Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

The blessings of having our 5th child

On March 13, 2009, our son Carter Shane Barber was born.

Me and Carter (photo by Kim)

Me and Carter (photo by Kim)

I took the week off to stay at home while my family adapted to this new way of life with Carter. Here are some of the blessings from that week:
1 – Watching the faces of my children as they hold their new baby brother in their arms.

Emmie holding Carter for the first time

Emmie holding Carter for the first time

Coleman holding Carter for the first time

Coleman holding Carter for the first time

Calvin holding Carter for the first time

Calvin holding Carter for the first time

Ellerie holding Carter for the first time

Ellerie holding Carter for the first time

2 – Having my youngest daughter look into my eyes as she held her baby brother for the first time and say, “Dank you Daddy” with complete sincerity of heart.
3 – Waking up every morning (even though I’m dog tired) and enjoying the children treat the beginning of the day as if it were Christmas morning.
4 – Driving home with my wife from the hospital and watching her in the rear view mirror as she sat next to our new baby boy and slept so peacefully she nearly felt out of her seat.
5 – Finally being able to sleep in the bed with my wife because she is comfortable enough to actually sleep in the bed again.
6 – Hearing my son Calvin, who rarely speaks, be so willing to talk to and about his new baby brother and then always giggle with glee whenever his baby makes a sound (although my wife can’t stand it when Calvin does this in response to the baby crying..so I correct him for this, but for some reason I still really love to watch him do this).
7 – Watching my son Calvin, the roughest/toughest/filthiest of the bunch, hold and kiss his baby brother.
8 – Watching my oldest two, Coleman and Emmie, hold their new baby brother and feed him a bottle and then help them burp him – and then their reaction when he actually burps.

Emmie giving Carter a bottle

Emmie giving Carter a bottle

Coleman giving Carter a bottle

Coleman giving Carter a bottle

9 – Making pancakes almost every morning.
10 – Friends and family visiting and bringing all kinds of great food.
11 – Being so well served by my parents every single day – before, during, and after the birth of this baby.

Waiting with Grannie to see the new baby

Waiting with Grannie to see the new baby

Grannie holding Carter for the first time

Grannie holding Carter for the first time

PawPaw holding Carter for the first time

PawPaw holding Carter for the first time

12 – Working so hard to feed a baby that will barely wake up and then hearing the nurse say, over the phone, that the bilirubin count has gone down!
13 – Putting Carter in the glow-worm outfit – but for only a day.
14 – Hearing my oldest son Coleman pray for his mommy and new baby brother right before he thanks God the Father for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.
15 – Watching my wife be so exhausted each night she can barely hold her head up and yet continue to patiently and lovingly care for the new baby boy we have been blessed with…
16 – Realizing there are way too many blessings that have come with having our 5th child for me to possibly count.

Carter Shane Barber (photo by Kim)

Carter Shane Barber (photo by Kim)

Christ’s Death Effects Our Glorification

Eph. 1:7, 2:4-7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

John Owen writes in his book, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, that Christ’s death effects our glorification. Grasping this truth  is very similar in difficulty to grasping the truth that Christ’s death effects our sanctification. For we can easily see Christ’s death bringing us reconciliation with God and bringing us justification we so desperately need and adoption as children of God.  However, the connection between Christ’s death and our glorification is often overlooked because it, like our sanctification, does not appear to us as directly connected to Christ’s death on the cross. In the believer’s experience, glorification, like sanctification, is not an immediately realized benefit. This is primarily why it is helpful for the Christian to consider ultimate things and the death of Christ purchasing those ultimate things for us.

The crucial question in this matter is what kind of connection does the scripture make between Christ’s death on the cross and the ultimate glorification of those who are in Christ. In other words, did Christ’s death on the cross purchase the glorification of those who are in Christ? If Christ’s death did purchase the glorification of those who are in Christ, then those who are in Christ are ultimately secure in their salvation. However, if Christ’s death only made it possible for those who are in Christ to be glorified then what, if anything, ultimately secures the salvation of those who are in Christ? Did Christ’s death secure the believer’s glorification or merely make it possible for them to be glorified? The New Testament’s answer? – Christ’s death on the cross secures the ultimate glorification of those who, in faith, look to Christ’s death on the cross as the only acceptable satisfaction of the penalty for our sins in the eyes of God.

Read John 6 and you’ll see the phrase used by Jesus himself over and over that he “will raise it/him up on the last day”

v. 39 – And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
v. 40 – For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
v. 44 – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
v. 54 – Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

The use of the word “him” or “it” above refers to those whom the Father has given to the Son, who look on the Son in faith, who are drawn by the Father to come to Jesus, and whose life comes from the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Notice the definite language that Christ uses. He doesn’t say it is a possibility that he will raise these up on the last day. He says he WILL raise these up on the last day.

You can see the connection in the first two chapters of Ephesians. The phrase that makes the connection appears in 1:7 and 2:7 – “riches of his grace.” In 1:7 the phrase is used to point the reader to the blood of Christ, shed on the cross, for our redemption – Christ’s death. Then in 2:7, Paul uses the same phrase to describe for us the kindness of God toward us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul explicitly proclaims to the reader of the epistle that part of God’s work in Christ was to raise up with Christ those who are redeemed by his blood and to seat them with him in the heavenly places – our glorification. Christ’s primary work is accomplished at the cross. This was Christ’s focus in his earthly ministry and it is what we will behold in our glorified state for all eternity as we sing the songs proclaiming the worth of the Lamb who was slain. Christ’s death effects our glorification.