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?



 
God's Forgiveness


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?

The Cross Is Crucial

May 12, 2009

What happens if the human race considers the death of Jesus on the cross - and shrugs? Whatever..... P. T. Forsythe suggests the ramifications, and it sounds a lot like what we are facing today.


Propitiation is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ by which He appeases the wrath of God and conciliates Him who would otherwise be offended by our sin and would demand that we pay the penalty for it.

Sadly, our age has ceased affirming that truth. P. T. Forsythe did his best to keep the propitiatory element from extinction. Like a skilled diagnostician, he articulates the symptions of a race having lost its way, oblivious to the ways of a holy God.

Forsythe champions "a true grasp of the atonement.....which meets the age in its need and impotence, its need of a center, of an authority, of a creative source, a guiding line, and a final goal.

It (a substitutinary atonement)....meets our....lack of a fixed point. All around us in a growing flux; change is everywhere; and it may or may not be development according as our fixed standard and goal may be.

With no center. either for its own action or for our estimate, it means disintegration. And especially does our religion need a moral center. It grows on the one hand evolutionary and therefore inevitably unearnest; and on the other hand sentimental.

Fraternity grows at the cost of fidelity, the democratic sympathies and pities monopolize the moral world, the moral type changes and another scale of virtues fills the ideal.

Forsythe then quotes a nurse from the working class who observes: "generosity ranks before justice, sympathy before truth, love before chastity, a pliant and obliging disposition before a rigidly honest one, and the less admixture of intellect required for the practice of any virtue the higher it stands in the popular estimation."

C. H. Spurgeon spelled out the take away from the cross this way....

You were in debt, but a friend paid your debt; no writ can be served on you. It matters nothing that you did not pay it, it is paid, you have the receipt. That is sufficient in any court of equity. So with all the penalty that was due to us Christ had bourne it.

It is true I have not bourne it; I have not been to hell and suffered the full wrath of God, but Christ has suffered that wrath for me, and I am as clear as if I had myself paid the debt to God and had myself suffered His wrath.







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.

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.

Heart Surgery
October 14, 2008
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." Jeremiah 17:9,10





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