The evidence of this his happiness declared, viz. That God, and he only, had revealed it to him

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which its in heaven. (Matthew 16:17)

Christ addresses those words to Peter upon occasion of his professing his faith in hen as the Son of God. Our Lord was inquiring of his disciples, whom men said that he was, not that he needed to be informed, yet only to introduce and give occasion to what follows. They answer that some said he was John the Baptist and some Elias and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. When they had thus given an account whom others said that be was Christ asks them, whom they said that be was! Simon Peter, whom we fin always zealous and forward, was the first to answer: he readily replied to the question, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.

Upon this occasion, Christ says as he does to hen and of him in the text: in which we may observe,

2. The evidence of this his happiness declared, viz. That God, and he only, had revealed it to him. This is an evidence of his being blessed,

First, As it shows how peculiarly favoured he was of God above others: q.d. “How highly favoured art thou, that others, wise and great men, th scribes, Pharisees, and Rulers, and the nation in general, are left in darkness, to follow their own misguided apprehensions; and that thou shouldst be singled out, as it were, by name, that my heavenly Father should thus set his love on thee, Simon Bar-Jona. — This argues thee blessed, that thou shouldst thus be the object of God’s distinguishing love.”

Secondly, It evidences his blessedness also, as it intimates that this knowledge is above arty that flesh and blood can reveal. “This is such knowledge as only my Father which is in heaven can give: it is too hig and excellent to be communicated by such means as other knowledge is. Thou art blessed, that thou knowest what God alone can teach thee.”

The original of this knowledge is here declared, both negatively and positively. Positively as God is here declared the author of it. Negatively, as it is declared, that flesh and blood had not revealed it. God is the author of all knowledge and understanding whatsoever. He is the author of all moral prudence, and of the skill that men have in their secular business. Thus it is said of all in Israel that were wise hearted and skilled in embroidering, that God had filled them with the spirit of wisdom. Exodus 28:3.

God is the author of such know-ledge; yet so that flesh and blood reveals it. Mortal men are capable of imparting the knowledge of human arts and sciences, and skill in temporal affairs. God is the author of such knowledge by those means: flesh and blood is employed as the mediate or second cause of it: he conveys it by the power and influence of natural means. But this spiritual knowledge spoken of in the text, is what God is the author of and none else: he reveals it, an, flesh and blood reveals it not. He imparts this knowledge immediately, not making use of any intermediate natural causes, as he does in other knowledge.

What had passed in the preceding discourse naturally occasioned Christ to observe this; because th disciples had been telling how others did not know him, but were generally mistaken about him, divided awl confounded in their opinions of him: but Peter had declared his assured faith, that he was the Son of God. Now it was natural to observe, how it was not flesh and blood that had revealed it to him, but God; for If this knowledge were dependent on natural causes or means, how came it to pass that they a company of poor fishermen, illiterate men, and persons of low education, attained to the knowledge of the truth while the scribes and Pharisees, men of vastly higher advantages, and greate knowledge and sagacity in other matters, remained in ignorance?….

Jonathan Edwards- A Divine And Supernatural Light Immediately Imparted To The Soul, By The Spirit Of God, Shown To Be Both A Scriptual And Rational Doctrine. [Preached at Norhampton, and published at the desire of some of the hearers, in the year 1734.]

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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 157

February 22, 2018 Leave a comment

TO MESSRS. FULLERTON AND SMITH

NIGHTINGALE LANE, July 28.

DEAR BRETHREN, —

The best of blessings be with you both. Your letter was too late for the month’s Mag. Fire away, and the Lord direct the bullets.

Pray for me. I have much trouble. Telegrams received thankfully. Prayer offered.

Yours heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

A Treatise on Church Order: Communion- Chapter V- Section III

February 21, 2018 Leave a comment

CHAPTER V

COMMUNION

SECTION III.–COMMUNICANTS

The Lord’s Supper was designed to be celebrated by each church in public assembly.

Intelligence is necessary in order to the proper receiving of the supper. When infant baptism arose, infant communion arose with it. The superstitious notion that the sacraments possessed a sort of magical efficacy, prevailed extensively; and parental affection desired for the children the grace of the supper, as well as that of baptism. The argument was as good for the one as for the other; and infant communion had as much authority from the apostles as infant baptism. But the practice of infant communion is now generally laid aside. It is generally conceded, that infants are incapable of receiving the rite according to its design. They cannot remember Christ, or discern the Lord’s body; and they cannot perform the self-examination which is required previous to the communion. If the rite conveyed a magical influence, infants might receive it; but correct views have so far prevailed, as to restrict this ordinance to persons of intelligence.

Faith is also a requisite to the receiving of the supper. If mere intelligence were a sufficient qualification, men who partake of the table of devils, might partake also of the Lord’s table. Paul decides that this cannot be, and therefore that none can properly partake of the Lord s table but those who have renounced the devil, and devoted themselves to the Lord. The outward ceremony cannot, of itself, yield profit to those who receive it. They cannot please God in it, without faith; and without faith they cannot derive spiritual nourishment from the body and blood of Christ.

The rite was designed to be social. Of the three purposes which it serves, as enumerated in the last section, the third requires that it be celebrated by a company. It could not serve as a token of fellowship between the disciples of Christ, if it were performed in solitude. To perpetuate a social rite, society is necessary; and the disciples of Christ, by his authority, organize the societies, called churches. As these are the only divinely instituted Christian societies, we might judge beforehand, that the supper would be committed to these, for its observance and perpetuation. This we find to be true. Paul says to the church at Corinth, “I praise you that ye keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you.” “I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.”[19] He then proceeds to mention the institution of the supper, and speaks of it as observed by the whole church assembled. Of some other matters, he says, in this connection, “We have no such custom, neither the churches of God;”[20] but everything in his account of the Lord’s supper, accords with its being a church rite; and with this, all that is recorded of its observance at Jerusalem and Troas, perfectly harmonizes. The administration of the rite to a dying individual, as is practiced by some, has no sanction in the Word of God.

The rite should be celebrated by the church, in public assembly. It is said, “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.”[21] To show his death, requires that it be done in public. It should be held forth to the view of the irreligious, who may be willing to attend in the public assembly. In another part of the same epistle, Paul speaks of the effect produced on unbelievers who came into the public assembly of the church.[22] As it is right to hold forth the word of life to them, so it is right to show the Lord’s death before them, in the divinely appointed manner.

By the Jews it was held unlawful to eat with the uncircumcised. Paul has taught us, that familiar intercourse with unconverted persons, is not unlawful to Christians; but he says, “If any man, that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such a one, no not to eat.”[23] In this prohibition, eating at the Lord’s table with such a wicked person, if not specially intended, is certainly included. Though such an one may have been called a brother, it was wrong for the church to retain him in fellowship, and continue to eat with him, in the peculiar manner by which fellowship was indicated. In the words of Christ, every such wicked person was to be accounted as an heathen man and a publican.

In primitive times, the members of different local churches associated with each other, as members of the great fraternity. Paul was doubtless welcomed at the Lord’s table, by the disciples at Troas. This transient communion is now practiced. The Lord’s supper is properly a church ordinance; but an individual, duly qualified to be admitted to membership in a church, may be admitted for the time as a member, and received to transient communion, without any departure from the design of the institution.

[19] 1 Cor. xi. 2, 23.

[20] V. 16.

[21] 1 Cor. xi. 26.

[22] 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25.

[23] 1 Cor. v. 11.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2

The Law of sowing and reaping seen in Israel’s unbelief

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment

In Numbers 14 a very different scene is presented to our view. There we behold the reactions of Israel unto the doleful report made by the unbelieving majority of the spies which Moses had sent to reconnoiter Canaan. “All the congregation lifted up their voice, and… wept,” conducting themselves like a lot of peevish children. Worse still, they murmured against Moses and Aaron, and spoke of appointing a new leader to conduct them back again to Egypt. At considerable risk to their lives (v. 10), Joshua and Caleb remonstrated with them. The Lord interposed, passed sentence upon that faithless generation, sentencing them to die in the wilderness. In blessed contrast therewith, He said, “But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (v. 24). Numbers 25 supplies us with another example of the same principle. Setting aside his own feelings, the son of Eleazar acted for the honor of Jehovah, and of him the Lord said, he “hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for My sake…. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace: and he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel” (vv. 10-13).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Sin of Unbelief

February 19, 2018 Leave a comment

“And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shalt not eat thereof.”-2 Kings 7:19.

ONE wise man may deliver a whole city; one good man may be the means of safety to a thousand others. The holy ones are “the salt of the earth,” the means of the preservation of the wicked, Without the godly as a conserve, the race would be utterly destroyed. In the city of Samaria there was one righteous man-Elisha, the servant of the Lord. Piety was altogether extinct in the court. The king was a sinner of the blackest dye, his iniquity was glaring and infamous. Jehoram walked in the ways of his father Ahab, and made unto himself false gods. The people of Samaria were fallen like their monarch: they had gone astray from Jehovah; they had forsaken the God of Israel; they remembered not the watchword of Jacob, “The Lord thy God is one God;” and in wicked idolatry they bowed before the idols of the heathens, and therefore the Lord of Hosts suffered their enemies to oppress them until the curse of Ebal was fulfilled in the streets of Samaria, for “the tender and delicate woman who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness,” had an evil eye to her own children, and devoured her offspring by reason of fierce hunger. Deuteronomy 28:56-58. In this awful extremity the one Holy man was the medium of salvation. The one grain of salt preserved the entire city; the one warrior for God was the means of the deliverance of the whole beleaguered multitude. For Elisha’s sake the Lord sent the promise that the next day, food which could not be obtained at any price, should be had at the cheapest possible rate-at the very gates of Samaria. We may picture the joy of the multitude when first the seer uttered this prediction. They knew him to be a prophet of the Lord; he had divine credentials; all his past prophecies held been fulfilled. They knew that he was a man sent of God, and uttering Jehovah message. Surely the monarch’s eyes would glisten with delight, and the emaciated multitude would leap for joy at the prospects of so speedy a release from famine. “Tomorrow,” would they shout, “to-morrow our hunger shall be over, and we shall feast to the full.”

However, the lord on whom the king leaned expressed his disbelief. We hear not that any of the common people, the plebeians, ever did so; but an aristocrat did it. Strange it is, that God has seldom chosen the great men of this world. High places and faith in Christ do seldom well agree. This great man said “Impossible!” and, with an insult to the prophet, he added, “If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be.” His sin lay in the fact that after repeated seals of Elisha’s ministry, he yet disbelieved the assurances uttered by the prophet on God’s behalf. He had, doubtless, seen the marvellous defeat of Moab- he had been startled at tidings of the resurrection of the Shunamite’s son; he knew that Elisha had revealed Benhadad’s secrets and smitten his marauding hosts with blindness- he had seen the bands of Syria decoyed into the heart of Samaria; and he probably knew the story of the widow, whose oil filled all the vessels, and redeemed her sons; at all events the cure of Naaman was common conversation at court; and yet, in the face of all this accumulated evidence, in the teeth of all these credentials of the prophet’s mission, he yet doubted, and insultingly told him that heaven must become an open casement, ere the promise could be performed. Whereupon God pronounced his doom by the mouth of the man who had just now proclaimed the promise: “thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shalt not eat thereof.” And providence-which always fulfils prophecy, just as the paper takes the stamp of the type destroyed the man. Trodden down in the streets of Samaria, he perished at its gates, beholding the plenty, but tasting not of it. Perhaps his carriage was haughty, and insulting to the people; or he tried to restrain their eager rush; or, as we would say, it might have been by mere accident that he was crushed to death; so that he saw the prophecy fulfilled, but never lived to enjoy it. In his case, seeing was believing, but it was not enjoying.

I shall this morning invite your attention to two things-the man’s sin and his punishment. Perhaps I shall say but little of this man, since I have detailed the circumstances, but I shall discourse upon th sin of unbelief and the punishment thereof.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

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Peter is pronounced blessed on this account

February 16, 2018 Leave a comment

And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which its in heaven. (Matthew 16:17)

Christ addresses those words to Peter upon occasion of his professing his faith in hen as the Son of God. Our Lord was inquiring of his disciples, whom men said that he was, not that he needed to be informed, yet only to introduce and give occasion to what follows. They answer that some said he was John the Baptist and some Elias and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. When they had thus given an account whom others said that be was Christ asks them, whom they said that be was! Simon Peter, whom we fin always zealous and forward, was the first to answer: he readily replied to the question, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.

Upon this occasion, Christ says as he does to hen and of him in the text: in which we may observe,

1. That Peter is pronounced blessed on this account. — Blessed art thou — “Thou art a happy man, that thou art not ignorant of this, that I am Christ, the Son of the living God. Thou art distinguishingly happy. Others are blinded, and have dark and deluded apprehensions, as you have now given an account, some thinking that I am Elias, and some that I am Jeremias, and some one thing. and some another, but none of them thinking right, all of them misled. Happy art thou, that art so distinguished as to know the truth in tints matter.”

Jonathan Edwards- A Divine And Supernatural Light Immediately Imparted To The Soul, By The Spirit Of God, Shown To Be Both A Scriptual And Rational Doctrine. [Preached at Norhampton, and published at the desire of some of the hearers, in the year 1734.]

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 156

February 15, 2018 Leave a comment

TO MESSRS. FULLERTON AND SMITH

NIGHTINGALE LANE, Sept. 9, ‘79.

DEAR FRIENDS, —

The Lord be with you. I like your plans well enough, but the less rule and regulation the better. Thursday nights we shall probably have some other preacher, but all else seems to me right enough.

May Burnley continue to burn with grace.

Yours heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.