Sunday, March 29, 2009

Be Blessed

I had the extreme privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. Ligon Duncan back in the early 90s. I met him when he was an associate pastor in a church I went to during/after college. I went to a memorable retreat at which he spoke about "Our Trinitarian Salvation." Sound deep? It was. He also taught the Evangelism Explosion class I attended at the same church.

He is now senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS & a noted theologian. He has lots of credentials, but what stands out to me is his evident love for God. You can hear it when he speaks.

I just listened to a message he gave on 3/22/09 from Luke 3:21 entitled "Jesus's Baptism." He poses three questions:
1) Do you think that it would be a help to you in your Christian life to know how much Jesus is for you in your struggle against sin?
2) Do you think it might help you in the Christian life if you wanted to pray more, and you were more disciplined in the way that you talked with your heavenly Father?
3) Do you think that it might help in your Christian life to know how much your heavenly Father loves you?

I encourage you to listen to his message. The podcast can be found here and the transcript here.

What I came away with was that because Jesus in his baptism identified himself with us, his heavenly Father's love for Him is gifted to us if we identify ourselves with Jesus in salvation. God the Father lets Jesus know that, "I delight in you, I love you, & all of my affection is for you." And if we have experienced salvation, then the heavenly father does not love you less than he loves Jesus. Don't believe it? Look at the cross. It is a display of the costly, extravagant love that the Father has for us.

Dr. Duncan ends with this:

And I want to ask, my friends, would it make a difference in the Christian life if you knew that truth? Yes, it would. Because if you really have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and if you really know that His lovingkindness is better than life, then there is nothing in this world that anyone can take away from you that matters, because you’ve already tasted the best thing there is. Jesus’ baptism is there to say to you, ‘Sinner, you trust in Him and there’s no sin He can’t take away. And, sinner, you trust in Him and He will give you a taste of the depths of the Father’s love; and once you drink of that, nothing else matters.’



Librarian or Teacher said...

I love those questions. They really make you think.

ginger said...

L or T: I tell you, the man thinks like few others. But his messages go way deeper than thoughts. It's hard to put into words. That's why I posted the link to the podcast.