Monday, August 27, 2018

A Gift From God

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:7



Heaven's joy-bells must be clanging overtime these days...
Again yesterday we attended a baptism-service; this time our niece and some of her friends! 
I was struck anew by how, with all the differences that may be visible on the outside 
due to culture, denominations, etc 
The Invisible is the same; the only name whereby we can be saved; 
(Salvation is found in no one else, 
for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:12)
Everyone baptized in every service we have attended 
in four different settings over the past few months were baptized in
the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; 
(Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Matt.28:19)

so what is Baptism? A visible declaration of an invisible transformation when we
repent and obey the command to then be baptized!
(Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38)

What a gift! The power within us to fight temptation and run this race with perseverance!



Now sin no longer reigns
Where grace, not law is Chief
And faith in Jesus breaks the chains
That binds blind unbelief

Not visibly transformed
Yet oh, somewhere within
Mercy’s miracle is performed
Redeemed from curse of sin

Now the Old Man is dead
And buried in the Past
The New Man rises in his stead
And holds Faith’s promise fast

Where we no longer sin
So that grace may abound
But trust the blood that makes us clean
Where Time is Holy Ground

And grace not some cliché
Tossed lightly to and fro
But grace alone atones for aye
And washes white as snow

Through grace no one can boast
Or mortal works applaud
But glorify Hope’s Uttermost
Grace is a gift from God

© Janet Martin

  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—   
not by works, so that no one can boast.
Eph.2:8-9


 The above version of this hymn written by William Cowper (pub.1772) 
skips a few gorgeous stanzas...
  1. There is a fountain filled with blood,
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains:
    Lose all their guilty stains,
    Lose all their guilty stains;
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.
  2. The dying thief rejoiced to see
    That fountain in His day;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away:
    Washed all my sins away,
    Washed all my sins away;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away.
  3. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
    Shall never lose its pow’r,
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more:
    Are safe, to sin no more,
    Are safe, to sin no more;
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more.
  4. E’er since by faith I saw the stream
    Thy flowing wounds supply,
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die:
    And shall be till I die,
    And shall be till I die;
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die.
  5. When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
    Lies silent in the grave,
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

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