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The best way for anyone to know how much he ought to aspire after holiness is to consider not how much will make his present life easy, but to ask himself how much he thinks will make him easy at the hour of death.
"We shall find, when we reach the end of life, that all which God has done, however dark and mysterious it may have appeared at the time, was so connected with our good as to make it a proper subject of praise and thanksgiving."
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|The Old Time Gospel: "Spiritual Discernment" Editor's Notes
He that eateth my flesh,
and drinketh my blood,
dwelleth in me,
and I in him.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." I Corinthians 2:12
It is painfully evident from what we call the Church today that true spiritual discernment is all but a lost gift. She is a blinded Church who professes to know God yet never seeks Him out in scripture. The Church can no longer stomach the pure truth so they have "changed the truth of God into a lie" because they could "not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (Romans 1:25; II Timothy 4:3) If this were not so, why is it today that we have so many distorted versions of the Bible that misrepresent God? Why is it that the devil has fought so hard to destroy the pure Word of God?
I'll tell you why, the pure Word of God is our key to spiritual discernment. Our only means to differentiate between what is God and what is not God. It is our ability to see issues clearly. John said, "Believe not every spirit, but try (discern) the spirits whether they are of God..." To try means to test or measure, but by what system do we measure by? There is but one, the pure Word of God, more specifically, Jesus Christ. Christ is the spiritual primer to discernment.
Jesus said in Luke's gospel, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." A key unlocks, in this case it unlocks knowledge. The knowledge of God Himself. Hosea said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Sounds like we are there again, destroyed due to our lack of knowledge. Oh we are smart, just not the right kind of smart. "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." We have thrown out the only source of spiritual knowledge, the pure Word of God. We've thrown out Christ, the key to knowledge, by misrepresenting Him to a lost world.
One of the single greatest verses in the Bible is, "And the Word was made flesh..." (John 1:14). This Word was in the beginning, He created all things, then He came to earth and became flesh. Why? To show us the way to God. "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) This makes Christ our spiritual primer, our key, our very means to know God and all that God is. Our heavenly Father said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5) We would do well to obey Him.
So how does this relate to spiritual discernment? Because God is light and all besides is darkness. God is also a spirit, and unless you walk in the spirit you cannot see (understand) what is light what is darkness. In the natural world everything is basically grey, i.e. every man doing what is right in his own eyes. There is no rule to gauge what is right or wrong and if you watch the news, you know our laws and politicians are just as grey.
Paul told the Colossian church that in Christ, "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge". Christ is not only the primer or key to knowledge, but is as a direct result, the primer or key to discernment. He is the rule that we gauge light from darkness, right from wrong, and truth from the lie. More to the point, the great Charles Spurgeon said, "Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right." With the church so full of half truths and white lies, now is the time for true spiritual discernment.
So how do we obtain spiritual discernment? Paul tells us, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2) Transform your mind by the pure knowledge of God. This pure knowledge has a name, He is Jesus Christ, the living Word of God.
|Devotional Studies: "Bible Thoughts & Themes" by Horatius Bonar
Bible Thoughts & Themes #2 by Horatius Bonar
"They sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons." – Genesis 3:7
They are alone, yet they are ashamed. They are in Paradise, yet they are ashamed. It is conscience that is making them blush. It not only makes cowards of them, but it works shame and confusion of face. They are ashamed of themselves; of their nakedness; of their recent doings. They cannot look one another in the face after their disobedience and recriminations against one another. They cannot look up to God now. Possibly too they shrink from being in view of the serpent who beguiled them. The feeling of happy innocence is gone. They must be covered. This is their feeling, the dictate of conscience. The eye must not see them, either of God or man. The light must not shine on them; the eye of the sun must not look on them; and the fair flowers and trees of Paradise must not see their shame. They love darkness rather than light. Covering is what they seek, covering from every eye. Thus, shame and guilt are inseparable. "I must be covered," is the sinner's first feeling, from the eye of God and man, even from my own. They cannot look on me, nor I on them! Thus far they are right. But now they go wrong.
Their mistake was twofold:
(1.) That they could cover themselves;
(2.) that they can be covered with materials from vegetable nature. Let us look at these.
I. Man thinks he can cover himself. He knows not the greatness of the evil; he does not calculate on the penetration of the all-seeing eye. He sets to work and makes himself a covering, and he says this will do. What sin is, or what the sinner needs, or what God requires, he has no idea of. Each sinner has his own way of covering himself; he weaves his own web, whatever may be the substance of which it is composed. He wishes to be his own coverer, the maker of his own clothing. He thinks he can do it himself. He has no idea that it is utterly beyond his power. He trusts to the skill of his own hands to provide the dress that shall hide his shame from the eye of God and man. He thinks it an easy thing to deal with shame, and fear, and conviction, and conscience. He will not believe that these can only be dealt with by God. This is the last thing that he will admit. He will try a thousand plans before accepting this. He will make and try on many kinds or sets of clothing before betaking himself to that which God has made.
The unbelieving man's whole religious life is a series of plans and efforts for stitching a clothing for himself, with which to appear before God and before men; no, with which he hopes to appear before the judgment-seat. It is with this manmade, this self-made clothing, this earth-made, or priest-made, or church-made religion, that he robes himself; with this he soothes conscience; with this he quiets fear; with this he removes the feeling of guilty shame. He can do all that is needful himself, or at the most with a little help from God.
|Classic Sermon: "Having Begun In The Spirit" by Andrew Murray
"Having Begun In The Spirit"
by Andrew Murray
The words from which I wish to address you, you will find in the epistle to the Galatians, the third chapter, the second and third verses: "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"
"Are ye so foolish?" And then comes my text, "Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
When we speak of the quickening or the deepening or the strengthening of the spiritual life, we are thinking of something that is feeble and wrong and sinful. It is a great thing to take our place before God with the confession: "Oh, God, our spiritual life is not what it should be!" May God work that in your heart, reader.
As we look around at the Church, we see so many indications of feebleness, failure, sin, and shortcoming. They compel us to ask: Why is it? Is there any necessity for the Church of Christ to be living in such a low state? Or is it actually possible that God's people should be living always in the joy and strength of their God? Every believing heart must answer: It is possible.
Then comes the great question: Why is it, how is it to be accounted for, that God's Church as a whole is so feeble, and that the great majority of Christians are not living up to their privileges? There must be a reason for it. Has God not given Christ His Almighty Son to be the Keeper of every believer, to make Christ an ever present reality, and to impart and communicate to us all that we have in Christ? God has given His Son, and God has given His Spirit. How is it that believers do not live up to their privileges?
In more than one of the epistles, we find a very solemn answer to that question. There are epistles, such as the first to the Thessalonians, where Paul writes to the Christians, in effect: "I want you to grow, to abound, to increase more and more." They were young, and there were things lacking in their faith. But their state was so far satisfactory, gave him such great joy, that he writes time after time: "I pray God that you may abound more and more; I write to you to increase more and more" (I Thessalonians 4: 1,10). But there are other epistles where he takes a very different tone, especially the epistle to the Corinthians and to the Galatians, and he tells them in many different ways what the one reason was that they were .not living as Christians ought to live. Many were under the power of the flesh. My text is one example. He reminds them that by the preaching of faith they had received the Holy Spirit. He had preached Christ to them; they had accepted that Christ and had received the Holy Spirit in power.
But what happened? Having begun in the Spirit, they tried to perfect the work that the Spirit had begun in the flesh by their own effort. We find the same teaching in the epistle to the Corinthians.
|Preach the Word: "Maintaining The Holiness Standard" by Samuel Logan Brengle
Maintaining The Holiness Standard
by Samuel Logan Brengle
The Salvation Army was born, not in a cloister, nor in a drawing-room, but on a spiritual battlefield, at the penitent-form. It has been nourished for spiritual conquests, not upon speculative doctrines and fine-spun verbal distinctions, but upon those great doctrines which can be wrought into and worked out in soul-satisfying experience. Hence, The Army compels the attention of all men everywhere and appeals to the universal heart of humanity.
And in this it is in harmony with the scientific spirit and practice of the age, which refuses to be committed to any theory which cannot be supported by facts.
One of The Army's central doctrines and most valued and precious experiences is that of Heart Holiness. The bridge which The Army throws across the impassable gulf that separates the sinner from the Saviour, who pardons that He may purify, who saves that He may sanctify rests upon these two abutments, the forgiveness of sins through simple, penitent, obedient faith in a crucified Redeemer, and the purifying of the heart and empowering of the soul through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, given by its risen and ascended Lord, and received not by works, but by faith.
Remove either of these abutments and the bridge falls; preserve them in strength, and a world of lost and despairing sinners can be confidently invited and urged to come and be gloriously saved.
The first abutment is deep grounded on such assurances as these: 'There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared' and 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'
And the second firmly rests on such Scriptures as these: 'And God, who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.' 'If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin;' and 'Ye shall receive power after hat the Holy Ghost is come upon you.'
Such is the doctrine passed on to us from the first Christians, and here are some Scriptures which show how the doctrine was wrought into triumphant experience in their day: 'Know ye not,' wrote Paul, 'that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.'
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." — II Timothy 4:2
|Pen of the Puritans: "A Passion Of Prayer" by Samuel Chadwick
Read about the Puritan's
A Passion Of Prayer
by Samuel Chadwick
If only the Church of Christ could be impelled to prayer, today’s crisis would be met. If only the people of God could be baptized into a passion of prayer, spiritual life and power would quicken, miracles would return, and multitudes would be added unto the Lord!
Why do we not set ourselves to prayer? The remedy is sure and simple; the need is urgent and acknowledged. Why is it so slow in getting to work? What could be simpler than that? And yet the Scriptures speak of it as toil and labor.
Prayer taxes all the resources of mind and heart. Jesus Christ wrought many mighty works without any sign of effort. There was in His marvelous works the ease of omnipotence, but of His prayers it is said, He "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears" (Heb. 5:7).
There was no strain in healing diseases, raising the dead, and stilling the tempest; but in prayer there was agony and the sweat of blood.
Prayer is conflict...all who have shared His intercession have found it a travail of anguish. Great saints have always been mighty in prayer, and their triumphs have always been the outcome of pain. They wrestled in agony with breaking hearts and weeping eyes, until they were assured they had prevailed. They spent cold winter nights in prayer. They lay on the ground weeping, pleading and came out of the conflict physically spent, but spiritually victorious.
They wrestled with principalities and powers, contended with the world rulers of Satan’s kingdom, and grappled with spiritual foes in the heavenly sphere. A lost art! (Eph. 6:10-18).
Today, in the fellowship of believers, there is little power in prayer. There is a marked absence of travail. There is much phrasing, but little pleading. Prayer is no longer a passion!
The powerlessness of the Church has no other explanation. The counselors of the Church need seek no other cause. To be prayerless is to be both passionless and powerless.
|Manna for the Soul: "Five Conditions of Prevailing Prayer" by George Mueller
Five Conditions of Prevailing Prayer
by George Mueller
1.) Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only ground of any claim for blessing.
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:13-14)
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16)
2.) Separation from all known sin
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" (Psalm 66:18)
3.) Faith in God's Word of promise as confirmed by His oath Not to believe Him is to make Him a liar and a perjurer.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
4.) Asking in accordance with His will Our motives must be Godly.
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3)
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" (I John 5:14)
5.) Importunity in supplication There must be waiting on God.
"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:1-8)
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." (James 5:7)
|Bible Verse: "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh..." Romans 13:14
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,... As a man puts on his clothes when he rises in the morning: the righteousness of Christ is compared to a garment, it is the best robe, it is fine linen, clean and white, and change of raiment; which being put on by the Father's gracious act of imputation, covers the sins and deformities of his people, defends them from divine justice, secures them from wrath to come, and renders them beautiful and acceptable in his sight: which righteousness being revealed from faith to faith, is received by faith, and made use of as a proper dress to appear in before God; and may be daily said to be put on by the believer, as often as he makes use of it, and pleads it with God as his justifying righteousness, which should be continually: moreover, to put on Christ, and which indeed seems to be the true sense of the phrase here, is not only to exercise faith on him as the Lord our righteousness, and to make a profession of his name, but to imitate him in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; to walk as he walked, and as we have him for an example, in love, meekness, patience, humility, and holiness:
and make not provision for the flesh; the body: not but that due care is to be taken of it, both for food and clothing; and for its health, and the continuance and preservation of it by all lawful methods; but not so as
to fulfil the lusts thereof; to indulge and gratify them, by luxury and uncleanness: it is a saying of Hillell "he that increases flesh, increases worms"; the sense his commentators (l) give of it is, that "he that increases by eating and drinking, until he becomes fat and fleshy, increases for himself worms in the grave:"
The design of the sentence is, that voluptuous men, who care for nothing else but the flesh, should consider, that ere long they will be a repast for worms: we should not provide, or be caterers for the flesh; and, by pampering it, stir up and satisfy its corrupt inclinations and desires.
— John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
|The Gospel Libray: "Man – The Dwelling Place of God" by A. W. Tozer
A. W. Tozer
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Man – The Dwelling Place of God
by A. W. Tozer
Chapter 12 Three Degrees of Religious Knowledge
IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF DIVINE THINGS three degrees may be distinguished: the knowledge furnished by reason, by faith and by spiritual experience respectively.
These three degrees of knowledge correspond to the departments of the tabernacle in the ancient Levitical order: the outer court, the holy place and the holy of holies.
Far in, beyond the "second veil," was the holiest of all, having as its lone piece of furniture the Ark of the Covenant with the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat. There between the outstretched wings dwelt in awesome splendor the fire of God's presence, the Shekmah. No light of nature reached that sacred place, only the pure radiance of Him who is light and in whom there is no darkness at all. To that solemn Presence no one could approach except the high priest once each year with blood of atonement.
Farther out, and separated by a heavy veil, was the holy place, a sacred place indeed but removed from the Presence and always accessible to the priests of Israel. Here also the light of sun and moon was excluded; light was furnished by the shining of the seven golden candlesticks.
The court of the priests was out farther still, a large enclosure in which were the brazen altar and the lavar. This was open to the sky and received the normal light of nature.
All was of God and all was divine, but the quality of the worshipper's knowledge became surer and more sublime as he moved in from the outer court toward the mercy seat and the Presence, where at last he was permitted to gaze upon the cherubim of glory and the deep burning Fire that glowed between their outstretched wings.
All this illustrates if it does not typify the three degrees of knowledge possible to a Christian. It is not proper that we should press every detail in an effort to find in the beautiful Old Testament picture more than is actually there; but the most cautious expositor could hardly object to our using the earthly and external to throw into relief the internal and the heavenly.
Nature is a great teacher and at her feet we may learn much that is good and ennobling. The Bible itself teaches this: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge." "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." "Behold the fowls of the air." "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." Reason working on data furnished by observation of natural objects tells us a lot about God and spiritual things. This is too obvious to require proof. Everyone knows it.
|The School of Christ: "Learning by Revelation" by T. Austin Sparks
T. Austin Sparks
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The School of Christ by T. Austin Sparks
Learning by Revelation Chapter 3
Christ Known Only by Revelation
Secondly, it is not possible to have or know anything of all the fullness which God has shut up in His Son without the Holy Spirit's revelation of that in an inward way. It has to be a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit within every man and woman if they are to know anything of what God has shut up in Christ.
That again summarizes John's Gospel, for there at the centre is a man born blind. He never has seen. It is not a case of restoration with him, it is a giving of sight. It is the first thing. It is going to be an absolutely new world for that man. Whatever he may have surmised or guessed or imagined, or had described to him, actual seeing is going to be something with a new beginning.
It is going to be an absolute miracle, producing an absolutely new world, and all his guesses of what that world contained and was like will prove to have been very inadequate when he actually sees. Nothing is going to be seen save by the miracle wrought within.
(1) God has shut up everything of Himself in His Son.
(2) No one can know anything of that save as it is revealed. "No one knoweth the Son, save the Father, neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him" (Matt 11:27). Revelation can only come by choice of the Son.
|The Imitation of Christ: "Internal Consolation" by Thomas À Kempis
The Imitation of Christ
by Thomas À Kempis
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis
Internal Consolation Book III
The Right Ordering of External Affairs; Recourse to God in Dangers
The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, you must strive diligently to be inwardly free, to have mastery over yourself everywhere, in every external act and occupation, that all things be subject to you and not you to them, that you be the master and director of your actions, not a slave or a mere hired servant.
You should be rather a free man and a true Hebrew, arising to the status and freedom of the children of God who stand above present things to contemplate those which are eternal; who look upon passing affairs with the left eye and upon those of heaven with the right; whom temporal things do not so attract that they cling to them, but who rather put these things to such proper service as is ordained and instituted by God, the great Workmaster, Who leaves nothing unordered in His creation.
If, likewise, in every happening you are not content simply with outward appearances, if you do not regard with carnal eyes things which you see and hear, but whatever be the affair, enter with Moses into the tabernacle to ask advice of the Lord, you will sometimes hear the divine answer and return instructed in many things present and to come.
For Moses always had recourse to the tabernacle for the solution of doubts and questions, and fled to prayer for support in dangers and the evil deeds of men. So you also should take refuge in the secret chamber of your heart, begging earnestly for divine aid.
For this reason, as we read, Joshua and the children of Israel were deceived by the Gibeonites because they did not first seek counsel of the Lord, but trusted too much in fair words and hence were deceived by false piety.
|Biography: "Johnathan Edwards" (1703-1758)
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Johnathan Edwards "Considered to be one of the men most responsible for the Great Awakening"
Jonathan Edwards was born on October 5, 1703, in East Windsor, Connecticut, into a Puritan evangelical household. His childhood education as well as his undergraduate years (1716-1720) and graduate studies (1721-1722) at Yale College immersed him not only in the most current thought coming out of Europe, such as British empiricism and continental rationalism, but also in the debates between the orthodox Calvinism of his Puritan forebears and the more "liberal" movements that challenged it, such as Deism, Socinianism, Arianism, and especially Anglican Arminianism.
From early in his life, Edwards committed himself to vindicating his beliefs before the foreign luminaries of the Enlightenment by recasting Calvinism in a new and vital way that synthesized Protestant theology with Newton's physics, Locke's psychology, the third earl of Shaftesbury's aesthetics, and Nicholas Malebranche's moral philosophy.
Edwards devoted his collegiate and graduate writings to natural philosophy and metaphysics. Simultaneous with and yet distinct from the great English idealist George Berkeley, Edwards formulated a metaphysical system that was idealistic and challenged Aristotelianism. Edwards refuted both Hobbesian and Cartesian speculations about the nature of reality and substance in ways that, as modern commentators have remarked, anticipated theoretical physics. His metaphysics also had a singularly aesthetic component to it, as Roland Delattre has shown. For Edwards, an essential aspect of an entity was beauty, which subsisted in the harmony or agreement of its parts. This approach continues to inform modern ethics.
From 1726 to 1750 Edwards served as the pastor of Northampton, Massachusetts, the largest and most influential church outside of Boston, succeeding his grandfather, the famous revivalist Solomon Stoddard. Turning his attention from theoretical to practical divinity, Edwards himself gained international fame as a revivalist and "theologian of the heart" after publishing "A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God" (1738), which described the 1734-1735 awakening in his church and served as an empirical model for American and British revivalists alike.
The widespread revivals of the early 1740s, known to historians as the "Great Awakening," stimulated one of the two most fruitful periods for Edwards' writings. Edwards furthered his renown as a revivalist preacher who subscribed to an experiential interpretation of Reformed theology that emphasized the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, the reality of hell, and the necessity of a "New Birth" conversion. While critics assailed the convictions of many supposed converts as illusory and even the work of the devil, Edwards became a brilliant apologist for the revivals.
|Scripture Studies: "Romans 6:11-16"
Time to sharpen
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Scripture Studies Romans 6:11-16 MH Comm.
Click on the links for commentary study.
11. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. JG Expo.
12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. JG Expo.
13. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. JG Expo.
14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. JG Expo.
15. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. JG Expo.
16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? JG Expo.
Key: JG Expo. = John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible MH Comm. = Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible
|Think On These Things: "The Contraband of Wordly Pleasures" by Charles H. Spurgeon
The Contraband of Wordly Pleasures
By Charles H. Spurgeon
Because of the ravages of the Colorado beetle, all foreign potatoes, though in themselves unobjectionable, are kept out of Italy. It seems a hard measure, but the danger appears to justify it. We are often placed under the same necessity as to amusements. In themselves they may be well enough, but we cannot shut our eyes to the serious evils which have become connected with them, and therefore feel it to be our only course to make them contraband altogether.
You cannot sift beetles, and so you must shut out the potatoes; you cannot remove the attendant sins, and so you must forego the pleasures. 'Hard Puritanism!' cries one. Common Sense, say we, and if we had more of the so-called Puritanism among us we should all be the better for it.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." — Philippians 4:8
|A Word in Season: "Blameless Before Thee" by Alexander Whyte
Pillars of Truth
that you can stand on.
Blameless Before Thee
By Alexander Whyte
"...he opened not His mouth..." Isaiah 53:7
Never allow yourself to answer again when you are blamed. Never defend yourself. Let them reprehend you, in private or in public, as much as they please. Let the righteous smite you; it shall be a kindness. And let him reprove you; it shall be an excellent oil which shall not break your head.
"It is a mark of the deepest and truest humility," says a great saint, "to see ourselves condemned without cause, and to be silent under it." To be silent under insult and wrong is a very noble imitation of our Lord. O my Lord, when I remember in how many ways Thou didst suffer, who in no way deserved it, I know not where my senses are when I am in such a haste to defend and excuse myself.
Is it possible I should desire anyone to speak any good of me, or to think it, when so many ill things were thought and spoken of Thee? What about being blamed by all men, if only we stand at last blameless before Thee?!
"The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary..." Isaiah 50:4
|Old Time Hymns: "Amazing Grace" by Newton & Excell
Words by John Newton
Music by Edwin O. Excell
1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
was blind, but now I see.
2. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed.
3. Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
4. The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be,
as long as life endures.
5. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.
6. When we've been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun
we've no less days to sing God's praise
than when we first begun.
"...where sin abounded,
grace did much more abound..."
"For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:"
|Great Quotes: "Quotes by Great Men of God"
More Quotes & Stories
"Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it." Matthew Henry
"It is not great talents or great learning or great preachers that God needs, but men great in holiness." E. M. Bounds
"The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions." A. W. Tozer
"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from Hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness." A. W. Pink
"An unholy church! it is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell's laughter, heaven's abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church." C. H. Spurgeon
"Why are we not more holy? Asked John Wesley, addressing his preachers. "Chiefly because we are enthusiasts, looking for the end without the means." John Wesley
"Every man is as holy as he really wants to be." A. W. Tozer
"Whatever call a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry." Charles H. Spurgeon
"No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he should be." A. W. Tozer
"The men that have been the most heroic for God have had the greatest devotional lives." Leonard Ravenhill
"It is because of the hasty and superficial conversation with God that the sense of sin is so weak and that no motives have power to help you to hate and flee from sin as you should." A. W. Tozer
"There's only one proof of the Holy Ghost in your life and that's a holy life." Leonard Ravenhill
"A person repents when he comes to the place where he discovers that the will of God is the government of his life and the glory of God is the reason for his life. He only has repented who has changed his mind about his reason for being." Paris Reidhead
"It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God." George Whitefield
"Christians don't tell lies they just go to church and sing them." A. W. Tozer
|The Martyrs: "John Styaerts, and Peter" (A. D. 1538)
Fox's Book of Martyrs
John Styaerts, and Peter (A. D. 1538)
About this year, there were, in Flanders, two cousins, one named Styaerts, the other Peter. These two blooming and God-seeking youths resided with their parents in a village called Mereedor, in Flanders. And as they were very zealous for God, and searched the holy Scriptures, they soon perceived, that the believing and regenerated -according to the doctrine of Christ, as a sign of having buried the former sins, and risen with Christ, and walking in newness of life-had to receive Christian baptism, in the water; and since they were desirous of this, they journeyed to Germany, to seek others of their fellow believers.
But as they could not find such as suited their wishes, they soon returned to their parents in Flanders, where they earnestly sought the Lord their God, so that they had a good report, doing much good to the poor, and saying with Zaccheus, that if they had defrauded any one, they would restore it fourfold. Luke 19:8. When the blinded papists, who most bitterly hated the light of truth, perceived this, they took these two young lambs out of the houses of their parents, at Mereedor, and brought them beyond Ghent, into a village called Vinderhout, where they most severely imprisoned them in a dungeon. Jer. 38:6.
Once when their sister came to bring them some fine shirts, they told her that they could not keep them from the worms, which were in their food, eating it, and in their clothes and shirts on their bodies. They further said, "Here is a Bible, the contents of which, as well as the cause of our bonds, will yet come to light after our death." The aforesaid John Styaerts was once released from prison, on account of sickness, and, as is thought, could easily have obtained his liberty; but he voluntarily returned to prison, desiring gladly to die with his dear brother for the name of Jesus.
Thus after a certain time they were led to the slaughter. Peter; who came forth first to die, casting his eyes up to heaven, boldly called out to John Styaerts, "Fight valiantly, my dear brother; for I see the heavens open above us." Acts 7:56. They were together put to death with the sword at Vinderhout. Thus these young branches in the court of the Lord (Jer. '17:8; Ps. 1:3), were also devoured by the awful beast which rose up out of the sea (Rev. 13:1), but they had no power over their immortal souls, which escaped from them unto God, where they, shall forever live in unspeakable joy.
"And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; Of whom the world was not worthy..."
|The Word of Life: "Psalm 24" Authorized King James Version
Psalm 24 Authorized King James Version
- "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
- For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
- Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
- He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
- He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
- This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
- Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
- Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
- Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
- Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah."
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
II Timothy 3:16
"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."
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"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."