Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
Wrath


Recent Posts

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Micaiah and P. T. Forsythe

March 23, 2009

Sometimes as Christians we have to say things that no one wants to hear. And it is at times like that when our mettle is proved. Rarely are we warned ahead of time. Are we ready to stand? The proof is in the pudding.


Peter flunked his test miserably, though warned by Jesus himself. Innocently warming his hands on a cold winter night, a young girl got him to deny Christ. But he repented, was forgiven, and soared when tested from that time on. 

Remember Micaiah, that mysterious prophet who appears only once in the Old Testament? When the kingdom was divided between north and south, the king of Israel decided to retake some lost land, and see if he could get Jehoshapht, the southern king, to join forces.

Jehoshapht was leaning towards co-operating, but listened to his gut (the Holy Spirit??) suggesting that they should inquire of the Lord. Suddenly 400 of Israel's "finest" prophets stood in front of him, saying the politically correct thing that their boss, the king of Israel, wanted them to say.

"Go," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand." 1 Kings 22:6

In a very telling response that called into question the godly character of the 400 prophets in front of him, Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?

Ouch. The king of the north responded, obviously irritated, "yeah, there is one fellow, but I don't like him. He never prophesies anything good about me, only bad. His name is Micaiah.

Jehoshaphat insisted, and the despised prophet was sent for. The messenger who was sent for him told him on the way, in effect, "Look, for once, just fit in. Everybody has already agreed that we should go and get the land back, and that victory is assured. Please, I'm begging you, for your own sake, go with the flow."

The scene that followed is both hilarious and stunning, climaxing with the high priest Kenaanah slapping Micaiah around. It turns into sort of a "Oh, yeah? We'll see!" senario. Micaiah refused to let the situation intimate him, and predicted disaster, refusing to wilt under pressure. He did God proud. And ignoring sound advice, the king of Israel died in battle.

At the turn of the 20th Century, P. T. Forsythe was a theologian and pastor in demand on both sides of the Atlantic. Over several decades of ministry he had "jettisoned much he had valued in scholarship and biblical criticism in order to safeguard passionately the very core of the Gospel - the holiness of God, the sin of man, and the supreme value of the cross."

(Extracted from Memoir by his daughter in THE WORK OF CHRIST. She saw her father as a modern day Amos, with a vision of the Cross.)

What Forsythe was attempting to passionately safeguard was the atoning work of the Cross. Recent scholarship had chipped away at the view that a holy God was reconciling a lost mankind to himself by pouring out his wrath on his Son, who had agreed to pay the penalty in our place. "Conventional wisdom"  determined that it was time to move on from such archaic beliefs.

In  1899, he gave an address at the second decennial International Congregations Council, on the theme of "The Evangelical Principle of Authority, and began with a shocker of a first sentence.

"The Cross is the final seat of authority, not only for the Church, but for all human society." This was his Micaiah moment. His daughter says that it created such a fervor the the vast audience was at first silent, but then almost spontaneously turned its long applause into the singing of the hymn (which Forsythe suggested) "In The Cross Of Christ I Glory."

Wouldn't you have loved to have been there? Surely all of heaven sang along. And if you listened closely, heaven's applause was mixed in with earthly applause, as the atoning work of our Gracious God was lifted up and exalted.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.






A Free But Most Costly Gospel

March 22, 2009

The thought that a holy God might have to punish his Son to justify us is a stumbling block. And so men have tried to make the atonement of God palatable to contemporary tastes, and the effect has been devastating.


For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Where is the wise man?
Where is the scholar?
Where is the philosopher of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.


P. T. Forsythe lived for one thing as a theologian in England at the turn of the 20th Century. His "main thing" was keeping the atoning work of the cross the "main thing." It was like the preverbal placing the finger in the dike, as the thinking of the day was to strip Golgotha of its ability to be a stumbling block. "Not so fast," said Forsythe, again and again.

In THE WORK OF CHRIST, he states that the "old orthodoxies....had a true eye for what truly mattered in Christianity, and especially how they grappled with the final facts of human nature, and its darling sefl-will. They closed with ultimates. They did not heal lightly the wound of the people.

It is the grace of Israel we need; for the grace of Greece fails heart, and flesh and moral will. It is subjective sand when we want objective rock. It does not enable us to keep our feet.

We need a hand to lift us by the hair, if need be, and hurt us much in the doing of it, if only it sets un on the Rock of Ages. And the old Puritans (now sixpence a volume octave) at least do that. And they do because...they stood at a center of things with their religion of the moral Atonement, of a free but most costly Gospel.

They grasped what makes God the Christian God - not only a free grace but a costly one. It is not only the freedom of His grace, but its infinite price to Him that makes God God."

"By terrible things in righteousness dost Thou answer us, O God of our salvation.
DARBY TRANSLATION
Psalm 65:5

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law's commands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and thou alone.


ROCK OF AGES
A. Toplady





Outrage and The Holiness of God
March 5, 2009
A jaded Christian is an oxymoron. Anything that is hurtful to God must hurt us as well. We must not become so self-protective that we are not emotionally impacted by rebellion against God. And any such identification pleases God.

Tickling And Hell
February 14, 2009
Itching ears abound in our day - those who want to be stroked and coddled even as their soul remains in a state unprepared to meet its maker. What is a preacher to do?

God Down And Dirty
February 7, 2009
What can be said concerning the wonder of our salvation that hasn't been said? P. T. Forsythe is in that line of great thinkers who pondered God's love and then articulated it carefully. Read slowly and chew each morsel.

The Incredible Love Of God
January 30, 2009
Have you walked through the Sistine Chapel? Then have you tried to describe it? Lots of luck. Words don't do it justice. P. T. Forsythe had a gift for words, and a love for the cross of Christ. And we are blessed as a result.

Calling All Men Of Issachar
January 18, 2009
"Hope springs eternal." As humans we just naturally assume that "everything will be ok. It will all work out." Just how do we face the present in light of a God who is holy? And how do optimism and realism correctly co-exist in the heart of a Christian?

A Prophet For Our Times
November 9, 2008
Certain men and women hear from God at key times, and see with eyes that are unimpeded by the smog of culture. David Wells is one such person worth listening to.

The Clock Is Ticking
November 5, 2008
"The Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." Romans 9:28 That sounds ominous, doesn't it? The Day of the Lord is coming. We can't delay it. So are you prepared?

"I'm Warning You!"
November 4, 2008
The "slow to anger" part of God's name is to our great benefit. God is patient, and restrains his wrath, giving us time to repent. But we must not test the limits of God's patience. "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts...Hebrews 3:15

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness
November 2, 2008
God has a standard that he requires of his creatures. And when we fall short of the mark, he anoints prophets to be his mouthpiece. So just where are today's prophets? And will we pay attention in time?

When God Relents
October 30, 2008
Ninevah was scheduled for demolition by God. It's end had been determined. That same God sent Jonah to warn it, so that they could repent and not be destroyed. What gives? Does God vacillate?

CONFESSION - Book of Common Prayer
September 30, 2008
If God is holy (and He is) then transgression is very much a constant reality, with confession the appropriate response. And our heavenly Father loves to show mercy.





© 2023 Seedsower Music