LOOKING UNTO THE LORD

LOOKING UNTO THE LORD

A.W. Pink

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith!” [Heb12:2]

Looking unto the Lord is an attitude of the SOUL, an act of the WILL, and the exercise of FAITH — a turning away from all that is of the CREATURE, and relying solely upon the living God!

It is tersely — but graphically, expressed in these words: “But our eyes are upon Thee!” (2 Chronicles 20:12), and blessed is the one who can really so aver. THAT is the language of all God’s children, when they are in their right minds. At that time, they place no reliance upon SELF, have no confidence in the FLESH, and expect nothing good from the WORLD — but they put all their trust in the Lord. Their hearts are engaged with an almighty God, and, like Moses, they endure “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb 11:27).

It is this which characterizes those who are members of the Household of Faith:
in their NEED — they look to God for their supplies;
in their STRAITS — they look to God for deliverance;
in their TROUBLE — they look to God for comfort;
in their WEAKNESS — they look to God for strength.

It is this which distinguishes them from unbelievers, who lean upon the “arm of FLESH” (2 Chronicles 32:8) and look to their FELLOWS for help. In proportion, as we maintain this attitude of dependence on and expectation from our heavenly Father . . .
our hearts will be kept in peace,
our souls made to rejoice, and
our every need will be supplied.

For the sake of young preachers, we will topicalize our subject.

1. THE LOOK OF SALVATION. “Look unto ME, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa 45:22). Look not to the Law, the priest, nor to your baptism, nor church attendance. Look not to your sincerity and good intentions, nor to your prayers and good deeds; nor even to your convictions of sin. None but CHRIST can save you. This is very humbling to the proud creature: to have to look away from SELF — and be wholly indebted to Another. It is not a matter of WHAT WE ARE — how good or bad — but of what He is: namely, an all-sufficient Savior, freely offered in the Gospel to every hearer.

If you look unto Him, as the serpent-bitten Israelites looked upon the divinely appointed object (John 3:14) — with simple but confident faith — He will save you!

No QUALIFICATIONS are needed to entitle you to do so — the command of God and the invitation of the Gospel supply sufficient authorization. The VILER you feel yourself to be — the more suited to Christ’s cleansing blood. He is the great Physician — and can heal the foulest leper. Do you say, “But I am blind!” True — yet you are not bidden to “SEE,” but “LOOK” — and sight comes by looking!

2. THE LOOK OF ILLUMINATION. “They looked unto Him, and were enlightened: and their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 34:5). FAITH’S LOOKING UNTO CHRIST is the grand means of blessing appointed by God: pardon and peace, light and liberty, are obtained thereby. Of old, Job said, “Lo, all these things works God oftentimes with man — to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living” (Job 33:29-30). He does so by the power of His Spirit working in us, faith upon Christ. God announced concerning His beloved Son, “I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles” (Isa 49:6). And in due time, the Sun of righteousness arose “with healing in His wings” (Mal 4:2), putting an end to the NIGHT OF DARKNESS for many a soul. By His Gospel, He declares, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness!” (John 12:46). Then look unto Him — and you too shall be divinely illumined: your faith shall not be confounded, nor your face covered with confusion.

3. THE LOOK OF SUPPLICATION. “But our eyes are upon Thee” (2 Chronicles 20:12). The setting of those words is very striking. A great army of the heathen had gathered together to do battle against Judah. When their king was informed, he “set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast” (verse 3). Then, in the hearing of the congregation, he addressed himself unto the God of their fathers, saying, “O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee!” (verse 12).

It was an EARNEST APPEAL unto the omnipotent One by those in the place of CONSCIOUS WEAKNESS AND HELPLESSNESS. It was likewise an expression of HUMBLE BUT CONFIDENT FAITH. It was also an expectation of help from the Almighty. Nor was this simple but affecting supplication in vain. Of course it was not! Jehovah made answer: “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours — but God’s” (verse 15). He caused the enemy to fall upon themselves, “and none escaped” (verse 24). There is the grand remedy for every strait. No matter how desperate the situation — nothing is too hard for the LORD! Turn unto Him the eyes of faith, of dependence, of reliance, of confident expectation — and you will not be disappointed.

4. THE LOOK OF TRANSFORMATION. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). This “beholding” is not simply one of faith — but especially of holy ambition and resolve. As the believer contemplates the moral perfection and character of Christ as they are set forth in the Word — there is born within him a deep yearning to be conformed to His likeness and to “walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). As that yearning persists and is accompanied by earnest prayer, the Holy Spirit works in him a deeper spirit of obedience, causing him to be increasingly regulated by Christ’s example and precepts, and thereby “changes” him, little by little, unto the same image. The Greek verb for “change” here is rendered “transformed” in Romans 12:2, and “transfigured” in Matthew 17:2. As the will is brought into subjection to Christ — we drink into His Spirit and become partakers of His holiness. This lifelong process will be completed when “we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2), “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

5. THE LOOK OF INSPIRATION. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher [better, “LEADER AND CAPTAIN”] of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). In Hebrews 10:32, the apostle began to set before suffering, tried, and persecuted saints — a number of considerations calculated to nerve them for the conflict and stimulate unto the continued performance of duty. Throughout chapter 11, he showed how FAITH was what animated the Old Testament worthies. As a climax, he reminded them of the Savior, who supplied the perfect example of faith and fortitude under unparalleled suffering. When, then, you grow weary of running the race set before you — look unto your Leader and draw inspiration from Him — see Hebrews 12:3-4. Do as He did: look beyond the present sorrows to “the joy” awaiting you; see above the PAINFUL CROSS — an ETERNAL CROWN prepared for him who “endures to the end” (Mat 10:22). It is by so looking unto our great Exemplar, by devoutly contemplating His spirit of self-sacrifice and steadfastness, that we obtain strength to bear the hardships of the way.

6. THE LOOK OF EXPECTATION. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). That is a very different thing from having the mind engaged with signs of the times or charmed with the study of prophecy; or even being on the alert for the next appointed item on the divine program. It is concerned not so much with an EVENT — as with the advent of a PERSON.

The second coming of Christ is ridiculed by the infidel (2 Peter 3:2-4) and dreaded by the world (2 Thessalonians 1:8); but it is regarded by the saints with great delight, for then will be the perfecting of their salvation (Hebrews 9:26). Titus 2:13 describes a spiritual attitude of heart. It is an attitude of faith — and faith is not influenced by sensational items taken from the newspapers! It is an attitude of hope — joyous anticipation of our being rid of sin. It is an attitude of love, so that we cry, “Make haste, my beloved, and be like to a roe or to a young deer upon the mountains of spices” (Song 8:14).

Such looking . . .
weans the heart from the world (Heb 11:9-10),
produces patience in trials (Jam 5:6-8), and
purifies the heart (1 John 3:3).

Therein we may behold the practical side of our blessed hope. Such an expectation of the returning Savior works in us a careful attention to our conduct, that we may “not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

7. THE LOOK OF CONSUMMATION. “As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness” (Psalm 17:15). THAT is the ultimate longing of every believer — to behold the King in His beauty and forever gaze upon His blessed features! Such too is HIS DESIRE — to have us with Him, beholding His glory (John 17:24) — nothing less will satisfy the eternal Lover of our souls.

In a real sense, believers discern something of the glory of Christ even now — but oh, how feebly and faintly! But hereafter, we shall look upon Him without hindrance or interruption. That will be the fruition of our hope — to have immediate communion with Him. That will fill us with joy, and make us overflow with praise. Oh, how altogether lovely will He appear, when we see Him no longer “through a glass, darkly [obscurely]” — but “face to face!” (1Cor 13:12)

Hallelujah!

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‘SOVEREIGN GRACE’ – DEFINED

‘SOVEREIGN GRACE’ – DEFINED

A.W. Pink

This is the free, pure Sovereign Grace of God: as it is written “Being justified FREELY by His grace” (Rom. 3:24). What is grace? It is God’s unmerited and uninfluenced favour, shown unto the undeserving and hell-deserving: neither human worthiness, works or willingness, attracting it, nor the lack of them repelling or obstructing it.

What could there be in me to win the favourable regard of Him who is of too pure eyes to behold evil, and move Him to justify me? NOTHING whatever; nay, there was everything in me calculated to make Him abhor and destroy me—my very self-righteous efforts to earn a place in Heaven deserving only a lower place in Hell.

If, then, I am ever to be “justified” by God it must be by PURE GRACE, AND THAT ALONE! Grace is the very essence of the Gospel—the only hope for fallen men, the sole comfort of saints passing through much tribulation on their way to the kingdom of God. The Gospel is the announcement that God is prepared to deal with guilty rebels on the ground of free favour, of pure benignity; that God will blot out sin, cover the believing sinner with a robe of spotless righteousness, and receive him as an accepted son: not on account of anything he has done or ever will do, but of sovereign mercy, acting independently of the sinner’s own character and deservings of eternal punishment.

Justification is perfectly gratuitous so far as we are concerned, nothing being required of us in order to it, either in the way of price and satisfaction or preparation and meetness. We have not the slightest degree of merit to offer as the ground of our acceptance, and therefore if God ever does accept us it must be out of unmingled grace. It is as “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) that Jehovah justifies the ungodly. It is as “the God of all grace” He seeks, finds, and saves His people: asking them for nothing, giving them everything. Strikingly is this brought out in that word “being justified FREELY by His grace” (Rom. 3:24), the design of that adverb being to exclude all consideration of anything in us or from us which should be the cause or condition of our justification.

That same Greek adverb is translated “WITHOUT A CAUSE” in John 15:25—“they hated Me without a cause.” The world’s hatred of Christ was “without a cause” so far as He was concerned: there was nothing whatever in Him which, to the slightest degree, deserved their enmity against Him: there was nothing in Him unjust, perverse, or evil; instead, there was everything in Him which was pure, holy, lovely. In like manner, there is nothing whatever in us to call forth the approbation of God: by nature there is “no good thing” in us; but instead, everything that is evil, vile, loathsome.

“Being justified without a cause by His GRACE.” How this tells out the very heart of God! While there was no motive to move Him, outside of Himself, there was one inside Himself; while there was nothing in us to impel God to justify us, His own grace moved Him, so that He devised a way whereby His wondrous love could have vent and flow forth to the chief of sinners, the vilest of rebels. As it is written, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isa. 43:25).

Wondrous, matchless grace! We cannot for a moment look outside the grace of God for any motive or reason why He should ever have noticed us, still less had respect unto such ungodly wretches. The first moving cause, then, that inclined God to show mercy to His people in their undone and lost condition, was His own wondrous grace—unsought, uninfluenced, unmerited by us. He might justly have left us all obnoxious to the curse of His Law, without providing any Surety for us, as He did the fallen angels; but such was His grace toward us that “He spared not His own Son.”

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5–7). It was His own sovereign favour and good will which actuated God to form this wondrous scheme and method of justification.

Against what has been said above, it has been objected by Socinians and their echoists that this cannot be: if the believing sinner is justified upon the grounds of a full satisfaction having been made to God for him by a surety, then his discharge from condemnation and his reception into God’s judicial favour must be an act of pure justice, and therefore could not be by grace. Or, if it be purely an act of Divine grace, then no surety can have obeyed the law in the believer’s stead. But this is to confound two distinct things: the relation of God to Christ the Surety, and the relation of God to me the sinner.

It was grace which transferred my sins to Christ; it was justice which smote Christ on account of those sins. It was grace which appointed me unto everlasting bliss; it is justice to Christ which requires I shall enjoy that which He purchased for me. Toward the sinner justification is an act of free unmerited favour; but toward Christ, as a sinner’s Surety, it is an act of justice that eternal life should be bestowed upon those for whom His meritorious satisfaction was made.

First, it was pure grace that God was willing to accept satisfaction from the hands of a surety. He might have exacted the debt from us in our own persons, and then our condition had been equally miserable as that of the fallen angels, for whom no mediator was provided. Second, it was wondrous grace that God Himself provided a Surety for us, which we could not have done. The only creatures who are capable of performing perfect obedience are the holy angels, yet none of them could have assumed and met our obligations, for they are not akin to us, possessing not human nature, and therefore incapable of dying.

Even had an angel became incarnate, his obedience to the law could not have availed for the whole of God’s elect, for it would not have possessed infinite value. None but a Divine person taking human nature into union with Himself could present unto God a satisfaction adequate for the redemption of His people. And it was impossible for men to have found out that Mediator and Surety: it must have its first rise in God, and not from us: it was He that “found” a ransom (Job 33:24) and laid help upon One that is “mighty” (Psa. 89:19).

In the last place, it was amazing grace that the Son was willing to perform such a work for us, without whose consent the justice of God could not have exacted the debt from Him. And His grace is the most eminent in that He knew beforehand all the unspeakable humiliation and unparalleled suffering which He would encounter in the discharge of this work, yet that did not deter Him; nor was He unapprised (or without knowledge) of the character of those for whom He did it—the guilty, the ungodly, the hell-deserving; yet He shrank not back.

“O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”

Hallelujah!

THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY – A FOUNDATIONAL DOCTRINE

THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY – A FOUNDATIONAL DOCTRINE

A. W. Pink 

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” [2 Cor 13:14]

He who denies the personality and absolute deity of either the Father, the Son, or the Spirit cannot be a true Christian!

THE divine Trinity lies at the basis of all New Testament teaching…The “only true God” is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and is known in and through Jesus Christ, the one Mediator. That the revelation of the triune God constitutes the doctrinal foundation of Christianity is easily capable of demonstration.

First, as pointed out above, the true God subsists in three co-essential and co-eternal persons, and therefore he who worships any but the triune God is merely rendering homage to a figment of his own imagination.

Second, no salvation is possible for any sinner save that of which the triune God is the Author. To regard the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior to the exclusion of the saving operations of both the Father and the Spirit is a serious mistake. The Father eternally purposed the salvation of His elect in Christ (Eph 1:3-6). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit entered into an everlasting covenant with each other for the Son to become incarnate in order to redeem sinners.

The salvation of the Church is ascribed to the Father: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling…according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2Ti 1:9). The Father, then, was our Savior long before Christ died to become such, and thanksgiving is due Him for the same. Equally necessary are the operations of the Spirit to actually apply to the hearts of God’s elect the good of what Christ did for them. It is the Spirit Who convicts men of sin and Who imparts saving faith to them. Therefore is our salvation also ascribed to Him: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2Th 2:13). A careful reading of Titus 3:4-6 shows the three persons together in this connection, for “God our Savior” is plainly the Father; “he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Ti 3:6).

Third, the doctrine of the Trinity is a foundational doctrine because it is by the distinctive operations of the Holy Three that our varied needs are supplied. Do we not need “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”? Is not our most urgent experimental requirement to come to Him constantly and draw from the fullness of grace that is treasured up for us in Him? (Joh 1:16). If we would obtain “grace to help in time of need,” then we must go to that throne on which the Mediator sits. And do we not also need “the love of God,” that is, fresh manifestations of it, new apprehensions thereof? Are we not bidden to keep ourselves “in the love of God”? (Jude 21). And do we not equally need “the communion of the Holy Spirit”? What would become of us if He did not renew day by day in the inner man? (See 2Co 4:16; Eph 3:16). What would be our prayer-life if He no longer helped “our infirmities” and made “intercession for the saints according to the will of God”? (Rom 8:26-27).

The Holy Trinity: Like the virgin birth of Christ and the resurrection of our bodies, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is one of the mysteries of the faith. The first truth presented to faith is the Being of the true and living God, and this we know not from any discovery of reason but because He has revealed it in His Word. The next grand truth is that the one living and true God has made Himself known to us under the threefold relation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and this we know on the same authority as the first…Whenever we attempt to discuss the revelation God has made of His three persons, we should do so with bowed heads and reverent hearts, for the ground we tread is ineffably holy. The subject is one of transcendent sacredness for it concerns the infinitely majestic and glorious One. For the whole of our knowledge on this subject, we are entirely shut up to what it has pleased God to reveal of Himself in His Oracles. Science, philosophy, experience, observation, or speculation cannot in this exalted sphere increase our knowledge one iota.

Trinity in Unity: The divine Trinity is a Trinity in unity: that is to say, there are not three Gods but three persons as coexisting by essential union in the divine essence as being the one true God. Those three persons are coequal and co-glorious so that one is not before or after the other, neither greater nor less than the other. It is in and by Their covenant offices [that] They are manifested to us, and it is our privilege and duty to believe and know how these three persons stand committed to us and are interested in us by the everlasting covenant; but we cannot understand the mystery of Their subsistence. Any teaching that does not equally honor all the persons of the Godhead, distinctively and unitedly, is of no value to the soul. As one has said, “There is not a vestige of Christianity where the truth of the Trinity is not known, and owned, and honored. Not a vestige of godliness in the heart of any child of Adam where the Father, Son, and Spirit do not officially dwell. There is not a clear view of one doctrine of God’s grace to be obtained unless the telescope, if I may so speak, the doctrine of the Trinity, is applied to the eye of faith and all viewed there”…

In this benediction, the apostle invokes the Trinity as the source of grace, love, and communion. Its unique features must not be overlooked: the order is unusual, and the names used informally. The Son is placed before the Father. The divine persons are not here spoken of as the Son, the Father, and the Spirit, but as the Lord Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit. The reason for this is because what we have in our text is not primarily a confession of faith (as is Mat 28:19), nor a doxology (as is Jude 24-25), but a benediction. A doxology is an ascription of praise; a benediction is a word of blessing—the one ascends from the heart of the saint to God, the other descends from God to the saint…

The Doctrine of the Trinity of Great Importance: The Christian benediction therefore intimates that the doctrine of the Trinity is one of great importance to the existence and progress of vital godliness: that it is not a subject of mere speculation, but one on which depends all the communications of grace and peace to the saints. It is a striking and solemn fact that those who reject the truth of the Trinity are seldom known to even profess having spiritual communion with God, but instead treat the same as a species of enthusiasm and fanaticism, as a perusal of the writings of Unitarians will show. The benediction, then, sums up the blessings of Christian privilege in the three great words of the gospel: grace, love, communion. Those three divine gifts are attributed to different persons in the Godhead. Each takes precedence in His own peculiar work, though we cannot trace the limits of such, and must be careful lest we conceive of God as three Gods rather than one. Each belongs to all. Grace is of God and of the Spirit as well as of the Son. Love is of the Son and Spirit as well as the Father. And our communion is with the Father and the Son as well as with the Spirit.

Grace — a Great Word of the Gospel: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why distinctively ascribe grace to Him if it is of God and the Spirit as well? Because in the economy of redemption, all grace comes to us through Him. The word grace is the special token of Paul in every epistle: eight close with “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,” sometimes varying the formula to “with your spirit.” Grace is one of the outstanding words of the gospel…

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That is His designation as the God-man Mediator. It includes and indicates His divine nature: He is “the Lord,” yes, “the Lord of lords.” His human nature: He is “Jesus.” His office: He is “Christ,” the anointed One, the long-promised Messiah, the Mediator. It is the favor of His divine person clothed with our nature and made the Head of His people that the apostle invokes for all his believing brethren. “His grace be with you all.” That comes first in the benediction because it is our initial need. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2Co 8:9). There, it is His infinite condescension in submitting to such a mean condition for our sakes.

When He became incarnate, the only begotten of the Father was beheld by His own as “full of grace and truth,” and as the apostle added, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (Joh 1:14, 16). Here, the meaning of grace passes from an attribute of the divine character to an active energy in the souls of the redeemed. At the throne of grace, we “find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). The heart is “established with grace” (Heb 13:9), and by that grace we are enabled to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb 12:28). It is in “the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Ti 2:1) that we find our strength, and He assures us of its competency to support us under all afflictions and persecutions by the promise “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2Co 12:9). Therefore, we are exhorted to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Pe 3:18). Those passages all speak of the divine power in the soul as the operation of grace in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ as its Fountain.

The Love of God: “And the love of God.” There are two reasons why this comes second: because this is the order both in the economy of redemption and in Christian experience. First, it was the mediatorial grace or work of Christ that procured the love of God for His people, which turned away His wrath from them and reconciled Him to them. Hence, it is referred to not as “the love of the Father,” which never changed or diminished to His people, but as the love or goodwill of God considered as their Governor and Judge. Second, it is by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in saving us that we are brought to the knowledge and enjoyment of the love of God. The love of the Father is indeed the source and originating cause of redemption, but that is not the particular love of God that is here in view. The death of Christ as a satisfaction for our sins was necessary in order to bring us to God and into participation of His love. The manifestation of the love of God toward us in the pardon of our sins and the justification of our persons was conditioned on the atoning blood.

The Communion of the Holy Spirit: “And the communion of the Holy Spirit.” As the grand design of Christ’s work Godward was to appease His judicial wrath and procure for us His love and favor, so the grand effect saint-ward was the procuring of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word may be rendered either “communion” or “communication.” By the communication of the Holy Spirit, we are regenerated, faith is given, holiness is wrought in us. Life, light, love, and liberty are the special benefits He bestows on us. Without the Spirit being communicated to us we could never enter, personally and experimentally, into the benefits of Christ’s mediation. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal 3:13-14). Thus, the communicating of the Spirit to His people was one of the chief objects of Christ’s death.

But the Greek also signifies the communion of the Holy Spirit, a word that means “partnership, companionship.” He shares with us the things of God. Grace tends to love, and love to communion. Hence, we see again that the order here is that of Christian experience. Only as grace is consciously received and the love of God is realized in the soul can there be any intelligent and real communion, through Christ to God the Father and through both to the abiding presence of the Comforter. This expression “the communion of the Holy Spirit” shows He is a person, for it is meaningless to talk of communion with an impersonal principle or influence. United as He is in this verse with “the Lord Jesus Christ and God,” it evidences Him to be a divine person. Further, it denotes He is an object of intercourse and converse, and hence we must be on our guard against grieving Him (Eph 4:30). The separate mention of each of the eternal Three teaches us that They are to be accorded equal honor, glory, and praise from us.

What is signified by “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all?” It cannot mean less than a consciousness of God’s presence. The apostle was not praying for the gifts of grace, love, and communion apart from the persons in whom alone they are to be found. He requested that the presence of the triune God might be realized in the souls of His people. The New Testament teaches that the divine Three are equally present in the heart of the believer. Speaking of the Spirit Christ said, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” and of Himself and the Father, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (Joh 14:17, 23). The Christian is indwelt by the triune God: the Lord Jesus dwells in him as the source of all grace, God the Father abides in him as the spring of all love, and the Holy Spirit communes with him and energizes him for all spiritual service.

 

IT IS GOD WHO ASSURES YOUR SLEEP

IT IS GOD WHO ASSURES YOUR SLEEP

 A.W. Pink

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep”.  [Psalm 127:2]

How often is it now lost sight of that the Lord cares for the bodies of His saints as well as for their souls. This is more or less recognized and owned by believers in the matter of food and clothing, health and strength, but it is widely ignored by many concerning the point we are here treating of.

SLEEP is as imperative for our physical well-being as is food and drink, and the one is as much the GIFT of our heavenly Father as is the other.

We cannot put ourselves to sleep by any effort of will, as those who suffer with insomnia quickly discover. Nor does exercise and manual labour of itself ensure sleep: have you ever lain down almost exhausted and then found you were “too tired to sleep”?

Sleep is a DIVINE GIFT, but the nightly recurrence of it blinds us to the fact.

When is so pleases Him, God withholds sleep, and then we have to say with the Psalmist, “Thou holdest mine eyes waking” (77:4). But that is the exception rather than the rule, and deeply thankful should we be that it is so. Day by day the Lord feeds us, and night by night He “giveth His beloved sleep.” Thus in this little detail—of Elijah’s sleeping under the juniper tree—which we are likely to pass over lightly, we should perceive the gracious hand of God ministering in tenderness to the needs of one who is dear unto Him.

Yes, “the Lord pitieth them that fear Him,” and why? “for He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14). He is mindful of our frailty, and tempers His winds accordingly; He is aware when our energies are spent, and graciously renews our strength. It was not God’s design that His servant should die of exhaustion in the wilderness after his long, long flight from Jezreel, so he mercifully refreshes his body with sleep. And thus compassionately does He deal with us.

Alas, how little are we affected by the Lord’s goodness and grace unto us. The unfailing recurrence of His mercies both temporally and spiritually inclines us to take them as a matter of course. So dull of understanding are we, so cold our hearts Godward, it is to be feared that most of the time we fail to realize WHOSE loving hand it is which is ministering to us. Is not this the very reason why we do not begin really to value our health until it is taken from us, and not until we spend night after night tossing upon a bed of pain do we perceive the worth of regular sleep with which we were formerly favored?

And such vile creatures are we that, when illness and insomnia come upon us, instead of improving the same by repenting of our former ingratitude, and humbly confessing the same to God, we murmur and complain at the hardness of our present lot and wonder what we have done to deserve such treatment. O let those of us who are still blessed with good health and regular sleep fail not daily to return thanks for such privileges and earnestly seek grace to use the strength from them to the glory of God.

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s ‘Life of Elijah’]

THE SCRIPTURES ARE FULL OF THE DOCTRINE ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION

THE SCRIPTURES ARE FULL OF THE DOCTRINE ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION

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]

NOTHING SO DIVISIVE AMONGST THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS AS THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION!

NOTHING SO DIVISIVE AMONGST THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS AS THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION!

This is a fact! And I have proved this by bitter experience for the last thirty two years! – Michael Jeshurun

“We know of nothing so divisive between the sheep and the goats as a faithful exposition of this doctrine of Election. If a servant of God accepts some new charge, and he wishes to ascertain which of his people desire the pure milk of the Word, and which prefer the Devil’s substitutes, let him deliver a series of sermons on this subject (of predestination), and it will quickly be the means of “taking forth the precious from the vile” (Jer. 15:19).

It was thus in the experience of the Divine Preacher: when Christ announced “no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father,” we are told, “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:65, 66)!

True it is that by no means all who intellectually receive “Calvinism” as a philosophy or theology, give evidence (in their daily lives) of regeneration; yet equally true is it that those who continue to cavil against and steadfastly refuse any part of the truth, are not entitled to be regarded as Christians.” – A.W. Pink

 

NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST JESUS!

NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST JESUS!

A.W. Pink

Regeneration is a radical and supernatural change of the inner nature, through which the soul is made spiritually alive, and the new life which is implanted is immortal. And since it is a change in the inner nature, it is in a sphere in which man does not have control. No creature is at liberty to change the fundamental principles of its nature, for that is the prerogative of God as creator. Hence nothing short of another supernatural act of God could reverse this change and cause the new life to be lost. The born-again Christian can no more lose his sonship to the heavenly Father than an earthly son can lose his sonship to an earthly father. The idea that a Christian may fall away and perish arises from a wrong conception of the principle of spiritual life, which is imparted to the soul in regeneration.

So far as the believer is concerned, the penal side of the sin question has been settled once and for all. His case has been tried in the supreme court, and God has justified him: in consequence thereof the Divine decision is “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Once those very persons were under condemnation—”condemned already” (John 3:18); but now that their faith has united them to Christ there is no condemnation. The debt of their sin has been paid by their great Surety; the record thereof has been “blotted out” by His cleansing blood. “It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth” (Rom. 8:33, 34). Who will reverse His decision! Where is that superior tribunal to which this cause can be carried? Eternal justice has pronounced her fiat; immutable judgment has recorded her sentence.

It is utterly and absolutely impossible that the sentence of the Divine Judge should ever be revoked or reversed. His sentence of justification results from and rests upon a complete satisfaction having been offered to His Law, and that in the fulfillment of a covenant engagement. Thus is effectually precluded the recall of the verdict. The Father stipulated to release His elect from the curse of the law provided the Son would meet the claims of justice against them. The Son freely complied with His Father’s will: “Lo, I come.” He was now made under the law, fulfilled the law, and suffered the full penalty of the law; therefore shall He see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Sooner shall the lightnings of omnipotence shiver the Rock of Ages than those sheltering in Him again be brought under condemnation.

Not only is there “now no condemnation” resting upon the believer, but there never again shall be, for “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:8).

The dread sentence of the law, “Thou shalt surely die,” cannot in justice be executed upon the sinner’s Surety and also upon himself. Hence by a necessity existing in the very nature of moral government, it must follow that the believing sinner be freed from all condemnation, that is, so cleared of the same that he is raised above all liability to punishment. So declared our blessed Saviour Himself, in words too plain and emphatic to admit of any misunderstanding: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). He, the habitation of whose throne is “justice and judgment,” has sealed up this declaration forever, by affirming “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Sooner shall the sword of justice cleave the helmet of the Almighty than any Divinely pardoned soul perish.

But not only are the sins of all who truly come to Christ eternally remitted, but the very righteousness of the Redeemer passes over to them, is placed upon them, so that a perfect obedience to the law is imputed to their account. It is theirs, not by promise, but by gift (Rom. 5:17), by actual bestowment. It is not simply that God treats them as if they were righteous, they ARE righteous and so pronounced by Him. And therefore may each believing soul exclaim, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isa. 61:10). O that each Christian reader may be enabled to clearly and strongly grasp hold of this glorious fact: that he is now truly righteous in the sight of God, is in actual possession of an obedience which answers every demand of the law.

This unspeakable blessing is bestowed not only by the amazing grace of God, but it is actually required by His inexorable justice. This too was stipulated and agreed upon in the covenant into which the Father entered with the Son. That is why the Redeemer lived here on earth for upwards of thirty years before He went to the cross to suffer the penalty of our sins: He assumed and discharged our responsibilities; as a child, as a youth, as a man, He rendered unto God that perfect obedience which we owed Him. He “fulfilled all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15) for His people, and just as He who knew no sin was made sin for them, so they are now made “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). And therefore does Jehovah declare, “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee” (Isa. 54:10).

By actually believing with a justifying faith the sinner doth receive Christ Himself, is joined to Him, and becomes immediately an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ. This gives him a right unto and an interest in the benefits of His mediation. By faith in Christ he received not only the forgiveness of sins, but an inheritance among all them that are sanctified (Acts 26:18), the Holy Spirit (given to him) being “the earnest of our inheritance” (Eph. 1:13, 14). The believing sinner may now say “in the LORD have I righteousness” (Isa. 45:24). He is “complete in Him” (Col. 2:10), for by “one offering” the Saviour hath “perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). The believer has been “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), and stands before the throne of God arrayed in a garment more excellent than that which is worn by the holy angels.

How infinitely does the glorious Gospel of God transcend the impoverished thoughts and schemes of men! How immeasurably superior is that “everlasting righteousness” which Christ has brought in (Dan. 9:24) from that miserable thing which multitudes are seeking to produce by their own efforts. Greater far is the difference between the shining light of the midday sun and the blackness of the darkest night, than between that “best robe” (Luke 15:22) which Christ has wrought out for each of His people and that wretched covering which zealous religionists are attempting to weave out of the filthy rags of their own righteousness. Equally great is the difference between the truth of God concerning the present and immutable standing of His saints in all the acceptability of Christ, and the horrible perversion of Arminians who make acceptance with God contingent upon the believer’s faithfulness and perseverance, who suppose that Heaven can be purchased by the creature’s deeds and doings.

Let it be said in conclusion that the justification of the Christian is complete the moment he truly believes in Christ, and hence there are no degrees in justification. The Apostle Paul was as truly a justified man at the hour of his conversion as he was at the close of his life. The feeblest babe in Christ is just as completely justified as is the most mature saint. Let theologians note the following distinctions. Christians were decretively justified from all eternity: efficaciously so when Christ rose again from the dead; actually so when they believed; sensibly so when the Spirit bestows joyous assurance; manifestly so when they tread the path of obedience; finally so at the Day of Judgment, when God shall sententiously, and in the presence of all created things, pronounce them so.

LIKE THE WRITINGS OF A.W. PINK? VISIT OUR BLOG AND SUBSCRIBE TO READ SOME OF HIS STRONG MEAT – IT’S FREE AS ALWAYS

LIKE THE WRITINGS OF A.W. PINK? VISIT OUR BLOG AND SUBSCRIBE TO READ SOME OF HIS STRONG MEAT – IT’S FREE AS ALWAYS

Pink was born in Nottingham, England on April 1, 1886 and became a Christian in his early 20’s. Though born to Christian parents, prior to conversion he migrated into a Theosophical society (an occult gnostic group popular in England during that time), and quickly rose in prominence within their ranks. His conversion came from his father’s patient admonitions from Scripture. It was the verse, Proverbs 14:12, ‘there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death,’ which particularly struck his heart and compelled him to renounce Theosophy and follow Jesus.

Desiring to grow in knowledge of the Bible, Pink immigrated to the United States to study at Moody Bible Institute. In 1916 he married Vera E. Russell, who was from Kentucky. However, he left after just two months for Colorado, then California, then Britain. From 1925 to 1928 he served in Australia, including as pastor of two congregations from 1926 to 1928, when he returned to England, and to the United States the following year. He eventually pastored churches Colorado, California, Kentucky and South Carolina.

In 1922 he started a monthly magazine entitled Studies in Scriptures which circulated among English-speaking Christians worldwide, though only to a relatively small circulation list of around 1,000.

In 1934 Pink returned to England, and within a few years turned his Christian service to writing books and pamphlets. Pink died in Stornoway, Scotland on July 15, 1952. The cause of death was anemia.

After Pink’s death, his works were republished by the Banner of Truth Trust and reached a much wider audience as a result. Biographer Iain Murray observes of Pink, “the widespread circulation of his writings after his death made him one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century.” His writing sparked a revival of expository preaching and focused readers’ hearts on biblical living.

Brother A.W. Pink has had a great influence in my life and through his writings, he being dead yet speaketh! In Pink I found a like-minded brother. Here was finally someone who not only preached the doctrines of Grace FAITHFULLY but also RENOUNCED the existing Christendom of his day as APOSTATE. It grieves my heart that in our day even many who claim to love Pink’s writings and have even made them available on the Web are themselves part of the Great Whore!

I have always had a burden to publish on the web the so called ‘controversial’ and ‘offensive’ things he said. So here it is!

The purpose of this site is not to present what is generally available on the Net by Arthur Walkington Pink. There are many websites which have made available the works of A.W.Pink and we praise God for them. But this is a site aimed at making available the strong meat and controversial things he said. We are in agreement with everything he said which is quoted here and we trust all God’s elect would agree!

I came to understand the Reformed Faith twenty four years ago. But I truly did not really understand it like I should have until I read A.W. Pink’s ‘The Sovereignty of God’! I was first given the compromised condensed form of this book published by the ‘Banner of truth’, and I was so blessed. But sadly I had not eaten the whole meal until I read the complete book published by The Bakers!

I said this then, and I’ll say it again – There is no writer who is familiar with the Scriptures and is faithful to it as A.W.Pink! He stands in a class of his own and has an insight into the scriptures which is second to none!

Unlike most writers of our day, Pink never wrote anything just to be writing. He really had something to say. Not only that, but what sets Pink apart from the rest is that He saw the present Christendom of his day for what it really was …. APOSTATE! And in obedience to his Lord he steered clear of it and admonished others to do so.

He was no half-baked, pusillanimous, milquetoast, string for a backbone ‘panty waist’ like the majority of the ‘Reformed’ preachers today! Like His Master and His Apostle Paul, he could care less what people thought of him as long as he was faithful to His God!

A lot of folks who read Pink and quote him today do not really know him. They ought to read his letters to understand where he really stood!

Oh may God give us more men like A.W. Pink!

When you visit the Blog, at the bottom of the Homepage you will find an option to enter your email to receive intimations of posts as they are uploaded, you can fill that and subscribe to receive notifications of New Posts. Thank you.

Your servant for His sake
Michael Jeshurun

Blog URL –

https://mikejeshurun.wordpress.com/

THE ERROR OF TEACHING – “THAT WAS FOR THE JEWS, THIS WAS FOR THE GENTILES AND ONLY THIS SMALL PORTION IS FOR US CHRISTIANS!” 

THE ERROR OF TEACHING – “THAT WAS FOR THE JEWS, THIS WAS FOR THE GENTILES AND ONLY THIS SMALL PORTION IS FOR US CHRISTIANS!”

A.W. Pink

Dispensationalism is a modern method of mishandling the Scriptures—for modern it certainly is, being quite unknown to Christendom till little more than a century ago, and only within recent years being adopted by those who are outside the narrow circle where it originated—is based upon 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Very little or nothing at all is said upon the first two clauses of that verse, but on the third one, which is explained as “correctly partitioning the Scriptures unto the different peoples to whom they belong.” These mutilators of the Word tell us that all of the Old Testament from Genesis 12 onwards belongs entirely to Israel after the flesh, and that none of its precepts (as such) are binding upon those who are members of the Church which is the Body of Christ, nor may any of the promises found therein be legitimately appropriated by them. And this, be it duly noted, without a single word to that effect by either the Lord or any of His Apostles, and despite the use which the Holy Spirit makes of the earliest Scriptures in every part of the New Testament.

So far from the Holy Spirit teaching Christians practically to look upon the Old Testament much as they would upon an obsolete almanac, He declares, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the (Old Testament) Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

Not satisfied with their determined efforts to deprive us of the Old Testament, these would-be super-expositors dogmatically assert that the four Gospels are Jewish, and that the Epistles of James and Peter, John and Jude are designed for a “godly Jewish remnant” in a future “tribulation period,” that nothing but the Pauline Epistles contain “Church truth,” and thousands of gullible souls have accepted their ipse digit—those who decline so doing are regarded as untaught and superficial. Yet God Himself has not uttered a single word to that effect.

Certainly there is nothing whatever in 2 Timothy 2:15, to justify such a revolutionizing method of interpreting the Word: that verse has no more to do with the sectioning of Scripture between different “dispensations” than it has with distinguishing between stars of varying magnitude. If that verse be carefully compared with Matthew 7:6, John 16:12 and 1 Corinthians 3:2, its meaning is clear. The occupant of the pulpit is to give diligence in becoming equipped to give the different classes of his hearer “their portion of meat in due season” (Luke 12:42).

To rightly divide the Word of Truth is for him to minister it suitably unto the several cases and circumstances of his congregation: to sinners and saints, the indifferent and the inquiring, the babes and fathers, the tempted and afflicted, the backslidden and fallen.

While there be great variety in the teaching of the Word, there is an unmistakable unity underlying the whole. Though He employed many mouthpieces, the Holy Scriptures have but one Author; and while He “at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” and “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Heb. 1:1,2), yet He who spoke by them was and is One “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jam. 1:17), who throughout all ages declares: “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6).

Throughout there is perfect agreement between every part of the Word: it sets forth one system of doctrine (we never read of “the doctrines of God,” but always “the doctrine”: see Deut 32:2; Prov 4:2; Matt 7:28; John 7:17; Rom. 16:17, and contrast Mark 7:7; Col. 2:22; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 13:9) because it is one single and organic whole. That Word presents uniformly one way of salvation, one rule of faith. From Genesis to Revelation there is one immutable Moral Law, one glorious Gospel for perishing sinners. The Old Testament believers were saved with the same salvation, were indebted to the same Redeemer, were renewed by the same Spirit, and were partakers of the same heavenly inheritance as are New Testament believers.

The Bible consists of many parts, exquisitely correlated and vitally interdependent upon each other. God so controlled all the agents which He employed in the writing of it, and so coordinated their efforts, as to produce a single living Book. Within that organic unity there is indeed much variety, but no contrariety. Man’s body is but one, though it be made up of many members, diverse in size, character, and operation. The rainbow is but one, nevertheless it reflects distinctly the seven prismatic rays, yet they are harmoniously blended together.

So it is with the Bible: its unity appears in the perfect consistency throughout of its teachings. The oneness yet triunity of God, the deity and humanity of Christ united in one Person, the everlasting covenant which secures the salvation of all the election of grace, the highway of holiness and the only path which leads to heaven, are plainly revealed in Old and New Testament alike. The teaching of the prophets concerning the glorious character of God, the changeless requirements of His righteousness, the total depravity of human nature, and the way appointed for restoration therefrom, are identical with the Apostles’ teaching.

If the question be raised, Since the sacred Scriptures be a strict unit, then why has God Himself divided them into two Testaments? perhaps it will simplify the matter if we ask why God has appointed two principal bodies to illuminate the earth—the sun and the moon. Why, too, is the human frame duplex, having two legs and arms, two lungs and kidneys, etc.? Is not the answer the same in each case: to augment and supplement each other?

But, more directly, at least four reasons may be suggested.

First, to set forth more distinctly the two covenants which are the basis of God’s dealings with all mankind: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace—shadowed forth by the “old” from Sinai and the “new” or Christian one.

Second, to show more plainly the two separate companies which are united in that one Body which constitutes the Church of which Christ is the Head, namely redeemed Jews and redeemed Gentiles.

Third, to demonstrate more clearly the wondrous providence of God: using the Jews for so many centuries to be the custodians of the Old Testament, which condemns them for their rejection of Christ; and in employing the papists throughout the dark ages to preserve the New Testament, which denounces their idolatrous practices.

Fourth, that one might confirm the other: type by antitype, prophecy by fulfillment.

“The mutual relations of the two Testaments. These two main divisions resemble the dual structure of the human body, where the two eyes and ears, hands and feet, correspond to and complement one another. Not only is there a general, but a special, mutual fitness. They need therefore to be studied together, side by side, to be compared even in lesser details, for in nothing are they independent of each other; and the closer the inspection the minuter appears the adaptation, and the more intimate the association. . . .The two Testaments are like the two cherubim of the mercy seat, facing in opposite directions, yet facing each other and overshadowing with glory one mercy seat; or again, they are like the human body bound together by joints and bands and ligaments, with one brain and heart, one pair of lungs, one system of respiration, circulation, digestion, sensor and motor nerves, where division is destruction” (A. T. Pierson, from Knowing the Scriptures).

So WHAT does it mean to ‘RIGHTLY divide the Word’?

TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH is for the occupant of the pulpit to give diligence in becoming equipped to give the different classes of his hearers “their portion of meat in due season” (Luke 12:42).

TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD is for the preacher to minister it suitably unto the several cases and circumstances of his congregation: to sinners and saints, the indifferent and the inquiring, the babes and fathers, the tempted and afflicted, the backslidden and fallen.

A word from C.H. Spurgeon

“No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that ALL may drink. When He openeth a granary- door to give out food, there may be some one starving man who is the occasion of its being opened, but ALL hungry saints may come and feed too.

Whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses, matters not, O believer; He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed. There is not a high blessing too lofty for thee, nor a wide mercy too extensive for thee. Lift up now thine eyes to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, for all this is thine. Climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the utmost limit of the divine promise, for the land is all thine own. There is not a brook of living water of which thou mayst not drink. If the land floweth with milk and honey, eat the honey and drink the milk, for both are thine. Be thou bold to believe, for He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

 

GOD’S LOVE RESTRICTED TO HIS ELECT

GOD’S LOVE RESTRICTED TO HIS ELECT

A.W. Pink

One of the most popular beliefs of the day is that God loves everybody, and the very fact that it is so popular with all classes ought to be enough to arouse the suspicions of those who are subject to the Word of Truth. God’s Love toward all His creatures is the fundamental and favorite tenet of Universalists, Unitarians, Theosophists, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, Russellites, etc. No matter how a man may live—in open defiance of Heaven, with no concern whatever for his soul’s eternal interests, still less for God’s glory, dying, perhaps with an oath on his lips,—notwithstanding, God loves him, we are told. So widely has this dogma been proclaimed, and so comforting is it to the heart which is at enmity with God, we have little hope of convincing many of their error. That God loves everybody, is, we may say, quite a modern belief. The writings of the church-fathers, the Reformers or the Puritans will (we believe) be searched in vain for any such concept. Perhaps the late D. L. Moody—captivated by Drummond’s “The Greatest Thing in the World”—did more than anyone else last century to popularize this concept.

It has been customary to say God loves the sinner, though He hates his sin. But that is a meaningless distinction. What is there in a sinner but sin? Is it not true that his “whole head is sick”, and his “whole heart faint”, and that “from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness” in him? (Isaiah 1:5,6). Is it true that God loves the one who is despising and rejecting His blessed Son? God is Light as well as Love, and therefore His love must be a holy love. To tell the Christ rejector that God loves him is to cauterize his conscience, as well as to afford him a sense of security in his sins. The fact is, that the love of God, is a truth for the saints only, and to present it to the enemies of God is to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs. With the exception of John 3:16, not once in the four Gospels do we read of the Lord Jesus—the perfect Teacher— telling sinners that God loved them! In the book of Acts, which records the evangelistic labors and messages of the apostles, God’s love is never referred to at all! But, when we come to the Epistles, which are addressed to the saints, we have a full presentation of this precious truth—God’s love for His own.

Let us seek to rightly divide the Word of God and then we shall not be found taking truths which are addressed to believers and misapplying them to unbelievers. That which sinners need to have brought before them is, the ineffable holiness, the exacting righteousness, the inflexible justice and the terrible wrath of God. Risking the danger of being mis-understood, let us say—and we wish we could say it to every evangelist and preacher in the country—there is far too much presenting of Christ to sinners today (by those sound in the faith), and far too little showing sinners their need of Christ, i.e., their absolutely ruined and lost condition, their imminent and awful danger of suffering the wrath to come, the fearful guilt resting upon them in the sight of God—to present Christ to those who have never been shown their need of Him, seems to us to be guilty of casting pearls before swine.

If it be true that God loves every member of the human family then why did our Lord tell His disciples, “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father….. If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him” (John 14:21,23)? Why say “he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father” if the Father loves everybody? The same limitation is found in Proverbs 8:17: “I love them that love Me.” Again; we read, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity”—not merely the works of iniquity. Here, then, is a flat repudiation of present teaching that, God hates sin but loves the sinner; Scripture says, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5)! “God is angry with the wicked every day.” “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God”—not “shall abide,” but even now—”abideth on him” (Psalm 5:5; 7:11, John 3:36). Can God “love” the one on whom His “wrath” abides?

Again; is it not evident that the words “The love of God which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39) mark a limitation, both in the sphere and objects of His love? Again; is it not plain from the words “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13) that God does not love everybody? Again; it is written, “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6). Does not this verse teach that God’s love is restricted to the members of His own family? If He loves all men without exception, then the distinction and limitation here mentioned is quite meaningless. Finally, we would ask, Is it conceivable that God will love the damned in the Lake of Fire? Yet, if He loves them now He will do so then, seeing that His love knows no change—He is “without variableness or shadow of turning”!