Thy Blood Was Shed For Me (Because there was no other way)

Matthew Smith says it for me, but I know where he’s coming from. I have had this album, All I Owe, for awhile but it ministers to me greatly, particularly this song. Treasure Jesus.

One of the subtle ways I avoid God is by pretending that I’m not very sinful, or that sin is a minor issue in my life that I will overcome soon. I find myself taking comfort in thinking that I am a pretty good guy. But this is, of course, a total lie. The only thing I can cling to for hope in this world is the fact that Jesus shed his blood for me. Every virtue or bit of righteousness I try to create for myself will ultimately betray me, but Jesus’ blood has bought an inheritance for me that is kept in heaven, where it will never fade or perish (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Let the world their virtue boast and works of righteousness
I a wretch undone and lost am freely saved by grace
Take me Savior as I am
Let me lose my sins in Thee
Friend of sinners, spotless Lamb
Thy blood was shed for me
Thy blood was shed for me

Full of truth and grace Thou art and here is all my hope
False and foul as hell my heart to Thee I offer up
Thou wast given to redeem
My soul from iniquity
Friend of sinners, spotless Lamb
Thy blood was shed for me
Thy blood was shed for me

Nothing have I Lord to pay nor can Thy grace procure
Empty, send me not away for Thou knowest I am poor
Dust and ashes is my name
My all is sin and misery
Friend of sinners, spotless Lamb
Thy blood was shed for me
Thy blood was shed for me

Behold the Lamb of God, the precious wrath remover for all who believe

Click on the image to view the message    Click on the image to view the message

 

There are three weeks until Easter, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his sin-atoning death on the cross outside of Jerusalem approximately 2,000 years ago. Let us not forget or slight the magnitude of what that death means for all of us. From John Piper, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis:

[W]e see this precious wrath-removal in John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). This means that when John says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” he doesn’t mean that every person in the world is saved. He means every person in the world—Jew or Gentile—will be saved if they believe in Jesus and follow him. If they believe, their sin has been taken away by the Lamb. If they believe, God’s wrath has been removed by the Lamb.

There is no race, no nationality, no ethnicity, no socio-economic status excluded. To as many as receive him, who believe on his name (John 1:12), their sins are taken away (John 1:29; 1 John 3:5) and the wrath of God is removed (John 3:36; 1 John 2:2) and they are made the children of God (John 1:12) and given eternal life (John 3:16).

John Piper on ‘Finally Alive’

John Pipers latest book is Finally Alive, due for release Feb. 2
John Piper's latest book is Finally Alive, due for release Feb. 2

John Piper’s new book Finally Alive is due for release next week. Today at the Desiring God Blog is a Q&A with Piper about why he decided to write this book at this time. Of note, he voices a concern that he sees in the church today:

I am deeply concerned that there are many church members in America and beyond who think they are saved when they are not. Part of the reason for this nominalism is a failure to teach and understand the true meaning of the new birth.

You must be born again. It is a miracle. Many, I fear, don’t even want to think in terms of “being saved” as being in the category of a miracle that only God can perform. They want it to be a decision based wholly on human power involving no necessary miracle. That is deadly.

When a believer commits suicide

It is a tragic thing when someone commits suicide. A life ended prematurely leaves questions, raises doubts, shakes our beliefs. Suicide touches the lives of many, either through a family relationship or through acquaintance. It is so shocking that one cannot ignore it, yet it is something, because it is so disturbing, that is not spoken about widely.

A valuable resource to help that discussion comes from Desiring God and John Piper, who have published services that Pastor Piper has led for those who have committed suicide. For the families who have graciously shared what must have been one of the most painful moments in their lives, we can be grateful in that these powerful messages can give insight, comfort and guidance to those who have or who are struggling with similar circumstances.

From one of those services, the funeral message for Luke Kenneth Anderson, Piper says this about suicide committed by someone who is a believer in Jesus Christ:

[L]et me put a biblical stake in the ground and then fasten to it a banner of hope.

The stake is this: True Christians can commit suicide. Or to put it another way: There is nothing unique or peculiar about the final act of life that makes it determinative in validating or nullifying our salvation. Or let me say it another way: The final season of faith with all its battles and failures is not the only season of faith that will bear witness in the Last Day that we were born again.

Piper, in this message and others, explains with expositional precision why he believes this way. These are questions we don’t ask ourselves or perhaps don’t allow ourselves to ask. But nonetheless they are important because, like my daughter experienced this past week, there will be times when you are confronted with a tragic suicide by someone you knew and questions will come.

The messages are all available online to read or even listen to the audio.

Funeral Meditation for a Christian Who Commits Suicide

Funeral Meditation for a Christian Who Commits Suicide (1988)

Also, this may also be helpful:

Can Christians be depressed?

Absolutely free: The best deal this season

I am not a shopper by nature. I love to buy things. I love to go out, find that thing, purchase it and bring it home. But for some, the joy of finding it and finding it a good price almost surpasses the giving. Those are the shoppers. I am related to people like this and I love them.

But this is something that is such a great deal that both the shopper and the purchaser can be completely happy with it. Imagine getting something that will make you completely happy and satisfied for the rest of your life. For nothing. And, if you tried to buy it, you couldn’t afford it because it costs too much.

Yet this is precisely what God offers to us through Jesus Christ. It’s salvation. What did it cost God? Only the most precious thing to him, his son Jesus, who he loves more than anything. What did it cost Jesus? Everything. His life, his close relationship with his father. What does it cost you and me? Nothing. But it is ours for accepting it and believing Jesus is who he say he is.

In the Bible, in Romans 5:8, it says that God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. There are no deserving people who receive this gift, only needy people who realize their need. I’m a needy person. And, because I know I got this gift even though I didn’t deserve it, I don’t want to act like I did deserve it. I want you to have this gift, too. I will guarantee you that there is nothing you get this Christmas that will make you as happy or satisfy you as much. Not even close.

Things break, wear out, get old, lose their appeal, become too small, get lost, don’t fit like they used to, get eaten, are spent and need to replaced. The joy is temporary. Salvation in Jesus will save your life (for eternity) and give you a joy that cannot be lost, no matter what happens in this life. I know too many things in this life that make what is supposed to be a happy time an unhappy time for too many people.

This is different. Jesus talked about what he offered and its worth when he said: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44) It’s an offer we all have before us. No one is excluded.

What do you say? Do you want to get something really worth having this year?

What do you mean by ‘got saved’?

John Piper answers the question: Do I need to understand the nuances of how I got saved?

Well, it depends on what you mean by nuances. If you mean the distinction between being judged according to works and being judged on the basis of works, that’s a huge and significant difference.

That’s because the Bible is so clear—and our own consciences bear witness—that if our acceptance with God is grounded finally in our performances of the law, in doing good deeds, then I’m not going to have any security here and I’m not going to be accepted with God in the end. God demands a perfect righteousness, which is what Christ provides for us in his own obedience; and he demands that we be forgiven for our sins, which is what Jesus’ blood provides for us on the cross.

Click below for Piper’s whole answer.

How important is it to understand the details of how God saved me?