LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

David's Artwork

This is my son David's art. I am very proud of him

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

R.A.Torrey on Regeneration

R.A. Torrey says about the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit:

"What is Regeneration? We have two definitions of 'Regeneration,' or 'the New Birth,' in the Bible. You will find the first of these definitions in Ephesians 2:1:

'And you did He make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins.' — Ephesians 2:1

Regeneration is then, the impartation of life to men who are morally and spiritually dead because of their trespasses and sins.

Every man and woman and child of us, no matter how excellent in character or how religious our parents may have been, was born into this world spiritually dead. We are by nature moral and spiritual corpses. In regeneration we are made alive; God imparts to us this life. Regeneration is His work.

We have a second God-given definition of regeneration in II Peter 1:3,4:

'According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.' — II Peter 1:3,4

God's definition of regeneration here, is the impartation of a new nature, 'the divine nature.' It is God's Own nature created in us.

We are all born into this world with a corrupt nature, corrupt in its thoughts, corrupt in its affections, corrupt in its will.

First of all, every one of us, no matter how fine our ancestry, or how pious our parents, are born into this world with a mind that is blind to the truth of God.

As Paul puts it in I Corinthians 2:14,

'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 2:14

In the second place, we are, all of us, born into this world with affections that are corrupt, that is, with affections set upon things that displease God. We love the things we ought to hate, and we hate the things we ought to love.

And, in the third place, we are, all of us, born into this world with a will that is perverse. As Paul puts it in Romans 8:7:

'Because the carnal mind (that is, the mind of the natural and unregenerate man) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' — Romans 8:7

We are… born into this world with a will that is perverse, a will that is set upon pleasing self, and not set upon pleasing God. Now, what pleases self may not be something corrupt or criminal or vile or immoral. What pleases us may be something refined, something of a high character; it may not be getting drunk or stealing or lying or committing adultery or doing any evil or vile or base thing; it may be culture or music or art or some other high and refined thing; but pleasing self is the very essence of sin, whether the thing that pleases self is something very high or something very low. And any will that is set upon pleasing self is a will in rebellion against God: it is 'enmity against God.' There is only one right attitude for the human will, and that is an attitude of absolute surrender to God, and the whole aim of life should not be to please self at all, but to please God in all things.

So then we are all born into the world with this nature that is intellectually, affectionally and volitionally corrupt. What occurs in the new birth? We are given a new nature.

We are given a new intellectual nature, a new mind, a mind which instead of being blind to the truth of God is open -eyed to the truth of God.

How often I have seen that. I have seen a man come into a meeting like this, an utter infidel. I have a man in mind at this moment, a man who had not been inside a church for fourteen years, and who was a rank and very bitter infidel. But this man was induced to come and hear me preach. The Spirit of God wrought through me that night and through a personal worker who dealt with him in the aftermeeting, and that man was born again then and there, and that thoroughly darkened mind became illuminated at once, and, instead of things 'of the Spirit of God' being any longer 'foolishness to him' they became as clear as day, and within a week he was bringing others into a knowledge of the truth. He brought his own wife to meeting the following Sunday night and led her into the light; and within a year he was preaching the Gospel.

But we are not only given a new intellectual nature, we are also given a new affectional nature.

We get new tastes instead of the old tastes, new loves instead of the old loves. Instead of loving any longer the things that displease God we now love the things that please God. The things we once hated, we now love, and the things we once loved we now hate. How clearly that was illustrated in my own experience. As I look back upon my life… I can hardly believe what I know to be true about my own affections and about my likes and dislikes, before I was born again. In those days I hated the Bible. I read it every day, but it was to me about the most stupid book I read, I would rather have read last year's almanac any day than to have read the Bible. But when I was born again my heart was filled with love for the Bible and today I would rather read the Bible than any other book or all the books put together. I so love it that sometimes I think I will not read any other book but the Bible. In those former days before I was born again, I loved the card table, the theatre, the dance, the horse-race, the champagne supper, and I hated the prayer-meeting and the Sunday services. Today I hate the dance and the cardtable and the theatre and the horse-race, and I love the gathering together of God's people and the services of God's house on the Lord's Day.

Just as Paul puts it in II Corinthians 5:17,

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' — II Corinthians 5:17

But in the NEW BIRTH we are not only given a new intellectual nature and a new affectional nature, we are given a new volitional nature, that is, we are given a NEW WILL.

When one is born again, his will is no longer set upon pleasing self: his will is set upon pleasing God. There is nothing else in which he so delights as he delights in the will of God. What he himself desires is nothing to him: what pleases God is everything to him.

We see, then, that the New Birth is the impartation of a new nature, God's Own nature, to men who are dead in trespasses and sins. It is the Holy Spirit Who imparts this nature. As we have already said, the word of God is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in imparting this new nature. This comes out in the very verse we have already quoted as containing God's definition of the New Birth, II Peter 1:4,

'Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these (that is, through the written Word) ye might be partakers.' — II Peter 1:4

Yes, always, the written word is the instrument through which the new nature is imparted to men, but it is only as the Holy Spirit uses the instrument, the written Word, that the New Birth, the impartation of God's Own nature to us, results.

So we see again that if we wish to be born again ourselves, it is not enough to read the Bible, though that is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in regeneration. We must put ourselves in such an attitude toward God, by the surrender of our will to God, that the Holy Spirit may use the written word and make it a living thing in our hearts and thus impart God's nature to us, and thus we are born again. We see also that if we wish others to be born again through our preaching or personal work or teaching, or whatever it may be, we must see to it we not only give them the written word and give them the right passages from the word, but that we realize our dependence upon the Holy Spirit for Him to do the work, and that we so count upon Him to do the work, that He can do His regenerating work through us."41

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Am In The Lordship Camp

By Mark Pierson

We can not approach scripture without seeing that those who truely come to Christ in faith experience conversion, a changed life. We can not approach scripture without seeing that those who come to Christ in faith also enter into a relationship of obedience to Him. See 1 Peter1:2 "for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ". The sprinkling of blood in this verse not only speaks of giving believers perfect atonement for sin, but also is speaking of entering into a relationship of obedience to Christ as Lord and Master. The language here of "sprinkling blood" brings to mind Exodous 24:3-8 where the people promised to do all that the LORD had commanded. Then Moses sprinkled them with blood - they were now in covenant to obey God.

No where in scripture does one come to Christ without coming into a place of obeying Him-Nowhere! The calls to salvation and to disciplship are one. Nowhere in scripture is there a division. Such a view is unscriptural and deadly. That view is 1 part exegetical and 99 parts logic. Logic is a great mistress, but a terrible slave owner.

One should be able to lead a person to Christ in Matthew, Mark and Luke just as easily as they can through John. How did the "synoptics" present the message of salvation? Merely by Jesus saying "Follow Me".

As someone else has said, " no repentance = no faith = no salvation"!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Holy Spirit

The living guide to Jesus

(Ruth Bryan)

"When the Comforter comes, the One I will
send to you from the Father--the Spirit of
truth who proceeds from the Father--He
will testify about Me." John 15:26

The Holy Spirit is the living guide to Jesus.

It is He who says, with power, "Behold the Lamb
of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

It is He who convinces of sin, who wounds, and
probes the wound, and lays open the evil of our
nature--causing us to know that we are corrupt
within and without.

But He not only thus discovers the malady--He
also applies the remedy. He abases the sinner;
and exalts the Savior. He gives the deep sense
of sin--that the great salvation may be more
appreciated and enjoyed.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ashley's Graduation Pictures 6/10/06

MySpace Layouts

MySpace Layouts

MySpace Layouts

MySpace Layouts


These are Ashley's graduation pictures. The purple sash around her represents that she is achieved the honor roll graduation award.

These pictures were taken on my son's phone, he also achieved the honoroll this past marking period at his school. He got his name in the local news paper for his achievement.

Acidemically they are both doing very well.

I am very proud of both of them both.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

All Fullness In Christ - Spurgeon

Taken from a sermon Spurgeon preached on 2/26/1871

"It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." Where else could all fullness have been placed? There was wanted a vast capacity to contain "all fullness." Where dwells there a being with nature capacious enough to compass within himself all fullness? As well might we ask, "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?" To him only could it belong to contain "all fullness," for he must be equal with God, the Infinite. How suitable was the Son of the Highest, who "was by him, as one brought up with him," to become the grand storehouse of all the treasures of wisdom, and knowledge and grace, and salvation. Moreover, there was wanted not only capacity to contain, but immutability to retain the fullness, for the text says, "It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell" that is, abide, and remain, for ever. Now if any kind of fullness could be put into us mutable creatures, yet by reason of our frailty we should prove but broken cisterns that can hold no water. The Redeemer is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever: therefore was it meet that all fullness should be placed in him. "The Son abideth ever." "He is a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." "Being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation unto all they that obey him." "His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed."

Perhaps the sweetest thought is, that the "all fullness" is fitly placed in Christ Jesus, because in him there is a suitability to distribute it, so that we may obtain it from him. How could we come to God himself for grace? for "even our God is a consuming fire." But Jesus Christ while God is also man like ourselves, truly man, of a meek lowly spirit, and therefore easily approachable. They who know him, delight in nearness to him. Is it not sweet that all fullness should be treasured up in him who was the friend of publicans and sinners: and who came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost? The Man who took the child up on his knee and said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," the Man who was tempted in all points like as we are, the Man who touched the sick, nay, who "bore their sicknesses," the Man who gave his hands to the nails, and his heart to the spear; that blessed Man, into the print of whose nails his disciple Thomas put his finger, and into whose side he thrust his hand; it is he, the incarnate God, in whom all fullness dwells. Come, then, and receive of him, you who are the weakest, the most mean, and most sinful of men. Come at once, O sinner, and fear not.

- C.H.Spurgeon

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Jesus Reveals The Father pt.3

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."- John 1:1.

Spiros Zodhiates TH.D in his THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY, NEW TESTAMENT defines the word "Word" this way: "Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state is called "ho Logos", the Word, presenting Him as the second Person of the Godhead Who is the eternal expression of the divine intelligence and the disclosure of the divine essence. The self-revealing characteristic of God was directed toward, and utterly achieved for mankind in the incarnation (John 1:14,18).

His definition seems to bear out with what we also see in John 1:18-"No one has seen God at any time, The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father,He has declared Him" or has declared Him thoroughly and particularly; He has unfolded, or revealed Him and made Him known. Then John 1:14 says," And the Word became flesh and dwelt amoung us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Ultimately, though, we must look to the scriptures themselves to supply us with the definition of Christ's "Father revealing" ministry...

44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe,[a] I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” John 12:44-50.

In the above we see Jesus come right out and say,"44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me." It is quite clear here that if we look at Jesus we see the Father. Note also what Jesus says about His own teaching, yea, all that He ever said: "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak." It is God the Father's command that is everlasting life. Jesus said or did nothing apart from or independent of His Father. He was a perfect representation of Him; a perfect mouth-piece of His.

Let us look at more scripture:

"6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The Father Revealed

7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves." John 14:6-11.

" 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself[a] purged our[b] sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,..." Hebrews 1:1-3

"the brightness of His Glory". Jesus is literally the Off- raying of the Father's glory. Like the rays of light that come from the sun, so is Jesus the rays of glory that come from the Father... "the express image of His Character". Jesus is the exact image of His Father for all the world to see.

To sum it up, to look at the Son one sees the exact representation of the Father.

Dear reader, do you want to see what God is like? Look at Jesus the Son and you will see the Father. Pray that God the Holy Spirit will show you Who Jesus is as you read the scriptures; that is His job... The Son shows us the Father, and the Spirit shows us the Son.

Amen - Mark Pierson

Jesus Reveals The Father pt.2

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." - John 1:1

Was God to leave Himself without witness? His own creation has rejected Him; and as a result is destined to suffer His great wrath as they experience His just punishment upon their sins. He is man's only hope of life. After so long a time of looking away from Him, how can man see Him for Who He is?
"21 Tell and bring forth your case;
Yes, let them take counsel together.
Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I, the LORD?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A just God and a Savior;
There is none besides Me.
22 “ Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,

‘ Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
25 In the LORD all the descendants of Israel
Shall be justified, and shall glory.’” Isaiah 45:21-25.

"Look to Me, and be saved"... What do You look like, You Who created the heavens and the earth? I must look to you to be saved; yet I do not know what You look like. I do not know you. How can I see You in order to look to You to be saved? How do I know how You feel towards me? How do I know what is in Your heart, and in Your mind? How will You reveal Yourself to me and my lost fellow human race?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Jesus Reveals The Father

John 1:18 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

18No man has ever seen God at any time; the only [a]unique Son, or [b]the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].(A)


John 1:18 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,[a][b]who is at the Father's side, has made him known.


John 1:18 (New American Standard Bible)
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

18(A)No one has seen God at any time; (B)the only begotten God who is (C)in the bosom of the Father, (D)He has explained Him.


John 1:18 (Contemporary English Version)
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

18No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like.


John 1:18 (New Life Version)
New Life Version (NLV)
Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International

18The much-loved Son is beside the Father. No man has ever seen God. But Christ has made God known to us.

John 1:18 (Wycliffe New Testament)
Wycliffe New Testament (WYC)
2001 by Terrence P. Noble,

18 No man saw ever God [No man ever saw God], but the one begotten Son, that is in the bosom of the Father, he hath told out

John 1:18 (Worldwide English (New Testament))
Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE)
Copyright © by SOON Educational Publications

18No one has ever seen God. But his only Son is very near to his Father's heart. He has told us plainly about God.


King James Version
John 1:18-
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Let us look at that word "declare" as it appears in the KING JAMES VERSION.

1834 - exegeomai - "declare thoroughly and particularly
(1) To unfold, reveal, make known, as a teacher. 1

To unfold in teaching, to declare by making known. 2

It would seem that the major portion of Christ's ministry was to reveal His Father to a lost world that was in rebellion against Him. It is written that " All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" Isaiah 53:6, and, "There is none that understands, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable...Romans 3:11-12.

We are a race that has a history, thanks to the fall of Adam, of not being thankful to, or glorifying Him as God. We do not like to retain God in our knowledge. We are haters of God. He created us. It is in Him that we live, move and have our being. He is the One Who gives us rain and food and all good things to enjoy in this life. Yet, we hate Him. We love to call those things that He calls good, evil; and those things that He calls evil, good. We love our sins more than we love Him.

It is God Who said,"man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live".

We do not know our creator; and that is by choice, man's choice. Man's deeds are evil, and the Light of Christ reveals that fact. Living by God's word is foolishness to man. Man is naturally hostile to God. Man is naturally a sinner, it is his nature to sin; it is his nature to reject God.

To be continued... I will keep these posts short because it is a major pain for my carpel-tunel syndrome to type lately. Sorry.

Spiros Zodhiates, TH.D. page 604


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Doug Rutter: Friend

This is Doug Rutter. He is a very close friend of mine. We work together. He is not a Calvinist, yet he loves the Lord with all his heart.

He and I have argued Calvinism for over 5 years now. We have gotten very intense over those years. I can say that I have expended my great dislike for non-Calvinist's all on him. He is a major reason why I do not vent much dislike for non-Calvinism in the blogosphere. Even after our arguements he is always there to pray with me when I go through hard times.

Here's to my friend, Doug Rutter. Bless you, my friend

Saturday, June 10, 2006

This is my city, Rochester, NY.It is known as both the "Flour City", for all the flour mills in the early 19th century; and as the "Flower City" for all of the flower nurseries that fourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Rochester is also known as the image center of the world because it is home to Eastman Kodak and Bausch&Lomb, the photo giant and lens maker respectively. I worked for Bausch&Lomb for 22 years.

Rochester is a great place to visit.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Repentance - Spurgeon Preached It

True Repentance!

From Spurgeon's sermon, "APART"

True repentance is always accompanied by sorrow.

Repentance is a deep, radical, fundamental, lasting change;
and you will find that, whenever you meet with it in Scripture,
it is always accompanied with sorrow for past sin.

And rest assured of this fact-- that the repentance which has
no tear in its eye, and no mourning for sin in its heart,
is a repentance which needs to be repented of.

In such false repentance, there is no evidence of conversion,
and no sign of the existence of the grace of God.

The man who knows that his sin is forgiven,
does not cease to mourn for it.
No, brethren, his mourning becomes deeper as
his knowledge of his guilt becomes greater.
His hatred of sin grows in proportion as he understands
that love of Christ by which his sin is put away.

In true believers, mourning for sin is chastened and sweetened,
and, in one sense, the fang of bitterness is taken out.

But, in another sense, the more we realize
our indebtedness to God's grace, and the more we see of
the sufferings of Christ in order to effect our redemption,
the more do we hate sin, and the more do we lament
that we ever fell into it.

The man who has led the purest life, when he is brought
before God by the humbling influence of the Holy Spirit,
is the man who almost invariably considers himself
to have been viler than anybody else.

"Repentance is to leave
The sin we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve
By doing so no more."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Engraved! - Grace Gems


(John MacDuff, "The Immutability of Christ" 1874)

"Behold! I have engraved you on the palms
of My hands!" Isaiah 49:16

"Behold," says Immutable One, "I have engraved
you on the palms of My hands." Not on the mountains,
colossal as they are, for they shall depart; on no page
of nature's vast volume, for the last fires shall scorch
them; not on blazing sun, for he shall grow dim with
age; not on glorious heavens, for they shall be folded
together as a scroll. But on . . .
the hand which made the worlds,
the hand which was transfixed on Calvary,
the hand of might and love;
I have engraved you there! No corroding power
can efface the writing, or obliterate your name!

You are Mine now, and Mine forever!

"Behold! I have engraved you on the palms
of My hands!" Isaiah 49:16

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

This 'N That

Catchy title? I got the idea from Gayla.

Well, I will be driving my daughter to school later this morning for her last day of final exams. The end of an era. She has her high school graduation this Saturday. College is this Fall.

Later this afternoon she goes for a job interview at McDonalds. Is there free junk food in my future?

My son made the honor-roll and, as a result, got his name in "The Greece Post", a local newspaper for our town of Greece, a suburb of Rochester, NY.

I am very proud of the both of them.

On the workout front: I have now completed the longest stretch of time without an injury - ten months of consecutive 300+ pound bench-press workouts and no elbow or pect injuries. Not bad for an old man of 49. There is a lot more snap, crackle and pop though.

I remember one time a few years ago when I did injure my pect. I was in the middle of a 385 pound bench-press and suddenly I felt my chest cramp up. I completed the lift, but when I got off the bench, my chest was in great pain; I could not even lift my left arm for several minutes. My left chest turned black and blue. What fun.

My dad is becoming more and more dependant on Karen and me. We are trying to make it so that he can stay in his own house as long as possible. May the Lord give us strength and wisdom.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Spurgeon Short : The Cross

Then the Holy Spirit comes and shows the sinner the cross of
Christ, gives him eyes anointed with heavenly eye-salve, and
says, "Look to yonder cross. That Man died to save sinners;
you feel you are a sinner; He died to save you."

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Spirit's Work in Salvation - Spurgeon

The Spirit's work in salvation

by Spurgeon

The Holy Spirit lays bare his heart, lets him see the loathsome
cancer that is there eating away his life, uncovers to him all the
blackness and defilement of that sink of hell--
the human heart; and then the man stands aghast--
"I never thought I was like this!
Oh! those sins I thought were little,
have swelled to an immense stature.
What I thought was a mole-hill has grown into a mountain;
it was a hyssop on the wall before, but now it has become a
cedar of Lebanon."

Then the man says to himself, "Oh, I will try to reform; I will
do enough 'good' deeds to wash these 'black' deeds out."

Then the Holy Spirit comes and shows him that he cannot do
this, takes away all his 'fancied' power and strength,
so that the man falls down on his knees in agony and cries,
"Oh! once I thought I could save myself by my good works,
but now I find that-
'Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no respite know,
All for sin could not atone,
You must save, and You alone.' "

Then his heart sinks, and the man is ready to despair.
He says, "I can never be saved. Nothing can save me."

Then the Holy Spirit comes and shows the sinner the cross of
Christ, gives him eyes anointed with heavenly eye-salve, and
says, "Look to yonder cross. That Man died to save sinners;
you feel you are a sinner; He died to save you."

And then the Holy Spirit enables the heart to believe,
and come to Christ.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Changed Life

He loves the things that once he hated

(J. C. Ryle, "Alive or Dead?")

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away. Behold, all things
have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Whatever part of the globe we live in, our eyes need
to be opened--naturally we never see our sinfulness,
guilt, and danger.

Whatever nation we belong to, our understandings
need to be enlightened--naturally we know little or
nothing of the plan of salvation. Like the Babel-builders,
we think to get to heaven our own way.

Whatever church we may belong to, our wills need
to be bent in the right direction--naturally we would
never choose the things which are for our peace; we
would never come to Christ.

Whatever be our rank in life, our affections need to
be turned to things above--naturally we only set them
on things below, earthly, sensual, short-lived and vain.

Pride must give place to humility;
self-righteousness to self-abasement;
carelessness to seriousness;
worldliness to holiness;
unbelief to faith.

Satan's dominion must be put down within us--and the
kingdom of God set up. Self must be crucified--and Christ
must reign. Until these things come to pass, we are as
dead as stones. When these things begin to take place,
and not until then, we are spiritually alive.

The true Christian knows all this by experience.
He loves the things that once he hated, and
hates the things that once he loved. He has . . .
new habits,
new companions,
new ways,
new tastes,
new feelings,
new opinions,
new sorrows,
new joys,
new concerns,
new pleasures,
new hopes,
new fears.

In short, the whole bias and current of his being
is changed. Ask his nearest relatives and friends,
and they would bear witness to it. Whether they
liked it or not, they would be obliged to confess
he was no longer the same person.

Once he could see no beauty and excellence in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Now he would tell you that He is . . .
the pearl above all price,
the chief among ten thousand,
his Redeemer,
his Advocate,
his Priest,
his King,
his Physician,
his Shepherd,
his Friend,
his All.

Once he thought lightly about sin. He could not
see the necessity of being so particular about it.
He could not think a man's words, and thoughts,
and actions, were of such importance, and required
such watchfulness. Now he would tell you sin is the
abominable thing which he hates--the sorrow and
burden of his life. He longs to be more holy.

Once he cared only for this world . . .
its pleasures,
its business,
its occupations,
its rewards.
Now he looks upon it as an empty, unsatisfying place.
His treasure is in heaven. His home is beyond the grave.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Incredible Greatness of His Power

The incredible greatness of His power

(J. C. Philpot, "Meditations on Ephesians")

"I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible
greatness of His power to us who believe Him." Eph. 1:19

The work of God on the soul, is a work of sovereign and
omnipotent power! See what a mighty power was put forth in
turning us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan
unto God; and how it was the outstretched arm of Omnipotence
alone, which could deliver us from the power of darkness and
bring us into the eternal heavenly kingdom.

Consider the difficulties which grace has to overcome,
in the "quickening" of a dead soul into spiritual life. View
the depths of the fall. Contemplate . . .
the death of the soul in trespasses and sins,
the thorough alienation from the life of God,
the darkness, blindness, and ignorance of the understanding,
the perverseness of the will,
the hardness of the conscience,
and the depravity of the affections!

View the soul's . . .
obduracy, stubbornness and obstinacy;
its pride, unbelief, infidelity and self-righteousness;
its passionate love to, habitual practice of, and long
imprisonment to sin. Consider its strong prejudices
against everything godly and holy!

Contemplate the desperate, implacable enmity of the
carnal mind against God Himself--its firm and deep
rooted love to the world, in all its varied shapes and
forms--and remember also how all its hopes, happiness,
and prospects are bound up in the things of time and sense!

O what a complicated mass of difficulties, do all these
foes form in their firm combination, like a compact, well
armed, thoroughly trained army--against any power which
would seek to dislodge them from their position!

Add to this--all the power, malice, and deceitful arts of
Satan, as the strong armed man--keeping the palace night
and day, and yielding to none but the stronger than he!

Consider, too, the sacrifices which must often be made
by one who is to live godly in Christ Jesus . . .
the tenderest ties, perhaps, to be broken;
the lucrative prospects which have to be abandoned;
old friends to be renounced;
family connections to be given up;
position in life to be lost;
shame and contempt to be entailed on oneself!

Viewing, then, a soul dead in sin, with all these
difficulties and obstacles in their complicated array,
must we not pronounce that to be a mighty act of
power which, in spite of all these apparently invincible
hindrances, lifts it up and out of them all, into a new
and spiritual life? So fully and thoroughly is this fruit
and effect of omnipotent power, and of omnipotent
power alone, that it is spoken of in the word as . . .
a new and heavenly birth;
a new creation;
a resurrection
--all which terms imply a putting forth of a divine power,
as distinct from and independent of any creature effort.

Contemplate also, the mighty power of God in "maintaining"
divine life in our soul. We have to see and feel . . .
what mountains of difficulty,
what seas of temptation,
what winds and storms of error,
what assaults and snares of Satan,
what floods of vileness and ungodliness within and without,
what strong lusts and passions,
what secret slips and falls,
what backslidings and departures from the living God,
what long seasons of darkness, barrenness, and death,
what opposition of the flesh to the strait and narrow way,
what crafty hypocrites, pretended friends, false professors
--all striving to throw down or entangle our steps!

Consider also, what helplessness, inability, and miserable
impotency in ourselves to all that is good; and what headlong
proneness to all that is evil.

We have also to ponder over what we have been and what
we still are, since we professed to fear God--and how, when
left to ourselves, we have done nothing but sin against and
provoke God to His face!

And thus as read over article by article, this long dark catalogue,
still to have a sweet persuasion that the life of God is in our soul
--we realize, believe, and feel, and bless God for His surpassing,
superabounding grace, in maintaining this divine life in our soul.

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!" Rom. 5:20