Devotional

6 posts

Christ Our Substitute

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3) THE CROSS IS CENTRAL in the apostolic proclamation of the gospel. Paul said to the Corinthians, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). To the Galatians, he wrote: “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). When we meditate on the cross, our thoughts are often taken up with the details of Jesus’ physical suffering. This is not inappropriate, […]

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

IN HIS RESURRECTION AND EXALTATION, Christ did far more than return to us our humanity. Even as the Son of Man departed from the earth, he sent us his Spirit. This was a pivotal event, unprecedented in the history of God’s saving deeds. As Peter points out, it was also the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that God would pour his Spirit out in the “last days” (Joel 2:28–32; Acts 2:17–21). True, the Spirit of God was active before the coming of Christ. Scripture speaks of the Spirit’s involvement in both creation (Gen. 1:2) and redemption (Isa. 63:7–14). From Peter and Paul, we know that the Spirit was also the agent of God’s self-revelation through Scripture (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Tim. […]

The Godwardness of Sin

THOUGH WE ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, the tragic reality is that we have rebelled against God and now live under his judgment and wrath (Gen. 3: 16–19; Rom. 1:18). The image of God is therefore distorted. In Calvin’s words, God’s image is deformed, vitiated, mutilated, maimed, disease-ridden, and disfigured. This is true for all of us. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We have failed to glorify God by not loving his person, obeying his laws, and delighting in his glory. Rather than exclusively worshiping our glorious Creator, we have served and worshiped created things (Rom. 1:21–23). We are “alienated from the life of God” and “dead in trespasses and […]

Created for Relationships

TO BE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD means we are designed to display God’s nature, character, and glory. As a mirror is made for reflection, so God created us to be mirrors of his character, instruments for reflecting his glory. Created in God’s image, we are invested with special dignity and entrusted with particular duties. Our distinct worth as human beings springs from being God’s image-bearers, the unique reflectors of his character on earth. The rest of creation declares God’s glory, speaking of it vividly in a great variety of ways (Ps. 19:1). But we reflect it, actually making it, in small part, visible and tangible. One of the supreme ways we reflect God’s glory is by relating to […]

The Chief End of Man

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27) WHY DID GOD CREATE US? For what purpose? The Westminster Shorter Catechism answers, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Speaking originally of the scattered exiles of Israel whom God promised to redeem, Isaiah 43:6–7 agrees: I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. In the first chapter of Genesis we don’t read […]

Introducing “To Be Like Jesus” by Brian G. Hedges

“SOME BOOKS FOCUS on what Christ has done for us, and others on what Christ does in us. Rare, however, are books that teach us how Christ works in us on the basis of what he had already accomplished for us. Brian Hedges has written one of these rare books, laid out in short devotions crafted to stimulate faith that bears fruit through love. This is a book not only to read, but to practice in the pursuit of holiness.” —Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan THE CHRISTIAN LIFE is a journey of spiritual and moral transformation into the glorious image and likeness of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This journey is lifelong. […]