Christ the Covenant

 

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The covenant of God, the glorious, personal, warm and loving embrace that encompasses all his people is established by Christ (I Cor.11:25). The covenant formula is “I will be your God and ye shall be my people” (II Cor.6:16). He is not only the messenger of it (Mal.3:1) but he is the substance of it (Isaiah 42:6). He makes it with his elect and their elect seed (Ps.89:3, Gen.17:7) as well as all creation (Gen.9:16). The beneficiaries all get the sign (circumcision in the Old and baptism in the New). His blood ratifies it (Heb.13:20) as he is its mediator (Heb.8:6). He keeps it for ever (Dan.9:4, Jer.33:20, Ezek.37:26), it is unbreakable (Ps.89:34, Ps.105:8-10). It is his marriage to the church (Eph.5:30-32). In it he gives himself, laying down his life for his bride, then he fills her with his Spirit and continues to enrich her by his grace till the great consummation when they are publicly united bodily on the last day at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

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Eagle’s wings

Isaiah 40:31 is often misconstrued like Phil.4:18.

John Gill is wise: ” But they that wait upon the Lord,…. As children on their parents, to do them honour, to obey their commands, and receive food and blessings from them; as servants on their masters, to know their pleasure, do their work, and have their wages; as clients on their patrons, to have advice of them, put their cause into their hands, and know how it goes; and as beggars at the door, who knock and wait, tell their case and wait, meet with repulses, yet keep their place, and continue waiting: such an act supposes a knowledge and reverence of God, confidence in him, attendance on him, not with the body only, in public and private, but with the soul also, and with some degree of constancy, and with patience and quietness: the Lord is to be waited upon for the manifestations of himself, who sometimes hides himself, but is to be waited for, since he has his set time to show himself again, and his presence is worth waiting for; also for the performance of his promises, which may be expected from his perfections, the nature of the promises, and their being in Christ; likewise for answers of prayer, and for the fresh discoveries of pardoning grace and mercy; and as Old Testament saints waited for the first coming of Christ, so New Testament saints for his second coming, and for eternal glory and happiness: and such “shall renew their strength”; which is to be understood of spiritual! strength in the heart, and of the graces of the Spirit there: it supposes strength received already, which natural men have not, but converted men have; and yet they want more, and more they shall have; to assist them in the performance of duty, to enable them to resist Satan and his temptations, and the corruptions of nature, and to cause them to endure afflictions and persecutions patiently, and to persevere unto the end:they shall mount up with wings as eagles; swiftly and strongly; it is expressive of the motion of the affections heavenwards towards God and Christ, and things above; of the entrance of faith and hope within the veil, and of the exercise of these graces on Christ, who is now at the right hand of God; of the expectation of glory and happiness in heaven hereafter, and of present support under afflictions, the Lord bearing them as on eagles’ wings; see Psalm 103:5 they shall run, and not be weary; in the way of God’s commandments; which shows great affection for them, haste to obey them, delight and pleasure, cheerfulness and alacrity, therein, so as to be without weariness: and they shall, walk, and not faint: in the ways of God, in the name of the Lord, or in Christ, as they have received him; leaning on him, trusting in him, continuing to do so, till they receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls; and so shall not sink under their burdens, nor give out till they enjoy it; different persons, though all of them believers, may be here intended; particularly Christians under the Gospel dispensation, tried and exercised by many enemies; some shall soar aloft, and dwell on high; others, though they cannot rise and “fly” so swiftly and strongly, yet shall “run” without weariness; and others, though they can neither fly nor run, yet shall “walk” without fainting.

Passover (1)

Passover (1)

Sung Psalm 114:1-8 (note Exodus theme)

Reading Exodus 12:1-28

The Jewish Feasts

  • Weekly Sabbath
  • Monthly New Moons
  • Annually pilgrimage: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles.
  • Other annual: Day of Atonement, Blowing of Trumpets
  • Later: Purim (Esther), Dedication (Hanukkah-2nd century B.C.)

Significance of Passover

  • First historically
  • First in calendar
  • Related to ten plagues and Exodus from Egypt i.e. redemption
  • Trialled by other institutions viz. feast of unleavened bread and dedication of firstborn.
  • Movable (sometimes in next month e.g.Num.9)
  • Most mentioned feast in all of Scripture
  • Helps determine Christ’s ministry timetable (he attended three Passovers during his ministry)
  • Leads to second sacrament (Lord’s Supper)
  • Reveals nature of the cross
  • In Exodus 12 and 13 the number of verses allocated to each of the three aspects of the feast reflects the importance of each: Passover 31, unleavened bread 16, firstborn 6.
  • Passover has much to teach us about what it typifies viz. Christ our Passover.

Three Cups

THESE ARE WONDERFUL POWERFUL MESSAGES.

THREE CUPS

By Rev Carl Haak (Reformed Witness Hour)

“Of all the truths of the sufferings of Jesus Christ there are none so dear as the truth that He suffered voluntarily. He was not dragged to the cross against His will. He did not endure His suffering as a passive victim, reluctantly, with cold resignation. But He went to the cross and endured His suffering willingly, zealously, and voluntarily…

Scripture presents this truth to us in a figure of speech, in the figure of a cup which He willingly drank. All the sufferings necessary to make full payment for our sins were poured into a cup which the Father presented to His Son, the Son of God, who knew what was in that cup and who loved us, drank the cup, and then dashed the empty cup on the ground before the cross.”

Read to find out more of our Lord’s willing suffering for His people.

Communion with the Son of God (7)

 

This the spouse expresseth, Song of Solomon 2:16, “My Beloved is mine, and I am his;” — “He is mine, I possess him, I have interest in him, as my head and my husband; and I am his, possessed of him, owned by him, given up unto him: and that as to my Beloved in a conjugal relation.” So Isaiah. 54:5, “Thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” This is yielded as the reason why the church shall not be ashamed nor confounded, in the midst of her troubles and trials, — she is married unto her Maker, and her Redeemer is her husband. And Isaiah, chap. 61:10, setting out the mutual glory of Christ and his church in their walking together, he saith it is “as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.” Such is their condition,
because such is their relation; which he also farther expresseth, chap. 62:5, “As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” As it is with such persons in the day of their espousals, in the day of the gladness of their hearts, so is it with Christ and his saints in this relation……To this purpose we have his faithful engagement, Hos. 2:19, 20, “I will,” saith he, “betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness.” And it is the main design of the ministry of the gospel, to prevail with men to give up themselves unto the Lord Christ, as he reveals his kindness in this engagement. Hence Paul tells the Corinthians, 2 Cor. 11:2, that he had “espoused them unto one husband, that he might present them as a chaste virgin unto Christ.” This he had prevailed upon them for, by the preaching of the gospel, that they should give up themselves as a virgin, unto him who had betrothed them to himself as a husband. And this is a relation wherein the Lord Jesus is exceedingly delighted, and inviteth others to behold him in this his glory,  “Go forth,” saith he, “O ye daughters of Jerusalem, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.” (Song of Solomon 3:11) He calls forth the daughters of Jerusalem (all sorts of professors) to consider him in the condition of betrothing and espousing his church unto himself. Moreover, he tells them that they shall find on him two things eminently upon this account:— 1. Honour. It is the day of his coronation, and his spouse is the crown wherewith he is crowned. For as Christ is a diadem of beauty and a crown of glory unto Zion, Isaiah. 28:5; so Zion also is a diadem and a crown unto him, Isaiah. 62:3. Christ makes this relation with his saints to be his glory and his honour. 2. Delight. The day of his espousals, of taking poor sinful souls into his bosom, is the day of the gladness of his heart. John was but the friend of the Bridegroom, that stood and heard his voice, when he was taking his bride unto himself; and he rejoiced greatly, John 3:29: how much more, then, must be the joy and gladness of the Bridegroom himself! even that which is
expressed, Zeph. 3:17, “he rejoiceth with joy, he joys with singing.” It is the gladness of the heart of Christ, the joy of his soul, to take poor sinners into this relation with himself. He rejoiced in the thoughts of it from eternity, Prov. 8:31; and always expresseth the greatest willingness to undergo the hard task required thereunto, Psalm. 40: 7, 8; Heb. 10: 7; yea, he
was pained as a woman in travail, until he had accomplished it, Luke 12:50. Because he loved his church, he gave himself for it, Eph. 5:25, despising the shame, and enduring the cross, Heb. 12:2, that he might enjoy his bride, — that he might be for her, and she for him, and not for another, Hos. 3:3. This is joy, when he is thus crowned by his mother. It is believers that are mother and brother of this Solomon, Matt. 12:49, 50. They crown him in the day of his espousals, giving themselves to him, and becoming his glory, 2 Cor. 8:23.
Thus he sets out his whole communion with his church under this allusion, and that most
frequently. The time of his taking the church unto himself is the day of his marriage; and the church is his bride, his wife, Rev. 19:7, 8. The entertainment he makes for his saints is a wedding supper, Matt. 22:3. The graces of his church are the ornaments of his queen, Psalm. 45:9–14; and the fellowship he has with his saints is as that which those who are mutually beloved in a conjugal relation do hold, (Song of Solomon 1). Hence Paul, in describing these two, makes sudden and insensible transitions from one to the other, — Eph. 5, from verse 22 unto verse 32; concluding the whole with an application unto Christ and the church.

Isn’t that beautiful?-JK

Communion with the Son of God (6)

Further quotes from John Owen:

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This, then, for the present, may suffice in general to be spoken of the personal grace of the Lord Christ:— He has a fitness to save, having pity and ability, tenderness and power, to carry on that work to the uttermost; and a fullness to save, of redemption and sanctification, of righteousness and the Spirit; and a suitableness to the wants of all our souls: whereby he becomes exceedingly desirable, yea, altogether lovely; as afterward will appear in particular. And as to this, in the first place, the saints have distinct fellowship with the Lord Christ;

How do we then relate to him?-JK

Answer: As in the marriage bond.

Declared Righteous

 

The great Biblical doctrine of justification is a declaration of the righteousness of all who believe in Jesus Christ for salvation before:

  1. The heavenly court of God (and hence before all angels). Job 1:8, Romans 8:1
  2. At the judgment day. II Tim.1:12, Rom.5:18-19.
  3. In our own conscience. I John 5:13, Rom. 4:20-5:1.
  4. Before the church on confession of faith and membership (not absolute). Rom.10:9-10.

Misplaced loyalty!

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4-5.

Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward.” Isaiah 52:11-12.

Click on slide to enlarge.

A good read 

 

Chastisement of Christians

Isaiah 27:7-9

Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.

Compare:  Hebrews 12:11 

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

When God sends forth an affliction on his people, or gives it a commission to them, as all are sent by him, he does it with moderation; he proportions it to their strength, and will not suffer them to be afflicted above what they are able to bear; and as, in afflicting, he debates and contends with his people, having a controversy with them, so he contends with the affliction he sends, and debates the point with it, and checks and corrects it, and will not suffer it to go beyond due bounds; and in this the afflictions of God’s people differ from the afflictions of others, about which he is careless and unconcerned: when afflictions, like a blustering and blasting east wind, threaten much mischief, and to carry all before them, Jehovah, from whom they have their commission, and who holds the winds in his fist, represses them, stops the violence of them, and gradually abates the force of them, and quite stills them, when they have answered the end for which they are sent: he speaketh,  “by his rough wind in the day of his east wind”; God sometimes meditates hard things against his people, and speaks unto them by the rough dispensations of his providence, admonishes them of their sins, and brings them to a sense and acknowledgment of them, which is his view in suffering them to befall them; or, “he removes by his rough wind”  their fruit, so the Lord, by afflictions, removes the unkind blossoms and bad fruit from his people, their sins and transgressions, as it follows.

By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged,….  they are the means of bringing the Lord’s people to a sense of their sins, and to repentance and humiliation for them, and confession of them, and of leading them to the blood and sacrifice of Christ, by which they are expiated and atoned, and which the Spirit of God brings near, and applies unto them; whereby their sins, they are convicted of by means of afflictions, and which lay heavy upon their consciences, are purged away, and removed from them: to take away sin; this is the design and use of afflictions, the profit and advantage of them to the saints, that, being humbled for their sins, they depart from them, leave and forsake them; as well as the guilt of them is taken away from their consciences, through the application of pardoning grace, upon their repentance; see Job 36:8 this shows another difference between the afflictions of God’s people and of others: namely, in the use and end of them. When he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder; that is, when Jacob, or the people of the Jews, being convinced of their idolatry by their afflictions, shall pull down all their idolatrous altars; break them (and burn them-JK) as chalkstones for lime. (Adapted from John Gill’s commentary of the Bible)

The Keys of the Kingdom

In Isaiah 22:22 we hear of Eliakim being given authority in the house of David, the palace in Jerusalem (JK) but in the mystical sense, Christ is said to have this key, Revelation 3:7 where the following words are applied to him: so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open; all which is expressive of the government of the church being on his shoulders, and of his absolute and uncontrollable power over it; who opens the treasures of his word, of his grace, and of wisdom and knowledge (in the preaching-JK) and communicates them unto, and shuts or hides them from, whom he pleases; who opens and shuts the doors of his church, his house, and lets in, and keeps out, whom he thinks fit; and who also opens and shuts the door of the kingdom of heaven, and introduces into it his own people, and excludes others. (John Gill) This authority was never in the hands of Peter and is NOT in the hands of the Pope but is delegated to those truly in apostolic succession namely office bearers in his true church, who advise on the admission of new members, can excommunicate others and fence the Lord’s Supper table-JK.

Heidelberg Catechism LD 31