• 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,396,163 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,267 other subscribers
  • February 2023
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading


Andrew A. Bonar:

Andrew Bonar“We must continue in prayer if we are to get an outpouring of the Spirit. Christ says there are some things we shall not get, unless we pray and fast, yes, “prayer and fasting.” We must control the flesh and abstain from whatever hinders direct fellowship with God.”

Guilt and Sins are no Small Matter

Do you deny your love of sin? You know they are wrong but you excuse yourself based on what others are doing, or what you see on TV, or in movies. Are you neglecting your great and only salvation? How shall you escape the justice of natural consequences or the impending wrath of justice to come? According to Andrew Bonar:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

The crucified and risen Jesus, and nothing else, brings us nigh to God. The crucified and risen Jesus, apart from all besides, reconciles us to God. The crucified and risen Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. He has borne an awful testimony that the wages of sin is death, and has thus opened the way of salvation for the very chief of sinners, the very basest and vilest of men.

Reader! Have you ever felt this blood of Christ to be precious blood? Have you been convinced of sin, and convinced of righteousness? Have you ever felt God’s holy justice in requiring such a sacrifice, and His holy love in providing it, not sparing His only begotten Son? Have you ever felt the necessity for that blood being shed, and sprinkled upon your soul before you could be pardoned? It is the blood, and the blood alone, which maketh atonement for the soul. It was to this blood of Christ, seen by faith through the types of the ceremonial law, that David was looking in the Fifty-first Psalm, when, in bitterness for his guilt, he cried, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psa. 51. 7). Has the insupportable burden of sin ever thus fixed your eye upon that blood whence alone pardon and relief can come?

Or are you yet easy-minded about the state of your soul? Does your conscience tell you that it would make no material difference to you, if you were to be told that now there was to be no longer any access to the mercy-seat for you? Dear reader, think what you are doing. Is sin a fancy? Is the wrath of God a vain imagination? If these were matters of little consequence, if they were as small matters as you now think them, would God have given His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life? (“The Mercy Seat)

Full Assurance

Fear cannot abound in a man’s heart when he knows that Christ is with him and will strengthen him in the face of evil and temptation to do evil. Christ has you firm in His grip. Andrew Bonar writes:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

Dear reader, we affectionately urge this matter upon you; for we believe it nearly concerns your own salvation, your own peace and holiness. If my warrant to be assured of salvation depended upon the measure of my attainments, how could I ever be assured of salvation? How could I ever be assured that I had attained such a measure as would secure my acceptance, and my deliverance from the hand of my enemies, that I might serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of my life? How could the jailer have been safe in rejoicing in Christ, the same hour of the night? How could the eunuch have been warranted in going on his way rejoicing?

But, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.” Blessed be God, it is not a peradventure, left in uncertainty until after death or judgment, on which I am pleaded with to rest my eternal all. It is a work devised for sinners, undertaken for sinners, wrought out for sinners, finished for sinners, and accepted by God for sinners, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. And we have not to go to the uttermost parts of the earth to seek it. O reader! that finished work, that immediate acceptance and salvation, is nigh thee in thy hand in thy mouth in thy heart! “Hearken unto Me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness; behold! I bring near My righteousness!” (Isaiah 46. 12, 13). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16. 31).

But is there, then, no hope that we are in Christ unless we possess this full assurance? We do not say so, though we believe that this question has often been used as a refuge from the guilt of not resting with full confidence on the blood of Christ. By reason of the weakness of their faith, and the strength of corruption within, the holiest of men are often found walking in darkness; but what we plead for is this, that if a child of God be not kept in peace as regards his acceptance, it is not for the want of something in Christ, but because of his own want of faith, to take freely what has been so freely given; and that all such doubts and fears regarding the fullness of Christ whatever be the humbled and exercised look they may assume while they are the believer’s misery, are no less truly the believer’s sin.

And this is the true way of holiness. The same apostle who proclaims salvation “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly,” beseeches us, by those very mercies of God, to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. The same sprinkled blood which speaks peace to the sinner, proclaims to that sinner continually, “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6. 20). (“The Mercy Seat”)

Looking in all the Wrong Places

If I believed the basis of the assurance of my salvation depended upon the measure of my own works, how could I ever be assured of my salvation? Andrew Bonar shares his thoughts on this in the excerpts below:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

Is a sinner’s appeal to the blood of Jesus his only ground of acceptance? Yes, the one and only ground. The great thing that has created a difference between the soul now believing, and other souls still in sin is that the eye of the believing one has been fixed upon the atonement. Others see not the power of the blood, and so have no plea with God.

There is nothing else on which the Holy Ghost fixes a sinner’s eye, when it is He who is guiding us to God. The world sends us to qualities in ourselves and to efforts of our own; and Satan approves of the world’s way, as being a part of the way of death. But the Holy Ghost, who testifies of Christ, guides none to peace and salvation, but by fixing their eye on the blood alone. He never turns a sinner’s eye in on himself as a means of confidence, He never bids a sinner see his own character, and so draw encouragement. No! The Lord’s way ever has been to “glorify Christ,” in order to give confidence to a sinner.

The seven-times sprinkled blood on the mercy-seat is enough to give us boldness to draw near enough to give us full assurance. Believer! Why do you live with anything less than full assurance of your acceptance . . . .?

Are not souls often met with, inquiring the way of salvation, and perhaps, evidencing their sincerity with many tears, who say that as yet they have no comfort, but that they are trying all they can, and they hope soon to attain to it. May there not in all this be a looking, perhaps an unconscious looking, towards something else, for present acceptance and a present joyful assurance of salvation, besides the finished work of Christ? Is it not to be feared that a dimness of perception, in this respect, is the cause of much of the darkness and bondage in which many, even of the true children of God, are held so long? Is there not in this a practical denial that Christ’s work finished for sinners, and that finished work alone, is ground sufficient to warrant a believing sinner’s present hope and full assurance of salvation? … Is it not just a going about, in a more subtle form, to establish a righteousness of our own, and a refusing to submit ourselves to the righteousness of God? Is it not just the voice of the same deceiver who said of the terms of the old covenant, “Ye shall not surely die!” now saying of the terms of the new, “Ye shall not surely live?” (“The Mercy Seat”)

Grace Reigns

It is here we find peace for the guilty and rest for the weary. Behold what His blood has done for the generations of man in order that unworthy sinners may find paradise. According to Andrew Bonar:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

The broken law proclaims that the wages of sin is death. The sinner’s hope is not a hope procured upon any other terms. If it were so, where. or when for a moment, would the sinner be safe? It would be but a saying, “Peace, peace,” while the law said there was no peace. No. Salvation is not an unrighteous compromise between the law and the Gospel. The law’s terms to the sinner are, “The wages of sin is death.” And the law’s terms to the sinner’s Surety are, “The wages of sin is death.” God does not take the believer’s five talents for the hundred which he owed, and call them a hundred, in order that his saving love might reach him. But for the hundred talents which he owed, Christ has paid a hundred to the uttermost farthing. The law required perfect obedience, and blood. Christ, as the sinner’s Surety, has rendered perfect obedience, and blood.

“Do we, then, make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Rom. 3. 31). There is nothing in all the universe which so proclaims God’s holy wrath against sin, as that blood of Christ, which is the only meeting-place between an unholy sinner and a holy God. The law proclaims that the wages of sin is death; the Gospel proclaims, through that blood not only that wages of sin is, but has been, death. That blood tells every one that believeth, not only that the wages of his sin is death, but that the wages has been paid, and that now the bitterness of that death is past. Reader! see in that blood that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so now grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 5. 21). (“The Mercy Seat”)

Come in Faith!

I hope you have filled your heart the truth concerning the blood of Christ. There is where you find immediate pardon for every sinner believing in it and resting upon it. Andrew Bonar writes:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

The Lord shows us a more excellent way. Glorious truth! Spoken of Jesus by those who were stumbled by its very glory. “This man receiveth sinners” (Luke 15. 2). In the Gospel-call, so far as any ground of acceptance is concerned, the Lord has no respect to the sinner’s state at all, as to whether it be better? Or whether it be worse. The only question is, Art thou willing? The invitation is, “Whosoever will.”

The sinner who comes in faith to the mercy-seat is immediately received. The priest who thus confessed and spread out his sin, found God at that spot where the seven-times sprinkled blood lay, waiting to be gracious. There never was seen the flash of angry lightning over the mercy-seat. There never was heard one faint murmur of Sinai-thunder there. There was, on the contrary, the bright and glorious cloud that cast its mild rays, sweeter than ever did setting sun, over the sinner who had on that spot spoken out his soul’s guilt, and left it on the blood.

God looked on the atoning blood, and pointing to it, seemed to say, “I am well pleased therein; and therefore, spare this sinner.” He saw His justice satisfied, because fully met by that setting forth of death for the guilty. Bending over it, it was as if He bent over His beloved Son, in whom He is ever well pleased.

The sinner, too, fixed his eye on the same atonement that lay on that mercy-seat; and after having so confessed his sinfulness, stood gazing on the blood, as if to say, “Lord, there is my death for each sin; there is my satisfaction; there is my propitiation; there is Thy law’s demand; I do not seek aught inconsistent with Thy perfect righteousness!” And this is the position of a believing soul. His eye is on Jesus. His ear hears the testimony, that because of the blood, God has given us eternal life (1 John 5. 11). His soul says, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to me.” He is told, “Him hath God set forth to be a propitiation” (Rom. 3. 25), and he believes it, and holds it up to God. God owns it as enough, and is at peace with him. (“The Mercy Seat”)

Will a Good Reference get you into Heaven?

Andrew Bonar preached from the whole Bible, the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. When one of his friends remarked on his originality in finding subjects for preaching, and wondered where he got all his texts, he just lifted up his Bible. He did not ignore any part of it, but explained it all. Bonar provides the proud with an excellent dose of medicine in the following excerpt:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

Is it true that the greatness of your sins need be no hindrance to your acceptance, if only you are now willing, with all your heart, to turn from sin to God? Yes; it is true. It was for sinners, the mercy-seat was made. It was for sinners the blood was shed. “This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26. 28). “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick . . . I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9. 12, 13).

When, at any time, you have heard Christ in all His fullness pressed upon your acceptance – when you have been invited, without delay, to draw near with a true heart; is it not true that secretly you may have been raising some such difficulty as this: “Oh, but I am such a sinner. I cannot expect to be received just as I am. I must wait till I have mended my life, and then I will come. I must wait till I have prayed longer, and then I will come. I must wait till I have had deeper convictions of sin, and then I may hope that the Lord will receive me if I come”

Is this your view of the way of salvation? If it be, you are surely all in the wrong. Is it not just as if you were to say, “I cannot go to God just now, for I am a poor, vile, guilty sinner, with no good thing about me at all – a poor beggar, who has nothing to give for salvation. But I shall wait till I have something to recommend me, and then I shall go.” Dear reader, would this be a free salvation? You want to pay for salvation; but God offers you salvation without money and without price. . . .

But, moreover, supposing it had been required that you should bring some good thing with you when you came to the mercy-seat, how vain would have been your hopes? He, who for a moment cherishes such a thought, has evidently never been brought to feel the total and utter depravity of his nature that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing (Rom. 7. 18). When a sinner is once truly awakened by the Spirit of God to see the awful ruin of his condition, he then feels that, so far from its being a comfort to him, the very thing that is the likeliest to drive him to despair would be to tell him that he must wait till he find some good thing in him to recommend him before he could hope for pardon from an angry God. (“The Mercy Seat)

%d bloggers like this: