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  • 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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The Place of Mercy

Do people really care for God’s mercy or comfort, when they continue to live in sin? Even so, God has devised a means by which justice can be satisfied, and mercy triumphant. Jesus Christ was sacrificed to Divine Justice and it was accepted as the punishment due to all His people. Andrew Bonar explains this in the context of the “mercy seat”:

“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).

[T]he place where mercy can be found, is the place where the blood is. No other place, O sinner, in the wide world for you! But to that place you may come; nay, must come, if you would escape the wrath of God.

You must come as a sinner. You must come with nothing but sin. On the Day of Atonement, the priest in Israel who came forward to the mercy-seat laid down nothing but sin on that blood-sprinkled lid. He showed a sinner’s way of coming to the Lord; and yet he brought nothing what-ever but sin, to be laid down there. So the sinner, in coming to the mercy-seat, brings nothing but sin. He confesses the sin he was born with: “Behold! I was shapen in iniquity”; and lays it down on the sprinkled blood. He confesses his inheritance of corruption from Adam, and lays it down on that mercy-seat. He confesses his own personal sins, in their various forms, aspects, aggravations; the sins of his life and lips, as far as memory can remember, and lays them down upon the sprinkled blood. . . .

At length it is done. But what does it discover? He has laid down his whole soul there his very self; but in all this there has been nothing but sin for him to leave there! No holiness is laid down on that blood, for it is from all sin that the blood cleanses.

You come, therefore, wholly as a sinner. Nothing can be more deeply solemnizing than this. To have such a burden to lay down there to have nothing else than a burden of this kind, and to lay all this on the Lord Jesus Christ! How humbling, how fitted to lay the sinner in the dust, is the view this gives of his utter guilt and vileness! And yet nothing is more inviting, for it is with sin he comes, and as a sinner; and the Lord Jesus meets the sin and the sinner. Is there, then, any room for delay? Any ground for excuse for hesitating to come at once? (“The Mercy Seat”)

In Evil Long I Took Delight

By John Newton:

 In evil long I took delight,

Unawed by shame or fear,

Till a new object struck my sight,

And stopp’d my wild career:

 

I saw One hanging on a Tree

In agonies and blood,

Who fix’d His languid eyes on me.

As near His Cross I stood.

 

Sure never till my latest breath,

Can I forget that look:

It seem’d to charge me with His death,

Though not a word He spoke:

 

My conscience felt and own’d the guilt,

And plunged me in despair:

I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,

And help’d to nail Him there.

 

Alas! I knew not what I did!

But now my tears are vain:

Where shall my trembling soul be hid?

For I the Lord have slain!

 

–A second look He gave, which said,

“I freely all forgive;

This blood is for thy ransom paid;

I die that thou may’st live.”

 

Thus, while His death my sin displays

In all its blackest hue,

Such is the mystery of grace,

It seals my pardon too.

 

With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,

My spirit now is fill’d,

That I should such a life destroy,

Yet live by Him I kill’d!

The All-Sufficient Remedy!

Charles H. Spurgeon

Even one who was the chief of sinners should find comfort in following words of Charles H. Spurgeon:

There is no case which the blood of Christ cannot meet. There is no sin which it cannot wash away. There is no ‘multiplicity of sin’ which it cannot cleanse, no aggravation of guilt which it cannot remove.

You may be double-dyed like scarlet, you may have lain in the lye of your sins for seventy years, but the blood of Christ can take out the stain.

You may have blasphemed him almost as many times as you have breathed, you may have rejected him as often as you have heard his name, you may have denied his existence, you may have doubted his Godhead, you may have persecuted his servants, you may have trampled on his blood–but all this the blood can wash away.

You may have committed whoredoms without number, no, murder itself may have defiled your hands– but this fountain filled with blood can wash all these stains away. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from ‘all’ sin.

There is no sort of a man; there is no monstrosity of mankind, no demon in human shape that this blood cannot wash. Hell may have sought to make a paragon of iniquity, it may have striven to put sin, and sin, and sin together, until it has made a monster in the shape of man, -a monster abhorred of mankind, but the blood of Christ can transform that monster!

Magdalene’s seven devils it can cast out, the madness of the demoniac it can ease, the deep-seated leprosy it can cure, the wound of the maimed, yes, the lost limb it can restore.

There is no spiritual disease which the great Physician cannot heal. This is the great medicine for all diseases. No case can exceed its virtue, be it ever so black or vile. All-sufficient, all-sufficient blood!

The Efficacy Of Christ’s Blood

Charles H. Spurgeon

Is the cross and the blood that was spilt upon it enough to give me hope that I might someday enter the gates of heaven? Charles H. Spurgeon writes on this topic:

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see his hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is precious because of its “redeeming and atoning efficacy”. By it the sins of Christ’s people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, and made one with Him.

Christ’s blood is also precious in its “cleansing power”. It “cleanses from all sin.”

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Through Jesus’ blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains!

O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God!

The blood of Christ is likewise precious in its “preserving power”. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God’s seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God’s eye is still the same.

The blood of Christ is precious also in its “sanctifying influence”. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God.

There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus! And precious, unspeakably precious, is this blood, because “it has an overcoming power”. It is written, “They overcame through the blood of the Lamb.” How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat.

The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death, and heaven’s gates are opened! The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

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