Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Thursday, March 5, 2015

O glorious truth!

"The spirit is life because of righteousness." Romans 8:10.

What are we to understand by the term spirit? Our reply will at once exclude the idea of the Holy Spirit. Of the Third Person of the blessed Trinity it cannot be of whom the apostle speaks. The only remaining interpretation, then, is that which restricts its meaning to the spiritual and immortal part of the believer- the regenerated spirit of man, and not the regenerating Spirit of God. The cheering declaration, then, of the apostle is, that the spiritual and immortal part of our nature is recovered from the curse, renewed and quickened with a divine and heavenly life. If the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness. The spirit is life- instinct with a new and deathless principle- because Christ is the righteousness of His people. On the broad basis of God's method of justification our spirit lives. In every point of view Christ is identified with our spiritual life. We live a life of justification by Christ- a life of holiness from Christ- a life of faith in Christ- and a life of immortality with Christ. Thus, in all its phases, "Christ is our life." Oh glorious truth! Welcome death- the spirit lives! Welcome the grave- the spirit is beyond it! Death! you can but touch the material fabric- the inner life towers above your reach, hid with Christ in God. Grave! you can but imprison the body- the soul is at home with Jesus. I live, not because of any righteousness which I have wrought, but because Christ is my righteousness. I live on account of the Righteous One- I live in the Righteous One- and I shall live forever with the Righteous One. Thus is the spirit life because of righteousness. Oh, what a glorious immortality unveils to the eye of faith! If through the gloomy portals of death the spirit of the believer must pass, in its transit to eternity, life attends it, and life awaits it, and life crowns it. Animated with a deathless existence, clothed with the robe of a new-born immortality, it bursts from its enthralment, and, smiling back upon death, speeds its way to glory, honor, and endless life. To this life let us look forward. From a life now experienced, let us live for a life so soon to be enjoyed. The body must die. But what of that? the spirit is life. And the life-inspired spirit will come back again, re-enter and re-animate the slumbering dust; and now, remodeled and spiritualized, it will be with Christ and all the saints in the new heaven and the new earth, wherein will dwell righteousness.   ~ Octavius Winslow

Unpalatable truths

When we really believe the Gospel of the grace of God - when we really believe that it is the power of God unto salvation, the only power of salvation in this wicked world of ours, it is a comparatively easy thing to preach it, to preach it in its purity, to preach it in the face of a scoffing nay, of a truculent and murdering world. 

God has not sent us into the world to say the most plausible things we can think of; to teach men what they already believe. He has sent us to preach unpalatable truths to a world lying in wickedness, apparently absurd truths to men, proud of their intellects; mysterious truths to men who are carnal and cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. 

So believe it and we shall assert to the world that it is lost in its sin and rushing down to an eternal doom; that in Christ alone is there redemption; and through the Spirit alone can men receive this redemption. What care we if it be unpalatable if it be true? For if it be true, it is urgent!  ~  B. B. Warfield

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Being drawn

 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.    John 6:44

When a professing Christian claims it is his/her faith that has caused them to come to Christ, it's clear they have no understanding of the Spirit's 'drawing' them. It's essential we understand how the triune God works in saving sinners; we dare not rob God of glory due only to Him. Here is an excellent commentary on drawing from B.B. Warfield....

This term is actually used when the Saviour declares that no man can come unto Him except the Father draw him (John vi. 44) – which is as much as to say that men in the first instance do not and cannot come to Christ by virtue of any powers native to themselves, but require the action upon them of a power from without, coming to them, drawing their inert, passive weight to Christ, if they are to be brought to Him at all. We can identify this act of drawing - "dragging" would perhaps express the sense of the Greek term none too strongly – with that act which we call, in our theological analysis, regeneration, and which we explain in accordance with the import of this term, as the monergistic act of God, impinging on a sinner who is and remains, as far as this act is concerned, purely passive, and therefore does not move, but is moved.

John Gill is another theologian who understood the true meaning of 'draw'...

which is not to be understood of moral persuasion, or a being persuaded and prevailed upon to come to Christ by the consideration of the mighty works which God had done to justify that he was the true Messiah, but of the internal and powerful influence of the grace of God; for this act of drawing is something distinct from, and superior to, both doctrine and miracles.

Lastly, let's look into A. W. Pink's commentary on this word 'draw'...

In what, we may inquire, does this "drawing" consist? It certainly has reference to something more than the invitation of the Gospel. The word used is a strong one, signifiying, the putting forth of power andobliging the object seized to respond. The same word is found in John 18:10; John 21:6, 11. If the reader consults these passages he will find that it means far more than "to attract." Impel would give the true force of it here in John 6:44.
As said above, the unregenerate sinner is so depraved that with an unchanged heart and mind he will never come to Christ. And the change which is absolutely essential is one which God alone can produce. It is, therefore, by Divine "drawing" that any one comes to Christ. What is this "drawing"? We answer, It is the power of the Holy Spirit overcoming the self-righteousness of the sinner, and convicting him of his lost condition. It is the Holy Spirit awakening within him a sense of need. It is the power of the Holy Spirit overcoming the pride of the natural man, so that he is ready to come to Christ as an empty-handed beggar. It is the Holy Spirit creating within him an hunger for the bread of life.

To draw means to drag {literally or figuratively}; it is a verb in the aorist subjunctive active mood.  The aorist is the tense of the verb -it is said to be "simple occurence" or "summary occurrence", without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action.
The subjunctive mood indicates probability or objective possibility. The action of the verb will possibly happen, depending on certain objective factors or circumstances. It is oftentimes used in conditional statements (i.e. 'If...then...' clauses) or in purpose clauses. However if the subjunctive mood is used in a purpose or result clause, then the action should not be thought of as a possible result, but should be viewed as a definite outcome that will happen as a result of another stated action. 
The active voice indicates the subject is executing the action; in the text the action of drawing is performed by God, not man and his free will.  The coming to Christ cannot take place apart from the drawing of God first. This truth has been lost over the decades as most teach sinners can come to Christ, make a decision for Him, invite Him into their hearts apart from any divine work first being done in the depraved heart. Multitudes hang on their verbal professions as a means of salvation, and are being deceived by those who teach falsely. May it please the Lord to raise up Godly men who will in fact preach the whole counsel of God, regardless of what it may cost. 

I am glad

"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever!"    Revelation 1:18

I would, like John in Patmos, have communion with the living Christ. It is not only what He did for me — it is what He does. It is not only what He was — it is what He is. My Christian grammar cannot dispense with the present tenses of the life of Jesus.
Does He not live for me in the New Testament? When I open the Book, I am not merely studying a printed page; I am touching and talking with my Lord.
To my guiltiness — He speaks pardon,
to my ignorance — He speaks instruction,
to my weakness — He speaks strength,
to my loneliness — He speaks company and comfort.
Does He not live for me in the New Heart? If "the jewels of the Urim and Thummim all are dim," if Bethel's ladder is fallen, and the Burning Bush is quenched — I have a more intimate Guide, Teacher, Friend. Jesus dwells within me by His Holy Spirit. Inhabiting and possessing and governing my soul . . .
He weans me from sin;
He makes me pure;
He creates me anew.
Does He not live for me in the New Jerusalem? He is on the throne . . .
to remember me,
to intercede for me,
to send me from His overflowing treasury every good gift and every perfect blessing.
He is in the Father's house, to prepare a place for me, that where He is, I may be also . . .
to look up into His eyes,
to grasp His hand,
to weep and sing my gratitude at His feet.
I am glad that Jesus died. I am glad, too, that, having once died, He has risen again, and is alive for evermore! ~ Alexander Smellie