A Review of the Wales Retreat – The Cross (part 2)

By His Stripes We are Healed

His Wonderful, Gracious Presence

What Joy what wonder of wonders, that common men, who were picked up from the very streets of the cities could behold the presence of the King, note these guests were not the nobles of the land, they were not the lords and ladies of the land, rather they were the market traders, they were the thieves on the street, they were the normal people no one would regard, they were the outcasts, they were the diseased, for the command of the king was go to the highways and byways and compel them to come. Note what the scriptures say:  “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 2so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” ( I Cor. 1:26-31).

But the King came into the presence of these rabble, he chose to view them and grace them with His very presence, not because of them but because of His Son, we, look at verse 30 above it says its because of Him that we are in Christ Jesus, it is the call of God that has brought us here not because of anything in us, but in our condition, in our sin and because the Son is made unto us righteousness we are allowed into the very presence of the King, we are allowed into the throne of Grace – How wonderful, How glorious, how exhilarating, that even I can come into Gods presence without fear or trembling – Thank you, thank you Lord Jesus, thank you.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  

A Review of the Wales Retreat – The Cross (part 3)

Considering the Garment

Since the guests were gathered in from the streets, the King must have provided garments for each one at the gate. It has been known to happen in the past where a king provides garments for those whom he invites to his table and so must be the case here. So the man the king espied must have had a garment given to Him when he entered the gate, but when the king saw him he had no wedding garment on, he had another garment on but not one appropriate for the wedding. A lot of times the kind of clothes we wear reveals our attitude, it may even show where we are planning to go, for sports, for work, for an interview, for a casual engagement etc, so was this man; his garments revealed that he was not interested in the wedding other things had captured his mind, the honour of the Son was not his primary focus, the glory and majesty of the king did not enthrall him. Rather the other things in the palace had attracted him like we said they may have been legitimate and nice, but in as much as they were distracting from the main thing (The honour of the Son), they had become a means of destruction at least to this guest. The question then remains what does this garment represents to us:

Isa.61:10

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels”

Rm.10:3

“For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

Phil.3:9

“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith”

Rm.1:16-17

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,  as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””

Isa 61:10 tells us the garment is the garment of Salvation it’s the robe of righteousness, thus the garment in the parable represents the garment of Salvation the robe of righteousness, further still we are told by Paul, that this robe of righteousness ought to be worn and none other, we should labour to ensure that we have His garments and not ours – Paul further tells us in Rm.1:16-17 that this garment of righteousness is from the gospel, it’s the gospel that encompasses this garment the garment is Salvation and righteousness which is the gospel. So what we have in this parable is that the guest forgot or casted aside the gospel. He might have heard it or seemed to receive it but the fact that he had it not meant that he was casted away into darkness when he came before the presence of the King. The Gospel is important to the king because that is the way He has fashioned to honour the Son, it is in the gospel that the glory of the Lord shines forth in its effulgent brilliance.

So the garment is extremely important it is relevant at all times, just as the dressing of the man revealed his hearts goal in the courts of the king, so does our life with regards to the gospel show whether of a truth we are born of God. If he came to honour the king, he would cherish everything the king gave him, if we have genuinely come to honour and worship God, then the gospel of the glorious grace of God will be precious to us and we will not be moved away from it so soon or ever (Gal.1:6).

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

All I Once Held Dear (Knowing You)

All I once held dear, built my life upon,

All this world reveres and wars to own;

All I once thought gain I have counted loss,

Spent and worthless now compared to this.

 

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You

There is no greater thing.

You’re my all, You’re the best,

You’re my joy, my righteousness,

And I love You Lord.

 

Now my heart’s desire is to know You more,

To be found in You and know as Yours,

To possess by faith what I could not earn

All surpassing gift of righteousness

 

Oh to know the power of Your risen life,

And to know You in Your sufferings;

To become like You in Your death, my Lord,

So with You to live and never die.

 

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  

How Deep The Father’s Love for Us

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Published in: on October 9, 2009 at 12:17 am  Comments (1)  

A Review of the Wales Retreat – The Cross

By His Stripes We are Healed

TETELESTAI!

Review:

The Opening Charge: Abiding Importance of the Cross of Christ

The opening charge focused on Matt.22:1-14

There we learnt that there was a King who invited people to the wedding feast of His Son, we noted that the Wedding itself is more important than the wedding feast, none of us would appreciate our wedding reception being full of Guests whilst the wedding programme in church was virtually empty, so whilst the king invited people to the feast his intention was that they come to the whole wedding which culminated in the feast. Even though the king said my fated calf is ready and I have furnished the dinner table he ended by saying “Come to the Wedding” ( KJV and J. Darnby – translations) – Not the Feast but the wedding, not self but the Son.

So the ultimate end of the King was His Son, he wanted to honour the Son, he wanted the Son to get glory and praise from the splendour of the wedding and the appropriately dressed people at the wedding. And so All that the King did it was in view of His intention to honour His Son.

Jn.5:23

“that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”

Phil.2:8-9

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name”

Jn.17: 5

“And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed”

The verses above show us that that is the aim of the Father, For God has inextricably woven His own glory into the glorification of the Son, so the son can say that “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”.

Distractions:

The issue is that there are so many distractions, these distractions are not necessarily evil in themselves, though there are some that are evil: look back into the story:

  1. Evil Distractions:

Matt.22:3 “and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.”

They would not come, they were distracted from what was the main thing, their hearts were set on other things, so that the very presence of the King was no longer pleasurable to them, it was no longer attractive, it no longer held sway over their life, such is when we are too busy and forget the things of God, such is when we have more time for daily stuff than we have for fellowship with him, such is when his sacrifice on our behalf no longer holds the tenderness of our hearts, such is when we can consider the cross and laugh like the mockers did, such are marks that there has been no saving work in our hearts, or we have backslidden to such a terrible state and need the hand of God once more on our hearts to remove the searing and hardness of sin.

2. Other Distractions:

I cannot call these none evil distractions, because when we consider what the consequences of these distractions have been in our generation, we cannot term them as not evil when they become a distraction. The issue is not that these things are wrong in themselves, but they become wrong when they become a distraction from the main thing. You remember the story of Mary and Martha, the service that Martha was rendering was acceptable, it was a command “a deacon must be given to hospitality”, but in as much as it distracted Martha from the main thing, from the singular thing that was necessary it became evil. Look at the story once more the King said “Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage” (Matt.22:4) – The king speaks about the Dinner, about the Oxen, about the fatlings that have been killed and prepared, the feast has been bountifully furnished – these things are legitimate but He did not call them to the feast but rather to the Marriage (KJV). Even so in Christ there is healing for sickness, there are miracles, there are words of knowledge, prophecy, tongues – all these things are good in themselves but once they take centre stage they are no longer fulfilling the task for which they are sent, they are all sent to Honour the Son, because the Spirit that gives them is sent to Honour the Son (Jn.16:13-15).

But once we are distracted from that for which ought to take central stage, we have lapsed into a form of idolatry, and so we must watch constantly that we are not falling into these other distractions that seem valid that seem nice, but that can lead us astray from the purpose of God – and thus instead of living to His glory we become a dishonour to the One to whom we owe, our life, our breath, our every vey being.

Published in: on October 9, 2009 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

What This Blog is About!

We are a group of youth, who meet for retreat once a year to be refreshed by the study of the word, we come from several different Churches, but one thing that holds us together is the Cross of Our Lord Jesus, by which we the undeserving have become inheritors of Gods great and precious promises. We hope within this blog to post messages that help to constantly keep the Cross in focus – Paul said our lives must always be in line with the Gospel (Gal.2:14), that’s what we want to encourage and grow in.