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messages · Archive edition
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
"By Thine All Sufficient Merit"
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"O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our
desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not
presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our
own, but on account of Your great compassion" (Daniel 9:18). "For while
we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6 ). "But God demonstrates His own love
for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us"
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all
sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good
deed" (2 Corinthians 9:8). "But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman,
born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive
the full rights of sons" (Galatians 4:4,5). "For
it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can
boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Brooksyne likes to clearance shop after the season and often finds some
remarkable bargains. This fall she bought some nice looking hanging
plant stands for 1 cent each that had been originally marked for
$23.00! The only problem is we have to wait for the next season to use
Hallmark Angel Choir
(click on photo to see short YouTube video)
Last February she bought a set of singing angels at a Hallmark store.
Four little angels sing two different Christmas carols each. They
are wirelessly connected so they sing together a total of eight songs.
If you come to our home this Christmas season we'll show
them to you and they'll likely bring a smile! We played them for
our dear friends, the Dourtes, on Saturday and they happily took home
an extra set we'd tucked away for gifts. They have many grandchildren
and great-grandchildren to entertain, and besides, it's entertaining to
adults as well.
We like a lot
of the Christmas songs and began singing them in our church this last
Lord's Day, the first Sunday of Advent. One short song that we sang this last Sunday and really enjoy is "Come Thou
Long Expected Jesus" written by Charles Wesley over 250 years ago.
Charles Wesley wrote 18 Christmas songs, several which are still
frequently sung. His songs often go beyond the manger scene and express
deep spiritual truths and allusions to more obscure Bible passages.
Consider the rich words to this short song line by line:
Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
lyrics are loaded with spiritual truth, but one line that especially
grips my heart due to its rich theological meaning states, "By Thine all
sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne."
This is a musical expression of what is known as imputed righteousness.
That is, Christ's righteousness is reckoned (imputed) on our behalf. It is His
merit and not our own which is the basis of our salvation. And His
merit is all sufficient, once for all, nothing more needed!
We shared a lengthy selection of verses related to this truth above but let
us focus on one, which is probably the most famous verse on grace in the
Bible: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by
works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9). Here we see a clear distinction between God's grace and man's works (our merits).
All of this grace was given to us in Jesus Christ. We could not earn
it; we did not merit it. This is the grace of God! It is truly a result of God's all sufficient merit.
We are saved by God's mercy, not by our merit—by Christ's dying, not by our doing. *1
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace. *²
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Prayer: Gracious Father, through no merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion, we are redeemed
and receive full benefits as Your children. For while we were still
helpless and living in sin, Jesus demonstrated His love for us when He
died for our sins. No treasure or gift can compare with
the gift of salvation freely given to all who will receive Your Son who
did not come to condemn the world but came that the world through Him
might be saved. Thank You for accepting the all-sufficient merit
of Jesus who gave His all-sufficient mercy that we might be
completely forgiven and receive eternal life. Amen.
For further study: I found this insight on the phrase "all sufficient merit" on the Creator Worship blog:
"We speak of Christ’s all sufficient grace though never frequently
enough. It occurred to me that we would never have that grace if it
were not for His all sufficient merit. In what respect is it all
sufficient? His nature was divine from eternity past, the essence of
perfection. His was most certainly an immaculate conception because he
did not receive our father Adam’s sin nature but rather possessed His
coequal nature with His Heavenly Father. As a man he fulfilled all the
law, actually blameless though accused, tempted, and rejected. And you
can’t improve on perfection, right? The Scripture teaches that He
did, not in essence but in quantity: “For it was fitting for Him, for
whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many
sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through
sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10) and “Although He was a Son, He learned
obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made
perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal
salvation,…” (Hebrews 5:8-9). He added to all of His other perfections
this merit also that He obeyed and suffered, purchasing us heaven. His
merit is sufficient to raise sinners who trust Him to His glorious
throne where He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High. I am
there positionally now and bodily one day to worship and thank Him for
His all sufficient merit that bought His all sufficient grace for me."
Here's another good study.
*1 From "Our Daily Bread"
Suggested Music and
"Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" Video Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels
"This Is Love / Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" Video Paul Baloche & Kathryn Scott
"Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" Video Sandra McCracken & Derek Webb
"Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" Audio Lifespring podcast with history of the hymn
*² "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior" Video Gaither Homecoming
I found two additional stanzas for "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" written by Mark Hunt:
Joy to those who long to see thee,
Dayspring from on high, appear
Come thou promised Rod of Jesse,
Of thy birth we long to hear!
O’er the hills the angels singing news, glad tidings of a birth
“Go to him, your praises bringing
Christ the Lord has come to earth.”
Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end;
By his life he brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer Shepherd Friend.
Leaving riches without number, born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring
Him glory. Through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I have been
redeemed and I make it my life’s goal to honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."
securely today anchored
God's solid foundation"