SPIRITUAL GROWTH…..C.H. Mackintosh

“It required the protracted period of forty years in the wilderness to teach the
children of Israel “what was in their hearts” (Deut. 8:2) and it is one of the
grand results of the course of discipline through which each child of God
passes, to lead him into a more profound knowledge of his own weakness
and nothingness.  “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should
not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor.1:9).  The more
we are growing in the sense of our infirmities, the more shall we see our need
of clinging more closely to Christ–drawing more largely upon His grace, and
entering more fully into the cleansing virtue and value of His atoning blood.
The Christian, at the opening of his course, never knows his own heart; indeed,
he could not bear the full knowledge of it; he would be overwhelmed thereby.
“The Lord leads us not by the way of the Philistines lest we should see war,”
and so be plunged, in despair.  But He graciously leads us by a circuitous route,
in order that our apprehension of His grace may keep pace with our growing
self-knowledge.”   C.H. Mackintosh  (Abraham and Lot)
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THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF GOD’S WORD

“The Christian is not to be governed by the thoughts of his fellow-man,
but simply and solely by the Word of God.  I must hold it directly from God,
Himself.  God may use a man to communicate His truth;  but unless I hold
it as from God, it has no divine power over my heart and conscience; it
does not bring me into living contact with God, but actually hinders that
contact by bringing in something between my soul and His holy authority.”
C.H.M.

OBEDIENCE……C.H. Mackintosh

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he
shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.” John 7:17-17

“He will not let me find out His way, unless there be in me a spirit of obedience.”

“We must never lose sight of the weighty fact that it is as we act on what we
know that our knowledge shall increase. We may fill our intellect with biblical
knowledge, we may have the doctrines of the Bible and the letter of Scripture
at our finger-tips without one particle of unction or spiritual power. We must
go to Scripture as a thirsty man goes to a well; as a hungry man goes to a meal;
as a mariner goes to a chart. We must go to it because we cannot do without it.
The instincts of the divine nature lead us to the Word of God as the newborn
babe desires the milk by which he is to grow. It is by feeding on the Word that
the new man grows.”

LIVING BY FAITH……C.H. MacKintosh

“What a lowering of the life of faith it is to confine it to the question of temporal supplies! No doubt it is a very blessed and a very real thing to trust God for everything; but the life of faith has a far higher and wider range than mere bodily wants. It embraces all that in any wise concerns us, in body, soul, and spirit. To live by faith is to walk with God; to cling to Him; to lean on Him; to draw from His exhaustless springs; to find ALL our resources in Him; and to have Him as a perfect covering for our eyes and a satisfying object for our hearts–to know Him as our ONLY resource in all difficulties, and in all our trials. it is to be absolutely, completely, and continually shut up to Him; to be undividedly dependent upon Him, apart from and above every creature confidence, every human hope, and every earthly expectation.

Such is the life of faith.”….It will not do to talk about the life of faith; we must LIVE it; and in order to live it, we must know God practically—know Him intimately, in the deep secret of our souls. It is utterly vain and delusive to profess to be living by faith and looking to the Lord, while in reality our hearts are looking to some creature resource.” C.H.M

WE BELONG TO THE HEAVENLY……C.H. Mackintosh

We Belong to the Heavenly: Our Citzenship Is in Heaven
By:Charles Henry Mackintosh

“Our citizenship is in heaven.” “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What has a dead man to do with politics? But the Christian is one who has died in Christ—died to sin—died to the law—died to the world—and hence he has, in God’s view of him, no more to do with these things than a man lying dead on the floor. He is alive in Christ—alive to God—alive to all that is spiritual, heavenly, divine. He is in the new creation. His morals, his religion, his politics are all in the new creation—all heavenly all divine. He is done with the world in spirit and principle. He is in it, to walk as a pilgrim and stranger—in it to live as a Christian—a spiritual, heavenly man—but not of it to walk as a worldly, carnal, natural man. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” May we live in the power of these things.

(From:Christian Truth: Volume 3)

NOTES ON THE CROSS……C.H. Mackintosh

The Cross accomplished glorifying God perfectly, proved infinite love to us and maintained God’s perfect righteousness. He bore our sins– was made sin for us. He drank the bitter cup of death and judgment. He gave Himself for us ….was this not love? Yet there God’s righteous judgment against sin was fully maintained, so that what I see there was to the least allowance of it. What could show it like the death of the Son of God when He was made sin for us?

Christ gave Himself, offered up Himself. Here I find the holy perfectness of His own soul in a way that nothing else shows. What love! Jn.14:30-31 How could this glorify His Father —to give Himself up to a cruel death and wrath? Because of your sins [and mine]; If love was to be shown to you, it must be this way. God’s holiness must be maintained.

The impossibility of allowing sin to be taken away from before Him; [We] are not to be taken away from before Him [if through grace we have received Him]; Instead of that, as they [sins] could not be allowed they were taken away, that you might be in peace before Him and know this God of love. (Romans 5:8) And see how the cross glorifies God in everything [though] it may seem a hard task to impose on Him, yet it really was…His greatest glory. (John 13:31). For it was a glorious thing to Him who accomplished it. God’s will was that He should come and His will was [also] to come.

Is God righteous in judgment against sin? The cross has fully shown it forth. Is God, perfect love to the poor sinner? The cross has shown it forth. Did the majesty of God require that it should be vindicated against rebellious sin? The cross has done it; Yet the sinner is spared. He has obtained for us life by it, beyond all the power of death and judgment. Were our sins pressing upon us, so that we did not dare look up? They are gone. I can see God in the light without fear: He has proved His love and I can enjoy His love.

Where was obediences shown as on the cross? Phil.2:8 Where do we see love to us? All displayed on the Cross]. The consequence? The power and fear of death are gone for the believer; he knows that He has nothing to impute to Him for Christ has borne it all. [The believer] knits his heart to Jesus, who was willing to suffer and thus put it away.”

Summation by lkp

Some thoughts on this paper: all the while I am reading this I think of that passage in Phil. 2: 1-8. AND Phil. 3:10-14. Opportunities are brought to us to live out that “conforming to His death” to lovingly allow His life and our cross to be manifested for the sake of others He brings into our life. Think about the truth in 2Cor.4:8-12.

We may be asked to bear suffering that others may prosper in their spiritual life …that they might “see” Christ in us. Clearly, there requires discernment in each circumstance…whether Gal.6:2 is called upon in our life or Gal.6:5 (where the burden is to be borne by the person, alone). Our part is to minister to others and to yield to the Lord in the circumstance (versus yielding to the sinful nature). We may feel there is little reward for this “ministry of suffering” in our life. NOT SO ! Not only does it work for the spiritual good of the person but it works in us to increase our growth and our dependency upon the Lord which gives us all the promises of joy and peace and contentment in the resurrection life here and now. What a loss to us when we miss these opportunities to allow the Lord to work in us “to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

He is gracious to bring new opportunities to live out the Christ-life. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…” For long years we are in the mind set that suffering is to be avoided… and at best, endured. Yes, we are to “stand fast”….but what results in us! “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect [mature], stablish and strengthen, settle you.” We will rejoice as He changes us…giving that liberty from the sinful nature and instead being filled up with Christ (filling of the H.S.) : “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Let our prayer be to so trust our Lord that when in the midst of suffering, we view it from His love, remembering His “mind” on the cross for us. That the suffering is a perfect design for us and for our good. Not that we will not experience sorrow BUT it will not lead to destruction. Think on those verses in 2Cor.4:8-9. May we be His tool for comfort and encouragement in others….may we not leave destruction and harm when we could show agape love: patience, kindness, no envy, not puffed up; seeking not our own, not easily provoked, thinking no evil; rejoicing in the truth, bearing all things, not being suspicious, hoping in all things, enduring through testing. The cost is only self which needs to go anyway. Joyfulness will be absent in our hearts when ruled by it.

THE DAY OF HIS SYMPATHY……C.H. Mackintosh

“The three Nazarites, Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego, walked with God
in the king’s palace; and God walked with them in the king’s furnace.
And is it not worth passing through a fiery furnace to enjoy a little more of the presence
of the Lord Jesus, and the sympathy of His loving heart? Is not a furnace where He is
better than a palace where He is not? Nature says, “No!” Faith says, “Yes!”

It is well to bear in mind that this is not the day of the Lord Jesus’ power; but it is
the day of His sympathy . When passing through the deep waters of affliction, the
heart may, at times, feel disposed to ask, “Why does not the Lord display His power,
and deliver me?” The answer is, This is not the day of His power. He could avert
that illness–He could remove that difficulty–He could prevent that catastrophe–
He could preserve that beloved and fondly cherished object from the cold grasp
of death.

But, instead of putting forth His power to deliver, He more often allows things to run
their course, and pours His own sympathy into the oppressed and riven heart, in
such a way as to elicit the acknowledgement that we would not, for worlds, have
missed the trial, because of the abundance of the consolation (2Cor.1:4-6).
Such is the manner of the Lord Jesus just now. By and by He will display His
mighty power; He will come forth as the Rider on the white horse; He will unsheath
His sword; He will make bare His all-powerful arm; He will avenge His people ( Israel )
and right their wrongs forever.

But now His sword is sheathed, His arm covered. This is the time for making
known the deep love of His heart, not the power of His arm, nor the sharpness
of His sword. Are you satisfied to have it so? Is the Lord Jesus’ sympathy enough
for your heart, even amid the keenest sorrow and the most intense affliction?

The restless heart, the impatient spirit, the unsubdued will, would lead one to long
for escape from the trial, the difficulty, or the pressure; but this would never do. It
would involve incalculable loss. We must pass from form to form in the school;
but the Master accompanies us, and the light of His countenance, and the tender
sympathy of His heart, sustain us under the most severe exercises.

What remains? Just this: live unto the Lord Jesus Christ! Seek to be faithful
to the One who is your very Christian life. Be not discouraged by the fragmentary
state of everything around you. Let the example of Daniel and his honored companions
encourage your heart to seek after an elevated course here below. It is your
privilege to enjoy as much if not more, of companionship with the Lord Jesus, as
if you were cast amid the best days of apostolic testimony.”