Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Sunday, December 4, 2016

I have much people in this city

"I have much people in this city." — Act_18:10
This should be a great encouragement to try to do good, since God has among the vilest of the vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched and drunken, an elect people who must be saved. When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne. They are Christ's property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of the ale-house, and haters of holiness; but if Jesus Christ purchased them he will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price which his Son has paid. He will not suffer his substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing. Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.
Nay, more, these ungodly ones are prayed for by Christ before the throne. "Neither pray I for these alone," saith the great Intercessor, "but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." Poor, ignorant souls, they know nothing about prayer for themselves, but Jesus prays for them. Their names are on his breastplate, and ere long they must bow their stubborn knee, breathing the penitential sigh before the throne of grace. "The time of figs is not yet." The predestinated moment has not struck; but, when it comes, they shall obey, for God will have his own; they must, for the Spirit is not to be withstood when he cometh forth with fulness of power-they must become the willing servants of the living God. "My people shall be willing in the day of my power." "He shall justify many." "He shall see of the travail of his soul." "I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong."

Spurgeon

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dangerous doctrines of Rome invading the church

In the year 1563 by the order of the Pope, there was a council held at Trent. And Rome then and there defined her theological position on the points that had been made by the Reformers, and one of their decrees read thus [now the decrees of the Council of Trent are their standard today on controverted points], "If anyone shall affirm that since the fall of Adam man's free will is lost, let him be accursed". I want to read that again, what I am reading now is Roman Catholic Doctrine according to their own standards the decrees of the Council of Trent 1563, "If anyone shall affirm that since the fall of Adam man's free will is lost, let him be accursed".  So that those who insist on man's free will place themselves side by side with Rome on that doctrine! That is Romanism, and it only goes to show how terribly Protestantism is honeycombed by Rome. It only goes to show how the leaven of Romanism has been working in the meal of Protestantism.

There is nothing Rome hates so much as the doctrines of Calvinism {my insert here, I prefer to call them the doctrines of grace, for they did not originate with Calvin} that makes nothing of man and everything of God's grace. The sad, sad thing is that today a generation has grown up in Protestantism that is as ignorant as Hottentots are concerning the original controversy between Rome and the Protestants. I make so bold as to say that every Sunday School that is represented here tonight either by a pastor or a superintendent or a teacher ought to make it their business to see that they have a small library in your Sunday School, and in that library you ought to have Foxe's book of Martyrs and other books which give the history of what Rome did in the dark ages and what she would do now if she were in power. The young people of this generation ought to be instructed and not allowed to remain in the ignorance they are in today. 

There is far more Romanism in Protestantism today than most of us are aware of. There is far more Romanistic doctrine being preached from Protestant pulpits than most of us are aware of. God does have an elect people, a people He has chosen to be His own; and chose them before the foundation of the world, and chose them because it pleased Him. As to why God should have singled out the ones that He has and left the others in their sins is something beyond the finite mind of man to fully grasp. That is freely admitted, but the fact of the doctrine of election is mysterious is no reason why it should be rejected. 

There are those who say God has elected certain ones because He foreknew that they would believe. No man can believe until God gives him faith. Well, you say faith and believing are the same thing. No, you need to go back to school again and parse if you say that. Faith is a noun and believing is a verb, which is it that expresses action? Do nouns express action or verbs? Now listen, sight is God's gift,  seeing is the use of the gift. Breath, the noun, is God's gift; breathing, the verb, is the use of the gift. The moment God takes my breath away from me, I cannot breathe. The moment God takes my sight from me I can no longer see. Faith is God's gift, believing is my use of the gift. No man can believe until God has given him faith {Eph. 2:8-9}. 


A.W. Pink, excerpt from 'studies in the Scriptures' April 1926

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Are you born again?

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) 

This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I’m a Christian.” Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given us—many listed in the First Epistle of John. 

NO HABITUAL SINNING
 First of all, John wrote: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (1 John 3:9). “Whosoever is born of God sinneth not” (5:18). A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin no longer pleases him; it has become a horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him. If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying (1 John 1:8). But he can say that he hates sin and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appearing in both his words and his actions. He knows that “in many things we offend all” (James 3:2). But he can truly say, in the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow, and that his whole nature does not consent to them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
 BELIEVING IN CHRIST 
Second, John wrote: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). A man who is born again, or regenerated, believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can pardon his soul, that He is the divine Person appointed by God the Father for this very purpose, and beside Him there is no Saviour at all. In himself he sees nothing but unworthiness. But he has full confidence in Christ, and trusting in Him, he believes that his sins are all forgiven. He believes that, for the sake of Christ’s finished work and death on the Cross, he is reckoned righteous in God’s sight, and he may look forward to death and judgment without alarm (Romans 4:20-5:1; 8:1). He may have fears and doubts. He may sometimes tell you that he feels as if he had no faith at all. But ask him if he is willing to trust in anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say. Ask him if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own works, his prayers, his minister, or his church, and listen to his reply. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again? 
 PRACTICING RIGHTEOUSNESS 
Third, John wrote: “Every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” (1 John 2:29). The man who is born again, or regenerated, is a holy man. He endeavors to live according to God’s will, to do the things that please God and to avoid the things that God hates. He wishes to continually look to Christ as his example as well as his Saviour, and to prove himself to be Christ’s friend by doing whatever He commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware of his indwelling corruption. He finds an evil principle within himself that is constantly warring against grace and trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its presence. Though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether or not he is a Christian at all, he will be able to say with John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be; I am not what I want to be; I am not what I hope to be in another world—but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again? 
LOVING OTHER CHRISTIANS 
Fourth, John wrote: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). A man who is born again has a special love for all true disciples of Christ. Like his Father in heaven, he loves all men with a great general love, but he has a special love for those who share his faith in Christ. Like his Lord and Saviour, he loves the worst of sinners and could weep over them; but he has a peculiar love for those who are believers. He is never so much at home as when he is in their company. He feels they are all members of the same family. They are his fellow soldiers, fighting against the same enemy. They are his fellow travelers, journeying along the same road. He understands them, and they understand him. They may be very different from himself in many ways—in rank, in station and in wealth. But that does not matter. They are his Father’s sons and daughters and he cannot help loving them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again? 
OVERCOMING THE WORLD 
Fifth, John wrote: “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (1 John 5:4). A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong. He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas, and customs. What men think or say no longer concerns him. He overcomes the love of the world. He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people. To him they seem foolish and unworthy of an immortal being. He loves God’s praise more than man’s praise. He fears offending God more than offending man. It is unimportant to him whether he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again? 
KEEPING ONESELF PURE
 Sixth, John wrote: “He that is begotten of God keepeth himself’ (1 John 5:18). A man who is born again is careful of his own soul. He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart, and that evil is more catching than good, just as disease is more infectious than health. He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitable. He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy country—to wear his armor continually and to be prepared for temptation. He is diligent to be a watchful, humble, prayerful man. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again? 
THE TEST 
These are the six great marks of a born again Christian. There is a vast difference in the depth and distinctness of these marks in different people. In some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In others they are bold, plain, and unmistakable, so anyone may read them. Some of these marks are more visible than others in each individual. Seldom are all equally evident in any one person. But still, after every allowance, here we find boldly painted six marks of being born of God. How should we react to these things? We can logically come to only one conclusion— only those who are born again have these six characteristics, and those who do not have these marks are not born again. This seems to be the conclusion to which the apostle intended us to come. Do you have these characteristics? Are you born again? 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ah! how he stinketh

Come, ye dead, Christless, unconverted sinner, come and see the place where they laid the body of the deceased Lazarus; behold him laid out, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, locked up and stinking in a dark cave, with a great stone placed on top of it. View him again and again; go nearer to him; be not afraid; smell him, Ah! how he stinketh. Stop there now, pause a while; and whilst thou art gazing upon the corpse of Lazarus, give me leave to tell thee with great plainness, but greater love, that this dead, bound, entombed, stinking carcass, is but a faint representation of thy poor soul in it natural state;...thy spirit which thou bearest about with thee, sepulchered in flesh and blood, is literally dead to God, and as truly dead in trespasses and sins, as the body of Lazarus was in the cave. Was he bound hand and foot with grave clothes? So art thou bound hand and foot with thy corruptions; and as a stone was laid on the sepulchre, so there is a stone of unbelief upon thy stupid heart. Perhaps thou has lain in this estate, not only four days, but many years, stinking in God's nostrils. And, what is still more effecting, thou art as unable to raise thyself out of this loathsome, dead state, to a life of righteousness and true holiness, as ever Lazarus was to raise himself from the cave in which he lay so long. Thou mayest try the power of thy boasted free will, and the force and energy of moral persuasion and rational arguments (which, without doubt, have their proper place in religion); but all thy efforts, exerted with never so much vigor, will prove quite fruitless and abortive, till that same Jesus, who said; take away the stone" and cried "Lazarus, come forth," also quicken you. This is grace, graciously offered, and grace graciously applied.

~ George Whitefield 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Come, Ye Thankful People, Come"





"Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

"All the world is God's own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

"For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

"Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home."

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Can you sing then?

Many of you sang very prettily just now, didn't you? I wonder whether you would sing very prettily, if there were a stake or two in Smithfield for all of you who dared to do it? If you sang under pain and penalty, that would show your heart to be in your song. We can all sing very nicely indeed when every body else sings. It is the easiest thing in the world to open your mouth, and let the words come out; but when the devil puts his hand over your mouth, can you sing then? Can you say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him?" That is hearty singing; that is real song that springs up in the night. The nightingale singeth most sweetly because she singeth in the night.

~ CH Spurgeon Songs in the Night