Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thought For A Sunday - Complete

Last Sunday I posted this article which was mostly a quotation from E.W. Bullinger's Great Cloud of Witness in Hebrews Eleven (the correct title of the book, by the way). When I realized I was running short on time I decided I would have to continue the quoted text in today's post and so I apologize for the incomplete article of last Sunday but perhaps it whet the appetites or curiosity of some of our readers.

The point I hope to make by offering this is that many Christians believe they must continually be confessing their sins in order for them to be forgiven. This belief can lead to an unhealthy preoccupation with one's sin and failures in spiritual matters. It is at odds with the belief that Christ paid the price in full, for once and for all, for all sin, past, present, and future. To believe otherwise is to put Christ back up on the cross. Bullinger apparently agrees. It's as though the believer is living under the Old Covenant rather than embracing the grace and freedom of the New Covenant. This passage taken from Jeremiah shows that the Old Covenant had failed because man failed to keep up his end of the deal so a new arrangement was to be established by God which was ultimately declared by Jesus during the last supper.

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Jer. 31:31-34

I hope to post some thoughts on the Old and New Covenants soon. In the meantime, here's the passage from E.W. Bullinger's Great Cloud of Witness in Hebrews Eleven pp. 176-7 in its entirety.

We hear, for example, what God says about our condition by nature; that we are not only ruined sinners, on account of what we have done, but ruined creatures, on account of what we are. Do we believe it? If so, we shall act accordingly, and the belief will make us so sad and miserable, that we shall thankfully believe what He says when He declares that He has provided a substitute for the sinner so believing and so convicted; and that He has accepted that perfect One in the sinner's stead.

If we believe this we shall be at peace with God; and have no more concern or trouble about our standing, in His sight; we shall have nothing to do but to get to know more and more of Him, and to be giving Him thanks for what He hath done in making us meet for His glorious presence. We shall not be for ever putting ourselves back into our old place from which we have been delivered. We shall not be always asking for forgiveness of the sins for which He was delivered, because we shall be always rejoicing in Him "in Whom WE HAVE redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Col. i. 14), and while we are giving Him thanks for "HAVING FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES" (Col. ii.13), we shall forget our old occupation of for ever confessing our sins and praying for forgiveness.

We shall be looking and pressing forward to the "CALLING ON HIGH" (Phil. iii. 14).

We shall be free to witness for Him, and to engage in His service, being no longer occupied with ourselves, our walk, or our life. We shall be no longer taken up with judging our brethren, knowing that the same Lord has "made them meet" also; and that they are members of "the same body," and that we shall soon be called on high together. We shall cherish our fellowship with them here (if they will let us) knowing that we shall soon be "together" with them there.

We shall hold not only the precious doctrinal truth connected with Christ the Head of the one Body, but the practical truths connected with the members of that Body.

We shall seek to learn ever more and more of God's purposes connected with "the great mystery concerning Christ and His Church," and to enter into all that concerns its glorious Head.

We shall have such an insight into His wondrous wisdom Who has ordered all these things that we shall thankfully prefer it to our own.

We shall recognize that His "will," manifested in the working out of His eternal purpose, is so perfect, that we shall prefer it to our own, and desire it to work out all else that concerns us.

We shall have nothing to "surrender." We shall have done with that new miserable "gospel" of self-occupation; and, all connected with its phraseology will have been left far behind, as being on a lower and different plane3 of Christian experience altogether.

Christ will be our one object, and we shall count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord (Phil. iii. 8).

If this be not the result of our believing God, it is proof positive that we have not a "living faith," and that all our works for holiness are only "dead works," because we have not this blessed evidence as the result of our "faith-obedience."

We have this simple test in our own hands.

Without the Holy Spirit's Word by the Apostle James we should not possess this test. But now that we have it, and see it, it will be our own fault if we do not profit by it, and use it for our own blessing and peace and rest.

If we do thus use it, we shall find ourselves strangely out of harmony with all that rules in modern Christianity, and all that characterizes present-day religion.

We shall realize that its phraseology and its terminology are all based upon a lower plane of experience. We shall find ourselves out of touch with many of our fellow-believers; for we shall have learnt to "cease from man." We shall have lost and given up "religion;" but this will be because we shall have found Christ, and know what it means to be "FOUND IN HIM."

BTW, if you missed the articles from yesterday, you can click on the March Archives link or see them here.

I Am John Doe

In the context of CAIR's (Council of American Islamic Relations) support of the six imams who are suing the passengers aboard an airliner for reporting the Muslims' strange and frightening behavior to the flight crew, Michelle Malkin discusses the emerging John Doe movement and reprints the John Doe Manifesto:

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe.

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.

I am John Doe.

I will never forget the example of the passengers of American Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

I will act when homeland security officials ask me to "report suspicious activity."

I will embrace my local police department's admonition: "If you see something, say something."

I am John Doe.

I will protest your Jew-hating, America-bashing "scholars."

I will petition against your hate-mongering mosque leaders.

I will raise my voice against your subjugation of women and religious minorities.

I will challenge your attempts to indoctrinate my children in our schools.

I will combat your violent propaganda on the Internet.

I am John Doe.

I will support law enforcement initiatives to spy on your operatives, cut off your funding, and disrupt your murderous conspiracies.

I will oppose all attempts to undermine our borders and immigration laws.

I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.

I will not be censored in the name of tolerance.

I will not be cowed by your Beltway lobbying groups in moderate clothing. I will not cringe when you shriek about "profiling" or "Islamophobia."

I will put my family's safety above sensitivity. I will put my country above multiculturalism.

I will not submit to your will. I will not be intimidated.

I am John Doe.

There's more at Michelle's site.


Real Scandal

While the Democratic congress and its media allies swoon over the faux "scandal" of a president cashiering eight U.S. attorneys, a completely routine and legal move for a president, a genuine scandal has begun to unfold which we probably won't hear much about.

This scandal involves a Democratic United States Senator so we expect it will quickly blow over. Until it does, however, here's the basic story:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design. She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp.

Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases-often without the benefit of competitive bidding-to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife's watch.

Go to the link for more details.

Can you imagine the spittle Hardball's Chris Matthews would be spraying around his desk if this were a Republican senator?