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).

ASSURANCES

INTOLERABLE SIN

 “…anyone who lives in willful sin…has none of the marks of God’s elect” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p257). “He that minds first the things of the flesh, has no saving faith” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p188).

“The believer who abides in Him [CHRIST] hath a divine assurance for the fulfillment of every promise the covenant ever gave” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p196, brackets mine).

“There is a spiritual treasure-house in the Word…There you will see…the everlasting election of the saints in Christ,—the special love wherewith God loved them before the foundation of the world,—their mystical union with their risen Head in heaven, and His consequent sympathy with them,—their interest in the perpetual intercession of Jesus, their High Priest,—their liberty of daily communion with the Father and the Son,—their full assurance of hope,—their perseverance to the end” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p249).

“The redemption which he enjoys is eternal.  The sense and comfort of it he may lose by his own carelessness.  But the thingitself, after once believing, is his for evermore….Thy faith shall never be allowed entirely to fail” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p279).

“A day must come, if you are ever to be God’s child, when you will cease to trifle with your soul’s interests.  An hour must come when at last you will bend your knee in real earnestness, and pour out your heart before God in real prayer.  A time must come when the burden of your sins will at last feel intolerable, and when you will feel you must have rest in Christ or perish” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p286).

FATHER, I’m sure everyone reading this post has felt “intolerable sin” or soon will feel “intolerable sin.”  To be humbled, then loved by the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe is our greatest joy. Thank You, FATHER.

PRELUDE TO PRAISE

Prayer Facts:

“It is in prayer that we hold up our desire to the light of God’s Holy Will, that our motives are tested, and proof given whether we ask indeed in the name of Jesus, and only for the glory of God.” Andrew Murray (ref#19, ELEVENTH LESSON),

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because in CHRIST all the treasures of divine wisdom and spiritual knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden (Col 2:3), I will wait for You.

Because all nations shall fall down before Your Son and serve Him (Ps 72:11), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Dec 30th -31st

Dec 30   Ps 145-146

Dec 31    Ps 147-148

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“As long as in prayer we just pour out our hearts in a multitude of petitions, without taking time to see whether every petition is sent with the purpose and expectation of getting an answer, not many will reach the mark” Andrew Murray (ref#19, TENTH LESSON).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because Your testimonies are wonderful far exceeding anything conceived by man (Ps 119:129), I will wait for You.

Because You are good and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You (Ps 86:5), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Dec 23rd – 29th

Dec 23    Ps 125-126

Dec 24    Ps 127-128

Dec 25    Ps 129-130

Dec 26    Ps 131,133

Dec 27    Ps 134,136

Dec 28    Ps 137-138

Dec 29    Ps 139, 141