Theology: Soteriology

The Sufferings Of This Present Life

Cheer up Christian, every day you are so much nearer to your eternal home! Never was the end of the journey so near as now; never were there so many troubles behind you, and so few before you, as now. It is all up hill until you reach the celestial city–you will therefore find it more or less difficult unto the end. But,
when you arrive at home,
when you enter into the holy city,
when you see your precious Lord Jesus,
when you enjoy the presence of God
–then all will be well, and well forever!

You will be in your Father’s house–your holy, happy home! You shall know no lack, nor will your desires remain ungratified. There will be . . .
no toil there,
no crosses or burdens to carry there,
no foes within nor without to face there,
no tears or pains there,
no conflicts to endure there.

Five minutes with Jesus–and then what shall you think of all your earthly temptations, toils, trials, and troubles? One hour in Heaven, with the certainty of being forever holy, and forever happy–what will all your earthly afflictions be then?

Then, then, shall you understand the apostle when he says, “I consider that the sufferings of this present life are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be conferred on us!” Romans 8:18

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

Our Own Health, Wealth, And Gratification

By nature, every man is nothing but a mass of selfishness, seeking self-gratification in a variety of ways!

The less we indulge SELF, the better. Selfishness is . . .
the bane of our happiness,
a bar to our usefulness, and
renders us unlovely to both God and others.

One of the most beautiful traits in the character of our Lord and Savior, was His unselfishness. He never seemed to please Himself, or consult His own ease. He was everyone’s servant, and everyone’s friend. Through His whole life, His own testimony was illustrated, “The Son of Man did not come to be served–but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

We are naturally selfish, and seek our own health, wealth, and gratification, as our grand end. Selfishness clings to us, and appears more or less in our whole conduct.

But the gospel calls for self-denial, and bids us take up our cross, and follow our self-denying Master. The gospel requires dedication to God, that we may live to Him and for Him; and it directs us to seek the good of others–of all that are around us. What the gospel requires–true grace produces; and it will struggle and fight with all our selfish principles until it prevails.

We have lived long enough for ourselves! Would not we be more happy, and profitable to others–if we were less selfish, and more thoroughly imbued with the self-denying spirit of Christ?
Do we not live too much to ourselves? Do we not think too much of our own comfort, and pleasure, and ease?

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3-5 

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

Grace Gems: True Consecration

J.R. Miller, “The Shining Light” 1911

“It is the Lord’s will. Let Him do what He thinks best.” 1 Samuel 3:18

The heart of consecration is not devotion to this or that kind of service for Christ- but devotion to the Divine will, whatever God may ordain. It may not be any form of activity–sometimes it is quiet waiting. Consecration is not bringing a great many souls to Christ, attending a great many religious meetings, or teaching or preaching.

Some weary one, shut away in the darkness, in the chamber of pain, may be illustrating true consecration far more beautifully than those whose hands are fullest of Christian activities in the bustling world.

Consecration is devotion to the will of God. It is readiness to do, not what we want to do in His service–but what He gives us to do.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away! Blessed be the name of the LORD!” Job 1:21

“Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Nevertheless, I want Your will to be done, not Mine!” Luke 22:42

“Let the Lord’s will be done!” Acts 21:14

Your way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be,
Lead me by Your own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

I dare not choose my lot,
I would not, if I might;
Choose for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright!
Horatius Bonar
This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

Fighting Sin In The Moment

I had the pleasure of spending two days listening to Mark Dever and Kevin DeYoung expound and proclaim the gospel over and over as part of the Durban leg of the Rezolution 2013 conference. However the final session was preached by Kevin DeYoung and using Hebrews 12:14 he preached on holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. He painted a convicting picture of just how exactly holiness is an essential aspect of being a Christian. You cannot be a Christian and not grow in holiness. Then he gave a personal illustration of how, at the moment of temptation, to remain holy and pure, and its been buzzing around my head ever since.

Fighting-Sin-In-The-Moment

This is the principle: When faced with temptation, quote to yourself Matthew 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  Now lest you think that this is simply a mantra which cures everything, let me explain whats behind this. As a Christian, I want to see God. He is my Lord, my saviour, the one who removed my sins and my adoptive Father. I suspect that upon entering heaven and seeing Him, I will fall on my face and it will take quite a few years before I get up from that. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

KevinDeYoungDeYoung explained that there are two aspects of holiness. Firstly the holiness which come from Christ, purchased by Him on the cross of Calvary. But secondly, there is holiness which we develop as God sanctifies us. This holiness is not saving, we can’t in any way use it as part of a ticket to heaven, but it is the natural fruit of an increasingly sanctified life. This is the holiness primarily referred to in Hebrews 12:14, the holiness without which nobody will see the Lord.

Now let me emphasis something. No amount of personal holiness, either worked for knowingly or not, can ever add even the smallest part to your salvation, that was solely and completely earned by the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. However, every single Christian, without exception, will always, always, over time, become progressively more holy and righteous. The improvements may be small enough that you don’t notice them in the short term, but over the medium term, your friends and family will notice them. A Christian dies, more holy than when they were saved. This process is called sanctification. To put it another way, this is what James is referring to in James 2, where he describes faith without works as being dead. Again, not that works saves the person, but it ALWAYS accompanies salvation.

So what of saying Matthew 5:8 to yourself. Let me explain it using DeYoung’s analogy. Sin offers pleasure. Hebrews 11:24-25 describe how Moses chose rather to suffer as a Hebrew rather than “enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” Sin is pleasurable, for a short time; This is why people look at pornography. This is why a person will commit adultery or commit an act of violence. Often it is the reason why people steal. Very often, people addicted to alcohol or drugs, is because the substance somehow dulls the pain, makes them feel better or gives them a high of some kind. People lie because, at the time, it is more comfortable to tell a falsehood than the uncomfortable truth. The problem is, sin requires wages, and those wages are always death. Romans 6:23

But because sin is pleasurable, we are tempted to do it. We have to replace that desire for a fleeting pleasure, with a greater one. I want to see God. That is a great desire. So when tempted, I remind myself of a particular beatitude, which says. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. I remind myself with these words that what I want is to see God rather than this temporary, death bringing sin.

Punching-Out-SinJust one other thing, and that just to say, this in not a quid pro quo system, its not a mantra that just makes you holy if you say it enough times. The moment it becomes some kind of mantra, it looses its gospel potency. But its is a most excellent bullet to put in the gun used for fighting sin in the moment. It doesn’t remove the temptation, but it does serve as an effective tool for keeping clear of it, especially those sins of a visual nature. Its a way of renewing your mind day by day.

Till He returns

The Joburg version of the Rezolution comference is happening this week, if you are in the area it is well worth going to listen to Kevin DeYound, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan & CJ Mahaney preach at this conference. More information here

Mercy and Grace: God’s Grace

Grace: grace is really a different thing altogether. We can define it as “getting something that you don’t deserve.” The man in Matthew 18 did not technically receive grace, all that happened was that his account returned for zero. His debt removed. But grace goes further, it then gives the debtor credit. It not only wipes out the unpayable debt but then adds currency into the account so that his balance is positive. A different analogy, a school child who has spent the whole day messing around, being disruptive, and doing no work. This person has wasted the class’s time, the teacher’s attention is divided and time is wasted on trying to get this kid to behave. Also the child has wasted his own time and his parent’s money spent on his education. At the end of the day, the teacher, dismissing the rest of the class keeps that child back.

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The teacher then, instead of dressing the kid down and giving out punishment, buys him a Coke, and spends time helping him catch up on work missed and time squandered. The kid didn’t deserve anything but punishment, and punishment more than the loss of a day’s work. Instead he got a bonus, something he absolutely didn’t deserve.

What this means for the Christian is that, when God saves him, he doesn’t just have his slate cleaned, he is given a full and inexhaustible measure of righteousness earned for him by Christ at the cross. (Romans 10:12, Ephesians 1:18, etc.)

having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18

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Another aspect of God’s grace is that it is put in stark contrast to works. Some examples are Ephesians 2:8-9 and 2 Timothy 1:9 as well as the following:

So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:5-6

Not the first verse everyone thinks of when we think of grace, but it makes an interesting point. Paul is discussing the relationship between the Jews and the gentiles. The remnant he refers to in verse 5 is those few Jewish believers in Jesus Christ and Paul is comparing them to the 7000 who did not bow the knee to Baal during Elijah’s day. But Paul’s point is hammered home in verse 6. If by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works. Works and grace are polar opposite as far as salvation is concerned. Either you can be saved by grace, or by works, but NEVER both. And the problem with being saved by works is that it never possible, you have to be perfect, and none of us are (Romans 3:23). So grace is our only option. The problem is, and this is what Paul addresses in Romans 7, is that many Christians try to maintain and earn their salvation by works. If you’ve ever thought (as a Christian) thoughts similar to this: “I’ve committed that sin again, I can’t be a Christian, a Christian wouldn’t do that…” then you’ve made the mistake of trying to be saved by works. Now the Christian life is not without good works (read James and 1 John), a Christian is not, can not, and can never be saved by works.

Elijah-MtCarmelThis is a mistake made by other religions and pseudo-christian groups. For example the Roman Catholic Church is very adamant that works are required for salvation. Consider this quote from the council of Trent

“If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, let him be anathema” (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24). (Read more quotes at this website).

But ever more a Christian, a believer is Christ, is saved by grace, and grace alone.

Finally I have an admonition. Mercy and grace are two of the most wonderful aspects of God. They are gifts from the Lord and are at the center of our hope. But we have to remember that both mercy and grace are attributes of God, that is, they are a part of who He is. The danger for us is, on the one hand, to think of His grace and mercy as simply things we receive, gifts from God (which they are) which we are to spread around. This doesn’t go far enough. Our God is merciful; He is gracious. He is those things. On the other hand, the second ditch we fall into is that of thinking of Mercy and Grace, simply as doctrines. They are doctrines, but like all doctrines do, they describe the reality, our God is merciful; He is gracious. He also shows mercy and gives us grace. If you don’t go farther than the paper on which the doctrine is written, you’ve missed the point.

So mercy is not getting what we do deserve and grace is getting what we don’t deserve. We deserve hell for our sin; those sins are removed. We certainly don’t deserve heaven, He freely and graciously grants us access to His heavenly throne.

grace1

 

Mercy and Grace: God’s Mercy

Many Christians use this phrase interchangeably, “Thank you Lord for your grace, You are so merciful to us”. That prayer certainly isn’t wrong, a Christian can certainly lay claim to those exact words, but don’t forget, mercy and grace are not the same thing. Christians understand that God’s grace and mercy are separate aspects of God’s character and nature. Lets define the two:

Mercy, simply put, is not giving a person what they do deserve or from the perspective of the first person, not getting what you deserve. A debtor who is unable to pay his debts, he knows what mercy is. He begs the man he’s indebted to and if offered a reprieve, or better yet, having his debt simply written off, that is mercy as far as he is concerned. This is actually a biblical illustration, as found in Matthew 18:

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. Matthew 18:23-34

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Notice the man has an unpayable debt. According to this website, a day’s wage is 1 Denarus, and one talent is worth approximate 6000 (that’s right, six thousand) Denarii. Or approximately 16 years wages, and that’s just 1 talent. Ten thousand talents is so utterly unpayable that its almost a ridiculous number. 600 million days wage. The high number is key to this parable because it tells the listening audience two things: 1. that the man is utterly incapable of paying, and 2: that the forgiveness that comes is not just an arbitrary thing between friends. It means that the master is incurring a huge financial loss, this is not something that can be undertaken without consideration. Now it was that ungrateful servant, who after being shown great mercy, violently refuses to show any to the man who, owning a fair amount but not unpayable of money, 100 denarii, earns the wrath of the master for being totally unmerciful after being show so much mercy.

Remember our definition, that  mercy is when a person doesn’t get something they deserve. The man, for his unpayable debt deserved some kind of punishment, and in the first century, that would be prison, yet the master showed him mercy, and withheld punishment. We see later he withdrew that mercy because of the cruelness of that man.

mercy

 

Tomorrow I will post on the doctrine here, God Grace. 

Forgiveness Of Sin Is For Sin Past, Present And Future Part 02

This is part 2. You can read part 1 here

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

Yesterday we looked at the subject of Jesus Christ’s

Fourth Point

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Forgiveness

This verse is key because almost without exception, the difference between biblical Christianity and every false religion is the teaching of works salvation. In these religions, you have to do something. Catholicism teaches this, you have to do all the sacraments; Islam teaches this, you have to do the 5 pillars; Buddhism teaches this, you have to strive to get rid of all desires. And so on, every one teaches some variation of having to work, do, strive, earn. Biblical Christianity teaches something different, a person is saved by grace, unmerited favour, through faith. A person puts their trust in Christ, and Jesus, according to the riches of His grace (Eph 1:7, Eph 2:7) forgives their sin.

 Fifth Point:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

No Condemnation

This verse is one of my absolute favorites. It is explicitly clear. For those who are in Jesus Christ, (those who have repented and put their faith in Christ) there is now no condemnation. God will not and does not condemn one whom He has bought and paid for with His precious blood. There isn’t any, He promised. I repeat it because it is such a glorious and comforting promise to a sinner such as I. No condemnation very clearly implies the forgiveness of future sins as well as past sins because if we had to pay for future sins ourselves, and if we failed to do so (and we would) there would be condemnation. That is why Roman Catholics have purgatory, Somewhere to be temporarily condemned while they work of their sins they never fully cleared in life. Purgatory is false, for a number of reasons, but particularly because there is no condemnation.

 Sixth Point:

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

But when the fullness o

f time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, Ephesians 1:5

The Father's Adoption

The above verses all talk on a common theme, namely that when God saves a man, He adopts Him into his family according to that man the full rights of sonship. This is a most wonderful part of salvation, that we, instead of being enemies of the King of Glory, are instead brought into His family and given an inheritance. Now again, you notice this adoption is steady and unconditional. If we are in God’s family, we are in.

Final Point:

Christians rest in the finished and final work of Jesus Christ

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28

Jesus Christ offers you rest. Rest from striving to earn and maintain salvation through good works that are never sufficient to save a person, and never could. And like many of the points above, this rest is a constant; it’s not offered on condition of you fulfilling certain rites or religious strivings and zealousness, indeed it’s a rest from having to do all of those works. It is finished, Christ’s work is complete, you can now rest in this finished work.

 

Rest in God

The implication of this again is that future sins are already forgiven. You cannot rest if you are constantly worrying if you have repented for everything, or if you have lost it again.

In summary Jesus Christ offered one offerings for all sins of all who would repent and believe in Him. They are justified, adopted, redeemed, sanctified, by grace through faith along in Jesus alone and that we rest in Him. All of these things by definition and by description demand that sins are once and for all times forgiven, covered for all times by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Further relevant verses are below

All of Hebrews 10 – 12

Romans 5:2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Any thoughts? Let me know in the comments section

 

Two Truths About The Person And Work Of Jesus Christ

For Jehovah’s Witnesses

Part 1: Forgiveness Of Sin Is For Sin Past, Present And Future Part 01

Part 2: Forgiveness Of Sin Is For Sin Past, Present And Future Part 02

Part 3: Is Jesus Christ Eternal?

 

Forgiveness Of Sin Is For Sin Past, Present And Future Part 01

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

This is part one of the biblical case that Christ’s death provided forgiveness of sin, both past sins committed and those that may be committed after the point of salvation. My case is this; firstly that Christ’s atoning death covered all sins. Second, when a person is born again, they are justified. Because they are justified by God, they cannot lose their salvation. Third, that Jesus’ work was declared to be finished
ForgivenessFirst Point:and we have attained peace with God, and that no further effort was needed to attain that peace. Fourthly because we are justified by Grace through faith alone and not of works, it is impossible to loose salvation, because we did not earn it nor keeps it by our own merits. Fifthly, God adopts those who He saves, permanently and eternally. Sixthly, God says that there is no longer any condemnation for those believers. There would certainly be condemnation if we still had sins to clear after repentance. Finally because Jesus offers rest from all works and striving to be forgiven and to be saved, something that you need to do if you lost that state every time you sin after the point of conversion.

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:10-18

If you needed one verse that spells out this concept most clearly, it would be the one about, Hebrews 10:10-18, as you can see, it says that

we have

  1. been sanctified by Christ’s offering of Himself
  2. That no priestly effort, was ever able to take away sins, This includes Catholic mass, penance and confession.
  3. But Christ’s death, His offering of Himself, in a single sacrifice which was effective for all time. Notice that this single sacrifice covered all sins. Also that it was finished, Jesus sat down.
  4. Notice that there is a single offering, and it perfected for all time, meaning that there is no further offering for sin, in any way, ever. The final and now only offering for sin that is of any effect is Christ’s death on the cross
  5. God the Holy Spirit promises in covenant to write His law on our hearts and minds (this is the conscience (Romans 2:15) and that He will not remember our sins any more. They’re gone, forgiven and forgotten. Not only our past sins, but our sins, all of them that we commit during our lifetime.

Second Point:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Justification

Part of what happens when a person gets saved is that God justifies a person. This biblical and theological word justified means a legal declaration of a person’s righteousness standing before God. (See the dictionary.com definition)

Justification happens to a Gospel believing person regardless of what particular sin they have committed and regardless. It is done entirely by God and is how He sees one of His children. Because it’s all on God’s side that justification is done, and that justification isn’t something that can change all the time, therefore, you cannot become unjustified, therefore, you cannot lose your salvation, therefore, Your future sins are already forgiven.

Third Point:

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 Also see Romans 5:1 above.

It Is FinishedIn John 19:30 Jesus is one the cross, He has already received the many beatings, and has carried His cross to Golgotha and has been nailed and raised. After hanging there, having the wrath of God poured out on Him in our place, having completed this work, He says the words: “It is finished”, literally in the Greek, the debt has been paid. This work of Jesus was finished; He had paid the sin debt we had accrued. It doesn’t say that He paid that debt until we get saved, then it’s up to us to pay for our sins. No! He declares the work to be complete. Also you will notice that when these events actually happened, all the sins He would be atoning for would be in the future. For us, the work was finished before our salvation, during, and after. Our sins were covered by Christ’s death, both before our repentance, and afterwards.

Also we have peace with God through Christ (Romans 5:1). Notice that this peace does not fluctuate. It is a continuous state of peace. We have no peace with God if we still have to cover for some of our sins. But we don’t, as Christ already forgave them.

 

Two Truths About The Person And Work Of Jesus Christ

For Jehovah’s Witnesses

Part 1: Forgiveness Of Sin Is For Sin Past, Present And Future Part 01

Part 2: Forgiveness Of Sin Is For Sin Past, Present And Future Part 02

Part 3: Is Jesus Christ Eternal?

 

You Shall See Greater Abominations Than These

One of the websites that has helped me very much is gracegems.org. They send out a free daily email with a quote, usually of a Puritan. Each quote is an excellent little gem of truth and well worth signing up for. I have collected a large number of these emails and thought I would promote them by posting one each week. Again sign up today at gracegems.org.

“You shall see greater abominations than these!” Ezekiel 8:15

The prophet had no idea of the extent of Israel’s wickedness; nor have we any adequate idea of the depravity of our hearts! We may have discovered much–but there is more concealed, than has yet been revealed. The work of the Holy Spirit is to . . .

reveal these abominations to us,
to humble us on account of them,
to lead us to the blood of Jesus to be cleansed from them,
and to set our hearts against them.

To see all the evils that are in our heart at once–would plunge us into black despair! Therefore it is only little by little, that the great depth of depravity is opened up to us. Herein we see God’s mercy. Hereby we should be kept humble, watchful, prayerful, and daily exercising faith in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus.

No one knows the depths of our depravity, or the variety of abominations that are in our hearts–but God! If any other person knew the abominations of our heart–he would hate us on account of it! But God knows all–and yet loves us! This is Godlike. This is being full of compassion, abundant in goodness, and plenteous in mercy. May we be humble before God, hoping in His mercy.

James Smith, “Daily Bible Readings for the Lord’s Household”

Alas And Did My Saviour Bleed

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

 

worm

1 John 4:10  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

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