Romans 5:1-5

I love this quote from that great Scottish worthy Robert Haldane recently in LRF bulletin: “What fullness and variety of instruction and consolation are contained in the first five verses of this chapter! The work of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is exhibited, all severally acting, as God alone can act, in the various parts of man’s salvation. The righteousness of God is imputed to the believer, who is therefore justified, and pronounced by the Judge of all the earth righteous. As righteous, he has peace with God, and free access to Him through Jesus Christ; and being thus introduced into the favour of God, he stands in a justified state, rejoicing in hope of future glory. Being justified, he is also sanctified, and enabled to glory even in present afflictions. He enjoys the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, through whose Divine influence the love of God is infused into his soul. Here, then, are the peace, the joy, the triumph of the Christian. Here are faith, hope, and love, the three regulators of the Christian’s life. Faith is the great and only means of obtaining every privilege, because it unites the soul to Christ, and receives all out of His fullness. Hope cheers the believer in his passage through this world, with the expectation of promised blessings to be accomplished in future glory, and is thus the anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, which holds it firm, and enables it to ride out all the storms and troubles of life. Love is the renewal of the image of God in the soul, and the true principle of obedience” (Romans, p. 191).

Robert Haldane 1764-1852

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Temptation (8)

 

Owen defines temptation:

Temptation, then, in general, is any thing, state, way, or condition that, upon any account whatever, hath a force or efficacy to seduce, to draw the mind and heart of a man from its obedience, which God requires of him, into any sin, in any degree of it whatever.
In particular, that is a temptation to any man which causes or occasions him to sin, or
in any thing to go off from his duty, either by bringing evil into his heart, or drawing out
that evil that is in his heart, or any other way diverting him from communion with God,
and that constant, equal, universal obedience, in matter and manner, that is required of
him.
For the clearing of this description I shall only observe, that though temptation seems
to be of a more active importance, and so to denote only the power of seduction to sin itself,
yet in the Scripture it is commonly taken in a neuter sense, and denotes the matter of the
temptation or the thing whereby we are tempted. And this is a ground of the description I
have given of it. Be it what it will, that from any thing whatever, within us or without us,
hath advantage to hinder in duty, or to provoke unto or in any way to occasion sin, that is
a temptation, and so to be looked on. Be it business, employment, course of life, company,
affections, nature, or corrupt design, relations, delights, name, reputation, esteem, abilities,
parts or excellencies of body or mind, place, dignity, art,—so far as they further or occasion
the promotion of the ends before mentioned, they are all of them no less truly temptations
that the most violent solicitations of Satan or allurements of the world, and that soul lies at
the brink of ruin who discerns it not. And this will be farther discovered in our process.

Always remember that temptation alone is NOT SIN but when cherished in the heart LEADS TO SIN-JK

Baptism of infants of believers.

Powerful New Testament teaching that elect infants of believers are regenerate!

Therefore are to receive the NT sign of church membership!

  • Children of believers are models to adults of salvation in their humility and passivity (Christ)
  • Children of believers are said by Jesus to believe in him (Matthew 18:6)
  • Children of believers are protected by angels hence saved (Hebrews 1:3)
  • Christ came to save children (Matt.18:11)
  • Irresistible will of God to save them (Matt.18:14)
  • Jesus believed in the regeneration of elect children (quotes Psalm 8:2)
  • John leaped for joy in the womb.
  • Mary believed in the multi-generational covenant with Abraham (Luke 1:50,55)
  • Children of believers, even infants are in the kingdom of God hence born again (Luke 18:15)
  • Children of believers are Christ’s lambs with spiritual life needing fed (John 20:15).

From Belgic Confession class by Rev. Angus Stewart at Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena.

Listen here: http://www.cprc.co.uk/belgic34t.mp3

Temptation (7)

 

Owen continues that it is not God’s testings and trials that he wants to elucidate in this treatise but rather temptation as it denotes an active efficiency
towards sinning.

In this sense temptation may proceed either singly from Satan, or the world, or other men in the world, or from ourselves, or jointly from all or some of them, in their several combinations:—

(1.) Satan tempts sometimes singly by himself, without taking advantage from the world, the things or persons of it, or ourselves. So he deals in his injection of evil and blasphemous thoughts of God into the hearts of the saints; which is his own work alone. Satan is alone in the sin, and shall be so in the punishment. These fiery darts are prepared in the forge of his own malice, and shall, with all their venom and poison, be turned into his own heart for ever.
(2.) Sometimes he makes use of the world, and joins forces against us, without any helps from within. So he tempted our Saviour, by “showing him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”

3. And the variety of the assistances he finds from the world, in persons and things which I must not insist on,—the innumerable instruments and weapons he takes from thence of all sorts and at all seasons,—are inexpressible. e.g. through the eyes to lust-JK

4,  Sometimes he takes in assistance from ourselves (our flesh/old man of sin-JK) also. It is not with us as it was with Christ when Satan came to tempt him. He declares that he “had nothing in him,” John 15:30. It is otherwise with us: he hath, for the compassing of most of his ends, a sure party within our own breasts, James 1:14, 15. Thus he tempted Judas: he was at work himself; he put it into his heart to betray Christ; Luke 23:3, “he entered into him” for that purpose. And he sets the world at work, the things of it, providing for him “thirty pieces of silver” (verse 5, “They covenanted to give him money”); and the men of it, even the priests and the Pharisees; and calleth in the assistance of his own corruption,—he was covetous, “a thief, and had the bag.”

The Pilgrimage Feasts (2)

Pilgrimage Feasts

Our second class looking at these collectively and the relationships between them.

Sung Ps. 121 (second of pilgrimage psalms)

Reading John 7:32-44 (Jesus at Feast of Tabernacles)

Pentecost marked a development in:

  • Pneumatology-the Spirit of the risen and ascended Christ poured out on a passive church.
  • Soteriology-all the blessings of salvation accompanied this and the brought deeper understanding of them.
  • Ecclesiology-the church became truly catholic (universal).
  • Eschatology-this marked the beginning of the last days.

Just as in chronological order, Passover is before and is also the basis for Pentecost. The cross and resurrection of Christ (at Passover and Feast of first-fruits of barley) which are a blood atonement and death, representing redemption bringing freedom from the bondage of sin, also lead to the application of Spirit baptism and sanctification (unleavened bread), and the first-fruits of the wheat harvest at Pentecost.

Tabernacles reminding us of the wilderness wandering and drought but also commemorates the supply of water which then flows out of the recipients and represents our activity of working out our salvation and blessing others.

Passover, first-fruits and Pentecost which are all one day feasts happened once-for-all and are looked back upon, whereas unleavened bread and Tabernacles which were seven days each represent the on-going nature of the Christian life of progressive sanctification and supply of the Spirit. All the feasts combine to proclaim the gospel, albeit in Old Testament shadows and types.

Temptation (6)

Why and how does God tempt (test)?

Why?

  1. He shows man what is in him,—either his grace or man’s corruption. Grace and corruption lie deep in the heart; Thus he tempted Abraham to show him his faith. Abraham knew not what faith he had (I mean, what power and vigour was in his faith) until God drew it out by that great trial and temptation. So he tried Hezekiah to discover his pride; God left him that he might see what was in his heart, 2 Chron. 32:31. He knew not that he had such a proud heart, until God tried him.
  2.  God shows himself to man, and that,— that it is God alone who keeps from all sin. Until we are tempted, we think we live on our own strength.When the trial comes, we quickly see whence is our preservation, by standing or falling. So was it in the case of Abimelech, Gen. 20:6, “I withheld thee.”
    In a way of renewing grace. He would have the temptation continue with St Paul, that he might reveal himself to him in the sufficiency of his renewing grace, 2 Cor. 12: 9. We know not the power and strength that God puts forth in our behalf, nor what is the sufficiency of his grace, until, comparing the temptation with our own weakness, it appears unto us. The efficacy of an antidote is found when poison hath been taken; and the preciousness of medicines is made known by diseases. We shall never know what strength there is in grace if we know not what strength there is in temptation. We must be tried, that we may be made sensible of being preserved.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             How does God tempt/test?
    1. He puts men on great duties, such as they cannot apprehend that they have any strength for, nor indeed have. So he tempted Abraham by calling him to that duty of sacrificing his son;—a thing absurd to reason, bitter to nature, and grievous to him on all accounts  Gen. 22:1, 2.                      Many men know not what is in them, or rather what is ready for them, until they are put upon what seems utterly above their strength; indeed, upon what is really above their strength so when any duty is required that is extraordinary, that is a secret not often discovered. The duties that God, in an ordinary way, requires at our hands are not proportioned to what strength we have in ourselves, but to what help and relief is laid up for
    us in Christ;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. By putting them upon great sufferings. How many have unexpectedly found strength to die at a stake, to endure tortures for Christ! yet their call to it was a trial. This, Peter tells us, is one way whereby we are brought into trying temptations, 1 Pet. 1:6, 7. Our temptations arise from the “fiery trial;” and yet the end is but a trial of our faith.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. By his providential disposing of things so as that occasions unto sin will be administered unto men, which is the case mentioned, Deut. 13:3 (false prophets).

Prayer for the beginning of the day

” Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” Psalm 143:8

Lovely and key message why we need to seek God’s face first thing in the morning.

David couldn’t start a new day without hearing of God’s loving-kindness and grace. This is the position of every repentant sinner (believer). This habit enables the killing of sin, service of God and the blessing of others, directing us into holiness.

Rev. Carl Haak

Sermon on Psalm 143:8

Temptation (5)

 

It’s meaning:

It means to prove or test and we are told to test ourselves and pray that God would do so also. God tempted Abraham (Gen.22:1)

Temptation also denotes any evil, as it leads to evil, and in this sense we are to pray that we “enter not into it.” Peter was tempted to deny Christ. God tempts no man in this sense (James 1:13)

Passively it hath suffering in it: so temptation is affliction, James 1:2;  in that sense, we are to “count it all joy when we fall into temptation;” Paul had many temptations.

Adapted from Owen’s treatise.

Temptation (4)

 

 

You will at once see how needful Owen’s treatise is for us today when we hear his evaluation in his preface of 17th century Britain:

” a spirit of error, giddiness, and delusion goes forth with such strength and efficacy, as it seems to have received a commission to go and prosper; whilst there are such divisions, strifes, emulations, attended with such evil surmises, wrath, and revenge, found amongst brethren; whilst the desperate issues and products of men’s temptations are seen daily in partial and total apostasy, in the decay of love, the overthrow of faith, our days being filled with fearful examples of backsliding, such as former ages never knew; whilst there is a visible declension from reformation seizing upon the professing party of these nations, both as to personal holiness and zeal for the interest of Christ; And for the sake of them that mourn in secret for all the abominations that are found among and upon them that profess the gospel, and who are under the conduct of the Captain of their salvation, fighting and resisting the power of temptations, from what spring soever
they rise in themselves, are the ensuing directions proposed to consideration.
That our faithful and merciful High Priest, who both suffered and was tempted, and is
on that account touched with the feeling of our infirmities, would accompany this small
discourse with seasonable supplies of his Spirit and suitable mercy to them that shall consider it, that it may be useful to his servants for the ends whereunto it is designed, is the prayer of him who received this handful of seed from his storehouse and treasure.
John Owen.

Temptation (3)

 

Main headings of the treatise on temptation:

  • THE NATURE AND POWER OF TEMPTATION
  • THE DANGER OF ENTERING INTO IT
  • THE MEANS OF PREVENTING THAT DANGER-WATCH AND PRAY

From the text, Matt. 26:41, the author considers in succession three topics educed
from it:—temptation, the means by which it prevails, and the way of preventing it. The most
of the treatise is occupied with the last topic,—the means of prevention. It is subdivided
into inquiries,—as to the evidence by which a man may know that he has entered into
temptation, the directions requisite to prevent entering into it, and the seasons when
temptation may be apprehended. The discussion of this last inquiry merges very much into
an illustration of the Christian duty of watchfulness, and the treatise is closed by a general exhortation to this duty. Slight defects in the arrangement, the renewed discussion of a point after it had been quitted, and the disproportionate space accorded to some parts of the subject, are explained, perhaps by the circumstance that the treatise was originally a series of discourses.—Ed.

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41