Archive

Author Archive

The terms of the covenants are to be understood in their plain and natural sense, yet they have a second and higher meaning

Thus, before seeking to set forth the everlasting covenant itself in a specific way, we have first endeavored to make clear the relation borne to it of the principal covenants which God was pleased to make with different men during the Old Testament era. Our sketch of them has necessarily been brief, for we shall take them up separately and consider them in fuller detail in the succeeding chapters. Yet sufficient has been said, we trust, to demonstrate that, while the terms of the covenants which God made with Noah, with Abraham, with Israel at Sinai, and with David, are to be understood, first, in their plain and natural sense, yet it should be clear to any anointed eye that they have a second and higher meaning—a spiritual content. The things of earth have been employed to represent heavenly things. In other words, those subordinate covenants need to be contemplated in both their letter and spirit.

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

Advertisements

Liberty of the text is no such freedom as this: it is an infinitely greater and better one

I have commenced with this idea, because I think worldly men ought to be told that if religion does not save them, yet it has done much for them-that the influence of religion has won them their liberties.

But the liberty of the text is no such freedom as this: it is an infinitely greater and better one. Great as civil or religious liberty may be, the liberty of my text transcendently exceeds. There is a liberty, dear friends, which Christian men alone enjoy; for even in Great Britain there are men who taste not the sweet air of liberty. There are some who are afraid to speak as men, who have to cringe and fawn, and bow, and stoop, to any one; who have no will of their own, no principles, no voice, no courage, and who cannot stand erect in conscious independence. But he is the free man, whom the truth makes free. He who has grace in his heart is free, he cares for no one; he has the right upon his side; he has God within him-the in dwelling Spirit of the Holy Ghost; he is a prince of the blood royal of heaven; he is a noble, having the true patent of nobility; he is one of God’s elect, distinguished, chosen children, and he is not the man to bend, or meanly cringe. No!-sooner would he walk the burning furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego-sooner would he be cast into the lion’s den with Daniel, than yield a point in principle. He is a free man. “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” in its fullest, highest and widest sense. God give you friends, to have that “Spirit of the Lord;” for without it, in a free country, ye may still be bondsmen; and where there are no serfs in body, ye may be slaves in soul. The text speaks of Spiritual liberty; and now I address the children of God. Spiritual liberty, brethren, you and I enjoy if we have “the Spirit of the Lord” within us. What does this imply; It implies that there was a time when we had not that Spiritual liberty-when we were slaves. But a little while ago all of us who now are free in Christ Jesus, were slaves of the devil: we were led captives at his will. We talked of free-will, but free-will is a slave. We boasted that we could do what we pleased; but oh! what a slavish and dreamy liberty we had. It was a fancied freedom. We were slaves to our lusts and passions -slaves to sin; but now we are freed from sin; we are delivered from our tyrant; a stronger than he has cast out the strong man armed, and we are free.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 7i-Philology of the Covenants

The same philology, I will further at present, only remark, must also be applied in its interpretation to the covenant as repeated to David. To him God said, and the declaration was frequently repeated:- “Thy seed will I establish forever; and build up thy throne to all generations.” He did indeed literally establish David’s seed, but not forever; and literally built up David’s throne, but not to all generations. The terms of the covenant must be accomplished. In their literal import they have unquestionably failed. It remains only therefore, for us to expect them in their second and higher meaning. And they are accordingly, gloriously fulfilled in the person, and reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; “whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and whose dominion is forever and ever.” “David’s kingdom,” says the distinguished Robert Hall, “was renewed and improved into higher glories, in the person of Jesus Christ, the true, spiritual, substantial David; of whose kingdom (it cannot reasonably be doubted by any) that of David himself was a type. The empire of Christ was the sequel, and continuation of that which had originated in the son of Jesse; and hence the Saviour is so often styled The son of David.’ The angel at his nativity announced him as ‘He who should be great,’ who should sit upon the throne of his father David, and of whose kingdom there should be no end.” Already in a previous chapter, I have spoken of this covenant somewhat at length. I have referred to it here again, only to show that its promises are of such a nature that their perfect fulfillment is impracticable, except in their higher sense, and in which they bring prominently before us, the everlasting kingdom, and perpetual dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 223

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [One of his most earnest helpers].

WESTWOOD, June 24, 1884.

DEAR ____,

I was truly sorry to hear of your illness, but Elijah must faint if he runs before the chariot, and who is to prevent his running? I don’t wonder at your excitement, or blame you, but I do feel sad that it should lead to such illness, and place you in such great danger. You are a splendid engine, but you will burst up if you are worked at such high pressure. The most of our people need the fire to be poked, and very rarely do we need to be damped down; but you, dear____, are not so strong as you look to be, and must be careful.

Anyhow, we will rejoice together. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Peace be unto you. The sycamore fig was bruised before it became sweet. The bruising has been done with heavy hand; but the sweetness is evidently coming. The Lord bless both you and dear ____ I am deeply grateful to you both for the generous present sent to me, which is the most personal gift I have received. I fear it rejoices a weakness, but it is certainly all my own.

Yours heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Our Faithful God

We are assured by Jesus himself that “not one sparrow can fall to the ground without permission¨ (Matthew 10:29).

Our God is faithful!

We are also told that we are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31). And no wonder we are valuable. We are the purchase of blood. God’s blood (Acts 20:28). We, as His purchased possession, have the assurance that He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9).

All is well! He has not lost sight of you. He will supply.

He is faithful!

One of our problems is that we usually don’t go to the Lord Jesus with our trials. We choose worry rather than trust. We don’t; “Cast our burdens on the Lord.” We forget that He will “sustain us” (Psalm 55:22).

He is faithful!

By the way, the word ‘sustain’ contains a promise of support. Christ’s sustaining hand surrounds us whether we feel it or not. As we grow in grace, we learn to trust where we can’t trace. In other words, we don’t let our feelings dominate and guide us.

He is Faithful!

It is promised, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers (us) out of one or two of them” (Psalm 34:19). Are you serious? No! He delivers us from them all! Try Him! Trust Him! Venture yourself on Him!

He is Faithful!

Also, think of these further sustaining promises from our Faithful God: Philippians 4:2 ” Thy God shall supply all your need according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 33:16 “Bread shall be given, water shall be sure,”

Are you worried about finances? Here’s some good news .. we have a faithful God. He isn’t suffering a lack of funds. Look at Haggai 2:8 “The silver is mine, the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” Then there’s Psalm 50:10 which tells us that, “The cattle upon the thousand hills” are His. We are being cared for by the One who owns and possesses all and He’s a giver not a taker.

The Lord can and does provide from the most unusual sources. This is clearly seen in Matthew 17. Money was needed for the temple tax. So, being near the lake, Jesus told Peter to throw out the line and take the first fish he caught, open its mouth and the money would be there.

The Lord Jesus provided money from a fish so let’s be open to His abundance of supply coming to us in any manner.

” This God is the God I adore,

A faithful unchangeable friend;

His love is as great as his power,

And knows neither beginning nor end.

‘Tis Jesus, the first and the last,

Whose Spirit shall guide me safe home;

I’ll praise him for all that is past,

And trust him for all that’s to come.”

Frances Havergal, the hymn writer, could have felt forgotten by God. She suffered terribly from peritonitis and died from it in her early forties. On the last day of her life, she asked a friend to read Isaiah 42 to her. When the friend read the sixth verse, “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee,” Miss Havergal stopped her. She whispered,

“Called;”

“Held”

“Kept.”

“I can go home on that!”

And, later that day she did go home on that, resting in the faithfulness of her God and Saviour Jesus Christ. One of her best-loved Hymns is, “Like a River Glorious.” The third verse reads,

“Every joy or trial falleth from above,

Trac’d upon our dial by the Sun of Love;

We may trust Him fully all for us to do;

They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.”

It was true for her; it has been true of every one of God’s elect,

Called;

Held;

Kept.

We can go home on that! Even when God seems to have forgotten us, we can trust Him and find Him wholly true.

He is the Faithful God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIV- The Perseverance of the Saints

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIV

The Perseverance of the Saints

5. ARMINIAN SENSE OF INSECURITY

A consistent Arminian, with his doctrines of free will and of falling from grace, can never in this life be certain of his eternal salvation. He may, indeed, have the assurance of his present salvation, but he can have only a hope of his final salvation. He may regard his final salvation as highly probable, but he cannot know it as a certainty. He has seen many of his fellow Christians backslide and perish after making a good start. Why may not he do the same thing? So long as men remain in this world they have the remnants of the old sinful nature clinging to them; they are surrounded by the most alluring and deceptive pleasures of the world and the most subtle temptations of the Devil. In many of the supposedly Christian churches they hear the false teaching of modernistic, and therefore unchristian, ministers. If Arminianism were true, Christians would still be in very dangerous positions, with their eternal destiny suspended upon the probability that their weak, creaturely wills would continue to choose right. Furthermore, Arminianism would logically hold that no confirmation in holiness is possible, not even in heaven; for even there the person would still retain his free will and might commit sin any time he chose.

By comparison the Arminian is like the person who has inherited a fortune of, say, $100,000. He knows that many others who have inherited such fortunes have lost them through poor judgment, fraud, calamity, etc., but he has enough confidence in his own ability to handle money wisely that he does not doubt but that he will keep his. His assurance is based largely on self-confidence. Others have failed, but he is confident that he will not fail. But what a delusion is this when applied to the spiritual realm! What a pity that any one who is at all acquainted with his own tendency to sin should base his assurance of salvation upon such grounds! His system places the cause of his perseverance, not in the hands of an all-powerful, never-changing God, but in the hands of weak sinful man.

And does not the logic of the Arminian system tell us that the wise thing for the Christian to do is to die as soon as possible and thus confirm the inheritance which to him is of infinite value? In view of the fact that so many have fallen away, is it worth while for him to remain here and risk his eternal salvation for the sake of a little more life in this world? What would be thought of a business man who, in order to gain a few more dollars, would risk his entire fortune in some admittedly questionable venture? In fact, does it not at least suggest that the Lord has made many mistakes in not removing these people while they were true Christians? The writer, at least, is convinced that if he held the Arminian view and knew himself to be a saved Christian he would want to die as soon as possible and thus place his salvation beyond all possible doubt.

In regard to spiritual matters, a state of doubt is a state of misery. The assurance that Christians can never be separated from the love of God is one of the greatest comforts of the Christian life. To deny this doctrine is to destroy the grounds for any rejoicing among the saints on earth; for what kind of rejoicing can those have who believe that they may at any time be deceived and led astray? If our sense of security is based only on our changeable and wavering natures, we can never know the inward calm and peace which, should characterize the Christian. Says McFetridge, in his very illuminating little book, Calvinism In History, “I can well conceive of the terror to a sensitive soul of dark uncertainty as to salvation, and of that ever-abiding consciousness of the awful possibility of falling away from grace after a long and painful Christian life, which is taught by Arminianism. To me such a doctrine has terrors which would cause me to shrink away from it for ever, and which would fill me with constant and unspeakable perplexities. To feel that I were crossing the troubled and dangerous sea of life dependent for my final security upon the actings of my own treacherous nature were enough to fill me with a perpetual alarm. If it is possible, I want to know that the vessel to which I commit my life is seaworthy, and that, having once embarked, I shall arrive in safety at my destination.” (P. 112.)

It is not until we duly appreciate this wonderful truth, that our salvation is not suspended on our weak and wavering love to God, but rather upon His eternal and unchangeable love to us, that we can have peace and certainty in the Christian life. And only the Calvinist, who knows himself to be absolutely safe in the hands of God, can have that inward sense of peace and security, knowing that in the eternal counsels of God he has been chosen to be cleansed and glorified and that nothing can thwart that purpose. He knows himself to be held to righteousness by a spiritual power which is as exhaustless and unvarying as the force of gravitation, and as necessary to the development of the spirit as sunshine and vitamins are to the body.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Thus we may see how fully the covenant of grace was revealed and confirmed unto Abraham

Thus we may see how fully the covenant of grace was revealed and confirmed unto Abraham the father of all them that believe, by which he and his descendants obtained a clearer sight and understanding of the great Redeemer and the things which were to be accomplished by Him. “And therefore did Christ take notice of this when He said, Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and was glad” (John 8:56). These last words clearly intimate that Abraham had a definite spiritual apprehension of those things. Under the Sinaitic covenant a yet fuller revelation was made by God to His people of the contents of the everlasting covenant: the tabernacle, and all its holy vessels; the high priest, his vestments, and service; and the whole system of sacrifices and ablutions, setting before them its blessed realities in typical forms, they being patterns of heavenly things.

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