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Seeing Your Savior – Counsel from the Cross

October 31, 2009

I mentioned earlier this week that I have begun reading Counsel from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson.  It has proved to be a very practical, gospel-guided book.  Chapter 2 is very helpful.  They point to 2 Cor. 3:18 as the main source of sanctification for the believer: “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” along with 2 Cor. 4:6, “God has shone in our hearts the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”  What Fitzpatrick and Johnson seek to answer is how might we see his face?  How are our hearts and minds informed and illumined by the gospel? They give four basic ways:

(1) In the Word Preached

“The Word of God, in particular, the gospel message, which is the integrating center of the whole Word of God, is the means that the Spirit uses to transform the hearts and minds of the elect.”

(2) In Baptism

Baptism is an ongoing sign to assure believers of the washing of their sins, our union with Christ in his death, and in our new resurrected  life.

(3) The Lord’s Supper

A sign to confirm our confidence in the Gospel.  “We are seated with him, dining at his table, eating the meal that he paid dearly to purchase.”

(4) Fellowship with other Believers

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ – that we are all more sinful and flawed that we ever dared believe but more loved and welcomed that we ever dared hope – is meant to be lived out in relationship: each of us assuring, reminding, confronting, counseling, and listening to one another, praying for one another, and bearing one another’s burdens.  It’s here, within gospel-centered relationships, that the Spirit will reveal the Son to us.”

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