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Archive for February 20th, 2008

“No hope without it.”

Reformed people are familiar with J. Gresham Machen’s quote from his telegram to Dr. John Murray, “I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.” We surely must be thankful for Jesus’ “active” obedience, but it is equally true (as Machen well understood) that this alone brings no hope. Unless our sinless Savior had voluntarily laid down His life on the cross, we would all be without hope. But if we stop at the cross, we still have no hope. What about the resurrection? Apart from it, our Savior’s life and death would be worthless to us. “Thank God for the resurrection of Christ. No hope without it.” Yes, but what about having the benefits of His work applied to us? Apart from faith, we cannot partake of the blessings of Jesus’ work. Ok, then, “Thank God for faith. No hope without it!” True indeed, but, one can’t believe without also repenting, so, “Thank God for repentance. No hope without it!” And we’re just beginning. Think of all the other things Jesus tells us are necessary for us to enter the kingdom or to see life. Here are a few more things without which, according to Jesus, we have no hope (and note: I’ve put them in slogan format, which apparently is the way to communicate effectively nowadays):

“Righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, no hope without it!” (Matt. 5:20)

“Plucking out the right eye and cutting off the right hand, no hope without it!” (Matt. 5:29-30)

“Forgiving other men their trespasses, no hope without it!” (Matt. 6:14-15)

“Doing the will of the Father, no hope without it!” (Matt. 7:21-23)

“Refusing to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, no hope without it!” (Matt. 12:31-32)

“Losing your life for Jesus’ sake, no hope without it!” (Matt. 16:24-25)

“Becoming like little children, no hope without it!” (Matt. 18:2-3)

“Serving your brothers, even the least of them, no hope without it!” (Matt. 25:44-46)

“Eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking His blood, no hope without it!” (John 6:53)

and there are many more . . . . . . .

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