Charles Spurgeon said and preached and prayed it well, time and time again. Here is a brief snippet of one such prayer.
Well may we lay those fruits at Thy feet that were grown in Thy garden, and that gold and silver and frankincense which Thou Thyself didst bestow, only first give us more! Oh, to love the Saviour with a passion that can never cool; Oh, to believe in God with a confidence that can never stagger! Oh, to hope in God with an expectation that can never be dim! Oh, to delight in God with a holy overflowing rejoicing that can never be stopped, so that we might live to glorify God at the highest bent of our powers, living with enthusiasm, burning, blazing, being consumed with the indwelling God who worketh all things in us according to to His will! Thus, Lord, would we praise and pray at the same time, confess and acknowledge our responsibilities, but also bless the free, the sovereign grace that makes us what we are. O God of the eternal choice, O God of the ransom purchased on the tree, O God of the effectual call, Father, Son and Spirit, our adoration rises to heaven like the smoke from the altar of incense. Glory and honour and majesty and power and dominion and might be unto the one only God, for ever and ever, and all the redeemed by blood will say, Amen. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Pastor in Prayer: A Collection of the Sunday Morning Prayers of C.H. Spurgeon, 2004.
James Henley Thornwell spoke highly of the Law when reflecting upon the Gospel. He wrote, “He that stands beneath the cross and understands the scene dares not sin; not because there is a hell beneath him or an angry God above him, but because Holiness is felt to reign there the ground on which he treads is sacred, the glory of the Lord encircles him, and, like Moses, he must remove the shoes from his feet. The Cross is a venerable spot. I love to linger around it, not merely that I may read my title to everlasting life, but that I may study the greatness of God. I use the term advisedly. God never appears to be so truly great, so intensely holy, as when from the pure energy of principle, He gives Himself, in the person of His Son, to die, rather than that His character should be impugned. Who dares prevaricate with moral distinctions and talk of death as a greater evil than dishonor, when God, the mighty Maker, died rather than that truth and justice should be compromised? Who at the foot of Calvary can pronounce sin to he a slight matter?”Read More
In this post, we’re sharing a piece of work by Thomas Chalmers. It has helped us in some ways to move forward in the Gospel-way of change/sanctification. If you’re slow of learning, as are we, you may like to read it through a couple times in order to suck out the marrow. I have also found a number of typos in the document; we assume left by whatever person or whatever machine transcribed the words from one source to another. Enjoy, and let’s feed our new affections with more of that Good News! – Read the whole thing.
Here’s the gist of the essay:
“The object of the Gospel is both to pacify the sinner’s conscience, and to purify his heart; and it is of importance to observe, that what mars the one of these objects, mars the other also. The best way of casting out an impure affection is to admit a pure one; and by the love of what is good, to expel the love of what is evil.Thus it is, that the freer the Gospel, the more sanctifying is the Gospel; and the more it is received as a doctrine of grace, the more will it be felt as a doctrine according to godliness. This is one of the secrets of the Christian life, that the more a man holds of God as a pensioner, the greater is the payment of service that he renders back again. On the tenure of “Do this and live,” a spirit of fearfulness is sure to enter; and the jealousies of a legal bargain chase away all confidence from the intercourse between God and man; and the creature striving to be square and even with his Creator, is, in fact, pursuing all the while his own selfishness, instead of God’s glory; and with all the conformities which he labours to accomplish, the soul of obedience is not there, the mind is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed under such an economy ever can be. It is only when, as in the Gospel, acceptance is bestowed as a present, without money and without price, that the security which man feels in God is placed beyond the reach of disturbance – or, that he can repose in Him, as one friend reposes in another – or, that any liberal and generous understanding can be established betwixt them – the one party rejoicing over the other to do him good – the other finding that the truest gladness of his heart lies in the impulse of a gratitude, by which it is awakened to the charms of a new moral existence.Read More
As Christians, we obey God’s Law as a rule of life. But sometimes, the condemning message of the Law comes shouting to our hearts of our imperfection. What should Christians think and say in response to the temptation to live under the Law as a condemning judge?
In The Marrow of Modern Divinity, Edward Fisher provides some powerful and practical insights into avoiding the hopelessness of law-keeping and insights into embracing the hopefulness of Gospel rest. Fisher’s words are below. Bear with the old English. It’s worth it!
And therefore, though hereafter you shall hear such a voice as this, “If thou wilt be saved, keep the commandments”; or “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”; nay, though you hear the voice of thunder and a fearful noise; nay, though you see blackness and darkness, and feel a great tempest; that is to say, though you hear us that are preachers, according to our commission, (Isa 58:1), “lift up our voice like a trumpet,” in threatening hell and damnation to sinners and transgressors of the law; though these be the words of God, yet are you not to think that they are spoken to you. No, no; the apostle assures you that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, (Rom 8:1). Believe it, God never threatens eternal death, after he has given to a man eternal life. Nay, the truth is, God never speaks to a believer out of Christ; and in Christ he speaks not a word in the terms of the covenant of works. And if the law, of itself, should presume to come into your conscience, and say, “Herein and herein thou hast transgressed, and broken me, and therefore thou owest so much and so much to divine justice, which must be satisfied, or else I will take hold on thee”; then answer you and say, “O law! be it known unto thee, that I am now married unto Christ, and so I am under covert; and therefore if thou charge me with any debt, thou must enter thine action against my husband, Christ, for the wife is not sueable at the law, but the husband. But the truth is, I through him am dead to thee, O law! and thou art dead to me; and therefore Justice hath nothing to do with me, for it judgeth according to the law.” And if it yet reply, and say, “Aye, but good works must be done and the commandments must be kept, if thou wilt obtain salvation”; then answer you, and say, “I am already saved before thou camest; and therefore I have no need of thy presence, for in Christ I have all things at once: neither need I any thing more that is necessary to salvation. He is my righteousness, my treasure, and work; I confess, O law! that I am neither godly nor righteous, but yet this I am sure of, that he is godly and righteous for me. And to tell the truth, O law! I am now with him in the bridechamber, where it maketh no matter what I am, or what I have done; but what Christ, my sweet husband, is, has done, and does for me: 19 and therefore leave off, law, to dispute with me, for by faith ‘I apprehend him who hath apprehended me,’ and put me into his bosom. Wherefore I will be bold to bid Moses with his tables, and all lawyers with their books, and all men with their works, hold their peace and give place: so that I say unto thee, O law! be gone.” And if it will not be gone, then thrust it out by force, says Luther. And if sin offer to take hold of you, as David said his did on him, (Psa 40:12); then say you unto it, “Thy strength, O sin, is the law, (1 Cor 15:66), and the law is dead to me, So that, O sin, thy strength is gone; and therefore be sure thou shalt never be able to prevail against me, nor do me any hurt at all.” And if Satan take you by the throat, and by violence draw you before God’s judgment-seat, then call to your husband, Christ, and say, “Lord, I suffer violence, make answer for me, and help me.” And by his help you shall be enabled to plead for yourself, after this manner: O God the Father! I am thy Son Christ’s; thou gavest me unto him, and thou hast given unto him “all power, both in heaven and in earth, and hast committed all judgment to him”; and therefore I will stand to his judgment, who says, “he came not to judge the world, but to save it”; and therefore he will save me, according to his office. And if the jury should bring in their verdict that they have found you guilty, then speak to the Judge, and say, In case any must be condemned for my transgressions, it must needs be Christ, and not I; for albeit I have committed them, yet he hath undertaken and bound himself to answer for them, and that by the consent and good-will of God his Father: and indeed he hath fully satisfied for them. And if death creep upon you, and attempt to devour you; then say, “Thy sting, O death! is sin; and Christ my husband has fully vanquished sin, and so deprived thee of thy sting; and therefore do I not fear any hurt that thou, O death! canst do unto me.” And thus you may triumph with the apostle, saying, “Thanks be unto God, who hath given me the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Cor 15:56,57).
Often when we think of the cross, we think only of the death of sin in the death of Christ. But actually a world of promises were fulfilled and a myriad of blessings secured for His people. In his classic work, All Loves Excelling, John Bunyan explores another aspect of Jesus’ death.
He has destroyed all their infernal foes..
<!–more–>Another improvement of his death for us, was this, by that he slew for us, our infernal foes; by it he abolished death (2 Tim. 1:1); by death he destroyed him that had the power of death (Heb. 2:14). By death he took away the sting of death (1 Cor. 15:55, 56); by death he made death a pleasant sleep to the saints, and the grave for a while, an easy house and home for the body. By death he made death such an advantage to us, that it is become a means of translating of the souls of them that believe in him, to life. And all this is manifest, for that death is ours, a blessing to us, as well as Paul and Apollos, the world and life itself (1 Cor. 3:22). And that all this is done for us by his death, is apparent, for that his person is where it is, and that by himself as a common person he had got the victory for us. For though as yet all things are not put under our feet, yet we see Jesus crowned with honour and glory, who by the grace of God tasteth death for every man. ‘For it became God, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings’ (Heb. 2:7-10). It became him; that is, it was bust just and right, he should do so; if there was enough in the virtuousnes of his death and blood to require such a thing. But there was so. Wherefore God has exalted him, and us in him, above these infernal foes. Let us therefore see ourselves delivered from death first, by the exaltation of our Jesus, let us behold him I say as crowned with glory and honour, as, or because, he tasted death for us. And then we shall see ourselves already in heaven by our head, our undertaker, our Jesus, our Saviour.
How good is the good news!Read More
You know it, I know, we all know it. You gather for Sunday corporate worship, pull up a chair, get comfortable, and wait for the preaching to begin. To your dismay, the pastor begins talking about the gospel. The mental eye-role begins, “doesn’t he know we are Christians, why do I need to hear this, I was saved 10-years ago.” The thoughts continue, “I might as well begin my grocery list, I wonder what’s on TV tonight, man I am hungry I could go for a burger, hey, that’s a nice outfit, but that person should not have left the house with that one….”
As the daydreaming continues, we not only miss the sermon, but we miss the present tense implications of the gospel.Read More