Saturday, 24 October 2015

The great mistake made by most of the Lord's people!

The great mistake made by most of the Lord's people!
(Arthur Pink, "The Doctrine of Sanctification" 1937)

"And ye are complete in him” Colossians 2:10

The poor Christian, conscious of his weakness, his ignorance, his poverty, his vileness — is sorely tempted to be envious of others, for they seem to have "more than heart could wish" — while the longings of his heart are denied him, and that which he pursues so eagerly continues to elude his grasp.

God's children are oppressed, sorely oppressed . . .
  by their indwelling corruptions,
  by their innumerable failures,
  by the hidings of the Lord's face,
  by the accusations of Satan,
  over the workings of unbelief,
  over the coldness of their hearts,
  over the insincerity of their prayers,
  over their vain imaginations.
The great mistake made by most of the Lord's people is in hoping to discover in themselves, that which is to be found in Christ alone.

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" 1 Corinthians 1:30

The gospel of Christ admits of no compromise!

The gospel of Christ admits of no compromise!
(Jared Waterbury, "Advice to a Young Christian on the Importance of Aiming at an Elevated Standard of Piety")

"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:33 

The gospel of Christ admits of no compromise. It demands our ALL. If it required less, it would be unworthy of its great author and finisher. I rejoice that it requires ALL — this is its glory. When we are brought to yield to its claims, and give up ALL — then, and not until then, will it throw around us its arms of mercy.

And do we talk about self-denial? Do we say, "It is hard to give up ALL!" I am ashamed to use such language — and ashamed to hear it used.

What did Christ give up for us? Let that question blot out "self-denial" from the Christian's vocabulary. When you think the Gospel makes severe requisitions by requiring ALL — go up to Mount Calvary and weep over such suggestions. See the blood of your Immanuel so freely gushing from a heart that never exercised towards you any emotion but love — love unspeakable — love unsought — and love for the guilty vile! Go hide your head in shame and penitence at such a thought.

It is a glorious privilege, my friend, to give up ALL to Christ. The soul that feels the constraining influence of His love, asks not how little may be given consistently with obtaining the heavenly reward — asks not for the lowest standard of discipleship. It burns with an ardent desire to devote ALL, and to aim at perfect "conformity to His death."

Determine, by the grace of God, that you will forsake all, and follow Christ. Do not, like Peter, follow Him afar off — but, like Mary, sit at His nail-pierced feet — like the beloved disciple John, rest upon His sweet bosom.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Our Everlasting Song!

Our Everlasting Song! 
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, "CHRIST—PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS"

In Christ's Soul there was an exceeding heaviness even unto death, and an agony which no tongue can tell, for we have found no words in which to speak of it. We believe that this agony was commensurate with the agonies of the lost in hell- not the same agony, but an equivalent for it; and remember, not the equivalent for the agony of one, but an Equivalent for the Hells of All That Innumerable Host Whose Sins He Bore, Condensed into One Black Draught to Be Drained in A Few Hours.
The miseries of an eternity without an end, miseries caused by a God infinitely angry because of an awful rebellion, and these miseries multiplied by the millions for whom the man Christ Jesus stood as covenant head. What a draught was that, men and brethren! Well might it stagger even him!

And yet he drained that cup, drained it to its utmost dregs not a drop was left. For you, my soul, no flames of hell; for Christ the Paschal-lamb has been roasted in that fire! For you, my soul, no torments of the damned, for Christ has been condemned in your stead! For you, my spirit, no desertion of your God, for He was forsaken of God for you! It is done, it is finished, and by your sufferings, Jesus, you have become perfect as the expiation of your people's sins.

Do, my brethren, remember that your sins are perfectly expiated. Do not let them trouble you as to punishment; the punishment is gone. Sins cannot lie in two places at one time- they were put on Christ, and they cannot be on you. In fact, your sins are not to be found- the scapegoat has gone, and your sins will never be found again. Your sins, if they were searched for, could not be discovered. Not even by the piercing eye of God can a single blemish be found in you!

Oh! how we will sing, how we will chant his praise when we get to heaven! This shall be the highest note- that we owe ALL to that bright one, that Lamb in the midst of the throne. We will tell it over, and over, and over again, and find it an inexhaustible theme for melodious joy and song that He became man, that He sweat great drops of blood, that He died, that He rose again.

While the angels are singing "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" we will bid them stop the song a moment, while we say, "He whom you thus adore was once covered with bloody sweat." As we cast our crowns at his feet, we will say, "And He was once despised and rejected of men." Lifting up our eyes and saluting Him as God over all, blessed for ever, we will remember the reed, the sponge, the vinegar, and the nails; and as we come to Him and have fellowship with him, and He shall lead us beside the living fountains of water, we will remember the black brook of Kedron of which he drank, and the awful depths of the grave into which He descended.

Amid all the splendors of heaven, we shall never forget His agony, and misery. And  when we sing the loudest sonnets of God's love, and power, and grace, we will sing this after all, and before all, and above all- that Jesus the Son of God died for US, and this shall be Our Everlasting Song — "He loved us and gave himself for us, and we have washed our robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!"

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sweet subject!

Sweet subject!
(The following is an excerpt from the diary of James Smith)

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25

April 19, 1857.
I have today been preaching on the intercession of Jesus. Sweet subject! Our great High Priest appears in the presence of God — for us! He pleads our cause, and will carry it against all our foes. He sends the Comforter — to teach, sanctify, and console us. He employs Providence — to guide, guard, and provide for us. He will never rest until He introduces us to His Father, "as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish — but holy and without fault!"


(James Smith, "The Voice of Mercy in the House of Affliction!" 1855)

Salvation is...
the greatest blessing that God can bestow;
deliverance from the greatest misery;
exaltation to the greatest happiness;
the greatest change in man's state and character which can possibly be effected;
the greatest display of the love, wisdom, grace, and power of God!

Salvation is the very blessing that you need. The blessing which you must receive — or be eternally undone!

Salvation is a blessing for the PRESENT, for it is deliverance...
  from the guilt of sin — which makes you miserable;
  from the power of sin — which makes you unholy; and
  from the love of sin — which proves you to be God's enemy.

Salvation is a blessing for the FUTURE: it secures to you safety and happiness in time — and glory, honour, immortality, and eternal life when time shall be no more!

Salvation is a blessing which comprehends every other blessing.
If the man is saved — then all good things are his.
If the man is lost — then nothing good is his.
To be saved, is...
  for the soul to be restored to a right relationship to God;
  to be put in possession of unsearchable wealth;
  to be raised to the highest honour; and
  to be entitled to eternal glory!

No word is as sweet as salvation — as no word is as dreadful as its opposite, damnation! Reader, there is no intermediate state between these two extremes.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

He will not spoil them!

He will not spoil them!
(Letters of John Newton)

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:" 1Peter 1:6 

The Lord loves His children, and is very indulgent to them so far as they can safely bear it — but He will not spoil them! Their sin-sickness requires strong medicines, some of which are very unpalatable. And when our case calls for such, no short-sighted entreaties of ours will excuse us from taking what He prepares for our good.

It is comforting to know that every dose is prepared by His own hand, and not one is administered in vain, nor is it repeated any oftener than is needful to answer His purposed end. Until then, no other hand can remove the affliction which He lays upon us. When His merciful design is answered, He will relieve us Himself; and in the mean time He will so moderate the operation, or increase our ability to bear it — that we shall not be overpowered by it.

Afflictions are useful, and in a degree necessary, to keep alive in us a conviction of the vanity and unsatisfying nature of the present world and all its enjoyments; to remind us that this poor world is not our rest; and to call our thoughts upward, where our true treasure is, and where our hearts ought to be.

When things go on much to our wish, our hearts are too prone to say, "It is good be here!" Thus the Lord, by pain, sickness, and disappointments, by breaking our cisterns and withering our gourds — weakens our attachment to this world, and makes the thought of leaving it more desirable.

Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician prescribes, because we need them; and He proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires.

It is true, without a single exception, that all His paths are mercy and truth to those who fear Him. The Lord afflicts us for our good — but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve!