Ancient Church Father's quote on the Incarnation

This is from Irenaeus's Against Heresy:

For it was for this end that the Word of God was made man,
and He who was the Son of God became the Son of man,
that man, having been taken into the Word, and receiving the adoption,
might become the son of God.
For by no other means could we have attained to
incorruptibility and immortality,
unless we had been united to
incorruptibility and immortality.
But how could we be joined to
incorruptibility and immortality,
unless, first,
incorruptibility and immortality
had become that which we also are,
so that the corruptible might be swallowed up by incorruptibility,
and the mortal by immortality,
that we might receive the adoption of sons?
(Book 3, Chapter 19)

VT Updates

InterVarsity is posting updates on our chapter at VT on this site:

Please pray for the folks there.


I'm too emotional to write right now, but I wanted to put something up to help folks as they process the VT shootings. I've found CJ's sermons to be pretty helpful. Check them out if you're interested.

Confronting sin

Here's a classic article from our friends over at the Navigators. Amy's grandfather gives us a subscription to Discipleship Journal (the Nav's magazine) every year. There's always great stuff in there.

Here's a brief outline:
I. Confrontation as restoration
II. Why is restoration necessary?
A. For others
B. For the church
C. For God
III. What to expect
A. Satan
B. Fear
C. Surprise
IV. Steps to restoration
A. Mt 18:15-17
B. Gal 6:1

Lyrics from "God be Merficul to Me"

We've sung "God be Merciful to Me" by Jars of Clay several times this term. It could be interesting to take some time to think about the words, so I'm posting them.

God be merciful to me
On Thy grace, I rest my plea
Plenteous in compassion Thou
Blot out my transgressions now
Wash me, make me pure within
Cleanse, oh, cleanse me from my sin

My transgressions I confess
Grief and guilt my soul oppress
I have sinned against Thy grace
And provoked Thee to Thy face
I confess Thy judgment just
Speechless, I, Thy mercy trust

I am evil born in sin
Thou desirest truth within
Thou alone my Savior art
Teach Thy wisdom to my heart
Make me pure, Thy grace bestow
Wash me whiter than the snow

Gracious God, my heart renew
Make my spirit right and true
Thy salvation's joy impart
Steadfast make my willing heart
Steadfast make my willing heart

Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just
Let my contrite heart rejoice
And in gladness hear Thy voice
From my sins, oh, hide Thy face
Blot them out in boundless grace

Failure and humility

Kevin Haas is a former IV Staffer and is currently the pastor of By Grace Community Church. He used to rock the blob at Rockbridge and rock the campus at CNU with his powerful preaching and evangelism. When Kevin speaks, I pay attention.

One time, I heard him say that he spent an entire year studying and meditating on the connection between boasting and the cross. I was floored. A whole year? How much could there be, man? But this was Haas speaking and I could see that he was powerfully impacted by his study of boasting and the cross.

You see, at the cross, all our boasting is stripped away. All our successes look like failures when we see the impact of our lives, the God-Man is dying on that cross in our place. Who can boast before the cross?

But when we see our sins stripped from us, placed on another, and nailed to the cross, a funny thing happens. Interesting funny, not "haha" funny. While we watch and experience this, we become humble. Our boasting in ourselves is cut off and replaced with something else, a new kind of boasting, a new assessment of ourselves. We no longer boast because we are worthy, but because - though we are unworthy - we are loved.

Now, we inevitably try to smuggle our good works into God's gift of grace, we inevitably turn from the cross and forget the source of our humility. I know that. But in those moments, in those moments when we stand at the foot of the cross and are reminded of grace, in those moments, we are humble. As John Stott wrote: "It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size."

The cross protects us from being both puffed up and cast down. To take the idea from Chaplain Park, you can't think that you're somebody or nobody if you're part of His Body.

Please, remember the cross. Meditate on what the Savior has done for us. Remember who you were and what it cost to make you who you are. Remember who you are in Christ and the value that you now have to God. Our moral failures put him on the cross, but on the cross he has broken our failures and rescued us to be united to him. How wonderful, the cross!