Wednesday, March 28, 2007

God is the Gospel -- Chapter 10

  • One of the strongest biblical warnings not to use the God of the
    gospel just to get his gospel gifts comes in relation to prayer.
  • Merciful answers to prayer are blood-bought gifts
    of the gospel. Hebrews 4:16 teaches us that we can “draw near to
    the throne of grace” with confidence and “find grace to help in time
    of need” because “we have a great high priest” (v. 14).
  • Answered prayer is based on Jesus’ priestly intercession for us,
    and that intercession is based on the blood he shed to remove our
    sins and release the flood of prayer-answering grace.
  • Why does he call us “adulteresses” when we pray? It’s because
    we ask God for things to indulge our desires that are not desires for
  • What we learn is that the aim of the gospel is not mainly to give us God’s gifts,
    but to give us God. All his gifts are good. But in and through them
    all, the aim is to see more of God’s glory and to savor more of his
    infinitely beautiful moral perfections displayed in the gospel.
  • gratitude that is pleasing to God is not first a delight in the benefits God gives (though that will be part of it). True gratitude must be rooted in something else that comes first—
    namely, a delight in the beauty and excellency of God’s character.
  • Perhaps you have heard people say how thankful we should be for the death of
    Christ because it shows how much value God puts upon us. In other
    words, they are thankful for the cross as an echo of our worth. What
    is the foundation of this gratitude?
  • It is a shocking thing to learn that one of today’s most common descriptions of the
    cross—namely, how much of our value it celebrates—may well be
    a description of natural self-love with no spiritual value.
  • The creation of the material world, including our bodies with all five senses, was God’s idea. He did not do it mainly as a temptation to idolatry, but mainly as a display of
    his glory.
  • The reason that God created what is not God is that this was the best way for God
    to display his glory to beings other than himself. His motive in this
    was simultaneously a love for them and for the display of his glory.
  • The highest act of love is the giving of the best gift, and,
    if necessary, at the greatest cost, to the least deserving.
  • The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our will-power.
  • It is inevitable in a fallen material world that tests and temptations
    will abound.
  • Like all God’s gifts, signs and wonders witness to the nature and
    character of God, especially his grace. But, as with material gifts,
    miraculous gifts may lure our hearts to themselves and not to God.
    This is why we must keep emphasizing that God is the gospel.

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