I am currently reading Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change for my Biblical Counseling Class and let me say that this book is fantastic. As a young man aspiring to be a minister of the Word it is refreshing to see someone bring the gospel of truth into discipleship and drawing an amazing picture of transformation in a believers life. The subtitle points this out beautifully, rephrased it could say "People need change and God uses these people to change His bride to be more like Him."
One point that the author Paul David Tripp makes is that Jesus Christ came to this world to bear our sins and to identify with us. That is the entire point of the incarnation! That is amazing... Jesus identifies with our sins. For example when we think that God cannot possibly relate to what I am going through the truth is He most certainly does! Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days and nights till He shedded blood. We might ponder where is someone we can talk to in the midst of a struggle and as we think about what Christ did on the Cross for us we realize that He was in exactly the same situation!! He was abandoned by all His friends (who were powerless to do anything) and even by His Father.
Think of not having either of your parents with you for a certain amount of time. There will come a time that young men will leave his fathers hosue to be one with his wife. But not many of us have a situation forced upon us that one of our parents or both are gone. [ a point by Tripp but expounded upon by me.]
This is one of the many amazing Gospel Truths in Scripture! Jesus Christ relates to everything I am going through (even relationship problems... His bride is the church and she does not listen to Him that much at all).
Posted by Robbie Schmidtberger at 21:17
Muslim Man Accidentally Divorces Wife
[HT] Justin Taylor - Between Two Worlds
Posted by Robbie Schmidtberger at 14:07
If you are from a reformed church or even a confessional evangelical background you have certainly heard something like "the worship wars." It seems the significance of worship has been lost, in many congregations catering to the masses [seeker services]. Listen to RB Kuiper as he tells you what worship was to him:
"How lofty a conception of corporate worship Scripture rpesents!! when Gods people assemble for worship they enter into the place where God dwells.....God meets them, and they meet God. They find themselves face to face with none other than God himself. Their worship is an intimate transaction between them and their God."
To Kuiper worship is nothing less than a celebration of our eternal life before the living God, when we are drawn into His most holy presence. A parallel can be drawn here to the tabernacle in the Old testament. In the Israelite society the priests went into the Holy place and the Holy of Holies to pray for the people that they might be redeemed. When Christ came and died for our sins we all became priests and when we worship it is like going into the holy of holies to see God. It is there that we encounter Him in all His fullness and Glory. And what we do and say in worship must point to God in all the fullness of His glory.
This has a direct bearing on Evangelism. Many times we might feel guilty about inviting people to church with us because we might feel embarrassed or something like that, because our church is not entertaining. How we worship is to reflect who God is and all He has done for us, and to show who God is to those who both know Him and do not. For those who are Christians, to encourage them in their daily walk with God, and those who are outside of Christ that they might see His love for His people and come running to Him in repentance.
a question to ponder..... does your worship show who God is? and do you personally show who God is in how you worship... is there joy in your worship or is it only 'going through the motions?'
In 1852, a man by the name John Paton left his comforts at home in Scotland to go to little Pacific islands called New Hebrides. (Named after islands off the coast of Scotland.) When he was leaving his congregation a dear old friend (and supporter of Paton) came to him and said... (and exploded with great passion and love for Paton).
"The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!"
[missionaries sent there 19 years earlier suffered this death.]
But to this Paton responded:
Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my Resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer."
What is the Difference between being eaten by Cannibals and eaten by worms? The manner by which we are judged is how have we lived for God's glory? Patons answer reveals his purpose for going to the Pacific.
How we die glorifies God. Who ever thought that Cannibalism would?
Posted by Robbie Schmidtberger at 14:22
Lately i have been impressed by what is being said by CJ Mahaney on the Together for the Gospel Blog. If you do not know about this blog it is a must see! Seeing 4 of the most prominent reformed evangelicals thinking and discussing various issues together is pretty amazing stuff.
The current conversation is about raising sons especially in regard to playing sports and a passion for church. Both of which resonate very close to my heart and it is good thinking material for me to dwell on as I think through the things my father and I did and also more so when i am going to have my own sons. CJ writes with humility and seeks to glorify God in raising his son.
5 major points that he makes to instill a love for the church are:
* Greeting--serve others by cheerfully greeting them. This also helps him put to death selfishness and overcome the fear of man.
* Serving--love for the church will grow as he serves in the church
* Encouraging--take special note of the army of folks joyfully serving each Sunday and express his appreciation to them. The Savior defines true greatness as humbly serving others for the glory of God...
* Singing--I want to see my son singing sincerely and passionately during worship. Singing is an appropriate response to the Savior for His amazing grace. A parent can discern a lot about their child’s heart by the presence or absence of participation and passion in worship.
* Learning--I believe in the importance of hearing expository preaching as a primary means of grace for the Christian. The preaching event must be a priority for our children. Therefore, listening carefully and responding appropriately to the sermon is very important.
Posted by Robbie Schmidtberger at 18:58
Do you ever wake up in the morning and realize how much you need the Gospel? Christians should think of the gospel of Grace daily. To think and meditate upon the Cross is something that every man is called to do. To think of who we are and to think of what God has done for us. And the thought of something unholy in Gods sight is something that should cause one to think to himself, how can i sin against God?
Are you willing to nail yourself to the cross instead of giving in to the pleasures of the flesh? Jesus Christ resisted temptation to the point of shedding blood and no sin, no unholy figment, faction - was found within Him.
Posted by Robbie Schmidtberger at 21:41
Sometimes songs are able to express just what one is thinking, especially me. In the past week or so this song has been in my mind a lot. (plus i have been waking up to it.)
Casting Crown - the Voice of Truth
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of the boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand
But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy, you'll never win!'
"You'll never win"
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Oh what i would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand befoe a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Whishing they'd have had the strength to satnd
But the gian't calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on tell me
Time and time again "boy, you'll neve win!
"You'll never win"
But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When i stop and listen to the sound of jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Romans 7:19-21 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
What is the nature of Sin? Sin is likened to a rhinoceros in a restaurant. As G.K. Chesterson says, "If a rhinoceros were to enter this restaurant now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I should be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever." It is the same as in the body of the believer, God has promised us with His son Jesus Christ that we are free from sin, in fact we are ded to sin! The power f sin leads to death, and the aim of the gospel of grace is to glorify God and free us from the reign of the beast within us. The nature of sin has great contempt for God. And as God's chosen children we are called to exterminate the presence of sin remaining in us. Kris Lungaard writes in his book "The Enemy Within," killing sin is like a student in biology class when the teacher calls the students to dissect a live wolverine. When you go to kill it, there is thrashing and gnawing of teeth. Sin does not want to be killed and yet when you do so it hurts and the battle to do so is long. There are two chief ways to kill the sin within you.
1.) pray to God with God; focus on God for who He is in all His majesty.
2.) read the Word with the Word; the word is the Lord Jesus Christ, and as we read the revealed word we read it with the assistance of the Salvation of our souls.
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
“Here in the cross is where every enemy of joy is overcome: divine wrath, as he becomes a curse for us; real guilt, as he becomes forgiveness for us; lawbreaking, as he becomes righteousness for us; estrangement from God, as he becomes reconciliation for us; slavery to Satan, as he becomes redemption for us; bondage to sin, as he becomes liberation for us; pangs of conscience, as we becomes cleansing for us; death, as he becomes the resurrection for us; hell, as he becomes eternal life for us.” (Spurgeon)
"There is an error to avoid, the danger of seeing the loving obedience of Christ as primarily and exclusively for the sake of man, when, in fact, it was primarily out of love for God that he accepted the cross (Heb. 10:7). Dr. Geerhardus Vos stresses that our Lord's Messiahship was "absolutely God-centered." "Jesus," says Vos, "accepted the cross out of a motive of love for God even more than, and before He accepted it because of His love for man...In dying, as in all else He did, He hallowed God's name." This is a truth too often overlooked, and it in no way detracts from the wonder that Christ loves each one of his people with all of his love." (Leahy)
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies, and if they perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let no one go there unwarned or unprayed for [Charles Haddon Spurgeon]
Christians are called to preach the gospel to themselves daily. This gospel requires mankind to love God with his whole heart, soul, mind and strength. That includes a resposibility to preach the gospel to those who are lost.
Pray for those who are lost, yet do more than that... warn them.
::about the site
Thank you for stopping by Relentless Grace. It is my desire that as you read these words on this site, you will be encouraged in your own personal walk with Christ, if you do not have one - I hope that you may come to know Christ more fully and deeply in a way that you can only experience when He is your lover and savior. May Christ be glorified and may you see the Cross and the relentless grace shown to sinners.
My name is Robbie Schmidtberger, and am the worst sinner that I know. Living in the Pittsburgh area is an eye opening experience as I learn daily of how much mankind needs redemption. My fulltime job is a student at Grove City College as a religion major. On the side I am an assitant to Dr. Iain Duguid, who is one of the best preachers I have ever heard. A lot of what you read on this site are ideas from books (textbook and fun books), sermons, classes and daily experiences as I seek to know Christ more fully and trust in His precious work, along with a personal twist of my life. (movies, friends and job related things)
::about the name
Admittingly I got the phrase from one of Dr. Duguid’s book titles. (Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace, published by P&R) As I read the book and studied God’s word I came to see God’s love for His people as relentless. He pursues us and His commitment to His bride is unwavering, even after she runs away and worships money, sex and pride. He holds me in His hand and refines me very carefully that I may be a reflection of His being and character.
This grace that God gives us is amazing. God bestows Grace upon those He loves and the manner in which He does is like a hound chasing a boar in a great medieval hunt, this grace that is shown to unworthy men and women, of which I am one of them… this grace is nothing less than Relentless. Welcome to Relentless Grace.
...Forcing tactics can only do damage, perhaps incalculable damage, to men's souls... Evangelism must rather be conceived as a long-term enterprise of patient teaching and instruction, in which God's servants seek simply to be faithful in delivering the gospel message and applying it to human lives, and leave it to God's Spirit to draw men to faith through this message in his own way and at his own speed...
...Evangelism and theology for the most part go separate ways, and the result is great loss for both. When theology is not held on course by the demands of evangelistic communcation, it grows abstract and speculative, wayward in method, theoretical in interest and irresponsible in stance. When evangelism is not fertilized, fed and controlled by theology, it becomes a stylized performance seeking its effect through manipulative skills rather than the power of vision and the force of truth. Both theology and evangelism are then, in one important sense, unreal, false to their own God-given nature; for all true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action...
Last night, along with 5 others, I went to see The End of the Spear. This is the movie that Evangelical Christendom has been telling pastors to cancel church to go see this movie. (Sounds strikingly similar to "The Passion of the Christ" two years ago).
The movie itself is an abbreviated tale of the missionary Nate Saint, his son Steve Saint and Mincayani, the Indian who killed Nate Saint. From an artistic viewpoint, I would argue that it was not well done. The movie had the feeling that it was rushed, lacking a climax (to the point of feleing anticlimatic), with several other flaws. The first 90 minutes of the movie seemed to build up to the point of where Mincayani would profess Christ as his savior (as he did in life). Instead it skipped that portion of life and went to 1994 where Steve Saint found out that this man killed his father. That moment felt like the climax, but the movie did not stress that as the "rising action" and deceived the audience to suspect something else instead of what it delivered.
To be postive however, the 3 men who were the focus of the movie were developed very well. The supporting actors were there to support and add to the three main characters. I think that the movie would be greatly improved if they would tell us why the missionaries were in Ecuador. The gospel of Jesus Christ was hardly mentioned at all where these people were seen to be there to stop the killing (mainly).
in conclusion: a movie that promised so much, delivered so little. A great moving story, but it missed the opportunity it had to make it brilliant.