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Archive for August, 2019

The Covenants-Chapter 9a- The Teachings of the Covenant

1. One among the most impressive lessons taught us by the covenants is, I remark, in the first place, the demonstration they give of the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth.

Of all the covenants of the law especially, this was the primary purpose. These, as we have seen, provided, to a great extent, the testimony required, to place the faith of both Jews and Gentiles upon an immovable foundation. Is not the proof of his Messiahship given by them, and their auxiliaries, perfectly conclusive? Was not Jesus the Christ? Is the promised Deliverer yet to come? Then all is lost irrecoverably. Come when he will, it never can be certainly known that he is the promised Messiah. No means exist—no means ever can exist— by which his claims may be satisfactorily established. The Jews from whom he was to spring are no longer a nation, but driven centuries since, from their country, are in hopeless exile. Their laws which God pledged himself to maintain until his advent, ceased to be administered eighteen hundred years since. Long ago has past the prophetic period for his appearing. The genealogies of the tribes are all wholly lost. Not a Jew can be found on earth, who, as they themselves confess, knows, or ever can know, whether he is a descendant of David, or of some other Hebrew family. Messiah not yet come! Then all prophecy, and all history must be discredited. The Bible itself is a fable, and no confidence can Be placed in its revelations. Religion, in all its forms, is only a delicious dream! But, happily, we labor under no such uncertainties. God himself has provided, in these covenants, and their auxiliaries, against all indefiniteness. The proof that Jesus is the Christ, is full and “infallible.” He came at the precise time, and in the very place, fixed by prophecy, for the coming of Messiah; all the collateral events occurred which were predicted to transpire at his appearing; the family from which he sprung; the place of his birth, and of his teaching; the works which he did; the events previously predicted, of his life, betrayal, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; all these leave upon the intelligent, and unprejudiced mind, no doubts. It is absolutely certain that Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour of men.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 233

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [A Correspondent].

NEWINGTON, S.E., June 12, 1869.

DEAR SIR, —

I have never, at any time in my life, said, believed, or imagined that any infant, under any circumstances, would be cast into hell. I have always believed in the salvation of all infants, and I intensely detest the opinions which your opponent dared to attribute to me. I do not believe that, on this earth, there is a single professing Christian holding the damnation of infants; or, if there be, he must be insane, or utterly ignorant of Christianity. I am obliged by this opportunity of denying the calumny, although the author of it will probably find no difficulty in inventing some other fiction to be affirmed as unblushingly as the present one. He who doubts God’s Word is naturally much at home in slandering the Lord’s servants.

Yours truly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: KEPT

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last lime.”

l Peter 1: 5.

What is meant by being “kept by the power of God?” There are often great mistakes made on this point. Some teach that this verse tells us that we are:

(1) kept from accidents;

(2) kept from misfortune;

(3) kept from trials;

(4) kept from affliction; and

(5) kept from sin.

But the wording of our text, the facts of Scripture and the experience of the believer do not agree with such conclusions.

I´ve known believers who have been maimed or killed in accidents. I´ve seen believers overcome with misfortunes, trials, and afflictions. Though “kept by the power of God” believers often sin.

“What, then is the use of the power of God?” Let´s look at the text again: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” According to the text we are kept by the power of God unto salvation. Our salvation is secured. We are kept securely in Him despite all accidents, misfortunes, trials, afflictions and through all sin. What Power! What Goodness! What Grace!

God is in the keeping business. Jesus said, “Of all Thou hast given me I have lost none” (John 18:9) and “those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost” (Jn 17:12).

God’s keeping means that He preserves us through all the troubles and changes of this mortal life unto eternal glory.

Who more afflicted than Job? But he was kept!

Who was more harassed by his own wicked flesh than David? But he was kept!

Who more tried than Paul?

He was beaten by the Jews five times. But he was kept!

He was beaten with a rod three times. But he was kept!

He was stoned once. But he was kept!

He was shipwrecked three times, spending at least 24 hours afloat at sea. But he was kept!

He often fled for his life under persecution. But he was kept!

He suffered from hunger, thirst, the elements, and inadequate clothing. But he was kept!

On a personal level, I have known many uncomplicated periods free from accident and misfortune in this life. I also have known the opposite. But in all such seasons, I have been kept by the power of God. My salvation has been secure.

Believers are the children of God through Christ (Galatians 3:26). We are inheritors of everlasting life through grace alone. We have been given the Holy Spirit and we will be kept forever (John 14:16-17; 16:12-15; Ephesians 1:13-14).

So, let no one jump to false conclusions. When a saint breaks down and falls, don´t assume that he is not kept unto salvation. Don´t assume that he is a lost cause. If he is the Lord´s, he is kept by the power of God unto salvation.

May we always remember, our salvation is based on Christ´s performance not ours. He is the one who keeps. He is the Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost.

Because of the Gospel we can be assured of the power of God working on our behalf. Sometimes it feels like our faith has keeled over and died but, even so, we are “kept by the power of God.” Our God never changes. He is forever faithful to His word.

May we believe what has been written.

May we always remember that we, His blood washed people, are the objects of God’s eternal kindness, care, protection and keeping.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XVI- That it is inconsistent with the Free Agency and Moral Responsibility of Man

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XVI

That It Is Inconsistent With the Free Agency
And Moral Responsibility of Man

7. SCRIPTURE PROOF

The Scriptures teach that Divine sovereignty and human freedom co-operate in perfect harmony; that while God is the sovereign Ruler and primary cause, man is free within the limits of his nature and is the secondary cause; and that God so controls the thoughts and wills of men that they freely and willingly do what He has planned for them to do.

A classic example of the co-operation of Divine sovereignty and human freedom is found in the story of Joseph. Joseph was sold into Egypt where he rose in authority and rendered a great service by supplying food in time of famine. It was, of course, a very sinful act for those sons of Jacob to sell their younger brother into slavery in a heathen country. They knew that they acted freely, and years later they admitted their full guilt (Genesis 42:21; 45:3). Yet Joseph could say to them, “Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life…So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God;” and again, “As for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive,” Genesis 45:5, 8; 50:20. Joseph’s brothers simply followed the evil inclinations of their natures; yet their act was a link in the chain of events through which God fulfilled His purpose; and their guilt was not the least diminished by the fact that their intended evil was overruled for good.

Pharaoh acted very unjustly toward his subject people, the Children of Israel; yet he simply fulfilled the purpose of God, for Paul writes, “The scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth,” Romans 9:17; Exodus 9:16; 10:1, 2. Some of God’s plans are carried out by restraining the sinful acts of men. When the Israelites went up to Jerusalem three times a year for the set feasts, God restrained the greed of the neighboring tribes so that the land was not molested, Exodus 34:24. He put it into the heart of Cyrus, the heathen king of Persia, to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, Ezra 1:1-3. We are told, “The king’s heart is in the hand of Jehovah, as the watercourses; He turneth it whithersoever He will,” Proverbs 21:1. And if He turns the king’s heart so easily surely he can turn the hearts of common men also.

In Isaiah 10:5-15 we have a very remarkable illustration of the way in which divine sovereignty and human freedom work together in perfect harmony: “Ho, Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, the staff in whose hand is mine indignation! I will send him against a profane nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes all of them kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus? As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and Samaria; shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

“Wherefore it shall come to pass, that, when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he hath said, by the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I have understanding; and I have removed the bounds of the peoples, and have robbed their treasures, and like a valiant man I have brought down them that sit on thrones; and my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the peoples; and as one gathereth eggs that are forsaken, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or chirped.

“Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that wieldeth it? As if a rod should wield them that lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up him that is not wood.”

Concerning this passage Rice says: “What is the obvious meaning of this passage? It does most unequivocally teach, in the first place, that the king of Assyria, though a proud and ungodly man, was but an instrument in the hands of God, just as the axe, the saw, or the rod in the hands of a man, to execute His purposes upon the Jews; and that God had perfect control of him. It teaches, in the second place that the free agency of the king was not destroyed or impaired by this control, but that he was perfectly free to form his own plans and to be governed by his own desires. For it is declared that he did not design to execute God’s purposes, but to promote his own ambitious projects. ‘Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and to cut off nations not a few.’ It consequently teaches, thirdly, that the king was justly held responsible for his pride, and wickedness, although God so overruled him that he fulfilled His wise purposes. God decreed to chastise the Jews for their sin. He chose to employ the king of Assyria to execute His purpose, and therefore sent him against them. He would afterward punish the king for his wicked plans. Is it not evident, then, beyond all cavil, that the Scriptures teach that God can and does, so control men, even wicked men, as to bring to pass His wise purposes without interfering with their free agency?” 9

For any one who accepts the Bible as the word of God it is absolutely certain that the crucifixion of Christ — the most sinful event in all history — was foreordained: “For of a truth in this city against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel foreordained to come to pass,” Acts 4:27, 28; “Him being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hands of lawless men did crucify and slay,” Acts 2:23; and “The things which God foreshowed by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled,” Acts 3:18. “For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers because they knew Him not, nor the voice of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet they asked Pilate that He should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a tomb,” Acts 13:27-29.

And not only the crucifixion itself was foreordained, but many of the attending event, such as: the parting of Christ’s garments and the casting of lots for His vesture (Psalm 22:18; John 19:24); the giving of gall and vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34; John 19:29); the mockery on the part of the people (Psalm 22:6-8; Matthew 27:39); the fact that they associated Him with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38); that none of His bones were to be broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:36); the spear thrust (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34-37); and several other recorded events. Listen to the babble of hell around the cross, and tell us if those men were not free! Yet read all the forecast and prophecy and record of the tragedy and tell us if every incident of it was not ordained of God! Furthermore, these events could not have been predicted in detail by the Old Testament prophets centuries before they came to pass unless they had been absolutely certain in the foreordained plan of God. Yet while foreordained, they were carried out by agents who were ignorant of who Christ really was, and who were also ignorant of the fact that they were fulfilling the divine decrees, Acts 13:27, 29; 3:17. Hence if we swallow the camel in believing that the most sinful event in all history was in the foreordained plan of God, and that it was overruled for the redemption of the world, shall we strain at the gnat in refusing to believe that the smaller events of our daily lives are also in that plan, and that they are designed for good purposes?

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Christ addressed God the Father, as ‘God’

The covenant relationship which the Gown mediator sustains unto God Himself is that which alone accounts for and explains the fact that He so frequently addressed Him as “my God.” Every time our blessed Redeemer uttered the words “my God” He gave expression to His covenant standing before the God-head. It must be so; for considering Him as the Second Person of the Trinity, He was God, equally with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We are well aware that we are now plunging into deep waters; yet if we hold fast to the very words of Scripture we shall be safely borne through them, even though our finite minds will never be able to sound their infinite depths. “Thou art my God from my mother’s belly” (Ps. 22.:10), declared the Savior. From the cross He said, “My God.” On the resurrection morning He spoke of “my God” (John 20:17). And in the compass of a single verse (Rev. 3:12) we find the glorified Redeemer saying “my God” no less than four times.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

You have a right to enter into the city

Then, if you have the “Spirit of the Lord,” dear friends, you have a right to enter into the city. There are many of the freemen of the City of London here, I dare say, and that is a great privilege, very likely. I am not a freeman of London, but I am a freeman of a better city.

Savior, if of Zion’s city,

I, by grace, a member am,

Let the world revile or pity,

I will glory in thy name.”

You have a right to the freedom of Zion’s city, and you do not exercise it. I want to have a word with some of you. You are very good Christian people, but you have never joined the church yet. You know it is quite right, that he that believeth should be baptized; but I suppose you are afraid of being drowned, for you never come. Then the Lord’s table is spread once every month, and it is free to all God’s children, but you never approach it. Why is that? It is your banquet. I do not think if I were an alderman I should omit the city banquet; and being a Christian, I cannot omit the Christian banquet; it is the banquet of the saints.

Ne’er did angels taste above

Redeeming grace and dying love.”

Some of you never come to the Lord’s table; you neglect his ordinances. He says, “This do in remembrance of me.” You have obtained the freedom of the city, but you won’t take it up. You have a right to enter in through the gates into the city, but you stand outside. Come in brother; I will give you my hand. Don’t remain outside the church any longer, for you have a right to come in.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 9- The Teachings of the Covenant

THE TEACHINGS OF THE COVENANTS

Messiahship of Jesus; form of the Christian Church; purposes of

God in relation to the Israelites; Church not visible until

the coming of Christ; qualifications for membership; signs and seals of

the covenants; consummation of the covenant in Christ’s second coming.

ALL the covenants recorded in the word of God, having reference directly, and indirectly, to our redemption from sin, and salvation by Christ, are now before you. It remains only that we consider briefly some few of their doctrinal, and practical teachings. I say some few, and briefly, because to refer to them all, and in detail, would require more time and space than can now be commanded, and I must compress them into a single chapter. How vividly do these covenants illustrate the grace of God in your redemption; the miserable condition of men in their fallen state; the love, and goodness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! How affecting the appeal which they wake to your gratitude, and obedience! With a full soul, as you contemplate them, you exclaim with Paul; “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”[1] But all these, and many other like considerations, we must pass over in silence.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants