Dedicated to the Passionate Pursuit of the Glory of God.

Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Name: Mike
Location: California, United States
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Something to Ponder

"So many youth ministries quickly become irrelevant to teens because pastors get kids excited with cool video clips and cutting-edge music, but then when a parent gets cancer and the teenager is lying in bed wondering what life is all about, he or she discovers there's nothing to sustain them."

~ Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds.

Just a thought for your Friday/weekend.

In Christ alone,

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day

Happy Reformation Day!

Hopefully you are aware that this day, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg which ultimately led to the Reformation. Spend some time reflecting on the truths of the Reformation.

In case you were wondering, last week I had my most difficult midterm (Exegesis of Hebrews) and I spoke at the high school youth group. Consequently, I kept pretty busy. I'm hoping to return to the Eschatology series within a few days.

What about Halloween? A question pretty common in Christian circles.
I have heard and can think of so many different arguments For and Against Halloween that I'm going to conclude for the time being that it is a matter of conscience. If you cannot participate in clean conscience, then please don't. If you can, please use it for God.

Having said that, depending on who you are, have a happy Reformation Day, Halloween, or even All Saints Day (it pains me to say that)! In honor of Luther's work, here is A Mighty Fortress is Our God by Luther:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
In Christ alone,

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eschatology Part 6 (Rev. 20:1-3)

Revelation 20 is certainly one of the most used passages to support the Premillennial understanding of eschatology. So far all that has been said is that the Premillennial interpretation of the passage does not make sense in light of a few factors. However, it is not enough to simply say “View A is wrong because of X, Y, and Z.” That doesn’t actually prove anything. We now need to look viability of an alternative interpretation.

First, Revelation 20:1-3:

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Notice that Satan is bound for 1000 years. This is the millennium that is so often referred to. The question is whether this millennium occurs before or after the second advent of Christ. Premillennialists, as the name suggests, believe that Jesus comes back and then this period starts. You can almost here the argument. Jesus returned in Chapter 19 and then we hear about a millennium in Chapter 20. Furthermore, this millennium is supposed to be characterized by Satan being bound and cast into a pit and sealed over. This doesn’t sound like our current era where Satan is described as a prowling lion.

We have already addressed the problem of the Premillennial understanding of Revelation 20 following temporally after Revelation 19. We will not repeat that here. However, for our passage it is absolutely critical that we understand what it means for Satan to be bound. At this point, the claim by the Premillennialist seems strong. Satan is clearly supposed to be bound for the millennium. He doesn’t look bound to us. Therefore, the millennium is still future.

Notice what is true of Satan during this time, bound by chain and sealed in a pit.

First, let us address the claim that if Satan is truly bound, then we would not expect to see him working, prowling around as a lion seeking to destroy us.

There is a very interesting line in one of the least read books of the New Testament:

Jude 6: And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day

If you noticed that this sounds remarkably similar to being bound by chain and sealed under a pit/abyss, then you are not alone. The point of Jude 6 is not to explain exactly how God has dealt with the angels who have abandoned Him. However, I think that the point can clearly be made: If we are to be consistent, doesn’t this mean that we must believe that demons are totally incapable of doing in work in the current era since God has said that he keeps them in eternal chains under gloomy darkness? I have not been able to find many premillennialists who believe that this is the case. If demons can still be active in this world by chained and kept under gloomy darkness, what reason do we have to believe that Satan himself could not be active in the world while bound and sealed?

Well then, one might ask, what is John talking about here? If this binding of Satan and sealing in a pit doesn’t mean that he has become inactive, then what does it mean? I think John tells us exactly what is meant: “…so that he would not deceive the nations any longer.” The literal purpose given by John for this binding is that Satan would not deceive the nations any longer.

Is this what has happened? Consider the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants in order that they might bless all the nations. However, is this what happened? Not really. Except for an occasionally individual, perhaps a family, and sometimes a city, the nations (Gentiles) were largely unaware of God and were foreigners to His promise. The God of this world had blinded/deceived the nations. However, something radical happens with the first advent of Christ. Jesus comes and tells his disciples to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel because all authority on heaven and earth had been granted to him. In Acts 1:8 we learn from Jesus that the Apostles shall be His witness “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” This is exactly what begins to happen. In Acts 8 a God-fearing Ethiopean is saved. God sends Phillip to remove the veil from his eyes. In Chapter 10 Cornelius and his family is saved. Peter says, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” Later, “Peter [was] amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles.” Following Peter, we see Paul taking the Gospel to all of the known world and Gentile after Gentile being saved. Satan’s dominion of deception over the nations is no longer.

Furthermore, do we have reason to believe that Satan has already been bound?

Matthew 12:

26And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

Interestingly enough, the word for “binds” here is the same word used in Revelation 20. Notice what is happening. The Pharisees are accusing Jesus of casting out the demon in the power of Satan. But Jesus says that if a house is divided against itself, then it will be laid to waste. Rather than doing so in the power of Satan, Jesus casts out the demon against the power of Satan. For this reason he asks, “How can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man.” Jesus, in this narrative, claims that the power to cast out the demons, which is representative of the advancement of the Kingdom of God, comes from his binding of the strong man, namely Satan.

So what does Revelation 20:1-3 teach? The passage teaches that Satan is completely under the control of the sovereign Lord who has all authority in Heaven and earth. He has been bound for the time being in order that the Gospel may spread to all nations.

This brings up one last point: What about the millennium. If I am claiming that Satan was bound with Jesus ushering in the Kingdom in His first advent, hasn’t more than 1000 years passed? It should be noted that we are dealing with Apocalyptic writing which quite frequently uses numbers symbolically. Furthermore, the number itself, 1000, is used symbolically many times in the Bible:

In Deuteronomy 7:9, the Lord is described as a ‘faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love him and keep his commandments’. In the summary of the law given in Exodus 20, a contrast is drawn between the Lord’s visiting of judgement upon the third and fourth generations of those who hate him, and his ‘showing lovingkindness to thousands’ who love him and keep his commandments (Exod. 20:5-6). Similarly, in the Psalms we read that the ‘cattle on a thousand hills’ belong to the Lord (Psa. 50:10-11). The Psalmist also speaks of how a ‘day in Thy courts is better than a thousand’ (Psa. 84:10). In the well-known words of Psalm 90, the believer confesses that ‘a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night’ (verse 4). Responding to the mockers who mocked the promise of the Lord’s coming, the Apostle Peter notes that ‘with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day’ (2 Pet. 3:8) ~ Venema

For this reason, I believe that it is certainly possible to view the millennium as representing a long period of time, namely the time between the first and second advent of Christ, in which the gospel may spread to all the nations. There seems to be no conclusive reason to hold to a hyper-literal position that this time frame must refer to exactly 1000 years. Requiring this type of literalism for “one thousand years” goes far beyond what the Scripture itself teaches.

In my next post we will examine Revelation 20:4-6.

In Christ alone,

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Eschatology Part 5 (What Rev. 20 Doesn't teach)

What about Revelation 20?

When discussing the millennium there is one text that dominates the discussion more than any other. This is for good reason: Revelation 20 is the only chapter of the Bible that talks about the millennium. Now, this is not to say that we can simply ignore the text. As G. E. Ladd says, if even one text of the Bible teaches a millennium, then we must accept the doctrine. However, it is simply a call to be wary of developing a full orbed theology around one passage in an apocalyptic book. Nevertheless, the text has become somewhat central to premillennialists (for good reason), and therefore it is necessary to do an evaluation of the text.

That being said, let us examine Revelation 20. This passage is very important and very controversial and therefore will take some time. Consequently, I will give some reasons against the premillennial view in this post. In my next post I will provide an alternative way to read the passage. Let us begin:

The first key point that must be addressed is that Premillennial theologians argue that Revelation 20 follows chronologically after Revelation 19. This is crucial to the argument (notice: Jesus returns 19:11ff and then we see a millennium in 20:1-6 - therefore PRE-millennial). At this point, one might think that this should be a fairly agreed upon point. Shouldn’t we always assume that a passage that literally follows another be chronologically sequential. In general, that answer is yes. Genesis 50 follows chronologically after Genesis 49. However, if common sense and literary structure suggest otherwise, then we modify our presupposition. Example:

Consider Genesis 1 and 2. At the end of Genesis 1 we already have man created and God giving commands for the both of them to multiply. In Genesis 2 we hear of God creating Adam and then Eve. Now, does all of Genesis 2 follow chronologically after Genesis 1? Of course not! The author is using literary style to zoom in on the 6th day and explain it more fully for effect.

I happen to believe the literary structure of Revelation is best described as Progressive Parallelism. The term is largely irrelevant for this discussion (at least at this stage). The point is that I believe there are literary alternatives that make it possible to read Revelation in such a way that it is not chronological. At this stage, however, my goal is to show that it is exegetically necessary to reject the Premillennial understanding of the text.

I believe that there are several reasons to reject the assumed chronological succession by the Premillennialists. The first point, and I believe most compelling, is the almost sure discrepancy between Rev. 19:11-21 and Rev 20:1-3.

Revelation 19 begins with Jesus coming back to subdue the nations. Notice what is said in vv. 15-21:

15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great." 19And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

Who does Jesus come to strike down? The Nations! (v. 15)

What flesh will be left for the birds to eat? The flesh of all men! (v. 18)

Who were slain the battle? All the rest! (v. 21)

Now we read from Revelation 20:

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

That is interesting. According to Revelation 20, the reason for binding Satan is so that he might not deceive the nations any longer. However, this does not make much sense in that Jesus has just obliterated all opposing nations in the previous chapter. There are only a few ways for the Premillennialist to avoid the clear conclusion. A) Nations in Chapter 20 could refer to different nations than those in verse 19. This seems unlikely because of the all-encompassing language of chapter 19 and the fact that “nations” seems to be used consistently through Revelation. B) Some people could have survived the battle (or not fought, I suppose) and therefore they are left to be potentially deceived in chapter 20. Unfortunately, this seems to be a violation of the Premillennialists own claim of “being literal” and again does not consider the absolute language used throughout Revelation 19.

I happen to think that this argument is conclusive. However, some other supporting points can be considered. Consider Cornelis Venema’s analysis:

In the visions of Revelation 19 and 20, the language used is extensively borrowed from Ezekiel 38-39. This prophecy describes a great end-time battle between the Lord and the nations of the north who are opposed to him and his people. In the description of this great battle upon the mountains of Israel, reference is made to Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and to Magog.

There are several striking parallels between Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 19 and 20. In Revelation 19:17-18, an angel issues an invitation to the great supper of God. This is almost an exact quotation of the invitation extended for the Gog-Magog conflict in the prophecy of Ezekiel (39:17-20). However, in Revelation 20:7-10, when the Apostle John describes the great warfare that will conclude Satan’s little season at the close of the millennium, the prophecy of Ezekiel regarding Gog-Magog is again drawn upon extensively. The nations in rebellion are termed Gog and Magog (verse 8; cf. Ezek. 38:2; 39:1, 6). The weapon used by God to destroy Gog-Magog is a fire coming down from heaven (verse 9; cf. Ezek. 38:22; 39:6). This means that the Apostle John, in his respective descriptions of the rebellion and defeat of the nations in Revelation 19 and 20, is drawing upon identical language and imagery from Ezekiel’s prophecy. It seems hard to believe, accordingly, that the episodes described in these visions are different episodes in history, separated by a period of one thousand years duration. A much more plausible reading would conclude that these visions describe the same event and are to be read as parallel descriptions of the same historical period

The last point (and I will be brief here) is that Chapter 15:1 says “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.” This is the beginning of the section on the seven bowls of wrath. Notice carefully that according to this passage, this is supposed to conclude the wrath of God. The seventh bowl is described in 16:17-21 and virtually everyone draws a parallel to the battle in 19. However, it becomes somewhat difficult to understand how another cosmic battle between Christ and the forces of evil can take place 1000 years later. It would seem that God’s wrath towards the rebellious nations should have been finished at the end of the 7th bowl as 15:1 indicates.

For these reasons and others, I find it very hard to accept the Premillennialist understanding of Revelation 20. However, no alternative has yet been suggested. It is not enough to simply state (possibly prove) that Premillennialists understand this passage wrong. We must press on and consider how the text can and should be understood.

This marks a transition point from a negative theology (that is, why I believe Dispensational Premillennialists are wrong) to a positive theology (what it is that I actually believe). At this point we will now begin to consider whether it is possible to have a non-dispensational-premillennail view that is grounded in good exegesis and stays faithful to the content of Scripture.

In Christ alone,


Friday, October 13, 2006

Eschatology Part 4 (Dispensationalism Discussed)

Now that things have calmed down, I’m ready to return to our study of Eschatology. You will remember from last time that there were two claims that I suggested could be found biblically. I also said that if either of these were true then we must reject the Dispensational Premillennialist position. Here are the two claims:

A) There is One People of God – Not Two.

B) The NT Authors interpret prophecies regarding Israel as being fulfilled in the Church age.

Even though this post is long, we cannot begin to even scratch the surface of passages that relate to this topic. However, I’ve chosen a few powerful passages that I believe serve to illumine this discussion.

Consider the words of Paul to the Ephesian church:

Chapter 2

11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Notice what is happening here. The Gentiles had a big problem. There was a huge dividing wall between the Gentiles and Israel; they were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel. However, Christ is the solution to the problem. He comes onto the scene and reconciles both people to himself that he might create one new man in the place of the two. For this reason, the Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens but are to be considered fellow citizens with the members of the household of God (refers to Israel). Notice, Christ has joined together the two into a holy temple in the Lord.

Consider in Romans 11 where Paul says the following:

24For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

Notice what happens here. There are not two trees. There is one olive tree; there is one people of God. The unbelieving Jews (that is, those who are not part of the remnant) were cut out and believing gentiles were grafted in. Reformed Scholars (actually, All non-dispensational Christians) would believe that the people of God throughout time make up the church.

Now, this point could be belabored for seven more posts (and yes, I picked 7 for our Dispensational friends that seem to like to divide everything into that number). We could examine Romans 2 that talks about real circumcision (cf. Phil 3:3), the significance of “my people” in Romans 9, or the huge importance of the Church being of the seed of Abraham in Gal 3:29. However, I do want to spend a little time to ask whether the NT authors seemed to believe that (at least some of) the prophecies for Israel could rightly be applied to the church (what I would call “Spiritual Israel”).

Consider Jeremiah 31:31-34 (side note: Bible verse numbers are not inspired, but I always think it is cool when it happens to be that numbers are easy to remember, e.g. Jer. 31:31):

31"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Who is this covenant to be with? Indeed, the house of Israel. However, we must look at how the author of Hebrews uses the passage in 8:8-10. It is an extensive quotation in a large passage. Even Dispensational authors (e.g. Victor Rhee, Faith in Hebrews) see this passage (7:1-10:18) as showing Jesus coming as the high priest for the salvation of all people. As Wayne Grudem says, Here the author quotes the Lord’s promise that he will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, and says that that is the new covenant that has now been made with the church. (emphasis his).

The last passage of import (that we have room for!) is 1 Peter 2:4-10:

4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

You might notice that these are all OT allusions to the people of Israel and that Peter here applies them to the universal Church. Could we ask for a better quotation to show that the church is in fact the true Israel of God and that God has fulfilled his promises in the Church?

In conclusion, consider the words of Sam Storms:

In the Old Testament, Israel is the bride of Jehovah. Yet in the New Testament the church is repeatedly called the bride of Christ. Christ only has one bride—the church. To say that God has two separate peoples is to implicitly assert that God is a polygamist. God only has one people: the church, “the Israel of God.”

In Christ alone,


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My last break from the series

I've posted two of my favorite hymns on here and have given a little commentary. I figured I'd post one of my favorite poems. I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but God's truth is revealed through in many diverse ways. This poem is by Anne Bradstreet and I stole it off of one of my friend's blogs. Enjoy (By the way, it helps to read it out loud)!

Verses Upon the Burning of Our House

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow neer I did not look,
I waken'd was with thundring nois
And Piteous shreiks of dreadfull voice.
That fearful sound of fire and fire,
Let no man know is my Desire.

I, starting up, the light did spye,
And to my God my heart did cry
To strengthen me in my Distresse,
And not to leave me succourlesse.
Then coming out beheld a space,
The flame consume my dwelling place.

And when I could no longer look,
I blest his Name that gave and took,
That layd my goods now in the dust:
Yea so it was, and so 'twas just.
It was his own: it was not mine;
Far be it that I should repine.

He might of All justly bereft,
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the Ruines oft I past,
My sorrowing eye aside did cast,
And here and there the places spye
Where oft I sate, and long did lye.

Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest;
There lay that store I counted best:
My pleasant things in ashes lye,
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sitt,
Nor at thy Table eat a bitt.

No pleasant tale shall 'ere be told,
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle 'ere shall shine in Thee,
Nor bridegroom's voice ere heard shall bee.
In silence ever shalt thou lye;
Adeiu, Adeiu; All's vanity.

Then streight I 'gin my heart to chide,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust,
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the skye
That dunghill mists away may flie.

Thou hast an house on high erect,
Fram'd by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished,
Stands permanent though this bee fled.
It's purchased, and paid for too
By him who hath enough to doe.

A Prise so vast as is unknown,
Yet, by his Gift, is made thine own.
Ther's wealth enough, I need no more;
Farewell my Pelf, farewell my Store.
The world no longer let me Love,
My hope and Treasure lyes Above.

Are our eyes focused on this life or the next? So often our reactions to situations will tell us that answer.

In Christ alone,

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rock of Ages

As I stated in my last post, this is a very busy week for me. Consequently, I've had to take a brief recess from my Eschatology series. When this week comes to an end and my thoughts return to me, I will get back to that series.

In the mean time, here is another one of my favorite hymns. Again, I will highlight particular parts that I like, although in this hymn that is nearly every line.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law'’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know, [I couldn't embolden the entire stanza!]
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me.

I think a particularly good line comes at the end of the first stanza: "Be of sin the double cure / save from wrath and make me pure." We are not saved simply to remove the wrath that God has directed toward us. He has also cured us in a second way, namely to make us pure. How does one go about becoming purified? Consider these words: "Nothing in my hand I bring / simply to the cross I cling / naked come to thee for dress / helpless look to thee for Grace." This is not simply the posture of our heart atregenerationn, but absolutely must be characteristic of our entire life. It is By His grace that we are saved, sanctified, and will one day be glorified. Let us hide ourselves in Him.

In Christ alone,