Beautiful, Scandalous Night

I’ve had this hauntingly, beautiful song on my mind ever since we sang it last week during our Good Friday service at Kenwood Baptist Church. There are several versions available, but my favorite one is by Smalltown Poets.

Beautiful, Scandalous Night
by Derald Daugherty and Steve Hindalong

Verse 1
Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Verse 2
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

Chorus
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

Verse 3
On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior’s side

Chorus
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

Verse 4
Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Chorus
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

No Grave Could Keep

We sang this beautiful song yesterday during the Easter worship service at Kenwood Baptist Church. It was written by our Associate Pastor of Worship, Matt Damico.

No Grave Could Keep
by Matt Damico

Verse 1
The Maker of all, in a young virgin’s womb,
the Word, now a baby, cries.
In humility robed, in the form a slave,
the Lord of life come to die.

Verse 2
The Judge of mankind, now placed on a trial,
the guilt of His people now His.
The righteous one bears these thorns for a crown,
that sinners found in Him might live.

Refrain:
Mighty Savior!
Death could not hold Him, no grave could keep.
Hallelujah!
He reigns forever, the risen King!

Verse 3
Lifted and nailed to a cross where He died,
the record of sin, now paid.
But look for Him not, for the Man is not there,
the King is alive, as He said.

Verse 4
The bride now awaits for her King to appear,
when she will in purity rise.
And on that fair day, His praises we’ll sing,
our heart’s trust beheld with our eyes.

The Calvinist

The Calvinist is a beautiful poem about God’s sovereignty written by Dr. John Piper. The creative team at Desiring God took the poem and produced a dramatic video presentation featuring the voices of John Piper, D.A. Carson, R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, and Sinclair Ferguson. Do yourself a favor and take some time to watch this wonderful video.

D.A. Carson on Angels in Hebrews

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) has released a short series of videos featuring Dr. D.A. Carson lecturing on the book of Hebrews.

Now then, the author hasn’t quite fully finished with his treatment of angels, but now he really spins out the argument in a different direction. In [Hebrews] 1:5 to the end of [verse] 14, he’s really talking about the Son’s superiority over angels, but the last verse, 1:14, gives a hint of where the argument is going before the embedded warning: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” So, in other words, not only is the Son superior to angels, but angels must be distinguished from human beings who inherit salvation. And the argument is going to go on to point out that there has arisen a redeemer for fallen human beings, but not for fallen angels. When the eternal Son joined us, he did not become an angel, he became a human being. That’s the thrust of the argument. And thus, the angels themselves are not only not the Son, but they’re not the redeemed either; they’re rather ministering spirits sent to help the redeemed. So what on earth are you doing fastening your attention on angels? We’re the redeemed, not they; and Christ is Lord, not they.

—D.A. Carson

This quotation is from the second video from the series TEDS Lecture Series: D.A. Carson on the Book of Hebrews.

The Glory of the Whole Blessed Trinity

This is a wonderful summary of the Trinitarian work of salvation by the great puritan John Owen:

When God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man and the saving of sinners, to the praise of the glory of his grace, he appointed, in his infinite wisdom, two great means thereof. The one was the giving of his Son for them, and the other was the giving of his Spirit unto them. And hereby was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity; which is the utmost end of all the works of God. Hereby were the love, grace, and wisdom of the Father in the design and projection of the whole; the love, grace, and condenscension of the Son in the execution, purchase, and procurement of grace and salvation for sinners; with the love, grace, and power of the Holy Spirit in the effectual application of all unto the souls of men, made gloriously conspicuous.

—John Owen
Quoted in A Golden Treasury of Puritan Devotion, edited by Mariano Di Gangi

I love the phrase “to the praise of the glory of his grace” because it reminds me very much of the words of the Apostle Paul in one of my favorite passages of scripture:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14, ESV)