Archive

Archive for September, 2017

There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints

September 29, 2017 6 comments

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do i them. The souls of the wicked are in scripture compared to the troubled sea, Isaiah 57:20. For the present, God restrains their wickedness by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of the troubled sea, saying, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;” but if God should withdraw that restraining power, it would soon carry all before it. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the heart of man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and while wicked me live here, it is like fire pent up by God’s restraints, whereas if it were let loose, it would set on fire the course of nature; and as the heart is now a sink of sin, so if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Advertisements

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 136

September 28, 2017 Leave a comment

TO MR. JOSHUA KEEVIL

WESTWOOD, July 30, 1889.

DEAR MR. KEEVIL, —

We are greatly indebted to you for the loan of the horse, for so long; but we are both of opinion that we ought to pay something. We are more than willing to do so. You are kindness itself, but I don’t see why you should find a horse for me.

In any case we thank you heartily for your perpetual kindnesses, and we value beyond all price the love from which they flow. The Lord reward you according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Yours in deep gratitude,

C. H. SPURGEON.

A Treatise on Church Order: Introduction

September 27, 2017 Leave a comment

INTRODUCTION

OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST

To love God with all the heart is the sum of all duty. Love must be exercised according to the relations which we bear. When a parent loves his child, he feels bound to exercise parental authority over it for its benefit; but the love of a child towards a parent requires obedience. So love to God produces obedience; for it is impossible to love God supremely without a supreme desire to please him in all things. Hence this one principle contains, involved in it, perfect obedience to every divine requirement.

The loveliness of the divine character is not abated, by being exhibited in the humble nature of man, in the person of Jesus Christ. In him the glory of the Father appears, claiming our supreme affections; and he is invested with the Father’s authority, to which perfect obedience is due. The divine perfections are rendered snore intelligible to us by his mediation; and, in proportion to the clearness of the discovery, the obligation to love and obey becomes increased.

A powerful motive, to love and obey Christ, is drawn from the love which he has manifested in dying for us. Paul felt this in an overpowering degree, when he said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”[1] The same overpowering impulse to love and obedience, is brought to view in another declaration of this apostle: “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, thee were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”[2] When our love to the Saviour grows cold we should repair to his cross, and fix our thoughts on the exhibition of love there presented. And when we feel our hearts melt, the recollection that the suffering Saviour is God over all, must produce a full purpose to yield to him the obedience of all our powers during our whole existence. From the cross we come forth to be Christ’s, resolved to glorify him with our bodies and our spirits, which are his.

Jesus said to his disciples, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” This claim of obedience is cordially admitted by every true disciple. When the first emotion of love to Christ throbbed in the heart of the persecuting Saul, he inquired, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

The first disciples were required to serve their Lord and Master by strenuous efforts to spread his religion through the world; and the same obligation devolves on us. He came to be the Saviour of the world; and, notwithstanding the humility of his appearance, and the feebleness of the instrumentality which he chose, the religion of the despised Nazarene must prevail over the earth, and bless every nation of mankind. The conquest of the world has not yet been achieved, but the work is before us; and, if we are loyal subjects of Zion’s King, we must give ourselves to its accomplishment.

The means which our King employs, for diffusing the blessings of his reign, are not such as human wisdom would have adopted. It has pleased the Lord, “by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.” It has seemed good to infinite wisdom, that the religion which is to bless mankind, should be propagated by the simple instrumentality of the Christian ministry and the Christian churches. If we seek military force, or legislative enactments, to accomplish the work, we turn away from the simplicity of Christ, and convert his kingdom into one of this world; and, whenever human wisdom has attempted, in any particular, to improve the simple means that Christ ordained, the progress of truth and righteousness has been impeded.

Much that has existed, and that now exists, among the professed followers of Christ, cannot be contemplated by one who sincerely loves him, without deep distress. Different creeds, and different ecclesiastical organizations, have divided those who bear his name into hostile parties, and Christianity has been disgraced, and its progress retarded. The world has seen hatred and persecution where brotherly love ought to have been exhibited; and Christ has been crucified afresh, and put to open shame, by those who claim to be his disciples.

For these evils, what shall be the remedy? Shall we look to the wisdom of this world, to devise the cure? Human wisdom did not originate the institutions of Christianity; and it is now unable to give them efficiency. We must return to the feet of our divine Master, and again receive his instructions. Let us, in the spirit of obedient disciples, inquire for the good old paths, that we may walk therein. No individual can accomplish everything; but it is his duty to do what he can. Let each one show that he possesses the spirit of Christ, and carefully obey all the commands of Christ. If he cannot cure the existing evils, he will, at least, not increase them; and the influence of his example may produce salutary effects beyond his most sanguine hopes.

The true spirit of obedience is willing to receive the slightest intimations of the divine will. All the truths of Revelation are not equally clear; yet none of them may be disregarded because of difficulty in their investigation. If some most needful to be known, are presented prominently on the inspired pages, and written in characters so large that he who runs may read; there are others which are discoverable only by diligent search. Yet the truths, thus discovered, are precious gems dug from an exhaustless mine; and even the very labor of discovery brings its own reward in the mental and spiritual discipline which it furnishes. The diligent student of the Scriptures derives an abundant recompense for his toil, not only from the enlarged and clearer views of divine truth to which he attains, but also from that constant exercise of humility and faith, for which he finds occasion at every step of his progress.

As the truths of revelation differ in the clearness with which they are exhibited, so our faith embraces them with different degrees of strength. A man who does not investigate for himself, may receive, with unwavering confidence, and maintain, with obstinate pertinacity, every dogma of his party: but he who uses his own powers in the search after truth, will find some things to be received as undoubted articles of faith, others as opinions to be held with various degrees of confidence, according to the strength of evidence with which they have been severally presented to the mind. By not furnishing overpowering evidence on every question of faith and practice, the divine wisdom has given scope for the moral dispositions of men to exert their influence. A careful inquiry respecting the minutest portions of duty, and a fixed determination to observe the will of God in every particular, may exhibit proofs of obedience more strong and decisive, than would be possible, if all truth and duty were discovered by intuition.

Our obedience to Christ should be universal. The tithing of mint, anise, and cummin, is of less moment than the weightier matters of law, judgment, mercy, and faith; but it is not therefore to be disregarded. Christ taught that both were to be observed. “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. [3] Church order and the ceremonials of religion, are less important than a new heart; and in the view of some, any laborious investigation of questions respecting them may appear to be needless and unprofitable. But we know, from the Holy Scriptures, that Christ gave commands on these subjects, and we cannot refuse to obey. Love prompts our obedience; and love prompts also the search which may be necessary to ascertain his will. Let us, therefore, prosecute the investigation” which are before us, with a fervent prayer, that the Holy Spirit, who guides into all truth, may assist us to learn the will of him whom we supremely love and adore.

[1] Gal. ii. 20

[2] 2 Cor. v. 14, 15.

[3] Matt. xxiii. 23.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2

It is ever to be borne in mind that there is a fullness, as well as a depth, in the words of God which pertains not to those of men, so that rarely will a single and brief definition adequately explain a scriptural term

September 26, 2017 Leave a comment

22. Double reference and meaning. It is ever to be borne in mind that there is a fullness, as well as a depth, in the words of God which pertains not to those of men, so that rarely will a single and brief definition adequately explain a scriptural term. For that reason we must constantly be on our guard against limiting the scope of any Divinely inspired statement, and saying that it means only so and so. Thus, when we are told that God made man in His own image and likeness, those words probably have at least a fourfold allusion.

First, to the incarnation of the Son, for He is distinctly designated the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

Second, to man’s being a tripartite creature, for “God said, Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26)—a trinity in unity, consisting of “spirit and soul and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Third, in His moral likeness, which man lost at the fall, but which is restored at regeneration (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).

Fourth, to the position assigned man and the authority with which he was invested: “let them have dominion over” (Genesis 1:26). Adam was a “god” or ruler, under the Lord, of all mundane creatures.

In view of what has been pointed out, it is evident that the favorite dictum of Dispensationalist —“application is manifold, interpretation but one”—is erroneous, for the above are not four interpretations of the “image of God” from which we may choose, but the actual fourfold meaning of the term itself. To say that “interpretation is but one” is also flatly contradicted by our Lord’s explanation of the parable of the sower, for when He defined its terms He gave three or four different significations to the “thorns”— compare Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:18, 19; Luke 8:14. We are in hearty accord with paragraph nine in the opening chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith, when it says, “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly,” except that we dissent from the limitation mentioned in the parentheses. We much prefer to side with Joseph Caryl (one of the framers of the Westminster Confession), who, when commenting on a verse the words of which were susceptible of various meanings, and which had been diversely explained by expositors, said, “In a Scripture which may, without the impeachment of any truth, admit divers sense, I would not be so positive in one as to reject all others.”

Even if it were true that the grammatical meaning of a verse be only one, nevertheless it may have a double reference, as is certainly the case with some of the prophecies in Holy writ, which possess a major and a minor fulfillment. In his introduction to the book of Revelation in Ellicottcommentary, when writing upon prophecy, its annotator said, “The words of God mean more than one man or one school of thought can compass. There are depths of Truth unexplored which lie beneath the simplest sentences. Just as we are wont to say that history repeats itself, so the predictions of the Bible are not exhausted in one or even many fulfillments. Each prophecy is a single key which unlocks many doors, and the grand and stately drama of the Apocalypse has been played out perchance in one age to be repeated in the next.” We greatly fear that it is nothing but narrow-minded partisanship which has caused so many to disdain such a concept, and made them reject all other interpretations which accord not with their own particular system. David said, “Thy commandment is exceeding broad” (Psalm 119:96): let us see to it that we do not contract or limit the same.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Man is a double being: he is composed of body and soul, and each of the portions of man may receive injury and hurt

September 25, 2017 1 comment

We will not delay you by a preface, but will come at once to the two thoughts; First, here is a great ill-a broken heart; and secondly, a great mercy-”he healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Man is a double being: he is composed of body and soul, and each of the portions of man may receive injury and hurt. The wounds of the body are extremely painful, and if they amount to a breaking of the frame the torture is singularly exquisite. Yet God has in his mercy provided means whereby wounds may be healed and injuries repaired. The soldier who retires from the battle-field, knows that he shall find a hand to extricate the shot, and certain ointments and liniments to heal his wounds. We very speedily care for bodily diseases; they are too painful to let us slumber in silence; and they soon urge us to seek a physician or a surgeon for our healing. Oh, if we were as much alive to the more serious wounds of our inner man; if we were as deeply sensible of spiritual injuries, how earnestly should we cry to “the Beloved Physician,” and how soon should we prove his power to save. Stabbed in the most vital part by the hand of our original parent, and from head to foot disabled by our own sin, we yet remain as insensible as steel, careless and unmoved, because though our wounds are known they are not felt. We should count that soldier foolish, who would be more anxious to repair a broken helmet than an injured limb. Are not we even more to be condemned, when we give precedence to the perishing fabric of the body, and neglect the immortal soul? You, however, who have broken hearts, can no longer be insensible; you have felt too acutely to slumber in indifference. Your bleeding spirit cries for consolation: may my glorious Master give me word in season for you. We intend to address you upon the important subject of broken hearts, and the great healing provided for them.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Healing the Wounded” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, November 11, 1855

The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him

September 22, 2017 2 comments

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

5. The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke 11:12. The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 135

September 21, 2017 Leave a comment

TO MR. JOSHUA KEEVIL

WESTWOOD, April 5, 1888.

DEAR FRIEND, —

Where shall I find another heart so true, or warm as yours? I have been made ill by the heavy strain upon me, but love like yours is a cordial medicine. God bless you, dear Mr. Keevil! Your noble gift will help to bring up the Supper Gifts to an amount which will cheer my heart …. Thank you a thousand times over. I pray the Lord to prosper you, and bless your substance.

How kind of you to take in so many men! They will get plenty of corn and clover.

Yours very heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.