• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • January 2012
    M T W T F S S
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The Gift Of God

Quoting Claude Duval Cole:

Salvation is by grace, which means that it is undeserved, and also that there is no divine obligation to save any sinner. Salvation by grace means that it is not of debt or reward, but is the free gift of God. God might have left every one of us to his fate, to perish in his sins. It was love in God and not loveableness in the sinner that accounts for salvation. “God commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Salvation is, therefore, the gracious and sovereign work of God. All our graces are children of His grace and the fruit of His Spirit “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22,23). From foreknowledge in eternity past to glorification in eternity future, salvation is all of grace, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). God thinks so much of His only begotten Son that He has determined to make all His sons just like Him. And there is no human merit or human strength at any stage or in any aspect of salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

God Knows

Thomas Watson

We cannot write our sins in such small letters that God cannot read them. He understands our hearts. He knows all our treachery. None of us can climb so high or dig so low to find a hiding place where God cannot see us and know our secret thoughts. All such efforts are in vain. Here are a few words from Thomas Watson (1620-1686) to guide us in our understanding of this great truth:

“But all Things are naked and open unto the Eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)

All things are naked. It is a metaphor from the taking off the skin of any beast, which doth then appear naked. Thus our hearts are said to be naked; they lie open to the eye of God, they have no covering; there is no veil over the heart of a sinner, but the veil of unbelief; and this covering makes him naked.

This is not all, the apostle goes higher: they are naked and open. It alludes to the cutting up of the sacrifices under the law, where the priest did divide the beast in pieces, and so the intestines, the inward parts, were made visible. Or it may allude to an anatomy, where there is a dissection and cutting up of every part, the mesentery, the liver, the arteries. Such a kind of anatomy doth God make; an heart-anatomy: he doth cut up the inwards, and make a difference; this is flesh that is spirit; this is faith, that is fancy. He makes a dissection, as the knife that divides between the flesh and the bones, the bones and the marrow, the sinews and the veins. ‘All things are open;’ they are cut up before him.

The next word is all things. There is nothing escapes his eye: and herein God’s knowledge doth infinitely differ from ours. We cannot see in the dark, nor can we see many things at once; but it is not so with him; there is nothing so deep, but God will bring it above-board, ‘who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness;’ and he sees many things at once, nay, all are as if they were but one. All things being represented to him in the pure crystal of his own essence are but as one individual thing. . . .

Eyes are ascribed to God, not properly, but metaphorically: idols have eyes, ‘yet they see not;’ God hath no eyes, yet he sees; the eye of God is put in scripture for his knowledge; all things are naked to his eye, that is, they are obvious to his knowledge. We cannot sin, but it must be in the face of our Judge. . . .

The proposition I shall dilate on is this – Doctrine: That the most secret cabinet-designs of man’s heart are all unlocked and clearly anatomized before the Lord.

I might produce a whole cloud of witnesses, giving in their full vote and suffrage to this truth. I shall rest in two or three, that in the mouth of three witnesses this great truth may be established.

‘He knows the secrets of the heart,’ Psalm. 42.21. In the original it is, the hidden things of the heart; those which are most veiled and masked from human perception.

And Psalm. 139.2. ‘Thou knowest my thoughts afar off.’ Here are two words that set out the infiniteness of God’s knowledge. . . .

God knows our thoughts before we ourselves know them. He knows what designs are in the heart, and men would certainly pursue, did not he turn the wheel another way. God knew what was in Herod’s mind before Herod himself knew it, viz. that he would have destroyed the child Jesus. God knew his thoughts afar off: he sees what blood and venom is in the heart of a sinner, though it never comes to have vent: he looks at the intention, though it be not put in execution. . . .

God knows our thoughts when we have forgotten them: they are afar off to us, but they are present with him. ‘These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: thou thoughtest I was such an one as thyself,’ &c. That is, that I had a weak memory, ‘but I will reprove thee, and set thy sins in order before thee,’ Psalm 50.21. Millions of years are but as a short parenthesis between: and that we may not think God forgets, he keeps a book of records, Rev. 20.12. ‘I saw the dead, small and great, stand before the Lord, and the books were opened:’ God writes down, Item, such a sin; and if the book be not discharged, there will be an heavy reckoning: to every believer, the debt-book is crossed; the black lines of sin are crossed out in the red lines of Christ’s blood. (“God’s Anatomy Upon Man’s Heart”)

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