Former CT editor Timothy George on God’s wrath: No squishy love.

11 Sep

CranachWeimarAltar2Some very interesting posts from Timothy George, over at First Things blog about the very popular – and pretty substantial – contemporary Christian song, “In Christ Alone”.  Check out the posts No Squishy Love and No Squishy Love (part II).

Negatively speaking, God demands that our sins be punished and provides what He demands.

How does He do this?  “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53).  So says Phillip to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 10).  The sin and corresponding punishment that God, in His wrath, gives sinful man over to ultimately falls on Jesus Christ.

Wrath of GodPositively speaking, God demands that we love Him with all our being and provides what He demands.

How does He do this?  By doing what we could not do ourselves.  We put our full trust in the only Person who perfectly loved God and neighbor, the Lord Jesus Christ.  And in a secure relationship with Him, we can, as the baptized, say, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).  Yes, the old man remains until death, but here is what we know above all: I am baptized into Christ.

Through baptism, we are placed into Christ like a bookmark is in a book

Through baptism, we are placed into Christ like a bookmark is in a book

So here is another great poem, better even, I suggest, than “In Christ Alone”:

Stanza 1
God’s own child, I gladly say it:
I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it,
Gave my full redemption price.
Do I need earth’s treasures many?
I have one worth more than any
That brought me salvation free
Lasting to eternity!

Stanza 2
Sin, disturb my soul no longer:
I am baptized into Christ!
I have comfort even stronger:
Jesus’ cleansing sacrifice.
Should a guilty conscience seize me
Since my Baptism did release me
In a dear forgiving flood,
Sprinkling me with Jesus’ blood!

Stanza 3
Satan, hear this proclamation:
I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation,
I am not so soon enticed.
Now that to the font I’ve traveled,
All your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny,
God, my Lord, unites with me!

Stanza 4
Death, you cannot end my gladness:
I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness
To inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes
Faith’s assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine
To make life immortal mine.

Stanza 5
There is nothing worth comparing
To this lifelong comfort sure!
Open-eyed my grave is staring:
Even there I’ll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising,
Still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ;
I’m a child of paradise!

God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It

(I am Baptized Into Christ!)

by Erdmann Neumeister (1671-1756)

bookmark pic:

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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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