“In this is love…”
Welcome marathoners in and for Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7) Exhausted, depleted from running the Godly, good, and being-a-blessing-to-others race? Welcome. Sit. Relax. Let’s feast.
Feast of the Heart exists to help bring about Christ-centered “reformation, revival, and constructive revolution” (Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City) so that God will be glorified and people blessed.
Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth, pure doctrine of the Bible
Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed
Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment
“…not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
Beloved running-the-good-race marathoners for Christ, how way-down deep do you know, believe, and live out Jesus Christ’s sacrificial life, death, resurrection, sending [the Holy Spirit], and ascension—ALL for the sake of eradicating your sin and setting you free to obey and serve? Do you know that, by faith in Christ, any and every sin has been atoned on your behalf you by Christ Jesus? Let’s review to remember and then to run more faithfully the good and Godly race set before us!
“When we talk about the vicarious aspect of the atonement, two technical words come up again and again: expiation and propitiation. These words spark all kinds of arguments about which one should be used to translate a particular Greek word, and some versions of the Bible will use one of these words and some will use the other one. I’m often asked to explain the difference between propitiation and expiation. The difficulty is that even though these words are in the Bible, we don’t use them as part of our day-to-day vocabulary, so we aren’t sure exactly what they are communicating in Scripture… and personally about each one of us who are in Christ. We lack reference points in relation to these words.
Expiation and Propitiation
Let’s think about what these words mean, then, beginning with the word expiation. The prefix ex means “out of” or “from,” so expiation has to do with removing something or taking something away. In biblical terms, it has to do with taking away guilt through the payment of a penalty or the offering of an atonement. By contrast, propitiation has to do with the object of the expiation. The prefix pro means “for,” so propitiation brings about a change in God’s attitude, so that He moves from being at enmity with us to being for us. Through the process of propitiation, we are restored into fellowship and favor with Him.” (RC Sproul)
So let’s get clear what is assuredly TRUE OF YOU who are in Christ: In reality, you are TOTALLY accepted, secure, and significant. The big-dog question of any day is this: What difference does this make in our life… in your life?
By Way of Christ’s Expiation and Propitiation:
I AM COMPLETELY ACCEPTED…
John 1:12 – I am God’s child.
John 15:15 – As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 – I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 – I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 – I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 – I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 – I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 – I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.
I AM TOTALLY SECURE…
Romans 8:1-2 – I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 – I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 – I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 – I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 – I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 – I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 – I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 – I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
I AM ASTOUNDINGLY SIGNIFICANT…
John 15:5 – I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 – I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 – I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 – I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 – I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 – I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 – I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
“The key, aim, and fulfillment of the Christian life is to make what is objectively true of us a subjective reality.” (Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC)
Let it be so. Amen. And Amen.
Some Application, Internalization Suggestions:
- Print out this T.T. missive and place it into your Bible. [Specifically the “I AM” Headlines and Bible passages under accepted, secure, and significant.] They serve as “foundational identity marks” and we should regularly reference them, know them, remind others of them who are in Christ. And those who are not what they’re missing in their life!
- Commit to using your daily, morning quiet time of 1-2 hours, for however long it takes, to read through the passages a day at a time, their context, and any Study Notes, related passages, that your Reformation Study Bible offers. Know them well, deep down in your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
- Commit to pray daily by means of the acrostic A.C.T.S. over each of the specific Scriptures, assurances above: Read ONLY the passage; begin by praying to The Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, under the “A” of Adoration; then move to the “C” of Confession; then the “T” of Thanksgiving, and finally the “S” of Supplication—or offering your prayerful requests of The Trinity’s intervention.
- Listen and journal about each of the steps of A.C.T.S.—and each of the Bible passages, in each category. This is about a) quality, b) going deep, and c) a Biblical change of heart. After you pray each word of any part of a passage, ask the Spirit to speak to you; be quiet; listen; journal; change; and seek to change others where God’s given you concerns and/or influence.
- Seek to memorize the passages and their assurances for you.
- I would suggest only ONE each day: Again, the point is NOT to go for quantity but quality—whenever you study the Bible, but even more so in this particular journey of KNOWING your new self; GROWING your faith and love of God, self; and SOWING the faith into your neighbors heart wherever God leads you.
- Finally, if you have invested in a small community of Saints to grow in your role as a disciple [and if not, why not?], please make several copies, bring the passages and the above course of action to them: Share a copy of it; request prayers about it; advocate for it; give it to others; offer to lead a community group study and internalization of it; request that people ask you about it… regularly… ask that you be held accountable for it; make it a part of your life so that it transforms you over time. And maybe others as well!
God swamp you in His Love and Truth,