Marriage Mirrors God's Eternal Purposes

The marriage relationship is transparent to God’s purposes on a larger scale… no other relationship within the family so fully mirrors God’s purposes in the universe.

– J.P. Sampley, And the Two, 149, cited by Pete T. O’Brien, Letter to the Ephesians, Pillar New Testament Commentary, Ed. D.A. Carson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 411.

photo: makelessnoise

Show's Over

Depression + Gospel = Joy in Jesus

I love the real, gut level honesty in this song. The third verse and last chorus are particularly stirring.

Verse 3:
I can’t perform no more
Can’t do these chores no more
I’m feeling like I’m sick, it’s silly so I quit
That’s it, I just can’t try to please the Lord no more
‘Cause really I’m sick of trying to make Him like me more
‘Cause every day I got a fight in store
I’m guilty so when I play I never like to score
No good in me and I’m sick of my plight I’m poor
They told me homie the Christian life is better
But they said to be holy and perform for His pleasure
But now I’m feelin’ torn cause the Lord is my treasure
But I fall and feel scorned when I can’t get it together
But then something clicked, it’s crazy I ignored this
But even when I slip, this ain’t based on my performance
Christ was equipped, ran the race with endurance
When His flesh was hit, His righteousness was my assurance

Last Chorus:
I know them chains had me trapped for a while
That’s in my past, I’m relaxed in Him now
Christ my Savior He cracked through the clouds
Did it perfect, listen to the claps from the crowd

(RSS readers will have to click through to listen to the embedded song)

David Brainerd on the Effects of Preaching the Doctrines of Grace

David Brainerd noted that preaching doctrine – not morality – wrought an inward change in the hearts of his hearers, causing them to lead morally upright lives. The doctrine that fueled this change was the total moral bankruptcy of man and the complete freeness of God’s effectual grace.Secondly, It is worthy of remark that numbers of these people are brought to a strict compliance with the rules of morality and sobriety, and to a conscientious performance of the external duties of Christianity, by the internal power and influence of diving truths (the peculiar doctrines of grace) upon their minds; without their having these moral duties frequently repeated and inculcated upon them, and the contrary vices particularly exposed and spoken against…

Those doctrines which had the most direct tendency to humble the fallen creature; to show him the misery of his natural state; to bring him down to the foot of sovereign mercy; to exalt the great Redeemer, discover His transcendent excellency and infinite preciousness, and so to recommend Him to the sinner’s acceptance, were the subject matter of what was delivered in public and private, and from time to time repeated and inculcated upon them…

There was indeed no room for any kind of discourses [on the precepts of morality and external duties]… My great work therefore was to lead them into a further view of their utter helplessness and the total depravity and corruption of their hearts; that there was no manner of goodness in them, no good dispositions nor desires, no love to God nor delight in His commands; but on the contrary, hatred, enmity, and all manner of wickedness reigning in them. At the same time it was necessary to open to them the glorious and complete remedy provided in Christ for helpless perishing sinners, and offered freely to those who have no goodness of their own, no works of righteousness which they have done to recommend them to God…

These were the doctrines, and this the method of preaching, which were blessed of God for the awakening, and, I trust, for the saving conversion of numbers of souls; and which were made the means of producing a remarkable reformation among the hearers in general… The happy effects of these peculiar doctrines of grace… plainly discover, even to demonstration, that instead of their opening a door to licentiousness, as many vainly imagine and slanderously insinuate, they have a direct contrary tendency; so that a close application, a sense and feeling of them, will have the most powerful influence toward the renovation and effectual reformation both of heart and life…

Cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside may be clean also… The only effectual way to have the outside clean is to begin with what is within; and if the fountain be purified, the streams will naturally be pure. Most certain it is, if we can awaken in sinners a lively sense of their inward pollution and depravity, their need of a change of heart, and so engage them to seek after inward cleaning; their external defilement will naturally be cleansed.” (Diary and Journal of David Brainerd, vol. 2, pg. 164-166, 169, 170; emphasis his).

photo: annia316