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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Time to unlearn

Today's 'church' scene is overflowing with men and women of great intellectual prowess, with many held in high regard by their fellows. Many have multiple educational degrees from well respected institutions and do not hesitate to make known their worth to the 'church.' They conclave with each other on various venues, always finding something good to say about each other. We have been treated to their books, recordings, and pulpit teaching for years. They claim that the Holy Spirit is their guide and teacher, revealing to them the secrets of the Gospel and the Word of God so that they may pass this new found revelation along to their own disciples. They tell us the virtues of God, limited mainly to His love, and encourage their followers to strive for "unity" in the 'church.' And on the list could go.

The New Testament is filled with warnings about false prophets, savage wolves, false brethren, and so on, but it seems that few really avail themselves of these warnings. They have their favorite preacher, the one who can speak no wrong, and they will defend such people to their own detriment. Matt. 23:15, Jesus warns us what happens to a man who is taught by his fellow apostates, he becomes two-fold more a child of hell than was his teacher. Acts 20:28-30 Paul warns of men who rise up from within the ranks of the "brethren" who speak perverse things. Somehow, these warnings have been deemed unimportant, not to be heeded, for 'first century Christians only' and certainly not applicable to today's highly enlightened 'church.' Yet the wickedness of these men and women is on display for those who have eyes to see. And there's the rub, no one wants to even consider the possibility that their favorite preacher could fall into the category of "false teacher."

Worse yet, this unwillingness to investigate is a sign of a much greater problem that generates from a deceived heart that needs help. One of the infinite benefits of regeneration (being born again) is a new found love for the Word of God. At first, it may seem strange that you are now so intensely drawn to His Word, strange that is to the old nature that still lingers within, but a most welcomed desire as the hunger and thirst for His Righteousness (Matt. 5:6) fills a newly recreated heart (2 Cor. 5:17) . What a blessing it is to be filled and still hunger for more. The more the Word is ingested, the more the Lord is revealed to us and as His light shines within our heart and mind it also exposes the errors taught by wicked men. Now it's time to unlearn, to discard the errors we have believed for too long. Sometimes it's easy and instantaneous (how could I have ever believed that?) and sometimes it takes a while, even a long 'while.' But it's the heart that is open to the constant inspection of the Holy Spirit that will lay down the error and the affinity to it's teacher. Expect this to be a life-long process and one that should provoke great encouragement, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit in you that does this---John 15:26 & 16:13-15. Aren't you glad that He resides within you?

Friday, May 20, 2016

The world is passing away!

Horatius Bonar
"This world in its present form is passing away!" 1 Corinthians 7:31
"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever!" 1 John 2:17
The things that are seen are temporal. Ours is a dying world, and here we have no continuing city. But a few years — it may be less — and all things here are changed. But a few years — it may be less — and the Lord shall have come, and the last trumpet shall have sounded, and the great sentence shall have been pronounced upon each of the sons of men.
There is a world that which does not pass away. It is fair and glorious. It is called "the inheritance in light." It is bright with the love of God, and with the joy of Heaven. "The Lamb is the light thereof." Its gates are of pearl — they are always open. And as we tell men of this wondrous city, we invite them to enter in.
The Book of Revelation tells us the story of earth's vanity: "Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again." (18:21-22).
Such is the day that is coming on the world, and such is the doom overhanging earth — a doom dimly foreshadowed by the sad commercial disasters that have often sent sorrow into so many hearts, and desolation into so many homes.
An old minister — now two hundred years ago — lay dying. His fourscore years were well-near completed. He had been tossed on many a wave, from England to America, from America to England, again from England to America. At Boston he lay dying, full of faith and love. The evening before his death, as he lay all but speechless, his daughter asked him how it was with him. He lifted up his dying hands, and with his dying lips simply said, "Vanishing things, vanishing things!" We repeat his solemn words, and, pointing to the world, with all the vanities on which vain man sets his heart, say, "Vanishing things!"
"The world is passing away!" This is our message.
The world is passing away — like a dream of the night. We lie down to rest; we fall asleep; we dream; we awake at morn — and lo, all is fled, which in our dream seemed so stable and so pleasant! So hastens the world away. O child of mortality, have you no brighter world beyond?
The world is passing away — like the mist of the morning. The night brings down the mists upon the hills — the vapor covers the valleys; the sun rises, all has passed away — hill and valley are clear. So the world passes away, and is seen no more. O man, will you embrace a world like this? Will you lie down upon a mist, and say: This is my home?
The world is passing away — like a shadow. There is nothing more unreal than a shadow. It has no substance, no being. It is dark, it is a figure, it has motion, that is all! Such is the world. O man will you chase a shadow? What will a shadow do for you?
The world is passing away — like a wave of the sea. It rises, falls, and is seen no more. Such is the history of a wave. Such is the story of the world. O man will you make a wave your portion? Have you no better pillow on which to lay your wearied head than this? A poor world this for human heart to love, for an immortal soul to be filled with!
The world is passing away — like a rainbow. The sun throws its colors on a cloud, and for a few minutes all is brilliant. But the cloud shifts, and the brilliance is all gone. Such is the world.
With all its beauty and brightness;
with all its honors and pleasures;
with all its mirth and madness;
with all its pomp and luxury;
with all its revelry and riot;
with all its hopes and flatteries;
with all its love and laughter;
with all its songs and splendor;
with all its gems and gold — it vanishes away!
And the cloud that knew the rainbow knows it no more. O man, is a passing world like this, all that you have for an inheritance?
The world is passing away — like a flower. Beautiful, very beautiful; fragrant, very fragrant, are the summer flowers. But they wither away. So fades the world from before our eyes. While we are looking at it, and admiring it — behold, it is gone! No trace is left of all its loveliness but a little dust! O man, can you feed on flowers? Can you dote on that which is but for an hour? You were made for eternity — and only that which is eternal can be your portion or your resting place. The things that perish with the using only mock your longings. They cannot fill you — and even if they filled, they cannot abide. Mortality is written on all things here — immortality belongs only to the world to come — to that new heavens and new earth wherein dwells righteousness.
The world is passing away — like a ship at sea. With all its sails set, and a fresh breeze blowing, the vessel comes into sight, passes before our eye in the distance, and then disappears. So comes, so goes, so vanishes away this present world, with all that it contains. A few hours within sight, then gone! The wide sea o'er which it sailed, is as calm or as stormy as before; no trace anywhere of all the life or motion or beauty which was passing over it! O man, is that vanishing world your only dwelling-place? Are all your treasures, your hopes, your joys laid up there? Where will all these be when you go down to the tomb? Or where will you be when these things leave you, and you are stripped of all the inheritance which you are ever to have for eternity? It is a poor heritage at the best, and its short duration makes it poorer still. Oh, choose the better part, which shall not be taken from you!
The world is passing away — like a tent in the desert. Those who have traveled over the Arabian sands know what this means. At sunset a little speck of white seems to rise out of the barren waste. It is a traveler's tent. At sunrise it disappears. Both it and its inhabitant are gone. The wilderness is as lonely as before. Such is the world. Today it shows itself — tomorrow it disappears. O man, is that your stay and your home? Will you say of it, "This is my rest!" There is an everlasting rest, remaining for the people of God.
The world is passing away — this is the message from Heaven. "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass!" Isaiah 40:6-7
The world is passing away — but God ever lives. He is from everlasting to everlasting; the King eternal and immortal.
The world is passing away — but man is immortal. Eternity lies before each son of Adam as the duration of his lifetime. In light — or in darkness, forever! In joy — or in sorrow, forever!
The world is passing away — what then? This is the question that so deeply concerns man. If the world is to vanish away, and man is to live forever — then of what importance is it to know where and what we are to be forever! A celebrated physician, trying to cheer a desponding patient, said to him, "Treat life as a plaything." It was wretched counsel. For life is no plaything, and time is no child's toy, to be flung away. Life here is the beginning of the life which has no end; and time is but the gateway of eternity.
What then? You must, O man, make sure of a home in that world into which you are so soon to pass. You must not pass out of this earthly tent without making sure of the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. When you have done this, you can lie down upon your deathbed in peace.
One who had lived a worldly life at last lay down to die; and when about to pass away he uttered these terrible words, "I am dying, and I don't know where I am going!"
Another in similar circumstances cried out, "I am within an hour of eternity, and all is dark!"
O man of earth, it is time to awake!
"How can I make sure?" you ask. God has long since answered that question, and His answer is recorded for all ages: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! I have never done anything else," you say. If that is really true, then, as the Lord lives, you are a saved man. But is it really so? Has your life been the life of a saved man? No, truly. It has been a life wholly given to vanity. Then as the Lord God of Israel lives, and as your soul lives — you have not truly believed, and you are not yet saved.
"Have I then no work to work in this great matter of my pardon?" None! What work can you work? What work of your can buy forgiveness, or make you fit for the Divine favor? What work has God bidden you work in order to obtain salvation? None! His Word is very plain, and easy to be understood: "To him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom 4:5) There is but one work by which a man can be saved. That work is not yours, but the work of the Son of God. That work is finished — neither to be taken from nor added to — perfect through all ages — and presented by Himself to you, that you may avail yourself of it and be saved.
"And is that work available for me just as I am?" It is! God has brought it to your door; and your only way of honoring it is by accepting it for yourself, and taking it as the one basis of your eternal hope. We honor the Father when we consent to be saved entirely by the finished work of His Son. We honor the Son when we consent to take His one finished work in the room of all our works. We honor the Holy Spirit, whose office is to glorify Christ, when we hear what He says to us concerning that work finished "once for all" upon the cross. Forgiveness is through Christ Jesus, who is Son of God as well as Son of man! This is our message.
Forgiveness through the one work of sin-bearing which He accomplished for sinners upon earth. Forgiveness to the worst and wickedest, to the farthest off from God whom this earth contains. Forgiveness of the largest, fullest, completest kind; without stint, or exception, or condition, or the possibility of revocation! Forgiveness free and undeserved — as free as the love of God, as free as the gift of His beloved Son. Forgiveness ungrudged and unrestrained — whole-hearted and joyful — as the forgiveness of the father falling on the neck of the prodigal! Forgiveness simply in believing; for, "by Him, all who believe are justified from all things."
Could salvation be made more free? Could forgiveness be brought nearer? Could God in any way more fully show His earnest desire that you should not be lost, but saved — that you should not die, but live? In the cross there is salvation — nowhere else. No failure of this world's hopes can quench the hope which it reveals. It shines brightest in the evil day. In the day of darkening prospects, of thickening sorrows, of heavy burdens, of pressing cares — when friends depart, when riches fly away, when disease oppresses us, when poverty knocks at our door — then the cross shines out, and tells us of a light beyond this world's darkness, the Light of Him who is the light of the world. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Is God really all that sovereign?

Many have taken in hand to write on this subject with 'one liners,' or articles and books. Pink's "The Sovereignty of God" being perhaps the best known and most widely read. There is another Author whose work on this matter is impeccable, that being the Holy Spirit who inspired and wrote the canon of Scripture we now have and enjoy. There is not one of the sixty six books of Scripture that does not delve into this, some more deeply than others. There is no work of man that could be considered "complete" or "all-inclusive" as we shall no doubt continue to learn about our Lord for all eternity. Knowing that our God is sovereign over all is a source of great comfort. Such knowledge places Him (in our own mind and heart) on His throne, never to be evicted. From this knowledge comes true worship of the Worthy One. A person cannot worship Him "in spirit and truth" with a half-hearted concept of His sovereignty. Either He IS totally sovereign or He is not. And it is on this battle field that believers find themselves.

Many others have taken in hand to cast doubt, to debunk a portion of the Lord's rule while attempting to portray themselves as the "true and faithful" to God. These are fools, who have said in their heart "there is no God," for if God be not sovereign, then He is not really God. So who is? His arch enemy, Satan? Man? Who? It has always been the long term strategy of the wicked one to dethrone God in actuality, not simply in the minds of men. This was the reason for his expulsion from heaven. This fight has continued on various, multiple, and simultaneous fronts. Today is no exception. The sufficiency and reliability of the Word of God is constantly attacked, as is the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, His resurrection, ascension, return, etc. Creation is under constant assault. Doctrines have been ranked as to their "importance" in the eyes of man with absolutely no regard for Scripture. This man does in a back door attempt to discredit the Word and the One who wrote it. Fantasy doctrines have been instituted as some sort of 'new truth' that supersedes the written Word. The list of heretical doctrines is no doubt endless, but there is one of man's fantasies that has been around from the beginning. It is the fantasy that God has abandoned His own complete sovereignty and placed the will of man as the final arbiter in man's fate---specifically when it comes to who is 'saved'. Today we call it "Arminianism" but it began with Adam's refusal to believe and obey God and further seen in his first born, Cain. In order for this fantasy doctrine to be valid in the eyes of men they deny the truth (and sometimes their very existence) of hundreds of Scriptures. But it goes much further than denying several hundred verses all the way to the entire Canon of Scripture and beyond. In reality, Arminians deny that the God described in the Scriptures even exists and have tried to replace Him with themselves (sound familiar?) by the preaching of their "other gospel" which places the "free-will" of man above the sovereign choice of God Almighty. The god of this "other gospel" has been aptly described as weak, anemic, a 'hand-wringing worry-wart' who sits back totally helpless to save anyone and waiting to see if any man will avail himself of the "salvation" the he supposedly "offered" to all mankind. This is a god that has failed. Is this the god that you serve? Or is your GOD mighty to save all that He has chosen from before the foundation of the world? Did you choose Him, or did He choose you? To leave this question unattended will result in an eventual downfall into further apostasy and unbelief. It is unthinkable that a believer in Christ Jesus obtained salvation by an act of his will, no one ever has and there are no exceptions.

Christ is all, or nothing

There are multitudes of professing Christians among us, who want only as much religion as will save them from Hell--not an atom more! The world is their real god. Gold is their idol. They worship in mammon's temple!

Love God with all their heart!--they do not so much as understand the meaning of such a thing.

Sacrifice riches, place, honor, and friends to Christ!--they scoff at the thing as madness.

Oh, be out and out for God!
Do not trifle with religion.
Do not mock God and Christ.
Do not love the world.
Be pious in your inmost soul.

Do not mistake mere sentimentalism for saving religion--or a good character for the new birth. You may go very far--and yet not be a Christian. You may follow Christ in some things--but if not in all, what is your following worth?

This world, or the world to come--that is the alternative. Not this world, and the world to come.

Christ is all--or nothing. There is no middle ground; no half-discipleship; no compromise. No! The friendship of the world is enmity with God. Come out and be separate.

Horatius Bonar

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Who Shall Dwell with the Devouring Fire?


Horatius Bonar

"The sinners in Zion are afraid, fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites! Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" Isaiah 33:14
There is a day coming when sinners shall be afraid, and when terrors shall overtake them as a flood. They are not afraid just now; they eat and drink and make merry, as if they had no eternity to prepare for, no danger to alarm them. But it shall soon be different. What is now far off, shall then be near — and sinners shall realize too late the horrors of that wrath from which they refused to flee. In the agonies of despair, when the flames are kindling round them, they will burst forth in such bitter outcries as these, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
Oh, that shriek of agony! Oh, that awful outcry of surprise and despair! Careless sinner! That cry shall soon be yours. These words shall soon be the very language in which your wretched soul shall give vent to its hopeless anguish when it sees itself shut in within the flaming walls, and feels damnation sure!
Oh, then, flee from the wrath to come! Make haste to escape from the devouring fire!
1. There is such a thing as devouring fire.
It may appear a shadow now, but it shall soon be reality — and oh, what a reality! It is FIRE, the most torturing and excruciating of elements. It is devouring fire — not merely fire that can pain or scorch, but devour, swallow up the wretched sinner in its undying flame. His abode is a prison house of fire — a lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20).
Hear how God Himself speaks of this, and learn that it is no mere dark imagination of cruel men to torment you before the time. "A fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Hell!" (Deuteronomy 32:22). "Upon the wicked He shall rain burning coals, fire and brimstone, and a burning tempest!" (Psalm 11:6). "You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger, the Lord shall swallow them up in His anger wrath, and the fire shall devour them!" (Psalm 21:9). "Behold the name of the Lord comes from far, burning with His anger, and the grievousness of flame; His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire!" (Isaiah 30:27).
Ah! Sinner, these are awful words, and they shall soon be realized in you — unless you turn and flee!
2. It is everlasting fire
— burnings that shall never grow less intense or die away. They are kindled by God's own breath (Isaiah 30:33); and He who kindled them, alone can quench them. But this He will never do. They must burn on forever and forever. It is called "unquenchable fire," "everlasting fire," whose smoke goes up forever and ever! It shall be kept alive, fanned, increased, watched over — but it shall never go out nor abate! Nor shall there be anything to make it tolerable — not a drop of cold water to cool the sinner's scorching tongue. Long endurance shall never make it less tormenting or more easy to be borne. A vain dreamer of earth might say, "This horror will grow mild, this darkness light" — but it shall not be. There shall be nothing to mitigate it, or render it less intolerable throughout eternity.
That horror shall never grow mild;
that darkness shall never grow light;
that fire shall never abate!
Oh, what a dungeon, what a furnace! It is not called eternal solitude — though that would be awful. Neither is it called eternal darkness — though that would be insupportable. It is called everlasting fire!
3. It is prepared for the ungodly.
It is said to have been at first prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41), but it is also to be the abode of all who neglect the great salvation. It is for those who forget God (Psalm 9:17). It is for those who have refused to turn to the Lord, and slighted the blood of sprinkling. Shut out of Heaven — and shut into Hell — this is their doom! They turned away from God — and now He turns away from them! They rejected His love — and now His wrath comes on them to the uttermost. They obeyed the devil on earth — and now they are handed over to his company and his abode in Hell forever. They would not believe that God was holy, and did not care whether He was gracious; but now they are compelled to feel how holy He is, and at the same time to feel how He has forgotten to be gracious! For them, grace is past. They might have had it once, but they despised it — and now it is gone. It is all wrath and indignation now (Rev. 14:10).
4. They must dwell in it.
They cannot flee. Escape is hopeless, for it is the Judge of all who pronounces the sentence, "Depart, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire!" The sinner may shrink — but he cannot flee. He may struggle — but it is all in vain. The command is given; angels hasten to see it executed, and devils seize him for their prey, and drag him along to his eternal abode!
As the sentence falls on his ear, "Depart, you who are cursed," his spirit sinks within him, and he exclaims, "Who shall dwell with the devouring fire?" As he is hurried away from the judgment seat, with the sentence ringing in his ears, he cries out, "Who shall dwell with the devouring fire?" As he nears the gate and sees the flaming walls, he cries out with a yet more bitter cry, "Oh, who shall dwell with these everlasting burnings?" As the gate is opened, as he is thrust in, as it closes behind him, as he looks round upon the whole flaming circle, as he hears the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on every side, as he takes his place among the damned, those "spirits in prison" who shall never leave — he shrieks out the piercing exclamation, "Oh! Who shall dwell with this devouring fire? Who shall dwell with these everlasting burnings?"
Yet dwell he must, and that forever.
No opening of the gates,
no scaling of its walls,
no loosing of the chain,
no ray of hope,
no respite,
no Savior,
no mercy now!
His eternity is sealed. He has reached his everlasting dwelling place, where all is "lamentation, and mourning, and woe." Sinners of every class, especially sinners in Zion, to whom these words are spoken, listen to these warning words! You are sinners in Zion — not sinners among the heathen. Yet this only makes your case more awful, and your doom more inevitable. You profess to be Christians — but have never been born again. You do many things like God's people — you pray, read, hear, speak, observe ordinances, yet still one thing is lacking. You are not born again! Surely, then, it is time to search yourselves. It is time to be alarmed.
The Judge is at the door! Your hypocrisy will not serve you then. You will be detected and unveiled, and all your hollow pretensions to religion will be laid bare. The day of His coming will be a terrible one to you. He comes with His winnowing fan in His hand, thoroughly to purge His floor — gathering the wheat into His barn, and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire! He comes with His sieve to sift you — and can you stand His sifting? He comes with His touchstone to try and to detect you. He comes with His balances to weigh you, to see what is the real value of all your professions — whether after all you may be found lacking. He comes with His lighted candles to search you in every part. He comes with His flaming eye to penetrate at one glance, your inmost soul, and to discover all its hidden abominations.
With such a prospect before you, would it not be wise to take immediate alarm, and inquire whether all be well with your souls, lest you perish at the rebuke of Him who is a consuming fire. Why should wrath be your portion? It was the portion of Jesus once — that it might never be yours. The pains of Hell took hold on Him (Psalm 116:3) — that they might never take hold of you. He was forsaken of the Father — that you might not be forsaken. In enduring the fire of that wrath for sinners, He was constrained to cry, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death." (Psalm 22:14-15).
Seeing that He has passed through all this, that you might not pass through it — why should you reject such a substitute as this? The burnt offerings and sin offerings under the law, in all of which consuming fire was employed, tell us what the great sacrifice had to undergo when iniquity was laid on Him. When these offerings had been duly presented, then Israel was forgiven. In our case no question can arise as to the due offering of the sacrifice. We know that it has been duly offered once for all, and has been accepted of the Father. The one sacrifice has been offered, and now the worshipers, once purged thereby, have no more conscience of sins (Hebrews 10:2).
Do we consent to take that sacrifice for sins? We do not need to offer it anew. It has been already offered. But are we willing that it be reckoned to us as our substitute? If not, then we must bear that wrath in our own persons — the fire which otherwise would have passed over us, will descend with devouring fierceness on our heads! We must either take refuge under the wing of the Substitute — or bear the wrath eternally ourselves. Which is the wiser, safer way for a helpless sinner?

"...that He may exalt you in due time"

Does the fact that we, as believers, are humbled before God mean that we spend the rest of eternity with our head held low and walk around with "our tail tucked between our legs" like a scared puppy? The Scriptures teach us the precise opposite. The stated result of being humbled before God is found in 1 Peter 5:5: "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." The precedent and pattern for this sequences of events (from humbled to exalted) is seen in the Lord Jesus Christ as described in Phil 2:8 & 9 where it is stated that because the Man, Christ Jesus, humbled Himself before His Father that He was exalted above all else (except the Father, 1 Cor.15:27 & 28). We share in Christ's exaltation, but to a lesser degree, not fully, because we will never be the object of praise and worship that He rightfully is throughout eternity. A listing of the very special ways that we are exalted in Him can be found in Eph. 1:3-14. Keeping in mind that all which the Father has done for us is "in Christ," "because of Christ," and "for Christ."
Eph. 1:3 "every spiritual blessing"
1:4 "He chose us...that we should be holy and without blame"
1:5 "predestined to the adoption as sons"
1:6 "He made us accepted in the Beloved"
1:7 "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins"
1:8 [grace---v.7] "abounding to us"
1:9 "made known to us the mystery of His will"
1:10 "gathered together in Christ"
1:11 "we have obtained an inheritance"
1:12 "that we should be to the praise of His glory"
1:13 "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise"
1:14 we are a "purchased possession"
Similar examples can be found in Col.1 with greatest of these in Col. 1:27 "...Christ in you..." What greater exaltation can man be afforded man than to be indwelt by the Triune God? John 14:23.

While these things are precious to the child of God they are meaningless to the lost (examine yourself). To the redeemed these verses produce a fresh dose of humility and gratitude. What a blessing it is to lay down our idols, our favorite sins, our pride, our life and be humbled under the mighty hand of God! What an untold privilege to walk humbly with our Creator! Rev. 1:4 & 5 " Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 John 3:1 & 2 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God...beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." Can we bow in humble adoration?