LOOKING UNTO THE LORD

LOOKING UNTO THE LORD

A.W. Pink

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith!” [Heb12:2]

Looking unto the Lord is an attitude of the SOUL, an act of the WILL, and the exercise of FAITH — a turning away from all that is of the CREATURE, and relying solely upon the living God!

It is tersely — but graphically, expressed in these words: “But our eyes are upon Thee!” (2 Chronicles 20:12), and blessed is the one who can really so aver. THAT is the language of all God’s children, when they are in their right minds. At that time, they place no reliance upon SELF, have no confidence in the FLESH, and expect nothing good from the WORLD — but they put all their trust in the Lord. Their hearts are engaged with an almighty God, and, like Moses, they endure “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb 11:27).

It is this which characterizes those who are members of the Household of Faith:
in their NEED — they look to God for their supplies;
in their STRAITS — they look to God for deliverance;
in their TROUBLE — they look to God for comfort;
in their WEAKNESS — they look to God for strength.

It is this which distinguishes them from unbelievers, who lean upon the “arm of FLESH” (2 Chronicles 32:8) and look to their FELLOWS for help. In proportion, as we maintain this attitude of dependence on and expectation from our heavenly Father . . .
our hearts will be kept in peace,
our souls made to rejoice, and
our every need will be supplied.

For the sake of young preachers, we will topicalize our subject.

1. THE LOOK OF SALVATION. “Look unto ME, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa 45:22). Look not to the Law, the priest, nor to your baptism, nor church attendance. Look not to your sincerity and good intentions, nor to your prayers and good deeds; nor even to your convictions of sin. None but CHRIST can save you. This is very humbling to the proud creature: to have to look away from SELF — and be wholly indebted to Another. It is not a matter of WHAT WE ARE — how good or bad — but of what He is: namely, an all-sufficient Savior, freely offered in the Gospel to every hearer.

If you look unto Him, as the serpent-bitten Israelites looked upon the divinely appointed object (John 3:14) — with simple but confident faith — He will save you!

No QUALIFICATIONS are needed to entitle you to do so — the command of God and the invitation of the Gospel supply sufficient authorization. The VILER you feel yourself to be — the more suited to Christ’s cleansing blood. He is the great Physician — and can heal the foulest leper. Do you say, “But I am blind!” True — yet you are not bidden to “SEE,” but “LOOK” — and sight comes by looking!

2. THE LOOK OF ILLUMINATION. “They looked unto Him, and were enlightened: and their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 34:5). FAITH’S LOOKING UNTO CHRIST is the grand means of blessing appointed by God: pardon and peace, light and liberty, are obtained thereby. Of old, Job said, “Lo, all these things works God oftentimes with man — to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living” (Job 33:29-30). He does so by the power of His Spirit working in us, faith upon Christ. God announced concerning His beloved Son, “I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles” (Isa 49:6). And in due time, the Sun of righteousness arose “with healing in His wings” (Mal 4:2), putting an end to the NIGHT OF DARKNESS for many a soul. By His Gospel, He declares, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness!” (John 12:46). Then look unto Him — and you too shall be divinely illumined: your faith shall not be confounded, nor your face covered with confusion.

3. THE LOOK OF SUPPLICATION. “But our eyes are upon Thee” (2 Chronicles 20:12). The setting of those words is very striking. A great army of the heathen had gathered together to do battle against Judah. When their king was informed, he “set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast” (verse 3). Then, in the hearing of the congregation, he addressed himself unto the God of their fathers, saying, “O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee!” (verse 12).

It was an EARNEST APPEAL unto the omnipotent One by those in the place of CONSCIOUS WEAKNESS AND HELPLESSNESS. It was likewise an expression of HUMBLE BUT CONFIDENT FAITH. It was also an expectation of help from the Almighty. Nor was this simple but affecting supplication in vain. Of course it was not! Jehovah made answer: “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours — but God’s” (verse 15). He caused the enemy to fall upon themselves, “and none escaped” (verse 24). There is the grand remedy for every strait. No matter how desperate the situation — nothing is too hard for the LORD! Turn unto Him the eyes of faith, of dependence, of reliance, of confident expectation — and you will not be disappointed.

4. THE LOOK OF TRANSFORMATION. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). This “beholding” is not simply one of faith — but especially of holy ambition and resolve. As the believer contemplates the moral perfection and character of Christ as they are set forth in the Word — there is born within him a deep yearning to be conformed to His likeness and to “walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). As that yearning persists and is accompanied by earnest prayer, the Holy Spirit works in him a deeper spirit of obedience, causing him to be increasingly regulated by Christ’s example and precepts, and thereby “changes” him, little by little, unto the same image. The Greek verb for “change” here is rendered “transformed” in Romans 12:2, and “transfigured” in Matthew 17:2. As the will is brought into subjection to Christ — we drink into His Spirit and become partakers of His holiness. This lifelong process will be completed when “we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2), “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

5. THE LOOK OF INSPIRATION. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher [better, “LEADER AND CAPTAIN”] of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). In Hebrews 10:32, the apostle began to set before suffering, tried, and persecuted saints — a number of considerations calculated to nerve them for the conflict and stimulate unto the continued performance of duty. Throughout chapter 11, he showed how FAITH was what animated the Old Testament worthies. As a climax, he reminded them of the Savior, who supplied the perfect example of faith and fortitude under unparalleled suffering. When, then, you grow weary of running the race set before you — look unto your Leader and draw inspiration from Him — see Hebrews 12:3-4. Do as He did: look beyond the present sorrows to “the joy” awaiting you; see above the PAINFUL CROSS — an ETERNAL CROWN prepared for him who “endures to the end” (Mat 10:22). It is by so looking unto our great Exemplar, by devoutly contemplating His spirit of self-sacrifice and steadfastness, that we obtain strength to bear the hardships of the way.

6. THE LOOK OF EXPECTATION. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). That is a very different thing from having the mind engaged with signs of the times or charmed with the study of prophecy; or even being on the alert for the next appointed item on the divine program. It is concerned not so much with an EVENT — as with the advent of a PERSON.

The second coming of Christ is ridiculed by the infidel (2 Peter 3:2-4) and dreaded by the world (2 Thessalonians 1:8); but it is regarded by the saints with great delight, for then will be the perfecting of their salvation (Hebrews 9:26). Titus 2:13 describes a spiritual attitude of heart. It is an attitude of faith — and faith is not influenced by sensational items taken from the newspapers! It is an attitude of hope — joyous anticipation of our being rid of sin. It is an attitude of love, so that we cry, “Make haste, my beloved, and be like to a roe or to a young deer upon the mountains of spices” (Song 8:14).

Such looking . . .
weans the heart from the world (Heb 11:9-10),
produces patience in trials (Jam 5:6-8), and
purifies the heart (1 John 3:3).

Therein we may behold the practical side of our blessed hope. Such an expectation of the returning Savior works in us a careful attention to our conduct, that we may “not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

7. THE LOOK OF CONSUMMATION. “As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness” (Psalm 17:15). THAT is the ultimate longing of every believer — to behold the King in His beauty and forever gaze upon His blessed features! Such too is HIS DESIRE — to have us with Him, beholding His glory (John 17:24) — nothing less will satisfy the eternal Lover of our souls.

In a real sense, believers discern something of the glory of Christ even now — but oh, how feebly and faintly! But hereafter, we shall look upon Him without hindrance or interruption. That will be the fruition of our hope — to have immediate communion with Him. That will fill us with joy, and make us overflow with praise. Oh, how altogether lovely will He appear, when we see Him no longer “through a glass, darkly [obscurely]” — but “face to face!” (1Cor 13:12)

Hallelujah!

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THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY – A FOUNDATIONAL DOCTRINE

THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY – A FOUNDATIONAL DOCTRINE

A. W. Pink 

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” [2 Cor 13:14]

He who denies the personality and absolute deity of either the Father, the Son, or the Spirit cannot be a true Christian!

THE divine Trinity lies at the basis of all New Testament teaching…The “only true God” is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and is known in and through Jesus Christ, the one Mediator. That the revelation of the triune God constitutes the doctrinal foundation of Christianity is easily capable of demonstration.

First, as pointed out above, the true God subsists in three co-essential and co-eternal persons, and therefore he who worships any but the triune God is merely rendering homage to a figment of his own imagination.

Second, no salvation is possible for any sinner save that of which the triune God is the Author. To regard the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior to the exclusion of the saving operations of both the Father and the Spirit is a serious mistake. The Father eternally purposed the salvation of His elect in Christ (Eph 1:3-6). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit entered into an everlasting covenant with each other for the Son to become incarnate in order to redeem sinners.

The salvation of the Church is ascribed to the Father: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling…according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2Ti 1:9). The Father, then, was our Savior long before Christ died to become such, and thanksgiving is due Him for the same. Equally necessary are the operations of the Spirit to actually apply to the hearts of God’s elect the good of what Christ did for them. It is the Spirit Who convicts men of sin and Who imparts saving faith to them. Therefore is our salvation also ascribed to Him: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2Th 2:13). A careful reading of Titus 3:4-6 shows the three persons together in this connection, for “God our Savior” is plainly the Father; “he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Ti 3:6).

Third, the doctrine of the Trinity is a foundational doctrine because it is by the distinctive operations of the Holy Three that our varied needs are supplied. Do we not need “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”? Is not our most urgent experimental requirement to come to Him constantly and draw from the fullness of grace that is treasured up for us in Him? (Joh 1:16). If we would obtain “grace to help in time of need,” then we must go to that throne on which the Mediator sits. And do we not also need “the love of God,” that is, fresh manifestations of it, new apprehensions thereof? Are we not bidden to keep ourselves “in the love of God”? (Jude 21). And do we not equally need “the communion of the Holy Spirit”? What would become of us if He did not renew day by day in the inner man? (See 2Co 4:16; Eph 3:16). What would be our prayer-life if He no longer helped “our infirmities” and made “intercession for the saints according to the will of God”? (Rom 8:26-27).

The Holy Trinity: Like the virgin birth of Christ and the resurrection of our bodies, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is one of the mysteries of the faith. The first truth presented to faith is the Being of the true and living God, and this we know not from any discovery of reason but because He has revealed it in His Word. The next grand truth is that the one living and true God has made Himself known to us under the threefold relation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and this we know on the same authority as the first…Whenever we attempt to discuss the revelation God has made of His three persons, we should do so with bowed heads and reverent hearts, for the ground we tread is ineffably holy. The subject is one of transcendent sacredness for it concerns the infinitely majestic and glorious One. For the whole of our knowledge on this subject, we are entirely shut up to what it has pleased God to reveal of Himself in His Oracles. Science, philosophy, experience, observation, or speculation cannot in this exalted sphere increase our knowledge one iota.

Trinity in Unity: The divine Trinity is a Trinity in unity: that is to say, there are not three Gods but three persons as coexisting by essential union in the divine essence as being the one true God. Those three persons are coequal and co-glorious so that one is not before or after the other, neither greater nor less than the other. It is in and by Their covenant offices [that] They are manifested to us, and it is our privilege and duty to believe and know how these three persons stand committed to us and are interested in us by the everlasting covenant; but we cannot understand the mystery of Their subsistence. Any teaching that does not equally honor all the persons of the Godhead, distinctively and unitedly, is of no value to the soul. As one has said, “There is not a vestige of Christianity where the truth of the Trinity is not known, and owned, and honored. Not a vestige of godliness in the heart of any child of Adam where the Father, Son, and Spirit do not officially dwell. There is not a clear view of one doctrine of God’s grace to be obtained unless the telescope, if I may so speak, the doctrine of the Trinity, is applied to the eye of faith and all viewed there”…

In this benediction, the apostle invokes the Trinity as the source of grace, love, and communion. Its unique features must not be overlooked: the order is unusual, and the names used informally. The Son is placed before the Father. The divine persons are not here spoken of as the Son, the Father, and the Spirit, but as the Lord Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit. The reason for this is because what we have in our text is not primarily a confession of faith (as is Mat 28:19), nor a doxology (as is Jude 24-25), but a benediction. A doxology is an ascription of praise; a benediction is a word of blessing—the one ascends from the heart of the saint to God, the other descends from God to the saint…

The Doctrine of the Trinity of Great Importance: The Christian benediction therefore intimates that the doctrine of the Trinity is one of great importance to the existence and progress of vital godliness: that it is not a subject of mere speculation, but one on which depends all the communications of grace and peace to the saints. It is a striking and solemn fact that those who reject the truth of the Trinity are seldom known to even profess having spiritual communion with God, but instead treat the same as a species of enthusiasm and fanaticism, as a perusal of the writings of Unitarians will show. The benediction, then, sums up the blessings of Christian privilege in the three great words of the gospel: grace, love, communion. Those three divine gifts are attributed to different persons in the Godhead. Each takes precedence in His own peculiar work, though we cannot trace the limits of such, and must be careful lest we conceive of God as three Gods rather than one. Each belongs to all. Grace is of God and of the Spirit as well as of the Son. Love is of the Son and Spirit as well as the Father. And our communion is with the Father and the Son as well as with the Spirit.

Grace — a Great Word of the Gospel: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why distinctively ascribe grace to Him if it is of God and the Spirit as well? Because in the economy of redemption, all grace comes to us through Him. The word grace is the special token of Paul in every epistle: eight close with “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,” sometimes varying the formula to “with your spirit.” Grace is one of the outstanding words of the gospel…

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That is His designation as the God-man Mediator. It includes and indicates His divine nature: He is “the Lord,” yes, “the Lord of lords.” His human nature: He is “Jesus.” His office: He is “Christ,” the anointed One, the long-promised Messiah, the Mediator. It is the favor of His divine person clothed with our nature and made the Head of His people that the apostle invokes for all his believing brethren. “His grace be with you all.” That comes first in the benediction because it is our initial need. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2Co 8:9). There, it is His infinite condescension in submitting to such a mean condition for our sakes.

When He became incarnate, the only begotten of the Father was beheld by His own as “full of grace and truth,” and as the apostle added, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (Joh 1:14, 16). Here, the meaning of grace passes from an attribute of the divine character to an active energy in the souls of the redeemed. At the throne of grace, we “find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). The heart is “established with grace” (Heb 13:9), and by that grace we are enabled to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb 12:28). It is in “the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Ti 2:1) that we find our strength, and He assures us of its competency to support us under all afflictions and persecutions by the promise “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2Co 12:9). Therefore, we are exhorted to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Pe 3:18). Those passages all speak of the divine power in the soul as the operation of grace in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ as its Fountain.

The Love of God: “And the love of God.” There are two reasons why this comes second: because this is the order both in the economy of redemption and in Christian experience. First, it was the mediatorial grace or work of Christ that procured the love of God for His people, which turned away His wrath from them and reconciled Him to them. Hence, it is referred to not as “the love of the Father,” which never changed or diminished to His people, but as the love or goodwill of God considered as their Governor and Judge. Second, it is by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in saving us that we are brought to the knowledge and enjoyment of the love of God. The love of the Father is indeed the source and originating cause of redemption, but that is not the particular love of God that is here in view. The death of Christ as a satisfaction for our sins was necessary in order to bring us to God and into participation of His love. The manifestation of the love of God toward us in the pardon of our sins and the justification of our persons was conditioned on the atoning blood.

The Communion of the Holy Spirit: “And the communion of the Holy Spirit.” As the grand design of Christ’s work Godward was to appease His judicial wrath and procure for us His love and favor, so the grand effect saint-ward was the procuring of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word may be rendered either “communion” or “communication.” By the communication of the Holy Spirit, we are regenerated, faith is given, holiness is wrought in us. Life, light, love, and liberty are the special benefits He bestows on us. Without the Spirit being communicated to us we could never enter, personally and experimentally, into the benefits of Christ’s mediation. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal 3:13-14). Thus, the communicating of the Spirit to His people was one of the chief objects of Christ’s death.

But the Greek also signifies the communion of the Holy Spirit, a word that means “partnership, companionship.” He shares with us the things of God. Grace tends to love, and love to communion. Hence, we see again that the order here is that of Christian experience. Only as grace is consciously received and the love of God is realized in the soul can there be any intelligent and real communion, through Christ to God the Father and through both to the abiding presence of the Comforter. This expression “the communion of the Holy Spirit” shows He is a person, for it is meaningless to talk of communion with an impersonal principle or influence. United as He is in this verse with “the Lord Jesus Christ and God,” it evidences Him to be a divine person. Further, it denotes He is an object of intercourse and converse, and hence we must be on our guard against grieving Him (Eph 4:30). The separate mention of each of the eternal Three teaches us that They are to be accorded equal honor, glory, and praise from us.

What is signified by “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all?” It cannot mean less than a consciousness of God’s presence. The apostle was not praying for the gifts of grace, love, and communion apart from the persons in whom alone they are to be found. He requested that the presence of the triune God might be realized in the souls of His people. The New Testament teaches that the divine Three are equally present in the heart of the believer. Speaking of the Spirit Christ said, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” and of Himself and the Father, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (Joh 14:17, 23). The Christian is indwelt by the triune God: the Lord Jesus dwells in him as the source of all grace, God the Father abides in him as the spring of all love, and the Holy Spirit communes with him and energizes him for all spiritual service.

 

THE ERROR OF TEACHING – “THAT WAS FOR THE JEWS, THIS WAS FOR THE GENTILES AND ONLY THIS SMALL PORTION IS FOR US CHRISTIANS!”

THE ERROR OF TEACHING – “THAT WAS FOR THE JEWS, THIS WAS FOR THE GENTILES AND ONLY THIS SMALL PORTION IS FOR US CHRISTIANS!”

A.W. Pink

Dispensationalism is a modern method of mishandling the Scriptures—for modern it certainly is, being quite unknown to Christendom till little more than a century ago, and only within recent years being adopted by those who are outside the narrow circle where it originated—is based upon 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Very little or nothing at all is said upon the first two clauses of that verse, but on the third one, which is explained as “correctly partitioning the Scriptures unto the different peoples to whom they belong.” These mutilators of the Word tell us that all of the Old Testament from Genesis 12 onwards belongs entirely to Israel after the flesh, and that none of its precepts (as such) are binding upon those who are members of the Church which is the Body of Christ, nor may any of the promises found therein be legitimately appropriated by them. And this, be it duly noted, without a single word to that effect by either the Lord or any of His Apostles, and despite the use which the Holy Spirit makes of the earliest Scriptures in every part of the New Testament.

So far from the Holy Spirit teaching Christians practically to look upon the Old Testament much as they would upon an obsolete almanac, He declares, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the (Old Testament) Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

Not satisfied with their determined efforts to deprive us of the Old Testament, these would-be super-expositors dogmatically assert that the four Gospels are Jewish, and that the Epistles of James and Peter, John and Jude are designed for a “godly Jewish remnant” in a future “tribulation period,” that nothing but the Pauline Epistles contain “Church truth,” and thousands of gullible souls have accepted their ipse digit—those who decline so doing are regarded as untaught and superficial. Yet God Himself has not uttered a single word to that effect.

Certainly there is nothing whatever in 2 Timothy 2:15, to justify such a revolutionizing method of interpreting the Word: that verse has no more to do with the sectioning of Scripture between different “dispensations” than it has with distinguishing between stars of varying magnitude. If that verse be carefully compared with Matthew 7:6, John 16:12 and 1 Corinthians 3:2, its meaning is clear. The occupant of the pulpit is to give diligence in becoming equipped to give the different classes of his hearer “their portion of meat in due season” (Luke 12:42).

To rightly divide the Word of Truth is for him to minister it suitably unto the several cases and circumstances of his congregation: to sinners and saints, the indifferent and the inquiring, the babes and fathers, the tempted and afflicted, the backslidden and fallen.

While there be great variety in the teaching of the Word, there is an unmistakable unity underlying the whole. Though He employed many mouthpieces, the Holy Scriptures have but one Author; and while He “at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” and “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Heb. 1:1,2), yet He who spoke by them was and is One “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jam. 1:17), who throughout all ages declares: “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6).

Throughout there is perfect agreement between every part of the Word: it sets forth one system of doctrine (we never read of “the doctrines of God,” but always “the doctrine”: see Deut 32:2; Prov 4:2; Matt 7:28; John 7:17; Rom. 16:17, and contrast Mark 7:7; Col. 2:22; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 13:9) because it is one single and organic whole. That Word presents uniformly one way of salvation, one rule of faith. From Genesis to Revelation there is one immutable Moral Law, one glorious Gospel for perishing sinners. The Old Testament believers were saved with the same salvation, were indebted to the same Redeemer, were renewed by the same Spirit, and were partakers of the same heavenly inheritance as are New Testament believers.

The Bible consists of many parts, exquisitely correlated and vitally interdependent upon each other. God so controlled all the agents which He employed in the writing of it, and so coordinated their efforts, as to produce a single living Book. Within that organic unity there is indeed much variety, but no contrariety. Man’s body is but one, though it be made up of many members, diverse in size, character, and operation. The rainbow is but one, nevertheless it reflects distinctly the seven prismatic rays, yet they are harmoniously blended together.

So it is with the Bible: its unity appears in the perfect consistency throughout of its teachings. The oneness yet triunity of God, the deity and humanity of Christ united in one Person, the everlasting covenant which secures the salvation of all the election of grace, the highway of holiness and the only path which leads to heaven, are plainly revealed in Old and New Testament alike. The teaching of the prophets concerning the glorious character of God, the changeless requirements of His righteousness, the total depravity of human nature, and the way appointed for restoration therefrom, are identical with the Apostles’ teaching.

If the question be raised, Since the sacred Scriptures be a strict unit, then why has God Himself divided them into two Testaments? perhaps it will simplify the matter if we ask why God has appointed two principal bodies to illuminate the earth—the sun and the moon. Why, too, is the human frame duplex, having two legs and arms, two lungs and kidneys, etc.? Is not the answer the same in each case: to augment and supplement each other?

But, more directly, at least four reasons may be suggested.

First, to set forth more distinctly the two covenants which are the basis of God’s dealings with all mankind: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace—shadowed forth by the “old” from Sinai and the “new” or Christian one.

Second, to show more plainly the two separate companies which are united in that one Body which constitutes the Church of which Christ is the Head, namely redeemed Jews and redeemed Gentiles.

Third, to demonstrate more clearly the wondrous providence of God: using the Jews for so many centuries to be the custodians of the Old Testament, which condemns them for their rejection of Christ; and in employing the papists throughout the dark ages to preserve the New Testament, which denounces their idolatrous practices.

Fourth, that one might confirm the other: type by antitype, prophecy by fulfillment.

“The mutual relations of the two Testaments. These two main divisions resemble the dual structure of the human body, where the two eyes and ears, hands and feet, correspond to and complement one another. Not only is there a general, but a special, mutual fitness. They need therefore to be studied together, side by side, to be compared even in lesser details, for in nothing are they independent of each other; and the closer the inspection the minuter appears the adaptation, and the more intimate the association. . . .The two Testaments are like the two cherubim of the mercy seat, facing in opposite directions, yet facing each other and overshadowing with glory one mercy seat; or again, they are like the human body bound together by joints and bands and ligaments, with one brain and heart, one pair of lungs, one system of respiration, circulation, digestion, sensor and motor nerves, where division is destruction” (A. T. Pierson, from Knowing the Scriptures).

So WHAT does it mean to ‘RIGHTLY divide the Word’?

TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH is for the occupant of the pulpit to give diligence in becoming equipped to give the different classes of his hearers “their portion of meat in due season” (Luke 12:42).

TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD is for the preacher to minister it suitably unto the several cases and circumstances of his congregation: to sinners and saints, the indifferent and the inquiring, the babes and fathers, the tempted and afflicted, the backslidden and fallen.

A word from C.H. Spurgeon

“No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that ALL may drink. When He openeth a granary- door to give out food, there may be some one starving man who is the occasion of its being opened, but ALL hungry saints may come and feed too.

Whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses, matters not, O believer; He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed. There is not a high blessing too lofty for thee, nor a wide mercy too extensive for thee. Lift up now thine eyes to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, for all this is thine. Climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the utmost limit of the divine promise, for the land is all thine own. There is not a brook of living water of which thou mayst not drink. If the land floweth with milk and honey, eat the honey and drink the milk, for both are thine. Be thou bold to believe, for He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

 

GOD’S LOVE RESTRICTED TO HIS ELECT

GOD’S LOVE RESTRICTED TO HIS ELECT

A.W. Pink

One of the most popular beliefs of the day is that God loves everybody, and the very fact that it is so popular with all classes ought to be enough to arouse the suspicions of those who are subject to the Word of Truth. God’s Love toward all His creatures is the fundamental and favorite tenet of Universalists, Unitarians, Theosophists, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, Russellites, etc. No matter how a man may live—in open defiance of Heaven, with no concern whatever for his soul’s eternal interests, still less for God’s glory, dying, perhaps with an oath on his lips,—notwithstanding, God loves him, we are told. So widely has this dogma been proclaimed, and so comforting is it to the heart which is at enmity with God, we have little hope of convincing many of their error. That God loves everybody, is, we may say, quite a modern belief. The writings of the church-fathers, the Reformers or the Puritans will (we believe) be searched in vain for any such concept. Perhaps the late D. L. Moody—captivated by Drummond’s “The Greatest Thing in the World”—did more than anyone else last century to popularize this concept.

It has been customary to say God loves the sinner, though He hates his sin. But that is a meaningless distinction. What is there in a sinner but sin? Is it not true that his “whole head is sick”, and his “whole heart faint”, and that “from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness” in him? (Isaiah 1:5,6). Is it true that God loves the one who is despising and rejecting His blessed Son? God is Light as well as Love, and therefore His love must be a holy love. To tell the Christ rejector that God loves him is to cauterize his conscience, as well as to afford him a sense of security in his sins. The fact is, that the love of God, is a truth for the saints only, and to present it to the enemies of God is to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs. With the exception of John 3:16, not once in the four Gospels do we read of the Lord Jesus—the perfect Teacher— telling sinners that God loved them! In the book of Acts, which records the evangelistic labors and messages of the apostles, God’s love is never referred to at all! But, when we come to the Epistles, which are addressed to the saints, we have a full presentation of this precious truth—God’s love for His own.

Let us seek to rightly divide the Word of God and then we shall not be found taking truths which are addressed to believers and misapplying them to unbelievers. That which sinners need to have brought before them is, the ineffable holiness, the exacting righteousness, the inflexible justice and the terrible wrath of God. Risking the danger of being mis-understood, let us say—and we wish we could say it to every evangelist and preacher in the country—there is far too much presenting of Christ to sinners today (by those sound in the faith), and far too little showing sinners their need of Christ, i.e., their absolutely ruined and lost condition, their imminent and awful danger of suffering the wrath to come, the fearful guilt resting upon them in the sight of God—to present Christ to those who have never been shown their need of Him, seems to us to be guilty of casting pearls before swine.

If it be true that God loves every member of the human family then why did our Lord tell His disciples, “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father….. If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him” (John 14:21,23)? Why say “he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father” if the Father loves everybody? The same limitation is found in Proverbs 8:17: “I love them that love Me.” Again; we read, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity”—not merely the works of iniquity. Here, then, is a flat repudiation of present teaching that, God hates sin but loves the sinner; Scripture says, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5)! “God is angry with the wicked every day.” “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God”—not “shall abide,” but even now—”abideth on him” (Psalm 5:5; 7:11, John 3:36). Can God “love” the one on whom His “wrath” abides?

Again; is it not evident that the words “The love of God which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39) mark a limitation, both in the sphere and objects of His love? Again; is it not plain from the words “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13) that God does not love everybody? Again; it is written, “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6). Does not this verse teach that God’s love is restricted to the members of His own family? If He loves all men without exception, then the distinction and limitation here mentioned is quite meaningless. Finally, we would ask, Is it conceivable that God will love the damned in the Lake of Fire? Yet, if He loves them now He will do so then, seeing that His love knows no change—He is “without variableness or shadow of turning”!

WHAT IS ‘SOVEREIGN GRACE’?

WHAT IS ‘SOVEREIGN GRACE’?

A.W. Pink

This is the free, pure Sovereign Grace of God: as it is written “Being justified FREELY by His grace” (Rom. 3:24). What is grace? It is God’s unmerited and uninfluenced favour, shown unto the undeserving and hell-deserving: neither human worthiness, works or willingness, attracting it, nor the lack of them repelling or obstructing it. 

What could there be in me to win the favourable regard of Him who is of too pure eyes to behold evil, and move Him to justify me? NOTHING whatever; nay, there was everything in me calculated to make Him abhor and destroy me—my very self-righteous efforts to earn a place in Heaven deserving only a lower place in Hell.

If, then, I am ever to be “justified” by God it must be by PURE GRACE, AND THAT ALONE! Grace is the very essence of the Gospel—the only hope for fallen men, the sole comfort of saints passing through much tribulation on their way to the kingdom of God. The Gospel is the announcement that God is prepared to deal with guilty rebels on the ground of free favour, of pure benignity; that God will blot out sin, cover the believing sinner with a robe of spotless righteousness, and receive him as an accepted son: not on account of anything he has done or ever will do, but of sovereign mercy, acting independently of the sinner’s own character and deservings of eternal punishment.

Justification is perfectly gratuitous so far as we are concerned, nothing being required of us in order to it, either in the way of price and satisfaction or preparation and meetness. We have not the slightest degree of merit to offer as the ground of our acceptance, and therefore if God ever does accept us it must be out of unmingled grace. It is as “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) that Jehovah justifies the ungodly. It is as “the God of all grace” He seeks, finds, and saves His people: asking them for nothing, giving them everything. Strikingly is this brought out in that word “being justified FREELY by His grace” (Rom. 3:24), the design of that adverb being to exclude all consideration of anything in us or from us which should be the cause or condition of our justification.

That same Greek adverb is translated “WITHOUT A CAUSE” in John 15:25—“they hated Me without a cause.” The world’s hatred of Christ was “without a cause” so far as He was concerned: there was nothing whatever in Him which, to the slightest degree, deserved their enmity against Him: there was nothing in Him unjust, perverse, or evil; instead, there was everything in Him which was pure, holy, lovely. In like manner, there is nothing whatever in us to call forth the approbation of God: by nature there is “no good thing” in us; but instead, everything that is evil, vile, loathsome.

“Being justified without a cause by His GRACE.” How this tells out the very heart of God! While there was no motive to move Him, outside of Himself, there was one inside Himself; while there was nothing in us to impel God to justify us, His own grace moved Him, so that He devised a way whereby His wondrous love could have vent and flow forth to the chief of sinners, the vilest of rebels. As it is written, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isa. 43:25).

Wondrous, matchless grace! We cannot for a moment look outside the grace of God for any motive or reason why He should ever have noticed us, still less had respect unto such ungodly wretches. The first moving cause, then, that inclined God to show mercy to His people in their undone and lost condition, was His own wondrous grace—unsought, uninfluenced, unmerited by us. He might justly have left us all obnoxious to the curse of His Law, without providing any Surety for us, as He did the fallen angels; but such was His grace toward us that “He spared not His own Son.”

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5–7). It was His own sovereign favour and good will which actuated God to form this wondrous scheme and method of justification.

Against what has been said above, it has been objected by Socinians and their echoists that this cannot be: if the believing sinner is justified upon the grounds of a full satisfaction having been made to God for him by a surety, then his discharge from condemnation and his reception into God’s judicial favour must be an act of pure justice, and therefore could not be by grace. Or, if it be purely an act of Divine grace, then no surety can have obeyed the law in the believer’s stead. But this is to confound two distinct things: the relation of God to Christ the Surety, and the relation of God to me the sinner.

It was grace which transferred my sins to Christ; it was justice which smote Christ on account of those sins. It was grace which appointed me unto everlasting bliss; it is justice to Christ which requires I shall enjoy that which He purchased for me. Toward the sinner justification is an act of free unmerited favour; but toward Christ, as a sinner’s Surety, it is an act of justice that eternal life should be bestowed upon those for whom His meritorious satisfaction was made.

First, it was pure grace that God was willing to accept satisfaction from the hands of a surety. He might have exacted the debt from us in our own persons, and then our condition had been equally miserable as that of the fallen angels, for whom no mediator was provided. Second, it was wondrous grace that God Himself provided a Surety for us, which we could not have done. The only creatures who are capable of performing perfect obedience are the holy angels, yet none of them could have assumed and met our obligations, for they are not akin to us, possessing not human nature, and therefore incapable of dying.

Even had an angel became incarnate, his obedience to the law could not have availed for the whole of God’s elect, for it would not have possessed infinite value. None but a Divine person taking human nature into union with Himself could present unto God a satisfaction adequate for the redemption of His people. And it was impossible for men to have found out that Mediator and Surety: it must have its first rise in God, and not from us: it was He that “found” a ransom (Job 33:24) and laid help upon One that is “mighty” (Psa. 89:19).

In the last place, it was amazing grace that the Son was willing to perform such a work for us, without whose consent the justice of God could not have exacted the debt from Him. And His grace is the most eminent in that He knew beforehand all the unspeakable humiliation and unparalleled suffering which He would encounter in the discharge of this work, yet that did not deter Him; nor was He unapprised (or without knowledge) of the character of those for whom He did it—the guilty, the ungodly, the hell-deserving; yet He shrank not back.

“O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”

Hallelujah!

AN HONEST EVALUATION OF IAN MURRAY’S BIOGRAPHY OF A.W. PINK

AN HONEST EVALUATION OF IAN MURRAY’S BIOGRAPHY OF A.W. PINK

Dear fellow reformed Christians. I post this 6 years later especially in regards to Ian Murray’s revised biography of A W Pink. I am a fan of Mr. Pink and was appalled by his book’s account of Pink. Below is my review on Google of the book. I very much like this blog!
Terry

Does Murray present Pink fairly??  Two stars – probably should have been 0!
ByTerry on October 30, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

Several months ago I purchased this book being a long time lover of A.W. Pink.

I want to make it clear that this is not a vote against A.W. Pink but for him! This is a vote against Ian H. Murray as I think he has gone out of his way to present Pink in an unfavorable view both as a Christian and as a man. Primarily for his withdrawal from the physical church and his subsequent reclusiveness as he retired himself from preaching to reading, studying and writing about doctrinal truths. And then for his strict adherence to a pure form of Calvinism as that which came forth out of the Reformation.

I was saved of an Arminian mentality and much struggled to make sense of scripture. Then I became aware of reformed theology and the sovereignty of God and the scriptures began to come together and make sense. But my fleshly mind much rebelled against the sovereignty of God especially in election. Eventually by the grace of God I came to see those doctrines clearly.

I give Pink much credit in the finishing work of the conversion of my beliefs from Arminianism to Calvinsim by the power of his writings. Of course the main credit goes to Lord by His Spirit in me and the subsequent opening of my eyes to the truth with lies in scripture. But Pink did much to prepare the soil for this.
Pink has become quite popular through the writings he left behind. God is glorified!

Now as I read the Bible (KJV) I find harmony in the scriptures and fully accept the doctrines which came out of the reformation. So I owe much to Pink for this although now I find little need for his writings as the scriptures themselves are sufficient within themselves. When I do feel the need to refresh my remembrance of doctrine it is Pink who I primarily turn to along with Jonathan Edwards, Calvin, & Gill.
On his death bed I believe among his last words was the statement “The scriptures explain themselves!”

Murray’s quarrel with Pink seems in part to be that when the people would no longer receive his puritanical preaching nor his strict interpretation of scripture from a sovereign God’s viewpoint that he retired from preaching withdrew from the church (which rejected him) and focused on writing Bible studies to those who appreciated his works. Today in the modern church many if not most pastors if they found themselves in Pink’s position would tone down their message in the name of pragmatism until they found a doctrine which would tickle the ears of their congregation. But Pink refused to compromise what he saw as the true doctrines of God.

I think a large part of the problem that Murray has with Pink lies in his dislike for Pink’s brand of Calvinism. I picture Murray more of a 4 point Calvinist whereas Pink is a full fledged 5 point Calvinist. Murray is more of a liberal modern persuasion. Pink’s doctrines come from scripture, but I fear Murray’s doctrine is much influenced by humanism and the philosophies of man.

Today I see the Bible, doctrine, and the church under a furious attack which has and is taking its toll on Christianity. I see AW Pink as a hero who refused to follow the path of the downgrade.

2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The modern church has totally mingled itself amongst the heathen and thrown holiness and godliness to the wind.
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

I see Pink as a proponent of the narrow way. And I see modern day pastors standing in the midst of the wide gate beckoning to the broad way. Modern day preaching is much to the satisfying of the goats and leaves the sheep starving!

I write this because I feel Murray has much maligned a godly man who kept the godly calling which was upon him to provide a lamp for those who would follow him into an ever darker morass of ungodly doctrine and beliefs. Pink promoted being born again and converted whereas the modern church promotes an intellectual belief wherein more often than not there is no evidence of any inner change in the person whatsoever.

It is interesting that another famous theologian of a puritanical bent by the name of Jonathan Edwards was eventually after the two great awakenings tossed out of his church over his refusal to bend on allowing non-covenant church members (those who showed no signs of saving grace) to partake of communion! For the non-covenant or nominal believers had come to be the majority in his church. As we view the downgrade of the modern church so it all continues at a much accelerated pace!

OK enough of this, on this day the 500th anniversary of the Reformation when Martin Luther tacked up his 95 theses on the church door at Wittenburg, Germany back on Oct. 31, 1517 . Skip the biography – Read Pink with the goal of becoming sufficient entirely in scriptures alone (Sola Scriptura).

May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!! Praise the Lord. Hallelujah and Amen!!

GOD’S ELECT ARE NEVER ALONE

GOD’S ELECT ARE NEVER ALONE

A.W. Pink

“I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” (John 14:18). 

‘The marginal rendering here is to be preferred: “I will not leave you orphans.” It looks back to John 13:33 where the Lord had addressed them as “little children”. They were not to be like sheep without a shepherd, helpless believers in a hostile world, without a defender, forsaken orphans incapable of providing for themselves, left to the mercy of strangers. “I will come to you”: how precious is this! Before we go to His place to be with Him (John 14:2 ,3), He comes to be with us!

But what is meant by “I will come to you”? We believe that these words are to be understood in their widest latitude. He came to them corporeally, immediately after His resurrection. He came to them in spirit after His ascension. He will come to them in glory at His second advent. The present application of this promise to believers finds its fulfillment in the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling us individually, present in the midst of the assembly collectively. And yet we must not limit the coming of Christ to His children to the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The mystery of the Holy Trinity is altogether beyond the grasp of our finite minds. Yet the New Testament makes it clear that in the unity of the Godhead, the advent of the Holy Spirit was also Christ coming, invisibly, to be really present with His own. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). “Christ liveth in me,” said the apostle Paul (Galatians 2:20). “Christ among you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

How unspeakably blessed is this! Friends, relatives, yea, professing Christians may turn against us, but He has promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee!” [Isaiah 54:10]

Say “Praise the LORD!”

 

FAITH – THE IRREVOCABLE GIFT OF GOD TO HIS ELECT

FAITH – THE IRREVOCABLE GIFT OF GOD TO HIS ELECT

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

Nothing can be foreknown unless it is absolutely certain that it will be, and nothing is absolutely certain to be, except what God has predestinated to be. Therefore God knows what will be because He has predestinated what will be. 

God could not foresee anything good in me except what He purposed to put in me. There is nothing good in me by nature. For “In me, that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” And whatever good thing is there in me now, by grace GOD has put it there.

There are those who say that God has elected certain ones because He foreknew that they would believe. No man can believe until God gives Him faith. But you say faith and believing are the same thing. No they are not! You need to go back to school and learn how to parse, if you say that. “Faith” is a “noun” and “believing” is a verb. And which is it that expresses action? Do nouns express action or do verbs? Why verbs of course!

Now listen! Sight, is God’s gift: seeing is my use of that gift. Breath, the noun is God’s gift: while breathing the verb is my use of that gift. The moment God takes my breath away from me I cannot breathe. The moment God takes my sight away from me I can no longer see. Sight is God’s gift: seeing is my use of the gift. Breath is God’s gift: breathing is my use of that gift. Faith is God’s gift: believing is my use of that gift.

And because faith is God’s gift to me I can never forfeit it, for God never gave it to me as a reward or wages in the first place but gave it to me freely as a love gift. And because He gave it as a ‘gift’ He will never ever take it back. . . . for the gifts of God are without repentance or irrevocable! [Rom 11:29]

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” [2Cor 9:15]

“I am the Lord, I change not!” [Mal. 3:6]

God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. Therefore God is compared to a rock (Deut 32:4, etc.) which remains immovable, when the entire ocean surrounding it is continually in a fluctuating state; even so, though all creatures are subject to change, God is immutable. Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17).

God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. “I am the Lord, I change not” [Mal. 3:6] is His own unqualified affirmation. He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. Altogether unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is perpetually the same. He only can say, “I am that I am” [Ex. 3:14]. He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor His glory ever fade.

God is immutable in His counsel. “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29). It must be so, for “He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (Job 23:13). Change and decay in all around we see, may He who changeth not abide with thee. God’s purpose never alters. One of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of power to execute them. But as God is both omniscient and omnipotent there is never any need for Him to revise His decrees. No. “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Ps. 33:11). Therefore do we read of “the immutability of His counsel” (Heb. 6:17).

Herein is solid comfort. Human nature cannot be relied upon; but God can! However unstable I may be, however fickle my friends may prove, God changes not. If He varied as we do, if He willed one thing today and another tomorrow, if He were controlled by caprice, who could confide in Him? But, all praise to His glorious name, He is ever the same. His purpose is fixed, His will stable, His Word is sure!

Nothing is more absurd than to imagine that anyone beloved of
God can eternally perish! God’s love for His Elect is immutable, irrevocable, and indestructible. His love is not like man’s. God’s love does not change, ever, under any circumstances or conditions. Having loved His own from eternity, He will never stop loving them in time. There is nothing we can do to destroy, or even lessen, the love of God for us [John 13:1]. “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee!” is His own unfailing Word! [Jer 31:3]

Here then is a rock on which we may fix our feet, while the mighty torrent is sweeping away everything around us. The permanence of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises: “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Isa. 54:10).

Praise the Lord!

[Gleaned and paraphrased from the writings of A.W. Pink]

THE GOD OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM

THE GOD OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM

A.W. Pink
“Men imagine the Most High is moved by sentiment, rather than by principle. They suppose His omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan can thwart His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, constantly subject to change. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which redeems everyone for whom it was made, to a mere remedy, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel so disposed. They lessen the strength of the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to an offer of the Gospel which sinners may accept or reject as they please.The god of this century no more resembles the Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The god who is talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday school, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible conferences, is a figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside the pale of Christendom form gods of wood and stone, while millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their carnal minds. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to deity, and far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt.”  [A.W. Pink]
 “And so the way is prepared for that caricature of gospel preaching, that consists chiefly in begging the sinner to come to Jesus before it is too late, leaves the false impression that it is quite in his power to come today or tomorrow, or whatever time may be convenient to him, and that presents a very willing but powerless Jesus, that would ever be pleased to save the sinner, but is incapable to do so unless the sinner gives his consent. The “whosoever will may come” is presented as meaning: “All men can will to come whenever they please.” And instead of the truth of the gospel that no man can come to Christ unless the Father draw him, we now hear; “No, Christ cannot come to the sinner, unless the sinner permit him!”
Here is a fair example of it: “God is ready, God is willing, God is eager, God is anxious, God is pleading for the privilege of washing away the sins of every soul in the precious blood of His son and heir. But His hands are tied, His power is limited, His grace is constrained by you. If you want to be saved, God is willing to save you. If you don’t want to be saved, there isn’t anything that even God can do to rescue you from that pit of eternal burning.” That is what becomes of the preaching of the gospel when the truth of God’s sovereign grace is either forgotten or denied. Call it the gospel, if you like; to me it is nothing short of blasphemy of the name of the living God! An anxious and pleading God, whose power is limited, and whose hands may be tied by the proud and stubborn sinner, who is less than dust of the balance, is no God, but a miserable idol!”  (Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965) in “Whosoever Will”).

SEVEN STRANDS IN THE ROPE WHICH BIND THE ELECT TO GOD

SEVEN STRANDS IN THE ROPE WHICH BIND THE ELECT TO GOD

A.W. Pink

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” – (John 10:27-29)

No stronger passage in all the Word of God can be found guaranteeing the absolute security of every child of God. Note the SEVEN STRANDS in the rope which binds them to God.

FIRST, they are Christ’s sheep, and it is the duty of the shepherd to care for each of his flock! To suggest that any of Christ’s sheep may be lost is to blaspheme the Shepherd Himself.

SECOND, it is said “They follow” Christ, and no exceptions are made; the Lord does not say they ought to, but declares they do. If then the sheep “follow” Christ they must reach Heaven, for that is where the Shepherd is gone!

THIRD, to the sheep is imparted “eternal life”: to speak of eternal life ending is a contradiction in terms.

FOURTH, this eternal life is “given” to them: they did nothing to merit it, consequently they can do nothing to demerit it.

FIFTH, the Lord Himself declares that His sheep “shall never perish,” consequently the man who declares that it is possible for a child of God to go to Hell makes God a liar.

SIXTH, from the SHEPHERD’S “hand” none is able to pluck them, hence the Devil is unable to encompass the destruction of a single one of them.

SEVENTH, above them is the FATHER’S “hand,” hence it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to jump out of the hand of Christ even if they tried to. It has been well said that if one soul who trusted in Christ should be missing in Heaven, there would be one vacant seat there, one crown unused, one harp unstrung; and this would grieve all Heaven and proclaim a disappointed God.

But such a thing is utterly impossible!