Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

Archive for the tag “love”

Made in the Image of God…

photo of man carrying baby

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…but not children of God by natural birth.

In my recent on-line studies with Ligonier Ministries I have been learning more on God’s attribute of love.  One of the requirements of the course entitled, “Loved by God,” is to dig deeply into what the Scriptures actually say about the eternal love of God.  One overlooked truth about God’s eternal love is that God’s love did not begin at creation. Just as God is eternal, so are all His other attributes–eternal…including that of His love.

Most people might have some difficulty understanding how our status as image-bearers of God by His creation of us has anything to do with His eternal love or the reason why we cannot claim we are children of God by natural birth. I confess that before I studied the second session in the series, my little grey cells had not digested the clear facts leading to a rational dialog on the subject.  Realizing this truth and the impact it bears on the entire plan of redemption has made me love God more for the magnitude of who He is, the immensity of His eternal love, and helped me to help others think about why there is now a difference between being an image-bearer of God and being a child of God.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

QUESTION #1:

In what ways do many contemporary churches today misrepresent God’s eternal love? What sorts of teaching/preaching have you heard that endorses a universal love of God for His creation without distinction?”

My Answer: Many preachers in churches today have lapsed into a Unitarian view of God’s eternal love; and so they tell their audiences that God loves everybody the same way, unconditionally, just as they are—“warts and all.” They go on to exercise their misrepresentation by advancing their propositions that because God created us in His own image and likeness, they say that we are all children of God; ergo, God loves us all without distinction…This grave error in preaching has profound implications for the Biblical facts of God’s plan of redemption and the work of Christ in His atoning death…

         I have to say that I have never heard a preacher delve into the eternality of God’s love as Dr. Sproul has emphasized in this lecture: a vital point underscoring the eternal attribute of love which has always existed in Him who is self-existing—eternally. If anyone would have pressed me on this issue, of course I would have stated confidently that God’s love is a pure and holy attribute of His as eternal because He is eternal; but I am grateful for Dr. Sproul’s clearly spoken emphasis of this truth.

QUESTION #2:

How would you describe the object of God’s love before He made His people? Why is the work of redemption considered a Trinitarian work? Why would it be a mistake to think that the exclusive object of the love of God is the world or people?”

My Answer: God’s love is Trinitarian and covenantal; i.e., the covenant love in the plan of redemption, established between the persons of the Godhead from eternity past—in the complete foreknowledge that the fall of man was going to occur.

In Dr. Sproul’s words:It would be a mistake to think that the exclusive object of the love of God is the world or the people whom He is pleased to redeem. The primary object of the Father’s affection is the Son, and that is something that is often overlooked in the study of the Scriptures. It is absolutely true that God loves us, but we need to remember that He loves us (the redeemed) in the Son, and it is because of His great love for His Son that we are included in redemption.”

          And when I meditate on this truth, I see encounters with Christ in clear perspective in the Scriptures on the Trinitarian work of redemption declared from His own lips: “All that the Father gives Me will come to me” (John 6.37); “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6.44); “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me” (John 15.26); “I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3.3, 5); “…make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28.19).

          The plan of redemption in this covenant love is for the glory of the beloved Son of God, Christ Jesus (Mark 9.7; 12.6; 2 Peter 1.16-18)—by whom and for whom all that was created is created (John 1.1-3; Revelation 4.11), and for whose glory the redeemed are bought for His possession (1 Corinthians 3.23; 7.22-23), and that in all things He might have the preeminence (Colossians 1.17-19). Glory be to God!

QUESTION #3:

Do you find it offensive or unfair that we are biologically born into this world void of the Spirit of God as children of wrath? How would you respond to someone who says that we are all children of God through creation simply because we are made in His image?”

My Answer: Saying that we are made in the image of God is only saying that we bear His image. In the material world, whose image an object bears is the one to whom that object belongs and is under sovereign subjection—even if that object denies it, it cannot be annulled. Saying that we are children of God is, in reality, claiming that God is our Father. The implications of such a claim mean that anyone who claims it acknowledges the sovereign authority of God as Supreme Patriarch over his life and conduct, and gives himself in loyalty, love and obedience to such a Father and Patriarch… 

          It might be offensive to our feelings, it might be painful to accept, but in fact we must face the real genetic implications of being in Adam and subject to the degenerative and lethal effects of his corruption upon the seed inside his loins. The effect of his rebellion—the denial of God’s sovereignty and the darkening of his understanding of the truth in his mind are real effects of his corruption which spread to every cell of his body—every seed in his loins. While his corruption did not nullify the fact of his being an image-bearer of God, he became a fallen image-bearer, corrupted and adversarial to the very God who created Him to be in His own image and likeness—and in his now-corrupted, natural, humanist state he and all his biological issue are worthy of God’s wrath. As a fallen image-bearer, Adam refused to acknowledge that he belongs to God and is subject to His sovereignty over his life—both the temporal and the eternal.  In his rebellion against God, he exalted his own humanist spirit above the Holy Spirit, and became an instrument in the hands of the Evil One. In his rebellion against God, Adam literally became the father of the children of wrath… “This Is Us,” in our natural, biological state. Adam changed his posture toward God, but God did not change His posture toward Adam and the progeny housed within his loins—as fallen image bearers, in our perverted condition, we still belong to God and are subject to His sovereignty over our lives—both the temporal and the eternal…

           If we are talking about what is “fair” or “unfair” on this subject, we must consider that if a holy God did what is “fair” toward us He would have annihilated Adam and Eve on the spot or pronounced an eternal and irrevocable curse upon them without possibility of remedy even by God Himself. But God is fair first to Himself—to His Trinitarian being—the Father cannot deny His Beloved Son His rightful inheritance from the creation. The Holy Spirit’s life giving breath cannot be quenched. It’s what the Godhead does. Therefore, if we examine the “fair” thing to do in the Father’s love for the Son, and the work of life through the Holy Spirit, it was to provide a way for some of Adam’s corrupted progeny to be made clean, reborn, regenerate. This could only be accomplished supernaturally by the regenerating work of God Himself in the lives of the Adamic seed born congenitally unregenerate—children of the corrupted Adam, no longer children of God. What is “unfair” to our constipated minds is the way this mechanism of regeneration would be accomplished—through the sacrificial death of The Father’s Beloved Son for the children of wrath—the Incorruptible for the corrupt—and the work of faith supernaturally given as a gift by the Holy Spirit to awaken the darkened minds of Adam’s children of wrath to life in God’s Beloved Son.

          All humans have been created in the image and likeness of God, and, as such, belong to God who is sovereign over their lives both temporal and eternal, to ordain what He chooses; but because of Adam’s rebellion against God, being an image-bearer of God in itself no longer qualifies all as children of God. All humans are born as fallen, rebellious image-bearers; no humans are born embracing the sovereignty and ownership of a holy God over their lives. We are not born children of God; we are born children of wrath. Until the regenerating breath of the Holy Spirit works in the heart of a fallen image-bearer of God—by grace through faith in The Father’s Beloved Son—he remains a child of wrath. Only those who believe in Christ Jesus are born anew, supernaturally, children of God…

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

–John 1.12-13

Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear; and may God the Father whose love for His Beloved Son is eternal be glorified by another fallen image-bearer being born “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” by His grace in the work of His Holy Spirit.

Why Atheism is a False God…

person sky silhouette night

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…and existence requires the self-existing God.

Here is a link to a message by Dr. Ravi Zacharias. In this careful and sensitive examination of the sincere arguments denying the existence of the God of the Bible, Dr. Zacharias explains the logical consequences of the rejection of the self-existing God.

The Existence of God

If you know dear ones who are still struggling with the futile musings of this world about their existence, perhaps you will find some light here to offer to them in their darkness. May the Spirit of the Ever-living God use the beauty of true wisdom to draw them to know who He is…

Your comments are welcome.

Why Words are Important…

crowd of people inside white building

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…and a healthy society depends upon the truth.

Here is a link to a message given by Dr. Albert Mohler examining the trend in our 21st Century culture’s individualistic posture toward words and truth. It has sobering implications for all our relationships and for the entire scope of society…

If you do not know what “postmodernism” is, Dr. Mohler will make this cultural development in our times abundantly clear. Consider the consequences of postmodernism in the doctor’s office, or under the surgeon’s knife, or living/working in a structure engineered by a postmodernistic engineer…

Postmodernism and Society

Star Trek fans may recall the Ferengi “civilization” characterized by their treaties with other races in space. The principle upon which they base their treaties and covenants is this: “Our word is our bond, until we change our minds.”

Your comments are welcome.

Why Justification by Faith in Christ Alone…

…teaches us the truth about God’s exquisite love and righteous justice.

Here is a link to a message by Dr. Michael Reeves which exposes the moment of reckoning in Church  history when the truth of Scripture exposed the cruel darkness of “modern scholarship” of the culture of the day…

Here I Stand

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3.14-21

Here is a question posed in my current studies in the series entitled “Loved by God,” offered by Ligonier Ministries. Something to think about for such a time as this…

Have you ever found yourself interpreting Scripture based upon your own culture or situation?

Your comments are welcome.

Greetings at the Feast of Trumpets…

trumpets stained glass 3

Feast of Trumpets – Year of Our Lord 2018

The Second Coming of Christ – Ron DiCianni

Taking this special opportunity to share the joy of anticipating the return of Messiah Jesus. For all who realize the holiness of God, this season brings with it expectation and an exquisite mixture of joy and trembling, as we remember what the Lord Jesus’ work will be upon His second coming…

May all who know Him, abandon the shadows and give Him the preeminence in all things this side of glory… not only for this day, but for every day in your life as you wait His return…

May all who know the Lord Jesus declare the Truth with boldness and grace in a world which is on an irrevocable course to meet His holy appearing…

https://georgetownrose.wordpress.com/fall-feasts-of-israel/

To LIFE in Jesus!

Pray for Awakening!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” –Psalm 122.6

 

My Dancing Day…

An old English Festival Carol, traditionally sung at Christmas; and rarely do we hear all of the verses. But it is the story of the love of God for His people, from the sacrificial incarnation of His Son Jesus to Jesus’ glorious ascension to the Right Hand of the Father…
All of it He has done for His true love…
JESUS DANCES
And since I am celebrating my 37th birthday in Messiah’s Love, I am rejoicing in His calling me as one of His true love to His dance…
Here is the melody to this Festival Carol:
Here are all the verses to this ancient English Hymn…

 

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

I would my true love did so chance

To see the legend of my play

To call my true love to my dance.

 

REFRAIN

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.

 

Then was I born of a virgin pure

Of her I took fleshly substance

Thus was I knit to man’s nature

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN

 

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was

So very poor, this was my chance

Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN

 

Then afterwards baptized I was

The Holy Ghost on me did glance

My Father’s voice heard from above

To call my true love to my dance. REFRAIN

 

Into the desert I was led

Where I fasted without substance

The Devil bade me make stones my bread

To have me break my true love’s dance.  REFRAIN

 

The Jews on me they made great suit

And with me made great variance

Because they loved darkness rather than light

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN

 

For thirty pence Judas me sold

His covetousness for to advance

Mark whom I kiss, the same do hold

The same is he, who shall lead the dance. REFRAIN

 

Before Pilate the Jews me brought

Where Barabbas had deliverance

They scourged me and set me at naught

Judged me to die to lead the dance.  REFRAIN

 

Then on the cross hanged I was

Where a spear my heart did glance

There issued forth both water and blood

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN

 

Then down to hell I took my way

For my true love’s deliverance

And rose again on the third day

Up to my true love and the dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.

 

Then up to heaven I did ascend

Where now I dwell in sure substance

On the right hand of God, that man

May come unto the general dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.

Christ is Risen!

Christ Will Come Again!

Parable of the Good Samaritan…

A short story which teaches a lesson; an earthly story with a heavenly meaning…what the Kingdom of God is like…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Bible Passage: Luke 10.25-37 NKJV   The Good Samaritan

  • Jesus told a parable about a man attacked by robbers…

 

  • A priest and a religious leader did not stop to help the man. But a certain Samaritan had kindness

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God enters by God’s kindness shown to them through the Lord Jesus Christ…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God kindness grows in the life of a believer in the Lord Jesus.

 

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–from the Nicene Creed

 

Parable of the Lost Son…

Another “catch” from my voyage through the summer Bible lessons in children’s Sunday school… This also from the units on the Parables of the Kingdom of God… for such a time as this…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Bible Passage: Luke 15 NKJV   

  • Jesus told a parable about people finding lost things…

 

  • People celebrated when they find what was lost

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God is there because Jesus has gone out to find them and save them from being lost…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God every child of God is glad for another lost person to be saved and welcomed.

 

 

 

The Heart of St. Valentine

heart-of-st-valentine2There’s a lot on my mind about this special day…

It’s special for me in multitudes of ways…

I remember my mother on this day. Once, when we were celebrating my birthday, she told me that when she was carrying me she hoped that I would be born on St. Valentine’s Day. Alas, God had other plans; I was born shy of that date. But that did not discourage my mother. When I was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church at age 12, it was the custom for confirmands to take the name of a saint and martyr of the faith. My mother encouraged me to take the name Valentina, a feminine variant for St. Valentine. Being the obliging child that I was, I saw no problem with this, and took the name gladly…

I had very little knowledge, and less understanding at the time, of the true life and joy of St. Valentine…

Another way that this day is special to me is that I have another opportunity to bless my husband of 48 years with extra gestures of love and gratitude. So very thankful to God for giving me a man who loves me and makes me a better woman than I would be on my own…

In recent years, I’ve come to be more aware of who this man Valentine is. He was so committed to upholding Christian marriage that he prepared couples for their covenant vows and consecrated their commitment in a day when it was dangerous for the Church to do so…


st-valentine-history


And now, in my senior years, I understand more of the heart of a man who desired to leave the legacy of a love that can never be shaken or lost; this love can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. While Valentine was committed to preserving Christian marriage in the face of the emperor’s military recruitment agenda, he did so knowing that such a sacred bond was the type for the love of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church. And he was bold to speak out for the love of Messiah Jesus…

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There is another thought that I want to express to all the dear ones who read this blog–all the ones who are not married. If you are in Christ, this day is a special day to remember His love for you and to pass the message of Messiah Jesus on to others. Because this is the heart of St. Valentine…

st-valentine-verse

And as one who has been confirmed in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, having taken the name of this witness for my Lord and King,  here is my prayer for you on this commemoration of the life and ministry of St. Valentine…

st-valentines-prayer

…for such a time as this…

Dreams of Middle Earth: What might have been…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fourth-wall/

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

I woke early at the sound of the morning bell; the days are beautiful and fair in Rivendell. Here, except for the wisdom of the ages shared with us in the stories of Arda and Middle-earth, one would think—unwisely so—that the whole world is as fair and beautiful as life is here in Rivendell…

I am Thenidiel daughter of Voronwé and Idhrenniel. I am Elven, and today in Rivendell a council is convening within the hour. My father and my mother will attend as witnesses to the discussions and decisions. My father Voronwé has thought it wise that I should listen and observe, for this council will be like no other ever called by my elders. This will be a very grave and secret council—a council which will decide a mission and consider its emissaries. Their charge will be to destroy something of immeasurable and terrible power over every living soul in Middle-earth…

Of my Elven race officiating and deliberating at the council were Elrond, Erestor and Glorfindel, wise staff of Elrond’s house; Legolas, son of King Thranduil of Mirkwood, and Galdor messenger of Cirdan. The envoys among men were two: Boromir son of Denethor, steward of Gondor, and Aragorn known to men and Halflings as Strider of the Rangers. Of the Dwarves present were Gloin, seeking the whereabouts of his brother Balin who had been in the mines of Moria; and Gimli, warrior son of Gloin. Gandalf the wise of the Maiar informed all present of the danger to Middle-earth in Saruman’s treachery. Ambassadors of the Halflings of The Shire were Bilbo Baggins and his adopted nephew Frodo Baggins. I saw another there, crouching in the shadows, observing all that was undertaken in the council. My soul learned immediately that his heart was burdened for the welfare of another. I followed his gaze and saw that, from his shadowy corner, it was fixed on the Halfling with shining eyes, dark of hair and fair of countenance. As my own gaze rested upon him, Master Frodo Baggins, I was immediately drawn to him; for he carries a burden so great I can feel it in my own being. He looked up for a moment, seeming to know that the eyes and the heart of someone were watching vigilantly, standing guard for him. When he noticed me standing quietly watching all the renowned guests being welcomed by Elrond and his court, I saw into the depths of his soul and all his longings. His eyes did not drift away from my gaze; we were locked in an ethereal embrace for what seemed an eternity. I saw his heart and shared mine with him for that one moment, both of us sealing a covenant to meet again before the company was dispatched to the duties ordained by the council…

 I listened and watched the story unfold before me, although it seemed as if I had already known it from long ago. I felt the weight of the fear of the power of this object should it be used in the hands of the adversaries of Eru Iluvatar. That was the ancient rebellion of ages past, mocking Iluvatar’s beauty and the lyrical music of His Ainur. One must go and destroy the power of the adversary Morgoth and his vassal Sauron. That one must bear the terrible burden of the Ring to the rim of hell, the Mount of Doom; there he must part with the terrible thing with all its temptations to be subject to its power, and resisting all, must cast it into the fires of Mount Doom to be consumed by the very fires and darkness from which it was created. Other valiant Men and Elves of ages past were entrusted with this task and were eaten alive by the lure of the powers they thought they would possess in the keeping of this fragment of hate and blasphemy against Eru Iluvatar. In one age, after the ring was long forgotten, a Halfling, Deagol by name, who loved to fish in the rivers of the Shire, captured it by accident on the end of his fishing line. His friend Smeagol was jealous for the shiny trinket, and in his jealousy murdered Deagol, hid his body, and doted upon the precious thing, discovering its powers to make him seem superior to all around him. It ate him alive, driving him into the depths of the earth to shelter it and guard it from being taken from him, only earning for himself the name of Gollum; for Smeagol had become a gulping, grasping creature doomed to a deviant and tortured life of wicked treachery, always fighting down the once noble thread from which he was originally woven. Master Bilbo Baggins had seized the thing from Gollum’s grasp in his encounter with him in the caves on the way to Erebor. Bilbo’s part in that mission was to help the Dwarves regain their rightful home and treasures taken from them by the dragon Smaug when he destroyed Laketown and captured Erebor for his own malevolent residence.

Hours passed as I waited to see how the council would rule. Finally, all agreed that one must go, but the question remained, “Who will go?” When the midday bell rang for the meal, the fair one with raven hair and shining eyes spoke, saying, “I will go.” It was then I knew he must have a helper, someone who would give him hope and courage to live when all the evil of Mordor stalked him to prevent his chosen task. How would I persuade my father to give my hand to Frodo in marriage when he appeared to be a mere Halfling and beneath the Elven race? I have lived long in Rivendell in this world of Middle-earth, but never have I seen one which so captivates my own soul. He appears young and yet has a bearing as old as Rivendell itself. I knew before the council did that his companion in the shadows would go with him to bear Frodo up when his body weakens from the weight of the burden and the assaults contrived against him by the emissaries of Sauron. But he would need the songs of truth and faith to resonate in his mind and heart—songs my soul entwined with his would sing to him across the distances on the cold stoney mountain passages, in the deep tangles of the woods, across the open plains under the predatory gaze of the eye of Sauron and his minions. He must have a home for his soul where it may rest and draw him back from the contest which will restore peace to the world of Middle earth. I want to be that home for his soul; it is to this hour I was born. I was to learn very soon how inseparable two souls can make a mark on the events in the world…

 At the afternoon meal, he came to talk with me, the one whose soul now was entwined with mine. We needed no long words, for every bit of our lives seemed knowable to one another without them. He knew my own desire and shared it, but with hesitation to bind me to the mortal life and then to wait while he fulfilled the duty he had vowed. As I gazed steadily and passionately into his shining eyes, I told him that the matter of my mortality is mine to decide, knowing completely its blessings and its consequences. I explained to him in earnest that for me waiting would not be as it would be for a Halfling wife. I would tell this to my father and my mother. I would tell them that my heart and my soul would always be following him, knowing things of his trials which only an Elven wife could know. I would persuade them that my songs of healing would come to Frodo in times of his deepest trouble, and still my own life would be safe from the eye of Sauron. These would be dreams no palantir, no seeing stone, could invade or snatch away from us…these would be silver threads of truth and faith and undying love, keeping Frodo’s heart safe from deception and despair…and he, with Samwise, would prevail; he would come home…we would face life in Middle-earth inseparably. We would give our dear ones another generation of offspring who know truth and honor and love. I would persuade my mother and my father to neither deny us this purpose nor deny themselves the joy of its fulfillment…

 As quickly as our meeting began it was over. Frodo’s heart was full of longing, and he vowed another vow. He took my hand in his and in his steady, shining eyes I saw the burden which he carried lift. His countenance shown as brightly and lovely as any Elven son. Almost breathlessly, and full of tenderness, he whispered that he would take me as his wife if I persuaded my mother and my father of the blessing our union would bring…

 We looked up and saw the thoughtful Gandalf sitting across the courtyard from us; Samwise was nearby, having been exposed as a secret observer to the council, driven by his friendship with Frodo to learn of the matters which would touch his friend’s life. Both were watching with a mixture of curiosity and some wonderment. My own mission had now begun; at the recess of this council, I would be seeking a council with my elders, a Maiar and a Halfling to cast the vision shared by Frodo, the valiant Halfling and an Elven daughter of wisdom and healing…

…An excursion into “The Fellowship of The Ring”

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