The Bible does not teach that a man is saved by the keeping of rules and regulations, but by the shedding of Blood. At the cross, Jesus bought and paid for us with His blood. To the gospel believer, the blood of Christ is, therefore, amazing. May we never cease to be astonished by the knowledge that He who poured out His blood and died on the cross was God manifest in the flesh (1Timothy 3:16).
The blood has been the centre of divine revelation since the beginning. We first see the blood when an innocent animal was killed to clothe our guilty ancestors. We see the blood in Abel’s sacrifice. We see blood on the doorpost on the night of the Passover. We see blood in the Tabernacle and Temple sacrifices. We see blood in the prophets who foretold that the Messiah would pour out His life (Isaiah 53).
When we see the blood it, therefore, means that we believe what the Father tells us about the death of His Son. Seeing the blood means that we see Christ’s death as our death. Seeing the blood, however, does not mean that we have visions of Christ with blood dripping from His wounded body. How ghoulish! To the contrary, seeing the blood, means we are satisfied that Christ died for us, personally, as our substitute. When we see the blood, we know that He was wounded for our transgressions. In fact, when we see the blood, faith makes redemption personal enabling us to say, “He was wounded for MY transgressions, He was bruised for MY iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5).
This is what is meant by seeing the blood and by seeing it we have victory.
In all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, the shedding of the blood was the infliction of death. In Genesis 9:4, the life and blood are equated. In Leviticus17:11, the blood made atonement for the soul. This blood shedding or life-taking was the payment for the penalty of sin. We read, “The soul that sins, it shall die”(Ezekiel 18:20), and “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). So when Christ hung upon the cross, He did so as the great offering for sins. He poured out His soul unto death (Isaiah 53:12). This is God’s perfect ultimate and only sacrifice with which He is satisfied forever!
Since the Father is satisfied with the doing and dying of the Son, so should we be! Since Christ died for us, we have the certainty of eternal life. Since He was punished in our stead, that means we cannot now be punished. God, being just, will not punish Christ first, and then punish us afterwards for the same crimes. Our Saviour died; the Lamb was slain and we are now free from the possibility of God’s wrath. We can walk through this life secure. God is not out to get us. There are no thunderbolts from heaven being hurled at us. There are no flames of hell yawning wide for us since Christ has paid and suffered for us. Do you believe this?
Right standing before God is now altogether by the blood of Christ and has nothing whatsoever to do with how we behave. Regardless of the rules for acceptance so often imposed upon us by religious people, we will never be any more righteous than the blood of Christ has made us.”
Amazing grace! ’tis heav’n below
To feel the blood applied,
And Jesus, only Jesus know,
My Jesus crucified.
The cleansing stream I see, I see!
I plunge, and oh, it cleanseth me!
Oh! praise the Lord, it cleanseth me,
It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me!
And that’s the Gospel Truth!
28. With no more truth do they claim Tertullian as a patron. Though his style is sometimes rugged and obscure, he delivers the doctrine which we maintain in no ambiguous manner, namely, that while there is one God, his Word, however, is with dispensation or economy; that there is only one God in unity of substance; but that, nevertheless, by the mystery of dispensation, the unity is arranged into Trinity; that there are three, not in state, but in degree — not in substance, but in form — not in power, but in order. He says indeed that he holds the Son to be second to the Father; but he means that the only difference is by distinction. In one place he says the Son is visible; but after he has discoursed on both views, he declares that he is invisible regarded as the Word. In fine, by affirming that the Father is characterized by his own Person, he shows that he is very far from countenancing the fiction which we refute. And although he does not acknowledge any other God than the Father, yet, explaining himself in the immediate context, he shows that he does not speak exclusively in respect of the Son, because he denies that he is a different God from the Father; and, accordingly, that the one supremacy is not violated by the distinction of Person. And it is easy to collect his meaning from the whole tenor of his discourse. For he contends against Praxeas, that although God has three distinct Persons, yet there are not several gods, nor is unity divided. According to the fiction of Praxeas, Christ could not be God without being the Father also; and this is the reason why Tertullian dwells so much on the distinction. When he calls the Word and Spirit a portion of the whole, the expression, though harsh, may be allowed, since it does not refer to the substance, but only (as Tertullian himself testifies) denotes arrangement and economy which applies to the persons only. Accordingly, he asks, “How many persons, Praxeas, do you think there are, but just as many as there are names for?” In the same way, he shortly after says, “That they may believe the Father and the Son, each in his own name and person.” These things, I think, sufficiently refute the effrontery of those who endeavor to blind the simple by pretending the authority of Tertullian.
John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation
‘Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’—Matthew 7:13, 14
No subject could be more peculiarly applicable than ‘The Gate of heaven,’ and ‘the difficulties of entering in thereat'; a subject of the deepest interest to all mankind—to stimulate the careless to find, and to enter the gate of this the only city of refuge from eternal misery—to fill the heart of God’s children with love and joy in their prospects of a blessed immortality—and to sting the hypocrites with the awful thought of finding the gate shut against them for ever. Their cries and tears will be too late; they will stand without and vehemently cry, ‘Lord, Lord, open unto us'; in vain will be their outcry, ‘the devils are coming; Lord, Lord, the pit opens her mouth upon us; Lord, Lord, there is nothing but hell and damnation left us, if thou hast not mercy upon us.’ These were professors who pretended to have found the gate and way to heaven; who passed for pilgrims who were seeking a better, even a heavenly country; such deluded victims must be, of all men, the most miserable.
The difficulties that prevent ‘the many’ from entering in are, 1. Forgetfulness that we can only enter heaven by the permission of the law—every jot and tittle must be fulfilled. Now, if we could live from our conversion to our death in the holiest obedience to all its precepts, yet, having previously violated them, the stain must not only be washed away in the blood of atonement, but we, as part of the body of Christ, must, in him, render perfect obedience. 2. In addition to the disinclination of our hearts to submit to this perfect righteousness, we have outward storms of temptation and persecution. ‘The world will seek to keep thee out of heaven with mocks, flouts, taunts, threats, jails, gibbets, halters, burnings, and a thousand deaths; therefore strive! Again, if it cannot overcome thee with these, it will flatter, promise, allure, entice, entreat, and use a thousand tricks on this hand to destroy thee; and many that have been stout against the threats of the world have yet been overcome with the bewitching flatteries of the same. O that we may by grace escape all these enemies, and so strive as to enter into the joy of our Lord.’
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR
TO THE READER
THE STRAIT GATE
AN INTIMATION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
DESCRIPTION OF THE ENTRANCE INTO THIS KINGDOM
AN EXHORTATION TO STRIVE TO ENTER INTO THIS KINGDOM
MOTIVE TO STRIVE TO ENTER INTO THIS KINGDOM
SECOND THE WORDS BY WAY OF OBSERVATION
REASONS WHY SO FEW ARE SAVED
USE AND APPLICATION OF THE WHOLE
We are considering 2 Peter 1:7 and its teaching that brotherly kindness (or love) must be supplied with love. In expounding this text I am answering three questions.
I. What is this love?
II. Why must brotherly kindness be supplied with it?
III. Why is this love the last virtue mentioned and in no need of being supplied with another virtue?
Read the entire article here.
In many respects the New Testament is a continuation of and a complement to the Old. The difference between the old and new covenants referred to in Hebrews is a relative and not an absolute one. The contrast is not really between two opposites, but rather between a gradation from the lower to the higher plane—the one preparing for the other. While some have erred in too much Judaizing Christianity, others have entertained far too carnal a conception of Judaism, failing to perceive the spiritual elements in it, and that under it God was then as truly administering the blessings of the everlasting covenant unto those whom He had chosen in Christ as He is now, yea, that He had done so from Abel onwards. Rightly, then, did Calvin rebuke the madness of our modern dispensationalists when reproving those of their forerunners who appeared in his day, saying, “Now what would be more absurd than that Abraham should be the father of all the faithful, and not possess even the lowest place among them? But he cannot be excluded from the number, even from the most honorable station, without the destruction of the Church.”
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
I need not stop this morning to prove to you that which I have briefly hinted at as a form of sound words, because you believe it, and believe it firmly. I am not about to urge you to receive it, because I know you have already received it; but what I have to say is, “Hold fast,” I beseech you, “the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”
Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856