Through the Word in 2020 – April 29 / Emancipation!


For the audio Podcast of this and every episode, find us on Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify or HERE

If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at reid.ferguson@gmail.com, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
Nothing separates the Redeemed in Christ from the rest of the World more than does the doctrine and hope of the Resurrection.
In Christ – the single most fixed reality of life – death, is utterly and completely transformed.
This is the heritage of all those who by faith have cast their sins upon Jesus as their substitute – and received the cloak of His righteousness to make us fit to stand before the Living God.
So we are reminded in one of our texts today: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Psalm 84; Mark 7:24-37 and 1 Samuel 4-7.
Hebrews 2:15 reminds us that all people apart from Christ, are lifelong slaves to the fear of death.
Fear of – Dying alone. Dying painfully. Dying in their regrets. Dying having accomplished nothing. Dying and leaving all they love behind. Dying and going out into nothingness. Dying and facing judgment.
Only the Christian knows true freedom from this slavish fear.
True, some may work hard at convincing themselves that after life there is just – nothing. Which is also terrifying to others. But in truth, deep down, we all know we will have to give an answer for ourselves, for what we’ve thought, done, or perhaps left undone.
In his work “A Free Man’s Worship and Other Essays”: The famous agnostic/atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote of death this way: “Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destructions omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gates of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow fall, the lofty thoughts that enoble his little day; … to worship at the shrine his own hands have built.”
That dear friend, is slavery.
What a contrast then are the words of John Calvin: “how miserable is the life of those who fear death, as they must feel it to be dreadful, because they look on it apart from Christ; for then nothing but a curse appears in it: for whence is death but from God’s wrath against sin? Hence is that bondage throughout life, even perpetual anxiety, by which unhappy souls are tormented; for through a consciousness of sin the judgment of God is ever presented to the view. From this fear Christ has delivered us, who by undergoing our curse has taken away what is dreadful in death. For though we are not now freed from death, yet in life and in death we have peace and safety, when we have Christ going before us.”
And so, from our Corinthians passage today I write:
O death, where is your victory?
O grave, where is your sting?
Do you think the thoughts of fools,
Of pow’r o’er everything?
This man, for one, tho mortal be
Shall not by fear be swayed
To flee your cold, unyielding hand
Which makes the world afraid
For One has gone before me now
He’s plumbed your icy pit
And rose from out with triumph’s shout
Life’s candle spark re-lit
Come now you dupe of Evil’s mind
Stretch forth your numbing hand
Unnumbered hordes of demon ranks
Cannot my Lord withstand
Sing your final ghoulish song
Chant your hellish phrases
And even in those closing hours
I’ll hear nought but His praises
For you, O death, can only serve
To free me from this shell
And grave, to let this body rest
You’ll serve me very well
O death, where is your victory?
O grave, where is your sting?
For when your dual work’s complete
You’ve but brought me, to my King.
Let that sink into your soul today Christian.
God bless. And God willing, I’ll be back tomorrow.

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