Saturday, April 12, 2008

Christ Is The Sweetness In All Our Offerings

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:2
I immerse myself in Puritan literature because few living authors feed my soul the way the writings of these men of God, saturated with Scripture, with an eye solely to behold more of the glory of Christ in His Word, do. I've recently been nourishing myself with Robert Asty's exposition of Habakkuk 3:18, Rejoicing In The Lord Jesus In All Cases And Conditions. Oh how justified sinners need to be reminded that no matter how much sanctification we may experience in this life, all of our righteous deeds are still "like a polluted garment" (Isaiah 64:6) and in themselves unacceptable to God because they are stained with the sin that remains in us. Listen to Asty describe the work of Christ in the gospel that makes our sacrifices acceptable to God (Romans 12:1):
Jesus Christ will not throw out a petition because it was not better worded. Jesus Christ will not throw back a prayer because the spirit was not more composed and ordered in it. Jesus Christ will not throw back a duty because He sees a little unbelief in it, or something of self in it, or something that is displeasing to His Father in it; rather He takes out whatsoever is displeasing, adds His own incense to it, carries it unto His Father, and delivers it as an acceptable offering unto Him. And on this ground you may joy and rejoice in the Lord Jesus, whatever your condition is in this world (Rejoicing In The Lord Jesus In All Cases And Conditions, p. 52-53).
The only thing that smells good to God is Christ and His offerings. So when God smells that which we offer up to Him, it only pleases Him if Christ is the One to present it to Him. If this was true of the ministry of the apostles, how much true is it for us?
For we are the aroma of Christ to God...
2 Corinthians 2:15
Father, thank You that you are infinitely pleased with Your Son. And thank You that He is pleased to always take that which we give Him from a heart of faith. So please grant that we would always come humbly to Him who provides for us the way to You, never forgetting that we have nothing in ourselves that we can offer that is of pleasant fragrance to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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