From “St. Athanasius: On the Incarnation”:
“This is the further kindness of the Saviour that, having become man for our sake, He not only offered His own body to death on our behalf, that He might redeem all from death, but also, desiring to display to us His own heavenly and perfect way of living, He expressed this in His very self. It was as knowing how easily the devil might deceive us, that He gave us, for our peace of mind, the pledge of His own victory that He had won on our behalf. But He did not stop there: He went still further, and His own self performed the things He had enjoined us on us. Every man therefore may both hear Him speaking and at the same time see in His behavior the pattern for his own, even as he himself has bidden, saying, ‘Learn of Me, for I am meet and lowly of heart.’ Nowhere is more perfect teaching of virtue to be found than in the Lord’s own life. Forbearance, love of men, goodness, courage, mercy, righteousness, all are fond in Him; and in the same way no virtue will be lacking to him who fully contemplates this human life of Christ.”
“Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.” – Loraine Boettner
Keep thy heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23). Guard it jealously as the dwelling place of Him to whom you have given it. Guard it with the utmost vigilance, for not only is there the enemy without seeking entrance, but there is a traitor within desirous of dominion.”–Arthur Pink
“We have a world today in rebellion against God. Such a world is an evil and unsafe place: there are penalties for living in such a realm. We have a duty under God to bring this world into captivity to Christ. If we fail to do so, the problems and penalties only increase.” (Dr. R. J. Rushdoony)
“Dead in transgressions? Dead in sins? Indeed we were! But God performs resurrections. He reaches down to where ruined, miserable, trapped sinners are living, and he brings them to spiritual life again. He calls them; and his voice, which quickens the dead brings them running to that which beforehand they both shunned and feared.” – James Montgomery Boice, “Ephesians Commentary”
God’s promises are longer than life, broader than sin, deeper than the grave, and higher than the clouds. ~ CH Spurgeon
“Though there may be nothing in my outward conduct for which the Lord is chastising me, yet it is likely there is something within against which He is intimating His displeasure and for which He requires me to humble myself. A spirit of selfishness, the allowing of pride, the workings of self-will, the stirrings of rebellion when Divine Providence crosses me, the exercise of self-righteousness, may be the plague-spot of my soul which needs purging. In the rush and pressure of every-day life the “little foxes which spoil the vines” (Song of Solomon 2:15) are apt to be neglected, and if we are careless then we must not be surprised if we are placed on our backs for a season, that there may be time for reflection and opportunity for closer dealings between the soul and God, that the hidden things of darkness may be brought out into the light and faithfully dealt with.” —A. W. Pink
When a man’s heart is cold and unconcerned about religion [Christianity], when his hands are never employed in doing God’s work, when his feet are not familiar with God’s ways, when his tongue is seldom or never used in prayer and praise, when his ears are deaf to the voice of Christ in the Gospel, when his eyes are blind to the beauty of the kingdom of heaven, when his mind is full of the world, and has no room for spiritual things—when these marks are to be found in a man, the right word to use about him is the word “Dead.” ~ JC Ryle
Living night and day in the fear of man is one of the worst judgments (Deut. 28:65–67), but living “all the day long” in the fear of God is one of the sweetest mercies (Prov. 23:17). The fear of man shortens our days, but the fear of God prolongs them (Prov. 10:27). The fear of man is a fountain of mischief and misery, but the fear of God is a fountain of life (Prov. 14:27). The fear of man causes people to run to evil (Prov. 29:25), but the fear of God causes them to depart from evil (Prov. 16:6).
“Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature: it is a contradiction to be a sanctified man, or a true Christian, and not humble.”
“Faith finds that Christ has made full payment to the justice of God having poured out his blood to death upon the cross…He was born to die; he was sent into the world as a Lamb bound with the bonds of an irreversible decree as a sacrifice. …There is no redemption but by his blood. Christ did not redeem and save poor souls by sitting in majesty on his heavenly throne, but by hanging on the shameful cross, under the tormenting hand of man’s fury and God’s just wrath. And therefore, the poor soul that would have pardon of sin, is directed to place its faith not only on Christ, but on a bleeding Christ, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood (Rom. 3:25).” –William Gurnall, Works, II:3-6, as quoted by Richard Rushing, editor, Voices from the Past, (Banner of Truth),
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
– Psalm 63:1,2
“The true Christian is the only happy man, because his conscience is at peace. That mysterious witness for God, which is so mercifully placed within us, is fully satisfied and at rest.
It sees in the blood of Christ a complete cleansing away of all its guilt. It sees in the priesthood and mediation of Christ a complete answer to all its fears. It sees that through the sacrifice and death of Christ, God can now be just, and the justifier of the ungodly. It no longer bites and stings, and makes its possessor afraid of himself.
The Lord Jesus Christ has amply met all its requirements. Conscience is no longer the enemy of the true Christian, but his friend and advisor. Therefore he is happy.” – J. C. Ryle
The more we meditate on the things of God, as revealed in his holy word, the more will our minds be brought under their sanctifying influence.
”Corporate worship is designed to lure you away from your little kingdom of one and enthrall you again with God’s kingdom of glory and grace” (Paul Tripp).
“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon
Our God is a tender hearted Father
He doth not afflict willingly, he doth not afflict to afflict, to grieve the children of men, to crush under his feet the prisoners whom he hath taken in his net, to cause their spirits to fail before him. Towards his own, His ends are gracious, when his dealings seem grievous, his heart is full of love to them, when his hand is heavy in infliction upon them. When , he hedges in our ways with thorns, he leaves one open gap, and that leads us home to Himself. The language of the rod is directive as well as corrective: And what doth God intend in our trial, but to curb and check our extravagacies, to awaken our languishing faculties, to excite and exercise our graces, to inflame our desires, to enlarge our longings after himself, and so to put us in to a better capacity of Himself? When by some sharp passages he hath acute our appetites, and raised up our estimations of Himself, then he flows in with heavenly sweets, and satisfies his seeking servants above all that we can ask or think. The truth is clear then: Our God is high in glory and excellency, and must be sought in humility: He is dreadful in displeasure, and must be approached with trembling: He is gracious in his intentions and dealings with his own, even when he smites them, and must be apprehended with greediness and satisfaction. And seeing afflictions in their sanctified use and fruit render God such a God to us, the let us seek Him early and earnestly.
–Gaspar Hicks From a sermon on Jan 28th 1645
“Repentance is looked upon as a tedious thing, requiring great effort; but men are content with their dregs and do not care to stir. They would rather go sleeping to hell than weeping to heaven. “A slothful man hides his hand in his vest” (Prov. 19.24); he will not strike his breast.4 Many would rather lose heaven than ply the oar and row on the waters of repentance. We cannot have the world citra pulverem (without labor and diligence); would we not rather have what is more excellent? Sloth is the cancer of the soul: “Slothfulness tosses into a deep sleep” (Prov. 19.15). It was a witty fiction of the poets that when Mercury put Argus to sleep and closed his eyes with an enchanted flute, he then killed him. It is no fiction that when Satan has lulled men to sleep in sloth by his witcheries, he then destroys them. Some report that while the crocodile sleeps with its mouth open, the Indian rat gets into its belly and eats up its entrails. So too while men sleep in false security, they are devoured.” ~ Thomas Watson – The Doctrine of Repentance
Like wayward sheep we’re prone to wander off and get lost. But it’s the loving mercy of Jesus that brings us back into the fold! ~~~~ Alistair Begg
“Grace humbles because grace means you didn’t deserve it, grace means you wouldn’t have achieved it, grace means you couldn’t have earned it.” – Paul Tripp
“Men are to be taught, indeed, that the Divine benignity is free to all who seek it, without any exception; but since none begin to seek it, but those who have been inspired by heavenly grace, not even this diminutive portion ought to be taken from his praise. This is the privilege of the elect, that being regenerated by the Spirit of God, they are led and governed by his direction.”~~~John Calvin
“Behold in faith the sinless, spotless Lamb of God as having already borne that weight, as having suffered for those sins, as having died for those transgressions, and accept the precious truth that it was God’s eternal love that laid them all on Jesus, and that nothing is left for you to do but to believe in Jesus, that He saves to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.” – Octavius Winslow
Before the work of grace the heart is ‘stony.’ It can do no more than a stone can do to please God.~John Owen, “The Holy Spirit”
All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbours.
|Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.This most interesting and instructive Psalm, like the Psalteritself, “opens with a Beatitude for our comfort andencouragement, directing us immediately to that happiness,which all mankind in different ways are seeking and inquiringafter. All would secure themselves from the incursions ofmisery; but all do not consider that misery is the offspring ofsin, from which therefore it is necessary to be delivered andpreserved, in order to become happy or blessed.” (BishopHorne)The undefiled character described in this verse marks, in anevangelical sense, “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit”,not one who is without sin, but one who in the sincerity of hisheart can say, “That which I do, I allow not.” As his way is, sois his “walk”-“in the law of the Lord.” He is “strengthened inthe Lord, and he walks up and down in His name;” his “earshearing a word behind him, saying, This is the way,-walk in it”-when he is “turning to the right hand or to the left.” And if thepardon of sin, imputation of righteousness, the communion ofsaints, and a sense of acceptance with God; if protection inprovidence and grace; and-finally and forever, the beatificvision, are the sealed privileges of His upright people, thenthere can be no doubt, that “blessed are the undefiled in theway.” And if temporal prosperity, spiritual renovation andfruitfulness, increasing illumination, fellowship with the Savior,peace within, and-throughout eternity-a right to the tree of life,are privileges of incalculable value; then surely “the walk in
the law of the Lord” is “the path of pleasantness and peace.”
“Truly”-indeed may we say-“God is good to Israel, even to
such as are of a clean heart.” But let each of us ask-What is the “way” of my heart with
God? Is it always an “undefiled way?” Is “iniquity” never
“regarded in the heart?” Is all that God hates habitually
lamented, abhorred, forsaken? “Search me, O God, and know
my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be
any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Again-What is my “walk?” Is it from the living principle of union
with Christ? This is the direct-the only source of spiritual life.
We are first quickened in Him. Then we walk in Him and after
Him. Oh! that this my walk may be steady, consistent,
advancing! Oh! that I may be ever listening to my Father’s
voice-“I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be
Is there not enough of defilement in the most “undefiled way,”
and enough of inconsistency in the most consistent “walk” to
endear to us the gracious declaration of the gospel-“If any
man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge… Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Ps 51: 3,4 & 11
Ah, here is the great difference between the unregenerate and the regenerate: the one harden themselves in their sin, the other are broken before God on account of it.~Writings of A.W. Pink
Christianity which is from the Holy Spirit will always have a very deep view of the sinfulness of sin. It will not merely regard sin as a blemish and misfortune, which makes men and women objects of pity, and compassion. It will see in sin the abominable thing which God hates, the thing which makes man guilty and lost in his Maker’s sight, the thing which deserves God’s wrath and condemnation. It will look on sin as the cause of all sorrow and unhappiness, of strife and wars, of quarrels and contentions, of sickness and death–the curse which cursed God’s beautiful creation, the cursed thing which makes the whole earth groan and struggle in pain. Above all, it will see in sin the thing which will ruin us eternally, unless we can find a ransom,–lead us captive, except we can get its chains broken,–and destroy our happiness, both here and hereafter, except we fight against it, even unto death. Is this your religion? Are these your feelings about sin? If not, you should doubt whether your religion is “authentic.” ~J.C. RYLE
’Christ is the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is congregation or meeting-place of all waters in the world: so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet. . . His excellencies are pure and unmixed; he is a sea of sweetness without one drop of gall.-John Flavel
“Hath Jesus Christ our Mediator confirmed the covenant by his death! Then O Christian, keep up thy faith, and draw out thy faith, and exceedingly rejoice in Christ; for thy estate is sure, and thy soul is sure, and thy salvation is sure, all is sure, because all is surely confirmed by the death of Christ: the death of Christ was a ratification to the whole testament, to the whole covenant, and to every part and tittle of it: and as sure as Christ hath died, so sure art thou to enjoy all that God hath covenanted with thee for there shall not fail one word of all the good which he hath promised.” – Obadiah Sedgwick
We should be humbled in our hearts because of our lack of contentment in the past. For there is no way to set about any duty that you should perform, you might labor to perform it, but first you must be humbled for the lack of it. Therefore I shall endeavor to get your hearts to be humbled for lack of this grace. ‘Oh, had I had this grace of contentment, what a happy life I might have lived! What abundance of honor I might have brought to the name of God! How might I have honored my profession! What a great deal of comfort I might have enjoyed! But the Lord knows it has been far otherwise. Oh, how far I have been from this grace of contentment which has been expounded to me! I have had a murmuring, a vexing, and a fretting heart within me. Every little cross has put me out of temper and out of frame. Oh, the boisterousness of my spirit! What evil God sees in the vexing and fretting of my heart, and murmuring and repining of my spirit!’ Oh that God would make you see it! ~~~~~The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
”Even the Christian must fear God. But it is another kind of fear. It is a fear rather of what might have been than of what is; it is a fear of what would come were we not in Christ. Without such fear there can be no true love; for love of the Saviour is proportioned to one’s horror of that from which man has been saved. And how strong are the lives that are suffused with such a love! They are lives brave, not because the realities of life have been ignored, but because they have first been faced – lives that are founded upon the solid foundation of God’s grace. May such lives be ours!” – J. Gresham Machen
To this day you will find many who seek to please men in order that they may live in peace and security. They teach whatever is agreeable to men, no matter whether it is contrary to God’s Word or their own conscience. But we who endeavor to please God and not men, stir up hell itself. We must suffer reproach, slanders, death. For those who go about to please men we have a word from Christ recorded in the fifth chapter of St. John: “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God alone?
A gracious heart is not satisfied without this: to have the God of the mercy, as well as the mercy. In Psalm 73:25, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee.’ There is nothing in heaven or earth that can satisfy me, but yourself. If God gave you not only earth but heaven, that you should rule over sun, moon and stars, and have the rule over the highest of the sons of men, it would not be enough to satisfy you, unless you had God himself. There lies the first mystery of contentment. And truly a contented man, though he is the most contented man in the world, is the most dissatisfied man in the world; that is, those things that will satisfy the world, will not satisfy him.~~~~The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
by Jeremiah Burroughs
I find a sufficiency of satisfaction in my own heart, through the grace of Christ that is in me. Though I have not outward comforts and worldly conveniences to supply my necessities, yet I have a sufficient portion between Christ and my soul abundantly to satisfy me in every condition. This interpretation agrees with that place: ‘A good man is satisfied from himself’ (Proverbs 14:14) and also with what Paul avers of himself in another place, that ‘though he had nothing yet he possessed all things’. Because he had a right to the covenant and promise, which virtually contains everything, and an interest in Christ, the fountain and good of all, it is no marvel that he said that in whatsoever state he was in, he was content.~~~~The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
by Jeremiah Burroughs
The unregenerate find the yoke of Christ irksome and heavy, for it grates against the carnal nature. The service of Christ is drudgery to those in love with the world and who find their delight in fleshly lusts; but to one whose heart has been captivated by Christ, to be under His yoke is pleasant. If we come to Christ daily to be renewed by His grace, to yield ourselves afresh to His rule; if we sit at His feet to be taught of Him the loveliness of meekness and lowliness: if we enjoy spiritual communion with Him and partake of His rest, then whatsoever He commands is delightful to us, and we prove for ourselves that “wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Prov. 3:17).~~~~~ A.W. Pink
We are here invited to Christ as Prophet, Priest and King, to be saved, and in order to this, to be ruled and taught by Him. As the oxen are yoked in order to submit to their owner’s will and to work under his control, so those who would receive rest of soul from Christ are here called upon to yield to Him as their King. He died for His people that they should not henceforth live unto themselves, “but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15). Our holy Lord requires absolute submission and obedience in all things both in the inward life and the outward, even to “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Alas that this is so little insisted upon in a day when the high claims of the Savior are whittled down in an attempt to render His Gospel more acceptable to the unregenerate.~~~~ A.W. Pink
”But sanctify in your hearts, Christ as Lord.” These words have a wider application. How little professing Christians dwell on the lordship of Christ! How sadly inadequate are the real Christian’s views of that One who has a name which is above every name! “That I may know [obtain a better knowledge of] him” (Phil. 3:10), should be the daily longing of our hearts, and the earnest prayer of our lips. Not only do we need to grow in “grace” but also in “the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).~~~A.W. Pink
The divine plan of redemption fully satisfies the claims of the Law. There was nothing in all its sacred injunctions which Christ did not perform, nothing in its awful threatenings which He did not sustain. He fulfilled all its precepts by an unspotted purity of heart and a perfect integrity of life. He exhausted the whole curse when He hung on the cross, abandoned by God, for the sins of His people. His obedience conferred higher honor upon the Law than it could possibly have received from an uninterrupted compliance by Adam and his posterity. The perfections of God, which were dishonored by our rebellion, are glorified in our redemption. In redemption God appears inflexibly just in exacting vengeance, and inconceivably rich in showing mercy. “The sword of justice and the scepter of grace has each its due exercise, each its full expression” (James Hervey). The interests of holiness are also secured, for where redemption is received by faith it kindles in the heart an intense hatred of sin and the deepest love and gratitude to God. ~ by A.W. Pink
The heart is deadly wicked (Jer. 17:9). It is a lesser hell. In the heart are legions of lusts, stubbornness, infidelity, hypocrisy, sinful desires; it boils as the sea with passion and revenge. “Madness is in their heart while they live” (Eccl. 9:3). The heart is the devil’s workhouse, where all mischief is framed. “Body of Divinity” ~ Thomas Watson
|“By the grace of God I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
What but sovereign grace—rich, free and superabounding
grace—has made the difference between you and the world who
cannot receive Him?
But for His divine operations upon your soul,
you would still be of the world, hardening your heart against
everything good and godlike, walking on in the pride and
ignorance of unbelief and self-righteousness, until you sank down
into the chambers of death!
J. C. PHILPOT