Thursday, July 9, 2015

JOHN OWEN INTRODUCES HEBREWS

Working on Hebrews 1. This introduction by Owen is fabulous foundation to approaching every verse.
WE proceed now unto our principal intendment in all these discourses, which is, the consideration and discussion of those great principles, as of all religion in general, so of the Christian in particular, which the apostle supposeth as a foundation of his whole treaty [reasoning] with the Hebrews, and which are the basis that he stands upon in the management of his whole design.
For in all discourses that are parenetical, as this Epistle for the most part is, there are always some principles taken for granted, which give life and efficacy unto the exhortations in them, and where into they are resolved. For, as to persuade men unto particulars in faith, opinion, or practice, without a previous conviction of such general principles of truth as from which the persuasions used do naturally flow and arise, is a thing weak and inefficacious; so to be exercised in the demonstration of the principles themselves, when the especial end aimed at is to persuade, would bring confusion into all discourse.
Wherefore, although our apostle do assert and confirm those dogmata and articles of truth which he dealt with the Hebrews in a way of persuasion to embrace, yet he supposeth and takes for granted those more general first maxims, which are the foundation both of the doctrines and exhortations insisted on, as all skill in teaching doth require.
And these are those which now we aim to draw forth and consider, being these that follow:-
First, That there was a Messiah, or Savior of mankind from sin and punishment, promised upon, and from, the first entrance of sin into the world, in whom all acceptable worship of God was to be founded, and in whom all the religion of the sons of men was to center.
Secondly, That this Messiah, long before promised, was now actually exhibited in the world, and had finished the work committed unto him, when the apostle wrote this Epistle.
Thirdly, That Jesus of Nazareth was this Messiah, and that what he had done and suffered was the work and duty promised of old
concerning him.
There is not a line in the Epistle to the Hebrews that doth not virtually begin and end in these principles, — not an assertion, not a doctrine, not an exhortation, that is not built on this triple foundation.---- John Owen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CLEAR THE CHURCH

Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods!
C.H.S.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

His Grace Supplies My Faith

It is His grace that supplies and sustains my faith, not my faith that supplies and sustains His grace. God supplies the grace and His grace supplies the faith.

SANK IN THE MUD

So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FORMS

(Arthur Pink, "An Exposition of the Gospel of John")

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you!" John 15:18-19 

"Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you!" 1 John 3:13 

The professing Church has boasted that it would convert the world. To accomplish this aim, it has sought to "popularize" religion. Innumerable devices have been employed to attract the ungodly--many of which even a sense of propriety should have suppressed! 

The result has been that the world has converted the professing Church! 
But notwithstanding this, it still remains true that the world hates the true followers of the Lamb. And nowhere is this more plainly evident, than in those who belong to what we may term the religious world!

If you resolve that by Divine grace you will live godly in Christ Jesus--then know you that persecution must be your portion. And that persecution will come upon you not from atheists and infidels--but from those bearing the name of Christians. It will issue from those who still keep up a form (or semblance) of godliness, but who are strangers to its living power. It will come to you from empty professors whose compromising ways are condemned by your refusal to conform thereto; whose worldliness and carnality is rebuked by your spirituality. 

Remember, it was the religious leaders who hounded the Savior to His death!

STEERED BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE

(Charles Spurgeon, "Esther Defeats her Enemies")

"In his heart a man plans his course--but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9 
"Many are the plans in a man's heart--but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21 
"A man's steps are directed by the LORDHow then can anyone understand his own way?" Proverbs 20:24 
Do not judge divine providence in little pieces--it is a grand mosaic, and must be seen as a whole

The Lord's wisdom is seen in arranging the smallest events so as to produce great results. We frequently hear people say of a pleasant or a great event, "What a providence! This is the finger of God!"--while they are silent as to anything which appears less important, or has an unpleasant savor.

But the place of the flower upon the hillside--is as fixed as the station of a king! And the dust which is raised by a cart-wheel--is as surely steered by divine providence as the planet in its orbit! 

There is as much providence in the creeping of an insect upon a rose leaf--as in the marching of an army to ravage a continent!

Everything, the most minute, as well as the most magnificent--is ordered by the Lord who has prepared His throne in the heavens, whose kingdom rules over all. 

Whatever the event may be, the attentive eye will as clearly see the Lord's providential hand. 

I am sure that God is in the world, yes, and is at my own fireside, and in my chamber--and manages my affairs, and orders all things for me, and for each one of His redeemed children. We need no miracles to convince us of His working,the wonders of His providence are as great marvels as miracles themselves.

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NO MIDDLE GROUND

God has no middle ground.  The Law of God has no middle ground.  Moses had no middle ground.  Holiness and Purity has no middle ground.  The supposed classification of: moral laws, judicial laws, civil laws, ceremonial laws had no middle ground.  Jesus did not live a life keeping only the middle ground, but rather to complete perfection.  The punishment of Christ on the cross was not the Father's middle ground in justice or wrath.  The command to not murder has no middle ground.  The command to not commit adultery or idolatry has no middle ground. 

 When you say, "We are not going to be legalists, nor antinomians, but follow the middle ground" then you have already lowered the bar and have already abandoned the Law of God.  You cannot appeal to the law for a rule's existence and then appeal to a middle ground for the law's enforcement.  This approach to the Christian life and church discipline will not work with Christians who murder, and it is not allowed for Christians who broke the Sabbath.  

In church discipline it should be made public that, "This member was removed for murdering, or this member was removed for immorality due to breaking the Sabbath."  However this seems unlikely to happen, which in my opinion is not above board.  So what is occurring is that men are binding the consciences of others with a subjective rule which is not based on the Law of God, but on personal preference