God has spoken and His voice reaches the heart. It makes itself heard above the din and confusion of this world, and the strife and controversy of professing Christians. It gives rest and peace, strength and fixedness to the believing heart and mind. The opinions of men may perplex and confound — we may not be able to thread our way through the labyrinths of human systems of theology: but God’s voice speaks in Holy Scripture — speaks to the heart — speaks to me. This is life and peace. It is all I want. Human writings may go now for what they are worth, seeing I have all I want in the ever-flowing fountain of inspiration — the peerless, precious volume of my God.
“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.”
“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: 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)
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 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
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.”
It is very difficult for anyone to attempt prescribing for another the proper method of studying Scripture The infinite depths of Holy Scripture, like the exhaustless resources that are in God and the moral glories of the Person of Christ, are only unfolded to faith and need. This makes it so very simple. It is not cleverness or intellectual power we need, but the simplicity of a little child. The One who composed the Holy Scriptures must open our understandings to receive their precious teaching. And He will do so, if only we wait on Him in real earnestness of heart.
We must never lose sight of the weighty fact that it is as we act on what we know that our knowledge shall increase. It will never do to sit down like a bookworm to read the Bible. 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. We go, not merely to study, but to feed. 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.
Hence we may see how very real and practical is this question of how to study Scripture. It is intimately connected with our entire moral and spiritual condition, our daily walk, our actual habits and ways. God has given us His Word to form our character, to govern our conduct and shape our course. Therefore, if the Word has not a formative influence and a governing power over us, it is the height of folly to think of storing up a quantity of scriptural knowledge in the intellect. It can only puff us up and deceive us. It is a most dangerous thing to traffic in unfelt truth; it brings on a heartless indifference, levity of spirit, insensibility of conscience, which is appalling to people of serious piety. There is nothing that tends so to throw us completely into the hands of the enemy as a quantity of head knowledge of truth without a tender conscience, a true heart, an upright mind.
The mere profession of truth which does not act on the conscience and come out in the life, is one of the special dangers of the day in which our lot is cast. Better by far only to know a little in reality and power, than profess a quantity of truth that lies powerless in the region of the understanding, exerting no formative influence upon the life. I would much rather be honestly in Romans 7 than fictitiously in chapter 8. In the former case I am sure to come right, but in the latter there is no telling what I may come to. As to the question of making use of human writings to help us in the study of Scripture, great caution is needed. No doubt the Lord may and does make use of the writings of His servants, just as He uses their oral ministry for our instruction and edification. Indeed, in the present broken and divided state of the Church, it is wonderful to mark the Lord’s rich grace and tender care in feeding His beloved people with the writings of His servants.
But, we repeat, great caution is needed, earnest waiting on the Lord, that we may not abuse so precious a gift, that it may not lead us to trade on borrowed capital. If we are really dependent upon God, He will give us the right thing; He will put the right book into our hands; He will feed us with food suitable for us. Thus we receive it from Himself and hold it in communion with Himself. It is fresh, living, powerful, formative; it tells on the heart and shines in the life; and we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Precious growth! Would there were more of it!
Finally, we have to remember that Holy Scripture is the voice of God and the written Word is the transcript of the living Word. It is only by the Holy Spirit’s teaching we can really understand Scripture, and He reveals its living depths to faith and need. Let us never forget this.