Perseverance of the saints 2

When David says, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I love thy law three times in the same psalm (119), we must also ask ourselves if we too love God’s moral law, for he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter (Rom 2:29).  Indeed, it cannot be animal sacrifices or dietary / judicial laws that David is talking about so much as the moral law which reveals the true character of the Creator, our Heavenly Father.

Having recently started Thomas Watson’s ‘The Ten Commandments’, I feel my grasp and love of the character of God (in the first table) is more superficial than I had hitherto thought.  As for the second table, my duty to man, I feel I have not fulfilled the law of Christ.  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself (Gal 6:2-3).  However, like David I still love to read about God’s transcendent holiness and (in Christ) to mourn over my own failings, believing that my Saviour has entitled me to no longer fear the law, but rather to look upon it as a wondrous window into the attributes of God and mirror of my soul.

I know that only ONE MAN has truly lived out the law and practised what He preached in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7).  However, I am also inspired to persevere along the path of increasing mortification of sin and Christ-likeness, by the numerous saints of old and of present. Alas, I also know how quickly the old nature in me would set the bar at a comfortable, easily achievable level, and would turn a blind eye to the beam of sin within (Mt 7:4).

Rather than be numbered among those who will be weeping and wailing (Rev 18:19) for worldly loss, may we be among those who establish the law (Rom 3:31) by looking unto the One who came to fulfil it (Mt 5:17) and set the bar of love upon the frame of obedienceIf ye love me, keep my commandments (Jn 14:15).

Thy law

I love Thy law which judgeth me

for in Thy law myself I see,

I outwardly appear alright

but inwardly pollute Thy light.

 

I love Thy law which guideth me

for in Thy law I learn to be,

if not I’d always ever burn

with Lot’s wife, staring, no return.

 

I love Thy law which followeth me

for in Thy law I mercy see

forgiveness so unmerited,

through Christ alone, inherited.

 

I love Thy law which showeth me

for in Thy law I’m really me,

I’m whittled down on daily lathe,

then quickened through repenting faith.

Perseverance of the saints 1

One thinks of the trial of Job’s faith which, though tested to the limit did not fail: Though he slay me yet will I trust in him (Job 13:15).  One thinks of Eli, who when confronted with the solemn judgment of God upon his house, faithfully submitted to His will: It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good (1 Sam 3:18).  One also recalls the Lord Jesus’ sharp rebuke to His disciple, Get thee behind me, Satan (Mt 16:23), closely following the proclamation that he is Blessed (v.17), surely a call to constant vigilance.

True it is that narrow is the way (Mt 7:14) in terms of justification, ie. only ONE MAN has entered heaven by works, so that those before and after Him could be justified by faith.  True also that narrow is the way in terms of sanctification, in that there must be a progressive desire to purge away every element of sin and self which may subtly lodge itself in our affections.

Abraham’s love of Isaac was weighed against his love of God: so too must the saint test ‘self’, to see if there be some thing or one that rivals our love of God, some aspect in which our house is not in order. Our daily task is to dismantle our heart’s hidden idols, that we may better persevere along faith’s narrow way, through the ONE MAN who has truly walked it, who alone is able to succour them that are tempted (Heb 2:18) in it.

God forbid we hear His awful sentence pronounced upon us: I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mt 7:23).

Please

Oh Lord, I pray You’d leave me not

please lead me, overrule my lot,

for I have sinned, I know it well

if left alone I’d go to hell.

 

Oh Father, please protect my being,

cleanse my eyes from what they’re seeing,

surely they were made for You

yet how they take the devil’s view.

 

Oh God the giver, let me lift

my heart to Thee, it was Thy gift,

prevent me please from worshipping

the gift of life and not the King.

 

Oh Sovereign Maker, hear my prayer

Thou made all things, including prayer,

if I’m deceived please break my heart

destroy me, just don’t say ‘Depart.’

Irresistible grace 2

The Holy Spirit silently does His work when all seems lost.  Picture the prodigal son, alone and bereft of all human companionship, dramatically described: he came to himself (Lk 15:17).  What soul on earth has ever come to itself, ie. its sense of wronging a holy Father, without God (the Spirit) first working in the heart?

We may think of the stubborn disbelief and blindness of the human heart outside of Christ.  We concur with David when he says ‘in thy light shall we see light’ (Ps 36:9).  There was a time when we did not see spiritual things, when the God of the Bible seemed a distant, inscrutable hinterland; and then a time when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me (Gal 1:15-16). What made the difference, or rather, Who?

We treasure the glorious words of the Scriptures, especially the crowning glory of the Old Testament revealed – the New Testament.  But what of them?  Were they devised through the minds and traditions of biased, partisan men?  No, for as Christ Himself explains, the Comforter was to come and Himself write the New Testament through the pens of chosen men (Jn 14-16). And the ‘Old’ Testament; the mere culturally flawed prelude preceding the precise and ultimate ‘New’?  Not at all, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pe 1:21).

What glorious thoughts, then, to read that we are irresistibly drawn by the Father to the Son through the Spirit (Acts 1:1-5); but what unspeakable joy to know that we are not left alone after conversion, but are in-dwelt by God the Spirit: the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Rom 8:26).

For if we were left alone, which one of us would not inevitably return to the husks that the swine did eat (Lk 15:16)?

The Spirit’s

The Spirit’s undeniable,

though here, unquantifiable,

for when you’re truly born again,

your former self becomes a den,

of wolves now tame which once were wild,

you’re Spirit led, at bottom mild,

and nothing to Him can compare,

He’s God, your

interceding prayer. 

the Spirit’s irresistible,

though here, all but insensible,

for your self interest now has cooled,

it’s Christ you look to, no more fooled,

on dry land His in fellowship,

you’re Spirit led, off world-wor-ship,

and nothing to Him can you add,

He’s willing you to

make God glad.

the Spirit’s of the Trinity,

though here, He is Divinity,

for when you cry out to the Lord,

your spirit chimes with Spirit’s chord,

your heart awaits His special note,

you’re Spirit led, you didn’t vote,

and nothing from Him can you draw,

but Jesus Christ,

forevermore.

Irresistible grace 1

If the Gospel message of salvation could be condensed into three words, then perhaps ‘Come to Christ’ would be an adequate synopsis. There is no cold fatalism to be found in God’s plan for wretched, moribund sinners. In every aspect; the glory of creation, the pangs of conscience, the curious events of providence, the authority of verbal inspiration and the global witness of Spirit-filled believers, there is the incentive to ‘Come to Christ.’

Even in the last few lines of the entire Bible; after the terrifying and solemn visions of a great red dragon, a great white throne and the lake of fire, there are those heartfelt and holy commands to ‘Come’, and to take the water of life freely (Rev 22:17).  More encouraging still is the fact that such a command is aimed not at a moral elite, but at whosoever will (v. 17).  In fact, he that believeth on him is not condemned (Jn 3:18) NOW, regardless of how long he has lived or will live.

And yet, can the God who declares that the world through him might be saved (Jn 3:17) be the same God who, except for Noah’s family, brought the flood upon the world of the ungodly (2 Pe 2:5)?  Yes; if we see all the events of world history as part of a war set in motion in the early pages of Scripture; between her seed, fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thy seed, stemming from that fallen angel, Satan (Gen 3:15).

This war will not go on for ever and as with Noah, those who have found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Gen 6:8), are of the promised seed.  Those who are of the devil (Jn 8:44), are of the cursed seed.  And yet, the whosoever will is for all seeds who are still breathing upon the face of this earth.  If you are athirst and your ears are beginning to hear, then this is you.