THE DAY IS SOON COMING WHEN GOD’S ELECT WILL BE DONE WITH SIN FOREVER!

THE DAY IS SOON COMING WHEN GOD’S ELECT WILL BE DONE WITH SIN FOREVER!

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“But, alas! these my golden expectations have been like South-Sea dreams! I have lived hitherto a poor sinner, and I believe I shall die one! Have I then gained nothing by waiting upon the Lord? Yes, I have gained, that which I once would rather have been without, such accumulated proofs of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of my heart, as I hope, by the Lord’s blessing, has, in some measure, taught me to know what I mean, when I say, “Behold I am vile!”

And, in connection with this, I have gained such experience of the wisdom, power, and compassion of my Redeemer; the need, the worth, of His blood, righteousness, attention, and intercession; the glory that He displays in pardoning iniquity and sin and passing by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage—that my soul cannot but cry out, “Who is a God like unto Thee!” Thus, if I have any lower thoughts of myself, (Eze. 16:63), and any higher thoughts of Him than I had twenty years ago, I have reason to be thankful.

Every grain of this experience is worth mountains of gold. And if, by His mercy, I shall yet sink more in my own esteem, and He will be pleased to rise still more glorious to my eyes, and more precious to my heart—I expect it will be much in the same way. I was ashamed when I began to seek Him; I am more ashamed now; and I expect to be most of all ashamed when He shall appear to destroy my last enemy. But, oh! I may rejoice in Him, to think that He will not be ashamed of me.” – John Newton

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” [Matt 5:6]

“Hungering and thirsting expresses vehement desire, of which the redeemed soul is acutely conscious.

First, the Holy Spirit brings before the heart the holy requirements of God. He reveals to us His perfect standard, which He can never lower. He reminds us that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

Second, the trembling soul, conscious of his own abject poverty and realizing his utter inability to measure up to God’s requirements, sees no help in himself. This painful discovery causes him to mourn and groan. Have you done so?

Third, the Holy Spirit then creates in the heart a deep “hunger and thirst” that causes the convicted sinner to look for relief and to seek a supply outside of himself. The believing eye is then directed to Christ, who is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:6).

Like the previous ones, this fourth Beatitude describes a twofold experience. It obviously refers to the initial hungering and thirsting that occurs before a sinner turns to Christ by faith. But it also refers to the continual longing that is perpetuated in the heart of every saved sinner until his dying day. Repeated exercises of this grace are felt at varying intervals. The one who longed to be saved by Christ, now yearns to be made like Him. Looked at in its widest aspect, this hungering and thirsting refers to a panting of the renewed heart after God (Ps. 42:1), a yearning for a closer walk with Him, and a longing for more perfect conformity to the image of His Son. It tells of those aspirations of the new nature for Divine blessing that alone can strengthen, sustain, and satisfy.

Our text presents such a paradox that it is evident that no carnal mind ever invented it. Can one who has been brought into vital union with Him who is the Bread of Life and in whom all fullness dwells be found still hungering and thirsting? Yes, such is the experience of the renewed heart. Mark carefully the tense of the verb: it is not “Blessed are they which have hungered and thirsted,” but “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst.”

Do you, dear reader? Or are you content with your attainments and satisfied with your condition? Hungering and thirsting after righteousness has always been the experience of God’s true saints (Phil. 3:8-14).

“They shall be filled.” Like the first part of our text, this also has a double fulfillment, both initial and continuous. When God creates a hunger and a thirst in the soul, it is so that He may satisfy them. When the poor sinner is made to feel his need for Christ, it is to the end that he may be drawn to Christ and led to embrace Him as his only righteousness before a holy God. He is delighted to confess Christ as his new-found righteousness and to glory in Him alone (1 Cor. 1:30, 31). Such a one, whom God now calls a “saint” (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1), is to experience an ongoing filling: not with wine, wherein is excess, but with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). He is to be filled with the peace of God that passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

We who are trusting in the righteousness of Christ shall one day be filled with Divine blessing without any admixture of sorrow; we shall be filled with praise and thanksgiving to Him who wrought every work of love and obedience in us (Phil. 2:12, 13) as the visible fruit of His saving work in and for us. In this world, “He hath filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53) such as this world can neither give to nor withhold from those who “seek the Lord (Ps. 34:10). He bestows such goodness and mercy upon us, who are the sheep of His pasture, that our cups run over (Ps. 23:5, 6).

Yet all that we presently enjoy is but a mere foretaste of all that our “God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). In the eternal state, we will be filled with perfect holiness, for “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Then we shall be done with sin forever. Then we shall “hunger no more, neither thirst any more.” – A.W. Pink

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THE REAL ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY’ FOR THE CHLD OF GOD IS THE DAY GOD REGENERATED HIM!

THE REAL ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY’ FOR THE CHLD OF GOD IS THE DAY GOD REGENERATED HIM!

Michael Jeshurun

The Jews said unto Him, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free”?

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”!

The portion above tells us that though men may not be in bondage to other men, yet the fact that they are “servants of sin” shows that they are not truly ‘free’ or “Independent” as they suppose they are!

But “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free INDEED“! [John 8:36]

I send thee Paul to the Gentiles, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me”! [Acts 26:15-18]

All that to say, if you are a truly born-again Christian, then your real “Independence Day” was the day when you were ‘born-again’ and Christ set you free!

For it was on THAT day that your blind eyes were opened!

It was on that day, you were delivered from the power of Satan to the power of God!

It was on that day that you were delivered from the PENALTY of sin!

And it was on that day, you were delivered from the POWER of sin!

And the Day is soon coming, when you shall be delivered from the very PRESENCE of sin into the glorious presence of the Lamb of God to sing His praises for all eternity!

THAT my dear friend is TRUE freedom and THAT is your real ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY‘!

Hallelujah!

LIMITED ATONEMENT – MOST OFFENSIVE TO NOMINAL CHRISTIANS

LIMITED ATONEMENT – MOST OFFENSIVE TO NOMINAL CHRISTIANS

Michael Jeshurun

Without doubt the doctrine of Limited Atonement or [Particular Redemption] is the most offensive, controversial and difficult of the doctrines of grace. A testing doctrine! Only a Christian who has decided to preach the offence of the Cross will accept it.

All the rest will openly reject it, and in certain cases vehemently attack it. The reason for this is because, if Limited Atonement is accepted, it follows that these must also be accepted –

1. God does not intend to save all, seeing He hath not made provision for all.
2. If God does not intend to save all he obviously does not love all.
3. It accuses God of partiality, and debunks the view they have had if Him since their youth.
4. The carnal mind immediately foresees that embracing this truth is to make oneself unpopular in the religious world.

History shows that the most popular preachers whether Reformed or Puritan, either deliberately ignored or explained this doctrine away by removing its offence. This is not the doctrine to contend for if you are a preacher interested in numbers or a Christian interested in making friends and influencing people.

What will you do with this grand Truth of God’s unfailing Word?!!

Come now, think about it . . .

If the Atonement was offered for all mankind then the debt incurred by EVERY MAN HAS BEEN CANCELLED. If Christ bore in His own body on the tree the sins of all men WITHOUT EXCEPTION, then none will perish. If Christ was “made a curse” for all of Adam’s race then none are now “under condemnation.” “PAYMENT GOD CANNOT TWICE DEMAND, FIRST AT MY BLEEDING SURETY’S HAND AND THEN AGAIN AT MINE.”

But Christ DID NOT discharge the debt of all men without exception, for some there are who will be “cast into prison” (see 1 Peter 3:19 where the same Greek word for “prison” occurs), and they shall “by no means come out thence, till they have paid the uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:26), which, of course, will never be. Christ DID NOT bear the sins of all mankind, for some there are who “die IN THEIR SINS” (John 8:21), and whose “sin REMAINETH” (John 9:41).

Christ WAS NOT “made a curse” for all of Adam’s race, for some there are to whom He will yet say, “Depart from Me YE CURSED” (Matthew 25:41). To say that Christ died for all alike, to say that He became the Substitute and Surety of the whole human race, to say that He suffered on behalf of and in the stead of all mankind, is to say that He “BORE THE CURSE FOR MANY WHO ARE NOW BEARING THE CURSE FOR THEMSELVES; that He suffered punishment for many who are now lifting up their own eyes in Hell, being in torments; that He paid the redemption price for many who shall yet pay in their own eternal anguish ‘the wages of sin, which is death’.

But, on the other hand, to say as Scripture says, that Christ was stricken for the transgressions OF GOD’S PEOPLE, to say that He gave His life FOR THE SHEEP, to say that He gave His life a ransom FOR MANY, is to say that He made an atonement which FULLY ATONES; it is to say He paid a price which ACTUALLY RANSOMS; it is to say He was set forth a propitiation which really propitiates; it is to say HE IS A SAVIOR WHO TRULY SAVE!

To say that Christ died for every human being without exception is to say that at least in some sense ‘Christ died in vain’. Fact is, there are many who died and perished long before Christ came. And even to this day there are many who died without hearing the Gospel. To say that Christ died even for these is to say that He died in vain!

THERE IS AN  EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL CALL OF THE GOSPEL

THERE IS AN  EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL CALL OF THE GOSPEL

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

Those who insist that grace can be resisted are usually the ones who do not DIFFERENTIATE between the EXTERNAL CALL of the Gospel and the EFFECTUAL CALL!

In order to protect the idol of man’s own ability and of his good will as being the cause of his own salvation, the Arminians would prefer to do away with the distinction between the external and internal call, between the non-effectual and the effectual call. They would view them as being the same, and thus recognize only one calling. The effect would then not be due to the efficacious operation of God working more in one person than in another. Instead, it would be related to the outcome; namely, that the one person obeys the call by his free will (which enables him either to respond or to reject this call) and thus be saved. Another person will despise and reject this call by the same neutral free will. Scripture, however, rebukes and refutes such foolish thoughts and demonstrates first of all that the calling is effectual unto salvation as a result of God’s purpose, “…who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28); “for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29).

The actual exercise of faith in those who are called proceeds from this purpose. “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). Scripture conveys in the second place that there is no distinction in man himself, but that this distinction originates with God. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7). Man, however, by attributing the cause of one having more faith than another to his goodness and power, would create such a distinction. There is thus a calling which is of an effectual nature and penetrates the inner man—his intellect, will, and inclinations, changing and sanctifying them. This is the internal call . And this call is both effectual and IRRESISTIBLE!

But there is a GENERAL CALLING by means of the Word of God which is not accompanied by God’s effectual operation (which generates faith and love), but which comes to the external ear only. It leaves man in his natural state, who, in his wickedness, REJECTS THIS EXTERNAL CALL. He despises this call due to his free will which wills by way of necessary consequence. This is true of most who are called (Matt. 22:5, 14).

All the scripture verses quoted above by John Henry DO NOT refer to the internal call, nor to the moment of spiritual transformation, nor to regeneration. Instead, these texts refer to the EXTERNAL CALL only! This is the Word going out in WORD ONLY without the power, the effectual working of the Spirit or much assurance! The Apostle reminded the Thessalonians that he knew that were the elect of God because – “Knowing, brethren beloved, your ELECTION of God. Because our gospel came not unto you in WORD ONLY, but also IN POWER, and in the Holy Ghost, and in MUCH ASSURANCE “! [1Thes 1:4,5]

It goes without saying that to the majority the Word or the Gospel comes in WORD ONLY! And this ‘Word’ or ‘Gospel’ can and is rejected!

We readily admit that the person who is not elected resists this call, for the carnal mind is enmity against God. The natural man hates both God and holiness, and can do nothing else but reject and resist this offer. It does not follow, however, that those who are regenerated would be able to resist the omnipotent operation of the Holy Spirit, whereby He makes a dead person alive, and from being unwilling, to be willing. This we deny, and these texts do not suggest this.

Consider all this together for a moment. Man is as blind, evil, impotent, and dead as has been stated above. God permits the gospel to be preached to many, but this has no effect upon most who hear it. However, others are converted because God joins His Holy Spirit to that Word, working in them what He does not work in others. He illuminates them with a marvelous light which He does not do unto others. He removes the heart of stone from them and gives them a heart of flesh, not doing so to others. He works in them to will and to do the work of faith with power, not doing so in others. It is thus an irrefutable fact that God interacts with the heart of man in an immediate sense and thus changes it.

The Arminians deny this, but we confirm this. Man by nature hates God and is opposed to God, His Word, and the gospel. Such is the state of all men. If, however, the one person is converted and not the other, this is not to be attributed to man—as if it were true that the one accepts this grace by his free will and the other rejects it; rather this is to be attributed to the effectual operation of God, who works one thing in the one and not in the other. He not only effectually illuminates the intellect—doing so irresistibly—and irresistibly activates man’s inclinations, but He also irresistibly works upon the unwilling will in such a manner that the will wills voluntarily.

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”! [Rom 9:16] “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”! [Phil 2:13]

COMING TO JESUS ISN’T A ONE-TIME THING!

 COMING TO JESUS ISN’T A ONE-TIME THING!

Michael Jeshurun

“Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.” [John 13:8-10]

This portion above (John 13:4-17) reminds us of what the Master HAS DONE and IS DOING for us EVERY DAY! He not only forgave us when He first saved us but He forgives us EVERY DAY as we cry out for forgiveness and mercy. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross”! [Col 2:14]

When Peter said, “you shall never wash MY feet”! Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, HE THAT IS WASHED NEEDETH NOT SAVE TO WASH HIS FEET, BUT IS CLEAN EVERY WHIT: and YE ARE CLEAN, but not all.

Now what does all this mean?

It means that our Lord has already made us clean by the Word which He has spoken unto us (Jn 15:3). But as we tread through this sin-laden world, our feet are bound to get dirty. And the Lord Jesus condescends to wash our feet DAILY that we might not remain dirty but be KEPT clean. This is the ongoing ministry of the Son of God whereby He intercedes daily and hourly on our behalf before the throne of His Father! [Rom 8:34]

Forgiveness is not a ONE-TIME thing, for Sin is not a one-time thing! We sin DAILY and therefore DAILY need the Lord’s forgiveness! Our prayer EVERYDAY is “forgive us our trespasses (SINS), as we forgive those who trespass against us”!

The apostle Peter writes – “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious etc” [1Pet 2:3,4]. Notice the phrase “to whom coming”, he says not to whom HAVING COME but ‘COMING’ a present continuous! We just don’t come to the Lord once at the beginning for salvation and get it over with, beloved! But we constantly keep coming every day, many times during the day to be washed and cleansed by His Sovereign mercy, grace and the Word!

“Make up your spiritual accounts daily; see how matters stand between God and your soul (Psalm 77:6). Often reckonings keep God and conscience friends. Do with your hearts as you do with your watches, wind them up every morning by prayer, and at night examine whether your hearts have gone true all that day, whether the wheels of your affections have moved swiftly toward heaven”. [Thomas Watson]

Praise the Lord!

FEELING UNWORTHY – A GOOD THING

FEELING UNWORTHY – A GOOD THING

Michael Jeshurun

There is a story shared in Arminian circles about a drowning man being saved. And when the man who was saved from drowning starts to thank the one who saved him, the savior replies – “Just make sure you were worth saving’!

And many an Arminian preacher following the error of Wesley’s doctrine of ‘sinless-perfection’ uses this illustration and tells his congregation – “Now that Christ has saved you, make sure you live your life in a manner to show God that you were worth saving”!

Now while all this tickles our emotions and may even challenge us to shoot for ‘sinless-perfection’, who among the saints can truly lay his hand on his heart and say that he was “worth saving”?!

If anything, every true child of God knows through bitter experience that he was not worth saving BEFORE Christ saved him, nor has he made himself in anywise worthy AFTERWARD!

Here is a short meditation from Spurgeon on the saint’s unworthiness –

What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? [2 Samuel 9:8]

If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David’s kindness, what shall WE be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says holy Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, “Except as to open out-breakings, I want (lack) nothing of what Judas and Cain had.” The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at His call.

The term “dead dog” is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self-abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere walking hillocks; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set His heart’s love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will “magnify the exceeding greatness of His grace.” Could not His heart find rest in heaven? Must He needs come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break forth into a song, and give all glory to our sweet Lord Jesus”. Hallelujah!

FAITH – WHY DOES IT NOT COME TO ALL WHO HEAR GOD’S WORD?

FAITH – WHY DOES IT NOT COME TO ALL WHO HEAR GOD’S WORD?

Michael Jeshurun

“So then Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”! [Romans 10:17]

All men have some kind of faith or they could not possibly live here on earth. Even an insignificant act as sitting on a chair requires faith! You decide to sit on it because you have the faith that the chair will hold you. When your friend offers you a drink you drink because you have the faith that it is safe, and so on. But the faith which saves a man is something different altogether! It is called the ‘Faith of God’s elect’! [Titus 1:1] And the Apostle says that “All men have not (this) faith”! [2Thes 3:2].

The Bible speaks of this faith as something which belongs to Christ, for it speaks of “the faith of Christ” “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified”! [Gal 2:16]

This saving faith is God’s property and is given as a gift to His chosen ones! And Jesus is spoken of as the AUTHOR and the FINISHER of this faith! [Heb 12:2] “Now faith “cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. [Rom 10:17] Notice that faith ‘cometh’ from somewhere. It is not an inherent product of fallen nature! So WHERE does it come from? It comes from above! “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven”! [John 3:27] And again, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from ABOVE, and cometh down from the Father of lights”! [James 1:17]

But here is the question to ask – “If faith ‘cometh’ by hearing the word of God, why does it not come to ALL who hear it”? [Rom 10:17]

Because all refuse to believe, is the usual answer given! But that is only one side of the truth! Yes ALL refuse to believe, but the fact remains that some do! In what way are these who believe different from those who do not? The answer is found in Paul’s rhetorical question – “For WHO maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not RECEIVE? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it”? [1Cor 4:7]

The reason why faith does not come to the majority is because, to the majority the Word of God comes in WORD ONLY! It is not accompanied by power, and the Holy Spirit and much assurance! Hear what the Apostle wrote to the Thessalonians – “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in WORD ONLY, but also in POWER, and in the HOLY GHOST, and in much ASSURANCE“! [1Thes 1:4,5]

How did the apostle know that the Thessalonian Christians were ‘elected’ by God to salvation? Why, by this- that when he initially preached to them, the word of God came not just as a dead word from the Bible, but the Word was accompanied by power, the Holy Ghost and much assurance!

Now this is the way it is through all the ages! To God’s chosen it is GIVEN to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God by the gift of faith, but to the rest IT IS NOT GIVEN! [Matt 13:11]

God is absolutely sovereign and does not owe fallen man ANYTHING! He can give to one what He withholds from many and none can say unto Him “what doest Thou”?! So He has mercy on whom He will and whom He will He hardens! [Rom 9:18]

So ultimately, saving faith, repentance and perseverance which are all required for salvation are the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast! Salvation is “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who showeth MERCY! [Rom 9:16]!

And all the praise and glory to God alone! Amen!

THE SINS OF GOD’S ELECT – FOREVER PUT AWAY BY CHRIST!

THE SINS OF GOD’S ELECT – FOREVER PUT AWAY BY CHRIST!

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us!” [Psalm 103:10-12] 

The distance from north to south is measurable. In every sphere there are north and south poles – both fixed points; and on the earth the distance between them is about twelve thousand miles. So that had the Psalmist said, “As far as the north is from the south,” our conceptions would have been thus limited. It is otherwise with the east and the west. There are no eastern and western poles. From every point alike in the circuit of the world, the east extends in one direction, the west in the other.

Thus, the traveller westward, for example, might be said to be forever chasing the west without coming nearer to it. The Psalmist himself might not have known this astronomical fact; yet, regarding his words as dictated by the Spirit of God, we are surely permitted to read them in the light of modern science, and so to discern in them the most forcible illustration that can be imagined of the illimitable distance to which God has removed the iniquities of His people.

“In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” [Jer 50:20]

As the east and the west can never meet in one point, but be forever at the same distance from each other, so our sins and their decreed punishment are removed to an eternal distance by His glorious mercy.

“Gone are my sins? Oh where?” Echo answers, “Where?”
To the land of nobody, where Satan himself cannot not find them! Yea, where God himself cannot find them. He says He has cast our sin behind His back, where He cannot see. What part of the creation must that be which lies behind God’s back, whereas He is everywhere present, beholding all things both by night and by day?

There is no such place as “behind His back”: and there is no place for our sins! They have gone into the nowhere! “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” He has cast them into the depths of the sea and even THAT is not so good a figure as the scapegoat of old, for things that are at the bottom of the sea are still there, but the scapegoat soon passed away altogether, and, as far as Israel was concerned it ceased to be. The sins of God’s people are absolutely and irrevocably forgiven. Never, never, never can they be laid to our charge: they are extinct, buried, blotted out, forgotten!” Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?
[C.H. Spurgeon]

“It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST? 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” [Rom 8:33-39]

Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord Jesus

WHICH COMES FIRST – FAITH OR REGENERATION?

WHICH COMES FIRST – FAITH OR REGENERATION?

Michael Jeshurun

That the work of the Holy Spirit PRECEDES our believing is unequivocally established by 2 Thessalonians 2:13—”God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” Note that “sanctification of the Spirit” comes before and makes possible “belief of the truth.” What then is the “sanctification of the Spirit”? We answer, THE NEW BIRTH. In Scripture “sanctification” ALWAYS means “separation,” separation from something and unto something or someone.” [A.W. Pink]

First there is a “NEW CREATION” (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10), and then the “NEW CREATURE” is stirred into exercise. Faith and all other graces are wrought in us by the Spirit through the instrumentality of Word, but not so with the principle of life and grace from which these graces proceed.

In His work of “quickening,” by which we mean the impartation of spiritual life to the soul, the Spirit acts immediately from WITHIN, and not by applying something from WITHOUT. Quickening is a direct operation of the Spirit WITHOUT THE USE OF ANY INSTRUMENT: the WORD IS USED BY HIM AFTERWARDS to call into exercise the life then communicated.

Regeneration is a direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the human spirit. It is the action of Spirit upon spirit, of a Divine Person upon a human person, whereby spiritual life is imparted. Nothing, therefore, of the nature of means or instruments can come between the Holy Spirit and the soul that is made alive. God did not employ an instrument or means when He infused physical life into the body of Adam. There were only two factors: the dust of the ground and the creative power of God which vivified that dust. The Divine omnipotence and dead matter were brought into direct contact, with nothing interposing. The dust was not a means or instrument by which God originated life. So in regeneration there are only two factors: the human soul destitute of spiritual life, and the Holy Spirit who quickens it.

The word and truth of God, the most important of all the means of grace, is not a means of regeneration, as distinct from conviction, conversion and sanctification. This is evident when we remember that it is the office of a means or instrument, to excite or stimulate an already existing principle of life. Physical food is a means of physical growth, but it SUPPOSES physical vitality, if the body is dead, bread cannot be a means or instrument. Intellectual truth is a means of intellectual growth, but it supposes intellectual vitality. If the mind be idiotic, secular knowledge cannot be a means or instrument. Spiritual truth is a means of spiritual growth, in case there be spiritual vitality. But if the mind be dead to righteousness, spiritual truth cannot be a means or instrument.

“The unenlightened understanding is unable to apprehend, and the unregenerate will is unable to believe. Vital force is lacking in these two principal factors. What is needed at this point is life and force itself. Consequently, the Author of spiritual life Himself must operate directly, without the use of means or instruments; and OUTRIGHT give spiritual life and power from the dead: that is, ex nihilo. The new life is not imparted because man perceives the truth, but he perceives the truth because the new life is imparted. A man is not regenerated because he has first believed in Christ, but he believes in Christ because he has been regenerated.” (W. T. Shedd, Presbyterian, 1889)

“Fallen man is not regenerated by any instinct, choice, or exertion of his own; he does not by any personal endeavor contribute anything towards being born again; nor does he cooperate in the least degree with the efficient cause: instead, every inclination of his heart, every exercise of his will, is in direct opposition thereto.

The new birth is not brought about by the power and influence of others. No sinner is ever born again as the result of the persuasions and endeavors of preachers or Christian workers. However pious and wise they are, and however earnestly and strenuously they exert themselves to bring others to holiness, they do in no degree produce the effect. “If all the angels and saints in Heaven and all the godly on earth should join their wills and endeavors and unitedly exert all their powers to regenerate one sinner, they could not effect it; yea, they could do nothing toward it. It is an effect INFINITELY beyond the reach of finite wisdom and power!” [S. Hopkins].

“In regeneration one of God’s elect is the subject, and the Spirit of God is the sole agent. The subject of the new birth is wholly passive: he does not act, but is acted upon. The sovereign work of the Spirit in the soul precedes all holy exercises of heart—such as sorrow for sin, faith in Christ, love toward God. This great change is wrought in spite of all the opposition of the natural heart against God: “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). This great change is not a gradual and protracted process, but is instantaneous: in an instant of time the favored subject of it passes from death unto life.” [A.W. Pink]

Now here’s the kicker – the ‘Gospel’ itself actually saves no one but brings to light the life and immortality which the regenerated soul has been made a partaker of. A spiritually dead soul CANNOT hear the gospel and be saved! But the Holy Spirit sovereignly regenerates the dead soul without any external means! And THEN the gospel is brought to this soul which has been made alive to reveal what has happened to it.

Read these two verses very prayerfully and meditate on them –

“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, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel!” [2Tim 1:9,10]

Notice the ‘order’ Beloved, “Who hath saved us, and called us . . .” God first sovereignly saves us by the operation of the Holy Spirit and THEN calls us through the Gospel! In other words God does not call and save but He saves and then calls! Sovereign regeneration FIRST and then conversion through the Gospel!

And notice again WHAT the role of the gospel is in salvation – “it BRINGS TO LIGHT life and immortality” through the gospel! When Scripture says – “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” [1Pet 1:23] it is not speaking of the ‘spoken Word’ which the preacher preaches, but the Eternal Word – even the glorious second person of the Godhead!

“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Hame is called The Word of God.” [Rev 19:12,13]