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1 Corinthians

(29 posts)

Forgive Yourself—One more thing …

Thursday··2007·07·05 · 9 Comments
A little more than a year ago I posted a short article called Forgive Yourself, in which I said that, as there is no such thing as a sin against self, there is no need or possibility of self-forgiveness. Today, an astute reader asked a question that deserved an answer, and I thought I would post it here for your consideration. She asked, What about committing fornication? God clearly states in the Bible that that is a sin against yourself—and there are those in the Bible who did commit fornication. How does one personally repent of these sins against themselves? How do we ask God’s forgiveness? How does this sin differ from others? I answered, That’s a reasonable question. I assume you’re referring to 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Sinning against your body is not sinning against yourself. Your body is not you. The real you is your soul, or mind. Your body is simply the vessel that you live in during this life. Furthermore, your body does not belong to you. Verses 19–20 continue: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. So, a sin against your body is actually a sin against God alone. After further consideration, I would add that not even you, that is, your soul, belongs to you, so there really is no way you can sin against yourself.

Lords Day 49, 2011

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Humiliation Sovereign Lord, When clouds of darkness, atheism, and unbelief come to me, I see thy purpose of love in withdrawing the Spirit that I might prize him more, in chastening me for my confidence in past successes, that my wound of secret godlessness might be cured. Help me to humble myself before thee by seeing the vanity of honour as a conceit of mens minds, as standing between me and thee; by seeing that thy will must alone be done, as much in denying as in giving spiritual enjoyments; by seeing that my heart is nothing but evil, mind, mouth, life void of thee; by seeing that sin and Satan are allowed power in me that I might know my sin, be humbled, and gain strength thereby; by seeing that unbelief shuts thee from me, so that I sense not thy majesty, power, mercy, or love. Then possess me, for thou only art good and worthy. Thou dost not play in convincing me of sin, Satan did not play in tempting me to it, I do not play when I sink in deep mire, for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble; Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed, as in the greatness of the Person sinned against. When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me, by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied; that I am feeble and unable to do any good, but that in him I can do all things; that what I now have in Christ is mine in part, but shortly I shall have it perfectly in heaven. The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002). Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); 4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 1 The Saints True Posture. At Corinth there was a large and noble church. It was not perfect; there were errors and divisions in it; there was gross sin in it. Yet it was not only a true church, but one of high attainment. The Corinthian saints were enriched in all utterance and all knowledge. They had gifts as well as graces; manifold gifts; all gifts; they came behind or were deficient in no gift; they abounded in them. They were an advancing church; a church of true progress in knowledge, gifts, and holiness. Thus there may in a church be much evil in the midst of much good. Even when there are divisions and inconsistencies, there may be life and fruit. It is progress at which we are to aim; each church, each Christian. We must first start,start in the right direction,for the walk or the race. We must begin with believing; we must be rooted and grounded in love. And then progress, true progress begins; not till then. Having begun, we go on unto perfection; we increase and abound in wisdom, truth, holiness, hatred of sin, love to the brethren, pity for the world. Onward, upward, is our motto. But along with these gifts there was one thing specially noticeable in these Corinthians: they waited for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us mark here, I. The person. He is not here designated Son of man, or Son of God, King, or Master, or Bridegroom, but Lord Jesus Christ; His fullest, longest title, and one which the apostle delights to repeat at full length, as if never weary of it. He is (1.) Lord; nay, He is Lord of lords; He is Lord in the sense of God; He is Jehovah, for this is His Old Testament name. (2.) Jesus. Jah, the Saviour, He who saves us from our sins; a divine Saviour. (3.) Christ; Messiah, the anointed one; filled with the Spirit without measure; the vessel of infinite and divine fullness. These three names declare His glory, and also reveal His grace. In them we read, God is love; God so loved the world; herein is love. II. The event. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word is properly the apocalypse, or revelation, or manifestation. He is now hidden; unseen; within the veil. But this concealment is not always to last. God bath appointed a day for revelation. Then He shall be visible; every eye shall see Him. His first coming is the greatest event in earths past history; His second coming is the greatest in its future. He shall come! Behold the Lord cometh. He comes in glory, in majesty, with clouds, with all his saints, to destroy Antichrist; to deliver creation; to bind Satan; to convert Israel and the Gentiles; to execute vengeance; to raise His, saints; to judge and to reign. For these things He comes. He is only waiting for the time appointed by the Father. Then He shall appear in His glory, no longer the man of sorrows, but the Conqueror, the Bridegroom, the crowned King. III. The posture. Waiting (see Roman 8:19, 23), as the servant for the master; the traveler or mariner for the morning; the bride for the bridegroom. In all these there is eager and earnest expectation. The event is infinitely desirable; the person is the object of our love. We have heard of Him; we long to see Him and to hear His voice. His absence is sadness and gloom; as Rutherford says, It is like a mountain of iron on our heavy hearts. All seems to go wrong in that time of absence. In such a case, waiting is a necessity; we cannot but wait. (1) We wait in faith; (2) in hope; (3) in patience; (4) in desire; (5) in love; (6) in watchfulness. Such was the churchs posture before Messiahs first coming; such is it before His second. It is the posture of the church and of each saint. They are waiters and watchers. There must be no forgetfulness, no indifference, no sloth, no sleep; all wakefulness, eagerness, and longing. Many things tend to hinder this, and to throw us off our guard. Let us beware, and hold fast. Let us not sleep as do others; but watch. IV. The connection between this posture and the gift. It is close, vital, and mutual. The gifts cherish the waiting, and the waiting the gifts; the one helps the other. The more we wait, the more the gifts will grow; and the more they grow, the more will we wait. (1.) The gifts are all from Christ, out of His fullness; and the more we possess of the gifts, the more shall we desire to know the giver; the more copious and pleasant our draughts of the stream, the more shall we long for the fountainhead. (2.) The gifts are the gifts of the Spirit, and He is the witness of Christ; the more that we are filled with Him, the more shall we wait, and look, and long for Him to whom He testifies, and whom His office is to glorify. Thus they both are inseparably linked together. We cannot be growing Christians without waiting for Christ; and we cannot wait for Christ without growing. (1.) Press on. Stationary saintship is as poor as it is perilous. Advance; advance! Make this your motto. Be progressive Christians; belong to the advanced school of theology and holiness in the true sense. (2.) Beware of stumbling and backsliding. The tendencies both within and without are all against us. Snares and stumbling blocks are in our path. Be on your guard. Look to your feet. Dread one retrogressive step. Watch against coldness and formalism. (3.) Wait for the revelation of Christ. Be this your posture constantly; not theoretical, but practical. Let nothing come between you and a crucified Christ; a risen Christ; a glorified Christ; a coming Christ. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 50, 2011

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 84. (l. m.) Salvation, righteousness, and strength in Christ. Isa. xlv. 2125 Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Jehovah speaks! let Isrel hear; Let all the earth rejoice and fear, While Gods eternal Son proclaims His sovereign honors and his names. I am the last, and I the first, The Savior God, and God the just; Theres none beside pretends to show Such justice and salvation too. [Ye that in shades of darkness dwell, Just on the verge of death and hell, Look up to me from distant lands; Light, life, and heavn are in my hands. I by my holy name have sworn, Nor shall the word in vain return; To me shall all things bend the knee, And every tongue shall swear to me.] In me alone shall men confess Lies all their strength and righteousness; But such as dare despise my name, Ill clothe them with eternal shame. In me, the Lord, shall all the seed Of Isrel from their sins be freed; And by their shining graces prove Their intrest in my pardning love. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 8who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1 Eternal Blamelessness. There are several words used to declare what a Christian man should be. He is to be blameless (1 Thessalonians 3:13), unrebukeable (Philippians 2:15), without spot (1 Peter 1:19), faultless (Jude 24), undefiled (Song of Solomon 5:2). All these words are to be more or less realized in every Christian,in measure here, in all fullness hereafter. They are chiefly negative; in the Greek, remarkably so; describing a Christian not so much by what he is, as by what he is not. But this is striking and full of meaning; inasmuch as it reminds him of the sin out of which he was taken, and from which he is called to be separate. It reminds him of that evil world from which he has been delivered, and from which he is to keep himself unspotted. He was a sinner once, nothing but a sinner. From sin, wrath, pollution, ungodliness he is taken, and from them must keep aloof. These characteristics may be divided into three kinds judicial, priestly, personal. I. Judicial. The word used in our text is the judicial one. It means one that cannot be challenged, or accused, or impeached in law. It is another form of the same word as is used in Romans 8:33, Who shall lay anything to the charge of Gods elect? A Christian is one against whom there is not only no condemnation, but no accusation. He is a sinner yet no man, nor angel, nor devil, may accuse him, or mention his guilt to God. This is the footing on which we stand,unaccusable! Blessed footing to one who feels that he is the chief of sinners. The chief of sinners, yet beyond the reach of all accusation! How is this? Because there was one who was accused in his stead; who owned the accusation as if it were His own; who allowed sentence to pass against Himself; and was condemned for anothers guilt,the Just for the unjust. II. Priestly. I might call it sacrificial. The word used in such places as Ephesians 1:4 is the same as that in 1 Peter 1:19, the Lamb without blemish, and without spot. This unblemishedness has special reference to our fitness for worship and service. And this we derive from the unblemished Lamb himself, and specially from His blood. It is His blood that cleanses and fits us for entering Jehovahs courts, and ministering as His priests at His altar; for we have an altar. I speak of the priesthood of believers, the priesthood which a sinner enters on when he believes on the Son of God. Let ns make constant use of the Lamb and His blood to keep ourselves unblemished for sacrifice or service; for we are to present even our bodies as living sacrifices unto God (Romans 12:1). III. Personal (Philippians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 3:13), We are forgiven and delivered from wrath that we may be personally holy; holy in heart and life; saved from sin, conformed to Christ. We are delivered from wrath, from Satan, from self; from the world, from sin, from vanity, from ignorance, from the lust of the flesh and eye. We are made like the second man (1 Corinthians 15:47), the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), in Gods image. We delight in the law of God; we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our life is spiritual, our character, our conversation, our joys, our pursuits. Everything is spiritualized in character, aim, and tone. All true religion is personal, not a thing of proxy; a real inward thing, not a form, or a creed, or a shadow, or a rite. It penetrates the entire being, pervading the whole life, and influencing everything about the man, great or small. Holiness is to be everywhere in and about the man. If, then, you call yourself a Christian, consider how much is expected from you; how much God expects from you; how much Christ, how much the angels, how much the church, how much the world. All eyes are on you, and great expectations are formed of you. Consider, (1.) Your names. They are saint, Christian, redeemed from among men, follower of the Lamb. Do not these call you to holiness, to blamelessness! (2.) Your designations. You are the lights of the world, the salt of the earth; pilgrims, strangers, virgins, cross bearers, kings and priests; a temple, a habitation of God. (3.) Your calling. You are called with a holy calling. Everything connected with your calling is holy,its past eternity, its present working, its everlasting prospects. You are called to glory, honour, and immortality. (4.) Your hopes. They are sure and bright,a holy kingdom, an undefiled inheritance, a pure and splendid city, into which nothing that defileth shall enter. (5.) Your companionships. They are all heavenly and pure. Your ties have been broken with this present evil world. Old friendships are severed, and new ones formed. Of your new companions the chief are God, and Christ, and tile Holy Spirit, and the saints that are on the earth. Holy companions should make a man holy, for as evil communications corrupt good manners, so do good communications elevate and purify evil ones. If you are Christians then, be consistent. Be Christians out and out; Christians every hour, in every part, and in every matter. Beware of half-hearted discipleship, of compromise with evil, of conformity to the world, of trying to serve two masters,to walk in two ways, the narrow and the broad, at once. It will not do. Half-hearted Christianity will only dishonour God, while it makes you miserable. There is abundance of Christianity, so-called, in our day. Who does not call himself a Christian? But who cultivates the holiness, the blamelessness, the devotedness, the calm consistency of a follower of Christ? Who hates sin as it ought to be hated? Who separates from the world as he ought? Who follows Christ as He ought to be followed? Who walks in the footsteps of the holy Son of God? The day of Christ here spoken of, is coming. How soon we know not. Year after year is bringing it round. It is the day of decision. It ends the finite and begins the infinite; it ends the temporal, and begins the eternal. It is the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Satans day, mans day, the worlds day; that is the day of Christ. And it is to that day we look, for it we prepare. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 51, 2011

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn LXI. Look unto me, and be ye saved. Isaiah xlv. 22. John Newton (17251807) As the serpent raisd by Moses Heald the burning serpents bite; Jesus thus himself discloses To the wounded sinners sight: Hear his gracious invitation, I have life and peace to give, I have wrought out full salvation, Sinner, look to me and live. Pore upon your sins no longer, Well I know their mighty guilt; But my love than death is stronger, I my blood have freely spilt: Tho your heart has long been hardned, Look on meit soft shall grow; Past transgressions shall be pardond, And Ill wash you white as snow. I have seen what you were doing, Tho you little thought of me; You were madly bent on ruin, But I saidIt shall not be: You had been for ever wretched, Had I not espousd your part; Now behold my arms outstretched To receive you to my heart. Well may shame, and joy, and wonder, All your inward passions move; I could crush thee with my thunder, But I speak to thee in love: See! your sins are all forgiven, I have paid the countless sum! Now my death has opend heaven, Thither you shall shortly come. Dearest Savior, we adore thee For thy precious life and death; Melt each stubborn heart before thee, Give us all the eye of faith: From the laws condemning sentence, To thy mercy we appeal; Thou alone canst give repentance, Thou alone our souls canst heal. Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1 Sonship And Fellowship. Gods faithfulness is our resting place. His true and unchanging love is our security. From first to last it is with a faithful God that we have to do. The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. There is none like the God of Jeshurun,the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning. It is this faithful God who calls us; saves us; blesses us; keeps us. It is He who begins the good work in us, and will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. He will keep what we have committed to Him. This calling of His is often referred to. That which He calls us out of is noted: Who bath called you out of darkness (2 Peter 2:9). That to which He calls is also noted: Called unto liberty (Galatians 5:13); called to glory (2 Peter 1:3); called you unto his kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12). That by which He calls us is also noted: Called by grace (Galatians 1:15); called by our gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14). But in the passage before us it is simply said that we are called into the fellowship of His Son. What does this mean? Fellowship does not merely mean friendship, or converse, or sympathy; it means partnership, sharing what belongs to others,all that I have is thine. Thus the word is used, Luke 5:10, which were partners with Simon. There is not merely partaking of something as a gift, but sharing, as common property, what another possesses. It is business partnership; family partnership; filial partnership; conjugal partnership; the partnership of adoption or heritage. Our text embraces all these, when it speaks of our being called to the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ; just as elsewhere it is said that we are made partakers of Christ (Hebrew 3:14). So that intercourse with Christ is only part of the boundless privilege which fellowship implies. Let us consider this fellowship or partnership with Christ in the following aspects, I. Partnership with Him in what He was. He was crucified, He died, was buried, rose again. In all these we have part. Not that we helped Him to do His work and to bear His cross; not that we were joint sin-bearers, assisting Him to save us. In all this He was alone, suffering the wrath alone. But still we are said to be crucified with Him, to have died with Him, to be buried with Him, to have risen with Him. One cross, one death, one grave, one resurrection. Such is our fellowship with Him, that God looks on us as one with Him in all these things; treats us as having passed through what He did, as if we had actually paid the eternal penalty, and were entitled to the eternal righteousness. In believing we enter on this partnership, and into all the benefits of His death and resurrection. As one with Him, all these are ours. II. Partnership with Him in what He is. He has not only risen, but He has ascended; He has been seated on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. We share His present dignity; for we are said to be seated with Him in heavenly places, and are treated by God as such. His ascension is ours; His dignity and glory are ours. We are still no doubt here on earth; but we are called to feel, and act, and live as those who are already at the right hand of God. Simple forgiveness is not all our portion. We are raised higher than this; raised into high favor with God, and made to share in the fullness which belongs to Christ as the risen and ascended and glorified Son of man. Besides all this, we share His name, and are called sons of God. We share the Fathers love,that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them. We share His offices;we are prophets, priests, and kings; heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ Jesus. III. Partnership with Him in what He shall be. Much of His glory is yet in reserve; for now we see not yet all things put under Him. The day of glory and dominion; the day of the crown, and the throne, and the royal robe is coming; and in all these we are to have fellowship with Him; as one with Him; members of His body, sharing the glory of the head; as the bride of Christ, sharing the glory of the Bridegroom; one with Him in all His honour throughout eternity. Thus, then, there is complete fellowship with Christ. It is to this that we are called by a faithful God; and is it not a high and glorious calling? Fellowship in His cross, His grave, His resurrection, His throne, His glory! All this faith secures to us; and of all this the Holy Spirit bears witness to us. Believing, we are reconciled, saved, accepted, blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. Let us walk worthy of it; as men who really believe it; happy, holy, unworldly, zealous, generous, loving. Let us carry the consciousness of our calling into every thing,great or small; into business, daily life, recreations, reading, education, everything; maintaining our true position before men; manifesting our proper character; letting the world know our prospects, and doing nothing inconsistent with what we profess to be now, and with what we shall be when the Lord comes. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 2, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Petitionary Hymns Poem XXXVI. For Pardon of Sin. Augustus Toplady (17401778) Jesus, thy feet I will not leave, Till I the precious gift receive, The purchasd pearl possess: Impart it, gracious Lord, while I With supplications humblest cry, Invest the throne of grace. Baptize me with the Holy Ghost; Make this the day of Pentecost, Wherein my soul may prove Thy Spirits sweet renewing powr, And show me in this happy hour, The riches of thy love. Thou canst not always hide thy face, Thou wilt at last my soul embrace, Thou yet will make me clean: My God, is there not room for me? Ill wait with patience, Lord, on thee, Till thou shalt take me in. Remember, Lord, that Jesus bled, That Jesus bowd his dying head, And sweated bloody sweat: He bore thy wrath and curse for me In his own body on the tree, And more than paid my debt. Surely he hath my pardon bought, A perfect righteousness wrought out His people to redeem: O that his righteousness might be By grace imputed now to me: As were my sins to him. The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady (Sprinkle Publications, 1987). 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each mans work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each mans work. 14If any mans work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3 The Foundation, The Building, And The Testing. It is of himself and of Apollos that Paul is specially speaking here; or more generally, of ministers of Christ; stewards of the mysteries of God (4:1); the planters, the waterers, the labourers, the tillers, the builders (3:7, 9). Yet the great truth here taught is for all, Christians. The special doctrine here is that there may be a right foundation and a wrong building. If the foundation be right, though the superstructure be faulty, all will not be lost; yet the loss will be great. The warning both to ministers and Christians is, to beware of building wrongly upon a right foundation. I. The foundation. This is Christ alone. Other foundation can no man lay. Foundation stones are vast and massive; like those we see at Jerusalem, let into the solid rock of Moriah, as we see from the recent excavations. God has laid the foundation Himself (Isaiah 28:16.) Both the foundation and the laying of it are His doing. It is finished; the stone has been laid; once for all. When Paul says, as a wise master builder (or architect) I have laid the foundation (verse 10), he means that he took the great foundation-stone laid in Zion with him wherever he went to preach the gospel, and laid it as the foundation for all the different churches,Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch, or Rome. His proclamation of Christ was his laying the foundation-stone; for this is the one stone; the one living stone, chosen of God, and precious, on which a church can be built or a soul rest. II. The building. Ye are Gods building, says the apostle, speaking of the Corinthian church. As he says in verse 6, Paul planted, and Apollos watered; so here he means to say, I laid the foundation, and others are building on it. But there are two ways of building; the one right, enduring, precious; the other wrong, perishable, worthless; the one gold, silver, precious stones; the other wood, hay, stubble. Both are on the true foundation; but the one is like Solomons temple on Mount Moriah; the other like the present mosque of Omar on the same site. Applied to ministers, it points either to their actual teaching, or to the effects of their teaching; if to their teaching, it refers to the truths or errors taught by them in connection with the one truth of Christ; if to the effects of their teaching, it refers to their rearing a church made up of true saints or of formal professors. During the dark ages there might be some godly men in the ministry; but, cleaving to their superstitions, they taught much error, and built up churches full of superstitious formalists; mere wood, hay, and stubble; mere professors, who had no Christianity about them save the name. At the Reformation we see Calvin, Luther, Knox, Cranmer laying anew the foundation stone throughout Europe, and building on it gold, silver, and precious stones. Subsequently we find the PortRoyalists in France, though retaining the one foundation, building wood, hay, and stubble. So is it with individual Christians. Let them take heed how they build. Let them not say, We have got the right foundation. That is not enough. Look to the whole of your creed, lest you be connecting falsehoods or fables with the cross of Christ. Look to your lives, lest your lives should be made up of most worthless materials. What a description is this of the life of some who perhaps, after all, are Christians! Wood, hay, stubble; nothing more. No gold, no silver, no precious stones; nothing that will come up to Gods estimate; nothing that will stand the fire. III. The testing. A day is coming when the building shall be tried. The foundation stone was tried, and it stood the proof; it is the tried stone (Isaiah 28:16, 2 Peter 2:6.) But the day of trial for the superstructures is yet to come; and the process of fire which is to try them is not yet begun. But it will come. The fire shall devour the stubble, and the flame consume the chaff (Isaiah 5:24.) The day is coming that shall burn as an oven (or furnace, Malachi 3:12.) He is coming whose eyes are as a flame of fire; who is a consuming fire. That is the testing day. Sometimes we read of the fan (Matthew 3:12), and sometimes of the fire; but both processes are for similar ends, sifting, searching, separating (whether by wind or flame) the real from the unreal, the true from the false. Till then both are together. Man is not allowed to try his hand at separation; Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; let both (tares add wheat) grow together until the harvest. The sifting time is coming. Nothing will then be taken for granted. All will be subjected to the fiery ordeal; every one shall be salted with fire (Mark 9:49.) This, then, is the question with regard to all we believe and all we do, Will it stand the fire? It may look well, it may be praised by men, it may have public opinion on its side; but will it stand the fire? O man, will your life stand the fire? Will your religion, your creed, your politics, your plans and works, stand the fire? Soon will all be made manifest. The day shall declare it, because it (or rather He) shall be revealed by fire. Do all in anticipation of the day of fiery sifting. IV. The result. If the work done stands the fire, and be proved to be gold and silver, then shall the doer not only be saved, but he shall receive a reward; he shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom (2 Peter 1:11) If it wont stand the fire, but proves wood, and hay, and stubble, then the doer, if he be on the foundation, shall be saved; he shall not perish with his work, but he gets no reward; he is barely saved; saved so as by fire, like one escaping merely with life out of a burning house, like Lot out of Sodom. (1.) The importance of a right foundation. There is but one rock, one stone, laid in Zion; one cross, one Saviour. (2.) The difference between a right foundation and a right building. There maybe the former without the latter. A false life has sometimes been connected with a true creed. (3.) The difference between the salvation and the reward. There is such a thing as being barely saved, like the thief on the cross. There is such a thing as a starless crown,a low place in heaven,deliverance from hell, without the recompense and the glory. There is such a thing as a saved soul, but a wasted life. (4.) The importance of seeking the reward as well as the salvation. Some are all their lives occupied with the latter. They never get beyond it; and, not having got the great question settled between them and God, they are not in a condition to aim at the reward. Let us at once get the matter of personal forgiveness settled, and press toward the mark (or along the line or mark, (ጱь ɜĜ?, Philippians 3:14) for the prize of the high calling (the above or heavenly calling, ьƜ ? ጪƜɌ), laying up treasures in heaven, seeking to attain to the resurrection of the dead, with all its glories. (5.) Time ditty of judging ourselves now, that we may not be judged hereafter. Anticipate the day of the fire. Have all in readiness for it. Get quit of the wood, and hay, and stubble; all false doctrine; all unbelieving works or corrupt worship. Get the gold, and the silver, and the gems. (6.) The awfulness of being unsaved. If to lose the reward be so terrible, what must it be to lose the salvation itself; to be lost; not to be saved even so as by fire, but to perish in the fire? Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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Lords Day 3, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. A Song of Praise for Gospel ministry Philip Doddridge (16451694) Fair are the feet which bring the news of gladness unto me; What happy messengers are these, which my blessed eyes do see! These are the stars which God appoints for guides unto my way, To lead me into Bethlehem-town, where my dear Savior lay. These are my Gods ambassadors , by whom His mind I know; Gods angels in His lower heaven, Gods trumpeters below. The trumpet sounds, the dead arise, which fell by Adams hand; Again the trumpet sounds, and they set forth for Canaans land. The servants speak, but Thou, Lord, dost a hearing ear bestow; They smite the rock, but Thou, my God, dost make the waters flow. They shot the arrow, but Thy hand doth drive the arrow home; They call, but Lord, Thou doest compel and then Thy guests do come. Angels that fly and worms that creep are both alike to Thee; If Thou make worms Thine angels, Lord, they bring my God to me. As sons of thunder first they come, and I the lightning fear; But then they bring me to my home, and sons of comfort are. Lord, thou art in them of a truth, that I might never stray, The clouds and pillars march before, and show me Canaans way. I bless my God, who is my Guide; I sing in Zions ways; When shall I sing on Zions hill, Thine everlasting praise? Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). 17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3 The Holiness of Gods Temple. I do not dwell upon the figure or picture which these words suggest. The magnificent emblem here employed is no mere sentimentalism or transcendentalism, but thoroughly practical. It is not for description or painting, but for the guidance of our Christian life, in its common rounds as well as in its nobler elevations and aspirations. Mans symbols are often mere poetry or sentimentalism, Bible-symbols are all practical. These are words of weight and solemnity,Ye are the temple of God; the Spirit of God dwelleth in you; the temple of God is holy; ye are the temple of the living God; A habitation of God through the Spirit; Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; Ye are built up a spiritual house; I will dwell in them, and walk in them; We will come unto him, and make our abode with him; His Spirit that dwelleth in you; God dwelleth in him, and he in God. Take the figure in connection with any of the kinds of habitation spoken of in Scripture,(1) the home; (2) the tent; (3) the palace; (4) the temple,it exhibits a most comforting truth to us. To be Gods home or dwelling, His tent or tabernacle, His royal palace, His chosen temple, of which that on Moriah was a mere shadow, how solemn the admonition as to personal holiness conveyed to us by this! In Gods temple there is the blood, the fire, the smoke, the water, the lamps, the incense, the shew bread, the cherubim, the glory,all consecrated things, and all pertaining to what is heavenly! These symbols have gone, but the realities have come, the heavenly things themselves! If, then, we are Gods temple, if even our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness! It is this practical use of the inspired figure or symbol that I wish specially to bring before you. If you are Gods temples, what then? How searching and solemn the question! I. What intimacy with God. Acquaintanceship with Him who has made our heart His home is the least which could be expected. He must be no stranger to us. There must not merely be reconciliation,for that may consist with some degree of distance,but intimacy, peaceful friendship, loving acquaintanceship; He seeing into our heart with all its evil, and we into His with all its goodness, and longsuffering, and paternal, yet holy gentleness and love. If God be our inmate, how intimate ought we to be with Him in all respects; yet with a holy, reverend, solemn intimacy; an intimacy which expels fear, and which yet casts out all irreverent freedom. He asks for entrance, and He asks for intimacy: Behold I stand at the door and knock, &c; We will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23). Of an old Scottish minister it is said (as the finishing stroke in his character), He was one very intimate with God. So let it be said of us. II. What calmness of spirit. In all false religion there is excitement, in true religion calmness. The more of God, the more of the inner and abiding calm. The coming of the Spirit of God into a soul calms it. The indwelling of God preserves that calm. Man is never more truly and deeply calm than when filled with the Spirit of God. The tendency of much that is called religion in our day is to agitation, bustle, noise, unnatural fervor. In many revival-scenes there has been an amount of excitement which is of the flesh or of Satan; certainly not of God. The presence of Christ in the ship calmed the sea, so His presence in a human heart produces calm; and one evidence of His presence is the tranquility which reigns there. His words, His looks, His presence, all tend to calm, not to excite. The temple of God should be the calmest spot in the universe. No breath, no jar, no ruffle there. No storm, nor earthquake, nor war, nor tumult, can reach it. We see this in Stephen when before the council; his face was like that of an angel. God keeps His temple in perfect peace. III. What solemnity of soul. If God be inhabiting us as His temple we ought surely to be solemn men,called to a solemn life, speaking solemn words, manifesting a solemn deportment. We are not to be austere, sour, morose; these are Satans caricatures of holy solemnity; yet we are to shun flippancy, frivolity, levity in word or deed. Should the worlds rude laughter echo through the aisles of the divine temple? or its uproarious mirth ring through the holy of holies? Should the worlds idle or unhallowed songs be sung under the sacred roof of this living cathedral? Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, is Gods injunction, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. IV. What recollectedness of thought and feeling. With God dwelling in us, shall we allow wandering thoughts or forgetfulness of the divine presence to prevail. Let us gather up our thoughts, and keep them gathered. Let not the ashes of the sacrifice, or the water of the layer, or the incense of the altar, or the fragments of the shew bread, be scattered to the ends of the earth. Let us be self-recollected in the presence of the holy Inhabitant. V. What spirituality and unworldliness. God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. We need no rites, no dresses, no postures, no candles, no crosses,these are the mockeries and gew-gaws of a dark materialism. We need the spiritual heart, shutting out the world from a shrine which Jehovah has entered and made His own. If we are temples of the Holy Ghost, and if His temples are holy, then are not such things as the following shut out? (1.) Vanity. What! Vanity in Jehovahs temple! Vanity of life, or word, or dress, or ornament, or deportment! How inconsistent! If the Holy Spirit comes in, these must go out; if these come in, He must depart. (2.) Pleasure. Can a lover of pleasure be a temple of the Holy Ghost? Can a frequenter of the ballroom, a lover of the dance, a haunter of time theatre, a slave of lust or luxurya pleasure-seeker have God dwelling in him? How do the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life, suit the songs or the incense of the holy place? (3.) Politics. What have the poor party politics of this world to do with the worship of this glorious temple? Can the smoke and dust of the world commingle with the incense of the golden altar? Shall parties strive for majorities under the very shadow of the cherubim and the glory? (4.) Covetousness. Absorption even in lawful business is inconsistent with our being temples of God. We must have business, but let us take heed how we bring our merchandise into the house of God. Take these things hence, is Gods rebuke to the man who tries to be both a worshipper of mammon and a temple of the Holy Ghost. The Lord of the temple comes with His scourge, sooner or later, to drive the buyers and sellers from His courts. He will not allow it to be a market for merchants, any more than a den of thieves. We have a temple! As the apostle said, We have an altar, so we can say more, We have a temple; nay, we are a temple; nay, we are the temple of the Holy Ghost, the temple of the living God. Not some believers only, who are more advanced than others, but every one who has God for his God, who has credited the divine report to Jesus the Son of God; he becomes a son, an heir, a saint, a temple. Let us not grieve that Spirit whose temple we are. Let us allow Him to fill us wholly, and to cast out all that is unbefitting the holiness and glory of his habitation. If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy. Awful words! Let us stand in awe, and seek to live as men who know what it is to be temples of God. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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Lords Day 4, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Childs Prayer. They that seek me early shall find me. Proverbs 8:17 Horatius Bonar (18081889) Holy Father! hear my cry, Holy Saviour! bend Thine ear, Holy Spirit! come Thou nigh: Father, Saviour, Spirit, hear. Father, save me from my sin, Saviour, I Thy mercy crave, Gracious Spirit, make me clean: Father, Saviour, Spirit, save. Father, let me taste Thy love, Saviour, fill my soul with peace, Spirit, come my heart to move: Father, Son, and Spirit, bless. Father, Son, and Spirit,Thou One Jehovah, shed abroad All Thy grace within me now; Be my Father and my God. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 8You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 1 Corinthians 4 22And He said to the disciples, The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. Luke 17 The Saints Joy And Sorrow. I place together these two verses, the words of the disciple, and the words of the Master, as breathing the same spirit. They speak of present pressure and trouble; they point to a day of deliverance and triumph; they indicate the feelings of Christs church, in this evil day and evil world. Paul means to say I wish the time of reigning were really come, as ye seem to think, for then should we share in that glory, instead of being the off scouring of all things; as if feeling most deeply present trial, and longing for the day when the glory shall be revealed. The Lord means to say, days are coming when ye shall long, even for one of the days of the Son of man; pointing to approaching tribulation, and intimating that under the pressure of this, they would long for even one days relief. Both these passages are written for us. I. The pressure of present evil. There is evil in the world; and there will be till Christ come. There is evil in the church. There is sin, confusion, darkness, pain, affliction in many forms, bereavements, persecutions, anxieties, cares, vexations, poverty, hatred, contempt, with many more such evils. They come on us daily. They press hard on us and weigh us down. Each disciple has his own special lot, and peculiar trial. Paul felt his deeply; and we must all feel ours, for we are not made insensible to sorrow by our becoming believers. The Head felt His sorrows, and prayed let this cup pass from me, so the body in all its members feels its sorrows, and desires one of the days of the Son of man, or desires to depart and be with Christ, or longs that the day of reigning were come, or wishes to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. O wretched man that I am, we crying reference to the inner conflict. Woe is me that I dwell in Meshech, we cry concerning the fightings and storms without. II. The anticipation of coming good. This good is called by our Lord the days of the Son of man, in contrast with the present days, which are simply days of man, or mans day, this present evil world. It is called by the apostle the time of reigning, in contrast with the present time of down-treading and persecution. These good days are coming, and we fix our hope upon them. They are blessed, and glorious, and endless. They shall reverse every thing that is evil now, whether pertaining to soul or body, to man and mans earth, to the church and to the world. It is resurrection that we look for; the times of restitution; a kingdom; new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Then all shall be holy, happy, peaceful; the body glorified, the earth renewed, Satan bound, Antichrist overthrown, sorrow turned into joy, the cross exchanged for the crown, the tents of Kedar for the New Jerusalem, the wilderness for Canaan, the weariness of the pilgrimage for the everlasting rest. III. The desire of relief. Pauls words express this desire, and Christs prediction intimates the same thing. We are not expected to be satisfied with pain and sorrow, so as not to long for their removal. We long for deliverance; nay for the most temporary respite, even for one of the days of the Son of man. The burden is at times so heavy that we cry out under it, and wish that the present days were shortened, and the glory hastened. One days respite would be a great thing for us, when overwhelmed at times with evil. But the respite comes not; patience must have her perfect work. There is no sin in the desire; only let it not be impatient. Not my will but thine be done. IV. The frequent disappointment. The sky seems for an hour to clear; and then the clouds return after the rain. The sunshine promises, and then passes away. We seem to come within sight of Canaan, and then another range of desert mountains rises up between. The day seems almost breaking, but it breaks not; the shadows seem just departing, but they depart not. Often we say, the long road is ending, the next turn will bring us to its termination; and then instead, another long stretch of road lengthens out before us. Often we say, Surely this darkness cannot last, this evil must have spent itself, but in vain we thus think. The time is not yet. Often we say, Surely Christ is coming, the reign of crime is ending, the era of holy peace is at hand, the kingdom is going to begin; and then the prospect darkens again; and we seem to hear the voice, Not yet, not yet. Often we cry, How long, and the answer is Wait, be patient, stablish your hearts; it will not be long. V. The kingdom at last. These are sure things. They will come at last, though on the back of many disappointments. He that shall come will come and will not tarry. The signs of the times have often cheated us, but at length they shall be found true. They will introduce the kingdom and the rest. The glory shall break forth; the Son of man shall be revealed; He who is our life shall appear. The ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs; the days of our mourning shall be ended; sorrow and sighing shall flee away. VI. The connection between present evil and future good. Our present light affliction worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Present evil is that out of which the coming good is to spring. Light is sown for the righteous; but it is sown in darkness. It is out of sickness and darkness that our immortal health and strength are to come. The grave is the birthplace of incorruption. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. Thus God shall overcome evil with good; out of sin educing holiness; out of our brief sorrow the eternal joy. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. 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Lords Day 5, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. " />Leaf from Leaf Christina Rossetti (18301894) Leaf from leaf Christ knows; Himself the Lily and the Rose: Sheep from sheep Christ tells; Himself the Shepherd, no one else: Star and star He names, Himself outblazing all their flames: Dove by dove, He calls To set each on the golden walls: Drop by drop, He counts The flood of ocean as it mounts: Grain by grain, His hand Numbers the innumerable sand. Lord, I lift to Thee In peace what is and what shall be: Lord in peace I trust To Thee all spirits and all dust. Christina Rossetti, Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1993). 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6 The Past, Present, And Future Of A Christian Man. These words describe a Christians past, his present, and his future. In the past he was all unrighteousness. In the present he is washed, sanctified, justified. In the future he possesses the kingdom. I. His past. It is one of sin, utter sin. It may, or it may not be marked by those horrid sins which the ninth verse describes; but it is all unrighteousness; from beginning to end, unrighteousness. The past of these Corinthians had been fearful. In outward sin among the worst of heathendom; the chief of sinners; scarlet and crimson sins; overflowing with abominable crimes. We may not have reached the same pitch of daring wickedness; but we have been unrighteous, and that is enough; transgressors of the law. The rest is simply a question of degrees; a little more or a little less. One might say, I was not an idolater, or a fornicator, or a drunkard. Be it so. You were an unrighteous man, and that is enough. You may have done good deeds, spoken good words, borne a good character, lived a good life, yet you were an unrighteous man; and if you do not know this, you are no Christian, You know nothing of yourself. II. His present. It is the complete reversal of the past. Not reformation merely, but transformation; such a transformation as God only could accomplish; so complete, that he who has undergone it could hardly know himself again. It is Gods work; it is through the name of Jesus; it is by the Spirit of God. And he who describes the change was one who knew it by experience; one who had been a blasphemer, a persecutor, a murderer, but who can now tell of his washing, his sanctifying, his justifying; and who can say, our God. The transformation is threefold: (1.) Ye are washed. Or it may be, Ye washed off these. The figure here is not that of baptism, but of the ritual washings, the Levitical purgations, which David referred to when he said, Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than the snow; to which Ezekiel referred when he said, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you; to which Zechariah referred when he spoke of the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. The man is turned from an unclean into a clean thing. His filthy garments are taken off. Now ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you. This is the cleansing with the washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:26). (2.) Ye are sanctified. This is more than the washing. It is something to which the washing is preliminary. It refers specially to consecration or setting apart for the service of God. As the vessels of the sanctuary were first washed, and then set apart with blood,the blood of consecration,so is it with us. We are first washed, and then the blood is sprinkled on us for consecration or sanctifying. With this setting apart for God begins the inward work of sanctification; for the two things are inseparable. Formerly we were vessels dedicated to the worlds service, or Satans service; now to the service of the living and holy Lord God. (3.) Ye are justified. This is yet another step. It is the stamping of these consecrated vessels with a far higher value than they possessed. We are not only consecrated to Gods service, but made righteous with the righteousness of God,justified, raised up to a higher level, because of our oneness with the righteous One. First of all, we are clean as He is clean; then, we are set apart as He is set apart; then, we are righteous as He is righteous. Cleansed, sanctified, justified, these are the three conditions or privileges into which a believing man is brought. All this in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. The name washes, sanctifies, justifies. It is a name of power, containing everything in it that a sinner needs. He who consents to use it gets all that it contains or can procure! The Spirit washes, sanctifies, justifies. He has His part to do in all these; and He does it as the Spirit of Omnipotence! Oh the transformation which that name and that Spirit can accomplish! III. His future. It is the possession of a kingdom. The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God; but they who are washed, sanctified, and justified shall! They are kings and priests, and shall sit upon the throne of Christ, and inherit the kingdom that cannot be moved. It is (1.) The kingdom of God. His in every sense and aspect; Gods kingdom; Christs kingdom; the kingdom of heaven. (2.) An eternal kingdom. It cannot be moved, but shall stand for ever,unchangeable, incorruptible. (3.) A holy kingdom. Into it nothing that defileth shall enter. No sin, no imperfection, no death, no evil thing pertaining either to soul or body. (4.) A glorious kingdom. There the glory dwells, illuminating it in all its circuit. No night there; no darkness; no shadow. All glorious; the King, his princes, his subjects, his palace, his dominions everywhere. Glory dwelleth in Immanuels land! Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 6, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Mortification O divine Lawgiver, I take shame to myself for open violations to thy law, for my secret faults, my omissions of duty, my unprofitable attendance upon means of grace, my carnality in worshipping thee, and all the sins of my holy things. My iniquities are increased over my head: My trespasses are known in the heavens, and there Christ is gone also, my Advocate with the Father, my propitiation for sins, and I hear his word of peace. At present it is a day of small things with me, I have light enough to see my darkness, sensibility enough to feel the hardness of my heart, spirituality enough to mourn my want of a heavenly mind; but I might have had more, I ought to have had more, I have never been straitened in thee, thou hast always placed before me an infinite fullness, and I have not taken it. I confess and bewail my deficiencies and backslidings: I mourn my numberless failures, my incorrigibility under rebukes, my want of profiting under ordinances of mercy, my neglect of opportunities for usefulness. It is not with me as in months past; O recall me to thyself, and enable me to feel my first love. May my improvements correspond with my privileges, May my will accept the decisions of my judgement, my choice be that which conscience approves, and may I never condemn myself in the things I allow! The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002). 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lords freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christs slave. 1 Corinthians 7 The Servant And The Freeman Of Christ. A Christian is one who is called, not by self or man, but by God. The voice that calls him is almighty, irresistible. He must needs obey. He is born of the will of God. He is called in the Lord. This refers not so much to his being called by the Lord, as to his being called to be in the Lord. Christ in him and he in Christ, this is his standing. As once he was in the world, and in himself, so now he is in the Lord. He is not of any one nation. According to the flesh, he may be a Jew or a Gentile, a Greek or a Roman, a barbarian, a Scythian, an African, an Indian, or a Briton. According to the Spirit, his nationality is not of earth; his citizenship is in heaven. He is not of any special condition or rank. He may be a servant or a master, a peasant or a monarch, a merchant or a ploughman, a man of learning or a half-witted beggar. Yet these two things are common to each,he is called, and he is in the Lord. The other things connected with him are unessential and unenduring. These two only are important and abiding. Keeping this in mind, the apostle takes up the two great conditions of society in his day,master and slave,in order to bring out the true and high bearing of Christianity on these. If you be a servant, what then? If a master, what then? These are the two questions he answers. The answers to these two questions are contained in these two statements. A Christian is the Lords freeman; a Christian is Christs servant. I. A Christian is the Lords freeman. This expression means the following things: (1.) He was once a slave. He was not born free. He did not free himself. Like Israel in Egypt, he was delivered. (2.) He was set free by the Lord. The name of his liberator is a glorious one; one betokening power and authority. His former masters were sin, the flesh, the devil. From these this mighty Lord hath set him free. (3.) As a free man he still belongs to Christ. Nay, he belongs more to Him than ever; more to Him than to his former masters. A new tie has been formed between him and the Lord; the tie of liberty; the tie of love; the tie of gratitude. (4.) His life is one of liberty. There is no return to bondage. All is the joy of freedom, Christs own freedom; true, heavenly liberty; liberty in every part; perfect throughout; yet not the liberty of self-will. (5.) His is liberty which earthly service cannot affect. He may be a slave or a prisoner, he is still the Lords freeman. Hands, and feet, and body may be in chains, he is as free as ever. No earthly bondage can intermeddle with or neutralize this liberty. But how and when does all this begin? In what way is it carried on? (1.) Ye are bought with a price. A ransom has been paid for our liberation; and the spring of all our liberty comes from this ransom. Christ hath redeemed us. We are redeemed not with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ. (2.) If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Our liberty is the direct work of the Son of God. He unbinds us and disimprisons us. He became a bondman for us. He took our chains and prison that we might have his liberty. (3.) The truth shall make you free. The truth revealed in Christ contains in it all liberating elements and ingredients. It neutralizes and undoes all that made us slaves. And from the moment that we know it we are free! Our belief of this liberating truth sets us at full liberty. II. A Christian is Christs servant. Freed from one service which is bondage, he enters another which is liberty. Though free, he is a servant! Free because a servant! A servant because free! Such is the wonderful yet happy contradiction. As Messiah is the Fathers servant, come to do His will, so are we Messiahs servants, engaged to do His will. Thus we are both freemen and servants, truly both. And we begin our liberty and our service at the same time and in the same way. That truth which sets us free, introduces us into service. The two, so far from being incompatible, are harmonious and helpful to each other. If we are Christs servants, then we wear His livery; we dwell in His house; we do His work; we fix our eye on Him; we merge our wills in His; we get His wages, His reward,Well done good and faithful servant. Let us then realize and act out both our freemanship and our service faithfully and fully; at all times; all places; all conditions. Freemen, yet servants always! Servants, yet freemen always. Let us close with the apostolic use of this truth. Are we masters? Let us remember we are Christs servants, and only masters under Him; let this keep us humble and kind. We have a good, kind Master; let us be good and kind. Are we servants? Let not this trouble us or make us fretful. We are the Lords freemen! That makes up for all. Though we were chained, imprisoned, exiled, like Paul at Rome, or John at Patmos, we are free! Nothing on earth can interfere with this privilege, or rob us of this honour; we are free indeed. Ours is glorious liberty. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 7, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 85. (s. m.) Salvation, righteousness, and strength in Christ. Isa. xlv. 2125 Isaac Watts (1674-1748) The Lord on high proclaims His Godhead from his throne: Mercy and justice are the names By which I will be known. Ye dying souls that sit In darkness and distress, Look from the borders of the pit To my recovring grace. Sinners shall hear the sound; Their thankful tongues shall own, Our righteousness and strength is found In thee, the Lord, alone. In thee shall Isrel trust, And see their guilt forgivn; God will pronounce the sinners just, And take the saints to heavn. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7 True Service And True Freedom. There is a liberty which no human bondage can affect or curtail,If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed; and there is a bondage which no high sounding words about liberty can break or loosen,They promise them liberty, while they themselves are the servants of corruption. Where the truth reigns in the soul there is liberty; where error prevails there is bondage; for truth liberates, error enslaves. The great words of our day, liberty, liberal, and liberalism, may come from hearts in bondage to sin, and may be perhaps the worst indications of that deep hatred of God, which cannot tolerate any holy restraints either upon their opinions or their lives. Liberalism is often the worst form of intolerance. But let us look at the Apostles line of argument with these Corinthian saints. Were you called to Christ when a slave? he asks. Dont concern yourself about that, he answers; only if you may be free, avail yourself of the opportunity. He who is called while a slave, is not the less Christs freeman; and he that is called while free, is not the less Christs servant. In whatever state you are, bond or free, remember to abide with God; His fellowship sanctifies and sweetens every condition of human life. Mark the fullness of His statement: (1.) Ye are bought. The price has been paid down. Previous ownership is dissolved. (2.) Ye are bought with a price. That means with a good large sum; not for a trifle. (3.) Ye are bought by Christ. Jesus is the purchaser. He wanted you for His property, and so he paid the full and heavy price. (4.) Ye are bought for Christ. Not for another. Not to be sold again. His forever. (5.) Ye are bought for a kingdom. Not to be servants, but kings. Heirs of God. If these things are so, how incongruous, how degrading, to be the servants of men! This exhortation is very needful; for Christians are too prone to forget their true liberty and dignity; nay, to sell these,to despise their birthright for some earthly consideration, some poor mess of pottage. Be not the servants of men! Ye who are Christs blood-bought freemen,do not stoop to such bondage and degradation. Be not the servants of (1.) Custom. Earths customs and manners too often come between us and our birthright. Be on your guard. (2.) Pleasure. Slaves of pleasure,of lust, of vanity, of gaiety, of folly,how inconsistent with Christs freemen! (3.) Business. Yes, even of lawful business, men are often slaves. Shall Christs freemen be so? (4.) Opinion. We fall into what is called public opinion, and shrink from independent thought and action. (5.) Routine. The course of this world is often our only reason for a certain line of action. We do as others do; we allow our time to be broken up by worldly calls, parties, dinners, meetings, when as Christs servants we ought to be doing His work. The routine of the world is carried into the church; and the routine of the religious world is weariness and slavery. Do not be hangers on of the great, or rich, or influential, either in church or state. Do not be subservient to the leaders of party, or the representatives of public opinion, or the politicians of the day. Quit you like men. Be independent. Act on your own judgment, and follow out your own honest conclusions. Be not carried away with the excitement of controversy, or the enthusiasm of partisanship. Do not be obsequious, trimming, or facing both ways. Be upright before God and man. One is your Master, even Christ; follow Him. To follow others is to bring ourselves into bondage; to make ourselves servants of men. Be calm, be steadfast and unmovable, with your eye upon the great day of sifting, when the Judge shall reckon with you as to your fidelity to Himself Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ bath made us free. Be not carried away either with the fear of the many. Be not overawed by the fear of man, which bringeth a snare, or influenced by the love of his approbation, which is no less ensnaring. To your own Master you stand or fall. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 8, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn LXVI. Trust of the wicked, and the righteous compared. Jeremiah xvii. 58. John Newton (17251807) As parched in the barren sands Beneath a burning sky, The worthless bramble withring stands, And only grows to die. Such is the sinners aweful case, Who makes the world his trust; And dares his confidence to place In vanity and dust. A secret curse destroys his root, And dries his moisture up; He lives awhile, but bears no fruit, Then dies without a hope. But happy he whose hopes depend Upon the Lord alone; The soul that trusts in such a friend, Can neer be overthrown. Tho gourds should wither, cisterns break, And creaturecomforts die; No change his solid hope can shake, Or stop his sure supply. So thrives and blooms the tree whose roots By constant streams are fed; Arrayd in green, and rich in fruits, It rears its branching head. It thrives, though rain should be denyd, And drought around prevail; Tis planted by a rivers side Whose waters cannot fail. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7 A Vanishing World. In the midst of counsels and exhortations about the relationships of life, the apostle stops abruptly, and interposes an emphatical announcement bearing upon all these relationships, but this I say, brethren, as if lifting up his voice more loudly, and interrupting the line of discourse, by the proclamation of these three parenthetical verses, a proclamation importing this, but after all brethren, these are but the little things of earth, the transient and temporary arrangements of our brief life below; let them not be exalted or magnified beyond their due; they are but the arrangements of a day; not to have any stress laid on them or importance attached to them, seeing they shall so soon end, and the world of which they form a part shall so speedily vanish away. Mark (1) the two special truths which begin and end this emphatic announcement; (2) the conclusions to be drawn from these. I. The two special truths. For we take the commencing and concluding declarations as linked together; forming either one great and solemn truth or two kindred truths, bearing both on certain duties and on our estimate of the importance of the things of our daily life. These must be measured by the shortness of time, and the length of eternity. (1.) The time is short. It is cut short or contracted; it is the time referred to by our Lord (Romans 13:12) the night is far spent, or foreshortened. It is short for (1) So much is already spent and little remains; (2) Our individual life is brief, even at the longest; (3) The worlds history is drawing to a close; (4) The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Truly the time is short; and each ending year and setting sun says to us, the time is short, it is becoming shorter and shorter. What is our life? It is but a vapor (James 4:4). Our days are swifter than a weavers shuttle (Job 7:6). Man that is born of a woman is of few days; he cometh forth as a flower and is cut down, he fleeth as a shadow and continueth not (Job 14:1-2). The end of all things is at hand (2 Peter 4:7). (2.) The fashion of this world passeth away. The outward form, or scene, or figure of this world is passing, or is just about to pass away. This fashion is what the Apostle John refers to in warning us against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (or glorying in the good things of life); and of this he says the world passeth away. Yes; like a flower; like a mist; like a shadow; like a dream; like a rainbow; like a vision of the night it passeth away; that which we admire in it, and call beautiful, that which men have all along been fascinated by, its glory, its pomp, its glitter, its splendor, its gaiety, its beauty and excellency and grandeur, shall pass away; its songs, and jests, and mirth, and ringing laughter; its shows, its spectacles, its concerts, its balls, its theatres, its operas, with all its haunts of uncleanness and debauchery, its revellings, and banquetings, surfeitings and idolatries of the flesh, all shall pass away. These are not enduring things. Even at their best and purest they are the things of an hour. They fade as a leaf. They are crushed as a flower. They die away like the breeze. A short life is that of the world at its longest; shorter still that of the men of the world; and shortest of all is the frail and shifting fashion of the world. Vanity of vanities! All is vanity! II. The lessons to be drawn from them. The substance of these lessons is that all earthly things are of minor moment, and ought not to be lifted out of their place, so as to engross us too much, or to be estimated at too high a rate. They are not eternal. They vanish with a vanishing world, and ought to be estimated accordingly. The seen and the corporeal never can be placed beside the unseen and the eternal. (1.) Earthly relationships are of lesser moment. It remaineth (or henceforth during the contracted space that is left) that both they who have wives, be as though they had none. The nearest human relationship will soon be dissolved; the closest earthly tie will soon be snapped. Let us not then over estimate it, or give it undue prominence. Let us keep even it, in its proper place. It is, after all, among the things that are seen and temporal. Husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, child, will soon remove; and each soul, unrelationed, unlinked with others, pass from earth alone, into the presence of God. (2.) Earthly sorrows are of lesser moment. Sorrow is in itself no trifle. Tears are real things. We do not weep for nothing; nor shall we find that a needless piece of kindness that God shall do for us, when He shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. Still tears are among the things seen and temporal. They are unknown in heaven. Our weeping time is so short, that we must not make too much of times sorrows. The vale of tears is not a long one. We shall soon be beyond it; and we shall wonder why we gave way to a sadness that was so soon to end, and to be exchanged for the perfect gladness and the everlasting song. (3.) Earthly joys are of lesser moment. Joy is a real thing. Our hearts were made for gladness. We ought not to despise joy; nor indeed can we afford to do it. We are warranted in making much of joy; only let it not be too much. Let us keep our joys in their proper place; calmly taking them when they come, or as calmly foregoing them when they come not. For the time is short, and the joys we have here will soon be done. The fashion of this world passeth away; let us not then overvalue joy; but take it as if we had it not; sitting tranquilly loose to all that we can gain or lose. (4.) Earthly business is of lesser moment. Our buying and selling will soon be done. Our merchandize will ere long disappear, for it is part of the fashion of that world which passeth away. Let us be diligent in business, but let us not overrate its importance, nor be engrossed by it. We shall soon buy no more; and sell no more; and make gain no more; and possess no more. Why so eager in business, as if it were eternal? Why so anxious to lay up treasure on earth, where the moth will corrupt it, and the thief break through and steal? Is it worth our while to be so much in earnest about the things that perish with the using? (5.) Earthly gratifications are of lesser moment. They that use this world as not abusing it (or rather as not using it at all). We must use this world while we are in it; we must use its meat, and drink, and raiment; its comforts, its money, its friendships, its necessary recreations, and gratifications. But we are to sit loose from all these; not setting our heart upon them; but holding them as if letting them go, using them as if not using them. They are not sinful, and need not, therefore, be rejected; but they must be kept in their proper place, not coveted nor idolized. For the time is short, and the fashion of this world passeth away. Let the world be no world to us, in comparison of the glory and beauty, the magnitude and the eternity, of the world to come. Thus, then, is our whole earthly life, in all its parts, to be regulated by the magnitude of the eternal. Things present must be subordinated to those which are to come, the seen to the unseen, the earthly to the heavenly. It is by the light of the coming glory that we must walk while here. It is from the clock of eternity that our time is to be always taken. Arrange your business, your recreations, your duties with reference to the invisible and unending future. Live, speak, work, move, as those who believe that the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. 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Lords Day 9, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Petitionary Hymns Poem XXXVIII. Phil. ii. 5. Let this mind he in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Augustus Toplady (17401778) Lord I feel a carnal mind That hangs about me still, Vainly tho I strive to bind My own rebellious will; Is not haughtiness of heart The gulf between my God and me? Meek Redeemer now impart Thine own humility. Fain would I my Lord pursue, Be all my Saviour taught, Do as Jesus bid me do, And think as Jesus thought: But tis thou must change my heart, The perfect gift must come from thee: Meek Redeemer now impart Thine own humility. Lord, I cannot, must not rest, Till I thy mind obtain, Chase presumption from my breast, And all thy mildness gain; Give me, Lord, thy gentle heart, Thy lowly mind my portion be: Meek Redeemer now impart Thine own humility. Let thy cross my will control: Conform me to my guide; In thine image mould my soul, And crucify my pride; Give me, Lord, a contrite heart, A heart that always looks to thee: Meek Redeemer, now impart Thine own humility. Tear away my evry boast, My stubborn mind abase; Saviour, fix my only trust In thy redeeming grace: Give me a submissive heart, From pride and self dependance free; Meek Redeemer, now impart Thine own humility. The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady (Sprinkle Publications, 1987). 4Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. 1 Corinthians 8 The Many Gods And The One God. The meaning of this passage might be more fully expressed thus: As concerning the things sacrificed to idols, we know that an idol is a nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one; but even were there those beings that are called gods, either in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are gods many and lords many (gods and demigods as they are called), yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him (for His service and glory, ?? and ? contrasted); and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. It is like Joshuas as for me (Joshua 24:15). Here are (1) the worlds many gods; (2) the saints one God; (3) the saints one Christ. I. The worlds many gods. To make gods for himself has been mans great object all along. Every nation has had its gods, and every age. Assyria had its gods; Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome. Men multiplied gods without number. Everything or anything that could be a substitute for God, in any shape, animate or inanimate, men set up and worshipped. They were never tired of god-making. All of them vanity; things that profit nothing; vain helpers in the time of need. O world! what will become of thy many gods in the day when Jehovah arises to shake terribly the earth? And what profit will these gods afford the millions who have fled to them for refuge? Is there no god-making still, even in our day? Money, business, pleasure, lusts, luxuries! Are not these thy gods, O world? And are these better than the gods of Greece? Will they prove more helpful in the day of trouble than Baal, or Jupiter, or Buddha? Will they forgive, and save, and comfort? II. The saints one God. Yes; one only, the living and the true God. Jehovah is His name. With undistracted eye the Christian looks but to One, not many; with undivided heart he fixes on One, not many; His heart was made for only One, and that one sufficient to fill his whole heart, and soul, and being. How the thought of that one God,infinite, eternal, and unchangeable,makes all that are called gods to vanish utterly away. One infinite Jehovah, King eternal, immortal and invisible, He is our portion. Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul. We need no other; we need no more. This God is our God. Whom have we in heaven but Him, and whom on earth do we desire besides Him? One God, Jehovah, King of kings, and Lord of lords, Creator of heaven and earth, who filleth all in all, this is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death (Psalm 48:14). III. The saints one Christ. To us there is but one Lord Jesus Christ. As there are many beings who go under the name of God, so are there many who go under the name of Christ, yet there is but one Christ, not two, nor many. The tendency of the present day is to multiply Christs. A Christ as the impersonation or representative of humanity is quite in accordance with the spirit of the age. But every one wants to have his own Christ, just as each heathen wanted to have his own god; the Christ that suits his own fancy, or his own philosophy, or his own intellect, or his own circumstances. So that there are many Christs in the world even among those who profess to take the Bible as their instructor; still more among those who reject it; for even among those there is a groping after a Christ, and the cry goes up, Ecce Homo! Some want a Christ who is not God; others a Christ who is not a sacrifice; a Christ without a cross, and without blood; a Christ who will teach but not expiate sin; a Christ whose life and death are an example of self-surrender to the utmost, but not an atonement; a Christ who is not a judge, nor a law-giver, nor a priest, and only a prophet in the sense of teacher. Thus in the present day there are many Christs. It has been so all along; only the apostle John calls them not Christs but Antichristsmany Antichrists. To us there is but one Christ. He who was announced as the womans seed; He of whom Abels sacrifice spoke; He of whom Enoch prophesied as the avenger; He who was revealed to Abraham as his seed; He of whom Job spoke as the Redeemer; He of whom Moses spoke as the Prophet; of whose work the whole book of Leviticus is full; He of whom David sang, as the sufferer, yet the King; He of whom Isaiah and all the prophets sang; He who proclaimed Himself as come to seek the lost; to whom John the Baptist pointed as the Lamb of God; who hung on the cross, and died in anguish, yet rose again and ascended on high; He is the one Christ whom we recognize. If thus, then, there is but one Christ, then there is but (1.) One cross. Only one; the cross in which Paul gloried, and on which our Surety hung. To acknowledge that one cross is life; to reject it is death. (2.) One Priest. Jesus, our great High Priest, whose is the one unchangeable and everlasting Priesthood; Jesus, who suffered the just for the unjust, and now ever liveth to make intercession for us! (3.) One altar. The altar of the great burnt-offering is the one altar for us. If there be many Christs, there may be many altars; if one Christ, then but one altar. (4.) One sacrifice. Only one! No victim but the one Christ. No blood but that of the one Christ. All self appointed, self-made sacrifices are vain. They cannot take away sin. The one offering can. (5.) One way to the kingdom. There is but a single gate, and a single way; yet these suffice. We need no more. I am the way. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. 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Lords Day 10, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. A Song of Praise for Answer to Prayer John Mason (16451694) What are the heavens, O God of heaven! Thou art more bright, more high? What are bright stars, and brighter saints, To Thy bright Majesty? Thou art far above the songs of heaven, Sung by Thy holy ones; And dost Thou stoop and bow thine ear, To a poor sinners groans? God minds the language of my heart, My groans and sighs he hears; He hath a book for my requests, A bottle for my tears. But did not my Saviors blood First wash away their guilt; My sighs would prove but empty air, My Tears would all be spilt. Lord, thine eternal Spirit was My Advocate within: But O, my smoke joined with thy flame, My prayer was mixed with sin. But then Christ was my Altar, and My Advocate above; His blood did clear my prayer, and gained An answer full of love. It could not be that Thou shouldst hear A mortal sinful worm; But that my prayers presented are In a more glorious form. Christs hands took my requests, And turned my dross to gold; His blood put warmth into my prayers, Which were by nature cold. Thou heardst my groans for Jesus sake, Whom Thou dost hear always; Lord, hear through that prevailing name, My voice of joy and praise. Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). 1For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 1 Corinthians 10 The One Church Of God. The apostles argument here may be thus paraphrased: Moreover, brethren, let me remind you of some well known incidents in the history of our fathers; let me remind you of the cloud and of the sea; how our fathers marched under that cloud, and through that sea; how by that cloud and sea they were pledged to Moses as their leader (as we by the baptismal water are to Christ); how they did all eat the same spiritual meat, and drink the same spiritual drink as we do (in their symbolic manna and water); how all of them were put in possession of the same divine privileges in Christ as we; yet they incurred Jehovahs displeasure, and died in the wilderness. See what happened to them! Be warned. Let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (See Hebrew 3:719, 4:1, 2.) The passage has many aspects. It brings Christ before us, the same yesterday, today, and forever. It exhibits the church of all ages,its dangers, temptations, apostacies, unbelief, unfaithfulness. It illustrates the divine purpose and plan in the history of Gods chosen and called ones here. The basis of the apostles statement in it is a fragment of Israels history,a history all full of meaning, a history meant for us in these last days, a history which whether in parts or in whole, is a divine picture for the study of the Gentile church, and of every saint in every age. Let us take the passage in its exhibition of the church. I. The oneness of the church. Israel was but a fragment of one great whole, one single vein of Gods infinite mine. Even in Israels days Gentiles were brought into this whole, and became part of the church; but before Abraham was the church of God existed. As Messiah in Isaiah calls the church his body (Isaiah 26:19), so in the Psalms He calls it the church of the saints (Psalm 149:1). One church from the first believing soul down to the last,redeemed from among men; the church of whose members the eleventh of the Hebrews gives us some instances. One, because (1) bought with one price; (2) washed with one blood; (3) clothed with one righteousness; (4) filled with one Spirit; (5) animated with one life; (6) loved with one love. These things belong to the saints of all ages and nations; all one church in Christ. II. The oneness of the bread. It is on bread that this body, the church, is fed and nourished; but this is no earthly bread; no mere manna, nor even corn of Israels fields. It is the true bread; the bread of God; the bread which came down from heaven; the living bread; the bread which Israels manna only figured or symbolized. It is the same bread for all ages and nations; for all churches and all saints: They did all eat the same spiritual meat. The fathers from the beginning had but one table, one feast, one bread. Thus they were nourished up unto life eternal. That which a redeemed sinner is to feed upon must be the same in every age; for that which is to be nourished is the same, the appetite is the same, and the strength and stature into which they are to grow is the same. Sometimes it was typified by the flesh of the sacrifice; sometimes by the shew-bread; sometimes by the manna; sometimes by the fruits of the garden (Revelation 2:7). But all these pointed to the one heavenly bread,Jesus, the Christ of God; to His broken body; to His flesh, which is meat indeed; to His whole person as the very and true bread of God, on which the church has been feeding from the beginning, and will feed to the end. This is the one bread which has satisfied the churchs hunger all along; which sharpens even while it appeases the appetite; which suits itself to the thousand varied cases and constitutions; which creates as well as nourishes spiritual life; which invigorates the churchs strength, and knits together the various members of the one body; producing a unity, and sympathy, and identity between them all which nothing else could do. The bread on which Paul fed is the same on which Abel fed. What a link, what a fellowship is this! The bread on which we feed in these last days is that on which Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David fed. What a fellowship is this! One body and one bread! Christ the one true bread for the sustenance of the one church; even of all who have been purchased by His one precious blood, and made alive by His one mighty Spirit, the one Spirit of life, the one Spirit of adoption, the one Spirit of grace and of glory. There are not two bodies, but one, so there are not two kinds of bread, but one; and that one suffices for every age. It is everlasting bread. It is the eternal loaf, of which the whole family have eaten, and which yet remains undiminished and unchanged; still capable of feeding millions and millions more. III. The oneness of the water. They did all drink the same spiritual drink. The whole church,all saints; not only Israel, but the saints before Israel, and the saints since these days. They were all baptized into one Spirit, and all drank the one living water, out of the one eternal well. It was not one water for the Old Testament saints, and another for the New; but one for all. There was but one drink that could quench the thirst, and it was supplied abundantly from the beginning. The living water is the Holy Spirit, as we read in John (7:37, 38), where, after recording Christs proclamation of living water in the temple, the evangelist adds, This spake He of the Spirit. It is of this living water that Isaiah speaks (55:1); of it also it is that Jesus speaks to the woman of Sychar; of it also that John speaks in the Revelation (21:6, 22:17). In the passage before us it is specially connected with the Rock. It is not a well, or a river, or a fountain, but a rock,the rock of the desert,and that Rock was Christ. For it is Christ that contains the fullness of the Spirit for us. He is the Rock which holds the water; the Rock which, when touched by the rod of faith, pours forth its riches. One rock and one water from the beginning, for the one body, the one church; the rock of the desert, the rock which stands hard by the mountain of the law, yet which is not of it; the rock beside which faith stands, which faith touches, and which, to such a touch, yields its gushing fullness. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters! IV. The oneness of the way. It is through the desert. Israels desert was but a type of the churchs. Israels forty years marches and encampments were but specimens and illustrations of ours. Differences there have been and will be; yet substantially the way is the same, the perils the same, the difficulties the same, the sorrows the same. One way! Yes, one way from the first; sure and safe, yet rough, and hard, and dark. That way is not of chance, nor by the laws of nature or society; but directly of divine appointment. Each turn is arranged. Its beginning, duration, course, ending, are all divinely planned. God, in His pillar cloud, is our guide, protector, shade, security, so that we fear no evil. God in Christ is our companion, and friend, and comforter all through. It is His way, not ours; and it is good. We are strangers and pilgrims as were all the fathers,Abraham (Hebrew 11:13), David, all the saints of old (1 Chronicles 29:15). One way! Only one way to the one city for the millions of the saved. While, in one sense, we say that the wilderness is the way, in another, we say that Christ is the way: I am the way. What a truth for our day, when more than ever men are walking in ways of their own, and imagining that these ways are as numerous and as diverse as the feet that tread them, or the vain hearts that devise them. V. The oneness of the discipline. The way is that of discipline and education throughout. The road may be longer or shorter, darker or brighter, still it is on that way that God deals with His own in discipline. As there is a oneness in discipline, so is there a oneness in sin, and backsliding, and unbelief in the tendency to depart from the living God. The discipline is various, yet one; it is suited to the case of each, yet is, up to a certain point, the same in all. The church has always needed this; and the interval between her being called and her reaching the inheritance is the time during which it is exercised. God does it Himself. He appoints it, provides it, carries it out. Each days trials, each days work, each days business, each days crosses, each days cares and burdens,all these are discipline. They are, whether lighter or heavier, the rebukings and chastenings of Him into whose family we have been brought. He proves us, tries us, sifts us, empties us from vessel to vessel, tosses us up and down that the chaff may be blown away. He does not allow us to sit down, and say, This is my rest. He makes us feel that this is not our rest. Satan is here; sin is here; the flesh is here; pain is here; human passions are here; death is here; there cannot be rest. Thus God has dealt in past ages with His one family,His sons and daughters,His church; and thus He deals with them still. Israels discipline in the desert, is the churchs discipline till she enters Canaan. Through much tribulation she must enter the kingdom of heavens one rod, one hand, one wisdom, one love, for the one family, from the first. VI. The oneness of the inheritance. The inheritance is not mentioned in our passage; but it is assumed; for the wilderness does not last forever, and the issue of the churchs pilgrimage is glory. Israels journey was toward Canaan; her hope was the land flowing with milk and honey, and her eye was on that goodly mountain, even Lebanon. All her tribes and families had one hope; and with that one hope in view they pressed forward. So for us there is one hope; the hope of the saints from the beginning; the churchs heritage and kingdom; the glory to be revealed in the day of the Lords appearing. One hope, one recompense, one glory, one kingdom, one inheritance, one eternal throne for herself and for her Lord. An inheritance it is, incorruptible and undefiled; made up of many parts, as we see in the epistles to the seven churches, yet but one, the inheritance of the saints in light; the center of which is the new Jerusalem,the circumference, the illimitable universe of Gods wide and glorious creation. (1.) Learn our fellowship with all saints. Oneness with the church from the first day of salvation is our privilege. We stand side by side with them, see the same sights, hear the same sounds, use the same words, stand before the same altar, eat the same bread, drink the same water. We are made able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length, what is the depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. (2.) Learn the common standing of all redeemed men. Their feet are on the one Rock of Ages. They are washed in the same blood. They are gathered round the one cross of Christ. Not one higher or lower; not the New Testament saints higher than the Old, but all alike occupying the same ground provided for sinners by the one Redeemer of the church. (3.) Learn the strength for a holy walk. There is food provided; there is spiritual drink; there is companionship on the way,all the saints are there; there is Christ himself our guide, keeper, light, life, strength. How inexcusable if we be inconsistent! And what a warning in the case of Israel! With some of them God was not well pleased. They turned aside, they disbelieved His word, they followed idols. Let us take heed. God expects us to be holy; and He has provided for our being so. Onward then, right onward, through rough and smooth, through sorrow and joy, till we rest in Jerusalem. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. 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Lords Day 11, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Heavenly Sowing. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Sower divine! Sow the good seed in me, Seed for eternity. Tis a rough barren soil. Yet by Thy care and toil. Make it a fruitful field, An hundred fold to yield. Sower divine, Plough up this heart of mine! Sower divine! Quit not this wretched field Till Thou hast made it yield; Sow Thou by day and night, In darkness and in light; Stay not Thy hand, but sow, Then shall the harvest grow. Sower divine, Sow deep this heart of mine! Sower divine! Let not this barren clay Lead Thee to turn away; Let not my fruitlessness Provoke Thee not to bless; Let not this field be dry; Refresh it from on high. Sower divine. Water this heart of mine! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 16Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10 The One Loaf. It is only in passing, and as an illustration of his argument on another subject that the apostle introduces the Lords Supper here; and yet how full his statement, how bright the aspect in which he presents it to us! The oneness of the worshipper, even in a heathen temple, with the whole religion or system of worship, and with the false god into whose temple he comes; this is his theme. It is in illustration of this that he reminds us of the Supper. Strange that in connection with a pagan altar and a temple of devils he should be led to give us one of the most striking of all his statements regarding the Supper. He takes the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils, places them side by side, and shews us the one from the other. There is an infinite difference; and yet there is a likeness; for there is a oneness in both between the worshipper and the god worshipped. On this dark canvas of a heathen temple he draws his picture of the holiest of Christian ordinances. In the Evangelists we are shewn the Supper from the Jerusalem upper chamber; in the eleventh chapter of this epistle we see it from a Christian church; here we are shewn it from a heathen temple. He speaks of the cup as symbolizing the body of our Lord which contained the blood or living wine. He puts the cup first, because in speaking of the heathen rites he had already made special mention of the cup first; perhaps also to shew that the order of the two symbols was of no consequence; and perhaps to prevent the possibility of Romish error in refusing the cup to the worshippers. Let us now meditate on the cup and the bread, or the cup and the platter, as set before us here. I. The cup. It may have been of gold, or silver, or brass, or wood; it matters not. It was made of earthly materials, as was the Lords body, and it was the vessel for containing the wine, as was the Lords body for containing His blood,that blood which was drink indeed, which was the new wine of the kingdom. (1.) Its name. The cup of blessing which we bless. All blessing is in Scripture connected with Messiah, His person, and His work. Hence that vessel which so specially points to Him receives this name. It contains blessing,the blessing,the long-promised, long-looked for blessing. The wine in that cup is impregnated with blessing. Every drop of it speaks of blessing,of that which God calls blessing,of that which is fitted to do us good and make us happy, to remove death and give life. The words, which we bless, are not priestly words, spoken to imply the consecration of the elements by a priests blessing. The we is all believers; and the word bless is literally, to speak well of; and the whole expression is, the cup of the well-speaking, of which we speak well, or praise; referring to the united praise and thanksgiving of the worshippers. And of that cup it is meet that we speak well. Though its literal contents are simply wine; yet that wine is the divine symbol of all blessing; so that we may say truly. Its contents are blessing,every drop fraught with blessing,blessing which faith receives, and in which hope rejoices. (2.) Its meaning. Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? or, is it not communion with the blood of Christ? That wine is then the symbol of the blood; the blood of the new covenant, the everlasting covenant. That blood is the life; and that life is the payment of the sinners penalty: The soul that sinneth it shall die. In that cup there is both death and life,the death of the Surety, and the life flowing out of that death; our death flowing into Him, so that He dies; His life flowing into us, so that we live. Thus the cup is the cup of blessing for the sinner, because it contains both the death and the life. Of this blessing, symbolized by that cup and its contents, we become possessors when we believe on the name of the Son of God; for it is faith that opens up the communication between us and His fullness. But in the Lords Supper there is more visible, more palpable contact, though still of the same kind. Hence, the words of our text, the communion of the blood of Christ. The word communion is properly partnership,partnership in the blood of Christ; all that the blood contains for the soul becoming ours,the whole blood becoming the property of each believer. All its blessings,the paid ransom, the cancelled penalty, the forgiveness, the life, the joy, all becoming ours; we being partakers of Christ, partakers of His blood, partners in His death and life. He, then, that takes that cup is committed to all that it symbolizes; he is counted as one with it; the possessor of its contents; the partaker of its fullness. He is to reckon himself one with Jesus in His death; and God reckons him such. Nothing less. He has the whole, or lie has nothing! It is not a little strength, or healing, or refreshment from the blood which he is made partaker of; but the blood itself, and all that it contains. For the possession, the enjoyment of all that fullness, every communicant is responsible. If be a worthy communicant (a believing man), the blessing will flow in, and these symbols will help the inflow. If he be an unworthy communicant, he is not the less responsible for participation of all that fullness; and that will be his condemnation. He took into his hands the cup of blessing, he put it to his lips, and yet he did not drink one drop! II. The bread. The word more properly signifies the loaf or cake, intimating its original oneness or completeness. It is necessary to keep this in mind, as the point of the apostles argument turns on this. Let us consider. (1.) What the bread signifies. It is bread,the common Passover loaf, unleavened bread,made of the corn of earth; grown in our fields, cut down, gathered in, winnowed, ground, and formed into a loaf for the Passover table. Such was Christs body,our very flesh; born, growing up, ripening, cut down, prepared for our food. A thing by itself; unleavened and pure; free from sin; in all respects fit for the souls food. My flesh is meat indeed. It is Christs body that is thus symbolized and set before us as the whole food and nourishment of our souls. Except we eat His flesh, we have no life in us. (2.) What the breaking of the bread signifies. It points us to the cross; it speaks of a crucified Christ. Not a bone of Him was broken, and yet His body was broken; head, hands, feet, back, side, pierced and bruised and wounded. His body unbroken is no food for us. It is no nourishment for the soul of the sinner. It would not suit our taste, nor satisfy our appetite, nor feed our souls, nor prove wholesome food. We need something in which death is; death as the payment of sins penalty. All without this is tasteless and unnourishing. Hence the unprofitableness of that theology whose center or foundation is not the cross of the substitute; atonement by the death of the surety. The bread which we break, says the apostle, evidently pointing with special emphasis to the breaking, and announcing this as the main feature of the symbol. It is on the broken body of our Lord that we feed. Incarnation without crucifixion does not satisfy the soul. Bethlehem without Golgotha would be mockery. (3.) What our partaking of it signifies. For we do not merely gaze upon it or handle it; we take it and we eat; we eat not in solitude or in our chambers, but as a company at a feast. This act of eating, then, has a twofold signification or reference,a reference to Christ and to ourselves. (a) A reference to Christ. It is communion with the body of Christ, partnership with that body; so that all that is in it of virtue, or health, or strength, or excellence, becomes ours. It is one with us and we with it. The whole fullness of blessing contained in it becomes ours. We reckon ourselves one with it, and God reckons us one with it. As he who eats of the idols bread in a heathen temple is responsible for the whole idolatry of the place, and is so dealt with by God, so he who eats this broken bread in faith is identified with a crucified Christ and all His fullness. Partnership with the body of Christ; how much that implies! (b) A reference to ourselves. It realizes to us the perfect oneness between the members of Christs body. As the loaf is made up of many parts or crumbs, and yet is but one loaf; nay, gets its true oneness from the union of these many parts, so is it with the members of the body of Christ. Many, yet one; one, yet many; the number not marring the oneness, but perfecting it; the oneness not hindering the number but requiring it for its full development. This is one of the numerous symbols used to unfold this peculiar truth. There are others no less expressive. One family, many members. One temple, many stones. One body, many limbs. One loaf, many parts! We may add others. One city, many citizens. One ocean, many drops. One firmament, many stars. One song, many words. One harmony, many notes. One sun, many rays. Thus in these symbols we have partnership with Christ, with His blood, with His body, so that all that He has is ours. Each has the whole fullness, as each inhabitant of earth has the whole sun. Oneness with Christ and oneness with each are embodied in these symbols. We are many, yet one; many members yet one body, and one head. All that He has is ours. His life, our life; His light, our light; His fullness, our fullness; His strength, our strength; His righteousness, our righteousness; His crown, our crown; His glory, our glory; His inheritance, our inheritance: for we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. If these things be so, 1. What a blessed place should the communion table be to us. A Peniel where we prevail with God, and receive the blessing in full. What strength, health, joy, light, should we find there! There the whole fullness of Christ is presented to us. 2. What manner of persons ought we to be. Holy, powerful, separate from the world, like Him by whose body and blood we are nourished. Nothing is lacking to those who have this heavenly communion, this divine partnership. 3. What love and unity should prevail amongst us? One with Christ, one with each other. This ordinance represents the oneness, increases it, cherishes it. Sitting side by side, we are drawn closer to the Lord, closer to each other in and through Him. 4. What longing for the time when we shall see Him face to face. Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Amen! Even so come Lord Jesus. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 12, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. " />Jesus Alone Christina Rossetti (18301894) Jesus alone:if thus it were to me ; Yet thus it cannot be; Lord, I have all things if I have but Thee. Jesus and all:precious His bounties are, Yet He more precious far; Days-eyes are many, one the Morning Star. Jesus my all:so let me rest in love, Thy peaceable poor dove, Some time below till timeless time above. Christina Rossetti, Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1993). [Bonar claims 1 Corinthians 11:20, selecting only the words The Lords Supper, as the text for this sermon, but it can hardly be considered an exposition of that passage. Still, it is an excellent sermon on the Lords Supper.] The Heavenly Banquet. Let me notice here the many words which are connected with the Lord by the apostle: The Lords body, verse 29; the Lords blood, verse 27; the Lords bread, verse 27; the Lords cup, verse 27; the Lords death, verse 26; the Lords supper, 20. For in this ordinance Christ is all and in all; everything here speaks of Jesus, and He speaks in everything; He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. His name is here as ointment poured forth; its spikenard sendeth forth its smell; He is as a bundle of myrrh, a cluster of camphire from the vineyards of Engedi. Here our fig-trees put forth their green figs, and our vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Here is the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense, on which we sit and wait till the day break, and the shadows flee away. Christ is here all and in all. Why does the apostle call it the Lords supper? Supper was the chief meal of the day; and besides, this feast, at its first introduction, was really a supper, like the passover; an evening meal, partaken of at the close of the days toil and weariness: I. The Lord appointed it. On the night in which He was betrayed, He took the bread and wine, saying, Do this in remembrance of me. This then is His commandment. If a stranger ask, What is the meaning of this, and why do you observe this peculiar rite? we answer, The Master has bidden us. He instituted the ordinance, and so we call it by His name, the Lords supper. It is not mans feast, or the churchs feast, it is the feast of the Lord. Each observance of it carries us straight back to the first institution by the Lord Himself. He has bidden us thus shew His death till He come. II. He provides. The feast of fat things is of His providing, so is the table, so is the banqueting house, so is the raiment. All the viands are of His selection, His purchase, His setting out. He is both appointer and provider. The provisions must be rare, and suitable, and nourishing, in such a case. The fruit gathered by Him must be sweet to our taste; the grapes, and pomegranates, and figs, and olives, the milk, and honey, and wine, are all of His procuring. They have come out of His garden and storehouse, they have been gathered, and set on the table by Himself. His wisdom knows what we need, and His love prepares it all. III. He invites. Come, is His message to us! My oxen and fatlings are killed, all things are ready, come to the marriage, come to the feast; eat, O friends; drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved. In coming to the table, do we remind ourselves of Christs invitation, and say to ourselves, I come because the Lord invited me? Who am I that I should refuse His loving message? He bids me, and I come. It is the Lords supper, because He invites us to it. IV. He is Himself the feast. He is the Paschal Lamb. He is the bread and wine. Yes; Christ is Himself the provision, as well as the Provider. It is on His body and blood that we feed; His flesh is meat and His blood is drink indeed. Everything at the table speaks of Christ himself as the real and true food of our souls. All that bread is to us, Christs body is to our souls. All that wine is to us, Christs blood is to our souls; and in partaking of the bread and wine, we feed by faith upon the body and blood of the Lord. V. He partakes with us. He sits at the table Himself, and forms one of our number. The feast is for Him as well as for us. Here we have fellowship with Him and He with us. Here we have the closest and dearest intercourse that we can have on earth. We see eye to eye, we speak face to face. He gives us His love, and we give Him ours. I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine, is the motto of the feast. Such are the reasons why this feast is called the Lords Supper. Seated at this table, and partaking of this Supper, (1.) We look backward. And as we look back, we see the passover, we see the shew bread, we see the cross. These all come before us as we sit at the table. (2.) We look forward. For we shew His death till He come. We fix our eye on the coming glory, on the resurrection blessedness, on the marriage supper of the Lamb. How bright that future seems in a dark world like ours! (3.) We look inward. In doing so, we ask, Is my soul prospering? This feast is meant to nourish, Is it flourishing me? It is meant to quicken all my graces, faith, and love, and hope, Is it doing so to me? It is meant to elevate my affections, Is it doing so to me? Do I find my spiritual being invigorated and quickened by these heavenly viands, and by this divine fellowship? (4.) We look around. Brethren in the Lord are on each side. Our fellow believers, our fellow pilgrims,heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ,fellow citizens of the New Jerusalem. In each face we see one who has joined himself to our common Lord,one who is a member of the one body, whose head is Christ. Love circulates around, as well as joy and peace. (5.) We look outward. We cannot, at a feast like this, forget a world which is famishing; shutting itself out from this heavenly feast, and reveling in its lusts and vanities. Poor world! We say. Thou hast no gracious Master, no heavenly table, no life giving bread and wine. Oh that ye would bethink yourselves, and turn to Him who is the Bread of Life. We pity you, we pray for you, we plead with you to come. For here at this table we find all we need,the fullness of Christ. Here we taste. (1.) His love. It is love that passeth knowledge, the love of Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Yes; the love of Christ fills that cup, and pervades that bread. (2.) His peace and joy. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you. (3.) His consolations. These come to us with special power here. This is the place of comfort, the table of comfort. Here we have Christ as the Comforter, and the Holy Ghost also as such. (4.) His glory. For that glory is our hope, specially at the table. Here we get the foretaste of it. As we eat and drink, we realize the coming glory in the day of His appearing, when that day shall break, and the shadows flee away. Till He come! This is our communion watchword. Till He come! This is the voice of the bread and wine. In them this blessed hope is wrapped up. To this they point and beckon us. Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him! Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 13, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Purification Lord Jesus, I sin Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for thee and not for self, to copy thy words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into thy likeness, to be consecrated wholly to thee, to live entirely to thy glory. Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gall, that with self-loathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to thee, cast myself on thee, trust in thee, cry to thee, be delivered by thee. O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but thou art substance, all things are quicksands, but thou art mountain, all things are shifting, but thou art anchor, all things are ignorance, but thou art wisdom. If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but do thou sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin wilfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian. The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002). 1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand 1 Corinthians 15 The Apostolic Gospel. There had been false teachers at Corinth; teachers bold as well as false; for they struck at the great central truth,the resurrection. The apostolic message was, Christ is risen; theirs was, Christ is not risen. They laid the axe to the root of the tree. If they did not attempt to cut down His cross, they tried to destroy His tomb. As they boldly denied, so does the apostle fearlessly assert, the resurrection as the substance of the Christians hope, and the essence of the gospel. But he does not content himself with this. He goes over the whole field. He begins at the foundation, and proceeds to the highest point. I. Apostolic recollections. The first two verses carry us back to the apostles first visit to Corinth, when he went as Christs herald. He delights to recall the time of his entrance; and he finds it very necessary to go back to the beginning. He does not obtrude himself, or mention his doings, or parade either his feelings or his success. It is the gospel he brought to them that he recalls, especially when error is stealing in. He makes no appeal to self; he reminds them of his message. He puts the trumpet to his lips, and repeats the old note,the good news. It was with the gospel that he came; it is to the gospel that he would recall them,the one same old gospel. But before re-stating it, he reminds them of its effects upon them . . . I preached, and ye received the good news! I held them out; ye took them! I spoke them; ye let them in! This was the simple process. No waiting, nor working, nor feeling, but simply receiving, as the thirsty man takes in the water, or the eye the beauty of the landscape. Then upon the receiving follows the standing, in which ye have stood and are standing; this grace wherein ye stand; stand therefore; be steadfast. That on which we stand is the gospel; that which keeps us firm, free from stumbling or falling; that which keeps us erect and immoveable, is the gospel. This is our foundation, our anchor, our staff, our rock, our arm, our strong tower. By this, too, we are saved. There is salvation annexed to this gospel,immediate, sure, everlasting. A Christian is a saved man! And he knows it! It is his belief of the gospel that saves him, that alone! Yes; he is saved at once, and saved for all eternity, and that simply in and by believing. But may not our believing be in vain? The apostle puts such a case, but only to reject it, and to demonstrate (as he does through the rest of the chapter) that this was an impossibility; for the foundation truth (Christs resurrection) is established by infallible proofs, and therefore our faith is not in vain. This is the real meaning of the word in vain; as if he had said, unless that which ye have believed has turned news out a fable. And this salvation is carried out in the simplest of all ways,by keeping in memory that which was preached at first. A man is not saved by grasping the rope for a moment, if he let it go it will be of no avail. So here. These, then, are the only two possibilities of failure: (1) that the resurrection turns out a fable; (2) that we do not keep it in memory. How simple, how blessed! Could salvation be brought nearer or made freer? Such are the apostles reminiscences of his early ministry in Corinth;all connected with the gospel, and the reception of it by the Corinthians. Blessed memories indeed! How full was his life of such. II. The apostolic gospel. He now comes to the re-statement of the gospel; which gospel he briefly sums up in these three points. (1.) He died for our sins according to the scriptures. It is the Christ that he speaks of,Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God; He died; He died for our sins; He died according to the scriptures. Each of these expressions help us to bring out the gospel. He died; and His death was the substitute for that of the sinner; He died, that we might not die; He was delivered for our offences; He suffered for sin, the just for the unjust,as the whole word from the beginning had foretold. (2.) He was buried. It was a true death that He died; such a death as needed a tomb. He did not see corruption, but He saw the tomb; He entered it; lay in it for three days. The grave of Jesus contains part of the good news. (3.) He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. This is the crowning and sealing fact; it is the Fathers testimony to the finished work to the acceptance of the sacrifice. This completes the good news. Christ is risen! God raised Him! Man crucified Him, but God raised Him. The wicked slew Him, the righteous buried Him, God raised Him. These three facts contained the good news. Each is a vessel full of peace to the sinner. To know these facts is to be a saved man. What are these facts to us? Are they what they were to the early Christians? Are they fountains of living water? Fragrant flowers? If not, why is it so? Are they not the same? Out of them the Corinthian sinners extracted peace and light, how is it that we do not do the same? The preacher is nothing; the facts are everything; whether it were I or they, so we preached, and so ye believed. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord���s Day 16, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, ���Let us go to the house of the Lord.��� Hymn LXVII. Jehovah our righteousness. Jeremiah xxiii. 6. William Cowper (1731���1800) My God! how perfect are thy ways! But mine polluted are; Sin twines itself about my praise, And slides into my prayer. When I would speak what thou hast done To save me from my sin; I cannot make thy mercies known But self���applause creeps in. Divine desire, that holy flame Thy grace creates in me; Alas! impatience is its name, When it returns to thee. This heart, a fountain of vile thoughts, How does it overflow? While self upon the surface floats Still bubbling from below. Let others in the gaudy dress Of fancied merit shine; The Lord shall be my righteousness The Lord for ever mine. ���Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ���s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ���All things are put in subjection,��� it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. ���1 Corinthians 15 The Advent, The Resurrection, And The Glory. It is of resurrection that this whole chapter speaks. It begins with the risen Christ, and it ends with the risen church: ���Christ the first fruits, afterwards they that are Christ���s at His coming.��� ���Pre-eminence��� in all things belongs to Him; conformity to Him in that preeminence belongs to his saints: ���We are a kind of first fruits of His creatures��� (James 1:18). Resurrection, then, is our hope. Not merely a happy immortality for the soul; but resurrection,���the ���redemption of our body��� (Romans 8:23). The cross has purchased resurrection for us; so that our ���flesh rests in hope.��� The Lord���s coming, not death, is our terminus or goal; for death is our enemy, Christ is our friend; death is loss, resurrection is gain. Christ is risen! This is the announcement of the fact on which our faith rests. A risen Christ is our Redeemer. It is to the fullness of a risen Christ that we go in our emptiness and sin. A risen Christ is the sum of our gospel, good news to the dead in sin. We shall arise! This is the sure word of prophecy on which our hope rests. Our vile bodies shall be changed. This corruptible shall put on incorruption. But, says our passage, ���every one in his own order��� (rank, or troop, a military expression); Christ the Captain, and each troop or regiment marching after their Captain; Christ the first-fruits, and then a long interval, already eighteen hundred years, and then they who are Christ���s at His coming. Then after another interval, during which He is putting down all enemies, and consummating the kingdom, He shall present that kingdom to the Father in its perfection, having had all His enemies put under His feet. Of these enemies the last is death; and death shall then be swallowed up in this glorious victory of the great Captain, our risen Lord. For it is He who has overcome; and having overcome, points us to victory over the world and death. The first interval is the period from Christ���s resurrection to His second coming. The second interval is His millennial reign, during which He brings all things into subjection. At the close of this reign, He presents the perfected kingdom to the Father, just as He presents to Himself the church without spot or wrinkle. All enemies shall be put under Him, and the victory which completes the whole will be that over death, the last enemy. Yet even then, when the Son shall have reached the highest point of dominion and glory, even then he shall retain that subjection to the Father which, as God-man, He exhibited on earth, as when He said, ���My Father is greater than I,��� while also saying, ���I and my Father are one.��� Thus the Son of God is not divested of His royalty, but rather confirmed in it; He does not put off His crown when He presents the kingdom to the Father, but wears it for ever, as King of the universe, King of kings through all eternity; and yet while wearing it, making more fully manifest than ever has been done hitherto, that God is all in all. The completion of the work of Christ in the perfected kingdom hereafter, will be the full and glorious exhibition of Godhead to the universe. The man Christ Jesus as head over all things in heaven and in earth, instead of obscuring, will illustrate Godhead glory. He will be the eternal Mediator, the eternal channel of communication between Creator and creature, the everlasting link between heaven and earth, the security to redeemed creation that it shall never again fall or come under the curse, and the security to Godhead that the divine glory shall never again be eclipsed by sin or evil of any kind whatever. Looking over this passage, we gather out of it such truths as the following: I. Christ���s resurrection. The apostle throughout the chapter lays great stress on this. Christ���s death was not the completion of the good news. The cross was not the whole of that gospel which was preached by the apostles. He rose again! With this message the apostles went forth to Jew and Gentile. This was the summing up of the glad tidings; it was the filling up of the revelation of God���s free love. II. The resurrection of His saints. He took them up to His cross with Him; He took them down to His grave with Him; and He brought them up again along with Himself. His resurrection was virtually theirs, though separated by an interval of time. They shall arise, because He arose. It is to this that we look forward; not to death and the grave; but beyond these, to resurrection. We shall arise; this is our hope. Each particle of precious dust shall come up again and take on glory. This corruptible shall put on incorruption. This vile body shall be changed. III. The Lord���s coming. ���They that are Christ���s at His coming.��� He shall come again; that same Jesus who departed. To this very earth He shall come. He shall come for His own. He shall come as the Resurrection and the Life; He shall come as the last Adam, the quickening Spirit; He shall come in His glory; He shall come to make all things new. IV. The kingdom. He comes not only to raise His saints, but also to destroy His enemies. He comes with the iron rod to break kings in pieces as a potter���s vessel; to smite Antichrist; to avenge the blood of saints; to have all things put under His feet; to take and wear the crown; to perfect the kingdom. V. The death of death. This is the last of His enemies. It was the first (next to Satan), and has devoured the bodies of His saints for thousands of years; it has come, as the king of terrors, to each son of Adam. And He reserves its destruction to the last. He holds it up to view as His great enemy, and then, along with the grave, casts it into the lake of fire. VI. The glory of the Son. This millennial reign, of which the apostle speaks, is the day of His glory. He has been glorified in heaven; He shall then be glorified on earth,���glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe. To Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess. VII. The glory of Godhead. ���That God may be all in all.��� How this is to be, we know not. But it is to be in connection with Christ, the King, and His perfected kingdom; in connection with His work, and reign, and glory. It is through Him that God shall be glorified as ���all in all.��� Man of God, Is your eye on these things? Does the prospect gladden and influence you? Are you of one mind with God in regard to them; adopting His views, falling in with His plans, and recognizing His purpose, both in regard to the present and the future of our world? Or are you carried away with human ideas of ���progress,��� self-regeneration, and self-enlightenment; dazzled with theories of ���advanced politics��� and ���developed liberalism,��� from which all reference to the glory of Christ has been eliminated; won over into admiration of man���s intellect, or philosophy, or statesmanship, as if these would suffice for the counteraction of Satan���s subleties, or the repression of human sin,���as if by these, earth���s rebel kingdoms could be rightly ruled, without the Bible, and without that ���Spirit of counsel and of might��� (Isaiah 11:2), who alone can give wisdom for righteous legislation and holy government. ���Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. 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Radical Depravity in 1 Corinthians

Man, in his unnatural, unregenerate state, will not receive the gospel because he cannot understand it. The unregenerate man will not receive the spiritual truths of the gospel because he cannot understand them. He has no spiritual capacity by which to appraise the genuineness and value of the gospel when it is made known to him: The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul identified the unregenerate man as a natural man. In other words, he possesses natural life but is devoid of the supernatural life of God. A natural man is one who has experienced only a natural birth; thus, his life is bound to his sinful flesh. He cannot understand spiritual truths because they are foolish (moros, moronic) to him. When he hears the gospel, he is like a deaf critic of Bach or a blind critic of Raphael. He cannot see the truth of the gospel or hear so that it makes sense. John Calvin writes, It is from the Spirit of God, it is true, that we have that feeble spark of reason which we all enjoy; but at present we are speaking of that special discovery of heavenly wisdom which God vouchsafes to his sons alone. Hence the more insufferable the ignorance of those who imagine that the gospel is offered to mankind in common in such a way that all indiscriminately are free to embrace salvation by faith. In short, unregenerate man simply cannot comprehend the spiritual wisdom of God. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 384.

Definite Atonement in 1 Corinthians

Wednesday··2012·12·05 · 2 Comments
Grammar matters. Personal pronouns demand that we answer the question, To whom does this refer? Our doctrines depend on answering correctly. Christ died upon the cross for the sins of all believers. His substitutionary death secured eternal salvation for all who put their trust in Him: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:34 As a matter of first importance, Pauls preaching focused upon the vicarious death of Christ for our sins. John Murray writes, On whose behalf did Christ offer Himself a sacrifice? . . . In whose stead and on whose behalf was He obedient unto death, even the death of the cross? These are precisely the questions that have to be asked and frankly faced if the matter of the extent of the atonement is to be placed in proper focus. . . . The question is precisely the reference of the death of Christ when this death is viewed as vicarious death, that is to say, as vicarious obedience, as substitutionary sacrifice, and expiation, as effective propitiation, reconciliation, and redemption. In a word, it is the strict and proper connotation of the expression died for that must be kept in mind. When Paul says . . . Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), he does not have in mind some blessing that may accrue from the death of Christ but of which we may be deprived in due time and which may thus be forfeited. He is thinking of the stupendous truth that Christ loved him and gave Himself up for him (Gal. 2:20) . . . and that therefore we have redemption through the blood of Christ. He died for our sinsthose of the elect. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 388.

Preserving Grace in 1 Corinthians

The common burden of all believers in Christ is the continuing presence of the flesh and the works thereof. Our consolation, however, is that all those works will be burned in the final judgment, while we ourselves will be saved. The elect are not only renewed by the Spirit, they are kept in grace by the power of God. All believers are eternally secure in Christ. No one who is a true believer can ever fall away. The sovereign grace of God immutably holds in its omnipotent grip everyone who trusts Christ. This is the preserving grace of God, that continuing work of God that causes all believers to persevere in the Lord, never to lose their salvation. Although their dead works will be burned at the judgment seat of Christ, they will remain secure in Him: Each ones work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyones work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:1315 Paul taught that all believers will be judged by the Lord Jesus at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), but this judgment will not determine whether one is eternally saved. That judgment of sin took place two thousand years ago, at the cross. No charge will ever be brought against Gods elect that would indict them (Rom. 8:33). Christ suffered in the place of all believers at the cross, bearing their sin and suffering their judgment. The judgment seat of Christ will be an evaluation to determine the quality of each persons work for the Lord and the degree of reward he is due. All believers who stand there will be saved through the fire of this judgment. None will perish, although all fleshly works of wood, hay, and stubble will be burned. Kistemaker agrees: In spite of the loss which the neglectful believer sustains, God graciously grants him the gift of salvation. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 393.

Never Dilute the Message

In case youre confused: The gospel is not a summons to kingdom living or a message about what we can do for God or a description of our efforts at cultural transformation. The gospel, according to Pauls summary in 1 Corinthians 15, is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day. Kevin DeYoung, The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism (Moody Publishers, 2010), 41. The gospel has many implications for how we are to live in this world, but dont be misled by pop theology: those things are not the gospel. The gospel is about a holy God, a sinful race, and what Christ has done to reconcile God to man. There is nothing more important in Christian theology that our theology of the cross. We must speak clearly that the heart of the gospel is the good news of divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. Never compromise on the cross. Never dilute the message of the cross. And never stop glorying in the cross where Christ accepted the penalties that should belong to us so that we can claim the blessings that would otherwise belong only to Him. Ibid., 43.

Lord’s Day 52, 2012

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting? ” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:54–57 Hymn for Christmas Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (345–≈413) Having now reached the end of its track the sun begins its journey back. This is the dawn of the year: the hours of daytime will now increase, with the powers of light and grace that attend the birth of Christ, whom heaven gave to earth. The planet, rejoicing, blushes, glad so to be honored. O sweet lad, child of a virgin and the Word, that the angel brought, and Mary heard the wisdom of ages attended you from the day of your birth. You always knew the order of all creation and those things no mortal can understand— how millennia passed and then God deigned to show himself to men, redeem us from sin and moral blindness, and save us through His loving Kindness from our idolatry and worse, the guile of the devil and his curse from the brink of the smoky pit, He snatched us back. Our ruin, while He watched, he could not suffer. He assumed a mortal body, fragile, doomed. to break death’s chains, He came, and to bring mankind back to our God and King. It was upon this very day that God put on our mortal clay. The noble virgin’s time is near, and—joy to the world! — her Child is here whose infant tears perfume our air, as foul as privies everywhere, to the sweetness of mountain spikenard. The rough turns smooth and every hard boulder is gentled, covered in moss. All nature exults! And the least of us, the simplest herdsman, prays, and his sheep and cattle adore the baby, asleep in the rude cradle. All the nations throughout the world for generations numberless will declare their love and faith in Him—but the children of Isaac and Abraham refuse. Maddened by Furies perhaps, the Jews are obstinate, deny each sign and wonder. This child of David’s line they shall one day confront on high and then confess their error, cry vain tears, as they hear the trumpet blare for the end of days, for He will be there judging each one according to his proper deserts. And then, O Jew, you shall be sensible of your loss, and understand how, on that cross, He suffered for us and there destroyed mortality. From the awful void of the tomb He saves us all, that black abyss from which He brings us back. —Hymns of Prudentius, ed. David R. Slavitt (Johns Hopkins University Press). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Face to Face

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. —1 Corinthians 13:12 As you may remember, a man I esteemed quite highly passed away on Good Friday. His funeral was last Saturday. I wish I had been closer, and been able to attend. The service was live streamed, but I didn’t find that out until it was nearly over. As it ended, the text on the screen indicated the date on which he had “entered glory.” As I read that, I thought of something that really should have occurred to me much sooner: this man who had meant so much to me is now in the immediate presence of the Lord. I had known that, but I hadn’t thought of what that means: that he has now met Jesus face to face. Face to face with Jesus. What a thought! What must that be like, to look at him, to speak with him? It boggles the mind. But one day, we who are in Christ will know. I, for one, anticipate that day with exquisite longing. Face to Face Face to face with Christ, my Savior, Face to face—what will it be? When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ Who died for me. Refrain Face to face I shall behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky; Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by! Only faintly now I see Him, With the darkling veil between, But a blessèd day is coming, When His glory shall be seen. Refrain What rejoicing in His presence, When are banished grief and pain; When the crooked ways are straightened, And the dark things shall be plain. Refrain Face to face! O blissful moment! Face to face—to see and know; Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ Who loves me so. Refrain —Favorite Hymns of Praise (Tabernacle Publishing Company, 1967).

A Flame in a Spark, a Tree in a Seed

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:56–57 Let us oft try what God hath wrought in us, search our good as well as our ill, and be thankful to God for the least measure of grace, more than for any outward thing; it will be of more use and comfort than all this world, which passeth away and cometh to nothing. Yea, let us be thankful for that promised and assured victory, which we may rely on without presumption, as St Paul doth; ‘thanks be to God, that hath given us victory in Jesus Christ,’ 1 Cor. xv. 57. See a flame in a spark, a tree in a seed; see great things in little beginnings; look not so much to the beginning, as to the perfection, and so we shall be in some degree joyful in ourselves, and thankful unto Christ. —Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax, Works (Banner of Truth, 2001), 1:98–99.
Because, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, justification requires perfect inherent righteousness, sinners must be purged of any remaining impurities before entering heaven. This is where the doctrine of purgatory originates. Purgatory is nowhere mentioned in Scripture, but papists imagine it to be found in 1 Corinthians 3. MacArthur explains why that is a fatuous interpretation. Some claim that 1 Corinthians 3 describes purgatory, where the believer is put through a fiery judgement to purge out the dross of sin. But read that passage again. It describes the judgment of the believer’s works, to see if they are “ wood, hay, straw”or “gold, silver, precious stones” (v. 12). At issue is whether our works endure or are tested in the purging fire. This is the judgment that will take place in the eschatological future at the judgment seat of Christ. It is not describing on ongoing state of purgatory that believers pass through on their way to heaven: Each one’s work will become manifest for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (vv. 13–15) Notice again, that only the works, not the believers themselves, must go through the fire. Also note that rewards are what is at issue—not endurance to heaven. —John MacArthur, The Glory of Heaven: The Truth about Heaven, Angels, and Eternal Life (Second Edition) (Crossway, 2013), 91.

Spacious Liberty

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. —1 Corinthians 6:12, cf. 10:23 I thank God for the breadth and the narrowness of Christian liberty, and I pray that we may ever remember that there are limits to the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and that to keep within the limits is to live in spacious liberty. —G. Campbell Morgan, The Westminster Pulpit (Sermon: The Limitations of Liberty) (Baker, 2006), 22–23.
What Did Paul Mean When He Said Tongues-Speakers Speak to God, Not to Men? Charismatics sometimes cling to this phrase in 1 Corinthians 14:2 as a justification for their unintelligible glossolalia. But once again, the context belies that interpretation. The entirety of verses 1–3 reads as follows: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” In those verses, Paul was not extolling the gift of tongues; rather he was explaining why it was inferior to the gift of prophecy. Whereas prophecy was spoken in words that everyone could understand, the gift of foreign languages had to be interpreted in order for others to be edified. Paul defined exactly what he meant by the phrase “does not speak to men but to God” in the very next line, “for no one understands.” If the language was not translated, only God would know what was being said. Clearly, Paul was far from commending such a practice. As he had already established (in chapter 12), the purpose of the gifts was the edification of others within the body of Christ. Foreign languages left untranslated did not fulfill that purpose. That is why the apostle put such an emphasis on the necessity of interpretation (vv. 13, 27). —John MacArthur, Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship (Thomas Nelson, 2014), 149–150.

Lord’s Day 40, 2014

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13 Hymn 134. (L. M.) Religion vain without love. 1 Cor. xiii. 1–3. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Had I the tongues of Greeks and Jews, And nobler speech, that angels use, If love be absent, I am found, Like tinkling brass, an empty sound. Were I inspir’d to preach and tell All that is done in heav’n and hell; Or could my faith the world remove, Still I am nothing without love. Should I distribute all my store To feed the bowels of the poor, Or give my body to the flame, To gain a martyr’s glorious name; If love to God and love to men Be absent, all my hopes are vain; Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal, The work of love can e’er fulfil. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Watch and Pray

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. —1 Corinthians 10:12 What follows boastfulness? Always the same thing, lack of prayer and lack of watching. Young man, when you commenced your Christian life you were very regular in your habits of prayer, you were afraid of yourself and watched constantly for the coming of the enemy. You burned bridges behind you which, alas, you are beginning to reconstruct today. You dared not walk down certain streets after you broke with evil and set your face toward following Jesus Christ, but you are beginning to frequent those old paths again. You are not quite so watchful as you were, and you excuse your lack of watchfulness by saying that there is no necessity for that carefulness and narrowness which characterize some people. There is great need for narrowness when you are walking amid precipices. The man who is sure he is safe, and who ceases to watch and drops prayer out of his life, who imagines he can live an independent life as a Christian soul, is falling already. —G. Campbell Morgan, The Westminster Pulpit (Sermon: “The Sifting of Peter”) (Baker, 2006), 1:198.


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