The Eighth Day Blog

Posted in Christian

Bears Witness

Sons and Daughters in the Spirit
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Unquestionably then, this new life that we live with the Father in Christ is founded exclusively on the work of the Spirit. The justification, focus, and ultimate culmination of this new life is comprised in the truth that through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, received by faith and baptism, we have become sons and daughters of God. ‘For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God’ (Rom. 8:14-16). Similarly, in Galatians Paul writes: And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir’ (Gal. 4:6-7). Equally the splendor of the Spirit allows us to share in the splendor of the Lord so that ‘with unveiled Face, beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit’ (2 Cor. 4:7-18).

book: The Father’s Spirit of Sonship
author: Thomas G. Weinandy

 

 

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Posted in Church

A Christian Manifesto

outcome of a change

Christians, in the last 80 years or so, have only been seeing things as bits and pieces which have gradually begun to trouble them and others, instead of understanding that missionthey are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one; things such as over-permissiveness, pornography, the problem of the public schools, the breakdown of the family, abortion, infanticide (the killing of newborn babies), increased emphasis upon the euthanasia of the old and many, many other things.

This address was delivered by the late Dr. Schaeffer in 1982 at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is based on one of his books, which bears the same title.
by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer

Posted in Discipleship

the final reality

Having a Rough Day

heartI want to say to you, those of you who are Christians or even if you are not a Christian and you are troubled about the direction that our society is going in, that we must not concentrate merely on the bits and pieces. But we must understand that all of these dilemmas come on the basis of moving from the JudeoChristian worldview — that the final reality is an infinite creator God — over into this other reality which is that the final reality is only energy or material in some mixture or form which has existed forever and which has taken its present shape by pure chance.
-Francis Schaeffer

Posted in Christian

Nebuchadnezzar

I no longer desire to be renowned through Babel

These are recollections of my life when I was a beast and ate grass, which I, Nebuchadnezzar, make known to all people and to every tongue.

Was not Babel the great city, the greatest of all the cities of the world? I, Nebuchadnezzar, built it. No city was so renowned as Babel, and no king so attituderenowned through Babel, the glory of my majesty. My royal house was visible unto the ends of the earth, and my wisdom was like a dark riddle which no one could explain. So no one could interpret my dreams.

And the word came to me that for seven years I should be transformed and become like a beast that eats the grass of the field. And I heard a voice that came suddenly, and I was transformed as quickly as a woman changes color. Grass was my food, and dew fell upon me, and no one knew who I was. But I knew Babel and cried out, “Is not this Babel?” But no one paid attention to my word, for when I spoke I sounded like a bellowing beast. My thoughts terrified me, for my mouth was bound, and no one could grasp a thing I said. And I thought to myself: Who is this Mighty One whose wisdom is like the darkness of the night, and like the deep sea unfathomable? No one knows where the Almighty resides, no one can point and say, “Behold, here is his throne.” For he does not dwell on the confines of my kingdom as does my neighbor. And neither does he dwell in his temple, for I, I, Nebuchadnezzar, have taken his vessels of gold and silver, and have leveled his temple to ruins.

No one knows anything of him. Who is his father, and how did he came to acquire his power, and who taught him the secret of his might? He has no advisers from whom one might buy his secret for gold; no one to whom he says, “What shall I do?” and no one who says to him,”What are you doing?” He does not have spies who wait for the opportunity when one might catch him; for he does not say, “Tomorrow,” he says, “today.” He makes no preparations like a man, and his preparations give the enemy no rest, for he says, “let it be done,” and it comes to pass.

It is he who has done this to me. He does not aim like the bowman, so that one can flee from his arrow; no, he speaks and it is done. In his hand, the brain of kings is like wax in the smelting oven, and their power is like a feather when he weighs it. And yet he does not dwell on earth that he might take Babel from me and leave me a small residue, or that he might take away everything from me in order to be the Mighty One In Babel.

This is how I thought in the secrecy of my mind, when no one recognized me and when my thoughts terrified me. This is how I thought of the Lord. But the seven years passed by and I became once again Nebuchadnezzar, and I called together all the wise men to see if they could explain to me the secret of that power, and how it was I had become a beast of the field. And they all fell down upon their faces and said, “Great Nebuchadnezzar, this is but a vision, an evil dream! Who could be capable of doing this to you?” But my wrath was kindled against them, and I had them put away for their folly. For the Lord possesses all might, as no human being possesses it, and I will not envy his power, but will laud it.

Babel has ceased to be the renowned Babel, and I, Nebuchadnezzar, am no longer Nebuchadnezzar, and my armies no longer protect me, for no one can see the Lord and no one can recognize him. Even if he were to come, the watchmen would give warning in vain, because I have already become like a bird in the tree, or like a fish in the water, known only to the other fish.

I no longer desire to be renowned through Babel, but every seventh year there shall be a festival in the land, a great festival among the peope, and it shall be called the Feast of the Transformation. And an astrologer shall be led through the streets and be dressed like a beast, and he shall carry with him his calculations, torn to shreds like a bunch of hay. And all the people shall cry, “The Lord, the Lord, is the Mighty One. His deed is swift like the leap of the great fish in the sea.”

My days have been numbered, and my dominion has gone like a watch in the night. I do not know where to go-whether it is to the invisible land in the distance where the Mighty One lives, that I might find grace in his eyes, or whether he will take the breath of life from me, so that I become like a cast-off garment like my predecessors, that he might find delight in me.

I, I, Nebuchadnezzar, have made this known to all people and to every tongue, and great Babel shall carry out my will.
by…Soren Kierkegaard

Posted in Church

Obligation of the Faithful

Generosity, Church, and Justice

Volunteers clear litter in a parkChristians believe that poverty relief has to be always voluntary, never “mandated” by the church, as we have seen, it was not an altruistic option but a mandatory obligation of the faithful by virtue of the gospel message and Christian identity. The works of charity alms giving, sharing, hospitality, care taking of the poor, the afflicted, and the helpless—were not supererogatory “add-ons” but the works of justice and equity grounded in koinonia of God’s creation and imago Dei. Without them Christians could not claim their spiritual security and maturity in Christ but could incur the eschatological judgment of God due to their failure to love their neighbors. Protestants would have some uneasiness about linking ultimate salvation with “doing good” in any way as though it would undermine “salvation by grace through faith alone.” Yet this dichotomous grid is no longer helpful or sound; grace is opposed to the attitude of earning, not the action of doing good. “Doing good” is always part and parcel of salvation, which is God’s gracious, unconditioned gift, and which we are to work out with fear and trembling willed and enabled by God and already living in but also looking forward to his kingdom (see Phil. 2:12). Again, there are different options among the specific kinds and ways of works of charity and justice that Christian communities may choose, but the ecclesial duty to engage in such works seems nonnegotiable.

Book: Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich
author: Helen Rhee

 

Posted in Discipleship

Our Identity

Reaffirm who we are

immunnityOur first task is to reaffirm who we are. Evangelicals are Christians who define themselves, their faith, and their lives according to the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth. (Evangelical comes from the Greek word for good news, or gospel.) Believing that the Gospel of Jesus is God’s Good news for the whole world, we affirm with the Apostle Paul that we are “not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.” Contrary to widespread misunderstanding today, we Evangelicals should be defined theologically, and not politically, socially, or culturally.
Behind this affirmation is the awareness that identity is powerful and precious to groups as well as to individuals. Identity is central to a classical liberal understanding of freedom. There are grave dangers in identity polities, but we insist that we ourselves, and not scholars, the press, or public opinion, have the right to say who we understand ourselves to be. We are who we say we are, and we resist all attempts to explain us in terms of our “true” motives and our “real” agenda.

title: Renaissance
author: Os Guinness

Posted in Christian

Examine Yourself

Self-Confident People

~bibleWe Americans are not well-known in the world as people who know how to blush. On the contrary, we are a very self-confident people. The last thing we want is to be told that we cannot do anything to save ourselves from the most serious problem that we have ever or will eve encounter-that we are entirely at God’s mercy. Apart from a miracle, religious success in this atmosphere will always go to those who can effectively appeal to this can-do spirit and push as far to the background as possible anything that might throw our swaggering self off-balance. When looking for ultimate answers, we turn within ourselves, trusting our own experience rather than looking outside ourselves to God’s external Word.

Christless Christianity
by: Michael Horton

Posted in Christian

God’s greatness

KNOWING GOD

For an example of what the second step involves, look at Isaiah 40:12ff. Here God speaks to people whose mood is the mood of many Christians today-despondent people, cowed people, secretly despairing people; people who have ceased to believe that the cause of Christ can ever prosper again. Nowdon't_give_up see how God through His prophet reasons with them.

Look at the tasks I have done, He says. Could you do them? Could any man do them? ‘Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?’ (verse 12). Are you wise enough, and mighty enough, to do things like that? But I am; or I could not have made this world at all. ‘Behold your God!’

Knowing GOD
J.L. Packer

Posted in Christian

To Encourage

The Door

pouredLet us act with humility, cast ourselves at one another’s feet, join hands with each other, and help another. For here we battle not against pope or emperor, but against the devil, and do you imagine that he is asleep?  
Martin Luther 
And Thou, O most merciful Father, we beseech Thee for Thy mercy’s sake, continue Thy grace and favor toward us: let the sun of Thy gospel never go down out of our hearts’ let Thy truth abide, and be established among us forever…. Apparel us thoroughly in Christ, that he may live in us, and so Thy name may be glorified in the sight of all the world. Amen. 
John Jewel

Posted in Discipleship

The times

One day the vindication certainly will come.

The times to come will be hard. Just as Jesus will suffer as Son of Man, so also the saints will be persecuted for their commitment to him. They will long for vindication, but they will have to wait for it. So Jesus exhorts them to pray always and not lose heart. Contextually, Jesus is speaking of not losing heart about the hope of vindiwroclawpolandcation. He compares such prayer to the persistence of a widow nagging a judge. Her constant request was for him to vindicate her against her adversary, a remark that shows the eschatological vindication theme. The judge, who is no respecter of persons, will vindicate her so as not to be “beaten black and blue” by her continual coming.
It is this image that Jesus compares to God’s response. To make the point, Jesus uses a rhetorical question about God vindicating his elect who cry out to him day and night. The vindication will come. Will God delay over them? No, that vindication will come speedily. But apparently it will delay long enough that there is a question whether people will wait faithfully for that vindication. So Jesus concludes the unit by asking, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The parable affirms the speedy vindication of disciples, while also noting that the indefiniteness of the delay is long enough to cause the possibility that some will not endure with abiding faith. It is this very ambiguity that produced discussion about the “delay” of Christ’s return in the early church. Nevertheless, the parable reinforces the previous unit’s discussion of the day of the Son of Man and urges disciples to “hang in there” until he returns. One day the vindication certainly will come.
Book: Jesus according to Scripture
Author: Darrell L. Bock