Archive

Archive for November, 2018

Example 1 of the ‘Law of Progress’

November 13, 2018 Leave a comment

As we pointed out nearly forty years ago, the above-named principle is strikingly and blessedly illustrated in connection with the Lamb. In Genesis 22:8, the lamb is prophesied: “God will provide Himself a lamb.” In Exodus 12 the lamb is clearly typified, as “without blemish,” whose blood provided shelter from the destroying angel, and whose flesh was to be the food of God’s people. In Isaiah 53:7, the lamb is definitely personified: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” In John 1:29, we find the lamb identified, as pointing to Him, Christ’s forerunner announced “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” In 1 Peter 1:19, mention is made of Him as the lamb that was crucified: “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” In Revelation 5:6, we see the Lamb glorified, for the seer of Patmos was privileged to behold in heaven, standing, “a Lamb as it had been slain.” While in Revelation 22:1, we see the Lamb satisfied: “And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” With these we may link the progressive scope seen in the validity of Christ’s sacrifice. In Genesis 4:4, for the individual; in Exodus 12:3, for the “house” or family; in Leviticus 16:21, for the nation; in Ephesians 5:25, for the Church or the whole election of grace.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Advertisements

God the Holy Ghost is a faithful Comforter

November 12, 2018 Leave a comment

But next he is a faithful Comforter. Love sometimes proves unfaithful. “Oh! sharper than a serpent’s tooth “is an unfaithful friend! Oh! far more bitter than the gall of bitterness, to have a friend to turn from me in my distress! Oh! woe of woes, to have one who loves me in my prosperity forsake me in the dark day of my trouble. Sad indeed but such is not God’s Spirit. He ever loves, and loves even to the end-a faithful Comforter. Child of God you are in trouble. A little while ago you found him a sweet and loving Comforter; you obtained relief from him when others were but broken cisterns; he sheltered you in his bosom, and carried you in his arms. Oh, wherefore dost thou distrust him now? Away with thy fears! for he is a faithful Comforter. “Ah! but “thou sayest, “I fear I shall be sick and shall be deprived of his ordinances.” Nevertheless, he shall visit thee on thy sick bed, and sit by thy side to give the consolation. “Ah! but I have distresses greater than you can conceive of, wave upon wave rolleth over me; deep calleth unto deep at the noise of the Eternal’s waterspouts.” Nevertheless, he will be faithful to his promise. “Ah! but I have sinned.” So thou hast, but sin cannot sever thee from his love; he loves thee still. Think not, O poor downcast child of God, because the scars of thine old sins have marred thy beauty, that he loves thee less because of that blemish. Oh, no! He loved thee when he foreknew thy sin; he loved thee with the knowledge of what the aggregate of thy wickedness would be; and he does not love the less now. Come to him in all boldness of faith; tell him thou hast grieved him, and he will forget thy wandering, and will receive thee again; the kisses of his love shall be bestowed upon thee, and the arms of his grace shall embrace thee. He is faithful: trust him; he will never deceive you; trust him; he will never leave you.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 4e-The Covenant of Redemption

The contracting parties appear distinctly before your mind. This part of our subject, however, demands somewhat more of particularity.

It is plain that man could not have been one of these parties, since, as we have seen, the covenant was made before the foundation of the world, and he, of course, was not then in being. His happiness was indeed its object, but in its formation be could assuredly have had no active participation. But even had this been otherwise, his fulfillment of the necessary terms of redemption would have been impossible. None but a divine person could do this, who joining himself to our nature, could bear Almighty wrath, and “magnify the law” by a perfect obedience. Angels could not, for the same reasons, have been parties to this covenant. They excel men in the spirituality of their essence, and the extent of their powers. Still, like men, their nature is too limited. And, besides, they belong to another class of beings, who never could, either by incarnation, or in any other manner, become so related to us as to accomplish the design proposed. Who then were the parties covenanting? They were, I answer, the same who in the beginning said, “Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness.” They were God, as he has made himself known to us, in the exalted persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Truly, “The Lord our God is one Lord,” and “besides him there is no other.” But it is equally true that, for the purpose of redeeming us, he has revealed himself in the form of a glorious Trinity, all the persons of whom are “the same in essence, and equal in divine properties.” To one of these sin was in every sense as offensive as to another. The honor of each was alike engaged to demand its rebuke and punishment. The concurrence of all was, therefore, alike necessary to any expedient by which the penalty might be averted from those by whom sin should be committed. Nor was this concurrence difficult, since the love which impelled to redemption; burned with equal intensity in the hearts of each. The promise of eternal life was indeed made by the Father, but it was not exclusively his. It was equally expressive of the goodness of both the other persons in the Godhead. And also the life promised was, in its nature, to be the enjoyment no less of the love and favor of the Son, and of the Spirit, than of the Father. When, therefore, John prayed for grace, and peace, for the churches of Asia, he supplicated them not only from “Him who was, and is, and is to come,” that is, the Father, but also from the Holy Ghost, whom he calls on account of the variety and fullness of his gifts, “The seven Spirits which are before the throne;” and “from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” Each was alike interested, since the covenant was in its practical development, to vindicate the right, and to manifest the glory of all. Redemption was, therefore, the result of the united wisdom, and grace, of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 194

TO YOUNG PEOPLE

To Mr. Charlesworth with thanks for his letters and heartiest regards to himself and all the staff. This is my word to the Boys and Girls.

1888.

DEAR GIRLS AND BOYS, —

I wish you a merry Christmas. Think of me as I shall think of you when you are eating the plum pudding. Don’t eat too much, but enjoy yourselves over head and ears.

I hope you have each one deserved a thousand good marks during the year. Mr. Ladds always gives you good characters. But I don’t think even he will dare to say that no boy is up to mischief, and that all the girls are quiet at all times. I think you are better than the average laddies and lassies, and this makes me feel very happy about you. God bless you and make you noble men and women in due time. I wonder which boys and girls will be missionaries. Certainly not all, but all may be useful Christians. May the loving Jesus make you so.

Give the Trustees three cheers, and do the same for the friends who give the shillings, the figs and other things. I will be listening about two o’clock and if I hear you cheering I will cheer too, and if you hear my voice you will hear me say “Another cheer for Mr. Charlesworth, the matrons and the masters, etc.”

Bless God when you go to bed for giving you a happy day and ask Him to make you His own children.

Yours lovingly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 1)

No Priest but Christ

Hebrews 7:25

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them”.

A man in Southern India once asked a missionary to make him a promise. He explained how that, every day, he prayed for his own soul and asked the missionary if, when he, the Indian, died, the missionary would continue this practice for him. When the missionary asked why he would need to do that, the man replied that he was full of doubt and anxiety. He thought that, if this missionary would just pray for him every day, then surely God would let him into heaven and forgive his sins. How sad! This poor man felt he needed someone to intercede for him. He needed a priest … a go-between. And yes, the truth is the dear man did need a priest, an intercessor. But the only mediator who is effective in this business of salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is the God/Man … God in human flesh. He alone can bring us to the Father and bring the Father to us. Relying, for eternal life on anyone or anything other than Christ is to fail to grasp the Gospel. The belief the dear Indian man held was in actual fact unbelief. It is sad to say that there are still so many looking to multiplied mediators other than Christ

I once attended the funeral of a dear Roman Catholic lady and during the funeral service, all kinds of mediators were presented to the Father for His consideration. God was asked to consider the good works of the deceased. That’s one mediator. Then deceased ‘holy saints’ were called upon to add their intercession. That’s a host more mediators. Finally, the Virgin Mary was asked for her prayers and intercession. These dear people did not seem to realize there is no mediator but the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Christ is qualified and powerful enough to bring us to Glory.

There is no pledge of Salvation without a proper priest and the priest we need died for us. But a dead priest is of no use to anyone. That’s why the one true priest did not remain dead, He is alive. He rose from the dead and now ever-lives to apply the entire benefits of His finished work to us. That is why so many religious people have no assurance of salvation. They are looking to sinful, sacrificing priests to get them into heaven. These dear ones cannot say with any confidence that, “Yes, I am a Christian. Christ died for me, He cleansed my sins. He took them away. He was buried. He rose from the dead for me. He is my priest, He is my righteousness and I will be with Him forever.

“Hands off, ye priests! Ye are too feeble for such weights as ours. Our sins are too stupendous for your puny strength. But the Lord comes with his own right hand of majesty, puts away our sins and lifts them on to Christ, and Christ comes and flings them into his sepulcher, and they are gone and buried forever:” Spurgeon

Some say that present-day priests are substitutes for Christ. But this is an awful attack on the Lord Jesus. Why? It’s simple, He needs no substitute. We need no other priest to represent us before God than the Lord Jesus. There are no special religious orders of men or women in any land who can present us to the Father. We have but one priest and He lives forever. If any man calls himself a priest (other than in the sense that all the redeemed are non-mediatorial priests), he takes too much honour upon himself. He is no mediator of salvation. He is an intruder who claims a priesthood which does not belong to him.

Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30.) Christ has never said and will never say to any sinner, “Go to the priest and he will give you rest.” But he has said, “Come to me.” There is no Priest but Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XI-Unconditional Election-Continued-B

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XI

Unconditional Election [contd]

State of the Heathens

The fact that, in the providential working of God, some men are left without the Gospel and the other means of grace virtually involves the principle set forth in the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination. We see that in all ages the greater portion of mankind has been left destitute even of the external means of grace. For centuries the Jews, who were very few in number, were the only people to whom God was pleased to make any special revelation of Himself. Jesus confined His public ministry almost exclusively to them and forbade his disciples to go among others until after the day of Pentecost (Mat_10:5, Mat_10:6; Mat_28:19; Mar_16:15; Act_1:4). Multitudes were left with no chance to hear the Gospel, and consequently died in their sins. If God had intended to save them undoubtedly he would have sent them the means of salvation. If he had chosen to Christianize India and China a thousand years ago, He most certainly could have accomplished His purpose. Instead, they were left in gross darkness and unbelief. The past and present state of the world with all its sin, misery, and death, can have no other explanation than that given in Scripture, — namely, that the race fell in Adam and that in mercy God has sovereignly chosen to bring an innumerable multitude to salvation through a redemption which He has Himself provided. It is a perverted and dishonoring view of God to imagine Him struggling along with disobedient men, doing the best He can to convert them, but not able to accomplish His purpose.

If the Arminian theory were true, namely, that Christ died for all men and that the benefits of His death are actually applied to all men we would expect to find that God had made some provision for the Gospel to be communicated to all men. The problem of the heathens, who live and die without the Gospel, has always been a thorny one for the Arminians who insist that all men have sufficient grace if they will but make use of it. Few will deny that salvation is conditioned on the person hearing and accepting the Gospel. The Christian Church has been practically of one mind in declaring that the heathens as a class are lost. That such is the clear teaching of the Bible we can easily show: —

“And in none other is there salvation; for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved,” Act_4:12. “As many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law,” Rom_2:12. “Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,” 1Co_3:11. “I am the vine, ye are the branches; apart from me ye can do nothing,” Joh_15:5. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me,” Joh_14:6. “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him,” Joh_3:36. “He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life,” 1Jo_5:12, “And this is eternal life, that they should know thee the only true God, and Him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ,” Joh_17:3. “Without faith it is Impossible to be well-pleasing to God,” Heb_11:6. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Rom_10:13, Rom_10:14 (or, in other words, how can the heathens possibly be saved when they have never even heard of Christ who is the only means of salvation ?). “Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have not life in yourselves,” Joh_6:53. When the watchman sees danger coming but does not give the people warning they perish in their iniquity, Ezekiel 33:8, — true, the watchman will be held responsible, yet that does not change the fate of the people. Jesus declared that even the Samaritans who had far higher privileges than the nations outside of Palestine, worshipped they knew not what, and that salvation was of the Jews. See also the first and second chapters of Romans. The Scriptures, then, are plain in declaring that under ordinary conditions those who have not Christ and the Gospel are lost.

And in accordance with this the Westminster Confession, after stating that those who reject Christ cannot be saved, adds: “Much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess . . .” (X:4).

In fact the belief that the heathens without the Gospel are lost has been one of the strongest arguments in favor of foreign missions. If we believe that their own religions contain enough light and truth to save them, the importance of preaching the Gospel to them is greatly lessened. Our attitude toward foreign missions is determined pretty largely by the answer which we give to this question.

We do not deny that God can save some even of the adult heathen people if He chooses to do so, for His Spirit works when and where and how He pleases, with means or without means. If any such are saved, however, it is by a miracle of pure grace. Certainly God’s ordinary method is to gather His elect from the evangelized portion of mankind, although we must admit the possibility that by an extraordinary method some few of His elect may be gathered from the unevangelized portion. (The fate of those who die in infancy in heathen lands will be discussed under the subject, “Infant Salvation,” p. 143).

It is unreasonable to suppose that people can appropriate to themselves something concerning which they know nothing. We readily see that so far as the pleasures and joys and opportunities in this world are concerned the heathens are largely passed by; and on the same principle we would expect them to be passed by in the next world also. Those who are providentially placed in the pagan darkness of western China can no more accept Christ as Savior than they can accept the radio, the airplane, or the Copernican system of astronomy, things concerning which they are totally ignorant. When God places people in such conditions we may be sure that He has no more intention that they shall be saved than He has that the soil of northern Siberia, which is frozen all the year round, shall produce crops of wheat. Had he intended otherwise He would have supplied the means leading to the designed end. There are also multitudes in the nominally Christian lands to whom the Gospel has never been presented in any adequate way, who have not even the outward means of salvation, to say nothing of the helpless state of their heart.

This, of course, does not mean that all of the lost shall suffer the same degree of punishment. We believe that from a common zero point there will be all degrees of reward and all degrees of punishment, and that a person’s reward or punishment will, to a certain extent, be based on the opportunity that he has had in this world. Jesus Himself declared that in the day of judgment it would be more tolerable for the heathen city of Sodom than for those cities of Palestine which had heard and rejected His message (Luk_10:12-14); and He closed the parable of the faithful and unfaithful servants with the words: “And that servant, who knew his lord’s will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more,” Luk_12:47, Luk_12:48. So while the heathens are lost, they shall suffer relatively less than those who have heard and rejected the Gospel.

Hence in regard to this problem of the heathen races, Arminians are, at the very outset, involved in difficulties which subvert their whole scheme, difficulties from which they have never been able to extricate themselves. They admit that only in Christ is there salvation; yet they see that multitudes die without ever having heard of Christ or the Gospel. Holding that sufficient grace or opportunity must be given to every man before he can be condemned, many of them have been led to postulate a future probation, — this however is not only without Scripture support, but is contrary to Scripture. As Cunningham says, “Calvinists have always regarded it as a strong argument against the Arminian doctrines of universal grace and universal redemption, and in favor of their own views of the sovereign purposes of God, that, in point of fact, so large a portion of the human race have been always left in entire ignorance of God’s mercy, and of the way of salvation revealed in the Gospel; nay, in such circumstances as, to all appearances, throw insuperable obstacles in the way of their attaining to that knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, which is eternal life.”23

Only in Calvinism, with its doctrine of the guilt and corruption of all mankind through the fall, and its doctrine of grace through which some are sovereignly rescued and brought to salvation while others are passed by, do we find an adequate explanation of the phenomenon of the heathen world.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The Law of Progress

29. The law of progress. Since the Scriptures be the “word of life” (Philippians 2:16), they are “quick [living], and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). So far from being “a dead book” as the papists blasphemously assert, and a dead letter” as some Protestants have ignorantly averred, the Bible is instinct with the very life of its Author. This fact is plainly exemplified in the principle of growth which marks all its parts and itself as a whole. This can be tested and verified by any competent person who will take the trouble to read the Scriptures systematically, or trace out a subject from start to finish. As this be done, he will perceive that Truth is unfolded orderly and gradually, progressively and climactically: that there is presented to us first the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear. While the first mention of a thing intimates its scope and more or less anticipates what is to follow, the subsequent references amplify the same, each one making its own contribution to the whole, and thereby we obtain both a clearer and a fuller understanding of the same. The path of Truth is like that of the just: it “shineth more and more.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures