THE PEACE OF GOD.
OUR God, we stand not afar off as Israel did in Sinai, nor does a veil hang dark between Thy face and ours; but the veil is rent by the death of our Divine Lord and Mediator, Jesus Christ, and in His name we come up to the mercy seat all blood besprinkled, and here we present our prayers and our praises accepted in Him. We do confess that we are guilty; we bow our heads and confess that we have broken Thy law and the covenant of which it is a part. Didst Thou deal with us under the covenant of works none of us could stand. We must confess that we deserve Thy wrath and to be banished for ever from Thy presence. But Thou hast made a new covenant, and we come under its divine shadow; we come in the name of Jesus. He is our High Priest; He is our righteousness; He is the well-beloved in whom Thou art well pleased.
Holy Spirit teach us how to pray. Let us know what we should pray for as we ought. Our first prayer is: Be Thou adored; reign Thou over the whole earth; hallowed be Thy name. We desire to see all men submit themselves to Thy gracious government. We wish especially that in the hearts of Thine own there may be an intense love for Thee and a perfect obedience to Thee. Grant this to each one of us. We would each one pray, “Lord, sanctify me; make me obedient; write Thy law upon my heart and upon my mind.” Make our nature so clean that temptation cannot defile it.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.” May our course be very clean, our path be very straight; may we keep our garments unspotted from the world; and in thought and desire and imagination, in will and in purpose, may we be holy as God is holy.
O God, we pray again fulfill that covenant promise, “I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” May we be very tender towards Thee; may we feel Thy faintest monition; may even the gentlest breath of Thy Spirit suffice to move us; may we not be “as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto us,” but may we be as children obedient to a father; may we yield our members cheerfully to the instruments of righteousness; may we have a natural desire wrought in the new nature towards everything that is pure and honest, unselfish and Christly.
O, Spirit of God dwell in us. Is not this also a covenant promise, “I will put My Spirit within thee, and I will make thee to walk in My ways.” Dwell with us Holy Spirit; rule over us Holy Spirit; transform us to Thy own likeness, O Holy Spirit! Then shall we be clean; then shall we keep the law. We would offer a prayer to Thee for those who are quite strange to the work of the Spirit of God, who have never owned their God, who have lived as if there were no God. Open their eyes that they may see God even though that sight should make them tremble and wish to die. O! let none of us live without our God and Father. Take away the heart of stone, take away the frivolities, the levity, the giddiness of our youth, and give us in downright earnest to seek true happiness where alone it can be found, in reconciliation to God, and in conformity to His will.
Lord save the careless, save the sinful, the drunkard, take away from him his cups. The unholy and unjust men, deliver these from their filthiness; the dishonest and false, renew them in their lives; and any that are lovers of pleasure, dead while they live, and any that are lovers of self, whose life is bounded by the narrowness of their own being, the Lord renew them, regenerate them, make them new creatures in Christ Jesus. For this we do fervently pray.
Lord God the Holy Ghost, may faith grow in men; may they believe in Christ to the saving of their souls. May their little faith brighten into strong faith, and may their strong faith ripen into the full assurance of faith. May we all have this last blessing; may we believe God fully; may we never waver. Resting in the Great Surety and High Priest of the New Covenant may we feel “the peace of God which passeth all understanding,” and may we enter into rest.
Bless Thy people that are at rest, and deepen that rest. May the rest that Thou givest be further enhanced by the rest which they find when they take Thy yoke upon them and learn of Thee. May Thy Word be very sweet to them. May there come over our spirits a deep calm, as when Christ hushed both winds and waves. May we feel not only resignation to Thy will, but delight in it, feeling pleased with all the Lord provides. May we rest in our God and be quite happy in the thought that our sins and our iniquities He will remember no more. He has brought us into covenant with Him by a covenant which can never fail, so like David we may say this morning: “Although my house be not so with God, yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.”
Lord, bless Thy Word throughout the world. Prosper all missions amongst the heathen, all work among the Mohammedans; and, oh! send Thy grace to the churches at home. Turn the current of thought which sets so strong in the wrong direction, and bring men to love the simplicities of the Gospel. Remember our country in great mercy, and in all ranks and conditions of men do Thou give the blessing. May there be multitudes come to Christ from among the poorest of the poor, and let the wealthy be led away from their sin, and brought to Jesus’ feet. Be gracious to the Sovereign and Royal Family, and to all that are in authority over us. May peace and order be maintained, and let not the peace of the world be broken.
But what of all this? Our heart goes far beyond all this: “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; for Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.” “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” All things are in Thy hand, come quickly; the cries of Thy people persuade Thee, “the Spirit and the bride say, come,” make no tarrying, O, our Redeemer, and unto the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, the God of Abraham, and God of our Lord Jesus Christ be glory for ever and ever. Amen
C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers
The Divinity of the Spirit proved.
I. He is the Creator and Preserver of the world.
II. He sent the Prophets.
III. He quickeneth all things.
IV. He is everywhere present.
V. He renews the saints, and fits them for eternal life.
VI. All the offices of Deity belong to him.
14. In asserting the divinity of the Spirit, the proof must be derived from the same sources. And it is by no means an obscure testimony which Moses bears in the history of the creation, when he says that the Spirit of God was expanded over the abyss or shapeless matter; for it shows not only that the beauty which the world displays is maintained by the invigorating power of the Spirit, but that even before this beauty existed the Spirit was at work cherishing the confused mass. 96 Again, no cavils can explain away the force of what Isaiah says, “And now the Lord God, and his Spirit, has sent me,” (Isaiah 48:16,) thus ascribing a share in the sovereign power of sending the prophets to the Holy Spirit. (Calvin in Acts 20:28.) In this his divine majesty is clear.
But, as I observed, the best proof to us is our familiar experience. For nothing can be more alien from a creature, than the office which the Scriptures ascribe to him, and which the pious actually feel him discharging, — his being diffused over all space, sustaining, invigorating, and quickening all things, both in heaven and on the earth. The mere fact of his not being circumscribed by any limits raises him above the rank of creatures, while his transfusing vigor into all things, breathing into them being, life, and motion, is plainly divine. Again, if regeneration to incorruptible life is higher, and much more excellent than any present quickening, what must be thought of him by whose energy it is produced? Now, many passages of Scripture show that he is the author of regeneration, not by a borrowed, but by an intrinsic energy; and not only so, but that he is also the author of future immortality. In short, all the peculiar attributes of the Godhead are ascribed to him in the same way as to the Son. He searches the deep things of Gods and has no counselor among the creatures; he bestows wisdom and the faculty of speech, though God declares to Moses (Exodus 4:11) that this is his own peculiar province. In like manner, by means of him we become partakers of the divine nature, so as in a manner to feel his quickening energy within us. Our justification is his work; from him is power, sanctification, truth, grace, and every good thought, since it is from the Spirit alone that all good gifts proceed. Particular attention is due to Paul’s expression, that though there are diversities of gifts, “all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:11,) he being not only the beginning or origin, but also the author; as is even more clearly expressed immediately after in these words “dividing to every man severally as he will.” For were he not something subsisting in God, will and arbitrary disposal would never be ascribed to him. Most clearly, therefore does Paul ascribe divine power to the Spirit, and demonstrate that he dwells hypostatically in God.
John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation
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It is important to realize that there are many ways teach the Scriptures expositorily. One can take long passages at a time, or one can take very short passages and bring the expository microscope to bear on a single word as I did in last two blog posts. In this post I will place the expository microscope over four words in 2 Peter 1:5, The Bible’s Most Systematic and Detailed Exhortation to Growth in Grace.
In my last two posts I dealt with faith, and as you can see, the second grace mentioned by Peter is moral excellence. But it is crucial to put the discussion of growth in this grace in the context of the gift of faith that we discussed last week. It is also crucial that we not proceed until we have put the issue of growth in grace in the context of the matter of effort emphasized by Peter in verse 5. Four crucial words in 2 Peter 1:5 quadruplely emphasize this matter of effort: “applying … all … diligence … supply.”
Read the entire article here.
Particularly does the minister need to attend unto this injunction “take heed unto thyself” in his study of the Scriptures, reading them devotionally ere he does so professionally; that is, seeking their application and blessing to his own soul before searching for sermonic materials. As the saintly Hervey expressed it, “Thus may we always be affected when we study the oracles of Truth. Study them, not as cold critics, who are only to judge of their meaning, but as persons deeply interested in all they contain. Who are particularly addressed in every exhortation, and directed in every precept. Whose are the promises, and to whom belong the precious privileges. When we are enabled thus to realize and appropriate the contents of that invaluable Book, then shall we taste the sweetness and feel the power of the Scriptures. Then shall we know by happy experience that our Divine Master’s words are not barely sounds and syllables, but that they are spirit and they are life.” No man can be constantly giving out — that which is fresh and savory—unless he be continually taking in. That which he is to declare unto others is what his own ears have first heard, his own eyes have seen, his own hands have handled (1 John 1:1, 2).
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
The Case for Paedobaptism by Brian Cosby • October 30, 2014
The Case for Credobaptism by Sam Renihan • October 31, 2014
Bible & Theology/
At the 2003 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in Atlanta, two words were seemingly on the minds of every attendee: open theism.
That year, a controversy over open theism that had been brewing since the mid-1990s came to a head when members of ETS voted on a recommendation to remove from membership open theist scholars Clark Pinnock and John Sanders. A two-thirds majority is required for removal from ETS, and members voted by a narrow margin to allow both Pinnock and Sanders to remain in the society.
While open theism was embraced by a small number of scholars within ETS, the controversy was large and heated: many scholars believe openness theology, with its rejection of classical theism’s doctrine of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge, represents a re-envisioning of the God of Scripture. Many conservative evangelical scholars contended that open theism necessarily denies the inerrancy of Scripture, since a God who does not know the future cannot guarantee that Old Testament prophecies will come true.
In the wake of the controversy, members adopted the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in 2006, a move aimed at safeguarding membership from those who hold aberrant theological positions such as open theism. Adoption of the Chicago Statement ended the ETS debate.
Read the entire article here.