Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God by Martin Luther

3 Nov

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

250px-Luther's_Ein_Feste_Burg

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The Meaning Of Violence and The Desire For Violence

13 Apr

To read the next two segments (four and five) of my series, The Virtue Of Violence CLICK HERE and scroll down to:  4. The Meaning Of Violence.

It is Jesus’ virtuous, violent death on the cross that enables the meaning of my violence to be changed.  The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes it possible for my violence to be used by God for his good and virtuous purposes.

When the brutalized and risen one pursued me, caught me, turned me toward himself and joined me to himself by his Spirit, he began the ongoing process of turning the meaning of violence in my life (among other things).

The Violence Bearer

30 Oct

3.  The Violence Bearer

To recap, there is no virtue in me that changed the meaning of violence in my life.  But there is Jesus, who was subjected (in humble reliance on his Father’s goodness and loving-kindness) to the collective brutality of every sin.  On the cross He absorbed every violence that ever was, and ever would be.  By doing this he enabled the forgiveness of every sin (past, present, and future) for everyone who would call on him for forgiveness.

After all, every violation of God’s good law is ultimately against God and his son Jesus (and the Holy Spirit).  The historical figure of King David makes this very clear in his response to the prophet Nathan’s rebuke of him for killing Uriah and taking Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.  (Continue…)

The Violence Of The Cross

25 Oct

1.  The Violence Of The Cross

Late one night, over Dunkin Donuts and coffee, I made this offhanded comment about the crucifixion to my college roommate, “At least he [Christ] didn’t have to hang there too long.”  My friend was indignant, “What?!  John, let me tell you a little bit about a crucifixion!” And he went on to describe the horrors of the cross in great detail.  Everything about a cross-death was designed to cause maximum suffering.  It is, perhaps, the cruelest tool of human torture ever devised.  The word excruciate is derived from Latin words that mean “out of the cross.”

At some point during the description, I cut him off.  I was embarrassed and alarmed.  (continue…)

In Tenderness He Sought Me by W. Spencer Walton

7 Oct

I AM the Good Shepherd

Jesus said, “I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10: 7-9).

In tenderness He sought me,
Weary and sick with sin,
And on His shoulders brought me
Back to His fold again.
While angels in His presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang.

Refrain:
Oh, the love that sought me!
Oh, the blood that bought me!
Oh, the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!

He washed the bleeding sin-wounds,
And poured in oil and wine;
He whispered to assure me,
“I’ve found thee; thou art Mine”;
I never heard a sweeter voice;
It made my aching heart rejoice!

He pointed to the nailprints;
For me His blood was shed;
A mocking crown so thorny
Was placed upon His head:
I wondered what He saw in me
To suffer such deep agony.

I’m sitting in His presence,
The sunshine of His face,
While with adoring wonder
His blessings I retrace.
It seems as if eternal days
Are far too short to sound His praise.

So, while the hours are passing,
All now is perfect rest;
I’m waiting for the morning,
The brightest and the best,
When He will call us to His side,
To be with Him, His spotless bride.


Help My Unbelief by John Newton

25 Aug
Albert Finney as John Newton in Amazing Grace

Albert Finney as John Newton in Amazing Grace

I know the Lord is nigh,
and would but cannot pray,
For Satan meets me when I try,
and frights my soul away.
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
till Jesus makes it soft.
Till Jesus make it soft.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have power to move
a soul as base as mine.
A soul so base as mine.

I would but cannot rest,
in God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
and murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.