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Archive for June 17th, 2010

Theology ought to move us to doxology.

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I have just started each night when I go to bed to read from J.C. Ryle’s classic work ‘Holiness’. Ryle argues that the first step to holiness is to rightly understand sin. I’m going to try to blog what I read.

Sin’s Definition

I say, furthermore, that ‘a sin’ … consists in doing, saying, thinking or imagining anything that is not in perfect conformity with the mind and law of God.

Sin’s Extent

I am convinced that the greatest proof of the extent and power of sin is the pertinacity with which it cleaves to man, even after he is converted and has become the subject of the Holy Ghost’s operations. To use the language of the ninth Article: ‘This infection of nature doth remain – yea, even in them that are regenerate.’ So deeply planted are the roots of human corruption, that even after we are born again, renewed, washed, sanctified, justified and made living members of Christ, these roots remain alive in the bottom of our hearts and, like the leprosy in the walls of the house, we never get rid of them until the earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved.

Sin, no doubt, in the believer’s heart, has no longer dominion. It is checked, controlled, mortified and crucified by the expulsive power of the new principle of grace. The life of a believer is a life of victory and not of failure.

But the very struggles which go on within his bosom, the fight that he finds it needful to fight daily, the watchful jealousy which he is obliged to exercise over his inner man, the contest between the flesh and the spirit, the inward ‘groanings’ which no one knows but he who has experienced them – all, all testify to the same great truth, all show the enormous power and vitality of sin. … Happy is that believer who understands it and, while he rejoices in Christ Jesus, has no confidence in the flesh and, while he says, ‘Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory,’ never forgets to watch and pray lest he fall into temptation!

J.C Ryle mentions a prayer from the Prayer Book that is put in the mouth of every churchman before he goes up to the communion table:

The remembrance of our misdoings is grievous unto us; the burden is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past.

source: J.C. Ryle “Holiness’” (Chapter 1: Sin)

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(Jos_1:1-9) As OT Yeshua leads Israel into Promised Land so NT Yeshua leads his people into the Promised Inheritance c.f. Heb_2:10 archegos.

(Jos 2) Rahab saved by faith – protects spies, declares the works of LORD, ties a scarlet cord like Passover blood. Gentiles saved by faith.

(Jos 3) Life in land begins at the Jordan. Jesus starts his kingdom work from the Jordan i.e. his baptism & his final journey to Jerusalem.

(Jos_5:2-9) The national circumcision performed by OT Yeshua prefigures the greater spiritual circumcision of God’s people by NT Yeshua.

(Jos 6) 7 priests carrying 7 trumpets cause Jericho to fall even as in revelation there are 7 angelic-priests with trumpets. c.f. Rev_8:6.

(Jos 7) One man’s sin makes God’s people liable for destruction. One man’s righteousness makes God’s people righteous. Achan and Christ.

(Jos 8) Ai’s destruction – smoke rising, made desolate, a heap of ruins – foreshadows the end judgment on human civilization c.f. Revelation

(Jos_9:1-2) The nations gather around to make war against God’s people. Similar to the battle of Har Meggon & Gog and Magog in Revelation.

(Jos_9:23; Jos_9:27) The curse that is pronounced on the Gibeonite Gentiles actually becomes a blessing of inclusion among God’s people.

(Jos_10:11; Jos_10:16) Foreshadowing Revelation – kings of the nations hide in caves (Rev_6:5); hailstones from heaven fall and kill (Rev_16:21).

(Jos_11:5) All these kings joined forces and made camp together c.f. Rev_16:14; Rev_19:19; Rev_20:8.

(Jos 9-12) The holy war against the nations in Canaan foreshadows the eschatological holy war at the end as in revelation.

(Jos_13:1-6) The partially incomplete conquest of Canaan suggests that the final expression of Sabbath-rest is still unrealised until Jesus.

(Jos_13:6) A fore-shadowing. Main word to describe gift of the Promised Land is "inheritance". NT intentionally uses the same word for us.

(Jos 14-19) Sharing in Canaan is to receive an allotment from God. Sharing in the kingdom is a gift from God. Both based on his choosing.

(Jos 20) Cities of refuge point to Jesus as the provision and place of refuge from the judgment of death.

(Jos_21:41) Ministers of God’s word and service living in the midst of Israel is a gift of God’s grace to his people. c.f. Eph_4:11.

(Jos_21:43-45) God’s faithfulness to the shadow from of his promises guarantees his faithfulness to their ultimate future expression.

(Jos 24) God works his salvation purposes in the context of history. Same with the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

(Jos_24:13) Life in the promised land i.e. cities & vineyards, as well as life in Eden and in the Kingdom of God, is by God’s acts of grace.

(Jos_24:25) OT Yeshua renews the covenant with a new generation. NT Yeshua always lives to renew the covenant with every generation.

(Jos_24:29-33) Three burials in tombs testify to God’s faithfulness but how much greater the burial that is followed by the resurrection!

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