With ‘Labor Day’ approaching us, I decided that I would take a break from my blog. This means that there will be no articles coming out the next two weeks here, but my daily quotes will still appear every day: Monday through Friday.
So I know it is to early to say this, but nevertheless:
Have a happy and blessed Labor Day from Reformedontheweb!
5. But then the text, lest we should make any mistake, adds, “according to his own purpose and grace.” The purpose is not founded on foreseen merit, but upon grace alone. It is grace, all grace, nothing but grace from first to last. Man stands shivering outside, a condemned criminal, and God sitting upon the throne, sends the herald to tell him that he is willing to receive sinners and to pardon them. The sinner replies, “Well, I am willing to be pardoned if I am permitted to do something in order to earn pardon. If I can stand before the King and claim that I have done something to win his favor, I am quite willing to come.” But the herald replies, “No: if you are pardoned, you must understand it is entirely and wholly as an act of grace on God’s part. He sees nothing good in you, he knows that there is nothing good in you; he is willing to take you just as you are, black, and bad, and wicked, and undeserving; he is willing to give you graciously what he would not sell to you, and what he knows you cannot earn of him. Will you have it?” and naturally every man says, “No, I will not be saved in that style.” Well, then, soul, remember that thou wilt never be saved at all, for God’s way is salvation by grace. You will have to confess if ever you are saved, my dear hearer, that you never deserved one single blessing from the God of grace; you will have to give all the glory to his holy name if ever you get to heaven. And mark you, even in the matter of the acceptance of this offered mercy, you will never accept it unless he makes you willing. He does freely present it to every one of you, and he honestly bids you come to Christ and live; but come you never will, I know, except the effectual grace which first provided mercy shall make you willing to accept that mercy. So the text tells us it is his own purpose and grace.
Charles H. Spurgeon- Salvation Altogether by Grace (2 Timothy 1:9)- Delivered on Sunday Morning July 29th, 1866
by Benjamin Keach
Download here. (Pdf) (45 Pages)
THE GLORY OF A GOSPEL-CHURCH, AND THE TRUE ORDERLY DISCIPLINE THEREOF EXPLAIN’D
Concerning a True and Orderly Gospel-Church
Before there can be any Orderly Discipline among a Christian Assembly, they must be orderly and regularly constituted into a Church-state, according to the Institution of Christ in the Gospel.
1. A Church of Christ, according to the Gospel-Institution, is a Congregation of Godly Christians, who as a Stated-Assembly (being first baptized upon the Profession of Faith) do by mutual agreement and consent give themselves up to the Lord, and one to another, according to the Will of God; and do ordinarily meet together in one Place, for the Public Service and Worship of God; among whom the Word of God and Sacraments are duly administered, according to Christ’s Institution.1
2. The Beauty and Glory of which Congregation doth consist in their being all Converted Persons, or Lively Stones; being by the Holy Spirit, united to Jesus Christ the Precious Corner-Stone, and only foundation of every Christian, as well as of every particular Congregation, and of the whole Catholick Church.2
3. That every Person before they are admitted Members, in such a Church so constituted, must declare to the Church (or to such with the Pastor, that they shall appoint) what God hath done for their Souls, or their Experiences of a Saving work of Grace upon their Hearts; and also the Church should enquire after, and take full satisfaction concerning their Holy Lives, or Good Conversations.3
And when admitted Members, before the Church they must solemnly enter into a Covenant, to walk in the Fellowship of that particular Congregation, and submit themselves to the Care and Discipline thereof,4 and to walk faithfully with God in all his Holy Ordinances, and there to be fed and have Communion, and worship God there, when the Church meets (if possible) and give themselves up to the watch and charge of the Pastor and Ministry thereof:5 the Pastor then also signifying in the name of the Church their acceptance of each Person, and endeavor to take the care of them, and to watch over them in the Lord, (the Members being first satisfied to receive them, and to have Communion with them.) And so the Pastor to give them the right Hand of Fellowship of a Church, or Church Organical.
A Church thus constituted ought forthwith to choose them a Pastor, Elder or Elders, and Deacons, (we reading of no other Officers, or Offices abiding in the Church) and what kind of Men they ought to be, and how qualified, is laid down by Paul to Timothy, and to Titus. Moreover, they are to take special care, that both Bishops, Overseers, or Elders, as well as the Deacons, have in some competent manner all those Qualifications; and after in a Day of solemn Prayer and Fasting, that they have elected them, (whether Pastor, &c., or Deacons) and they accepting the Office, must be ordained with Prayer, and laying on of Hands of the Eldership; being first prov’d, and found meet and fit Persons for so Sacred an Office: Therefore such are very disorderly Churches who have no Pastor or Pastors ordained, they acting not according to the Rule of the Gospel, having something wanting.6
1 Act. 2.41, 42, 43, 44. Act. 8.14. Act. 19.4, 5, 6. Eph. 1.1, 2 and 2.12, 13, 19. Col. 1. 2, 4, 12. I Pet. 2.5. Act. 5.13, 14. Rom. 6.17. Heb. 6.1, 2.
2 Rom. 6. 3, 4, 5. I Pet. 2.4, 5, 6. Eph. 2.20, 21. Col. 2.19.
3 Psa. 66.16. Act. 11.4, 5, 6, &c., 23, 24. I Pet. 3.15. II Cor. 8.5. Jer. 50.5.
4 Heb. 13.17.
5 I Pet. 5.1, 2.
6 I Tim. 3.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Tit. 1. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Tit. 1.7. Act. 6.6. I Tim. 5.22. I Cor. 9.16, 17.
Benjamin Keach- The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed (1697)
William F. Leonhart III
Q.2: Ought everyone to believe there is a God?
A. Everyone ought to believe there is a God;1 and it is their great sin and folly who do not.2
The world is full of art critics. Everywhere we go, we see people standing in awe of great art. They study it, they marvel at it, and they even try to duplicate it. What they will not do, however, is recognize the existence of the great Artist who gave it birth. This great art of which I speak is the art of creation, and the great Artist, of course, is the Creator. God is not merely an Artist, though. He wears many hats. Like the great Leonardo di Vinci, God assumes the titles of Artist, Engineer, Innovator, Inventor, and a great many others. However, unlike Leonardo, God is the Chief among all others in these fields. He far surpasses all His creatures, as we noted in the previous section.
One great difference between God and all others is that His art, His engineering, His innovation and inventiveness pervades all of His creation. Painters place their signatures in the corners of their paintings. The signature of the Divine is pervasive throughout the vast scope of creation and notable in every detail of every element and atom. God is at once immensely God and intimately God. He is both the God of the stars and the planets (Job 38:31-33; Ps. 8:3; 136:7-9) and the God of our grief and our joy (Mt. 6:25-34).
Read the entire article here.
MENTONE, December 15, 1891.
MY DEAR SON, —
As I write I have sweet memories of your delightful companionship with me in this land of the sun. I seem to hear your pleasant voice even now. The Lord bless thee, my son, and thy spouse, and the little one.
I write this day joyfully because I feel better than for many a month. I am weak, but I have the hope that I have turned the cold comer and am turning to the warmer side of the hill. I am indeed a debtor to my Lord and to the prayers of His people, that I now live in the hope of a perfect restoration and in the expectation of future service.
AND YOUR MOTHER IS HERE. I know it is true for I see her, otherwise I could not believe it. And she is-well — she is splendid. I pray the Lord to guide you in your tried path. I think you must settle somewhere in. the Antipodes, because you could not bear the fogs of Old England. My hope is that some city will be grateful yet for your laborious and valuable services. You have yet a glorious work to do. The coming of a family about you points to a pastorate. God will open. a door into “a large place.” God’s own true benediction rest upon thee.
Your loving father,
C. H. SPURGEON.
God has never forced us to sin. To our shame, we do it willingly, gladly and readily. If the truth be known, we love sin. We may hate its consequences, but, left to our own devices, our inclination is always and ever away from God. All mankind has been smitten with the sin virus (Romans 6:6); it is, so to speak, lurking in our blood, continually spawning sins, its fowl children (Romans 5:12).
The awful problem with sins, however, is that they bring separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). God is holy: Because He is holy, He hates sins and hates all workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5). It may seem a foreign concept to our ears to associate ‘hatred’ with the God of love but before objecting to this picture, let me warn against the subtle sin of idolatry. Idolatry? Yes, idolatry! For when we reject God’s self-declaration and substitute Him for the God we’d like Him to be, we have become idolaters. Much as we would like God to be the God of love who is never at angry at sin or sinners, we must never project this false picture onto Him.
God refuses to fit our concept of who we want Him to be, in fact, He won’t even try. He’s got better things to do! As for us, the best thing we can do is bow before Him and worship Him as He is and for who He is.
God is Holy, and we are not. This knowledge is where religion finds a natural breeding ground as it germinates in the fears and guilt of sinful man. We really are laughable; we cannot create ourselves, but think that by practicing some religion or other, we can save ourselves. Yet, no matter how involved we become in our religion, no matter how zealous we are, we are impotent to stop sinning … and sins separate us from God. Religion cannot remove the virus of sin. Although, for the follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will limit and restrain the production of sins we remain sinners till the day we die. Remember this, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
The good news for sinners (us), however, is that God is not only holy, He is also just. But how is this Good News? I can take some comfort knowing that He is loving, but surely there is no comfort in knowing that, in his unswerving justice, he will punish us and our sins? A just God will surely meet out punishment. This is far from good news. So then, how can God be just, and yet save me a ruined sinner?
Which brings us back to the Gospel, the best news, the old news and the ever-new news—Jesus!
Only in Jesus can God be both loving and just. Between the all-holy God and sin-filled believer, there stands the remarkable sinless person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is enough for the sinner, and He is enough for the Father. God punished our sins on Him. In grace, He became accountable for us and poured out His blood for us.
Jesus, the Lord of glory, became a security and substitute for His people. He took our place in his doing, dying and rising. He ascended to the right hand of the Father (the place of cosmic authority) for us. And now, because of Jesus and His accomplishments on our behalf, not only love but also justice endorses our acquittal.
Jesus is Enough
And that’s the Gospel Truth!