PRESENTING THE DOCTRINES OF SOVEREIGN GRACE TO BABES IN CHRIST

PRESENTING THE DOCTRINES OF SOVEREIGN GRACE TO BABES IN CHRIST

 Michael Jeshurun

 With regards to our family and friends accepting the Doctrines of Grace, I truly understand how frustrating it can be at times. But we must bear in mind that if anyone is truly regenerated (saved) they will by and by be led into ALL TRUTH. ‘The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day’. [Prov 4:18].

“The doctrine of Predestination is a doctrine for genuine Christians. Considerable caution should be exercised in preaching it to the unconverted. It is almost impossible to convince a non-Christian of its truthfulness, and in fact the heart of the unregenerate man usually revolts against it. If it is stressed before the SIMPLER TRUTHS of the Christian system are mastered, it will likely be misunderstood and in that case it may only drive the person into deeper despair. In preaching to the unconverted or to those who are just beginning the Christian life, our part consists mainly in presenting and stressing MAN’S PART in the work of salvation, faith, repentance, moral reform, etc. These are the ELEMENTARY STEPS so far as man’s consciousness extends. At that early stage little need be said about the deeper truths which relate to GOD’S PART.

As in the study of Mathematics we do not begin with algebra and calculus but with the simple problems of arithmetic, so here the better way is to first present the more elementary truths. Then after the Person is saved and has traveled some distance in the Christian way he comes to see that in his salvation God’s work was primary and his was only secondary, that he was saved through grace and not by his own works. As Calvin himself put it, the doctrine of Predestination is “not a matter for children to think much about”; and Strong says, “This doctrine is one of those advanced teachings of Scripture which requires for its understanding A MATURE MIND AND A DEEP EXPERIENCE. The beginner in the Christian life may not see its value or even its truth, but with INCREASING YEARS it will become a staff to lean upon.” [Systematic Theology, p. 368.] But while it is true that this doctrine cannot be adequately appreciated by the unconverted nor by those who are just beginning the Christian life, IT SHOULD BE THE COMMON PROPERTY OF ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TRAVELED SOME DISTANCE IN THAT WAY”. [Loraine Boettner]

It is worthy of notice that in developing his “Institutes” Calvin DID NOT treat the doctrine of Predestination in the early chapters. He first developed the other doctrines of the Christian system and DELIBERATELY passed over this even in several cases where we might naturally have expected to find it. Then in the LAST PART of his theological discussion it is developed fully and is made the crown and glory of the entire system.

And this is in line with the teaching method that our Lord exhibited. “And with many such parables spake He the word unto them, AS THEY WERE ABLE TO HEAR IT [Mark 4:33]. Now here’s something for us ‘Calvinists’ to consider – “as they were able to hear it!” He didn’t try to shove the whole truth down somebody’s throat thinking that that was WHAT WAS REQUIRED TO ‘SAVE’ THEM!  And again on another occasion He said – “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them NOW!  [Jn 16:12].

Milk for babes and strong meat to those who are of full age! [Hebrews 5:13,14] “And the servant of the Lord must not STRIVE; but be GENTLE unto all men, apt to teach, PATIENT . . . “ [2Tim 2:24]. WE CANNOT convince anyone of these ‘hard sayings’! IT HAS TO BE GIVEN FROM ABOVE! Like with Lydia, it is THE LORD who opens the heart OF His sheep to receive the Doctrines of Sovereign grace and rejoice in them! [Acts 16:14]

We should not make the mistake that many of us are often prone to make in our zeal for the truth, i.e. cram all the Five Points of Calvinism in one-sitting. As we said above we must imitate the Lord’s way in teaching – “I have yet MANY THINGS to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them NOW”. And again, “with many such parables spake He the word unto them, AS THEY WERE ABLE TO HEAR IT” [Mk4:33]. But no matter how long it takes we must make sure that the one we are teaching fully receives and understands what Jonah understood in the belly of the whale. i.e. “SALVATION IS OF THE LORD![Jonah 2:9].

So let us be patient brethren, and trust me if men are truly saved they will sooner or later see the truths of Sovereign Grace, and receive our testimony concerning this. “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error! [1John 4:6]

REAL SOUL FOOD IS WHAT WILL SATISFY GOD’S ELECT

REAL SOUL FOOD IS WHAT WILL SATISFY GOD’S ELECT

J.C. Philpot

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” [1Peter 2:2]

The only real food of the soul must be of God’s own appointing, preparing, and communicating.

You can never deceive a hungry child. You may give it a plaything but still it cries. It may serve for a few minutes; but the pains of hunger are not to be removed by a doll. A toy horse will not allay the cravings after the mother’s breast.

So with babes in grace. A hungry soul cannot feed upon playthings. Altars, robes, ceremonies, candlesticks, bowings, mutterings, painted windows, intoning priests, and singing men and women; these dolls and wooden horses; these toys and playthings of the religious baby house, cannot feed the soul that, like David, cries out after the living God (Psalm 42:23).

Christ, the bread of life, the manna that came down from heaven, is the only food of the believing soul (John 6:51).

‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart!” [Jer 15:16]

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION FOUND THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION FOUND THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE

A.W. Pink

There is not a single book in the Word of God where election is not either expressly stated, strikingly illustrated, or clearly implied. Genesis is full of it: the difference which the Lord made between Nahor and Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, and His loving Jacob and hating Esau are cases to the point. In Exodus we behold the distinction made by God between the Egyptians and the Hebrews. In Leviticus the atonement and all the sacrifices were for the people of God, nor were they bidden to go and “offer” them to the surrounding heathen. In Numbers Jehovah used a Balaam to herald the fact that Israel were “the people” who “shall dwell alone, and shall not be numbered among the nations” (23:9); and therefore was he constrained to cry “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, 0 Israel” (24:5). In Deuteronomy it is recorded “The Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (32:9).

In Joshua we behold the discriminating mercy of the Lord bestowed upon Rahab the harlot, while the whole of her city was doomed to destruction. In Judges the sovereignty of God appears in the unlikely instruments selected, by which He wrought victory for Israel: Deborah, Gideon, Samson. In Ruth we have Orpah kissing her mother-in-law and returning to her gods, whereas Ruth cleaves to her and obtained inheritance in Israel—who made them to differ? In 1 Samuel David is chosen for the throne, preferred to his older brethren. In 2 Samuel we learn of the everlasting covenant “ordered in all things, and sure” (23:5). In 1 Kings Elijah becomes a blessing to a single widow selected from many; while in 2 Kings Naaman alone, of all the lepers, was cleansed. In 1 Chronicles it is written “Ye children of Jacob, His chosen ones” (16:13); while in 2 Chronicles we are made to marvel at the grace of God bestowing repentance upon Manasseh.

And so we might go on. The Psalms, Prophets, Gospels and Epistles are so full of this doctrine that he may run that readeth it. [Hab 2:2]

Arminians mock God all right!

Arminians mock God all right!

Michael Jeshurun

God says – “(Salvation) is “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy!” [Rom 9:16]

The Arminian says, “sorry, Salvation IS of him that willeth of his own ‘free-will’ and of him that runneth with his determination!”

God says, “No man can come to Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him!” [John 6:44]
The Arminian says, “sorry, that’s YOUR interpretation! A man though fallen and depraved CAN come to Christ if he so wills!”

God says, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” [John 10:28]
The Arminian says, “sorry, the child of God CAN and will perish if he doesn’t ‘behave’, and though no man may be able to pluck them out of God’s hand, the child of God can himself jump out and run away!”

God says, “I lay down My life for the sheep!” [John 10:15]
The Arminian asserts “No! Christ shed His blood for Judas equally with Peter, and for Pilate as truly as for Paul, and for those burning in hell as well as for those in glory!”

God says, “the redeemed of the LORD SHALL RETURN, and COME with singing unto Zion” [Isaiah 51:11]
The Arminian says, “No! they can CHOOSE not to return or come!”

Finally God says, “And I will make an Everlasting Covenant with them, that I WILL NOT TURN AWAY FROM THEM, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that THEY SHALL NOT DEPART FROM ME.” [Jer 32:40]

The Arminian says, “Sorry, God WILL depart from His covenant children if they don’t behave and His children too will depart from Him if they aren’t faithful.”

Ultimately, Salvation according to the Arminian is NOT “of the Lord!” [Jonah 2:9] it is of “the Lord AND man!” Salvation is NOT by grace ALONE but by grace PLUS WORKS! In the final analysis man hath whereof to glory (Rom 4:2) for without HIS ‘cooperation’ Christ died in vain!

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, BUT OF DEBT!
But to him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” [Rom 4:4-8]

“Not UNTO US, O LORD, not Unto Us, but UNTO THY NAME give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake!” [Psalm 115:1]

SPURGEON CONFESSES THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE KING OF SINNERS

SPURGEON CONFESSES THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE KING OF SINNERS

By C.H. SPURGEON

“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” [John 15:16]

Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought, if God had left me alone, and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner I should have been! I should have run to the utmost lengths of sin, dived into the very depths of evil, nor should I have stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me. I feel that I should have been a very king of sinners, if God had let me alone.

I cannot understand the reason why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace. If I am not at this moment without Christ, it is only because Christ Jesus would have His will with me, and that will was that I should be with Him where He is, and should share His glory. I can put the crown nowhere but upon the head of Him whose mighty grace has saved me from going down into the pit.

Looking back on my past life, I can see that the dawning of it all was of God; of God effectively. I took no torch with which to light the sun, but the sun enlightened me. I did not commence my spiritual life—no, I rather kicked, and struggled against the things of the Spirit: when He drew me, for a time I did not run after Him: there was a natural hatred in my soul of everything holy and good. Wooings were lost upon me—warnings were cast to the wind—thunders were despised; and as for the whispers of His love, they were rejected as being less than nothing and vanity. But, sure I am, I can say now, speaking on behalf of myself, “He only is my salvation.” It was He who turned my heart, and brought me down on my knees before Him. I can in very deed, say with Doddridge and Toplady—
“Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes o’erflow;”

and coming to this moment, I can add—
“‘Tis grace has kept me to this day,
And will not let me go.”

Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the doctrines of grace in a single instant. Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me.

I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul—when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, HOW DID YOU COME TO BE A CHRISTIAN? I sought the Lord. BUT HOW DID YOU COME TO SEEK THE LORD? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to MAKE ME seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, HOW CAME I TO PRAY? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. HOW CAME I TO READ THE SCRIPTURES? I did read them, but what led me to do so?

Then, in a moment, I saw that GOD WAS AT THE BOTTOM OF IT ALL, and that HE was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.”

The FIRST CAUSE of your union with Christ lies in the PURPOSE OF GOD who gave you grace in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the world. And as to the purpose, so to the power of God is your union with Christ to be attributed. HE brought you into Christ; you were a stranger, HE brought you near; you were an enemy, He reconciled you.

You had never come to Christ to seek for mercy if first of all the Spirit of God had not appeared to you to SHOW YOU your need, and to LEAD YOU to cry for the mercy that you needed. Through God’s operation as well as through God’s decree you are this day in Christ Jesus. It will do your souls good, my brethren, to think of this very common-place truth. Many days have passed since your conversion, it may be, but do not forget what a high day the day of your new birth was; and do not cease to give glory to that mighty power which brought you out of darkness into marvellous light.

YOU DID NOT CONVERT YOURSELF; IF YOU DID, YOU STILL HAVE NEED TO BE CONVERTED AGAIN!

Your regeneration was not of the will of man, nor of blood, nor of birth; if it were so, let me tell you the sooner you are rid of it the better. THE ONLY TRUE REGENERATION IS OF THE WILL OF GOD AND BY THE OPERATION OF THE HOLY GHOST. “By the grace of God I am what I am.” He “has begotten us again unto a lively hope.” “He that hath wrought us to the selfsame thing is God.” “OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus.” Through the operation and will and purpose of God are you this day a member of Christ’s body and one with Jesus.

Give all the glory, then, to the Lord alone!

CHRIST SEEKS NOT FOR GOATS BUT HIS OWN SHEEP!

CHRIST SEEKS NOT FOR GOATS BUT HIS OWN SHEEP!

Michael Jeshurun

One of the important facts which many miss out when studying the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son is that in all three cases the ‘seekers’ sought for that which was ALREADY THEIRS! [Luke 15:4-32]

The Shepherd HAD a hundred sheep, and the woman HAD ten coins and the father was looking out and patiently waiting, not for a stranger but for HIS OWN SON!

God’s elect do not start out as goats and later become sheep by accepting Jesus! The sheep are sheep from ETERNITY! They are KNOWN and loved by the Father from BEFORE TIME BEGAN!

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, WHICH WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN!” [2Tim 1:9]

God does not say I will search for GOATS and make them My sheep, but rather I will search for MY SHEEP!

“For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both SEARCH MY SHEEP, and seek them out.

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I SEEK OUT MY SHEEP, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day!” [Ezk 34;11,12]

In the mind of God, the elect are viewed as His children from ETERNITY. “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost”! [1Cor 12:3] And God sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of His Elect BECAUSE he views them as His children.

“And BECAUSE YE ARE SONS, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father”. [Gal 4:6]

The Elect are said to be the object of the Father’s love! As to WHEN this love ‘originated’ in the heart of God, the Scripture leaves us with no doubts when it declares – “Yea, I have loved thee with AN EVERLASTING LOVE: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”. [Jer 31:3]. This love had no beginning and is eternal as Jehovah Himself! One of the greatest comforts for the tried child of God!

The Master declared that the elect BELONGED TO THE FATHER long before they came to the Son! “Thine they WERE, and Thou gavest them Me”! [John 17:6] This should be said of all the elect, not just the Apostles.

Notice, “And other sheep I HAVE, which are not of this fold: THEM ALSO I must bring, and they SHALL hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd!” [John 10:16]

“Other sheep, I HAVE” not “WILL HAVE . . . if they accept me!” Note the definitive grammar – “they SHALL hear My voice” not “they may or may not hear” but “SHALL HEAR!”

In fact the prophecy concerning the Atonement was – “For the transgression of MY PEOPLE was He stricken”! [Isaiah 53:8] And in fact this alone should settle once and for all whether Christ died for the whole world or only for the Elect! . . . “I lay down My life FOR THE SHEEP”! [John 10:15]

Christ shed His blood and laid down His life for HIS SHEEP who were lost in Adam through the fall!

“This said Caiaphas not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one THE CHILDREN OF GOD THAT WERE SCATTERED ABROAD!” [John 11:51,52]

The ‘Children of God scattered abroad’ are NOT GOATS who transform into sheep by accepting Christ, but SHEEP who hear HIS voice and follow! [John 10:27] Though at that time they were “scattered abroad,” nevertheless, they Spirit denominates them as “the children of God”!

Those who cannot hear Christ’s voice speaking through the gospel are NOT HIS SHEEP, BUT GOATS!

Christ’s sheep hear His voice because they ‘BELONG TO THE TRUTH’!!

Please read once again and ponder the Master’s words to Pilate . . . “Every one that is OF THE TRUTH heareth My voice”! [John 18:37]

i.e. Everyone who ‘BELONGS TO THE TRUTH’!

Those who are ‘OF GOD’, ‘BELONG TO GOD’ or are ‘GOD’S SHEEP’ hear our words and believe them no matter how harsh or ‘unacceptable’ it may be!

“He that is OF GOD heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, BECAUSE ye are not of God!” [John 8:47]

When the Master preached some harsh truths, ALL the GOATS LEFT HIM AND WALKED WITH HIM NO MORE!

But the sheep stayed back saying – “To whom shall WE go? THOU hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God!” [John 6:68,69]

Oh what an unspeakable blessing to be one of His sheep whom He came to save. And because we are His sheep we can confidently affirm – “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want”! And because we are one of His sheep, ‘goodness and mercy shall follow us ALL the days of our life and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever’! [Psalm 23]

Thank you Jesus! Praise the Lord!

MEN BELIEVE IN CHRIST BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY HIS SHEEP!

MEN BELIEVE IN CHRIST BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY HIS SHEEP!

Michael Jeshurun

Arminian ‘soul-winners’ always ask us, “If you believe in Election and Predestination etc, HOW can you preach to all men and win ‘the lost’?

We answer, the Master said go ye and preach to ‘every creature’! So we do! Whether that creature is a sheep or a goat or in some cases a wolf or a pig, we know not!

this we are convinced of, that His Sheep WILL hear His voice through our preaching and follow! [John 10:27]

A sheep CANNOT become a goat and neither can a goat become a sheep!

THEY’RE BORN THAT WAY!

He that hath ears to ear let hear!

NO MAN will thirst for Christ unless he is one of God’s sheep! Jesus said unto the unbelieving Jews – “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life”. And He tells them why – “But ye believe not, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF MY SHEEP”! [John 5:40 & 10:26]

“The Lord did not say “Ye are not of My sheep because ye believe not,” but, “Ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep.” Man always turns the things of God upside down. When he comes to something in the Word which is peculiarly distasteful, instead of meekly submitting to it and receiving it in simple faith because God says it, he resorts to every imaginable device to make it mean something else.

Here Christ is not only charging these Jews with unbelief, but He also explains WHY faith had not been granted to them — they were not “of His sheep”: they were not among the favored number of God’s elect.

So when WE go forth and preach, we preach not with a confidence in either our eloquence or convincing skills, but in the Word of the Lord Jesus who said – “Everyone that is OF THE TRUTH heareth My voice”! [John 18:37] i.e. EVERYONE who BELONGS TO THE TRUTH, who are the sheep!

These ‘sheep’ and only these will hear, understand, repent and believe!
The rest can only hear, despise, wonder and perish! [Acts 13:41] For they are goats to whom it is not divinely and sovereignly ‘given’ to believe! [Mark 4:11,12]

These sheep are the same ones spoken of in Acts 13:48. There we read –

“As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed”!

The following is A.W. Pink’s commentary on this verse –

Every artifice of human ingenuity has been employed to blunt the sharp edge of this Scripture and to explain away the obvious meaning of these words, but it has been employed in vain, though nothing will ever be able to reconcile this and similar passages to the mind of the natural man. “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.”

Here we learn four things:

First, that believing is the consequence AND NOT THE CAUSE of God’s decree.

Second, that a LIMITED NUMBER only are “ordained to eternal life,” for if all men without exception were thus ordained by God, then the words “as many as are a meaningless qualification.

Third, that this “ordination” of God is not to mere external privileges but to “eternal life,” not to service but to SALVATION ITSELF.

Fourth, that ALL—”as many as,” NOT ONE LESS—who are thus ordained by God to eternal life WILL most certainly believe.

The comments of the beloved Spurgeon on the above passage are well worthy of our notice. Said he –

“Attempts have been made to prove that these words do not teach predestination, but these attempts so clearly do violence to language that I shall not waste time in answering them. I read: ‘As many as were ordained to eternal life believed’, and I shall not twist the text but shall glorify the grace of God by ascribing to that grace the faith of every man.

Is it not God who gives the disposition to believe? If men are disposed to have eternal life, does not He—in every case—dispose them? Is it wrong for God to give grace? If it be right for Him to give it, is it wrong for Him to PURPOSE to give it? Would you have Him give it by accident? If it is right for Him to purpose to give grace today, it was right for Him to purpose it before today—and, since He changes not—from eternity.”

God’s Covenant Love in Christ

God’s covenant love in Christ

Robert Hawker

REFLECTIONS on Psalm 51 from Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary:

READER! let you and I look at this man after God’s own heart, and tremble in the recollection of what man is in his highest attainments, if left for one moment void of grace. Oh! what an important truth it is, and must be, to be impressed upon the mind, that our poor fallen nature is the same in all men: there is, there can be no difference: a corrupt stock must produce a corrupt generation; and this in an endless succession from father to son. And that the seeds of sin do not produce an equal degree of blossom and fruit in all men, doth not arise from any difference in our nature, but from the preventing and restraining grace of God. Oh! how blessed is it to see this and to be convinced of it, that we may not only ascribe all the praise where that praise is alone due, but also may walk with such holy fear and caution, amidst the numberless temptations arising both from our own nature and the dangers everywhere around, as to be always on the watch-tower, and while we think we stand, to take heed lest we fall. And above all, to be forever looking up for grace from above, knowing that they that are kept are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Reader, let us not dismiss the contemplation of a subject in which we are so highly interested, without gathering from the review, under divine teaching, another improvement, namely, that as the best of men are but men, and cannot keep themselves from falling; so when, from the strength of temptation without, and the weakness of our own powers within, we are at any time overtaken in a fault, it is well to be convinced that no exertions of our own can restore us to the divine favour. David knew this and therefore, in another of his Psalms, gives the glory to God for his recovery by grace. “Thou restorest my soul (saith he) thou leadest me in the paths of righteousness, for thy name’s sake.” Hence, therefore, from the Lord let us seek grace, and the renewings of the Holy Ghost, to raise us up when fallen, and to restore to our souls the light of his countenance.

And lastly, and above all, let us remember, and everlastingly keep in view, that all our pardons, all our recoveries after backslidings, our perseverance in grace, our final preservation to God’s kingdom, as well as our first awakenings from sin; all and everyone is the sole result of God’s covenant love in Christ, and the merits of his blood and righteousness. Yes! thou precious, blessed Jesus, thou who art the Lord our righteousness! it is thy Father’s merciful engagement to thee, and the efficacy of thy obedience and death, which become the everlasting cause and security of all our mercies. God is a pardoning God to all thy redeemed, because there is an everlasting acceptableness in thy Person and thy work, notwithstanding our manifold departures, backslidings, and sins. And though those departures wound our souls, though those backslidings daily testify our poor corrupt nature, though those sins plead against us, and Satan is ready to accuse; yet, precious Jesus, thy blood is a speaking blood, and speaketh more for us than all that are against us.

Oh! grant our souls the daily, hourly benefit of thy great salvation! Lord, let this be the continued joy of all thy redeemed, that we have redemption through thy blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of thy grace.

Amen.

Donkeys, Elephants, and Needful DISAGREEMENT

Donkeys, Elephants, and Needful DISAGREEMENT

Bill Bryant

Despite animal selection, donkeys and elephants, my thrust here is NOT political, although application could easily be made to political arena. Some with bumper sticker Superiority Complex no doubt think their kids/dogs smarter than mine (though I actually have neither). Yet, higher than we ought to think conclusions, often more the result of irrational processing than rational deduction. Those looking downward from their own or group nose apexes, can readily jump from assessment inanimate, “dumber than dirt” to animate analogy, oh, let’s pick one like “less smart than a donkey”. In their donkey illustration they even point out that donkeys can differentiate the pile, passing up the briers eating the hay. But, what if we tweak the far from slam dunk illustration, merely going from solid to liquid. Now, in the liquid soup we come to learn of healthful, pristine, organic ingredients along with a pinch or two of a lethal, deadly poison. Now with knowledge, what is the only choice of vitality in light of deadly ricin in the soup, to ingest or to refuse? Gullible gulp or resolute refusal? Always good to ask who is holding the brush when word pictures, illustrations are presented as “amens”.

Now, is the church house exempt from apex nose slope assessment, from resentment, and worse? The pastor, rebuking a fellow pastor for his solid separatism, resorted to the oft-used elephant three blind men illustration. One blind man examining only the side said the elephant is like a wall. The second examining only the tail said the elephant like a rope. The third only assessing the huge legs of the animal said like a tree of sorts. So, the on a rescue mission pastor moved from leaky illustration to less than conclusive comparison, “So we are all talking about the same thing in this matter of Christianity, we are just looking at it from different angles.” The under fire separated pastor responded saying, “There are just two things wrong with our illustration. Salvation is not an elephant and God’s people are not blind.”

The novelties of fancy, inventive and logical to natural persons, and accredited by some favorite name, readily pass for adherence to the revelation of God. Too many too often are ready to drink any cup presented to them, like children, who think everything good that is sweet. Errors, NEVER SOLITARY, are built upon some partial, insulated, or perverted truth . . . carefully ponder WHAT we hear as well as WHOM we hear/follow. Sift the most plausible pretensions (I. Thes. 5:21; I John 4:1). NEVER SET A GREAT NAME AGAINST THE DIVINE TESTIMONY.

Admit only one standard, the infallible one. Like the noble Bereans, who would not believe even an Apostle’s words except as confirmed by the written testimony (Acts 17:11). Clearly stated in inspired writing, the inevitability of “heresies among you”, but prevalent truth shall also, as the LORD sees fit, have its witnesses “that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” Beware, “among you” in the negative may so prevail in our day that “speckled-bird saints” must needs resort to dead men and that with Berean diligence, but do not our hearts burn within us as we rejoice in the truth with love of the truth, yea even in 2017? He who will not read is no better than he who cannot read. Come, LORD JESUS.

 

I STAND IN AWE OF THY WORD! [Psalm 119:161]

I STAND IN AWE OF THY WORD! [Psalm 119:161]

C.H. Spurgeon

That man is blessed who trembles at God’s Word. This Book is not to be compared with other books; it is not of the same class and order. It is inspired in a sense in which they are not; it stands alone, and is not one among other books. As an Alp towers above the molehills of the meadow, so Holy Scripture rises above the purest, truest, and holiest literature of man’s composing.

Even could all those other books be purged of error, and be corrected to the highest degree of human knowledge, yet would they no more reach to the degree of the Book of God than man can become God. It is supreme, and of another quality from all the rest of them. Other writings we feel free to criticize, but “My heart standeth in awe of Thy Word!”

The man who loves God’s Word does not trifle with it; it is far too sacred to be toyed with. He does not cavil at it; for he believes it to be God’s Word. With a docility which comes of true sonship, it is enough for him that his Father says so. His one anxiety is, as far as possible, to know the meaning of his Father’s Words; and, that known, all debate is out of question.

“Thus saith the Lord!” is to every true child of God the end of the matter! I have often told you, my dear friends, that I view the difficulties of Holy Scriptures as so many prayer-stools upon which I kneel and worship the glorious Lord. What we cannot comprehend by our understandings we apprehend by our affections. Awe of God’s Word is a main element in that love of God’s law which brings great peace.

[From a sermon entitled “The Lover of God’s Law Filled With Peace,” delivered January 22, 1888.]