Monthly Archives: November 2018

In Jehovah God is our Hope

Category : General

Psalm 71: 5(KJV)
5 For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.—RC Sproul

The Psalmist here repeats what he had said a little before concerning his trust or confidence. But some, perhaps, may be inclined to refer this sentence rather to the matter or ground afforded him for hope and confidence than to the emotions of his heart; supposing him to mean, that by the benefits which God had conferred upon him, he was furnished with well-grounded hope. And certainly he does not here simply declare that he hoped in God, but with this he conjoins experience, and acknowledges that even from his youth he had received tokens of the Divine favor, from which he might learn, that confidence is to be reposed in God alone. By adverting to what God had done for him, he expresses the real cause of faith, (if I may so speak;) and from this we may easily perceive the powerful influence which the remembrance of God’s benefits had in nourishing his hope.

‘From my earliest years’; The meaning is, that he had always trusted in God, and had always found him a helper. All that he was, and all that he possessed, he owed to God; and he felt now that God had been his protector from his earliest years. Perhaps it could not be shown certainly from this expression that he meant to say he had “actually trusted” in God from his youth, for the “language” means no more than that God had actually protected him, and held him up, and had continually interposed to save and keep him. As God had always been his Protector, so he felt that he might come to Him now, and put his trust in Him.

As it was rightly said, “Our righteousness is in Him, and our hope depends, not upon the exercise of grace in us, but upon the fullness of grace and love in Him, and upon His obedience unto death.”

Let us continue to hope and trust in God not man, man will always fail!

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


To Save, NOT Condemn

Category : General

St. John 3: 17(KJV)

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

Not to judge, or pronounce sentence on mankind. God might justly have sent Him for this. While man deserved condemnation, and it would have been right to have pronounced it; but God was willing that there should be an offer of pardon, and the sentence of condemnation was delayed. But, although Jesus did not come then to condemn mankind, yet the time is coming when he will return to judge the living and the dead, Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46.

 

The word judge (πρνω) is here put for condemn, as in many other passages. When he declares that he did not come to condemn the world, he thus points out the actual design of his coming; for what need was there that Christ should come to destroy us who were utterly ruined? We ought not, therefore, to look at anything else in Christ, than that God, out of his boundless goodness chose to extend his aid for saving us who were lost; and whenever our sins press us — whenever Satan would drive us to despair — we ought to hold out this shield, that God is unwilling that we should be overwhelmed with everlasting destruction, because he has appointed his Son to be the salvation of the world

 

Christ’s first advent was not to pronounce and execute judgment upon the nations abiding in God’s wrath; but rather, his was a saving mission, commensurate with God’s love of the whole human creation. It was that saving mission which formed the burden of the Lord’s mission in the first advent.

 

It was the opinion of the Jews that the Gentiles, whom they often term the world, nations of the world, were to be destroyed in the days of the Messiah. Christ corrects this false opinion; and teaches here a contrary doctrine. God, by giving His Son, and publishing His design in giving Him, shows that He purposes the salvation, not the destruction, of the world – the Gentile people: nevertheless, those who will not receive the salvation he had provided for them, whether Jews or Gentiles, must necessarily perish; for this plain reason, There is but one remedy, and they refuse to apply it.

 

Let us then be reminded that unbelief is the cause of the sinner’s damnation; it is that sin which doth bind all other sins upon the sinner, and consigns him over to damnation. It is that sin which doth not only procure damnation, but no damnation like it; which is intimated in the next verse. This does not contradict John 9:39. Since there are sinners in the world, Christ’s coming involves a separation (κρίσις) of them from the good, a judgment, a sentence: but this is not the purpose of His coming; the purpose is salvation (John 12:47). The design of Christ’s first coming into the world was to save it. However, the end of His second coming will be to judge the unbelieving part of it

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Mercy and Forgiveness Freely Given

Category : General

Isaiah 55: 8(KJV)

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

 

People find it difficult to pardon at all. They harbor malice; they seek revenge; they are slow to forgive an injury. Not so with God. He harbors no malice; he has no desire of revenge; he has no reluctance to forgive.

 

It is noted that interpreters have differed in regard to the connection of this verse with the preceding. It is evident, I think, that it is properly connected with the subject of pardon; and the sense must be, that the plans and purposes of God in regard to forgiveness are as far above those of people as the heavens are higher than the earth, Isaiah 55:9. But in what respects His plan of pardon differs from those of people, the prophet does not intimate, and can be understood only by the views which are presented in other parts of the Bible.

 

As we consider the scope of man, we see that the thoughts of men are evil, even the imagination of their thoughts, yea, every imagination is, and that always and only so; but the thoughts of God are holy, as appears from his purposes and covenant, and all his acts of grace, in redemption, calling, and preparing his people for glory: the thoughts of men, as to the object of them, are vain, and nothing worth; their thoughts and sentiments of things are very different from the Lord’s, as about sin, concerning Christ, the truths of the Gospel, the people of God, religion, holiness, and a future state, and in reference to the business of salvation; they think they can save themselves; that their own works of righteousness are sufficient to justify them; their privileges and profession such, that they shall be saved; their wisdom, riches, and honor, a security to them from damnation: however, that their sincere obedience, with repentance for what is amiss, will entitle them to happiness. However, the thoughts of God are the reverse of all this; particularly with respect to pardoning mercy their thoughts are different; carnal men think of mercy, but not of justice, and of having pardoning mercy in an absolute way, and not through Christ, and without conversion and repentance; and so this is a reason why men’s thoughts are to be forsaken, because so very unlike to the Lord’s. Or else these words are to be considered as an argument, proving that God does abundantly pardon all returning sinners; since he is not like men, backward to forgive, especially great and aggravated crimes, but is ready, free, and willing to forgive, even those of the most aggravated circumstances.

 

In essence, God is saying My disposition and carriage is vastly differing from yours. If any man provoke or injure you, especially if he do it greatly, and frequently, and maliciously, you are very slow and backward to forgive him; and if you do or seem to forgive, and promise to forget, and pass it by, yet you retain a secret grudge in your hearts, and upon the least occasion and slight offence you forget your promise, and you are soon weary with forgiving, and prone to revenge yourselves upon him: but it is not so with Me; for I am slow to anger, and ready to forgive all true penitents, how many, and great, and numberless whatsoever their sins be; and My promises of mercy and pardon shall be infallibly made good to them. And therefore, you need not fear to come to Me, or to find mercy and acceptance with Me. No matter what it is, turn to and trust God rather than man.

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Blessed be our God

Category : General

2 Corinthians 1: 3(KJV)
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort

This is the commencement properly of the Epistle, and it is the language of a heart that is full of joy, and that bursts forth with gratitude in view of mercy. He begins after this manner with thanksgiving, (This thanksgiving for his late deliverance forms a suitable introduction for conciliating their favorable reception of his reasons for not having fulfilled his promise of visiting them (2 Corinthians 1:15-24), which nonetheless (otherwise than he was accustomed to) he applies to himself: beginning his epistle with the setting forth of the dignity of his apostleship, forced (as it should seem) by their importunity which took an occasion to despise him, by reason of his miseries. But he answers, that he is not so afflicted but that his comforts do exceed his afflictions, showing the ground of them, even the mercy of God the Father in Jesus Christ.

It may have been excited by the recollection that he had formerly written to them, and that during the interval which had elapsed between the time when the former Epistle was written and when this was penned, he had been called to a most severe trial, and that from that trial he had been mercifully delivered. With a heart full of gratitude and joy for this merciful interposition, he commences this Epistle. It is remarked by Doddridge, that 11 out of the 13 epistles of Paul, begin with exclamations of praise, joy, and thanksgiving. Paul had been afflicted, but he had also been favored with remarkable consolations, and it was not unnatural that he should allow himself to give expression to his joy and praise in view of all the mercies which God had conferred on him. This entire passage is one that is exceedingly valuable, as showing that there may be elevated joy in the midst of deep affliction, and as showing what is the reason why God visits his servants with trials. The phrase “blessed be God,” is equivalent to “praised be God;” or is an expression of thanksgiving. It is the usual formula of praise (compare Ephesians 1:3); and shows his entire confidence in God, and his joy in Him, and his gratitude for his mercies. it is one of innumerable instances which show that it is possible and proper to bless God in view of the trials with which He visits His people, and of the consolations which he causes to abound.

It is a usual form of thanksgiving, Romans 1:25, 9:5. It is in use with us, signifying our sincere and hearty desire that both we ourselves might be enabled, and others by our examples might be quickened, to speak well of God, and to praise his name. The opening words are spoken out of the fullness of the Apostle’s heart. He has had a comfort which he recognizes as having come from God. The idea here is to allow God to have universal and eternal praise because He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the gift of His endless love to man, John 1:16, 3: 16

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Surrendered to God

Category : General

Romans 6: 13(KJV)

13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

It is noted, yielding is an image carried over from the world of matter into the world of mind. In every case of yielding you have pressure meeting with resistance and overcoming it.

To yield implies that two persons have been opposed one to the other, and that now one submits to the other. This submission may be a willing or unwilling, unreserved or reserved, permanent or temporary. Here we commanded not to give up, or devote, or employ your members, etc. The word “members” here refers to the members of the body – the hands, feet, tongue, etc. It is a specification of what in Romans 6:12 is included under the general term “body;” Romans 7:5, 7:23; 1 Corinthians 6:15; 12:12, 12:18, 12:20.

The command is do not yield to temptation. It is no sin to be tempted, the sin lies in yielding. While the sin exists only in Satan’s solicitation, it is the devil’s sin, not ours: when we yield, we make the devil’s sin our own: then we Enter Into temptation. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Satan himself cannot force you to sin: till he wins over your will, he cannot bring you into subjection. You may be tempted; but yield not to the temptation.

 “But yield yourselves unto God “- Let God have your wills; keep them ever on His side; there they are safe, and there they will be active. Satan cannot force the will, and God will not. Indeed, it would cease to be will, were it forced by either: it is essential to its being that it be free.

The apostle has just warned his readers not to surrender their limbs and bodily organs to sin as the conquered surrender their weapons to the conqueror. Now he is pressing upon them to whom they should surrender, not only their limbs and organs, but their whole being, their very selves.

Christians likewise should devote every member of the body to God and to His service. Their tongue should be consecrated to His praise, and to the office of truth, and kindness, and benevolence; their hands should be employed in useful labor for Him and His cause; their feet should be swift in His service, and should not go in the paths of iniquity; their eyes should contemplate His works to excite thanksgiving and praise; their ears should not be employed to listen to words of deceit, or songs of dangerous and licentious tendency, or to persuasion that would lead astray, but should be open to catch the voice of God as He utters His will in the Book of truth, or as he speaks in the gale, the zephyr, the rolling thunder, the ocean, or in the great events of His providence. He speaks to us every day, and we should hear Him. He spreads His glories before us, and we should survey them to praise Him. He commands, and our hands, and heart, and feet should obey

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Who do you Serve

Category : General

Romans 6: 20(KJV)

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

 

“It is a reasonable thing to devote ourselves to God in righteousness, because when we were slaves of sin, we gave no obedience to righteousness.”

 

That is, in their former state, they were not at all under the influence of righteousness. They were entirely devoted to sin; a strong expression of total depravity. It settles the question; and proves that they had no native goodness. The argument which is implied here rather than expressed is, that now they ought to be equally free from sin, since they had become released from their former bondage, and had become the servants of another master

 

Paul still repeats the difference, which he had before mentioned, between the yoke of righteousness and that of sin; for these two things, sin and righteousness, are so contrary, that he who devotes himself to the one, necessarily departs from the other. And he thus represents both, that by viewing them apart we may see more clearly what is to be expected from each; for to set things thus apart enables us to understand better their distinctive character. He then sets sin on one side, and righteousness on the other; and having stated this distinction, he afterwards shows what results from each of them.

 

This is a reason predicated upon what people themselves recognize as proper and correct, to the effect that the servant of one master is not expected to obey the commands of another. Whereas the disciples were formerly slaves of sin, and were at that time regarded as free of performing any righteous duty; just so, now the disciple is a slave of a new master, Christ; and it would be an incongruous thing, wholly abhorrent and repugnant to a sense of what is right and proper, for the Christian to serve the old master through committal of sin.

 

It is noted, these two servitude’s are incompatible; if we cannot serve God and Mammon, surely we cannot serve Christ and Satan. We must be either sinners or saints; God’s servants or the devil’s slaves. We have been “tied and bound with the chain of our sins”; we know the heavy weight of some sinful habit, that seemed pleasant enough at first, but grew into a chain that cuts and wounds us. But our Redeemer waits to set us free from the task-master, and shows the price of His most precious blood.’ Let us turn to the True God and serve Him only!

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Having A Reformed Heart

Category : General

Psalm 51: 10 (KJV)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

It is said, ‘The heart is the fountain, where-from springeth all evil, the root from which all sin growth.”

The word rendered “create,” ברא berâ’ – is a word which is properly employed to denote an act of “creation;” that is, of causing something to exist where there was nothing before. It is the word which is used in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God “created” the heaven and the earth,” and which is commonly used to express the act of creation. It is used “here” evidently in the sense of causing that to exist which did not exist before; and there is clearly a recognition of the divine “power,” or a feeling on the part of David that this could be done by God alone. The idea is, however, not that a new “substance” might be brought into being to which the name “a clean heart” might be given, but that he might “have” a clean heart; that his heart might be made pure; that his affections and feelings might be made right; that he might have what he was conscious that he did “not” now possess – a clean or a pure heart. This, he felt, could be produced only by the power of God; and the passage, therefore, proves that it is a doctrine of the Old Testament, as it is of the New, that the human heart is changed only by a divine agency.

The desires for holiness should become prayers. David does not merely long for certain spiritual excellencies; he goes to God for them. There are many that are wasting their lives in paroxysms of fierce struggle with the evil that they have partially discovered in themselves, alternating with long languor fits of collapse and apathy, and who make no solid advance, just because they will not lay to heart these two convictions–their sin has to do with God, and their sins come from a sinful nature. Because of the one fact, they  must go to God for pardon; because of the other, they must go to God for cleansing. There, in their heart, like some black well-head in a dismal bog, is the source of all the swampy corruption that fills their life.

This is the main thing desirable, even purity and cleanness of heart, that God would bestow this blessing upon us. This is that which the Scriptures does abundantly commend unto us in sundry places (Psalms 73:1; Psalms 24:3-4; Matthew 5:8). This cleanness and purity of heart is commended as the principal thing to be pursued by us, upon a double account

We cannot stanch it, drain it, sweeten it. Ask Him, who is above your nature and without it, to change it by His own new life infused into your spirit. He will heal the bitter waters. He alone can.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

 


Give Thanks

Category : General


Remembering God

Category : General

Psalm 137: 6 (KJV)

6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

 

Equivalent to, “If I forget thee.” If I ever fail to remember thee; if I shall ever act as if I had forgotten thee. Singing in a strange land, among those who had perpetrated such wrongs in thee – appearing to be happy, cheerful, joyous, happy, merry there – would be understood to imply that I had ceased to remember thee, and cared nothing for thee.

 

Here, the Psalmist is saying “Let me lose my voice, and all its powers of melody; my tongue, and all its faculty of speech; my ear, and its discernment of sounds; if I do not prefer my country, my people, and the ordinances of my God, beyond all these, and whatever may constitute the chiefest joy I can possess in aught else beside.”

 

This is truly patriotic, truly noble and dignified. Such sentiments can only be found in the hearts and mouths of those slaves whom the grace of God has made free. The sacred city must ever be first in their thoughts, the queen of their souls; they had sooner be dumb than dishonor her sacred hymns, and give occasion to the oppressor to ridicule her worship. If such the attachment of a banished Jew to his native land, how much more should we love the church of God of which we are children and citizens. How jealous should we be of her honor, how zealous for her prosperity. Never let us find jests in the words of Scripture, or make amusement out of holy things, lest we be guilty of forgetting the Lord and his cause. It is to be feared that many tongues have lost all power to charm the relations of the saints because they have forgotten the gospel, and God has forgotten them

 

God says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” He tells us to “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD…” How shall we sing? Loud and clear! Don’t let anything or anyone take your song!

 

Perhaps you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It is God who puts a song in our hearts, it is God who gives us a reason to sing! I am talking about the song of redemption. When you place your faith and trust in the finished work of Christ on Calvary, He will put a new song in our mouths.

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Established in Christ

Category : General

Psalm 92: 13 (KJV)

13Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

 

Shall flourish in the courts of our God – That is, having been planted there, they will grow there; they will send out their boughs there; they will produce fruit there. The “courts” of the house of God were properly the areas or open spaces around the tabernacle or the temple; but the word came also to denote the tabernacle or the temple itself, or to designate a place where God was worshiped.

 

“The psalmist thinks of the righteous as trees planted in the temple courts where they flourish in the presence of God.” It is unknown whether trees were actually grown on the grounds of the Jewish tabernacle or temple; but the metaphor is not teaching us about trees, but about the righteous. It is an eternal fact that “the righteous” are always “planted,” that is, established, in the service of God and in his consistent and continual worship.

 

Therefore, the passage affords an encouragement to parents to train up their children in attendance on the ordinances of public worship; and it shows the advantage of having been born in the church, and of having been trained up in it – an advantage which no one can fully appreciate. The passage may also be regarded as furnishing a proof of what will be the result of being thus “planted” and nurtured in connection with the church, inasmuch as trees carefully planted and cultivated are expected to produce more and better fruit than those which grow wild.

 

We also see the same image, under the idea of the olive tree, occurs in Psalm 52:8. The passage here may refer particularly to those who have been trained up in connection with the church; young plants set out in the sanctuary, and cultivated until they have reached their growth.

 

The longevity and fruitfulness of God’s true worshippers is promised here, and there is a special quality of such fruitfulness in that it does not cease with the decease of the righteous. “Their works follow with them” (Revelation 14:13); and one reason why the “crown of righteousness” cannot be awarded to saints immediately when they die, but must wait, as Paul said, until “That Day,” is that the eternal achievement of any faithful soul cannot be fully known until it is concluded; and that conclusion occurs not at death, but at the Judgment. And how about this present life? Is it really true that prosperity and longevity are provided for the people of God, as distinguished from the rest of mankind? The answer is a bold and unequivocal affirmative. Where is the world’s greatest prosperity? Where is the longest life-spans? Are such things to be found where the gospel of Christ is unknown? The answer is NO!

 

The happy and flourishing old age of the righteous are a strong indication of God’s faithfulness and truth, showing, as it does, that God keeps His promises, and never forsakes those who put their trust in Him.

 

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C

 


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