A writer at Fox News just wrote:

"Slowly but surely, history has bent toward justice because we, the people, ultimately bend toward justice."

I beg to differ. We are by nature prone to go astray from God, His righteousness and justice. It is only God's restraining grace in the unregenerate that prevents them from doing all their sinful hearts desire. And it is only by the Holy Spirit that those who who were formerly unregenerate are transformed into just and holy people.

Justice and righteousness is coming, but not because of "we, the people." It's coming because Christ is coming again to rule and reign and to set things in order. We're just waiting for Him.

2 Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.


1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

What strong evidence for the new birth!
What a marvelous demonstration that God's truth is in you!
What a mighty verification that Christ is indeed your advocate and propitiation!
What fantastic confirmation that you are walking in the light as He is in the light!
What powerful testimony that one's faith and confession that Christ is Lord is from God!

These are all things that God accomplishes for you and in you.  

Truth and love in action--evidence that Christ has saved you, is saving you and will complete that salvation when He returns in glory.  

I hope to be posting more often in the weeks to come. I've missed the virtual interaction with each other precisely because of the Christ-exalting truths you all shared that would give feet to God's truth in our lives.   Perhaps some of you will pick up the "pen" again and share with this old man some Christ-centered truth.

I'd be most grateful.  

Blessings in Christ,   Joshua Ritchie

In Christ Alone-ish

This was never intended to be a polemical blog.  My desire was to share what I was learning around the time I was saved.  I was excited to share the truths of the gospel becuse I was freshly effected by them.  However, there are times when a diamond can be placed against a black backdrop in order to see its facets more clearly.

Just recently the leaders of the PCUSA gathered to discuss the new hymnal they will be producing.  One of the songs that came up during discussion was In Christ Alone.  It had been their practice, during times of worship in song, to change the lyrics from"Til on that cross as Jesus died/ The wrath of God was satisfied" to "The love of God was magnified." This was due to PCUSA's rejection of Penal Substitutionary Atonement.  Thus, when discussing its placement in the new hymnal, the leaders had to make the decision to either keep the author's original lyrics or remove it from the hymnal.  They decided on the latter.

There is much that could be said about this but I'll stick to two thoughts:

1. What message do we have if it is void of the payment for sin?
What is the purpose of the cross at that point?  Most likely it is a message of "Jesus was the perfect example of self-sacrafice. Go and do likewise."  This may be A gospel - But it is not THE gospel.

2. Is the message that we sing and proclaim acceptable to those who reject the gospel?
I saw the hymn Lift High The Cross in a Catholic hymnal.  It made me pay closer attention to lyrics.  This past January, Andy Stanley preached at the inauguration service for President Obama.  He taught from John 13 where Jesus washed His disciples feet.  The point of this this section was Jesus preparing His disciples for His death. He told them "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." Jesus was proclaiming the gospel here.  Stanley had the perfect opportunity to do the same. Instead, he told President Obama to be a servant leader.  At least the PCUSA is consistent.

As I said, my goal is not to be a hater, simply to exalt the beauty of the gospel. It certainly shines bright against the backdrop of moralism.

Photo credit: Eric Richardson

The Supremacy of Christ

Our brother Brent created this amazing video (including the music). You can contact him at taliablog (AT) email.com

Awake My Soul

The image of God invisible, the first born of all life
Before and within, he holds it all in
One name, one faith, one Christ

No one is good enough, to save himself
Awake my soul tonight, to boast nothing else

I trust no other source or name, nowhere else can I hide
This grace gives me fear, and this grace draws me near
And all that it asks it provides

No seam in this garment, all my rags to hide
No less than your love, Jesus is mine

When I stand on the edges of Jordan
With the saints and the angels beside
When my body is healed, and the glory revealed
Still I can boast only Christ

Romans 3:10-11 "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God."
Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."
Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Galatians 6:14 "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

Christ Is All

There are a great many differences among believers, but there is no difference as to this essential point. Unhappily, the Christian church has been divided into sections, but those divisions do not affect our agreement upon this one point, that Christ is all.

It is no uncharity if I say that the man who does not accept this is no Christian, nor is it too wide a liberality to affirm that every man who is sound in heart upon this point is most certainly a believer. He who trusts alone in Christ, who submits to him as his sole teacher, king, and Savior, is already a saved man; but he who gives not Christ the glory, though he should speak with the tongues of men and of angels, though he should have the gift of prophecy, and all knowledge, and though he should have all faith, and could remove mountains, and he should appear to have all virtue, yet he is no Christian if Christ be held in light esteem by him, or be anything less than all in all; for in the new creation this one thing stands as the mark of the newly created, that “Christ is all, and in all” to them, whatever he may be to others.

May I treasure Christ as all through my thoughts, passions, actions, and love!

Looking to Jesus

Thought you all would enjoy reading the blog of a dear sister in Christ who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Lizzie Metcalf is beautiful, vibrant, chic, and best of all is in love with our Savior, possessing a child-like faith and desiring His pleasure before her own.

I love her blog, because in it she lavishes praise upon our Savior whom she trusts so completely and encourages me to fix my eyes heavenward even as she seeks to do so herself.

I am jealous of the ways she has grown to cherish and know Jesus better throughout this trial. Which has caused me to realize two things:

1) I need to be pursuing and loving and knowing Jesus NOW, by begging Him for His grace and for faithfulness

2) Only when I am preparing in the easy times will I be prepared for the hard times...as many a person has quoted, "We are like sponges, who we really are comes out under pressure."

Oh to be prepared for the storms ahead like my sweet friend, Lizzie! Oh to be a beacon of light to a generation who has lost what hope is, replacing it with empty imitations. People are watching us, and how we respond to each trial the Lord sovereignly places upon our path either magnifies and validates the Gospel, or disgraces and detracts from it!

May we all strive to run hard like Lizzie, leaning on His everlasting arms...our God is so faithful!



"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." -Hebrews 12:1-2