2ND COVENANT

2ND COVENANT VOWS BY THE TRIUNE GOD

The FATHER’s covenant vows:

“’I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto My only begotten and well-beloved Son, a people…who by Him shall be washed from sin; by Him preserved, kept, and led; and by Him, at last, presented before My throne, without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph 5:27)….these whom I now give to Christ shall be forever the objects of My eternal love.  Them I will forgive through the merit of the blood.  To these will I give a perfect righteousness; these will I adopt and make My sons and daughters, and, through Christ, these shall reign with Me eternally’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#239, p6).

CHRIST’s covenant vows:

“’My Father, on My part, I covenant that in the fullness of time I will become man.  I will take upon Myself the form and nature of the fallen race.  I will live in their wretched world; and, for My people, I will keep the Law perfectly.  I will work out a spotless righteousness, which shall be acceptable to the demands of Thy just and holy Law….I will endure, and, by My stripes, they shall be healed….I will intercede for them at Thy right hand…I will make Myself responsible for every one of them…I will bring every one safe to Thee at last’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#239, p7).

The HOLY SPIRIT’s covenant vows:

“’I hereby covenant…that all whom the Father giveth to the Son, I will in due time quicken.  I will show them their need of redemption…I will bring them to the blood…I will give them faith whereby this blood shall be applied to them.  I will work in them every grace.  I will keep their faith alive.  I will cleanse them and drive out all depravity from them, and they shall be presented at last spotless and faultless’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#239, p7).

Realizing I live by GOD’s choosing alone, I cannot release myself from Him.  The worst I can do is make myself miserable by refusing to abide by His commands.

However, commands in Scripture conveying my responsibility are not there for my choosing.  Instead, they reflect obvious activities I gladly perform because of the love GOD has given me for Himself.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 ESV).

REDEMPTION

RENEWED AND RECTIFIED

“…a new man…is but the original man ‘renewed’” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p55).

“he saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5 ESV).

“In regeneration nature is not ruined, but rectified.  The convert is the same man, but new made….God in conversion does not bestow a new understanding, but a new light to the old; not a new soul, but a new life to the old one…We put off the rags of the old man, and put on the robes of the new man, and continue in regard of substance the same man” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“…when this new building of regeneration is erected, the Spirit of God makes use of the old substantial materials—the soul and its faculties, the body and its members which were in man before, only he now polishes and purifies them, and squares them according to the rule of God’s Word” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“Regeneration consists…of grace infused into the soul…the powers of the soul are spiritualized and made alive unto God, fitted to enjoy God and hold communion with Him.  Regeneration consists in a radical change of heart, for there is implanted a new disposition as the foundation of all holy exercises; the mind being renovated, the affections elevated, and the will emancipated from the bondage of sin” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“The change in my disposition does not mean that I have a greater intellect now than I had before….But because the disposition governing it is changed, my mind is operating in a different realm and in a different way…it is exactly the same with the feelings…The will…was obstinate and rebellious, but now it desires, it is anxious, it is concerned about the Gospel” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).

“Salvation is all of the grace of God; damnation is all of the will of man.” Charles Spurgeon

REDEMPTION

THE TRIUNE GOD IN REDEMPTION

“Redemption is the result of the compassion of all three Persons in the Trinity” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p173).

“…one God without division in a Trinity of persons, and three persons without confusion in an unity of essence….The Trinity is a mystery which my faith embraces as revealed in the Word, but my reason cannot fathom” John Arrowsmith (ref#225, May 18th).

“God the Father has made everything through the Son by the Holy Spirit.  The blessed Trinity is operative in the whole work, always, but labor is divided up” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 10th).  “In the economy of redemption all is from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.  All proceeds from the foreordination of the Father, all that comes to the believer is through Christ, that is, on account of His infinite merits: all is actually wrought by the Spirit, for He is the Executive of the Godhead, the active Agent in all the works of redemption” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p169).

God said, Let us make man in our image” (Gen 1:26).  Do not let man be content until he knows something of the ‘us’…Endeavor to know the Father…Sit at His table, and let your heart be made merry in His grace.  Then press forward and seek to know much of the Son…Know Him in the unique complexity of His nature: eternal God, yet suffering finite man….Do not forget the Holy Spirit…who first of all moved upon chaos and brought forth order; who now visits the chaos of your soul and creates the order of holiness” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 8th PM).

FATHER, I marvel at the complexity of the Godhead.  I marvel more that You have shown me love through redemption.

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).

SCRIPTURE

THE BIBLE, GOD’S GIFT TO ME

“God’s Word has a claim…upon your attention because of its majesty and its condescension” Charles Spurgeon (ref#251, p47).

“Every word that God has given us in this Book claims our attention because of the infinite majesty of Him that spake it…God’s claim to be heard lies also in the condescension that has led Him to speak to us….Thou art so full of lovingkindness and tenderness that Thou wilt stoop out of heaven to converse with Thy sinful creatures” Charles Spurgeon (ref#251, p46-47).

FATHER, You did not speak Your Word to me just to increase my knowledge but that it move me to change my conduct. Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p187)

“…to make progress in all the good things that he gives us, we must have his Word so we may be built upon it and grow more and more through it.  To bring this about, we must be teachable.  From day to day , we must labor to seek help in the Word to strengthen our faith…” John Calvin (ref#164, Oct 12th).

“We don’t see ourselves with clarity, but we think we do, and we don’t know ourselves with accuracy, but we are convinced we do….” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 4th).  “…the mind was designed not to defend what we want, but to discover what is ultimately true….The purpose of the mind is not to rationalize subjective preferences, but to recognize objective reality and to help the heart revel in God” John Piper (ref#220, p261, underlining mine).  “Only when the Word of God is applied to a person’s life does he realize how deep and wide is his corruption” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 13th).

FATHER, I am reminded again what a great gift Your Word is as the SPIRIT convicts me of utilizing my mind all too often to “rationalize subjective preferences.”  How refreshing it is to follow “objective reality” reading Your Scriptures, instead.

“…we all need help.  It comes to us in the gift of God’s Word…” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 4th).

SCRIPTURE

NECESSITY OF SCRIPTURE

“..thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Ps 138:2 KJV).

“…let us become stronger in the Word that God has been pleased to communicate to us…so we might have much greater love for his holy Word and give ourselves wholly to it” John Calvin (ref#164, Dec 31st).

“…the works of creation…while they testify to ‘His power and Godhead’—thus leaving man inexcusable for his atheism—nowhere supply an answer to the momentous question, ‘What must I do to be saved?’…They tell of a fallen, but not of a restored humanity” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p33).

“We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains or the sparkling stars, but we do read that…His delights are ‘with the sons of men.’ (Prov 8:31)” Charles Surgeon (ref#34, Sept 21st AM).

FATHER, nature displays Your creative beauty and tells me there is a great and powerful GOD, but Your written words informs me of Your love for me personally.

“As a revelation of the love of God, His Word is inexpressibly precious.  We want to know more than the mind of God.  We are sinners, and we want to read His heart—His loving, gracious, sin-forgiving heart.  We want to know, not only what His thoughts and purposes are, but what His [thoughts] towards us are….And when we approach the subject yet closer…what a transcendent, marvelous unfolding of His love is presented in the gift of His beloved Son” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p36)!

“…There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus….” (2 Tim 3:14-17 MSG).

“Beloved, let this be the one and chief object in your study of the Bible: the knowledge of Jesus.  The Bible is not a history, a book of science, a poem—it is a record of Christ.  Study it to know more of Him, His nature, His love, His work” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p37).

“Of these Scriptures, He is the…substance, the sweetness, the glory—the one, precious, absorbing theme” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p37).  “Search the Scriptures, know the Scriptures, love the Scriptures, and live the Scriptures” John Calvin (ref#164, Dec 31st).

“Whatever you neglect, neglect not the Bible” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p37).

SCRIPTURE

INFLUENCE OF SCRIPTURE

“Our convictions and values will come from society around us (the world), or they will come as our minds are renewed by the Word of God.  There is no third option” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p167-168).

FATHER, like no other book Your words change my very nature.  Externally I conclude, by the actions of the HOLY SPIRIT, that the Bible is unique in that every book in it agrees with every other book in it.  I also grasp the internal evidence.  I feel in my reading that it is Your Word explicitly.  The HOLY SPIRIT too, brings this to me. (ref#189, Dec 14th)

“The human task of thinking about God on the basis of his Word is the place where God ‘grants understanding.’  It is a gift….(Prov 2:2-6)” John Piper (ref#220, p285).

“…the word of God…performs its work in you who believe” (1 Thes 2:13 NASB).

“Many can bring the Scriptures to the mind, but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 19th PM).  “…the Holy Scriptures cannot be penetrated by study and talent is most certain.  Therefore our first duty is to begin to pray, and to pray to this effect that if it please God to accomplish something for His glory—not for yours or any other person’s—He very graciously grant you a true understanding of His words….You must, therefore, completely despair of your own…ability and rely solely on the inspiration of the Spirit” John Piper (ref#220, p291).

“The Word of God…is the weapon that God designs to use in penetrating the kingdom of darkness and gathering the children of light…His whole redemptive plan for the universe hangs on the success of his word…” John Piper (ref#220, p222).  “The great design…is to reveal the love of God to His people, and thereby recover their love to God, that they may love Him again who first loved them” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p128).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT’S SENSIBLE PRESENCE

FATHER, save me from being content with a little measure of the SPIRIT, thinking that is all I am expected to have.  So often I feel His absence and act using my own human spirit.  Grow in me a desire for the power of His presence all the time The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p29).

“The Holy Spirit is no temporary gift; He abides with the saints.  We have but to seek Him aright, and He will be found by us.  He is jealous, but He is compassionate.  If He leaves in anger, He returns in mercy.  Gracious and tender, He does not weary of us, but He waits to be merciful still” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Feb 12thPM).

Through sin and worldliness I lose the consciousness of the SPIRIT’s presence. I don’t lose You, SPIRIT, but You are behind my conscious awareness (ref#30, p115).  For instance, no matter how eager or clever I am in sharing the Gospel, it is insufficient without Your presence.  What I need is to experience continual power to be obedient to You, SPIRIT, Who alone truly teaches me (ref#33, p86).

“God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will prevent none of the working of His spirit” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 30th).

FATHER, sensitize me to watch for the SPIRIT.  In Him is the only way I can remain spiritual. (ref#101, p28).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT AS SPIRIT KNOWLEDGE

“…all that has been done by God the Father and by God the Son will be of no value to us unless the Spirit reveals these things to our souls” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Feb 29thPM).

 “’What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.  For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God”(1 Cor 2:9-10 ESV).

“…our conviction of the truth of Scripture must be derived from a higher source than human conjectures, judgments, or reasons; namely, the secret testimony of the Spirit” John Calvin (ref#113, p33).

“When the Holy Spirit…comes, he shall guide you into all truth.  For he will not be presenting his own ideas, but will be passing on to you what he has heard….” (John 16:13 TLB).

“God’s truth comes to us through three essential processes: revelation, inspiration, and illumination” Carol Ruvolo (ref#228, p70).

“Revelation involves the actual disclosure of God’s truth…” Carol Ruvolo (ref#228, p70). “By revelation is understood those truths made known by supernatural means, because they lie beyond the power of man to discover” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p102).

“Inspiration is concerned with the means and processes by which these truths are made known” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p102).  “…inspiration has to do with recording divine revelation perfectly and completely…” Carol Ruvolo (ref#228, p70).

“…illumination is what enables us to understand that truth” Carol Ruvolo (ref#228, p70).   “…The Bible can neither be accounted for nor interpreted but by His [the SPIRIT’s] guidance…Revealed truth can be known only through the Revealer” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p15, brackets mine).

FATHER, since human reasoning is my default way of thinking, I ask Your help that I may train myself to be aware of the SPIRIT’s activity in giving the Truth.  I recognize my head knowledge has no ability to spawn appropriate spiritual actions.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT AS A GUARANTEE

“In him you…were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it…” (Eph 1:13-14 ESV).

“…in this word ‘sealed,’…is a message of safety and security in God’s love and power.  God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship, and as a protecting seal to keep out destructive forces. The point is that God wants us to feel secure and safe in his love and power” (ref: John Piper, Sealed by the Spirit to the Day of Redemption, https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/sealed-by-the-spirit-to-the-day-of-redemption).

“…By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete”(2 Cor 1:20-22 MSG).

“…in most cases, the sealing of the Spirit is a…gradualwork.  It is a work of time.  The soul is placed in the school of deep experience and is led step by step, stage by stage.

The knowledge of self and of Christ increases,

deeper views of indwelling sin are discovered,

the heart’s treachery is more acutely felt,

the devices of Satan are better known,

the mystery of God’s gracious and providential dealings with His children are more clearly unfolded and better understood—

and all this may be arrived at through a process of deep and painful, yet sanctified, discipline…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 14th).

FATHER, how precious it is to possess the SPIRIT.  For I know I need Him every minute of my unstable, always-changing life.  Move me to realize each trial You craft for me is so I might grasp the SPIRIT and find security only in You.

“How independent of outward circumstances the Holy Spirit can make the Christian” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 8th, PM)!