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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

There's a good time coming

This life can be such a drain emotionally, mentally and physically. I feel like I am chasing my own tail so often by having to work both inside and outside the home. My work is inundated with overtime- I have to work six days a week on a constant basis, but I am thankful to even have a job.  Working midnights causes me to be in a constant state of tiredness with little to no energy left most of the time.  But I know it will  not last, nothing in this life does.
 Co-workers are another challenge; moodiness, attitude,  hatefulness,  gossip and slander are non-stop.  I am continually reminded by the Holy Spirit these souls are lost and in desperate need of prayer.  At times, I look at them with such pity, they have no hope. They are so wrapped up in their job as well as their own misery and they do not even know it!
 Raising a 13 year old has its own set of challenges!  Having an adult son living at home is a great help to me.   My son is gifted with the ability to work on vehicles, he is currently in the process of rebuilding an engine for his camaro. My daughter is into fashion! She loves it when we go to the mall to buy her some clothes, and to be honest, I enjoy being able to take her. Both of my children are such a blessing to me, I am so thankful to God for them. 
However,there are times when I get really down and can barely cope with life's demands, the constant six day work week as well as frequent 12 hour shifts, the continual feeling of being tired, the endless bill-paying cycle, house work, yard work, etc. I lose my focus way too often, which is why I LOVE this from J. C. Ryle...

Live a joyful life my brethren. Live like men who look for that blessed hope - the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is the prospect to which we should all look forward. It is not so much the thought of going to heaven as of heaven coming to us that should fill our minds. There is a good time coming for all the people of God, a good time for all the church of Christ, a good time for all believers; a bad time for the impenitent and unbelieving, a bad time for them that will serve their own lusts and turn their backs on the Lord, but a good time for true Christians. For that good time, let us wait and watch and pray.
The scaffolding will soon be taken down, the last stone will soon be brought out,  the top stone will be placed on the edifice. Yet a little time, and the full beauty of the building shall be seen. The great Master Builder will soon come Himself; a building shall be shown to assembled worlds in which there shall be no imperfection. The Savior and the saved shall rejoice together! The whole universe shall acknowledge that in the building of Christ's church all was well done.

J. C. Ryle, from 'Warnings to the Churches'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The garden God planted

I was reading Genesis 2 just now and thought about the garden, the trees in the garden and life in that garden. What it must have been like, a sight to behold beyond our ability to comprehend now because of the curse of sin. I dwelt upon this verse ' The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden'; how does this garden compare with our current dwellings?  I went to commentary from Matthew Henry for insight into this first garden, he doesn't disappoint in his commentary...

1.The place appointed for Adam's residence was a garden; not an ivory house nor a palace overlaid with gold, but a garden, furnished and adorned by nature, not by art. What little reason have men to be proud of stately and magnificent buildings, when it was the happiness of man in innocency that he needed none! As clothes came in with sin, so did houses. The heaven was the roof of Adam's house, and never was any roof so curiously ceiled and painted. The earth was his floor, and never was any floor so richly inlaid. The shadow of the trees was his retirement; under them were his dining-rooms, his lodging-rooms, and never were any rooms so finely hung as these: Solomon's, in all their glory, were not arrayed like them. The better we can accommodate ourselves to plain things, and the less we indulge ourselves with those artificial delights which have been invented to gratify men's pride and luxury, the nearer we approach to a state of innocency. Nature is content with a little and that which is most natural, grace with less, but lust with nothing.
2. The contrivance and furniture of this garden were the immediate work of God's wisdom and power. The Lord God planted this garden, that is, he had planted it - upon the third day, when the fruits of the earth were made. We may well suppose to have been the most accomplished place for pleasure and delight that ever the sun saw, when the all-sufficient God himself designed it to be the present happiness of his beloved creature, man, in innocency, and a type and a figure of the happiness of the chosen remnant in glory. No delights can be agreeable nor satisfying to a soul but those that God himself has provided and appointed for it; no true paradise, but of God's planting. The light of our own fires, and the sparks of our own kindling, will soon leave us in the dark, Isa_50:11. The whole earth was now a paradise compared with what it is since the fall and since the flood; the finest gardens in the world are a wilderness compared with what the whole face of the ground was before it was cursed for man's sake: yet that was not enough; God planted a garden for Adam. God's chosen ones shall have distinguishing favours shown them.
3. The situation of this garden was extremely sweet. It was in Eden, which signifies delight and pleasure. The place is here particularly pointed out by such marks and bounds as were sufficient, I suppose, when Moses wrote, to specify the place to those who knew that country; but now, it seems, the curious cannot satisfy themselves concerning it. Let it be our care to make sure a place in the heavenly paradise, and then we need not perplex ourselves with a search after the place of the earthly paradise. It is certain that, wherever it was, it had all desirable conveniences, and (which never any house nor garden on earth was) without any convenience. Beautiful for situation, the joy and the glory of the whole earth, was this garden: doubtless it was earth in its highest perfection.
4. The trees with which this garden was planted. (1.) It had all the best and choicest trees in common with the rest of the ground. It was beautiful and adorned with every tree that, for its height or breadth, its make or colour, its leaf or flower, was pleasant to the sight and charmed the eye; it was replenished and enriched with every tree that yielded fruit grateful to the taste and useful to the body, and so good for food. God, as a tender Father, consulted not only Adam's profit, but his pleasure; for there is a pleasure consistent with innocency, nay, there is a true and transcendent pleasure in innocency. God delights in the prosperity of his servants, and would have them easy; it is owing to themselves if they be uneasy. When Providence puts us into an Eden of plenty and pleasure, we ought to serve him with joyfulness and gladness of heart, in the abundance of the good things he gives us.  - Matthew Henry

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Seeing the Invisible God

In the Bible we find descriptions of God having human physical characteristics such as this from Psalm 34:15,  'The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. ' and this from Deuteronomy 11:12, '"Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God--His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm.'  The Bible also speaks of God having a face, from Psalm 27:8, ' When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, I shall seek." This is what is known as anthropomorphisms, which means 'God  simply attributing to Himself human characteristics in order to communicate a truth about Himself in a way that men can comprehend' {Paul Washer}.  I found this from Puritan John Dick, it is an excellent description of how we will see God, who is spirit...

The saints in heaven will see God with the eye of the mind, for He will be always invisible to the bodily eye; and will see Him more clearly than they could see Him by reason and faith, and more extensively than all His works and dispensations had hitherto revealed Him; but their minds will not be so enlarged as to be capable of contemplating at once, or in detail, the whole excellence of His nature. To comprehend infinite perfection, they must become infinite themselves. Even in Heaven, their knowledge will be partial, but at the same time their happiness will be complete, because their knowledge will be perfect in this sense, that it will be adequate to the capacity of the subject, although it will not exhaust the fulness of the object. We believe that it will be progressive, and that as their views expand, their blessedness will increase; but it will never reach a limit beyond which there is nothing to be discovered; and when ages after ages have passed away, He will still be the incomprehensible God. (John Dick, 1840).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sexual Orientation

Orientation - positioning: the positioning of something, or the position or direction in which something lies

That is the definition of the word orientation, it is a positional stance someone takes, the direction one goes in. I am baffled how homosexuality has been labeled as 'sexual orientation'; can we label the adulterer in that group as well, or the pedophile? Such labeling is confusing and lessens the severity of truth...homosexuality is a sin, adultery is a sin, pedophilia is a sin. When we take on the world's 'terminology' of the sinful actions and choices of human beings, we bring about confusion which produces a numbing affect on the severity of what actually is taking place: SIN.  If you tell the homosexual their behavior is an 'orientation', you have not brought clarity to what the truth is.
The Bible condemns homosexuality throughout, we find this in Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Matthew 15:19; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:10; Jude 1:7. The origin of homosexuality is the same of all sin, it comes from within.
 Homosexuality is birthed from within the human heart; from Matthew 15:19-20, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." These words were spoken by our Lord in Matthew's Gospel, so where do I get homosexual sin from that verse? From the word 'fornications', the Greek is πορνεία which translates porneia and is defined by Thayer's Greek Definitions as -1) illicit sexual intercourse
1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman
That covers all the sexual bases, it also leaves little doubt when someone says our Lord never spoke out against homosexuality. The Lord Jesus goes on to state these are what defiles a man, makes one unclean. To be defiled means to be excluded from the kingdom of heaven, as Revelation 21:27 clearly states.
There is also much debate on what triggers the sin of homosexuality, why this particular sin is worthy of so much attention is mind boggling as well. What triggers the murderer, or the thief? What triggers the adulterer, the greedy, the one who covets? When I reflect on my own life and the sins I chose, I can trace my sin of homosexuality back to my youth. I remember as a young girl, around the age of 12 or so, being attracted to girls. Why was I attracted to this sin at such a young age, what triggered this attraction? It really isn't as complicated as science tries to make it...  "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. " - Psalm 51:5 I was born wicked, vile, God-hating and sin-loving. Why do some fall into the sin of homosexuality and others do not? CHOICE, it really is that simple. I chose this particular sin because I lusted. I know studies have been done, extensive time and money has been poured into why mankind does what it does. All this is a waste, the passage in Psalm 51 by David tells us exactly why mankind does what it does. We over-complicate the simple, which in turn causes confusion, debates, arguments, and man goes on in sin wondering why it is so.
Look at James 1:14, "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust."  What is the cause of one being tempted? Our own lust entices us, tempts us, carries us away. Lust comes in all forms, it is from the Greek word epithumia and is defined as ' a longing, especially for what is forbidden'. To understand what is forbidden, you must go into God's word and you must have a conscience that is not seared.  When truth is suppressed, then the conscience does not respond like it was designed to; this is what we see today concerning the sin of homosexuality. This is why homosexual activists and their supporters fight so hard to claim the Bible does not speak out against homosexuality, that is not a sin if it's a 'loving relationship' , that the Bible only condemns this act in pagan worship, etc. This is also why they 're-label' what the Bible calls sin, an abomination, by calling it 'gay' or 'sexual orientation'.

The true bride of Christ must call homosexuality what it is, a sin against a holy God. We must remember two things, the sinner needs to hear what the Bible calls their choice and the sinner needs to know what Christ has done.  "God never clothes men until He has first stripped them,nor does He quicken them by the gospel till first they are slain by the law."-Spurgeon
The sacrifice made by the Son of God for sin is the only hope any of us have, whatever your sin[s] of choice may be.

We must not stray from the word of God, we must not allow the world to define sinful behavior in a way that takes the sting out of sin and centers the blame on anything/anyone but the sinner. Trying to justify what the Bible clearly calls sin is inexcusable.  Stay the course, stand your ground, and do it in love. Souls are at stake; the Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. We must get back to Sola Scriptura to define sin, to combat it, and to provide hope. Time is short...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We shall be like Him

When I read my grace gems just now, I thought about its theme...'we shall be like Him.' Now we suffer, we stray, we live a life of continual repentance. We wrestle, fall short, wander off the narrow path, and must continually cry out for mercy. It won't always be like this, and that is the beauty of today's grace gem...

We are predestined to be conformed to Christ's image. But now we groan, being burdened with sin. Now we are grieved, because . . .
  our tempers are so unlovely,
  our feelings are so carnal,
  our minds are so wandering, and
  our hearts are so depraved.

"But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him--for we shall see Him as He is!" 1 John 3:2. We shall be exactly like Him--in every sentiment, feeling, and design! Then selfishness will be forever done away. There will be no more . . .
  rebellion in the will,
  hardness in the heart,
  wandering in the affections,
  guilt in the conscience, or
  blindness in the understanding;
but every faculty will be perfect in holiness--and the whole soul filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

We shall be like Him! Then we shall be perfect in knowledge! "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

We shall be like Him! Then we shall be perfect in love! We shall love God perfectly and supremely. We shall love all who love Christ, even as we love ourselves.

We shall be like Him! Then we shall be perfect in happiness! Every wish will be gratified, every desire fulfilled, every prayer answered.

We shall be like Him! Then we shall be glorious!
Is Jesus enthroned? We shall sit with Him on His throne.
Is Jesus crowned? He will give unto us an unfading crown of glory!

"But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him--for we shall see Him as He is!

 (James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Wrath of God - A. W. Pink

It is sad to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or at least they wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far from regarding it with delight, they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even with those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath which is too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts.
Yes, many there are who turn away from a vision of God’s wrath as though they were called to look upon some blotch in the Divine character, or some blot upon the Divine government. But what saith the Scriptures? As we turn to them we find that God has made no attempt to conceal the fact of His wrath. He is not ashamed to make it known that vengeance and fury belong unto Him. His own challenge is, "See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live forever, If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me" (Deut. 32:39-41). A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; And because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner: Psalm 7:11.
Now the wrath of God is as much a Divine perfection as is His faithfulness, power, or mercy. It must be so, for there is no blemish whatever, not the slightest defect in the character of God; yet there would be if "wrath" were absent from Him! Indifference to sin is a moral blemish, and he who hates it not is a moral leper. How could He who is the Sum of all excellency look with equal satisfaction upon virtue and vice, wisdom and folly? How could He who is infinitely holy disregard sin and refuse to manifest His "severity" (Rom. 9:12) toward it? How could He who delights only in that which is pure and lovely, loathe and hate not that which is impure and vile? The very nature of God makes Hell as real a necessity, as imperatively and eternally requisite as Heaven is. Not only is there no imperfection in God, but there is no perfection in Him that is less perfect than another.
The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evil-doers. God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against His authority, a wrong done to His inviolable sovereignty. Insurrectionists against God’s government shall be made to know that God is the Lord. They shall be made to feel how great that Majesty is which they despise, and how dreadful is that threatened wrath which they so little regarded. Not that God’s anger is a malignant and malicious retaliation, inflicting injury for the sake of it, or in return for injury received. No; while God will vindicate His dominion as the Governor of the universe, He will not be vindictive.
That Divine wrath is one of the perfections of God is not only evident from the considerations presented above, but is also clearly established by the express declarations of His own Word. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven" (Rom. 1:18). Robert Haldane comments on this verse as follows:
It was revealed when the sentence of death was first pronounced, the earth cursed, and man driven out of the earthly paradise; and afterwards by such examples of punishment as those of the Deluge and the destruction of the Cities of the Plain by fire from heaven; but especially by the reign of death throughout the world. It was proclaimed in the curse of the law on every transgression, and was intimated in the institution of sacrifice. In the 8th of Romans, the apostle calls the attention of believers to the fact that the whole creation has become subject to vanity, and groaneth and travaileth together in pain. The same creation which declares that there is a God, and publishes His glory, also proclaims that He is the Enemy of sin and the Avenger of the crimes of men . . . But above all, the wrath of God was revealed from heaven when the Son of God came down to manifest the Divine character, and when that wrath was displayed in His sufferings and death, in a manner more awful than by all the tokens God had before given of His displeasure against sin. Besides this, the future and eternal punishment of the wicked is now declared in terms more solemn and explicit than formerly. Under the new dispensation there are two revelations given from heaven, one of wrath, the other of grace.
Again; that the wrath of God is a Divine perfection is plainly demonstrated by what we read of in Psalm 95:11, "Unto whom I sware in My wrath." There are two occasions of God "swearing": in making promises (Gen. 22:16), and in denouncing threatening (Deut. 1:34). In the former, He swares in mercy to His children; in the latter, He swares to terrify the wicked. An oath is for solemn confirmation: Hebrews 6:16. In Genesis 22:16 God said, "By Myself have I sworn." In Psalm 89:35 He declares, "Once have I sworn by My holiness." While in Psalm 95:11 He affirmed, "I swear in My wrath." Thus the great Jehovah Himself appeals to His "wrath" as a perfection equal to His "holiness": He swares by the one as much as by the other! Again; as in Christ "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), and as all the Divine perfections are illustriously displayed by Him (John 1:18), therefore do we read of "the wrath of the Lamb" (Rev. 6:16).
The wrath of God is a perfection of the Divine character upon which we need to frequently meditate. First, that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s detestation of sin. We are ever prone to regard sin lightly, to gloss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realize its heinousness. Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God: "Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:28,29). We cannot serve Him "acceptably" unless there is due "reverence" for His awful Majesty and "godly fear" of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that "our God is a consuming fire." Third, to draw out our souls in fervent praise for having delivered us from "the wrath to come" (1 Thess. 1:10).
Our readiness or our reluctancy to meditate upon the wrath of God becomes a sure test of how our hearts’ really stand affected toward Him. If we do not truly rejoice in God, for what He is in Himself, and that because of all the perfections which are eternally resident in Him, then how dwelleth the love of God in us? Each of us needs to be most prayerfully on his guard against devising an image of God in our thoughts which is patterned after our own evil inclinations. Of old the Lord complained, "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether as thyself" (Ps. 50:21), If we rejoice not "at the remembrance of His holiness" (Ps. 97:12), if we rejoice not to know that in a soon coming Day God will make a most glorious display of His wrath, by taking vengeance on all who now oppose Him, it is proof positive that our hearts are not in subjection to Him, that we are yet in our sins, on the way to the everlasting burnings.
"Rejoice, O ye nations (Gentiles) His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries" (Deut. 32:43). And again we read, "I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God; For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said Alleluia." (Rev. 19:13). Great will be the rejoicing of the saints in that day when the Lord shall vindicate His majesty, exercise His awful dominion, magnify His justice, and overthrow the proud rebels who have dared to defy Him.
"If thou Lord, shouldest mark (impute) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" (Ps. 130:3). Well may each of us ask this question, for it is written, "the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment" (Ps. 1:5). How sorely was Christ’s soul exercised with thoughts of God’s marking the iniquities of His people when they were upon Him! He was "amazed and very heavy" (Mark 14:33). His awful agony, His bloody sweat, His strong cries and supplications (Heb. 5:7), His reiterated prayers ("If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me"), His last dreadful cry, ("My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?") all manifest what fearful apprehensions He had of what it was for God to "mark iniquities." Well may poor sinners cry out, "Lord who shall stand" when the Son of God Himself so trembled beneath the weight of His wrath? If thou, my reader, hast not "fled for refuge" to Christ, the only Saviour, "how wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?" (Jer. 12:5)?
When I consider how the goodness of God is abused by the greatest part of mankind, I cannot but be of his mind that said, The greatest miracle in the world is God’s patience and bounty to an ungrateful world. If a prince hath an enemy got into one of his towns, he doth not send them in provision, but lays close siege to the place, and doth what he can to starve them. But the great God, that could wink all His enemies into destruction, bears with them, and is at daily cost to maintain them. Well may He command us to bless them that curse us, who Himself does good to the evil and unthankful. But think not, sinners, that you shall escape thus; God’s mill goes slow, but grinds small; the more admirable His patience and bounty now is, the more dreadful and unsupportable will that fury be which ariseth out of His abused goodness. Nothing smoother than the sea, yet when stirred into a tempest, nothing rageth more. Nothing so sweet as the patience and goodness of God, and nothing so terrible as His wrath when it takes fire. (Wm Gurnall, 1660).
Then flee, my reader, flee to Christ; "flee from the wrath to come" (Matt. 3:7) ere it be too late. Do not, we earnestly beseech you, suppose that this message is intended for somebody else. It is to you! Do not be contented by thinking you have already fled to Christ. Make certain! Beg the Lord to search your heart and show you yourself.
A Word to Preachers. Brethren, do we in our oral ministry, preach on this solemn subject as much as we ought? The Old Testament prophets frequently told their hearers that their wicked lives provoked the Holy One of Israel, and that they were treasuring up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath. And conditions in the world are no better now than they were then! Nothing is so calculated to arouse the careless and cause carnal professors to search their hearts, as to enlarge upon the fact that "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Ps. 7:11). The forerunner of Christ warned his hearers to "flee from the wrath to come" (Matt. 3:7). The Saviour bade His auditors "Fear Him, which after He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell; yea, I say unto you. Fear Him" (Luke 12:5). The apostle Paul said, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11). Faithfulness demands that we speak as plainly about Hell as about Heaven.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Manifestations of God's Holiness

As I continue reading the attributes of God by A.W. Pink, I want to share Pink's writings on God's holiness. This book is a blessing to read.

"Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy" (Rev. 15:4) 

He only is independently, infinitely, immutably holy. In Scripture He is frequently styled "The Holy One": He is so because the sum of all moral excellency is found in Him. He is absolute Purity, unsullied even by the shadow of sin. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Holiness is the very excellency of the Divine nature: the great God is "glorious in holiness" (Ex. 15:11). Therefore do we read, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" (Hab. 1:13). As God’s power is the opposite of the native weakness of the creature, as His wisdom is in complete contrast from the least defect of understanding or folly, so His holiness is the very antithesis of all moral blemish or defilement. Of old God appointed singers in Israel "that they should praise for the beauty of holiness" (2 Chron. 20:21). "Power is God’s hand or arm, omniscience His eye, mercy His bowels, eternity His duration, but holiness is His beauty" (S. Charnock). It is this, supremely, which renders Him lovely to those who are delivered from sin’s dominion.
A chief emphasis is placed upon this perfection of God: God is oftener styled Holy than almighty, and set forth by this part of His dignity more than by any other. This is more fixed on as an epithet to His name than any other. You never find it expressed ‘His mighty name’ or ‘His wise name,’ but His great name, and most of all, His holy name. This is the greatest title of honour; in this latter doth the majesty and venerableness of His name appear (S. Charnock).
This perfection, as none other, is solemnly celebrated before the Throne of Heaven, the seraphim crying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts" (Isa. 6:3). God Himself singles out this perfection, "Once have I sworn by Thy holiness" (Ps. 89:35). God swears by His holiness because that is a fuller expression of Himself than anything else. Therefore are we exhorted, "Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness" (Ps. 30:4). "This may be said to be a transcendental attribute, that, as it were, runs through the rest, and casts luster upon them. It is an attribute of attributes" (J. Howe, 1670). Thus we read of "the beauty of the Lord" (Ps. 27:4), which is none other than "the beauty of holiness" (Ps. 110:3).
As it seems to challenge an excellency above all His other perfections, so it is the glory of all the rest; as it is the glory of the Godhead, so it is the glory of every perfection in the Godhead; as His power is the strength of them, so His holiness is the beauty of them; as all would be weak without almightiness to back them, so all would be uncomely without holiness to adorn them. Should this be sullied, all the rest would lose their honour; as at the same instant the sun should lose its light, it would lose its heat, its strength, its generative and quickening virtue. As sincerity is the luster of every grace in a Christian, so is purity the splendor of every attribute in the Godhead. His justice is a holy justice, His wisdom a holy wisdom, His arm of power a "holy arm" (Ps. 98:1), His truth or promise a "holy promise" (Ps. 105:42). His name, which signifies all His attributes in conjunction, "is holy," Psalm 103:1 (S. Charnock).
God’s holiness is manifested in His works. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Ps. 145:17). Nothing but that which is excellent can proceed from Him. Holiness is the rule of all His actions. At the beginning He pronounced all that He made "very good" (Gen. 1:31), which He could not have done had there been anything imperfect or unholy in them. Man was made "upright" (Eccl. 7:29), in the image and likeness of his Creator. The angels that fell were created holy, for we are told that they "kept not their first habitation" (Jude 6). Of Satan it is written, "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:15).
God’s holiness is manifested in His law. That law forbids sin in all of its modifications: in its most refined as well as its grossest forms, the intent of the mind as well as the pollution of the body, the secret desire as well as the overt act. Therefore do we read, The law is holy, and "the commandment holy, and just, and good" (Rom. 7:12). Yes, "the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Ps. 19:8, 9).
God’s holiness is manifested at the Cross. Wondrously and yet most solemnly does the Atonement display God’s infinite holiness and abhorrence of sin. How hateful must sin be to God for Him to punish it to its utmost deserts when it was imputed to His Son!
Not all the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world, nor the flaming furnace of a sinner’s conscience, nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious demons, nor the groans of the damned creatures, give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son. Never did Divine holiness appear more beautiful and lovely than at the time our Saviour’s countenance was most marred in the midst of His dying groans. This Himself acknowledges in Psa. 22. When God had turned His smiling face from Him, and thrust His sharp knife into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" He adores this perfection—"Thou art holy," v. 3 (S. Charnock).
Because God is holy He hates all sin. He loves everything which is in conformity to His laws, and loathes everything which is contrary to it. His Word plainly declares, "The froward is an abomination to the Lord" (Prov. 3:32). And again, "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord" (Prov. 15:26). It follows, therefore, that He must necessarily punish sin. Sin can no more exist without demanding His punishment than without requiring His hatred of it. God has often forgiven sinners, but He never forgives sin; and the sinner is only forgiven on the ground of Another having borne his punishment; for "without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). Therefore we are told, "The Lord will, take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth Wrath for His enemies" (Nahum 1:2). For one sin God banished our first parents from Eden. For one sin all the posterity of Ham fell under a curse which remains over them to this day (Gen. 9:21). For one sin Moses was excluded from Canaan, Elisha’s servant smitten with leprosy, Ananias and Sapphira cut off out of the land of the living.
Herein we find proof for the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. The unregenerate do not really believe in the holiness of God. Their conception of His character is altogether one-sided. They fondly hope that His mercy will override everything else. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether as thyself" (Ps. 50:21) is God’s charge against them. They think only of a "god" patterned after their own evil hearts. Hence their continuance in a course of mad folly. Such is the holiness ascribed to the Divine nature and character in Scripture that it clearly demonstrates their superhuman origin. The character attributed to the "gods" of the ancients and of modern heathendom are the very reverse of that immaculate purity which pertains to the true God. An ineffably holy God, who has the utmost abhorrence of all sin, was never invented by any of Adam’s fallen descendants! The fact is that nothing makes more manifest the terrible depravity of man’s heart and his enmity against the living God than to have set before him One who is infinitely and immutably holy. His own idea of sin is practically limited to what the world calls "crime." Anything short of that, man palliates as "defects," "mistakes," "infirmities," etc. And even where sin is owned at all, excuses and extenuations are made for it.
The "god" which the vast majority of professing Christians "love," is looked upon very much like an indulgent old man, who himself has no relish for folly, but leniently winks at the "indiscretions" of youth. But the Word says, "Thou hatest all workers of iniquity "(Ps. 5:5). And again, "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Ps. 7:11). But men refuse to believe in this God, and gnash their teeth when His hatred of sin is faithfully pressed upon their attention. No, sinful man was no more likely to devise a holy God than to create the Lake of fire in which he will be tormented for ever and ever.
Because God is holy, acceptance with Him on the ground of creature doings is utterly impossible. A fallen creature could sooner create a world than produce that which would meet the approval of infinite Purity. Can darkness dwell with Light? Can the Immaculate One take pleasure in "filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6)? The best that sinful man brings forth is defiled. A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit. God would deny Himself, vilify His perfections, were He to account as righteous and holy that which is not so in itself; and nothing is so which has the least stain upon it contrary to the nature of God. But blessed be His name, that which His holiness demanded His grace has provided in Christ Jesus our Lord. Every poor sinner who has fled to Him for refuge stands "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6). Hallelujah!

the entire book is available here

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Do not tolerate false teaching

Sometimes I think we have no backbone, it seems many want to tolerate much for the sake of love and unity. It wasn't always as bad as it is in our day, which is why I appreciate men like J. C. Ryle.  This quote is filled with what we need to hear in our day...

If we would hold fast that which is good, we must never tolerate or support any doctrine which is not the pure doctrine of Christ’s Gospel. There is a hatred which is downright charity – that is the hatred of erroneous doctrine. There is an intolerance which is downright praiseworthy – that is the intolerance of false teaching in the pulpit. Who would ever think of tolerating a little poison given to them day by day? If men come among you who do not preach “all the counsel of God,” who do not preach of Christ, sin, holiness, of ruin, redemption, and regeneration, and do not preach of these things in a Scriptural way, you ought to cease to hear them.
~ J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Great Commandment

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
"This is the great and foremost commandment. " -
Matthew 22:36-38

What a question to present to the Lord!  What was the motive for such a question? Let's look at commentary from Matthew Henry concerning this question, "The design was to try him, or tempt him; to try, not so much his knowledge as his judgment. It was a question disputed among the critics in the law. Some would have the law of circumcision to be the great commandment, others the law of the sabbath, others the law of sacrifices, according as they severally stood affected, and spent their zeal; now they would try what Christ said to this question, hoping to incense the people against him, if he should not answer according to the vulgar opinion; and if he should magnify one commandment, they would reflect on him as vilifying the rest. The question was harmless enough; and it appears by comparing Luke10:27, Luke10:28, that it was an adjudged point among the lawyers, that the love of God and our neighbour is the great commandment, and the sum of all the rest, and Christ had there approved it; so the putting of it to him here seems rather a scornful design to catechise him as a child, than spiteful design to dispute with him as an adversary." - M. Henry

Thomas Watson speaks on this commandment as well in as he so eloquently writes "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart." God will have the whole heart. We must not divide our love between Him and sin. The true mother would not have the child divided, nor will God have the heart divided; it must be the whole heart. We must love God for Himself, for His own intrinsic excellencies. We must love Him for His loveliness. It is a harlot's love to love the portion more than the person. Hypocrites love God because He gives them corn and wine: we must love God for Himself; for those shining perfections which are in Him.

Love to God must be active in its sphere. Love is an industrious affection; it sets the head studying for God, hands working, feet running in the ways of His commandments. It is called the labor of love. 1 Thess. 1:1-3 Mary Magdalene loved Christ, and poured her ointments on Him. We think we never do enough for the person whom we love. If we love God, our desire will be after Him. "The desire of our soul is to thy name." Isa. 26:8. He who loves God, breathes after communion with Him. "My soul thirsts for the living God." Psa 42:2. Persons in love desire to be often conferring together. He who loves God, desires to be much in His presence.

He who loves God cannot find contentment in any thing without Him. Lovers faint away if they have not a sight of the object loved. A gracious soul can do without health, but cannot do without God, who is the health of His countenance. Psalm 43:5. If God should say to a soul that entirely loves Him, "Take thy ease, swim in pleasure, solace thyself in the delights of the world; but thou shalt not enjoy My presence:" this would not content it. Nay, if God should say, "I will let thee be taken up to heaven, but I will retire into another room, and thou shalt not see my face;" it would not content the soul. It is hell to be without God. The philosopher says there can be no golden joy in the soul without God's sweet presence and influence.

He who loves God, weeps bitterly for His absence. Mary comes weeping, "They have taken away my Lord." John 20:13. One cries, "My health is gone" another, "My estate is gone" but he who is a lover of God, cries out, "My God is gone! I cannot enjoy Him whom I love." If Rachel mourned greatly for the loss of her children, what can shadow out the sorrow of that Christian who has lost God's sweets presence? Let us be persuaded to love God with all our heart and might. O let us take our love off from other things, and place it upon God. Love is the heart of Christianity, the fat of the offering; it is the grace which Christ inquires most after. "Simon lovest thou me?
" John 21:15.

May our hearts desire to love Him; may we hunger, thirst and pant after Him and give Him no rest until we have loved Him just as He loves us...'til the end' {John 13:1}.

Worthy is the Lamb

"You are worthy, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will, they were created and have their being." - Revelation 4:11
"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain and with your blood, you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on earth. "
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"  - Revelation 5:9-10, 12

Does the body of Christ fully comprehend the worthiness of Christ; why He is worthy and what He has done? His mighty power, His sustaining His creation? His giving of Himself, dying for a people who now belong to God; to serve Him and live for Him alone?

Worthy comes from the Greek word axios; from Mounce's Expository Dictionary 'in classical Greek axios had to do with tipping or balancing the scales. When two entities are compared and found of equal weight, they are 'fitting'. Since fitness implies worth, axios came to mean 'worthy, deserving'. Axios is also found several times in the great scenes of exaltation in Revelation, "you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God" {Revelation 5:9}, sing the four living creatures and the 24 elders. Then they are joined by a countless throng of angels and together they cry out, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain" {Revelation 5:12}

Our acknowledgement of His worth is not what causes Him to be worthy, His being who He is and what He has done reveals His worthiness to us.  The 24 elders show their adoration by falling down before Him {Revelation 4:10} and casting their crowns before His throne; Matthew Henry gives us insight into these verses from Revelation 4:10-11 "The acts of adoration. (1.) They fell down before him that sat on the throne; they discovered the most profound humility, reverence, and godly fear. (2.) They cast their crowns before the throne; they gave God the glory of the holiness wherewith he had crowned their souls on earth and the honour and happiness with which he crowns them in heaven. They owe all their graces and all their glories to him, and acknowledge that his crown is infinitely more glorious than theirs, and that it is their glory to be glorifying God. The words of adoration: they said, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power, Rev_4:11. Observe, (1.) They do not say, We give thee glory, and honour, and power; for what can any creature pretend to give unto God? But they say, thou art worthy to receive glory. (2.) In this they tacitly acknowledge that God is exalted far above all blessing and praise. He was worthy to receive glory, but they were not worthy to praise, nor able to do it according to his infinite excellences. We have the ground and reason of their adoration, which is threefold: - (1.) He is the Creator of all things, the first cause; and none but the Creator of all things should be adored; no made thing can be the object of religious worship. (2.) He is the preserver of all things, and his preservation is a continual creation; they are created still by the sustaining power of God. All beings but God are dependent upon the will and power of God, and no dependent being must be set up as an object of religious worship. It is the part of the best dependent beings to be worshippers, not to be worshipped. (3.) He is the final cause of all things: For thy pleasure they are and were created. It was his will and pleasure to create all things; he was not put upon it by the will of another; there is no such thing as a subordinate creator, that acts under and by the will and power of another; and, if there were, he ought not to be worshipped. As God made all things at his pleasure, so he made them for his pleasure, to deal with them as he pleases and to glorify himself by them one way or other. Though he delights not in the death of sinners, but rather that they should turn and live, yet he hath made all things for himself." -M. Henry

I also want to use commentary from Matthew Henry on Revelation 5:9-10, 12, " Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, every way sufficient for the work and deserving the honour. [2.] They mention the grounds and reasons of this worthiness; and though they do not exclude the dignity of his person as God, without which he had not been sufficient for it, yet they chiefly insist upon the merit of his sufferings, which he had endured for them; these more sensibly struck their souls with thankfulness and joy. Here, First, They mention his suffering: “Thou wast slain, slain as a sacrifice, thy blood was shed.” Secondly, The fruits of his sufferings. 1. Redemption to God; Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan, redeemed them to God, set them at liberty to serve him and to enjoy him. 2. High exaltation: Thou hast made us to our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth, Rev_5:10. Every ransomed slave is not immediately preferred to honour; he thinks it a great favour to be restored to liberty. But when the elect of God were made slaves by sin and Satan, in every nation of the world, Christ not only purchased their liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment, made them kings and priests - kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he has made them priests, given them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices, and they shall reign on the earth; they shall with him judge the world at the great day.
"Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,   saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." -They are said to be innumerable, and to be the attendants on the throne of God and guardians to the church; though they did not need a Saviour themselves, yet they rejoice in the redemption and salvation of sinners, and they agree with the church in acknowledging the infinite merits of the Lord Jesus as dying for sinners, that he is worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (1.) He is worthy of that office and that authority which require the greatest power and wisdom, the greatest fund, all excellency, to discharge them aright; and, (2.) He is worthy of all honour, and glory, and blessing, because he is sufficient for the office and faithful in it." - M. Henry

It is fitting that Christ our God should be adored, worshiped, honored, revered, and praised. We should do so with every bit of enthusiasm and reverence as it is done in heaven by the myriads, 'with a loud  {mighty, strong} voice'; as it is done by the 24 elders in Revelation 4:10, falling down before His throne. We too should approach His throne with such awe; understanding who He is will cause us to fall before Him in prayer and praise.
Dr. Boice poses this question to us from his book 'Renewing your mind in a mindless world', "God is worthy of all honor, including the very best that we have to you believe that? I think therein lies our problem. If we really believed it, we would judge it reasonable to live for Jesus now, and we would do it. Instead, in many cases we only say, 'Jesus is worthy of all honor', and then we go out and fail to live for Him. Our actions refute our profession. On the other hand, if you do live for Him, giving God all you can ever hope to be, you are testifying that God truly is a great God and that He is worthy of the very best you are anyone else can offer".

This post is one that I need to take to heart, I often pray not to just give lip service. If my life isn't lived for Him, then I am no better than the atheist, or the religious traditionalists who are whitewashed tombs, or the demons who acknowledge there is a God but certainly go no farther. God is calling His people to go farther and deeper. He is calling us to sever the ties to this world, which is passing away. He is calling us to be heavenly minded, to look past what we can see and focus on and live for  what we can't see. We are in a battle, which is spiritual; we are all soldiers of Christ. We must comprehend this truth and live for eternity; understanding His worthiness makes all this possible...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The affects of gay parenting, from a bisexual point of view

This is a fascinating article, it speaks volumes on the affects of gay parenting. Sadly, the author isn't a Christian; the results of having two moms has been devastating on this man's life. That isn't to say he isn't responsible for his choices, but he was molded and shaped from a young age in all the wrong ways.
from the article...

Regnerus’s study identified 248 adult children of parents who had same-sex romantic relationships. Offered a chance to provide frank responses with the hindsight of adulthood, they gave reports unfavorable to the gay marriage equality agenda. Yet the results are backed up by an important thing in life called common sense: Growing up different from other people is difficult and the difficulties raise the risk that children will develop maladjustments or self-medicate with alcohol and other dangerous behaviors. Each of those 248 is a human story, no doubt with many complexities.
Like my story, these 248 people’s stories deserve to be told. The gay movement is doing everything it can to make sure that nobody hears them {emphasis mine}. But I care more about the stories than the numbers (especially as an English professor), and Regnerus stumbled unwittingly on a narrative treasure chest.
So why the code of silence from LGBT leaders? I can only speculate from where I’m sitting. I cherish my mother’s memory, but I don’t mince words when talking about how hard it was to grow up in a gay household. Earlier studies examined children still living with their gay parents, so the kids were not at liberty to speak, governed as all children are by filial piety, guilt, and fear of losing their allowances. For trying to speak honestly, I’ve been squelched, literally, for decades.

please go here to read the article in its entirety

 The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Vastness of our Universe

These videos are mind boggling;  when I think of the billions of 'light years' away certain stars are, then put that into perspective  concerning God filling the universe, I simply am amazed and in awe.  This gives us a sense of God's omnipresence and omnipotence.
This is from  Ken Ham's Creation Museum...

'O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! ' - Psalm 8

"David here goes on to magnify the honour of God by recounting the honours he has put upon man, especially the man Christ Jesus. The condescensions of the divine grace call for our praises as much as the elevations of the divine glory. How God has condescended in favour to man the psalmist here observes with wonder and thankfulness, and recommends it to our thoughts. See here,
I. What it is that leads him to admire the condescending favour of God to man; it is his consideration of the lustre and influence of the heavenly bodies, which are within the view of sense (Psa_8:3): I consider thy heavens, and there, particularly, the moon and the stars. But why does he not take notice of the sun, which much excels them all? Probably because it was in a night-walk, but moon-light, that he entertained and instructed himself with this meditation, when the sun was not within view, but only the moon and the stars, which, though they are not altogether so serviceable to man as the sun is, yet are no less demonstrations of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Creator. Observe, 1. It is our duty to consider the heavens. We see them, we cannot but see them. By this, among other things, man is distinguished from the beasts, that, while they are so framed as to look downwards to the earth, man is made erect to look upwards towards heaven. Os homini sublime dedit, coelumque tueri jussit - To man he gave an erect countenance, and bade him gaze on the heavens, that thus he may be directed to set his affections on things above; for what we see has not its due influence upon us unless we consider it. 2. We must always consider the heavens as God's heavens, not only as all the world is his, even the earth and the fulness thereof, but in a more peculiar manner. The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord's (Psa_115:16); they are the place of the residence of his glory and we are taught to call him Our Father in heaven. 3. They are therefore his, because they are the work of his fingers. He made them; he made them easily. The stretching out of the heavens needed not any outstretched arm; it was done with a word; it was but the work of his fingers. He made them with very great curiosity and fineness, like a nice piece of work which the artist makes with his fingers. 4. Even the inferior lights, the moon and stars, show the glory and power of the Father of lights, and furnish us with matter for praise. 5. The heavenly bodies are not only the creatures of the divine power, but subject to the divine government. God not only made them, but ordained them, and the ordinances of heaven can never be altered. But how does this come in here to magnify God's favour to man? (1.) When we consider how the glory of God shines in the upper world we may well wonder that he should take cognizance of such a mean creature as man, that he who resides in that bright and blessed part of the creation, and governs it, should humble himself to behold the things done upon this earth; see Psa_113:5, Psa_113:6. (2.) When we consider of what great use the heavens are to men on earth, and how the lights of heavens are divided unto all nations (Duet. 4:19, Gen_1:15), we may well say, “Lord, what is man that thou shouldst settle the ordinances of heaven with an eye to him and to his benefit, and that his comfort and convenience should be so consulted in the making of the lights of heaven and directing their motions!”
II. How he expresses this admiration (Psa_8:4): “Lord, what is man (enosh, sinful, weak, miserable man, a creature so forgetful of thee and his duty to thee) that thou art thus mindful of him, that thou takest cognizance of him and of his actions and affairs, that in the making of the world thou hadst a respect to him! What is the son of man, that thou visitest him, that thou not only feedest him and clothest him, protectest him and providest for him, in common with other creatures, but visited him as one friend visits another, art pleased to converse with him and concern thyself for him! What is man - (so mean a creature), that he should be thus honoured - (so sinful a creature), that he should be thus countenanced and favoured!” Now this refers,
1. To mankind in general. Though man is a worm, and the son of man is a worm (Job_25:6), yet God puts a respect upon him, and shows him abundance of kindness; man is, above all the creatures in this lower world, the favourite and darling of Providence. For, (1.) He is of a very honourable rank of beings. We may be sure he takes precedence of all the inhabitants of this lower world, for he is made but a little lower than the angels (Psa_8:5), lower indeed, because by his body he is allied to the earth and to the beasts that perish, and yet by his soul, which is spiritual and immortal, he is so near akin to the holy angels that he may be truly said to be but a little lower than they, and is, in order, next to them. He is but for a little while lower than the angels, while his great soul is cooped up in a house of clay, but the children of the resurrection shall be isangeloi - angels' peers (Luk_20:36) and no longer lower than they. (2.) He is endued with noble faculties and capacities: Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour. He that gave him his being has distinguished him, and qualified him for a dominion over the inferior creatures; for, having made him wiser than the beasts of the earth and the fowls of heaven (Job_35:11), he has made him fit to rule them and it is fit that they should be ruled by him. Man's reason is his crown of glory; let him not profane that crown by disturbing the use of it nor forfeit that crown by acting contrary to its dictates. (3.) He is invested with a sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is constituted their lord. He that made them, and knows them, and whose own they are, has made man to have dominion over them, Psa_8:6. His charter, by which he holds this royalty, bears equal date with his creation (Gen_1:28) and was renewed after the flood, Gen_9:2. God has put all things under man's feet, that he might serve himself, not only of the labour, but of the productions and lives of the inferior creatures; they are all delivered into his hand, nay, they are all put under his feet. He specifies some of the inferior animals (Psa_8:7, Psa_8:8), not only sheep and oxen, which man takes care of and provides for, but the beasts of the field, as well as those of the flood, yea, and those creatures which are most at a distance from man, as the fowl of the air, yea, and the fish of the sea, which live in another element and pass unseen through the paths of the seas. Man has arts to take these; though many of them are much stronger and many of them much swifter than he, yet, one way or other, he is too hard for them, Jam_3:7. Every kind of beasts, and birds, and things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed. He has likewise liberty to use them as he has occasion. Rise, Peter, kill and eat, Act_10:13. Every time we partake of fish or of fowl we realize this dominion which man has over the works of God's hands; and this is a reason for our subjection to God, our chief Lord, and to his dominion over us.
2. But this refers, in a particular manner, to Jesus Christ. Of him we are taught to expound it, Heb_2:6-8, where the apostle, to prove the sovereign dominion of Christ both in heaven and in earth, shows that he is that man, that son of man, here spoken of, whom God has crowned with glory and honour and made to have dominion over the works of his hands. And it is certain that the greatest favour that ever was shown to the human race, and the greatest honour that ever was put upon the human nature, were exemplified in the incarnation and exaltation of the Lord Jesus; these far exceed the favours and honours done us by creation and providence, though they also are great and far more than we deserve. We have reason humbly to value ourselves by it and thankfully to admire the grace of God in it, (1.) That Jesus Christ assumed the nature of man, and, in that nature, humbled himself. He became the Son of man, a partaker of flesh and blood; being so, God visited him, which some apply to his sufferings for us, for it is said (Heb_2:9), For the suffering of death, a visitation in wrath, he was crowned with glory and honour. God visited him; having laid upon him the iniquity of us all, he reckoned with him for it, visited him with a rod and with stripes, that we by them might be healed. He was, for a little while (so the apostle interprets it), made lower than the angels, when he took upon him the form of a servant and made himself of no reputation. (2.) That, in that nature, he is exalted to be Lord of all. God the Father exalted him, because he had humbled himself, crowned him with glory and honour, the glory which he had with him before the worlds were, set not only the head of the church, but head over all things to the church, and gave all things into his hand, entrusted him with the administration of the kingdom of providence in conjunction with and subserviency to the kingdom of grace. All the creatures are put under his feet; and, even in the days of his flesh, he gave some specimens of his power over them, as when he commanded the winds and the seas, and appointed a fish to pay his tribute. With good reason therefore does the psalmist conclude as he began, Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, which has been honoured with the presence of the Redeemer, and is still enlightened by his gospel and governed by his wisdom and power!
In singing this and praying it over, though we must not forget to acknowledge, with suitable affections, God's common favours to mankind, particularly in the serviceableness of the inferior creatures to us, yet we must especially set ourselves to give glory to our Lord Jesus, by confessing that he is Lord, submitting to him as our Lord, and waiting till we see all things put under him and all his enemies made his footstool."
- Matthew Henry, on Psalm 8

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Be sure, your sin will find you out"


" God is omniscient. He knows everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events, all creatures, God the past, the present and the future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth and in hell. "He knoweth what is in the darkness" (Dan. 2:22). Nothing escapes Hs notice, nothing can be hidden from Him, nothing is forgotten by Him. Well may we say with the Psalmist, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it" (Ps. 139:6). His knowledge is perfect. He never errs, never changes, never overlooks anything. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb. 4:13). Yes, such is the God with whom "we have to do!"
 How solemn is this fact: nothing can be concealed from God! "For I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them" (Ezek. 11:5). Though He be invisible to us, we are not so to Him. Neither the darkness of night, the closest curtains, nor the deepest dungeon can hide any sinner from the eyes of Omniscience. The trees of the garden were not able to conceal our first parents. No human eye beheld Cain murder his brother, but his Maker witnessed his crime. Sarah might laugh derisively in the seclusion of her tent, yet was it heard by Jehovah. Achan stole a wedge of gold and carefully hid it in the earth, but God brought it to light. David was at much pains to cover up his wickedness, but ere long the all-seeing God sent one of His servants to say to him, "Thou art the man! And to writer and reader is also said, Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32:23).

 The perfect knowledge of God is exemplified and illustrated in every prophecy recorded in His Word. In the Old Testament are to be found scores of predictions concerning the history of Israel, which were fulfilled to their minutest detail, centuries after they were made. In them too are scores more foretelling the earthly career of Christ, and they too were accomplished literally and perfectly. Such prophecies could only have been given by One who knew the end from the beginning, and whose knowledge rested upon the unconditional certainty of the accomplishment of everything foretold. In like manner, both Old and New Testament contain many other announcements yet future, and they too "must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44), must because foretold by Him who decreed them.

It should, however, be pointed out that neither God’s knowledge nor His cognition of the future, considered simply in themselves, are causative. Nothing has ever come to pass, or ever will, merely because God knew it. The cause of all things is the will of God. The man who really believes the Scriptures knows beforehand that the seasons will continue to follow each other with unfailing regularity to the end of earth’s history (Gen. 8:22), yet his knowledge is not the cause of their succession. So God’s knowledge does not arise from things because they are or will be but because He has ordained them to be. God knew and foretold the crucifixion of His Son many hundreds of years before He became incarnate, and this, because in the Divine purpose, He was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world: hence we read of His being "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23).

A word or two by way of application. The infinite knowledge of God should fill us with amazement. How far exalted above the wisest man is the Lord! None of us knows what a day may bring forth, but all futurity is open to His omniscient gaze. The infinite knowledge of God ought to fill us with holy awe. Nothing we do, say, or even think, escapes the cognizance of Him with whom we have to do: "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Prov. 15:3). What a curb this would be unto us, did we but meditate upon it more frequently! Instead of acting recklessly, we should say with Hagar, "Thou God seest me" (Gen. 16:13). The apprehension of God’s infinite knowledge should fill the Christian with adoration. The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him! " --- from A. W. Pink's 'Attributes of God'