Tag Archives: Holiness of God

The Flaming Sword of Justice

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree!” 1 Peter 2:24

The most significant and appalling demonstration of God’s holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other – is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The cross of Calvary exhibits God’s hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never have done!

Behold the most solemn display of God’s hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Savior – the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! Finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son – God emptied upon His holy soul, all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound, Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!

But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son – but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church. He gave Himself for us!

What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners! Man’s sin – and God’s love; the indescribable enormity of the one – and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the cross of Christ as nowhere else.

Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts: sin’s infinite hatefulness – and love’s infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a Sacrifice so Divine, so holy, and so precious!

~ Octavius Winslow, Christ’s Sympathy to Weary Pilgrims

HT Grace Gems

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Recap: Ligonier Ministries’ 2011 National Conference

Well, I can say without a doubt that Ligonier Minstries’ 2011 National Conference was an unqualified success. And for those interested, the following is a brief recap.

the Focus
For this year’s conference, the focus was “Light and Heat: A Passion for the Holiness of God”. Here’s an excellent summary provided by Ligonier’s website:

Essential doctrines of the Christian faith are under attack, even from within the church, and it is important that we be well grounded in biblical truths so that we may have a deep affection for our holy, triune God. Celebrating the faithfulness of God to the work of Ligonier Ministries and Desiring God, Ligonier Ministries’ 2011 National Conference looked at the holiness of God and the way it is to inform Christian living.

Great stuff, to be sure.

the Speakers
…were absolutely, positively, hands-down fantastic. R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Sinclair Ferguson, Steven Lawson, John Piper – all were clearly passionate about the holiness of God, and showed an earnest desire to instill this passion in their hearers, as well. And as a side note: have any of you ever seen John Piper teach? Up until attending the conference, I’d only listened to him via audio recording. I could tell he was an animated speaker even then, but watching him… boy, was that something. I’ve seldom seen a man evince such an explosive zeal for the glory and majesty of God. I envy him. And I don’t think there’s anything sinful in doing so.

the Lectures
All of the lectures were superb, but my favorites were “War on the Word” (feat. Steven Lawson), “Defending the Faith” (feat. R.C. Sproul), “Almighty Over All” (feat. R.C. Sproul, Jr.), and “Don’t Waste Your Life” (feat. John Piper). I also greatly enjoyed hearing Sproul and Piper reflect on the work of God in their respective ministries.

the Plunder
We left the conference with brains and notebooks packed full, but our luggage had its bulges, too. I mean, how could anyone expect us to visit something like this and return without books? We arrived home laden with Challies’ The Next Story, an extra copy of Sproul’s The Holiness of God, Carl Trueman’s The Wages of Spin, two complimentary copies of Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life, and Lawson’s Foundations of Grace (along with its companion Pillars of Grace).

I’d like to thank you all for your prayers. My Dad and I were undeniably blessed and edified, our flights to and from Orlando were safe (if not always speedy), and my note taking went pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Finally, I urge you to buy the conference CDs and listen to them for yourself. You won’t regret it – they’re worth every penny. Trust me.