Friday, July 18, 2008

What About Sin? (part 1)
A Definition of Sin

No one who seriously reads the Bible can deny the reality of sin. Sin is explained and exposed in Scripture. The Bible simply declares: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible says “all.” That means you, me and everyone else. We all have sinned. We all are sinners. We may compare ourselves to each other, and perhaps even come out “better” than someone else, but sin is not necessarily egregious because we sin against each other. Sin is bad because ultimately we sin against God. Perhaps there are those who say, “I’m ok, after all, I’m not a murderer.” We often think of sin in terms of some serious criminal activity. But that isn’t genuinely Biblical. The Bible, God’s Holy Word, reveals for us what sin is in 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” The point is that sin is breaking God’s law. It is basically rebellion against God. Sin is rotten because we offend a Holy and Righteous God. Sin is bad whether the sin is lust, or stealing, or lying, hating or disobedience, since all sins are ultimately offensive to God. The broken window illustration shows that whether or not a person throws a brick or a small pebble, the window is, at any rate, broken. And so it is with God's law. Whether the sin is "big" or "small" we all have broken God's law, therefore, we all are sinners.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Francis Scott Key's earlier hymn:
Lord With Glowing Heart I'd Praise Thee

Lord, with glowing heart I’d praise Thee
For the bliss Thy love bestows,
For the pard’ning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows:
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise;
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.

Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wand’rer, far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away:
Praise with love’s devoutest feeling,
Him who saw thy guiltborn fear,
And, the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.

Praise thy Saviour God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood-sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to Him and live:
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease,
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.

Lord, this bosom’s ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express:
Low before Thy footstool kneeling,
Deign thy suppliant’s pray’r to bless:
Let Thy love, my soul’s chief treasure,
Love’s pure flame within me raise;
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth Thy praise. Amen.

Francis Scott Key will always be remembered for writing the words to what has become our National Anthem in 1931. This poem however, written in 1817 by Mr. Key is a powerful testimony to His faith in Christ and his gratitude for Salvation. Personally, I like the third verse the most. The last stanza is hilarious because he mentions how vainly his lips would express what he felt inside about Salvation - for someone who is "at lost" for words, he sure did a good job.

Happy Independence Day!