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There is one short sentence that should frequently occupy every believer’s mind, three words (one in Greek) upon which we can hang all of our hopes. The story begins with crushed hopes, but ends in triumph.


The scene could not have been more devastating. All the disciples placed their hope and lives in Jesus. Hundreds and thousands in Jerusalem followed Jesus and believed in his role as the Messiah. Now, their shining hope hung on a cross and would soon perish. Jesus, however, knew how even this would end. He knew that though he hung on a cross, he continued to reign as he fulfilled every promise of the Scriptures and brought to bear the longing of all redemptive history.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28–30)

Tetelestai, “It is finished.” John recorded these last words of Jesus. His final utterance shook the foundation of the earth, tore the curtain in the temple, and thundered across the sky. He had obeyed his Father’s will perfectly. He set his face toward the cross and willingly offered himself up. There, on that cross, he bore the fullness of God’s wrath for the sin of his people. Jesus, the Son of God, had died. No death in the history of the cosmos, however, accomplished so much. There on that cross, when Jesus uttered “tetelestai,” he declared salvation had finally, fully, and forever come.

—Albert Mohler, The Apostles’ Creed (Crossway, 2019), 85–86.

The Glory of the Cross

To the secular world, the cross of Christ is, at best, foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18–25). To many who profess a form of Christianity, it is an embarrassing, repugnant doctrine that must be explained away. For the disciple of Christ, however, the cross represents the wonderful reality of the salvation that was accomplished there. Paul wrote, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). Paul confessed that his life amounted to nothing apart from the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul exclaimed the glory of losing the world for the sake of gaining Christ (Phil. 3:7–8). The cross meant everything to Paul. Without the cross he had no life, no ministry, no hope, no joy. The cross, therefore, enshrines the true glory of every believer in Jesus Christ. The cross stands not as a tool of execution but as a monument of glory. The cross empties the world of its passing beauty and offers an eternal life with God himself. Through the cross condemnation ends (Rom. 8:1). Through the cross we can partake in redemption (Eph. 1:7). Through the cross God lavishly blesses his people with every blessing of the heavenly realm (Eph. 1:4, 7–8). Jesus on the cross contains a magnificent and indescribable glory that overshadows every earthly ambition and hope. The cross is our glory. —Albert Mohler, The Apostles’ Creed (Crossway, 2019), 83.

God’s will, not man’s

There can be no grace where there is no sovereignty. Deny God’s right to choose whom he will and you deny his right to save whom he will. Deny his right to save whom he will, and you deny that salvation is of grace. If salvation is made to hinge upon any desert or fitness in man, seen or foreseen, grace is at an end. . . . Men may call these speculations. They may condemn them as unprofitable. To the law and to the testimony! Of such speculations, the Bible is full. There man is a helpless worm, and salvation from first to last, is of the Lord. God’s will, and not man’s, is the law of the universe. If we are to maintain the gospel—if we are to hold fast to grace—if we are to preserve Jehovah’s honor—we must grasp these truths with no feeble hand. For if there be no such being as a Supreme, pre-determining Jehovah, then the universe will soon be chaos: and if there be no such thing as free electing love, every minister of Christ may close his lips, and every sinner upon earth sit down in mute despair. —Horatius Bonar, Christ Is All, ed. Darrin R. Brooker & Michael Haykin (Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), 83–84. July 8, 2008

Lord’s Day 8, 2020

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. —Proverbs 18:10 Hymn XLVI. Jesus my all. Why should I fear the darkest hour, Or tremble at the tempter’s pow’r? Jesus vouchsafes to be my tow’r. Tho’ hot the fight; why quit the field? Why must I either flee or yield, Since Jesus is my mighty shield? When creature comforts fade and die, Worldlings may weep; but why should I? Jesus still lives, and still is nigh. Tho’ all the flocks and herds were dead, My soul a famine need not dread, For Jesus is my living bread. I know not what may soon betide, Or how my wants shall be supply’d; But Jesus knows, and will provide. Tho’ sin would fill me with distress, The throne of grace I dare address; For Jesus is my righteousness. Tho’ faint my pray’rs, and cold my love, My stedfast hope shall not remove, While Jesus intercedes above. Against me earth and hell combine, But on my side is pow’r divine; Jesus is all, and he is mine. —John Newton, Olney Hymns. Book III. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Rejoice, Believer

Rejoice, Believer, in the Lord BRADFIELD Rejoice, believer, in the Lord, who makes your cause His own; the hope that’s built upon His Word can ne’er be overthrown. Though many foes beset your road, and feeble is your arm, your life is hid with Christ in God beyond the reach of harm. Weak as you are, you shall not faint or fainting, shall not die! Jesus, the strength of ev’ry saint, will aid you from on high. Though sometimes unperceived by sense, faith sees Him always near! a Guide, a Glory, a Defense; then what have you to fear? As surely as He overcame and triumphed once for you, so surely you that love His name shall in Him triumph too. —Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). BRADFIELD (right tune, wrong hymn)(wrong tune, right hymn) The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

Thick Rolled

I told my wife I wanted to lose some weight. I wanted to change my diet, and needed her help. I asked her to serve me small portions of healthy foods: meat and vegetables, fewer carbs, and definitely no sweets. Once served, I asked that the food be removed from the table, because I have no discipline when it comes to eating—if it’s in front of me, I will eat it; I just can’t help myself. So she made me this promise: “Never gonna fill you up, never gonna make you round, never gonna add a pound and dessert you; never gonna bake you pie, never gonna even try, never gonna put a pastry before you.”

Love not the world!

Christian, dwell alone! Seek not the society of the world. Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? If you have any sympathies with the world—if it contains attractions for you—if God and the things of God are not enough for you—there is something wrong. Love not the world! Seek not its society. Seek the things above. Beware of the fascinations of company,the spells which gaiety throws over the young. Stand your ground. Be not whirled away into the tossing current of gay society on any pretext whatever. Church of the living God, be separate—dwell alone! That is your security, your strength, your influence. Let the world see that you are not of it; that you do not need it. And you will serve it best by dwelling alone. Not by coldness, sourness, distance; but by love, geniality, gentleness, patience, by all acts of benevolence and words of peace. These are things which are only to be found by “dwelling alone.” —Horatius Bonar, Christ Is All, ed. Darrin R. Brooker & Michael Haykin (Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), 83–84. July 7, 2008

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