Showing posts from March, 2024

the driving force in Jesus' life

In chapter 18 of Knowing God , J. I. Packer writes the following... Think first, then, of the driving force in the life of Jesus. If you sit down for an hour and read straight through the Gospel according to Mark (a very fruitful exercise: may I urge you here and now to do it), you will receive an impression of Jesus which includes at least four features. Your basic impression will be of a man of action: a man always on the move, always altering situations and precipitating things-working mir- acles; calling and training disciples; upsetting error that passed as truth and irreligion that passed as godliness; and finally walking straight and open-eyed into betrayal, condemnation and crucifixion (a freakish sequence of anomalies which in the oddest way one is made to feel that he himself controlled all along the line). Your further impression will be of a man who knew himself to be a divine person (Son of God) fulfilling a messianic role (Son of Man). Mark makes it clear that the more Je

God the Judge

"But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed." (Romans 2:5 ESV) In the fourteenth chapter of Knowing God, J. I. Packer writes,  The problem of the psalmist who saw inoffensive people being victimized, and the ungodly "not in trouble as other men" but prospering and at peace (Ps 73), is echoed again and again in human experience. But the character of God is the guarantee that all wrongs will be righted someday; when "the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed" (Rom 2:5) arrives, retribution will be exact, and no problems of cosmic unfairness will remain to haunt us. God is the Judge, so justice will be done. Why, then, do we fight shy of the thought of God as a Judge? Why do we feel the thought to be unworthy of him? The truth is that part of God's moral perfection is his perfection in judgment. Would a God who di

on spiritual life and growth

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." (Luke 8:11 ESV) "Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:18 ESV) On growth in the Christian's spiritual life, Herman Bavinck writes...  The spiritual life implanted in regeneration is similar to the natural life in that it must be nourished and strengthened for it to expand and grow. In other ways there is a great difference between them, of course, inasmuch as the spiritual life originates in God as Savior, is acquired by the resurrection of Christ, and is eternal life that can neither sin nor die. Nevertheless, regenerate persons continually need to be "strengthened in their inner being with power through God's Spirit" (cf. Eph. 3:16). This strengthening of the spiritual life, like its beginning, originates with God and the riches of his grace. The life of spiritual persons,