“The love of Christ.
Christ’s love is far greater than all our sins. John Owen compares our weak love with his powerful love:
A man may love another as his own soul, yet his love may not be able to help him. He may pity him in prison, but not relieve him, bemoan him in misery, but not help him, suffer with him in trouble, but not ease him. We cannot love grace into a child, nor mercy into a friend; we cannot love them into heaven, though it may be the greatest desire of our soul…But the love of Christ, being the love of God, is effective and fruitful in producing all the good things which he wills for his beloved. He loves life, grace, and holiness into us; he loves us into covenant, loves us into heaven.”
-John Owen, as quoted by Ray Ortlund, “The Gospel” (pg. 47-8).
Thomas Watson says: “If he is sovereign, why doesn’t he just make some kind of force field around us, so to speak, so that Satan can’t touch us? Temptations are a hard part of the Christian life, so why does our heavenly Father allow us to be tempted?
He lets them be tempted to try them. Temptation is a touchstone to try what is in the heart. The devil tempts that he may deceive, but God lets us be tempted to try us. This is how God tries our sincerity (like he did Job).
By temptation God tries our love. When the devil showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, such was Christ’s love to his Father, that he abhorred the temptation. True love will not be bribed. When the devil’s darts are most fiery, a saint’s love to God is most fervent.
By temptation God tries our courage. He is a valiant Christian that brandishes the sword of the Spirit against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The heroic spirit of a saint is never more seen than in a battle-field when he is fighting with the red dragon, and by the power of faith puts the devil to flight.
God allows his children to be tempted so that they may be kept from pride. Pride keeps grace in the heart low, that it cannot thrive. God resists pride; and so that he may keep his children humble, he allows them sometimes to fall into temptation (2 Cor. 11:7).
God lets his people be tempted that they may be more fit to comfort others who are in the same distress, and speak a word in due season to such as are weary. Paul was trained up in the fencing-school of temptation and was able to acquaint others with Satan’s wiles and strategies (2 Cor. 2:11).
God lets his children be tempted to make them long more for heaven, where they shall be out of the range of Satan’s guns, and free from the hissing of the old Serpent. Heaven is the place of rest, no bullets of temptation fly there. Temptations make the saint long to receive the crown of victory in the resting place of heaven.”
-the above quotes were originally posted by Pastor Shane Lems (https://reformedreader.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/why-god-allows-satans-temptations-watson/)
Ian Hamilton says:
Did Jesus truly rise from the dead? Did Jesus’ biographers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—record actual historical events? Were they capable historians? These are just some of the many questions that arise in our minds as we read the Bible.
Come and join us at our Easter Sunday service tomorrow at 10:30 am at Emmaus Road Reformed Church in Eden Prairie, MN (meeting at Eden Lake Elementary School 12000 Anderson Lakes Parkway, Eden Prairie).
And check out this video by Dr. Peter Williams as he gives a summary of the biblical evidence for the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus’ bodily resurrection. Dr. Williams is the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge:
As we read the Scriptures, it is evident that the gospel writers had access to eyewitness testimony. We are to read the gospels as historically accurate and reliable documents. As Christians, we rejoice in the promise of the historic, bodily resurrection of Christ each Lord’s Day, including this coming Easter Sunday.
The gospel itself is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is a sham. But if Christ did rise bodily on the third day, then as Christians we have a certain hope that death has been defeated and we have the promise of the resurrection of our bodies and life eternal.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says:
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
You are warmly invited to attend our Good Friday worship service this Friday, April 14 at 7 pm at Emmaus Road Reformed Church in Eden Prairie, MN (meeting at Eden Lake Elementary School 12000 Anderson Lakes Parkway, Eden Prairie).
In this service, the Scripture readings in Luke and the sermon on Psalm 22 will trace the events of the final hours of Christ’s suffering. What does it mean that Christ “suffered?”
As the Heidelberg Catechism says (Question and Answer 37) it means “that all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race;1 in order that by His passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice,2 He has redeemed our body and soul from everlasting damnation,3 and obtain for us the grace of God, righteousness, and eternal life.4”
Through the service we ponder the cost of our salvation by meditating on the depth of Christ’s suffering, his crucifixion, death, and burial. Though the Friday evening service is filled with solemnity, we know also of Sunday’s resurrection morning. Thus we may call the evening “Good.”
1 Isa 53; 1 Tim 2:6; 1 Pt 2:2-4, 3:18; 2 Rom 3:25; 1 Cor 5:7; Eph 5:2; Heb 10:14; 1 Jn 2:2, 4:10; 3 Rom 8:1-4; Gal 3:13; Col 1:13; Heb 9:12; 1 Pt 1:18-19; 4 Jn 3:16; Rom 3:24-26; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 9:15