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The Wednesday Word: HE IS PRECIOUS!

(1 Peter 2:7 .)

To every believer, the Lord Jesus is precious.

But, why is He “precious”?

He is precious for what He is in Himself …The God/Man (Hebrews 2:14)

God became a member of the human race to fully identify with us. He could not in His absolute deity bear our sorrows and die for our sins but he could do so as a man. Octavius Winslow, a great preacher of another generation said it like this, “As God merely, He could not endure suffering, nor weep, nor die; as man only, He could not have sustained the weight of our sin, grief, nor sorrow. There must be a union of the two natures to accomplish the two objects in one person. The Godhead must be united to the manhood; the one to obey, the other to die; the one to satisfy Divine justice, the other to sympathize with the people in whose behalf the satisfaction was made.”

He became one of us.

He is precious.

He is precious for what He has done for us in the past (Romans 3:25-26).

The more we understand of the Finished Work the more precious Jesus will become to us. We should perhaps pause and ask ourselves, is Jesus precious? Is He precious to me?

‘Rabbi’ Duncan a great old teacher in New College, Edinburgh, in the 1800s knew something of the preciousness of Christ.

In one of his famous sidebars to his class, he moved from the Hebrew he was teaching, and threw out the following question:

“Do you know what Calvary was? What? What? What? Do you know what Calvary was?”

Then, having waited for a little and having walked up and down in front of the students in silence, he looked at them again and said,

“I’ll tell you what Calvary was. It was damnation, and he took it lovingly.”

The students in his class reported that there were tears on his face as he said this. And well there might be. “Damnation, and he took it lovingly.”

What a Saviour we have. He is precious!

He is also precious for what He is doing now (Romans 8:34)

He is interceding for us.

It is staggering to know that He identifies with us in this manner. His intercession consists of Him being in Heaven and appearing on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24). How can this Great High Priest lose any of His own? He is totally identified with us and we with Him. He is in the place of cosmic authority (The Right Hand). Who will, therefore, rob Him of his sheep? Furthermore, His intercession is steeped in blood, precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-19). He intervened for us at the cross and now intercedes for us at the Throne. He will ensure that all His purchased possession are brought to where He is.

He is precious!

He is Precious for what He will do in the Future

Philippians 3:21 tells us that at the future Resurrection, Jesus ‘shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.’

Jesus is the only one who has conquered death. No one has ever come back to authoritatively tell us about the life beyond the grave except the Lord Christ. Friends of Harry Houdini, the world-famous magician, used to gather around his grave, once a year because Mr Houdini had said that after he died he was going to make contact on his birthday. So, each year, on Houdini’s birthday they gathered around his grave, and called out, “Oh Houdini, speak to us, oh Houdini speak to us.” Alas, poor old Houdini, he couldn’t speak, for he was dead.

The only one who made an appointment beyond the grave and kept it was the Lord Jesus. He outlived all his pallbearers. And here’s more good news. He is coming back for us (John 14:3). He promised He would and He keeps His word.

He is precious.

“Jesus, the very thought of Thee

With sweetness fills my breast,

But sweeter far Thyself to see,

And in Thy presence rest.”.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Attributes of God: Justice- Book 2- Chapter 2- Section 9

Book Second

CHAPTER II.

SECTION IX. – JUSTICE.

GOD IS PERFECTLY JUST.[53]

Justice consists in giving to every one his due. It has been distinguished into Commutative and Distributive. Commutative Justice is fair dealing in the exchange of commodities, and belongs to commerce. Distributive Justice rewards or punishes men according to their actions, and appertains to government. In either view, justice relates to the distribution of happiness, or the means of procuring it, and presupposes a principle or rule to which this distribution should conform, and, according to which, something is due to the parties. Commutative Justice regulates the giving of one means of enjoyment in exchange for another, so as not to disturb the proportion of happiness allotted to each; but Distributive Justice rises higher, and respects the very allotment or distribution of happiness, giving to one, and withholding from another, according to rule. It is in the latter sense only that justice is attributed to God. It implies the existence of moral government; and it is the attribute which secures a faithful and perfect administration of this government.

Some have admitted another distinction, to which the name Public Justice has been given. This determines the character of God’s moral government, and the rules according to which it proceeds. It may be regarded as a question of definition, whether the existence and character of God’s moral government shall be ascribed to his justice or his goodness. As this government tends to the greatest good of the universe, there appears to be no reason to deny that it originates in the goodness of God; and if it be ascribed to his Public Justice, that justice may be considered a modification of his goodness.

In the moral government of God, men are regarded as moral and as sentient beings, and the amount of their enjoyments is regulated with reference to their moral character. The precise adaptation of this is the province of justice. In the blindness of human depravity, men claim enjoyments as a natural right, irrespective of their moral character and conduct. They reject the moral government of God, and seek happiness in their own way. This is their rebellion, and in this the justice of God opposes them. This is the attribute which fills them with terror, and arrays omnipotence against them. The moral government of God must be overthrown, and the monarch of the universe driven from his high seat of authority, or there is no hope of escape for the sinner. He would gladly rush into the vast storehouse of enjoyments which infinite goodness has provided and claim them as his own, and riot on them at pleasure; but the sword of justice guards the entrance. In opposition to his desires, the government of God is firmly established, and justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Even in the present world, the manifestations of this government are everywhere visible; and it is apparent that there is a God, a God of justice, who judgeth in the earth; but the grand exhibition is reserved for the judgment of the great day. Conscience now, in God’s stead, often pronounces sentence, though its voice is unheeded; but the sentence from the lips of the Supreme Judge cannot be disregarded, and will fix the sinner’s final doom.

Although there are hearts so hard as to be unaffected by a sense of God’s justice, a right view of this awful and glorious attribute inspires that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. An abiding assurance that a just God sits on the throne of the universe, is indispensable to the proper exercise of piety.

[53] Job xxxiv. 12; Ps. ix. 4: xcii. 15; Isaiah xxviii. 17; Rom. ii.6

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

A twofold knowledge of God, viz., before the fall and after it

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015A twofold knowledge of God, viz., before the fall and after it. The former here considered. Particular rules or precautions to be observed in this discussion. What we are taught by a body formed out of the dust, and tenanted by a spirit.

1. We have now to speak of the creation of man, not only because of all the works of God it is the noblest, and most admirable specimen of his justice, wisdom, and goodness, but, as we observed at the outset, we cannot clearly and properly know God unless the knowledge of ourselves be added. This knowledge is twofold, — relating, first, to the condition in which we were at first created; and, secondly to our condition such as it began to be immediately after Adam’s fall. For it would little avail us to know how we were created if we remained ignorant of the corruption and degradation of our nature in consequence of the fall. At present, however, we confine ourselves to a consideration of our nature in its original integrity. And, certainly, before we descend to the miserable condition into which man has fallen, it is of importance to consider what he was at first. For there is need of caution, lest we attend only to the natural ills of man, and thereby seem to ascribe them to the Author of nature; impiety deeming it a sufficient defense if it can pretend that everything vicious in it proceeded in some sense from God, and not hesitating, when accused, to plead against God, and throw the blame of its guilt upon Him. Those who would be thought to speak more reverently of the Deity catch at an excuse for their depravity from nature, not considering that they also, though more obscurely, bring a charge against God, on whom the dishonor would fall if anything vicious were proved to exist in nature. Seeing, therefore, that the flesh is continually on the alert for subterfuges, by which it imagines it can remove the blame of its own wickedness from itself to some other quarter, we must diligently guard against this depraved procedure, and accordingly treat of the calamity of the human race in such a way as may cut off every evasion, and vindicate the justice of God against all who would impugn it. We shall afterwards see, in its own place, (Book 2 chap. 1: sec. 3,) how far mankind now are from the purity originally conferred on Adam. And, first, it is to be observed, that when he was formed out of the dust of the ground a curb was laid on his pride — nothing being more absurd than that those should glory in their excellence who not only dwell in tabernacles of clay, but are themselves in part dust and ashes. But God having not only deigned to animate a vessel of clay, but to make it the habitation of an immortal spirit, Adam might well glory in the great liberality of his Maker.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.

Jonathan Edwards, 1703-58, SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD , preached Enfield, CT in 1741