Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Glory of Christ vs. Tables of Stone

"The glory of Christ transmitted by his gospel is an objective reality. It is that which effects the Savior's exalted state since the resurrection...There are still abroad forms of a Christless gospel. There prevails still a subtle form of legalism which would rob the Savior of his crown of glory, earned by the cross, and would make of him a second Moses, offering us the stones of the law instead of the life-bread of the gospel." Geerhardus Vos, "The More Excellent Ministry"

Cure for heart idolatry: Crucified With Christ

The enemy in family conflict is 'your heart,' author says - (BP)
Paul David Tripp is one of those rare voices daring to suggest that behavior begins in the heart.

"Many Christian marriages, relationships and even churches have had divisions for years and will never be healed until they realize that idolatry in the heart of the combatants is the primary cause."

"Literally anything can war for our hearts and lay claim to the position that only God can have and should have...The catalog is endless. There is for us, this side of heaven, an endless catalog of God-replacements."

"the victory over the idols of believers' hearts has already been won at the cross. The cure is found in the Gospel itself, he said. Once a person realizes they have been crucified with Christ, they will live to the glory of God as servants and not as idolaters whose hearts are bowing to another king..."

All behavior begins in the heart. The decalogue presumes as much, book-ending eight commandments with prohibitions that are two sides of the same coin: idolatry and covetousness. Which is why Tripp must insist that behavior change begins with the New Heart that was promised in the New Covenant: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer. 31:31-34)