Tag Archives | grace

Free Download—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Logos Bible Software (my employer) is offering a free digital Christian book every month this year as part of its Free Book of the Month program. This month’s free book is John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and it’s available for only a few more days. I’d encourage you to pick it up.

After you get the book, you can access it on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android phone or tablet with one of the free Logos apps—or online at Biblia.com.

You can also enter to win a free copy of the 3-vol., 61-title Works of John Bunyan.

Here’s how Bunyan concludes his personal account “of the exceeding mercy of God in Christ” to him:

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White Horse Inn: “Sin and Grace in the Christian Life”

white-horse-inn.jpgBeing under the weather for the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to lie around and listen to MP3s. One I listened to was an episode from Michael Horton’s (Wikipedia) White Horse Inn entitled “Sin and Grace in the Christian Life” (Summary | MP3), dated 8/19/07. I think this was the first time I’d listened to Horton, and my previous exposure to him came primarily through reading his contributions to Christ the Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation—a good book, but not without some issues.

The topic of discussion in the radio program was grace and the problem of ongoing sin in the Christian life. Michael Horton led the discussion with Kim Riddlebarger, Rod Rosenbladt, and Ken Jones. I love gospel-centered theology and preaching, and I agreed with much of what they said. However, I found some of the discussion a bit disturbing and imbalanced—perhaps more what they didn’t say than what they did say.

The launching point for the discussion was a recording taken at a Christian conference of answers to the question, “What do you think happens if you die with unconfessed sin?”

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“Faith Reviving” | Augustus Toplady

I recently enjoyed reflecting on this encouraging hymn text with solid theology penned by Augustus Toplady (ERF | ODCC):

Augustus TopladyFrom whence this fear and unbelief?
Hath not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for me?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Which, Lord, was charged on thee?

Complete atonement thou hast made,
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate’er thy people owed;
How then can wrath on me take place
If sheltered in thy righteousness,
And sprinkled with thy blood?

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Responding Rightly to Guilt

Something I was reading today triggered my memory of a sin from the past. Fresh feelings of guilt swept across me, even though it was something for which I asked the Lord’s forgiveness many years ago. Sadly, my default plan of attack for dealing with that unwarranted subjective guilt was to try to minimize my sin. “It wasn’t that big of a deal,” I found myself thinking. Other forms of rationalizing came to mind like, “I didn’t really fully understand at the time that it was sinful.” Then I noticed the feelings of guilt were starting to lessen. But by God’s grace I quickly caught myself: this was an utterly unbiblical way to handle my guilt because it amounted to a rejection of the sufficiency of the cross and a belittling of the the glory of God.

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The Grace of Cancer

We heard a powerful testimony last night of how God has graciously given cancer to a man in our church who was in rebellion against God and estranged from his wife. With the news of his impending death, God also granted him a renewed heart of repentance. It was sweet to hear his present tenderness to the Lord set in contrast to his past hardness and impenitence. Of course hearing news like that brings mixed emotions: both joy and sorrow. But the joy far outweighs the sorrow. If God had left the man in his sin, but not given him cancer, he may have perished eternally. How gracious of God to give him cancer as a means of bringing him to repentance–even if it means his life may soon end. We pray that God would spare his physical life, but we especially rejoice that God has granted him spiritual life!

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Fighting for a Clean Conscience

I just posted an excerpt from John Ensor’s The Great Work of the Gospel: How We Experience God’s Grace. It’s an encouraging read that I needed. I commend it to you. Here is a portion of that excerpt:

INSTRUCTING OUR CONSCIENCE ABOUT THE CROSS

Not that this sense of liberty is always there and never flags. It surely does. One problem is that our conscience is not sufficiently informed about the gospel. It needs training in righteousness. In terms of human experience, we must often “reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart” (1 John 3:19-20). I take this to mean that we need to bring the work of God in Christ to bear on our stubborn conscience. We must grasp the truth of the cross and wrestle our conscience into alignment and conformity. We must instruct our conscience about the cross until our conviction of guilt gives way to joy and confidence. Hebrews 10:22 calls this having “our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil [burdened] conscience.”

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