Always Growing

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron AdairCharles H. Spurgeon:

“Thou shalt see greater things than these” (John 1:50)

This is spoken to a childlike believer, who was ready to accept Jesus as the Son of God, the King of Israel, upon one convincing piece of argument those who are willing to see shall see: it is because we shut our eyes that we become so sadly blind. 

We have seen much already. Great things and unsearchable has the Lord showed unto us, for which we praise His name; but there are greater truths in His Word, greater depths of experience, greater heights of fellowship, greater works of usefulness, greater discoveries of power, and love, and wisdom. These we are yet to see if we are willing to believe our Lord. The faculty of inventing false doctrine is ruinous, but power to see the truth is a blessing. Heaven shall be opened to us, the way thither shall be made clear to us in the Son of man, and the angelic commerce which goes on between the upper and the lower kingdoms shall be made more manifest to us. Let us keep our eyes open toward spiritual objects, and expect to see more and more. Let us believe that our lives will not drivel down into nothing, but that we shall be always on the growing hand, seeing greater and still greater things, till we behold the Great God himself, and never again lose the sight of Him. (Faith’s Checkbook)

Prayer

Humble PrayerArthur W. Pink:

The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked.  But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception.  The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires.  No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as [He sees] best.

 

 

The Sinlessness of Jesus

Making Sense of Christ and the SpiritWayne Grudem:

The sinlessness of Jesus is taught frequently in the New Testament. We see suggestions of this early in his life when he was “filled with wisdom” and “the favor of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). Then we see that Satan was unable to tempt Jesus successfully, but failed, after forty days, to persuade him to sin: “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). We also see in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) no evidence of wrong doing on Jesus’ part. To the Jews who opposed him, Jesus asked, “Which of you convicts me of sin?” (John 8:46), and received no answer.

The statements about Jesus’ sinlessness are more explicit in John’s gospel. Jesus made the amazing proclamation, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). If we understand light to represent both truthfulness and moral purity, then Jesus is here claiming to be the source of truth and the source of moral purity and holiness in the world — an astounding claim, and one that could only be made by someone who was free from sin. Moreover, with regard to obedience to his Father in heaven, he said, “I always do what is pleasing to him” (John 8:29; the present tense gives the sense of continual activity, “I am always doing what is pleasing to him”). At the end of his life, Jesus could say, “I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10). It is significant that when Jesus was put on trial before Pilate, in spite of the accusations of the Jews, Pilate could only conclude, “I find no crime in him” (John 18:38). (Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit)

The Resurrection

Bishop J. C. Ryle

J. C. Ryle:

The fact of our Lord’s resurrection rests on evidence which no infidel can ever explain away. It is confirmed by testimony of every kind, sort, and description. The plain unvarnished story which the Gospel writers tell about it, is one that cannot be overthrown. The more the account they give is examined, the more inexplicable will the event appear, unless we accept it as true. If we choose to deny the truth of their account we may deny everything in the world. It is not so certain that Julius Caesar once lived, as it is that Christ rose again.

Let us cling firmly to the resurrection of Christ, as one of the pillars of the Gospel. It ought to produce in our minds a settled conviction of the truth of Christianity. Our faith does not depend merely on a set of texts and doctrines. It is founded on a mighty historical fact which the skeptic has never been able to overturn. It ought to assure us of the certainty of the resurrection of our own bodies after death. If our Master has risen from the grave, we need not doubt that His disciples shall rise again at the last day. Continue reading

Christ Died and Rose Again

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron AdairCharles H. Spurgeon:

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is one of the best attested facts on record. There were so many witnesses to behold it, that if we do in the least degree receive the credibility of men’s testimonies, we cannot and we dare not doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. It is all very easy for infidels to say that these persons were deceived, but it is equally foolish, for these persons could not every one of them have been so positively deceived as to say that they had seen this man, whom they knew to have been dead, afterwards alive; they could not all, surely, have agreed together to help on this imposture: if they did, it is the most marvelous thing we have on record, that not one of them ever broke faith with the others, but that the whole mass of them remained firm. We believe it to be quite impossible that so many rogues should have agreed forever. They were men who had nothing to gain by it; they subjected themselves to persecution by affirming the very fact; they were ready to die for it, and did die for it. Five hundred or a thousand persons who had seen him at different times, declared that they did see him, and that he rose from the dead; the fact of his death having been attested beforehand. How, then, dare any man say that the Christian religion is not true, when we know for a certainty that Christ died and rose again from the dead? And knowing that, who shall deny the divinity of the Savior? Who shall say that he is not mighty to save? Our faith hath a solid basis, for it hath all these witnesses on which to rest, and the more sure witness of the Holy Spirit witnessing in our hearts.” (Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 2)

Remarkable Words from the Cross

Jesus on the CrossHenry Kranenburg:

Being crucified on a cross was not only a gruesome way to die; it was also marked as the most low and cursed way to die. God himself had said that if you die by hanging on wood, you’re cursed. Well, the Romans, who supervised this method of death, knew all this. And that is why they, as bloody and violent as they were, made a law stating that no Roman citizen would ever be allowed to die that way.

But Jesus was hung on this wooden death instrument. Nails were driven through his hands and through his feet. To hang by your arms like that would tighten your chest and slowly suffocate you. Although for a while your muscles would work hard to let you breathe, your muscles would tire out and breathing would get harder and harder. The person hanging would try to resist that by pushing up with his feet or pulling with his hands to free his chest for breathing; but that would of course make the pain against the nails in his flesh excruciating. Add to it that all this was done under the hot Mid-East sun and you get a sense of the terribleness of death by crucifixion. I don’t know whether this was the worst possible death or not. I do know that together with the curse that God had put on crucifixion, it was a horrible death.

Around this time in the process, the criminals would be screaming with pain. And in their pain they would scream out revenge and curses on those who put them up there. Or, knowing their death was looming, they would scream, confessing their wrong, maybe hoping it might help and someone would have mercy.

But not Jesus. Jesus doesn’t scream.

Instead Jesus says: forgive them. In pain and under the curse of hanging there on that wood, Jesus says of these people that have nailed him to these beams: “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (From a sermon prepared by Rev. Henry Kranenburg, Hamilton, Ont.)

When People Hurt You

HurtLet all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV)

Have you been hurt by someone you thought you could trust? Was it a spouse, a relative, a friend, a group of friends, or people you respected? It is often hard to live in a world where honor, loyalty, and trust exist only in literary fiction. Our response to the pain of a broken trust may be anger for the lack of integrity revealed in the other person. Even if the relationship is mended and you forgive the offender, can the same level of trust that once existed be restored?

Trust is very fragile and can be lost instantly. Playwright Tennessee Williams once said, “We have to distrust each other. It’s our only defense against betrayal.” Is this the answer? People who feel the hurt of betrayal may sometimes seek vengeance (which they consider justice) for the pain they have suffered. Do we really feel better when we hurt others because of the pain we have felt? Paul writes, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Romans 12:19 ESV)
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