Tuesday, February 28, 2012


“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
THE holy influence which a believer is called to exert around him will be greatly augmented, and powerfully felt, by an abiding realization of his full and entire acceptance in Christ. The child of God is “the salt of the earth,” “the light of the world,” surrounded by moral putrefaction and darkness. By his holy consistent example, he is to exert a counteracting influence. He is to be purity where there is corruption, he is to be light where there is darkness. And if his walk is consistent, if his life is holy, his example tells, and tells powerfully, upon an ungodly world.

Saints of God catch, as it were, the contagion of his sanctity. The worldling acknowledges the reality of the gospel he professes, and the bold skeptic falls back abashed, and feels “how awful goodness is!” What, then, will so elevate his own piety, and increase the power of his influence, as a realization of his justification by Christ? Oh how this commends the religion of Jesus! We will suppose a Christian parent surrounded by a large circle of unconverted children. They look to him as to a living gospel: they look to him for an exemplification of the truth he believes: they expect to see its influence upon his principles, his temper, his affections, his whole conduct.

What, then, must be their impression of the gospel, if they behold their parent always indulging in doubts as to his acceptance, yielding to unbelieving fears as to his calling? Instead of walking in the full assurance of faith, saying with the apostle, “I know whom I have believed”—instead of living in the holy liberty, peace, and comfort of acceptance, there is nothing but distrust, dread, and tormenting fear. How many a child has borne this testimony, “the doubts and fears of my parent have been my great stumbling-block”! Oh, then, for the sake of those around you—for the sake of your children, your connections, your friends, your domestics—realize your full, free, and entire acceptance in Christ.

Is it any marvel, then, that in speaking of His beloved and justified people, God employs in His word language like this: “You are all fair, my love: there is no spot in you.” “He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has He seen perverseness in Israel”? Carry out this thought. Had there been no iniquity in Jacob? had there been no perverseness in Israel? Read their histories, and what do they develop but iniquity and perverseness of the most aggravated kind? And yet, that God should say He saw no iniquity in Jacob, and no perverseness in Israel, what does it set forth but the glorious work of the adorable Immanuel—the glory, the fitness, the perfection of that righteousness in which they stand “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”? In themselves vile and worthless, sinful and perverse, deeply conscious before God of possessing not a claim upon His regard, but worthy only of His just displeasure, yet counted righteous in the righteousness of another, fully and freely justified by Christ. Is this doctrine startling to some? Is it considered too great a truth to be received by others? Any other gospel than this, we solemnly affirm, will never save the soul!

The obedience, sufferings, and death of the God-man, made over to the repenting, believing sinner, by an act of free and sovereign grace, is the only plank on which the soul can safely rest—let it attempt the passage across the cold river of death on any other, and it is gone! On this it may boldly venture, and on this it shall be safely and triumphantly carried into the quiet and peaceful haven of future and eternal blessedness. We acknowledge the magnitude of this doctrine; yet it is not to be rejected because of its greatness. It may be profound, almost too deeply so for an angel’s mind—the cherubim may veil their faces, overpowered with its glory, while yet with eager longings they desire to look into it—still may the weakest saint of God receive it, live upon it, walk in it. It is “a deep river, through which an elephant might swim, and which a lamb may ford.”

Saturday, February 18, 2012


"Just, and the justifier of him which believeth." - Romans 3:26

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Conscience accuses no longer. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins, with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet with no dread of any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of his people to the last jot and tittle, and received the divine receipt; and unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell. It seems to be one of the very principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this gives us our terror at first; but is it not marvelous that this very same belief that God is just, becomes afterwards the pillar of our confidence and peace! 

If God be just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished; but Jesus stands in my stead and is punished for me; and now, if God be just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change his nature before one soul, for whom Jesus was a substitute, can ever by any possibility suffer the lash of the law. Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer--having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that his people ought to have suffered as the result of sin, the believer can shout with glorious triumph, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Not God, for he hath justified; not Christ, for he hath died, "yea rather hath risen again." My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me.

Friday, February 10, 2012



Here is a short message by Charles Spurgeon that I found online. I believe it is genuine, but am not sure when, or where it was delivered. It is so concise and speaks to the point, so I wanted to share it with my friends. Spurgeon preached thousands of sermons, and wrote much in books, so finding exactly where this came from would take considerable time. If you know, please let us know. If not, just enjoy it. If you are not saved, please heed it and be saved today. Amen!

I HEARD A STORY; I think it came from the North Country: A minister called upon a poor woman, intending to give her help; for he knew that she was very poor. With his money in his hand, he knocked at the door; but she did not answer. He concluded she was not at home, and went his way. A little after he met her at the church, and told her that he had remembered her need: 'I called at your house and knocked several times, and I suppose you were not at home, for I had no answer.' 'At what hour did you call, sir?' 'It was about noon.' 'Oh, dear,' she said, 'I heard you, sir, and I am so sorry I did not answer; but I thought it was the man calling for the rent.' Many a poor woman knows what this meant. Now, it is my desire to be heard, and therefore I want to say that I am not calling for the rent; indeed, it is not the object of this book to ask anything of you, but to tell you that salvation is all of grace, which means, free, gratis, for nothing.

Oftentimes, when we are anxious to win attention, our hearer thinks, 'Ah! Now I am going to be told my duty. It is the man calling for that which is due to God, and I am sure I have nothing wherewith to pay. I will not be at home.' No, this book does not come to make a demand upon you, but to bring you something. We are not going to talk about law, and duty, and punishment, but about love, and goodness, and forgiveness, and mercy, and eternal life. Do not, therefore, act as if you were not at home: do not turn a deaf ear, or a careless heart. I am asking nothing of you in the name of God or man. It is not my intent to make any requirement at your hands; but I come in God's name, to bring you a free gift, which it shall be to your present and eternal joy to receive. Open the door, and let my pleadings enter. 'Come now, and let us reason together.' The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. It may be that the hour is come in which you shall enter upon that new life which is the beginning of heaven. Faith cometh by hearing, and reading is a sort of hearing: faith may come to you while you are reading this book. Why not? O blessed Spirit of all grace, make it so!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Mr. Joseph Caryl was a puritan. He was best known perhaps for his massive 12 volume commentary on Job. It is ranked as a masterpiece. It is in print today, but the type is the older, and rather hard to read type. It is regarded by some as a commentary on the entire Bible, because he covered so much more than Job in it. When he passed away in 1673, his congregation merged with the congregation of the great theologian, John Owen. Pastorally minded and biblically learned, Caryl is an example of the typical Puritan minister.

A child is sent away, sent to himself, or put into his own hands. A child sent away to himself, brings shame, that is, will certainly run into vile and enormous courses to the shame of her that bear him. A child left, or sent to himself is one that has no guide, no governor, no instructor but himself. A man that will learn only of himself hath but a fool to his Master, How much more than a weak child, what a master, what a tutor hath a child, if he have none but himself. To be left or sent to themselves is to have none to counsel or advise them the right way, or to give them any stop and check in an ill way. 

The character that Paul and Barnabas gave of the former times, when they preached to the Heathens at Lystra, was this (Acts 14:16). We exhort you to turn unto the living God that made heaven and earth, who in times past suffered all Nations to walk in their own ways. He let them go, and never stayed them at all, they had no bridle, no restraint, not so much as  a word to bring them back; he suffered all nations, as if he had said, He left them in the hand of their transgression, that their own evil hearts should do what they would with them. In which sense we may also understand that place (Acts 17:30).

When Paul at Athens disputed with the philosophers, he tells them that now God began to look towards them, and had sent them knowledge of Christ, he times of that ignorance winked at; but now he called all men everywhere to repent. The words undergo a twofold interpretation. Some thus, to note the indulgence of God, The time past of that ignorance God winked at; that is, he did not deal severely and strictly with them, when they sinned, because they had no means, or so little means to keep them from sin. And there is a truth in it, for though ignorance does not totally excuse sin, yet it does abate the degree and measure of sin.

But there is another sense which I rather embrace, The times of that ignorance God winked at; that is, in those times wherein there was so much darkness, and blindness in the world, God let me go on in their sin: they sinned, and he never called upon them, he never opposed them, or sent any to teach them better. God did not manifest his will to them as unto the Jews, Psalm 147:19, 20. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and judgments unto Israel; he hath dealt so with any Nation. So that this winking is opposed to favour than to justice. To have the eye upon a place, or upon a person, is to show them favour, 1 King 8:29. The later branch clears this meaning. But now he called all men everywhere to repent: now he does not leave men in the hands of their transgressions: he does not wink and let them do what they like; now Gospel light has risen to the world, and there are many sent tout to call in and reclaim wandering prodigals, many to cry, Return, return. He speaks of it as of the mercy and privilege of that age, beyond what the former ages enjoyed.

That of the same Apostle hath a parallel sense (Rom 1:20-26) where describing the dealings of God with the gentiles, which sinned against the light of nature, he concludes, therefore God left them in the darkness of nature, in the worst of nature: they came not up so high as the principles of nature in the things of man, He gave them up to vile affections which is as much to say, He put them in the hands of their transgression. And ver., 28. He gave them over to a reprobate mind, to a mind that could not judge aright, which had not a true understanding of anything: hence they elected the worse and reprobated the best things. 

The like we have (Psalm 81:11) of God's own people the Jews, so I gave them up to their own heart lusts; and they walked in their own counsels. The Hebrew is, I sent them into the pertinancy of their hearts, because I had so often called upon them, and they would not hearken, not return unto me, therefore I said, forasmuch as you will not hear, you shall not hear; because you will not obey, you have none to call you to obedience; follow the counsels of your own hearts, as long as you will.