John Chrysostom

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When Trials Befall Us

Posted by on 04 May 2011 | Tagged as: Early Church Father, Faith, John Chrysostom, Surrender, Trials

 

Refined by Fire

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV

We live in the midst of the fallout of the fall: sin has affected every area of creation and all aspects of our lives. Disappointment, pain, and trouble are significant ingredients of our daily lives. Ill-timed, unexpected tragedies can shape our lives for the better or make our hearts hard through bitterness. Our choice: trust that God is sovereignly working or become angry that life is not going our way.

Some trials come upon without our choice: some trials are self-inflicted. Whatever their source do not become despondent, depressed, or despairing. God is giving us our heart’s desire: Christlike character, Holy Spirit intimacy, and Fatherly guidance.  By faith, we must trust that our Heavenly Vinedresser is sovereignly cultivating Christ in us.

Let us not then be disturbed, neither dismayed, when trials befall us. For if the gold refiner sees how long he ought to leave the piece of gold in the furnace, and when he ought to draw it out, and does not allow it to remain in the fire until it is destroyed and burnt up: much more does God understand this, and when He sees that we have become more pure, He releases us from our trials so that we may not be overthrown and cast down by the multiplication of our evils.

Let us then not be repining, or faint-hearted, when some unexpected thing befalls us; but let us suffer Him who knows these things accurately, to prove our hearts by fire as long as He pleases: for He does this for a useful purpose and with a view to the profit of those who are tried.

St. John Chrysostom (c.347–407), “Homily on the Paralytic Let Down Through the Roof

HT: Christian Classics Ethereal Library

 

 

Pierced for My Transgressions

Posted by on 02 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: Early Church Father, Evangelical, John Chrysostom, The Cross

Evangelical Essentials (Part Seven)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Cor 5:21 (ESV)

Man of Sorrows! what a name

For the Son of God, who came

Ruined sinners to reclaim.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,

In my place condemned He stood;

Sealed my pardon with His blood.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;

Spotless Lamb of God was He;

“Full atonement!” can it be?

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;

“It is finished!” was His cry;

Now in Heav’n exalted high.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,

All His ransomed home to bring,

Then anew His song we’ll sing:

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

-Philip P. Bliss, 1875

Evangelicals believe in the doctrine of penal substitution: a belief that captures the heart and transforms us from self-centered jerks to Christ-following desirers of holiness. Penal substitution teaches that Jesus bore our iniquities-took our place and became our substitute-so that the terrible results of sin no longer come upon us (Gal. 1:4, Eph. 5:2, Heb. 9:28). When we trust that Christ’s death is our death, we gloriously recognize that the ultimate consequences of our sin has been borne by Christ.

The fact is that I am the one who should have been betrayed, not Jesus, for I have betrayed many. I am the one who should have been spit upon because I mistreated others. I am the one who should have hung there exposed because of my selfishness and sin. The spit, mockery, and blows to Jesus’ face should have been my punishment. The whip and crown of thorns should have been my sentence. The weight of the Cross and the nails in Jesus’ feet and hands should have been my chastisement. The crown of nails that Jesus wore should have been my headdress. Yet, our precious Lord Jesus Christ took our place, paid our debt, redeemed us from slavery. In addition, Jesus brought us the victory and declared us righteous in that great heavenly court of law. God incarnate in human flesh became my substitute.

And what is the boast of the Cross? That Christ for my sake took on Him the form of a slave, and bore His sufferings for me the slave, the enemy, the unfeeling one; yea He so loved me as to give Himself up to a curse for me. What can be comparable to this!

St. John Chrysostom

Who is Christ for us today? He is the one who took our place at Calvary. In his great love, he bore our punishment and pain on that tree. The Scriptures declare that, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Gal. 3:13, KJV). All the penalty of the broken law has now been borne by Christ on the Cross. The entire penalty for my past, present, and future sin was placed on Jesus. “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins” (Isa. 53:5). He has taken our place, he has suffered our purgatory, and he has taken on himself all the wrath of the Father (Rom. 1:18, 5:9). The Holy Trinity’s great love for you and me has brought about Bethlehem for the purpose of Calvary.

As for my sake he [Jesus] was called a curse, Who destroyed my curse; and sin, who taketh away the sin of the world; and became a new Adam to take the place of the old, just so He makes my disobedience His own as Head of the whole body. As long then as I am disobedient and rebellious, both by denial of God and by my passions, so long Christ also is called disobedient on my account.

St. Gregory of Nazianzen, The Fourth Theological Oration, V.

There is not enough words of praise and expressions of thanks invented that could give to God the worship that he deserves for the sending of his Son to die in our place and to raise us again to new life.