The Covenants-Chapter 7-Philology of the Covenants

Meaning of their terms; authorities; illustrations;  expositions as to the seed of Abraham; the conversion of the nations to Christ; perpetual possession of Canaan; perpetuity of David’s throne.

“WHATSOEVER things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience, and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.” But how can we have such patience, comfort and hope, unless we correctly understand and properly appreciate the scriptures? This remark is especially applicable in relation to the covenants now under consideration. Let us therefore look somewhat more carefully into the import of the language in which they are expressed. To these covenants all competent Biblical interpreters, of every class, agree in attributing a peculiar philology. Their promises were, in one sense, undoubtedly intended to be literally understood, and fulfilled. But their true legitimate import does not terminate here. No one who studies them, can fail to perceive that they convey a second and higher meaning, full of the deepest interest and importance. Examine the covenants themselves, and you will be struck with a phraseology inconsistent with the expectation of only a simple literal fulfillment. Study their various expositions by the prophets, and apostles, and you will at once learn that they received and interpreted them, as containing also a second and higher sense; a sense which indeed, pervades the substance of the whole kingdom of grace in Jesus Christ. This higher meaning of the covenants, it is our present purpose to establish, and ascertain, that by their teachings our faith may be invigorated and our hopes confirmed.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 214

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

To [Canon Palmer].

[Undated.]

DEAR SIR, —

I am exceedingly obliged by your prompt and Christian reply. I felt it needful to make my protest against the bell-ringing somewhat strong, that I might not appear to be asking a favor merely, but claiming a right not to be disturbed. Otherwise, the lapse of years gives right to a custom against which no protest is entered. This, and no unfriendliness to you, prompted what you considered to be a threat. I can only hope that future correspondence may be, on my part, on a more pleasant subject, and, on your part, may be in the same generous tone.

Yours very heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Behold your God!

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).

Pause a while and think of this verse. It gives us a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus. Let’s unfold some of its treasures word for word.

‘He’

Who is this ‘He’?

He is the Messiah (Matthew 1:1).

He is Immanuel; God with us (Matthew 1:23).

He is God manifest in the flesh ( I Timothy 3:16).

He is the one Who is revealed in the Word of God under a vast array of titles, names, characters and offices. For example, He is,

Our Hope – 1 Timothy 1:1

Our Peace – Ephesians 2:14

Our Prophet – Hebrews 1:1-3

Our Redeemer – Job 19:25, Galatians 3:13

Our Rock – 1 Corinthians 10:4

Our Sacrifice – 1 John 4:10

Our Saviour – Luke 2:11

The Supreme Creator Over All – 1 Corinthians 1:16-17

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

The Door – John 10:9

The Way – John 14:6

The Eternal Word – John 1:1

The True Vine – John 15:1

The Truth – ” John 8:32

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

‘Shall’ – Without doubt, or fear, or uncertainty.

‘Feed’ – Nourish, provide for, sustain.

‘His Flock’ ––His own, peculiar, personal, property. The Flock is given by the Father (John 6:37), redeemed by the Son (Ephesians 1:7) and brought alive by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:1); therefore, the flock is ‘His’ by gift – by purchase and by the conquest of grace.

‘Like a Shepherd’ In verse 10 it says, “Behold your God who shall come.” Do you really want to see what God is like? The 11th verse gives us the answer. Did you notice it? Look at the 11th verse. It says, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd:” He’s a shepherd. This is our God. This is His portrait. He goes before His sheep, removing hindrances and difficulties; to shield us from danger and protect us from enemies. He seeks us when we go astray and provides the best pasture for us.

‘He shall Gather.’ That’s what a shepherd does. He gathers. He doesn’t scatter. No ‘shape up or ship out’ message comes from His lips.

‘The Lambs’ – He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in his bosom; these are strong arms. Verse 10 says ‘The Lord will come with strong hand and His arm shall rule for Him.’ The Father’s arms neither grow tired nor weary carrying His children.

“What have I to dread,

What have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace

With my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Leaning, Leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Remember how Jesus told it? He said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). He also declared, “I am the door. By Me if any man enters in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). He is also the Great Shepherd. That is why we read in Hebrews 13:20, “Now the God of peace who brought again from the dead, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

Our Lord is the Good, Chief and Great Shepherd.

Behold your God!

He is pictured as a shepherd with little lambs in his arms.

Behold your God!

He is the shepherd with lambs in his bosom.

Behold your God!

He gently leads those that are with young.

Behold your God!

Our God is our Shepherd. What a Shepherd! He encircles His flock with tender care and love. He loses none of us. I want to shout, Hallelujah! This is our God. He is the God who comes as a shepherd with the lambs in His arm.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIII-Efficacious Grace

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIII

Efficacious Grace

4. THE EFFECT PRODUCED IN THE SOUL

The immediate and important effect of this inward, purifying change of nature is that the person loves righteousness and trusts in Christ for salvation. Whereas his natural element was sin, it now becomes holiness; sin becomes repulsive to him, and he loves to do good. This effective and irresistible grace converts the will itself and forms a holy character in the person by a creative act. It removes a man’s appetite for sinful things so that he refrains from sin, not as the dyspeptic refuses to eat the dainties for which he longs, lest his indulgence should be punished with the agonies of sickness, but rather because he hates sin for its own sake. The holy and thorough submission to God’s will, which the convert before dreaded and resisted, he now loves and approves. Obedience has become not only the obligatory but the preferable good.

But so long as people remain in this world they are subject to temptations and they still have the remnants of the old nature clinging to them. Hence they are often deluded, and commit sin; Yet these sins are only the death struggles and frenzied writhings of the old nature which has already received the death blow. The regenerate also suffer pain, disease, discouragement, and even death itself, although they are steadily advancing toward complete salvation.

At this point many people confuse regeneration and sanctification. Regeneration is exclusively God’s work, and it is an act of His free grace in which He implants a new principle of spiritual life in the soul. It is performed by supernatural power and is complete in an instant. On the other hand sanctification is a process through which the remains of sin in the outward life are gradually removed, so that, as the Shorter Catechism says, we are enabled more and more to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness. It is a joint work of God and man. It consists in the gradual triumph of the new nature implanted in regeneration over the evil that still remains after the heart has been renewed. Or, in other words, we may say that complete sanctification lags behind after the life has been in principle won to God. Perfect righteousness is the goal which is set before us all through this life and every Christian should make steady progress toward that goal. Sanctification, however, is not fully completed until death, at which time the Holy Spirit cleanses the soul of every vestige of sin, making it holy and raising it above even the possibility of sinning.

Strictly speaking, we may say that redemption is not fully complete until the saved have received their resurrection bodies. In one sense it was complete when Christ died on Calvary; yet it is applied only gradually by the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit does thus effectually apply to the elect the merits of Christ’s sacrifice, their salvation is most infallibly certain and can by no means be prevented. Hence the certainty that the will of God for the salvation of his people is in no wise disappointed or made void by His creatures.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

A careful consideration of these human examples will enable us to understand better the covenants which God has been pleased to enter into

We read of Jonathan and David making a covenant (1 Sam. 18:3) which, in view of 1 Samuel 20:11 17,42, evidently signified that they entered into a solemn compact (ratified by an oath: 1 Sam. 20:17) that in return for Jonathan’s kindness in informing him of his father’s plans—making possible his escape—David, when he ascended the throne, would show mercy to his descendants: (cf. 2 Sam. 9:1). Again, in 1 Chronicles 11:3 we are told that all the elders of Israel (who had previously been opposed to him) came to David and he made a covenant with them, which, in the light of 2 Samuel 5:1-3 evidently means that, on the consideration of his captaining their armies against the common foe, they were willing to submit unto him as their king. Once more, in 2 Chronicles 23:16 we read of Jehoiada the priest making a covenant with the people and the king that they should be the Lord’s people, which, in the light of what immediately follows obviously denotes that he agreed to grant them certain religious privileges in return for their undertaking to destroy the system of Baal worship. A careful consideration of these human examples will enable us to understand better the covenants which God has been pleased to enter into.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Introduction

The gospel is to the true believer a thing of power

The gospel is to the true believer a thing of power. It is Christ the power of God. Ay, there is a power in God’s gospel beyond all description. Once, I, like Mazeppa, bound on the wild horse of my lust, bound hand and foot, in capable of resistance, was galloping on with hell’s wolves behind me, howling for my body and my soul, as their just and lawful prey. There came a mighty band which stopped that wild horse, cut my bands, set me down, and brought me into liberty. Is there power, sir? Ay, there is power, and he who has felt it must acknowledge it. There was a time when I lived in the strong old castle of my sins, and rested in my works. There came a trumpeter to the door, and bade me open it. I with anger chid him from the porch, and said he never should enter. There came a goodly personage, with loving countenance; his hands were marked with scars, where nails were driven, and his feet had nailprints too; he rifted up his cross, using it as a hammer; at the first blow the gate of my prejudice shook; at the second it trembled more; at the third down it fell, and in he came; and he said, “Arise, and stand upon thy feet, for I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” A thing of power! Ah! it is a thing of power. I have felt it here, in this heart; I have the witness of the Spirit within, and know it is a thing of might, because it has conquered me; it has bowed me down.

His free grace alone, from the first to the last,

Hath won my affection, and held my soul fast.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 6f-The Covenants of the Law

Is it a question of infinite importance to the faith of all nations, by what means Messiah when he comes, shall be known with positive certainty, to be the very Christ promised in the covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, with Jacob, with Judah, and with David? We have now seen how those means were provided, by divine wisdom, and goodness. The result proposed was perfectly secured by the operation of “the covenants of the law;” which are the covenant that gave to Israel a prescribed territory, and made them a separate nation; the covenant of circumcision, by which they were distinguished personally, from all other men; and the covenant of Sinai, which gave them a national government; and by the auxiliaries of these covenants, which are the history, and genealogy of the people of God; and the delineations of Christ, in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms. The forms, ordinances, and rites enjoined in these covenants, were obligatory upon the Hebrews only. Moral principles, I have said, were the same in every dispensation of God. In all these covenants they were identical with each other, and with those of the law under which man was originally created, and to bring us back to which, is the great design of the gospel of Christ. Truth, justice, and purity, are of eternal obligation, and have ever been, and must ever be, binding alike upon all men. Not so the ceremonies of the covenants, which gave outward character to the religion of the Mosaic economy, except in so far as sacrifices, and the Sabbath were involved, which were enjoined in Eden, and belonged to mankind. The forms, ordinances, and rites peculiar to Israel, belonged alone to Israel, and their observance by Gentiles was not obedience to God, because they were not commanded by God. Gentiles were, we have seen, as much interested in the certification of Messiah as was Israel; but he was to spring not from them, but from Israel; therefore, until his appearing, Israel must be distinguished from all other men. “The fullness of the time” at length came, and Messiah appeared. By all these, and many other “infallible proofs,” Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated his claims to be received as “The seed of the woman;” “the Son of Abraham;” the promised “Shiloh;” “the offspring of David;” “the King of Israel,” “Immanuel, God with us.” He is the Messiah.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants