Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meriting the Merit of Christ


If God is satisfied with the work, the work may be satisfied with itself.  -- C.S. Lewis

"This is my son, my beloved, in whom I am well pleased." -- God

If I really believe, as I do, that the only basis on which I am acceptable to God is through the mediation of Christ, then I must accept as horribly true that when God looks at me, through Christ, all he ever sees is his beloved Son.  This at once makes my sin all the more terrible and the cure all the more wonderful.  It makes my sin more terrible because, in addition to deceiving whomever I have sinned against, I am found to be deceiving God as well; hiding behind his Son in order to enjoy my every desire.  It makes the cure more wonderful because the constancy of his love in the face of my betrayal drives me to the cross for such complete absolution that I can never hope to make myself worthy of.  Now I understand what David was experiencing when he wrote Psalm 51.  Now 1 John 1:9 makes sense!

The idea that, by any work or goodness of my own I can become any more acceptable to God than he has already made me hearkens back to the Pelagianism of the late Middle Ages.  Remember Luther's reaction to that:   "The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us ... Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31) -- Luther: Smalclad Articles

Glory to God in the highest!

JC

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