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Archive for May, 2021

Low thoughts of the value of religion

CharlesSpurgeonFor a little while I will expatiate upon the frequent causes of presumption in a Christian.

3. A third reason often is, low thoughts of the value of religion. We none of us value religion enough. Religious furor, as it is called, is laughed at everywhere; but I do not believe there is such a thing as religious furor at all. If a man could be so enthusiastic as to give his body to be burned at the stake, could he pour out his drops of blood and turn each drop into a life, and then let that life be slaughtered in perpetual martyrdom, he would not love his God too much. Oh, no! When we think that this world is but a narrow space; that time will soon be gone, and we shall be in the for-ever of eternity, when we consider we must be either in hell or in heaven throughout a never-ending state of immortality, how sirs, can we love too much? How can we set too high a value on the immortal soul? Can we ask too great a price for heaven? Can we think we do too much to serve that God who gave himself for our sins? Ah! No; and yet my friends, most of us do not sufficiently regard the value of religion. We cannot any of us estimate the soul rightly; we have nothing with which to compare it. Gold is sordid dust, diamonds are but small lumps of congealed air that can be made to melt away. We have nought with which to compare the soul; therefore we cannot tell its value. It is because we do not know this, that we presume. Doth the miser who loves his gold let it be scattered on the floor that his servant may steal it? Doth he not hide it in some secret place where no eye shall behold it? Day after day, night after night, he counteth out his treasure because he loves it. Doth the mother trust her bade by the river-side? Doth she not in her sleep think of it? And when it is sick, will she leave it to the care of some poor nurse, who may suffer it to die? Oh! No; what we love, we will not wantonly throw away; what we esteem most precious, we will guard with the most anxious care. So, if Christians knew the value of their souls, if they estimated religion at its proper rate, they never would presume; but low thoughts of Christ, low thoughts of God, mean thoughts of our souls’ eternal state-these things tend to make us carelessly secure. Take heed, therefore, of low ideas of the gospel, lest ye be overtaken by the evil one.

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Caution to the Presumptous, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

Infant baptism subverts the true doctrine of infant salvation

INFANT BAPTISM IS AN EVIL BECAUSE IT SUBVERTS THE TRUE DOCTRINE OF INFANT SALVATION

Doctrine stated; argument in proof; manner in which subverted by infant baptism; authorities; conclusions.

DEATH is a relentless destroyer. He assails, without distinction, all classes and conditions of men. The young and the old alike fall beneath his power. Upon infancy, however, his shafts descend most frequently, and with a deadlier aim. How large the proportion of mankind who are hurried into eternity during the first years of their being! Where is the family that has not mourned infants loved, and lost? Bleeding hearts, and flowing tears, in all lands, tell of sorrows which no words can ever adequately express!

Millions of infant spirits have gone into the unseen world. Each is an immortal intelligence. In that world they all possess the sensibilities common to humanity. With these facts before us, one question of surpassing interest, presses itself upon us all. Of departed infants what is the eternal destiny? Are they happy, or miserable? Parental affection implores, Christian sympathy earnestly solicits, and ministerial faithfulness demands, that these inquiries receive a prompt, intelligible, and scriptural answer. We believe that all infants are saved unconditionally, through the application to them, by the Holy Ghost, of the redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter whether they are in the church or out of the church, whether they are baptized or unbaptized, whether they are the children of believers or unbelievers, of heathens, Mohammedans, or Christians, their everlasting blessedness is equally, and in all cases, secure.

These, and all other such like circumstances, are irrelevant, and never can affect their relations with Christ. Consequently they can have no bearing upon their future destiny. Every child dying in infancy is saved. This is the doctrine of the Baptist denomination. Not of a few only, nor of our churches, and people, of the present day alone. It is the doctrine which has been invariably held by us in all countries, and in every age. It is the doctrine taught by the word of God. Having thus stated our position, I proceed at once, to the proofs of its truth.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 9- Infant baptism is an evil because it subverts the true doctrine of infant salvation

Pride is a brainless thing

Again, it is a brainless thing as well as a groundless thing; for it brings no profit with it. There is no wisdom in a self-exaltation. Other vices have some excuse for men seem to gain by them; avarice, pleasure, lust, have some plea; but the man who is proud sells his soul cheaply. He opens wide the flood-gates of his heart, to let men see how deep is the flood within his soul; then suddenly it floweth out, and all is gone — and all is nothing, for one puff of empty wind, one word of sweet applause — the soul is gone, and not a drop is left. In almost every other sin, we gather up the ashes when the fire is gone; but here, what is left? The covetous man hath his shining gold, but what hath the proud man? He has less than he would have had without his pride, and is no gainer whatever. Pride wins no crown; men never honor it, not even the menial slaves of earth; for all men look down on the proud man, and think him less than themselves.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘What is Pride?’

The Wednesday Word: The Gospel and Faith: Part 5

As the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit will generate faith (Romans 10:17) … and faith will cause the believer to see that God became a man. Not only did He become man, but faith also sees that He became our man. Faith receives that this God-Man, Christ Jesus, became our representative. Now, just to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance the first representative man was Adam. His fall was our fall. He represented us. But God in His grace and mercy gave us a Second Man, the Last Adam, who would regain all that was lost in the first (see 1 Corinthians 15:45-47).

Because the Second Man represented us, we can say, “When He lived, I lived, when He died I died and when He rose again I rose again.”

When the gospel is proclaimed and applied, faith sees many things. Among them it grasps that we were in Christ when redemption was accomplished.

By faith, the believer can now say I have lived a perfect life because I lived it in the person of my representative, Jesus the Christ, 2,000 years ago (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 3:3-4).

Faith also causes the believer to say, ‘I was punished, executed and buried 2000 years ago in Christ Jesus.’ In addition, believers can now say, “In Christ I rose again out of that grave, I ascended into glory and, in Christ, I sat down on the right hand of God’s favour” (see Ephesians 2:5:6).

By faith we can say, “In Christ, God also perfected me.” By faith we can likewise say, ‘In Christ, we have been taken, not to the woodshed but to the throne of grace. ‘

By faith we see we are risen with Christ and now by faith we may seek the things which are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We now are free to set our affection on things above not on things on the earth. For by faith, we see we are dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God (see Colossians 2: 10;12-13, 3:1-3).

Gospel mercies declare that we have been washed clean in Jesus Christ and by grace have been taken into perfect fellowship with God. The good news is not “here are five steps to maturity” and “here are seven steps for growth.” The good news is that God came to rescue us. His work is finished and as a result ‘in Christ’ we are already complete (Colossians 2:10).

The gospel declares that God Himself broke into human history in the Person of Jesus Christ and became our representative man. What a demonstration of amazing love. That the Almighty would become one of us is almost too hard to fathom.

This event must shout volumes even to the deafest among us, for it declares that God is not against us … for how can He be, seeing He has become one of us? He became so identified with His people that everything He did was not only for us, but as us. His work was credited to us and reckoned as if we had done it.

For acceptance in heaven, we needed to fight sin and win but we failed; so, Jesus did it in our place. As sinners, we should be punished but Jesus took our place!

We had a great enemy, Satan, who wished to kill us and could have, but Jesus, on our behalf, destroyed his power. Faith can now boldly confess, “I have won this fight because I have already won it in Christ.”

The final enemy we will face is death, but Jesus went into its very jaws and defeated it. Faith makes us confess that, in Christ, we have already conquered death, and the reality of this confession will be finally seen at the day of resurrection.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

Seasonable Counsel or Advice to Sufferers

SEASONABLE COUNSEL:

OR,

ADVICE TO SUFFERERS.

BY JOHN BUNYAN.

London: Printed for Benjamin Alsop,

at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry, 1684.

We do not mean the human race is now suffering for something in which they had no part

Arthur PinkIn saying that the guilt of Adam’s offense is imputed to all his posterity, we do not mean the human race is now suffering for something in which they had no part, that innocent creatures are being condemned for the act of another which cannot rightly be laid to their account. Let it be clearly understood that God punishes none for Adam’s personal sin, but only for his own sin in Adam. The whole human race had a federal standing in Adam. Not only was each of us seminally in his loins the day God created him, but each of us was legally represented by him when God instituted the covenant of works. Adam acted and transacted in that covenant not merely as a private being, but as a public person; not simply as a single individual, but as the surety and sponsor of his race. Nor is it lawful for us to call into question the meetness of that arrangement: all God’s works are perfect, all His ways are ordered by infinite wisdom and righteousness.

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

Light Thoughts of Sin

For a little while I will expatiate upon the frequent causes of presumption in a Christian.

2. Again, light thoughts of sin will engender presumption. When we are first converted, our conscience is so very tender, that we are afraid of the slightest sin. I have known young converts almost afraid to proceed a step, lest they should put their feet in the wrong direction. They will ask advice of their minister, and difficult cases of moral casuistry will they bring before us, such as we hardly know how to answer. They have a holy timidity, a godly fear, lest they should offend against God. But alas; very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world. The sensitive plant of young piety turns into a willow in after life, too pliant, too easily yielding. It is sadly true, that even a Christian will grow by degrees so callous, that the sin which once startled him and made his blood run cold, does not alarm him in the least. I can speak from my own experience. When first I heard an oath, I stood aghast, and knew not where to hide myself; yet now I can hear an imprecation or blasphemy against God, and though a shudder still runs through my veins, there is not that solemn feeling, that intense anguish, which I felt when first I heard such evil utterances. By degrees we get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. The men who work in those huge vessels, the hammering of which causes immense noise, cannot at first sleep, for the continual din in their ears, but by-and-by, they, when they are used to it, think nothing of it. So with sin. First, a little sin doth startle us. Soon we say, “Is it not a little one?” like Lot did of Zoar. Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard it as but a little ill; and then you know, there comes an unholy presumption, and we think we stand. “We have not fallen “say we, “we only did such a little thing; we have not gone astray. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright in the main. We might have uttered one unholy word, but as for the most of our conversation, it was consistent.” So we palliate sin; we throw a gloss over it, we try to hide it. Christian, beware I when thou thinkest lightly of sin then thou hast become presumptuous. Take heed, lest thou shouldst fall. Sin-a little thing! Is it not a poison! Who knows its deadliness? Sin-a little thing! Do not the little foxes spoil the vines? Sin-a little thing! Doth not the tiny coral insect build a rock that wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones? Sin-a little thing! It girded his head with thorns that now is crowned with glory. Sin-a little thing! It made him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe, till he endured “All that incarnate God could bear, with strength enough, and none to spare.”

It is not a little thing, sirs. Could you weigh it in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. But alas I loose thoughts of sin often beget a presumptuous spirit, and we think we stand.

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Caution to the Presumptous, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

The practice of infant baptism perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced

The fact is now incontrovertibly established that the practice of infant baptism perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced. Protestant Pedobaptists, on all hands, still adhere to the old Popish dogmas that baptism contains some mysterious divine efficacy, and that through it the spiritual state of infants is materially affected, both as regards their union with Christ in this world, and their salvation in the world to come.

The evil thus brought upon all the interests of truth and salvation is incalculable. Religion itself is degraded and caricatured. The minds of its rotaries are besotted with miserable logomachy, such as that we have just examined. Fanaticism and bigotry reign triumphantly. Who that has not resigned his reason, can believe that the baptism of an infant conveys to its soul the quickening grace of God? Or that it is possible for an infant, at the age at which they are usually baptized, to exercise repentance, and faith in the Redeemer? All this is taught in the Papal church, and in the Protestant church, by the Catholic fathers, and by all the great Reformers. They were on many subjects wise and learned. On this subject they were neither. Do not, I pray you, oblige me to credit absurdities of any kind, and especially in religion. Not more insane than this is priestly pardon, the invocation of saints, transubstantiation, or purgatory. Infant baptism must, and does still look for support to the superstitions by which it was originally produced. Who ever submits to such superstitions in one department of religion, will soon be ready to give up his judgment, and common sense, in all the others.

Thus a downward progress is commenced which cannot be arrested short of the dark caverns of Popery.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 8- Infant baptism is an evil because its practice perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced

WHAT IS PRIDE?

THERE is nothing into which the heart of man so easily falls as PRIDE, and there is no vice which is more frequently, more emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture.

Pride is a groundless thing. It standeth on the sands; or worse than that, it puts its foot on the billows which yield beneath its tread; or, worse still, it stands on bubbles, which soon must burst beneath its feet. Of all things pride has the worst foothold; it has no solid rock on earth whereon to place itself. We have reasons for almost everything, but we have no reasons for pride. Pride is a thing which should be unnatural to us, for we have nothing to be proud of.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘What is Pride?’

The Wednesday Word: A Few Gospel Mercies Part 1

Romans 12:1 …….. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

What are these mercies?

The mercies of God are wonderful truths related to the gospel! Would you like to enjoy victorious Christian living? It is found as a result of believing and applying the mercies of the gospel.

For the believer, true guilt free, victorious living can only be realized through continual exposure to the gospel and its truths.

There are no techniques or formulas for spiritual victory. True victorious living comes from beholding Christ alone.

Far from being merely for the unsaved, the gospel is the essential message for every believer (Romans 1:5). Alas, in this day and age of formulas and the quick fix, this truth is missing from many of our pulpits.

However, as the gospel is preached, applied and its mercies understood, God’s people will begin to walk in the freedom and joy of their ‘so great salvation’. So, today we want to briefly look at one of the many gospel mercies which flow out of the finished work of Jesus the Christ.

Gospel Mercy Number 1: Forgiveness

The first gospel mercy we want to consider is total forgiveness for every sin. We read that, “Through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you forgiveness of sins’ (Acts 13:38). Our forgiveness was bought and paid for at the cross (Ephesians 1:7).

God said it; that settles it; I believed it; that settled me!

Forgiveness is a mercy we take by sheer faith. No one ever saw God blotting out our sin, but we believe it has been done because God said so. As we learn to take God at His word, the vapours of guilt will disseminate and disappear!

“But I don’t feel forgiven!”

But wait a moment, we are not told to feel forgiven but rather we are told to believe we are forgiven because of Christ and Calvary.

Luther was asked if he felt like his sins were forgiven to which he replied, “No! But I’m sure that they are! Get thee behind me Satan!”

You may be the feeblest believer who ever walked the face of the earth, but if you have trusted Christ as your Saviour you have received the forgiveness Christ has obtained for you.

The Lord has put our sins behind His back (Isaiah 38:17) Furthermore,

“As far as the East is from the West so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

By the way, it’s wonderful that our sins are forgiven, but even better to know they are forgotten; Hebrews 10:17 says,

“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

If our sins and iniquities are forgotten by God, what are we doing digging them up and remembering them? Why are we dwelling on them and defining ourselves by them?

The wisdom of this world says, “Blessed is the man who is rich and powerful.” But the wisdom of the Lord says,

“Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the lord imputes not iniquity and in whose spirit is no guile.” (Psalm 32:1-2).

May the Lord help every believer to live in the light of forgiveness and remember the Lord has said, “I even I am He that blots out your transgressions for my own sake and will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com