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C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers-Prayer 20

THE GREAT SACRIFICE.

O GOD our Father, we do remember well when we were called to Thee; with many sweet and wooing voices we were bidden to return. Thou didst Thyself hang out the lights of mercy that we might know the way home, and Thy dear Son himself came down to seek us. But we wandered still. It brings the tears to our eyes to think that we should have been so foolish and so wicked, for we often extinguished the light within and conscience we tried to harden, and we sinned against light and knowledge with a high hand against our God.

Thou hast often brought us very low even to our knees, and we cried for mercy, but we rose to sin again. Blessed was that day when Thou didst strike the blow of grace — the effectual blow. Then didst Thou wither up our comeliness and all our perfection was rolled in the dust. We saw ourselves to be slain by the law, to be lost, ruined, and undone, and then we rolled to and fro in the tempests of our thoughts and staggered like drunken men, and were at our wits’ end — then did we cry unto Thee in our trouble, and blessed be Thy name for ever, Thou didst deliver us.

O happy day that sealed our pardon with the precious blood of Jesus accepted by faith. We would recall the memory of that blessed season by repeating it. We come again now to the cross whereon the Savior bled; we give another look of faith to Him. We trust we never take away our eyes off Him, but if we have done so we would look anew; we would gaze into the body of the Son of God, pierced with nails, parched with thirst, bleeding, dying, because “it pleased the Father to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.”

Lord God, we see in Thy crucified Son a sacrifice for sin; we see how Thou hast made Him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him; and we do over again accept Him to be everything to us. This is the victim by whose blood the covenant is made through faith; this is that Paschal Lamb by the sprinkling of whose blood all Israel is secured; for Thou hast said, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” This is the blood which gives us access into that which is within the veil; this is the blood which now to our souls is drink indeed, and we do rejoice in the joy which this new wine of the covenant hath given unto our spirits.

We would take afresh the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. We would pay our vows now in the midst of all the Lord’s people and in the courts of His house; and this is a part payment of our vow that we bless the Lord Jesus who hath put away our sin. We bless Him that He hath redeemed us unto Himself not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with His own precious blood; and we do avow ourselves today to be the Lord’s.

We are not our own; we are bought with a price. Lord Jesus, renew Thy grasp of us, take us over again, for we do even with greater alacrity than ever before surrender ourselves to Thee, and so “bind the sacrifice with cords, even with cords to the horns of the altar.” O Lord, I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds. The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock. Henceforth within that Rock I hide myself. For Him I live. The Lord enable all His people with sincere hearts, with undivided hearts, thus again to give themselves up to Jesus, and do Thou set in them anew the marks and tokens of Thy possession till every one of us shall say as many of us can say, “From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We bless Thee, Lord, for that mark to which some of us can look back with much joy. It is not in our hand, nor in our forehead, nor on our foot, nor on our heart alone; our whole body has been buried with Christ in baptism unto death, and now the whole body, soul and spirit, by our willing consecration, belong unto Christ henceforth and for ever.

Our Father, there is one prayer which has kept rising to our lip even while we have been thus speaking to Thee. It comes from our very heart. It is: Bring others to Thyself. Hast Thou not said, O God of Jacob, “Yet will I gather others unto Him that have not been gathered?” Hast Thou not given to Thy Son the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession? Lord, give Thy Son the reward of His travail; give Him a part of that reward this day wherever He is preached. Oh! That some might be moved with the love of Christ.

Lord, some know not who Thou art; convince them of Thy Deity and Thy power to save. Lord, many of them do not think; they live as if they were to die, and there would be an end of them. O Divine Spirit, convince them of judgment to come. Set before each careless eye that day of terrible pomp when for every idle word that men shall speak they must give an account. O Divine Spirit, teach unreasonable men true reason; teach the obdurate sensitiveness; look upon them, Jesus, just as Thou didst on those of the synagogue, not with anger, but still being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,” and bring many, many, many this very day to the dear feet that were nailed to the cross. Oh! how we long for it. Deny us what Thou wilt, only bring sinners to Thyself.

Lord Jesus, Thou art gone from us. We rejoice that this is the fact, for Thou hast taught us that it is expedient for us that Thou shouldest go, and that the Comforter should be with us; but, oh! let us not miss that promised presence of the Comforter. May He be here to help and succor in all works of faith and labors of love, and may we feel that He has come among us and is dwelling with us because He is convincing the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come.

O Spirit of God, bring men to accept the great propitiation, to see their sin washed away in the purple flood whose fount was opened when the heart of Christ was pierced, and may blood-washed sinners begin to sing on earth that everlasting anthem which shall be sung by all the redeemed in heaven.

We beseech Thee now, Lord, to look upon all Thy people, and grant every one a blessing. Some are in great trouble. Deliver them, we pray Thee. Others may be in great peril, though they have no trouble. The Lord save His people from the evils of prosperity. It may be some of Thine own people find it hard to worship because of cares; may they be able, like Abraham, when the birds came down upon the sacrifice, to drive them away.

O Spirit of God, make us all more holy. Work in us more completely the image of Christ. We do long to be as the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit and temper, and in unselfishness of life. Give us the character of Christ, we pray Thee. Redemption from the power of sin is purchased with His blood, and we crave for it, and pray that we may daily receive it. Let the whole militant Church of Christ be blessed; put power into all faithful ministries; convert this country; save it from abounding sin; let all the nations of the earth know the Lord, but especially bless those nations that speak our own dear mother tongue, where our same Lord and Christ is worshipped this day after the same fashion.

The Lord bless His people. Bring the Church to break down all bonds of nationality, all limits of sects, and may we feel the blessed unity which is the very glory of the Church of Christ; yea, let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Our prayer can never cease until we reach this point: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Nothing less than this can we ask for. And now hear us as we pray for the Sovereign and all in authority, and ask Thy blessing to rest upon this land, and let Thy blessing extend over all the family of man. We ask it for Christ’s sake. Amen.world without end. Amen.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers

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The Law-Gospel Contrast

February 24, 2014 3 comments

by Tom Hicks

I submit that we need a clear understanding of the law/gospel contrast, if we want to be healthy in our preaching, churches, families, and individual sanctification. The law/gospel distinction is often misunderstood or overlooked, but it is thoroughly biblical and vital. Consider three different places in Scripture that teach the law/gospel contrast:

Galatians 4:22-26 says, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.”

These verses contrast the two covenants of law and gospel, which are typologically revealed in Hagar and Sarah. The law covenant is a covenant of slavery to guilt and condemnation. The gospel covenant is a covenant of freedom to life and justification.

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: Righteous Grace (Part 2)

February 12, 2014 1 comment

The Wednesday Word: Righteous Grace (Part 2)

It’s one thing to feel good about the gospel, but quite a different matter to grasp its ramifications. I have met many professing Christians who, for example, are ‘martyrs’ to a bad conscience. They know the words, “saved by grace,” but suspect that grace means, ‘God’s lackadaisical kindness’. Not having understood that the grace which saves is righteous grace, they have no peace. The ‘gospel’ that they know ministers calm to neither their mind nor their conscience (Jeremiah 6:14).

For true peace we, as gospel believers, continually find ourselves going back to the cross. When your conscience tells you that you are a rat, then asks you if you are sure that God is merciful?” … What do you do? And just as you are thinking about the question, your conscience pipes up again saying “What if God grows weary of you and forgets to be gracious?” What can you say? The only answer to these accusations is the cross for it boldly declares that, “Christ Jesus was set forth as a substitutionary wrath offering for sin.” At the cross, we learn that He saves by both love and justice. At the cross, we learn that we are saved as a matter of righteousness grace (Romans 3:24-26).

He saves us justly. This is good news for we easily could imagine a scenario where God could cease to be merciful, but we could never envision Him ceasing to be just.

Righteous grace is no new concept. In the Old Testament, the blood of the sin offering was sprinkled on the mercy seat. Justice and mercy combined. The sinner was, consequently, saved, not only by grace, but also saved righteously. Likewise, in the New Covenant, the God of the gospel graciously justified the ungodly by ruthlessly punishing our sins in the person of our substitute Jesus Christ. Although we are saved by grace alone, saving grace is never alone for it is inseparably joined to righteousness. Our salvation and right standing with God now rest on the righteous and gracious work which God has already accomplished for us, outside of us, in the Person of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24).

Two thousand years ago there was an objective, actual, historical event when God Himself broke into human history as one of us. He became our representative and was so identified with us that all which He did was, not only done for us, but was exactly the same as if we had done it ourselves. When He graciously bore the punishment for our sin, we were righteously punished in Him. When He arose, we arose. When He was exalted to the right hand of the majesty on high so were we (Ephesians 2:6)! It is finished! We can now be at peace.

Have you ever had a troubled conscience? I have! The following are some scriptures (in personalized form) that I have frequently used to defeat the accusations of a bad conscience. Take these wonderful truths and confess them.

 

“Christ died for my sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

“He was wounded for my transgressions; he was bruised for my iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5).

“Christ was once offered to bear my sins” (Hebrews 9:28).

“Who gave himself for me, that he might redeem me” (Titus 2:14).

“He was “delivered for my offences and was raised for my justification” (Romans 4:25).

“He “gave himself for my sins” (Galatians 1:4)

“Christ died for me” (Romans 5:6).

“He has appeared to put away my sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

 

See also 1 Peter 4:1, 1Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 2:24.

Notice how the words, ‘Himself’ and ‘He’ appear frequently in the preceding verses. This is because the gracious and righteous Lord Himself is our salvation. He is our robe of righteousness.

Someone once asked Irenaeus, the 2nd Century, iconic champion of the faith, “Irenaeus, what has Christ brought that other religious leaders have not brought?” He answered, “He brought Himself.”

That’s what makes our gospel different. God came here Himself to righteously and gracious deal with sin and sinners. This is good news for the troubled conscience.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee

 

Minister of the Gospel

6 Quay Street, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland,

www.milesmckee.com

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The Wednesday Word: Righteous Grace Part 1

The Wednesday Word: Righteous Grace Part 1

God is the God of all Grace (1 Peter 5:10). He is also the God of righteousness (Ezra 9:15). It is as we see that God saves us, not only by grace, but also through righteousness that we enjoy His full and perfect peace (Isaiah 45:21, Romans 4:5; Isaiah 26:3).

At the heart of the gospel, we discover that grace is, as Horatius Bonar terms it, “Righteous Grace.” Unless we understand this, we will continually struggle with assurance and peace. God justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5) and does so as a matter, not solely of love, but also of righteousness. At the cross, the justice of God punished Christ as though He were the worst of sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because God refused to gloss over the sin problem, Christ was condemned as though He were us. Justice has, therefore, been satisfied.

Luther, at first, struggled to understand this very thing. One day he read David’s prayer in Psalm 71:2: “Save me in thy righteousness” and cried out, “What does this mean? I can understand how God can damn me in His righteousness, but if he would save me it must surely be in His mercy.” Through time, however, He came to understand that gospel grace is righteous grace.

In the Gospel, we are not confronted with a vague forgiveness, arising out of some sort of paternal love on the part of a bemused God. That would be far from righteous grace. We’ve got to get to grips with this! We need to know both the righteous and gracious basis of our acceptance before God. Indeed, if we are not clear on this, we have no gospel! If we take away either righteousness or grace from the gospel, we have eliminated its very life-blood, and there is, as Spurgeon says, “Nothing left worth preaching, worth believing, or worth contending for.”

Righteous grace is at the heart and soul of the gospel: without it, the gospel is dead. Without righteous grace, there is no comfort for the troubled conscience. From first to last, everything in salvation is of grace and that grace comes to us righteously.

Additionally, to help us understand this we need to ask:

1) Did God recognize our absolute guilt, but chose to ignore it since He is our Father?

2) Or, did God acquit us because He loves us and, at the back of it all, He is very good-natured?

3) Or, is God indifferent to sin?

4) Or, was it that because God’s absolute holiness demanded He took action against our sin, He punished Christ Jesus at the cross of Calvary?

So, how say you? On what basis does God acquit us? Are we declared not-guilty because God is kind and tender? Or, does God forgive us in a righteous, just and gracious manner? We must be clear on this. We must be clear that, at the cross, our sins were paid for by our substitute. Christ was legally cursed on our behalf (Galatians 3:13). Our gracious acquittal is, therefore, based on the work of righteousness. It was righteousness that had condemned us in the first place. It was righteousness that had barred us from heaven and if ever we were to be saved it had to be done righteously.

Now that Christ has been righteously punished in our place, our condemnation has been righteously and graciously removed (Romans 8:1). Christ has died in place of the ungodly and has been righteously condemned. Believers have now been declared righteous, not because the Lord is nice, but because of righteous grace. Christ died and intercepted our well-earned wrath as He purged and took our sin away (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 1:3, John 1:29).

Since the perfect righteousness of Christ has now been graciously reckoned to us, it would be, therefore, an unrighteous thing for God to condemn anyone for whom Christ died (Romans 4:22-25, Romans 8:34).

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee

 

Minister of the Gospel

6 Quay Street, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland,

www.milesmckee.com

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Question 32-Puritan Catechism

August 15, 2013 6 comments

Spurgeon 1Q. What is justification?

A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7) and accepts us as righteous in his sight (2 Corinthians 5:21) only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, (Romans 5:19) and received by faith alone. (Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

He that worketh, rejects the way of salvation

March 11, 2013 1 comment

fullerCommenting on Acts 16:30 Andrew Fuller said:

If these or such like exercises, occupy your mind, the question of the Philipian jailer is yours; and to you let me address a few DIRECTIONS included or implied in the answer.

If by this question you mean, What can you do to appease the wrath of God, or recommend yourself as a fit object of his mercy? What can you do as a good deed, or the beginning of a course of good deeds, in reward of which he may bestow upon you an interest in the Saviour? I answer, Nothing. An interest in Christ, and eternal life, are indeed given as a reward; but not of any thing we have done, or can do, even with divine assistance; it is the reward of the obedience of Christ unto death. To us it is of mere grace, and as such must be received, Though faith is in itself a holy exercise of the mind, yet, as that by which we are justified, it is directly opposed to doing. “To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt; but to him, that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” He that worketh, seeks to obtain life and the favor of God, in some way or other, as a reward; but he that believeth, receives it as a free gift to the unworthy. And let me apprize you, that this is the state of mind you must be brought to, or you must perish forever. So far as you think of doing anything, call it what you may, with a hope of being pardoned and justified for its sake, so far you reject the only way of salvation, and have reason to expect your portion with unbelievers.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

The marriage feast for the Son

fullerSpeaking on the sacrifice of Christ- Andrew Fuller declared……The blessings of pardon, peace, and eternal life, are compared to a feast, or marriage-supper, which the King of heaven and earth hath made for his Son; and he hath commanded his servants to go forth, as to the highways and hedges, and to invite without distinction; yea, to compel them to come in. Nor is this all: you are exhorted and commanded to believe in Christ, on pain of damnation. All your other you merely to the curse of the law; but the sin of unbelief, if persisted in, will expose you, like the barren fig tree, to the curse of the Saviour, from which there is no redemption.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered