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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Did you ever see my picture?

(Letters of John Newton)





"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do—that I do not do; but what I hate—that I do. I have the desire to do what is good—but I cannot carry it out. For what I do—is not the good I want to do. No, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing!" Romans 7


Did you ever see my picture? It has been drawn by a masterly hand. And though another person, and one whom I am far from resembling, sat for it—it is as like me as one new penny is like another! The original was drawn at Corinth—and sent to the Christians at Rome. Many copies have been produced, and it has a place in most public and private libraries, and I would hope in most families. I had seen it a great many times, before I could discover one of my own features in it—but then my eyes were very bad.

What is most remarkable, is that it was drawn long before I was born! And now, having been favored with some excellent eye-salve, I quickly knew it to be my own. I am drawn in a posture which would be strange and peculiar, if it was not so common with me—looking two different and opposite ways at once, so that you would be puzzled to tell whether my eyes are fixed upon heaven—or upon the earth! I am aiming at two things inconsistent with each other at the same time, so that I can accomplish neither.

According to the different light in which you view the picture, I appear to rejoice—or to mourn; to have nothing—or possessing everything; to be a conqueror—or a captive. In a word, I am a double person! I am a riddle! So it is no wonder if you know not what to make of me—for I cannot tell what to make of myself!
I would—and I would not.
I do—and I do not.
I can—and I cannot.
I find the hardest things easy—and the easiest things impossible.
I am both rich—and poor.
I can do nothing—yet I can do all things.
I am opposed beyond my strength—yet I am not overpowered.
I gain when I lose—and I often am a loser by my gains.

But while I am in this perplexity, you will observe in the same picture—a hand stretched forth for my relief, and may see a label proceeding out of my mouth with these words, "Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!" The more I study this picture, the more I discover some new and striking resemblance, which convinces me that the Painter knew me better than I knew myself!

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do—I do not do; but what I hate—I do. I have the desire to do what is good—but I cannot carry it out. For what I do—is not the good I want to do. No, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing!"
Romans 7
In a word, I am a sinner, a vile one—but a sinner believing in Jesus!

I am a silly sheep—but I have a gracious, watchful Shepherd!

I am a dull scholar—but I have a Master who can make the dullest learn.

2 comments:

Darrel said...

A more clear cut description of our fallen nature coexisting with our new nature cannot be found anywhere. The mere fact that some people rebel against this by refusing to acknowledge their fallen nature inherited from Adam is the best evidence that they are still being controlled by the one thing they deny--a totally depraved fallen nature.

Thank God that even though we sin we can be forgiven and that "sin shall not have dominion over you."

lyn said...

Amen Darrel. The gentleman who denied we inherit our sin nature from Adam comes to mind, we both confronted him at Berean Research. His theology was full of holes because he didn't even have the foundations right. That's what happens, if you error in the critical truths of scripture, your whole house is built on sand.

Yes, praise God sin no longer has dominion over us!