Thursday, February 25, 2010

hope secured

It is tempting to say about my friend who died, "You can't keep a good man down." As much as I respected him, that would not be perfectly accurate. If that statement is wholly true, it is only true about Jesus Christ, because there has never been anyone who was truly, thoroughly, spotlessly good... not in and of themselves, anyway. And when I hear that phrase, my mind is drawn to the Lord's resurrection. Yes, then it would be true: you can't keep a good man down.

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But folks, we have this theological whatchamajiggit called "imputation" which basically says that Jesus (who never sinned) took sin upon himself to pay the penalty for all who believe in him. He answered for it in a legal sense, even though he did not actually commit any of that sin. Got it?

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There is a flipside of the imputation. Just as our sins were charged to Jesus Christ, the Lord's righteousness then covers those who belong to Him. His people are legally covered with the perfect righteousness that Jesus lived and earned. That is how the Lord presents to himself a "spotless bride." That is the reason we can be confident that Alan Haymaker is experiencing paradise today. And that is why our grieving is only temporary.

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Wanna smoke some brain cells? Think about the imputation for a while. Ponder it, and try to wrap your mind on the unfairness (to God) of it all. See if you can agree with John Newton that God's grace (unmerited favor) is amazing.

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"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope."
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (New Living Translation)

12 comments:

lime said...

i am glad you do not grieve without hope. and it is a mind bender.

Gaelyn said...

Instead Rejoice that Alan is with his maker in peace.

Rachel Grace said...

Amen,Craver! Amen!

imac said...

Without Hope, we are lost.

one last visit b4 Twangy gets at my puter.

donsands said...

Nice Craver. Imputation is not too popular with some preachers and teachers in the Church today.

But it is a wonderful truth, and lovely aroma for the soul, of what God has done.

If you ask people, "What will get you into heaven?"

They may begin "Jesus died for me, and..."

I stop them right there, and say, "And, nothing."

His death for you gets you in, period. He predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies! From Him, to Him, and for Him, is all this done.

"It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." Romans 4:25

thekingfamily said...

There's a line in "The Breakfast Song" by the Newsboys that this reminds me of...
"Those here without the Lord,
how do you cope?
For this morning we don't mourn
like those who have no hope."

The official hymn of SBTS is "Soldiers of Christ, In Truth Arrayed" has a line that says...
"We meet to part, but part to meet
when earthly labors are complete."

And finally Steven Curtis Chapman's "With Hope"...
"We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
Cause we know our goodbye is not the end
And we can grieve with hope
Cause we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again"

I don't know if they have it already, but Chapman's most recent album, Beauty Will Rise, is such a beautiful album filled with personal "psalms" that show the grief and hope regarding his daughter's death. It's quite healing and may be a wonderful gift for the family.

Ornery's Wife said...

What a wonderful reminder. Thanks for these words. Praying for his family.
tm

Craver Vii said...

Lime, I just love to dwell on the implications and depth of saving grace!

That is an anchor for these troubled times Gaelyn. Our tears of sorrow were mixed with comfort and security.

Rachel Grace, thank you. And thanks for understanding that we could not work at the food pantry last night. I look forward to serving with you next week.

So true, Imac. How long are you going to be without the computer? What's the back story behind the nickname "Twangy?"

Craver Vii said...

Good thoughts, Sandman. The notion of adding anything to Jesus' sacrifice is a dangerous dilution of the gospel. He paid 100%, and we have nothing to add that can pay for our salvation.

It is nice to find truth expressed in music and lyric, Mary. There are lots of people who's theology finds its origin in song instead of scripture, which is why I give special attention to the songs that we sing, and (even though it is unpopular) I do not permit music leaders to break out into spontaneous preaching during their worship sets. Most of our music people get it. It seems that the ones who resist tend to be the ones with whacky ideas.

I appreciate your prayers, TM. The Lord's comfort is what we need most.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: Grace is truly amazing and is freely given thru the actions of Jesus.

Every Square Inch said...

yes - grace is amazing - for many reasons including the miraculous work of imputation.

And, I'm sorry for your loss, Craver.

Leeloo said...

Hi Craver, hope you're doing ok, thinking of you and your friend.