michael S. Horton

Ours is a religion of a book. No other religion, although Islam comes close, is so dependent on written words as Protestant Christianity. “It is written,” was our Lord’s defense against the image of the kingdoms of the world that Satan offered Him in exchange for homage. But how does a religion of a book survive in the age of the videocassette? How can churches hold the attention on Sunday morning of people who have been fed with thousands of spliced images throughout the week? Sermons must compare to sit-coms. They must be witty and light and contain a moral. How different is this from the image-centered medieval church? See if Calvin’s characterization hits home:

Nay, what one sermon was there from which old wives might not carry off more whimsies than they could devise at their own fireside in a month? For as sermons were then usually divided, the first half was devoted to those misty questions of the schools which might astonish the rude populace, while the second contained sweet stories, or not unamusing speculations, by which the hearers might be kept on the alert. Only a few expressions were thrown in from the Word of God, that by their majesty they might procure credit for these frivolities. . . And here a very wide field for exposing your ignorance opens upon me, since, in matters of religious controversy, all that you leave to the faithful is to shut their won eyes, and to submit implicitly to their teachers. . .  Hence, I observer, [Cardinal] Sadoleto, that you have too indolent a theology, as is almost always the case with those who have never had experience in serious struggles of consistence.

LEB: I have found this to be an excellent book and though only part way through it, would give it a strong recommendation. Its been an “A” to this point (page 86).

An Excerpt from Timothy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage

A parishioner heard me preach on Ephesians 5, where Paul says that the purpose of marriage is to “sanctify” us. She said, “I thought the whole point of marriage was to be happy! You make it sound like a lot of work.” She was right–marriage is a lot of work–but she was wrong to pit that against happiness, and here is why. Paul is saying that one of the main purposes of marriage is to make us “holy. . . without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish. . . ” (verses 26-27). What does that mean? It means to have Jesus’s character reproduced in us, outlined as the “fruit of the Spirit”–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful integrity, gentle humility, and self-control–in Galatians 5:22-25. When Jesus’s love, wisdom, and greatness are formed in us, each with our own unique gifts and callings, we become our “true selves,” the person we were created to be. Every page in the Bible cries that the journey to this horizon cannot be accomplished alone. We must face it and share it with brothers an sisters, friends of our heart. And the very best human friendship possible for that adventure is with the lover-friend who is your spouse.