This is what I need!
This is what I need!
John Owen has just listed reasons why we should pray and take care that we “enter not into temptation.”
Obj. 1. “Why should we so fear and labour to avoid temptation? In James 1: 2, we are
commanded to ‘count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations.’ Now, certainly I need not solicitously avoid the falling into that which, when I am fallen into, I am to count it all joy.” To which I answer,—
1. You will not hold by this rule in all things,—namely, that a man need not seek to
avoid that which, when he cannot but fall into, it is his duty to rejoice therein. The same
apostle bids the rich “rejoice that they are made low,” chap. 1:10. And, without doubt, to
him who is acquainted with the goodness, and wisdom, and love of God in his dispensations, in every condition that is needful for him, it will be a matter of rejoicing to him: but yet, how few rich, godly men can you persuade not to take heed, and use all lawful means that they be not made poor and low! and, in most cases, the truth is, it were their sin not to do so. It is our business to make good our stations, and to secure ourselves as we can; if God alter our condition we are to rejoice in it. If the temptations here mentioned befall us, we may have cause to rejoice; but not if, by a neglect of duty, we fall into them.
2. Temptations are taken two ways:—
(1.) Passively and merely materially, for such things as are, or in some cases may be,
(2.) Actively, for such as do entice to sin. James speaks of temptations in the first sense
only; for having said, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations,” verse 2; he adds,
verse 12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive
the crown of life.” But now whereas a man might say, “If this be so, then temptations are
good, and from God;”—“No,” says James; “take temptation in such a sense as that it is a
thing enticing and leading to sin, so God tempts none; but every man is tempted of his own lust,” verse 13, 14. “To have such temptations, to be tempted to sin, that is not the blessed thing I intend; but the enduring of afflictions that God sends for the trial of our faith, that is a blessed thing. So that, though I must count it all joy when, through the will of God, I fall into divers afflictions for my trial, which yet have the matter of temptation in them, yet I am to use all care and diligence that my lust have no occasions or advantages given unto it to tempt me to sin.”
John Piper has many followers among evangelicals but his gospel is false (see U tube) and his Christian hedonism a perversion, antinomian and cuts out all the cost and likely suffering of following Christ. We love God and obey him for himself not for what we can get from him! God’s glory is paramount NOT our pleasure AND God’s glory was and is paramount through the suffering of his only begotten Son, the exact opposite of hedonism, rather a demonstration of the humble, unselfish love of the second person in the trinity.
Nice U tube.
Note hymn sung at opening ceremony-very appropriate!
Non Nobis, Domine! Not unto us, O Lord, The praise and glory be Of any deed or word. For in Thy judgement lies To crown or bring to nought All knowledge and device That man has reached or wrought. And we confess our blame, How all too high we hold That noise which men call fame, That dross which men call gold. For these we undergo Our hot and godless days, But in our souls we know Not unto us the praise. O Power by whom we live Creator, Judge and Friend, Upholdingly forgive, Nor leave us at the end. But grant us yet to see, In all our piteous ways, Non Nobis, Domine, Not unto us the praise.
Barnabas Fund posted this-thought it worth sharing!
|Be not deceived: the real threat of cultic “messianic” movements in China
9/11 demonstrated the reality that religion can play a part in violence. Europe had known and experienced religious wars, from the bitterness of the seventeenth century English Civil War to the Thirty Years War in Europe, which left a quarter of the population dead. Religious war ceased with the Treaty of Westphalia signed in 1648, only to re-emerge in the twenty-first century.
Governments, rightly, have now to deal with this reality and pass laws to suppress religious ideas that propagate violence. The focus of Christian millenarianism has moved from Europe to China, as individuals believing themselves to be the Messiah rise up within cultic movements and oppose society. This is not a new phenomenon in China. Between 1850 and 1864, a period when Europe was without religious wars, China suffered the Taiping rebellion, one of the worst religious conflicts in history. Hong Xiuquan and his friend Feng Yunshan began the uprising with their idea to see China become Christian and establish a new moral order.
Hong planned to overthrow the Qing government, which was persecuting Christians. As the rebellion unfolded, Western interests became involved, principally the US, Britain and France, and committed Christians took both sides. General Gordon, a devout Christian, became known at that time as “Chinese Gordon” because he was sent by Britain to assist the Qing Empire and later famed for his ill-fated defence of Khartoum. On the other side, A F Lindley, also a committed Christian, fought purely for religious reasons, disdaining the payment which other Westerners wanted. Lindley fought because the Taiping rebels were Christians and he considered their cause to be just.As time went on, both sides committed grave atrocities resulting in 20 million dead or – according to some estimates – 70 or even 100 million. British diplomats based in China described the situation in this way: “Their ultimate success and power of consolidating themselves are doubtful … They have done nothing to ameliorate the condition of the people, but on the contrary wherever they have been successful, they have been a curse and terror to the unfortunate, whose substance they have pillaged, whose gods they have insulted and destroyed, and whose houses they have burnt.” – Medhurst and Bowring, 1854.
Hong considered himself as the Son of God and younger brother of Jesus Christ, called to set up “Jesus’ Messianic Kingdom” on earth in China by means of warfare. This was a far cry from the example and teachings of Jesus who told his followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44). Nowhere in the New Testament is it permitted that Christians wage war against their rulers, however oppressive the rulers may be. Rather, Romans 12 tells us to pray for those in authority, and to endure persecution if need be. Christians must be loyal citizens of their country, whilst at the same time praying and working for justice, peace and righteousness.
Today, such “messianic” leaders continue to arise in China. In 1991, the Eastern Lightning movement developed, with up to a million members, believing that Christ had returned as a Chinese woman to set up “His Kingdom”. Some 14 other similar sects have now been banned, rightly, by the Chinese government, because they are subversive and potentially violent. Before we are too harsh in our criticism of the Chinese government, we need to remember that Western governments such as Britain, France and the US have also passed laws against sects which they believed to be a threat to their societies.
Whilst the Chinese government may not fully understand the underground Church is made up of devout Christians who respect their government and country, sadly there are always those who would foment violence. Equally, the Chinese government would be aware that in our day there are Christians who are too ready to take up arms, and those who want to use violence to gain freedom for Christian minorities who are suffering violence, whether it be Myanmar, Iraq or Sudan. The mercenary militias that take the name of Christ now utilise violence on behalf of national Christians. This is abhorrent. Western military interference on behalf of Christians will only make life more difficult for them and make governments distrust them and perhaps suppress them. The spectre of sects and cults taking on a religious and messianic character is growing. Jesus warns us that in the last days many will come in His Name “claiming ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).
We live in a dangerous time, when religious movements can all too easily take up weapons and where religious liberty can be espoused by governments for their own ends. Christians therefore need to be exceedingly cautious in allying religious freedom to any particular government, particularly when such governments are making war against other nations and using “religious liberty” as a pretext for regime change. The West must beware of these ramifications and Christians in the West must temper just concern with understanding for governments, such as China, that seek to maintain national stability and harmony.
What characterized the early church?
Does it characterize yours?
Vital sermon on what every church should be aiming at.
Continuing John Owen’s classic we read that temptation links to one or more of our inner lusts:
In what part soever of the soul the lust be seated wherewith the temptation is
united, it draws after it the whole soul by one means or other, and so prevents or anticipates
any opposition. Suppose it be a lust of the mind,—as there are lusts of the mind and uncleanness of the spirit, such as ambition, vain-glory, and the like,—what a world of ways hath the understanding to bridle the affections that they should not so tenaciously cleave to God, seeing in what it aimeth at there is so much to give them contentment and satisfaction! It will not only prevent all the reasonings of the mind*, which it doth necessarily, but it will draw the whole soul into the same frame.
Consider the end of any temptation; this is Satan’s end and sin’s end,—that is, the
dishonour of God and the ruin of our souls.
Consider what hath been the issue of thy former temptations that thou hast had.
Have they not defiled thy conscience, disquieted thy peace, weakened thee in thy obedience, clouded the face of God? Though thou wast not prevailed on to the outward evil or utmost issue of thy temptation, yet hast thou not been foiled? hath not thy soul been sullied and grievously perplexed with it? yea, didst thou ever in thy life come fairly off, without sensible loss, from any temptation almost that thou hadst to deal withal; and wouldst thou willingly be entangled again? If thou art at liberty, take heed; enter no more, if it be possible, lest a worse thing happen to thee.
These, I say, are some of those many considerations that might be insisted on, to
manifest the importance of the truth proposed, and the fullness of our concern in taking care that we “enter not into temptation.”
This speech exposes the falsity of the Westminster and Presbyterian “covenant of works” and explains the true Biblical covenant with Adam and thereafter with the antediluvian saints.
Sung Psalm 51:14-19 (see references to sacrifices)
Read Leviticus 22:17-33
Sacrifices which are in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation are all about redemption:
Redemption is accomplished by blood signifying Christ, it is applied by the blood sprinkled signifying the work of the Holy Spirit and the calling of the one redeemed (saint) is to a godly thankful life of obedience to God (Romans 12:1).
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (I Cor.5:7).
We identified six stages in offering:
Of these stages the offeror completes the first three and the priest the second three.
The beast was brought from a distance or bought locally. What type of animal often depended on the wealth of the offeror. For the burnt offering it must be male (peace offering either sex). For a vow the animal must be perfect. It was inspected and if a defective animal was sacrificed both offeror and priest were culpable (Malachi 1:7-8,13-14).
Owen now turns to private temptation:
It works with (our own) lust, whereby it gets within the soul, and lies at the bottom of its actings. I John 2:16, that the things that are “in the world” are, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life.” Now, it is evident that all these things are principally in the subject, not in the object,—in the heart, not in the world. But they are said to be “in the world,” because the world gets into them, mixes itself with them, unites, incorporates. As faith and the promises are said to be “mixed,” Heb. 4:2, so are lust and temptation mixed: they twine together; receive mutual improvement from one another; grow each of them higher and higher by the mutual strength they administer to one another. Now, by this means temptation gets so deep in the heart that no contrary reasonings can reach unto it; nothing but what can kill the lust can conquer the temptation. Like a gangrene that mixes poison with the blood and spirits, and cannot be separated from the place where it is, but both must be cut off together. For instance, in David’s temptation to uncleanness, ten thousand considerations might have been taken in to stop the mouth of the temptation; but it had united itself with his lust, and nothing but the killing of that could destroy it, or get him the conquest. This deceives many a one. They have some pressing temptation, that, having got some advantages, is urgent upon them. They pray against it, oppose it with all powerful considerations, such as whereof every one seems sufficient to conquer and destroy it, at least to overpower it, that it should never be troublesome any more; but no good is done, no ground is got or obtained, yea, it grows upon them more and more. What is the reason of it? It hath incorporated and united itself with the lust, and is safe from all the opposition they make. If they would make work indeed, they are to set upon the whole of the lust itself; their ambition, pride, worldliness, sensuality, or whatever it be, that the temptation is united with. All other dealings with it are like tamperings with a prevailing gangrene: the part or whole may be preserved a little while, in great torment; excision or death must come at last. The soul may cruciate itself for a season with such a procedure; but it must come to this,—its lust must die, or the soul must die.