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Theological Term of the Week

The branch of theology that examines the biblical teaching about salvation, including God’s eternal plan to save sinners, Christ’s work in history to secure the salvation of sinners, and the Holy Spirit’s work regenerating and transforming sinners.

  • Biblical soteriology: 

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV)

    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

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Heidelberg Catechism

Question 70. What does it mean to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?

Answer: To be washed by Christ’s blood means that God, by grace, has forgiven my sins because Christ’s blood, poured out for us in his sacrifice on the cross; (a) and to be washed with Christ’s Spirit means to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and set apart to members of Christ, that more and more we become dead to sin and increasingly lead holy and blameless lives. (b)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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Sunday's Hymn: The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of Love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul he leadeth,
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me,
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thine unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth.

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house for ever.

—Henry W. Baker
There are two commonly used tunes for this hymn.

St. Columba

Dominus Regit Me

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.


Adopted by God

It’s my turn to post at Out of the Ordinary. I’ve written on the believer’s adoption, adding one more to my list of truths every Christian woman should know.

When you believed the gospel, you were adopted by God. He became your father and you became his child. Before you believed, you were estranged from God, but with adoption, you come into a loving father/child relationship with him. J. I. Packer explains that our “adopted status means that in and through Christ God loves [us] as he loves his only begotten Son and will share with [us] all the glory that is Christ’s now.”

Adoption is one of the saving benefits that comes to us through Christ’s work. The believer’s sins have been forgiven and they have been given right standing with God, so they can be adopted by him. Or to think of it another way, believers have been united with Christ, and the relationship they have with God the Father is in many ways similar to his. He is the unique Son of God, but those united to him, as his siblings, are also God’s sons and daughters—sons and daughters by adoption. 

Read the rest.

Here are the previous posts in this series: 

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for

  • a few dreaded tasks finished—and they weren’t so bad after all. 
  • warmer winter weather. We had a cold spell that ended today and the forecast for next week okay. Anytime Yukon January weather looks decent, it’s something to be thankful for. 
  • for the busyness that keeps the cold, dark days flying by. And while I’m at it, I’m thankful that one week of January 2015 is crossed off the calendar. One week down, three and a bit to go.
  • smelly candles and an African violet in bloom, two things to brighten the darkness of the winter days.
  • God’s daily faithfulness (Where would I be without it?) and God’s rule in world history (Where would we be without it?)
  • adoption into God’s family. 

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.