2ND COVENANT

JESUS, SURETY FOR BOTH GOD AND MAN

“…a New Covenant…would need to secure God’s faithfulness to His people, and His people’s faithfulness to God…A pardoning God and an obedience people: these are the two parties who are to meet and to be eternally united in the New Covenant” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p193).

“Jesus was made the surety of the better covenant.  To man He became surety that God would faithfully fulfil His part, so that man could confidently depend upon God to pardon, and accept, and never more forsake….Jesus…As one with God, and having the fullness of God dwelling in His human nature, He is personally security to men that God will do what He has engaged….as one with us, and having taken us up as members into His own body, He is security to God that His interests shall be cared for” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p194).

“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.  And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jer 32:40 ESV).

“He not only undertakes in the covenant that He will never turn from His people, but also to put His fear in their heart, that they do not depart from Him.  In addition to His own obligations as one of the covenanting parties, He undertakes for the other party too…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p195).

FATHER, this covenant is one You enable me to keep.  For me the condition to participate in this covenant is faith!  This I can do because You supply! This is why You say my work is to believe in JESUS CHRIST (John 6:29).  It is also why it can be said, abiding is even more important than obeying (John 15:4).

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.

1ST COVENANT

THE LAW OUR GUARDIAN

“…the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin…we were held captive under the law, imprisoned…So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came…” (Gal 3:22-24 ESV).

“The law took men into its training…to make the very best that could be made of them by external instruction….God dealt with them as men in whom, with all the ruin sin had brought, there still was a conscience to judge of good and evil, a heart capable of being stirred to long after God, and a will to choose the good and to choose Himself” Andrew Murray (ref#279).

“Before Christ and His salvation could be revealed and understood and truly appreciated, these faculties of man had to be stirred and wakened” Andrew Murray (ref#279).

  “The law, in short, was nothing else than an immense variety of exercises, in which the worshippers were led by the hand to Christ” John Calvin (ref#281).

“The law had promised life; but it could not give it (Deut iv. 1; Gal iii.21).  The real purpose for which God had given it was the very opposite:…He gave it that it might convince man of his sin and might so waken the confession of his impotence, and of his need of a New Covenant and a true redemption…” Andrew Murray (ref#279).

1ST COVENANT

OLD COVENANT LAW

“The LORD was pleased for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious” (Isa 42:21 ESV).

“To understand the Old Covenant aright we must ever remember its two great characteristics — the one, that it was of Divine appointment, fraught with much true blessing, and absolutely indispensable for the working out of God’s purposes; the other, that it was only provisional and preparatory to something higher, and therefore absolutely insufficient for giving that full salvation which man needs if his heart or the heart of God is to be satisfied” Andrew Murray (ref#279).

“The dispensation of the old covenant was one of distance….When He [GOD] manifested Himself on Mount Sinai to His own chosen…one of the first commands He gave was, ‘Set bounds about the mount’ (Exod 19:23)….It was as if the Lord…wanted to teach man that sin was…utterly loathsome to Him…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 15th PM, brackets mine).

“A…use of the Law is to curb sinners….not only the reprobate, but also of the elect, previous to regeneration” John Calvin (ref#113, p218).

“God’s end in giving us the law was, that we might be fitted for Christ, and obtain justification by believing in him” Matthew Poole (ref#282).  “People see that they are condemned; they are convinced by the Law that they cannot save themselves…Hence, the importance of preaching the Law still;…it is needful that people should be made to feel that they are sinners, in order that they may be prepared to embrace the offers of mercy” Albert Barnes (ref#280).

FAITH

FAITH IS

“To believe, in the language of the New Testament, is simply to trust….Every one that believes on the Son of God, and trusts his soul to Him, is at once pardoned, forgiven, justified, counted righteous, reckoned innocent, and freed from all liability to condemnation” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p181).

“…doing something by relying on the strength which God supplies simply means doing it by faith” John Piper (ref#220, p245).  “…it is simply going out of yourself and taking up your rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 22nd).

“A true faith includes more than a mere belief; it is accepting the gospel…It is something more than a mere assent of the understanding, because it is called obeying the gospel…(1 Pet 4:17)” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p93).

“…anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:35 ESV).

“…faith is trusting God and responding to him” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2104, [Acts 10:35]).  “Faith consists in two things: in being persuaded of the promises and in embracing them…(Heb 11:13)” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p94).

“True belief in Christ is the unreserved trust of a heart convinced of sin, in Christ, as an all-sufficient Saviour.  It is the combined act of the whole man’s head, conscience, heart and will” J.C Ryle (ref#273, p183).  “The belief of an individual involves ‘the mind, emotions and the will’” Josh McDowell (ref#275, p4).

“Faith is likened to looking to Christ, and following Christ, and fleeing to Christ….Faith brings nothing to Christ but an empty hand, by which it takes Christ and all that is in Him” Albert N. Martin (ref#221, p18).

“Faith is the ceasing from all nature’s efforts, and all other dependence; faith is confessed helplessness casting itself upon God’s promise, and claiming its fulfillment; faith is the putting ourselves quietly into God’s hands for Him to do his work” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p83).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT, THE REMEMBRANCER

When I know too many spiritual facts they get in the way.  I begin to ask GOD too many questions because I forget facts I once knew.  I end up depending on Him to answer prayers He’s already made provision for.  Facts tend to make me think I have all the answers. I fall easily into the responsibility to succeed because I know so much.  It causes pressure.

But, the “fact” is spiritual truth leaks out of me and I find myself in the pages of Andrew Murray’s book, “Abide in Christ.”  “You forget again; and instead of beginning each morning with the joyous transference of all the needs and cares of your spiritual life to the Father’s charge, you again feel anxious, and burdened, and helpless” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p85).

I forget again and again and again.  I forget I’m a new creature—one who will always be spiritual even as I default back to my natural anxious, burdened, and helpless state. But GOD has already made a provision for my lapses—the HOLY SPIRIT, the Remembrancer.

The SPIRIT causes me to recall it is GOD who works in me to will and work for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13).  I only need to yield myself to His working.

I have been soundly clued to get back to “yielding” instead of “doing.” The more I abide in CHRIST the less I will question anything.

“…abandon all anxiety about your growth and progress…trust…the Holy Spirit ever to remind you of this your blessed relation to Him [God]” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p86, brackets mine).

THE SPIRIT AND THE FATHER AND SON

“…I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”(Ezek 36:27 ESV).

“The Holy Spirit helps us to obey God quicklyand fully. The Holy Spirit gives us the desireto obey God, even when His commands to us are not what we desire in the flesh” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p42-43).

“It was the Father’s work to plan, to purpose; it was the Son’s place to purchase; and now it was the Spirit’s work, in the exercise of the same love and sovereignty, to apply the purchased redemption” Charles Ross (ref#241, p173).

“…the Spirit was to succeed the Son with increased effectiveness and enlarged dominion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p86).

“While each ‘personage’ is distinct in function, each shares together in the same deity and each reflects the divine attributes of the one living God” (All About GOD, Holy Spirit, https://www.allaboutgod.com/holy-spirit.htm).

The SPIRIT is not the FATHER and SON’s vending machine.  He accomplishes their will because the Trinity (all of them) has the same agenda and goals.  From this viewpoint, the SPIRIT is on the same level as the FATHER and SON.  The SPIRIT does as He wills (Eph 1:5) to complete the FATHER’s objective and the SON’s desires.

FATHER, the SPIRIT deserves as much praise as You and JESUS.  He knows me as intimately as You and JESUS—and loves me just as fiercely. I praise You, SPIRIT!

“Let us rejoice in…confidence…because the Holy Spirit is working all the while with secret but divine power in the soul that does not hinder Him by its unbelief” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p116).

JESUS

GREATER WORKS THAN THESE

FATHER, I’ve always wondered how I can do greater works than JESUS while He was on earth but Scripture explains itself.  I can do greater works because JESUS now resides in me (Gal 2:20).

“’Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”(John 14:12-14 ESV).

“…he who asks in his name, does so, as being one with him, and as drawing on his resources….it is to ask as one depending entirely on his divine resources” Charles Ross (ref#241, p87).

“Christ not only declares that God will give us needed grace, but He Himself undertakes to see it done” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p81).  “Such is the wonderful condescension of the grace of Jesus…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p30).

“Omnipotence was…entrusted to the man Christ Jesus, that…through the channels of human nature it might put forth its mighty energies” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p180).  “Christ gives His power in us by giving His life in us….When He strengthens…it is not by taking away the sense of feebleness, and giving in its place the feeling of strength.  By no means…He gives…the consciousness of strength in Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p182).

FATHER, it is such a habit to be my own ruler—to consult only myself in all situations.  I forget my physical side now has a divine spiritual side—that I have supernatural strength because of CHRIST within.  I ask You, FATHER, for help in grounding a habit of always consulting with JESUS as each situation arises.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me”(Phil 4:13 ESV).

JESUS

DIETY HUMBLED

“…He appeared in visible form and became Man…”(1 John 3:5 AMPC)

 “In the life which Christ led upon earth, obedience was a solemn reality.  The dark and awful power that led man to revolt from his God, came upon Him too, to tempt Him.  To Him as man its offers of self-gratification were not matters of indifference; to refuse them, He had to fast and pray.  He suffered, being tempted.  He spoke very distinctly of notseeking to do His own will, as a surrender He had continually to make.  He made the keeping of the Father’s commandments the distinct object of His life, and so abode in His love” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p155).

FATHER, Your Son in His magnificence dwelt with You before time began but then emptied Himself of His godly essence to become human (Phil 2:7).  He identified with me as He spent a few years on earth.  But CHRIST is now glorified in my nature at Your right hand (ref#241, p208-209).

“The union of the divine and the human in Immanuel is the reunion of God with fallen man through the second Adam….God in my nature: my God, my brother, my friend, my counselor, my guide, my redeemer, my pattern, my all!  God in my nature: my wisdom, my righteousness, my sanctification, my redemption!…He takes my nature that He may descend to me, and He gives me His nature that I may ascend to Him.  He stoops because I could not rise” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 25th)!

“If the Deity of Jesus is precious, so is His humanity; the one is of no avail in the work of redemption apart from the other…It was pure humanity, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, which He took up into intimate and indissoluble union with His Deity….Our Lord attached Himself to the woes of our nature;…It was necessary that our Lord, in order to sympathize fully with His people, should not only identify Himself with their nature, but also in some degree with their peculiar circumstances….He never instructs them to walk in a path that His own feet have not trod first and left their impressions” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 31st).

“His humanity lost none of the tender sympathies of our nature which clung to him so closely when on earth.  The same compassionate nature, the same loving heart, the same deep sympathy with all our sorrows, and the same outstretched hand to relieve them distinguish the glorified state of the precious Son of God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 27th).

“The human nature of Christ…still continues, and will continue to all eternity, to be both God and man” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p20).

ASSURANCES

REQUIREMENTS FOR SALVATION

“May God give us grace that we may not make a mistake in learning…of godliness…We should learn early the difference between grace and merit, between the purpose of God and the will of man, between trust in God and confidence in the flesh” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p78).

“The gospel does not command us to do anything in order to obtain life, but bids us live by that which another has done; and the knowledge of its life-giving truth is not labour but rest—rest of soul—rest which is the root of all true labour; for in receiving Christ we do not work, in order to rest, but we rest in order to work.  In believing, we cease to work for pardon, in order that we may work from it…” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p25).

“…commands…will no longer come to you as a law standing outside and against you, but as the living power which has transformed your will into perfect harmony with all your Lord requires” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p157).

To become a Christian it takes nothing but complete submission—letting GOD take over our life.  It is doing nothing—throwing away all our good works, or bad works—throwing away all our “doing.” We must resign ourselves to letting GOD do what He wants with us.  Remain contrite before Him and He will instantly change us into new people who will do all that He wishes we do.  The moment His commands become the slightest burdensome it is because we have put ourselves back in rule of ourselves and ceased to submit completely to Him.

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us…” (1 John 4:10 ESV).

“The gospel is the proclamation of free love; the revelation of the boundless charity of God.  Nothing less than this will suit our world; nothing else is so likely to touch the heart, to go down to the lowest depths of depraved humanity, as the assurance that the sinner has been loved…” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p36-37).

“…we are in the Lord vitally and certainly when we come to the Lord Jesus by repentance and faith and make Him our refuge and hiding place” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p79).

“If you now feel your need of a Savior, that is the beginning of the new nature” Charles Spurgeon (ref#320, p32).

“The plan of salvation is simple.  Trust Christ, and you are saved. Rely upon Him, and you will live.  This faith is the gift of God, but remember…God does not believe for you; the Holy Spirit does not believe for you; you must believe, or else you will be lost” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p39).