Once there was a king, who was both very good and very wise. His castle was a most beautiful thing, and just as impenetrable. It was built out of a mountain, and its highest tower was almost always hidden in clouds. When it was not hidden in clouds, it shone too gloriously to look at in the sun. Upon its ramparts grew grasses and flowers and every kind of fruiting tree or bush, and every kind of flowering one also. The castles of most kings are barren things, built out of dead stone, and hung for beauty with more things more or less dead and very defective for beauty to the natural beauty. This castle was built out of a living mountain, and for decoration it had real decoration – real and natural beauties, most of them good both for beauty to the eye and for delight to the mouth and body. His kingdom should have been as lovely as his castle. For the most part it was, and he was striving to make it more completely so. Continue reading “The King’s Quest for His Bride”
There are so many things that considering that Christians as the brides of Jesus Christ, God the Son and true Man, spotless and worthy by His Blood, makes plain and clear.
Such a thought so perfectly fits and describes so much of the glory of our faith and salvation. St. Paul writes that the woman and man who unite are made one flesh, and the soul saved by the Lord, united with Him, is married to Him as one spirit with Him – the union, far closer, far all-permeating, far more encompassing, far more transformative, of which the marriage of the man and the woman is the shadow, the echo, the illustration.1 There is such a similarity between this thought (and this passage in St. Paul’s Epistles) and the prayer of Jesus on the night before He died, that He would be in us as the Father in Him and that we would be united in Him as He and the Father are one. Continue reading “Thinking like the Brides of God”
“God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son… this is the testimony He has given us concerning His Son: whoever has the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. Little children, I am writing these things to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
It is all about the Son. It is all in the Son, the Son who is the All in All. There is not and never shall nor can be any assurance of salvation that is separable from assurance of Christ: assurance that God’s testimony is truth, that His Son is who He claimed to be, the Savior of the world.
When the Apostle John wrote that he wanted us to know that we have eternal life, this is what he meant: not some test to determine whether we are in fact “saved” Continue reading “Ask Not About Assurance: Know the Son (Thoughts on 1st John)”
God is Love.
The wrath of God is what His Love looks like from the vantage point of evil, of that which would threaten or destroy the beloved. Thus, there is no conflict at all between the wrath of God and the Love of God. God’s wrath demands nothing other than what His love demands. Justice demands the very thing which mercy demands. Indeed, one might say that the wrath of God is the demand and judgment of His Love that His beloved must be rescued, must be kept or re-made good and whole and perfect, the demand and judgment of His Love that all the imperfections and evils which threaten or mar His beloved must be destroyed. Continue reading “The Wrath of the Love of God”
“You are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, provided you share in His sufferings so that you may also share in His glory.”
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they shall reign upon the earth.”
“All things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
Salvation is union with God in the Incarnation of the Word. It is called salvation because we have fallen from that union, because being restored to that union for us now means being saved from sin, being healed from the disease of sin. Continue reading “Salvation: Atonement is Union”
“Take, eat, this is My body, broken for you.”
“Take, all of you. This cup is My blood of the New Covenant, shed for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood will live because of Me, even as I live because of the living Father who sent Me, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
“Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.”
In the beginning was God the Word, the eternal Self-Revelation of the Father, His perfect Image, true God from true God. They made man and woman in Their image, after Their likeness. This, alone, is tremendous: think about it for a moment, until you stand over-awed by it: God Himself made a creature in His own likeness. It is overwhelming. But, this is only the beginning. This man and woman sin, choose lonely death over the Divine Life, by believing a lie over their Creator, the Truth. They choose to eat of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, of which their Creator had told them that if they eat of it they will surely die, instead of eating the fruit of the Tree of Life, which God had given to them along with all the other trees of the Garden. Continue reading “The Living Bread is Real: Real Justification and Life by the Real Death of Jesus”