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Posts Tagged ‘Delight’

The love of God defined

October 11, 2013 3 comments

Chapter I

WHEREIN THE TERMS COMMONLY MADE USE OF IN TREATING OF THIS SUBJECT ARE DEFINED AND EXPLAINED.

HAVING considered the attributes of God as laid down in Scripture, and so far cleared our way to the doctrine of predestination, I shall, before I enter further on the subject, explain the principal terms generally made use of when treating of it, and settle their true meaning. In discoursing on the Divine decrees, mention is frequently made of God’s love and hatred, of election and reprobation, and of the Divine purpose, foreknowledge and predestination, each of which we shall distinctly and briefly consider.

I.-When love is predicated of God, we do not mean that He is possessed of it as a passion or affection. In us it is such, but if, considered in that sense, it should be ascribed to the Deity, it would be utterly subversive of the simplicity, perfection and independency of His being. Love, therefore, when attributed to Him, signifies-

(1) His eternal benevolence, 1:e., His everlasting will, purpose and determination to deliver, bless and save His people. Of this, no good works wrought by them are in any sense the cause. Neither are even the merits of Christ Himself to be considered as any way moving or exciting this good will of God to His elect, since the gift of Christ, to be their Mediator and Redeemer, is itself an effect of this free and eternal favour borne to them by God the Father (John 3:16). His love towards them arises merely from “the good pleasure of His own will,” without the least regard to anything ad extra or out of Himself.

(2) The term implies complacency, delight and approbation. With this love God cannot love even His elect as considered in themselves, because in that view they are guilty, polluted sinners, but they were, from all eternity, objects of it, as they stood united to Christ and partakers of His righteousness.

(3) Love implies actual beneficence, which, properly speaking, is nothing else than the effect or accomplishment of the other two: those are the cause of this. This actual beneficence respects all blessings, whether of a temporal, spiritual or eternal nature. Temporal good things are indeed indiscriminately bestowed in a greater or less degree on all, whether elect or reprobate, but they are given in a covenant way and as blessings to the elect only, to whom also the other benefits respecting grace and glory are peculiar. And this love of beneficence, no less than that of benevolence and complacency, is absolutely free, and irrespective of any worthiness in man.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

A Converted Soul Recognizes his Depravity

Fourth, a growing apprehension of the Divine goodness. The more a quickened soul sees himself in the light of God, the more he discovers how much there still is in him which is opposed to His Law, and in how many respects he daily offends. The more clearly he perceives how very far he comes short of the glory of God, and how unlike Christ he is in character and conduct, the deeper becomes his appreciation of the grace of God through the Mediator. The man who is of a humble, broken and contrite heart, finds the promises of the Gospel just fitted to his case. None but One who is “mighty to save” (Isa. 63:1) can redeem such a wretch as he knows himself to be; none but the “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) would show favour to one so vile and worthless. “Worthy is the Lamb” is now his song. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy Truth’s sake” (Psa. 115:1) is his hearty acknowledgement. It is the Spirit’s continued application of the Law to the believer’s conscience which prepares him to receive the comforts and consolations of the Gospel.

Arthur W. Pink–Studies in the Scriptures February, 1937 The Spirit Transforming.

If we are to succeed, we must live holy lives

Let us consider THE PROVISO ON WHICH WE ARE WARRANTED TO HOPE FOR SUCCESS. If the Lord DELIGHT IN US, then he will bring us into the land, and give it us.

The term delight does not express that divine love to our souls which is the source of our salvation, but a complacency in our character and labours. Thus it is to be understood in the speech of David, when fleeing from the conspiracy of Abaslom: If he say, I have no delight in thee, here I am: let him do with me as seemeth him good! He could not mean by this, If God have no love to my soul, I submit to be forever separated from him, for such submission is not required of any who live under a dispensation of mercy: but If he approve not of me as the head of his people, here I am: let him take my life away, as it pleaseth him. The amount is, That if we would hope to succeed in God’s work, our character and undertakings much be such as he approves.

Rev. Andrew Fuller-God’s Approbation of our Labours Necessary to the Hope of Success-Preached May 6, 1801

A Radical Change Takes Place in the Sinner

As the soul by faith, with broken heart (and not otherwise), beholds the glory of the Lord, in the mirror of the two Testaments (and not in the New without the Old), he is by the continual operations of the Spirit in him (Phil. 1:6) “changed into the same image.” The views thus obtained of the Divine character excite answerable affections in the beholder. Rational argument may convince a man that God is holy, yet that is a vastly different thing from his heart being brought to love Divine holiness. But when the Spirit removes the veil of enmity and prejudice from the mind and enables the understanding to see light in God’s light, there is a genuine esteem of and delight in God’s character. The heart is won with the excellency of His moral perfections, and he perceives the rightness and beauty of a life wholly devoted to His glory. Thus there is a radical change in his judgment, disposition and conduct.

Arthur W. Pink-Studies in the Scriptures January, 1937 The Spirit Transforming

Fruit of True Saints

March 24, 2011 2 comments

True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the glorious and amiable nature of the things of God. And this is the spring of all their delights, and the cream of all their pleasures.

Jonathan Edwards – Religious Affections