Dark Energy and Union with Christ

“Scientists tell us that something called dark energy makes up about 75 percent of the universe. But the fascinating thing is, as one of today’s leading scientists admits, “no one knows what it is.” 1 So there’s something real, but invisible, and central to the world in which we live, something that permeates all we see and know, and not only do we rarely talk about it, but we’re not even sure where to start. If you’re wondering, Why do I need to know about union with Christ? Is it really necessary? I’ve gotten along fine thus far without understanding it. Perhaps you feel that union with Christ is like dark energy— invisible, mysterious, impractical, because it’s true that you can get through your whole life having never once thought about dark energy. And most of us do. But we have seen, in the last two chapters, that union with Christ is central to the gospel, biblically and historically.” -Rankin Wilbourne


God’s Name: I AM



“You see, the name “I am” means more than just that God exists. It means he matters. When Moses says, “Who am I?” God shows him that it is irrelevant, because he has the “I am” on his side, and that is what matters. Remember, Moses already believes in God, but God doesn’t want this on the edge of Moses’ thinking. He wants it smack-dab in the center. I’m sure you learned at school that the air we breathe is almost all made up of nitrogen (80 percent) and oxygen (20 percent). 1 If I asked you if you believed in nitrogen, you would certainly say yes. But if I asked how nitrogen affected your life, you would probably admit that it made no difference. You would believe it was there, but you would never have thought about it or even particularly wanted it, and it certainly would not affect your decisions. Oxygen is a different story, though. You would believe in it, but you would also know how dependent you are on it: to breathe, to burn fuel, and so on. You would know how difficult life is without enough oxygen, and it would drive all sorts of your decisions, from holding your breath underwater to using an asthma inhaler to preserving the rainforests. Most people are “nitrogen believers” in God. They believe he is there, but they never acknowledge their need of him or let him influence their thinking. They certainly don’t make decisions with reference to him. Believing in God is not enough. To be a disciple is to be an oxygen believer: someone who realizes how earth-shakingly important God is, how much he matters in every way, how he is the “I am.” -Andrew Wilson, Incomparable


Thinking About God’s Sustaining Care

“If I make a model, or a cupboard, or a computer, I do not need to keep sustaining their existence, because once I have built them, they stay there unless something destroys them— they have an existence that is independent of their maker. But if I make a sound, like singing a note, the sound stops as soon as I stop making it. The sound, in fact, only exists because of its relationship with me, and has no existence of its own. The universe is like that. If God stopped sustaining it, it would have no basis to continue being there.” -Andrew Wilson, Incomparable

An Illustration of the Sanctified Life

“A three-year-old little boy once went to meet his father at the train. “I want to carry your suitcase, Daddy,” he said. “Good lad,” said his father. “Put your hand on my hand.” Together, they carried the heavy suitcase. When they arrived home the little lad told his mother, “I carried Daddy’s heavy suitcase.” And that is exactly what we should do. Lay our weak hand in Jesus’ strong hand. We are strong together with Him. Yes, more than conquerors.” -Corrie Ten Boom, I Stand at the Door and Knock

Shall We Continue in Sin that Grace May Abound?

“A man in a small village once visited a priest. He asked him if he could confess his sin and if he could have absolution. “I stole three sacks of potatoes,” he said. The priest listened and talked about repentance and forgiveness. When the conversation was finished, the priest said, “I heard about the theft of those bags of potatoes, but I heard that it concerned only two, and you mentioned three.” “Yes,” said the man, “but tomorrow I will steal the third.” -Corrie Ten Boom, I Stand at the Door and Knock

Parables as Mirrors

What is a parable? Why did Jesus tell these stories? … He was using them in a way as mirrors. Every parable is a mirror that Jesus holds up before our eyes and asks us ‘What do you see in this mirror?’ And he judges and assess our spiritual condition by our ability to see the right things in the mirror. I have a friend who has been, over the years, a well-known Christian counselor, and I remember him saying on one occasion often when someone comes into see him, if a Christian comes in to see him, one of the first questions he will ask is, ‘Tell me which parable of Jesus you really don’t like.’ And you can understand why he says that, because if there’s something in a parable… that when you read it you’re irritated by it, then to that extent that parable has been a mirror that has revealed what is really in your heart.” -Sinclair Ferguson, sermon “The Waiting Father”

Just a Feeling?

“Pure feeling, if such a thing exists, is non-moral. That can be observed in the sphere of human relationships. What makes my affection for a human friend such an ennobling thing is the knowledge that I have of the character and the needs of my friend. Am I indifferent to such knowledge? Am I indifferent to base slanders which are directed against my friend’s reputation? Not if I am a friend worthy of the name. Human affection, apparently so simple, is in reality just bristling with doctrine; it depends upon a host of observations, stored up in the mind, regarding the object of affection.” -J. Gresham Machen, The Person of Jesus: Radio Addresses on the Deity of the Savior

BTW NOTE: In other words, to make God a mere feeling is to make him, not more, but less than we are. And as with all things that are ‘less’ than us, a God who is just a feeling is easy to manipulate. One way we see this is in how God always seems to agree with our opinions. He’s gets fashioned in such a way that he always agrees with us.

‘Take it to the Lord’

“The Psalms are not only the longest book of the Bible; they are also the most varied. All life, in all its variety and complexity, is represented here. Yet all this multiplicity can be brought under one heading: ‘take it to the Lord.’ You know how you can take a mirror and so angle it to the sun that sunlight can be re-directed into a dark corner— or wherever? The Psalms teach us to set our lives at an angle, making sure our lives are so ‘angled’ that everything is at once transmitted into the Lord’s presence, and put into the context of what is true about him.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament