The Sacrifices (14)

 

Sung Psalm 22:23-28 (note vow v25)

Reading I Samuel 1:1-20

This chapter centred on godly Hannah is perhaps the best example of the application of the OT feasts and sacrifices mentioned in the Pentateuch, especially the peace offering with a vow, freewill offering and thanksgiving.

I personally love the silent prayer that came from Hannah’s heart (v11), proof that God even hears that kind, spontaneously and silently uttered internally!

Remember that at the three prescribed feasts of Israel certain sacrifices were required for Israel corporately (Ex.23:15 ff., Deut.16:16,17) and others were individual and voluntary (Deut.12:5-12,17,18 cf. II Cor.9:6-8)

The family of Elkanah ate hence it was likely a peace offering (vv4,7,9)

Peace came to Hannah through prayer and the word of God (uttered by the high priest), on the basis of atonement (offering) and her believing.

She vowed she would give her son for a Nazarite for life (and no doubt had in mind a solution to Israel’s apostasy as ecclesiastical wickedness was rife). Elkanah approved her vow (Num.30:7). Later when bringing Samuel she offered burnt offerings and peace offerings (v24) proof of her husband’s wealth. Judgment fell on the high priest and his godless sons (v31).

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Precious Remedies (7)

Brooks now begins in earnest his treatise by dealing with the means by which Satan temps us and the remedies we may use against him.

DEVICE 1: TO PRESENT THE BAIT AND HIDE THE HOOK

Satan’s first device to draw the soul into sin is, to present the bait—and hide the hook; to present the golden cup—and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin—and to hide from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin. By this device he deceived our first parents, “And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die—for God does know, that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). Your eyes shall he opened, and you shall be as gods! Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit. Oh—but he hides the hook—the shame, the wrath, and the loss that would certainly follow! Brooks describes the temptation as offering inordinate profit or gain and pleasure. Christ was offered the world, fame and food-JK

Remedy (1). First, Keep at the greatest distance from sin, and from playing with the golden bait which Satan holds forth to catch you; for this you have (Romans 12:9), “Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.”

(Proverbs 5:8, 1 Thess. 5:22). The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance from it;

Remedy (2). Consider that sin is but a bitter sweet. That seeming sweet that is in sin will quickly vanish; and lasting shame, sorrow, horror, and terror will come in the room thereof—”He enjoyed the taste of his wickedness, letting it melt under his tongue. He savoured it, holding it long in his mouth. But suddenly, the food he has eaten turns sour within him, a poisonous venom in his stomach.” (Job 20:12-14). Esau’s bowl of stew was a bitter sweet; the Israelites’ quails a bitter sweet;

Remedy (3). Solemnly to consider that sin will usher in the greatest and the saddest losses that can be upon our souls. It will usher in the loss of that divine favour which is better than life, and the loss of that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory, and the loss of that peace which passes understanding, and the loss of those divine influences by which the soul has been refreshed, quickened, raised, strengthened, and gladdened,

Remedy (4). Seriously to consider that sin is of a very deceitful and bewitching nature. Sin is from the greatest deceiver, it is a child of his own begetting, it is the ground of all the deceit in the world, and it is in its own nature exceeding deceitful. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘today’, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Heb. 3:13. It will with Delilah smile upon us, that it may betray us into the hands of the devil, as she did Samson into the hands of the Philistines.

Sin so bewitches the soul, that it makes the soul call evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet and sweet bitter, light darkness and darkness light; and a soul thus bewitched with sin will stand it out to the death, at the sword’s point with God; let God strike and wound, and cut to the very bone, yet the bewitched soul cares not, fears not—but will still hold on in a course of wickedness, as you may see in Pharaoh, Balaam, and Judas. Tell the bewitched soul that sin is a viper that will certainly kill when it is not killed, that sin often kills secretly, insensibly, eternally, yet the bewitched soul cannot, and will not, cease from sin.

When the physicians told Theotimus that except he did abstain from drunkenness and uncleanness he would lose his eyes; his heart was so bewitched to his sins, that he answered, “Then farewell, sweet light”; he had rather lose his eyes than leave his sin. So a man bewitched with sin had rather lose God, Christ, heaven, and his own soul— than part with his sin. Oh, therefore, forever take heed of playing with or nibbling at Satan’s golden baits!

Acts 4:23-37

 

Acts 4:23-31

  1. After they were let go by the Sanhedrin Peter and John went to the gathering of the disciples (possibly the 120) and related all that had happened.
  2. Their reaction was united prayer.
  3. They started their prayer with God as creator because this was the beginning of his decree and first revelation of almighty power.
  4. The church quoted David in Psalm 2:1 because what had happened was in direct fulfilment of this prophesy. It is notable that David is at least twice quoted in first books of Acts.
  5. They called Christ “thy holy child” which in the Greek is either boy or servant perhaps to emphasise his humanity, his human helplessness and the fact he was God’s child and servant in the same way we are God’s children (Gal.3:26, I Thess.5:5 and Heb.12:5).
  6. Four people/groups are mentioned.
  7. Herod represented the kings of the earth and the people of Israel even though he was an Edomite.
  8. Pilate and the gentiles represented the rulers and the heathen (Romans).The people of Israel represented themselves the Jews.
  9. The wicked deeds of all these were decreed and under the sovereign control of God and this also means nothing in our lives is outside his control, Fatherly care and love.
  10. God’s hand is his providence and power to act-note how our hands can do everything from wielding a heavy hammer to intricate microscopic operations (similarly his working). This ought to comfort us in relation to the details of our lives.
  11. In the face of these threats the church asked God for boldness and confirmatory miraculous signs because it would be natural to be intimidated.
  12. Healing and other miracles were important because the apostles needed authentication before the authoritative canon of Scripture was closed. (II Cor 12:12).
  13. The shaking of the building served as an encouragement to those inside and proves God is working. C.f. Isaiah 6, Acts 16, Elijah on the mount, Mount Sinai, many Psalms e.g. 77:18, and the time of Golgotha. This tells us of the almighty Spirit.                               Acts 4:32-37
  1. The unity of the early church was manifest in them sharing all they had.
  2. They had all things in common because they recognised God as the giver and their need to help the needy (II Cor.8:8-14, II Cor. 9:7 f. f). This was before the first deacons and the role of the widows.
  3. The power with which the apostles witnessed to the resurrection was the power of the Spirit.
  4. “Great grace” is God’s enabling to preach and witness boldly (
  5. I Tim.1:7), give generously and desire the means of grace. It was exhibited in the fruit of the Spirit and the ability to fulfil their callings.
  6. Their generous sharing is descriptive not prescriptive. In other words God recognises private property but also that giving be done freely without coercion. He does expect the rich to be rich in good deeds of sharing (I Tim.6:18).
  7. Barnabas (son of encouragement) was the nickname given to Joses, a Levite born in Cyprus who sold land and brought all the proceeds to the apostle as an example of generosity contrasted with events in the next chapter.

Next study Sat. October 6th on Acts 5:1-16

Precious Remedies (6)

 

Thomas Brooks

 

Brooks list 12 devices Satan uses to ensnare us in sin: you will see how many and varied they are!

By presenting the bait and hiding the hook

By painting sin with virtue’s colours

By the extenuating and lessening of sin

By showing to the soul the best men’s sins and by hiding from the soul their virtues, their sorrows, and their repentance

By presenting God to the soul as One made up all of mercy

By persuading the soul that repentance is easy and that therefore the soul need not scruple about sinning

By making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin

By representing to the soul the outward mercies enjoyed by men walking in sin, and their freedom from outward miseries

By presenting to the soul the crosses, losses, sorrows and sufferings that daily attend those who walk in the ways of holiness

By causing saints to compare themselves and their ways with those reputed to be worse than themselves:

By polluting the souls and judgements of men with dangerous errors that lead to looseness and wickedness

By leading men to choose wicked company

Precious Remedies (5)

CHAPTER 1: THE PROOF OF THE POINT

(Eph. 6:11), “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The Greek word “wiles,” signifies such snares as are laid behind one, such treacheries as come upon one’s back by surprise,  The word signifies an ambush  whereby the enemy sets upon a man at unawares. It signifies purpose and craft. Julian the apostate (Roman emperor), by his craft, drew more away from the faith than all his persecuting predecessors could do by their cruelty. So does Satan more hurt in his sheep’s skin than by roaring like a lion. 2 Tim. 2:26, “And that they might recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” The Greek word  signifies to awaken themselves. Awake and be restored to your senses;  as birds are taken alive and ensnared in the fowler’s net. Satan has snares for all kinds of people!  Rev. 2:24, speaks of poor souls in Thyatira who called their opinions the depths of God, when indeed they were the depths of Satan. They had listened to the wicked false prophetess Jezebel.

Brooks (adapted)

Covenant Baptism

 

So you call yourself a Reformed Baptist! Well you are a Baptist but not Reformed: hear Heidelberg Catechism Q. 74.  Are infants also to be baptized?
A.  Yes; for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God; and since redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the Christian church, and be distinguished from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision, instead of which baptism is instituted in the new covenant.

 

The proof for the baptism of NT believer’s children is overwhelming from Genesis to Revelation. Take the Psalms. Look at the promises of Psalms 18:50, 25:13, 37:26, 89:4,29,36, 102:28, 112:2. In all instances the seed of believers are blessed, endure forever or inherit so they must be believing!

When we come to the New Testament just a few verses from Acts and the epistles underline and bolster our doctrine, they can be classed like this: the elect children of believers (seed of the covenant) have:

1. The Promise of salvation (Acts 2:38) as in Gen.17:7.

2. Are addressed as church members (Eph. 6:4, Col.3:20) AND need to be fed (John 21:15).

3. Ought to have the covenant sign as they did in O.T. (because circumcision and baptism mean exactly the same namely are signs of true circumcision of the heart/spiritual baptism).

4. Family baptism was the norm ( Household of Stephanus, Lydia, Philippian jailer).

5. The signs of circumcision and water baptism are seals of the reality sealed by circumcision of the heart and Spirit baptism namely washing away of sin, imputed righteousness, regeneration (Rom.4:11, Eph.1:13, 4:30). Eph.4:4-6 speaks of one body (OT plus NT saints), ONE BAPTISM (not to be repeated). The real circumcision (Phil.3:3) are spiritual worshippers of all ages who are spiritually circumcised and hence should be physically baptised. Both circumcision and baptism are:

  • Initiation into God’s covenant people.
  • Washing away of sin.
  • Death to sin and justification.

Furthermore we see the generational principle promised in I Tim.1:5 and Timothy himself as a little child (Gr: BREPHOS, same as Matthew 18:6) knew the OT scriptures!

Another Reformed creed (The Belgic Confession) states: “therefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the baptism of the infants of believers, whom we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised, upon the same promises which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed his blood no less for the washing of the children of the faithful, than for adult persons; and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that, which Christ hath done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law, that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ’s suffering and death, shortly after they were born, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. Moreover, what circumcision was to the Jews, that baptism is for our children. And for this reason Paul calls baptism the circumcision of Christ. ”

If this does not convince you, you are an Anabaptist who has not studied the Scriptures properly!

Are you growing in the Knowledge of God?

“It becomes one who is called to be a soldier, to excel in the art of war. It
becomes a mariner, to excel in the art of navigation. It becomes a physician, to
excel in the knowledge of those things which pertain to the art of physic. So it
becomes all such as profess to be Christians, and to devote themselves to the
practice of Christianity, to endeavour to excel in the knowledge of divinity.

Jonathan Edwards

https://www.biblesnet.com/Jonathan%20Edwards%20Christian%20Knowledge.pdf

Precious Remedies (4)

Thomas Brooks

Brookes gives this final advice before he launches into his treatise:

First, You must know that every man cannot be excellent, yet every man may be useful. An iron key may unlock the door with a golden treasure behind it; yes, iron can do some things that gold cannot.

Secondly, Remember, it is not hasty reading—but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower, which gathers honey—but her abiding for a time upon the flower, which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most—but he who meditates most, who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.

Thirdly, Know that it is not the knowing, nor the talking, nor the reading man—but the doing man, that at last will be found the happiest man. “If you know these things, blessed and happy are you if you DO them.” “Not everyone that says, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven—but he who DOES the will of my Father that is in heaven” (John 13:17, Matt. 7:21). Judas called Christ Lord, Lord; and yet betrayed him, and has gone to his place. Ah! how many Judases have we in these days, that kiss Christ, and yet betray Christ; that in their words profess him—but in their works deny him; that bow their knee to him, and yet in their hearts despise him; that call him Jesus, and yet will not obey him for their Lord.

Reader, If it is not strong upon your heart to practice what you read, to what end do you read? To increase your own condemnation? If your light and knowledge be not turned into practice, the more knowing a man you are, the more miserable a man you will be in the day of recompense; your light and knowledge will more torment you than all the devils in hell. Your knowledge will be that rod that will eternally lash you, and that scorpion that will forever bite you, and that worm that will everlastingly gnaw you; therefore read, and labour to know, that you may do—or else you are undone forever.
Solemn truth!-JK

When Demosthenes was asked, what was the first part of an orator, what the second, what the third? he answered, Action! The same may I say. If any should ask me, what is the first, the second, the third part of a Christian? I must answer, Action! As that man who reads that he may know, and that labours to know that he may do, will have two heavens—a heaven of joy, peace and comfort on earth, and a heaven of glory and happiness after death.

Fourthly and lastly, If in your reading you will cast a serious eye upon the margin, you will find many sweet and precious notes, that will oftentimes give light to the things you read, and pay you for your pains with much comfort and profit. So desiring that you may find as much sweetness and advantage in reading this Treatise as I have found, by the overshadowings of heaven, in the studying and writing of it; I recommend you “to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Your soul’s servant in every office of the gospel,

Thomas Brooks

The Sacrifices (13)

Peace Offering

Sung Psalm 116:9-19 (note esp. vv14,17,18)

Reading Leviticus 7:11-34

The connections between the whole burnt offering and the peace offering are threefold:

  1. Both had to be accompanied by the meal offering
  2. They were always offered together (Lev.3:5). The offering consisted whole burnt offering plus fat of peace offering.
  3. Many Biblical examples: Deut.27:5-7, Josh.22:27, Judges 21:4, I Sam.10:8, II Sam.6:17, 24:25, I Kings 3:15, 8:64.

Why was this? Because from Scripture as a whole, the central substitutionary atonement and total consecration of the Messiah (typified by the burnt offering) is the basis of our thanksgiving, vows and fellowship with God (typified by the peace offering). It is also worth noting that another important sacrifice, the Passover, was closely related to the peace offering in that it was eaten.

When we come to the New Testament the parallels and reality of these types are our eating AND drinking Christ (John 6:33,50ff) but note we eat the whole Christ and drink his blood (by faith) in believing.

In the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (I Cor.11) we all eat the same thing (no clergy/laity divide), it is communal, and the participants must be clean (worthy partakers).

The ultimate fulfilment is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev.19:7-9).

Application: we as God’s people offer spiritual sacrifices. Find them in the N.T. by looking up the word in a concordance.

Dread

Part of a blog post by brother Marco Barone:

   For Kierkeegard (pic above), therefore, dread is something that God uses and that we should interpret as a means to teach us to abandon ourselves to Providence and to trust in that God who, even through hellish anguish, is forming us and changing us.
    However, such educative side of dread is possible only by faith: “With the help of faith dread trains the individual to find repose in Providence. Kierkeegard adds that the same is true “with regard to guilt, which is the second thing dread discovers”. Dread points us to redemption in Christ since “he who with respect to guilt is educated by dread will, therefore repose only in atonement” .
“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
~ Matthew 6:34.

Continually ruminating about our own personal miseries and about the miseries of the human condition like atheistic existentialism means merely to describe the symptoms with purposeless meticulousness and, at the same time, ignoring or denying the true cause (man’s fallenness) and the only remedy (faith in Christ). However, he “who does not wish to sink in the wretchedness of the finite is constrained, in the deepest sense, to assault the Infinite”, that is, God. This is why I have titled this blog post “Kierkegaard on not Wasting your Dread”: to follow and encourage to follow Kierkegaard’s invitation not to misinterpret dread and anguish (and suffering, in general) but to focus and meditate on their true divinely appointed purposes: to teach the believer about his finitude and total dependence on God, to strengthen him in facing the crosses of life, and to prepare him for eternity.

BlogSpot

William Cowper’s hymn is appropriate especially verse three:

1 God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
and rides upon the storm.

2 Deep in unfathomable mines
of never-failing skill;
He treasures up his bright designs,
and works His sov’reign will.

3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds you so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break
in blessings on your head.

4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
but trust Him for His grace;
behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

5 His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding ev’ry hour;
the bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flow’r.

6 Blind unbelief is sure to err,
and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
and He will make it plain.

Precious Remedies (3)

remedies

“so must gracious spirits say, Where truth goes I will go, and where truth lodges I will lodge, and nothing but death shall part me and truth. A man may lawfully sell his house, land and jewels—but truth is a jewel that exceeds all price, and must not be sold; it is our heritage: “Your testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever” (Psalm 119:111).” Thomas Brooks’, “Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices” is based on II Corinthians 2:11,” Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Brooks outlines his treatise:

1. Prove his point.

2. Show you his several devices.

3. Show the remedies against his devices.

4. Show how it comes to pass that he has so many various devices to deceive, entangle, and undo the souls of men.

5. Lay down some propositions concerning Satan’s devices.

May this book and my summarising be helpful in our battle against Satan.

 

Precious Remedies (2)

In this second post on Brooks’ book he gives seven reasons for writing it:

1. Because Satan has a greater influence upon men, and higher advantages
over them than they think he has–and the knowledge of his high advantage is the highway to disappoint him, and to render the soul strong in resisting, and happy in conquering.


2. The crying of his parishioners to him.


3. The strange opposition that he met with from Satan, in the study of this
following discourse. Satan seeking to hinder him.

 

4. Its exceeding usefulness to all sorts, ranks and conditions of men in the
world. Here you have salve for every sore, and a plaster for every wound, and a remedyagainst every disease, especially against those that tend most to the undoing of souls, and the ruin of the State.


5. No one else has written on it.

 

6. Friends further afield he wants to reach.

 

7. Lastly, he was unsure how many years he had left before death and wanted
leave this book with you as a legacy of my dearest love.

Adapted

God’s destruction of the demonic powers

Exposition of Colossians 2:14-15

Christ, the victor THROUGH the cross. Satan and the demons aim to destroy the church and individual Christians. Evil powers have no right to accuse or lord it over any believer because:
•God has blotted out our sin and guilt
•We legally had an enormous debt and were due severe punishment (the handwriting)
•Because we were obliged to live in perfect obedience to all his law

http://www.cprf.co.uk/audio/NTindividual.htm#.W5JcgsJvRC1

Precious Remedies

 

Thomas Brooks, another 17th century Puritan (like John Owen) is convinced from his pastoral heart that he ought to write for his people and posterity a treatise on how Satan tempts men. My plan is to share excerpts and adaptations and summaries to help any and all who are interested in reading this and living to win the spiritual battles of life.

“Beloved, Satan being fallen from light to darkness, from felicity to misery, from heaven to hell, from an angel to a devil, is so full of malice and envy that he will leave no means unattempted, whereby he may make all others eternally miserable with himself; he being shut out of heaven, and shut up “under the chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6), makes use of all his power and skill to bring all the sons of men into the same condition and condemnation with himself.

That as the fish which live in the salt sea yet are fresh, so you, though you live in an ungodly world, may yet be godly and loving; that you may, like the bee, suck honey out of every flower; that you may shine in a sea of troubles, as the pearl shines in the sky, though it grows in the sea;”

Seeking things above

Could be subtitled, ” Baptism in the Holy Spirit”.

Colossians 3:1-4

Sermon by Rev. Martyn McGeown of Limerick Reformed Fellowship Sept 2nd 2018 on occasion of baptisms of Chester and Dale Mansona.

Christians are to seek things above because they are united to Christ in his death and resurrection. We use earthly things to further the kingdom. David Livingstone said, “I place no value on anything I have except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.” We died to the rule of sin and to the world. Spirit baptism just described, is signified by water baptism.

Sermon

Practical applications-JK

  • Find and join a true church.
  • Live close enough to attend all services and BS/catechism
  • Serve in that church using all your gifts
  • Make daily personal and family devotions a priority
  • Raise your children in the fear of God
  • Witness as opportunity presents
  • Pray without ceasing
  • Be a faithful steward of all you have-body, possessions. money and give generously.

The Sacrifices (12)

The Peace Offering

Psalm 56:5-13 (note v 12 “vows”)

Reading Lev.3

 

The peace offering is distinctive in being the only offering eaten in part by the offeror (as well as the priests) see Lev.7:11-27. The priests got the wave breast and heave right shoulder (Lev.7:34)

Where was it eaten? Deut. 12:17-19 tells us at the tabernacle or temple.

With whom? Family, servants, Levites and the needy.

How? With joy.

Freewill offerings came under peace offerings (Deut. 16:10-12) given for the blessings of redemption and provision.

Deut. 27:7 (Joshua 8) is an instance where all the people offered in prospect of entering their inheritance.

Why PEACE offering? Shalom encompasses provision and prosperity, spiritual blessings and united fellowship with others and most importantly God himself

The essence of the peace offering was the enjoying the blessings of salvation as well as earthly provision (Romans 8:32)

It was associated with covenant renewal (Ex.23:5-11, Deut.27:7) and the experience of covenant fellowship.

What occasioned this offering? Lev.7:11-21

  • Thanks for deliverance (physical and/or spiritual) and in anticipation of mercy in confession.
  • Vows
  • Freewill

Examples Judges 20:26, 21:4, II Sam.24:25, Psalm 107:22, 56:12.

From type to reality:

  1. Christology (cross) He is our peace.
  2. Soteriology (Spirit applies salvation and we eat and drink Christ by faith). Fruit of the Spirit is joy and peace.
  3. Christian life (daily covenant fellowship with Christ).

PRECIOUS REMEDIES AGAINST SATAN’S DEVICES

proposed new blog subject:

PRECIOUS REMEDIES AGAINST SATAN’S DEVICES


by Thomas Brooks (1608 – 1680)

Key verse: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us – for we are not ignorant of his devices” – 2 Corinthians 2:11

Ephesians 6

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Temptation (62)

 

This is the last post on Owen’s great book: He summarises…

Have we not experience of our weakness, our folly, the invincible power of temptation, when once it is gotten within us? As for this duty that I have insisted on, take these considerations:

— 1. If you neglect it, it being the only means prescribed by our Saviour, you will certainly enter into temptation, and as certainly fall into sin. Flatter yourselves. Some of you are “old disciples;” have a great abhorrency of sin; you think it impossible you should ever be seduced so and so; but, “Let him (whoever he be) that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” It is not any grace received, it is not any experience obtained, it is not any resolution improved, that will preserve you from any evil, unless you stand upon your watch: “What I say unto
you,” says Christ, “I say unto all, Watch.” Perhaps you may have had some good success for a time in your careless frame; but awake, admire God’s tenderness and patience, or evil lies at the door. If you will not perform this duty, whoever you are, one way or other, in one thing or other, spiritual or carnal wickedness, you will be tempted, you will be defiled; and what will be the end thereof? Remember Peter!

–2. Consider that you are always under the eye of Christ, the great captain of our salvation, who hath enjoined us to watch thus, and pray that we enter not into temptation. What think you are the thoughts and what the heart of Christ, when he sees a temptation hastening towards us, a storm rising about us, and we are fast asleep? Doth it not grieve him to see us expose ourselves so to danger, after he hath given us warning upon warning? Whilst he was in the days of his flesh he considered his temptation whilst it was yet coming, and armed himself against it. “The prince of this world cometh,” says he, “but hath no part in me.” And shall we be negligent under his eye? Do not think that thou seest him coming to thee as he did to Peter, when he was asleep in the garden, with the same reproof: “What! canst thou not watch one hour?” Would it not be a grief to thee to be so reproved, or to hear him thundering against thy neglect from heaven, as against the church of Sardis? Rev. 3:2.

–3. Consider that if thou neglect this duty, and so fall into temptation,—which assuredly thou wilt do,—that when thou art entangled God may withal bring some heavy affliction or judgment upon thee, which, by reason of thy entanglement, thou shalt not be able to look on any otherwise than as an evidence of his anger; and then what wilt thou do with thy temptation and affliction together? All thy bones will be broken, and thy peace and strength will be gone in a moment. This may seem but as a noise of words for the present;
but if ever it be thy condition, thou wilt find it to be full of woe and bitterness. Oh! then, let us strive to keep our spirits un-entangled, avoiding all appearance of evil and all ways leading thereunto; especially all ways, businesses, societies, and employments that we have already found disadvantageous to us.

John Owen (adapted)

Temptation (61)

 

 

Having thus passed through the considerations of the duty of watching that we enter not into temptation. Let us learn from the many miserable, spiritually-wounded souls, we have everywhere!—one wounded by one sin, another by another; one falling into filthiness of the flesh, another of the spirit. Ask them, now, how they came into this estate and condition? They must all answer, “Alas! we entered into temptation, we fell into cursed snares and entanglements; and that hath brought us into the woeful condition you see!” “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burnt? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burnt?” (Prov. 6:27, 28). No such thing; men come not out of their temptation without wounds, burnings, and scars.  For example, “Such a one was useful and humble, adorned the gospel; but now he is so woefully entangled with the world that he is grown all self, hath no sap nor savour. Such a one was humble and zealous; but he hath lost his first love.” Innumerable poor creatures are fallen into temptation by delusions in religion. And is it not time for us to awake before it be too late,—to watch against the first rising of sin, the first attempts of Satan, and all ways whereby he hath made his approaches to us, be they never so harmless in themselves? Nip temptation in the bud! Be like Paul and seek to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men (Acts 24:16)-JK

Owen (adapted).

Israel

Are Christians correct in thinking the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 is prophecy fulfilled?

Who are Biblical Israel?

Has the church replaced Israel?

Where is the real Jerusalem?

This study will help you get the answers:

REFORMED FREE PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION

The Bible and Israel (7)

BLOG POST | August 31, 2018

 

Our last blog post on this subject was May 25, 2018. We have proven from scripture that the New Testament church is the fulfilment of—not the replacement for—Israel. One final chapter requires out attention: it is the greatest chapter in the New Testament dealing with God’s purposes with Israel in the New Testament age, Romans 11. Since Romans 9–11 constitute a unit in the epistle, we summarize the contents of those three chapters of God’s word to demonstrate yet again that the Bible promises salvation only to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Chapters 9–11 then begin a new section of the epistle in which Paul focuses on God’s sovereign purposes with the Jews and Gentiles.

In Romans 9:1–3 Paul expresses his sorrow at the perishing of so many of his countrymen who are his “kinsmen according to the flesh” (9:3). He lists their many advantages (adoption, glory, covenants, law, service, promises, etc.), chief among which is that Christ was born of them, who is God blessed, forever (9:5).

This leads to a possible objection: if God promised salvation to the Jews, has his promise failed? Is it “of none effect”? Paul answers in the negative—”Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect” (9:6). Paul explains this by means of a very important principle: not all physical descendants of Abraham are true Jews; not all who are outwardly “of Israel” are truly “Israel.” The apostle demonstrates this point by appealing first to Isaac and Ishmael, and second to Jacob and Esau. The difference, says Paul, is in God’s sovereign election. Not only did God elect the nation of Israel, but he also elected within the nation certain individuals.

Paul answers an objection in 9:14: “Is there unrighteousness with God?” After vehemently rejecting the inference with “God forbid,” Paul proves the sovereignty of God in showing mercy to some (9:15) and in hardening others (9:18), illustrating his doctrine with an appeal to Moses and to Pharaoh. A second objection arises in 9:19: “Thou wilt say then unto me, why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” Paul cuts off the objector by reminding him of his place before God as a creature before the Creator (9:20). Paul illustrates the absolute sovereignty of God with the potter and his clay. The potter owns the clay and has power (authority) over the clay. Out of “one lump” (humanity) the potter makes some vessels (vessels of mercy) unto honor, while he makes other vessels (vessels of wrath) unto dishonor. Some vessels are prepared for glory, while others are fitted to destruction. The potter (God) does this because he “is willing to show his wrath and to make his power known” (9:22) and so that he “might make known the riches of his glory” (9:23). To accomplish this twofold purpose of magnifying his wrath and mercy, God endures the reprobate in longsuffering toward the elect (9:22–23).

This is not abstract, because Paul immediately applies it to the reader: “even us, whom he hath called” (9:24), appealing to Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 as proof that the calling of the Gentiles was prophesied in the Old Testament (9:25–26). Peter cites the same passage for the same purpose in 1 Peter 2:10. After quoting some texts from Isaiah as proof that God saves a remnant, Paul concludes that Israel has not attained to righteousness because she sought it “as it were by the works of the law” (9:32). The Gentiles, who did not seek righteousness, have obtained righteousness, “the righteousness which is of faith” (9:30). This was Israel’s fatal stumbling, as they tripped over Christ and perished, as God purposed and as the scriptures foretold (9:32–33; see also 1 Peter 2:6–8).

Paul begins chapter 9 expressing his heartfelt sorrow over Israel’s perishing (9:1–5). He begins chapter 10 in a similar fashion, by expressing his desire for Israel’s salvation (10:1). However, Paul does not excuse Israel for her sin of stumbling at Christ. She has not submitted to God’s righteousness and by seeking salvation in works has missed the goal of the law, which is Christ (10:3–4). This is all the more inexcusable because Moses made it clear that righteousness was not found in the law (10:5). To seek righteousness in the law is, says Paul, to deny the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, for “it is to bring up Christ again from the dead” or “to bring Christ down from above” (10:6–7). Righteousness then is found only in Christ, and it is through faith in Christ and confession of his name that believers are saved (10:9–10). Paul then explains the necessity of preaching.

If salvation is found only in calling upon the name of the Lord (10:13; Joel 2:32), then a series of questions must be asked. How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? How shall they believe in him of whom (or whom) they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher? How shall they preach, except they are sent? (10:14–15). Thus, Paul sets forth the necessity of preaching for the salvation of the elect. The rest of chapter 10 deals with the unbelieving response of Israel to the preaching: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel? Have they not heard? Did not Israel know?” (10:16–19). Israel did hear and know, but Israel refused (“a disobedient and gainsaying [contradictory] people”) (10:21) and God even prophesied his turning to the Gentiles: “I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you” (10:19). This is just judgment upon Israel and it is good news for the Gentiles.

In chapter 11 Paul addresses an objection: if the nation of Israel has been rejected with the result that God also saves the Gentiles in one church, has God cast away his people? Chapter 11 is pivotal to understanding God’s purposes with the Jews in the New Testament age. Both premillennial dispensationalism and postmillennialism appeal to this chapter in defense of their doctrine of a future, national conversion of Israel. Although the chapter does not teach that, it does teach that God has promised to save ethnic Israelites in every age of New Testament history until the return of Christ. That promise is quite remarkable because it pertains to no other nation: God does not save Irishmen, Germans, Filipinos, or Americans in every age. While many of the proud nations of the Old Testament (the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, etc.) have ceased to exist and (very likely) New Testament nations will cease to exist, God has preserved a remnant of ethnic Jews in the world. This does not mean that God will save all or even all ethnic Israelites, but he will save a remnant in every age, a remnant “according to the election of grace” (11:5) until the fullness of Israel is brought in, so that “all Israel shall be saved” (11:25).

However, he will save ethnic Jews in exactly the same way in which he saves ethnic Gentiles—by faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul answers the initial objection (“Hath God cast away his people?”) with a firm “God forbid” (11:1), illustrating the faithfulness of God’s promises to his foreknown people in his own (Paul’s) case (“I also am an Israelite”) and in the case of the remnant preserved in Elijah’s day (11:4; I Kings 19), and concluding that “at this present time also there is a remnant [of ethnic Israelites] according to the election of grace” (11:5). Gracious election and righteous reprobation operate in Israel as well as in other nations. Thus even within Israel, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” (or hardened) (11:7). Paul proves that God hardens some (even the majority of) Israelites from Psalm 69, which Psalm even teaches the fearful truth that God hardens the reprobate by means of their earthly prosperity (“Let their table be made a snare,” etc.).

This leads to another objection concerning God’s hardening of the reprobate: “Have they stumbled that they should fall?” (11:11). Paul’s answer is “God forbid,” for God’s purpose in reprobation is much greater than merely the damnation of the wicked. In inscrutable wisdom and awesome power, God ordains the hardening of the [reprobate] Jews for the salvation of the [elect] Gentiles.

…to be continued

This post was written by Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary-pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland stationed in Limerick, Republic of Ireland. 

Other articles:

The Bible and Israel (1)

The Bible and Israel (2)

The Bible and Israel (3)

The Bible and Israel (4)

The Bible and Israel (5)

The Bible and Israel (6)

 

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Temptation (60)

Apply yourselves to this great preservation of faithful keeping the word of Christ’s patience, in the midst of all trials and temptations:—

(1.) In particular, wisely consider in what ways the word is scorned in our day and set yourselves to keep it.. Consider what he is doing and consider how his word on this is being neglected. Owen sees God’s work in his day:—

[1.] The pouring of contempt upon the great men and great things of the world, with all the enjoyments of it. He hath discovered the nakedness of all earthly things, in overturning both men and things, to make way for the things that cannot be shaken.

[2.] The cherishing of his people specially, putting a difference between the precious and the vile, and causing his people to dwell alone, as not reckoned with the nations.

[3.] In being nigh to faith and prayer, honouring them above all the strength and counsels of the sons of men.

[4.] In reforming his church in the beauty and the power of the Spirit.

Wherein, then, in such a season, must lie the peculiar neglect of the word of Christ’s patience? Is it not in setting a value on the world and the things of it, which he hath stained and trampled under foot? Is it not in the slighting of his  people, and casting them into the same considerations with the men of the world? Is it not in leaning to our own counsels and understandings? Is it not in the defilement of his church and worship by allowing the entrance of ungodly men and women?

Let us, then, be watchful, and in these things keep the word of the patience of Christ, if we love our own preservation.

John Owen (adapted)

Temptation (59)

 

On what should we not rely on in our battle with temptation?

(1.) On your own counsels, understandings, reasonings. Though you argue in them never so plausibly in your own defence, they will leave you, betray you. When the temptation comes to any height, they will all turn about, and take part with your enemy, and plead as much for the matter of the temptation, whatever it be, as they pleaded against the end and issue of it before.

(2.) The most vigorous actings, by prayer, fasting, and other such means, against that particular lust, corruption, temptation, wherewith you are exercised and have to do alongside neglects on other accounts. To hear a man wrestle, cry, contend as to any particular of temptation, and immediately fall into worldly ways, worldly compliances, looseness, and negligence in other things,—it is righteous with Jesus Christ to leave such a one to the hour of temptation.

(3.) The general security of saints’ perseverance and preservation from total apostasy. Every security that God gives us is good in its kind, and for the purpose for which it is given to us; but when it is given for one end, to use it for another, that is not good or profitable. To make use of the general assurance of preservation from total apostasy, to support the spirit in respect of a particular temptation, will not in the issue advantage the soul; because notwithstanding that, this or that temptation may prevail.

Temptation (58)

How do professing believers come short of keeping the word of Christ?

First, Conformity to the world, which Christ hath redeemed us from, almost in all things, with joy and delight in promiscuous compliances with the men of the world. Secondly, Neglect of duties which Christ hath enjoined, from close meditation to public ordinances. Thirdly, Strife, variance, and debate among ourselves, woeful judging and despising one another, upon account of things foreign to the bond of communion that is between the saints. Fourthly, Being full of self as to principles, and selfish as to ends. Now, where these things are, are not men carnal? Is the word of Christ’s patience effectual in them? Shall they be preserved? They shall not.

John Owen (adapted)

God’s gracious gift of prayer

Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, Singapore

Professor.  Russell Dykstra 19th August 2018

Prayer is a privilege and a lifelong blessing!

Luke 11:1-13  Heidelberg Cat. L.D.45

A vital and precious NEED, INDISPENSIBLE

Covenant fellowship (communion), worship and expression of thankfulness.

  • We must know him, ask according to the model prayer and for what is needed.
  • We are dependent creatures with material and spiritual needs (grace/Spirit/our calling/life’s hardships).
  • We are sinners needing forgiveness and cleansing.
  • It is hard because it is SPIRITUAL and we are EARTHLY!
  • We shall be heard.

Contrary to what RD says it may contain apparent trivia (God is interested in the minutiae of life) and be spontaneous, informal and just by “shooting” a thought to heaven (Nehemiah 2:4).

CERC Message

Temptation (57)

What other principle keeps us in the hour of temptation?

2ndly. Love to the saints, with care that they suffer not upon our account, is a great preserving principle in a time of temptations and trials. How powerful this was in David, he declares in that earnest prayer, Ps. 69:9, “Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel;”—“O let not me so miscarry, that those for whom I would lay down my life should be put to shame, be evil spoken of, dishonoured, reviled, contemned on my account, for my failings.” A selfish soul, whose love is turned wholly inwards, will never abide in a time of trial. Owen says he will limit himself to these two principles. He goes on to say that the reason so many fall is that so few keep the word of the patience of Christ? If we wilfully neglect or cast away our interest in the promise of preservation, is it any wonder if we be not pre
served? There is an hour of temptation come upon the world, to try them that dwell therein.

Temptation (56)

Having mentioned the considerations to bear in mind when tempted Owen now adds principles

He that keeps the word of Christ’s patience hath preserving principles by which he or she acts.

1st. In all things he lives by faith, and is acted by it in all his ways, Gal. 2:20. Now, upon a twofold account hath faith, when improved, the power of preservation from temptation annexed unto it:—Because it empties the soul of its own wisdom, understanding, and fullness, that it may act in the wisdom and fullness of Christ. The only advice for the preservation in trials and temptations lies in that of the wise man, Prov. 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all they ways acknowledge him”- (by prayer-JK). This is the work of faith; it is faith; it is to live by faith. The great [cause of] falling of men in trials is their leaning to, or leaning upon, their own understanding and counsel. What is the issue of it? Job 18:7, being cast down and ashamed as Ephraim was, Hos.10:6. Whenever in our trials we consult our own understandings, hearken to self-reasoning, though it seems to be good, and tending to our preservation, yet the principle of living by faith is stifled, and we shall in the issue be cast down by own own counsels. Now, nothing can empty the heart of this self-confidence but faith, living by it, not living to ourselves, but having Christ live in us by our living by faith in him. Faith, making the soul poor, empty, helpless, destitute in itself, engages the heart, will, and power of Jesus Christ for assistance; of which I have spoken more at large elsewhere.

 

The Sacrifices (11)

Summary of the teaching on burnt offering:

Regarding Christ:

  1. Burnt offering typifies his atonement (substitutionary sacrifice)
  2. Burnt offering typifies Christ’s wholehearted obedience/consecration. Also Eph.5:2,”And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

Regarding us;

  1. We are called to wholehearted obedience
  2. We are called to costly worship (sacrifice of ourselves)

Regarding Scripture: they are pervasive.

Psalms and the burnt offering:

  1. Psalm 20:3
  2. Psalm 40:6 (proof of point 2 above). Christ speaks to his church through his ministers.
  3. Psalm 50:8,9.
  4. Psalm 51:16,19.
  5. Psalm 66:13,15 (again note always male animals use for whole burnt offering)

Vows were usually associated with the peace offering but also the burnt offering (Lev.22:18,21).

Finally see Isaiah 56:7 where the burnt offering is associated with prayer, arguably the costliest and hardest offering we bring to God because of our selfishness and worldly-mindedness.

Temptation (55)

Further considerations that keep our hearts from entering into temptation:

2dly. The great consideration of the temptations of Christ on our behalf, and the conquest he made in all assaults for our sake and his God, dwell also on his spirit. The prince of this world came upon him, every thing in earth or hell that hath either allurement or could frighten was proposed to him, to divert him from the work of mediation which for us he had undertaken. This whole life he calls the time of his “temptations;” but he resisted all, conquered all, and is become a Captain of salvation to them that obey him. “And,” says the soul, “shall this temptation, these arguments, this plausible pretence, this sloth, this self-love, this sensuality, this bait of the world, turn me aside, prevail over me, to desert him who went before me in the ways of all temptations that his holy nature was obnoxious unto, for my good?”

3dly. Dismal thoughts of the loss of love, of the smiles of the countenance of Christ, do also frequently exercise such a soul. He knows what it is to enjoy the favour of Christ, to have a sense of his love, to be accepted in his approaches to him, to converse with him, and perhaps hath been sometimes at some loss in this thing; and so knows also what it is to be in the dark, distanced from him. See the deportment of the spouse in such a case, Song of Solomon 3:4, ” When she had once found him again, she holds him; she will not let him go; she will lose him no more.”

Well done good and FAITHFUL servant.

Surely this is what every Christian wants to hear from his or her Lord on the last day. This little article from my church bulletin helps us understand what it means to be a man or woman of faith. We need to nothing spectacular but just serve God in our respective place.

The Wandering Bird (2)

Proverbs 27:8: “As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.”

What happens when we wander from our place? We could leave a place of spiritual safety for one of temptation. Temptation and sin are no less dangerous for us than predators are for birds. Leaving the place of godly instruction leaves us to be instructed by the world and its ideas about right and wrong.

A bird who wanders from her place is foolish. For the young to leave the safety of the nest is to expose herself to all kinds of dangers. For the adult to leave the nest also exposes her young to danger and starvation.

A man who wanders from his place is just as foolish. He is exposed to temptation. The effects upon the family are also great. Without a father and mother in their appointed places giving direction to their children, children wander into ways of sin because of a lack of spiritual direction and sound instruction. What is happening to the children of the world who are raised under the instruction of television? Are their hearts in good shape? Many men in the world are more interested in the good times the world has to offer than being in their places in their homes. Are American families in good shape?

David is an example of what happens when a man wanders from his place. He was the king of God’s people. It was his duty to lead the people in battle against their enemies. His place was also that of being an example of godly living because everyone knew of his attitude toward God.

Yet David wandered from his place. In II Samuel 11, he was a bad example as king. He left his place at the head of the army and stayed in Jerusalem for a time of pleasure and relaxation. He left himself open to temptation. He was also on the roof on his palace at a time when he should not have been. His weak flesh was led into terrible sin which had effects on David for the rest of his life.

David neglected his place as a child of God. A servant told David that Bathsheba was another man’s wife. His duty as a child of God was then to leave her alone. After falling into sin, his place was to confess his sin. He did not confess because he wanted to preserve his reputation in the eyes of the people. In order to preserve his social standing, he finally resorted to murder. His place as king was to protect his subjects, not make them victims of adultery and murder.

On the first day of school this year, I had the 5th graders do a quick writing assignment. I asked them to give me the name of an example of faith. Then they had to give me a few sentences about why this person is such a good example of faithful living.

Their answers gave me some interesting reading. First, it was good to see their knowledge of the Bible. We did not have to have a long discussion about what faithful living means. We did not have to think long and hard in a desperate search for some names we have heard in the Bible. The assignment was handled easily and well.

Some of the names given are very familiar to us. Some of the people mentioned were Moses, Elijah, Noah, parents and ministers.

Parents, this speaks well of your children. Their knowledge of the Bible demonstrates you have taken seriously the baptismal vow to see to it that your children are brought up with God’s Word as the most important part of their lives.

However, this list of examples of faithful living overlooks something very important. The people mentioned earlier did great things. They led God’s people for 40 years in the wilderness. They performed miracles and spoke boldly to ungodly kings and queens. They built an ark in the face of opposition of all the rest of the world. Why do we forget the examples of faith near us? Why weren’t more parents mentioned? Most of your fathers are at work now. Do they get up and go to work every morning because they love their jobs so much or do they go to work in faithful obedience to God’s decree that as heads of their families they are to be diligent and provide for the needs of their families? That is your father’s place.

Now, think about mum. It was not that long ago, even for the 9th graders, when all of you were small bundles of responsibility who could not do anything for yourselves. When mum was tired from a long day of work around the house, do you think she joyously leaped out of bed at four in the morning, for the fourteenth night in a row, to care for her squalling baby? Just for another example, think of all the meals she cooks. How often are her efforts appreciated? What keeps this woman going day after day? The pay? A chance for a promotion? Or is she dedicated to the raising of covenant children and putting her hope in the promises of God’s Word? That is your mother’s place.

What about the examples of faith found in godly friends? I mean, true godly friends, not the ones who encourage you to walk in the ways of the world but the ones who will not encourage you to commit sin, who will warn you about the dreadful effects of iniquity. How easy is it to stand for what is godly even in a Christian school? It takes faith to warn our friends about sin. Yet that is your place.

To live a life of faith, to serve God in your place, does not mean that you have to do something astoundingly great. The bird did not have to be the highest or fastest flier of its species to be in its place. It simply had to stay in the nest. You don’t have to spend a few hundred years building an ark to live in faith. You don’t have to kill a lion with your bare hands to show your faith! To stay in your place does not mean you have to be thrown into a fiery furnace, heal the sick, raise people from the dead, write a twenty-two volume Bible commentary or the twenty-first century version of Reformed Dogmatics. We do not have to do the spectacular in order to serve God faithfully in the place He has given us. We must perform our daily, simple Christian duties in whatever place God has given us.

Brian D. Dykstra

Temptation (54)

 

Owen continues to explain how we keep the word of Christ’s patience and so are kept from temptation:

(3.) He that so keeps the word of Christ’s patience is always furnished with preserving considerations and preserving principles,— a mindset and thoughts that keep us-JK

[1.] He is furnished with preserving considerations, that powerfully influence his soul in his walking diligently with Christ. Besides the sense of duty which is always upon him, he considers,— 1st. His concern of Christ, whom his soul loves, in him and his careful walking. He considers that the presence of Christ is with him, his eye upon him; that he ponders his heart and ways, as one greatly concerned in his deportment of himself, in a time of trial. So Christ manifests himself to do, Rev. 2:19–23. He considers all,—what is acceptable, what is to be rejected. He knows that Christ is concerned in his honour, that his name be not evil spoken of by reason of him; that he is concerned in love to his soul, having that design upon him to “present him holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable in his sight,” Col. 1:22,—and his Spirit is grieved where he is interrupted in this work; concerned on the account of his gospel, the progress and acceptation of it in the world,—its beauty would be slurred, its good things reviled, its progress stopped, if such a one be prevailed against; concerned in his love to others, who are grievously scandalized, and perhaps ruined, by the miscarriages of such. When Hymeneus and Philetus fell, they overthrew the faith of some. And says such a soul, then, who is exercised to keep the word of Christ’s patience, when intricate, perplexed, entangling temptations, public, private, personal, do arise, “Shall I now be careless? shall I be negligent? shall I comply with the world and the ways of it? Oh what thoughts of heart hath he concerning me, whose eye is upon me! Shall I contemn his honour, despise his love, trample his gospel in the mire under the feet of men, turn aside others from his ways? Shall such a man as I fly, give over resistings? It cannot be.” There is no man who keeps the word of the patience of Christ but is full of this soul-pressing consideration. It dwells on his heart and spirit; and the love of Christ constrains him so to keep his heart and ways, 2 Cor. 5:14.

Acts 4:1-22

Acts 4:1-22

Vv1-4

  1. The priests, temple captain and Sadducees interrupted Peter’s speaking. The priests were Levites, descendants of Aaron, the temple captain was head of the temple guard (police), there to keep order, and the Sadducees were an aristocratic political/religious group who were the majority in the Sanhedrin and of which the High Priest and chief priests were a part.
  2. They were upset because of the apostle’s preaching Christ.
  3. The Sadducees significantly would object to any mention of resurrection because they were materialists, believers in free-will, keepers of the Pentateuch, who did not believe in angels, resurrection or spirits (Acts 23:8).
  4. Because it was late, they arrested and put in prison the apostles with the plan to put them on trial the next day.
  5. Many thousands of the people (5,000) were converted.
  6. The church was growing explosively after the 3,000 converted at Pentecost

 

Vv5-12

 

The trial of Peter and John.

  1. The elders/rulers would have been heads of families/communities and magistrates who judged, the scribes or lawyers whose job was knowledge of the law (written and oral), transcribing and teaching it. The scribes instituted synagogues and some were in Sanhedrin. See Matt.26:59, Luke 22:66, John 11:47 and 18:13.
  2. Annas was the former High Priest (AD6-15) father-in-law to Caiaphas (High Priest AD 18-36). They appeared to rule together and were present to persecute Christ and the early apostles.

3, 4. The kindred of the high priest who were part of the Sanhedrin were relatives which is evidence of nepotism (favouritism) and corruption.

  1. These groups make up the Sanhedrin of whom there were 71, who all had to be men over 30 and married. It was the highest religious and administrative court/parliament of the Jews with a wide jurisdiction (see Acts 9:2) which rules AD6-66.
  2. Their question assumed that some power, not divine, had accomplished this miracle though deep down they most likely knew it was of God.

7.Peter spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit (II Timothy 1:7) which teaches that he is the source of holy boldness.

  1. According to Peter what was done was a good deed.
  2. Peter emphasized their guilt in crucifying Christ because they were guilty and under God’s judgment and needed to hear and be confronted with their sin so they could repent and believe.
  3. The resurrection is emphasized because it was the proof of Christ’s Messiahship, proof Christ’s persecutors had failed and underlay the power devolved to the apostles by him. The resurrection was the ultimate demonstration of the almighty power of God, central in all history (Eph.1:19-20, 3:20).
  4. Peter proved the resurrection by appealing to fulfilled prophecy in Psalm 118 where the rejected stone is made the headstone. (He could also have mentioned Psalm 16:10).
  5. Salvation was explained in terms of the “name” because in Hebrew the name stands for the person and he was asked in whose name the healing was accomplished. The name of Jesus means Jehovah Salvation. His name is powerful, baptism and prayer are in his name. God is his name.

Vv 13-22

  1. Ignorant and unlearned meant they had no formal education and perhaps their accents and clothes showed they were Galilean fishermen.
  2. Their lack of education would have meant they naturally would have been unable to speak so boldly, quoting Scripture in public in court.
  3. The council acknowledged the important fact these men had been with Jesus for three years.
  4. The council could not deny the fact of the miracle.
  5. They wanted to condemn them or shut them up but had no good reason to do so.
  6. They decided to command them to keep quiet but were worried more people would follow them, or perhaps that they would riot if they were locked up and yet they wanted them at the very least, to stop their activities.
  7. As a civil court they did have authority to command but not to override a command of God.
  8. Peter and John said they must obey God rather than men.
  9. The circumstances under which we must obey God rather than men is when men are being used to make us compromise or sin.
  10. Peter and John were compelled to speak because the Lord had commanded them (Matt.28:19-20, Acts 1:8).
  11. Scripture mentions the lame man was over 40 because the longevity of the infirmity and it’s seeming irreversibility makes the miracle even more remarkable (similarly lame man 38 years at pool of Siloam)

Next study (DV) Sat. Sept 15th   to finish Acts 4.

 

False Prophets

Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.” II Chronicles 18:22. The world is replete with false prophets today, none more-so than the one visiting the Republic of Ireland this weekend. This fits with the doctrines of demons Paul outlines in I Timothy 1-3 which very relevantly includes imposed celibacy-the main cause of the Roman church’s ubiquitous and longstanding and continuing scandal.

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Temptation (53)

 

Owen continues his treatise with the second reason why keeping the word of Christ’s patience keeps us from the hour of temptation:

[2.] In this frame the heart is filled with better things and their excellency, so far as to be fortified against the matter of any temptation. See what resolution this puts Paul upon, Phil. 3:8; all is “loss and dung” to him. Who would go out of his way to have his arms full of loss and dung? And whence is it that he hath this estimation of the most desirable things in the world? It is from that dear estimation he had of the excellency of Christ. So, verse 10 (“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection etc”), when the soul is exercised to communion with Christ, and to walking with him, he drinks new wine, and cannot desire the old things of the world, for he says “The new is better.” He tastes every day how gracious the Lord is; and therefore longs not after the sweetness of forbidden things,—which indeed have none. He that makes it his business to eat daily of the tree of life will have no appetite unto other fruit, though the tree that bear them seem to stand in the midst of paradise. This the spouse makes the means of her preservation; even the excellency which, by daily communion, she found in Christ and his graces above all other desirable things. Let a soul exercise itself to a communion with Christ in the good things of the gospel,—pardon of sin, fruits of holiness, hope of glory, peace with God, joy in the Holy Ghost, dominion over sin,—and he shall have a mighty preservative against all temptations. As the full soul loatheth the honey-comb,—as a soul filled with carnal, earthly, sensual contentments finds no relish nor savour in the sweetest spiritual things; so he that is satisfied with the kindness of God, as with marrow and fatness,—that is, every day entertained at the banquet of wine, wine upon the lees, and well refined,—hath a holy contempt of the baits and allurements that lie in prevailing temptations, and is safe. Brilliant!-JK

Temptation (52)

Owen with his excellent spiritual insight goes on to explain why keeping the word of Christ’s patience delivers us from temptation and secures us in two ways (Rev.3:10):
[1.] The heart is mortified. All temptation arises from hence, that the heart is tempted by it.(Remember according to Jeremiah the “heart is decietful above all things and desperately wicked” (17:9)-JK .We have lusts within that respond to what the world or Satan suggests, this is what James states when he says we are drawn away by our “own lusts,” James 1:14; Fear of man may turn us aside from duties because there is unmortified, carnal fear abiding in us. Why do the allurements of the world or fear of men entangle us? It is because our affections are set on them. Now, keeping the word of Christ’s patience keeps the heart mortified to these things, and so it is not easily entangled by them as Paul states in Gal. 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ.” He that keeps close to Christ is crucified with him, and is dead to all the desires of the flesh and the world; as stated more fully in Gal.6:14. This is how all entangling love is dissolved. The heart is crucified to the world and all things in it. This is so with every one that keeps the word of Christ,his heart is mortified unto them, he has no desire after them, nor affection to them, nor delight in them, and they are crucified unto him. The crowns, glories, thrones, pleasures, profits of the world, are not desirable. He places no value on them. When Achan saw the “goodly Babylonian garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold,” first he “coveted them,” then he “took them,” Josh. 7:21. Temptation subtly spreads the Babylonish garment of favour, praise, peace, the silver of pleasure or profit, with the golden contentments of the flesh, before the eyes of men. If in them there that which is unmortified, they will presently fall a-coveting; whatever fear of punishment arises the hand will be put forth into iniquity.Herein, then, lies the security of such a frame as that described: It is always accompanied with a mortified heart, crucified unto the things that are the matter of our temptations; without which it is utterly impossible that we should be preserved one moment when any temptation doth befall us. If liking, and love of the things proposed, insinuated, commended in the temptation, be living and active in us, we shall not be able to resist and stand. This is why Solomon says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are all the issues of life” (Prov.4:23) and why Paul says, “Set your affections on things above.” (Col.3:2). TBC.

Temptation (51)

 

John Owen continues to unfold why keeping the word of Christ’s patience will keep us from the hour of temptation (Rev.3:12):

“This constant, universal keeping of Christ’s word of patience will keep the heart and soul in such a frame, as wherein no prevalent temptation, by virtue of any advantages whatever, can seize upon it, so as totally to prevail against it. So David prays, Ps. 25:21, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.” This integrity and uprightness is the Old Testament keeping the word of Christ,—universal close walking with God. Now, how can they preserve a man? Why, by keeping his heart in such a frame, so defended on every side, that no evil can approach or take hold on him. Fail a man in his integrity, he hath an open place for temptation to enter. To keep the word of Christ, is to do this universally, as hath been showed. This exercises grace in all the faculties of the soul, and compasses it with the whole armour of God. The understanding is full of light; the affections, of love and holiness. Let the wind blow from what quarter it will, the soul is fenced and fortified; let the enemy assault when or by what means he pleaseth, all things in the soul of such a one are upon the guard; “How can I do this thing, and sin against God?”

The Sacrifices (10)

 

Sung Psalm 20:1-9 (note v3)

Reading Judges 11:29-40 (Jephthah’s sacrifice) 

History of Burnt Offerings

References: Ex. 10:25, 18:12, 24:5,8 (note the young men offering in this covenant renewal before the time of the instituted Levitical priesthood) also c.f. I Peter 1:2 Christ’s blood applied in same way to us.

Ex.32:6 (context of idolatry)

Num. 23:2,3,6,15,17 (Balaam offered bullocks and rams because the burnt offering was always MALE)

Num.28 and 29 contain details of burnt offering.

Joshua 8:31 (covenant renewal) and 22:23, 27,29,34.

Judges 6:19-21,26 (Gideon).

Judges 11:29-40 Jephthah was a godly man of faith who knew Scripture so because of his character he would never offer a human sacrifice AND his daughter was female! Her consecration to God, the equivalent of a burnt offering consisted in large part of her remaining a virgin for life (see Lev.27 and I Cor.7:37).

Judges 13:16,20,23 (Manoah)

Judges 20:26 (after the outrage at Gibeah), 21:4.

I Chron.29:21 (David’s 1000s of beasts)

II Chron. 1:3,6. (Solomon)

I Kings 8:63,64 (Solomon’s largest ever number of sacrifices)

I Kings 18:33-38 (Elijah)

II Kings 3:27 (pagan human sacrifice)

II Kings 5:17 (Naaman’s request)

II Kings 10:24 Another pagan sacrifice

Ezekiel 40-48 many refs to offerings

Micah 6:6-8

Mark 12:33 obedience is better than sacrifice

To summarise: The burnt offering was pervasive in Israel’s national constitution, history and Scripture. Psalm 20:3 mentions the burnt offering which typifies Christ who atones for sin, is wholehearted in his obedient consecration by the Spirit and whose merits become the basis for our prayers (in his name vv1,7). As a result, our worship also ascends to him as we offer ourselves.

 

Temptation (51)

 

Owen continues on the promise of God to keep us from temptation as we keep the word of his patience (Rev.3:10):

[1.] The faithfulness of God accompanies the promise. On this account is our deliverance laid, 1 Cor. 10:13. Though we be tempted, yet we shall be kept from the hour of temptation; it shall not grow too strong for us. What comes on us we shall be able to bear; and what would be too hard for us we shall escape. But what security have we hereof? Even the faithfulness of God: “God is faithful, who will not suffer you,” etc. And wherein is God’s faithfulness seen and exercised? “He is faithful that promised,” Heb.10:23; his faithfulness consists in his discharge of his promises. “He abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself,” 2 Tim.2:13. So that by being under the promise, we have the faithfulness of God engaged for our preservation.

[2.] There is in every promise of the covenant the grace of the Son; that is the subject matter of all promises: “I will keep thee.” How? “By my grace with thee.” So that what assistance the grace of Christ can give a soul that hath a right in this promise, in the hour of temptation it shall enjoy it. Paul’s temptation grew very high; it was likely to have come to its prevalent hour. He “besought the Lord, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, for help, 2 Cor. 12:8; and received that answer from him, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” verse 9. That it was the Lord Christ and his grace with whom he had peculiarly to do is evident from the close of that verse: “I will glory in my infirmity, that the power of Christ may rest upon me;” or “the efficacy of the grace of Christ in my preservation be made evident.” So Heb.2:18.

[3.] The efficacy of the Spirit accompanies the promises. He is called “The Holy Spirit of promise;” not only because he is promised by Christ, but also because he effectually makes good the promise, and gives it accomplishment in our souls. He also, then, is engaged to preserve the soul walking according to the rule laid down. See Isaiah 59:21. Thus, where the promise is, there is all this assistance. The faithfulness of the Father, the grace of the Son, the power of the Spirit, all are engaged in our preservation.

Peter, the Papacy, and the Keys of the Kingdom

New LRF Blog Post

Rev. Martyn McGeown


Peter, the Papacy, and the Keys of the Kingdom

Posted: 18 Aug 2018 04:40 AM PDT

On the occasion of the visit of pope Francis to Ireland, it is time to re-examine papal claims. The pope claims that he alone is the true successor of Peter, prince of the apostles, and the head of the church, gifted with supreme authority to define, with the gift of infallibility, matters of faith and morals.

Did Jesus not say to Peter: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18)? He did, but He did not mean, “You are Peter and upon YOU I will build my church.” He meant, “You are Peter (a little stone) and upon this rock (your confession that I am the Christ) I will build my church.” Peter is too weak a foundation on which to build the church. Peter himself writes later about Jesus Christ that he is “chief cornerstone” and that “he that believeth on him (Jesus) shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6).

Moreover, there is no evidence in the New Testament that Peter is the prince of the apostles. Although he is usually named first in the list, he is not accorded special titles or privileges: in Galatians 2:9 he is named with James and John as one of those who “seemed to be pillars” in Jerusalem; in 1 Peter 5:1 he calls himself “also an elder” and warns against being “lords over God’s heritage” (v. 3); he did not even preside at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15; and he is not even mentioned in Paul’s epistle to the Romans despite the papal claim that he was the bishop of Rome! Moreover, Paul  boldly “withstood [Peter] to his face” for the sake of the integrity of the gospel in Galatians 2:11.

But what about the keys of the kingdom—did Jesus not give them to Peter in Matthew 16:19? He did, and he repeats it in Matthew 18:18, where he gives the keys of the kingdom to the other disciples, and to the whole church. But those keys do not give Peter—or the pope, or any bishop or priest—the power to forgive sins, or to admit people to or exclude people from heaven. Jesus retains those keys in Revelation 1:18 and 3:7. The keys of the kingdom are declarative, that is, when the gospel is preached (by Peter or by another faithful preacher), God declares that believers in Christ are forgiven and saved (the kingdom is opened to believers) and God declares that unbelievers are not forgiven, but condemned (the kingdom is closed against unbelievers).

Besides this, the idea that Pope Francis is the successor of Peter is indefensible, biblically, theologically, and historically.

Read through the book of the Acts of the Apostles and you will see Peter and the other apostles using the keys—by preaching the Word of God. Nowhere does Peter determine for himself who is saved and who is lost. Nowhere does Peter himself forgive sins. The keys of the kingdom are used, therefore, not where popes sit, but where the Bible is open, explained, and applied by a man sent by Jesus Christ through the church institute. Sadly, the keys of the kingdom are rusty in many churches: there is little to no preaching, but a few minutes of cute stories and moral platitudes. Are you hearing the gospel in the church where you attend? We invite you to hear the gospel in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

Temptation (50)

Having set out the key criteria for being kept from the hour of temptation from Revelation 3:10 showing it means in our relation to Scripture we must know it, value it and be committed to obey it, Owen now puts stress on the promise behind these injunctions:

God promises preservation. In the place mentioned, to the church of Philadelphia on this account, when a great trial and temptation was to come on the world, at the opening of the seventh seal, Rev. 7:3, a caution is given for the preservation of God’s sealed ones, which are described to be those who keep the word of Christ; for the promise is that it should be so.


Now, in every promise there are three things to be considered:—

[1.] The faithfulness of the Father, who gives it.

[2.] The grace of the Son, which is the matter of it.

[3.] The power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, which puts the promise in execution. And all these are engaged for the preservation of such persons from the hour of temptation.

Temptation (49)

 

We saw how vital it was to know the word of patience in our battle against temptation, Owen now turns to our valuation of this word:

Valuation of what is thus known belongs to the keeping of this word. It is to be kept as a treasure. 2 Tim. 1: that excellent “deposit” (that is, the word of the gospel),—“keep it,” saith the apostle, “by the Holy Ghost;” and, “Hold fast the faithful word,” Tit. 1:9. It is a good treasure, a faithful word; hold it fast. It is a word that comprises the whole interest of Christ in the world. To value that as our chiefest treasure is to keep the word of Christ’s patience. They that will have a regard from Christ in the time of temptation are not to be regardless of his concerns.

So we need to know the word, value it and lastly obey it!-JK

Obedience. Personal obedience, in the universal observation of all the commands
of Christ, is the keeping of his word, John 14:15. Close adherence unto Christ in holiness and universal obedience, then when the opposition that the gospel of Christ doth meet withal in the world doth render it signally the word of his patience, is the life and soul of the duty required.

In summary then-(JK), of this condition of freedom from the power of temptation:—”He that, having a due acquaintance with the gospel in its excellencies, as to him a word of mercy, holiness, liberty, and consolation, values it, in all its concerns, as his choicest and only treasure,—makes it his business and the work of his life to give himself up unto it in universal obedience, then especially when opposition and apostasy put the patience of Christ to the utmost,—he shall be preserved from the hour of temptation.”

To put it another way: your commitment to know the Scriptures, to value them and to obey them, is vital in Christ keeping you from temptation.

This is a summary of everything Owen has previously stated and he says without this conviction and diligence no-one ought to think he will stand one minute from entering into temptation;

 

God is simple but incomprehensible.

Because of who God is and his infinitude in all his qualities we can never understand him but only like Moses, get a glimpse of his backparts. He is all of his attributes to infinity which means he is infinitely righteous, just, holy, powerful, loving etc but he has no parts being pure spirit, inhabiting eternity and filling all things and yet above and beyond all things. Knowing this it is incredible that puny men shake their fist at him and think they can live without him with impunity!

A few quotes from Church Fathers on Divine Simplicity (courtesy of Marco Barone)

“He is a simple, uncompounded Being, without diverse members, and altogether like, and equal to himself, since He is wholly understanding, and wholly spirit, and wholly thought, and wholly intelligence, and wholly reason, and wholly hearing, and wholly seeing, and wholly light, and the whole source of all that is good— even as the religious and pious are wont to speak concerning God.” ~ Irenaeus, Against Heresies2.13.3.

“Do you worship what you know or what you do not know? If I answer, I worship what I know, they immediately reply, What is the essence of the object of worship? Then, if I confess that I am ignorant of the essence, they turn on me again and say, So you worship you know not what. I answer that the word to know has many meanings. We say that we know the greatness of God, His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His providence over us, and the justness of His judgment; but not His very essence. The question is, therefore, only put for the sake of dispute. For he who denies that he knows the essence does not confess himself to be ignorant of God, because our idea of God is gathered from all the attributes which I have enumerated. But God, he says, is simple, and whatever attribute of Him you have reckoned as knowable is of His essence. But the absurdities involved in this sophism are innumerable. When all these high attributes have been enumerated, are they all names of one essence? And is there the same mutual force in His awfulness and His loving-kindness, His justice and His creative power, His providence and His foreknowledge, and His bestowal of rewards and punishments, His majesty and His providence? In mentioning any one of these do we declare His essence? If they say, yes, let them not ask if we know the essence of God, but let them enquire of us whether we know God to be awful, or just, or merciful. These we confess that we know. If they say that essence is something distinct, let them not put us in the wrong on the score of simplicity. For they confess themselves that there is a distinction between the essence and each one of the attributes enumerated. The operations are various, and the essence simple, but we say that we know our God from His operations, but do not undertake to approach near to His essence. His operations come down to us, but His essence remains beyond our reach.” ~ Basil of Caesarea, Letter,234.

The Word

A light to give direction in life and enlightenment about God and his ways

A hammer to break down hard hearts and opposition to God

A sword to pierce hearts, to excise sin and the superfluous tissues (issues of life)

Pasture to spiritually feed all God’s flock

Water to quench the thirst of those seeking righteousness

Fire to burn away dross and sin in our lives

Are you reading it methodically?

See Bible Reading Plan post. Link

Temptation (48)

Owen now advises us as to how to keep the word of his patience and he starts with Scripture:

Keeping of the word of his patience (Rev.3:10) entails: [1.] Knowledge; [2.] Valuation; [3.] Obedience:—

[1.] Knowledge. He that will keep this word must know it, be acquainted with it, under a fourfold notion:— As a word of grace and mercy, to save him;  As a word of holiness and purity, to sanctify him;  As a word of liberty and power, to ennoble him and set him free;  As a word of consolation, to support him in every condition:—

As a word of grace and mercy, able to save us: “It is the power of God unto salvation,” (Rom. 1:16); “The grace of God that bringeth forth salvation,”(there is no “common” grace-JK) (Tit. 2:11); “The word of grace that is able to build us up, and to give us an inheritance among all them that are sanctified,” (Acts 20:32); “The word that is able to save our souls,” (James 1:21). When the word of the gospel is known as a word of mercy, grace, and pardon, as the sole evidence for life, as the conveyance of an eternal inheritance; when the soul finds it such to itself, it will strive to keep it.

As a word of holiness and purity, able to sanctify him: “Ye are clean through the word I have spoken unto you,” saith our Saviour, (John 15:3). To that purpose is his prayer, (John 17:17). He that knows not the word of Christ’s patience as a sanctifying, cleansing word, in the power of it upon his own soul, neither knows it nor keeps it. The empty profession of our days knows not one step towards this duty; and thence it is that the most are so overborne under the power of temptations. Men full of self, of the world, of fury, ambition, and almost all unclean lusts, do yet talk of keeping the word of Christ! See 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Tim. 2:19.

As a word of liberty and power, to ennoble him and set him free;—and this not only from the guilt of sin and from wrath, for that it doth as it is a word of grace and mercy; not only from the power of sin, for that it doth as it is a word of holiness; but also from all outward respects of men or the world that might entangle him or enslave him. It declares us to be “Christ’s freemen,” and in bondage unto none, John 8:32; 1 Cor. 7:23. We are not by it freed from due subjection unto superiors, nor from any duty, nor unto any sin, 1 Pet. 2:16; but in two respects it is a word of freedom, liberty, largeness of mind, power and deliverance from bondage:— In respect of conscience as to the worship of God, Gal. 5:1. In respect of ignoble, slavish respects unto the men or things of the world, in the course of our pilgrimage. The gospel gives a free, large, and noble spirit, in subjection to God, and none else. There is administered in it a spirit “not of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Tim. 1:7; a mind “in nothing terrified,” Phil. 1:28,—not swayed with any by-respect whatever. There is nothing more unworthy of the gospel than a mind in bondage to persons or things, prostituting itself to the lusts of men or fear of the world. And he that thus knows the word of Christ’s patience, really and in power, is even thereby freed from innumerable, from unspeakable temptations.  As a word of consolation, to support him in every condition, and to be a full portion in the want of all. It is a word attended with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” It gives support, relief, refreshment, satisfaction, peace, consolation, joy, boasting, glory, in every condition whatever. Thus to know the word of Christ’s patience, thus to know the gospel, is the first part, and it is a great part, of this condition of our preservation from the hour and power of temptation. TBC

Do you have a Bible Reading plan? If not here is one:

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