03 February 2011

Thank God for the blood of Jesus; but....

by Dan Phillips

Jarring title? Hear me out.

As I drove to work the other day, I prayed. I was thinking about how short I fall in every area of my life: as a father, as a husband, as a Christian, as a churchman, as a blogger, as a friend, as a brother, as a citizen....

Then I said, "Thank God for the blood of Jesus" — and immediately cringed to hear myself pray it.

"Cringed"? Why? How could such an absolute core-truth of Christianity bring a wince, a recoil?

Simple: because I've heard that sort of talk used so often by folks whose concern is to paper over their ongoing, deliberate, unrepentant sin. I've heard Jesus' blood adduced to explain why it makes sense to grant a glorious eulogy to a man who apparently died an open, unrepentant homosexual clergyman; to rationalize ongoing open violence to the fifth commandment; to tut-tut open defection from the Word of God.

And so that is the background against which those wonderful words make me cringe. Listen: Jesus did not shed His blood on the cross to make us feel okay about our ongoing, deliberate, unrepentant sin. Jesus did not shed His blood to make sin okay; He shed it precisely because sin is not okay, has never been okay, will never be okay.

So what about my prayer, my praise? I went on to think just how much I needed and still need the blood of Jesus, all the time, even while striving as hard as I might (as opposed to yielding to sin, like the horrible examples I mentioned). I thought, What if God said "You pick the area of your life that I can judge you on. Pick your strongest, best, most consistent area"? What then? Easy. I'd be doomed, instantly doomed, forever doomed. No sooner would the test be distributed than I'd hear "All right, pencils down. Test over."

We're not talking about ongoing, deliberate, unrepentant sin here, either (on this subject). We're just talking about the weakness, shallowness, inconstancy, inconsistency, and fleshly carry-overs that plague believers. The ongoing reality of Romans 7:14-25. Do we need the blood of Jesus there? Oh, yes, I think we do. I know for a fact we do.

Now here's the final, biting irony: I have this fear that many of those who thank God for Jesus' blood as I mentioned — because of how good it makes them feel about their ongoing, deliberate, unrepentant sin — have not yet been touched by that blood.

Why?

Because that same blood that purchases forgiveness also purchases freedom (Romans 3:27; Ephesians 1:7; Matthew 1:21; Hebrews 9:14). When we die with Him, we die to sin's lordship (Romans 6). If we are still under that unbroken domination, that lordship, we've not died that death. Though we are never and in no way justified because we do battle with sin, justification is the beginning and cause of a lifetime of such a battle. The battle is not a component, but it is an effect.

So thank God for the blood of Jesus.

Not because His blood makes my sin okay, but because His blood makes me okay with God, and delivers me from sin's guilt and power.

Through the shedding of Christ's blood, I am forgiven for my sins (Matthew 26:28), and I am counted perfectly righteous in God's courtroom (Romans 5:9). In Christ I have the price paid to secure my freedom, through His blood (Ephesians 1:7). Christ's blood turned God's wrath from me (Romans 3:25), and cleansed my conscience from dead works, that I might serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14). By Christ's blood I have confidence to walk right into the presence of God without terror (Hebrews 10:19). As I walk in the light, Christ's blood continues to cleanse me from all sin (1 John 1:7). His blood has loosed me from my sins (Revelation 1:5).



In fact, I might bring it all 'round to this:
  • The sign that Christ's blood has been applied to me is not that I feel good about my sin
  • The sign that Christ's blood has been applied to me is that I am dead to sin and alive to God in Christ, that I continue day by day to turn to Christ from sin, and walk in newness of life.
Thank God for the blood of Jesus.

Dan Phillips's signature

56 comments:

Johnny Dialectic said...

Indeed. And if we had to reduce this message to a one line telegram, 1 John 3:6 would do nicely.

Barbara said...

Agreed,and amen. Whether it's intentional or not, I've been hearing a general trend in modern Reformed Christendom toward that mental reminder of the antoning blood of Christ and away from the exhortation to return to Him in repentance and faith. I'm reminded of Jonathan Edwards' words in Religious Affections,

Instead of embracing Christ as their Savior from sin, these people are actually trusting in Him to help them save their sin. Instead of flying to Him as their refuge from their spiritual enemies, they use Him to defend themselves against God. They turn Christ into the devil’s helper, so that they may comfortably continue to sin against God, assuming that Christ will protect them from God’s judgment. They trust Christ to allow them the quiet enjoyment of their sins, to be their shield against God’s displeasure, and all the while, as they claim to be Christ’s children and pretend to press against His heart, they hide their mortal weapons under their clothes. They claim to feel great love for God and great joy in tasting the sweetness of His love for them, but all the while they are hiding death and hatred in their hearts.


The blood of Jesus is shed in order to bring us to God. Anything that keeps us from coming to Him stands between us and Jesus and therefore surely is not of God. We can't just mentally find comfort in the fact of the blood of Jesus; we must trust Him enough to humble ourselves and GO TO Him in order that we may be actually cleansed by it and made new. He lives, and He is faithful.

Frank Turk said...

... uh oh ...

Steve B said...

If you are fighting against sin, where is your focus? On your sin. Instead of fighting against sin, turn your back on it and fight towards God. Sin will, of necessity, fall behind. That way your focus is on God, and sin becomes less and less of an issue.

Instead of trying not to sin (which is impossible), we should be focused on being more faithful, more obedient, and more in love with God every day, trust God when He says, "My Grace is sufficient for thee."

Of course, that's real easy to say in a blog comment, and a LOT harder to do in daily life. I use myself as a case in point!

There is power "underneath the Blood." I agree that most of us don't live like it, though.

Daryl said...

Steve B,

I don't think fighting against sin is impossible.

Perfection, now that's impossible.
But as believers, we're the only people on earth who can successfully fight against sin, and sometimes we really must grit our teeth and say "I won't yell at him, I won't, I won't, Jesus help me."
As Dan said, the battle doesn't justify us, but it is an effect of having been justified.

That said, turning ones back on sin and aiming at Christ, is a pretty biblical way to fight against sin.
Lets just not head down the deadly and ridiculous "Let go and let God" road...

semijohn said...

I'm waiting for someone to say "But you're being legalistic, Dan".
Came across a Scripture recently that I had forgotten about. Not an obscure one, but in Romans 6. Romans 6:18 says "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." (old NIV)I've heard a lot of sermons on Freedom in Christ; its been a long time since I've heard one about me personally being a slave in Christ. Certainly the horrible history of slavery in this country has made talking about slavery in any positive sense a bad thing. But it's right there. Seems like a lot of people don't want to talk about the gospel as being "restrictive" in any way. But it is restrictive (in a wonderful way), just as it is freeing.

Heard Bruce Waltke once say "There is no (divine) forgiveness without repentance."

donsands said...

What a good lesson. Jesus' blood. Is there anything more precious?

I believe the truth says, 'Those who are genuine Christians, who are born from above, will have a godly sorrow for their sin, and even condemn ourselves at times. Yet John tells us, "God is greater than our hearts."(1 John 3:20) We can be encouraged in this truth.

If we practice sin, and simply apply our religion for forgiveness to it, such as Barbara's Edward's quote tells us, then we are sons of the devil. And need to repent, and pray that God will open our hearts to the true understanding of the Cross.

Luther says:

"Christ must be set forth to those who are cast down and bruised through the heavy burden and weight of their sins as a Savior and a gift, and not as an example and a lawgiver. But to those who are secure and obstinate, He must be set forth as an example; also the hard verses of the Scripture must be laid before them, that they may repent."

Have a peaceful day in His truth and grace and love.

Robert said...

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:1-2, emphasis mine)

I agree with Daryl that we fight sin by resisting it and turning to God.

"Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body." (1 Cor. 6:18)

"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:13-14)

"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:7-8)

We have much responsibility now that we have been freed from the bondage of sin and the great thing is that we can do all things through God...He gives us the power if we will rest upon Him. That doesn't mean letting go, but rather that we follow and trust Him. May we all be more faithful every day in doing so.

Steve B said...

I didn't say fighting against sin was impossible. I said the only way to effectively fight against sin was to fight towards God.

I guess my point is that we cannot resist sin UNTIL we turn to God. We have no power against sin except that which God gives us.

I still maintain that the only way to fight sin (both in this world and in our lives) is to turn people to God.

Sin is removed from our lives ONLY when it is pushed out by the presence of God. Thinking that we can defeat sin through our own actions and intentions is doomed to failure.

Maybe it's a subtle distinction, but I know for fact, from personal experience, that "white knuckling it" doesn't work. It's only when I bathe myself in the presence of God that sin becomes that much less appealing.

Anything else it trying to do it in my own strength, which is pretty much saying, "I got dis one, God. Thanks, though."

Daryl said...

I could be wrong, but I don't see where Paul tells us that we can do anything in our own strength.

That is, I don't see where that's even a possibility.
We have the Spirit. He works in and through us.
Does He ever stop? Can I ever fight sin on my own? After all, when is a believer on their own?

I give in on my own, sure, but I don't see where any resistance to sin is not both God and I.
White-knuckling sounds to me like "I beat my body and make it my slave".

Am I missing something?

Daryl said...

Add on to that. I wonder if we say "It doesn't work" because we expect instant and life-long success.

If that's what we mean, then submitting to God doesn't work either, because He doesn't promise that kind of transformation.

DJP said...

Are you in the right meta, Daryl? I can't figure what you're responding to.

Daryl said...

Dan,

I'm responding to Steve B.

I thought it was on topic, perhaps not.
As you had said, Thank God for the blood of Jesus, but keep fighting and repenting.

DJP said...

OK, so... you think Steve B's advocating that we should fight sin in our own strength?

Not being snarky; I'm just not following.

Daryl said...

I don't think he's advocating that we should fight in in our own strength. I thought he was saying that we can only fight sin by ignoring it and turning to Christ.

It just seemed to me that he was discounting the need to fight, a la Paul's "I beat my body..."

And I was suggesting that as a believer we couldn't fight sin in our own strength even if we wanted to. That is, if the Spirit lives in us (and He does) fighting sin is, or necessity, not in our own strength.

Perhaps I've got it wrong here, but I used to hear all the time that I had no "victory" over sin because I either needed to "Let go and let God" or stop fighting in my own strength (whatever that is).

Is that making any more sense?

DJP said...

Yes, thanks. Certainly, if Steve B is turning down a street leading to the "Let Go, Let God" neighborhood, I would emphatically disagree. In fact, I go at that hammer and tongs in The World-Tilting Gospel.

Morris Brooks said...

The marvel and wonder of His sacrifice for our sin should never leave us. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, and without the shedding of His blood there is no freedom from sin.

Amen, Dan, Amen.

Steve B said...

Daryl, I think we are actually agreeing with each other, only talking past each other.

I'm not saying we ignore sin.

Are you honestly suggesting that striving to bring my body, daily, into submission to the will of Christ is easy? That it isn't fighting? Dude, I am here to tell you it's sweat on the brow every day.

In the words of that old hymn, the battle belongs to the Lord. I draw the strength for my battle from the Lord. But, to me, the true battle is not "against" sin directly (visualize crucifix, vampire, etc.), but to be conformed more and more each day to the image of Christ.

The Battle is to find every area of my life which still harbors sin, admit it, expose it, confess it, and have it washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.

I went back and reread the post to make sure I'm not hijacking the narrative here, and maybe it's just semantics, but...Dan says:

"I went on to think just how much I needed and still need the blood of Jesus, all the time, even while striving as hard as I might (as opposed to yielding to sin, like the horrible examples I mentioned).

and then...

"Not because His blood makes my sin okay, but because His blood makes me okay with God, and delivers me from sin's guilt and power.

It's the Blood of Jesus which delivers us from sin's guilt and power. Confessing, repenting. That is the "work." I will tell you, the internet addict CANNOT STOP without the power of God working in his life.

I guess my view is that as I focus on God, on tearing away every stumbling block and distraction by working to put God's word in its place, sin IS being defeated. Not (only?) because I'm gritting my teeth and just "trying harder," but because through the shed blood of Jesus I am saved. God's power does the work in my heart as I draw closer to him, PULLING me away from sin as I go.

Tell the porn addict to just "try harder." Tell the alcoholic, or the wife beater, the gambler or the gossiper to just "try harder."

It is ONLY when I am in the Word, daily, praying, fasting, questing after God that I can ever hope for victory in my battle "against" sin. I'm just saying that a struggle against sin should, by definition, be a struggle towards God, otherwise we tend to want to try and "fix it" ourselves. Which doesn't work.

Sorry, didn't mean to turn this into a blog post!

Daryl said...

Steve B,

Yes, it sound like we are mostly agreeing.

I would just caution that while everything you've said is true, you can't remove "try harder" from the equation.
As you said, it's a fight and it's crazy impossibly hard to do.

That's all.

Robert said...

Steve and Daryl,

Do you need to get a cup of coffee and handle this privately? /sarcasm

I just thought that it is kind of funny how two guys could help sharpen each other in a public forum...demonstrating the principle that open discourse over a disagreement can actually be fruitful instead of divisive.

So, we are to work harder to follow Christ through His power and turn away from/resist sin. This requires beating our bodies into submission, which is a life-long task. Thank you, Dan, for the admonition against easy believism.

Steve Berven said...

'Zactly. We definitely can't leave out the try harder piece, but neither can we leave out the "equipping" we get from the Holy Spirit.

"Without Him we can do nothing."

Good fracas!

DJP said...

I'm sure I disapprove of somebody's tone.

Just working out whose....

RealityCheck said...

”I'm sure I disapprove of somebody's tone.

Just working out whose....”


Ah grasshopper, you’re just ready for the next level… the ability to sense the objectionable tone before someone actually uses it. ;-)

Daryl said...

Steve B. said:

"Daryl, I think we are actually agreeing with each other, only talking past each other."

Did you all see that?

OFFENSE!! OFFENSE!!

Somebody call the cops. I'm being attituded!

..."past each other" indeed!

Robert said...

I thought that two word comment at 5:33 must have had some type of tone to it based upon what people write about the guy who wrote it. Frank, I'd think that you had burned down some people's homes based on the way people write about you...

Jack Miller said...

Very good post... reminding well that we are called to walk in a manner truly worthy of the Lord. His precious blood cleansing those who trust in Him - that they, taking up their cross (batting sin-flesh-and the devil) may be conformed to His image.

One could say we never (in this life) graduate from the course of repentance, forgiveness, and the grateful renewal of heart by the Holy Spirit as we run the race in pursuit of his righteousness and kingdom.

Thanks for the encouragement.

RealityCheck said...

I’m way ahead of all of you, I’m already riled up about Frank’s next letter and he hasn’t even posted it yet… so there.

Tom Chantry said...

Wow. Reality Check is reading Frank's heart before he posts. That's some sort of record.

Daryl said...

I knew you would say that Tom...last week.

Robert said...

Back to the post...I often wonder if some religious groups that profess to be Christianty ever focus on the suffering that Jesus went through because of our sin. I don't see how one can do so and then somehow forget about it when we are confronted by Scripture regarding our sin. This is one of the things that keeps me most humble and I find myself needing to focus on it more.

I actually wrote this note to keep in my pocket for a meeting this afternoon :"I am the greatest sinner I know, yet Christ died for my sin while I was His enemy." The meeting has been rescheduled due to weather, but I'm keeping this in my wallet so that I can keep myself in check throughout the day every day.

Steve Berven said...

Daryl...you got me. You're a wiley one. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But, I hope we can put this in the past, because I've passed my limit on these puns.

Daryl said...

Steve,

You're smarter than I am. I re-read my posts, and don't see a pun.

Does that mean I'm too smart for my own good? Or too slow?

I chose the latter. Not because I want to...but because history proves...

Enoch-Elijah said...

Thank you so much for this post. I find myself in situations where I think how easy it would be to justify myself in this way, and then I turn to the Word and am slapped back into reality. In this case, your post provided that slap.

MarieP said...

Amen! Thank God for the blood of Jesus AND the Resurrection...He paid the penalty for my sin and broke the power of it too!

ANiMaL said...

Amen! Thanks for the reminder.

Stefan said...

Dan:

Thanks for this. Nothing is more precious than the blood of Jesus Christ. It's also the blood that seals the New Covenant, under which God has redeemed us from slavery to sin.

But it's good to be reminded what the cost was of that blood. Nailed to the Cross, the Son was for a time cursed and forsaken by the Father, bearing His wrath for our sins.

So we can go on sinning? No. And this is something I need to remember every day. Not that I can do it on my own strength, but through the power of the indwelling Spirit.

A good way to remember the price of Jesus' blood is to remember that the same Passover Lamb who bore our sins on the Cross will return, and against "Him who is seated on the throne, and [against] the wrath of the Lamb...who can stand?" (Rev 6:16-17)

We need God's grace every day, but we also need His mercy, and we need to fear Him: not morbidly, but a godly fear. "The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov 1:7), and David even prayed that God would "unite my heart to fear Your Name." (Psalm 79:9)

RealityCheck said...

Now here's the final, biting irony: I have this fear that many of those who thank God for Jesus' blood as I mentioned — because of how good it makes them feel about their ongoing, deliberate, unrepentant sin — have not yet been touched by that blood.

I think that fear is very justified Dan. I remember when I first read Matthew 7:21-23 as a new Christian and I couldn’t imagine who Jesus was talking to. Now, I find myself constantly looking at one group of professing Christians after another and thinking, “I know I can’t look into their heart but based on their actions… how can they be who they claim to be”, and those verses haunt my mind.

Robert said...

RealityCheck,

How haunting that is indeed. Just imagine living through this whole life...thinking your headed to heaven while still holding on to your sin lovingly...then you die and find out that you are going to hell. That is why it is so important to stand up against false teaching and to speak the truth of the Word of God. This is the eternal state of another soul we are talking about here...not just prefernce issues (as some make it out to be).

Stefan said...

And yes, "Thank God for the blood of Jesus; but..." is a jarring title. I read it and thought, "Oh, no! Has he gone off his rocker?"

Another thing to consider:

Under the Old Covenant, the blood of animals was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, so that God would be propitiated for the sins of His people. The Mercy Seat lay at the heart of the Tabernacle, and was the locus of God's presence among His people.

It was for not taking seriously the gravity of God's mercy made manifest in the Tabernacle, that Nadab and Abihu, Korah, and Uzzah all met their untimely ends (Lev 10; Num 16; 2 Sam 6).

By the time of Jesus, the High Priest who approached the Mercy Seat on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) was actually tied to a rope, so that he could be pulled out by other priests, out of fear that he might be zapped.

In that light, now that "we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain," let us consider exactly what that blood has spared us from.

And give praise to God for His superabundant grace and mercy to us sinners, through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

DJP said...

I read it and thought, "Oh, no! Has he gone off his rocker?"

Maintaining that level of suspense in my readers is a heavy burden, but I try to bear it with grace.

donsands said...

"David even prayed that God would "unite my heart to fear Your Name." (Psalm 79:9)" -Stefan

David prayed that in his psalm 86. Is that the Psalm you had in mind Stef?

And thinking about David today, I thought of how he really knew the Lord, and understood His mercy. And David loved his Lord, and you can see it this Psalm, and so many oter Psalms.
Yet he also penned Psalm 51. He was quite a dispicable believer, and so I have hope as well, if I fall, and when I fall into sin.

One other aspect is that David suffered severe consequences for his sin, and sins. Surely he was the King of Israel, and so had a huge responsibility, and this made God's chastizement more severe, I think.

"May the God of hope fill you [us] with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you [we] may abound in hope."-Paul

Stefan said...

Don:

Good catch! Yes, Psalm 86:11. I pray both those verses (79:9 and 86:11) often, and got them mixed up.

But Psalm 79:9 is very much along the same general lines. It is the Old Testament version of the Publican's Prayer in Luke 18:13.

Both Asaph and the Tax Collector prayed for God to "be propitiated" (hilastheti in the Greek) for their sins. Daniel 9:19 is the only other place in the Bible (also in a prayer) where the same verb is used in the same form.

And the Mercy Seat is the hilasterion, the place where God grants His propitiation for our sins, by the blood of animals under the Old Covenant, and by the blood of the Lamb under the New Covenant.

RealityCheck said...

That is why it is so important to stand up against false teaching and to speak…”

Yep, and it’s one of the reasons I find this entire tone nonsense, exactly that, nonsense. The stakes are simply way way too high.

donsands said...

tone: a manner of expression showing a certain attitude.

I would say tone matters.

One can certainly have a good tone or a bad tone.

It's difficult to tell tone on blogs. Even when we use CAPITAL letters, or even those smiling faces and stuff like that. I haven't learned some of those skills as yet.

Stefan said...

Don, that's a good point.

On the one hand, we might say exactly the same thing using exactly the same words, on a blog as we might use in person. But the tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, etc. are totally lost; so a reader might react to the exact same thing differently than a hearer.

On the other hand, we might also express things differently face to face, than through this strange, exotic medium of electronic teletyping. Definitely, we should be checking ourselves against James 3.

donsands said...

"On the other hand, we might also express things differently face to face"

Another good thought.

Actually, I'm a bad communicator all around, but I am better if I share my heart in letters. I believe I can express my self better because I tend to be a Timothy.

RealityCheck said...

Don & Stefan,

I agree with both of you… right up to the point where tone matters to someone more than the very thing that the poster was originally posting about, especially when that thing has eternal consequences.

Sometimes when I read the comments here, especially in response to Frank’s letters lately, I feel like I’m on the Titanic listening to people complain that the guy who’s trying to get people into a lifeboat isn’t being nice enough as he does it. At those moments I can’t help but feel like somebody is missing the bigger picture.

Take this post by Dan for example. I don’t think about these things as much as I should, in the way that I should, so I need to hear (read) these things. It’s a real blessing Dan, seriously. Then others kick in and start quoting scripture or Edwards or whoever and I just soak it up, I just love it, it’s great. Now… imagine someone chimes in with some complaint that Dan didn’t use just the right tone… and I think, “argh, are you kidding me… you’re missing the point!” Now if it’s just some troll or pinhead that just likes to make problems it’s no surprise, but when it’s another Christian banging the same old drum, then I think somebody is taking ”tone matters” too far.

Oh, and btw Don, you are not a bad communicator, I always appreciate your comments.

tobekiwi said...

“Sin strives to gain control, but it cannot win the victory, for he who is born of God does not delight in committing sin. He does not sin as a daily habit.
If a person were free from all tendency to sin, he would not be liable to temptation any longer. He would not need to guard against it. If something cannot possibly be burned or blackened, fire cannot hurt it. However, we feel that we must avoid temptation because we are conscious that there are logs or kindling within us that may soon catch fire.
There is evil inside us that makes us exclaim from day to day, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24) If any one reading this book is saying, “I never feel that way,” I pray to God that he may soon experience it. Those who are content with themselves know very little about true spiritual perfection. A healthy child grows, and so does a healthy child of God. The nearer we come to perfect cleanness of heart, the more we will mourn over the tiniest spot of sin and the more we will recognize as sin things that we once excused. He who is most like Christ is most conscious of imperfection and is impatient to be rid of the least sin. When someone says, “I have reached the goal,” I am very concerned for him, for I believe he has not yet begun to run.
As for me, I endure many growing pains and feel far less pleased with myself than I used to. I have a firm hope of something better, but if it were not for hope, I would consider myself truly unhappy to be so conscious of my need and so racked with desires. Therefore, this is one major source of our spiritual groaning. We are saved, but we are not completely delivered from the tendencies to sin. Neither have we reached the fullness of holiness.”
Finding Peace in Life’s Storms
Charles Spurgeon

Just read this portion last night, and it seemed to fit in so well with your post. I also remember a dear preacher say that as we go along in our journey we will sin less, but it will bother us a whole lot more when we do.
Good post, great timing for this girl..
Angie

Stefan said...

RealityCheck:

Good analogy, re the Titanic.

And Don, yes, you are a good communicator. You write with a lot of heart.

mittelstadt said...

Thanks for this. I need these reminders from time to time. A Christian's role is to glorify God, and that's not done with an attitude focused on me getting something out of it (although, by His grace, I do.)

donsands said...

Reality & Stefan,

You're kind. Lord bless you and your family with peace and joy, the real treasures in this life.

Cathy said...

Ouch- we do love our sin- and sometimes we're even willing to presume upon the shed blood of Christ to hold onto our precious sin. Lord, may it never be.

Jim Pemberton said...

Didn't this "tone" thing come from another meta? (Humor intended, in case you can't read my tone.)

Dan, this is one of your better articles, I think. Lessons are often better taught by people being personally impacted by them.

Diana Lovegrove said...

"The sign that Christ's blood has been applied to me is not that I feel good about my sin The sign that Christ's blood has been applied to me is that I am dead to sin and alive to God in Christ, that I continue day by day to turn to Christ from sin, and walk in newness of life. Thank God for the blood of Jesus."

Amen! I couldn't agree more.

Kirby L. Wallace said...

All sin is deliberate. Now what do we do? Start separating it into degrees? THIS sin you can plead the blood on? THAT sin you cannot? THIS sin is only occasional, so plead away. That sin is frequent. You are a goner?

People who tell me that I cannot plead the blood of Christ based upon the type, severity, or frequency of a sin only remind me that I am like Bartemaeus.

Rebuke me all you will. Tell me to shut up. Tell me I have no right to call out to the Lord.

And I will only cry out the louder, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!"

What exactly do we think "mercy" is? Wages? Due comeuppance? Or is it MERCY?

It bothers me that we are so quick to take to task those who come to him and cast them out.

I am a sinner. And I am not making excuses for ANY of it. But I am trusting in one who can save to the uttermost them that come to him in faith. And you can shout me down all you want. I will only cling tighter and cry louder... Have at you!

Kirby L. Wallace said...

@Daryl (not personally, but because he gave us this bit):

...and sometimes we really must grit our teeth and say "I won't yell at him, I won't, I won't, Jesus help me."

Leave off the "Jesus help me", and we have absolutely no difference between us and any religion in the world.

People of every religion (and none) try to excercise self-restraint. And for the very reason a Christian would - to make the world a better place, or

And put back on the "Jesus help me", and we are back to Bartemaeus again.

;-)