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All this glorifies God doubly

December 31, 2020 Leave a comment

Now, to close. All this glorifies God doubly. It glorifies God that a man should walk in his ways; it glorifies God yet more that such obedience should be the result of divine power. The outward life honors God, but the inward, spiritual, gracious work which that life, honors him yet more abundantly.

While this glorifies God doubly, it ennobles the soul supremely. To be made holy is to receive a patent of nobility; to be made holy by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, oh, what shall we say to this! Bring hither the poorest peasant; let her if you will be an aged woman, wrinkled and haggard with labor and with years; let her be ignorant of all learning; but, let me know that in her there is faith in Christ, and that consequently the Holy Ghost dwells in her; I will reverence her above all emperors and kings, for she is above them. What are these crowned ones but men who, perhaps, have waded through slaughter to a throne, while she has been uplifted by the righteousness of Jesus. Their dynasty is, after all, of mushroom growth, but she is of the blood royal of the skies. She hath God within her; Christ is waiting to receive her into his bliss; heaven’s inhabitants without her could not be perfected, nor God’s purpose be fulfilled, therefore is she noblest of the noble. Judge not after the sight of the eyes, but judge ye after the mind of God, and let saved sinners be precious in “your sight.” Honour also the Holy Spirit. Speak of him with lowly awe. Never take his name in vain. Take heed lest ye blaspheme it. Reverently seek his company, rejoice in his gifts, love him, quench him not, strive not against him, bow beneath his power, and may he dwell in you, and make you meet to dwell with him for ever, for his name’s sake. Amen

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- A Sermon delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, April 14th, 1872. A Sermon on Ezekiel 36:26-27.

The Wednesday Word: No Worries!

December 30, 2020 Leave a comment

“Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

What a wonderful scripture. It’s a pity that we so often don’t believe it is there. An epidemic of worry and anxiety seems to have invaded the homes and hearts of numerous believers. Many followers of the Lord are now having sleepless nights and anxious days.

The word ‘careful’ is also translated “worry.” Worry, according to the dictionary definition, means “to slay, kill or injure by biting and shaking the throat” (as a dog or wolf does), from Old English ‘wyrgan’ “to strangle.

‘Strangle!’ That’s what worry does to our faith.

But consider the Lord Jesus, He could have worried about the Pharisees or Herod or the Sadducees or Judas Iscariot or others of the disciples. He could have worried about any number of things, but instead He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. Think of the buildup to Calvary. He knew what He was going to face on the cross, but He prayed to His Father saying, “not my will, but thine be done.”

The letter to the Philippians, from where we get our text, is one of the most practical letters in the New Testament. Our verse says,” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God …. (Philippians 4:6-7). That’s as good a picture of Christ’s prayer life as we will ever get.

Likewise, we are to worry about nothing; pray about everything and be thankful for anything.

Most of us will admit that we worry. We know the Bible says it’s wrong, even sinful, but we do it anyway. Let’s be encouraged to change our ways. Instead of fretting, let’s worry about nothing; pray about everything and be thankful for anything.

Look again at Philippians 4:6. How much are we to worry about? … “Nothing.” Nothing is probably the most exclusive word there is in the English language … it excludes everything. We are to worry about nothing (NO THING). The reason we are to worry about no thing is because we are to pray, like Jesus, about everything.

Years ago, a widow asked the great preacher Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, “Do you think we ought to pray about the little things in our lives?” And Dr. Morgan, replied, “Madam, can you mention anything in your life that is a big thing to God?”

The Lord wants us to bring all to Him.

The opposite of NOTHING is EVERYTHING. As believers, we need to get in the habit of bringing everything to Him in prayer—excluding nothing.

Just as nothing means no thing, so everything means every thing.

When Paul says that a Christian is not to worry, he is not saying we need to ignore reality. Paul doesn’t say we are to pretend difficulties and challenges don’t exist. Instead, we need to move the things we want to worry about into the realm of prayer.

A man couldn’t sleep one night. He rolled and tossed, until his wife finally asked him, “What is the matter? Why can’t you sleep?” He said, “I owe the tax man $20,000 and the bill is due, and I can’t pay it.” “Well,” his wife said, “Get up, get dressed, go and tell the tax man you can’t pay him. Then come back and go to sleep and let him stay awake.”

That’s the kind of thing Paul is saying in Philippians 4:6-7. When we tell the Lord everything, it becomes His problem. We have the right as His children to go to Him in prayer and say, “This is something I can’t handle” and then turn everything over to Him. As Luther used to say; “Pray and let God worry!”

As believers, we are to worry about nothing; pray about everything and be thankful for anything.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The ordinance of water-baptism is a divine command

December 30, 2020 4 comments

I. The ordinance of water-baptism is a divine command. John, the forerunner of our Lord, was the first administrator of it, and from thence was called the Baptist; and he did not administer it of his own mind and will, but had a mission and commission from God to do it; There was a man sent from God, whose name was John; and he was sent by him, not to preach the gospel only, but to baptize; for so he himself says, he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, etc. (John 1:6, 33). Hence Christ put this question to the chief priests and elders of the Jews, the baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or of men? (Matthew 21:25, 26), this brought them into such a dilemma, that they knew not what answer to give, and chose to give none; our Lord’s design by the question was to shew that Johns baptism was of divine institution, and not human; wherefore he charges the Pharisees and Lawyers with rejecting the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him (Luke 7:30), that is, of John; and he elsewhere (Matthew 3:15), speaks of his baptism as a part of righteousness to be fulfilled, and was fulfilled by him. Now Johns baptism and Christ’s were, as to the substance of them, the same; Johns baptism was allowed of and approved of by Christ, as appears from his submission to it; and the ordinance was confirmed by the order he gave to his apostles to administer it: one of Johns disciples said to his master, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him (John 3:26); though, as is said afterwards, Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples (John 4:2); that is, they baptized by his orders; and which were renewed after his resurrection from the dead, saying, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them, etc. (Matthew 28:19), and which orders were obeyed by his apostles, as many instances in the Acts of the Apostles shew; and that it was water baptism they administered, according to Christ’s instructions and directions.

In matters of worship there ought to be a command for what is done; as this ordinance of baptism is a solemn act of worship, being performed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. God is a jealous God, and especially with respect to the worship of him; nor should any thing be introduced into it but what he has commanded; and careful should we be hereof, left he should say unto us, who hath required this at your hands? (Isa. 1:12), it is not enough that such and such things are not forbidden; for on this footing a thousand fooleries may be brought into the worship of God, which will be relented by him. When Nadab and Abibu offered strange fire to the Lord, which he commanded not, fire came down from heaven and destroyed them: we should have a precept for what we do, and that not from men, but from God; lest we incur the charge of worshipping God in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9), and involve ourselves in the guilt of superstition, and will-worship.

Wherefore, the baptism of infants must be wrong; since there is no command of God and Christ for it; if there was any, it might be expected in the New Testament, and in that only; it is absurd to send us to the Old Testament for a command to observe a New Testament-ordinance; it is a groin absurdity to send us so far back as to the 17th chapter of Genesis[2] for a warrant for the ordinance of baptism; we might as well be lent to the first chapter of that book; for there is no more relating to that ordinance in the one than in the other. Was there a like precept for the baptism of infants under the New Testament, as there was for the circumcision of infants under the Old Testament, there could be no objection to it; but it is an absurdity of ab-surdities to affirm, that baptism comes in the room of circumcision; since baptism was in force and use long before circumcision was abolished; circ-umcision was not abolished until the death of Christ, when that, with other ceremonies, had an end in him; but baptism was administered many years before to multitudes, by John, by the order of Christ, and by his apostles; now where is the good sense of saying, and with what propriety can it be laid, that one thing succeeds another, as baptism circumcision, when the one, said to succeed, was in use and force long before the other teared, it is pretended it succeeded?

If there is any precept for Infant-baptism, it must be in the New Testament; there only it can be expected, but there it cannot be found; not in Matthew 19:14, Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven; which is no precept, but a permission, or grant, that little children might come, or be brought unto him; but for what? not for baptism; but for that for which they were brought, and which is mentioned by the evangelist in the preceding verse, that he should put his hands on them, and pray, or give them his blessing; as it reams it was usual in those times, and with those people, as formerly, to bring their children to persons venerable for religion and piety, to be blessed by them in this way; and such an one they might take Jesus to be, though they might not know he was the Messiah. Two other evangelists say, they were brought unto him that he should touch them; as he sometimes touched diseased persons when he healed them; and these children might be diseased, and brought to him to be cured of their diseases; however, not to be baptized by thrill, for he baptized none; they would rather have brought them to the disciples, had it been for such a purpose; and had it been the practice of the apostles to baptize infants, they would not have refused them; and our Lord’s entire silence about Infant-baptism at this time, when there was so fair an opportunity to speak of it, and enjoin it, had it been his will, has no favorable aspect on that practice. The reason given by thus for the permission of infants to come to him, for of such is the kingdom of heaven, is figurative and metaphorical; and not to be understood of the infants themselves, but of such as they; of such who are comparable to them for their humble deportment, and harmless lives; or to use our Lord’s words elsewhere, such who are converted, and become as little children (Matthew 18:2).[3] Nor is a command for Infant-baptism contained in the commission to baptize (Matthew 28:19), Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost.

It is argued, that “since all nations are to be baptized, and infants are a part of them, then, according to the command of Christ, they are to be baptized.” But it should be observed, that the commission is indeed to teach all nations, but not to baptize all nations; the antecedent to the relative them, is not all nations; the words παγτα τα εθνη, all nations, are of the neuter gender; but αυτουϖ, them, is of the masculine, and do not agree; the antecedent is μαθηταϖ, disciples, which is understood, and supposed, and contained in the word μαθητευσατε, teach, or make disciples; and the sense is, teach all nations, and baptize them that are taught, or are made disciples by teaching. If the above argument proves any thing, it would prove too much; and what proves too much, proves nothing: it would prove, that not only the infants of Christians, but the infants of Turks, Jews, and Pagans, should be baptized, since they are part of all nations; yea, that every individual person in the world should be baptized, heathens, as well as Christians, and even the molt profligate and abandoned of mankind, since they are part of all nations.[4]

And as there is no precept for the baptism of infants, so no precedent for it in the word of God. Though there was no clear and express command for it, which yet we think is necessary, and is required in such a case; yet, if there was a precedent of any one infant being baptized, we should think ourselves obliged to pay a regard unto it; but among the many thousands baptized by John, by Christ, or, however, by his order, and by his apostles, not one single instance of an infant being baptized can be found. We read, indeed, of households being baptized; from whence it is argued, that there might be, and it is probable there were, infants in them, who might be baptized; but it lies upon those who are of a different mind, to prove there were any in those households. To put us upon proving a negative, that there were none there, is unfair. However, as far as a negative can be proved, we are capable of it.[5] There are but three families usually observed, if so many; Lydias, the Jailor’s, and that of Stephanas, if not the fame with the Jailor’s, as some think. As for Lydias household, or those in her house, they were brethren; whom, afterwards, the apostles went to see, and whom they comforted; and so not infants. As for the Jailor’s household, they were such as were capable of hearing the word preached to them, and of believing it; for it is said, he rejoiced, believing in God with all his house (Acts 16:40, 34): and if any man can find any other in his house, besides all that were in it, he must be reckoned a very sagacious person. As for the household of Stephanas, (if different from the Jailor’s) it is said, that they addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints (1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15): and whether this be understood of the ministry of the word to the saints, or of the ministration of their substance to the poor, they must be adult persons, and not infants. Seeing then there is neither precept nor precedent for Infant-baptism in the word of God, of which I defy the whole world to give one tingle precedent, we cannot but condemn it as unscriptural, and unwarrantable.[6]

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

This verse as referring to two real and literal trees…..which were extraordinary ones, peculiar to themselves

December 29, 2020 2 comments

And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:9).

First of all, let it be said emphatically that we regard this verse as referring to two real and literal trees: the very fact that we are told they were “pleasant to the sight” obliges us to regard them as tangible and visible entities.

Second, In the second place, it is equally obvious from what is said of them that those two trees were extraordinary ones, peculiar to themselves. They were placed “in the midst of the garden”; and from what is recorded in connection with them in Genesis 3, it is clear that they differed radically from all the other trees in Eden. In the third place, we cannot escape the conclusion that those literal trees were vested with a symbolical significance, being designed by God to give instructions to Adam, in the same way as others of His positive institutions now do unto us.

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

I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation

December 28, 2020 Leave a comment

 

And now, it may be, some of you are convinced of sin, by the Holy Spirit. I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Behold, O trembling penitent the means of thy deliverance. Turn thy tearing eye to yonder Mount of Calvary! See the victim of justice-the sacrifice of atonement for your transgression. View the Savior in his agonies, with streams of blood purchasing thy soul, and with intensest agonies enduring thy punishment. He died for thee, if now thou dost confess thy guilt. O come thou condemned one, self-condemned, and turn thine eye this way, for one look will save. Sinner, thou art bitten. Look! It is nought but “Look!” It is simply “Look!” If thou canst but look to Jesus thou art safe. Hear the voice of the Redeemer: “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Look! Look! Look! O guilty souls.

Venture on him, venture wholly,

Let no other trust intrude

None but Jesus

Can do helpless sinners good,”

May my blessed Master help you to come to him, and draw you to his Son, for Jesus’ sake. Amen and Amen.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

Merry Christmas: 2020

December 25, 2020 3 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!

“Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the

east, and are come to worship him.” — Matthew 2:2.

THE incarnation of the Son of God was one of the greatest events in the history of the universe. Its actual occurrence was not, however, known to all mankind, but was specially revealed to the shepherds of Bethlehem and to certain wise men of the east. To shepherds — the illiterate, men little versed in human learning — the angels in choral song made known the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, and they hastened to Bethlehem to see the great sight; while the Scribes, the writers of the law and expounders of it, knew nothing concerning the long-promised birth of the Messias. No angelic bands entered the assembly of the Sanhedrim and proclaimed that the Christ was born; and when the chief priests and Pharisees were met together, though they gathered around copies of the law to consider where Christ should be born, yet it was not known to them that he was actually come, nor do they seem to have taken more than a passing interest in the matter, though they might have known that then was the time spoken of by the prophets when the great Messiah should come. How mysterious are the dispensations of grace; the base things are chosen and the eminent are passed by! The advent of the Redeemer is revealed to the shepherds who kept their flocks of sheep by night, but not to the shepherds whose benighted sheep were left to stray. Admire therein the sovereignty of God.

The glad tidings were made known also to wise men, magi, students of the stars and of old prophetic books from the far-off cast. It would not be possible to tell how far off their native country lay; it may have been so distant that the journey occupied nearly the whole of the two years of which they spake concerning the appearance of the star. Travelling was slow in those days, surrounded with difficulties and many dangers. They may have come from Persia, or India, or Tartary, or even from the mysterious land of Sinim, now known to us as China. If so, strange and uncouth must have been The speech of those who worshipped around the young Child at Bethlehem, yet needed he no interpreter to understand and accept their adoration. Why was the birth of the King of the Jews made known to these foreigners, and not to those nearer home? Why did the Lord select those who were so many hundreds of miles away, while the children of the kingdom, in whose very midst the Savior was brought forth, were yet strangely ignorant of his presence? See here again another instance of the sovereignty of God. Both in shepherds and in Eastern magi gathering around the young Child, I see God dispensing his favors as he wills and, as I see it, I exclaim, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Herein we see again another instance of God’s sovereign will; for as of old there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elias the prophet, but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto the woman of Sarepta; so many there were who were called wise men among the Jews, but unto none of them did the star appear; but it shone on Gentile eyes, and led a chosen company from the ends of the earth to bow at Emmanuel’s feet.

Sovereignty in these cases clothed itself in the robes of mercy. It was great mercy that regarded the low estate of the shepherds, and it was farreaching mercy which gathered from lands which lay in darkness a company of men made wise unto salvation. Mercy wearing her resplendent jewels was present with divine sovereignty in the lowly abode of Bethlehem. Is it not a delightful thought, that around the cradle of the Savior, as well as around his throne in the highest heaven, these two attributes meet? He makes known himself — and herein is mercy; but it is to those whom he has chosen — and herein he shows that he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Sages, The Star, and The Savior, Delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, December 25th, 1870.

Does it not, to the extent that it prevails, throw the whole population of the country into the church?

December 25, 2020 Leave a comment

We are now prepared to inquire into the effect produced upon the character of the church by infant baptism. It sets aside all the laws of membership enacted by Christ for her preservation and glory; it proceeds upon others of its own creation, and substitution; it brings into the body, not the spiritual and pure only, but also all classes of men; and it thus impresses upon it such a character as effectually destroys its claims to be regarded as the true visible church of Christ. It is thenceforth necessarily carnal and unholy. It is not the church of Christ.

Infant baptism, I have said, necessarily leads to this melancholy result. Let this proposition be further considered. Does it not, to the extent that it prevails, throw the whole population of the country into the church? This fact no man will deny. Is it not also true, that great multitudes of these baptized children grow up to maturity in the church, worldly, sensual, wicked men? They are all members, and some of them ministers, and other officers, in the church! If, as we have seen, the character of an association as a body, is necessarily that of the individuals of which it is composed, then it follows with certainty, that infant baptism must soon despoil the church of its spirituality and purity, and render it carnal and unholy, since it is by this rite, filled with members, officers, and ministers, who are not themselves spiritual and pure, but carnal, unholy, and worldly. The church is what the members are of which it is composed.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

To what a delightful consummation has our text conducted us

December 24, 2020 3 comments

Now, to what a delightful consummation has our text conducted us. It began with a renewed heart, and it ends in a purified life. It commenced with taking away the stone and giving the flesh; now it gives us the life of Christ written out, in living characters in our daily practice. Glory be to God for this! O soul, if thou art a partaker of it, thou wilt join in this thanksgiving; and if thou art not renewed as yet, I beseech thee do not go about to find these good things anywhere but where they are. At the cross foot thou wilt find a change of heart; where fell the drops of blood from Jesus’ nailed hands and feet there is salvation. The Spirit of God will give you a right spirit, and, consequently, a pure life. Look not to your own efforts; rake not the dunghill of your own heart; to the Holy Ghost look you through the blood of the precious Savior.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- A Sermon delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, April 14th, 1872. A Sermon on Ezekiel 36:26-27.

The Wednesday Word: GRACE IN TWO SMALL WORDS

December 23, 2020 Leave a comment

“Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, says the Lord, and your Redeemer” (Isaiah 41:14).

This text gives us grace in two small words.

What are the 2 words?

They are, “Fear Not.”

In the Middle East there is an ancient fable that Pestilence met a caravan on the way to Baghdad.

“Why must you travel to Baghdad?” asked the Caravan Master. “To take five thousand lives,” he answered.

On the way back Pestilence again met the caravan.

“You deceived me,” said the Caravan master. “You took 50,000 lives.”

“No,’ insisted Pestilence. ‘I took 5,000 lives. Fear killed the rest.”

That is a fable.

But, here’s a fact … fear kills.

At one time or another, most of us have been gripped with fear. It’s no wonder then that these two words, ‘Fear Not’ are found frequently throughout the scriptures. In fact, the phrases, “Fear not” or “Be not afraid”, occur more than 100 times in the King James Bible.

In all our fears may we learn to look to Jesus. He is the antidote to fear, anxiety and worry.

When the Lord applies these two words ‘fear not’ to our hearts, they sustain and support us.

Consider the context of our verse. The people of Israel had just found out they were going to be sent into captivity to Babylon. They needed a word from the Lord, and He gave it … “Fear Not!” The Lord was on their side. Consider this; if the Lord is on our side, all must eventually be well.

The Lord is all-sufficient for every emergency and each need. In Christ we lack nothing. In Christ, we are graced with all-sufficient, spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ, we have enough to meet every necessity.

“Fear not.”

“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.”

Notice how the people of Israel are called worms yet the Lord has grace for them. And that’s the way it is with us. Jesus takes us at our worst and gives us grace. If He only took notice of us when we were great and continually strong, we would perish. But the Lord looks at us in our lowest … when we are down in the depths and gives us grace. Fear not!

These two words, ‘Fear Not’ revive, restore and renew us. He is not scolding us … He’s not saying …” Here you!! You’d best fear not!!! Now get it straight!!!

No! He says … “Fear not, I will help you. I, Yahweh will support you.”

We look at the future and there seems to be a mountain of rugged obstacles fast approaching us … But, here’s the good news. God is the God of the mountains. He is with us, no matter what we are going through. Fear Not!

Because of the shed blood of Calvary there is no longer separation between us and God. There are no mountains of division. As Paul says, “ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).

Fear not,

Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

“And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God has willed

His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim—

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo! his doom is sure,

Two little words shall fell him.”—Martin Luther.

Fear Not!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

What I shall say in the following discourse, will much depend upon the sense of the word commandments

December 23, 2020 3 comments

BAPTISM: A DIVINE COMMANDMENT

Being about to administer the Ordinance of Baptism, before we

enter upon the administration of it, I shall drop a few words

on the occasion, from a passage of scripture you will find in

1 JOHN 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his

commandments, and his commandments are not grievous.

What I shall say in the following discourse, will much depend upon the sense of the word commandments; by which are meant, not the ten commandments, or the commandments of the moral law delivered by Moses to the children of Israel; which, though they are the commands of God, and to be observed by Christians under the present dispensation; since we are not without law to God, but under the law to Christ (1 Cor. 9:21); and are to be kept from a principle of love to God, for the end of the commandment is charity, or love, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned (1 Tim. 1:5); yet there commands are not easy of observation, through the weakness of the flesh, or corruption of nature; nor can they be perfectly kept by any of Adams fallen race; for there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not (Eccl. 7:20); and he that offends in one point is guilty of all (Jam. 2:10); and is exposed to the curse and condemnation of the law, which runs in this tenor, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them (Gal. 3:10); hence this law in general is called a fiery law, the letter which kills, and the ministration of condemnation and death, which make it terrible to offenders; however, it may be delighted in by believers in Christ after the inward man: nor are the commandments of the ceremonial law intended, which being many and numerous, were burdensome; especially to carnal men, who were frequently ready to say concerning them, What a weariness is it? One of its precepts, circumcision, is called a yoke, which, says the apostle Peter, neither our fathers nor we were able to bear (Acts 15:10); because it bound persons to keep the whole law, which they could not do; and the whole is said to be a yoke of bondage (Gal. 5:1), and consequently its command-ments grievous; besides this law was abrogated before the apostle John wrote this epistle, and its commandments were not to be kept; Christ had abolished this law of commandments contained in ordinances; and there is now a dis-annulling of the whole of it, because of its weakness and unprofitableness (Eph. 2:15; Heb. 7:18); rather the commandments of faith and love the apostle speaks of in chapter 3:23 may be designed; And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment: there were exhortations, injunctions and commands of Christ to his disciples, which were to be kept by them, and were not grievous. Ye believe in God, says he (John 14:1), believe also in me; and again, A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 8:34); but inasmuch as Christ, as lawgiver in his church, has appointed some special and peculiar laws and ordinances to be observed, and which he calls his commandments, he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me (John 14:21); very agreeably to our text; and after he had given his apostles a commission to preach and baptize, he adds, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20); and whereas, among these commandments and ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s supper are the chief and principal, I choose to understand the text of them;[1] and since we are about to administer the first of these at this time, I shall confine my discourse chiefly to that, and shall attempt the following things.

I. To shew that baptism, water-baptism, is a command of God and Christ, or a divine command.

II. That being a divine command, it ought to be kept and observed.

III. The encouragement to keep it; it is the love of God, and it is a commandment not grievous.

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.