Righteous in Christ

Philippians 3:2-11 (ESV):

2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Recommended: Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown

I love reading well written biographies of figures from church history. I recently finished Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (WTS Books | Amazon) by Peter Brown and I think it's safe to say it's now one of my favorites.

At nearly 600 pages it isn't a quick read, but Brown knows how to keep a reader's attention. If you'd rather start with something smaller on Augustine I recommend John Piper's The Legacy of Sovereign Joy (free PDF or book).

Productivity and Priorities

Yesterday Matt Perman posted his answers to 3 questions on the topic of productivity. Each answer provides helpful insights on the topic. I appreciate his perspective on the relationship between productivity and priorities.

You need to operate from a center of sound principles and organize and execute around priorities. This means that instead of prioritizing your schedule, you schedule your priorities.

Make sure to read the entire post here.

Dear Dad, I Want An ESV Study Bible

A few months ago my 8 year old son asked me to buy him an ESV Study Bible. I told him to write a proposal explaining why the Study Bible would be useful to him and that I would consider it. At the time he gave me a quickly written, one sentence proposal so I never moved forward with purchasing a copy for him.

Just this past week I sat down at my desk and found a concise, but well written proposal. My son did a great job explaining why the features of the ESV Study Bible would help him in his Bible reading. Below is the text of the proposal in my son's own words, spelling mistakes and all.

Dear Dad,

I want an ESV Study Bible because I think I would be interested in the pictures that show the maps and pictures of things. I saw clothes that I think a priest wore and the ark, the box that if someone touched it they would die and I saw the lamstand that Moses made. At the bottom theres a section were it explain words. That is why I want one because I think it would be interesting.

I certainly can't say no to that!

R.C. Sproul on Studying the Holiness of God

Over the years I've heard many good things about The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul (WTS Books | Amazon), but I just never got around to reading it. Last April at Together for the Gospel I received a copy and have recently started working through it. This is one of those books I should have read a long time ago!

Sproul concludes chapter 2, a chapter about Isaiah's encounter with God, by providing a helpful perspective on studying God's holiness.

It's dangerous to assume that because a person is drawn to holiness in his study that he is thereby a holy man. There is irony here. I am sure that the reason I have a deep hunger to learn of the holiness of God is precisely because I am not holy. I am a profane man—a man who spends more time out of the temple than in it. But I have had just enough of a taste of the majesty of God to want more. I know what it means to be a forgiven man and what it means to be sent on a mission. My soul cries for more. My soul needs more.