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Archive for March, 2020

Though pronounced by God Himself as “very good,” Adam was, nevertheless, a creature, and as such subject unto the authority of the One who had given him being

Though pronounced by God Himself as “very good” (Gen. 1:31) on the day of his creation, Adam was, nevertheless, a creature, and as such subject unto the authority of the One who had given him being. God governs all rational beings by law, as the rule of their obedience to Him. To that principle there is no exception, and in the very nature of things cannot be, for God must enforce His rights as Lord over all. Angels (Ps. 103:20), unfallen man, fallen men, redeemed men—all are subject to the moral government of God. Even the beloved Son, when He became incarnate, was “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). Moreover, in the case of Adam his character was not yet confirmed, and therefore, like the angels, he must be placed on probation, subjected to trial, to see whether or no he would render allegiance to the Lord his maker.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

Now for the APPLICATION

III. Now for the APPLICATION. A word or two with you my dear friends, before I send you away this morning I regret that I cannot better enter into the subject; but my glorious Master requires of each of us according to what we have, not according to what we have not. I am deeply conscious that I fail in urging home the truth so solemnly as I ought; nevertheless, “my work is with God and my judgment with my God,” and the last day shall reveal that my error lay in judgment, but not in sincere affection for souls. First, allow me to address the children of God. Do you not see, my dear brethren, that the best mark of our being sons of God is to be found in our devotion? “Behold, he prayeth.” Well then, does it not follow, as a natural consequence that the more we are found in prayer the brighter will our evidences be? Perhaps you have lost your evidence this morning; you do not know whether you are a child of God or not, I will tell you where you lost your confidence-you lost it in your closet. Whenever a Christian backslides, his wandering commences in his closet. I speak what I have felt. I have often gone back from God-never so as to fall finally, I know, but I have often lost that sweet savor of his love which I once enjoyed. I have had to cry,

Those peaceful hours I once enjoyed.

How sweet their memory still!

But they have left an aching void!

The world can never fill.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Paul’s First Prayer,” A Sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 25th, 1855

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Infant baptism is not according to the law of God, It is a violation of the law of God

My proposition is thus fully established. We have seen that “Infant baptism is not supported by the word of God,” because it is not found to be instituted, or in any manner authorized in the inspired records; because the different sects who imagine that they find it there, prove the contrary by their mutual refutation of each other; because the most pious and learned among pedobaptists themselves, confess it is not directly taught in the sacred writings; because the great Christian axiom which teaches that the divine word is our sole authority in religion, does not permit us to receive as scriptural what is not recognized in the scriptures; because the attempt to make it a divine institution by the testimony of the Fathers, through the medium of tradition, is a miserable failure; and because it is really and distinctly forbidden in the word of God. Infant. baptism is, in truth, therefore, no baptism at all. God in his word, does not recognize it as baptism. It never can be recognized as baptism by the people of God. It is exclusively an institution of men foisted surreptitiously into the religion of Christ. It is therefore a most appalling evil. Some of the forms and bearings of this evil may now not improperly be considered.

It betrays ministers into most fearful presumption. When an infant is baptized the minister performs the rite professedly, in the name, and by the authority of Jesus Christ! But Jesus Christ never authorized any such thing! On the contrary, he has discountenanced and forbidden it! What then, shall be said of the act? What magistrate in civil society would venture, under pretense of law, to do a thing, and especially in his official capacity, for the sanction of which no law could be produced, and which by existing laws, according to any reasonable interpretation, is plainly prohibited? Such an officer would act most presumptuously. He would violate his trust. In what well-regulated community would his administration long be endured? And shall ministers of religion thus conduct themselves, and that too without compunction, and without rebuke? In this unauthorized and prohibited ceremony of infant baptism, shall they not only meet no discountenance, but on the contrary be sustained, and defended? How can a conscientious servant of Christ occupy a position so revolting, and abhorrent?

But ministers are not alone concerned in this evil. Infant baptism must create in the minds of the people generally, who are under its influence, a want of proper respect for the word of God. The habit of acting without law, and in opposition to law, leads to this result inevitably. This truth is so obvious that no argument is needed in its support. May men do, under pretense of law, the most important acts for which no law can be produced? May they indeed, do all these things, and be sustained in them, even in opposition to law? How long then, will it be to them a matter of any special concern what the law may require? They are not obliged to conform to its demands. They may do what they please with impunity, without regard to law! Do they any longer yield a due respect to the law? Do they feel for it any special deference? Assuredly they do not. In civil society this is true, and it is pre-eminently true in religion. Infant baptism necessarily destroys respect for the authority of the word of God.

The evil is still more striking in the fact, that it is a bold attempt to perfect that which it is vainly conceived God has left imperfect. It is greatly more criminal to do in the name of Jesus Christ, what he has not commanded, than it is not to do what he has commanded, since when you fall short you thereby confess the difficulty of obedience, but when you go beyond, you impugn his wisdom. In the former case you acknowledge your own deplorable weakness. In the latter, and especially when you claim what he has not authorized or permitted as a part of his religion, you madly charge him with defectiveness, and attempt by additions of your own, to make his government more complete. Why did he not ordain infant baptism? Evidently because he did not design that his religion should embrace any such ordinance. You have discovered that it is necessary, and have therefore added it! You saw that it was demanded to make God’s appointments complete! You know better than Jehovah, what is requisite to give perfection to his religion!

Who, in view of all these facts, can avoid the conclusion that infant baptism is a sin against God? What is sin? Is it not any thought, word, action, omission, or desire contrary to the law of God?[18]

“Sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4).

Infant baptism is not according to the law of God. It is a violation of the law of God. It is the trans-gression of the law of God. Therefore infant baptism is a sin against God.

These are some of the forms in which, as an ordinance not instituted, nor sanctioned by Jesus Christ, the evil of infant baptism is developed. Its practice betrays ministers into fearful presumption; it creates a want of respect for the divine law; it charges imperfection upon the institutions of Messiah; and it is a sin against God. Infant baptism is unsupported by the word of God. It is therefore a great and fearful evil.

In conclusion permit me to entreat for these facts and arguments, your patient, unbiased, and prayerful consideration. You fervently desire to glorify God, and in all things to do his will. You have no wish to depart in any respect from the divine law. You would not encumber religion, much less pollute it, with any doctrines, or observances, not sanctioned from on high. You must therefore, remove infant baptism from its place in your theological system. While it remains there, it will continue to produce its natural fruits. Its extirpation only, can relieve you from its inherent evil. Humbly receive, and diligently practice the religion of Christ, guided in all things, exclusively by his most holy word, and infant baptism will be known no more. To the ascertained will of our Heavenly Father meekly submit yourself. Upon this principle alone is it possible for you to “keep the commandments of the Lord your God which he commanded you.” “Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” But rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 1- Infant Baptism is an evil because its practice is unsupported by the Word of God

We shall notice, first of all, the gift

We shall notice, first of all, the gift: “he hath given meat unto them that fear him;” then we shall notice the covenant: “He will ever be mindful of his covenant;” and then, lastly, the character of the persons here spoken of: “He hath given meat unto them that fear him.”

I. Let us first consider THE GIFT: “He hath given meat.” We are to understand this expression, of course in a twofold sense, of our necessities; the first, temporal, the other, spiritual.

First, we are to understand this expression in a temporal sense.

Our bodies need meat; we cannot keep this mortal fabric in repair without continually providing it with food. God’s children are not, by the fact of their being spiritual men, prevented from feeling natural wants; they hunger and they thirst even as do others. Sometimes, too, they are even called to suffer poverty, and know not where their next morsel of meat shall come from. Blessed be God, —

He that has made our heaven secure

Will here all good provide;” —

and God’s covenant relates not merely to the great and marvellous things that we need spiritually, but it is a covenant which includes in the catalogue of its gifts mercies that are food for the body, mercies for our immediate and pressing wants: “He hath given meat unto them that fear him.” God has never suffered his people to starve. “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” The promise is as true under the new covenant as under the old, that our bread shall be given us, and our water shall be sure. The Lord, who feeds the ravens, will not be less careful of his people; he who supplies every insect with its food, and feeds the prowling lion in his majesty, will not suffer his own home-born children, those who are nearest his heart, to perish for lack of nutriment. “The cattle on a thousand hills are his;” so he will not allow his children to lack for their meat. He it is to whom the earth belongeth, and the fullness thereof; he will not, then, suffer his children to go without necessary supplies: “He hath given meat unto them that fear him.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

The Wednesday Word: How God Got Rid of Our Sins

The gospel is wonderfully simple. It is the good news of the doing, dying and rising again of the God/Man. This gospel work was and is both finished and successful. As proof of this, we have, at this very moment, a glorified saviour seated in the place of cosmic authority (Hebrews 10:12).

So, let’s ask, how does God get rid of the believer’s sins? To answer this question, the Lord has taken great pains, in His Word, to show how completely He has done this. Watch how He employs word pictures that are so easily understood.

For example,

(1) In Psalm 103:12, we read, “As far as the east us so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Where is the East? Where is the West? No matter where we are on the globe there is always an east and a west. But who can tell us their actual location? If we begin traveling west, we will still be westward bound after many days of journey. Similarly, if we set out to discover the ultimate location of the east, we will never finally arrive.

As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. This is how God got rid of our sins.

2) In Isaiah 38:17, we read, “Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” What a precious passage to assure us that God no longer sees our sins. Who can see behind his back? No one. The good news is that He no longer sees our sins. He Himself hurled them behind His back…. And not just some of our sins, … all of them.

All our sins;

Every sin in thought, word, or deed;

Every secret sin;

Every presumptuous sin;

All our sin!

He cast our sins behind His back. This is how God got rid of our sin!

3) In Micah 7:19, we read “Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Again, we find it is His work. He Himself cast our sins there. Not simply into the sea, but into the depths of the sea. If a person on board a ship empties some coins over the ship’s side, how much of it he will get back again? Not a red cent! All the coins would go down into the depths. So also with our sins. God cast them, great and small, into the depths of the sea, never to be brought back again.

This is how God got rid of our sins!

4) In Isaiah 44:22 we read, I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins.” Have you looked at the sky recently? There was a cloud there yesterday, an imposing one. Where is it today? … It is gone! And so it is with our sins. One day our sins rise up as a thick cloud between us and God, but God Himself blots them out because of the blood!

This is how God got rid of our sins!

5) In Isaiah 1:18, we read, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Scarlet and crimson are two of the most difficult colours to destroy, but God Himself took our scarlet sins, purges them, and, as it were, makes them white as snow.

This is how God gets rid of our sins!

It is our privilege to know, as David did, that we are, with reference to sin, made whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7). God has gone to amazing lengths to get rid of our sin! (See also Hebrews 10: 17, Ephesians 1:7 and Romans 4:7-8).

Is Jesus precious to you? He remembers our sins no more. He forgives us according to the riches of His grace. Who can compute this kind of love and mercy?

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XXIII- Salvation by Grace

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XXIII

SALVATION BY GRACE

4. SCRIPTURE TEACHING

Let us now notice some of those scriptures which teach that our sins were imputed to Christ; and then notice some which teach that His righteousness is imputed to us.

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53: 4, 5. “By the knowledge of Himself shall my righteous servant justify many, and He shall bear their iniquities….. He bare the sin of many,” Isaiah 53:11, 12. “Him who knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Here both truths are plainly stated, — our sins are set to His account, and His righteousness to ours. There is no other conceivable sense in which He could be “made sin,” or we “made the righteousness of God.” It was Christ “who His own self bare our sins in His body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we are healed,” 1 Peter 2:24. Here, again, both truths are thrown together. “Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God,” 1 Peter 3:18. These, and many other such verses, prove the doctrine of His substitution in our stead, as plainly as language can put it. If they do not prove that the death of Christ was a true and proper sacrifice for sin in our stead, human language cannot express it.

That His righteousness is imputed to us is taught in language equally plain. “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight… But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested… even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in His blood, to show His righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the showing, I say, of His righteousness at this present season; that He might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus. Where then is the glorying? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay, hut by the law of faith. We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law,” Romans 3:20-28. “So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many he made righteous,” Romans 5:18, 19. Paul’s testimony in regard to himself was: “I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith,” Philippians 3:8, 9. Now, is it not strange that any one who pretends to be guided by the Bible, could, in the face of all this plain and unequivocal language, uphold salvation by works, in any degree whatever?

Paul wrote to the Romans, “Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under law, but under grace.” 6:14. That is, God had taken them out from under a system of law and had placed them under a system of grace; and as their Sovereign, it was not His purpose to let them again fall under the dominion of sin. In fact, if they were to fall, it could only be because God had taken them out from under grace and again placed them under law, so that their own works determined their destiny. In the very nature of the case as long as the person is under grace he is entirely free from any claim that the law may have on him through sin. For one to be saved through grace means that God is no longer treating him as he deserves but that He has sovereignly set the law aside and that He saves him in spite of his ill-desert, — cleansing him from his sin, of course, before he is fit to enter the divine presence.

Paul goes to great pains to make it clear that the grace of God is not earned by us, is not secured by us in any way, but is just given to us. If it be earned, it ceases by that very fact to be grace, Romans 11:6.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

It is exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible in our present state, for us to form any adequate conception of the most excellent and glorious endowment of man in his first estate

March 24, 2020 1 comment

It is exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible in our present state, for us to form any adequate conception of the most excellent and glorious endowment of man in his first estate. Negatively, he was entirely free from sin and misery: Adam had no evil ancestry behind him, no corruption within him, nothing in his body to distress him. Positively, he was made in the image and likeness of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, endued with a wisdom and holiness to which Christians are as yet, in themselves, strangers. He was blest with unclouded communion with God, placed in the fairest of environments, given dominion over all creatures here below, and graciously provided with a suitable helpmate. Fair as the morning was that blissful heritage into which Adam was estated. Made “upright” (Eccl. 7:29) and endowed with full ability to serve, delight in, and glorify his creator.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant