Archive | July 2017

It Prepared Him For A Temptation

Daydreaming Gentleman“let a man setup any sin in delightful contemplation and meditation, that same inward acting of his sin, either actually casts him upon the outward adventures, or invites them. This is the LEAST that it does. It strangely ripens his natural inclination; and, besides that, it PREPARES him for a temptation that suits that way. Satan shall not need to tempt him who has already tempted himself: and he who will work sin in his heart, a weak occasion will draw it out into his life. Thirty pieces of silver will prevail with a covetous Judas , who already had gold as his master in his heart.”

~Obadiah Sedgwick

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/anatomy-of-sin.92562/, Comment 1

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9 Marks of a Declining Church

Ruinas de Iglesia antigua en Trzęsacz, Polonia (2015)

http://www.freechurchcontinuing.org/publications/articles/item/nine-marks-of-a-declining-church

Gain Our Brothers Instead Of Blasting Them

US Navy 020712-N-5471P-010 EOD teams detonate expired ordnance in the Kuwaiti desert“Oh that Christians would learn to censure less and pray more and instead of speaking OF one another speak more TO one another and one FOR another…. But now the tender praying, healing, restoring spirit is departed and if Christians stir not up themselves to call it back again it is a sad sign that God is departing….
-We judge before we inquire.
-We reject before we admonish.
-We conclude vain assumptions upon our brethren before we come to them as Christians and fellow members.
We think this well becomes us as we take a kind of pride and contentment in it, but oh to inform, to convince, to exhort, to pray, this is to act like the disciples of Christ. This is to show ourselves Christians in deed, professors not of the letter but of the spirit that would gain our brothers instead of blasting them.”

-Thomas Case.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/how-to-treat-our-fellow-christians.92453/, Comment 1

We Do Not Murder in the Name of God

It is commonly claimed today that the Bible is a book “full of violence” that supposedly incites its followers to individual or vigilante acts of hatred and violence.  This claim is false.  Those who follow the Bible alone as the basis of their faith (ie. truly Protestant Christians) are among the most peaceable people on earth.

Here is a quote from a Catholic author, who considered Protestantism to be a pernicious heresy,* illustrating this point.  It is taken from a book about the Huguenot wars in France.  Consider how the Protestant Huguenots behaved even in times of war:

“What does this mean, you rascals!” he shouted angrily as he entered.  Then he stopped petrified with astonishment.

“It means this,” Philip said, levelling a pistol at him, “that if you move a step you are a dead man.”

“You must be mad,” the president gasped.  “Do you know who I am?”

“Perfectly, sir.  You are president of the infamous Parliament of Toulouse.  I am a Huguenot officer, and you are my prisoner.  You need not look so indignant; better men than you have been dragged from their homes to prison and death by your orders.  Now it is your turn to be prisoner.  I might, if I chose, set fire to this chateau and cut the throats of all in it, but we do not murder in the name of God, we leave that to you.”

~G.A. Henty, St. Bartholomew’s Eve, Robinson Books:2002, page 122.

*In the preface to the above-cited book, Henty refers to Protestantism thus: “The great organization of the Church of Rome laboured among all classes for the destruction of the growing heresy.”

Men Will Allow God To Be Everywhere Except On His Throne

Spurgeon, Divine Sovereignty:

“There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.

There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne.

On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his throne.

They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow him to be in his almonry to dispense his alms and bestow his bounties. They will allow him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean;

but when God ascends his throne, his creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and his right to do as he wills with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on his throne is not the God they love.

They love him anywhere better than they do when he sits with his sceptre in his hand and his crown upon his head.”

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/imposing-laws-upon-god.91136/, Comment 2

Man Would Make Himself The Rule Of God

Stephen Charnock (Works, Vol. 1, pp. 216-219):

Man would make himself the rule of God, and give laws to his Creator. We are willing God should be our benefactor, but not our ruler; we are content to admire his excellency and pay him a worship, provided he will walk by our rule. “This commits a riot upon his nature, To think him to be what we ourselves ‘would have him, and wish him to be’ (Psalm 50:21), we would amplify his mercy and contract his justice; we would have his power enlarged to supply our wants, and straitened when it goes about to revenge our crimes; we would have him wise to defeat our enemies, but not to disappoint our unworthy projects; we would have him all eye to regard our indigence, and blind not to discern our guilt; we would have him true to his promises, regardless of his precepts, and false to his threatenings; we would new mint the nature of God according to our models, and shape a God according to our own fancies, as he made us at first according to his own image;” instead of obeying him, we would have him obey us; instead of owning and admiring his perfections, we would have him strip himself of his infinite excellency, and clothe himself with a nature agreeable to our own. This is not only to set up self as the law of God, but to make our own imaginations the model of the nature of God.

Corrupted man takes a pleasure to accuse or suspect the actions of God: we would not have him act conveniently to his nature; but act what doth gratify us, and abstain from what distastes us. Man is never well but when he is impeaching one or other perfection of God’s nature, and undermining his glory, as if all his attributes must stand indicted at the bar of our purblind reason: this weed shoots up in the exercise of grace. Peter intended the refusal of our Saviour s washing his feet, as an act of humility, but Christ understands it to be a prescribing a law to himself, a correcting his love (John 13:8, 9).

This is evidenced . . . . In disapproving the methods of God’s government of the world. If the counsels of Heaven roll not about according to their schemes, instead of adoring the unsearchable depths of his judgments, they call him to the bar, and accuse him, because they are not fitted to their narrow vessels, as if a nut-shell could contain an ocean. As corrupt reason esteems the highest truths foolishness, so it counts the most righteous ways unequal. Thus we commence a suit against God., as though he had not acted righteously and wisely, but must give an account of his proceedings at our tribunal. This is to make ourselves God’s superiors, and resume to instruct him better in the government of the world; as though God hindered himself and the world, in not making us of his privy council, and not ordering his affairs according to the contrivances of our dim understandings.

Is not this manifest in our immoderate complaints of God’s dealings with his church, as though there were a coldness in God’s affections to his church, and a glowing heat towards it only in us? Hence are those importunate desires for things which are not established by any promise, as though we would overrule and over persuade God to comply with our humor. We have an ambition to be God’s tutors and direct him in his counsels: “Who hath been his counsellor?” saith the apostle. Who ought not to be his counsellor? saith corrupt nature. Men will find fault with God in what he suffers to be done according to their own minds, when they feel the bitter fruit of it. When Cain had killed his brother, and his conscience racked him, how saucily and discontentedly doth he answer God! (Gen. 4:9), “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Since thou dost own thyself the rector of the world, thou shouldst have preserved his person from my fury; since thou dost accept his sacrifice before my offering, preservation was due as well as acceptance. If this temper be found on earth, no wonder it is lodged in hell. That deplorable person under the sensible stroke of God’s sovereign justice, would oppose his nay to God’s will (Luke 16:30): “And he said, Nay, father Abraham, but if one went to them from the dead they will repent.” He would presume to prescribe more effectual means than Moses and the prophets, to inform men of the danger they incurred by their sensuality. David was displeased, it is said (2 Sam. 6:8), when the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah, not with Uzzah, who was the object of his pity, but with God, who was the inflicter of that punishment.

When any of our friends have been struck with a rod, against our sentiments and wishes, have not our hearts been apt to swell in complaints against God, as though he disregarded the goodness of such a person, did not see with our eyes, and measure him by our esteem of him? as if he should have asked our counsel, before he had resolved, and managed himself according, to our will, rather than his own. If he be patient to the wicked, we are apt to tax his holiness, and accuse him as an enemy to his own law. If he inflict severity upon the righteous, we are ready to suspect his goodness, and charge him to be an enemy to his affectionate creature. If he spare the Nimrods of the world, we are ready to ask, “Where is the God of judgment?” If he afflict the pillars of the earth, we are ready to question, where is the God of mercy? It is impossible, since the depraved nature of man, and the various interests and passions in the world, that infinite power and wisdom can act righteously for the good of the universe, but he will shake some corrupt interest or other upon the earth; so various are the inclinations of men, and such a weather-**** judgment hath every man in himself, that the divine method he applauds this day, upon a change of his interest, he will cavil at the next. It is impossible for the just orders of God to please the same person many weeks, scarce many minutes together. God must cease to be God, or to be holy, if he should manage the concerns of the world according to the fancies of men.

How unreasonable is it thus to impose laws upon God! Must God revoke his own orders? govern according to the dictates of his creature? Must God, who hath only power and wisdom to sway the sceptre, become the obedient subject of every man’s humor, and manage everything to serve the design of a simple creature? This is not to be God, but to set the creature in his throne: though this be not formally done, yet that it is interpretatively and practically done, is every hour’s experience.

Conversion Without Consecration?

“I doubt, indeed, whether we have any warrant for saying that a man can possibly be converted without being consecrated to God! … If he was not consecrated to God the very day he was converted and born again, I do not know what conversion means. Are not men in danger of undervaluing and underrating the immense blessedness of conversion? Are they not, when they urge on other believers the “higher life” as a second conversion, underrating the length, and breadth, and depth, and height, of that great first chapter which Scripture calls the new birth, the new creation, the spiritual resurrection? I may be mistaken. But I have sometimes thought, while reading the strong language used by many about “consecration” in the last few years, that those who use it must have had previously a singularly low and inadequate view of “conversion,” if indeed they knew anything about conversion at all. In short, I have almost suspected that when the were consecrated, they were in reality converted for the first time!”

–J.C. Ryle, Holiness (p. 57)

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/consecration-and-conversion-ryle.91092/, Comment 1