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Archive for January, 2019

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 206

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

To [Rev. Newman Hall, LL.B.].

WESTWOOD, July 4, 1888

MY DEAR FRIEND, —

I have only just heard that to-day is your anniversary. I congratulate you, and I pray that you may have a right good day. If I had been well enough, I would have accepted your invitation, you may be quite sure. I thank you and your friends for many kindnesses received by way of help in my hour of sickness. The Lord bless you who preached, and the people who spared you! In these days, we are two of the old school. Our experience has taught us that, both for conversion and edification, the doctrine of Christ crucified is all sufficient. A childlike faith in the atoning sacrifice is the foundation for the purest and noblest of characters. As the hammer comes down on the anvil ever with the same ring, so will we preach Christ, Christ, CHRIST, and nothing else but Christ.

Our friends leave us for the suburbs, but I trust the Lord will raise up around us another generation of faithful men. God bless those attached brethren who stick to us, and bear the brunt of the battle with us! I feel a deep gratitude to all such, both at the Tabernacle and at Christ Church. To you I desire continued health and joyous communion with God.

Yours very heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON

The Wednesday Word: He Suffered Once!

January 30, 2019 2 comments

1 Peter 3:18; “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.”

A missionary was speaking to a remote tribe of people who had never heard about Jesus. Seated in the front row, listening intently to all the missionary had to say, was the chief of the tribe.

As the story of Christ came to its climax and the chief heard how our Saviour was cruelly crucified, he could restrain himself no longer. He jumped up and cried, “Stop! Take Him down from the cross! I belong there, not Him!”

He had grasped the meaning of the Gospel; he understood that he was a sinner and that Christ was the sinless One who died in his place.

The greatest truth in the universe is that Jesus, our Saviour, suffered and died for our sins in order to bring us to God. Spurgeon said of this truth, “It is meat to my soul. I can feed on it every day and all the day.”

Our sins were so hideous and horrible there was nothing God could do but put us in hell unless a sin-bearing substitute could be found. But where could He find a sinless substitute? All had sinned and fallen short of His glory (1 Kings 8:46, Job 15:6). All deserved eternal death. So in love, grace and mercy, the Sovereign God came here Himself in the person of His Son. He was and is the God/Man. He is not a mixture of both man and God. He is the full perfection of both. He was not a demi-God who was less than God and more than man. He was fully God yet fully man. Great is the mystery of Godliness (1 Timothy3:16).

He came down from heaven to become one of us. What a demonstration of love! What a parade of condescension. Yet not condescension, for there was no destain in His attitude towards us. He came alongside us … no, no, wait a minute … not alongside but below us. Philippians 2:7 says, He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men”

Then, He took our place and died instead of us. Can you affirm this for yourself?

Our sins had sprung from deep within us and seeped through our being like a toxic pollutant. Our sins, past, present and future, had to be purged by precious blood, saving blood (Hebrew 1:3).

So, let’s read our text again; “Christ also hath once suffered for sins.”

Once! What a great Gospel word. When Christ died for our sins it was a unique event that has never needed to be repeated.

The priestly sacrifices for sin in the Old Testament Temple had to be repeated daily but Christ made the perfect sacrifice once and for all time when He offered Himself (Hebrews 7:27).

Christ was once and for all time offered to bear the sin of many (Hebrews 9:28).

We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once and for all (Hebrews 10:10).

When Christ died, He died once and for all (Romans 6:10)

What a saviour! Our guilt brought suffering upon Christ, but His suffering brought us to God.

Christ’s sufferings were;

1. Unique, “Once for all.”

2. Vicarious. “The just for the unjust”

3. Entirely Effective. “That He might bring us to God.”

No condemnation now I dread:

Jesus and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XII-Limited Atonement

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XII

Limited Atonement

2. THE INFINITE VALUE OF CHRIST’S ATONEMENT

This doctrine does not mean that any limit can be set to the value or power of the atonement which Christ made. The value of the atonement depends upon, and is measured by, the dignity of the person making it; and since Christ suffered as a Divine-human person the value of His suffering was infinite. The Scripture writers tell us plainly that the “Lord of glory” was crucified, 1 Corinthians 2:8; that wicked men “killed the Prince of life,” Acts 3:15; and that God “purchased” the Church “with His own blood,” Acts 20:28. The atonement, therefore, was infinitely meritorious and might have saved every member of the human race had that been God’s plan. It was limited only in the sense that it was intended for, and is applied to, particular persons; namely for those who are actually saved.

Some misunderstanding occasionally arises here because of a false assumption that Calvinists teach that Christ suffered so much for one soul, and so much for another, and that He would have suffered more if more were to have been saved. We believe, however, that even if many fewer of the human race were to have been pardoned and saved, an atonement of infinite value would have been necessary in order to have secured for them these blessings; and though many more, or even all men were to have been pardoned and saved, the sacrifice of Christ would have been amply sufficient as the ground or basis of their salvation. Just as it is necessary for the sun to give off as much heat if only one plant is to grow upon the earth as if the earth is to be covered with vegetation, so it was necessary for Christ to suffer as much if only one soul was to be saved as if a large number or even all mankind were to be saved. Since the sinner had offended against a Person of infinite dignity, and had been sentenced to suffer eternally, nothing but a sacrifice of infinite value could atone for him. No one assumes that since the sin of Adam was the ground for the condemnation of the race, he sinned so much for one man and much for another and would have sinned more if there were to have been more sinners. Why then should they make the assumption in regard to the suffering of Christ?

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

2 Corinthians 6:1, is a yet worse instance, for by inserting the words “with Him” a thought entirely foreign to the apostle’s scope is introduced

But it is in the New Testament that the majority of mistakes occur. There we find a number of passages where needless additions have been made and where the meaning has been misapprehended, falsified, by the words the translators inserted

2 Corinthians 6:1, is a yet worse instance, for by inserting the words “with Him” a thought entirely foreign to the apostle’s scope is introduced, and ground given for horrible boasting. Paul was referring to the joint efforts of God’s servants: the one planting and another watering (1 Corinthians 3:5, 6). To say they were “workers together with God” would be to divide the honors. If any supplement be made, it should be under Him. The ministers of the new covenant were fellow workers, merely “helpers” of the joy (1:24) of God’s people. So too the correct punctuation (as the Greek requires) of 1 Corinthians 3:9, is: “For God’s we are: fellow workers; God’s heritage ye are.” One other example must suffice. The added “to bring us” in Galatians 3:24, quite misses the scope of the passage, and inculcates false doctrine. The apostle was not there treating with the experiential side of things, but the dispensational (as the opening verses of the next chapter demonstrate); not with the unsaved as such, but with God’s people under the old covenant. The Law never brought a single sinner to Christ: the Holy Spirit does that, and though He employs the Law to convict souls of their need of Christ, the Gospel is the means which He employs to make them close with Christ.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Baptist Library Vol I Video

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Foolishness shall overcome wisdom; now ignorance, shall sweep away your science

January 28, 2019 1 comment

Wisdom had had its time, and time enough; it had done its all, and that was little enough; it had made the world worse than it was before it stepped upon it, and now, says God, “Foolishness shall overcome wisdom; now ignorance, as ye call it, shall sweep away your science; now, humble, childlike faith, shall crumble to the dust all the colossal systems your hands have piled.” He calls his army. Christ puts his trumpet to his mouth, and up come the warriors, clad in fisherman’s garb, with the brogue of the lake of Galilee-poor humble mariners. Here are the warriors, O wisdom! that are to confound thee; these are the heroes who shall overcome thy proud philosophers! these men are to plant their standard upon the ruined walls of thy strongholds, and bid them fall for ever; these men, and their successors, are to exalt a gospel in the world which ye may laugh at as absurd, which ye may sneer at as folly, but which shall be exalted above the hills, and shall be glorious even to the highest heavens. Since that day, God has always raised up successors of the apostles. I claim to be a successor of the apostles, not by any lineal descent, but because I have the same role and charter as any apostle, and am as much called to preach the gospel as Paul himself: if not as much owned in the conversion of sinners, yet in a measure, blessed of God; and, therefore, here I stand, foolish as Paul might be, foolish as Peter, or any of those fisherman, but still with the might of God I grasp the sword of truth-coming here to “preach Christ and him crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 5e-The Covenant of promise in Christ to Abraham

Six hundred years had now passed away since the transfer of the covenant to Judah. Israel had taken possession of the promised land. Every foe was conquered, and all the tribes, united, prosperous and happy, lived securely under the government of the “man after God’s own heart.” Under these circumstances God appeared to David, and “swore with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ” (Acts 2:30). The form of inspired language, ever after this renewal of the covenants, connects Messiah with the throne of David; his throne being plainly a metaphor employed to express with emphasis, Christ’s spiritual reign. “Thy seed,” said Jehovah to David, “will I establish forever, and [thus] build up thy throne to all generations (Psalm 89:3-4). It was in allusion to these promises, that David himself said, in his last moments, “The God of Israel hath made with me, an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure” (2 Sam 23:5). The exposition of this covenant is beautifully given by one of the prophets. Referring to the coming of Christ he says:- ” In that day [the opening of the gospel] there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious (Isa 11:10). Previous to this transaction, Messiah was known only as “The seed of the woman,” who should redeem us by suffering; the substitute for man to divine justice; the Deliverer appointed by the Father; the seed of Abraham; the Shiloh, in whom it all the nations and families of the earth should be blessed. Thenceforward he is known as “the Prince;” the “Ruler of the people ;” “the David ;” the “King of Israel ;” and by one or another of these, or similar titles, he is constantly designated. This is the style of Jeremiah, for example, through whom God said to Israel :—” If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season, then may also my covenant with David be broken, that he should not have a Son [the Christ] to sit upon his throne” (Jer 33:20-21). It is the style of Daniel, to whom it was said by the angel: “Understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore, and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks; [of years] “and after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for himself” (Dan 9:25-26). Take Micah as another example “Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Israel! whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting” (Mic 5:2).

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 205

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

To [Rev. Newman Hall, LL.B.].

MENTONE, Jan. 20.

BELOVED BROTHER, —

Your love allows brevity. Thank you. I am arising from stupor to pain, from pain to intervals of ease, from coughing hard to a weak voice, from writhing to wriggling about in an initial style of walking with a chair for a go-cart. I have had an escape which makes me shudder with gratitude. Here is a man who knocked out his teeth and yet did not cut his flesh, and turned over twice so completely as to put his money into his boots. Something of the comic attends solemnity when I am in the midst of it. I have not lost a grain of peace or even of joy, yet I pity a dog that has felt so much in all his four legs as I have had in one. All is well. I shall be home soon.

Yours most lovingly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Enough When We Sin?

January 23, 2019 3 comments

God has never forced us to sin. To our shame, we sin willingly and gladly. If the truth were known, there’s a part of us that quietly loves depravity. We may hate its consequences, but if left to our own devices we gravitate away from God. All of us have been smitten with the sin virus (Romans 6:6); it is, so to speak, lurking in our blood, continually spawning its foul children (sins) (Romans 5:12).

The awful problem with sin, however, is that it brings separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). God is holy and because He is holy, He hates sins and hates all workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5). It may seem like a foreign concept to our ears to associate ‘hatred’ with the God of love but before objecting to this picture, let me warn against the subtle sin of idolatry.

Idolatry?

Yes, idolatry! When we reject God’s self-declaration and substitute Him for the God we’d like Him to be, we have become idolaters (see Romans 1:21,25). Much as we would like God to be simply the God of love who is never angry at sin or sinners, we must not project this false picture onto Him.

Here’s a word of warning that comes from antiquity; “If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you dislike, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself” (Augustine).

God refuses to fit our concept of who we want Him to be, … in fact, He won’t even try. He’s got better things to do! As for us, the best thing we can do is bow before, worship and enjoy Him as He is and for who He is.

God is Holy, and we are not. This knowledge is where false religion finds a natural breeding ground as it germinates in the fears and guilt of sinful man. We really are laughable; we cannot create ourselves but think that by practicing some religion or other, we can save ourselves. Yet, no matter how involved we become in our religion, no matter how zealous we are, we are impotent to stop the tendency towards sinning … and sins separate us from God.

Religion cannot remove the virus of sin. Although for the follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will limit and restrain the production of sins, we remain sinners until the day we die. Remember this, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

The good news for sinners (us), however, is that God is not only holy, He is also just. But how is this Good News? I can take some comfort knowing that He is loving, but surely there is no comfort in knowing that, in His unswerving justice, He will punish us and our sins?  A just God will surely mete out punishment. This is far from good news. So then, how can God be just, and yet save me a ruined sinner?

Which brings us back to the Gospel, the best news, the old news and the ever-new news—Jesus!

Only in Jesus is God discovered to be both loving and just. Between the all-holy God and sin-filled believer, there stands the remarkable sinless person of the God/Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is enough for both the sinner, and the Father. God punished our sins on Him, the beloved son (Isaiah 53:10). In grace, He became accountable for us and poured out His blood for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7).

Jesus, the Lord of glory, became a surety (Hebrews7:22) and substitute for His people (1 Peter 2:24). He took our place in his doing, dying and rising again.  He then ascended to the right hand of the Father (the place of cosmic authority) for us. And now, because of Jesus and His accomplishments, not only love but also justice endorses our acquittal.

Jesus is Enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!
Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XII-Limited Atonement

January 23, 2019 1 comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XII

Limited Atonement

1. Statement of the Doctrine. 2. The Infinite Value of Christ’s Atonement. 3. The Atonement is Limited in Purpose and Application. 4. Christ’s Work as a Perfect Fulfillment of the Law. 5. A Ransom. 6. The Divine Purpose in Christ’s Sacrifice. 7. The Exclusion of the Non-Elect. 8. The Argument from the Foreknowledge of God. 9. Certain Benefits Which Extend to Mankind In General.

1. STATEMENT OF THE DOCTRINE

The question which we are to discuss under the subject of “Limited Atonement” is, Did Christ offer up Himself a sacrifice for the whole human race, for every individual without distinction or exception; or did His death have special reference to the elect? In other words, was the sacrifice of Christ merely intended to make the salvation of all men possible, or was it intended to render certain the salvation of those who had been given to Him by the Father? Arminians hold that Christ died for all men alike, while Calvinists hold that in the intention and secret plan of God Christ died for the elect only, and that His death had only an incidental reference to others in so far as they are partakers of common grace. The meaning might be brought out more clearly if we used the phrase “Limited Redemption” rather than “Limited Atonement.” The Atonement is, of course, strictly an infinite transaction; the limitation comes in, theologically, in the application of the benefits of the atonement, that is in redemption. But since the phrase “Limited Atonement” has become well established in theological usage and its meaning is well known we shall continue to use it.

Concerning this doctrine the Westminster Confession says: “. . . Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed in Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.” 1

It will be seen at once that this doctrine necessarily follows from the doctrine of election. If from eternity God has planned to save one portion of the human race and not another, it seems to be a contradiction to say that His work has equal reference to both portions, or that He sent His Son to die for those whom He had predetermined not to save, as truly as, and in the same sense that He was sent to die for those whom He had chosen for salvation. These two doctrines must stand or fall together. We cannot logically accept one and reject the other. If God has elected some and not others to eternal life, then plainly the primary purpose of Christ’s work was to redeem the elect.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination