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Both/And...

In the past week, there is one particular passage from the book "God is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself" by John Piper that my mind has been mulling over hour upon hour upon hour. Not only has the passage been further exalting the nature of Christ in my soul, but it has also been mortifying the sinful tendency in my heart to exalt the nature of Jenn. I tend to think that I am worth something because I am mostly patient, and often kind, and usually merciful. I end up thinking that I am doing well in my sanctification process because I am sometimes humble and every once in a while meek. In all actuality, the sanctification of Jenn is a long, slow road that has many more u-turns than it should. But I tell myself that it's hard to be both kind AND humble-you get one or the other, but, HA, never really both. It's more of an either/or type of situation here.

But this passage....oh this passage. When I make the oh so feeble and oh so humbling attempt to put my name in these sentences, I once again see my need for Christ, for His blood, for His intercession on my behalf. I once again hear the gospel resonate in my soul and once again I am hit over the head with my sin and Christ's lack of it. The only response I have is to shake my head in disbelief and kneel before my glorious God in overwhelming thanksgiving.

"What I am trying to express here is that the glory of Christ, as He appeared among us, consisted not in one attribute or another, and not in one act or another, but in what Jonathan Edwards called "an admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies." In a sermon titled "The Excellency of Christ" Edwards took as his text Revelation 5:5-6 where Christ is compared both to a lion and a lamb. His point was that the unique glory of Christ was that such diverse excellencies (lion and lamb) unite in Him. These excellencies are so diverse that they "would have seemed to us utterly incompatible in the same subject." In other words:

  • we admire Him for His glory, but even more because His glory is mingled with humility
  • we admire Him for His transcendence, but even more because His transcendence is accompanied by condescension
  • we admire Him for His uncompromising justice, but even more because it is tempered with mercy
  • we admire Him for His majesty, but even more because it is a majesty in meekness
  • we admire Him because of His equality with God, but even more because as God's equal He nevertheless has a deep reverence for God
  • we admire Him because of how worthy He was of all good, but even more because this was accompanied by an amazing patience to suffer evil
  • we admire Him because of His sovereign dominion over the world,but even more because this dominion was clothed with a spirit of obedience and submission
  • we love the way He stumped the proud scribes with His wisdom, and we love it even more because He could be simple enough to like children and spend time with them
  • and we admire Him because He could still the storm, but even more because He refused to use that power to strike the Samaritans with lightening and He refused to use it to get Himself down from the cross.
....And that's what makes Jesus Christ uniquely glorious, excellent, and admirable. The human heart was made to stand in awe of such ultimate excellence. We were made to admire Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

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