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Heidelberg Catechism

Question 65. Since it is by faith alone that we share in Christ and all his benefits, where does this faith come from?

Answer: From the Holy Spirit, (a) who produces faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and strengthens it by the use of the sacraments. (b)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

Click to read more ...


Sunday's Hymn: Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates!
Behold, the King of glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near,
The Saviour of the world is here.
Life and salvation he doth bring,
Wherefore rejoice and gladly sing:
We praise thee, Father, now,
Creator, wise art thou!

A Helper just he comes to thee,
His chariot is humility,
His kingly crown is holiness,
His scepter, pity in distress.

The end of all our woe he brings;
Wherefore the earth is glad and sings:
We praise thee, Saviour, now,
Mighty in deed art thou!

O blest the land, the city blest,
Where Christ the Ruler is confessed!
O happy hearts and happy homes
To whom this King in triumph comes!

The cloudless sun of joy he is,
Who bringeth pure delight and bliss.
We praise thee, Spirit, now,
Our Comforter art thou!

 Georg Weissel, translated by Catherine Winkworth

Sufjan Stevens

(Just listen to this one. No need to watch unless you’re hankering for a headache.)

Other hymns, worship songs, prayers, sermons excerpts, or quotes posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Wrapping Up a Month of Thanksgiving

Grace by Eric Enstrom

I posted at Out of the Ordinary this morning about the small gifts God gives us.

God’s purpose in the ordinary gifts is our joy: joy in the gifts, but even more, joy in the One who gives them. One hair on a head, one wildflower in a field, one bird in a tree—or a bowl of oatmeal and a loaf of bread—assure us that God is constantly caring for us and working for our good. 

Read the rest.


Thankful Thursday

I thought about skipping the Thankful Thursday post today, but how could I? It’s American Thanksgiving Day! Here are a few things I’m thankful for right now.

  • my furnace, a full tank of furnace oil, and the resources to pay for this morning’s oil delivery.  

  • my daughter-in-law, who is a week away from delivering my fourth grandchild, but who still has the energy and patience to care for her two other children—my grandchildren—who are three and 21 months. 

  • fresh raspberries and blackberries on special in the supermarket. When I was a child, the fresh fruit section in the grocery store had just apples, bananas, and maybe oranges in late November. 

  • God’s preservation of his own, assuring me that although my faith waxes and wanes, God will keep me by his power “for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment with your thanksgiving, post your thanksgiving on your blog, or tweet it. Give me the link by email or in a comment and I’ll add your thanksgiving to the list in the post.


No, Not the Same

In response to the argument that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, D. A. Carson makes this point.

[W]hen Jesus is asked, “Show us the Father” (John 14:8), he replies, “Don”t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (14:9) It appears, then, at this point in redemptive history, that not to recognize who Jesus is, is not to know God.”1

In the verses quoted from John 14, Jesus is asserting his own deity. If those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father, then he is God just like the Father is God. Now, after his coming, those who do not recognize Jesus as God do not actually know or worship the God he came to reveal.

Christians and Muslims may both claim to worship the God of Abraham, but anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the deity of Jesus is actually worshipping another god, and not the same God Christians worship.

1] D. A. Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance, page 119.