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Isaac Watts

(69 posts)

Lord’s Day 24, 2008

Sunday··2008·06·15
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 20. (C. M.) Spiritual apparel. Isa. lxi. 10. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Awake, my heart; arise, my tongue, Prepare a tuneful voice; In God, the life of all my joys, Aloud will I rejoice. ’Tis he adorned my naked soul, And made salvation mine; Upon a poor polluted worm He makes his graces shine. And lest the shadow of a spot Should on my soul be found, He took the robe the Savior wrought, And cast it all around. How far the heav’nly robe exceeds What earthly princes wear These ornaments, how bright they shine! How white the garments are! The Spirit wrought my faith, and love, And hope, and every grace; But Jesus spent his life to work The robe of righteousness. Strangely, my soul, art thou arrayed By the great Sacred Three! In sweetest harmony of praise Let all thy powers agree. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Psalme 81 (Geneva Bible) To him that excelleth upon Gittith. A Psalme committed to Asaph. 1 Sing ioyfully vnto God our strength: sing loude vnto the God of Iaakob. 2 Take the song and bring forth the timbrel, the pleasant harpe with the viole. 3 Blowe the trumpet in the newe moone, euen in the time appointed, at our feast day. 4 For this is a statute for Israel, and a Law of the God of Iaakob. 5 Hee set this in Ioseph for a testimonie, when hee came out of the land of Egypt, where I heard a language, that I vnderstoode not. 6 I haue withdrawen his shoulder from the burden, and his handes haue left the pots. 7 Thou calledst in affliction and I deliuered thee, and answered thee in the secret of the thunder: I prooued thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. 8 Heare, O my people, and I wil protest vnto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken vnto me, 9 Let there bee no strange god in thee, neither worship thou any strange god. 10 For I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide and I will fill it. 11 But my people would not heare my voyce, and Israel would none of me. 12 So I gaue them vp vnto the hardnesse of their heart, and they haue walked in their owne cousels. 13 Oh that my people had hearkened vnto me, and Israel had walked in my wayes. 14 I would soone haue humbled their enemies, and turned mine hand against their aduersaries. 15 The haters of the Lord should haue bene subiect vnto him, and their time should haue endured for euer. 16 And God would haue fedde them with the fatte of wheat, and with honie out of the rocke would I haue sufficed thee. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord’s Day 30, 2008

Sunday··2008·07·27
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Hymn 21. (C. M.) A vision of the kingdom of Christ among men. Rev. xxi. 1–4. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Lo! what a glorious sight appears To our believing eyes! The earth and sea are passed away, And the old rolling skies. From the third heav’n, where God resides,That holy, happy place, The new Jerusalem comes down,Adorned with shining grace. Attending angels shout for joy,And the bright armies sing— “Mortals, behold the sacred seatOf your descending King. “The God of glory down to menRemoves his blest abode; Men, the dear objects of his grace,And he the loving God. “His own soft hand shall wipe the tearsFrom every weeping eye, And pains, and groans, and griefs, and fears,And death itself, shall die.” How long, dear Savior! O how longShall this bright hour delay? Fly swifter round, ye wheels of time,And bring the welcome day. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Psalme 123 (Geneva Bible). A song of degrees.1 I lift vp mine eyes to thee, that dwellest in the heauens. 2 Behold, as the eyes of seruants looke vnto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a mayden vnto the hand of her mistres: so our eyes waite vpon the Lord our God vntil he haue mercie vpon vs. 3 Haue mercie vpon vs, O Lord, haue mercie vpon vs: for we haue suffered too much contempt. 4 Our soule is filled too full of ye mocking of the wealthy, and of the despitefulnes of the proude. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord’s Day 36, 2008

Sunday··2008·09·07
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 22 Part 1. (L. M.) Christ the eternal life. Rom. ix. 5. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Jesus, our Savior and our God, Array’d in majesty and blood, Thou art our life; our souls in thee Possess a full felicity. All our immortal hopes are laid In thee, our surety and our head; Thy cross, thy cradle, and thy throne, Are big with glories yet unknown. Let atheists scoff, and Jews blaspheme Th’ eternal life and Jesus’ name; A word of thy almighty breath Dooms the rebellious world to death. But let my soul for ever lie Beneath the blessings of thine eye; ’Tis heav’n on earth, ’tis heav’n above, To see thy face and taste thy love. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Psalme 150 (Geneva Bible) 1 Praise ye the Lord, because he is good: for his mercie endureth for euer. 2 Praise ye the God of gods: for his mercie endureth for euer. 3 Praise ye the Lord of Lords: for his mercie endureth for euer: 4 Which onely doeth great wonders: for his mercie endureth for euer: 5 Which by his wisedome made the heauens: for his mercie endureth for euer: 6 Which hath stretched out the earth vpon the waters: for his mercie endureth for euer: 7 Which made great lightes: for his mercie endureth for euer: 8 As the sunne to rule the day: for his mercie endureth for euer: 9 The moone and the starres to gouerne the night: for his mercie endureth for euer: 10 Which smote Egypt with their first borne, (for his mercie endureth for euer) 11 And brought out Israel from among them (for his mercie endureth for euer) 12 With a mightie hande and stretched out arme: for his mercie endureth for euer: 13 Which deuided the red Sea in two partes: for his mercie endureth for euer: 14 And made Israel to passe through the mids of it: for his mercie endureth for euer: 15 And ouerthrewe Pharaoh and his hoste in the red Sea: for his mercie endureth for euer: 16 Which led his people through the wildernes: for his mercie endureth for euer: 17 Which smote great Kings: for his mercie endureth for euer: 18 And slewe mightie Kings: for his mercie endureth for euer: 19 As Sihon King of the Amorites: for his mercie endureth for euer: 20 And Og the King of Bashan: for his mercie endureth for euer: 21 And gaue their land for an heritage: for his mercie endureth for euer: 22 Euen an heritage vnto Israel his seruant: for his mercie endureth for euer: 23 Which remembred vs in our base estate: for his mercie endureth for euer: 24 And hath rescued vs from our oppressours: for his mercie endureth for euer: 25 Which giueth foode to all flesh: for his mercie endureth for euer. 26 Praise ye the God of heauen: for his mercie endureth for euer. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 42, 2008

Sunday··2008·10·19
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 22 Part 2. (C. M.) Flesh and spirit. Rom. xiii. 1. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) WHAT vain desires and passions vain Attend this mortal clay! Oft have they pierced my soul with pain, And drawn my heart astray. How have I wanderd from my God! And, following sin and shame, In this vile world of flesh and blood Defiled my nobler frame! For ever blessed be thy grace That formd my soul anew, And made it of a heavn-born race, Thy glory to pursue. My spirit holds perpetual war, And wrestles and complains; But views the happy moment near That shall dissolve its chains. Cheerful in death I close my eyes To part with evry lust; And charge my flesh, wheneer it rise, To leave them in the dust. My purer spirit shall not fear To put this body on; Its tempting powers no more are there, Its lusts and passions gone! from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures Psalme 28 (Geneva Bible). A Psalme of David. 1 Unto thee, O Lord, doe I crie: O my strength, be not deafe toward mee, lest, if thou answere me not, I be like them that goe downe into the pit. 2 Heare the voyce of my petitions, when I crie vnto thee, when I holde vp mine handes towarde thine holy Oracle. 3 Drawe mee not away with the wicked, and with the woorkers of iniquitie: which speake friendly to their neighbours, when malice is in their hearts. 4 Reward them according to their deedes, and according to the wickednes of their inuentions: recompense them after the woorke of their handes: render them their reward. 5 For they regarde not the woorkes of the Lord, nor the operation of his handes: therefore breake them downe, and builde them not vp. 6 Praised be the Lord, for he hath heard the voyce of my petitions. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shielde: mine heart trusted in him, and I was helped: therfore mine heart shall reioyce, and with my song will I praise him. 8 The Lord is their strength, and he is the strength of the deliuerances of his anointed. 9 Saue thy people, and blesse thine inheritance: feede them also, and exalt them for euer. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 48, 2008

Sunday··2008·11·30
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 23 Part 1. (L. M.) Absent from the body, and present with the Lord. 2 Cor. v. 8. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) ABSENT from flesh! O blissful thought! What unknown joys this moment brings! Freed from the mischiefs sin has brought, From pains, and fears, and all their springs. Absent from flesh! illustrious day! Surprising scene! triumphant stroke That rends the prison of my clay; And I can feel my fetters broke. Absent from flesh! then rise, my soul, Where feet nor wings could never climb, Beyond the heavns, where planets roll, Measuring the cares and joys of time. I go where God and glory shine, His presence makes eternal day: My all thats mortal I resign, For angels wait and point my way. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures Psalme 70 (Geneva Bible). To him excelleth. A Psalme of David to put in remembrance. 1 O God, haste thee to deliuer mee: make haste to helpe me, O Lord. 2 Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seeke my soule: let them bee turned backewarde and put to rebuke, that desire mine hurt. 3 Let them be turned backe for a rewarde of their shame, which said, Aha, aha. 4 But let all those that seeke thee, be ioyfull and glad in thee, and let all that loue thy saluation, say alwaies, God be praised. 5 Nowe I am poore and needie: O God, make haste to me: thou art mine helper, and my deliuerer: O Lord, make no tarying. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 51, 2008

Sunday··2008·12·21
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 19. (C. M.) The song of Simeon; or, Death made desirable. Luke ii. 27, &c. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) LORD, at thy temple we appear, As happy Simeon came, And hope to meet our Savior here; O make our joys the same! With what divine and vast delight    The good old man was filled, When fondly in his withered arms    He clasped the holy child! Now I can leave this world, he cried,    Behold, thy servant dies; I’ve seen thy great salvation, Lord,    And close my peaceful eyes. This is the light prepared to shine    Upon the Gentile lands, Thine Isrels glory, and their hope    To break their slavish bands. [Jesus! the vision of thy face    Hath overpowering charms; Scarce shall I feel deaths cold embrace,    If Christ be in my arms. Then while ye hear my heart-strings break,    How sweet my minutes roll! A mortal paleness on my cheek,    And glory in my soul.] The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Psalme 91 (Geneva Bible). 1 Who so dwelleth in the secrete of the most High, shall abide in the shadowe of the Almightie. 2 I will say vnto the Lord, O mine hope, and my fortresse: he is my God, in him will I trust. 3 Surely he will deliuer thee from the snare of the hunter, and from the noysome pestilence. 4 Hee will couer thee vnder his winges, and thou shalt be sure vnder his feathers: his trueth shall be thy shielde and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraide of the feare of the night, nor of the arrowe that flyeth by day: 6 Nor of the pestilence that walketh in the darkenesse: nor of the plague that destroyeth at noone day. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and tenne thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come neere thee. 8 Doubtlesse with thine eyes shalt thou beholde and see the reward of the wicked. 9 For thou hast said, The Lord is mine hope: thou hast set the most High for thy refuge. 10 There shall none euill come vnto thee, neither shall any plague come neere thy tabernacle. 11 For hee shall giue his Angels charge ouer thee to keepe thee in all thy wayes. 12 They shall beare thee in their handes, that thou hurt not thy foote against a stone. 13 Thou shalt walke vpon the lyon and aspe: the yong lyon and the dragon shalt thou treade vnder feete. 14 Because he hath loued me, therefore will I deliuer him: I will exalt him because hee hath knowen my Name. 15 He shall call vpon me, and I wil heare him: I will be with him in trouble: I will deliuer him, and glorifie him. 16 With long life wil I satisfie him, and shew him my saluation. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 3, 2009

Sunday··2009·01·18
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 23 Part 2. (L. M.) A hopeful youth falling short of heaven. Mark x. 21. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) MUST all the charms of nature, then, So hopeless to salvation prove? Can hell demand, can heavn condemn, The man whom Jesus deigns to love? The man who sought the ways of truth, Paid friends and neighbors all their due; A modest, sober, lovely youth, And thought he wanted nothing new. But mark the change; thus spake the Lord Come, part with earth for heavn today: The youth, astonished at the word, In silent sadness went his way. Poor virtues that he boasted so, This test unable to endure; Let Christ, and grace, and glory go, To make his land and money sure! Ah, foolish choice of treasures here! Ah, fatal love of tempting gold! Must this base world be bought so dear? Are life and heavn so cheaply sold? In vain the charms of nature shine, If this vile passion govern me: Transform my soul, O love divine! And make me part with all for thee. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures Psalme 119:1724 (Geneva Bible) Gimmel. 17 Be beneficiall vnto thy seruant, that I may liue and keepe thy woorde. 18 Open mine eies, that I may see the wonders of thy Lawe. 19 I am a stranger vpon earth: hide not thy commandements from me. 20 Mine heart breaketh for the desire to thy iudgements alway. 21 Thou hast destroied the proud: cursed are they that doe erre from thy commandements. 22 Remoue from mee shame and contempt: for I haue kept thy testimonies. 23 Princes also did sit, and speake against me: but thy seruant did meditate in thy statutes. 24 Also thy testimonies are my delite, and my counsellers. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 9, 2009

Sunday··2009·03·01
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 24 (L. M.) The rich sinner dying. Psa. xlix. 6, 9; Eccl. viii. 8; Job iii. 14, 15. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) In vain the wealthy mortals toil, And heap their shining dust in vain, Look down and scorn the humble poor, And boast their lofty hills of gain. Their golden cordials cannot ease Their pained hearts or aching heads, Nor fright nor bribe approaching death From glittring roofs and downy beds. The lingring, the unwilling soul The dismal summons must obey, And bid a long, a sad farewell To the pale lump of lifeless clay. Thence they are huddled to the grave, Where kings and slaves have equal thrones; Their bones without distinction lie Amongst the heap of meaner bones. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures Psalme 119:6572 (Geneva Bible) Teth. 65 O Lord, thou hast delt graciously with thy seruant according vnto thy woorde. 66 Teach me good iudgement and knowledge: for I haue beleeued thy commandements. 67 Before I was afflicted, I went astray: but nowe I keepe thy woorde. 68 Thou art good and gracious: teach me thy statutes. 69 The proud haue imagined a lie against me: but I wil keepe thy precepts with my whole heart. 70 Their heart is fatte as grease: but my delite is in thy Lawe. 71 It is good for me that I haue beene afflicted, that I may learne thy statutes. 72 The Lawe of thy mouth is better vnto me, then thousands of golde and siluer. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 15, 2009

Sunday··2009·04·12
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 25 (L. M.) A vision of the Lamb. Rev. v. 69. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) All mortal vanities, begone, Nor tempt my eyes, nor tire my ears; Behold, amidst th eternal throne, A vision of the Lamb appears. [Glory his fleecy robe adorns, Markd with the bloody death he bore; Seven are his eyes, and seven his horns, To speak his wisdom and his power. Lo! he receives a sealed book From him that sits upon the throne; Jesus, my Lord, prevails to look On dark decrees and things unknown.] All the assembling saints around Fall worshipping before the Lamb, And in new songs of gospel sound Address their honours to his name. [The joy, the shout, the harmony, Flies oer the everlasting hills Worthy art thou alone, they cry, To read the book, to loose the seals.] Our voices join the heavnly strain, And with transporting pleasure sing Worthy the Lamb that once was slain, To be our Teacher and our King! His words of prophecy reveal Eternal counsels, deep designs; His grace and vengeance shall fulfil The peaceful and the dreadful lines. Thou hast redeemd our souls from hell With thine invaluable blood; And wretches that did once rebel Are now made favrites of their God. Worthy for ever is the Lord, That died for treasons not his own, By evry tongue to be adord, And dwell upon his Fathers throne! from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures Psalme 119:113120 (Geneva Bible) Samech. 113 I hate vaine inuentions: but thy Lawe doe I loue. 114 Thou art my refuge and shield, and I trust in thy worde. 115 Away from mee, yee wicked: for I will keepe the commandements of my God. 116 Stablish me according to thy promise, that I may liue, and disappoint me not of mine hope. 117 Stay thou mee, and I shall be safe, and I will delite continually in thy statutes. 118 Thou hast troden downe all them that depart from thy statutes: for their deceit is vaine. 119 Thou hast taken away all ye wicked of the earth like drosse: therefore I loue thy testimonies. 120 My flesh trembleth for feare of thee, and I am afraide of thy iudgements. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 21, 2009

Sunday··2009·05·24
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) HYMN 26 (C. M.) Hope of heaven by the resurrection of Christ. 1 Pet. i. 35. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Blessd be the everlasting God, The Father of our Lord; Be his abounding mercy praisd, His majesty adord. When from the dead he raisd his Son,    And calld him to the sky, He gave our souls a lively hope    That they should never die. What though our inbred sins require    Our flesh to see the dust, Yet as the Lord our Savior rose,    So all his followers must. Theres an inheritance divine    Reserved against that day; Tis uncorrupted, undefild,    And cannot waste away. Saints by the power of God are kept    Till the salvation come; We walk by faith as strangers here,    Till Christ shall call us home. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures Psalme 119:161168 (Geneva Bible) Schin. 161 Princes haue persecuted mee without cause, but mine heart stood in awe of thy wordes. 162 I reioyce at thy worde, as one that findeth a great spoyle. 163 I hate falshoode and abhorre it, but thy Lawe doe I loue. 164 Seuen times a day doe I praise thee, because of thy righteous iudgements. 165 They that loue thy Law, shall haue great prosperitie, and they shall haue none hurt. 166 Lord, I haue trusted in thy saluation, and haue done thy commandements. 167 My soule hath kept thy testimonies: for I loue them exceedingly. 168 I haue kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my wayes are before thee. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lords Day 27, 2009

Sunday··2009·07·05 · 1 Comments
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN 27 (C. M.) Assurance of heaven. 2 Tim. iv. 68, 18. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Death may dissolve my body now, And bear my spirit home; Why do my minutes move so slow, Nor my salvation come? With heavnly weapons I have fought    The battles of the Lord; Finished my course, and kept the faith,    And wait the sure reward.] God has laid up in heavn for me    A crown which cannot fade; The righteous Judge at that great day    Shall place it on my head. Nor hath the King of grace decreed    This prize for me alone; But all that love and long to see    Th appearance of his Son. Jesus the Lord shall guard me safe    From every ill design; And to his heavnly kingdom keep    This feeble soul of mine. God is my everlasting aid,    And hell shall rage in vain; To him be highest glory paid    And endless praiseAmen. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures John 1:1928 19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21They asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? And he said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No. 22 Then they said to him, Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself? 23 He said, I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said. 24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, and said to him, Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? 26 John answered them saying, I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The verses we have now read begin the properly historical part of Johns Gospel. Hitherto we have been reading deep and weighty statements about Christs divine nature, incarnation, and dignity. Now we come to the plain narrative of the days of Christs earthly ministry, and the plain story of Christs doings and sayings among men. And here, like the other Gospel-writers, John begins at once with the record or testimony of John the Baptist. (Matt. iii. 1; Mark i. 2; Luke iii. 2.) We have, for one thing, in these verses, an instructive example of true humility. That example is supplied by John the Baptist himself. John the Baptist was an eminent saint of God. There are few names which stand higher than his in the Bible calendar of great and good men. The Lord Jesus Himself declared that Among those who are born of woman there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist. (Matt. xi. 11.) The Lord Jesus Himself declared that he was a burning and a shining light. (John v. 35.) Yet here in this passage we see this eminent saint lowly, self-abased, and full of humility. He puts away from himself the honor which the Jews from Jerusalem were ready to pay him. He declines all flattering titles. He speaks of himself as nothing more than the voice of one crying in the wilderness, and as one who baptized with water. He proclaims loudly that there is One standing among the Jews far greater than himself, One whose shoe-latchet he is not worthy to unloose. He claims honor not for himself but for Christ. To exalt Christ was his mission, and to that mission he steadfastly adheres. The greatest saints of God in every age of the Church have always been men of John the Baptists spirit. In gifts, and knowledge, and general character they have often differed widely. But in one respect they have always been alike;they have been clothed with humility. (1 Pet. v. 5.) They have not sought their own honor. They have thought little of themselves. They have been ever willing to decrease if Christ might only increase, to be nothing if Christ might be all. And here has been the secret of the honor God has put upon them. He that humbles himself shall be exalted. (Luke xiv. 11.) If we profess to have any real Christianity, let us strive to be of John the Baptists spirit. Let us study humility. This is the grace with which all must begin, who would be saved. We have no true religion about us, until we cast away our high thoughts, and feel ourselves sinners.This is the grace which all saints may follow after, and which none have any excuse for neglecting. All Gods children have not gifts, or money, or time to work, or a wide sphere of usefulness; but all may be humble.This is the grace, above all, which will appear most beautiful in our latter end. Never shall we feel the need of humility so deeply, as when we lie on our deathbeds, and stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Our whole lives will then appear a long catalogue of imperfections, ourselves nothing, and Christ all. We have, for another thing, in these verses, a mournful example of the blindness of unconverted men. That example is supplied by the state of the Jews who came to question John the Baptist. These Jews professed to be waiting for the appearance of Messiah. Like all the Pharisees they prided themselves on being children of Abraham, and possessors of the covenants. They rested in the law, and made their boast of God. They professed to know Gods will, and to believe Gods promises. They were confident that they themselves were guides of the blind, and lights of those who sat in darkness. (Rom. ii. 1719.) And yet at this very moment their souls were utterly in the dark. There was standing among them, as John the Baptist told them, One whom they knew not. Christ Himself, the promised Messiah, was in the midst of them, and yet they neither knew Him, nor saw Him, nor received Him, nor acknowledged Him, nor believed Him. And worse than this, the vast majority of them never would know Him! The words of John the Baptist are a prophetic description of a state of things which lasted during the whole of our Lords earthly ministry. Christ stood among the Jews, and yet the Jews knew Him not, and the greater part of them died in their sins. It is a solemn thought that John the Baptists words in this place apply strictly to thousands in the present day. Christ is still standing among many who neither see, nor know, nor believe. Christ is passing by in many a parish and many a congregation, and the vast majority have neither an eye to see Him, nor an ear to hear Him. The spirit of slumber seems poured out upon them. Money, and pleasure, and the world they know; but they know not Christ. The kingdom of God is close to them; but they sleep. Salvation is within their reach; but they sleep. Mercy, grace, peace, heaven, eternal life, are so near that they might touch them; and yet they sleep. Christ stands among them and they know him not. These are sorrowful things to write down. But every faithful minister of Christ can testify, like John the Baptist, that they are true. What are we doing ourselves? This, after all, is the great question that concerns us. Do we know the extent of our religious privileges in this country, and in these times? Are we aware that Christ is going to and fro in our land, inviting souls to join Him and to be His disciples? Do we know that the time is short and that the door of mercy will soon be closed for evermore? Do we know that Christ rejected will soon be Christ withdrawn? Happy are they who can give a good account of these inquiries and who know the day of their visitation! (Luke xix. 44.) It will be better at the last day never to have been born, than to have had Christ standing among us and not to have known Him.J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:4346 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, 2009

Sunday··2009·08·16
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN 28 (C. M.) The triumph of Christ over the enemies of his church. Isa. lxi. 13, &c. Isaac Watts (16741748) WHAT mighty man, or mighty God, Comes travelling in state, Along the Idumean road, Away from Bozrahs gate? The glory of his robes proclaim    Tis some victorious king: Tis I, the Just, th Almighty One,    That your salvation bring. Why, mighty Lord, thy saints inquire,    Why thine apparels red? And all thy vesture staind like those    Who in the wine-press tread? I by myself have trod the press,    And crushd my foes alone; My wrath has struck the rebels dead,    My fury stampd them down. Tis Edoms blood that dyes my robes    With joyful scarlet stains; The triumph that my raiment wears    Sprung from their bleeding veins. Thus shall the nations be destroyd    That dare insult my saints; I have an arm t avenge their wrongs,    An ear for their complaints. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures The Gospel According to John Christ Witnesses to Nicodemus 3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. 3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mothers womb and be born, can he? 5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. The conversation between Christ and Nicodemus, which begins with these verses, is one of the most important passages in the whole Bible. Nowhere else do we find stronger statements about those two mighty subjects, the new birth, and salvation by faith in the Son of God. The servant of Christ will do well to make himself thoroughly acquainted with this chapter. A man may be ignorant of many things in religion, and yet be saved. But to be ignorant of the matters handled in this chapter, is to be in the broad way which leadeth to destruction. We should notice, firstly, in these verses, what a weak and feeble beginning a man may make in religion, and yet finally prove a strong Christian. We are told of a certain Pharisee, named Nicodemus, who feeling concerned about his soul, came to Jesus by night. There can be little doubt that Nicodemus acted as he did on this occasion from the fear of man. He was afraid of what man would think, or say, or do, if his visit to Jesus was known. He came by night, because he had not faith and courage enough to come by day. And yet there was a time afterwards when this very Nicodemus took our Lords part in open day in the council of the Jews. Doth our law judge any man, he said, before it hear him, and know what he doeth. (John vii. 51.)Nor was this all. There came a time when this very Nicodemus was one of the only two men who did honour to our Lords dead body. He helped Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus, when even the apostles had forsaken their Master and fled. His last things were more than his first. Though he began badly, he ended well. The history of Nicodemus is meant to teach us that we should never despise the day of small things in religion. (Zec. iv. 10.) We must not set down a man as having no grace, because his first steps towards God are timid and wavering, and the first movements of his soul are uncertain, hesitating, and stamped with much imperfection. We must remember our Lords reception of Nicodemus. He did not break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax, which He saw before Him. (Matt. xii. 20.) Like Him, let us take inquirers by the hand, and deal with them gently and lovingly. In everything there must be a beginning. It is not those who make the most flaming profession of religion at first, who endure the longest and prove the most steadfast. Judas Iscariot was an apostle when Nicodemus was just groping his way slowly into full light, Yet afterwards, when Nicodemus was boldly helping to bury his crucified Saviour, Judas Iscariot had betrayed Him, and hanged himself! This is a fact which ought not to be forgotten. We should notice, secondly, in these verses, what a mighty change our Lord declares to be needful to salvation, and what a remarkable expression He uses in describing it. He speaks of a new birth. He says to Nicodemus, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. He announces the same truth in other words, in order to make it more plain to his hearers mind: Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. By this expression He meant Nicodemus to understand that no one could become His disciple, unless his inward man was as thoroughly cleansed and renewed by the Spirit, as the outward man is cleansed by water. To possess the privileges of Judaism a man only needed to be born of the seed of Abraham after the flesh. To possess the privileges of Christs kingdom, a man must be born again of the Holy Spirit. The change which our Lord here declares needful to salvation is evidently no slight or superficial one. It is not merely reformation, or amendment, or moral change, or outward alteration of life. It is a thorough change of heart, will, and character. It is a resurrection. It is a new creation. It is a passing from death to life. It is the implanting in our dead hearts of a new principle from above. It is the calling into existence of a new creature, with a new nature, new habits of life, new tastes, new desires, new appetites, new judgments, new opinions, new hopes, and new fears. All this, and nothing less than this is implied, when our Lord declares that we all need a new birth. This change of heart is rendered absolutely necessary to salvation by the corrupt condition in which we are all, without exception, born. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. Our nature is thoroughly fallen. The carnal mind is enmity against God. (Rom. viii. 7.) We come into the world without faith, or love, or fear toward God. We have no natural inclination to serve Him or obey Him, and no natural pleasure in doing His will. Left to himself, no child of Adam would ever turn to God. The truest description of the change which we all need in order to make us real Christians, is the expression, new birth. This mighty change, it must never be forgotten, we cannot give to ourselves. The very name which our Lord gives to it is a convincing proof of this. He calls it a birth. No man is the author of his own existence, and no man can quicken his own soul. We might as well expect a dead man to give himself life, as expect a natural man to make himself spiritual. A power from above must be put in exercise, even that same power which created the world. (2 Cor. iv. 6.) Man can do many things; but he cannot give life either to himself or to others. To give life is the peculiar prerogative of God. Well may our Lord declare that we need to be born again! This mighty change, we must, above all, remember, is a thing without which we cannot go to heaven, and could not enjoy heaven if we went there. Our Lords words on this point are distinct and express. Except a man be born again, he can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God. Heaven may be reached without money, or rank, or learning. But it is clear as daylight, if words have any meaning, that nobody can enter heaven without a new birth. We should notice, lastly, in these verses, the instructive comparison which our Lord uses in explaining the new birth. He saw Nicodemus perplexed and astonished by the things he had just heard. He graciously helped his wondering mind by an illustration drawn from the wind. A more beautiful and fitting illustration of the work of the Spirit it is impossible to conceive. There is much about the wind that is mysterious and inexplicable. You can not tell, says our Lord, whence it comes and where it goes. We cannot handle it with our hands, or see it with our eyes. When the wind blows, we cannot point out the exact spot where its breath first began to be felt, and the exact distance to which its influence shall extend. But we do not on that account deny its presence.It is just the same with the operations of the Spirit, in the new birth of man. They may be mysterious, sovereign, and incomprehensible to us in many ways. But it is foolish to stumble at them because there is much about those who we cannot explain. But whatever mystery there may be about the wind, its presence may always be known by its sound and effects. Thou hearest the sound thereof, says our Lord. When our ears hear it whistling in the windows, and our eyes see the clouds driving before it, we do not hesitate to say, There is wind.It is just the same with the operations of the Holy Spirit in the new birth of man. Marvelous and incomprehensible as His work may be, it is work that can always be seen and known. The new birth is a thing that cannot be hid. There will always be visible fruits of the Spirit in every one that is born of the Spirit. Would we know what the marks of the new birth are?We shall find them already written for our learning in the First Epistle of St. John. The man born of God believes that Jesus is the Christ,doth not commit sin,doeth righteousness,loves the brethren,overcomes the world,keepeth himself from the wicked one.This is the man born of the Spirit! Where these fruits are to be seen, there is the new birth of which our Lord is speaking. He that lacks these marks, is yet dead in trespasses and sins. (1 John v. 1; iii. 9; ii. 29; iii. 14; v. 4; v. 18.) And now let us solemnly ask ourselves whether we know anything of the mighty change of which we have been reading? Have we been born again? Can any marks of the new birth be seen in us? Can the sound of the Spirit be heard in our daily conversation? Is the image and superscription of the Spirit to be discerned in our lives?Happy is the man who can give satisfactory answers to these questions! A day will come when those who are not born again will wish that they had never been born at all. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:118123 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 39, 2009

Sunday··2009·09·27
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN 29. (C. M.) The ruin of Antichrist. Isa. lxiii. 47. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) I lift my banner, saith the Lord, Where Antichrist has stood; The city of my gospel foes Shall be a field of blood. My heart has studied just revenge,    And now the day appears; The day of my redeemd is come    To wipe away their tears. Quite weary is my patience grown,    And bids my fury go; Swift as the lightning it shall move,    And be as fatal too. I call for helpers, but in vain;    Then has my gospel none? Well, mine own arm has might enough    To crush my foes alone. Slaughter and my devouring sword    Shall walk the streets around, Babel shall reel beneath my stroke,    And stagger to the ground. Thy honours, O victorious King!    Thine own right hand shall raise, While we thy awful vengeance sing,    And our delivrer praise. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures John 4:3142 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, Rabbi, eat. 32 But He said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about. 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, No one brought Him anything to eat, did he? 34 Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35 Do you not say, There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true, One sows and another reaps. 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor. Christ witnesses to the Samaritans    39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, He told me all the things that I have done. 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world. We have, for one thing, in these verses, an instructive pattern of zeal for the good of others. We read, that our Lord Jesus Christ declares, My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work. To do good was not merely duty and pleasure to Him. He counted it as His food and drink. Job, one of the holiest Old Testament saints, could say, that he esteemed Gods word more than his necessary food. (Job xxiii. 12.) The Great Head of the New Testament Church went even further. He could say the same of Gods work. Do we do any work for God? Do we try, however feebly, to set forward His cause on earth,to check that which is evil, to promote that which is good? If we do, let us never be ashamed of doing it with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. Whatsoever our hand finds to do for the souls of others, let us do it with our might. (Eccles. ix. 10.) The world may mock and sneer, and call us enthusiasts. The world can admire zeal in any service but that of God, and can praise enthusiasm on any subject but that of religion. Let us work on unmoved. Whatever men may say and think, we are walking in the steps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us, beside this, take comfort in the thought that Jesus Christ never changes. He that sat by the well of Samaria, and found it food and drink to do good to an ignorant soul, is always in one mind. High in heaven at Gods right hand, He still delights to save sinners, and still approves zeal and labour in the cause of God. The work of the missionary and the evangelist may be despised and ridiculed in many quarters. But while man is mocking, Christ is well pleased! Thanks be to God, Jesus is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. We have, for another thing, in these verses, strong encouragement held out to those who labour to do good to souls. We read, that our Lord described the world as a field white for the harvest; and then said to His disciples, He that reapeth, receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal. Work for the souls of men, is undoubtedly attended by great discouragements. The heart of natural man is very hard and unbelieving. The blindness of unsaved men to their own lost condition and peril of ruin, is something past description. The carnal mind is enmity against God. (Rom. viii. 7.) No one can have any just idea of the desperate hardness of men and women, until he has tried to do good. No one can have any conception of the small number of those who repent and believe, until he has personally endeavoured to save some. (1 Cor. ix. 22.) To suppose that everybody will become a true Christian, who is told about Christ, and entreated to believe, is mere childish ignorance. Few there be that find the narrow way! The labourer for Christ will find the vast majority of those among whom he labours, unbelieving and impenitent, in spite of all that he can do. The many will not turn to Christ. These are discouraging facts. But they are facts, and facts that ought to be known. The true antidote against despondency in Gods work, is an abiding recollection of such promises as that before us. There are wages laid up for faithful reapers. They shall receive a reward at the last day, far exceeding anything they have done for Christ,a reward proportioned not to their success, but to the quantity of their work.They are gathering fruit, which shall endure when this world has passed away,fruit, in some souls saved, if many will not believe, and fruit in evidences of their own faithfulness, to be brought out before assembled worlds. Do our hands ever hang down, and our knees wax faint? Do we feel disposed to say, my labour is in vain and my words without profit. Let us lean back at such seasons on this glorious promise. There are wages yet to be paid. There is fruit yet to be exhibited. We are a sweet savour of Christ, both in those who are saved and in those who perish. (2 Cor. ii. 15.) Let us work on. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm cxxvi. 6.) One single soul saved, shall outlive and outweigh all the kingdoms of the world. We have, lastly, in these verses, a most teaching instance of the variety of ways by which men are led to believe Christ. We read that many of the Samaritans believed on Christ for the saying of the woman. But this is not all. We read again, Many more believed because of Christs own word. In short, some were converted trough the means of the womans testimony, and some were converted by hearing Christ Himself. The words of Paul should never be forgotten, There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (1 Cor. xii. 6.) The way in which the Spirit leads all Gods people is always one and the same. But the paths by which they are severally brought into that road are often widely different. There are some in whom the work of conversion is sudden and instantaneous. There are others in whom it goes on slowly, quietly, and by imperceptible degrees. Some have their hearts gently opened, like Lydia. Others are aroused by violent alarm, like the jailor at Philippi. All are finally brought to repentance toward God, faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and holiness of conversation. But all do not begin with the same experience. The weapon which carries conviction to one believers soul, is not the one which first pierces another. The arrows of the Holy Spirit are all drawn from the same quiver. But He uses sometimes one and sometimes another, according to His own sovereign will. Are we converted ourselves? This is the one point to which our attention ought to be directed. Our experience may not tally with that of other believers. But that is not the question. Do we feel sin, hate it, and flee from it? Do we love Christ, and rest solely on Him for salvation? Are we bringing forth fruits of the Spirit in righteousness and true holiness? If these things are so we may thank God, and take courage. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:238241 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 45, 2009

Sunday··2009·11·08
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN 30. (L. M.) Prayer for deliverance answered. Isa. xxvi. 812, 20, 21. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) In thine own ways, O God of love, We wait the visits of thy grace, Our souls desire is to thy name, And the remembrance of thy face. My thoughts are searching, Lord, for thee Mongst the black shades of lonesome night; My earnest cries salute the skies Before the dawn restore the light. Look, how rebellious men deride The tender patience of my God! But they shall see thy lifted hand, And feel the scourges of thy rod. Hark! the Eternal rends the sky, A mighty voice before him goes; A voice of music to his friends, But threatning thunder to his foes. Come, children, to your Fathers arms, Hide in the chambers of my grace, Till the fierce storms be overblown, And my revenging fury cease. My sword shall boast its thousands slain, And drink the blood of haughty kings, While heavnly peace around my flock Stretches its soft and shady wings. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 5:4047and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; 42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? This passage concludes our Lord Jesus Christs wondrous defence of His own divine mission. It is a conclusion worthy of the defence, full of heart-searching appeals to the consciences of His enemies, and rich in deep truths. A mighty sermon is followed by a mighty application. Let us mark, in this passage, the reason why many souls are lost. The Lord Jesus says to the unbelieving Jews,Ye will not come to me that ye might have life. These words are a golden sentence, which ought to be engraved in our memories, and treasured up in our minds. It is lack of will to come to Christ for salvation that will be found, at last, to have shut the many out of heaven.It is not mens sins. All manner of sin may be forgiven.It is not any decree of God. We are not told in the Bible of any whom God has only created to be destroyed.It is not any limit in Christs work of redemption. He has paid a price sufficient for all mankind.It is something far more than this. It is mans own innate unwillingness to come to Christ, repent, and believe. Either from pride, or laziness, or love of sin, or love of the world, the many have no mind, or wish, or heart, or desire to seek life in Christ. God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John v. 11.) But men stand still, and will not stir hand or foot to get life. And this is the whole reason why many of the lost are not saved. This is a painful and solemn truth, but one that we can never know too well. It contains a first principle in Christian theology. Thousands, in every age, are constantly labouring to shift the blame of their condition from off themselves. They talk of their inability to change. They tell you complacently, that they cannot help being what they are! They know, forsooth, that they are wrong, but they cannot be different! It will not do. Such talk will not stand the test of the Word of Christ before us. The unconverted are what they are because they have no will to be better. Light has come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light. (John iii. 19.) The words of the Lord Jesus will silence many: I would have gathered you, and ye would not be gathered. (Matt. xxiii. 37.) Let us mark, secondly, in this passage, one principal cause of unbelief. The Lord Jesus says to the Jews,How can ye believe which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh of God only? He meant by that saying, that they were not honest in their religion. With all their apparent desire to hear and learn, they cared more in reality for pleasing man than God. In this state of mind they were never likely to believe. A deep principle is contained in this saying of our Lords, and one that deserves special attention. True faith does not depend merely on the state of mans head and understanding, but on the state of his heart. His mind may be convinced. His conscience may be pierced. But so long as there is anything the man is secretly loving more than God, there will be no true faith. The man himself may be puzzled, and wonder why he does not believe. He does not see that he is like a child sitting on the lid of his box, and wishing to open it, but not considering that his own weight keeps it shut. Let a man make sure that he honestly and really desires first the praise of God. It is the lack of an honest heart which makes many stick fast in their false religion all their days, and die at length without peace. Those who complain that they hear, and approve, and assent, but make no progress, and cannot get any hold on Christ, should ask themselves this simple question, Am I honest?Am I sincere?Do I really desire first the praise of God? Let us mark, lastly, in this passage, the manner in which Christ speaks of Moses. He says to the Jews,Had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. These words demand our special attention in these latter days. That there really was such a person as Moses,that he really was the author of the writings commonly ascribed to him,on both these points our Lords testimony is distinct. He wrote of me. Can we suppose for a moment that our Lord was only accommodating Himself to the prejudices and traditions of His hearers, and that He spoke of Moses as a writer, though He knew in His heart that Moses never wrote at all? Such an idea is profane. It would make out our Lord to have been dishonest.Can we suppose for a moment that our Lord was ignorant about Moses, and did not know the wonderful discoveries which learned men, falsely so called, have made in the nineteenth century? Such an idea is ridiculous blasphemy. To imagine the Lord Jesus speaking ignorantly in such a chapter as the one before us, is to strike at the root of all Christianity.There is but one conclusion about the matter. There was such a person as Moses. The writings commonly ascribed to him were written by him. The facts recorded in them are worthy of all credit. Our Lords testimony is an unanswerable argument. The skeptical writers against Moses and the Pentateuch have greatly erred. Let us beware of handling the Old Testament irreverently, and allowing our minds to doubt the truth of any part of it, because of alleged difficulties. The simple fact that the writers of the New Testament continually refer to the Old Testament, and speak even of the most miraculous events recorded in it as undoubtedly true, should silence our doubts. Is it at all likely, probable, or credible, that we of the nineteenth century are better informed about Moses than Jesus and His Apostles? God forbid that we should think so! Then let us stand fast, and not doubt that every word in the Old Testament, as well as in the New, was given by inspiration of God. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:313316 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 52, 2009

Sunday··2009·12·27
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 60. (L. M.) The Virgin Marys song. Luke i. 46, &c. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Our souls shall magnify the Lord, In God the Saviour we rejoice: While we repeat the Virgins song, May the same Spirit tune our voice! [The Highest saw her low estate, And mighty things his hand hath done: His overshadowing power and grace Makes her the mother of his Son. Let evry nation call her blessd, And endless years prolong her fame; But God alone must be adord: Holy and reverend is his name.] To those that fear and trust the Lord, His mercy stands for ever sure: From age to age his promise lives, And the performance is secure. He spake to Abram and his seed, In thee shall all the earth be blessd; The memory of that ancient word Lay long in his eternal breast. But now no more shall Isrel wait, No more the Gentiles lie forlorn: Lo, the desire of nations comes; Behold, the promised seed is born! from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 6:5259Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? 53 So Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever. 59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Few passages of Scripture have been so painfully twisted and perverted as that which we have now read. The Jews are not the only people who have striven about its meaning. A sense has been put upon it, which it was never intended to bear. Fallen man, in interpreting the Bible, has an unhappy aptitude for turning food into poison. The things that were written for his benefit, he often makes an occasion for falling. Let us first consider carefully, what these verses do not mean. The eating and drinking of which Christ speaks do not mean any literal eating and drinking. Above all, the words were not spoken with any reference to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper. We may eat the Lords Supper, and yet not eat and drink Christs body and blood. We may eat and drink Christs body and blood, and yet not eat the Lords Supper. Let this never be forgotten. The opinion here expressed may startle some who have not looked closely into the subject. But it is an opinion which is supported by three weighty reasons.For one thing, a literal eating and drinking of Christs body and blood would have been an idea utterly revolting to all Jews, and flatly contradictory to an often-repeated precept of their law.For another thing, to take a literal view of eating and drinking, is to interpose a bodily act between the soul of man and salvation. This is a thing for which there is no precedent in Scripture. The only things without which we cannot be saved are repentance and faith.Last, but not least, to take a literal view of eating and drinking, would involve most blasphemous and profane consequences. It would shut out of heaven the penitent thief. He died long after these words were spoken, without any literal eating and drinking. Will any dare to say he had no life in Him?It would admit to heaven thousands of ignorant, godless communicants in the present day. They literally eat and drink, no doubt! But they have no eternal life, and will not be raised to glory at the last day. Let these reasons be carefully pondered. The plain truth is, there is a morbid anxiety in fallen man to put a carnal sense on Scriptural expressions, wherever he possibly can. He struggles hard to make religion a matter of forms and ceremonies,of doing and performing,of sacraments and ordinances,of sense and of sight. He secretly dislikes that system of Christianity which makes the state of the heart the principal thing, and labours to keep sacraments and ordinances in the second place. Happy is that Christian who remembers these things, and stands on his guard! Baptism and the Lords supper, no doubt, are holy sacraments, and mighty blessings, when rightly used. But it is worse than useless to drag them in everywhere, and to see them everywhere in Gods Word. Let us next consider carefully, what these verses do mean. The expressions they contain are, no doubt, very remarkable. Let us try to get some clear notion of their meaning. The flesh and blood of the Son of man mean that sacrifice of His own body, which Christ offered up on the cross, when He died for sinners. The atonement made by His death, the satisfaction made by his sufferings, as our Substitute, the redemption effected by His enduring the penalty of our sins in His own body on the tree,this seems to be the true idea that we should set before our minds. The eating and drinking, without which there is no life in us, means that reception of Christs sacrifice which takes place when a man believes on Christ crucified for salvation. It is an inward and spiritual act of the heart, and has nothing to do with the body. Whenever a man, feeling his own guilt and sinfulness, lays hold on Christ, and trusts in the atonement made for him by Christs death, at once he eats the flesh of the Son of man, and drinks His blood. His soul feeds on Christs sacrifice, by faith, just as his body would feed on bread. Believing, he is said to eat. Believing, he is said to drink. And the special thing that he eats, and drinks, and gets benefit from, is the atonement made for his sins by Christs death for him on Calvary. The practical lessons which may be gathered from the whole passage are weighty and important. The point being once settled, that the flesh and blood in these verses means Christs atonement, and the eating and drinking mean faith, we may find in these verses great principles of truth, which lie at the very root of Christianity. We may learn, that faith in Christs atonement is a thing of absolute necessity to salvation. Just as there was no safety for the Israelite in Egypt who did not eat the passover-lamb, in the night when the first-born were slain, so there is no life for the sinner who does not eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood. We may learn that faith in Christs atonement unites us by the closest possible bonds to our Saviour, and entitles us to the highest privileges. Our souls shall find full satisfaction for all their wants:His flesh is food indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. All things are secured to us that we can need for time and eternity:Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Last, but not least, we may learn that faith in Christs atonement is a personal act, a daily act, and an act that can be felt. No one can eat and drink for us, and no one, in like manner, can believe for us.We need food every day, and not once a week or once a month,and, in like manner, we need to employ faith every day.We feel benefit when we have eaten and drunk, we feel strengthened, nourished, and refreshed; and, in like manner, if we believe truly, we shall feel the better for it, by sensible hope and peace in our inward man. Let us take heed that we use these truths, as well as know them. The food of this world, for which so many take thought, will perish in the using, and not feed our souls. He only that eats of the bread that came down from heaven shall live forever. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012), 3:393396 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, 2010

Sunday··2010·02·07
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 32. (C. M.) Strength from heaven. Isa. xl. 2730. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Whence do our mournful thoughts arise? And wheres our courage fled? Have restless sin and raging hell Struck all our comforts dead? Have we forgot th almighty name    That formed the earth and sea? And can an all-creating arm    Grow weary or decay? Treasures of everlasting might    In our Jehovah dwell; He gives the conquest to the weak    And treads their foes to hell. Mere mortal power shall fade and die,    And youthful vigour cease: But we that wait upon the Lord    Shall feel our strength increase. The saints shall mount on eagles wings,    And taste the promisd bliss, Till their unwearied feet arrive    Where perfect pleasure is. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 7:3739Christ Reveals the Living Water Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. It has been said that there are some passages in Scripture which deserve to be printed in letters of gold. Of such passages the verses before us form one. They contain one of those wide, full, free invitations to mankind, which make the Gospel of Christ so eminently the good news of God. Let us see of what it consists. We have, first, in these verses, a case supposed. The Lord Jesus says, If any man thirst. These words no doubt were meant to have a spiritual meaning. The thirst before us is of a purely spiritual kind. It means anxiety of soul,conviction of sin,desire of pardon,longing after peace of conscience. When a man feels his sins, and wants forgivenessis deeply sensible of his souls need, and earnestly desires help and reliefthen he is in that state of mind which our Lord had in view, when he said, If any man thirst. The Jews who heard Peter preach on the day of Pentecost, and were pricked in their hearts,the Philippian jailer who cried to Paul and Silas, What must I do to be saved? are both examples of what the expression means. In both cases there was thirst. Such thirst as this, unhappily, is known by few. All ought to feel it, and all would feel it if they were wise. Sinful, mortal, dying creatures as we all are, with souls that will one day be judged and spend eternity in heaven or hell, there lives not the man or woman on earth who ought not to thirst after salvation. And yet the many thirst after everything almost except salvation. Money, pleasure, honor, rank, self-indulgence,these are the things which they desire. There is no clearer proof of the fall of man, and the utter corruption of human nature, than the careless indifference of most people about their souls. No wonder the Bible calls the natural man blind, and asleep, and dead, when so few can be found who are awake, alive, and athirst about salvation. Happy are those who know something by experience of spiritual thirst. The beginning of all true Christianity is to discover that we are guilty, empty, needy sinners. Until we know that we are lost, we are not in the way to be saved. The very first step toward heaven is to be thoroughly convinced that we deserve hell. That sense of sin which sometimes alarms a man and makes him think his own case desperate, is a good sign. It is in fact a symptom of spiritual life: Blessed indeed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matt. v. 6.) We have, secondly, in these verses, a remedy proposed. The Lord Jesus says, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He declares that He is the true fountain of life, the supplier of all spiritual necessities, the reliever of all spiritual needs. He invites all who feel the burden of sin heavy, to apply to Him, and proclaims Himself their helper. Those words let him come unto me, are few and very simple. But they settle a mighty question which all the wisdom of Greek and Roman philosophers could never settle; they show how man can have peace with God. They show that peace is to be had in Christ by trusting in Him as our mediator and substitute,in one word, by believing. To come to Christ is to believe on Him, and to believe on Him is to come. The remedy may seem a very simple one, too simple to be true. But there is no other remedy than this; and all the wisdom of the world can never find a flaw in it, or devise a better. To use this grand prescription of Christ is the secret of all saving Christianity. The saints of God in every age have been men and women who drank of this fountain by faith, and were relieved. They felt their guilt and emptiness, and thirsted for deliverance. They heard of a full supply of pardon, mercy, and grace in Christ crucified for all penitent believers. They believed the good news and acted upon it. They cast aside all confidence in their own goodness and worthiness, and came to Christ by faith as sinners. So coming they found relief. So coming daily they lived. So coming they died. Really to feel the sinfulness of sin and to thirst, and really to come to Christ and believe, are the two steps which lead to heaven. But they are mighty steps. Thousands are too proud and careless to take them. Few, alas! think, and still fewer believe. We have, lastly, in these verses, a promise held out. The Lord Jesus says, He that believeth on me, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water. These words of course were meant to have a figurative sense. They have a double application. They teach, for one thing, that all who come to Christ by faith shall find in Him abundant satisfaction. They teach, for another thing, that believers shall not only have enough for the needs of their own souls, but shall also become fountains of blessings to others. The fulfillment of the first part of the promise could be testified by thousands of living Christians in the present day. They would say, if their evidence could be collected, that when they came to Christ by faith, they found in Him more than they expected. They have tasted peace, and hope, and comfort, since they first believed, which, with all their doubts and fears, they would not exchange for anything in this world. They have found grace according to their need, and strength according to their days. In themselves and their own hearts they have often been disappointed; but they have never been disappointed in Christ. The fulfillment of the other half of the promise will never be fully known until the judgment-day. That day alone shall reveal the amount of good that every believer is made the instrument of doing to others, from the very day of his conversion. Some do good while they live, by their tongues; like the Apostles and first preachers of the Gospel. Some do good when they are dying; like Stephen and the penitent thief, and our own martyred Reformers at the stake. Some do good long after they are dead, by their writings; like Baxter and Bunyan and MCheyne. But in one way or another, probably, almost all believers will be found to have been fountains of blessings. By word or by deed, by precept or by example, directly or indirectly, they are always leaving their marks on others. They know it not now; but they will find at last that it is true. Christs saying shall be fulfilled. Do we ourselves know anything of coming to Christ? This is the question that should arise in our hearts as we leave this passage. The worst of all states of soul is to be without feeling or concern about eternity,to be without thirst. The greatest of all mistakes is to try to find relief in any other way than the one before us,the way of simply coming to Christ. It is one thing to come to Christs Church, Christs ministers, and Christs ordinances. It is quite another thing to come to Christ Himself. Happy is he who not only knows these things, but acts upon them! 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 12, 2010

Sunday··2010·03·21
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 33. (C. M.) Absurdity of infidelity. 1 Cor. i. 2631. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Shall atheists dare insult the cross Of our Redeemer, God? Shall infidels reproach his laws, Or trample on his blood? What if he choose mysterious ways    To cleanse us from our faults? May not the works of sovreign grace    Transcend our feeble thoughts? What if his gospel bids us fight    With flesh, and self, and sin, The prize is most divinely bright    That we are calld to win. What if the foolish and the poor    His glorious grace partake, This but confirms his truth the more,    For so the prophets spake. Do some that own his sacred name    Indulge their souls in sin? Jesus should never bear the blame,    His laws are pure and clean. Then let our faith grow firm and strong,    Our lips profess his word; Nor blush nor fear to walk among    The men that love the Lord. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 8:4859The Jews answered and said to Him, Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon? 49 Jesus answered, I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death. 52 The Jews said to Him, Now we know that You have a demon Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death. 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be? 54 Jesus answered, If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, He is our God; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad. 57 So the Jews said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. We should observe, first, in this passage, what blasphemous and slanderous language was addressed to our Lord by His enemies. We read that the Jews Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Silenced in argument, these wicked men resorted to personal abuse. To lose temper, and call names, is a common sign of a defeated cause. Nicknames, insulting epithets, and violent language, are favourite weapons with the devil. When other means of carrying on his warfare fail, he stirs up his servants to smite with the tongue. Grievous indeed are the sufferings which the saints of God have had to endure from the tongue in every age. Their characters have been slandered. Evil reports have been circulated about them. Lying stories have been diligently invented, and greedily swallowed, about their conduct. No wonder that David said, Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. (Psalm cxx. 2.) he true Christian in the present day must never be surprised to find that he has constant trials to endure from this quarter. Sinful human nature never changes. So long as he serves the world, and walks in the broad way, little perhaps will be said against him. Once let him take up the cross and follow Christ, and there is no lie too monstrous, and no story too absurd, for some to tell against him, and for others to believe. But let him take comfort in the thought that he is only drinking the cup which his blessed Master drank before him. The lies of his enemies do him no injury in heaven, whatever they may on earth. Let him bear them patiently, and not fret, or lose his temper. When Christ was reviled, He reviled not again. (1 Peter ii. 23.) Let the Christian do likewise. We should observe, secondly, what glorious encouragement our Lord holds out to His believing people. We read that He said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep My saying, he shall never see death. Of course these words do not mean that true Christians shall never die. On the contrary, we all know that they must go down to the grave, and cross the river just like others. But the words do mean, that they shall not be hurt by the second death,that final ruin of the whole man in hell, of which the first death is only a faint type or figure. (Rev. xxi. 8.) And they do mean that the sting of the first death shall be removed from the true Christian. His flesh may fail, and his bones may be racked with strong pain; but the bitter sense of unpardoned sins shall not crush him down. This is the worst part of death,and in this he shall have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. xv. 57.) This blessed promise, we must not forget to notice, is the peculiar property of the man who keeps Christs sayings. That expression, it is clear, can never be applicable to the mere outward professing Christian, who neither knows nor cares anything about the Gospel. It belongs to him who receives into his heart, and obeys in his life, the message which the Lord Jesus brought from heaven. It belongs, in short, to those who are Christians, not in name and form only, but in deed and in truth. It is written,He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev. ii. 11.) We should observe, thirdly, in this passage, what clear knowledge of Christ Abraham possessed. We read that our Lord said to the Jews, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it and was glad. When our Lord used these remarkable words, Abraham had been dead and buried at least 1850 years! And yet he is said to have seen our Lords day! How wonderful that sounds! Yet it was quite true. Not only did Abraham see our Lord and talk to Him when He appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre, the night before Sodom was destroyed, (Gen. xviii. 1,) but by faith he looked forward to the day of our Lords incarnation yet to come, and as he looked he was glad. That he saw many things, through a glass darkly, we need not doubt. That he could have explained fully the whole manner and circumstances of our Lords sacrifice on Calvary, we are not obliged to suppose. But we need not shrink from believing that he saw in the far distance a Redeemer, whose advent would finally make all the earth rejoice. And as he saw it, he was glad. The plain truth is, that we are too apt to forget that there never was but one way of salvation, one Saviour, and one hope for sinners, and that Abraham and all the Old Testaments saints looked to the same Christ that we look to ourselves. We shall do well to call to mind the Seventh Article of the Church of England: The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered through Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. This is truth that we must never forget in reading the Old Testament. This is sound speech that cannot be condemned. We should observe, lastly, in this prophecy, how distinctly our Lord declares His own pre-existence. We read that He said to the Jews, Before Abraham was, I am. Without a controversy, these remarkable words are a great deep. They contain things which we have no eyes to see through, or mind to fathom. But if language means anything, they teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ existed long before He came into the world. Before the days of Abraham He was. Before man was created He was. In short, they teach us that the Lord Jesus was no mere man like Moses or David. He was One whose goings forth were from everlasting,the same yesterday, today, and forever,very and eternal God. Deep as these words are, they are full of practical comfort. They show us the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of that great foundation, on which sinners are invited to rest their souls. He to whom the Gospel bids us come with our sins, and believe for pardon and peace, is no mere man. He is nothing less than very God, and therefore able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. Then let us begin coming to Him with confidence. Let us continue leaning on Him without fear. The Lord Jesus Christ is the true God, and our eternal life is secure. 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 19, 2010

Sunday··2010·05·09
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 36. (C. M.) A lovely carriage. Matt. x. 16. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) O tis a lovely thing to see A man of prudent heart, Whose thoughts, and lips, and life agree To act a useful part. When envy, strife, and wars begin    In little angry souls, Mark how the sons of peace come in,    And quench the kindling coals. Their minds are humble, mild, and meek,    Nor let their fury rise; Nor passion moves their lips to speak,    Nor pride exalts their eyes. Their frame is prudence mixd with love,    Good works fulfil their day; They join the serpent with the dove,    But cast the sting away. Such was the Savior of mankind,    Such pleasures he pursued; His flesh and blood were all refind,    His soul divinely good. Lord, can these plants of virtue grow    In such a heart as mine? Thy grace my nature can renew,    And make my soul like thine. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 10:1930A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him? 21 Others were saying, These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he? The Opposition at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem    22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Fathers name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers hand. 30 I and the Father are one. We should notice, first, in this passage, what strifes and controversies our Lord occasioned when He was on earth. We read that there was a division among the Jews for His sayings,and that many of them said He hath a devil, and is mad, while others took an opposite view. It may seem strange, at first sight, that He who came to preach peace between God and man should be the cause of contention. But herein were His own words literally fulfilled,I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. x. 34.) The fault was not in Christ or His doctrine, but in the carnal mind of His Jewish hearers. Let us never be surprised if we see the same thing in our own day. Human nature never changes. So long as the heart of man is without grace, so long we must expect to see it dislike the Gospel of Christ. Just as oil and water, acids and alkalies, cannot combine, so in the same way unconverted people cannot really like the people of God.The carnal mind is enmity against God.The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. (Rom. viii. 7; 1 Cor. ii. 14.) The servant of Christ must think it no strange thing if he goes through the same experience as his Master. He will often find his ways and opinions in religion the cause of strife in his own family. He will have to endure ridicule, harsh words, and petty persecution, from the children of this world. He may even discover that he is thought a fool or a madman on account of his Christianity. Let none of these things move him. The thought that he is a partaker of the afflictions of Christ ought to steel him against every trial. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household. (Matt. x. 25.) One thing, at any rate, should never be forgotten. We must not allow ourselves to think the worse of religion because of the strifes and dissensions to which it gives rise. Whatever men may please to say, it is human nature, and not religion, which is to blame. We do not blame the glorious sun because its rays draw forth noxious vapors from the marsh. We must not find fault with the glorious Gospel, if it stirs up mens corruptions, and causes the thoughts of many hearts to be revealed. (Luke ii. 35.) We should notice, secondly, the name which Christ gives to true Christians. He uses a figurative expression which, like all His language, is full of deep meaning. He calls them, My sheep. The word sheep, no doubt, points to something in the character and ways of true Christians. It would be easy to show that weakness, helplessness, harmlessness, usefulness, are all points of resemblance between the sheep and the believer. But the leading idea in our Lords mind was the entire dependence of the sheep upon its Shepherd. Just as sheep hear the voice of their own shepherd, and follow him, so do believers follow Christ. By faith they listen to His call. By faith they submit themselves to His guidance. By faith they lean on Him, and commit their souls implicitly to His direction. The ways of a shepherd and his sheep are a most useful illustration of the relation between Christ and the true Christian. The expression, My sheep, points to the close connection that exists between Christ and believers. They are His by gift from the Father, His by purchase, His by calling and choice, and His by their own consent and heart-submission. In the highest sense they are Christs property; and just as a man feels a special interest in that which he has bought at a great price and made his own, so does the Lord Jesus feel a peculiar interest in His people. Expressions like these should be carefully treasured up in the memories of true Christians. They will be found cheering and heart-strengthening in days of trial. The world may see no beauty in the ways of a godly man, and may often pour contempt on him. But he who knows that he is one of Christs sheep has no cause to be ashamed. He has within him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John iv. 14.) We should notice, lastly, in this passage, the vast privileges which the Lord Jesus Christ bestows on true Christians. He uses words about them of singular richness and strength. I know them.I give unto them eternal life.They shall never perish,neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. This sentence is like the cluster of grapes which came from Eshcol. A stronger form of speech perhaps can hardly be found in the whole range of the Bible. Christ knows his people with a special knowledge of approbation, interest, and affection. By the world around them they are comparatively unknown, uncared for, or despised. But they are never forgotten or overlooked by Christ. Christ gives his people eternal life. He bestows on them freely a right and title to heaven, pardoning their many sins, and clothing them with a perfect righteousness. Money, and health, and worldly prosperity He often wisely withholds from them. But He never fails to give them grace, peace, and glory. Christ declares that His people shall never perish. Weak as they are they shall all be saved. Not one of them shall be lost and cast away: not one of them shall miss heaven. If they err, they shall be brought back; if they fall, they shall be raised. The enemies of their souls may be strong and mighty, but their Saviour is mightier; and none shall pluck them out of their Saviours hands. A promise like this deserves the closest attention. If words mean anything, it contains that great doctrine, the perseverance, or continuance in grace, of true believers. That doctrine is literally hated by worldly people. No doubt, like every other truth of Scripture, it is liable to be abused. But the words of Christ are too plain to be evaded. He has said it, and He will make it good,My sheep shall never perish. Whatever men may please to say against this doctrine, it is one which Gods children ought to hold fast, and defend with all their might. To all who feel within them the workings of the Holy Ghost, it is a doctrine full of encouragement and consolation. Once inside the ark, they shall never be cast out. Once converted and joined to Christ, they shall never be cut off from His mystical body. Hypocrites and false professors shall doubtless make shipwreck forever, unless they repent. But true sheep shall never be confounded. Christ has said it, and Christ cannot lie: they shall never perish. Would we get the benefit of this glorious promise? Let us take care that we belong to Christs flock. Let us hear His voice and follow Him. The man who, under a real sense of sin, flees to Christ and trusts in Him, is one of those who shall never be plucked out of Christs hand. 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 32, 2010

Sunday··2010·08·08
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Hymn 38.    Part 1.    (c. m.) The atonement of Christ. Rom. iii. 25. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) How is our nature spoil’d by sin!    Yet nature ne’er hath found The way to make the conscience clean,    Or heal the painful wound. In vain we seek for peace with God    By methods of our own: Jesus, there’s nothing but thy blood    Can bring us near the throne. The threat’nings of thy broken law    Impress our souls with dread; If God his sword of vengeance draw,    It strikes our spirits dead. But thine illustrious sacrifice    Hath answer’d these demands: And peace and pardon from the skies    Came down by Jesus’ hands. Here all the ancient types agree,    The altar and the lamb; And prophets in their visions see    Salvation through his name. ’Tis by thy death we live, O Lord,    ’Tis on thy cross we rest; For ever be thy love ador’d,    Thy name for ever bless’d. —from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 12:34–43 The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them. 37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.” 41 These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. 42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. We may learn, from these verses, the duty of using present opportunities. The Lord Jesus says to us all, “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you. While you have light believe in the light.” Let us not think that these things were only spoken for the sake of the Jews. They were written for us also, upon whom the ends of the world are come. The lesson of the words is generally applicable to the whole professing Church of Christ. Its time for doing good in the world is short and limited. The throne of grace will not always be standing: it will be removed one day, and the throne of judgment will be set up in its place. The door of salvation by faith in Christ will not always be open: it will be shut one day forever, and the number of God’s elect will be completed. The fountain for all sin and uncleanness will not always be accessible; the way to it will one day be barred, and there will remain nothing but the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. These are solemn thoughts; but they are true. They cry aloud to sleeping Churchmen and drowsy congregations, and ought to arouse great searchings of heart. “Can nothing more be done to spread the Gospel at home and abroad? Has every means been tried for extending the knowledge of Christ crucified? Can we lay our hands on our hearts, and say that the Churches have left nothing undone in the matter of missions? Can we look forward to the Second Advent with no feelings of humiliation, and say that the talents of wealth, and influence, and opportunities have not been buried in the ground?”—Such questions may well humble us, when we look, on one side, at the state of professing Christendom, and, on the other, at the state of the heathen world. We must confess with shame that the Church is not walking worthy of its light. But the lesson of the words is specially applicable to ourselves as individuals. Our own time for getting good is short and limited; let us take heed that we make good use of it. Let us “walk while we have the light.” Have we Bibles? Let us not neglect to read them. —Have we the preached Gospel? Let us not linger halting between two opinions, but believe to the saving of our souls. —Have we Sabbaths? Let us not waste them in idleness, carelessness, and indifference, but throw our whole hearts into their sacred employments, and turn them to good account. —Light is about us and around us and near us on every side. Let us each resolve to walk in the light while we have it, lest we find ourselves at length cast out into outer darkness forever. It is a true saying of an old divine, that the recollection of lost and misspent opportunities will be the very essence of hell. We may learn, secondly, from these verses, the desperate hardness of the human heart. It is written of our Lord’s hearers at Jerusalem, that, “though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him.” We err greatly if we suppose that seeing wonderful miraculous things will ever convert souls. Thousands live and die in this delusion. They fancy if they saw some miraculous sight, or witnessed some supernatural exercise of Divine grace, they would lay aside their doubts, and at once become decided Christians. It is a total mistake. Nothing short of a new heart and a new nature implanted in us by the Holy Ghost, will ever make us real disciples of Christ. Without this, a miracle might raise within us a little temporary excitement; but, the novelty once gone, we would find ourselves just as cold and unbelieving as the Jews. The prevalence of unbelief and indifference in the present day ought not to surprise us. It is just one of the evidences of that mighty foundation-doctrine, the total corruption and fall of man. How feebly we grasp and realize that doctrine is proved by our surprise at human incredulity. We only half believe the heart’s deceitfulness. Let us read our Bibles more attentively, and search their contents more carefully. Even when Christ wrought miracles and preached sermons, there were numbers of His hearers who remained utterly unmoved. What right have we to wonder if the hearers of modern sermons in countless instances remain unbelieving? “The disciple is not greater than his Master.” If even the hearers of Christ did not believe, how much more should we expect to find unbelief among the hearers of His ministers! Let the truth be spoken and confessed. Man’s obstinate unbelief is one among many indirect proofs that the Bible is true. The clearest prophecy in Isaiah begins with the solemn question, “Who hath believed?” (Isai. liii. 1.) We may learn, thirdly, from these verses, the amazing power which the love of the world has over men. We read that “among the chief rulers many believed on Christ; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” These unhappy men were evidently convinced that Jesus was the true Messiah. Reason, and intellect, and mind, and conscience, obliged them secretly to admit that no one could do the miracles which He did, unless God was with Him, and that the preacher of Nazareth really was the Christ of God. But they had not courage to confess it. They dared not face the storm of ridicule, if not of persecution, which confession would have entailed. And so, like cowards, they held their peace, and kept their convictions to themselves. Their case, it may be feared, is a sadly common one. There are thousands of people who know far more in religion then they act up to. They know they ought to come forward as decided Christians. They know that they are not living up to their light. But the fear of man keeps them back. They are afraid of being laughed at, jeered at, and despised by the world. They dread losing the good opinion of society, and the favourable judgment of men and women like themselves. And so they go on from to year to year, secretly ill at ease and dissatisfied with themselves,—knowing too much of religion to be happy in the world, and clinging too much to the world to enjoy any religion. Faith is the only cure for soul ailments like this. A believing view of an unseen God, an unseen Christ, an unseen heaven, and an unseen judgment-day,&mddash;this is the grand secret of overcoming the fear of man. The expulsive power of a new principle is required to heal the disease. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” (1 John v. 4.) Let us pray for faith, if we would conquer that deadly enemy of souls, the fear of man and the love of man’s praise. And if we have any faith, let us pray for more. Let our daily cry be, “Lord, increase our faith.” We may easily have too much money, or too much worldly prosperity; but we can never have too much faith. —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");

Lord’s Day 40, 2010

Sunday··2010·10·03
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Hymn 43. Part 1. (L. M.) Jesus our surety and Saviour. 1 Pet. i. 18; Gal. iii. 13; Rom. iv. 25. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Adam, our father and our head, Transgress’d, and justice doom’d us dead; The fiery law speaks all despair: There’s no reprieve nor pardon there. But, O unutterable grace! The Son of God takes Adam’s place; Down to our world the Saviour flies, Stretches his arms, and bleeds, and dies. Justice was pleas’d to bruise the God, And pay its wrongs with heav’nly blood: What unknown racks and pangs he bore! Then rose; the law could ask no more. Amazing work! look down, ye skies, Wonder and gaze with all your eyes; Ye heav’nly thrones, stoop from above, And bow to this mysterious love. Lo! they adore th’ incarnate Son, And sing the glories he hath won; Sing how he broke our iron chains, How deep he sunk, how high he reigns! Triumph and reign, victorious Lord, By all the flaming hosts ador’d; And say, dear Conqueror, say how long Ere we shall rise to join their song. Send down a chariot from above, With fiery wheels, and pav’d with love Raise us beyond th’ ethereal blue, To sing and love as angels do. —from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 14:4–11 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ’Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” We should mark in these verses how much better Jesus speaks of believers than they speak of themselves. He says to His disciples, “Ye know whither I go, and ye know the way.” And yet Thomas at once breaks in with the remark, “We know neither the whither nor the way.” The apparent contradiction demands explanation. It is more seeming than real. Certainly, in one point of view, the knowledge of the disciples was very small. They knew little before the crucifixion and resurrection compared to what they might have known, and little compared to what they afterwards knew after the day of Pentecost. About our Lord’s purpose in coming into the world, about His sacrificial death and substitution for us on the cross, their ignorance was glaring and great. It might well be said, that they “knew in part” only, and were children in understanding. And yet, in another point of view, the knowledge of the disciples was very great. They knew far more than the great majority of the Jewish nation, and received truths which the Scribes and Pharisees entirely rejected. Compared to the world around them, they were in the highest sense enlightened. They knew and believed that their Master was the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God; and to know Him was the first step towards heaven. All things go by comparison. Before we lightly esteem the disciples because of their ignorance, let us take care that we do not underrate their knowledge. They knew more precious truth than they were aware of themselves. Their hearts were better than their heads. The plain truth is, that all believers are apt to undervalue the work of the Spirit in their own souls, and to fancy they know nothing because they do not know everything. Many true Christians are thought more of in heaven while they live, than they think of themselves, and will find it out to their surprise at the last day. There is One above who takes far more account of heart-knowledge than head-knowledge. Many go mourning all the way to heaven because they know so little, and fancy they will miss the way altogether, and yet have hearts with which God is well pleased. We should mark, secondly, in these verses, what glorious names the Lord Jesus gives Himself. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” The fullness of these precious words can probably never be taken in by man. He that attempts to unfold them does little more than scratch the surface of a rich soil. Christ is “the way,”—the way to heaven and peace with God. He is not only the guide, and teacher, and lawgiver, like Moses; He is Himself the door, the ladder, and the road, through whom we must draw near to God. He has opened the way to the tree of life, which was closed when Adam and Eve fell, by the satisfaction He made for us on the cross. Through His blood we may draw near with boldness, and have access with confidence into God’s presence. Christ is “the truth,”—the whole substance of true religion which the mind of man requires. Without Him the wisest heathen groped in gross darkness and knew nothing about God. Before He came even the Jews saw “through a glass darkly,” and discerned nothing distinctly under the types, figures, and ceremonies of the Mosaic law. Christ is the whole truth, and meets and satisfies every desire of the human mind. Christ is “the life,”—the sinner’s title to eternal life and pardon, the believer’s root of spiritual life and holiness, the surety of the Christian’s resurrection life. He that believeth on Christ hath everlasting life. He that abideth in Him, as the branch abides in the vine, shall bring forth much fruit. He that believeth on Him, though he were dead, yet shall he live. The root of all life, for soul and for body, is Christ. Forever let us grasp and hold fast these truths. To use Christ daily as the way,—to believe Christ daily as the truth,—to live on Christ daily as the life,—this is to be a well-informed, a thoroughly furnished and an established Christian. We should mark, thirdly, in these verses, how expressly the Lord Jesus shuts out all ways of salvation but Himself. “No man,” He declares, “No man comes unto the Father but by Me.” It avails nothing that a man is clever, learned, highly gifted, amiable, charitable, kind-hearted, and zealous about some sort of religion. All this will not save his soul if he does not draw near to God by Christ’s atonement, and make use of God’s own Son as his Mediator and Saviour. God is so holy that all men are guilty and debtors in His sight. Sin is so sinful that no mortal man can make satisfaction for it. There must be a mediator, a ransom-payer, a redeemer, between ourselves and God, or else we can never be saved. There is only one door, one bridge, one ladder, between earth and heaven,—the crucified Son of God. Whoever will enter in by that door may be saved; but to him who refuses to use that door the Bible holds out, no hope at all. Without shedding of blood there is no remission. Let us beware, if we love life, of supposing that mere earnestness will take a man to heaven, though he knows nothing of Christ. The idea is a deadly and ruinous error. Sincerity will never wipe away our sins. It is not true that every man will be saved by his own religion, no matter what he believes, so long as he is diligent and sincere. We must not pretend to be wiser than God. Christ has said, and Christ will stand to it, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” We should mark, lastly, in these verses, how close and mysterious is the union of God the Father and God the Son. Four times over this mighty truth is put before us in words that cannot be mistaken. “If ye had known Me, ye would have known my Father.”—“He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”—“I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.”—“The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” Sayings like these are full of deep mystery. We have no eyes to see their meaning fully,—no line to fathom it,—no language to express it,—no mind to take it in. We must be content to believe when we cannot explain, and to admire and revere when we cannot interpret. Let it suffice us to know and hold that the Father is God and the Son is God, and yet that they are one in essence though two distinct Persons,—ineffably one, and yet ineffably distinct. These are high things, and we cannot attain to a full comprehension of them. Let us however take comfort in the simple truth, that Christ is very God of very God; equal with the Father in all things, and One with Him. He who loved us, and shed His blood for us on the cross, and bids us trust Him for pardon, is no mere man like ourselves. He is “God over all, blessed forever,” and able to save to the uttermost the chief of sinners. Though our sins be as scarlet, He can make them white as snow. He that casts his soul on Christ has an Almighty Friend,—a Friend who is One with the Father, and very God. —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 19, 2011

Sunday··2011·05·08
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 51.   (s. m.) Persevering grace. Jude, v. 24, 25. Isaac Watts (1674-1748)    To God the only wise, Our Saviour and our King, Let all the saints below the skies Their humble praises bring.    Tis his almighty love,    His counsel, and his care, Preserves us safe from sin and death,    And evry hurtful snare.    He will present our souls,    Unblemishd and complete, Before the glory of his face,    With joys divinely great.    Then all the chosen seed    Shall meet around the throne, Shall bless the conduct of his grace,    And make his wonders known.    To our Redeemer, God,    Wisdom and power belongs, Immortal crowns of majesty,    And everlasting songs. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). John 21:1517 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Tend My lambs. 16 He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep. 17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Tend My sheep.    These verses describe a remarkable conversation between our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter. To the careful Bible reader, who remembers the Apostles thrice-repeated denial of Christ, the passage cannot fail to be a deeply interesting portion of Scripture. Well would it be for the Church, if all after-dinner conversations among Christians were as useful and edifying as this. We should notice first, in these verses, Christs question to Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?Three times we find the same inquiry made. It seems most probable that this three-fold repetition was meant to remind the Apostle of his own thrice-repeated denial. Once we find a remarkable addition to the inquiry: Lovest thou Me more than these? It is a reasonable supposition that those three words more than these, were meant to remind Peter of his over-confident assertion: Though all men deny Thee, yet will not I.It is just as if our Lord would say, Wilt thou now exalt thyself above others? Hast thou yet learned thine own weakness? Lovest thou Me may seem at first sight a simple question. In one sense it is so. Even a child can understand love, and can say whether he loves another or not. Yet Lovest thou Me is, in reality, a very searching question. We may know much, and do much, and profess much, and talk much, and work much, and give much, and go through much, and make much show in our religion, and yet be dead before God, from lack of love, and at last go down to the pit. Do we love Christ? That is the great question. Without this there is no vitality about our Christianity. We are no better than painted wax figures, lifeless stuffed beasts in a museum, sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. There is no life where there is no love. Let us take heed that there is some feeling in our religion. Knowledge, orthodoxy, correct views, regular use of forms, a respectable moral life,all these do not make up a true Christian. There must be some personal feeling towards Christ. Feeling alone, no doubt, is a poor useless thing, and may be here to-day and gone to-morrow. But the entire absence of feeling is a very bad symptom, and speaks ill for the state of a mans soul. The men and women to whom Paul wrote his Epistles had feelings, and were not ashamed of them. There was One in heaven whom they loved, and that One was Jesus the Son of God. Let us strive to be like them, and to have some real feeling in our Christianity, if we hope to share their reward. We should notice, secondly, in these verses, Peters answer to Christs question. Three times we find the Apostle saying, Thou knowest that I love Thee. Once we are told that he said, Thou knowest all things. Once we have the touching remark made, that he was grieved to be asked the third time. We need not doubt that our Lord, like a skillful physician, stirred up this grief intentionally. He intended to pierce the Apostles conscience, and to teach him a solemn lesson. If it was grievous to the disciple to be questioned, how much more grievous must it have been to the Master to be denied! The answer that the humbled Apostle gave, is the one account that the true servant of Christ in every age can give of his religion. Such an one may be weak, and fearful, and ignorant, and unstable, and failing in many things, but at any rate he is real and sincere. Ask him whether he is converted, whether he is a believer, whether he has grace, whether he is justified, whether he is sanctified, whether he is elect, whether he is a child of God,ask him any one of these questions and he may perhaps reply that he really does not know! But ask him whether he loves Christ, and he will reply, I do! He may add that he does not love Him as much as he ought to do; but he will not say that he does not love Him at all. The rule will be found true with very few exceptions. Wherever there is true grace, there will be a consciousness of love towards Christ. What, after all, is the great secret of loving Christ? It is an inward sense of having received from Him pardon and forgiveness of sins. Those love much who feel much forgiven. He who has come to Christ with his sins, and tasted the blessedness of free and full absolution, he is the man whose heart will be full of love towards his Saviour. The more we realize that Christ has suffered for us, and paid our debt to God, and that we are washed and justified through His blood, the more we shall love Him for having loved us, and given Himself for us. Our knowledge of doctrines may be defective. Our ability to defend our views in argument may be small. But we cannot be prevented feeling. And our feeling will be like that of the Apostle Peter: Thou, Lord, who knowest all things, Thou knowest my heart; and Thou knowest that I love Thee. We should notice, lastly, in these verses, Christs command to Peter. Three times we find Him saying, Feed my flock: once, Feed my lambs; and twice my sheep. Can we doubt for a moment that this thrice-repeated charge was full of deep meaning? It was meant to commission Peter once more to do the work of an Apostle, notwithstanding his recent fall. But this was only a small part of the meaning. It was meant to teach Peter and the whole Church the mighty lesson, that usefulness to others is the grand test of love, and working for Christ the great proof of really loving Christ. It is not loud talk and high profession; it is not even impetuous, spasmodic zeal, and readiness to draw the sword and fight,it is steady, patient, laborious effort to do good to Christs sheep scattered throughout this sinful world, which is the best evidence of being a true-hearted disciple. This is the real secret of Christian greatness. It is written in another place, Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. (Matt. xx. 2628.) Forever let the parting charge of our blessed Master abide in our consciences, and come up in the practice of our daily lives. It is not for nothing we may be sure, that we find these things recorded for our learning, just before He left the world. Let us aim at a loving, doing, useful, hard-working, unselfish, kind, unpretentious religion. Let it be our daily desire to think of others, care for others, do good to others, and to lessen the sorrow, and increase the joy of this sinful world. This is to realize the great principle which our Lords command to Peter was intended to teach. So living, and so laboring to order our ways, we shall find it abundantly true, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts xx. 35.) 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 27, 2011

Sunday··2011·07·03
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 57. (c. m.) Original sin. Rom. v. 12, &c.; Psa. li. 5; Job xiv. 4. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Backward with humble shame we look On our original; How is our nature dashd and broke In our first fathers fall! To all thats good averse and blind, But prone to all thats ill What dreadful darkness veils our mind! How obstinate our will! [Conceived in sin, O wretched state! Before we draw our breath The first young pulse begins to beat Iniquity and death. How strong in our degenrate blood The old corruption reigns, And, mingling with the crooked flood, Wanders through all our veins.] [Wild and unwholesome as the root Will all the branches be; How can we hope for living fruit From such a deadly tree? What mortal power from things unclean Can pure productions bring? Who can command a vital stream From an infected spring?] Yet, mighty God! thy wondrous love Can make our nature clean, While Christ and grace prevail above The tempter, death, and sin. The second Adam shall restore The ruins of the first; Hosannah to that sovereign power That new-creates our dust! from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer . . . Romans 1:28 They quickly forgot His works . . . Psalm 106:13 God has well remembered man; remembers him every day. God might easily forget man; he is so insignificant, worthless, unloveable. But He does not. He has never done so. This world, evil as it is, has been truly, what one has called it, His well-beloved world,His well-remembered creation. Each of us, however poor, however sinful, is a fragment of that world, that race which He has never forgotten: Thou shalt not be forgotten of me. Each moments mercies are tokens of the divine mindfulness. He ever retains us in His knowledge and memory. God desires to be remembered by man. He has taken unspeakable pains to keep Himself before His creatures, so as to make forgetfulness on their part the greatest of all impossibilities. In everything that God has set before our eyes or ears, He says, Remember me. In every star, every flower, every mountain, every stream,in every joy, every comfort, every blessing of daily life,God says, Remember me. How affecting this desire of God to be remembered by man! Yet how has man responded to it? We shall see. The worlds history, and Israels history not less, have shewn how Gods wish to be kept in affectionate remembrance by the creatures He has made has been met. They gave me hatred for my love. They did not like to retain Him in their knowledge. It is not, however, merely a deity, a divine being, that is to be remembered. It is the one living and true God. Every departure from this is idolatry and dishonour. This true God wishes to be remembered, (1.) Reverently. He is great and glorious; to be had in reverence of all creature hood. Reverence and godly fear are His due. (2.) Confidingly. His character is such that He deserves to be trusted. Trustful, childlike remembrance, is what He expects of us. (3.) Joyfully. Not by constraint, or through terror, or hope of profit; but with the full and happy heart. (4.) Lovingly. We love Him because He first loved us. Loving remembrance He would fain have. Nothing less will do. (5.) Steadfastly. Not by fits and starts; at certain devotional seasons, but always. Perpetual remembrance is what God asks,everlasting remembrance. This God, whose name is Jehovah, is worthy to be remembered, He is so infinitely glorious, and good, and great, and loveable. The wonder is, how one so great should ever for a moment be forgotten. That He should forget us, so insignificant, would not be surprising; but that we should forget Him, so great and mighty, is inconceivably marvelous. We may suppose a creature, an atom of the dust, sitting alone and admiring this great Being, and saying, He may not think of me, or notice me, who am such a grain of sand, but I cannot help continually thinking of Him, looking up to Him, praising Him, loving Him, whether He cares for me or not; whether I am overlooked or not,if He will only allow me thus to praise and love. But can we suppose the opposite? the worm of the earth never thinking of this great God at all, and yet this God continually thinking of Him! Yet man forgets God! He hears of Him, and then forgets Him. He sees His works, and then forgets Him. He acknowledges deliverances, and then forgets Him. Thus it is that man deals with God. For his fellow men mans memory serves him well, but towards God it is utterly treacherous. Israel is frequently charged with such things as these: (1.) They forgot His words. All that He had spoken, in grace or righteousness, as warning or as love, they forgot. His words were to them as idle tales. Thus we treat our God. (2.) They forgot His works. Miracle on miracle of the most stupendous kind did He for Israel, in Egypt and in the desert, as if never wearied with blessing them, yet the work was no sooner done than it was out of mind. They sang His praise, and then forgot His works. (3.) They forgot Himself. Yes, Himself! Their God, their Redeemer, their Rock, their Strength! They thrust Him out of their thoughts and memories. He and they were to live apart; to have no intercourse with each other. They were to live in His world, and forget Himself; to enjoy His gifts, but not Himself; to breathe His air, bask in His sunshine, drink His rivers, climb His mountains, sail over His wide sea in storm or calm, and forget Himself? They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. Forgetfulness of God is Gods charge against His creatures. He does not exaggerate their guilt, or bring out into view the gross and hideous crimes of the race. He simply says, You have forgotten me. That is enough. My people have forgotten me. It is they who forget God that are turned into hell. This may seem to some a small sin, a negative evil, a sin of omission; but God places it in the foreground of iniquity. Consider this ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces when none can deliver (Psalm 50:22). God lays great stress upon remembering Him and His works. Often did He use that word to Israel, Remember. Remember the way that the Lord led thee. Remember the commandments of the Lord. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Remember thy Creator. In the New Testament the words of the Lord himself must occur to every one, This do in remembrance of me; amid the response of the church, We will remember Thy love more than wine. Forget not, O man, the God that made thee. He has given thee no cause to forget Him. He ever keeps thee in mind; keep Him in mind. Amid all thy forgetfulness let not Him be forgotten. Amid all thy remembrances let Him be ever uppermost. His remembrance will be joy and peace, fragrance, and refreshment, and strength. Retain Him in thy knowledge; root Him in thy memory; fix Him in thy heart forever. 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 34, 2011

Sunday··2011·08·21
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 62. (c. m.) Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, worshipped by all the creation. Rev. v. 1113. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Come, let us join with cheerful songs With angels round the throne; Ten thousand thousand are their tongues, But all their joys are one. Worthy the Lamb that died, they cry, To be exalted thus: Worthy the Lamb, our lips reply, For he was slain for us. Jesus is worthy to receive Honor and power divine; And blessings more than we can give, Be, Lord, for ever thine. Let all that dwell above the sky, And air, and earth, and seas, Conspire to lift thy glories high, And speak thine endless praise. The whole creation join in one, To bless the sacred name Of him that sits upon the throne, And to adore the Lamb. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5 There are four distinct facts or events given us here, on which the argument of the passage builds itself. Two of these have reference to the history of the sinner, and two of them to tile history of the sinners deliverer. The first two are, mans enmity and mans reconciliation; the last two are, the Saviours death and the Saviours life. Out of these four facts the apostles argument is constructedan argument as profound as it is simple, as convincing as it is natural. It is apparently but one argument, and yet it divides itself very easily into three quite separate parts, rising out of these two classes of facts. The first argument isIf God did so much for us when enemies, what will He do for us when friends? The second isIf Christs death has done so much for us, what will His life do? The third argument isIf Christs death did so much for us when enemies, what will his life do for us when friends? Such is the argument of our text,threefold in its construction, and yet each part not merely linked to the other, but most naturally and simply rising out of the other, so that a person in possession of the facts could not help following time steps of his reasoning, and acquiescing in his triumphant conclusions. But before proceeding to consider these, there is a truth which may be brought out here, and kept in mind as we pass along, being implied in and illustrative of time argument. It is this If Gods thoughts were gracious before sending His Son, they cannot be supposed to be less so after He has been sent. Now, we know that His thoughts were thoughts of peace and grace from all eternity. Had they not been so, He never would have sent His Son. And we know that it is written: God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son; God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while ye were yet sinners, Christ died for us; Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. There having been in His infinite bosom this exceeding love before He gave His Son, it is wholly incredible that He should be less gracious now, less compassionate, less loving, less willing to bestow all needed gifts. For (1) that gift did not exhaust His love. It did not empty the heart of God, nor dry up the fountain of His grace. Gods love is not like mans love, ebbing and flowing, bursting forth and then subsiding. No. The gift, though unspeakable, was not the exhaustion but the manifestation of the love, demonstrating it to be an infinite love, and shewing the infinite lengths to which it is willing to go. So far from having made God unwilling to do more for us, it has proved that there are no limits to His willingness to do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. (2.) That gift has not thrown any hindrance in the way of Gods love. It is not now a more difficult thing for God to love us; nay, if we can say so, it is easier than ever. All hindrances have now melted away. That gift which displayed the love, contained in it provision for the removal of all barriers that stood in its way. There are now no breaks nor barriers to stay its course. It is at liberty to roll on unhindered in its amplest fullness. It is now a righteous thing in God to love, to pardon, and to bless. And will He love less now that there exist no longer any obstacles to check the course of love? Will He love less when His love is no longer pent up, but has free course; when He is free to love; nay, to give vent to it, even to the uttermost;nay, when in doing so, He magnifies His law, glorifies Himself, and puts honour on His Son? Instead, then, of Gods loving us less, we should be led to conclude, that, if that were possible, He must love us immeasurably more! Having thus briefly noticed this important truth, we now pass on to consider time three special heads of argument. 1. If God did so much for us when enemies, what will he do, or rather, what will He not do, for us now that we are friends? He is speaking, of course, in the name of those who have entered into reconciliation over time blood of the great sacrificewho, in believing, have found peace with God, and have exchanged enmity for friendship, hatred for love. Speaking in their name, he reasons If, when we were enemies, He reconciled us to Himself, much more now, when reconciled, will He bless us. Our enmity did not hinder His blessing us, much less surely will our reconciliation. Our enmity, great as it was, did not hinder His bestowing such an unspeakable gift; what is there, then, within the whole circle of the universe, which we may not count upon, now that that enmity has been removed, and we have entered into eternal friendship with Him? Nothing was too costly for us when we were enemies; can anything be too costly now that we are friends. The great difficulty of our enmity being surmounted, what is there that remains to hinder the fullest outflow of His hove? Nay, what is there that will not tend to draw out that love in larger and larger measures? He loved and blessed us when enemies; will He not much more love us when friends? He loved us when we hated Him; will He not love us more when we return His love? He loved us when aliens, strangers, prodigals; will He not love us more when we have become sons, and, as sons, have returned to the parental home, and have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father? He loved us when unrighteous,when we had not even so much as a creatures righteousness,will He not love us unspeakably more when we stand before Him in righteousness, and that the righteousness of His only-begotten Son? He loved us when unholy; will He not love us now when His Spirit has taken old timings away, and made all things new? He loved us when there dwelt in us only the spirit of the world, nay, the very god of this world himself; will He not love us when His own Spirit dwells in us, making us temples of the living God? He loved us when we were heirs of wrath; will He not love and bless us more when we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ? There may be said to be three stages in this love, at each of which it rises and increases:First, He loved us when enemies. Secondly, He loves us more when friends, even in this imperfect state of still-remaining sin. Thirdly, He will love us yet more when imperfection has been shaken off, and we are presented without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The first stage of this love is, when we were heirs of perdition; the second is, when we become heirs of the kingdom; the third is, when we actually get possession of the kingdom, and are seated with Christ upon His throne. Here, then, is love in which we may assuredly triumph. It was love which expressed itself by an infinite gift. It did so when we were afar off when we were enemies; what expression, then, will it give, or rather, what expression will it not give to itself now when we have been brought nigh to God, and have entered into covenant with Him? Nay, more, what a portion must be ours hereafter, what a sum of blessedness, what an exceeding and eternal weight of glory! Especially when, in giving vent to His love to us, He is getting vent to His love towards His Son; when, in honouring and glorifying us, He is honouring and glorifying His Son! Being, then, justified by faith, not only have we peace with God, not only have we access into this grace wherein we stand, but we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. We reason thus: If God has lavished on us such a love when we knew Him not, what will He not do for us now that we know Him? If He is loving us and blessing us here, oh! will He not love us and bless us in the day when we take possession of the provided inheritance? II. If Christs death did so much for us, what will not His life do? If a dying Saviour did so much for us, what will not a living Saviour be able to do? The expression saved used here, denotes the whole blessing which God has in store for uscomplete deliverance in every sense of that worda complete undoing of our lost estatethe full possession of every blessing. Salvation, in Gods sense of it, takes in the very widest compass of blessing, from the forgiveness of the first sin to the possession of the eternal glory. Of this salvation, reconciliation was the commencement. In being brought nigh to God through the blood of the cross, our salvation began. Its consummation is, when Jesus comes the second time without sin unto salvation. The apostles argument rests on the fact of the existence of these two opposite states of beingthe two opposite extremities of being, death and life. Death is the lowest pitch of helplessness, lower even than the feebleness of infancy. It is the extremity of weakness. It is the utter cessation of all strength. Life is the opposite of this. It is the full possession of being, with all its faculties and powers. It is the guarantee for the forth putting of all the vigor and strength which belongs to the individual in whom it dwells. And it is thus that the apostle reasons: If Christ in His lowest state of weakness accomplished such marvels for us, what will He not be able to do for us now that He is in the full exercise of His almighty strength? If when reduced to the very extremity of helplessness, He did so much for us, what will He not do for us now when He can say, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth? If, when going down into the tomb, He yet wrought such achievements for us, what will He not do when rising from the tomb, nay, ascending on high? If when under the power of His enemies, and nailed in helpless agony on the tree, He yet prevailed in our behalf how will He not prevail now that He has triumphed over all? If when made a little lower than the angels, He did so much for us, what will He not do when raised far above principalities and powers, and every name that is named? If, when subjected to the dominion of him who had the power of death, He yet conquered for us, and won such glorious spoils, what will He not do now when He has led captivity captive, and completed His mighty victory? If the cross and the tomb have done so much for us, what will not the throne secure? How perfect the reasoning! How blessed the conclusion! Resting on such an argument, we may stand unshaken and unruffled. Using this as our shield, what fiery darts of the wicked one may we not repel? And shall we not ply it to the utmost in dispelling our darkness, in banishing our doubts, in making us thoroughly ashamed of our fears? Using it as time apostle does, and reasoning with ourselvesIf a dying Saviour did so much for us, what will not a living Saviour do? let us say, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? still trust in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. III. If Christs death did so much for us when enemies, what will not His life do for us when friends? In other words, If a dying Saviour did so much for us when enemies, what will not a living Saviour do for us when friends? This is the conjunction of the two previous conclusions. It completes the whole argument by thus putting the two into one. It is a double argument; double in its structure, and double in its strength. It is an argument of resistless power, making us feel the perfect and absolute security which we have for everything included in that word salvation. If enemies have tasted such love, and received such blessings, at the hands of a dying Saviour, what may not friends receive at the hands of Him who is not only alive, but liveth for evermore? If, in the extremity of His weakness, and in the extremity of our alienation, such wonders were wrought for usin spite of that weakness on His part, and that alienation on ourswhat may we not expect now that He is invested with the perfection of all power, and when we have not simply been reconciled, but have been made friends and sons, nay, taken to His bosom as His chosen bride? If a father, in the midst of poverty and weakness, will do much for a prodigal child, what will he not, in the day of his riches, and power, and honour, do for a reconciled son? Here, then, are two truths which, in assuring us of pardon, assure us of everything. Jesus died, and Jesus liveth,these are the truths which contain everything for us. Jesus died!that contains everything that we need for reconciliation and peace: Jesus liveth!that contains everything pertaining to the promised inheritance. In knowing the former, I enter into friendship with God; in knowing the latter, I get hold of a security for all heavenly blessing, which takes away the possibility of a suspicion arising in my soul, even in my most troubled hours, as to my joy and glory for eternity. Jesus diedJesus liveth! The simple knowledge of these simple truths is salvation, forgiveness, peace, eternal life. All that the death and life of Christ combined can accomplish is ours! All that can come forth from His grave, or down from His throne, all that a dying and a living Saviour can do, is ours! All that is embraced in the wide compass between the lowest depths of the tomb of Jesus and the infinite heights of His eternal crown, all is ours! Many were the wonders which His death achieved for enemies; many more will be the wonders yet to be accomplished for His friends! Hear how Scripture speaks of His life. When He who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. His appearing as our life shall bring with it all that blessedness and glory which pertain to Him as the living Oneas our life. Because I live ye shall live also. He cannot die; He liveth forever. He is the resurrection and the life; therefore life, and all that life comprises, shall be ours. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. He lives as if just on purpose to intercede for us; and oh, what will not the intercession of this ever living One secure for us! Fear not, He says, I am He that liveth and was dead; and am alive for evermore; and have the keys of hell and death. What more can we need, not simply to dissipate all fear, but to call up in us the most assured hopenay, to fill us with the joy unspeakable and full of glory? Of what, then, is it that this life of Christ gives us the assurance? Of salvation says the apostle: We shall be saved by His life. Reconciliation is the result of His death; salvation, of His life! But what does this salvation include? It is, as we have already seen, the entire reversal of our lost estate. And this includes much. It is, in the very largest sense, a manifold salvation. It is deliverance from the wrath to come, from the horrors of an eternal hell. Of this, His death gives us the assurance; His life, much more; for hell itself, with all its powers and potentates, cannot prevail against Him who has subdued its prince. It is deliverance from guilt. However infinite that guilt may be, there is entire salvation from it all, salvation sure and irreversible. It is deliverance from sin. It assails sin in its very citadel, the inmost soul, and casts it out. No amount of corruption can withstand it. Self gives way, the flesh is crucified; the old man dies; the inward man is renewed day by day. It is deliverance from death,the death both of body and soul, the first and second death. The Saviour has shaken the grave, and flung open its gates. Life,life beyond the tomb, life in resurrection,is what He has secured for us. I am the resurrection and the life; Because I live ye shall live also; I have the keys of hell and death. Thus he speaks to us assuring us of redemption from the power of the grave. It is deliverance from want. His fullness takes away the possibility of any want, from the moment that our connection with Him began. Want from that time became impossible; for all His riches became ours. His fullness was always at command. It is deliverance from enemies and perils. Many and mighty as these might be, they could not affect us. We were beyond their reach. They might aim at us, but they could not harm. Our victory over them was sure. And as we are thus assured not only of reconciliation but of salvation from all evil in every form, so are we put in possession of every good. All things become ours: for He who saves us makes full provision for His saved ones. All that a dying Saviour could secure for us is freely given; nay more, all that a living Saviour possesses for Himself becomes also ours. Joy, glory, dominion, royalty, priesthood, and a boundless inheritance,all these are ours, and all of them made irreversibly sure to us from the fact that Jesus liveth. He was dead and is alive; yea, and He liveth for evermore. This is our pledge for the perpetuity of our possession. He lives; and all that a living Saviour can do for us shall be done. He ever liveth to make intercession for us: what more do we need to assure us that things present, things to come, life and death, all are ours; for we are Christs, and Christ is Gods? If His death made such a glorious commencement for us when we were enemies, what will not His life carry out and consummate for us now that we are friends? Here, then, let us rest, for surely the resting place is a sufficient one. With arguments such as those of the apostle, let us confront Satan, breaking all his snares, overthrowing all his might; and disentangling ourselves from his subtlest sophistries. On grounds such as these, let us cast aside the various processes of doubting through which so many seem to think it necessary to pass; not listening to the whispers of unbelief, but meeting them all with the resistless argument of our text. Here, too, let us greatly rejoice, turning this argument into a song of triumph; for surely it is both. It is as much the latter as it is the former. And more especially let us do so in these last days, when we are looking for the return of this same living Saviour. The prospect of His speedy arrival seems to impart to it double edge and force. Carrying out the argument we can say, If an absent Saviour has done so much for us, what will not a present Saviour do? If, when afar off, He has done such things for us, what will He not do when He is nigh? If the Man of Sorrows did so much for us, what will not the mighty Conqueror do? If, when put to shame, He did such great things for us, what will He not do when He is glorified? If, upon the cross, He so blessed and befriended us, what may we not expect when He sits upon His throne? If when He appeared on earth without form or comeliness, He wrought such wonders for us, what may we not look for when He comes in His beauty as the Churchs Bridegroom? If, when He came as the son of the carpenter,the despised son of Mary,He achieved such victories and won such honours for us, what may we not anticipate when He comes in glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords. 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");

Hymns of My Youth II: O God, Our Help

Saturday··2011·09·24
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. —Psalm 100:1–5 Isaac Watts originally subtitled this, Psalm 90 Part 1, his paraphrase of Psalm 90:1–5, Man frail, and God eternal. O God, Our Help in Ages Past O God,* our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting thou art God, To endless years the same. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the opening day. Our God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be thou our guide while life shall last,† And our eternal home. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968). * Originally “Our God.” † Originally “Be thou our guard while troubles last.”

Hymns of My Youth II: Come, We that Love the Lord

Saturday··2011·10·01
This week brings another selection by Isaac Watts. This was originally Hymn 30 of Hymns, Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects, and titled Heavenly Joy on Earth. Watts’ original hymn did not include the repeated third and fourth lines with the Marching to Zion refrain. In this hymnal, his ten verses are paired down to these four. Come, We that Love the Lord Come, we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known; Join in a song with sweet accord, And thus surround the throne. Let those refuse to sing Who never knew our God; But children of the heav’nly King May speak their joys abroad. The hill of Zion yields A thousand sacred sweets, Before we reach the heav’nly fields, Or walk the golden streets. Then let our songs abound, And ev’ry tear be dry; We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground To fairer worlds on high. Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968). The tune is St. Thomas.

Hymns of My Youth II: I Sing the Mighty Power

Saturday··2011·10·15
Isaac Watts’ original title for this hymn, published in Divine and Moral Songs for Children, is Praise for Creation and Providence. I Sing the Mighty Power of God I sing the mighty pow’r of God That made the mountains rise, That spread the flowing seas abroad And built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained The sun to rule the day; The moon shines full at his command, And all the stars obey. I sing the goodness of the Lord That filled the earth with food; He formed the creatures with his word, And then pronounced them good. Lord, how thy wonders are displayed Where’er I turn mine eye: If I survey the ground I tread, Or gaze upon the sky! There’s not a plant or flow’r below But makes thy glories known; And clouds arise and tempests blow By order from thy throne; While all that borrows light from Thee Is ever in Thy care, And ev’rywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Lords Day 44, 2011

Sunday··2011·10·30
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 81. (l. m.) A song for morning or evening. Lam. iii. 23; Isaiah xl. 7. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) God, how endless is thy love! Thy gifts are every evening new; And morning mercies from above Gently distil like early dew. Thou spreadst the curtains of the night, Great guardian of my sleeping hours; Thy sovereign word restores the light, And quickens all my drowsy powers. I yield my powers to thy command, To thee I consecrate my days; Perpetual blessings from thine hand Demand perpetual songs of praise. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 12  . . . devoted to prayer Romans 12 Prayer takes for granted that God is full, and we are empty; that He is infinitely full, and we unspeakably empty. I do not say infinitely empty, because God only is infinite. The creature is finite, alike in evil and in good. Time emptiness or evil of any creature, or a whole universe of creatures, can never be infinite. Else what would become of us? Infinitude belongs to Godhead; finitude to creature hood. And here is the first ray of hope to us. Our poverty and want must ever be a mere nothing in comparison with the fullness of Him who filleth all in all. We are sometimes alarmed at the thought of His greatness. Foolish alarm! Were He not so great, so full, so infinite, what would become of us? Prayer takes for granted that there is a connection between this fullness and our emptiness. The fullness is not inaccessible. It is not too high for us to reach, or for it to stoop. It is not too great for us, nor too distant, so as to be incommunicable. There is a connection, and it has been established by God himself; it is a divine medium of communication: Ask, and ye shall receive. It is as righteous as it is divine. Prayer takes for granted that we are entitled to use this channel, this medium; and that, in using it, there will be a sure inflow of the fullness into us. Every one that asketh receiveth. It is men, not angels, who are invited to use this medium. It is to sinners that the gate is thrown open; for them is the access provided. Free, yet righteous access for unrighteous men. Gods love has made it free; the blood of His Son hath made it righteous. It takes for granted Gods willingness to receive every applicant. His willingness is like His fullness, infinite. Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, applies to prayer; but still more does John 4:10, If thou knewest the gift of God, thou wouldest have asked, and He would have given. He makes no exceptions, He does not bid the sinner qualify himself, or ascertain his election, or get up some preliminary preparation, or make sure of the quantity or quality of his faith; He throws open wide His gate and His throne to any applicant, the unworthiest of the human race. His willingness to receive each coming one is infinite. Prayer is not meant to create or produce willingness; to move the heart of an unwilling God. It assumes this willingness, and acts upon it. It is not tentative; it does not go in order to make an experiment on Gods willingness. To experiment upon it is in reality to deny it; and to act upon such an experimenting principle is to deal with an unknown God. Prayer takes for granted expectation on our part. This is in a measure implied in the willingness of God; but it needs special notice; for it is that to which Paul referred when he wrote without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Length will not do; nor repetition; nor regularity; no, not even earnestness; nay, earnestness is often the mere expression of unbelief, and the indication of a secret feeling on our part that God is not wholly willing, but requires our earnestness to make Him so. If, then, we examine our prayers, and strip them of all that is not prayer, how little remains? Take away the vain words,the mere meditative parts; the mere expression of solemn feeling; the mere sentimentalism; the mere utterance of petitions, because urged by conscience and a sense of duty; the requests not accompanied with expectation,and how little remains in the best of our prayers! What multitudes of prayers are ascending on this day. How much of these will God recognize as prayer? What a small residuum would remain if divested of all prayerless accessories. I cannot compare it to the amount of grain when the chaff is winnowed away, nor of gold when the dross is purged off; but to the tiny gem or little crystal which you pick out of some great rock, after breaking it in pieces, and sifting its endless fragments. Let us mark such things as the following in reference to this kind of prayer: 1. The irksomeness of non-expecting prayer. Sometimes there may be such an amount of natural feeling as may make what is called devotion pleasant. But in the long run it becomes irksome, if not accompanied with expectation, sure expectation. It is expectation only that can produce and keep up truly devotional feeling; expectation founded on Gods infinite willingness to give, and on His promises to the applicant. 2. Time uselessness of non-expecting prayer. It bears no fruit; it brings no answer; it draws down no blessing. It is expectation that honours God, and that God will honour. The answer always runs in this form, According to thy faith be it unto thee. It is non-expectation that, more than anything else, ruins and nullifies prayer. 3. The sinfulness of non-expecting prayer. The utterance of petitions is nothing to God; it does not recommend the petitioner. Many seem to think so; and to suppose there is some secret virtue or influence, if not merit, in all prayer, however unbelieving. It is not so; nay, there is guilt, deep guilt, in every unbelieving petition; for thus God is dishonoured, His willingness is denied, His Son is set aside, His Spirit is grieved, and He is addressed both as an hard master and an unknown God. Oh the guilt involved in the religion of religious men; men whose prayers are as regular as the rising or setting sun! 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 50, 2011

Sunday··2011·12·11
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 84. (l. m.) Salvation, righteousness, and strength in Christ. Isa. xlv. 2125 Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Jehovah speaks! let Isrel hear; Let all the earth rejoice and fear, While Gods eternal Son proclaims His sovereign honors and his names. I am the last, and I the first, The Savior God, and God the just; Theres none beside pretends to show Such justice and salvation too. [Ye that in shades of darkness dwell, Just on the verge of death and hell, Look up to me from distant lands; Light, life, and heavn are in my hands. I by my holy name have sworn, Nor shall the word in vain return; To me shall all things bend the knee, And every tongue shall swear to me.] In me alone shall men confess Lies all their strength and righteousness; But such as dare despise my name, Ill clothe them with eternal shame. In me, the Lord, shall all the seed Of Isrel from their sins be freed; And by their shining graces prove Their intrest in my pardning love. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 8who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1 Eternal Blamelessness. There are several words used to declare what a Christian man should be. He is to be blameless (1 Thessalonians 3:13), unrebukeable (Philippians 2:15), without spot (1 Peter 1:19), faultless (Jude 24), undefiled (Song of Solomon 5:2). All these words are to be more or less realized in every Christian,in measure here, in all fullness hereafter. They are chiefly negative; in the Greek, remarkably so; describing a Christian not so much by what he is, as by what he is not. But this is striking and full of meaning; inasmuch as it reminds him of the sin out of which he was taken, and from which he is called to be separate. It reminds him of that evil world from which he has been delivered, and from which he is to keep himself unspotted. He was a sinner once, nothing but a sinner. From sin, wrath, pollution, ungodliness he is taken, and from them must keep aloof. These characteristics may be divided into three kinds judicial, priestly, personal. I. Judicial. The word used in our text is the judicial one. It means one that cannot be challenged, or accused, or impeached in law. It is another form of the same word as is used in Romans 8:33, Who shall lay anything to the charge of Gods elect? A Christian is one against whom there is not only no condemnation, but no accusation. He is a sinner yet no man, nor angel, nor devil, may accuse him, or mention his guilt to God. This is the footing on which we stand,unaccusable! Blessed footing to one who feels that he is the chief of sinners. The chief of sinners, yet beyond the reach of all accusation! How is this? Because there was one who was accused in his stead; who owned the accusation as if it were His own; who allowed sentence to pass against Himself; and was condemned for anothers guilt,the Just for the unjust. II. Priestly. I might call it sacrificial. The word used in such places as Ephesians 1:4 is the same as that in 1 Peter 1:19, the Lamb without blemish, and without spot. This unblemishedness has special reference to our fitness for worship and service. And this we derive from the unblemished Lamb himself, and specially from His blood. It is His blood that cleanses and fits us for entering Jehovahs courts, and ministering as His priests at His altar; for we have an altar. I speak of the priesthood of believers, the priesthood which a sinner enters on when he believes on the Son of God. Let ns make constant use of the Lamb and His blood to keep ourselves unblemished for sacrifice or service; for we are to present even our bodies as living sacrifices unto God (Romans 12:1). III. Personal (Philippians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 3:13), We are forgiven and delivered from wrath that we may be personally holy; holy in heart and life; saved from sin, conformed to Christ. We are delivered from wrath, from Satan, from self; from the world, from sin, from vanity, from ignorance, from the lust of the flesh and eye. We are made like the second man (1 Corinthians 15:47), the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), in Gods image. We delight in the law of God; we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our life is spiritual, our character, our conversation, our joys, our pursuits. Everything is spiritualized in character, aim, and tone. All true religion is personal, not a thing of proxy; a real inward thing, not a form, or a creed, or a shadow, or a rite. It penetrates the entire being, pervading the whole life, and influencing everything about the man, great or small. Holiness is to be everywhere in and about the man. If, then, you call yourself a Christian, consider how much is expected from you; how much God expects from you; how much Christ, how much the angels, how much the church, how much the world. All eyes are on you, and great expectations are formed of you. Consider, (1.) Your names. They are saint, Christian, redeemed from among men, follower of the Lamb. Do not these call you to holiness, to blamelessness! (2.) Your designations. You are the lights of the world, the salt of the earth; pilgrims, strangers, virgins, cross bearers, kings and priests; a temple, a habitation of God. (3.) Your calling. You are called with a holy calling. Everything connected with your calling is holy,its past eternity, its present working, its everlasting prospects. You are called to glory, honour, and immortality. (4.) Your hopes. They are sure and bright,a holy kingdom, an undefiled inheritance, a pure and splendid city, into which nothing that defileth shall enter. (5.) Your companionships. They are all heavenly and pure. Your ties have been broken with this present evil world. Old friendships are severed, and new ones formed. Of your new companions the chief are God, and Christ, and tile Holy Spirit, and the saints that are on the earth. Holy companions should make a man holy, for as evil communications corrupt good manners, so do good communications elevate and purify evil ones. If you are Christians then, be consistent. Be Christians out and out; Christians every hour, in every part, and in every matter. Beware of half-hearted discipleship, of compromise with evil, of conformity to the world, of trying to serve two masters,to walk in two ways, the narrow and the broad, at once. It will not do. Half-hearted Christianity will only dishonour God, while it makes you miserable. There is abundance of Christianity, so-called, in our day. Who does not call himself a Christian? But who cultivates the holiness, the blamelessness, the devotedness, the calm consistency of a follower of Christ? Who hates sin as it ought to be hated? Who separates from the world as he ought? Who follows Christ as He ought to be followed? Who walks in the footsteps of the holy Son of God? The day of Christ here spoken of, is coming. How soon we know not. Year after year is bringing it round. It is the day of decision. It ends the finite and begins the infinite; it ends the temporal, and begins the eternal. It is the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Satans day, mans day, the worlds day; that is the day of Christ. And it is to that day we look, for it we prepare. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 52, 2011—Christmas Day

Sunday··2011·12·25
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Hymn 12. (c. m.) Christ is the substance of the Levitical priesthood. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) The true Messiah now appears, The types are all withdrawn; So fly the shadows and the stars Before the rising dawn. No smoking sweets, nor bleeding lambs, Nor kid nor bullock slain; Incense and spice of costly names Would all be burnt in vain. Aaron must lay his robes away, His mitre and his vest, When God himself comes down to be The off’ring and the priest. He took our mortal flesh, to show The wonders of his love; For us he paid his life below, And prays for us above. “Father,” he cries, “forgive their sins, For I myself have died;” And then he shows his open’d veins, And pleads his wounded side. —from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. style="margin: 0 0 1em 0; text-align: right;">—Hebrews 10 The Imperfect And The Perfect Priesthood. It is to the contrast between Christ and the ancient priesthood that I ask your attention; between the priesthood of the earthly and of the heavenly temple. It is this contrast that brings out the true nature and character both of Christ and of His work. I. The many priests and the one.—‘Every priest,’—‘this man,’ or ‘this priest.’ The Old Testament priests were many. Not one of them fully accomplished the priestly work. A continual succession was needed; and even by these many the work was not done. It remained at the last just where it was at the first. For these many were, after all, not doers of the work, but symbols or prophetical representatives of the great Doer of it all who was to come. They said, ‘The work shall yet be done; it shall be done completely; God shall be approached; the conscience shall be purged; but not by us; the Doer shall come; He will accomplish what we can only foreshadow.’ These many passed away, and in their stead there came the one—one to do the work which hundreds and thousands of priests and Levites could not do. Yes, one Doer; one work; one sacrifice; one blood shedding; one atonement. Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. What a contrast! The whole tribe of Levi for ages; the tens of thousands of sacrifices; the rivers of bloodshed, and all incomplete! And, on the other, the one single Man, taking up the incomplete work of these thousands, and doing it all at once! This Man! This Priest! But what a Man! What a Priest! The High Priest of the good things to come! The others might do their symbolic work well; but the real priestly final work was beyond their power. That consummation was reserved for the greater than Aaron or Moses, the Son of God Himself. O finished work, how sufficient! O perfect High Priest, how glorious and complete! II. The many sacrifices and the one sacrifice.—In two senses were the sacrifices many. They were many (1) as to number, almost innumerable; (2) as to kind, burnt offering, trespass offering, sin offering, meat offering, drink offering, peace offering. Christ’s sacrifice was one, in both of these aspects. Only one sacrifice, once offered; and all the various kinds of sacrifice gathered, in Him, into the one sacrifice, which by its fullness satisfies the utmost need of the worshipper in every case. One full, complete, perfect sacrifice! ‘It is finished;’ ‘by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’ His one sacrifice did the whole work. ‘By Himself He purged our sins;’ by His blood He purged our consciences. Let that one sacrifice do its work for us. We need no more. III. The many ministries and the one ministry.—Besides the offering of sacrifice, there were many duties connected with priestly ministry, some smaller, some more important. Each day and hour had their ministries or services. In a hundred different ways they ministered. Priest and Levite ministered in the various parts of the manifold temple worship. But now Christ has taken up all their various ministries into Himself. All the little or great things which we need as the sinful or the helpless, are ministered by the one priestly servant. Through His hands alone come to us the numerous blessings which we need every hour. Let us deal with Him about these. He is exalted a Prince and Saviour to bestow these. We have not to deal with many priests, nor are we perplexed with many ministers. All the channels and instruments through which blessings come to a sinner are now found in Jesus only. His one ministry has superseded all the rest. It is with His one priesthood that we have to do. IV. The daily and the everlasting work.—It is the daily many, and the everlasting one that are contrasted. Oh, what a routine of endless sacrifice and service for ages,—daily, daily,—yes, almost every hour! Always doing, never done! Each hour a repetition of past hours, without prospect of end! But the daily ceased, and the ‘for ever’ came at length. Everlasting salvation; eternal redemption! Once and for ever! Once for all! No second sacrifice; no daily repetition. How unsatisfactory that daily work; how satisfying, how pacifying, how perfecting that one everlasting atonement! Yes, it is for evermore! He has offered it once for all! What a gospel is brought out to us in the contrast between the daily and the forever! A pardon that lasts for ever! A peace that lasts for ever! A salvation that lasts forever! A reconciliation that lasts forever! V. The effectual work and the ineffectual.—What was daily offered up could never take away sin; it could not purge the conscience, nor give us confidence in drawing near to God. But the one true work was ‘for sin;’ i.e. it was meant to take away sin. The other sacrifices could not. This could and did. It was truly and fully sin bearing. Nothing else can avail but this. Guilt but half borne, half exhausted, will avail nothing. Sin laid on any one save the appointed priest and sacrifice, will not be taken away. It must remain. The one Sin bearer is He ‘who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’ He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. He has finished transgression and made an end of sin. VI. The standing and the sitting down.—The priests and Levites all stood. From morn to night they stood. There was no time for sitting down, for at any time they might be called on to offer a sacrifice; so that their work was never done. There was no place for sitting in any part of the temple where the service was going on, and. the sacrifices were offered. There were rooms at the side for sitting, but not in the courts of the altar and laver. There the priests must stand or move about. Theirs was perpetual and unfinished work, as their posture indicated. The king might sit when ruling and judging. The prophet might sit when giving his message. But the priest must stand. What a symbol was the priestly posture! What a truth was embodied in it! The one Priest sat down. As soon as He had finished His sacrifice He sat down. And this said, in language beyond mistake, both to heaven and earth, ‘It is finished!’ He sat down’ (1.) On the throne of grace.—The mercy seat was His throne. He sat down to dispense the free love of God to sinners. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. (2.) On the seat of honour.—The throne of grace is the throne of heaven. It is the seat before which the ‘many angels’ as well as the ‘elders’ and ‘living creatures’ bow, singing, ‘Blessing, and honour, and glory’ (Revelations 5:11, 12). (3.) On the place of power.’The Father’s right hand is the place of power. Seated there, He is, in every sense, ‘able to save to the uttermost.’ (4.) On the height of expectation.—His throne is a ‘glorious high throne.’ From it He looks down on earth, sees its iniquity and rebellion, and calmly waits for the time, when His enemies shall be made His footstool, and earth become His glorious kingdom. Are we, too, looking for this? “Sit Thou at my right hand,’ is the Father’s word to the Son. In answer to that He sat down, and He is now sitting. That throne He occupies for us. From that throne He dispenses the gifts which, as the glorified Christ, He has received for the rebellious. All that belongs to Him of excellence and fullness is there; it is there for us. The glory of His person, the riches of His varied offices, the suitableness of His great propitiation, and the love of His gracious heart, are all there,—available for sinners, and that to the uttermost. Such is their value, and such their efficacy, that no amount of evil in us, of whatever kind, can in the least obstruct that availableness. It may be the evil of long and dark transgression, or of obduracy and stout-heartedness, or of backsliding and inconsistency and worldliness, or of imperfect faith and feeble repentance; it may be evil committed before our connection with this High Priest, or evil after our connection with Him, or evil in our deficient way of apprehending His work, or evil in our want of love and confidence, evil in our defective sense of sin and guilt, the evil of a hard and stony heart,—it matters not. None of these evils in us can exceed the boundless value of the expiation or the Expiator; nor surpass the divine perfection of the finished work either as bearing upon God or man; nor neutralize the preciousness of the blood of the Lamb; nor prevent the great burnt offering from sheltering the sinner beneath its wide shadowing and impenetrable canopy; nor repel the free love that comes out from the cross to the unworthiest of the sons of Adam; nor render less potent the fragrance of the sweet incense that is continually going up from the golden altar of ‘the more perfect tabernacle not made with hands.’ The fullness of the finished work covers all deficiencies, were they a thousand timed greater than they are or can be. Nothing but our rejection of that fullness, and our preference for something else, can prevent our being saved by it. Its sufficiency is infinite; its suitableness is perfect; its freeness unconditional; its nearness like Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being. Such is the provision made for the taking away of our sin, and for our drawing near to God. Such is the great love of God. There is nothing like it for greatness, either in heaven above or in the earth beneath. Truly He has no pleasure in the sinner’s death. He is not seeking occasion to destroy him; He is not trying to find out reasons for rejecting him or for disregarding his cries; He is not waiting for further amendment and repentance, or greater earnestness or bitterer remorse. He is stretching out His hands to him, just as he is. He is most sincerely desirous to bless even the worst. His compassions are infinite; His bowels yearn over His prodigals; He wants them to come back to His house. He knows what hell is, and He wants to save them from it; He knows what heaven is, and He wants to win them to it. His grace and pity are beyond all measure; and he who, on the credit of the divine testimony to them, given in the word of the truth of the gospel, goes to Him for pardon and life, shall be welcomed and blest, receiving not only what he goes for, but exceeding abundantly, above all he asks or thinks. —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");

Hymns of My Youth II: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?

Saturday··2012·02·04
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. —Isaiah 53:3–6 Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed? Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sov’reign die? Would he devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker, died For man the creature’s sin. But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away— ’Tis all that I can do. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Lords Day 7, 2012

Sunday··2012·02·12
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 85. (s. m.) Salvation, righteousness, and strength in Christ. Isa. xlv. 2125 Isaac Watts (1674-1748) The Lord on high proclaims His Godhead from his throne: Mercy and justice are the names By which I will be known. Ye dying souls that sit In darkness and distress, Look from the borders of the pit To my recovring grace. Sinners shall hear the sound; Their thankful tongues shall own, Our righteousness and strength is found In thee, the Lord, alone. In thee shall Isrel trust, And see their guilt forgivn; God will pronounce the sinners just, And take the saints to heavn. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7 True Service And True Freedom. There is a liberty which no human bondage can affect or curtail,If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed; and there is a bondage which no high sounding words about liberty can break or loosen,They promise them liberty, while they themselves are the servants of corruption. Where the truth reigns in the soul there is liberty; where error prevails there is bondage; for truth liberates, error enslaves. The great words of our day, liberty, liberal, and liberalism, may come from hearts in bondage to sin, and may be perhaps the worst indications of that deep hatred of God, which cannot tolerate any holy restraints either upon their opinions or their lives. Liberalism is often the worst form of intolerance. But let us look at the Apostles line of argument with these Corinthian saints. Were you called to Christ when a slave? he asks. Dont concern yourself about that, he answers; only if you may be free, avail yourself of the opportunity. He who is called while a slave, is not the less Christs freeman; and he that is called while free, is not the less Christs servant. In whatever state you are, bond or free, remember to abide with God; His fellowship sanctifies and sweetens every condition of human life. Mark the fullness of His statement: (1.) Ye are bought. The price has been paid down. Previous ownership is dissolved. (2.) Ye are bought with a price. That means with a good large sum; not for a trifle. (3.) Ye are bought by Christ. Jesus is the purchaser. He wanted you for His property, and so he paid the full and heavy price. (4.) Ye are bought for Christ. Not for another. Not to be sold again. His forever. (5.) Ye are bought for a kingdom. Not to be servants, but kings. Heirs of God. If these things are so, how incongruous, how degrading, to be the servants of men! This exhortation is very needful; for Christians are too prone to forget their true liberty and dignity; nay, to sell these,to despise their birthright for some earthly consideration, some poor mess of pottage. Be not the servants of men! Ye who are Christs blood-bought freemen,do not stoop to such bondage and degradation. Be not the servants of (1.) Custom. Earths customs and manners too often come between us and our birthright. Be on your guard. (2.) Pleasure. Slaves of pleasure,of lust, of vanity, of gaiety, of folly,how inconsistent with Christs freemen! (3.) Business. Yes, even of lawful business, men are often slaves. Shall Christs freemen be so? (4.) Opinion. We fall into what is called public opinion, and shrink from independent thought and action. (5.) Routine. The course of this world is often our only reason for a certain line of action. We do as others do; we allow our time to be broken up by worldly calls, parties, dinners, meetings, when as Christs servants we ought to be doing His work. The routine of the world is carried into the church; and the routine of the religious world is weariness and slavery. Do not be hangers on of the great, or rich, or influential, either in church or state. Do not be subservient to the leaders of party, or the representatives of public opinion, or the politicians of the day. Quit you like men. Be independent. Act on your own judgment, and follow out your own honest conclusions. Be not carried away with the excitement of controversy, or the enthusiasm of partisanship. Do not be obsequious, trimming, or facing both ways. Be upright before God and man. One is your Master, even Christ; follow Him. To follow others is to bring ourselves into bondage; to make ourselves servants of men. Be calm, be steadfast and unmovable, with your eye upon the great day of sifting, when the Judge shall reckon with you as to your fidelity to Himself Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ bath made us free. Be not carried away either with the fear of the many. Be not overawed by the fear of man, which bringeth a snare, or influenced by the love of his approbation, which is no less ensnaring. To your own Master you stand or fall. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. 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Hymns of My Youth II: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Saturday··2012·02·25
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” —1 Corinthians 1:30–31 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most— I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down; Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968).

Lords Day 15, 2012

Sunday··2012·04·08
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. HYMN 7 (l. m.) Crucifixion to the world by the cross of Christ. Gal. vi. 14. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. See from his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did eer such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown! [His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads oer his body on the tree: Then am I dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me.] Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book III: Prepared for the Holy Ordinace of the Lords Supper (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 14But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6 The Cross And The Double Crucifixion. The words of this verse literally run thus: From me, however, far be it that I should glory, save in the cross; and the form of expression reminds us of the frequent phrase in the Psalms, But as for me; so calm, yet so decided; so, simple, yet so dignified. Others may glory in the flesh, or in forms, or in rites; but as for me, the cross is my only boast; all that I rejoice in centers there; it is my gain and my glory, it is my solace and my song. He lays great stress upon this I or me. Though the whole world were uniting to glory in other things, he could not; he would be inexcusable. He had a thousand reasons for rejecting every other boast,more reasons than any other man. And he knew well what he was saying in this boast. Let us take up here, the cross, the glorying, and the double crucifixion. I. The cross.It is not the literal piece of wood that he is speaking of, nor any figure or imitation of it, such as men in all ages have made for ornament or worship,a piece of ecclesiastical furniture, or an article of female dress. It is the essence of the cross that he speaks of; the great truths represented by it; salvation by a crucified Christ; Gods way of justification through the death of a sin bearer. The sacrifice for sin upon the cross, the burnt-offering upon the altar; it is this that be keeps before his eyes, and would have us keep before ours. It is the slain Lamb which he holds up to view. Connected with the cross there is death, but there is also life; there is weakness, but there is also strength; there is poverty, but also riches; shame, but also glory; defeat, but triumph too. The cross, as it stood on Golgotha, has long since gone into dust; but that cross was a symbol, like the desert pole and the brazen serpent. That cross and that serpent embodied in them mighty truths; truths which were to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; truths which the natural man despises and rejects, but which, to the new man, are the gladdest and most glorious of all glad and glorious things. It is as the embodiment of these things that the cross is here held up to us. Without these the cross is nothing save a piece of Hebrew wood, in no respect more precious than the other crosses erected at its side. Take away from it the sacrificial blood shedding, the propitiation for sin, and it is useless and worthless. The cross is mighty and venerable and glorious solely because of what it reveals concerning God, amid His way of saving the lost by providing a Saviour for the guilty. The cross is Gods verdict against sin; His exhibition of righteousness; His declaration of love to the sinner; His method of removing guilt from the condemned, and imparting life through death to every one who is willing to take life at His hands. II. The Glorying.Pauls opinion of the cross had undergone a wonderful change. The cross was once the lowest object in his estimation, now it is the highest. He glories in it. This implies such things as these:(1.) To think well of it.Once he had thought evil of it; now he thinks well. His estimate is changed,reversed. He admires what he disesteemed. (2.) To speak well of it.He commends it to every one wherever he goes. He has not a good word to say for himself but he has good words without number for the cross. He dispraises self and the flesh and the world; he praises the cross. It is the tree of trees. (3.) To boast of it.It is to him the one object of boasting; all other boasting is excluded for ever. In it he exults as one who has found a treasure. He calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me. And if men ask, What is thy cross more than another cross? he answers, My cross is the cross of crosses; there is nothing like it, so perfect, so admirable, so glorious; in it I have found the love of God, the pardon of sin, the life of my soul, the peace of my conscience, an everlasting kingdom. (4.) To trust in it.It is the tree of life, under whose shadow he sits down. It is the treasure-house of all riches; it is the fullness of all grace and blessing. It presents a resting-place to his weary soul. It invites and attracts and welcomes. Everything about it is fitted to remove distrust and awaken confidence. It is the end of fear and doubt; the producer of all happy, trustful thoughts. It is the place of light and peace. No wonder that he gloried in it. Let us learn to glory. The more we look at it and understand its meaning, the more we shall trust it, and in trusting it find rest to our souls. We cannot add to it, and we cannot take from it. It is perfect. Let us be satisfied in knowing that it is what it is,the place of propitiation and of peace. III. The Double Crucifixion.The cross crucifies Paul; it crucifies the world to Paul. In crucifying Paul it crucifies time world, and in crucifying the world it crucifies Paul. They are crucified to each other. Paul is nailed to the cross, and becomes an object of contempt and hatred to the world. The world is nailed to the cross, and becomes an object of contempt to Paul. For the crucified object becomes, by being nailed to the tree of shame, a thing of degradation,a curse and an hissing. To be nailed to a cross was to be made a dead thing, a cursed thing, a shameful thing. Thus it was mutually with Paul and the world. Each was dead to the other; they were mutually irreconcilable. The world saw nothing in Paul but vileness and meanness; Paul saw nothing in the world but the same. And it was the cross of Christ that had produced this reciprocal feeling of separation and abhorrence. It was a double crucifixion. That double crucifixion was the key to the apostles life. It set Christ between him and the world. It set the grave between him and his former self. Crucifixion with Christ had crucified him to the world and the world to him. Thus the old man was crucified; the flesh and all things pertaining to the flesh were crucified; and only out of resurrection could anything good or holy come. All that came short of resurrection came short of the glory of God.(1.) A Christian is a decided man.The cross of Christ rejects all halfheartedness; nay, renders it impossible. There was no compromise upon yon cross, when the Father smote the Son, and the Son consented to be smitten; there can be none in those who are nailed to it. (2.) A Christian is an unworldly man.He was part of the world; he is so no longer. He has come out from it and become separate, and touches no more the unclean thing. He has bid farewell to the world and its vanities. (3.) A Christian is a man of heaven.He has set his affection on things above. He has gone up to be with his Lord upon the throne in the heavenly places. His heart and his treasure are above. How glorious is the cross! How safe are they who have taken refuge there! It is the cross of the Divine Substitute. It stands forever, outliving ages and generations, like Egypts pyramids and palms. Its substitutionary value does net alter, and its efficacy for salvation to the chief of sinners is liable to no failure, no shortcoming. Its potency for shelter and deliverance and pardon knows no diminution; it is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We may be transgressors of no common order, both as to duration and enormity; we may have very superficial convictions of our own sinfulness, and very feeble thoughts of the sufficiency of the cross; we may have little faith, much unbelief; little light, much darkness; little repentance, much impenitence: still the sufficiency of the cross is infinite. Like the wide arch of heaven, it throws its canopy over the broadest circle of transgression and unworthiness. He who is willing to take shelter beneath it, whatever he may be, shall find it sufficient. To sit under its far-reaching shadow is certain life and safety; to sit anywhere else is certain wrath and doom. That shadow avails or takes effect in the case of all who, crediting Gods testimony concerning it, consent to be indebted to it for security and peace. For faith in the cross is no work or merit, which a poor sinner must toil at till he has secured enough to give him the benefit of the shelter. It is simply the relinquishment of all other pretended shelters, and the willingness to allow this divine shelter to be extended to him by the God who has provided it for the sinner. Whosoever will, is our proclamation. God does not mock you by providing a refuge and then throwing hindrances in your way, or refusing to remove existing obstacles out of your way. He provides the glorious shelter; He removes all obstacles without; He presents you with His own heavenly Spirit (better and more accessible than all self-power) to remove all hindrances within. It is in all respects a wondrous cross, for security, for sufficiency, for accessibility to the sinner. Its value is divine, and that is infinite; its sheltering canopy is wide,wide as the world; wide as the sinners utmost sin and ruin; wide as heaven and hell; wide as earth and sea; wide as the wrath of the Judge; wide as the love of God and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Hymns of My Youth II: Jesus Shall Reign

Saturday··2012·04·21 · 1 Comments
Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor! May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day! May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field! May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! —Psalm 72 This hymn of Isaac Watts (Psalm 72 Part 2 in The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts) was originally titled Christ’s kingdom among the Gentiles. The original text can be found here. Jesus Shall Reign Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Does his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more. From north to south the princes meet, To pay their homage at his feet. While western empires own their Lord And savage tribes attend his word. To him shall endless prayer be made, And praises throng to crown his head; His name like sweet perfume shall rise With every morning sacrifice. People and realms of ev’ry tongue Dwell on his love with sweetest song; And infant voices shall proclaim Their early blessings on his name. —Great Hymns of the Faith (Zondervan, 1968). The tune is Duke Street, which you might recognize as I Know That My Redeemer Lives and Give to Our God Immortal Praise.

Lords Day 22, 2012

Sunday··2012·05·27
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hymn 98. (s. m.) Christ our wisdom, righteousness, &c. 1 Cor. i. 30 Isaac Watts (1674-1748) How heavy is the night That hangs upon our eyes, Till Christ with his reviving light Over our souls arise! Our guilty spirits dread To meet the wrath of Heavn; But, in his righteousness arrayed, We see our sins forgivn. Unholy and impure Are all our thoughts and ways; His hands infected nature cure With sanctifying grace. The powers of hell agree To hold our souls in vain; He sets the sons of bondage free, And breaks the cursed chain. Lord, we adore thy ways To bring us near to God; Thy sovereign power, thy healing grace, And thine atoning blood. from The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). 14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13 Apostolic Blessing. This is one of Pauls fullest blessings; none could be fuller; for it takes us to the divine fountainhead, and opens upon us the threefold spring of heaven, bidding it gush forth upon us in all its fullness. He takes us to a greater rock than that of Horeb, and touching it with his rod, calls on the water to pour itself out, not in one channel, but in a threefold course, and with a threefold fullness. All heaven is in this wondrous blessing; all Godhead is here, with the infinite and everlasting stores of Father, Son, and Spirit. The order of the persons is not here the same as usual; perhaps to teach us, that in so far as blessing is concerned, that order is unimportant, and that we may go to any of the three persons for blessing without respect of order; or perhaps because Paul began with the usual form, the grace of Christ, and then went on to the others; for generally he blesses them in the name of the Lord Jesus alone. Beginning with Christ, he goes on to the rest. In this full blessing the apostles heart flowed out to these beloved Corinthians. For what could he say more? What could he ask more? If Father, Son, and Spirit communicate their fullness, is not that enough? Our poverty, our narrowness, our worthlessness, our want, our sin, are nothing in the way of drawback or hindrance. Nay, their greatness does but the more magnify and draw out the resources of the infinite Jehovah, all whose stores are thus placed at our disposal, and within our reach. The depth and breadth of the rivers channel do but display the more the vastness and the brightness of that water which fills it; and that water, descending from the clouds in snow or rain, is inexhaustible. The creatures or the sinners wants are but occasions for unfolding the riches of the love of God. Now, let us mark the three points in this blessing. Yet in doing so, notice that the apostle specifies nothing in these three petitions. Elsewhere he does. He asks, for instance, joy and peace; he asks an increase of faith and comprehension; he asks light and wisdom; he asks comfort and strength. Here he specifies nothing; and yet he asks for more than if he had done so. All that the grace of Christ can give; all that the love of God can give; all that the communion of the Spirit can give,all that can be given! What a prayer! What a blessing! Amen! So let it be. I. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a frequent prayer of the apostle for the brethren. The free favor of our Lord and Master rest upon you; of Him in whose favor is life; of Him who is full of grace and truth (Romans 16:20, 24, I Corinthians 16:23). His favor! Yes; that is enough; for all heaven is in it. He on whom that favour rests, has all the sunshine of heaven compassing him about. That favor is presented in all its gladness to each one of us. Will you have the favor of Christ? He is willing to bestow it; and he who consents to take it, gets it at once. It is pressing for entrance into our souls, like the light which is beating on our windows every morning. Let it in. You need no more to make a heaven upon earth. You may not have mans favor,and you certainly shall have Satans hatred,but if you have this heavenly favor; you need no other. If you have this love, then the darkness is past, and the true light shineth; the day has broken, and the shadows fled away. O grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! What can we lack if we have thee? And which of all the dark, sorrowful sinners of earth can need be without thee? Does not Jesus say to thee, O man, come unto me? II. The love of God. The word love expresses something yet wider, fuller, deeper, than grace. God is love; and thus it is the very thing which belongs so peculiarly to God,this divine, perfect, glorious love, that is here pleaded for in our behalf; not simply favor but love,full-hearted, overflowing love; love which not only secures against all possible evil, but bestows truly and only good,the best of the best,that which God himself selects as His choicest gifts for His beloved ones; for our name is, Beloved of God (Romans 1:7). It is as if he had said, All heaven, and no more than all heaven, be with you; that which gladdens angels, and pours sunshine over the universe, be with you. Of this deep deep well of love let us be ever drinking; in this bright sunshine of love let us be ever basking; in this fair heaven of love let us be ever dwelling. We have much of it here, we shall have more of it hereafter. Amen! III. The communion of the Holy Ghost. The word communion means, partnership; or it may signify that fullness of which we are partners; that communicated or distributed fullness which dwells in the Holy Spirit, and which flows out of Him to us. In and through the Holy Ghost we have the community of feeling and of possession,that common property of all things which is our heritage, as men believing in the name of the Son of God. All that is in the Father and in the Son,all that is in Godhead flows out to us through the Holy Ghost. This is the ever-welling fountain out of which not only is the souls thirst quenched, but by means of which it is filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1.) What joy and peace are here. The threefold joy and peace coming from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is our daily portion, our life-long possession, our eternal heritage. Let us enter into it more and more fully each day. It is enough; and he who has it, hungers no more, neither thirsts any more. (2.) What consolation is here. We need consolation in this troubled, stormy, sorrowful world. We need to hear, Comfort ye, from the lips of God, for it is through much tribulation that we must enter the kingdom. There are many points at which the comfort pours in, many minor sources from which it flows. But here is the great fountain of divine consolation. (3.) What power for work is here. Here is the secret of our strength in all work, or endurance, or suffering for God. Grace, love, and communion! And all this every moment. What influence over others will this give us! How it will make our faces shine! How it will purify and transform us! Let our daily life be that of men who possess all this fullness. 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 29, 2012

Sunday··2012·07·15
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. So He told them this parable, saying, What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost! In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:310 Hymn 101. (l. m.) Joy in heaven for a repenting sinner. Luke xv. 7, 10. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Who can describe the joys that rise Through all the courts of Paradise, To see a prodigal return, To see an heir of glory born? With joy the Father doth approve The fruit of his eternal love; The Son with joy looks down and sees The purchase of his agonies. The Spirit takes delight to view The holy soul he formed anew; And saints and angels join to sing, The growing empire of their King. The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 36, 2012

Sunday··2012·09·02
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12 Hymn 103. (c. m.) Not ashamed of the gospel. 2 Tim. i. 12. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Im not ashamd to own my Lord, Or to defend his cause; Maintain the honor of his word, The glory of his cross. Jesus, my God! I know his name, His name is all my trust; Nor will he put my soul to shame, Nor let my hope be lost. Firm as his throne his promise stands, And he can well secure What Ive committed to his hands Till the decisive hour. Then will he own my worthless name Before his Fathers face, And in the new Jerusalem Appoint my soul a place. The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 43, 2012

Sunday··2012·10·21
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:17 Hymn 106. (s. m.) Dead to sin by the cross of Christ. Rom. vi. 1, 2, 6. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Shall we go on to sin Because thy grace abounds; Or crucify the Lord again, And open all his wounds? Forbid it, mighty God! Nor let it eer be said, That we whose sins are crucified Should raise them from the dead. We will be slaves no more, Since Christ has made us free; Has nailed our tyrants to his cross, And bought our liberty. The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 50, 2012

Sunday··2012·12·09
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lords Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel. And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:2538 Hymn 136. (l. m.) Miracles at the birth of Christ. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) The King of Glory sends his Son To make his entrance on this earth; Behold the midnight bright as noon, And heavnly hosts declare his birth! About the young Redeemers head What wonders and what glories meet! An unknown star arose, and led The eastern sages to his feet. Simeon and Anna both conspire The infant Saviour to proclaim; Inward they felt the sacred fire, And blessd the Babe, and ownd his name. Let Jews and Greeks blaspheme aloud, And treat the holy Child with scorn; Our souls adore th eternal God, Who condescended to be born. The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 5, 2013

Sunday··2013·02·03
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. —1 Peter 1:3–5 Hymn 108. (s. m.) Christ unseen and beloved. 1 Pet. i. 5. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Not with our mortal eyes Have we beheld the Lord; Yet we rejoice to hear his name, And love him in his word. On earth we want the sight Of our Redeemer’s face; Yet, Lord, our inmost thoughts delight To dwell upon thy grace. And when we taste thy love, Our joys divinely grow Unspeakable, like those above, And heav’n begins below. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 11, 2013

Sunday··2013·03·17
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:711 Hymn 109. (l. m.) The value of Christ, and his righteousness. Philippians iii. 79. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) No more, my God, I boast no more Of all the duties I have done; I quit the hopes I held before, To trust the merits of thy Son. Now, for the love I bear his name, What was my gain I count my loss; My former pride I call my shame, And nail my glory to his cross. Yes, and I must and will esteem All things but loss for Jesus’ sake: O may my soul be found in him, And of his righteousness partake! The best obedience of my hands Dares not appear before thy throne; But faith can answer thy demands By pleading what my Lord has done. The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lords Day 17, 2013

Sunday··2013·04·28
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. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lordfor we walk by faith, not by sightwe are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:110 Hymn 110. (c. m.) Death and immediate glory. 2 Corinthians v. 1, 58. Isaac Watts (16741748) There is a house not made with hands, Eternal and on high; And here my spirit waiting stands, Till God shall bid it fly. Shortly this prison of my clay Must be dissolvd and fall; Then, O my soul! with joy obey Thy heavnly Fathers call. Tis he, by his almighty grace, That forms thee fit for heavn; And, as an earnest of the place, Has his own Spirit givn. We walk by faith of joys to come, Faith lives upon his word; But while the body is our home, Were absent from the Lord. Tis pleasant to believe thy grace, But we had rather see; We would be absent from the flesh, And present, Lord, with thee. The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 23, 2013

Sunday··2013·06·09
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. —Titus 3:3–7 Hymn 111. (c. m.) Salvation by grace. Titus iii. 3–7. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Lord, we confess our num–rous faults, How great our guilt has been! Foolish and vain were all our thoughts, And all our lives were sin. But, O my soul! for ever praise, For ever love his name, Who turns thy feet from dangerous ways Of folly, sin, and shame.] [’Tis not by works of righteousness Which our own hands have done; But we are sav’d by sov’reign grace Abounding through his Son.] ’Tis from the mercy of our God That all our hopes begin; ’Tis by the water and the blood Our souls are washed from sin. ’Tis through the purchase of his death Who hung upon the tree, The Spirit is sent down to breathe On such dry bones as we. Raised from the dead we live anew; And, justified by grace, We shall appear in glory too, And see our Father’s face. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 29, 2013

Sunday··2013·07·21
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 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. —John 3:14–16 Hymn 112. (c. m.) The brazen serpent; or, Looking to Jesus. John iii. 14—16. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) So did the Hebrew prophet raise The brazen serpent high, The wounded felt immediate ease, The camp forbore to die. “Look upward in the dying hour, And live,” the prophet cries; But Christ performs a nobler cure, When Faith lifts up her eyes. High on the cross the Saviour hung, High in the heav’ns he reigns: Here sinners by th’ old serpent stung Look, and forget their pains. When God’s own Son is lifted up, A dying world revives; The Jew beholds the glorious hope, Th’ expiring Gentile lives. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 35, 2013

Sunday··2013·09·01
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. —Hebrews 11:1 Hymn 120. (c. m.) Faith of things unseen. Hebrews xi. 1, &c. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Faith is the brightest evidence Of things beyond our sight, Breaks through the clouds of flesh and sense, And dwells in heav’nly light. It sets times past in present view, Brings distant prospects home, Of things a thousand years ago, Or thousand years to come. By faith we know the worlds were made By God’s almighty word; Abra’m, to unknown countries led, By faith obey’d the Lord. He sought a city fair and high, Built by th’ eternal hands, And faith assures us, though we die, That heav’nly building stands. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 41, 2013

Sunday··2013·10·13
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. —Romans 5:12ff Hymn 124. (L. M.) The first and second Adam. Rom. v. 12, &c. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Deep in the dust before thy throne Our guilt and our disgrace we own; Great God! we own th’ unhappy name Whence sprang our nature and our shame; Adam the sinner: at his fall, Death like a conqueror seiz’d us A thousand new-born babes are dead By fatal union to their head. But whilst our spirits, fill’d with awe, Behold the terrors of thy law, We sing the honors of thy grace, That sent to save our ruin’d race. We sing thine everlasting Son, Who join’d our nature to his own: Adam the second from the dust Raises the ruins of the first. [By the rebellion of one man Through all his seed the mischief ran; And by one man’s obedience now Are all his seed made righteous too.] Where sin did reign, and death abound, There have the sons of Adam found Abounding life; there glorious grace Reigns through the Lord our righteousness. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 47, 2013

Sunday··2013·11·24
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 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. —Hebrews 5:7 So then, you will know them by their fruits. —Matthew 7:20 Hymn 125. (C. M.) Christ’s compassion to the weak and tempted. Heb. iv. 15, 16; v. 7; Matt. vii. 20. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) With joy we meditate the grace Of our High Priest above; His heart is made of tenderness, His bowels melt with love. Touch’d with a sympathy within, He knows our feeble frame; He knows what sore temptations mean, For he has felt the same. But spotless, innocent, and pure, The great Redeemer stood, While Satan’s fiery darts he bore, And did resist to blood. He in the days of feeble flesh Pour’d out his cries and tears, And in his measure feels afresh What ev’ry member bears. [He’ll never quench the smoking flax, But raise it to a flame; The bruised reed he never breaks, Nor scorns the meanest name.] Then let our humble faith address His mercy and his power; We shall obtain deliv’ring grace In the distressing hour. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 3, 2014

Sunday··2014·01·19
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 127. (L. M.) Christ’s invitation to sinners: or, Humility and pride. Matt. xi. 28 30. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) “Come hither, all ye weary souls, Ye heavy-laden sinners, come; I’ll give you rest from all your toils, And raise you to my heav’nly home. “They shall find rest that learn of me; I’m of a meek and lowly mind; But passion rages like the sea, And pride is restless as the wind. “Bless’d is the man whose shoulders take My yoke, and bear it with delight; My yoke is easy to his neck My grace shall make the burden light.” Jesus, we come at thy command; With faith, and hope, and humble zeal, Resign our spirits to thy hand To mold and guide us at thy will. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 9, 2014

Sunday··2014·03·02
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” —Genesis 22:1 18 Hymn 129. (L. M.) Submission and deliverance; or, Abraham offering up his son. Gen. xxii. 6, &c.. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Saints, at your heav’nly Father’s word Give up your comforts to the Lord; He shall restore what you resign, Or grant you blessings more divine. So Abra’m with obedient hand Led forth his son at God’s command; The wood, the fire, the knife, he took, His arm prepar’d the dreadful stroke. “Abra’m, forbear!” the angel cried, “Thy faith is known, thy love is tried Thy son shall live, and in thy seed Shall the whole earth be bless’d indeed.” Just in the last distressing hour The Lord displays deliv’ring power; The mount of danger is the place Where we shall see surprising grace. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Come, We that Love the Lord

Saturday··2014·03·29
Come, We that Love the Lord Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, Psalm 149:1 Come, we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known; Join in a song with sweet accord, And thus surround the throne. Let those refuse to sing Who never knew our God; But children of the heav’nly King May speak their joys abroad. The men of grace have found Glory begun below; Celestial fruit on earthly ground From faith and hope may grow. The hill of Zion yields A thousand sacred sweets Before we reach the heav’nly fields, Or walk the golden streets. Then let our songs abound, And ev’ry tear be dry; We’re marching thro’ Immanuel’s ground To fairer worlds on high. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 16, 2014

Sunday··2014·04·20
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. —Philippians 2:1–2 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:30–32 Hymn 130. (L. M.) Love and hatred. Phil. ii. 2; Eph. iv. 30, &c. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Now by the bowels of my God, His sharp distress, his sore complaints, By his last groans, his dying blood, I charge my soul to love the saints. Clamour, and wrath, and war, begone, Envy and spite, for ever cease; Let bitter words no more be known Amongst the saints, the sons of peace. The Spirit, like a peaceful dove, Flies from the realms of noise and strife: Why should we vex and grieve his love Who seals our souls to heav’nly life? Tender and kind be all our thoughts, Through all our lives let mercy run; So God forgives our num’rous faults, For the dear sake of Christ his Son. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 22, 2014

Sunday··2014·06·01
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector,standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. —Luke 18:10–14 Hymn 131. (L. M.) The Pharisee and publican. Luke xviii. 10, &c. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Behold how sinners disagree, The publican and Pharisee! One doth his righteousness proclaim, The other owns his guilt and shame. This man at humble distance stands, And cries for grace with lifted hands That boldly rises near the throne, And talks of duties he has done. The Lord their diff’rent language knows, And diff’rent answers he bestows; The humble soul with grace he crowns, Whilst on the proud his anger frowns. Dear Father! let me never be Join’d with the boasting Pharisee; I have no merits of my own But plead the suff’rings of thy Son. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Saturday··2014·06·21
O God, Our Help in Ages Past Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Psalm 90:1O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home! Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guide while life shall last, And our eternal home. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Saturday··2014·07·05
I Sing the Mighty Power of God The Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, Exodus 20:11I sing the mighty pow’r of God That made the mountains rise; That spread the flowing seas abroad, And built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained The sun to rule the day; The moon shines full at his command, And all the stars obey. I sing the goodness of the Lord, That filled the earth with food; He formed the creatures with his word, And then pronounced them good. Lord, how thy wonders are displayed, Where’er I turn mine eye: If I survey the ground I tread, Or gaze upon the sky! There’s not a plant or flow’r below, But makes thy glories known; And clouds arise, and tempests blow, By order from thy throne; While all that borrows light from Thee Is ever in Thy care, And ev’rywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 28, 2014

Sunday··2014·07·13
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. —Titus 2:11–14 Hymn 132. (L. M.) Holiness and grace. Titus ii. 10–13. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) So let our lips and lives express The holy gospel we profess; So let our wurks and virtues shine, To prove the doctrine all divine. Thus shall we best proclaim abroad The honours of our Saviour God; When the salvation reigns within, And grace subdues the power of sin. Our flesh and sense must be denied, Passion and envy, lust and pride; While justice, temp’rance, truth, and love, Our inward piety approve. Religion bears our spirits up, While we expect that blessed hope, The bright appearance of the Lord, And faith stands leaning on his word. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 34, 2014

Sunday··2014·08·24
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13 Hymn 133. (C. M.) Love and Charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 2–7, 13. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Let Pharisees of high esteem Their faith and zeal declare, All their religion is a dream, If love be wanting there. Love suffers long with patient eye, Nor is provoke’d in haste; She lets the present injury die, And long forgets the past. [Malice and rage, those fires of hell, She quenches with her tongue; Hopes and believes, and thinks no ill, Though she endure the wrong.] [She nor desires nor seeks to know The scandals of the time; Nor looks with pride on those below, Nor envies those that climb.] She lays her own advantage by To seek her neighbour’s good; So God’s own Son came down to die, And bought our lives with blood. Love is the grace that keeps her power In all the realms above; There faith and hope are known no more, But saints for ever love. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 40, 2014

Sunday··2014·10·05
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13 Hymn 134. (L. M.) Religion vain without love. 1 Cor. xiii. 1–3. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Had I the tongues of Greeks and Jews, And nobler speech, that angels use, If love be absent, I am found, Like tinkling brass, an empty sound. Were I inspir’d to preach and tell All that is done in heav’n and hell; Or could my faith the world remove, Still I am nothing without love. Should I distribute all my store To feed the bowels of the poor, Or give my body to the flame, To gain a martyr’s glorious name; If love to God and love to men Be absent, all my hopes are vain; Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal, The work of love can e’er fulfil. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 41, 2014

Sunday··2014·10·12
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. —Psalm 73:25–28 Hymn 94. (C. M.) God my only happiness. Psalm lxxiii. 25. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) My God, my portion, and my love, My everlasting all! I’ve none but thee in heav’n above, Or on this earthly ball. [What empty things are all the skies, And this inferior clod! There’s nothing here deserves my joys, There’s nothing like my God.] [In vain the bright, the burning sun Scatters his feeble light; ’Tis thy sweet beams create my noon; If thou withdraw, ’tis night. And whilst upon my restless bed, Amongst the shades I roll, If my Redeemer shows his head, ’Tis morning with my soul.] To thee we owe our wealth, and friends, And health, and safe abode: Thanks to thy name for meaner things, But they are not my God. How vain a toy is glitt’ring wealth, If once compar’d to thee! Or what ’s my safety, or my health, Or all my friends to me? Were I possessor of the earth, And call’d the stars my own, Without thy graces and thyself I were a wretch undone. Let others stretch their arms like seas And grasp in all the shore, Grant me the visits of thy face, And I desire no more. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Join All the Glorious Names

Saturday··2014·11·01
Join All the Glorious Names . . . far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named . . . Ephesians 1:22 Join all the glorious names Of wisdom, love, and pow’r, That ever mortals knew, That angels ever bore: All are too mean to speak His worth, To poor to set my Savior forth. Great Prophet of my God, My tongue would bless Thy Name: By Thee the joyful news Of our salvation came, The joyful news of sin forgiv’n, Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n. Jesus, my great High Priest, Offered His blood, and died; My guilty conscience seeks No sacrifice beside: His pow’rful blood did once atone And now it pleads before the throne. Thou art my Counsellor, My Pattern, and my Guide, And Thou my Shepherd art; O, keep me near thy side; Nor let my feet e’er turn astray To wander in the crooked way. My Savior and my Lord, My Conqu’ror and my King, Thy scepter and Thy sword, Thy reigning grace, I sing: Thine is the pow’r; behold I sit In willing bonds beneath Thy feet. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 47, 2014

Sunday··2014·11·23
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. —Ephesians 3:16–21 Hymn 135. (L. M.) The love of Christ shed abroad in the heart. Ephesians iii. 16, &c. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell By faith and love in ev’ry breast; Then shall we know, and taste, and feel The joys that cannot be express’d. Come, fill our hearts with inward strength, Make our enlarged souls possess, And learn the height, and breadth, and length Of thine unmeasurable grace. Now to the God whose power can do More than our thoughts or wishes know, Be everlasting honours done By all the church, through Christ his Son. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 6, 2016

Sunday··2016·02·07
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. —John 10:27–30 Hymn 138. (C. M.) Saints in the hands of Christ. John x. 28, 29. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Firm as the earth thy gospel stands, My Lord, my hope, my trust; If I am found in Jesus’ hands, My soul can ne’er be lost. His honour is engaged to save The meanest of his sheep; All that his heav’nly Father gave His hands securely keep. Nor death nor hell shall e’er remove His favourites from his breast; In the dear bosom of his love They must for ever rest. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Saturday··2016·02·20
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross They shall look on Him whom they pierced. John 19:37 When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most— I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down; Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small: Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed

Saturday··2016·03·19
Alas! and Did My Savior BleedFor the word of the cross . . . is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sov’reign die? Would he devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He suffered on the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the great Redeemer, died For man the creature’s sin. Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes to tears. But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away— ’Tis all that I can do. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 3, 2017

Sunday··2017·01·15
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. . . . Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. —Isaiah 53:6–9, 12 Hymn 142. (S. M.) The humiliation and exaltation of Christ. Isaiah liii 6–9, 12. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Like sheep we went astray, And broke the fold of God, Each wand’ring in a diff’rent way, But all the downward road. How dreadful was the hour When God our wand’rings laid, And did at once his vengeance pour, Upon the Shepherd’s head! How glorious was the grace When Christ sustain’d the stroke His life and blood the Shepherd pays A ransom for the flock. His honour and his breath Were taken both away, Join’d with the wicked in his death, And made as vile as they. But God shall raise his head O’er all the sons of men, And make him see a num’rous seed, To recompense his pain. “I’ll give him,” saith the Lord, “A portion with the strong; He shall possess a large reward, And hold his honours long.” —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Jesus Shall Reign

Saturday··2017·01·21
Jesus Shall Reign May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth. Psalm 72:8 Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Does His successive journeys run; His kingdom spread from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more. To him shall endless prayer be made, And endless praises crown His head; His name like sweet perfume shall rise With ev’ry morning sacrifice. People and realms of ev’ry tongue Dwell on His love with sweetest song; And infant voices shall proclaim Their early blessings on His name. Let ev’ry creature rise and bring His grateful honors to our King; Angels descend with songs again, And earth repeat the loud “Amen!” —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Lord’s Day 8, 2017

Sunday··2017·02·19
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of Him, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as it was not without an oath (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever’”); so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail. Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. —Hebrews 7, 9 Hymn 145. (C. M.) Christ and Aaron. Hebrews vii and ix. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Jesus, in thee our eyes behold A thousand glories more, Than the rich gems and polish’d gold The sons of Aaron wore. They first their own burnt-off’rings brought, To purge themselves from sin; Thy life was pure without a spot, And all thy nature clean. [Fresh blood as constant as the day Was on their altar spilt; But thy one off’ring takes away For ever all our guilt.] [Their priesthood ran through sev’ral hands, For mortal was their race; Thy never-changing office stands Eternal as thy days.] [Once in the circuit of a year, With blood, but not his own, Aaron within the veil appears Before the golden throne: But Christ, by his own powerful blood, Ascends above the skies, And in the presence of our God Shows his own sacrifice.] Jesus, the King of glory, reigns On Sion’s heav’nly hill; Looks like a lamb that has been slain, And wears his priesthood still. He ever lives to intercede Before his Father’s face: Give him, my soul, thy cause to plead, Nor doubt the Father’s grace. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 27, 2017

Sunday··2017·07·02
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. —Psalm 57:1 Hymn 4. (L. M.) Salvation in the cross. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Here at thy cross, my dying God, I lay my soul beneath thy love, Beneath the droppings of thy blood, Jesus, nor shall it e’er remove. Not all that tyrants think or say, With rage and lightning in their eyes, Nor hell shall fright my heart away, Should hell with all its legions rise. Should worlds conspire to drive me thence, Moveless and firm this heart should lie; Resolv’d, (for that’s my last defence,) If I must perish, there to die. But speak, my Lord, and calm my fear; Am I not safe beneath thy shade? Thy vengeance will not strike me here, Nor Satan dares my soul invade. Yes, I’m secure beneath thy blood, And all my foes shall lose their aim: Hosannah to my dying God, And my best honours to his name. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 35, 2017

Sunday··2017·08·27
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, And teach me Your ordinances. —Psalm 119:108 Hymn 5. (L. M.) Longing to praise Christ better. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Lord, when my thoughts with wonder roll O’er the sharp sorrows of thy soul, And read my Maker’s broken laws Repair’d and honour’d by thy cross; When I behold death, hell, and sin Vanquish’d by that dear blood of thine, And see the Man that groan’d and died Sit glorious by his father’s side; My passions rise and soar above, I’m wing’d with faith, and fir’d with love; Fain would I reach eternal things, And learn the notes that Gabriel sings. But my heart fails, my tongue complains, For want of their immortal strains And, in such humble notes as these, Must fall below thy victories. Well, the kind minute must appear When we shall leave these bodies here, These clogs of clay, and mount on high, To join the songs above the sky.—The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Lord’s Day 42, 2017

Sunday··2017·10·15
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. —Psalm 86:15 Hymn 6. (C. M.) A morning song. Isaac Watts (1674–1748) Once more, my soul, the rising day Salutes thy waking eyes; Once more, my voice, thy tribute pay To him that rules the skies. Night unto night his name repeats, The day renews the sound, Wide as the heav’n on which he sits, To turn the seasons round. ’Tis he supports my mortal frame, My tongue shall speak his praise; My sins would rouse his wrath to flame, And yet his wrath delays. [On a poor worm thy power might tread, And I could ne’er withstand; Thy justice might have crush’d me dead, But mercy held thine hand. A thousand wretched souls are fled Since the last setting sun, And yet thou length’nest out my thread, And yet my moments run.] Dear God, let all my hours be thine, Whilst I enjoy the light, Then shall my sun in smiles decline, And bring a pleasing night. —The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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