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The Wednesday Word: Victory in the Blood

November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Rev 12:11

When sins devastate our communion with God, there is only one thing powerful enough to overcome all the accusations from Hell, …the Blood of Christ. This is how we overcome. As John Newton wrote,

“Be Thou my shield and hiding place,

That, sheltered near Thy side,

I may my fierce accuser face,

And tell him Thou hast died!”

As we grow in grace, we learn that, in failure, we have new opportunities to become conscious of the blood. When we look to the past, we see the blood. When we think of the present, we see the blood. When we think of the future, we see the blood. When Satan tells us of our defeat, we tell him of his. When he tells us our past, we tell him his. We boldly announce to him that Christ shredded and scattered his demonic troops at the cross, 2000 year ago. We remind him that he was defeated by the blood of the Lamb. We overcome by the blood when we declare what the blood has done. Our Victory is in the BLOOD.

Every spiritual blessing is in Christ! Try this one for size! Though sinners, we are entitled to plead “not guilty” to every charge. Why? Because of the blood. To do anything else would be to deny the reality of the Blood. Though we are guilty, our conscience is as completely at peace. We have learned to apply the Blood. No wonder we can now walk in victory! No longer are we pinned down by the accusing memories that fill us with remorse.

Do you remember the blood offering of Leviticus 4? It was to take care of any sins that were committed through ignorance (Leviticus 4:2). Many believers go about worrying about whether or not they are doing okay. They say to themselves, “Maybe I have not done enough good things?” or ask themselves, “Have I witnessed enough?” or “Have I prayed and given enough?” They are always worried about these things.

But, when Jesus Christ died on the Cross, His blood took care of all the sins that we know about and all those that we don’t know about. He has taken care of all the sins that we have ever and will ever commit. Knowing and applying this brings victory.

When Jesus Christ died and shed His blood, He took care of our sin and our sins. Notice, I said sin (singular) and sins (plural). His Blood legally blotted out our sin nature and covered our sins by casting them into the sea of God’s forgetfulness (Micah 7:19).

“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:7-8). In the Gospel, both sin and sins are dealt with.

Jesus Christ has forever taken care of the sin nature of man by being reckoned as sin and paying the penalty of sin with His blood on the Cross. Jesus, the man, was considered as sin so that we will never have our sins charged to us again. That is victory!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

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Duty of Repentance: Original State of Man- Book Fourth- Chapter 1

November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Book Fourth

CHAPTER I.

ORIGINAL STATE OF MAN.

THE FIRST MAN AND WOMAN WERE CREATED HOLY, AND, FOR A TIME, SERVED THEIR CREATOR ACCEPTABLY.[1]

How long the first pair continued in their original state of innocence and happiness we have no means of knowing; but that they did so continue for a time, is apparent on the face of the sacred record. A free intercourse with their Maker existed, and the token of the divine favor, the fruit of the tree of life, was not denied until a period arrived, distinctly marked in their history, when they first violated the covenant of their God.

The fact that the first pair continued, for a time, to serve God acceptably, proves that their Creator had endowed them with the powers necessary for this service. The possession of these endowments is implied in the phrase, “God created man in his own image.”[2] To interpret this as referring to the form of the human body, is wholly inconsistent with the spirituality of God. It is true, that God was afterwards manifested in human form; but the Scriptures represent the Son of God, in this assumption of our nature, as “made like his brethren,” and, therefore, to suppose his human body to have been the pattern after which the body of Adam was formed, would change the order presented in the divine word. The phrase, “image of God,” as explained by Paul,[3] includes “knowledge, righteousness and true holiness.” It, therefore, refers to their mental endowments, by which they were fitted for the service of God.

Intelligence was necessary to render the service to God for which man was designed. A vast world had been created, abounding with creatures which exhibited, in their wonderful structure, the wisdom and power of their Creator, and, in the bountiful provision made for the supply of their wants, his goodness was richly displayed; but not one of all these creatures was capable of appreciating this wisdom, power, and goodness. They had eyes to see the light of the material sun; but, though the heavens declared the glory of God, and the earth was full of his goodness, to that glory and goodness all were totally blind. A creature was wanted capable of knowing God, and this knowledge our first parents possessed.

Something more than mere intellectual endowments was necessary to fit our first parents for acceptable service to God. These were possessed by the angels that had not kept their first estate, and yet they were enemies of God, and cast out from his presence. Purity of heart was needed; and, accordingly, Adam and Eve were endowed with righteousness and true holiness. They not only knew God, but they loved him supremely. Every natural desire which they possessed was duly subordinated to this reigning affection. Even their love to each other, pure and unalloyed, was far inferior to that which they both felt to him, who daily favored them with his visits, and taught them to see his glory in all his works by which they were surrounded.

We may interpret the phrase, “image of God,” as including, also, the dominion with which man was invested over all inferior creatures. When representing man as the head of the woman, Paul speaks of him, in this relation, as “the image and glory of God.”[4] This investiture of authority gives him a likeness to God, the Supreme Ruler. In the state of innocence, man possessed this authority without fear from any of the creatures. Until he had rebelled against his God, they were not permitted to rebel against him. As the appointed lord of the lower world, all creatures rendered him homage; and, as it were in their name, he stood, the priest in the grand temple, to offer up spiritual worship and service to the God of the whole creation. From every creature which Adam named he could learn something of God; and, with every new lesson, a new tribute of adoring praise was rendered to the Maker of all.

In the particulars which have been mentioned, the image of God is “renewed” in those who experience the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, and are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The word “renewed” carries back our thoughts to man’s original state. A new creation is effected by the Spirit, restoring the regenerate to the knowledge, righteousness, and holiness from which man has fallen. In their renewed state, the effects of the fall still appear, and will remain until the last enemy, death, shall be destroyed; but their connection with the second Adam secures the completion of the good work begun, and assures them that they shall ultimately bear the likeness of the heavenly, who is the image of God.

The human soul bears likeness to God, “the Father of spirits,” in its spirituality and immortality. Also, the happiness which Adam and Eve enjoyed, while their innocence remained, was a rill from the fountain of blessedness, which is in the eternal God. In this happiness the image of God appeared, until it became sadly effaced by transgression. The spirituality and immortality of the soul remain, but the happiness of Eden has never revisited the earth; and it is again to be enjoyed only in the celestial paradise. Spirituality and immortality, without knowledge, righteousness, holiness, and communion with the blessed God, would constitute us immortal spirits in eternal woe.

We may profitably look back to the holy and happy state in which our first parents stood when they came from the hand of their Creator; and we may, with good effect, remember from whence we have fallen. A due contemplation of this subject will recommend to our acceptance the gracious plan of restoration which the gospel unfolds, in the person and work of the second Adam. What a Sabbath was that, when God, resting from the six days’ work of creation, held communion with man, the last work of his hands; and when man, unstained by sin, poured forth the first offering of praise from the newly-created earth, free and acceptable to the Creator! Such a Sabbath the earth does not now know; but such a Sabbath remains to the people of God, and blessed are they who shall enter into this rest.

[1] Gen. i. 27, 31; Ecc. vii.29.

[2] Gen. i. 27.

[3] Col. iii. 10; Eph. iv. 24.

[4] 1 Cor. xi. 7.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

The expositor needs to be on the alert to detect ironical language

November 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkAgain, the expositor needs to be on the alert to detect ironical language, for it usually signifies the very opposite to what is expressed, being a form of satire for the purpose of exposing an absurdity and to hold up to ridicule. Such language was employed by God when He said,

“Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22),

and when He bade Israel,

“Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation” (Judges 10:14);

by Elijah, when he mocked the prophets of Baal:

“Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is… in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awakened” (1 Kings 18:27);

by Micaiah when he answered Jehoshaphat,

“Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king” (1 Kings 22:15);

by Job,

“No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you” (12:2);

in Ecclesiastes 11:9:

“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth… walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes”;

by Christ, when He said,

“A goodly price that I was prised at of them” (Zechariah 11:13);

and by Paul,

“now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us” (1 Corinthians 4:8).

Nor are we to take literally the language of hyperbole or exaggeration, when more is said than is actually meant, as when the ten spies said of Canaan,

“the cities are great and walled up to heaven” (Deuteronomy 1:28),

and when we are told that their armies were

“even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude” (Joshua 11:4).

So too the description given of those that came up against Gideon:

“like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels without number” (Judges 7:12),

and

“there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee” (1 Kings 18:10).

Further examples are found in:

“They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths” (Psalm 107:26);

“Rivers of water run down mine eyes” (Psalm 119:136);

“A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time” (Isaiah 60:22);

“Their widows are increased to Me above the sand of the seas” (Jeremiah 15:8),

which should be borne in mind when reading Revelation 7:9;

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written (John 21:25).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

God is God and changes not

November 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 3I. First of all, we have set before us the doctrine of THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD. “I am God, I change not.” Here I shall attempt to expound, or rather to enlarge the thought, and then afterwards to bring a few arguments to prove its truth.

1. I shall offer some exposition of my text, by first saying, that God is Jehovah, and he changes not in his essence. We cannot tell you what Godhead is. We do not know what substance that is which we call God. It is an existence, it is a being; but what that is we know not. However, whatever it is, we call it his essence, and that essence never changes. The substance of mortal things is ever changing. The mountains with their snow-white crowns, doff their old diadems in summer, in rivers trickling down their sides, while the storm cloud gives them another coronation; the ocean, with its mighty floods, loses its water when the sunbeams kiss the waves, and snatch them in mists to heaven; even the sun himself requires fresh fuel from the hand of the Infinite Almighty, to replenish his everburning furnace. All creatures change. Man, especially as to his body, is always undergoing revolution. Very probably there is not a single particle in my body which was in it a few years ago. This frame has been worn away by activity, its atoms have been removed by friction, fresh particles of matter have in the mean time constantly accrued to my body, and so it has been replenished- but its substance is altered. The fabric of which this world is made is ever passing away; like a stream of water, drops are running away and others are following after, keeping the river still full, but always changing in its elements. But God is perpetually the same. He is not composed of any substance or material, but is spirit-pure, essential, and ethereal spirit-and therefore he is immutable. He remains everlastingly the same. There are no furrows on his eternal brow. No age hath palsied him- no years have marked him with the mementoes of their flight- he sees ages pass, but with him it is ever now. He is the great I Amthe Great Unchangeable. Mark you, his essence did not undergo a change when it became united with the manhood. When Christ in past years did gird himself with mortal clay the essence of his divinity was not changed; flesh did not become God, nor did God become flesh by a real actual change of nature the two were united in hypostatical union, but the Godhead was still the same. It was the same when he was a babe in the manger, as it was when he stretched the curtains of heaven- it was the same God that hung upon the cross, and whose blood flowed down in a purple river, the self-same God that holds the world upon his everlasting shoulders, and bears in his hands the keys of death and hell. He never has been changed in his essence, not even by his incarnation- he remains everlastingly, eternally, the one unchanging God, the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither the shadow of a change.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855

The Glory of a True Church- What tends to the Glory and Beauty of a true Gospel Church

November 18, 2016 Leave a comment

What tends to the Glory and Beauty of a true Gospel Church

That which Primarily tends to the Glory of a Church is the Foundation on which it is Built, which is Jesus Christ. Now this is a blessed and glorious Foundation.117

I. In respect of God the Father, who laid this Foundation in his eternal Purpose, Counsel, and Decree; Behold I lay in Sion:118 and this is as the result of his infinite Wisdom, Love and Mercy to his Elect.

II. In respect had unto Christ himself, who is this Foundation.

(1.) He is a Suitable Foundation.

1st. In respect to the Glory of God in all his Attributes.

2ly. In respect to our Good; the answering all our wants, who are united to him, or built upon him.

3ly. In respect of the preciousness of Christ, as a Foundation; a Stone; a precious Stone.

4ly. In respect to the Durableness of it, i.e. a tryed Stone; a sure Foundation.119

Brethren, a Foundation of a House must of necessity be laid; no House can be built without a good Foundation, that will stand firm, and unmovable; it is the strongest part of the Building, and it beareth all the weight of the whole Superstructure: So doth Jesus Christ.

III. The Beauty and Glory of a true Church, consists in the true and regular, or right Constitution of it; nothing being wanting that is Essential to it, upon this account.

IV. It consisteth in the Excellency, Glory, and Suitableness of the materials ’tis Built with, answering to the Foundation, all precious Stones, lively Stones; all regenerated Persons.120

V. In that all the Stones be well Hewed and Squared; all made fit for the Building, before laid in. Were it thus, there would not be so great a Noise of the Hammer and Ax, in Church Discipline, as indeed there is. It was not thus in the Type, I mean in Solomon’s Temple.121

VI. It’s Beauty and Glory consisteth in that all the Stones being not only united by the Spirit, to Christ the Foundation, but also to one another in sincere Love and Affection. In whom all the Building, fitly Framed together, groweth up unto an holy Temple in the Lord.122

VII. It consisteth in the Holiness and Purity of the Lives and Conversations of all the Members: Be ye Holy, for I am Holy.123 Holiness becomes thy House, O God, for Ever.124

VIII. It consisteth in the sweet Union and Concord that ought to be in the Church; all like the Horses in Pharoah’s Chariot, drawing together:125 Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.126 By this shall all Men know ye are my Disciples, if you Love one another.

IX. In their having the divine Presence with them: Or when the Glory of God fills his Temple.127.

X. In keeping out all unsanctified, or unclean Persons, or if they get in, to purge them out by a strict and holy Discipline, or else it will soon lose its Beauty.128

XI. In that Zeal and Equality that should be shewed in all to keep up the Honour, Peace, and Comfort of the Church, and the Ministry thereof.129

XII. In the Administration of right Discipline; to see no neglect nor delaying of Justice, thro carelessness, or Partiality: (1.) No ways partaking of other Mens Sins; which may be done by Conniving at it; (2.) By Lessening or Extenuating of it (3.) By Countenancing, or any ways Incouraging any in Sin. (4.) By not Restoring a Brother, that confesses his Sin when overtaken. (5.) Not bringing in a just Charge against an Offender, nor rebuking him; and yet have Communion with him.

2ly. Not to wrest Judgment, out of it’s true and right Channel: Nor to inflict a greater censure than the Law of Christ requires on any.

3ly. Timely to acquit, and discharge a penitent Person.

4ly. Not to do any thing out of Prejudice, but in Love, and Bowels, of affection; and to do all in Christ’s Name, or by his authority.

XIII. To Sympathize with the Afflicted, Succour the Tempted, and Relieving the Poor and Distressed: Rejoicing with them that Rejoice, and Mourning with them that Mourn.

XIV. To speak evil of no Man; not only speaking no evil of their Brethren, but of no Man, to his hurt or injury, detracting from his Worth and Honour: See Sirach, Whether it be to Friend or Foe, talk not of other Men’s Lives; and if thou canst, without Offence, reveal them not.130 We must not discourse his Faults, unless in a Gospel-way; and that too, to amend the Person, and not out of Passion, or Prejudice to expose him, but out of Love to his Soul. Yet we may speak of the evils of others, (1.) When called to do it, in a Legal or Gospel way; and it is a Sin then to conceal his Crime. (2.) Or when it is to prevent another, who is in danger to be Infected by his Company, or ill Example. (3.) Or in our own just Defence and Vindication. Moreover, consider the evil of Reproaching of others.

First as to the causes why some do it.

I. One Cause is from want of Love: Nay from Malice; and Hatred.

1. From the Baseness, ill Nature, and Cruelty of the accusers Disposition.

2. ’Tis occasioned from that itch, of talking and medling in the Affairs of other Men.

3. Or perhaps to raise their own Esteem and Honour, some Degrade their Brother; which is Abominable.

Consider it is theft, or Robbery; nay, and ‘tis worse than to Rob a Man of his Goods, because thou takest away that which perhaps thou canst not restore again.

Moreover consider, That such who reproach others, lay themselves open thereby to Reproach.

4. Moreover know, he that Receives, or Hearkens to the Scandal, is as Guilty as the Accuser; he is like a person that receives Stolen Goods, and so is as bad as the Thief.

This being one of the Grand and Notorious Evils of these Days I speak the more to it.

If you abominate this evil, and avoid it, you will shine in Grace and Vertue the more clearly.

Alas, in our days, some that would be thought to be great Professers stick not to vilifie Christ’s Ministers, even some of the best of Men; and are so full of Malice, they care not what wrong they do to their Brethren, nor to the truth it self, or interest of God, and so expose themselves to a lasting shame, and their Spirit, and Practice, to an abhorrance;131 they are like cursed Cham who discovered his Fathers nakedness;132 these persons violate all Laws, both Humane and Divine.

3ly. When they bear one anothers Burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ:133 And that you may do this, consider where is that Church in which there are no Burdens to be Born.

[Motives thus to do.]

1. Consider what a Burden Jesus Christ hath born for thee.

2. What a Burden thou hast to bear of thine own.134

3. Mayst not thou in some things be a Burden to thy Brethren?

4. Wouldst thou not have others bear thy Burden.

5. May not God cause thee to bear a more heavy Burden; because thou canst not bear thy Brother’s?

6. ’Tis a fulfilling the Law of Love, nay the Law of Christ.135

XV. The Glory and Beauty of a Congregation, is the more manifest, when the Authority of the Church, and the Dignity of the Pastoral Office is maintained. How great was the Evil of the gain-saying of Corah?136 The Apostle speaks of some that are Selfwilled Presumptious, who are not afraid to speak evil of Dignities.137

God has put a Glory and high Dignity upon the Church and in it’s Authority and Power; Whom ye bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven.

Moreover, the Pastoral Office, is an Office of Dignity; they are called Rulers, Angels, Fathers.138 For any therefore to cast contempt on the Church, or Pastor, is a great evil, and a reproach to Christ, and tends to Disorder and Confusion.139

Lastly, When Holiness, Righteousness, Charity, Humility, and all true Piety is prest upon the Consciences of every Member, and appears in the Minister: also that all strive to excell therein, with their uttermost Care and Diligences.140

Benjamin Keach- The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed (1697)

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 91

November 17, 2016 Leave a comment

TO MR. PASSMORE

[Undated.]

MY DEAR MR. PASSMORE, —

As you have to-day paid to me the largest amount I have ever received from your firm at one time, I seize the opportunity of saying, what I am sure you know already, that I am most sincerely thankful to God for putting me into your hands in my publishing matters. My connection with you has been one of unmingled satisfaction and pleasure. Your liberality has been as great as it has been spontaneous. Had I derived no personal benefit, it would have delighted me to see you prosper, for my interest in you is as deep as if you were my own brother, as indeed in the best sense you are. From you and your partner, I have received nothing but kindness, courtesy, and generosity. My share of profits has always exceeded my expectations, and the way it has been given has been ever more valuable than the money itself. God bless you both in your business and your families! May your health be recruited, and as long as we live, may we be on as near and dear terms as we ever have been! I am afraid I sometimes tease you when I grumble in my peculiar way; but I never intend anything but to let you know where a screw may be loose with your workmen, and not because I really have anything to complain of. Your growing welfare lies very near my heart, and nothing gives me more pleasure than to see you advance in prosperity.

I need not add my Christian love to you as my friend and deacon.

Yours ever truly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Beware of Imitations

November 16, 2016 Leave a comment

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Rev 12:11

The first thing the blood of the Lamb signifies is the death of the Son of God. Our Lord was not only bruised for our iniquities He was also put to death. As He took away our sins, His blood flowed at Calvary. His death is now our victory, our life, and our acquittal. It is the end of our rejection and the securing of our eternity. But beware of imitations. We don’t need Christ the good example. Christ the good example saves no one. If the Christ we believe in is not the Christ of the Cross, He is not the saving Christ who saves by blood. When we read the phrase, “The blood of the Lamb,” we are instantly reminded of the real Christ, the substitutionary sacrifice. His death was ours for He died, the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). In the Old Covenant, the sinner brought the lamb and the lamb died in His place. The Lamb was the sinner’s substitute. Today, as we, by faith, bring the Lamb to the Father, we discover that it is the Lamb who actually leads us to God.

As believers, we have the privilege to tell the story that God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). We are blessed to be able to tell of how He became one of us, a genuine human and died for human sin. In His death, He did not merely make it possible for God to forgive us but He secured forgiveness for all His people. He did not die to make His people saveable, but to actually and definitely save them. Christ came to put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26). As He died on the cross, He “finished transgressions, made an end of sin and brought in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24). What a Victory! There is now, therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). None! This is good news and music to our souls.

Frederick A. Tatford tells of how at a great Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago many years ago, practically every known religion was represented.

During one session, Dr. Joseph Cook, of Boston, suddenly rose and said: “Gentlemen, I beg to introduce to you a woman with a great sorrow. Bloodstains are on her hands, and nothing she has tried will remove them. The blood is that of murder. She has been driven to desperation in her distress. Is there anything in your religion that will eliminate her sin and give her peace?” A hush fell upon the gathering. Not one of the company replied.

Raising his eyes heavenwards, Dr. Cook then cried out, “John, can you tell this woman how to get rid of her awful sin?” The great preacher waited as if listening for a reply. Suddenly he cried, “Listen. John speaks: ’The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sins’ (I John 1:7).”

Not a soul broke the silence: the representatives of Eastern religions and Western cults sat dumb. In the face of human need, the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone could meet the need. Sin demands blood. Christ provided it.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com