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Olney Hymns

(60 posts)

Lord’s Day 25, 2008

Sunday··2008·06·22
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN IX. JACOB’S Ladder Gen. xxviii. 12. John Newton (1725–1806) If the Lord our leader be, We may follow without fear; East or West, by land or sea, Home, with him, is ev’ry where; When from Esau Jacob fled, Tho’ his pillow was a stone, And the ground his humble bed, Yet he was not left alone. Kings are often waking kept, Rack’d with cares on beds of state; Never king like Jacob slept. For he lay at heaven’s gate: Lo! he saw a ladder rear’d, Reaching to the heav’nly throne; At the top the Lord appear’d, Spake and claimed him for his own. “Fear not, Jacob, thou art mine, And my presence with thee goes; On thy heart my love shall shine, And my arm subdue thy foes: From my promise comfort take; For my help in trouble call; Never will I thee forsake, ’Till I have accomplish’d all.” Well does Jacob’s ladder suit To the gospel throne of grace; We are at the ladder’s foot, Ev’ry hour, in ev’ry place By affirming flesh and blood, Jesus heav’n and earth unites; We by faith ascend to God, God to dwell with us delights. They who know the Savior’s name, Are for all events prepar’d What can changes do to them, Who have such a Guide and Guard? Should they traverse earth around, To the ladder still they come; Ev’ry spot is holy ground, God is there—and he’s their home. —Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 88 (Geneva Bible) A song or Psalme of Heman the Ezrahite to give instruction, committed to the sonnes of Korah for him that excelleth upon Malath Leannoth.1 O Lord God of my saluation, I cry day and night before thee. 2 Let my prayer enter into thy presence: incline thine eare vnto my cry. 3 For my soule is filled with euils, and my life draweth neere to the graue. 4 I am counted among them that go downe vnto the pit, and am as a man without strength: 5 Free among the dead, like the slaine lying in the graue, whome thou remembrest no more, and they are cut off from thine hand. 6 Thou hast layde me in the lowest pit, in darkenes, and in the deepe. 7 Thine indignation lyeth vpon me, and thou hast vexed me with all thy waues. Selah. 8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance farre from me, and made mee to be abhorred of them: I am shut vp, and cannot get foorth. 9 Mine eye is sorowfull through mine affliction: Lord, I call dayly vpon thee: I stretch out mine hands vnto thee. 10 Wilt thou shewe a miracle to the dead? or shall the dead rise and prayse thee? Selah. 11 Shall thy louing kindenes be declared in the graue? or thy faithfulnes in destruction? 12 Shall thy wonderous workes be knowen in the darke? and thy righteousnes in the land of obliuion? 13 But vnto thee haue I cryed, O Lord, and early shall my prayer come before thee. 14 Lord, why doest thou reiect my soule, and hidest thy face from me? 15 I am afflicted and at the point of death: from my youth I suffer thy terrours, doubting of my life. 16 Thine indignations goe ouer me, and thy feare hath cut me off. 17 They came round about me dayly like water, and compassed me together. 18 My louers and friends hast thou put away from me, and mine acquaintance hid themselues. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord’s Day 31, 2008

Sunday··2008·08·03
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Hymn X. My name is Jacob. Gen. xxxii. 27. John Newton (1725–1806) Nay, I cannot let Thee go, Till a blessing thou bestow; Do not turn away thy face, Mine’s an urgent pressing case. Dost thou ask me, who I am? Ah, my Lord, thou know’st my name! Yet the question gives a plea, To support my suit with thee. Thou didst once a wretch behold, In rebellion blindly bold; Scorn thy grace, thy pow’r defy, That poor rebel, Lord, was I. Once a sinner near despair, Sought thy mercy-seat by prayer; Mercy heard and set him free, Lord, that mercy came to me. Many years have pass’d since then, Many changes I have seen; Yet have been upheld till now, Who could hold me up but thou? Thou hast help’d in every need, This emboldens me to plead; After so much mercy past, Canst thou let me sink at last? No—I must maintain my hold, ’Tis thy goodness makes me bold; I can no denial take, When I plead for Jesu’s sake. —Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 130 (Geneva Bible) A song of degrees. 1 Out of the deepe places haue I called vnto thee, O Lord. 2 Lord, heare my voyce: let thine eares attend to the voyce of my prayers. 3 If thou, O Lord, straightly markest iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4 But mercie is with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 5 I haue waited on the Lord: my soule hath waited, and I haue trusted in his worde. 6 My soule waiteth on the Lord more then the morning watch watcheth for the morning. 7 Let Israel waite on the Lord: for with the Lord is mercie, and with him is great redemption. 8 And he shall redeeme Israel from all his iniquities. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord’s Day 37, 2008

Sunday··2008·09·14
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XIPlenty in a time of dearth. Gen. xli. 56.John Newton (1725–1806) My soul once had its plenteous years, And throve, with peace and comfort fill’d, Like the fat kine and ripen’d ears, Which Pharaoh in his dream beheld. With pleasing frames and grace receiv’d, With means and ordinances fed; How happy for a while I liv’d, And little fear’d the want of bread. But famine came and left no sign, Of all the plenty I had seen; Like the dry ears and half-starv’d kine, I then looked wither’d, faint and lean. To Joseph the Egyptians went, To Jesus I made known my case; He, when my little stock was spent, Opened his magazine of grace. For he the time of dearth foresaw, And made provision long before; That famish’d souls, like me, might draw Supplies from his unbounded store. Now on his bounty I depend, And live from fear of dearth secure, Maintain’d by such a mighty friend, I cannot want till he is poor. O sinners hear his gracious call! His mercy’s door stands open wide, He has enough to feed you all, And none who come shall be denied. —Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 143 (Geneva Bible) A Psalme of David. 1 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and hearken vnto my supplication: answere me in thy trueth and in thy righteousnes. 2 (And enter not into iudgement with thy seruant: for in thy sight shall none that liueth, be iustified) 3 For the enemie hath persecuted my soule: he hath smitten my life downe to the earth: he hath layde me in the darkenes, as they that haue bene dead long agoe: 4 And my spirit was in perplexitie in me, and mine heart within me was amased. 5 Yet doe I remember the time past: I meditate in all thy workes, yea, I doe meditate in the workes of thine hands. 6 I stretch forth mine hands vnto thee: my soule desireth after thee, as the thirstie land. Selah. 7 Heare me speedily, O Lord, for my spirit fayleth: hide not thy face from me, els I shall be like vnto them that go downe into the pit. 8 Let me heare thy louing kindenes in the morning, for in thee is my trust: shewe mee the way, that I should walke in, for I lift vp my soule vnto thee. 9 Deliuer me, O Lord, from mine enemies: for I hid me with thee. 10 Teach me to doe thy will, for thou art my God: let thy good Spirit leade me vnto the land of righteousnes. 11 Quicken me, O Lord, for thy Names sake, and for thy righteousnesse bring my soule out of trouble. 12 And for thy mercy slay mine enemies, and destroy all them that oppresse my soule: for I am thy seruant. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 43, 2008

Sunday··2008·10·26
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XII Joseph made known to his Brethren. Gen. xlv. 3, 4. by John Newton (1725-1807) hen Joseph his brethren beheld, Afflicted and trembling with fear; His heart with compassion was filled, From weeping he could not forbear. Awhile his behavior was rough, To bring their past sin to their mind; But when they were humbled enough, He hasted to show himself kind. How little they thought it was he, Whom they had ill treated and sold! How great their confusion must be, As soon as his name he had told! I am Joseph, your brother, he said, And still to my heart you are dear, You sold me, and thought I was dead, But God, for your sakes, sent me here. Though greatly distressed before, When charged with purloining the cup; They now were confounded much more, Not one of them durst to look up. Can Joseph, whom we would have slain. Forgive us the evil we did? And will he our households maintain? O this is a brother indeed! Thus dragged by my conscience, I came, And laden with guilt, to the Lord; Surrounded with terror and shame, Unable to utter a word. At first he looked stern and revere, What anguish then pierced my heart! Expecting each moment to hear The sentence, Thou cursed, depart! But O! what surprise when he spoke, While tenderness beamed in his face; My heart then to pieces was broke, Oerwhelmed and confounded by grace: Poor sinner, I know thee full well, By thee I was sold and was slain; But I died to redeem thee from hell, And raise thee in glory to reign. I am Jesus, whom thou hast blasphemed, And crucified often afresh; But let me henceforth be esteemed, Thy brother, thy bone, and thy flesh: My pardon I freely bestow, Thy wants I will fully supply; Ill guide thee and guard thee below, And soon will remove thee on high. Go, publish to sinners around, That they may be willing to come, The mercy which now you have found, And tell them that yet there is room. O, sinners, the message obey! No more vain excuses pretend; But come, without farther delay, To Jesus our brother and friend. from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 35 (Geneva Bible) A Psalme of Dauid. 1 Pleade thou my cause, O Lord, with them that striue with me: fight thou against them, that fight against me. 2 Lay hand vpon the shielde and buckler, and stand vp for mine helpe. 3 Bring out also the speare and stop the way against them, that persecute me: say vnto my soule, I am thy saluation. 4 Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seeke after my soule: let them be turned backe, and brought to confusion, that imagine mine hurt. 5 Let them be as chaffe before the winde, and let the Angel of the Lord scatter them. 6 Let their way be darke and slipperie: and let the Angel of the Lord persecute them. 7 For without cause they haue hid the pit and their net for me: without cause haue they digged a pit for my soule. 8 Let destruction come vpon him at vnwares, and let his net, that he hath laid priuilie, take him: let him fall into the same destruction. 9 Then my soule shalbe ioyfull in the Lord: it shall reioyce in his saluation. 10 All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like vnto thee, which deliuerest the poore from him, that is too strong for him! yea, the poore and him that is in miserie, from him that spoyleth him! 11 Cruell witnesses did rise vp: they asked of me things that I knewe not. 12 They rewarded me euill for good, to haue spoyled my soule. 13 Yet I, when they were sicke, I was clothed with a sacke: I humbled my soule with fasting: and my praier was turned vpon my bosome. 14 I behaued my selfe as to my friend, or as to my brother: I humbled my selfe, mourning as one that bewaileth his mother. 15 But in mine aduersitie they reioyced, and gathered them selues together: the abiects assembled themselues against me, and knewe not: they tare me and ceased not, 16 With the false skoffers at bankets, gnashing their teeth against me. 17 Lord, how long wilt thou beholde this? deliuer my soule from their tumult, euen my desolate soule from the lions. 18 So will I giue thee thankes in a great Congregation: I will praise thee among much people. 19 Let not them that are mine enemies, vniustly reioyce ouer mee, neyther let them winke with the eye, that hate mee without a cause. 20 For they speake not as friendes: but they imagine deceitfull woordes against the quiet of the lande. 21 And they gaped on mee with their mouthes, saying, Aha, aha, our eye hath seene. 22 Thou hast seene it, O Lord: keepe not silence: be not farre from me, O Lord. 23 Arise and wake to my iudgement, euen to my cause, my God, and my Lord. 24 Iudge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousnesse, and let them not reioyce ouer mee. 25 Let them not say in their hearts, O our soule reioyce: neither let them say, We haue deuoured him. 26 Let them bee confounded, and put to shame together, that reioyce at mine hurt: let them bee clothed with confusion and shame, that lift vp themselues against me. 27 But let them be ioyful and glad, that loue my righteousnesse: yea, let them say alway, Let the Lord be magnified, which loueth the prosperitie of his seruant. 28 And my tongue shall vtter thy righteousnesse, and thy praise euery day. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 49, 2008

Sunday··2008·12·07 · 2 Comments
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XIII The Bitter waters. Ex. xv. 2325. by John Newton (1725-1807) ITTER, indeed, the waters are.    Which in this desart flow; Though to the eye they promise fair,    They taste of sin and woe. Of pleasing draughts I once could dream,    But now, awake, l find, That sin has poisond evry stream,    And left a curse behind. But theres a wonder-working wood,    Ive heard believers say, Can make these bitter waters good,    And take the curse away. The virtues of this healing tree    Are known and prizd by few; Reveal this secret, Lord, to me,    That I may prize it too. The cross on which the Savior died,    And conquerd for his saints; This is the tree, by faith applyd,    Which sweetens all complaints. Thousands have found the blessd effect,    Nor longer mourn their lot; While on his sorrows they reflect,    Their own are all forgot. When they, by faith, behold the cross,    Tho many griefs they meet; They draw again from evry loss,    And find the bitter sweet. from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 70 (Geneva Bible) For the excellent musician Ieduthun. A Psalme committed to Asaph. 1 My voyce came to God, when I cryed: my voyce came to God, and he heard me. 2 In the day of my trouble I sought ye Lord: my sore ranne and ceased not in the night: my soule refused comfort. 3 I did thinke vpon God, and was troubled: I praied, and my spirit was full of anguish. Selah. 4 Thou keepest mine eyes waking: I was astonied and could not speake. 5 Then I considered the daies of olde, and the yeeres of ancient time. 6 I called to remembrance my song in the night: I communed with mine owne heart, and my spirit searched diligently. 7 Will the Lord absent him selfe for euer? and will he shewe no more fauour? 8 Is his mercie cleane gone for euer? doeth his promise faile for euermore? 9 Hath God forgotten to be mercifull? hath he shut vp his teder mercies in displeasure? Selah. 10 And I sayde, This is my death: yet I remembred the yeeres of the right hand of the most High. 11 I remembred the workes of the Lord: certainely I remembred thy wonders of olde. 12 I did also meditate all thy woorkes, and did deuise of thine actes, saying, 13 Thy way, O God, is in the Sanctuarie: who is so great a God as our God! 14 Thou art ye God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy power among the people. 15 Thou hast redeemed thy people with thine arme, euen the sonnes of Iaakob and Ioseph. Selah. 16 The waters sawe thee, O God: the waters sawe thee, and were afraide: yea, the depths trembled. 17 The cloudes powred out water: the heauens gaue a sounde: yea, thine arrowes went abroade. 18 The voyce of thy thunder was rounde about: the lightnings lightened the worlde: the earth trembled and shooke. 19 Thy way is in the Sea, and thy paths in the great waters, and thy footesteps are not knowen. 20 Thou diddest leade thy people like sheepe by the hand of Moses and Aaron. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 4, 2009

Sunday··2009·01·25
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XIV JEHOVAHROPHI, I am the Lord that healeth thee. Ex. xv. by William Cowper (17311800) HEAL us, Emmanuel, here we are, Waiting to feel thy touch; Deep wounded souls to thee repair, And, Savior we are such. Our faith is feeble we confess,    We faintly trust thy word; But wilt thou pity us the less?    Be that far from thee, Lord! Remember him who once applyd    With trembling for relief; Lord, I believe, with tears he cryd,    help my unbelief. She too, who touchd thee in the press,    And healing virtue stole; Was answerd, Daughter, go in peace,    Thy faith hath made thee whole. Conceald amid the gathring throng,    She would have shunnd thy view; And if her faith was firm and strong,    Had strong misgivings too. Like her, with hopes and fears, we come,    To touch thee if we may; O! send us not despairing home,    Send none unheald away. from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 119:2532 (Geneva Bible) Daleth. 25 My soule cleaueth to the dust: quicken me according to thy worde. 26 I haue declared my waies, and thou heardest me: teache me thy statutes. 27 Make me to vnderstand ye way of thy precepts, and I will meditate in thy wondrous workes. 28 My soule melteth for heauinesse: raise mee vp according vnto thy worde. 29 Take from mee the way of lying, and graunt me graciously thy Lawe. 30 I haue chosen the way of trueth, and thy iudgements haue I laied before me. 31 I haue cleaued to thy testimonies, O Lord: confound me not. 32 I will runne the way of thy commandements, when thou shalt enlarge mine heart. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 10, 2009

Sunday··2009·03·08
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XV MANNA. Ex. xvi. 18.by John Newton (17251807) Manna to Israel well supplyd The want of other bread; While God is able to provide, His people shall be fed. (Thus though the corn and wine should fail,    And creature-streams be dry; The prayer of faith will still prevail,    For blessings from on high.) Of his kind care how sweet a proof!    It suitd every taste; Who gatherd most, had just enough,    Enough, who gatherd least. Tis thus our gracious Lord provides    Our comforts and our cares; His own unerring hand provides,    And gives us each our shares. He knows how much the weak can bear,    And helps them when they cry; The strongest have no strength to spare,    For such hell strongly try. Daily they saw the Manna come,    And cover all the ground; But what they tryd to keep at home,    Corruptd soon was found. Vain their attempt to store it up,    This was to tempt the Lord; Israel must live by faith and hope,    And not upon a hoard. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 119:7380 (Geneva Bible) Iod. 73 Thine hands haue made me and fashioned me: giue mee vnderstanding therefore, that I may learne thy commandements. 74 So they that feare thee, seeing mee shall reioyce, because I haue trusted in thy worde. 75 I knowe, O Lord, that thy iudgements are right, and that thou hast afflicted me iustly. 76 I pray thee that thy mercie may comfort me according to thy promise vnto thy seruant. 77 Let thy tender mercies come vnto me, that I may liue: for thy Lawe is my delite. 78 Let the proude be ashamed: for they haue dealt wickedly and falsely with me: but I meditate in thy precepts. 79 Let such as feare thee turne vnto me, and they that knowe thy testimonies. 80 Let mine heart bee vpright in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 16, 2009

Sunday··2009·04·19
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XVI Manna hoarded. Ex. xvi. 20. by John Newton (17251807) THE manna favord Israels meat, Was gatherd day by day; When all the host was servd, the heat Melted the rest away. In vain to hoard it up they tryd,    Against to-morrow came; It then bred worms and putrifyd    And provd their sin and shame. Twas daily bread and would not keep,    But must be still renewd; Faith should not want a hoard or heap    But trust the Lord for food. The truths by which the soul is fed    Must thus be had afresh; For notions resting in the head,    Will only feed the flesh. However true, they have no life,    Or unction to impart; They breed the worms of pride and strife,    But cannot cheer the heart. Nor can the best experience past,    The life of faith maintain; The brightest hope will faint as last,    Unless supplyd again. Dear Lord, while we in prayr are found,    Do thou the Manna give; Oh! Let it fall on all around,    That we may eat and live. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 119:121128 (Geneva Bible) Ain. 121 I haue executed iudgement and iustice: leaue me not to mine oppressours. 122 Answere for thy seruant in that, which is good, and let not the proude oppresse me. 123 Mine eyes haue failed in waiting for thy saluation, and for thy iust promise. 124 Deale with thy seruant according to thy mercie, and teache me thy statutes. 125 I am thy seruant: graunt mee therefore vnderstanding, that I may knowe thy testimonies. 126 It is time for thee Lord to worke: for they haue destroyed thy Lawe. 127 Therefore loue I thy commandements aboue golde, yea, aboue most fine golde. 128 Therefore I esteeme all thy precepts most iust, and hate all false wayes. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 22, 2009

Sunday··2009·05·31
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN XVII JEHOVAH-NISSI, The Lord my banner. Ex. xvii. 15. by William Cowper (17311800) BY whom was David taught, To aim the dreadful blow, When he Goliath fought,    And laid the Gittite low? No sword nor spear the stripling took, But chose a pebble from the brook.    Twas Israels God and king,       Who sent him to the fight;    Who gave him strength to fling,       And skill to aim aright. Ye feeble saints your strength endures, Because young Davids Gods is yours.    Who ordered Gideon forth,       To storm th invaders camp,    With arms of little worth,       A pitcher and a lamp? The trumpets made his coming known, And all the host was overthrown.    Oh! I have seen the day,       When with a single word,    God helping me to say,       My trust is in the Lord; My soul has quelld a thousand foes, Fearless of all that could oppose.    But unbelief, selfwill,       Selfrighteousness and pride,    How often do they steal       My weapon from my side? Yet Davids Lord, and Gideons friend, Will help his servant to the end. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. Psalme 119:169176 (Geneva Bible) Tav. 169 Let my complaint come before thee, O Lord, and giue me vnderstanding, according vnto thy worde. 170 Let my supplication come before thee, and deliuer me according to thy promise. 171 My lippes shall speake praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. 172 My tongue shall intreate of thy word: for all thy commandements are righteous. 173 Let thine hand helpe me: for I haue chosen thy precepts. 174 I haue longed for thy saluation, O Lord, and thy Lawe is my delite. 175 Let my soule liue, and it shall praise thee, and thy iudgements shall helpe me. 176 I haue gone astraye like a lost sheepe: seeke thy seruant, for I doe not forget thy commandements. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 28, 2009

Sunday··2009·07·12
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN XVIII The Golden Calf    Ex. xxxii. 4, 31. by John Newton (17251807) WHEN Israel heard the fiery law, From Sinais top proclaimd; Their hearts seemed full of holy awe, Their stubborn spirits tamd. Yet, as forgetting all they knew,    Ere forty days were past; With blazing Sinai still in view,    A molten calf they cast. Yea, Aaron, Gods anointed priest,    Who on the mount had been He durst prepare the idolbeast,    And lead them on to sin. Lord, what is man! and what are we,    To recompense thee thus! In their offence our own we see,    Their story points at us. From Sinai we have heard thee speak,    And from mount Calvry too; And yet to idols oft we seek,    While thou art in our view. Some golden calf, or golden dream,    Some fancyd creaturegood, Presumes to share the heart with him,    Who bought the whole with blood. Lord, save us from our golden calves,    Our sin with grief we own; We would no more be thine by halves,    But live to thee alone. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 1:2934 Johns Witness at Christs Baptism Mt. 3:1317; Mk. 1:911; Lk. 3:21, 22    29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me. 31 I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water. 32 John testified saying, I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God. This passage contains a verse which ought to be printed in great letters in the memory of every reader of the Bible. All the stars in heaven are bright and beautiful, and yet one star exceeds another star in glory. So also all texts of Scripture are inspired and profitable, and yet some texts are richer than others. Of such texts the first verse before us is preeminently one. Never was there a fuller testimony borne to Christ upon earth, than that which is here borne by John the Baptist. Let us notice, firstly, in this passage, the peculiar name which John the Baptist gives to Christ. He calls Him The Lamb of God. This name did not merely mean, as some have supposed, that Christ was meek and gentle as a lamb. This would be truth no doubt, but only a very small portion of the truth. There are greater things here than this! It meant that Christ was the great sacrifice for sin, who was come to make atonement for transgression by His own death upon the cross. He was the true Lamb which Abraham told Isaac at Moriah God would provide. (Gen. xxii. 8.) He was the true Lamb to which every morning and evening sacrifice in the temple had daily pointed. He was the Lamb of which Isaiah had prophesied, that He would be brought to the slaughter. (Isaiah liii. 7.) He was the true Lamb of which the passover lamb in Egypt had been a vivid type. In short, He was the great propitiation for sin which God had covenanted from all eternity to send into the world. He was Gods Lamb. Let us take heed that in all our thoughts of Christ, we first think of Him as John the Baptist here represents Him. Let us serve him faithfully as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teaching as our Prophet. Let us walk diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming Redeemer of body as well as soul. But above all, let us prize Him as our Sacrifice, and rest our whole weight on His death as an atonement for sin. Let His blood be more precious in our eyes every year we live. Whatever else we glory in about Christ, let us glory above all things in His cross. This is the corner-stone, this is the citadel, this is the rule of true Christian theology. We know nothing rightly about Christ, until we see him with John the Baptists eyes, and can rejoice in Him as the Lamb that was slain. Let us notice, secondly, in this passage, the peculiar work which John the Baptist describes Christ as doing. He says that he taketh away the sin of the world. Christ is a Saviour. He did not come on earth to be a conqueror, or a philosopher, or a mere teacher of morality. He came to save sinners. He came to do that which man could never do for himself,to do that which money and learning can never obtain,to do that which is essential to mans real happiness,He came to take away sin. Christ is a complete Saviour. He takes away sin. He did not merely make vague proclamations of pardon, mercy, and forgiveness. He took our sins upon Himself, and carried them away. He allowed them to be laid upon Himself, and bore them in His own body on the tree. (1 Pet. ii. 24.) The sins of every one that believes on Jesus are made as though they had never been sinned at all. The Lamb of God has taken them clean away. Christ is an almighty Saviour, and a Saviour for all mankind. He takes away the sin of the world. He did not die for the Jews only, but for the Gentile as well as the Jew. He did not suffer for a few people only, but for all mankind. The payment that He made on the cross was more than enough to make satisfaction for the debts of all. The blood that He shed was precious enough to wash away the sins of all. His atonement on the cross was sufficient for all mankind, though efficient only to those who believe. The sin that He took up and bore on the cross was the sin of the whole world. Last, but not least, Christ is a perpetual and unwearied Saviour. He takes away sin. He is daily taking it away from every one that believes on Him,daily purging, daily cleansing, daily washing the souls of His people, daily granting and applying fresh supplies of mercy. He did not cease to work for His saints, when He died for them on the cross. He lives in heaven as a Priest, to present His sacrifice continually before God. In grace as well as is providence, Christ works still. He is ever taking away sin. These are golden truths indeed. Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if they were used by all who know them! Our very familiarity with texts like these is one of our greatest dangers. Blessed are they who not only keep this text in their memories, but feed upon it in their hearts! Let us notice, lastly, in this passage, the peculiar office which John the Baptist attributes to Christ. He speaks of Him as Him who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. The baptism here spoken of is not the baptism of water. It does not consist either of dipping or sprinkling. It does not belong exclusively either to infants or to grown up people. It is not a baptism which any man can give, Episcopalian or Presbyterian, Independent or Methodist, layman or minister. It is a baptism which the great Head of the Church keeps exclusively in His own hands. It consists of the implanting of grace into the inward man. It is the same thing with the new birth. It is a baptism, not of the body, but of the heart. It is a baptism which the penitent thief received, though neither dipped nor sprinkled by the hand of man. It is a baptism which Ananias and Sapphira did not receive, though admitted into church-communion by apostolic men. Let it be a settled principle in our religion that the baptism of which John the Baptist speaks here, is the baptism which is absolutely necessary to salvation. It is well to be baptized into the visible Church; but it is far better to be baptized into that Church which is made up of true believers. The baptism of water is a most blessed and profitable ordinance, and cannot be neglected without great sin. But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is of far greater importance. The man who dies with his heart not baptized by Christ can never be saved. Let us ask ourselves, as we leave this passage, Whether we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, and whether we have any real interest in the Lamb of God? Thousands, unhappily, are wasting their time in controversy about water baptism, and neglecting the baptism of the heart. Thousands more are content with a head-knowledge of the Lamb of God, or have never sought Him by faith, that their own sins may be actually taken away. Let us take heed that we ourselves have new hearts, and believe to the saving of our souls. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:5458. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 34, 2009

Sunday··2009·08·23
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN XIX The true AARON    Lev. viii. 79. by John Newton (17251807) SEE Aaron, Gods anointed priest, Within the veil appear; In robes of mystic meaning dressed, Presenting Israels prayr. The plate of gold which crowns his brows,    His holiness describes; His breast displays, in shining rows,    The names of all the tribes. With the atoning blood he stands,    Before the mercyseat; And clouds of incense from his hands,    Arise with odour sweet. Urim and Thummim near his heart,    In rich engravings worn; The sacred light of truth impart,    To teach and to adorn. Thro him the eye of faith descries,    A greater Priest than he; Thus Jesus pleads above the skies,    For you, my friends, and me. He bears the names of all his saints,    Deep on his heart engravd; Attentive to the state and wants    Of all his love has savd. In him a holiness complete,    Light and perfections shine; And wisdom, grace, and glory meet;    A Saviour all divine. The blood, which as a Priest he bears    For sinners, is his own The incense of his prayrs and tears    Perfume the holy throne. In him my weary soul has rest,    Tho I am weak and vile I read my name upon his breast,    And see the Father smile. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 3:921 9 Nicodemus said to Him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. We have in these verses the second part of the conversation between our Lord Jesus Christ and Nicodemus. A lesson about regeneration is closely followed by a lesson about justification! The whole passage ought always to be read with affectionate reverence. It contains words which have brought eternal life to myriads of souls. These verses show us, firstly, what gross spiritual ignorance there may be in the mind of a great and learned man. We see a master of Israel unacquainted with the first elements of saving religion. Nicodemus is told about the new birth, and at once exclaims, How can these things be? When such was the darkness of a Jewish teacher, what must have been the state of the Jewish people? It was indeed due time for Christ to appear! The pastors of Israel had ceased to feed the people with knowledge. The blind were leading the blind, and both were falling into the ditch. (Matt. xv. 14.) Ignorance like that of Nicodemus is unhappily far too common in the Church of Christ. We must never be surprised if we find it in quarters where we might reasonably expect knowledge. Learning, and rank, and high ecclesiastical office are no proof that a minister is taught by the Spirit. The successors of Nicodemus, in every age, are far more numerous than the successors of St. Peter. On no point is religious ignorance so common as on the work of the Holy Ghost. That old stumbling-block, at which Nicodemus stumbled, is as much an offence to thousands in the present day as it was in the days of Christ. The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. ii. 14.) Happy is he who has been taught to prove all things by Scripture, and to call no man master upon earth. (1 Thess. v. 21; Matt. xxiii. 9.) These verses show us, secondly, the original source from which mans salvation springs. That source is the love of God the Father. Our Lord says to Nicodemus, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This wonderful verse has been justly called by Luther, The Bible in miniature. No part of it, perhaps, is so deeply important as the first five words, God so loved the world. The love here spoken of is not that special love with which the Father regards His own elect, but that mighty pity and compassion with which He regards the whole race of mankind. Its object is not merely the little flock which He has given to Christ from all eternity, but the whole world of sinners, without any exception. There is a deep sense in which God loves that world. All whom He has created He regards with pity and compassion. Their sins He cannot love;but He loves their souls. His tender mercies are over all His works. (Psal. cxlv. 9.) Christ is Gods gracious gift to the whole world. Let us take heed that our views of the love of God are Scriptural and well-defined. The subject is one on which error abounds on either side.On the one hand we must beware of vague and exaggerated opinions. We must maintain firmly that God hates wickedness, and that the end of all who persist in wickedness will be destruction. It is not true that Gods love is lower than hell. It is not true that God so loved the world that all mankind will be finally saved, but that He so loved the world that He gave His Son to be the Saviour of all who believe. His love is offered to all men freely, fully, honestly, and unreservedly, but it is only through the one channel of Christs redemption. He that rejects Christ cuts himself off from Gods love, and will perish everlastingly.On the other hand, we must beware of narrow and contracted opinions. We must not hesitate to tell any sinner that God loves him. It is not true that God cares for none but His own elect, or that Christ is not offered to any but those who are ordained to eternal life. There is a kindness and love in God towards all mankind. It was in consequence of that love that Christ came into the world, and died upon the cross. Let us not be wise above that which is written, or more systematic in our statements than Scripture itself. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. God is not willing that any should perish. God would have all men to be saved. God loves the world. (John v. 32; Titus iii. 4; 1 John iv. 10; 2 Pet. iii. 9; 1 Tim. ii. 4; Ezek. xxxiii. 11.) These verses show us, thirdly, the peculiar plan by which the love of God has provided salvation for sinners. That plan is the atoning death of Christ on the cross. Our Lord says to Nicodemus, As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. By being lifted up, our Lord meant nothing less than His own death upon the cross. That death, He would have us know, was appointed by God to be the life of the world. (John vi. 51.) It was ordained from all eternity to be the great propitiation and satisfaction for mans sin. It was the payment, by an Almighty Substitute and Representative, of mans enormous debt to God. When Christ died upon the cross, our many sins were laid upon Him. He was made sin for us. He was made a curse for us. (2 Cor. v. 21; Gal. iii. 13.) By His death He purchased pardon and complete redemption for sinners. The bronze serpent, lifted up in the camp of Israel, brought health and cure within the reach of all who were bitten by the snakes. Christ crucified, in like manner, brought eternal life within reach of lost mankind. Christ has been lifted up on the cross, and man looking to Him by faith may be saved. The truth before us is the very foundation-stone of the Christian religion. Christs death is the Christians life. Christs cross is the Christians title to heaven. Christ lifted up and put to shame on Calvary is the ladder by which Christians enter into the holiest, and are at length landed in glory. It is true that we are sinners;but Christ has suffered for us. It is true that we deserve death;but Christ has died for us. It is true that we are guilty debtors;but Christ has paid our debts with His own blood. This is the real Gospel! This is the good news! On this let us lean while we live. To this let us cling when we die. Christ has been lifted up on the cross, and has thrown open the gates of heaven to all believers. These verses show us, fourthly, the way in which the benefits of Christs death are made our own. That way is simply to put faith and trust in Christ. Faith is the same thing as believing. Three times our Lord repeats this glorious truth to Nicodemus. Twice He proclaims that whosoever believeth shall not perish. Once He says, He that believeth on the Son of God is not condemned. Faith in the Lord Jesus is the very key of salvation. He that has it has life, and he that has it not has not life. Nothing whatever beside this faith is necessary to our complete justification; but nothing whatever, except this faith, will give us an interest in Christ. We may fast and mourn for sin, and do many things that are right, and use religious ordinances, and give all our goods to feed the poor, and yet remain unpardoned, and lose our souls.But if we will only come to Christ as guilty sinners, and believe on Him, our sins shall at once be forgiven, and our iniquities shall be entirely put away. Without faith there is no salvation; but through faith in Jesus, the vilest sinner may be saved. If we would have a peaceful conscience in our religion, let us see that our views of saving faith are distinct and clear. Let us beware of supposing that justifying faith is anything more than a sinners simple trust in a Saviour, the grasp of a drowning man on the hand held out for his relief.Let us beware of mingling anything else with faith in the matter of justification. Here we must always remember faith stands entirely alone. A justified man, no doubt, will always be a holy man. True believing will always be accompanied by godly living. But that which gives a man a saving interest in Christ, is not his living, but his faith. If we would know whether our faith is genuine, we do well to ask ourselves how we are living. But if we would know whether we are justified by Christ, there is but one question to be asked. That question is, Do we believe? These verses show us, lastly, the true cause of the loss of mans soul. Our Lord says to Nicodemus, This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The words before us form a suitable conclusion to the glorious tidings which we have just been considering. They completely clear God of injustice in the condemnation of sinners. They show in simple and unmistakable terms, that although mans salvation is entirely of God, his ruin, if he is lost, will be entirely from himself. He will reap the fruit of his own sowing. The doctrine here laid down ought to be carefully remembered. It supplies an answer to a common cavil of the enemies of Gods truth. There is no decreed reprobation, excluding any one from heaven. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. There is no unwillingness on Gods part to receive any sinner, however great his sins. God has sent light into the world, and if man will not come to the light, the fault is entirely on mans side. His blood will be on his own head, if he makes shipwreck of his soul. The blame will be at his own door, if he misses heaven. His eternal misery will be the result of his own choice. His destruction will be the work of his own hand. God loved him, and was willing to save him; out he loved darkness, and therefore darkness must be his everlasting portion. He would not come to Christ, and therefore he could not have life. (John v. 40.) The truths we have been considering are peculiarly weighty and solemn. Do we live as if we believed them?Salvation by Christs death is close to us today. Have we embraced it by faith, and made it our own?Let us never rest until we know Christ as our own Saviour. Let us look to Him without delay for pardon and peace, if we have never looked before. Let us go on believing on Him, if we have already believed. Whosoever, is His own gracious wordwhosoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:140145. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 40, 2009

Sunday··2009·10·04
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN XX BALAAMs wish (m)    Numbers xxiii. 10. by John Newton (17251807) HOW blest the righteous are    When they resign their breath! No wonder Balaam wishd to share In such a happy death.    Oh! let me die, said he,    The death the righteous do; When life is ended let me be    Found with the faithful few.    The force of truth how great!    When enemies confess, None but the righteous whom they hate,    A solid hope possess.    But Balaams wish was vain,    His heart was insincere; He thirsted for unrighteous gain,    And sought a portion here.    He seemd the Lord to know,    And to offend him loth; But Mammon provd his overthrow,    For none can serve them both.    May you, my friends, and I,    Warning from hence receive; If like the righteous we would die,    To choose the life they live. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 4:4354 Christ Is Received by the Galileans After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast. Christ Heals the Noblemans Son    46 Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine And there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and was imploring Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe. 49 The royal official said to Him, Sir, come down before my child dies. 50 Jesus said to him, Go; your son lives. The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. 51 As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living. 52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, Your son lives; and he himself believed and his whole household. 54 This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee. Four great lessons stand out boldly on the face of this passage. Let us fix them in our memories, and use them continually as we journey through life. We learn, firstly, that the rich have afflictions as well as the poor. We read of a nobleman in deep anxiety because his son was sick. We need not doubt that every means of restoration was used that money could procure. But money is not almighty. The sickness increased, and the noblemans son lay at the point of death. The lesson is one which needs to be constantly impressed on the minds of men. There is no more common, or more mischievous error, than to suppose that the rich have no cares. The rich are as liable to sickness as the poor; and have a hundred anxieties beside, of which the poor know nothing at all. Silks and satins often cover very heavy hearts. The dwellers in palaces often sleep more uneasily than the dwellers in poor cottages. Gold and silver can lift no man beyond the reach of trouble. They may shut out debt and rags, but they cannot shut out care, disease, and death. The higher the tree, the more it is shaken by storms. The broader its branches, the greater is the mark which it exposes to the tempest. David was a happier man when he kept his fathers sheep at Bethlehem, than when he dwelt as a king at Jerusalem, and governed the twelve tribes of Israel. Let the servant of Christ beware of desiring riches. They are certain cares, and uncertain comforts. Let him pray for the rich, and not envy them. How hardly shall a rich man enter the kingdom of God! Above all, let him learn to be content with such things as he has. He only is truly rich, who has treasure in heaven. We learn, secondly, in this passage, that sickness and death come to the young as well as to the old. We read of a son sick unto death, and a father in trouble about him. We see the natural order of things inverted. The elder is obliged to minister to the younger, and not the younger to the elder. The child draws near to the grave before the parent, and not the parent before the child. The lesson is one which we are all slow to learn. We are apt to shut our eyes to plain facts, and to speak and act, as if young people, as a matter of course, never died when young. And yet the grave-stones in every churchyard would tell us, that few people out of a hundred ever live to be fifty years old, while many never grow up to mans estate at all. The first grave that ever was dug on this earth, was that of a young man. The first person who ever died, was not a father but a son. Aaron lost two sons at a stroke. David, the man after Gods own heart, lived long enough to see three children buried. Job was deprived of all his children in one day. These things were carefully recorded for our learning. He that is wise, will never consider long life as a certainty. We never know what a day may bring forth. The strongest and fairest are often cut down and hurried away in a few hours, while the old and feeble linger on for many years. The only true wisdom is to be always prepared to meet God, to put nothing off which concerns eternity, and to live like men ready to depart at any moment. So living, it matters little whether we die young or old. Joined to the Lord Jesus, we are safe in any event. We learn, thirdly, from this passage, what benefits affliction can confer on the soul. We read, that anxiety about a son led the nobleman to Christ, in order to obtain help in time of need. Once brought into Christs company, he learned a lesson of priceless value. In the end, he believed, and his whole house. All this, be it remembered, hinged upon the sons sickness. If the noblemans son had never been ill, his father might have lived and died in his sins! Affliction is one of Gods medicines. By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly. Health is a great blessing, but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire; but losses and crosses are far better for us, if they lead us to Christ. Thousands at the last day, will testify with David, and the nobleman before us, It is good for me that I have been afflicted. (Psalm cxix. 71.) Let us beware of murmuring in the time of trouble. Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that there is a meaning, a needs-be, and a message from God, in every sorrow that falls upon us. There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction. There is no commentary that opens up the Bible so much as sickness and sorrow. No chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields peaceable fruit. (Heb. xii. 11.) The resurrection morning will prove, that many of the losses of Gods people were in reality eternal gains. We learn, lastly, from this passage, that Christs word is as good as Christs presence. We read, that Jesus did not come down to Capernaum to see the sick young man, but only spoke the word, Your son lives. Almighty power went with that little sentence. That very hour the patient began to amend. Christ only spoke, and the cure was done. Christ only commanded, and the deadly disease stood fast. The fact before us is singularly full of comfort. It gives enormous value to every promise of mercy, grace, and peace, which ever fell from Christs lips. He that by faith has laid bold on some word of Christ, has placed his feet upon a rock. What Christ has said, He is able to do; and what He has undertaken, He will never fail to make good. The sinner who has really reposed his soul on the word of the Lord Jesus, is safe to all eternity. He could not be safer, if he saw the book of life, and his own name written in it. If Christ has said, Him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out, and our hearts can testify, I have come, we need not doubt that we are saved. In the things of this world, we say that seeing is believing. But in the things of the Gospel, believing is as good as seeing. Christs word is as good as mans deed. He of whom Jesus says in the Gospel, He liveth, is alive forevermore, and shall never die. And now let us remember that afflictions, like that of the nobleman, are very common. They will probably come to our door one day. Have we known anything of bearing affliction? Would we know where to turn for help and comfort when our time comes? Let us fill our minds and memories betimes with Christs words. They are not the words of man only, but of God. The words that he speaks are spirit and life. (John vi. 63.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:251254. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 46, 2009

Sunday··2009·11·15
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn XXI. Gibeon    Joshua x. 6. by John Newton (17251807) When Joshua, by Gods command, Invaded Canaans guilty land; Gibeon, unlike the nations round, Submission made and mercy found. Their stubborn neighbors who enragd, United war against them wagd, By Joshua soon were overthrown, For Gibeons cause was now his own. He, from whose arm they ruin feard, Their leader and ally appeard An emblem of the Saviours grace, To those who humbly seek his face. The men of Gibeon wore disguise, And gaind their peace by framing lies; For Joshua had no powr to spare, If he had known from whence they were. But Jesus invitations sends, Treating with rebels as his friends; And holds the promise forth in view, To all who for his mercy sue. Too long his goodness I disdaind, Yet went at last and peace obtaind; But soon the noise of war I heard, And former friends in arms appeard. Weak in myself for help I cryd, Lord, I am pressd on evry side; The cause is thine, they fight with me, But evry blow is aimd at thee. With speed to my relief he came, And put my enemies to shame; Thus savd by grace I live to sing, The love and triumphs of my King. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. The Gospel According to John Christ feeds 5,000 Mt 14:1321; Mk 6:3144; Lk 9:1117 6 After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). 2 A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat? 6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. 7 Philip answered Him, Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little. 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peters brother, said to Him, 9 There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people? 10 Jesus said, Have the people sit down. Now there was much grass in the place So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. 12 When they were filled, He said to His disciples, Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost. 13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world. These verses describe one of our Lords most remarkable miracles. Of all the great works that He did, none was done so publicly as this, and before so many witnesses. Of all the miracles related in the Gospels, this is the only one which all the four Gospel-writers alike record. This fact alone (like the four times repeated account of the crucifixion and resurrection) is enough to show that it is a miracle demanding special attention. We have, for one thing, in this miracle, a lesson about Christs almighty power. We see our Lord feeding five thousand men with five barley loaves and two small fishes. We see clear proof that a miraculous event took place in the twelve baskets of fragments that remained after all had eaten. Creative power was manifestly exercised. Food was called into existence that did not exist before. In healing the sick, and raising the dead, something was amended or restored that had already existed. In feeding five thousand men with five loaves, something must have been created which before had no existence. These verses describe one of our Lord’s most remarkable miracles. Of all the great works that He did, none was done so publicly as this, and before so many witnesses. Of all the miracles related in the Gospels, this is the only one which all the four Gospel-writers alike record. This fact alone (like the four times repeated account of the crucifixion and resurrection) is enough to show that it is a miracle demanding special attention. We have, for one thing, in this miracle, a lesson about Christ’s almighty power. We see our Lord feeding five thousand men with "five barley loaves and two small fish." We see clear proof that a miraculous event took place in the "twelve baskets of fragments" that remained after all had eaten. Creative power was manifestly exercised. Food was called into existence that did not exist before. In healing the sick, and raising the dead, something was amended or restored that had already existed. In feeding five thousand men with five loaves, something must have been created which before had no existence. Such a history as this ought to be specially instructive and encouraging to all who endeavour to do good to souls. It shows us the Lord Jesus "able to save to the uttermost." He is One who has all power over dead hearts. Not only can He mend that which is broken,build up that which is ruined,heal that which is sick,strengthen that which is weak. He can do even greater things than these. He can call into being that which was not before, and call it out of nothing. We must never despair of any one being saved. So long as there is life there is hope. Reason and sense may say that some poor sinner is too hardened, or too old to be converted. Faith will reply,"Our Master can create as well as renew. With a Savior who, by His Spirit, can create a new heart, nothing is impossible." We have, for another thing, in this miracle, a lesson about the office of ministers. We see the apostles receiving the bread from our Lord’s hands, after He had blessed it, and distributing it to the multitude. It was not their hands that made it increase and multiply, but their Master’s. It was His almighty power that provided an unfailing supply. It was their work to receive humbly, and distribute faithfully. Now here is a lively emblem of the work which a true minister of the New Testament is meant to do. He is not a mediator between God and man. He has no power to put away sin, or impart grace. His whole business is to receive the bread of life which his Master provides, and to distribute it among the souls among whom he labours. He cannot make men value the bread, or receive it. He cannot make it soul-saving, or life-giving, to any one. This is not his work. For this he is not responsible. His whole business is to be a faithful distributor of the food which his Divine Master has provided; and that done, his office is discharged. We have, lastly, in this miracle, a lesson about the sufficiency of the Gospel for the needs of all mankind. We see the Lord Jesus supplying the hunger of a huge multitude of five thousand men. The provision seemed, at first sight, utterly inadequate for the occasion. To satisfy so many craving mouths with such scanty fare, in such a wilderness, seemed impossible. But the event showed that there was enough and to spare. There was not one who could complain that he was not filled. There can be no doubt that this was meant to teach the adequacy of Christ’s Gospel to supply the necessities of the whole world. Weak, and feeble, and foolish as it may seem to man, the simple story of the Cross is enough for all the children of Adam in every part of the globe. The tidings of Christ’s death for sinners, and the atonement made by that death, is able to meet the hearts and satisfy the consciences of all nations, and peoples, and kindreds, and tongues. Carried by faithful messengers, it feeds and supplies all ranks and classes. "The preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor. 1:18.) Five barley loaves and two small fishes seemed scanty provision for a hungry crowd. But blessed by Christ, and distributed by His disciples, they were more than sufficient. Let us never doubt for a moment, that the preaching of Christ crucified,the old story of His blood, and righteousness, and substitution,is enough for all the spiritual necessities of all mankind. It is not worn out. It is not obsolete. It has not lost its power. We need nothing new,nothing more broad and kind,nothing more intellectual,nothing more effectual. We need nothing but the true bread of life, distributed faithfully among starving souls. Let men sneer or ridicule as they will. Nothing else can do good in this sinful world. No other teaching can fill hungry consciences, and give them peace. We are all in a wilderness. We must feed on Christ crucified, and the atonement made by His death, or we shall die in our sins. Such a history as this ought to be specially instructive and encouraging to all who endeavour to do good to souls. It shows us the Lord Jesus able to save to the uttermost. He is One who has all power over dead hearts. Not only can He mend that which is broken,build up that which is ruined,heal that which is sick,strengthen that which is weak. He can do even greater things than these. He can call into being that which was not before, and call it out of nothing. We must never despair of any one being saved. So long as there is life there is hope. Reason and sense may say that some poor sinner is too hardened, or too old to be converted. Faith will reply,Our Master can create as well as renew. With a Savior who, by His Spirit, can create a new heart, nothing is impossible. We have, for another thing, in this miracle, a lesson about the office of ministers. We see the apostles receiving the bread from our Lords hands, after He had blessed it, and distributing it to the multitude. It was not their hands that made it increase and multiply, but their Masters. It was His almighty power that provided an unfailing supply. It was their work to receive humbly, and distribute faithfully. Now here is a lively emblem of the work which a true minister of the New Testament is meant to do. He is not a mediator between God and man. He has no power to put away sin, or impart grace. His whole business is to receive the bread of life which his Master provides, and to distribute it among the souls among whom he labours. He cannot make men value the bread, or receive it. He cannot make it soul-saving, or life-giving, to any one. This is not his work. For this he is not responsible. His whole business is to be a faithful distributor of the food which his Divine Master has provided; and that done, his office is discharged. We have, lastly, in this miracle, a lesson about the sufficiency of the Gospel for the needs of all mankind. We see the Lord Jesus supplying the hunger of a huge multitude of five thousand men. The provision seemed, at first sight, utterly inadequate for the occasion. To satisfy so many craving mouths with such scanty fare, in such a wilderness, seemed impossible. But the event showed that there was enough and to spare. There was not one who could complain that he was not filled. There can be no doubt that this was meant to teach the adequacy of Christs Gospel to supply the necessities of the whole world. Weak, and feeble, and foolish as it may seem to man, the simple story of the Cross is enough for all the children of Adam in every part of the globe. The tidings of Christs death for sinners, and the atonement made by that death, is able to meet the hearts and satisfy the consciences of all nations, and peoples, and kindreds, and tongues. Carried by faithful messengers, it feeds and supplies all ranks and classes. The preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. i. 18.) Five barley loaves and two small fishes seemed scanty provision for a hungry crowd. But blessed by Christ, and distributed by His disciples, they were more than sufficient. Let us never doubt for a moment, that the preaching of Christ crucified,the old story of His blood, and righteousness, and substitution,is enough for all the spiritual necessities of all mankind. It is not worn out. It is not obsolete. It has not lost its power. We want nothing new,nothing more broad and kind,nothing more intellectual,nothing more efficacious. We want nothing but the true bread of life, distributed faithfully among starving souls. Let men sneer or ridicule as they will. Nothing else can do good in this sinful world. No other teaching can fill hungry consciences, and give them peace. We are all in a wilderness. We must feed on Christ crucified, and the atonement made by His death, or we shall die in our sins. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:324327. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 51, 2009

Sunday··2009·12·20
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN XXII. Jehovah-Shalem, The Lord send peace.    Judges vi. 24. by William Cowper (17311800) Jesus, whose blood so freely streamd To satisfy the laws demand; By thee from guilt and wrath redeemd, Before the Fathers face I stand. To reconcile offending man, Make Justice drop her angry rod; What creature could have formd the plan, Or who fulfil it but a God? No drop remains of all the curse; For wretches who deservd the whole; No arrows dipt in wrath to pierce The guilty, but returning soul. Peace by such means so dearly bought, What rebel could have hopd to see? Peace, by his injurd sovereign wrought, His Sovreign fastened to the tree. Now, Lord, thy feeble worm prepare! For strife with earth and hell begins; Confirm and gird me for the war, They hate the soul that hates his sins. Let them in horrid league agree! They may assault, they may distress; But cannot quench thy love to me, Nor rob me of the Lord my peace. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 6:4151Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, I am the bread that came down out of heaven. 42 They were saying, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, I have come down out of heaven? 43 Jesus answered and said to them, Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. Truths of the weightiest importance follow each other in rapid succession in the chapter we are now reading. There are probably very few parts of the Bible which contain so many deep things as the Sixth Chapter of St. John. Of this the passage before as is a signal example. We learn, for one thing, from this passage, that Christs lowly condition, when He was upon earth, is a stumbling-block to the natural man. We read that the Jews murmured, because Jesus said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?Had our Lord come as a conquering king, with wealth and honours to bestow on His followers, and mighty armies in His train, they would have been willing enough to receive Him. But a poor, and lowly, and suffering Messiah was an offence to them. Their pride refused to believe that such an one was sent from God. There is nothing that need surprise us in this. It is human nature showing itself in its true colors. We see the same thing in the days of the Apostles. Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. (1 Cor. i. 23.) The cross was an offence to many wherever the Gospel was preached.We may see the same thing in our own times. There are thousands around us who loathe the distinctive doctrines of the Gospel on account of their humbling character. They cannot away with the atonement, and the sacrifice, and the substitution of Christ. His moral teaching they approve. His example and self-denial they admire. But speak to them of Christs blood,of Christ being made sin for us,of Christs death being the corner-stone of our hope,of Christs poverty being our riches,and you will find they hate these things with a deadly hatred. Truly the offence of the cross is not yet ceased! We learn, for another thing, from this passage, mans natural helplessness and inability to repent or believe. We find our Lord saying,No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draws him. Until the Father draws the heart of man by His grace, man will not believe. The solemn truth contained in these words is one that needs careful weighing. It is vain to deny that without the grace of God no one ever can become a true Christian. We are spiritually dead, and have no power to give ourselves life. We need a new principle put in us from above. Facts prove it. Preachers see it. The Tenth Article of our own Church expressly declares it,The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God. This witness is true. But after all, of what does this inability of man consist? In what part of our inward nature does this impotence reside? Here is a point on which many mistakes arise. Forever let us remember that the will of man is the part of him which is in fault. His inability is not physical, but moral. It would not be true to say that a man has a real wish and desire to come to Christ, but no power to come. It would be far more true to say that a man has no power to come because he has no desire or wish.It is not true that he would come if he could. It is true that he could come if he would.The corrupt will,the secret disinclination,the lack of heart, are the real causes of unbelief. It is here the mischief lies. The power that we want is a new will. It is precisely at this point that we need the drawing of the Father. These things, no doubt, are deep and mysterious. By truths like these God proves the faith and patience of His people. Can they believe Him? Can they wait for a fuller explanation at the last day? What they see not now they shall see hereafter. One thing at any rate is abundantly clear, and that is, mans responsibility for his own soul. His inability to come to Christ does not make an end of his accountableness. Both things are equally true. If lost at last, it will prove to have been his own fault. His blood will be on his own head. Christ would have saved him, but he would not be saved. He would not come to Christ, that he might have life. We learn, lastly, in this passage, that the salvation of a believer is a present thing. Our Lord Jesus Christ says,Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Life, we should observe, is a present possession. It is not said that he shall have it at last, in the judgment day. It is now, even now, in this world, his property. He hath it the very day that he believes. The subject is one which it much concerns our peace to understand, and one about which errors abound. How many seem to think that forgiveness and acceptance with God are things which we cannot attain in this life,that they are things which are to be earned by a long course of repentance and faith and holiness,things which we may receive at the bar of God at last, but must never pretend to touch while we are in this world! It is a complete mistake to think so. The very moment a sinner believes on Christ he is justified and accepted. There is no condemnation for him. He has peace with God, and that immediately and without delay. His name is in the book of life, however little he may be aware of it. He has a title to heaven, which death and hell and Satan can not overthrow. Happy are those who know this truth! It is an essential part of the good news of the Gospel. After all, the great point we have to consider is whether we believe. What shall it profit us that Christ has died for sinners, if we do not believe on Him? He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John iii. 36.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:379382. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 5, 2010

Sunday··2010·01·31
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn XXV. Hannah; or the throne of grace. I. Samuel i. 18. John Newton (17251807)    When Hannah pressd with grief,  Pourd forth her soul in prayr; She quickly found relief,    And left her burden there: Like her, in evry trying case, Let us approach the throne of grace.    When she began to pray,       Her heart was paind and sad;    But ere she went away,       Was comforted and glad: In trouble, what a resting place, Have they who know the throne of grace!    Tho men and devils rage,       And threaten to devour;    The saints, from age to age,       Are safe from all their powr: Fresh strength they gain to run their race, By waiting at the throne of grace.    Eli her case mistook,       How was her spirit movd    By his unkind rebuke?       But God her cause approvd. We need not fear a creatures face, While welcome at a throne of grace.    She was not filld with wine,       As Eli rashly thought;    But with a faith divine,       And found the help she sought: Tho men despise and call us base, Still let us ply the throne of grace.    Men have not powr or skill,       With troubled souls to bear;    Tho they express goodwill,       Poor comforters they are: But swelling sorrows sink apace, When we approach the throne of grace.    Numbers before have tryd,       And found the promise true;    Nor one been yet denyd,       Then why should I or you? Let us by faith their footsteps trace, And hasten to the throne of grace.    As fogs obscure the light,       And taint the morning air;    But soon are put to flight,       If the bright sun appear; Thus Jesus will our troubles chase, By shining from the throne of grace. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 7:2536Christs Origins from the Father So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? 27 However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from. 28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me. 30 So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He? Christs Departure to the Father    32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. 33 Therefore Jesus said, For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come. 35 The Jews then said to one another, Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? 36 What is this statement that He said, You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come? We see in these verses, the obstinate blindness of the unbelieving Jews. We find them defending their denial of our Lords Messiahship, by saying, But we know this man whence He is: but when Christ cometh no man knoweth whence he is. And yet in both these assertions they were wrong! They were wrong in saying that they knew whence our Lord came. They meant no doubt to say that He was born at Nazareth, and belonged to Nazareth, and was therefore a Galilean. Yet the fact was, that our Lord was born at Bethlehem, that He belonged legally to the tribe of Judah, and that His mother and Joseph were of the house and lineage of David. It is incredible to suppose that the Jews could not have found this out, if they had honestly searched and inquired. It is notorious that pedigrees, genealogies, and family histories were most carefully kept by the Jewish nation. Their ignorance was without excuse. They were wrong again in saying, that no man was to know whence Christ came. There was a well-known prophecy, with which their whole nation was familiar, that Christ was to come out of the town of Bethlehem. (Micah v. 2; Matt. ii. 5; John vii 42.) It is absurd to suppose that they had forgotten this prophecy. But apparently they found it inconvenient to remember it on this occasion. Mens memories are often sadly dependent on their wills. The Apostle Peter, in a certain place, speaks of some as willingly ignorant. (2 Pet. iii. 5.) He had good reason to use the expression. It is a sore spiritual disease, and one most painfully common among men. There are thousands in the present day just as blind in their way as the Jews. They shut their eyes against the plainest facts and doctrines of Christianity. They pretend to say that they do not understand, and cannot therefore believe the things that we press on their attention, as needful to salvation. But, alas! in nineteen cases out of twenty it is a wilful ignorance. They do not believe what they do not like to believe. They will neither read, nor listen, nor search, nor think, nor inquire, honestly after truth. Can any one wonder if such people are ignorant? Faithful and true is that old proverb,There are none so blind as those who will not see. We see, for another thing, in these verses, the overruling hand of God over all His enemies. We find that the unbelieving Jews Sought to take our Lord: but no man laid hands on Him, because his hour was not yet come. They had the will to hurt him, but by an invisible restraint from above, they had not the power. There is a mine of deep truth in the words before us, which deserves close attention. They show us plainly that all our Lords sufferings were undergone voluntarily, and of His own free will. He did not go to the cross because He could not help it. He did not die because He could not prevent His death. Neither Jew nor Gentile, Pharisee nor Sadducee, Annas nor Caiaphas, Herod nor Pontius Pilate, could have injured our Lord, except power had been given them from above. All that they did was done under control, and by permission. The crucifixion was part of the eternal counsels of the Trinity. The passion of our Lord could not begin until the very hour which God had appointed. This is a great mystery. But it is a truth. The servants of Christ in every age should treasure up the doctrine before us, and remember it in time of need. It is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons. Let such never forget that they live in a world where God overrules all times and events, and where nothing can happen but by Gods permission. The very hairs of their heads are all numbered. Sorrow and sickness, and poverty, and persecution, can never touch them, unless God sees fit. They may boldly say to every cross,You could have no power against me, except it were given thee from above. Then let them work on confidently. They are immortal, till their work is done. Let them suffer patiently, if needs be that they suffer. Their times are in Gods hand. (Psl. xxxi. 15.) That hand guides and governs all things here below, and makes no mistakes. We see lastly, in these verses, the miserable end to which unbelievers may one day come. We find our Lord saying to His enemies,Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am thither ye cannot come. We can hardly doubt that these words were meant to have a prophetical sense. Whether our Lord had in view individual cases of unbelief among His hearers, or whether He looked forward to the national remorse which many would feel too late in the final siege of Jerusalem, are points which we cannot perhaps decide. But that many Jews did remember Christs sayings long after He had ascended into heaven, and did in a way seek Him and wish for Him when it was too late, we may be very sure. It is far too much forgotten that there is such a thing as finding out truth too late. There may be convictions of sin, discoveries of our own folly, desires after peace, anxieties about heaven, fears of hell,but all too late. The teaching of Scripture on this point is clear and express. It is written in Proverbs,Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. (Prov. ii. 28.) It is written of the foolish virgins in the parable, that when they found the door shut, they knocked in vain, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (Matt. xxxv. 11.) Awful as it may seem, it is possible, by continually resisting light and warnings, to sin away our own souls. It sounds terrible, but it is true. Let us take heed to ourselves lest we sin after the example of the unbelieving Jews, and never seek the Lord Jesus as a Saviour until it is too late. The door of mercy is still open. The throne of grace is still waiting for us. Let us give diligence to make sure our interest in Christ, while it is called to-day. Better never have been born than hear the Son of God say at last, Where I am thither ye cannot come. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012).

Lords Day 11, 2010

Sunday··2010·03·14
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn XXVI. Dagon before the ark. I. Samuel v. 4, 5. John Newton (17251807) When first to make my heart his own, The small-caps;">Lord reveald his mighty grace; Self reignd, like Dagon, on the throne, But could not long maintain its place. It fell, and ownd the powr divine, (Grace can with ease the victry gain) But soon this wretched heart of mine, Contrivd to set it up again. Again the Lord his name proclaimd, And brought the hateful idol low; Then self, like Dagon, broken, maimd, Seemd to receive a mortal blow. Yet self is not of life bereft, Nor ceases to oppose his will; Tho but a maimed stump be left, Tis Dagon, tis an idol still. Lord! must I always guilty prove, And idols in my heart have room? Oh! let the, fire of heavenly love, The very stump of self consume. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 8:3747I know that you are Abrahams descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father. 39 They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you are Abrahams children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father. They said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God. 42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God. There are things taught in this passage of Scripture which are peculiarly truth for the times. Well would it be for the Churches if all Christians would ponder carefully the matter which it contains. We are taught for one thing the ignorant self-righteousness of the natural man. We find the Jews pluming themselves on their natural descent from Abraham, as if that must of necessity, cover all deficiencies: Abraham is our father. We find them going even further than this, and claiming to be Gods special favourites and Gods own family: We have one Father, even God. They forgot that fleshly relationship to Abraham was useless, unless they shared Abrahams grace. They forgot that Gods choice of their father to be head of a favoured nation was never meant to carry salvation to the children, unless they walked in their fathers footsteps. All this in their blind self-conceit they refused to see. We are Jews. We are Gods children. We are the true Church. We are in the covenant. We must be all right. This was their whole argument! Strange as it may seem, there are multitudes of so-called Christians who are exactly like these Jews. Their whole religion consist of a few notions neither wiser nor better than those propounded by the enemies of our Lord. They will tell you that they are regular Church people; they have been baptized; they go to the Lords table;but they can tell you no more. Of all the essential doctrines of the Gospel they are totally ignorant. Of faith, and grace, and repentance, and holiness, and spiritual mindedness they know nothing at all. But, forsooth! they are Churchmen, and so they hope to go to heaven! There are myriads in this condition. It sounds sad, but unhappily it is only too true. Let us settle firmly in our minds that connection with a good Church and good ancestors is no proof whatever that we ourselves are in a way to be saved. We need something more than this. We must be joined to Christ himself by a living faith. We must know something experimentally of the work of the Spirit in our hearts. Church principles, and sound Churchmanship, are fine words and excellent party cries. But they will not deliver our souls from the wrath to come, or give us boldness in the day of judgment. We are taught for another thing the true marks of spiritual sonship. Our Lord makes this point most plain by two mighty sayings. Did the Jews say, We have Abraham to our father? He replies, If ye were Abrahams children ye would do the work of Abraham.Did the Jews say, We have one Father, even God? He replies, If God were your Father ye would love Me. Let these two sayings of Christ sink down into our hearts. They supply an answer to two of the most mischievous, yet most common, errors of the present day. What more common, on one side, than vague talk about the universal Fatherhood of God? All men, we are told, are Gods children, whatever be their creed or religion; all are finally to have a place in the Fathers house, where there are many mansions.What more common, on another side, than high-sounding statements about the effect of baptism and the privileges of Church-membership? By baptism, we are confidently told, all baptized people are made children of God; all members of the Church, without distinction, have a right to be addressed as sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. Statements like these can never be reconciled with the plain language of our Lord in the passage before us. If words mean anything, no man is really a child of God, who does not love Jesus Christ. The charitable judgment of a baptismal service, or the hopeful estimate of a catechism, may call him by the name of a son, and reckon him among Gods children. But the reality of sonship to God, and all its blessings, no one possesses who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. (Ephes. vi. 24.) In matters like these we need not be shaken by mere assertions. We may well afford to despise the charge of undervaluing the sacraments. We have only to ask one question: What is written? What saith the Lord? And with this saying before us, we can only come to one conclusion: Where there is no love to Christ, there is no sonship to God. We are taught, lastly, in these verses, the reality and character of the devil. Our Lord speaks of him as one whose personality and existence are beyond dispute. In solemn words of stern rebuke He says to His unbelieving enemies, You are of your father the devil,led by him, doing his will, and showing unhappily that you are like him. And then He paints his picture in dark colors, describing him as a murderer from the beginning, as a liar and the father of lies. There is a devil! We have a mighty invisible enemy always near us,one who never slumbers and never sleeps,one who is about our path and about our bed, and spies out all our ways, and will never leave us until we die.He is a murderer! His great aim and object is, to ruin us forever and kill our souls. To destroy, to rob us of eternal life, to bring us down to the second death in hell, are the things for which he is unceasingly working. He is ever going about, seeking whom he may devour.He is a liar! He is continually trying to deceive us by false representations, just as he deceived Eve at the beginning. He is always telling us that good is evil and evil good,truth is falsehood and falsehood truth,the broad way good and the narrow way bad. Millions are led captive by his deceit, and follow him, both rich and poor, both high and low, both learned and unlearned. Lies are his chosen weapons. By lies he slays many. These are awful things; but they are true. Let us live as if we believed them. Let us not be like many who mock, and sneer, and scoff, and deny the existence of the very being who is invisibly leading them to hell. Let us believe there is a devil, and watch, and pray, and fight hard against his temptations. Strong as he is, there is One stronger than him, who said to Peter, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, and who still intercedes at Gods right hand. Let us commit our souls to Him. (Luke xxii. 32.) With such a being as the devil going to and fro in the world, we never need wonder to see evil abounding. But with Christ on our side, we need not be afraid. Greater is He that is for us than he that is against us. It is written, Resist the devil, and he shall flee from you.The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. (James iv. 7; Rom. xvi. 20.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012). 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 20, 2010

Sunday··2010·05·16
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn XXVII. The milch kine drawing the ark: Faiths surrender of all. I. Samuel vi. 12. John Newton (17251807)    The kine unguided went By the directest road; When the Philistines homeward sent The ark of Israels God.    Lowing they passd along,    And left their calves shut up; They felt an instinct for their young,    But would not turn or stop.    Shall brutes, devoid of thought,    Their Makers will obey; And we, who by his grace are taught,    More stubborn prove than they?    He shed his precious blood    To make us his alone; If washd in that atoning flood    We are no more our own.    If he his will reveal,    Let us obey his call; And think whateer the flesh may feel,    His love deserves our all.    We should maintain in view    His glory, as our end; Too much we cannot bear, or do,    For such a matchless friend.    His saints should stand prepard    In dutys path to run; Nor count their greatest trials hard,    So that his will be done.    With Jesus for our guide,    The path is safe though rough The promise says, I will provide,    And faith replies, Enough! —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 10:3142The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me? 33 The Jews answered Him, For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God. 34 Jesus answered them, Has it not been written in your Law, I said, you are gods? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father. 39 Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true. 42 Many believed in Him there. We should observe, in these verses, the extreme wickedness of human nature. The unbelieving Jews at Jerusalem was neither moved by our Lords miracles, nor by His preaching. They were determined not to receive Him as their Messiah. Once more it is written that they took up stones to stone Him. Our Lord had done the Jews no injury. He was no robber, murderer, or rebel against the law of the land. He was one whose whole life was love, and who went about doing good. (Acts x. 38.) There was no fault or inconsistency in His character. There was no crime that could be laid to His charge. So perfect and spotless a man had never walked on the face of this earth. But yet the Jews hated Him, and thirsted for His blood. How true are the words of Scripture: They hated Him without a cause. (John xv. 25.) How just the remark of an old divine: Unconverted men would kill God Himself if they could only get at Him. The true Christian has surely no right to wonder if he meets with the same kind of treatment as our blessed Lord. In fact, the more like he is to his Master, and the more holy and spiritual his life, the more probable is it that he will have to endure hatred and persecution. Let him not suppose that any degree of consistency will deliver him from this cross. It is not his faults, but his graces, which call forth the enmity of men. The world hates to see anything of Gods image. The children of the world are vexed and pierced in conscience when they see others better than themselves. Why did Cain hate his brother Abel, and slay him? Because, says John, his own works were evil, and his brothers righteous. (1 John iii. 12.) Why did the Jews hate Christ? Because He exposed their sins and false doctrines; and they knew in their own hearts that he was right and they were wrong. The world, said our Lord, hateth Me, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. (John vii. 7.) Let Christians make up their minds to drink the same cup, and let them drink it patiently and without surprise. There is One in heaven who said, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. (John xv. 18.) Let them remember this and take courage. The time is short. We are traveling on towards a day when all shall be set right, and every man shall receive according to his works. There is an end: and our expectation shall not be cut off. (Prov. xxiii. 18.) We should observe, secondly, in these verses, the high honour that Jesus Christ puts on the Holy Scriptures. We find Him using a text out of the Psalms as an argument against His enemies, in which the whole point lies in the single word gods. And then having quoted the text, He lays down the great principle, the Scripture cannot be broken. It is as though He said, Wherever the Scripture speaks plainly on any subject, there can be no more question about it. The cause is settled and decided. Every jot and tittle of Scripture is true, and must be received as conclusive. The principle here laid down by our Lord is one of vast importance. Let us grasp it firmly, and never let it go. Let us maintain boldly the complete inspiration of every word of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Let us believe that not only every book of the Bible, but every chapter,and not only every chapter, but every verse,and not only every verse, but every word, was originally given by inspiration of God. Inspiration, we must never shrink from asserting, extends not only to the thoughts and ideas of Scripture, but to the least words. The principle before us, no doubt, is rudely assaulted in the present day. Let no Christians heart fail because of these assaults. Let us stand our ground manfully, and defend the principle of plenary inspiration as we would the pupil of our eye. There are difficulties in Scripture, we need not shrink from conceding, things hard to explain, hard to reconcile, and hard to understand. But in almost all these difficulties, the fault, we may justly suspect, is not so much in Scripture as in our own weak minds. In all cases we may well be content to wait for more light, and to believe that all shall be made clear at last. One thing we may rest assured is very certain,if the difficulties of plenary inspiration are to be numbered by thousands, the difficulties of any other view of inspiration are to be numbered by tens of thousands. The wisest course is to walk in the old path,the path of faith and humility; and say, I cannot give up a single word of my Bible. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Scripture cannot be broken. We should observe, lastly, in these verses, the importance which our Lord Jesus Christ attaches to His miracles. He appeals to them as the best evidence of His own Divine mission. He bids the Jews look at them, and deny them if they can. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works. The mighty miracles which our Lord performed during the three years of His earthly ministry are probably not considered as much as they ought to be in the present day. These miracles were not few in number. Forty times and more we read in the Gospels of His doing things entirely out of the ordinary course of nature,healing sick people in a moment, raising the dead with a word, casting out devils, calming winds and waves in an instant, walking on the water as on solid ground. These miracles were not all done in private among friends. Many of them were wrought in the most public manner, under the eyes of unfriendly witnesses. We are so familiar with these things that we are apt to forget the mighty lesson they teach. They teach that He who worked these miracles must be nothing less than very God. They stamp His doctrines and precepts with the mark of Divine authority. He only who created all things at the beginning could suspend the laws of creation at His will. He who could suspend the laws of creation must be One who ought to be thoroughly believed and implicitly obeyed. To reject One who confirmed His mission by such mighty works is the height of madness and folly. Hundreds of unbelieving men, no doubt, in every age, have tried to pour contempt on Christs miracles, and to deny that they were ever worked at all. But they labour in vain. Proofs upon proofs exist that our Lords ministry was accompanied by miracles; and that this was acknowledged by those who lived in our Lords time. Objectors of this sort would do well to take up the one single miracle of our Lords resurrection from the dead, and disprove it if they can. If they cannot disprove that, they ought, as honest men, to confess that miracles are possible. And then, if their hearts are truly humble, they ought to admit that He whose mission was confirmed by such evidence must have been the Son of God. Let us thank God, as we turn from this passage, that Christianity has such abundant evidence that it is a religion from God. Whether we appeal to the internal evidence of the Bible, or to the lives of the first Christians, or to prophecy, or to miracles; or to history, we get one and the same answer. All say with one voice, Jesus is the Son of God, and believers have life through His name. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012). 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 33, 2010

Sunday··2010·08·15
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn XXX. Is this thy kindness to thy friend. II. Samuel xvi. 17. John Newton (17251807) Poor, weak, and worthless tho I am, I have a rich almighty friend; Jesus, the Saviour, is his name, He freely loves, and without end. He ransomd me from hell with blood, And by his powr my foes controlld; He found me, wandring far from God, And brought me to his chosen fold. He cheers my heart, my wants supplies, And says that I shall shortly be Enthrond with him above the skies, O! what a friend is Christ to me. But ah! I my inmost spirit mourns, And well my eyes with tears may swim, To think of my perverse returns; Ive been a faithless friend to him. Often my gracious Friend I grieve, Neglect, distrust, and disobey, And often Satans lies believe, Sooner than all my Friend can say. He bids me always freely come, And promises whateer I ask: But I am straitened, cold and dumb, And count my privilege a task. Before the world that hates his course, My treachrous heart has throbbd with shame; Loth to forego the worlds applause, I hardly dare avow his name. Sure were not I most vile and base, I could not thus my friend requite! And were not he the God of grace, Hed frown and spurn me from his sight. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 12:4450 And Jesus cried out and said, He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50 I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.    These verses throw light on two subjects which we can never understand too well. Our daily peace and our practice of daily watchfulness over ourselves are closely connected with a clear knowledge of these two subjects. One thing shown in these verses is, the dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ. We find Him saying, He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me. I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. Christs oneness with the Father, and Christs office, are clearly exhibited in these words. Concerning the unity of the Father and the Son, we must be content to believe reverently what we cannot grasp mentally or explain distinctly. Let it suffice us to know that our Saviour was not like the prophets and patriarchs, a man sent by God the Father, a friend of God, and a witness for God. He was something far higher and greater than this. He was in His Divine nature essentially one with the Father: and in seeing Him, men saw the Father who sent Him. This is a great mystery; but a truth of vast importance to our souls. He that casts His sins on Jesus Christ by faith is building on a rock. Believing on Christ, he believes not merely on Him, but on Him that sent Him. Concerning the office of Christ, there can be little doubt that in this place He compares Himself to the sun. Like the sun, He has risen on this sin-darkened world with healing on His wings, and shines for the common benefit of all mankind. Like the sun, He is the great source and center of all spiritual life, comfort, and fertility. Like the sun, He illuminates the whole earth, and no one need miss the way to heaven, if he will only use the light offered for his acceptance. Forever let us make much of Christ in all our religion. We can never trust Him too much, follow Him too closely, or commune with Him too unreservedly. He has all power in heaven and earth. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him. None can pluck us out of the hand of Him who is one with the Father. He can make all our way to heaven bright and plain and cheerful; like the morning sun cheering the traveler. Looking unto Him, we shall find light in our understandings, see light on the path of life we have to travel, feel light in our hearts, and find the days of darkness, which will come sometimes, stripped of half their gloom. Only let us abide in Him, and look to Him with a single eye. There is a mine of meaning in His words, If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (Matt. vi. 22.) Another thing shown in these verses is, the certainty of a judgment to come. We find our Lord saying, He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not my words, has One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. There is a last day! The world shall not always go on as it does now. Buying and selling, sowing and reaping, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage,all this shall come to an end at last. There is a time appointed by the Father when the whole machinery of creation shall stop, and the present dispensation shall be changed for another. It had a beginning, and it shall also have an end. Banks shall at length close their doors forever. Stock exchanges shall be shut. Parliaments shall be dissolved. The very sun, which since Noahs flood has done his daily work so faithfully, shall rise and set no more. Well would it be if we thought more of this day! Pay-days, birth-days, wedding-days, are often regarded as days of absorbing interest; but they are nothing compared to the last day. There is a judgment coming! Men have their reckoning days, and God will at last have His. The trumpet shall sound. The dead shall be raised incorruptible. The living shall be changed. All, of every name and nation, and people and tongue, shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. The books shall be opened, and the evidence brought forth. Our true character will come out before the world. There will be no concealment, no evasion, no false colouring. Every one shall give account of himself to God, and all shall be judged according to their works. The wicked shall go away into everlasting fire, and the righteous into life eternal. These are awful truths! But they are truths, and ought to be told. No wonder that the Roman governor Felix trembled when Paul the prisoner discoursed about righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. (Acts xxiv. 25.) Yet the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has no cause to be afraid. For him, at any rate, there is no condemnation, and the last assize need have no terrors. The bias of his life shall witness for him; while the shortcomings of his life shall not condemn him. It is the man who rejects Christ, and will not hear His call to repentance,he is the man who in the judgment-day will have reason to be cast down and afraid. Let the thought of judgment to come have a practical effect on our religion. Let us daily judge ourselves with righteous judgment, that we may not be judged and condemned of the Lord. Let us so speak and so act as men who will be judged by the law of liberty. Let us make conscience of all our hourly conduct, and never forget that for every idle word we must give account at the last day. In a word, let us live like those who believe in the truth of judgment, heaven, and hell. So living, we shall be Christians indeed and in truth, and have boldness in the day of Christs appearing. Let the judgment-day be the Christians answer and apology when men ridicule him as too strict, too precise, and too particular in his religion. Irreligion may do tolerably well for a season, so long as a man is in health and prosperous, and looks at nothing but this world. But he who believes that he must give account to the Judge of quick and dead, at His appearing and kingdom, will never be content with an ungodly life. He will say, There is a judgment. I can never serve God too much. Christ died for me. I can never do too much for Him. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012). 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 41, 2010

Sunday··2010·10·10
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn XXXI. Ask what I shall give thee. I. Kings iii. 5. John Newton (17251807) Come, my soul, thy suit prepare, Jesus loves to answer prayr, He himself has bid thee pray, Therefore will not say thee nay. Thou art coming to a King, Large petitions with thee bring; For his grace and powr are such, None can ever ask too much. With my burden I begin, Lord, remove this load of sin! Let thy blood, for sinners spilt, Set my conscience free from guilt. Lord! I come to thee for rest, Take possession of my breast; There thy bloodbought right maintain, And without a rival reign. As the image in the glass Answers the beholders face; Thus unto my heart appear, Print thine own resemblance there. While I am a pilgrim here, Let thy love my spirit cheer; As my Guide, my Guard, my Friend, Lead me to my journeys end. Shew me what I have to do, Evry hour my strength renew; Let me live a life of faith, Let me die thy peoples death. —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. John 14:1217Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.    These verses are an example of our Lords tender consideration for the weakness of His disciples. He saw them troubled and faint-hearted at the prospect of being left alone in the world. He cheers them by three promises, peculiarly suited to their circumstances. A word spoken in season, how good is it! We have first in this passage, a striking promise about the works that Christians may do. Our Lord says, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. The full meaning of this promise is not to be sought in the miracles which the Apostles wrought after Christ left the world. Such a notion seems hardly borne out by facts. We read of no Apostle walking on the water, or raising a person four days dead, like Lazarus. What our Lord has in view seems to be the far greater number of conversions, the far wider spread of the Gospel, which would take place under the ministry of the Apostles, than under his own teaching. This was the case, we know from the Acts of the Apostles. We read of no sermon preached by Christ, under which three thousand were converted in one day, as they were on the day of Pentecost. In short, greater works mean more conversions. There is no greater work possible than the conversion of a soul. Let us admire the condescension of our Master in allowing to the ministry of His weak servants more success than to His own. Let us learn that His visible presence is not absolutely necessary to the progress of His kingdom. He can help forward His cause on earth quite as much by sitting at the right hand of the Father, and sending forth the Holy Ghost, as by walking to and fro in the world. Let us believe that there is nothing too hard or too great for believers to do, so long as their Lord intercedes for them in heaven. Let us work on in faith, and expect great things, though we feel weak and lonely, like the disciples. Our Lord is working with us and for us, though we cannot see Him. It was not so much the sword of Joshua that defeated Amalek, as the intercession of Moses on the hill. (Ex. xvii. 11.) We have, secondly, in this passage, a striking promise about things that Christians may get by prayer. Our Lord says, Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do . . . If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. These words are a direct encouragement to the simple, yet great duty of praying. Everyone who kneels daily before God, and from his heart says his prayers, has a right to take comfort in these words. Weak and imperfect as his supplications may be, so long as they are put in Christs hands, and offered in Christs name, they shall not be in vain. We have a Friend at Court, an Advocate with the Father; and if we honor Him by sending all our petitions through Him, He pledges His word that they shall succeed. Of course it is taken for granted that the things we ask are for our souls good, and not mere temporal benefits. Anything and whatsoever do not include wealth, and money, and worldly prosperity. These things are not always good for us, and our Lord loves us too well to let us have them. But whatever is really good for our souls, we need not doubt we shall have, if we ask in Christs name. How is it that many true Christians have so little? How is it that they go halting and mourning on the way to heaven, and enjoy so little peace, and show so little strength in Christs service? The answer is simple and plain. They have not, because they ask not. They have little because they ask little. They are no better than they are, because they do not ask their Lord to make them better. Our languid desires are the reason of our languid performances. We are not straitened in our Lord, but in ourselves. Happy are they who never forget the words, Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Ps. lxxxi. 10.) He that does much for Christ, and leaves his mark in the world, will always prove to be one who prays much. We have, lastly, in this passage, a striking promise about the Holy Ghost. Our Lord says, I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, . . . even the Spirit of truth. This is the first time that the Holy Ghost is mentioned as Christs special gift to His people. Of course we are not to suppose that He did not dwell in the hearts of all the Old Testament saints. But He was given with peculiar influence and power to believers when the New Testament dispensation came in, and this is the special promise of the passage before us. We shall find it useful, therefore, to observe closely the things that are here said about Him. The Holy Ghost is spoken of as a Person. To apply the language before us to a mere influence or inward feeling, is an unreasonable strain of words. The Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of truth. It is His special office to apply truth to the hearts of Christians, to guide them into all truth, and to sanctify them by the truth. The Holy Ghost is said to be one whom the world cannot receive and does not know. His operations are in the strongest sense foolishness to the natural man. The inward feelings of conviction, repentance, faith, hope, fear, and love, which He always produces, are precisely that part of religion which the world cannot understand. The Holy Ghost is said to dwell in believers, and to be known by them. They know the feelings that He creates, and the fruits that He produces, though they may not be able to explain them, or see at first whence they come. But they all are what they are,new men, new creatures, light and salt in the earth, compared to the worldly, by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is given to the Church of the elect, to abide with them until Christ comes the second time. He is meant to supply all the needs of believers, and to fill up all that is lacking while Christs visible presence is removed. He is sent to abide with and help them until Christ returns. These are truths of vast importance. Let us take care that we grasp them firmly, and never let them go. Next to the whole truth about Christ, it concerns our safety and peace to see the whole truth about the Holy Ghost. Any doctrine about the Church, the ministry, or the Sacraments, which obscures the Spirits inward work, or turns it into mere form, is to be avoided as deadly error. Let us never rest until we feel and know that He dwells in us. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. (Rom. viii. 9.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012). 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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Lord���s Day 7, 2011

Sunday··2011·02·13
I was glad when they said to me, ���Let us go to the house of the Lord.��� Hymn XLVII. The believer���s safety. Psalm xci. John Newton (1725���1807) Incarnate God! the soul that knows Thy name���s mysterious pow���r; Shall dwell in undisturb���d repose, Nor fear the trying hour. Thy wisdom, faithfulness and love,    To feeble helpless worms; A buckler and a refuge prove,    From enemies and storms. In vain the fowler spreads his net,    To draw them from thy care; Thy timely call instructs their feet,    To shun the artful snare. When like a baneful pestilence,    Sin mows its thousands down On ev���ry side, without defence,    Thy grace secures thine own. No midnight terrors haunt their bed,    No arrow wounds by day; Unhurt on serpents they shall tread,    If found in duty���s way. Angels, unseen, attend the saints,    And bear them in their arms; To cheer the spirit when it faints,    And guard the life from harms. The angels��� Lord, himself is nigh,    To them that love his name; Ready to save them when they cry,    And put their foes to shame. Crosses and changes are their lot,    Long as they sojourn here; But since their Saviour changes not,    What have the saints to fear? —from Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. The Gospel According to John 18 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. 2 Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. 3 Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, ���Whom do you seek?��� 5 They answered Him, ���Jesus the Nazarene.��� He said to them, ���I am He.��� And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 So when He said to them, ���I am He,��� they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Therefore He again asked them, ���Whom do you seek?��� And they said, ���Jesus the Nazarene.��� 8 Jesus answered, ���I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,��� 9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, ���Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.��� 10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest���s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave���s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, ���Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?���    These verses begin St. John���s account of Christ���s sufferings and crucifixion. We now enter on the closing scene of our Lord���s ministry, and pass at once from His intercession to His sacrifice. We shall find that, like the other Gospel-writers, the beloved disciple enters fully into the story of the cross. But we shall also find, if we read carefully, that he mentions several interesting points in the story, which Matthew, Mark, and Luke, for some wise reasons, have passed over. We should notice, first, in these verses, the exceeding hardness of heart to which a backsliding professor may attain. We are told that Judas, one of the twelve Apostles, became guide to them that took Jesus. We are told that he used his knowledge of the place of our Lord���s retirement, in order to bring His deadly enemies upon Him; and we are told that when the band of men and officers approached his Master, in order to take Him prisoner, Judas ���stood with them.��� Yet this was a man who for three years had been a constant companion of Christ, had seen His miracles, had heard His sermons, had enjoyed the benefit of His private instruction, had professed himself a believer, had even worked and preached in Christ���s name!������Lord,��� we may well say, ���what is man?��� From the highest degree of privilege down to the lowest depth of sin, there is but a succession of steps. Privileges misused seem to paralyze the conscience. The same fire that melts wax, will harden clay. Let us beware of resting our hopes of salvation on religious knowledge, however great; or religious advantages, however many. We may know all doctrinal truth and be able to teach others, and yet prove rotten at heart, and go down to the pit with Judas. We may bask in the full sunshine of spiritual privileges, and hear the best of Christian teaching, and yet bear no fruit to God���s glory, and be found withered branches of the vine, only fit to be burned. ���Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.��� (1 Cor. x. 12.) Above all, let us beware of cherishing within our hearts any secret besetting sin, such as love of money or love of the world. One faulty link in a chain-cable may cause a shipwreck. One little leak may sink a ship. One allowed and unmortified sin may ruin a professing Christian. Let him that is tempted to be a careless man in his religious life, consider these things, and take care. Let him remember Judas Iscariot. His history is meant to be a lesson. We should notice, secondly, in these verses, the entire voluntariness of Christ���s sufferings. We are told that the first time that our Lord said to the soldiers, ���I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground.��� A secret invisible power, no doubt, accompanied the words. In no other way can we account for a band of hardy Roman soldiers falling prostrate before a single unarmed man. The same miraculous influence which tied the priests and Pharisees powerless at the triumphant entry into Jerusalem,���which stopped all opposition when the temple was purged of buyers and sellers,���that same mysterious influence was present now. A real miracle was wrought, though few had eyes to see it. At the moment when our Lord seemed weak, He showed that He was strong. Let us carefully remember that our blessed Lord suffered and died of His own free will. He did not die because He could not help it; He did not suffer because He could not escape. All the soldiers of Pilate���s army could not have taken Him, if He had not been willing to be taken. They could not have hurt a hair of His head, if He had not given them permission. But here, as in all His earthly ministry, Jesus was a willing sufferer. He had set His heart on accomplishing our redemption. He loved us, and gave Himself for us, cheerfully, willingly, gladly, in order to make atonement for our sins. It was ���the joy set before Him��� which made Him endure the cross, and despise the shame, and yield Himself up without reluctance into the hands of His enemies. Let this thought abide in our hearts, and refresh our souls. We have a Saviour who was far more willing to save us than we are willing to be saved. If we are not saved, the fault is all our own. Christ is just as willing to receive and pardon, as He was willing to be taken prisoner, to bleed, and to die. We should notice, thirdly, in these verses, our Lord���s tender care for His disciples��� safety. Even at this critical moment, when His own unspeakable sufferings were about to begin, He did not forget the little band of believers who stood around Him. He remembered their weakness. He knew how little fit they were to go into the fiery furnace of the High Priest���s Palace, and Pilate���s judgment-hall. He mercifully makes for them a way of escape.������If ye seek Me, let those go their way.������It seems most probable that here also a miraculous influence accompanied his words. At any rate, not a hair of the disciples��� heads was touched. While the Shepherd was taken, the sheep were allowed to flee away unharmed. We need not hesitate to see in this incident an instructive type of all our Saviour���s dealings with His people even at this day. He will not suffer them ���to be tempted above that which they are able to bear.��� He will hold the winds and storms in His hands, and not allow believers, however sifted and buffeted, to be utterly destroyed. He watches tenderly over every one of His children, and, like a wise physician, measures out the right quantity of their trials with unerring skill. ���They shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of His hand.��� (John x. 28.) Forever let us lean our souls on this precious truth. In the darkest hour the eye of the Lord Jesus is upon us, and our final safety is sure. We should notice, lastly, in these verses, our Lord���s perfect submission to his Father���s will. Once, in another place, we find Him saying, ���If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.��� Again, in another place, we find Him saying, ���If this cup may not pass away from Me except I drink it, Thy will be done.��� Here, however, we find even a higher pitch of cheerful acquiescence: ���The cup that my Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?��� (Matt. xxvi. 39���42.) Let us see in this blessed frame of mind, a pattern for all who profess and call themselves Christians. Far as we may come short of the Master���s standard, let this be the mark at which we continually aim. Determination to have our own way, and do only what we like, is one great source of unhappiness in the world. The habit of laying all our matters before God in prayer, and asking Him to choose our portion, is one chief secret of peace. He is the truly wise man who has learned to say at every stage of his journey, ���Give me what Thou wilt, place me where Thou wilt, do with me as Thou wilt; but not my will, but Thine be done.��� This is the man who has the mind of Christ. By self-will Adam and Eve fell, and brought sin and misery into the world. Entire submission of will to the will of God is the best preparation for that heaven where God will be all. ���J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012). 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 24, 2011

Sunday··2011·06·12
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn LVII. The name of Jesus. Solomons Song i. 3. John Newton (17251807) How sweet the name of Jesus sounds In a believers ear? It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole,    And calms the troubled breast; Tis Manna to the hungry soul,    And to the weary rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build,    My shield and hiding place; My neverfailing treasry filld    With boundless stores of grace. By thee my prayrs acceptance gain,    Although with sin defiled, Satan accuses me in vain,    And I am ownd a child. Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,    My Prophet, Priest, and King; My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,    Accept the praise I bring. Weak is the effort of my heart,    And cold my warmest thought; But when I see thee as thou art,    Ill praise thee as I ought. Till then I would thy love proclaim    With evry fleeting breath, And may the music of thy name    Refresh my soul in death. Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. If youve been following these Lords Day posts, you know that weve finished The Gospel of John with J. C. Ryle. Now I need to decide on something else to fill this space. Im thinking of selections from Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes.

Lords Day 31, 2011

Sunday··2011·07·31
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn LVIII. O Lord, I will praise thee! Isaiah xii. William Cowper (17311800) I will praise thee every day Now thine angers turned away! Comfortable thoughts arise From the bleeding sacrifice. Here in the fair gospel field, Wells of free salvation yield Streams of life, a plenteous store, And my soul shall thirst no more. Jesus is become at length My salvation and my strength; And his praises shall prolong, While I live, my pleasant song. Praise ye, then, his glorious name, Publish his exalted fame! Still his worth your praise exceeds, Excellent are all his deeds. Raise again the joyful sound, Let the nations roll it round! Zion shout, for this is he, God the Savior dwells in thee. Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account. Romans 4 The apostle asks, How was Abraham justified? He answers, By believing. Then he asks, How was David justified? And he answers, By believing. In both cases by the righteousness of God; a righteousness without works; a righteousness without law and yet a righteousness witnessed by the law and the prophets; a righteousness in accordance with all true law and government; a righteousness for the unrighteous. Again, the apostle raises the question, What makes a blessed man? And he refers to Davids announcement respecting blessedness, and its cause or root. The blessed man is the man to whom God imputeth righteousness without works. To a sinner this is absolutely essential; it is a sine qua non, indispensable. There can be no blessedness in any other way. After the imputation has taken place, there are innumerable sources of blessedness, all pouring in their joy and peace; but this is the beginning. No blessedness without this divine reckoning of righteousness; but with this a mans blessedness commences. Heaven is begun within him, the heaven that David tasted, and which he so often speaks of: in His favor is life. (Psalm 3:5.) There is, then, blessedness on earth, even to a sinner,true blessedness,that which God calls by that name. In spite of weariness, sorrow, conflict, cares, fears, burdens, there is such a thing as blessedness. And this blessedness God freely presents to each unblessed, sorrowful, burdened son of Adam, without money and without price. The apostle, in quoting the words of David, thus prefaces and interprets them: David describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works. Righteousness without works was that which David enjoyed. He obtained righteousness without working for it at all; righteousness by simply taking it from another, and using it as if it were his own. We must have a righteousness, else we cannot stand before God; we cannot have a religion. God must deal with us, and we must deal with God, on the footing of righteousness; not simply of grace; for He is the righteous as well as the gracious God. When we go to Him we must do so with a righteousness in our hand, either our own or anothers. Our transactions with God must all be of this nature. They must be righteous transactions; dealings between a righteous God and men who are, at the same moment, in His eye, both righteous and unrighteous, and therefore needing both grace and righteousness. A personal righteousness on our part is an impossibility. We cannot work for it; and we cannot get it by working. In going to God we must begin, not encl with righteousness; so that we must have it before we can please God or do any good thing; in other words, it must be free, and it must come to us at once, and it must satisfy both God and our own conscience. Only the righteousness of another can do this; righteousness without works; righteousness which does not depend on our doing, or feeling, or praying, or repenting, but which comes to us at once from God, as the root and fountainhead of all working, and goodness, and holiness on our part. The prodigal did not work for the best robe, but got it all ready-made from his fathers hands; Joseph did not work for his coat of many colors, but received it as the gift of his fathers love; Adam did not work for the skins with which the Lord God clothed him: so is it with the sinner in his approaches to God, and in Gods approaches to him. Righteousness without works is given him; nay, put upon him as a raiment, a divine raiment, to fit him for drawing near to God. There are three things noted here as making up this blessedness, and indispensable to its existence: I. Iniquities are forgiven. It is transgression in the original Psalm. This is one kind of sin, and generally denotes the worst. There is then transgression or iniquity; but it is forgiven (or borne, as the word means); for there is forgiveness with God, that He may be feared; a complete, free, divine forgiveness; such as God delights to give, and the sinner to receive. He forgiveth all our iniquities; He forgives without reserve, or stint, or uncertainty. He removes our iniquities from us as far as east is from the west. He retains not one; He blots out all. II. Sins are covered. There is, and there has been, sin; but it is no longer visible; it is buried; it is covered; it is put out of sight, as if God himself no longer saw it. It is God who covers, not man; He covers by means of the blood of atonement; He covers by burying it in the grave of Christ. Thus our sins are completely covered, hidden, forgiven. They are first borne, and then buried. Could any words more completely express forgiveness? III. Sin is not imputed. There are three words in this passage expressive of sin, as in Gods first full announcement of Himself as the great forgiver (Exodus 34:6.); transgression, iniquity, sin; meaning every kind and form of sin. And there are three words used in reference to the putting away of sin,forgiving (bearing), covering, not imputing. This last,the non-imputation,is said specially to be Jehovahs doing. This non-imputation is without works; it is free; it is divine; it is perfect; it is sure; it comes as the consequence of believing. Thus there are three foundation stones laid for the sinners blessedness; each of them ample; all of them together fully sufficient. On these he must rest. Without these he can have no joy. His belief of Gods testimony to these is that which connects him with this threefold foundation, and with the blessedness. He believes, and becomes a blessed man. The grace or free love of God, contained in these three things, is that which pours blessedness into his soul. The Psalmist adds, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Forgiveness makes him a guileless man; it takes away all temptation to speak or act untruly and deceitfully with God, or with man, or with himself. He becomes an Israelite indeed. Pardon has made him such. Being fully forgiven, he has no longer any motive to conceal the very worst of himself. Gods forgiveness frank and ample has superseded the necessity of any palliation or excuse; has delivered him from the temptation to make the best of his case and of himself. He thinks, feels, acts, speaks honestly. He confesses sin, and he finds God faithful and just to forgive his sins. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 38, 2011

Sunday··2011·09·18
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn LIX. The Refuge, River, and Rock of the Church. Isaiah xxxii. 2. John Newton (17251807) He who on earth as man was known, And bore our sins and pains; Now, seated on th eternal throne, The God of glory reigns. His hands the wheels of nature guide With an unerring skill; And countless worlds extended wide, Obey his sovreign will. While harps unnumberd sound his praise, In yonder world above; His saints on earth admire his ways, And glory in his love. His righteousness, to faith revealed, Wrought out for guilty worms, Affords a hiding place and shield, From enemies and storms. This land, thro which his pilgrims go, Is desolate and dry; But streams of grace from him oerflow Their thirst to satisfy. When troubles, like a burning sun, Beat heavy on their head; To this almighty Rock they run, And find a pleasing shade. How glorious he! how happy they In such a glorious friend! Whose love secures them all the way, And crowns them at the end. Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8 This is inspired logic; yet it is most simple and natural reasoning. It goes straight down to understanding, heart, and conscience. It is irresistible. It contains, moreover, the whole gospel of the grace of God. It announces to us that perfect love which casteth out fear; and shews us the gracious character of God, as interpreted and illustrated by the gift of his Son. It says, herein is love, and what will that love not do for you? here is the measure of that love, and does not that measure take in all you need? Let us put the statement in this waythe one gift, and the many gifts,or the one great gift, and the many lesser gifts flowing out of it, and pledged to us by the love which gave it. I. The one gift. It is the unspeakable gift, of which it is said, God so loved the world that he gave his Son. Our text thus expresses it, he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. It is then of his Son, his own Son, his only begotten Son, his beloved Son, that the passage speaks. And regarding him it says, that he spared him not. He might have spared him; he did not need to do otherwise; it was an infinite sacrifice; yet he spared him not, that he might spare us. It was not want of love to him, but it was love to us that led him not to spare him. How shall I give thee up? he said to rebellious Israel, how much more to his obedient holy Son, How shall I deliver thee up? How shall I nail thee to the cross, and lay thee in the grave? My heart is turned within me, my repentance is kindled together. This one great gift He freely gave. He spared not his Son, but delivered Him up for us all. To lowliness, to shame, to weariness, to banishment, to sorrow, to hunger and thirst, to agony and death, He delivered Him up. He spared not Him, that He might spare us; he delivered Him up, that He might not deliver up us. The gift is one, but it is infinite. There is none like it; none; nor can be. It is the great gift, the gift of gifts. But the delivering up, is that which so greatly enhances the giving and the gift. He was delivered up (1) not to honour, but to dishonour; (2) not to joy, but to sorrow; (3) not to the blessing, but to the curse,nay, was made a curse for us, was made sin for us; (4) not to angels to worship, but to devils to tempt; (5) not to a throne, but to a cross; (6) not to life, but to death. How immense then the gift! Though but one, it transcends myriads; nay, all other gifts gathered together. It was a test of love such as nothing else could have been. How real, how true, how vast must that love have been. Here is its sincerity demonstrated. Here are its dimensions measured. What is its height? The answer is, He spared not His Son. What is its depth? He spared not His Son. What is its length? He spared not His Son. What is its breadth? He spared not His Son. Nay, He delivered Him up. Nay, He laid our sins upon Him; He made Him a curse for us. The more that we meditate on this one gift, the more does its greatness display itself. It passeth all measurement and all understanding. Such a gift for such creatures! Such a gift for sinners; for those whose portion was wrath and condemnation! II. The many gifts. These are the all things of which the apostle speaks. His argument is, He who has given you His Son, will He deny you anything? We cannot possibly need or ask anything half so precious as that which He has already given, and therefore we need not fear obtaining anything. He who has given a whole ocean, will He refuse a drop? He who has given all earth and heaven, will He refuse an inch of land? His willingness to give, and to give to any extent whatever, has been so manifested in the gift of His Son, that we cannot doubt. That one great gift was given freely, will He not give all other things as freely? That one gift was given unasked, will He not give all others for the asking? That one gift cost Him much, these others cost Him nothing but the delight of giving. That one gift was sent to us when we were turning away from Him, will He not bestow these lesser gifts on those who are turning towards Him? That one gift came when there was no intercessor, what, then, may we not expect when there is such an Intercessor as He who is Himself both gift and intercessor? When the great gift was sent there was no blood, no righteousness, no sacrifice; what may we not count upon as to the lesser gifts, now that blood, and sacrifice, and righteousness have come? We are thus thrown upon Gods character as interpreted by His great gift, and we are taught how to reason from that gift, how to draw our confidence towards God from that gift, respecting all things. Among these all things, let us note the following: (1.) Forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness,complete, and free, and unchangeable,for the chief of sinners; regarding which we reason, as did the apostle, He that spared not His own Son, will He not forgive my sins? will He not give me peace of conscience, and a sense of acceptance, and deliverance from condemnation? (2.) Light and love. These are what He delights to give; and they have been purchased for the sinner. There is now no hindrance to His giving these. For the darkest mind there is light; for the coldest heart there is love. He that spared not His own Son, will He refuse us these? (3.) Renewal in the whole man. He who spared not His own Son, will He not renew us in the spirit of our mind? Will He not take out of us the stony heart, and give the heart of flesh? (4.) The Holy Ghost. He that gave His Son, will He refuse His Spirit? It cost Him much to give His Son; but it costs Him nothing to give His Spirit. Will He not give Him when we ask? He that spared not His Son, will He not give us all things? Will He not quicken, and comfort, and heal, and bless, and cheer, and save? 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord���s Day 45, 2011

Sunday··2011·11·06
I was glad when they said to me, ���Let us go to the house of the Lord.��� Hymn LX. Zion, or the city of God. Isaiah xxxiii. 27, 28. John Newton (1725���1807) Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God! He, whose word cannot be broken, Form���d thee for his own abode: On the rock of ages founded, What can shake thy sure repose? With salvation���s walls surrounded Thou may���st smile at all thy foes. See! the streams of living waters Springing from eternal love; Well supply thy sons and daughters, And all fear of want remove: Who can faint while such a river Ever flows their thirst t��� assuage? Grace, which like the Lord, the giver, Never fails from age to age. Round each habitation hov���ring See the cloud and fire appear! For a glory and a cov���ring, Showing that the Lord is near: Thus deriving from their banner Light by night and shade by day; Safe they feed upon the Manna Which he gives them when they pray. Blest inhabitants of Zion, Wash���d in the Redeemer���s blood! Jesus, whom their souls rely on, Makes them kings and priests to God: ���Tis his love his people raises Over self to reign as kings And as priests, his solemn praises Each for a thank���off���ring brings. Savior, if of Zion���s city I thro��� grace a member am; Let the world deride or pity, I will glory in thy name Fading is the worldling���s pleasure, All his boasted pomp and show; Solid joys and lasting treasure, None but Zion���s children know. ���Olney Hymns. Book I: On select Passages of Scripture. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. ���Romans 13 Often throughout Scripture is the figure of clothing or putting on, used, both in reference to good and evil. It is man who first tries the thing with his fig leaves; but he fails. Then God steps in and clothes man with skins. After this the figurative use of clothing is very frequent. Judges 6:34, ���The Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon��� (so it is in the Hebrew); 2 Chronicles 6:4���, ���Let thy priests be clothed with salvation���; Job 7:5, ���My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of the dust���; Job 29:14, ���I put on righteousness, and it clothed me���; Psalm 35:26, ���Let them be clothed with shame���; Psalm 93:1, ���The Lord is clothed with majesty, the Lord is clothed with strength���; Psalm 132:9, ���Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness���; Isaiah 61:10, ���He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation���; Isaiah 59:17, ���He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing���, and was clad with zeal as a cloak���; Isaiah 52:1, ���Put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem���; Luke 15:22, ���Bring forth the best robe and put it on him���; Romans 13:12, ���Let us put on the armor of light���; 1 Corinthians 15:53, ���This corruptible must put on incorruption���; Ephesians 4:24, ���That ye put on the new man���; Ephesians 6:2, ���Put on the whole armor of God���; Colossians 3:52, ���Put on bowels of mercies���; Colossians 3:14, ���Put on charity.��� These passages shew us the use of the figure in Scripture. Something in addition to what we had before, or to what we possess in ourselves, is supposed to be taken on as a garment; something which makes us to appear and to act differently from what we did before; something suited to a peculiar office, or service, or action. The king puts on his royal robe, the priest the priestly robe, the captain his military robe; the robe thus, as it were, altering for a season the individual, and investing him with another character, or office. Clothing is not merely to cover or conceal uncomeliness and shame, but to beautify; to give weight and dignity to our person and our actings; to represent an office. I. What this is that is put on. It is Christ himself that we put on; not one thing merely, such as righteousness, but everything which makes us comely and acceptable to God. Christ himself is here described as a robe. The figure is not of His giving us a robe, but of His being that robe. It is Himself as our robe, that we are to put on. ���As many of you as are baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ.��� ���We are complete in Him.��� He covers us so that no part of our former selves is seen. In looking at us, God sees not us, but Christ himself; and He treats us according to what He sees in Him; He blesses us according to the completeness which we possess in Him; He will recompense us hereafter according to the worthiness and perfection which belong to Him. Christ���s person represents ours before God as the high priest represented Israel. His work is the substitute for us, and for all work of ours in the matter of acceptance, so that we get according to what He did on earth, and not according to what we do. His righteousness comes in room of ours, so that it is on His righteousness, and not on ours, that the great questions turn in regard to which we deal with God; for He is the end of the law for righteousness. His whole life comes in place of ours, His sufferings in place of ours, His death in place of ours; and in regard to every one of our transactions with God, we may plead what He is, not what we are; what He did and suffered, not what we do or suffer. It is not an infusion or transfusion into us of His goodness or perfection. It is the legal reckoning of these to us by God in all His dealings with us, so that in every transaction between us and God, the question is not, what we deserve, but what Christ deserves. Thus we put on Christ, and are ���found in Him���; treated as if He and we were identical or interchangeable. It is a whole Christ whom we put on; it is with a whole Christ that God deals in dealing with us. II. How this putting on is done. The link by which we become personally connected with Christ is our own believing. ���Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.��� We put on Christ simply in believing. Our reception of the Father���s testimony to the work and person of Christ is the ���putting on.��� There is no other. Full and large is that testimony. It is the declaration of what the Father sees Christ to be; and whoever comes to be of one mind with Him in regard to this Son of whom He testifies, is regarded by Him as clothed with Christ. There is nothing mystical about this putting on, nothing unintelligible, nothing laborious. Men may dislike or reject the idea that a man is saved by believing the divine testimony,���that a man puts on Christ by believing what God says about Him,���but Scripture leaves us in no doubt at all. ���Believe,��� and straightway thou art clothed with Christ. He covers thee from head to foot. Not according to thy works, or prayers, or feelings, or convictions, but according to the simplicity of thy faith,���thy acceptance of the Father���s testimony to the person and work, the death, and burial, and resurrection of His only begotten Son,���thou art, from head to foot, clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ; and in the great day of the Lord thou shalt be ���found in Him.��� III. What is the effect? There are two aspects or sides which are to be regarded in this: (1.) God���s side; (2.) the believer���s. (1.) God���s side. God looks at us and sees us as if we were His own Son. He sees not our deformity and imperfection, but His beauty and perfection; not our sin, but His righteousness; not our unworthiness, but His worthiness. ���Thou art all fair,��� He says; ���there is no spot in thee.��� He loves us accordingly, and deals with us accordingly. (2.) Our side. (1.) Our consciences are completely satisfied. Not only have we the blood to purge the guilt, but we have the perfection to cover all imperfection, so that we feel that God ���sees no iniquity in Jacob, and no transgression in Israel.��� (2.) Our bands are completely loosed. The certainty of possessing God���s favor in such surpassing measure gives the fullest liberty. (3.) Our joy overflows. Such love! Such favor! Such nearness! Such dignity! Such glory! Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us! ���That the love wherewith thou hast loved me maybe in them.��� (4.) Our motives to a holy life are increased. What manner of persons ought we to be who are so regarded by God, so beloved of Him! (5.) Our zeal is quickened. Loved with such a love, and treated in so divine a way, what is there that we are not willing to do for Him? Our whole life is to be a daily putting on of Christ. Put on, put on! And regarding the sinner He says, ���Bring forth the best robe and put it on 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 51, 2011

Sunday··2011·12·18
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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 8, 2012

Sunday··2012·02·19
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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Lord���s Day 16, 2012

Sunday··2012·04·15
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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Lords Day 23, 2012

Sunday··2012·06·03
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. 16 Thus says the Lord, Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded, declares the Lord, And they will return from the land of the enemy. 17 There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, And your children will return to their own territory. 18 I have surely heard Ephraim grieving, You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained calf; Bring me back that I may be restored, For You are the Lord my God. 19 For after I turned back, I repented; And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth. 20 Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 31 Hymn LXVIII. Ephraim repenting. Jeremiah xxxi. 1820. William Cowper (17311800) My God! till I receivd thy stroke, How like a beast was I! So unaccustomd to the yoke, So backward to comply. With grief my just reproach I bear, Shame fills me at the thought; How frequent my rebellions were! What wickedness I wrought! Thy merciful restraint I scornd And left the pleasant road; Yet turn me, and I shall be turnd, Thou art the Lord my God. Is Ephraim banishd from my thoughts, Or vile in my esteem? No, saith the Lord, with all his faults, I shall remember him. Is he a dear and pleasant child? Yes, dear and pleasant still; Tho sin his foolish heart beguild, And he withstood my will. My sharp rebuke has laid him low, He seeks my face again; My pity kindles at his woe, He shall not seek in vain. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 30, 2012

Sunday··2012·07·22
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. Zechariah 13:1 Hymn LXXIX. Praise for the fountain opened. Zechariah xiii. 1. William Cowper (17311800) There is a fountain filld with blood Drawn from Emmanuels veins; And sinners, plungd beneath that flood, Loose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoicd to see That fountain in his day; And there have I, as vile as he, Washd all my sins away. Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood Shall never lose its powr; Till all the ransomed church of God Be savd, to sin no more. Eer since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply: Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die. Then in a nobler sweeter song Ill sing thy powr to save When this poor lisping stammring tongue Lies silent in the grave. Lord, I believe thou hast prepard (Unworthy tho I be) For me a bloodbought free reward, A golden harp for me! Tis strung, and tund, for endless years, And formd by powr divine; To sound, in God the Fathers ears, No other name but thine. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 37, 2012

Sunday··2012·09·09
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christs sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:910 Hymn CXXIX. My grace is sufficient for thee. II. Corinthians xii. 9. John Newton (17251807) Oppressed with unbelief and sin, Fightings without, and fears within; While earth and hell, with force combind, Assault and terrify my mind. What strength have I against such foes, Such hosts and legions to oppose? Alass! I tremble, faint, and fall, Lord save me, or I give up all. Thus sorely prest I sought the Lord, To give me some sweet cheering word; Again I sought, and yet again, I waited long, but not in vain. O! twas a cheering word indeed! Exactly suited to my need; Sufficient for thee is my grace, Thy weakness my great powr displays. Now despond and mourn no more, I welcome all I feard before; Tho weak Im strong, tho troubled blest, For Christs own powr shall on me rest. My grace would soon exhausted be, But his is boundless as the sea; Then let me boast with holy Paul, That I am nothing, Christ is all. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 44, 2012

Sunday··2012·10·28
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:17 Hymn CXXX. The inward warfare. Galatians v. 17. John Newton (17251807) Strange and mysterious is my life, What opposites I feel within! A stable peace, a constant strife, The rule of grace, the powr of sin: Too often I am captive led, Yet daily triumph in my Head. I prize the privilege of prayr, But oh! what backwardness to pray! Tho on the Lord I cast my care, I feel its burden evry day: I seek his will in all I do, Yet find my own is working too. I call the promises my own, And prize them more than mines of gold; Yet tho their sweetness I have known, They leave me unimpressd and cold One hour upon the truth I feed, The next I know not what I read. I love the holy day of rest, When Jesus meets his gathered saints; Sweet day, of all the week the best! For its return my spirit pants: Yet often, thro my unbelief, It proves a day of guilt and grief. While on my Savior I rely, I know my foes shall loose their aim; And therefore dare their powr defy, Assurd of conquest thro his name: But soon my confidence is slain, And all my fears return again. Thus diffrent powrs within me strive, And grace, and sin, by turns prevail; I grieve, rejoice, decline, revive, And victry hangs in doubtful scale: But Jesus has his promise passd, That grace shall overcome at last. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 51, 2012

Sunday··2012·12·16
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, Teacher, rebuke Your disciples. But Jesus answered, I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out! Luke 19:3740 Hymn XXXVII. Praise for the Incarnation. John Newton (17251807) Sweeter sounds than music knows Charm me, in Emmanuels name; All her hopes my spirit owes To his birth, and cross, and shame. When he came the angels sang Glory be to God on high, Lord, unloose my stammring tongue, Who should louder sing than I. Did the Lord a man become That he might the law fulfil, Bleed and suffer in my room, And canst thou, my tongue, be still. No, I must my praises bring, Though they worthless are, and weak; For should I refuse to sing Sure the very stones would speak. O my Savior, Shield, and Sun, Shepherd, Brother, Husband, Friend, Ev’ry precious name in one; I will love thee without end. Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 6, 2013

Sunday··2013·02·10
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:1113 Hymn CXXXI. Contentment (i). Philippians iv. 11. William Cowper (17311800) Fierce passions discompose the mind, As tempests vex the sea; But calm content and peace we find, When, Lord, we turn to thee. In vain by reason and by rule, We try to bend the will; For none, but in the Saviours school, Can learn the heavnly skill. Since at his feet my soul has sat, His gracious words to hear; Contented with my present state, I cast, on him, my care. Art thou a sinner, soul? he said, Then how canst thou complain? How light thy troubles here, if weighed With everlasting pain! If thou of murmuring wouldst be curd, Compare thy griefs with mine; Think what my love for thee endurd, And thou wilt not repine. Tis I appoint thy daily lot, And I do all things well: Thou soon shalt leave this wretched spot, And rise with me to dwell. In life my grace shall strength supply, Proportiond to thy day; At death thou still shalt find me nigh, To wipe thy tears away. Thus I who once my wretched days, In vain repinings spent; Taught in my Saviours school of grace, Have learnd to be content. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 12, 2013

Sunday··2013·03·24
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:1213 Hymn CXXXIII. The word quick and powerful. Hebrews iv. 12, 13. (17251807) The word of Christ, our Lord, With whom we have to do; Is sharper than a twoedgd sword, To pierce the sinner thro! Swift as the lightnings blaze When aweful thunders roll, It fills the conscience with amaze, And penetrates the soul. No heart can he conceald From his allpiercing eyes; Each thought and purpose stands reveald, Naked, without disguise. He sees his peoples fears, He notes their mournful cry; He counts their sighs and falling tears, And helps them from on high. Tho feeble is their good, It has his kind regard; Yea, all they would do, if they could, Shall find a sure reward. He sees the wicked too, And will repay them soon, For all the evil deeds they do, And all they would have done. Since all our secret ways Are markd and known by thee; Afford us, Lord, thy light of grace That we ourselves may see. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 18, 2013

Sunday··2013·05·05
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:311 Hymn CXXXV. Love-tokens. Hebrews xii. 511. John Newton (17251807) Afflictions Do Not Come Alone by Jeremy Goodwyne Afflictions do not come alone, A voice attends the rod; By both he to his saints is known, A Father and a God! Let not my children slight the stroke I for chastisement send; Nor faint beneath my kind rebuke, For still I am their friend. The wicked I perhaps may leave Awhile, and not reprove; But all the children I receive I scourge, because I love. If therefore you were left without This needful discipline; You might, with cause, admit a doubt, If you, indeed, were mine. Shall earthly parents then expect Their children to submit? And wilt not you, when I correct, Be humbled at my feet? To please themselves they oft chastise, And put their sons to pain; But you are precious in my eyes, And shall not smart in vain. I see your hearts, at present, filld With grief, and deep distress; But soon these bitter seeds shall yield The fruits of righteousness. Break thro the clouds, dear Lord, and shine! Let us perceive thee nigh! And to each mourning child of thine These gracious words apply. Olney Hymns. Book I: On Select Passages of Scripture. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 24, 2013

Sunday··2013·06·16
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” —Ezekiel 37:1–3 Hymn XV. Preaching to the dry bones. Ezekiel xxxvii. John Newton (1725–1807) Preachers may, from Ezekiel’s case, Draw hope in this declining day; A proof like this, of sovereign grace Should chase our unbelief away. When sent to preach to mould’ring bones, Who could have thought he would succeed? But well he knew, the Lord from stones Could raise up Abra’ms chosen seed. Can these be made a num’rous host, And such dry bones new life receive? The prophet answer’d, “Lord thou knowst They shall, if thou commandment give.” Like him, around I cast my eye, And O! what heaps of bones appear! Like him, by Jesus sent, I’ll try, For he can cause the dead to hear. Hear, ye dry bones, the Saviour’s word! He, who when dying, gasped, “Forgive,” That gracious, sinner’loving Lord, Says, “Look to me, dry bones, and live.” Thou heav’nly wind awake and blow, In answer to the pray’r of faith; Now thine almighty influence show, And fill dry bones with living breath. O make them hear, and feel, and shake, And, at thy call, obedient move; The bonds of death and Satan break, And bone to bone unite in love. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 30, 2013

Sunday··2013·07·28
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. —Isaiah 55:10–11 Hymn XVI. The rod of Moses. John Newton (1725–1807) When Moses wav’d his mystic rod What wonders follow’d while he spoke? Firm as a wall the waters stood, Or gush’d in rivers from the rock! At his command the thunders roll’d, Light’ning and hail his voice obey’d; And Pharaoh trembled, to behold His land in desolation laid. But what could Moses’ rod have done Had he not been divinely sent? The pow’r was from the Lord alone, And Moses but the instrument. O Lord, regard thy peoples pray’rs! Assist a worm to preach aright And since thy gospel–rod he bears, Display thy wonders in our sight. Proclaim the thunders of thy law, Like light’ning let thine arrows fly, That careless sinners, struck with awe, For refuge may to Jesus cry! Make streams of godly sorrow flow From rocky hearts, unus’d to feel; And let the poor in spirit know That thou art near, their griefs to heal. But chiefly, we would now look up To ask a blessing for our youth, The rising generation’s hope, That they may know and love thy truth. Arise, O Lord, afford a sign, Now shall our pray’rs success obtain; Since both the means and pow’r are thine, How can the rod be rais’d in vain! —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 36, 2013

Sunday··2013·09·08
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. —2 Corinthians 6:16–18 Hymn XXI. The Lord’s call to his children. 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. John Newton (1725–1807) Let us adore the grace that seeks To draw our hearts above! Attend, ’tis God the Saviour speaks, And ev’ry word is love. Tho’ fill’d with awe, before his throne Each angel veils his face; He claims a people for his own Amongst our sinful race. Careless, awhile, they live in sin, Enslav’d to Satan’s pow’r; But they obey the call divine, In his appointed hour. “Come forth, he says, no more pursue The paths that lead to death; Look up, a bleeding Saviour view, Look, and be sav’d by faith. My sons and daughters you shall be Thro’ the atoning blood; And you shall claim, and find, in me, A Father, and a God.” Lord, speak these words to ev’ry heart, By thine all–powerful voice; That we may now from sin depart, And make thy love our choice. If now, we learn to seek thy face By Christ, the living way; We’ll praise thee for this hour of grace, Thro’ an eternal day. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 42, 2013

Sunday··2013·10·20
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” In those days and at that time,” declares the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the Lord their God they will seek. They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.” —Jeremiah 50:4–5 Hymn XXIV. Asking the way to Zion. Jer. l. 5. John Newton (1725–1807) Zion! the city of our God, How glorious is the place! The Savior there has his abode, And sinners see his face. Firm, against ev’ry adverse shock, Its mighty bulwarks prove ’Tis built upon the living Rock, And wall’d around with love. There, all the fruits of glory grow, And joys that never die; And streams of grace, and knowledge flow, The soul to satisfy. Come, set your faces Zion-ward, The sacred road enquire; And let a union to the Lord Be henceforth your desire! The gospel shines to give you light, No longer, then, delay; The Spirit waits to guide you right, And Jesus is the way. O Lord, regard thy peoples pray’r, Thy promise now fulfill; And young and old, by grace prepare, To dwell on Zion’s hill. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 48, 2013

Sunday··2013·12·01
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. —1 Peter 5:1–5 Hymn L. Prayer for ministers. John Newton (1725–1807) Chief Shepherd of thy chosen sheep, From death and sin set free; May ev’ry under–shepherd keep His eye, intent on thee! With plenteous grace their hearts prepare, To execute thy will; Compassion, patience, love and care, And faithfulness and skill. Inflame their minds with holy zeal Their flocks to feed and teach; And let them live, and let them feel The sacred truths they preach. Oh, never let the sheep complain That toys, which fools amuse; Ambition, pleasure, praise or gain, Debase the shepherd’s views. He, that for these, forbears to feed The souls whom Jesus loves; Whate’er he may profess, or plead, An idol–shepherd proves. The sword of God shall break his arm, A blast shall blind his eye His word shall have no pow’r to warm, His gifts shall all grow dry. O Lord, avert this heavy woe, Let all thy shepherds say! And grace, and strength, on each bestow, To labor while ’tis day. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

New Year’s Eve, 2013

Tuesday··2013·12·31
Hymn XLI. Ebenezer John Newton (1725–1807) The Lord, our salvation and light, The guide and the strength of our days; Has brought us together, tonight, A new Ebenezer to raise: The year, we have now passed through, His goodness with blessings has crowned; Each morning his mercies were new, Then let our thanksgivings abound. Encompassed with dangers and snares, Temptations, and fears, and complaints; His ear he inclined to our prayers, His hand opened wide to our wants: We never besought him in vain, When burdened with sorrow or sin, He helped us again and again, Or where, before now, had we been? His gospel, throughout the long year, From Sabbath to Sabbath he gave; How oft has he met with us here, And shown himself mighty to save? His candlestick has been removed From churches once privileged thus; But, though we unworthy have proved, It still is continued to us. For so many mercies received, Alas! what returns have we made? His Spirit we often have grieved, And evil, for good, have repaid: How well it becomes us to cry, “O, who is a God like to thee? Who passest iniquities by, And plungest them deep in the sea!” To Jesus, who sits on the throne, Our best hallelujahs we bring; To thee it is owing alone, That we are permitted to sing: Assist us, we pray, to lament The sins of the year that is past; And grant that the next may be spent Far more to thy praise than the last. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects.

Lord’s Day 1, 2014

Sunday··2014·01·05
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you,  And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” —2 Corinthians 8:1–2 Hymn XVII. God speaking from mount Zion. John Newton (1725–1807) The God who once to Israel spoke From Sinai’s top, in fire and smoke, In gentler strains of gospel grace Invites us, now, to seek his face. He wears no terrors on his brow, He speaks, in love, from Zion, now; It is the voice of Jesus’ blood Calling poor wand’rers home to God. The holy Moses quak’d and fear’d When Sinai’s thund’ring law he heard; But reigning grace, with accents mild, Speaks to the sinner, as a child. Hark! how from Calvary it sounds; From the Redeemer’s bleeding wounds! “Pardon and grace, I freely give, Poor sinner, look to me, and live.” What other arguments can move The heart, that slights a Saviour’s love! Yet till Almighty pow’r constrain, This matchless love is preach’d in vain. O Saviour let that pow’r be felt, And cause each stony heart to melt! Deeply impress upon our youth The light, and force, of gospel truth. With this new-year may they begin To live to thee, and die to sin, To enter by the narrow way Which leads to everlasting day. How will they else thy presence bear When as a Judge thou shalt appear! When slighted love to wrath shall turn, And the whole earth like Sinai burn! —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 4, 2014

Sunday··2014·01·26
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” —Luke 5:31–32 Hymn LIII. Welcome to the table. William Cowper (1731–1800) This is the feast of heav’nly wine, And God invites to sup; The juices of the living vine Were press’d, to fill the cup. Oh, bless the Saviour, ye that eat, With royal dainties fed; Not heav’n affords a costlier treat, For Jesus is the bread! The vile, the lost, he calls to them, Ye trembling souls appear! The righteous, in their own esteem, Have no acceptance here. Approach ye poor, nor dare refuse The banquet spread for you; Dear Saviour, this is welcome news, Then I may venture too. If guilt and sin afford a plea, And may obtain a place; Surely the Lord will welcome me; And I shall see his face. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 10, 2014

Sunday··2014·03·09
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. —Ephesians 5:1–2 Hymn LIV. Christ crucified. . John Newton (1725–1806) When on the cross, my Lord I see Bleeding to death, for wretched me; Satan and sin no more can move, For I am all transform’d to love. His thorns, and nails, pierce thro’ my heart, In ev’ry groan I bear a part; I view his wounds with streaming eyes, But see! he bows his head and dies! Come, sinners, view the Lamb of God, Wounded and dead, and bath’d in blood! Behold his side, and venture near, The well of endless life is here. Here I forget my cares and pains; I drink, yet still my thirst remains; Only the fountain–head above, Can satisfy the thirst of love. O, that I thus could always feel! Lord, more and more thy love reveal! Then my glad tongue shall loud proclaim The grace and glory of thy name. Thy name dispels my guilt and fear, Revives my heart, and charms my ear; Affords a balm for ev’ry wound, And Satan trembles at the sound. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 17, 2014

Sunday··2014·04·27
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. —Galatians 2:20 Hymn LVI. It is good to be here. John Newton (1725–1806) Let me dwell on Golgotha, Weep and love my life away! While I see him on the tree Weep and bleed, and die for me! That dear blood, for sinners spilt, Shows my sin in all its guilt: Ah, my soul, he bore thy load, Thou hast slain the Lamb of God. Hark! his dying words: “Forgive, Father, let the sinner live; Sinner, wipe thy tears away, I thy ransom freely pay.” While I hear this grace reveal’d, And obtain a pardon seal’d; All my lost affections move, Waken’d by the force of love. Farewel world, thy gold is dross, Now I see the bleeding cross; Jesus dy’d to set me free From the law, and sin, and thee! He has dearly bought my soul Lord, accept, and claim the whole! To thy will I all resign, Now, no more my own, but thine. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 23, 2014

Sunday··2014·06·08
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” —Luke 23:34 Hymn LVII. Looking at the cross. John Newton (1725–1806) In evil long I took delight, Unaw’d by shame or fear; Till a new object struck my sight, And stopp’d my wild career. I saw one hanging on a tree, In agonies and blood; Who fix’d his languid eyes on me, As near his cross I stood. Sure, never till my latest breath, Can I forget that look; It seem’d to charge me with his death, Tho’ not a word he spoke. My conscience felt, and own’d the guilt, And plung’d me in despair; I saw my sins his blood had spilt, And help’d to nail him there. Alas! I knew not what I did, But now my tears are vain; Where shall my trembling soul be hid? For I the Lord have slain. A second look he gave, which said, “I freely all forgive; This blood is for thy ransom paid, I die, that thou may’st live.” Thus, while his death my sin displays, In all its blackest hue; (Such is the mystery of grace) It seals my pardon too. With pleasing grief and mournful joy, My spirit now is fill’d; That I should such a life destroy, Yet live by him I kill’d. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 29, 2014

Sunday··2014·07·20
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:31–39 Hymn LIX. Communion with the saints in glory. John Newton (1725–1806) Refreshed by the bread and wine, The pledges of our Saviour’s love; Now let our hearts and voices join In songs of praise with those above. Do they sing, “Worthy is the Lamb?” Altho’ we cannot reach their strains, Yet we, thro’ grace, can sing the same, For us he dy’d, for us he reigns. If they behold him face to face, While we a glimpse can only see; Yet equal debtors to his grace, As safe and as belov’d are we. They had, like us a suff’ring time, Our cares and fears, and griefs they knew; But they have conquer’d all thro’ him, And we, ere long, shall conquer too. Tho’ all the songs of saints in light, Are far beneath his matchless worth; His grace is such, he will not slight The poor attempts of worms on earth. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 35, 2014

Sunday··2014·08·31
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:14–16 Hymn LX. Exhortation to Prayer. William Cowper (1731–1800) What various hind’rances we meet In coming to a mercy-seat? Yet who that knows the worth of pray’r, But wishes to be often there. Pray’r makes the dark’ned cloud withdraw, Pray’r climbs the ladder Jacob saw; Gives exercise to faith and love, Brings ev’ry blessing from above. Restraining pray’r, we cease to fight; Pray’r makes the christian’s armor bright; And Satan trembles, when he sees The weakest saint upon his knees. While Moses stood with arms spread wide, Success was found on Israel’s side; But when thro’ weariness they fail’d, That moment Amalek prevail’d. Have you no words? ah, think again, Words flow apace when you complain; And fill your fellow-creature’s ear With the sad tale of all your care. Were half the breath thus vainly spent, To heav’n in supplication sent; Your cheerful song would oft’ner be, “Hear what the Lord has done for me!” —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 48, 2014

Sunday··2014·11·30
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. —Hebrews 10:19–25 Hymn LXX. A welcome to christian friends. John Newton (1726–1807) Kindred in Christ, for his dear sake, A hearty welcome here receive; May we together now partake The joys which only he can give! To you and us by grace ’tis giv’n, To know the Savior’s precious name; And shortly we shall meet in heav’n, Our hope, our way, our end, the same. May he, by whose kind care we meet, Send his good Spirit from above, Make our communications sweet, And cause our hearts to burn with love! Forgotten be each worldly theme, When christians see each other thus; We only wish to speak of him, Who lived, and dy’d, and reigns for us. We’ll talk of all he did and said, And suffer’d for us here below; The path he mark’d for us to tread, And what he’s doing for us now. Thus, as the moments pass away, We’ll love, and wonder, and adore; And hasten on the glorious day, When we shall meet to part no more. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 1, 2016

Sunday··2016·01·03
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. —John 10:14–15 Hymn LXXI. At Parting. John Newton (1726–1807) As the sun’s enliv’ning eye Shines on ev’ry place the same; So the Lord is always nigh To the souls that love his name. When they move at duty’s call, He is with them by the way; He is ever with them all, Those who go, and those who stay. From his holy mercy-seat Nothing can their souls confine; Still in spirit they may meet, And in sweet communion join. For a season call’d to part, Let us then ourselves commend To the gracious eye and heart, Of our ever-present Friend. Jesus, hear our humble pray’r! Tender Shepherd of thy sheep! Let thy mercy and thy care All our souls in safety keep. In thy strength may we be strong, Sweeten ev’ry cross and pain; Give us, if we live, ere long Here to meet in peace again. Then, if thou thy help afford, Ebenezers shall be rear’d; And our souls shall praise the Lord Who our poor petitions heard. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 7, 2016

Sunday··2016·02·14
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel and the Lord answered him. Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel. The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as below Beth-car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. So there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. —1 Samuel 7:7–14 Hymn LXXI. At Parting. John Newton (1726–1807) As the sun’s enliv’ning eye Shines on ev’ry place the same; So the Lord is always nigh To the souls that love his name. When they move at duty’s call, He is with them by the way; He is ever with them all, Those who go, and those who stay. From his holy mercy-seat Nothing can their souls confine; Still in spirit they may meet, And in sweet communion join. For a season call’d to part, Let us then ourselves commend To the gracious eye and heart, Of our ever-present Friend. Jesus, hear our humble pray’r! Tender Shepherd of thy sheep! Let thy mercy and thy care All our souls in safety keep. In thy strength may we be strong, Sweeten ev’ry cross and pain; Give us, if we live, ere long Here to meet in peace again. Then, if thou thy help afford, Ebenezers shall be reared; And our souls shall praise the Lord Who our poor petitions heard. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 14, 2016

Sunday··2016·03·27
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. —Romans 5:8–9 Hymn LXXIV. The Tolling Bell. John Newton (1726–1807) Oft as the bell, with solemn toll, Speaks the departure of a soul; Let each one ask himself; “Am I Prepared, should I be called to die?” Only this frail and fleeting breath Preserves me from the jaws of death; Soon as it fails, at once I’m gone, And plung’d into a world unknown. Then, leaving all I lov’d below, To God’s tribunal I must go; Must hear the Judge pronounce my fate, And fix my everlasting state. But could I bear to hear him say, “Depart, accursed, far away! With Satan, in the lowest hell, Thou art for ever doom’d to dwell.” Lord Jesus! help me now to flee, And seek my hope alone in thee. Apply thy blood, thy Spirit give, Subdue my sin, and in me live. Then, when the solemn bell I hear, If sav’d from guilt, I need not fear; Nor would the thought distressing be, Perhaps it next may toll for me. Rather, my spirit would rejoice, And long, and wish, to hear thy voice; Glad when it bids me earth resign, Secure of heav’n, if thou art mine. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 4, 2017

Sunday··2017·01·22
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. —1 Corinthians 5:1–4 Hymn LXXV. Hope beyond the grave. John Newton (1726–1807) My soul, this curious house of clay, Thy present frail abode; Must quickly fall to worms a prey, And thou return to God. Canst thou, by faith, survey with joy The change, before it come? And say, “Let death this house destroy, I have a heav’nly home!” The Saviour, whom I then shall see With new admiring eyes, Already has prepar’d for me, A mansion in the skies. I feel this mud-walled cottage shake, And long to see it fall; That I my willing flight may take To him who is my all. Burden’d and groaning, then no more, My rescu’d soul shall sing, As up the shining path I soar, “Death, thou hast lost thy sting.” Dear Saviour, help us now to seek, And know thy grace’s power; That we may all this language speak, Before the dying hour. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 9, 2017

Sunday··2017·02·26
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. —Matthew 7:24–25 Hymn LXXXVIII. The Flood. John Newton (1726–1807) Tho’ small the drops of falling rain, If one be singly view’d; Collected, they o’erspread the plain, And form a mighty flood. The house it meets with in its course, Should not he built on clay; Lest, with a wild resistless force, It sweep the whole away. Tho’ for awhile it seem’d secure, It will not bear the shock; Unless it has foundations sure, And stands upon a rock. Thus sinners think their evil deeds, Like drops of rain, are small; But it the pow’r of tho’t exceeds, To count the sum of all. One sin can raise, tho’ small it seems, A flood to drown the soul; What then, when countless million streams Shall join, to swell the whole. Yet, while they think the weather fair, If warn’d, they smile or frown; But they will tremble and despair, When the fierce flood comes down! O! then on Jesus ground your hope, That stone in Zion laid; Lest your poor building quickly drop, With ruin, on your head. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 21, 2017

Sunday··2017·05·21
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. —Matthew 11:28–30 Hymn V. Invitation. John Newton (1726–1807) Sinner, hear the Saviour’s call, He now is passing by; He has seen thy grievous thrall, And heard thy mournful cry. He has pardons to impart, Grace to save thee from thy fears, See the love that fills his heart, And wipe away thy tears. Why art thou afraid to come And tell him all thy case? He will not pronounce thy doom, Nor frown thee from his face: Wilt thou fear Emmanuel? Wilt thou dread the Lamb of God, Who, to save thy soul from hell, Has shed his precious blood? Think, how on the cross he hung Pierc’d with a thousand wounds! Hark, from each as with a tongue The voice of pardon sounds! See, from all his bursting veins, Blood, of wond’rous virtue, flow! Shed to wash away thy stains, And ransom thee from woe. Tho’ his majesty be great, His mercy is no less; Though he thy transgressions hate, He feels for thy distress: By himself the Lord has sworn, He delights not in thy death; But invites thee to return, That thou mayst live by faith. Raise thy downcast eyes, and see What throngs his throne surround! These, tho’ sinners once like thee, Have full salvation found: Yield not then to unbelief! While he says, “There yet is room;” Tho’ of sinners thou art chief, Since Jesus calls thee, come. —Olney Hymns. Book III: On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 28, 2017

Sunday··2017·07·09
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. —1 Timothy 1:15 Hymn IX. Encouragement. John Newton (1726–1807) My soul is beset With grief and dismay, I owe a vast debt And nothing can pay: I must go to prison, Unless that dear Lord, Who died and is ris’n, His pity afford. The death that he dy’d, The blood that he spilt, To sinners apply’d, Discharge from all guilt: This great Intercessor Can give, if he please, The vilest transgressor Immediate release. When nail’d to the tree, He answer’d the pray’r Of one, who like me, Was nigh to despair; He did not upbraid him With all he had done, But instantly made him, A saint and a son. The jailor, I read, A pardon receiv’d; And how was he freed? He only believ’d: His case mine resembled, Like me he was foul, Like me too he trembled, Rut faith made him whole. Though Saul in his youth, To madness enrag’d, Against the Lord’s truth, And people, engag’d; Yet Jesus, the Saviour, Whom long he revil’d; Receiv’d him to favor And made him a child. A foe to all good, In wickedness skill’d, Manasseh, with blood, Jerusalem fill’d; In evil long harden’d, The Lord he defy’d, Yet he too was pardon’d, When mercy he cry’d. Of sinners the chief, And viler than all, The jailor or thief, Manasseh or Saul: Since they were forgiven Why should I despair, While Christ is in heaven, And still answers pray’r? —Olney Hymns. Book III: On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 31, 2017

Sunday··2017·07·30
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. —Psalm 19:1 Hymn LXXXV. On the eclipse of the moon. July 30, 1776. John Newton (1726–1807) The moon in silver glory shone, And not a cloud in sight; When suddenly a shade begun To intercept her light. How fast across her orb it spread, How fast her light withdrew! A circle, ting’d with languid red, Was all appear’d in view. While many with unmeaning eye Gaze on thy works in vain; Assist me, Lord, that I may try Instruction to obtain. Fain would my thankful heart and lips Unite in praise to thee; And meditate on thy eclipse, In sad Gethsemane. Thy peoples guilt, a heavy load! (When standing in their room) Depriv’d thee of the light of God, And fill’d thy soul with gloom. How punctually eclipses move, Obedient to thy will! Thus shall thy faithfulness and love, Thy promises fulfill. Dark, like the moon without the sun, I mourn thine absence, Lord! For light or comfort I have none, But what thy beams afford. But lo! the hour draws near apace, When changes shall be o’er; Then I shall see thee face to face, And be eclips’d no more. —Olney Hymns. Book II: On Occasional Subjects. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 36, 2017

Sunday··2017·09·03
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities. —Psalm 130 Hymn X. The waiting soul. William Cowper (1731–1800) Breathe from the gentle South, O Lord, And cheer me from the North; Blow on the treasures of thy word, And call the spices forth! I wish, thou know’st, to be resign’d, And wait with patient hope; But hope delay’d fatigues the mind, And drinks the spirit up. Help me to reach the distant goal; Confirm my feeble knee; Pity the sickness of a soul That faints for love of thee. Cold as I feel this heart of mine, Yet since I feel it so; It yields some hope of life divine Within, however low. I seem forsaken and alone, I hear the lion roar; And ev’ry door is shut but one, And that is mercy’s door. There, till the dear Deliv’rer come, I’ll wait with humble pray’r And when he calls his exile home, The Lord, shall find me there. —Olney Hymns. Book III: On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 43, 2017

Sunday··2017·10·22
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;  We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:31–39 Hymn XI. The effort. John Newton (1725–1807) Cheer up, my soul, there is a mercy-seat Sprinkled with blood, where Jesus answers pray’r; There humbly cast thyself, beneath his feet, For never needy sinner perish’d there. Lord, I am come! thy promise is my plea, Without thy word I durst not venture nigh; But thou hast call’d the burden’d soul to thee, A weary burden’d soul, O Lord, am I! Bow’d down beneath a heavy load of sin, By Satan’s fierce temptations sorely prest, Beset without, and full of fears within, Trembling and faint I come to thee for rest. Be thou my refuge, Lord, my hiding–place, I know no force can tear me from thy side; Unmov’d I then may all accusers face, And answer ev’ry charge, with, “Jesus dy’d.” Yes, thou didst weep, and bleed, and groan, and die, Well hast thou known what fierce temptations mean; Such was thy love, and now, enthron’d on high, The same compassions in thy bosom reign. Lord give me faith—he hears—what grace is this! Dry up thy tears, my soul, and cease to grieve: He shews me what he did, and who he is, I must, I will, I can, I do believe. —Olney Hymns. Book III: On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life. 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 50, 2017

Sunday··2017·12·10
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:14–16 Hymn XII. The effort—in another measure. John Newton (1725–1807) Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat Where Jesus answers pray’r; There humbly fall before his feet, For none can perish there. Thy promise is my only plea, With this I venture nigh; Thou callest burden’d souls to thee, And such, O Lord, am I. Bow’d down beneath a load of sin, By Satan sorely prest; By war without, and fears within, I come to thee for rest. Be thou my shield and hiding–place! That, shelter’d near thy side, I may my fierce accuser face, And tell him, “Thou hast dy’d.” Oh wondrous love! to bleed and die, To bear the cross and shame; That guilty sinners, such as I, Might plead thy gracious name. “Poor tempest-tossed soul, be still, My promis’d grace receive;” ’Tis Jesus speaks—I must, I will, I can, I do believe. —Olney Hymns. Book III: On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life. 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 #LordsDay 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.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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