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Archive for April, 2019

First, we shall take up and discuss the everlasting covenant or covenant of grace

We shall then take up in the chapters which follow, first, the everlasting covenant or covenant of grace, which God made with His elect in the person of their head, and show how that is the sure foundation from which proceed all blessings unto then. Next we shall consider the covenant of works, that compact into which the Creator entered with the whole race in the person of their human and federal head, and show how that had to be broken before the blessings agreed upon in the covenant of grace could be bestowed. Then we shall look briefly at the covenant God made with Noah, and more fully at the one with Abraham, in which the everlasting covenant was shadowed forth. Then we shall ponder the more difficult Sinaitic covenant, viewing it as a confirmation of the covenant of works and also in its peculiar relation to the national polity of Israel. Some consideration will also have to be given to the Davidic covenant, concerning which we feel greatly in need of more light. Finally, we shall point out how the everlasting covenant has been administered under the old and new covenants or economies. May the Holy Spirit graciously preserve us from all serious error, and enable us to write that which shall be to the glory of our covenant God and the blessing of His covenant people.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Introduction

For unto us who are saved, the cross is the power of God

April 29, 2019 1 comment

But I behold another scene. A martyr is hurried to the stake; the halberd men are around him; the crowds are mocking, but he is marching steadily on. See, they bind him, with a chain around his middle, to the stake; they heap faggots all about him: the flame is lighted up; listen to his words; “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” The flames are kindling round his legs; the fire is burning him even to the bone; see him lift up his hands, and say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and though the fire devour this body, yet in my flesh shall I see the Lord.” Behold him clutch the stake, and kiss it as if he loved it, and hear him say, “For every chain of iron that man girdeth me with, God shall give me a chain of gold, for all these faggots, and this ignominy and shame, he shall increase the weight of my eternal glory.” See, all the under parts of his body are consumed; still he lives in the torture; at last he bows himself, and the upper part of his body falls over; and as he falls you hear him say, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” What wondrous magic was on him, sirs? What made that man strong? What helped him to bear that cruelty? What made him stand unmoved in the flames? It was the thing of power; it was the cross of Jesus crucified. For “unto us who are saved it is the power of God.”

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

The Covenants-Chapter 7a-Philology of the Covenants

Let us in the prosecution of this design, refer, in the first place, to the teachings on this subject, of some of our most learned and mature divines.

I might adduce readily, in support of the doctrine now announced, the testimony of many of the brightest names in the constellation of theological science. I shall however, satisfy myself with the evidence of two only, since “In the mouth of two witnesses every word shall be established.” “That the covenant with Abraham,” says Dr. Carson, “has a letter and a spirit, is not a theory formed to serve a purpose. It is consonant to every part of the Old Dispensation, and is the only sense that can harmonize it with the New Testament. The temple was the house of God, in the letter; believers are so in the spirit. To call any house the house of God, is as much below the sense which the same phrase has when it is applied to the church of Christ, as to call the nation of Israel the people of God, is below the sense which that phrase has when applied to the spiritual Israel. Besides, there are many things spoken about the house of God in the letter, in terms that can only fully suit the spirit. “I have surely,” said Solomon, “built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide forever.” The incongruity of supposing him, whom ‘the heaven of heavens cannot contain,’ to dwell in a house forever, as a settled habitation, is removed only by referring it to the spirit.” “Christ’s body is the only temple of which this is fully true. God did not dwell in the temple built by Solomon forever.” That temple ceased to exist twenty five centuries ago. “But in the spirit it is accomplished, in its utmost extent.” In another place, the same distinguished writer observes : -“For the accomplishment of the grand purpose that all nations should be blessed in Abraham, he had three promises. First, a numerous posterity; which was fulfilled in the letter, to the nation of Israel. It was fulfilled in the spirit, by the divine constitution that makes all believers the children of Abraham.” “The second was, that he would be a God to him, and his seed; which was fulfilled in the letter, by his protection of Israel in Egypt, his delivering them from bondage,” and his subsequent dealings with that nation. “This promise is fulfilled in the spirit, by God’s being a God to all believers, and to them alone, in a higher sense than he ever was to Israel” as a nation. “The third promise was of the land of Canaan; fulfilled in the letter to Israel; and in the spirit fulfilled to the true Israel, in the heavenly inheritance,” the possession of the Canaan above. “In accordance with this double sense of the covenant,” “the typical ordinances, which exhibit the truths of the gospel in a figure, form one of the most conclusive evidences of Christianity, and present spiritual things to the mind, in so definite and striking a manner, that they add the greatest lustre to the doctrines of grace.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 215

TO VARIOUS FRIENDS

To [Mr. F. J. Feltham].

NIGHTINGALE LANE, Dec. 5.

DEAR SIR, —

I tender you my Christian love in return for this good thoughtful deed of yours, which may my Lord repay.

I have been too pressed to write before; but you have cheered me and made me pray, “God bless him!” £20 safely received.

Yours heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: The Precious Work of the Holy Spirit

John 16:14; “He shall glorify me”

John 15:26; “He shall testify of me:”

2 Corinthians 3:18 ” But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

There are many who hold that the Gospel is about the cross while the ‘Full Gospel’ is about the Holy Spirit and His power in the lives of the believer. But here’s the truth, the Gospel is already full. It became full 2000 years ago in the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus. The Gospel is in no respect deficient or defective. There’s nothing which can be added to it, it lacks nothing, needs nothing and is wanting in nothing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is already the Full Gospel.

I’m sometimes asked whether I believe in the Holy Spirit. I reply, “Of course I do.” However, the genuine Holy Spirit is in no way divorced from the Gospel. While it is true that the Holy Spirit is working within us (Philippians 2:13), He, as He works, causes us to think outside of ourselves as He brings us to authentic Full Gospel, the person of Christ.

Do you ever yearn to enjoy more of Jesus? I know I do. This is the working of the Holy Spirit. He continually causes us to hunger for the real bread of life.

The Holy Spirit gives us simple yet magnificent thoughts about Jesus (John 16:14).

He causes us to call upon Jesus.

He focuses our minds on Jesus.

As we are filled with the Spirit, our lips speak about Jesus.

The Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus.

He makes Jesus the first and Jesus the last.

He causes us to be taken up with Jesus.

May we be so filled with the Spirit that He will cause us to behold Jesus when we wake.

And think about Jesus as we sleep.

May we meet Jesus in the study and in the living room.

May we meet with Jesus in the kitchen and in the garden.

May we meet Jesus in the car and in the gym;

May we enjoy Jesus when we are alone or in company.

May we be more than aware of Jesus in the shop, in the factory, in the office or in the classroom.

The Holy Spirit breathes on us that we may breathe after Jesus.

This is the Spirit filled life! (John 15:26).

Jesus abounds! No, I’m wrong, He super-abounds!

Jesus is our daily and all-sufficient portion.

The Holy Spirit will cause us to see that!

Having Jesus, we have all things.

The Holy Spirit will cause us to see that!

What can we lack if we have and enjoy Jesus? He is more than a million universes.

The Holy Spirit will cause us to see that.

Jesus can stop every gap. He can fill every void. He can crush every enemy. He can destroy and dispel every drop of darkness. He can quell every fear. He can banish the remotest doubt.

The Holy Spirit will cause us to see that.

Oh, precious, precious Jesus, whom have we in heaven but you and there is none upon the earth that we desire besides you. (See Psalm 73:25-26). Having you, what do we lack?

Once, by the Holy Spirit, we have caught a vision of the Lord Jesus, we will never be satisfied with the subjective man-centred fare that is on offer in so many of the churches.

The real Holy Spirit will cause us to grow downward in self and upward in Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIII-Efficacious Grace

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIII

Efficacious Grace

5. THE SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST’S WORK — EVANGELICALISM

We now come to discuss the sufficiency of Christ’s work in the matter of redemption. We believe that by His vicarious suffering and death He fully paid the debt which His people owed to divine justice, thus releasing them from the consequences of sin, and that by keeping the law of perfect obedience and living a sinless life He vicariously earned for them the reward of eternal life. His work fully provided for their rescue from sin and for their establishment in heaven. These two phases of His work are sometimes referred to as His active and passive obedience. This doctrine of the sufficiency of His work is set forth in the Westminster Confession when we are told that by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself He “fully satisfied the justice of His Father; and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father had given Him.” 6 Had He only paid the penalty for sin without also earning the reward of eternal life, His people would then only have been raised up to the zero point. They would then have been on the same plane as was Adam before he fell, and would still have been under obligation to earn eternal life for themselves. To Paul’s declaration that Christ is all in all in matters of salvation (Colossians 3:11), we can add that man is nothing at all as to that work, and has not in himself anything which merits salvation. We should remember that the Gospel is not good advice, but good news. It does not tell us what we are to do to earn salvation, but proclaims to us what Christ has done to save us.

To doubt that any for whom Christ died will be saved, or that righteousness will eventually triumph, is to doubt the sufficiency of Jesus Christ for the work which He undertook in our behalf. On the cross Jesus declared that He had finished the work of redemption which the Father gave Him to do. But as Toplady remarks, “the person with power to accept or reject as he pleases must say: “No, thou didst not finish the work of redemption which was given thee to do; thou didst indeed a part of it, but I myself must add something to it or the whole of thy performance will stand for naught.”

Only those views which ascribe to God all the power in the salvation of sinners are consistently evangelical, for the word “evangelical” means that it is God alone who saves. If faith and obedience must be added, depending upon the independent choice of man, we no longer have evangelicalism. Evangelicalism with a universal atonement leads to universal salvation; and in so far as Arminianism holds that Christ died for all men and that the Spirit strives to apply this redemption to all men but that only some are saved, it is not evangelical.

We may further illustrate this principle of evangelicalism by supposing a group of people who are stricken with a fatal disease. Then if a doctor administers to them a medicine which is a certain cure, all who get the medicine will recover. In the same manner, if the work of Christ is effective, and if it is applied to all men by the Spirit, all will be saved. Hence to become evangelical the Arminian must become a universalist. Calvinism alone, which holds to evangelicalism with a limited atonement and asserts that the work of Christ accomplishes what it was intended to accomplish, is consistent with the facts of Scripture and experience.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

It is clear that there can be but two and only two covenants possible between God and men

Now as we pointed out in previous paragraphs, God’s dealings with men are all based upon His covenant engagements with them—He promising certain blessings upon their fulfillment of certain conditions. This being so, as G. S. Bishop pointed out, “It is clear that there can be but two and only two covenants possible between God and men—a covenant founded upon what man shall do for salvation, a covenant founded upon what God shall do for him to save him: in other words, a Covenant of Works and a Covenant of Grace” (Grace in Galatians, p. 72). Just as all the divine promises in the Old Testament are summed up in two chief ones—the sending of Christ and the pouring out of the Spirit—so all the divine covenants may be reduced unto two, the other subordinate ones being only confirmations or adumbrations of them, or having to do with their economical administration.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Introduction