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Further revelation (after creation).
Wherefore the Lord goes farther; and by the works of his providence, in preserving and ruling the world which he made, discovers and reveals these properties also. For whereas by cursing the earth, and filling all the elements oftentimes with signs of his anger and indignation, he has, as the apostle tells us, Rom. 1:18, “revealed from heaven his wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men;” yet not proceeding immediately to destroy all things, he has manifested his patience and forbearance to all. This Paul, Acts 14:16, 17, tells us: “He suffered all nations to walk in their own ways; yet he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness.” A large account of his goodness and wisdom herein the psalmist gives us, Ps. 104 throughout. By these ways he bare witness to his own goodness and patience; and so it is said, “He endures with much long-suffering,” etc., Rom. 9: 22. But now, here all the world is at a stand; by all this they have but an obscure glimpse of God, and see not so much as his back parts. Moses saw not that, until he was put into the rock; and that rock was Christ. There are some of the most eminent and glorious properties of God (I mean, in the manifestation whereof he will be most glorious; otherwise his properties are not to be compared) that there is not the least glimpse to be attained of out of the Lord Christ, but only by and in him; and some that comparatively we have no light of but in him; and of all the rest no true light but by him.
The sum of all true wisdom and knowledge may be reduced to these three heads:—
1. The knowledge of God, his nature and his properties.
2. The knowledge of ourselves in reference to the will of God concerning us.
3. Skill to walk in communion with God.
God, by the work of the creation, by the creation itself, did reveal himself in many of his properties unto his creatures capable of his knowledge; — his power, his goodness, his wisdom, his all-sufficiency, are thereby known. This the apostle asserts, Rom. 1:19–21 displays his eternal power and Godhead; and verse 21, a knowing of God: and all this by the creation. But yet there are some properties of God which all the works of creation cannot in any measure reveal or make known; — as his patience, long-suffering, and forbearance. (Or I would add his holiness, love, justice etc.-JK)
I thank God for the health and strength to row an Irish Record a year ago 12/6/2016 (see pdf.) Date is wrong! I am not up to that this year yet! Lightweight is under 75Kg.
Another reason Christ is dear to us:
True wisdom, consists of the knowledge of God and this is hid in Christ alone, similarly no true knowledge of ourselves but in Christ, consisting the knowledge of sin and also of righteousness and of judgement. True wisdom is practised by walking with God in Christ.
In I Cor. 1:24, the Holy Ghost tells us that “Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God:” not the essential Wisdom of God, as he is the eternal Son of the Father (upon which account he is called “Wisdom” in the Proverbs, chap. 8:22, 23); but as he is crucified, so he is the wisdom of God; that is, all that wisdom which God layeth forth for the discovery and manifestation of himself, and for the saving of sinners, which makes foolish all the wisdom of the world, — that is all in Christ crucified; held out in him, by him, and to be obtained only from him. And thereby in him do we see the glory of God, 2 Cor. iii. 18. For he is not only said to be “the wisdom of God,” but also to be “made unto us wisdom,” 1 Cor. 1:30. He is made this by ordination and appointment: Col. 2:3, “In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Christ is altogether lovely.
Lovely in his perfections, beauty, and comeliness; he is all wholly to be desired, to be beloved; —Lovely in his person, — in the glorious all-sufficiency of his Deity, gracious purity and holiness of his humanity, authority and majesty, love and power. Lovely in his birth and incarnation; when he was rich, for our sakes becoming poor, — taking part of flesh and blood, because we partook of the same; being made of a woman, that for us he might be made under the law, even for our sakes. Lovely in the whole course of his life, and the more than angelical holiness and obedience which, in the depth of poverty and persecution, he exercised therein; — doing good, receiving evil; blessing, and being cursed, reviled, reproached, all his days. Lovely in his death; yea, therein most lovely to sinners; — never more glorious and desirable than when he came broken, dead, from the cross. Then had he carried all our sins into a land of forgetfulness; then had remade peace and reconciliation for us; then had he procured life and immortality for us. Lovely in his whole employment, in his great undertaking, — in his life, death, resurrection, ascension; being a mediator between God and us, to recover the glory of God’s justice, and to save our souls, — to bring us to an enjoyment of God, who were set at such an infinite distance from him by sin. Lovely in the glory and majesty wherewith he is crowned. Now he is set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; where, though he be terrible to his enemies, yet he is full of mercy, love, and compassion, towards his beloved ones. Lovely in all those supplies of grace and consolations, in all the dispensations of his Holy Spirit, whereof his saints are made partakers. Lovely in all the tender care, power, and wisdom, which he exercises in the protection, safe-guarding, and delivery of his church and people, in the midst of all the oppositions and persecutions whereunto they are exposed. Lovely in all his ordinances, and the whole of that spiritually glorious worship which he has appointed to his people, whereby they draw nigh and have communion with him and his Father. Lovely and glorious in the vengeance he taketh, and will finally execute, upon the stubborn enemies of himself and his people. Lovely in the pardon he has purchased and does dispense, — in the reconciliation he has established, — in the grace he communicates, — in the consolations he does administer, — in the peace and joy he gives his saints, — in his assured preservation of them unto glory. What shall I say? there is no end of his excellencies and desirableness; — “He is altogether lovely. This is our beloved, and this is our friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
From John Owen’s treatise:
Remember we said that in our likening the covenant between Christ and his people to a marriage the love between the two consisted:
- Mutual resignation of one to the other
- Mutual delight in the other.
So on our part we freely, willingly consent to receive, embrace, and submit unto the Lord Jesus, as our husband, Lord, and Saviour, — to abide with him, subject their souls unto him, and to be ruled by him for ever. This we do initially upon conversion but also subsequently all our days. The delight in Christ, for his excellency, grace, and suitableness, far above all other beloveds whatever, preferring him in the judgement and mind above them all. In the place above mentioned, Song of Solomon 5:9, the spouse being earnestly pressed, by professors at large, to give in her thoughts concerning the excellency of her Beloved in comparison of other endearments, answereth expressly, that he is “the chiefest of ten thousand, yea,” verse 16, “altogether lovely,” infinitely beyond comparison with the choicest created good or endearment imaginable. The soul takes a view of all that is in this world, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” and sees it all to be vanity, — that “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof,” 1 John 2: 16, 17. These beloveds are no way to be compared unto him. It views also legal righteousness, blamelessness before men, uprightness of conversation, duties upon conviction, and concludes of all as Paul does, Phil. 3:8, “Doubtless, I count all these things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Adapted from John Owen’s “Communion with the Triune God.”
Sung Psalm 80:1-6 (note refs to Ephraim and Manasseh).
Reading Joshua 17:1-18
Observations about half tribe of Manasseh (west of the Jordan)
There was some fluidity about the apportioning of towns to these tribes-Ephraim was given towns in Manasseh and Manasseh towns in Asher and Issachar.
Ephraim and Manasseh complain about room and are told to deforest some areas and defeat and drive out the Canaanites.
The sons of Manasseh were six including Hepher but he through Zelophehad only had five daughters (v3-4). So ten portions were given-five to the other five sons and five to the daughters of Zelophehad as God instructed Moses (Num.26:33, 27:1-11,36:2-4). God ruled they should inherit as the other sons but they were told to marry within their tribe to keep the integrity of each tribe’s inheritance which they duly did (Num.36:6,10-12).
Compare with Galatians 3:28 and I Peter 3:7 where we see equality in salvation between nations and sexes and equal inheritance in glory. After all we all inherit the Lord as our portion!
The marriage between Christ and his church consists:
- They give themselves to one another
- They love one another
Christ commits to tenderly love and care
We commit to lovingly obey
Portrayed in Hosea
Hos. 3:3, “Thou shalt abide for me,” saith he unto her, “thou shalt not be for another, and I will be for thee.” — “Poor harlot,” saith the Lord Christ, “I have bought thee unto myself with the price of mine own blood; and now, this is that which we will consent unto, — I WILL BE FOR THEE, AND THOU SHALT BE FOR ME, and not for another.
Christ gives himself to the soul, with all his excellencies, righteousness, preciousness, graces, and eminencies, to be its Saviour, head, and husband, for ever to dwell with it in this holy relation. He looks upon the souls of his saints, likes them well, counts them fair and beautiful, because he has made them so. Song of Solomon 1:15, “Behold, thou art fair, my companion; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.” Let others think what they please, Christ redoubles it, that the souls of his saints are very beautiful, even perfect, through his comeliness, which he puts upon them. Song of Solomon 2:14, “O my dove,” saith he, “that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely;”
Our response is, ‘My Beloved is mine;’ in all that he is, he is mine.” Because he is righteousness, he is “The LORD our Righteousness,” Jer. 23:6. Because he is the wisdom of God, and the power of God, he is “made unto us wisdom,” etc., 1 Cor. 1:30. So, our Christ, our Beloved, as to all the ends and purposes of love, mercy, grace, and glory; whereunto in his mediation is designed to be in this marriage covenant never to be broken. Christ comes in the promises of the gospel to us in all his desirableness; convinces us of his good-will towards us, and his all-sufficiency for a supply of our wants; and upon our consent to acceptof him, — which is all he requires or expects at their hands, — he engageth himself in a marriage covenant to be theirs for ever.
Adapted from John Owen.
Commenting on the great evil of sin, Samuel Bolton (1606-1654) said, “How great an enemy was this that God must send out His Son to conquer it? He can arm flies, lice, frogs, the meanest of creatures, to overthrow the greatest power and force on the earth; but no less than His Son was strong enough to conquer sin.” I wonder how many of us grasp the weight of that statement and ardently believe it? How bad, how evil, how degenerate, how ruinous, how offensive, how utterly grotesque, filthy, and loathsome is your sin? Is the least of your sins worthy of an eternity in hell?
Be honest with your own soul and with God: when was the last time you wept, grieved, groaned over your sin? Not because its nastiness, ugliness, or perversity shamed you; not because its humiliation and disgrace made you feel dirty; not because its consequences filled you with panic and fear; not because your guilt-ridden conscience kept you awake, gave you no rest, and would not stay silent—sin can certainly produce such experiences in our soul. But have you sorrowed for your sin because you, a creature made in the image of God, have chosen the evil of evils against a holy and good God?
How do you answer these questions? Are your eyes dry? Your lips silent? Your heart quiet, undisturbed? Has your view of grace become an anaesthetic that numbs your spiritual sensitivities, so that you shrug off sin rather than despising and mortifying it? Has grace become your license to live like the world or, at least, to take sin lightly? Do you really know what you are doing when you sin? I believe it safe to say that apart from those suffering forever in the flames of the unquenchable fires of hell, we rarely perceive the depths nor biblically respond to the sinfulness of sin.
With that in mind, we offer you this new issue of the Free Grace Broadcaster—The Sinfulness of Sin. This issue does not unfold the doctrine of sin: that awaits a future issue. The purpose of this collection of articles is to press our hearts to honestly consider before heaven the dreadfulness of sin and the only hope for its pardon—Jesus Christ.
Therefore, Arthur W. Pink begins with a brief, biblical definition of sin, followed by William S. Plumer’s excellent exposition of sin as an infinite evil. Pink offers us a second article, explaining that there is nothing so vile as sin, as he describes its nature. Puritan Thomas Watson teaches us from vivid biblical descriptions that sin is a heinous thing, worthy of God’s just curse; while another Puritan, Ralph Venning, labors to show us that the heart of the sinfulness of sin is its relentless opposition to God; in fact, Venning says that if it could, sin would “ungod God.” A third Puritan, Samuel Bolton compares natural evils—natural disasters such as plagues, hurricanes, and earthquakes—with moral evil—sin—to teach us that sin is the greatest evil known to man! Watson then takes on the vital issue of degrees of sin, for many in his day and ours are deluded into thinking that God does not view one sin as greater than another. Furthermore, many of us have weak views of sin, so Edward Payson helps us to see that our sins are infinite, innumerable, and monstrous; thankfully, he points us to Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross as the only remedy for the plague of our hearts. Again, pointing us to Christ, J. C. Ryle explains with great clarity our need for repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon displays the unknown depths of human sin and convincingly reveals that we really do not know what we are doing when we sin against God. The last word is from Octavius Winslow, who shows us that the one place where we may see our sins in all their depraved wickedness is the cross of Jesus Christ: from that extraordinary light, we will see our sins as they really are.
Pastors, do God’s blood-bought children under your care understand the sinfulness of sin? If not, how will they love Christ, how will they love holiness if they have low views of sin? Parents, do your children understand that God hates nothing in this universe but sin? That one sin is so infinitely evil that it will damn a sinner to an infinite hell? Dear people of God, do you really grasp the horror of sin by meditating on the Christ of God, hanging on Calvary’s cross? Oh, read this issue prayerfully and carefully; and, then, love Jesus Christ more intensely than ever before. Understanding the sinfulness of sin will drive you to a more profound love of the crucified and resurrected Savior.
In the love of Christ Jesus,
Jeff Pollard~Free Grace Broadcaster