Archive for December, 2021

Our Lord Jesus Christ foresaw that his holy religion would meet, in all lands, the condemnation of men in power

December 31, 2021 3 comments

Our Lord Jesus Christ foresaw that his holy religion would meet, in all lands, the condemnation of men in power, and that in its progress it would agitate society to its very foundations. He therefore said to his disciples:

Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth. I am not come to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36.)

And ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9.)

Accordingly, the religion of Christ no sooner began to be preached than it had arrayed against it all the princes, priests, and officials of every government upon earth. Its advocates were pursued, hunted down, persecuted, and destroyed everywhere. Resistance, however, but added to its strength. God was in his truth. His purposes no earthly power can successfully frustrate. The people heard, and believed. Disciples multiplied. Heathenism waned.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 12- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it is the Grand Foundation upon which rest the Union of Church and State


December 30, 2021 2 comments

(ISAIAH 27:20.)


AS to the present world, how many beds are there of man’s own invention. One man has made himself a bedstead of gold; the pillars thereof are of silver, the covering thereof is of Tyrian purple, the pillows are filled with down, such as only much fine gold could buy him; the hangings he hath embroidered with threads of gold and silver, and the curtains are drawn upon rings of ivory. Lo, this man hath ransacked creation for luxuries, and invented to himself all manner of sumptuous delights. He gets unto himself broad acres and many lands; he adds house to house, and field to field; he digs, he toils, he labors, he is in hopes that he shall get enough, a sufficiency, a satisfactory inheritance. He proceeds from enterprise to enterprise, he invests his money in one sphere of labor, and then another. He attempts to multiply his gold, until it gets beyond all reckoning. He becomes a merchant prince, a millionaire, and he says unto himself, “Soul, take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry; thou hast much goods laid up for many years.” Do you not envy this man his bed? Are there not some of you, whose only object in life is to get such a couch for yourselves? You say, “He has well-feathered his nest; would to God that I could do the same for myself!” Ah! But do you know that this bed is shorter than that he can stretch himself upon it? If you cast yourself upon it for a moment, the bed is long enough for you, but it is not long enough for him.

I have often thought that many a man’s riches would be sufficient for me, but they are not sufficient for him. If he makes them his god, and seeks in them his happiness, you never find the man has money enough, his lands are still too narrow, and his estate too small. When he begins to stretch himself, he finds there is something wanted: if the bed could only be made a little longer, then, he thinks, he could be quiet, and have room enough. But when the bed is lengthened, he finds he has grown longer, too; and when his fortune has grown as big as the bedstead of Og, king of Bashan, even then he finds he cannot lie upon it easily. Nay, we read of one man who stretched himself along the whole world which he had conquered; but he found there was not room, and he began to weep because there were not other worlds to conquer. One would have thought a little province would have been enough for him to rest in. Oh, no; so big is man when he stretches himself, that the whole world does not suffice him. Nay, if God should give to the avaricious all the mines of Peru, all the glittering diamonds of Golconda, all the wealth of worlds, and if he were then to transmute the stars into gold and silver, and make us emperors of an entire universe till we should talk of constellations as men talk of hundreds, yea, and talk of universes as men talk of thousands, even then the bed would not be long enough whereon we might stretch our ever-lengthening desires. The soul is wider than creation, broader than space; give it all, it would be still unsatisfied, and man would not find rest.

You say, “That is strange: if I had a little more I should be very well satisfied.” You make a mistake: if you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. “Nay,” says one, “I should be.” You do not know yourself. If you have fixed your affection on the things of this world, that affection is like a horse-leech; it cries, “Give! Give!” It will suck, suck, suck to all eternity, and still cry, “Give! Give!” and though you give it all, it has not gotten enough. The bed, in fact, “is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it.”

Let us look in another direction. Other men have said,” Well, I do not care for gold and silver; thank God, I have no avarice.” But they have been ambitious. “Oh,” says one, “if I might be famous, what would I not do? Oh, if my name might be handed down to posterity, as having done something, and having been somebody, a man of note, how satisfied would I be!” And the man has so acted, that he has at last made for himself a bed of honor. He has become famous. There is scarce a newspaper which does not record his name. His name has become a household word; nations listen to his voice; thousands of trumpets proclaim his deeds. He is a man, and the world knows it, and stamps him with the adjective “great;” he is called “a great man.” See how soft and downy is his bed! What would some of you give to rest upon it! He is fanned to sleep by the breath of fame, and the incense of applause smokes in his chamber. The world waits to refresh him with renewed flattery. Oh! Would you not give your ears and eyes if you might have a bed like that to rest upon.

But did you ever read the history of famous men, or hear them tell their tale in secret? “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” even though it be the laurel coronet of honor. When the man is known, it is not enough; he asks for wider praise. There was a time when the approbation of a couple of old women was fame to him; now the approbation of ten thousand is nothing. He talks of men as if they were but flocks of wild asses, and what he looked up to once as a high pinnacle is now beneath his feet. He must go higher, and higher, and higher; though his head is reeling, though his brain is whirling, though his feet are slipping, he must go higher. He has done a great thing: he must do more. He seems to stride across the world; he must leap further yet, for the world will never believe a man famous unless he constantly outdoes himself. He must not only do a great thing to-day, but he must do a greater thing to-morrow, the next day a greater still, and pile his mountains one upon another until he mounts the very Olympus of the demigods. But, suppose he gets there, what does he say, “Oh that I could go back to my cottage, that I might be all unknown, that I might have rest with my family and be quiet. Popularity is a care which I never endured until now, a trouble that I never guessed. Let me lose it all; let me go back!” He is sick of it; for the fact is, that man never can be satisfied with anything less than the approbation of heaven; and until conscience gets that, all the applause of senates and of listening princes would be a bed shorter than a man could stretch himself upon it.

There is another bed on which man thinks he could rest. There is a witch, a painted harlot, who wears the richest gems in her ears, and a necklace of precious things about her neck. She is an old deceiver. She was old and shriveled in the days of Bunyan; she painted herself then, she paints now, and paint she will as long as the world endureth. And she gaddeth forth, and men think her young and fair, and lovely, and desirable; her name is Madam Wanton. She keeps a house wherein she feasteth men, and maketh them drunken with the wine of pleasure, which is as honey to the taste, but is venom to the soul. This witch, when she can, entices men into her bed. “There,” she says, “there, how daintily have I spread it!” It is a bed, the pillars whereof are pleasure; above is the purple of rapture, and beneath is the soft repose of luxurious voluptuousness. Oh, what a bed is this! Solomon once laid in it, and many since his time have sought their rest there. They have said, “Away with your gold and silver: let me spend it, that I may eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I die. Tell me not of fame; I care not for it. I would sooner have the pleasures of life, or the joys of Bacchus, than the laurel of fame. Let me give myself up to the intoxication of this world’s delights; let me be drowned in the butt of Burgundy of this world’s joys.” Have you ever seen such men as that? I have seen many, and wept over them, and I know some now; they are stretching themselves on that bed, and trying to make themselves happy.

Byron is just a picture of such men, though he outdid others. What a bed was that he stretched himself on! Was ever libertine more free in his vices? Was ever sinner more wild in his blasphemy? Was ever poet more daring in his flights of thought? Was ever man more injurious to his fellows than he? And yet, what did Byron say? There is a verse which just tells you what he felt in his heart. The man had all that he wanted of sinful pleasure, but here is his confession —

I fly like a bird of the air,

In search of a home and a rest;

A balm for the sickness of care,

A bliss for a bosom unblest.

And yet he found it not. He had no rest in God. He tried pleasure till his eyes were red with it; he tried vice till his body was sick; and he descended into his grave a premature old man. If you had asked him, and he had spoken honestly, he would have said, the bed was shorter than that he could stretch himself upon it. No, young man, you may have all the vices and all the pleasure and mirth of this metropolis — and there is much to be found, of which I make no mention here — and when you have it all, you will find it does not equal your expectation, nor satisfy your desires. When the devil is bringing you one cup of spiced wine, you will be asking him next time to spice it higher; and he will flavor it to your fiery taste, but you will be dissatisfied still, until, at last, if he were to bring you a cup hot as damnation, it would fall tasteless on your palate. You would say, “Even this is tasteless to me, except in the gall, and bitter wormwood, and fire that it brings.” It is so with all worldly pleasure; there is no end to it; it is a perpetual thirst. It is like the opium-eater; he eats a little, and he dreams such strange wonders; and he wakes, and where are they? Such dreamers, when awake, look like dead men, with just animation enough to enable them to crawl along. The next time, to get to their elysium, they must take more opium, and the next time more and more, and all the while they are gradually going down an inclined plane into their graves. That is just the effect of human pleasure, and all worldly sensual delights; they only end in destruction; and even while they last, they are not wide enough for our desire, they are not large enough for our expectations, “for the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it.”

Now think, for a moment, of the Christian, and see the picture reversed. I will suppose the Christian at his very worst state, though there is no reason why I should do so. The Christian is not necessarily poor; he may be rich. Suppose him poor. He has not a foot of land to call his own; he lives by the day, and he lives well, for his Master keeps a good cupboard for him, and furnishes him with all he requires. He has nothing in this world except the promise of God with regard to the future. The worldly man laughs at the promise, and says it is good for nothing. Now look at the Christian; he says,—

Theres nothing round this spacious globe,

Which suits my large desires;

To nobler joys than nature gives,

Thy servant, Lord, aspires.

What, poor man, are you perfectly content? “Yes,” says he, “it is my Father’s will that I should live in poverty. I am perfectly content.” “Well, but is there nothing else you wish for?” “Nothing,” says he, “I have the presence of God; I have delight in communion with Christ; ‘I know that there is laid up for me a crown of life that fadeth not away,’ and more I cannot want. I am perfectly content; my soul is at rest.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘Beds That Are Too Short’

The Wednesday Word: Is the Gospel a Mere Doorway?

December 29, 2021 Leave a comment

Yes indeed! For many professing Christians the gospel is merely a doorway into the kingdom of God. There, however, are others who seem to think it is not even that!

Take Sunday services for example. To get sinners saved, a good church, they argue, must provide a comfortable environment and have music from a contemporary band. A spotlight would be just the thing on the preacher and above all, they contend, our services must be upbeat, enjoyable and entertaining. The right kind of church service has now replaced the gospel as the power of God for salvation. May the Lord rescue us!

The following is attributed to Spurgeon.

“The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the church has gradually toned down her testimony as she excuses the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!”

“My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work why did Christ not speak of it? “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.”

“Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles.”

“Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his teaching, He would have been more popular. When “many people turned back and no longer followed him”, I do not hear him say, “Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!”

Just as the gospel is the only way to save sinners it is also the only way to save saints. If we, as believers, are ever to enjoy the full extent of sonship, we must be bathed in the gospel. The gospel saves us in the beginning, middle and end of our Christian life.

Christ Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of salvation. As He is the beginning, He is also the end … but we have forgotten that He is also everything in between. As we run this race, this Christian life, we are to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). This means that we must look away from ourselves and behold the excellencies and glory of God in the face of Jesus the Christ.

But someone may reply, “Isn’t how we live the important thing to teach in our churches?” Yes indeed, how we live is of vital concern, but unless the gospel of Christ is central in the church, then real godliness will not come!

Why not? Because the power for real godliness comes through the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The word used here for power is the Greek word ‘dunamis’ from which we get such English words as ‘dynamite.’

In other words, the gospel of Christ is explosive! Full salvation will come no other way than by the gospel. When a pastor is not gospel-centred and the person of Christ and His completed saving and perfect work are not expounded his people are not growing in salvation. How can they? For there is no power for salvation in his message.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee   

The difference betwixt the men of God and the world

December 29, 2021 Leave a comment

From this consideration, two things present themselves to our sight.

II. There have been, and may yet be a people in the world that have, and may suffer in the sense of the apostle here, according to the will of God.

Second, To prove this by reason is easy. The devil is not yet shut up in the bottomless pit-Antichrist is yet alive. The government in all kingdoms is not yet managed with such light, and goodness of mind, as to let the saints serve God, as he has said, whatever it is in some. And until then there will be in some places, though for my part I cannot predict where, a people that will yet suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness’ sake.

In order to a right handling of this matter, I shall divide this head into these two parts-

A. Show you what it is to suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness.

B. Show you what it is to suffer for righteousness’ sake. I put this distinction, because I find that it is one thing to suffer for righteousness, and another to suffer for righteousness’ sake.

[A. What it is to suffer for well-doing, or righteousness.]

Now, upon this bottom begins the difference betwixt the men of God and the world. For, first, by this inward principle of righteousness we come to see, and say, that men by nature are not Christians, what privileges soever they may account themselves partakers thereof. But whosoever is a Christian, of God’s making so, is begotten and born of God, and made a new creature by the anointing received from the Holy One (James 1:18; John 3:3, 5; 2 Cor 5:17, 18; 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 24, 27).

Now, this these carnal men cannot endure to hear of; because it quite excludes them, as such, from a share in the kingdom of heaven. To this, again, the Christian stands and backs what he says by the Word of God. Then the game begins, and the men of the world are thoughtful how they may remove such troublesome fellows out of the way. But because the Christians love their neighbours, and will not let them thus easily die in their sins, therefore they contend with them, both by reasonings, writings, sermons, and books of gospel divinity; and stand to what they say. The world, again, are angry with these sayings, sermons, and books, for that by them they are concluded to be persons that are without repentance, and the hope of eternal life. Here again, the carnal world judges that these people are proud, self-willed, pragmatical, contentious, self-conceited, and so unsufferable people. The Christian yet goes on and stands to what he has asserted. Then the poor world at their last shift begins to turn, and overturn the gospel-man’s sayings; perverting, forcing, stretching, and dismembering of them; and so making of them speak what was never thought, much less intended by the believer.

John Bunyan- Seasonable Counsel or Advise to Sufferers

Literalists and futurists have been so occupied with the shell or letter, that they have quite missed the kernel or spirit

December 28, 2021 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkIII.

In the previous chapter we intimated that the blessings contained in the benediction which the Lord pronounced upon Noah and his sons were infinitely more precious than the mere letter conveys. In order to attain a right understanding of the various covenants which God made with different men, it is highly essential that we carefully distinguish between the literal and the figurative, or the outward form and its inner meaning. Only thus shall we be able to separate between what was merely local and evanescent, and that which was more comprehensive and enduring. There was connected with each covenant that which was literal or material, and also that which was mystical or spiritual; and unless this be duly noted, confusion is bound to ensue. Yea, it is at this very point that many have erred—particularly so with the Abrahamic and Sinaitic covenants.

Literalists and futurists have been so occupied with the shell or letter, that they have quite missed the kernel or spirit. Allegorizers have been so much engaged with the figurative allusions, they have often failed to discern the historical fulfillment. Still others have so arbitrarily juggled the two, that they have carried out and applied neither consistently. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we use the best possible care in seeking to distinguish between the carnal and the spiritual, the transient and the eternal, what pertains to the earthly and what adumbrated the heavenly in the several covenants. The reader should already have been prepared, in some measure at least, to follow us in what we are now saying, by what was brought out in our examination of the Adamic covenant.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

THERE are some passages of sacred writ which have been more abundantly blessed to the conversion of souls than others

December 27, 2021 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 3I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins,” Isaiah 43:25.

THERE are some passages of sacred writ which have been more abundantly blessed to the conversion of souls than others. They may be called salvation texts. We may not be able to discover how it is, or why it is, but certainly it is the fact, that some chosen verses have been more used of God to bring men to the cross of Christ than any others in his Word. Certainly they are not more inspired, but I suppose they are more noticeable from their position, from their peculiar phraseology more adapted to catch the eye of the reader, and more suitable to a prevailing spiritual condition. All the stars in the heavens shine very brightly, but only a few attract the eye of the mariner, and direct his course; the reason is this, that those few stars from their peculiar grouping are more readily distinguished, and the eye easily fixes upon them. So I suppose it is with those passages of God’s Word which especially attract attention, and direct the sinner to the cross of Christ. It so happens that this text is one of the chief of them. I have found it, in my experience, to be a most useful one; for out of the hundreds of persons who have come to me to narrate their conversion and experience, I have found a very large proportion who have traced the divine change which has been wrought in their hearts to the hearing of this precious declaration of sovereign mercy read, and the application of it with power to their souls: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Hence I feel this morning somewhat pleased to have such a text, because I anticipate that my Master will give me souls; and I feel likewise somewhat afraid lest I should spoil the passage by my own imperfect handling thereof I will, therefore, cast myself implicitly on the help of the Spirit, so that whatever I speak, may be suggested by him, and whatever he saith that may I speak, to the exclusion of my own thoughts as much as possible.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Forgiveness, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 20, 1855; at Exeter Hall.

Upon what arguments do the friends of a state church rely to prove its lawfulness?

December 24, 2021 3 comments

Upon what arguments do the friends of a state church rely to prove its lawfulness? The very same by which they defend infant baptism. To this fact I briefly alluded in a former chapter. Judaism in both cases, furnishes the required testimony. The Jewish society before Christ, and the Christian society after Christ, are one and the same church under different dispensations. The Jewish church was national. The Christian church must also be national. Every Hebrew was born in the Jewish church, and to confirm him in his rights and immunities, he was circumcised. In like manner every Christian child is born in the church, and receives baptism. “If infant baptism is legitimate, a national church, and priesthood, necessarily follow.”[134] Infant baptism, therefore, as is maintained, both by its friends, and its enemies, is the grand foundation upon which rests the union of church and state. This fact having now been fully determined, we proceed to consider the origin and nature of the union in question.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 12- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it is the Grand Foundation upon which rest the Union of Church and State


December 23, 2021 Leave a comment

IF our sun do not go down ere it be noon, we may all of us expect to have an evening time of life. Either we shall be taken from this world by death, or else, if God should spare us, ere long we shall get to the evening of life. In a few more years, the sere and yellow leaf will be the fit companion of every man and every woman. Is there anything melancholy in that? I think not. The time of old age, with all its infirmities, seems to me to be a time of peculiar blessedness and privilege to the Christian. To the worldly sinner, whose zest for pleasure has been removed by the debility of his powers and the decay of his strength, old age must be a season of tedium and pain; but to the veteran soldier of the cross, old age must assuredly be a time of great joy and blessedness.

I was thinking the other evening, whilst riding in a delightful country, how like to evening time old age is. The sun of hot care has gone down; that sun which shone upon that early piety of ours, which had not much depth of root, and which scorched it so that it died — that sun which scorched our next true godliness, and often made it well-nigh wither, and would have withered it, had it not been planted by the rivers of water — that sun is now set. The good old man has no particular care now in all the world. He says to business, to the hum, and noise, and strife of the age in which he lives, “Thou art nought to me; to make my calling and election sure, to hold firmly this my confidence, and wait until my change comes, this is all my employment; with all your worldly pleasures and cares I have no connection.” The toil of his life is all done, he has no more now to be sweating and toiling, as he had in his youth and manhood; his family have grown up, and are no more dependent upon him; it may be God has blessed him, and he has sufficient for the wants of his old age, or it may be that in some rustic almshouse he breathes out the last few years of his existence. How calm and quiet! Like the laborer who, when he returns from the field at evening time, casts himself upon his couch, so does the old man rest from his labors. And at evening time we gather into families, the fire is kindled, the curtains are drawn, and we sit around the family fire, to think no more of the things of the great rumbling world; and even so in old age, the family, and not the world, is the engrossing topic.

Did you ever notice how venerable grandsires, when they write a letter, fill it full of intelligence concerning their children? “John is well,” “Mary is ill,” “all our family are in health.” Very likely some business friend writes to say, “Stocks are down,” or, “the rate of interest is raised;” but you never find that in any good old man’s letters; he writes about his family, his lately married daughters, and all that. Just what we do at evening time; we only think of the family circle, and forget the world. That is what the greyheaded old man does. He thinks of his children, and forgets all beside. Well, then, how sweet it is to think that for such an old man there is light in the darkness! “At evening time it shall be light.” Dread not thy days of weariness, dread not thine hours of decay. O soldier of the cross, new lights shall burn when the old lights are quenched; new candles shall be lit when the lamps of life are dim. Fear not! The night of thy decay may be coming on; but “at evening time it shall be light.”

At evening time the Christian has many lights that he never had before; lit by the Holy Spirit and shining by his light. There is the light of a bright experience. He can look back, and he can raise his Ebenezer saying, “Hither by thy help I’ve come.” He can look back at his old Bible, the light of his youth, and he can say, “This promise has been proved to me; this covenant has been proved true. I have thumbed my Bible many a year; I have never yet thumbed a broken promise. The promises have all been kept to me; ‘not one good thing has failed.’“ And then, if he has served God, he has another light to cheer him: he has the light of the remembrance of what good God has enabled him to do. Some of his spiritual children come in and talk of times when God blessed his conversation to their souls. He looks upon his children, and his children’s children, rising up to call the Redeemer blessed; at evening time he has a light.

But at the last the night comes in real earnest: he has lived long enough, and he must die. The old man is on his bed; the sun is going down, and he has no more light. “Throw up the windows, let me look for the last time into the open sky,” says the old man. The sun has gone down; I cannot see the mountains yonder; they are all a mass of mist; my eyes are dim, and the world is dim too. Suddenly a light shoots across his face, and he cries, “O daughter! Daughter, here! I can see another sun rising. Did you not tell me that the sun went down just now? Lo, I see another; and where those hills used to be in the landscape, those hills that were lost in darkness, daughter, I can see hills that seem like burning brass; and methinks upon that summit I can see a city bright as jasper. Yes, and I see a gate opening, and spirits coming forth. What is that they say? Oh, they sing! They sing! Is this death!” And ere he has asked the question, he hath gone where he needs not to answer it, for death is all unknown. Yes, he has passed the gates of pearl; his feet are on the streets of gold; his head is bedecked with the crown of immortality; the palm-branch of eternal victory is in his hand. God hath accepted him in the Beloved.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘The Light of Evening’

The Wednesday Word: More Light from Old Windows

December 22, 2021 Leave a comment

It is an old story, but for some of us it will always be new. It’s the story of how Jesus died for His people. It’s the story of how He died for me. Is it your story too?

In heaven they sing about this story as they proclaim, “You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood,” (Revelation 5:9).

Redeemed by blood … His blood … what a stunning truth! And Peter tells us that it is precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-19). The blood is precious to the heart of God and is precious to every believer.

In the gospels, God gives us 4 different accounts of the death of the Lord Jesus.

Once we are told the story of Creation.

Twice we are told the account of Jesus’ birth.

But God, not wishing us to miss anything, gives 4 accounts of Christ’s death.

When Jesus died, the religious rulers had their way, but little did old Joe Caiaphas and the boys know that the Scriptures were actually being fulfilled while the Lord Jesus was hanging on the cross (see Isaiah 53, Psalm 22).

Look at the cross. Pilate had affixed a notice over the Saviour’s head saying, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King, of the Jews.”

Good for you Mr. Pilate! We would congratulate you if we could but what you said was only a little … but not a lot. You see, Jesus was far more than King of the Jews. He was the King of kings, and Lord of lords, He was God manifest in the flesh.

Yet there He was hanging on a cursed cross. And listen, listen to the rabble as they mock Him. Look, look at the soldiers as they gamble for His clothes.

He was dying but He didn’t have to.

We have the sentence of death in us. We are sinners and sin brings death (Romans 6:23). That’s why if the Lord tarries we will all someday be corpses. The seed of death is in us. But one of the wonderful truths revealed in God’s Gospel is that the One on whom death had no claim actually died. He it was who alone had life in Himself (John 5:29), and that life He voluntarily laid down for us (John 10:11).

At the cross, Jesus took up “the question of our sin. He was mocked, ridiculed, betrayed by a false friend, denied by a true one, forsaken by almost all yet He bore His people’s sins and judgment as He satisfied the justice of the Father.

Then, at the end, as He bowed His head and gave up the ghost He declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Another gospel tells us that He yielded up the ghost when He had cried again with a loud voice” (Matthew 27:50).

Notice that His voice was loud. It was full strength. The person who dies after a time of suffering is usually exhausted when they eventually expire. You can tell it in their voice. But in Jesus, we see a man who gave up His life in His full strength, and in the moment of departure called out, “It is finished.”

What was finished? I can’t tell you everything; no one I know can fully answer that question. Here are but a few suggestions.

He had come to glorify God … “It is finished.”

He had come to break the power of Satan … “It is finished.’’

He had come to accomplish redemption … “It is finished,”

He had come to give His life as a ransom for many … “It is finished.”

He had come to fulfill the righteous demands of the Father … “It is Finished.”

The three greatest words in the English language are, “It is finished.” If we think we have something to do to gain salvation we have not yet learned that ‘it is finished.’ The truth is, Jesus got there first! We are saved by His doing and dying and rising again.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee  

It containeth a revelation of moral and evangelical righteousness

December 22, 2021 Leave a comment

From this consideration, two things present themselves to our sight.

II. There have been, and may yet be a people in the world that have, and may suffer in the sense of the apostle here, according to the will of God.

Second, To prove this by reason is easy. The devil is not yet shut up in the bottomless pit-Antichrist is yet alive. The government in all kingdoms is not yet managed with such light, and goodness of mind, as to let the saints serve God, as he has said, whatever it is in some. And until then there will be in some places, though for my part I cannot predict where, a people that will yet suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness’ sake.

In order to a right handling of this matter, I shall divide this head into these two parts-

A. Show you what it is to suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness.

B. Show you what it is to suffer for righteousness’ sake. I put this distinc-tion, because I find that it is one thing to suffer for righteousness, and another to suffer for righteousness’ sake.

[A. What it is to suffer for well-doing, or righteousness.]

But more particularly, the word of righteousness-thy cause, within the bounds of which thou must keep, if thou wilt suffer for righteousness, is to be divided into two parts.

[1.] It containeth a revelation of moral righteousness.

[2.] It containeth a revelation of evangelical righteousness.

[1.] As for moral righteousness, men seldom suffer; only, for that. Because that is the righteousness of the world, and that, simply as such, that sets itself up in every man’s conscience, and has a testimony for itself, even in the light of nature. Besides, there is nothing that maketh head against that; but that which every man is ashamed, by words to plead for, and that is immorality. And this is that which Peter intends when he saith, “And if ye be followers of that which is good, who will harm you?” (1 Peter 3:13). If ye be followers of moral goodness. But if it should so happen, for the case is rare, that any man should make you sufferers because you love God, and do good to your neighbour, happy are ye. Though I do not think that the apostle’s conclusion terminates there. But more of these things anon.

For let a man be a good neighbour in morals; let him feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give freely out of his purse to the poor, and do that which he would another should do to him; and stop there, and not meddle with the name of Christ, and he shall have but few enemies in the world. For it is not the law, but Christ, that is the stumbling-block, and the rock of offence to men (Isa 8:14,15; Rom 9:31-33).

[2.] Wherefore, there is in God’s Word a revelation of another righteousness-a righteousness which is not so visible to, yea, and that suiteth not so with, the reason of man as that moral righteousness doth. Wherefore this righteousness makes men righteous in principle, and practise so, as is foreign to natural men. Hence it is said to be foolishness to them (1 Cor 2:14). And again, “Its praise is not of men” (Rom 2:29). This righteousness is also revealed in the Scriptures, but the blind cannot see it. It is the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart, and is therefore called the fruits of the Spirit; and the grace, which in the head and fullness of it, is only to be found in Christ (John 1:16; Col 1:19; 1 Tim 1:14). This righteousness being planted in the heart, leads a man out by the Word of God, to seek for another righteousness, as invisible to, and foreign from, the natural man, as this. And that righteousness is that which properly is the righteousness of Jesus Christ a right-eousness that standeth in his obedience to his Father’s law, as he was considered a common or public person-a righteousness which he brought into the world, not for himself, as considered in a private capacity, but for those that shall by faith venture themselves upon him, to obtain by him life eternal (Rom 5:19; Phil 3:7-10).

Again, This closing by faith, with this righteousness thus found in Christ, and being taken therewith, leads me yet to another righteousness, which is instituted worship, appointed by Christ, for all his followers to be conversant in; this worship is grounded on positive precepts, and so on words of righteousness, called Christ’s words, Christ’s sayings, &c.

John Bunyan- Seasonable Counsel or Advise to Sufferers