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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Q. Why did Christ have to suffer death?
A. Because the righteousness and truth of God are such that nothing else could make reparation for our sins except the death of the Son of God.

Q. Why was he “buried”?
A. To confirm the fact that he was really dead.

Q. Since, then, Christ died for us, why must we also die?
A. Our death is not a reparation for our sins, but only a dying to sin and an entering into eternal life.

Q. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
A. That by his power our old self is crucified, put to death, and buried with him, so that the evil passions of our mortal bodies may reign in us no more, but that we may offer ourselves to him as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Q. Why is there added: “He descended into hell”?
A. That in my severest tribulations I may be assured that Christ my Lord has redeemed me from hellish anxieties and torment by the unspeakable anguish, pains, and terrors which he suffered in his soul both on the cross and before.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 15

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 15

Q. What do you understand by the word “suffered”?
A. That throughout his life on Earth, but especially at the end of it, he bore in body soul the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race, so that by his suffering, as the only expiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from ever lasting damnation, and might obtain for us God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life.

Q. Why did he suffer “under Pontius Pilate” as his judge?
A. That he, being innocent, might be condemned by an earthly judge, and thereby set us free from the judgment of God which, in all its severity, ought to fall upon us.

Q. Is there something more in his having been crucified than if he had died some other death?
A. Yes, for by this I am sure that he took upon himself the curse which lay upon me, because the death of the cross was cursed by God.

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Christians Suffer, But They Don’t Suffer Alone (via David Powlison)

David Powlison writes about lessons he learned as a Christian who went through a prolonged season of intense suffering.
He avoids glib and sentimental expressions and also stays clear of wrongly placed triumphalism.
From the post:

…yes, we do learn from suffering, but it’s not a simple lesson. What’s most important is this: God shows up in our lives and hearts. He walks with us through fire. He directly communicates His love. He purifies our faith. He anchors our hope. He deepens our love for other strugglers. God is teaching us something. He is revealing Himself to us.
A misconception about the image of Christ often goes hand-in-hand with this misconception about suffering. We imagine that the image of Christ is all the things that are good and strong and noble and generous. We can forget that His image includes the heartfelt way in which Jesus lived out Scriptures such as Psalms 22, 25, and 31.
His faith honestly expressed affliction. He wrestled with God. He agonized. He trusted. He sought His God. He walks with God on difficult roads, not immune to the heartache and grief that come with our plight as human beings. We are being conformed to the image of Christ.
Read the whole article at Crossway blog.

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Grace, One Day At A Time

Crossway features a brief post by Betsy Childs Howard that seeks to remind us that God sustains us through longs seasons of waiting one day at a time.

Grace, One Day at a Time
You may get to a point someday when you think, “I really can’t wait any more. I can’t do this for the rest of my life.” You feel that you simply don’t have what it takes to wait well for a lifetime. You know what? You don’t. And that’s good news.
You do have everything you need to wait well today.
God doesn’t promise us grace in a lifetime supply; he promises us grace one day at a time. Hebrews 4:16 speaks to the reality that God gives grace to help in time of need. It helps to remember how the Lord dealt with the Israelites when he gave them manna. He wouldn’t let them keep it overnight. Indeed, it would spoil if they kept it overnight. So they had to go to bed every night with empty cupboards, trusting that God was going to provide what they needed in the morning.
Our seasons of waiting are the same in that God gives you what you need for today, and then tomorrow you need to seek what you need for tomorrow. For example, you may not feel like you can get through endless cycles of chemotherapy. But can you get through today? Can you get through the next twenty-four hours? Then tomorrow ask yourself the same thing, “Do I have what I need to get through today?”
Seek God’s grace one day at a time and don’t be overwhelmed with what the future holds. He has promised to provide exactly what you need.


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Daylight Saving Summed Up By Count Rugen From The Princess Bride

“Remember, this is for posterity…”

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Surprised By Suffering by R. C. Sproul – eBook Editions Free During August

Reformation Trust and Ligonier are making the ebook edition of Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life by R. C. Sproul for free during August.
The blurb:
The problem of suffering is often raised by those who question the goodness or the power of God. In this book, newly revised and expanded, R.C. Sproul provides biblical answers to the questions all of us ask about suffering and addresses some of the many unbiblical conclusions that are put forth today. In the end, he shows that suffering is not outside the realm of God’s providence and His good purposes.
This page at Ligonier has links to various formats.
The kindle edition is also currently listed for free at Amazon.

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How Do We Do A Day In Our Place When Distant Neighbours Suffer? (via Zack Eswine)

In which Zack Eswine unfolds an answer of how God’s people behave when burdened by the knowledge that God’s people in a distant place are suffering.
The lesson conveys a basic principle.
The conclusion:

How do we do a day in our places when distant neighbors suffer and our personal skies are blue and easy?

We donate money? yes. We pray sleepless, earnest, aching? yes. We learn to weep with those who weep? yes. We go there? yes.

And sometimes, oftentimes, we also vigorously get on with noticing the world in our local messages. We take our stand by picking up the phone and answering the call. We ache, pace, weep and wail for our distant neighbors, remembering that in the shadow of the cross, Jesus sang. They cannot, not today, but we can on their behalf. We carry them in our hearts and minds, songs and prayers. Not trite songs that underestimate our horrors. But hymns from the shadows. Just as they too will carry on songs to God, if tears should engulf and drown our voices, on some future barren day. And soon enough, in the light of conquered tomb, the coming One will come again, and together, we will sing the song of peace, all at the same time. The Savior’s hymn in humiliation will turn to anthem amid his glory! And never again will God leave the shelters unlocked. Never again.

Read the whole post at Barefoot Preaching.