PRAYER

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN PRAYER  II

“In all circumstances take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication….” (Eph 6:16-18 ESV).

“…wherever the Spirit dwells, He produces a spirit of prayer and supplication….wherever He is poured out as the Spirit of grace, He is also poured out as the Spirit of supplication (Zech 12:10).  He helps Christians before they pray by stirring up their spiritual affections and stimulating holy desires.  He helps them in prayer by teaching them to ask for those things which are according to God’s will.  He it is who humbles the pride of their hearts, moves their sluggish wills, and out of weakness makes them strong.  He helps them after prayer by quickening hope and patience to wait for God’s answers” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p101-102).

“…His Holy Spirit…has access to our heart, and teaches us to pray by showing us the sin that hinders the prayer, or giving us the assurance that we please God” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIRST LESSON).

“The Spirit brings to expression the unutterable things of the soul.  His groanings are before our praying, and our prayers are born of His travail.  In Him is the supply of life and desire, wisdom and faith, intercession and power.  He quickens desire, purifies motive, inspires confidence, and assures faith” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p61).

“…let the Holy Spirit be acknowledged as the Author, and constantly sought as the Sustainer, of this holy exercise… Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 9th).

From Romans 8:26-27, we learn that the longings that the Holy Spirit creates in our hearts are often too deep for utterance…God Himself must search the heart to know “what is the mind of the Spirit” (verse 27)…He does know what those Spirit-given longings mean, even if we don not.  These longings are “according to his purpose” (verse 28), and He grants them.  He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20) R.A. Torrey (ref#339, p77).

PRAYER

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN PRAYER  I

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Ps 145:18 ESV).

“…’Be ye filled with the Spirit’ we have the measure of what God is ready to give, and what we may obtain.  As God’s children, we have already received the Spirit.  But we still need to ask and pray for His special gifts and operations as we require them.  And not only this, but for Himself to take complete and entire possession: for His unceasing momentary guidance” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SEVENTH LESSON).

“…the ever-blessed Spirit, from the throne of grace, will help us and teach us words and even write in our hearts the desires themselves.  The Spirit will direct your desires to the things for which you ought to seek; He will teach you your wants, though as yet you know them not; He will suggest to you His promises that you may be able to plead them; He will, in fact, be Alpha and Omega to your prayer, just as He is to your salvation” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p36).

“It is in prayer that we wait for the leading of the Spirit to show us whether we are asking the right thing and in the right spirit” Andrew Murray (ref#19, ELEVENTH LESSON).

“God has not only provided us with an Intercessor at His right hand…God has given His needy people a Divine Intercessor at their right hand, even the Holy Spirit….One to represent God to us, the Other to represent us before God” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p152).

PRAYER

THE TRINITY IN PRAYER

“…the doctrine of the…Trinity…is…the way in which it were possible for man to be taken up into the fellowship of God, and his prayer to become a real factor in God’s rule of this earth” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SEVENTEENTH LESSON).

“Oh, what a costly and precious privilege is prayer!…with the throne of grace accessible moment by moment; with the Holy Spirit disclosing each want, indicating each petition, and framing each request; with Christ at the right hand of God presenting the petition; and with a Father in heaven bowing down His ear and listening so He can answer, surely we may ‘trust and not be afraid” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 24th).

“Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts; so graciously has God provided for the encouragement of the praying remnant” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Rom 8:26-28]).

“…what encouragement is here: the Spirit creates within us holy desires, the Son presents them, the Father understands and approves them” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p154).  “’O Lord Jesus Christ, let Thy grace be with us; O God the Father, let Thy love be manifested unto us; O Holy Spirit, let Thy saints enjoy much of thy communion” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p193).

HEAVEN

FIRM UNTIL THE END

“The one whom God has exonerated…is not him who has merely ‘believed,’ but is the man who continues‘ believing,’…” AW Pink (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol XI, July, 1932, No. 7, p8).

“…Christ was faithful as a loyal son in the household of the founder, his own Father. And we are members of this household if we maintain our trust and joyful hope steadfast to the end” (Heb 3:6 Phillips).

The letter of Hebrews was written “to encourage earnest perseverance until the end.  This demands hope, which is closely allied with faith…and enduring patience…” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2370, [Heb 6:11-12]).

“The constant exercise of faith…is as essential to…final salvation as it was to…initial salvation….we can only be delivered…by a steady and persistent walking by faith” AW Pink (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol XI, July, 1932, No. 7, p8-9).

“…each of you…extend…intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them”(Heb 6:11 MSG).

“Hebrews warns against allowing the unbelief of a hardened, sinful heart to cause one to fall away…His counter to this danger is both to encourage personal commitment…and to call on the church to walk together in mutual encouragement…” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2365, [Heb 3:12-13]).

“…in order to have a scripturally grounded assurance of God’s taking pleasure in us, we must continue cleaving closely unto Him” J. Calvin (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol XI, July, 1932, No. 7, p9-10).

“It is only they who persevere in believing that obtain the salvation of the soul.  Nothing but a persevering faith can enable a person…to obtain…the Gospel promises” John Brown (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol XI, August, 1932, No. 8, p5).

“…dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life” (Jude 21 MSG).

“…sufferings you have sustained…will all go for nothing if you endure not unto the end” AW Pink (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol XI, June, 1932, No. 6, p11).

ELECTION

FOREKNOWLEDGE

“Scripture affirms that God, in His sovereignty, singled out certain ones to be recipients of His distinguishing favors (Acts 13:48), therefore, He determined to bestow upon them the gift of faith.  False theology makes God’s foreknowledge of our believing the cause of His election to salvation.  However, God’s election is the cause, and our believing in Christ the effect” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p25-26).

“Why He chose the ones He did, we do not know.  We can only say, ‘Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.’” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).

FATHER, Your “foreknowledge” does not mean that Your actions are based on what You know I am going to do.  I’m sure You know what I have done and am doing now and what I will do but You do what You do independent of what I do, for You developed Your plans before You formed the earth.  And You choose me for salvation!!

“…God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Th 2:13)” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).  Because You foreknew me You predestined me to be conformed to the image of Your Son.   “…God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were conformed.  On the contrary, those whom He foreknew (i.e., loved and elected) He predestinated ‘to be conformed.’  Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).

“…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him…” (Eph 1:4 ESV).

FATHER, You have predestined me to be holy and blameless, now I have to prove by my actions that I am holy and blameless.  Help me in that joyous endeavor as I work out what You have worked in me—that hidden holiness shining bright in my members.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

HIS PREDESTINED CHOSEN ONES

“Blessed be…God…even as he chose us…before the foundation of the world…he predestined us …according to the purpose of his will,” (Eph 1:3-5 ESV).

“It was ‘in love’ that God…predestined His chosen ones…according to what?  According to some excellency He discovered in them?  No.  What then?  According to what He foresaw they would become?  No; mark carefully the inspired answer: ‘According to the good pleasure of his will’” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p23).

“Nothing shall happen to us which God has not foreseen; no unexpected event shall destroy His plans; no emergency shall transpire for which He has not provided; no peril shall occur against which He has not guarded; there shall come no remarkable need which shall take Him by surprise; He sees the end from the beginning, and the things that are not as though they were.  To God’s eye there is no past and no future; He fills His own eternal NOW; He stands in a position from which He can look down upon the whole, and see the past, the present, and the future at a single glance!  All, all, all of the future is foreseen by Him, and fixed by Him” Charles Spurgeon (“A Safe Prospective”)!

“God is all-sufficient in Himself, having had no need to create any of His creatures.  The creature can neither add glory nor felicity to Him.  However, it has pleased the Lord to create creatures in order to communicate His goodness to them and consequently render them happy” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#232, p5-6).

“Isaiah reveals the sovereign ways of God with the nations, for he is no local, tribal deity but the Judge and Savior ruling over all the world.  His purpose is moving human history forward for the benefit of his people” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1265, [Isa 13:1-27:13]).

FATHER, I did not choose to be created, yet as You created You provided a way for my happiness.  Happiness is better than having no life at all.  I praise You for the work You do for Your children’s happiness.  You, all Love had to have someone to love.

“…The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” (Exod 34:6 ESV).  “…I made the…house of Israel and the…house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory…”  (Jer 13:11 ESV).  “For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant…The zeal of the LORD will do this” (2 Kings 19:31 ESV).

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

GOD’S DECREES OF LOVE

“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18 KJV).

“…prior to the creation and existence of the world, He ordained all the events that He would bring into existence, that is, the time and place, means of execution, individual activities, and the individual circumstances from beginning to end for each” Wilhelmus e Brakel (ref#232, p8).

“…I, the LORD, have spoken, and my words will come true” (Amos 9:12 CEV).

“God was alone when He made His decrees, and His determinations were influenced by no external cause.  He was free to decree or not to decree, and to decree one thing and not another.  This liberty we must ascribe to Him Who is supreme, independent, and sovereign in all His doings” A.W. Pink (ref#231, p3).

“…when I was still in my mother’s womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity…” (Gal 1:13-16 MSG).

“…He chose us…before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love” (Eph 1:4 NASB).

You were hardwired for love, so everything you decide, desire, think, say, and do is an expression of love for someone or something….Your capacity to love was created for him.  Your desire to love was meant to draw you to him.  Your heart was designed to long for love, and that longing was meant to find its final and complete fulfillment in him” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 28th).

FATHER, in Your “sheer generosity” Your have chosen me.  And by Your sovereign will You lead me circumstance by circumstance so I find my joy in You.  How You love is by doing everything You have to do to bring me to the place where I make much of You. “Love is when God gets you to God.” (John Piper)  You make all choices; may I learn to be humble and flexible and keep in step with what You choose for me so I might revel in Your magnificence.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

THE UNCHANGEABLE PLAN OF GOD

“…I the LORD do not change…” (Mal 3:6 ESV).  “…he is unchangeable…What he desires, that he does” (Job 23:13 ESV).

“…from eternity God has had an unchangeable plan…God never has an afterthought…He is omniscient and omnipresent; He knows everything from the beginning to the end…Nothing is accidental, haphazard, uncertain, or…happening by chance….Everything that God has done and has brought to pass is according to His own eternal plan, and it is fixed, certain, unchangeable, and absolute” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#233, p11).

“When we say that God is sovereign, we affirm His right to govern the universe, which He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases….He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any….He is sovereign in all His attributes, He is sovereign in the exercise of His power.  His power is exercised as He wills, when He wills, where He wills” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p19-20).

“…I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish.  I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it’” (Ezek 17:24 ESV).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV).

God is sovereign in the exercise of His grace….grace is favor shown to the underserving, yea, to the hell-deserving.  Grace is the antithesis of justice.  Justice demands the impartial enforcement of law….Justice…shows no pity and know no mercy.  But after justice has been fully satisfied, grace flows forth.  Divine grace is not exercised at the expense of justice, but ‘grace reigns through righteousness’ (Rom 5:21); and if grace ‘reigns,’ then grace is sovereign” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p23).

FATHER, as a changeable creature—deciding one thing one minute and changing it the next, I don’t take lightly Your rock-solid unchangeableness.  You give me peace that my life is under control.  All praise to You.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

WHAT IS MEANT BY THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD?

“The sovereignty of God—what do we mean by this expression?  We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God.  To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God…(Dan 4:35)… (Ps 115:3)…(1 Tim 6:15).  Such is the God of the Bible” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p18).

“God has eternally made a decree, according to which proceeds all that transpires in this time state….We cannot analyze in what manner the Lord decrees and establishes His counsel and purpose.  We know, however, that He does so and that our human terminology gives expression to the unsearchable wisdom and immovability of God’s purpose, as well as His comprehensive plan concerning all things as to the manner of their existence and the time of their occurrence” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#232, p7).

“The LORD has done what he purposed; he has carried out his word…” (Lam 2:17 ESV).  “Have you not heard that I determined it long ago?  I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass…” (2 Kings 19:25 ESV).

“He fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals and all the particulars that comprise the history of the human race from commencement to close….Our days are numbered, and so are the hairs of our heads” A.W. Pink (ref#231, p2).

“God, by definition, is absolutely sovereign—that is, He controls and superintends every circumstance of life either by direct miraculous intervention or by the ordinary outworking of His providence…it denies that anything occurs outside of God’s control” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p146).

REDEMPTION

REGENERATION—THE SOLE WORK OF THE SPIRIT

“In regeneration one of God’s elect is the subject, and the Spirit of God is the sole agent.  The subject of the new birth is wholly passive; he does not act, but is acted upon” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“’No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him’ (John 6:44).  No sinner ever knocks (Matt 7:7) at His door for mercy, by earnest and importunate prayer, until Christ has first knocked (Rev 3:20) at his door by the operations of the Holy Spirit” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p88)!

“…back of our turning, and believing, and accepting of Christ, there was God’s almighty power doing its work—inspiring our will, taking possession of us, and carrying out its own purpose of love in planting us into Christ Jesus” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p44).

“The Spirit of God undertakes the achievement of an amazing work.  He enters the soul, and proposes to restore the empire of grace, the reign of holiness, and the throne of God.  He works to form all things anew, to create a revolution in favor of Christ and heaven.  He undertakes to change the heart, turning its enmity into love; to collect all the elements of darkness and confusion, changing them into perfect light and perfect order; to subdue the will, bringing it into harmony with God’s will; to explore all the recesses of sin, turning its very impurity into holiness; in a word, to regenerate the soul, restoring the divine image and fitting it for the full and eternal enjoyment of God in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th).

FATHER, the SPIRIT regenerates; that is His first assignment in converting the soul.  This act is not gradual.  “It is a secret, inscrutable operation that cannot be directly perceived…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).  After that initial operation He begins restoring me back to Your divine image.  FATHER, I give You praise for I am Your child slowly gaining a holiness like Your holiness.