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It is not every affecting view that men have of religious things that is this spiritual and divine light

I. I would show what this spiritual and divine light is. And in order to it, would show,

First, In a few things what it is not. And here,

4. It is not every affecting view that men have of religious things that is this spiritual and divine light. Men by mere principles of nature are capable of being affected with things that have a special relation to religion as well as other things. A person by mere nature, for instance, may be liable to be affected with the story of Jesus Christ, and the sufferings he underwent, as well as by any other tragical story. He may be the more affected with it from the interest he conceives mankind to have in it. Yea, he may be affected with it without believing it; as well as a man may be affected with what he reads in a romance, or sees acted in a stage-play. He may be affected with a lively and eloquent description of many pleasant things that attend the state of the blessed in heaven, as well as his imagination be entertained by a romantic description of the pleasantness of fairy land, or the like. And a common belief of the truth of such things, from education or otherwise, may help forward their affection. We read in Scripture of many that were greatly affected with things of a religious nature, who yet are there represented as wholly graceless, and many of them very ill men. A person therefore may have affecting views of the things of religion, and yet be very destitute of spiritual light. Flesh and blood may be the author of this: one man may give another an affecting view of divine things with but common assistance; but God alone can give a spiritual discovery of them. — But I proceed to show,

Secondly, Positively what this spiritual and divine light is. And it may be thus described: A true sense of the divine excellency of the things revealed in the word of God, and a conviction of the truth and reality of them thence arising. This spiritual light primarily consists in the former of these, viz. A real sense and apprehension of the divine excellency of things revealed in the word of God. A spiritual and saving conviction of the truth and reality of these things, arises from such a sight of their divine excellency and glory; so that this conviction of their truth is an effect and natural consequence of this sight of their divine glory. There is therefore in this spiritual light,

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 162

TO MESSRS. FULLERTON AND SMITH

MENTONE, 15/1/’84.

DEAR MR. FULLERTON, —

I am in such a position that I must even drive a willing horse beyond reason. I want a paper from you for the Conference.

I have been very ill; I am ill still; can barely sit up. Yet this Conference must be arranged, and I write therefore importunately. Do not deny me. I grant it is too bad, etc. — Grant much more, — I am thoughtless, cruel, tyrannical, mall that is bad.

Still, I beg you to say “Yes.” Some holy spiritual subject. Just handled in your own way.

I groan to see a devout, pleading, spiritual convocation.

You can help towards this as few can. I must be awfully despotic and say you must.

God bless you in Leicester. Best love to Smith and yourself. Oh, that the place may be saved! If any in it love the old truth, may God, our Lord, compel them to come out like men.

Yours heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Is Jesus Enough as your Pastor? (Part 1)

One of the best-loved Psalms in the Bible, Psalms 23, begins by pointing us to the sufficiency of Jesus, our Pastor. What it actually says is, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”(In Scripture, the Shepherds and Pastors are one and the same). Of course, when we say Jesus is our Pastor we do not preclude the ministry of earthly pastors or under-shepherds. On the contrary, God ordained pastors play a vital role in God’s purposes here on earth. We should, therefore, value them highly for their labour in the Lord. However, ultimately, we are the sheep of the Lord’s pasture and, as such, we belong exclusively to Him.

This is why we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. We are His, and ultimately He is our Pastor. If we would focus on Him, then there would be less fussing and fighting in our churches. We often have too high an expectation of the Church pastor. This can set us up for needless hurts. We easily forget that he is just another sinner saved by grace. He needs our prayers, love and support. Too many followers of Jesus, however, have ‘Roast Pastor’ for Sunday lunch and then wonder why their children grow up and separate themselves from the things of God.

Our eyes and expectancy need to be on Jesus. He is enough! Get the balance here; while we should support and care for our earthly pastors and obey them in the Lord, at the end of the day, they can never take the place of Jesus. Jesus is our Pastor, and He will never fail us. Someone in spiritual authority may fall short and hurt us, but never Jesus.

Think of it, the follower of Jesus is following a shepherd who is good. He is a pastor who knows each one of us and calls us by name. Are you satisfied with Him? Can you trust Him to lead you in life? Can you get your eyes off men and delight in Jesus, your Pastor? Listen to John MacDuff describe this excellent shepherd of ours; He says,

“Every individual believer—the weakest, the weariest, the faintest—has His attention. His loving eye follows us day by day out to the wilderness—marks out our pasture, studies our needs, and trials, and sorrows, and perplexities—every steep ascent, every brook, every winding path, every thorny thicket.”

No wonder, then, that the scriptures tell us that because Jesus is our Shepherd, we shall not want! Is He enough for us? Look at Him, there He is out in front of His flock leading us to eternal life. He knows the way for, not only has he been over every inch of its trail, He also is the Way.

What a shepherd! He knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-60). He knows our trials and temptations and can help us with every one of them for He has been through them. He has been reviled and rejected for no good reason. He has been slandered and falsely accused. He has been deeply hurt so He knows exactly how you feel. And here’s some good news, He became one of us so that He could faithfully shepherd us to glory (Hebrews 4:15).

Learn to trust Him even in the valley of the shadow of death. That place holds no mystery for Him. He makes the present shadows clear and the ancient darkness light. Follow the shepherd, not men. Respect men in spiritual leadership but always remember the best of men are men at best. Pray for them, hold them before the Lord. Remember, although they are spiritual shepherds, they are themselves sheep. Being that they are human, they have all the inbuilt abilities to fail and make mistakes. Why, then, get bent out of shape if they mess up? The only one who cannot fail is Jesus.

He is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

A Treatise on Church Order: Ministry- Administration of Baptism- Chapter VIII- Section II

CHAPTER VIII

THE MINISTRY

SECTION II.–ADMINISTRATION OF BAPTISM

The apostles were commissioned to preach, to baptize, and to teach. If the office held by ordinary ministers were identical with that held by the apostles, there would be no difficulty in deciding, that it includes the administration of baptism. But the apostolic office has ceased, and the work assigned to the apostles has devolved on inferior officers. The apostles could not, in person, preach, baptize, and teach, in every country of the world, and in every age till the end of time; but the commission made it their duty to provide for the full performance of this work; and their apostolic authority, guided by the infallible direction of the Holy Spirit, enabled them to make all necessary arrangements for carrying it into effect. Now, we cannot determine, from the commission itself, whether to preach, to baptize, and to teach, would be assigned, as distinct duties, to three distinct classes of officers; or whether they would be committed, without separation, to one class. For information on this point, we are left to inquire into the instructions given by the apostles by precept and example.

Some have argued, that, because preaching is a more important work than baptizing, the authority to preach necessarily includes authority to baptize. The greater, say they, must include the less. But this mode of argument is fallacious. The whole includes its parts, but the greater does not always include the less. A high dignitary of the realm may be guilty of usurpation, if he assumes the functions of an humble official. So, though preaching is a higher office than baptizing, it does not necessarily include it.

We learn that the Holy Spirit has called men to preach the gospel, by the qualifications which he has conferred; but we can have no proof of this sort, that the Holy Spirit has called any one to the work of baptizing. Spiritual qualifications are not required; and, if we have no other means of knowing, it may remain doubtful, whether the work may not be done by any one whom the candidate may select.

Among those who have held that baptism possesses a saving efficacy, it has often been a matter of pressing importance, to obtain the administration of it, in case of sickness, when a priest was not at hand. It has been held, that, in case of necessity, the rite may be administered by laymen, and even by women. Some persons who are free from such superstitious reliance on the outward ceremony, have held that any one who makes a disciple, may baptize him. According to this interpretation of the commission, it would be proper for a mother, whose instructions have been blessed to the conversion of her son, to be the administrator of his baptism. But this interpretation is inadmissible. If some of the work to which the apostles were specially appointed, may, to some extent, be performed by other persons, it does not follow, that these persons are invested in full with the apostolic commission.

The commission specifies duties, for the performance of which the apostles were to provide. One of these was the administration of baptism. They were commanded, not to make disciples and teach them the duty of being baptized; but to make disciples and baptize them. The administration of the rite was to be their care; and, where they could not perform it in their own person, it was made their duty to provide for its performance. This reasoning proves satisfactorily, that the administration was not designed to be left to any one whom the candidate might select; and it is confirmed by the words of Paul: “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” These words imply, that Christ had sent some persons to baptize. The duty was to be performed; and these words, taken in connection with the fact that John the Baptist and the other apostles were commanded to baptize, confirm the deduction that the work was to be done by agents provided.

On the question, whether the administration of baptism is necessarily included in the commission to preach, or necessarily connected with it, the words of Paul just quoted, throw some light. The word translated “sent,” is the verb from which the word apostle is derived; and, as used by Paul in this passage, it imports that Christ had not given to Paul an apostolic commission to baptize, but to preach the gospel. On comparing the commission given to him, with that given to the other apostles, the difference in this particular is apparent. This proves that the offices of preaching and baptizing were not inseparable. Had the greater included the less, the authority and obligation to baptize were included in Paul’s commission, and he could not have said with literal truth, “Christ sent me not to baptize.” To understand the passage to signify nothing more than that baptism was a less important part of the work which Paul was authorized to perform, does not satisfy the literal import of the words, and it is a departure, without necessity, from the literal interpretation, which is fully sustained by a comparison of Paul’s commission with that of the other apostles. Moreover, the literal import best agrees with the context, since, according to it, the fact alleged by Paul cut off, from those whom he had baptized, all plea to claim him on that account as an apostle for their party leader. If in baptizingthem, he had not acted as an apostle, the fact gave them no pretext to claim him as a party leader in that high character. Had Paul’s state of mind permitted him to preach on the next day after Jesus appeared to him, and gave him his commission, he was authorized to preach; but not to administer baptism. Yet he did afterwards baptize Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas; and he must have obtained authority to do this in some way. In what way? If not by extraordinary commission, it must have been in the ordinary way, in which others received authority to baptize. He received the command to be baptized himself, in the ordinary way, and he honored and obeyed the command. In the same way, he must have received the authority under which he acted, in the administration of baptism.

Although baptizing is not necessarily connected with preaching and teaching; yet the manner in which it is conjoined with them in the commission, appears to indicate that the connection is suitable. No separate class of officers is anywhere provided in the New Testament, for administering the rite, and yet, if we have reasoned correctly, the apostles were under obligation to provide for it. We are led to the conclusion, that this provision was made, in the ordinary method instituted for transmitting the ministerial office. Paul had committed the office to Timothy, in the presence of many witnesses, by the laying on of his hands, and the hands of the presbytery. Timothy was, in like manner, to commit the office to others, and enjoin on them the same duties which Paul had enjoined on him. There was a fitness in the arrangement that this ceremonial induction into office, should add the ceremonial authority to baptize. It cannot be proved to be given, in the internal call of the Spirit. It was not given in the extraordinary commission of Paul. If Paul received it in the ordinary way, whether in his being set apart at Antioch, or in some similar service at some previous time, we have this point established:–the authority to administer baptism is conferred in the ordinary course of the ministerial succession, when an individual, called by the Holy Spirit to the ministry of the word, is publicly set apart to this service. The process of reasoning by which we reach this conclusion, is less clear and direct than that which many other subjects admit; but it is sufficiently clear to determine our practice, in the absence of explicit instruction from the holy oracles. We have, moreover, the satisfaction of knowing that this course of procedure has been generally adopted in the churches which have conformed in their order most nearly to the Scriptures.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2

Another means and method employed by the Spirit to arrest our attention and focus our minds upon distinct portions of the Truth is His use of a great number of “figures of speech”

Another means and method employed by the Spirit to arrest our attention and focus our minds upon distinct portions of the Truth is His use of a great number of “figures of speech.” In them He has arranged words and phrases in an unusual manner for the purpose of more deeply impressing the reader with what is said. The learned author of The Companion Bible (now almost unobtainable) dealt more fully with this subject than any English writer, and from him we now select one or two examples. The figure of anabasis or graduation, in which there is the working up to a climax, as in

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:33, 34).

So again in 2 Peter 1:5-7, “add to your faith virtue… charity.” The opposite figure is that of catabasis or gradual descent, a notable instance of which is found in Philippians 2:6-8.

The more common form of emphasis is that of repetition. This is found in the Word in quite a variety of ways, as in the doubling of a name: “Abraham, Abraham” (Genesis 22:11). There were six other individuals whom the Lord thus addressed: “Jacob, Jacob” (46:2), “Moses, Moses” (Exodus 3:4), “Samuel, Samuel” (1 Samuel 3:10), “Martha, Martha” (Luke 10:41), “Simon, Simon” (22:10), “Saul, Saul” (Acts 9:4). Then there was our Lord’s pathetic “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem” (Matthew 23:37), and His cry of anguish, “My God, My God” (Matthew 27:46); as there will yet be the urgent “Lord, Lord” of the lost (Luke 13:25). Such intensified forms of expression as “the holy of holies,” “the song of songs, vanity of vanities,” and the unspeakable “for ever and ever,” express the same principle. Again,

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14);

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Yet more emphatic is the “holy, holy, holy” of Isaiah 6:3, the

“O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord” (Jeremiah 22:29), and because it will not, the “I will overturn, overturn, overturn” (Ezekiel 21:27), with the resultant

“Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth” (Revelation 8:13).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Unbelief has been severely punished

4. Our next remark is-unbelief has been severely punished. Turn you to the Scriptures! I see a world all fair and beautiful; its mountains laughing in the sun, and the fields rejoicing in the golden light. I see maidens dancing, and young men singing. How fair the vision! But lo! a grave and reverend sire lifts up his hand, and cries, “A flood is coming to deluge the earth: the fountains of the great deep will be broken up, and all things will be covered. See yonder ark! One hundred and twenty years have I toiled with these my hands to build it; flee there, and you are safe.” “Aha! old man; away with your empty predictions! Aha! let us be happy while we may! when the flood comes, then we will build an ark- but there is no flood conning; tell that to fools; we believe no such things.” See the unbelievers pursue their merry dance. Hark! Unbeliever. Dost thou not hear that rumbling noise? Earth’s bowels have begun to move, her rocky ribs are strained by dire convulsions from within; lo! they break with the enormous strain, and forth from between them torrents rush unknown since God concealed them in the bosom of our world. Heaven is split in sunder! It rains. Not drops, but clouds descend. A cataract, like that of old Niagara, rolls from heaven with mighty noise. Both firmaments, both deeps-the deep below and the deep above-do clasp their hands. Now unbelievers, where are you now? There is your last remnant. A man — his wife clasping him round the waist — stands on the last summit that is above the water. See him there? The water is up to his loins even now. Hear his last shriek! He is floating — he is drowned. And as Noah looks from the ark he sees nothing. Nothing! It is a void profound. “Sea monsters whelp and stable in the palaces of kings.” All is overthrown, covered, drowned. What hath done it? What brought the flood upon the earth? Unbelief. By faith Noa escaped from the flood. By unbelief the rest were drowned.

And, oh! do you not know that unbelief kept Moses and Aaron out of Canaan? They honored not God — they struck the rock when they ought to have spoken to it. They disbelieved: and therefore the punishment came upon them, that they should not inherit that good land, for which they had toiled and labored.

Let me take you where Moses and Aaron dwelt-to the vast and howling wilderness. We will walk about it for a time; sons of the weary foot, we will become like the wandering Bedouins, we will tread the desert for a while. There lies a carcase whitened in the sun- there another, and there another. What means these bleached bones? What are these bodies-there a man, and there a woman? What are all these? How came these corpses here? Surely some grand encampment must have been here cut off in a single night by a blast, or by bloodshed. Ah, no, no. Those bones are the bones of Israel; those skeletons are the old tribes of Jacob. They could not enter because of unbelief. They trusted not in God. Spies said they could not conquer the land. Unbelief was the cause of their death. It was not the Anakims that destroyed Israel; it was not the howling wilderness which devoured them; it was not the Jordan which proved a barrier to Canaan, neither Hivite or Jebusite slew them; it was unbelief alone which kept them out of Canaan. What a doom to be pronounced on Israel, after forty years of journeying: they could not enter because of unbelief!

Not to multiply instances, recollect Zechariah. He doubted, and the angel struck him dumb. His mouth was closed because of unbelief. But Oh! If you would have the worst picture of the effects of unbelief if you would see how God has punished it, I must take you to the siege of Jerusalem, that worst massacre which time has ever seen, when the Romans raised the walls to the ground, and put the whole of the inhabitants to the sword, or sold them as slaves in the market-place. Have you never read of the destruction of Jerusalem, by Titus? Did you never turn to the tragedy of Masada, when the Jews stabbed each other rather than fall into the hands of the Romans? Do you not know, that to this day the Jew walks through the earth a wanderer, without a home and without a land? He is cut off, as a branch is cut from a vine — and why? Because of unbelief. Each time ye see a Jew with a sad and sombre countenance-each time ye mark him like a denizen of another land, treading as an exile this our country-each time ye see him, pause and say, “Ah! it was unbelief which caused thee to murder Christ, and now it has driven thee to be a wanderer; and faith alone — faith in the crucified Nazarene — can fetch thee back to thy country, and restore it to its ancient grandeur.” Unbelief, you see, has the Cain mark upon its forehead. God hates it — God has dealt hard blows upon it: and God will ultimately crush it. Unbelief dishonors God. Every other crime touches God’s territory; but unbelief aims a blo at his divinity, impeaches his veracity, denies his goodness, blasphemes his attributes, maligns his character; therefore, God of all things, hates first and chiefly, unbelief, wherever it is.

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

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This spiritual light is not the suggesting of any new truths or propositions not contained in the word of God

I. I would show what this spiritual and divine light is. And in order to it, would show,

First, In a few things what it is not. And here,

3. This spiritual light is not the suggesting of any new truths or propositions not contained in the word of God. This suggesting of new truths or doctrines to the mind, independent of any antecedent revelation of those propositions, either in word or writing, is inspiration; such as the prophets and apostles had, and such as some enthusiasts pretend to. But this spiritual light that I am speaking of, is quite a different thing from inspiration. It reveals no new doctrine, it suggests no new proposition to the mind, it teaches no new thing of God, or Christ, or another world, not taught in the Bible, but only gives a due apprehension of those things that are taught in the word of God.

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.]