F.M. Sciutto III

By His Free Grace Alone, To Be Treasured Alone, & For His Glory Alone

Posts Tagged ‘God

Respond in Love

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“The way to be wise is to believe in the God of the Bible and to live faithfully for Christ. Dawkins, Harris, and other atheists love to attack Christians by rehearsing all the terrible things that have been done in the name of Christ. Admittedly, there is plenty for them to criticize, from the Crusades of Europe to Apartheid in South Africa.

“It is tempting to respond by saying that the people who committed these sins were never really Christians to begin with. But maybe it would be better to say that we also believe in the depravity of Christianity. Our claim is not that we are any better than anyone else, but rather that we need as much forgiveness as anyone. We also believe that there is forgiveness for us in Jesus, who died for all the wrong things that Christians have ever done.

“Now we need to live like we believe it, with such sacrificial service to others that whatever else the atheists may say, they will never be able to claim that we do not know how to love. To paraphrase the apostle Peter: “Keep your conduct among the atheists honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12).”

– Phillip Ryken (Emphasis mine)

Atheism – Reformation21.

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Written by sciuttfm

October 18, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Confession and Mercy in Psalm 25

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[1] To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
[2] O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
[3] Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

[4] Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
[5] Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

[6] Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
[7] Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

[8] Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
[9] He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
[10] All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

[11] For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
[12] Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
[13] His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
[14] The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
[15] My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
[16] Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
[17] The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
[18] Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

[19] Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
[20] Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
[21] May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.

[22] Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.
(Psalm 25 ESV, emphasis mine)

Written by sciuttfm

April 10, 2011 at 1:54 AM

God in Man’s Image?

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Here is an excerpt from an article by Gregory Koukl of Stand to Reason:

Maybe we made a trade-off, some might suggest.  By creating a god who makes demands we surrendered a little autonomy, but we received meaning, significance, and security (or at least the illusion of it) in the swap.  But then there’s a different problem.

If we were to invent a god, what would he be like?  If we fashioned a god of our choosing, would we create a god like the one in the Bible?  A god formed by human hands would mirror human sensibilities and human proclivities.  He would think and act, more or less, like we do.  As our invention, his morality would reflect our desires.  When we erred, he’d cluck his disapproval and then dismiss our frailties with an affectionate kids-will-be-kids shrug.  After all, nobody’s perfect.  And this is the kind of god many religions seem to produce.  Not Christianity, though.

The curious thing about the God of the Bible is how unlike us He is.  His wisdom confuses us; His purity frightens us.  He makes moral demands we can’t live up to, then threatens retribution if we don’t obey.  Instead of being at our beck and call, He defies manipulation.  In His economy, the weak and humble prevail and the last become first.

Is the Christian God just an idea?  Did we invent Him?  Could we invent Him?  Is He the kind of god we would create if left to our own devices?  Or have we seen the true God and trembled–closed our eyes, hid our faces, and turned our backs?

There is no reason to believe that mankind has the capacity or desire to create a god beyond measure and comprehension, yet is personable and sovereign over all things, that demands perfect obedience and is holy, that is love and perfectly just, and then write a book that is so diverse in content and genres, yet so singular in its purpose and theme. The Bible, in of itself, gives us reason to trust that is indeed the Word of God and not some invention of man.

The Bible contains 66 books, written by approximately 40 different writers, over 1600 years, on 3 different continents, in 3 different languages, on thousands of different subjects, yet with one central theme—God’s redemption of mankind from sin won for the whole world by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Faith Facts).

In the Bible, God is the One who desires and receives the glory in all things, which is the opposite of what our flesh desires, namely, our own glory and satisfaction. The entire Bible points to Jesus Christ (He even acknowledged that Himself) as being the crucified, yet resurrected, Messiah that has redeemed mankind and will return to rescue us from this fallen world of which God will eventually restore and bring about the New Heavens and New Earth where all who are His will dwell with the Son for eternity.

Written by sciuttfm

February 9, 2011 at 3:54 PM

More Than Just a Birthday Celebration

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While on break, an older woman with whom I work was talking to me about a Christmas tradition that her and her family do each year. She explained how she has a nativity scene, which was described as a nativity scene you could find in the majority of American homes around this time of year. However, the only piece missing in the scene is Jesus in the manger. He is left out until Christmas Eve, which then one her grandchildren carries Him out and places Him between Mary and Joseph.

So far, none of this sounds strange or out of the ordinary, does it? That is because it is not strange or out of the ordinary. Well, not yet anyway.

After Jesus is placed into the scene, she proceeded to tell me that her and her family then begin to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. That is what struck me as very odd. A song that is usually song during a child’s birthday celebration is sung at the time the celebration of the birth of Jesus takes place. After that, I just nodded my head and smiled. I had nothing to say to that. I was perplexed just as much as I was shocked.

Now, this is not a rant against the traditions that one may preform during Christmastime. My hope is to have people reflect on what they are celebrating during this time of the year and why. Christmas with no attention to the God who sent His Son into this fallen world to be an atoning sacrifice is shallow and, frankly, meaningless.

Christmas is more than just a birthday celebration for Jesus (considering He probably was not even born around this time of the year). A lot more. Yes, Christmas is a time in which family and friends are brought closer together, and those things are great, but that is not the reason and purpose of Christmas.

We should not forget the reason why we even celebrate Christmas in the first place. It is because God the Father, in eternity past, made a plan with God the Son to redeem His fallen creation by taking on flesh because of His immense grace and love toward His creation. The Son then took on flesh by being conceived by God the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Being born of a virgin, a sin-nature was never passed to Jesus, and being conceived by the Holy Spirit, God the Son took on flesh. Jesus had to remain sinless in order to accomplish full atonement for His people’s sin by sacrificing Himself on the cross for His people’ sin; raising from the dead, thereby defeating sin and death; delivering His people from the bondage of sin, death, and hell; and presenting them as righteous before the Father. We must remember how the glory of the incarnation of the Son leads to the glorious cross where our innocent Savior was crucified for our crimes against God’s holiness, and then praise God for it!

We should not forget the purpose of Christmas, which is to look forward to Christ’s second-coming to Earth, His judgment and redemption of this fallen world, and when we, who are His, dwell with Him in the New Heavens and New Earth for an infinitely joyful eternity.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

(2 Peter 3:8-13 ESV)

It can be so easy to get swallowed up in the consumerism of the holiday and forget about the God who sent His Son to save us. We need to be deliberate in how we celebrate during Christmastime.

Praise God for sending His Son to satisfy God’s just wrath against our sin! Praise God for promising to send Christ again to finally bring His sons and daughters to glory and have them dwell with Him forever!

This Christmas, we need to share the wonderful Truth of the Gospel by presenting it with our words and deeds to our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Written by sciuttfm

December 24, 2010 at 2:12 AM