The mysteries above and the mysteries below

It is common enough for Christians to observe that Christ is the key to understanding the Creator. For the witness of the scriptures is that Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory” and “the exact representation of his being” and “in very nature God” and that “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”.
How many, though, have considered that Christ is also the key to understanding the creation? For the same scriptures affirm that “through him all things were made” and “in him all things hold together” and he is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” and that through him the Creator will “reconcile to himself all things”.

The daily Trinitarian prayer of John Stott

Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more.

Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.

Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life:

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control

Holy, blessed and glorious trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me.

Almighty God, Creator and sustainer of the universe, I worship you.

Lord Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord of the World, I worship you.

Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the people of God, I worship you.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever, Amen.

Lowering the bar for our political benefactors

constantineEver since the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity there has been pressure for church leaders to lower the bar of morality for political leaders who support them.

As a consequence, whilst the Christian understanding of salvation has tended to remain anchored in Christ, the Christian understanding of morality has tended to lose its moorings in the life and teaching of Jesus. Sometimes finding anchor in Moses and other Old Testament figures instead, sometimes drifting even further.

Progress in the Christian life

In his letter to the Romans, Paul speaks of the obedience that comes through faith. This suggests that progress in the Christian life comes, not through cultivating guilt and shame, but through cultivating faith. And an effective way of cultivating faith is through meditating on the faithfulness of God. In other words, soaking in the power of the gospel.