Sanctification and Justification

Why, then, are we justified by faith? Because by faith we grasp Christ’s righteousness, by which alone we are reconciled to God. Yet you could not grasp this without at the same time grasping sanctification also. For he “is given unto us for righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption” [I Cor. 1:30]. Therefore Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify. These benefits are joined together by an everlasting and indissoluble bond, so that those whom he illumines by his wisdom, he redeems; those whom he redeems, he justifies; those whom he justifies, he sanctifies…Thus is is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, bk III, ch. 16.1

From the commonplace book of Daniel Foucachon

A Sermon for the President

From Blog and Mablog:

 

Ascension Sunday 2009
This Lord’s Day is Ascension Sunday, the day we have set apart to commemorate the exaltation of Jesus Christ to the right hand of the Ancient of Days. This was the day upon which He was given universal and complete authority over all nations and kings, when He was given all rule and authority, dominion and power. Our Lord’s name is the name which is high above every name, and His is the name that, when spoken, will cause every knee to bow, and every tongue to confess, that He is indeed Lord of heaven and earth. And, as we cannot emphasize too much, or say too often, this is no invisible spiritual truth. It is simply, undividedly, true. This means it is true in a way that makes it true on the most practical levels. It is true when church is over.

"It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit. Whom dost thou pass in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised. They shall fall in the midst of them that are slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes. The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword" (Eze 32:17-21).

One of the visions that the prophet Ezekiel was given was that of a parliament of dead kings, assembled in the nether regions of Sheol—the Greek word for this place is Hades. The prophet was speaking of nations which had had their time of great glory under the sun, but which, inevitably, had descended below to an empty governance of shades and shadows, the empty governance of nothing that mattered. This reality is inescapable—in Augustine’s trenchant phrase, among the nations of men, the dead are replaced by the dying, and however splendid an empire might be for the moment, there is no future for any nation outside of Christ. History occurs on the inexorable conveyor belt of moving time. There is nothing that will shut this conveyor belt off, and so there is no device to allow one nation’s day of glory to be forever fixed. Glory cannot be kept or retained in that way at all. There is no future glory for any king or president, for any nation or people, outside of Christ. So for those who reject Christ, below the earth in the nether regions, we find nothing but wisps of lost glory, and above ground at some future date talented archeologists might be able to find the remnants of an Ozymandian ruin.

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Last Disputatio of the Class of 2009!

Can you believe it? We just had our last Disputatio as a class at NSA?

God has been very good to us, allowing us to travel thus far. I am very grateful for such a wonderful class, and I hope we all keep in touch. To that affect, I plan to keep this blog going as a place where we as Alumni can come and keep getting NSA info, or see what’s going on in Moscow.

Here are the two videos I presented at Disputatio.

  • The first is a slideshow of some photos I through together of our 4 years here. It is only a tiny sampler of all the photos I have!
  • The second is a compilation of spliced videos from our 4 years. Again, only a sampler of what I have! I had to cut some GREAT stuff! (such as some of our declamations).

I uploaded a bunch of videos not shown here on a YouTube playlist called “Live in Moscow as an NSA student,” which you can find HERE

 

Enjoy!

 

European Noblesse: France

Yet we must hang on to this proposition of historical fairness with our very teeth, defending it against momentary appearances: European noblesse—of feeling, of taste, of manners, taking the word, in short, in ever higher sense—is the work and invention of France; European vulgarity, the plebeianism of modern ideas, that of England.—

Friedrich Nietzshe, Beyond Good and Evil, section 253 (p. 192).

Happiness a basis? – ευδαιμονία και αρετή

Nobody is very likely to consider a doctrine true merely because it makes people happy or virtuous—except perhaps the lovely “idealists” who become effusive about the good, the true, and the beautiful and allow all kinds of motley, clumsy, and benevolent desiderata to swim around in utter confusion in their pond. Happiness and virtue are no arguments.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 49.

More than Salvation

This whole notion is rooted in the realization that Christianity is not just involved with “salvation” but with the total man in the total world. The Christian message begins with the existence of God forever and then with creation. It does not begin with salvation. We must be thankful for salvation, but the Christian message is more than that.

Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, 89.

Knowledge of One’s Language

Educated speakers are notoriously unreliable in analyzing their own language. If Chrysostom weighs two competing interpretations, his conclusion should be valued as an important opinion and no more. If, on the other hand, he fails to address a linguistic problem because he does not appear to perceive a possible ambiguity, his silence is of the greatest value in helping us determine how Paul’s first readers were likely to have interpreted the text.

Moisés Silva, Philippians, 27.

Swearing people are verbally farting

Swearing people are verbally farting, I explain to my children, and one often gets trapped that way, playing free and easy with God’s name, edging into off-colour jokes unbecoming the tongue of a child of the king (Eph. 5:3-14), lost in a vile, scoffing sort of raping with the mouth, because one has not been faithful in undergirding, developing and norming the semantic quality of one’s communication. If one has poor grammar and no mastery of syntax, no colour to his vocabulary, then one has no control, no depth, no persuasive power to his language. So it’s very tempting to bolster one’s weak talk by pulling in dues ex machine exclamations and by violating different social and ethical norms in order to grab attention, trying to load your speech powerfully enough to gain dominating control of the communicating situation. But it is in vain, because God’s creational order forbids it. The havoc of hate takes place. Dirty and God-damning talk is terribly destructive. But that is not “strong language” any more than rape is passionate love.

-Seerveld, An Obedient Aesthetic Life, 54.

Robinson Crusoe on the Providence of God

 

“If so, nothing can happen in the great Circuit of his Works, either without his Knowledge or Appointment. And if nothing happens without his Knowledge, he knows that I am here, and am in this dreadful Condition; and if nothing happens without his Appointment, he has appointed all this to befal me.” 

– Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe, 79.

 

     This quote from Robinson Crusoe exemplifies Defoe’s Calvinistic worldview. There is of course the doctrine of Predestination involved, and how God created, knows, and is in control of all things. But much further than that, this passage shows Defoe’s doctrine of Salvation. He starts with the question of where everything came from, and ends with adoring that Creator. Realizing that God is the Creator leaves Robinson Crusoe without any pride. He has nothing to stand on which God has not given him, therefore all complaining, all rebellion, and all despair loose their place and meaning. Having contemplated these things the only thing for Crusoe to do is to cry out to God, praise him, and trust him in all he does. He has no more right to question God’s eternal decree’s as to his location than a tree on the island would. He therefore can rest in the confidence that God has brought this about for his good, and not for his evil. Crusoe’s next question was to ask why God had chosen to bring these things upon him. He had scarcely thought this when he realized how he had been going against God’s will and his life’s calling all his days. In spite of all this, Crusoe realized that God had spared him through incredible circumstances. How can Crusoe doubt that God was up to something in his life? When Christ offers grace to a particular sinner, that grace is irresistible and un-stoppable.