Archive

Archive for September, 2019

How do you know that God wrote the book?

September 30, 2019 Leave a comment

How do you know that God wrote the book? That is just what I shall not try to prove to you. I could, if I pleased, to a demonstration, for there are arguments enough, there are reasons enough, did I care to occupy your time to-night in bringing them before you: but I shall do no such thing. I might tell you, if I pleased, that the grandeur of the style is above that of any mortal writing, and that all the poets who have ever existed, could not, with all their works united, give us such sublime poetry and such mighty language as is to be found in the Scriptures. I might insist upon it, that the subjects of which it treats are beyond the human intellect; that man could never have invented the grand doctrines of a Trinity in the Godhead; man could not have told us anything of the creation of the universe; he could never have been the author of the majestic idea of Providence, that all things are ordered according to the will of one great Supreme Being, and work together for good. I might enlarge upon its honesty, since it tells the faults of its writers; its unity, since it never belies itself, its master simplicity, that he who runs may read it; and I might mention a hundred more things, which would all prove to a demonstration, that the book is of God. But I come not here to prove it. I am a Christian minister, and you are Christians, or profess to be so, and there is never any necessity for Christian ministers to make a point of bringing forth infidel arguments in order to answer them. It is the greatest folly in the world. Infidels, poor creatures, do not know their own arguments till we tell them, and then they glean their blunted shafts to shoot them at the shield of truth again. It is folly to bring forward these firebrands of hell, even if we are well prepared to quench them. Let men of the world learn error of themselves, do not let us be propagators of their falsehoods. True, there are some preachers who are short of stock, and want them to fill up! but God’s own chosen men need not do that; they are taught of God, and God supplies them with matter, with language, and with power. There may be some one here tonight who has come without faith, a man of reason, a free-thinker. With him I have no argument at all. I profess not to stand here as a controversialist, but as a preacher of things that I know and feel. But I too have been like him. There was an evil hour when once I slipped the anchor of my faith, I cut the cable of my belief; I no longer moored myself hard by the coasts of revelation; I allowed my vessel to drift before the wind; I said to reason, “Be thou my captain;” I said to my own brain, “Be thou my rudder;” and I started on my mad voyage. Thank God it is all over now’ but I will tell you its brief history. It was one hurried sailing over the tempestuous ocean of free thought. I went on, and as I went the skies began to darken; but to make up for that deficiency, the waters were brilliant with coruscations of brilliancy I saw sparks flying upwards that pleased me, and I thought, ‘If this be free thought, it is a happy thing.’ My thoughts seemed gems, and I scattered stars with both my hands; but anon, instead of these coruscations of glory, I saw grim fiends fierce and horrible, start up from the waters, and as I dashed on they gnashed their teeth and grinned upon me, they seized the prow of my ship, and dragged me on, while I, in part, gloried at the rapidity of my motion, but yet shuddered at the terrific rate with which I passed the old land marks of my faith. As I hurried forward with an awful speed, I began to doubt my very existence; I doubted if there were a world, I doubted if there were such a thing as myself I went to the very verge of the dreary realms of unbelief. I went to the very bottom of the sea of infidelity. I doubted everything. But here the devil foiled himself; for the very extravagance of the doubt proved its absurdity. Just when I saw the bottom of that sea, there came a voicewhich said, “And can this doubt be true?” At this very thought I awoke. I started from that death-dream, which, God knows might have damned my soul, and ruined this my body, if I had not awoke. When I arose faith took the helm’, from that moment I doubted not. Faith steered me back; fait cried, “Away, away!” I cast my anchor on Calvary; I lifted my eye to God; and here I am alive, and out of hell. Therefore, I speak what I do know. I have sailed that perilous voyage; I have come safe to land. Ask me again to be an infidel! No, I have tried it, it was sweet at first, but bitter afterwards. Now, lashed to God’s gospel more firmly than ever, standing as on a rock of adamant, I defy the arguments of hell to move me, for “I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.” But I shall neither plead nor argue this night. You profess to be Christian men, or else you would not be here. Your profession may be lies; what you say you are, may be the very contrary to what you really are, but still I suppose you all admit that this is the Word of God. A thought or two then upon it. “I have written to him the great things of my law.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855

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

September 27, 2019 Leave a comment

The nation, and kingdom, that will not serve thee, shall perish; yea, they shall be utterly wasted. “Thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever.”[10] If these, and similar passage, guaranty the restoration of Judah and Israel to the land of Canaan, literally as a nation, they must of course be interpreted literally. But is such an interpretation reasonable? Will legitimate Biblical criticism tolerate it? Where are the ten tribes of Israel? They do not exist upon the earth. How then can they return literally? Will the restored twelve tribes in their land, where they are to increase, and multiply, be all righteous? If so, they will be what no nation ever has been. Will all other nations be either tributary to them, or refusing such subjection, be utterly destroyed? Is David to rise from the dead, and to reign over united Judah, and Israel, forever? Is this earthly state to continue without end? And that covenant of peace, and that sanctuary, or temple, which they are to enjoy forever, what are they? Something different from the gospel, and its blessings? Will all this occur literally? To believe it is wholly out of the question, not only because it is unreasonable, but also because it directly contradicts many of the most important teachings of the New Testament. How then is it to be interpreted? Plainly, like all other similar portions of the old testament, according to its figurative sense. Having seen thus much, the meaning is at once obvious. All these texts, under the gorgeous figures which enshroud them, of the return to Canaan of all Israel, their prosperity, and their triumphs, predict simply, their ultimate conversion to christianity, their union with the people of God, that Messiah, (the spiritual David, unto whom all nations shall be subdued,) shall reign over them, and that purged from their sins by his blood, they shall rejoice in the covenant of peace, (the gospel of Christ,) and in their king Messiah, and in their glorious sanctuary, (the church of the Redeemer,) forever more.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 237

September 26, 2019 Leave a comment

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [The members of The Society of Friends meeting at Devonshire House].

NIGHTINGALE LANE, 13/1/77.

BRETHREN IN CHRIST, —

I have for some years felt a desire to hold, at times, in our great City, meetings for business men where I might address them upon the things of God. Convenient places are few, and the hire of those available would be beyond my personal means.

It therefore occurred to me that you might perhaps allow me to speak in your Meeting-house, for I know your liberality of mind; and although personally I am not agreed with you in all points, yet in the greater truths we are one, and even in all things one in the desire to be led of the Spirit, and to live to the glory of God.

Several Friends have encouraged me in the hope that you would freely lend me your Meeting-house, but I earnestly entreat that those who are in favor of so doing will not imagine that I could or would wish for this favor if it would wound the minds of any Friends.

I, your brother in the Lord, ask you for the loan of your Meeting-house for one hour about mid-day on four days in April or May which may be mutually convenient. If it seem good to you to decline, I shall not need to be assured that your reasons will be kind, for I shall be sure of it; but if you are moved to grant me my desire, I can assure you that I seek not to make converts to a sect, or to a school of thought, much less to any form of outward ordinance; but I desire to bear testimony, as the Spirit enables me, for the gospel of Jesus, with the one aim of leading souls to the Savior.

As, through great weariness, I am obliged to rest for a while in the South of France, I must ask your patience if there should be delay in replying to any enquiries which may arise out of this request. May the Spirit of God be over all in your assembly, even as I trust He moveth me in this act!

Yours in Christ Jesus, in brotherly love,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word- Numbered Hairs

September 25, 2019 2 comments

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30).

A doctor once tried to count the number of hairs on the human head. Taking a fairly hairy head, he found the number of hairs on a square inch of surface to be 1,066. This he estimated would give 127,920 for the whole head, while thicker heads of hair might have 150,000 hairs.

150,000!!!! And these hairs are all numbered!

Who said that?

It was Christ Himself, the God-man. He said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Notice, He doesn´t say they are counted but numbered. Numbering is something above and beyond counting. Many things are counted, but not all numbered.

The numbering speaks of additional and special care.

Numbering implies a marking.

Numbering suggests a special noting.

Numbering infers a labeling.

The very hairs of our heads have all been numbered.” What immense care He has for His people!

God knows us intimately and minutely. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He has numbered every hair, even though they are of little value and not one of them, like the sparrow, falls to the ground apart from our Father’s will.

One old time preacher said it like this, “Such is the marvelous and inconceivable knowledge of Christ Jesus that, if a hair fell from the head of one of His children and was carried by the winds of heaven across the wide-spreading ocean, the Lord would know to whose head that single hair belonged.”

This is a wonderful truth that warms our hearts when all around us is spiritually cold.

Let´s ask for a moment, what is the source of this numbering? Were our hairs numbered by an angel who was specially trained for the task? No, the numbering is done by our Father in heaven. Of course, there are many who will dispute that statement about our hairs being numbered as being extravagant and extreme. This statement is not to be taken literally they say. But that shouldn´t bother us. It was Jesus who said it and we believe Him. His words are neither false nor exaggerated.

Jesus said it,

That settles it.

I believed it,

That settled me.

May we let the Master´s words encourage us. The Lord really takes meticulous care of His blood bought people.

This truth is further illustrated in the following scripture., “But Zion said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49 15-16).

Notice the mother and the sucking child. In most cases, the mother will at all costs protect and provide for the baby. How much more will the Lord protect His own children?

Also He says, “I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands.” He doesn´t say he has written us on His hands, that would have been a great thing, but to engrave, to cut our names into His hands! What a symbol of His immense love for His blood bought.

Of course, this language points us to the day when the hands of the young Prince of Glory were nailed to the cross. They were nailed there for the sins of those whose names were carved there.

Whatever our problems – The Lord is with us. The Lord understands and the Lord can help.

As Spurgeon said, “God reckons everything about His people to be so precious that He even takes stock of the hairs of their heads.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XVII- That it make God the Author of Sin

September 25, 2019 Leave a comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XVII

That It Makes God the Author of Sin

3. THE FALL OF ADAM WAS INCLUDED IN THE DIVINE PLAN

Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God. We are told that Christ was “foreknown indeed (as a sacrifice for sin) before the foundation of the world,” 1 Peter 1:20. Paul speaks of “the eternal purpose” which was purposed in Jesus Christ our Lord, Ephesians 3:l1. The writer of Hebrews refers to “the blood of an eternal covenant,”13:20. And since the plan of redemption is thus traced back into eternity, the plan to permit man to fall into the sin from which he was thus to be redeemed must also extend back into eternity; otherwise there would have been no occasion for redemption. In fact the plan for the whole course of the world’s events, including the fall, redemption, and all other events, was before God in its completeness before He ever brought the creation into existence; and He deliberately ordered it that this series of events, and not some other series, should become actual.

And unless the fall was in the plan of God, what becomes of our redemption through Christ? Was that only a makeshift arrangement which God resorted to in order to offset the rebellion of man? To ask such a question is to answer it. Throughout the Scriptures redemption is represented as the free, gracious purpose of God from eternity. In the very hour of man’s first sin, God sovereignly intervened with a gratuitous promise of deliverance. While the glory of God is displayed in the whole realm of creation, it was to be especially displayed in the work of redemption. The fall of man, therefore, was only one part and a necessary part in the plan; and even Watson, though a decided Arminian, says, “The redemption of man by Christ was certainly not an afterthought brought in upon man’s apostasy; it was a provision, and when man fell he found justice hand in hand with mercy,” 5 Out of the ruins of the fall God has built a new spiritual creation far more glorious than the first.

Consistent Arminianism, however, pictures God as an idle, inactive spectator sitting in doubt while Adam fell, and as quite surprised and thwarted by the creature of His hands. In contrast with this, we hold that God fore-planned and fore-saw the fall; that it in no sense came as a surprise to Him; and that after it had occurred He did not feel that He had made a mistake in creating man. Had He wished He could have prevented Satan’s entrance into the garden and could have preserved Adam in a state of holiness as He did the holy angels. The mere fact that God fore-saw the fall is sufficient proof that He did not expect man to glorify Him by continuing in a state of holiness.

Yet God in no way compelled man to fall. He simply withheld that undeserved constraining grace with which Adam would infallibly not have fallen, which grace He was under no obligation to bestow. In respect to himself, Adam might have stood had he so chosen; but in respect to God it was certain that he would fall. He acted as freely as if there had been no decree, and yet as infallibly as if there had been no liberty. The Jews, so far as their own free agency was concerned, might have broken Christ’s bones; yet in reality it was not possible for them to have done so, for it was written, “A. bone of Him shall not be broken,” Psalm 34:20; John 19:36. God’s decree does not take away man’s liberty; and in the fall Adam freely exercised the natural emotions of his will.

The reason for the fall is assigned in that “God hath shut up all unto disobedience, that He might have mercy on all,” Romans 11: 32; and again, “We ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead,” 2 Corinthians 1 :9; and it would be difficult to find language which would assert the Divine control and Divine initiative more explicitly than this. For wise reasons, God was pleased to permit our first parents to be tempted and to fall, and then to overrule their sin for His own glory. Yet this permission and overruling of sin does not make Him the author of it. It seems that He has permitted the fall in order to show what free will would do; and then, by overruling it, He has shown what the blessings of His grace and the judgments of His justice can do.

It may be well just at this point, to say something more about the nature of the fall. Adam was given a most favorable opportunity to secure eternal life and blessedness for himself and his posterity. He was created holy and was placed in a world free from sin. He was surrounded by all the beauty of paradise and was graciously given permission to eat of all the fruits with the exception of one, which was certainly no irksome restraint. God Himself came down into the Garden and was Adam’s companion. In unmistakably clear language Adam was warned that if he did eat of the fruit he would certainly die. He was thus placed under a pure test of obedience, since the eating would not in itself have been either morally right or wrong. Obedience is here set up as the virtue which, in the rational creature, is, as it were, the mother and guardian of all the others.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

A covenant that was confirmed before of God in or “to” Christ

September 24, 2019 Leave a comment

It is to that eternal compact the apostle makes reference when he speaks of a certain “covenant that was confirmed before of God in [or “to”] Christ” in Galatians 3:17. There we behold the covenant parties: on the one side, God, in the Trinity of His persons; and on the other side Christ, that is, the Son viewed as the God-man mediator. There we learn of an agreement between Them: a covenant or contract, and that confirmed or solemnly agreed upon and ratified. There too, in the immediate context, we are shown that Christ is here viewed not only as the executor of a testament bequeathed to the saints by God, or that salvation was promised to us through Christ, but there twice over we are specifically told (v. 16) that the promises were made to Abraham’s “seed, which is Christ”! Thus we have the clearest possible Scriptural proof that the everlasting covenant contained something which is promised by God to Christ Himself.

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

First, then, concerning this book, who is THE AUTHOR?

September 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Concerning the Bible, I have three things to say to-night and they are all in my text. First, its author, “I have written;” secondly, its subjects — the great things of God’s law; and thirdly, its common treatment — It has been accounted by most men a strange thing.

1. First, then, concerning this book, who is THE AUTHOR? The text says that it is God. “I have written to him the great things of my law.” Here lies my Bible — who wrote it? I open it, and I find it consists of a series of tracts. The first five tracts were written by a man called Moses. I turn on and I find other. Sometimes I see David is the penman, at other times, Solomon. Here I read Micah, then Amos, then Hosea. As I turn further on, to the more luminous pages of the New Testament, I see Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Paul, Peter, James and others, but when I shut up the book, I ask myself who is the author of it? Do these men jointly claim the authorship? Are they the compositors of this massive volume? Do they between themselves divide the honor? Our holy religion answers, No! This volume is the writing of the living God: each fetter was penned with an Almighty finger; each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit. Albeit, that Moses was employed to write his histories with his fiery pen, God guided that pen. It may be that David touched his harp and let sweet Psalms of melody drop from his fingers, but God moved his hands over the living strings of his golden harp. It may be that Solomon sang Canticles of love, or gave forth words of consummate wisdom, but God directed his lips, and made the Preacher eloquent. If I follow the thundering Nahum when his horses plough the waters or Habbakok when he sees the tents of Cushan in affliction; if I read Malachi, when the earth is burning like an oven; if I turn to the smooth page of John, who tells of love, or the rugged, fiery chapters of Peter who speaks of the fire devouring God’s enemies; if I turn to Jude, who launches forth anathemas upon the foes of God, everywhere I find God speaking: it is God’s voice, not man’s, the words are God’s words, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth. This Bible is God’s Bible; and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, “I am the book of God: man, read me. I am God’s writing: open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for he is my author, and you will see him visible and manifest everywhere.” “I have written to him the great things of my law.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855