Monthly Archives: October 2013

GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY, pt 4

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

“The unjust man lives in mercy now though in a lesser degree than the just man but the time will come when he will face judgement. The unjust sinner though he is kept by the mercies of God, kept from death, kept from insanity, kept from disease, kept a lifetime by the mercy of God. Yet he will violate that mercy, turn his back on it and walk into judgement. Then it’s too late for the man “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment” but in the meantime you and I stand in the mercy of God.

Remember when you kneel down and pray don’t do like the man don’t do like the man who went to the alter. He got on his knees he was under terrible blistering conviction and he had learned the 10 commandments when he was a younger fellow. He began to talk to God about his sins. He had the 10 commandments numbered. He said; “remember Father I kept number two, number three and number six.” Foolish, how unutterably foolish. We shold go to God and dicker with Him like that, we should go to God like a scorekeeper and portion out our goodness.

I’d rather follow old Thomas Hooker, the old puriton saint. He came to die and he was a man elevated way above the average in his spiritual life. They said “Brother Hooker, you go to recieve your reward.” “No, no, no,” he said. “I go to recieve mercy.” Although he rated high up in the level of holy men he went out not to look for his reward but for still more mercy of God.” A. W. Tozer, God’s Abundant Mercy

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

“Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much humbled.” Thomas Brooks

“Mercy is not the fruit of our goodness—but the fruit of God’s goodness. Mercy is a gift which God bestows. They have no cause to be proud, who live upon the alms of God’s mercy. “If I am righteous—yet will I not lift up my head.” That is, all my righteousness is the effect of God’s mercy, therefore I will be humble and will not lift up my head.” Thomas Watson

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
George Ma­the­son

GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY, pt 3

“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” – Daniel 9:9

“This idea that God works according to one facet one day and according to another facet another day is all wrong. God never violates any facet of His nature. When He sent Judas Iscariot to hell He did not violate mercy and when God endured him here He did not violate justice. So when a sinner, though he live to be 100 and sins against God every moment of his life he is still a partaker of the mercy of God and it is from the mercy of God that he is not consumed.

Now there will be a day when that sinner will pass out from the realm where God’s mercy sustains him and he will hear a voice that says “Depart from me I never knew you ye that work of iniquity.” Hell will be a just portion for those who refuse redeeming mercy. It was providential mercy that kept the sinning man all his lifetime.

So we Christians, God has had mercy upon you all your life. We must not become self righteous and think we live such wonderful lives that God blesses us because we’re good, that’s not so. God blesses us because of His abundant mercy.
I don’t believe even heaven itself will ever permit us to forget we are recipients of the mercy of God. The very angels that are there because of the goodness of God. The Serephim with six wings are there because of the goodness of God. You and I will never be permitted to forget Calvary. We must never forget that we live because we are the recipients of the mercy of God.

I’m here this morning because God has been merciful to me not because I’m a good man. His people are to be holy as He is holy. He does not deal with them according to the degree of their holiness but according to the abundance of His mercy. Honesty requires us to admit this. I pray that we may all be perfectly honest and admit it.” Tozer , God’s Abundant Mercy

Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord, I change not.” Malachi 3:6

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

James5:11   We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the  endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that  the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful

“God’s mercy is one of the most orient pearls of his crown; it makes his Godhead appear amiable and lovely. When Moses said to God, ‘I beseech thee shew me thy glory;’ the Lord answered him, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will shew thee mercy.’ Exodus 33: I9. God’s mercy is his glory. His holiness makes him illustrious; his mercy makes him propitious.” Thomas Watson

“The Gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving. The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.” John Stott

Far from mortal cares retreating,
Sordid hopes, and fond desires,
Here our willing footsteps meeting,
Every heart to heaven aspires.

From the Fount of glory beaming,
Light celestial cheers our eyes;
Mercy from above proclaiming
Peace and pardon from the skies.
M. J. Taylor. Seeking God’s Presence

GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY, pt 2

Psalm 136:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

“There is sort of a pardonable heresy abroad that God deals with some in mercy and some in justice. But God deals with everybody in mercy. If God did not deal with everyone in mercy we would have all perished before we had time to be converted. It’s the mercy of God that sustains the worse sinner. If we have life it’s according to the mercy of God; if we have protection it’s according to the mercy of God; if we have food it’s His mercy that gives us food. And if we have providence to guide us it’s God’s mercy.

David said “Have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.” Was he just using words? No, again a sound clear theological fact. “According to thy mercy hear my prayer.” Mercy even enters into the hearing of prayers. Mercy must enter into the holiest of acts any man can perform. It’s constant mercy on the part of God. The fact that I’m sane and not committed to an institution is an act of mercy of God’s part. The fact that I’m free and not in prison is the mercy of God. The fact that I’m alive and not dead is God’s mercy over me. The same with every man, Jew, Gentile, Mohammedans, whether they believe it or not. So you and I float in the sea of God’s mercy.

That same broad mercy of God kept that sinner through maybe 50 years of rebellion. My father was 60 years old when he was born again. Sixty years telling dirty stories, sworn and lied, cursed. Then he gave his heart to God The Lord Jesus Christ and was converted and is now in heaven. And the mercy that took my father to heaven was a great mercy and we celebrate the mercy that took him to heaven. But it is no greater than the mercy that kept him and endured him for 60 years.

The mercy of God endured my father 60 years and the mercy of God endured me for 17 years and then has endured me ever since. So lets get away from this semi-heretical idea that God deals with some people in mercy and deals with others in justice. He deals with everybody in mercy, the bible plainly declares it. It says here that “The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works” 145th Psalm.” A. W. Tozer, God’s Abundant Mercy

Psalms 103:8-14 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psalms 103:8-14 KJV)

“Sinners continually provoke God, and make “the fury come up in his face.” Why is it, that God does not immediately arrest and condemn them? It is not that God cannot do it, for he is armed with omnipotence—but it is from his mercy. Mercy gets a reprieve for the sinner—and stops the speedy process of justice. God would, by his goodness, lead sinners to repentance.” Thomas Watson

“Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love.” John Bunyan

Now from the altar of our hearts
Let warmest thanks arise;
Assist us, Lord, to offer up
Our evening sacrifice.

This day our God has been our sun,
Our keeper and our guide,
His arm around our weakness thrown,
His angels at our side.

Moments and mercies multiplied
Have made up all the day;
Moments came fast, but mercies were
More swift and free than they.

New hours, new blessings, and new joys,
Do a new song require;
Till we can praise Thee as we should,
Accept our hearts’ desire!
John Mason

GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY, pt 1

“For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.” – Deuteronomy 4:31

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY

“Now it says here “according to His abundant mercy.” Whatever God did and whatever God will do is according to His abundant mercy. We have the adjunctive abundant here to modify the word mercy, it describes God’s mercy.
You know that word abundant comes from a Greek word which at least has these associated meanings: It means largest number very large very great much and many. It can mean all those things. The largest number is very large very great much many mercy God has begotten us again.

I’ll give you a note here on that word abundance. Everything God has is abundant. God being infinite everything about Him is infinite which means it has no boundary. You need to get a hold of that even if it hurts your head, it’s good for you to know that God is infinite, unlimited with no post anywhere saying this is the end. There is no such post in the Universe. God Almighty fills it and He is infinite and unlimited. So that we do not need any enlarging adjective. When we say God’s mercy we don’t need to say God’s abundant mercy though we do say it. We say it to cheer and elevate our own thoughts, not to tell the degree of the mercy God.

There are no degrees in the mercy of God, there couldn’t be for God is degreeless, infinite. Therefore when you say God’s mercy you are talking about something so vast that doesn’t describe it because it has no limits anywhere. When we come to God there is no degreeing of things. When we say that God is rich, God’s riches we include all the riches there are. God isn’t richer, more rich, He’s rich. So He isn’t more merciful, less merciful, He’s merciful. But you say “why does the word abundant occur here?” Those adjectives are put here for us, not for God. It was in order to elevate our minds to the vastness and unlimited mercy of God that Peter said it was abundant. Now God’s God, and for that reason all comparisons are futile. God’s mercy is equal to God. If you want to know how merciful God is just see God and you’ll know how merciful He is.” A. W. Tozer, God’s Abundant Mercy.

Psalm 136:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
“God’s mercy is eternal. “The mercy of the Lord is from eternity to eternity.” Psalm 103:17. “His mercy endures forever,” is repeated twenty-six times in Psalm 136. The souls of the blessed shall be ever bathing themselves in this sweet and pleasant ocean of God’s mercy! God’s anger to his children lasts but a while, “but his mercy lasts forever.” As long as he is God, he will be showing mercy. As his mercy is overflowing, so it is ever-flowing.” Thomas Watson

“How is it that some of us are converted, while our companions in sin are left to persevere in their godless career? Was there anything good in us that moved the heart of God to save us? God forbid that we should indulge the blasphemous thought!” Charles Spurgeon

From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let the Redeemer’s name be sung
Through ev’ry land by ev’ry tongue.

Eternal are Thy mercies Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.
Isaac Watts

The Blood Of Jesus Takes Away Our Sins

The Blood of Jesus, by The Rev. William Reid, M.A.

Chapter 2

Jesus The Taker-Away Of Sin

THERE IS EVERY REASON why you should now intelligently and believingly behold the Lamb of God, “which taketh away the sin of the world.” You are not directed in this passage to a Saviour who has already ” taken away the sin of the world,” but to Him who “taketh away the sin of the world.” The meaning plainly is, that Jesus is the God appointed Taker-away of sin for the world. We find him asserting this, when He says, The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins”; “All power” (or authority) “is given me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus is the only and the all-sufficient, as He is the authorised Taker-away of sin, for the world at large. The whole world is brought in guilty before God, “for all have sinned,” and the true gospel of God is, that when any one belonging to our sinful world feels his sin to be oppressive, and comes straight to “the Lamb of God” with it, and frankly acknowledges it, and tells out his anxieties regarding it, and his desire to get rid of it, he will find that Jesus has both the power and the will to take it away; and on seeing it removed from him by “the blood of His cross,” “as far as the east is from the west,” be will be enabled to sing with a grateful heart and “joyful lips:”

“I lay my sins on Jesus,
The spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all, and frees us
From the accursed load.”
Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar,

You can never make an atonement for your past sins, nor by personal obedience procure a title to the inheritance of glory; but Jesus is willing to take away all your sins, and to give you His own title to the glorious kingdom, if you will only consent to intrust Him alone with your salvation.
“Well,” you may perhaps resolve, “I will go to Him, and cast myself upon His mercy, and if I perish, I perish.” Ah, but you need not go to Him in that spirit, for it throws a doubt upon the all-sufficiency of His completed atonement for sin, and His perfect, spotless life of obedience.

Jesus himself says, ” God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” These being the ” true sayings of God,” where, O friend, is there the least cause for you saying, with hesitancy and doubt “If I perish, I perish?” The proper thought you ought to have in reference to the glorious Gospel is this – God has so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son to die for sinners, and He assures me that if I, a perishing sinner, believe in Him, I shall not perish, but have everlasting life; I believe His Word, and reckon that if He gave His Son to die for us when we were yet sinners, He will with Him also freely give us all such things as pardon and purity, grace and glory; and if, in accordance with His own gracious invitation, I rest my soul upon His manifested love in Christ Jesus, I believe that it will be as impossible for me to perish, as for God to change His nature, or to cancel the word of grace and truth, that the ” blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”

God the Father loved sinners so much as to send Jesus to die for them. Jesus loved sinners so much as to lay down His life for their redemption. The Holy Spirit loves sinners so much that He has written a record of God’s manifested love to them in Jesus Christ, and He Himself has come down in person, to reveal that love to their souls, that they may be saved. And if you, O anxious one, will now agree to God’s method of transferring all that Divine justice demands of you to Jesus, “who was made of a woman, made under the law,” who perfectly obeyed and pleased the Father in His holy life, and in death endured and exhausted the penalty due to sin, you will obtain pardon, peace, grace, and holiness; the full tide of the love of God, which passeth knowledge, will flow into your soul, and, in the spirit of adoption, you will cry, “Abba, Father,” feel the constraining influence of the love of Christ, and live to the glory of “Him who died for us and rose again.”

That I may make the method of a sinner’s salvation so “plain, that he that readeth it” may have his mind’s eye so full of its meaning, “that he may run” at once to Jesus Christ, as his Divine sin-bearer, I will present the following homely and unmistakable illustration :-While standing, one day on the platform of the Aberdeen Station of the North-Eastern Railway, I observed a carriage with a board on it intimating that it ran all the way from Aberdeen to London. The doors of it were open, the porters were putting passengers’ luggage on the top of it, and a few individuals were entering, or about to enter, its different compartments. They looked for this particular carriage as soon as they had passed through the ticket-office, and on seeing “London” on it, they threw in their traveling-rugs, entered, and, seating themselves, prepared for the journey.

Having furnished themselves with tickets and railway guides, and satisfied themselves that they were in the right carriage, they felt the utmost confidence and I did not observe any one of them coming out of the carriage, and running about in a state of excitement, calling to those around them, “Am I right? am I right?”
Nor did I see any one refusing to enter, because the carriage provided for only a limited number to proceed by that train. There might be 80,000 inhabitants in and around the city; but still there was not one who talked of it as absurd to provide accommodation for only about twenty persons, for practically it was found to he perfectly sufficient. Trains leave the city several times a-day, and it is found that one carriage for London in the train is quite sufficient for the number of passengers; and on the particular day to which I now refer, I noticed, that so ample was the accommodation, that one of the passengers had a whole compartment to himself. The carriage is for the whole city and neighbourhood, but carries only such of the inhabitants as come and seat themselves in it from day to day.
God, in His infinite wisdom, has made provision of a similar kind for our lost world. He has provided a train of grace to carry as many of its inhabitants to heaven, the great metropolis of the universe, as are willing to avail themselves of the gracious provision.

When we call you by the preaching of the gospel, the meaning is, that all who will may come, and, passing through the booking-office of justification by faith alone, seat themselves in a carriage marked, “From Guilt to Glory.” Whenever you hear the free and general offer of salvation, you need not stand revolving the question in your own mind, “Is it for me ?” for just as the railway company carry all who comply with their printed regulations, irrespective of moral character, so if you come to the station of grace at the advertised time, which is ” now,”-for “Behold now is the accepted time,” you will find the train of salvation ready; and the only regulation to be complied with by you, in order to your being carried by it, is that you consent to let the Lord Jesus Christ charge Himself with paying for your seat, – which cannot surely be anything but an easy and desirable arrangement, seeing you have no means of paying for yourself.

Were you coming to the railway-station with no money in your pocket, and anxious to travel by a train about to start, in order to be put in possession of a valuable inheritance left to you by a friend; and were any one to meet you at the door of the ticket-office, and say, “I will pay your fare for you,” you would not feel anything but the utmost satisfaction in complying with such a regulation; and is it not an easy matter for you on coming to the station of mercy to submit to the regulation of the gospel, to let Jesus pay your fare for the train of grace, that you may take your seat with confidence, and be carried alone, the new and living way to everlasting glory?

If we want to know the gospel and be saved, we must know Jesus as our Sin-bearer; for “Christ crucified is the sum of the gospel and the richness of it. Paul was so taken with Jesus that nothing sweeter than Jesus could drop from his pen and lips. It is observed that he hath the word Jesus five hundred times in his epistles “(Charnock 1684) “Jesus” was his constant subject of meditation, and out of the good treasure of the heart his mouth spoke and his pen wrote. He felt that Christ was made of God unto him “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” and glorying in the Lord and in His cross, he determined not to know anything among those to whom he preached and wrote, ” save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That faith which is not built on a dying Christ is but a perilous dream: God awaken all from it that are in it!

Christ alone is our salvation-
Christ the rock on which we stand;
Other than this sure foundation
Will be found but sinking sand.

Christ, His cross and resurrection,
Is alone the sinner’s plea;
At the throne of Gods perfection,
Nothing else will set him free.

“We have all things, Christ possessing;
Life eternal, second birth;
Present pardon, peace, and blessing,
While we tarry here on earth;

And by faith’s anticipation,
Foretastes of the joy above,
Freely given us with salvation,
By the Father in His love.

“When we perfect joy shall enter,
‘Tis in Him our bliss will rise;
He’s the essence, soul, and centre
Of the glory in the skies:

In redemption’s wondrous story,
Plannd before our parents’ fall,
From the Cross unto the Glory.
Jesus Christ is all in all”
Anonymous

THE AWFUL MYSTERY THAT SURROUNDS HEAVEN AND EARTH

The Awful Mystery That Surrounds Heaven And Earth

Gen 17:1-4 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

“It says here that the word of the Lord came to Abram, and the Lord appeared unto Abram and the Lord went up from speaking unto Abram and Abram said unto God.

I quote only a few of those active verb filled passages to show that here are two personalities in warm living intelligent communion. In communication with one another. There was a live and intelligent conversation going on between the God of Abraham and Abraham.

Abraham was lying face down and that was proper that he should have been there and God was standing high and lifted up. But there was intimate warm fellowship there. The two where touching each other and this affected Abraham terrifically down he went on his face and God talked with him. Now Abraham found himself in the conscience presence of the awful mystery that surrounds heaven and earth.

Ladies and gentlemen they call men like me a mystic as if that was a mistake. But I say to you that at the beating heart of Christianity, at the beating heart of religion is the inward spiritual appreciation of the presence of the great God who made heaven and earth.

I was telling some of the brethern here at the supper table that a certain lady, rather a certain woman said about God. She said “I love God and when you get to know God you’ll find Him a living doll.” A living doll! Imagine God being called a doll? A stuffed dummy that somebody likes and cuddles up to her curvated chin and says “God is a living doll.”

Brother, that wasn’t Abraham’s concept of God. Abraham fell on his face and was afraid to look up. He was in the awful mystery that filled heaven and earth. That presence pressing in like the atmosphere pulling down like gravitation. Pulling up with magnetic attraction. Defeating and overwhelming and inviting and calling and drawing and breathing and making Himself heard. And Abraham was hearing Him. And God was talking and heaven came close and the earth shrank until it was no bigger than a grain of corn and Abraham saw nobody but God and heard nothing but God and laid face down and quivered and laughed and lept into the dirt and beat his old fist on the grass and cried “O Lord God, Lord God.”

This was Abraham. My brethern, it’s a terrible thing not to have these experiences with God to walk on earth simply as animals and little better. What is a man better than his cow when the world around him isn’t filled with God, when his heart isn’t in tune with God, when the night in which he walks is not populated with God and the day knows no shadow of the Almighty? What is a man better than the cow when he has no thought of God in the day and no prayer of God in the night and no sense of God’s presence at anytime.

I tell you I’d rather be my yellow Cocker Spaniel yapping at the diesel engine than I would be a man made in the image of God and yet be so dead inside that I could walk in beautiful Pennsylvania and not know God made it. That I could breath His air and see His sunshine and not be overwhelmed with His presence.

Now I say I’d rather be a pagan. I would, I’d rather be a pagan, a red Indian stretching my arms up toward the great spirit and be a true pagan and the best I knew worshiping the spirit that made heaven and earth and thanking the unknown God for his gifts. I’d rather be a pagan than take my chances in that terrible day and plead my ignorance before the bar of God’s judgement than be an American filled with automobiles and bank accounts and radios and t.v.s and business and going places and knowing things and enjoying myself and yet not giving God a chance at my heart.” A. W. Tozer, Abraham, only God Matters

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Psalms 45:11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

“With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, ‘Be still, and know that I am God,’ mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshiper in this middle period of the twentieth century.” A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge Of The Holy

“Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God.” Augustine

Come, let us tune our loftiest song
And raise to Christ our joyful strain;
Worship and thanks to Him belong,
Who reigns and shall forever reign.

His sovereign power our bodies made;
Our souls are His immortal breath;
And when His creatures sinned He bled
To save us from eternal death.

Burn, every breast with Jesus’ love;
Bound every heart with rapturous joy;
And saints on earth, with saints above,
Your voices in His praise employ.

Extol the Lamb with loftiest song;
Prolong for Him your cheerful strain;
Worship and thanks to Him belong,
Who reigns and shall forever reign.
Robert A. West,

NO Doctrine More Excellent than Christ, by John Flavel

No Doctrine More Excellent Than Christ

 

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

There is no doctrine more excellent in itself or more necessary to be preached and studied than the doctrine of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. All other knowledge, how much soever it be magnified in the world, is, and ought to be esteemed, but dross in comparison of the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:8). “In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” (Col. 2:3). Eudoxus was so affected with the glory of the sun that he thought he was born only to behold it; much more should a Christian judge himself born only to behold and delight in the glory of the Lord Jesus. The truth of this proposition will be made out by a double consideration of the doctrine of Christ. First, let it be considered absolutely. Then these lovely properties with which it is naturally clothed will render it superior to all other sciences and studies.

 
1. The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures, the scope and center of all divine revelations: both Testaments meet in Christ. The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all the gospel is full of Christ. The blessed lines of both Testaments meet in Him. How they both harmonize and sweetly concenter in Jesus Christ is the chief scope of that excellent epistle to the Hebrews to discover, for we may call that epistle the sweet harmony of both Testaments. This argues the unspeakable excellence of this doctrine, the knowledge whereof must needs therefore be a key to unlock the greatest part of the sacred Scriptures. For it is in the understanding of Scripture, much as it is in the knowledge men have in logic and philosophy: if a scholar once comes to understand the bottom-principle upon which, as upon its hinge, the controversy turns, the true knowledge of that principle shall carry him through the whole controversy and furnish him with a solution to every argument. Even so the right knowledge of Jesus Christ, like a clue, leads you through the whole labyrinth of the Scriptures.

 
2. The knowledge of Jesus Christ is a fundamental knowledge. The knowledge of Christ is fundamental to all graces, duties, comforts, and happiness.

 

(1) It is fundamental to all graces. They all begin in knowledge: “The new man is renewed in knowledge,” (Col. 3:10). As the old, so the new creation begins in light: the opening of the eyes is the first work of the Spirit. And as the beginnings of grace, so all the after-improvements thereof depend upon this increasing knowledge: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour,” (2Pe 3:18). See how these two—grace and knowledge—keep equal pace in the soul of a Christian: in what degree the one increases, the other increases answerably.

(2) The knowledge of Christ is fundamental to all duties. The duties, as well as the graces of all Christians, are all founded in the knowledge of Christ. Must a Christian believe? That, he can never do without the knowledge of Christ: faith is so much dependent on His knowledge that it is denominated by it, “By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many,” (Isaiah 53:11); hence, seeing and believing are made the same thing (John 6:40). Would a man exercise hope in God? That, he can never do without the knowledge of Christ, for He is the author of that hope (1 Peter 1:3). He is also its object (Hebrews 6:19), its groundwork and support (Col. 1:27). And as you cannot believe or hope, so neither can you pray acceptably without a competent degree of this knowledge…The true way of conversing with and enjoying God in prayer is by acting faith on Him through a Mediator…O then, how indispensable is the knowledge of Christ to all that do address themselves to God in any duty!

(3) It is fundamental to all comforts. All the comforts of believers are streams from this fountain. Jesus Christ is the very object matter of a believer’s joy: our rejoicing is in “Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 3:3). Take away the knowledge of Christ, and a Christian is the most sad and melancholy creature in the world. Again, let Christ but manifest Himself and dart the beams of His light into their souls, and it will make them kiss the stakes on which they hang, sing in flames, and shout in the pangs of death, as men that divide the spoil.

(4) This knowledge is fundamental to the eternal happiness of souls. As we can perform no duty, enjoy no comfort, so neither can we be saved without it: “This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,” (John 17:3). And, if it be life eternal to know Christ, then it is eternal damnation to be ignorant of Christ. As Christ is the door that opens heaven, so knowledge is the key that opens Christ…Thus, you see how fundamental the knowledge of Christ is: it is essentially necessary to all the graces, duties, comforts, and happiness of souls.

 

3. The knowledge of Christ is profound and large; all other sciences are but shadows. This is a boundless, bottomless ocean; no creature hath a line long enough to fathom the depth of it. There is height, length, depth, and breadth ascribed to it (Ephesians 3:18). Yea, it passeth knowledge. There is “a manifold wisdom of God in Christ,” (Ephesians 3:10). It is of many sorts and forms, of many folds and plates; it is indeed simple, pure and unmixed with anything but itself, yet it is manifold in degrees, kinds, and administrations. Though something of Christ be unfolded in one age and something in another, yet eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him…It is in the studying of Christ, as in the planting of a newly discovered country: at first men sit down by the seaside, upon the skirts and borders of the land; and there they dwell. But by degrees, they search farther and farther into the heart of the country. Ah, the best of us are yet but upon the borders of this vast continent!

 
4. The study of Jesus Christ is the most noble subject that ever a soul spent itself upon. Those that rack and torture their brains upon other studies, like children, weary themselves at a low game: the eagle plays at the sun itself. The angels study this doctrine and stoop down to look into this deep abyss. What are the truths discovered in Christ, but the very secrets that from eternity lay hid in the bosom of God? (Ephesians 3:8-9). God’s heart is opened to men in Christ (John 1:18). This makes the gospel such a glorious dispensation because Christ is so gloriously revealed therein; and the studying of Christ in the gospel stamps such a heavenly glory upon the contemplating soul.

 
5. It is the most sweet and comfortable knowledge. What is it to be studying Jesus Christ, but to be digging among all the veins and springs of comfort? And the deeper you dig, the more do these springs flow upon you. How are hearts ravished with the discoveries of Christ in the gospel! What ecstasies, meltings, transports do gracious souls meet there?…A believer could sit from morning to night to hear discourses of Christ: “His mouth is most sweet,” (Song 5:16). Secondly, let us compare this knowledge with all other knowledge, and thereby the excellence of it will further appear.

 

1. All other knowledge is natural, but this is wholly supernatural. “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him,” (Matthew 11:27). The wisest heathens could never make a discovery of Christ by their deepest searches into nature; the most eagle-eyed philosophers were but children in knowledge, compared with the most illiterate Christians.
2. Other knowledge is unattainable by many. All the helps and means in the world would never enable some Christians to attain the learned arts and languages. Men of the best wits and most pregnant parts are most excellent in these; but here is the mystery and excellence of the knowledge of Christ: men of most blunt, dull, and contemptible parts attain to this knowledge, through the teaching of the Spirit, in which the more acute and ingenious are utterly blind. “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes,” (Matthew 11:25). “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,” (1 Cor. 1:26-27).
3. Other knowledge, though you should attain the highest degree of it, would never bring you to heaven. It is defective and lame both in the integrity of parts—the principal thing, Christ, being wanting—and in the purity of its nature. For, the knowing heathens grew vain in their imaginations and in the efficacy and influence of it on the heart and life: “They held the truth in unrighteousness,” (Romans 1:21). Their lusts were stronger than their light (Romans 1:18). But this knowledge hath potent influences, changing souls into its own image (2 Cor. 3:18); and so it proves a saving knowledge unto men (1 Tim. 2:4). John Flavel

 

“Nothing can be known either of God or man until God has become man in Jesus Christ.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Christianity is not a doctrine, not truth as truth, but the knowledge of a Person; it is knowing the Lord Jesus. You cannot be educated into being a Christian. –T. Austin-Sparks

 

I have one passion. It is He, only He. –Count Zinzendorf

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
Ed­ward Per­ro­net.

THE WONDER OF THE BOOK OF GOD

 

The Wonder Of The Book Of God

 

1 Peter 1:1-2 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

“Dear old Apostle Peter the man of God knew what was happening (concerning the persecution). He had seen some of it himself in the city of Jerusalem and he knew the fury of persecuiton so he writes a letter. And I believe that letter was born out of long hours of prayer and waiting on God. And he wrote to his beloved Christians scattered abroad everywhere. And it is like our Lord to take an epistle like this for a particular purpose and make the universal out of a particular and to have a letter written that was intended for the encouragement of a small group of suffering Christians in Roman Asia and yet because He was God put so much of the universal in the particular, and put so much of the vast reach of human nature in that epistle and we read it today as though it was written for us. The simplest person in the Mountains of Kentucky can read the epistle of 1st Peter and can understand it reasonably well and as he reads it and kneels he can say to himself “The Holy Spirit is saying this to me.”

 
You can listen to me here in the city of Chicago and think and feel the Holy Spirit is talking to me through this letter to the Galatians and other Christians in Pontus and Cappadocia and Bithynia.

 
Now that is exactly like God my brothers. There isn’t anything that ever is dated in the book of God. When I go to my bible I find dates but I find no dating. I mean by that there isn’t anything here that I feel doesn’t belong to me. There isn’t anything here that is obviously for another age, for another people. Sometimes we’ll pick up a book, it’ll be an English or an American book, or it’ll be Roman or a great book in translation maybe and we’ll read the passionate outpouring of the minds of men on some local situation but we don’t read very long because we get bored with it. We say to ourselves “why should I worry about Carthage? Why should I care about Phillip? Why should it bother me, this local circumstance? Why should I be bothered with it?” and you turn from it unless you are a scholar, you turn from it as something that’s dated that belongs to another age. It’s like reading a letter to somebody else not concerning you at all.

 
When the Holy Ghost wrote the epistles through Peter and Paul and the rest. He wrote them and addressed them to certain people and then made them so universally applicable that every Christian that reads them today in any part of the world in any tongue forgets they where written to anybody else and says “this was addressed to me. The Holy Spirit had me in mind. This is not dated.” This is not an antiquated thing pulled out of the attics of antiquity. This is the living truth for me now as though God had just heard of my trouble and called me up to help me and encourage me in the time of my distress. That is why the bible stays young always. That is why the word of the Lord God is as fresh as the new sunrise. As sweat and graciously fresh as the dew on the grass this morning after the clear night. Because it’s God’s word to men.

 
Peter speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost managed to pack into his epistle such a wealth of warm human understanding. Such a treasure of divine thought, such blessedness that we Americans read it in 1953 forget it was written to the Bithynians and Capadocians back in the year 65. We forget all about that. God makes it applicable to us. Addressed to somebody else and means me. That is the wonder of divine inspiration and the wonder of the book of God.” A. W. Tozer, 1st Peter, Introduction

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

 

“If you cut him, (John Bunyan) he’d bleed Scripture!” Charles H. Spurgeon

 

“The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.” George Mueller

 

“The spirit can no more live without being fed than can the body. But what can it
feed on ? All about us is of the earth, earthy. Where are the green pastures in which the Good Shepherd can make His sheep lie down, satisfied with the abundance ? There is but one answer — in the Word. The Word of God is the food of the life of God. The Word of God read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested, is essential to healthy spiritual life. The blessed man finds his strength in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” Mark Guy Pearse, Thoughts On Holiness

 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
attributed to John Keith,

GOD SEEKS A MAN OF PRAYER

God Seeks A Man Of Prayer

Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

Isaiah 59:16 “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.”

GOD IS SEEKING A MAN

“It’s not people seeking God it’s God seeking a man “The Lord sought a man” and He’s always doing that. Not for a group of men, not for a drama group or a rock group or a singing group of which there are scores around the world. I can only speak with some measure of authority concerning my own country but if you knew anything about Britain you will know to what amazing extent Christian entertainment has taken over Evangelical circles.
But God is looking for a man “He saw that there was no man and wondered”, wondered that there was no one to intervene or no intercessor. In the book of Revelations every letter to the seven Churches close with this statement: “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” Just one man who will get off the Evangelical treadmill and take time to hear what the Lord would say and all the frantic rush and feverish activity of today in our Churches.

ONE WHO WASN”T ON THE EVANGELICAL TREADMILL

It was A. W. Tozer, such a friend to me in my Chicago days (Redpath pastored the Moody Church from 1955 to 1962). Such an encourager who says in his book, I think “The Pursuit Of God” That if the Holy Spirit where withdrawn from our Churches today 95% of what we do would go on and nobody would know any different and if the Holy Spirit where withdrawn from the New Testament Church 95% of what they did would stop and everybody would know the difference.” That’s not popular preaching but it hits me right between the eyes, right between the eyes.”
What a dichotomy there is between in the Church meeting, between the nice, neat, orthodox, sound evangelical prayer which opens proceedings and the release benediction for which they finish and what goes on between all the time in which the Holy Spirit hasn’t even had a vote. But we ask ourselves “How can we possibly intervene in society today?” And the answer from the word of God is there is no area in which the Christian can intervene in society but one. And that is intervention through prevailing, battling, victorious praying. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. (Eph 1:3) And I must get in there and claim all that God has for me in Jesus.” Alan Redpath, God seeks a man of prayer

“The church that is not jealously protected by mighty intercession and sacrificial labors will before long become the abode of every evil bird and the hiding place for unsuspected corruption. The creeping wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its own strength and forgets to watch and pray.” A.W. Tozer

“…it is enough for the disciple of Christ if we say that Christ in His holy gospel has made it your duty and your privilege to intercede for others. When he taught us to pray, he said, “Our Father,” and the expressions which follow are not in the singular but in the plural—”Give us this day our daily bread.” “Forgive us our debts”; “Lead us not into temptation”; evidently intending to set forth that none of us are to pray for ourselves alone…” Spurgeon

“Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men.” Oswald Chambers

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

I have a Savior, He’s pleading in glory,
A dear loving Savior, though earth-friends be few;
And now He is watching in tenderness o’er me,
But oh, that my Savior were your Savior too!

For you I am praying,
For you I am praying,
For you I am praying,
I’m praying for you.

I have a Father: to me He has given
A hope for eternity, blessed and true;
He’ll call me one day to the kingdom of heaven,
But oh, that He’d let me bring you with me too!

For you I am praying,
For you I am praying,
For you I am praying,
I’m praying for you.

I have a peace: it is calm as a river,
A peace that the friends of this world never knew;
My Savior alone is its Author and Giver,
And oh, could I know it was given to you!

For you I am praying,
For you I am praying,
For you I am praying,
I’m praying for you.
Samuel O’M Clough

“Oh, that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!” Job 16:21

HIMSELF, A. B. Simpson

Himself, A. B. Simpson

I wish to speak to you about Jesus, and Jesus only. I often hear people say, “I wish I could get hold of Divine Healing, but I cannot.” Sometimes they say, “I have got it.” If I ask them, “What have you got?” the answer is sometimes, “I have got the blessing”, sometimes it is, “I have got the theory”; sometimes it is, “I have got the healing”; sometimes, “I have got the sanctification.” But I thank God we have been taught that it is not the blessing, it is not the healing, it is not the sanctification, it is not the thing, it is not the it that you want, but it is something better. It is “the Christ”; it is Himself.

HIMSELF

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.

Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.

A. B. Simpson