Wednesday, October 11, 2006

For I Determined Not To Know Anything Among You, Save Jesus Christ, and Him Crucifed

The SC Reading Group can either supply comments to this post,
or can click the "meeting" #2 link on the sidebar.


I Corinthians 2:2 is in Charnock's view throughout his book, and it is the governing theme of his first chapter.
It would be pride to think that [the Corinthian's] fancies could be more prevalent than evangelical reason; and therefore the apostle would do nothing but endeavor to set out Christ in his own colours, as he hung upon the cross, that their souls might be captivated to the obedience of a crucified Lord. (26)
The first chapter is divided as follows:

Observe:

  1. All human wisdom must be denied, when it comes in competition with the doctrine of Christ.
  2. Christ and his death is the choicest subject for the wisest ear.
  3. As all Christ, so especially his death, is the object of faith.
  4. As all Christ, so more especially his death in all the mysteries of it, ought to be the main subject of a Christian's study and knowledge.
I. In the first spring [origin]. His death was ordered by God
  • An act of his sovereignty
  • An act of the choicest love
II. Consider the person suffering
  • In regard of his dignity
  • The willingness of his suffering
  • The greatness of his suffering
III. Consider the fruits of his death, which will render it worth our study
  • The appeasing of the wrath of God for us
  • Silencing the law
  • Upon this must follow the removal of guilt
  • The conquest of Satan
  • Sanctification is another fruit of the cross of Christ
  • Opening heaven for us


12 comments:

JS said...

What a challenge to read this chapter. To be confronted with the enormity of our crime against a holy and righteous God.

To be confronted by the sovereignty of God and His "act of choicest love".

"But that he might wind up his love to the highest pitch, he would not only restore man, but rather than let him lie in his deserved misery, would punish his own Son, to secure man from it. It was purely his grace which was the cause that his Son 'tasteth death for every man'. - Page 30

And to be confronted with heart wrenching fact that the cross not only demonstrated God's love for us, but that of Christ's love for us as well.

"Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." - Eph. 5:2

What a reminder. Christ died for whom? For me. It is personal, amen? A vile worm as "I". By God's grace may we be stirred up by way of reminder of the depth of our rescue. It was planned, it was purposeful, it was costly, it was undeserved and it was PERSONAL.

Through this chapter, if we listen closely, we will hear a familiar question being asked over and over again. A PERSONAL question that flows through the pages of Charnock's words. A question all must answer:

"Who do people say that I am?"

"They told Him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets." And He continued by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am?"

"Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." - Mark 8:27-29

And again Peter says:

"We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." - John 6:69

May God give us the grace to live Cross-Centered lives and may our lives echo the words of Paul:

"For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."

Jordan said...

Don't miss Charnock's shortest section in our reading selection. Page 32, top paragraph; The willingness of His suffering.

Jesus "willingly consented" and "willingly accomplished [the cross]." There is a deep deep mine here!

"His enemies were not so desirous to make Him a sufferer, as He Himself was straightened till He was a sufferer."

"His enemies did not so maliciously put Him to shame, as He joyfully endured it (Hebrews 12:2)."

Christ's voluntary subordination to the will of the Father is a marvel to behold! Submission that took Him all the way to the CROSS!

John 5:19, 30 - "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner...I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

John 8:29 - "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."

John 17:4 - "I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou has given Me to do."

melissa said...

I want to encourage everyone to remember to pray for each of us- it was really good for my soul this morning to focus on praying for each of you and it helped me to not be so focused on myself.
As for the reading this week; wow- I am so thankful for Stephen Charnock and his encouragment and challenge to his readers.

"Doth not then a crucified Christ deserve to be known and studied by every one of us, who hath done that upon the cross, which the holy law, sacrifices divinely instituted, the blessed angels, the purity and strength of universal nature, had never [would never have] been able to effect?
p. 26
This verse came to mind:

"And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has counqured, so that he can open the scroll and its sevel seals." Revelation 5:2-5

Only our Jesus is able to appease God the Father. Only our Jesus was able to live a life of complete holiness.Only our Jesus had the power to tear the veil in two. Only our Jesus could defeat all evil with a drop of blood and only our Jesus was able to conquer death through His one time sacrifice. It is for those reasons that He alone is able to open the scroll. And it is for these reasons He deserves to be violently pursued and continually sought.

Todd said...

With all of the incredible folks who are on this virtual reading list, I would love to be in the same room discussing this text and challenging one another. But, thanks to modern technology, we can at least view each other’s typos and incorrect grammar!

A few ramblings….

-Right out of the gate, Charnock makes an observation about the early Church that encouraged me. I am concerned at times about the doctrine of emerging churches (i.e. house churches in China). Satan is constantly stepping in to sow his tares and attempt to trip up God’s people. Praise God that He has blessed us with his word as an inerrant foundation for our faith!
-I am so consumed with self that it is difficult for me to think in a way that promotes Christ in all things. ‘Jesus’ was written over 500 times in Paul’s epistles! Oh, that I might strive to be as Christ-focused and –centered as Paul. p27
-Christ’s death is the ultimate study for a Christian. His death and resurrection are his primary goal on earth. Therefore, we should be preoccupied with those things in the manner that our Master was.
-Jesus didn’t just take on some vague idea of sin (like cleaning up our mess); He experienced the wrath of God’s judgment for us. Charnock says, “the wrath of God was appeased on the death of the Redeemer.”
-There is nothing that remains to be done. He has cancelled all enmity between us and the Father.
Don’t you want to get to know the guy who “covered you.” Christ has paid such an incredible price and given us such an amazing blessing to know him. If someone were to buy you a house or a car, wouldn’t you want to get to know that guy and show him your appreciation? How much more should we desire and strive to know and love the One who first loved us and paid it all?
-Satan is the executioner, not the prince. His only power is in that he carries out the punishment of sin. Christ’s death removed his power (took away the keys) when He gave us a way to salvation through His sacrifice. Satan’s authority, namely sin, was taken away. I’m encouraged that Satan has no authority over me. Temptation is not an un-winnable battle because Christ has already miraculously redeemed me and “delivered me from the venom of sin that had infected my nature.”

B.Nelson said...

Growing up in church, I heard the story of Christ crucified many times, every Easter as a matter of fact. The problem was that's all it was to me, a story. I believed it was a true story, but it never had an impact on my life. Almost a year ago God opened my eyes to who I really was, a hopeless sinner. Christ on the cross had never looked so beautiful. 1Cor.1:17 "For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." Christ crucified finally meant something to me, it was no longer just a story, it changed me and is changing me. Charnock's section on sancification as a fruit of the cross of Christ is so true. I went to church my entire life and never knew what sanctification was. I thought after I got baptized when I was 9, that was it. Thank God He woke me up from that state of "easy believism." I am thankful for this book we are reading. It's amazing how God continues to put things in my life to draw me nearer to Him. I believe this reading group and Charnock's book is just another way.

Debbie Thomas said...

That God chose me before the earth was formed, that Christ died for my sins is just mind boggling. This book helps me to have a low view of self and a high view of HIM. Thank you for praying for me today.

Johnathan said...

"...a sarifice there must be , to repair the honour of God by bearing the the penalty of the law, which could not be done by the strength and holiness of any creature. All the created force in the earth, and the strongest force of the angelic nature, were too feeble for so great a task" (p.17-old version)

There is One who was and is WORTHY! What glorious truth...reminded me of the scene in Revelation 5

"And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?' And no one on heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look into it...one of the elders said to me, 'Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals'...and when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb..saying..'Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."

Johnathan said...

Wow...it appears Melissa and I had the same scripture come to mind...I didn't notice until after I posted. Sorry for those of you who had to focus on that amazing scripture more than once in a day :-)

Brandon said...

The fact that not only should i be pusnished for my sin but that if justice was to be poured out and i had to bear it; that would never satisfy GOD pg.34 line 9-12 and 18-22. It has to be someone divine someone infinite to infinitley cover sin.

I stand humbled at the truth of ''there was no more necessity of dying on the cross than creating the world it added nothing to the happiness of GOD'' pg.30 line 25-27.

Christ was and is the Surety. Even though HE is infinitly powerfull and able to create the universe by a word can he not also redeem man by a word (yes) but this is not just and since GOD is all things the just and the justifier He soveriegnly chose this way THE CROSS.

I thought it quaint that Charnock mentioned two to three times after all this amazing thought: should HE not be praised is HE not worthy to be thought about should we not sit and ponder about the cross about Christ. I examine my heart and say thank you Charnock for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and writing words that spurr me on to think of the something that seemed so simple and have my world blown up that I have not sooner delved into the riches of the Cross.

tuck said...

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” I Cor. 2:2

“I determined to know nothing, not your traditions, not your philosophical wisdom, not your poets, not your mysterious oracles, But Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” p. 27

Let us continue to dig into the beauty of the cross and have the attitude Paul had toward the Corinthians—knowing Jesus Christ. I pray that we are continually aware of what Christ has done for us and that our conversations would be focused on Him. May our family, friends, church family, co-workers, and others see the joy we rest in and desire to know it for themselves.

Because of Christ’s death we not only have forgiveness but also justification. We have been made right before God and now rest in the righteousness of Christ. Sanctification, perseverance, glorification, and so many other things are possible because of Christ’s death. Hopefully the more we read, the better we can grasp the cross.

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for me and the rest of the group. I pray that each morning we would look forward to spending time in the word and that we would desire to deny self, take up our crosses, and follow Christ. I also pray that we would not let the false joys of this world distract us from eternal joy in Christ. We need to especially remember Bro. Ron since he is back in the hospital with an infection, fever, and blood clots in his legs. Also pray that if it would please God to heal his cancer—He would because He can!!

KB said...

Man's wisdom detracts from the glory of God, who is more honoured by the simplicity of the gospel, than luxuriances of wit. p.26
-Lord protect us from self and give us much needed grace to preach THE GOSPEL in truth and detail, Christ Crucified.

The cross was ordered by God
It was decreed and enacted in heaven, resolved before time, though done in the fullness of time. p.28
-Wheww, woow.

Justice must have satisfaction....The dignity of his person puts a value upon his punishment, and renders it acceptable for us, ...it was a death justice required, and at the sight of it justice was so calmed...p. 34
-Jesus satisfied God's justice. God is Just.

You don't have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, and then be willing to live for them and die for them. The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by a few great things. If you want your life to count, if you want the ripple effect of the pebbles you drop to become waves that reach the ends of the earth and roll on for centuries and into eternity, you don't have to have a high IQ or EQ; you don't have to have to have good looks or riches; you don't have to come from a fine family or a fine school. You have to know a few great, majestic, unchanging, obvious, simple, glorious things, and be set on fire by them. J.Piper.

-May God grant that I be set on fire and mastered by the knowledge of the holy and Christ crucified....My King!!

jshivley said...

I know I know...there aren't any good excuses for not being at the "meeting", but I'll just say that 24 hour shifts of emergency duty and emergency horse surgery are killers!!!! I've still kept up with the reading and praying, and have to say that I am quite intimidated by the great line up of names in this group and the posts that have been placed so far. Here are my humble and inadequate scribblings (word?) or typings.

When Packer is talking about the central focus of Christianity, and says that "this is a knowledge that involves both the head and the heart...", it reminds me of the verse that says God seeks those that will worship him in spirit and in truth. True worship must involve head and heart...spirit and truth!

Packer aslo talks about how it is up to us to warm up for ourselves the bony treatment that Charnock gives to this subject. He suggested first with meditating on the lyrics of some freakin awesome songs. It led me to a series of thoughts and promptings from the Holy Spirit to try a new thing at our church in the next few weeks. I think we're going to have a teaching on Christ Crucified, but intersperse 5-10 minutes of Truth-filled, powerful teachings with songs like the ones suggested to stir the Godly-emotions of the people at church. A perfect time to do this will be when Camie (my sister) comes to visit Starkvegas. It'll be kinda like a concert when there's songs and then some teaching, and them some songs...hopefully it will be a powerful time that awakens the souls of the listeners and draws them nearer to our glorious Christ and the reality of Christ Crucified.

Puritanism defined...the application of the Bible to all life and thought with the aim of living to the glory of God--so simple, yet so profoundly powerful. I pray that I do this with diligence every day of my life by the grace of God.

"Whoso wants to climb Jacob's ladder, to see angels, to stand near the Gate of Gethsemane and to have his heart wrung with feelings of adoration at the goodness of God - let him read on." Woooooohoooooooooo!! Now if that didn't get us excited... and the first chapter lived up to the expectation.

It was interesting to me when Charnock talked about the church of Corinth and how it was flourishing in gifts, yet crumbled into divisions...we get stuck into our customs and patterns and think we have it all right...but all that does is lead to divisions. Psalms says that it is in unity where God commands the blessing (not sure of the address??)...May we be unified in the surpassing knoweledge of Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

"It was the Son of God who stooped down infinitely below himself into our nature, to be a sacrifice for our redemption; he that was greater than heaven became meaner than a worm" "It was purely his grace which was the cause..." -- Oh man!! My mind can't get around the fact...by God's grace he put his Son to death; ordained to put in the state of a sinner in our stead; God; Jesus...Jesus. Oh that I may just say "here I am"...use me, take me, break me, waste me on You!!!

"There is nothing now remains to be done, but our consenting to those terms upon which he offers us the actual enjoyment of it." -- by grace you have been saved, and not of yourselves...

Charnock talked about how Jesus purchasing eternal life was not an end unto itself, but that we may see Him, reside and live with Him!! -- This time on earth our preperations for the eternal life ahead...am I prepared??

"A strong meditation on Christ will not only excite compassion for his suffereings, but a detestation of our sins and selves as the cause of them. It is a look upon Christ pierced that pierceth the soul" Man... I need to be doing this every day!!! Lord, help me by your grace to meditation on Christ crucified daily, to the glory of God the Father!