GUARD THY HEART CHRISTIAN

GUARD THY HEART CHRISTIAN

A.W. Pink

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro 4:23). The pains which multitudes have taken in religion are but lost labour. Like the Pharisees of old, they have been tithing anise, mint, and cumin (Mat 23:23), but neglecting the weightier matters. Many have a zeal, but it is not according to knowledge; they are active, but their energies are misdirected; they have wrought “many wonderful works” (Mat 7:22), but they are rejected of God. Why? Because their employments are self-selected or man-appointed, while the one great task which God has assigned, is left unattended to. All outward actions are worthless while our hearts be not right with God. He will not so much as hear our prayers while we regard iniquity in our hearts (Psa 66:18)! Let us, then, endeavor to further point out what is signified by this supremely important exhortation.

A GOOD CONSCIENCE

To “keep” the heart signifies to have the conscience exercised about all things. In numbers of passages “heart” and “conscience” signify one and the same thing: see 1 Samuel 24:5, 2 Samuel 24:10, 1John 3:21, etc. The Apostle Paul declared, “herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men” (Act 24:16), and herein he sets before us an example which we need to emulate.

After the most careful and diligent manner we must strive to keep the conscience free from all offense in the discharge of every duty that God requires, and in rendering to every man what is due him. Though this is never perfectly attained in this life, yet every regenerate soul has a real concern for such a state of conscience. A “good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly” (Heb 13:18) is worth far more than rubies.

This is to be something more than an empty wish, which gets us nowhere. The Apostle said, “herein do I exercise myself” (Act 24:16): it was a matter of deep concern to him, and one to which he assiduously applied himself. He laboured hard in seeing to it that his conscience did not flatter, deceiving and misleading him. He was conscientious over both his outer and inner life, so that his conscience accused and condemned him not. He was more careful not to offend his conscience than he was not to displease his dearest friend. He made it his daily business to live by this rule, abstaining from many a thing which natural inclination drew him unto, and performing many a duty which the ease-loving flesh would shirk. He steadily maintained a care not to break the law of love toward either God or man. And, when conscious of failure, he saw to it that by renewed acts of repentance and faith (in confession) each offense was removed from his conscience, instead of allowing guilt to accumulate thereon.

“Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1Ti 1:5). The “commandment” is the same as the “holy commandment” of 2Peter 2:21, namely, the Gospel, as including the Moral Law, which enjoined perfect love both to God and to our neighbour. The “end” or design—that which is enjoined and whose accomplishment is prompted thereby—is love. But spiritual “love” can only proceed from “a pure heart,” that is, one which has been renewed by grace, and thereby delivered from enmity against God (Rom 8:7) and hatred against man (Tit 3:3), and cleansed from the love and pollution of sin. Spiritual “love” can only proceed out of a “good conscience,” that is, a conscience which has been made tender and active by grace, which has been purged by the blood of Christ, and which sedulously avoids all that defiles it and draws away from God; its possessor being influenced to act conscientiously in the whole of his conduct. It is solemn to note that those who “put away” a good conscience soon make “shipwreck of the faith” (1Tim 1:19).

SET THE LORD ALWAYS BEFORE US

To “keep” the heart means to “set the Lord always before” us (Psa 16:8). Some may object that those words spoke, prophetically, of the Lord Jesus. True, but remember He has “left us an example that we should follow His steps” (1Pe 2:21). What, then, is it to “set the Lord alway before” us? It means to remember that His eye is ever upon us, and that we act accordingly. It means to remember that we must yet render to Hima full account of our stewardship, and to let this fact constantly influence us. It means that we are to ever have His honour and glory in view, living not to please ourselves but acting according to His revealed will. It means that we should strive, especially, to have God before our souls whenever we engage in any religious exercises. The Omniscient One will not be imposed upon by outward forms or empty words; they who worship Him “must worship in spirit and in truth” (Joh 4:24). “Seek ye My face”—Oh, to respond with David: “my heart said unto thee, thy face, LORD, will I seek” (Psa 27:8).

“The well is seldom so full that water will at first pumping flow forth; neither is the heart commonly so spiritual—even after our best care in our worldly converse—as to pour itself into God’s bosom freely, without something to raise and elevate it; yea, often the springs of grace lie so low, that pumping only will not fetch the heart up to a praying frame, but arguments must be poured into the soul before the affections rise” (W. Gurnall, 1660). Does not this explain why, after saying, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name,” that the Psalmist added “Bless the LORD, O my soul” (Psa 103: 1, 2)!

Ah, note well those words, dear reader: “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” and not merely by the lips. David dreaded lest, while the outward was awake, his inner man should be asleep. Are you equally careful as to this? David laboured so that no dullness and drowsiness should steal over his faculties. Therefore did he add, “and all that is within me, bless His holy name”— understanding, conscience, affections, and will. Oh that we may not be guilty of that awful sin about which Christ complained, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Mat 15:8). Again we would note the repetition in Psalm 103:2, “Bless the LORD, O my soul:” how this shows us that we need to bestir ourselves repeatedly when about to approach the Majesty on High, seeking with all our might to throw off the spirit of sloth, formality, and hypocrisy.

WATCH DILIGENTLY

Of old God’s servants complained, “There is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee” (Isa 64:7). Are we any better, my friends? Do we really bestir ourselves to “take hold” of God: we shall never be like Jacob—successful “wrestlers” with Him—until we do. There is little wonder that so few obtain answers to their petitions unto the Throne of Grace: it is not simply prayer, but “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jam 5:16). Before seeking to approach the Most High we need to “prepare” our heart (Job 11:13), and beg God to “strengthen” it (Psa 27:14), so that we may be enabled to draw near with becoming reverence and humility, so that we may trust in Him with all our hearts (Pro 3:5), love Him with all our hearts (Mat 22:37), and praise Him with “the whole heart” (Psa 9:1).

Oh the frightful impiety which is now to be witnessed on almost every side, of heedlessly rushing into the holy presence of God (or rather, going through the form of so doing), and gabbling off the first things that come to mind. And all of us are more affected by this evil spirit than we imagine, for “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1Co15:33). We need to definitely seek grace and fight against so grievously insulting God. We need to fix our minds steadily on the august perfections of God, reminding ourselves of whom it is we are about to approach. We need to seek deliverance from that half-hearted, ill-conceived, careless and indifferent worship which is offered by so many.

We need to ponder God’s grace and goodness unto us,and lay hold of His encouraging promises, that our affections may be inflamed and our souls brought into that gracious temper which is suited unto Him to whom we owe our all.

But not only do we need to diligently watch our hearts when about to approach God in prayer or worship, but also when turning to His Holy Word. All ordinances, helps, and means of grace, are but empty shells, unless we meet with God in them; and for that, He must be sought: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13). We are not at all likely to obtain any more soul profit from the reading of the Scriptures than we are from the perusal of men’s writings, if we approach them in the same spirit we do human books. God’s Word is addressed unto the conscience, and it is only as we strive to have our hearts suitably affected by what we read therein, that we may justly expect to be helped spiritually.

God has bidden us, “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck” (Pro 6:20, 21). And again, “Keep My commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart” (Pro 7:2, 3). This cannot be done by reading the Bible for a few minutes, and then an hour later forgetting what has been read. Shame on us that we should treat God’s Word so lightly. No, we must “meditate therein day and night” (Psa 1:2). Unless we do so, we shall never be able to say, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa 119:11): nor shall we be able to say, “Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes” (Psa 119:12).

ATTEND TO HOLINESS

To “keep” the heart signifies attending diligently to its progress or decays in holiness. What health is to the body holiness is to the soul. “I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search” (Psa 77:6): this is absolutely essential if a healthy spiritual life is to be maintained: a part of each day should be set aside for the study of the heart and cultivation of its faculties. The more this is done, the less difficulty shall we experience in knowing what to pray for! Oh, shame on us that we are so diligent in thinking about and caring for our bodies, while the state of our souls is so rarely inquired after.

Emulate the example of Hezekiah, who “humbled himself for the pride of his heart” (2Ch 32:26). Peter’s heart was lifted up with self-confidence: his fall was preceded by “a haughty spirit” (Pro 16:18).

It is in the heart that all backsliding begins. Observe closely your affections and see whether God or the world is gaining ground in them. Watch whether you experience increasing profit and pleasure in reading God’s Word, or whether you have to force yourself to it in order to discharge a duty. Observe the same thing in connection with prayer: whether you are finding increased or decreased liberty in pouring out your heart to God; whether you are having more freedom in so doing, or whether it is becoming an irksome task. Examine well your spiritual graces, and ascertain whether your faith be in lively exercise, feeding upon the precepts and promises of God; whether your hope is lively, anticipating the glorious future; whether your love be fervent or cold; whether patience, meekness, self control be greater or less.

To “keep” the heart signifies to store it well with pure and holy things. As the most effective way of getting a child to willingly drop some dirty trifle is to proffer it an apple or orange, so the best security for the soul against the allurements of Satan is to have it engaged with a lovelier and more satisfying Object. A heart which is filled and engaged with good is best protected against evil. Note well the order in Philippians 4:6-8, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The heart which casts all its care upon God is well guarded from anxiety by His peace; but a pure atmosphere must be breathed if the soul is to be kept healthy, and that is best promoted by thinking about wholesome, lovely, and praise-provoking things.

Commune frequently with Christ: dwell upon His loveliness, stay in the sunshine of His presence, refresh your soul with those gifts and graces He is ever ready to bestow, and you shall have in yourself “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (Joh 4:14). “Were our affections filled, taken up, and possessed with these things (the beauty of God and the glory of Christ), as it is our duty that they should be, and as it is our happiness when they are, what access could sin—with its painted pleasures, with its sugared poisons, with its envenomed baits—have upon our souls? How we should loathe all its proposals, and say unto them, Get you hence as an abominable thing” (John Owen).

Read the full article – http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/archive/pdf-english/gyhe.pdf

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ANGELS WATCH OVER GOD’S ELECT!

ANGELS WATCH OVER GOD’S ELECT!

A.W. Pink

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” [Hebrews 1:14]

This verse presents a fact which should awaken in every Christian varied and deep emotions. Alas that, through lack of diligence in searching the Word, so many of the Lord’s people are largely in ignorance of much that is said therein, and here referred to.

It should awaken within us a sense of wonderment. The angels are portrayed as our attendants! When we remember who and what they are—their exalted rank in the scale of being, their sinlessness, their wondrous capacities, knowledge and powers—it is surely an astonishing thing to learn that they should minister unto us. Think of it, the unfallen angels waiting upon the fallen descendants of Adam! The courtiers of Heaven ministering to worms of the earth! The mighty angels, who “excel in strength,” taking notice of and serving those so far beneath them! Could you imagine the princes of the royal family seeking out dwellers in the slums and ministering to them, not once or occasionally, but constantly? But the analogy, altogether fails. The angels of God are sent forth to minister unto redeemed sinners! Marvel at it.

It should awaken within us fervent praise to God. What an evidence of His grace, what a proof of His love that He sends forth His angels to “minister” unto us! This is another of the wondrous provisions of His mercy, which none of us begin to appreciate as we should. It is another of the blessed consequences of our union with Christ. In Matthew 4:11 we read, “angels came and ministered unto Him.” Therefore, because Divine grace has made us one with Him, they do so to us too. What a proof is this of our oneness with Him! Angels of God are sent forth to minister unto redeemed sinners! Bow in worship and praise.

It should deepen within us a sense of security. True, it may be abused, but rightly appropriated, how it is calculated to quiet our fears, counteract our sense of feebleness, calm our hearts in time of danger! Is it not written, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them;” then why be afraid? We doubt not that every Christian has been “delivered” many more times from the jaws of death by angelic interposition, than any of us imagine. The angels of God are sent forth to minister unto redeemed sinners. Then let the realization of this deepen within us a sense of the Lord’s protecting care for entrusting us to His mighty angels.

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be the heirs of salvation?” (verse 14). Three things are to be considered: those to whom the angels minister, why they thus minister and the form their ministry takes.

Those to whom the angels minister are here termed “heirs of salvation,” an expression denoting at least four things. There is an Estate unto which God has predestined His people, an inheritance – willed to them by God. This Estate is designated “salvation,” see 1 Thessalonians 5:9, where our appointment unto it is mentioned. It is the consummation of our salvation which is in view, Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:3,4. Well may this estate or inheritance be called “Salvation,” for those who enter it are forever delivered from all danger, freed from all enemies, secured from all evils. This expression “heirs of salvation” also denotes our legal rights to the inheritance: our title is an indefeasable one. Further, it presupposes the coming in of death, Christ’s death. Finally, it implies the perpetuity of it—”to him and his heirs forever.”

It is to these “heirs of salvation” that the angels minister. To enable us the better to grasp the relation of angels to Christians, let us employ an illustration. Take the present household of the Duke of York. In it are many servants, honored, trusted, loved. There are titled “ladies” and “lords” of the realm, yet they are serving, “ministering,” to the infant Princess Elizabeth. At present, she is inferior to them in age, strength, wisdom and attainments; yet is she superior in rank and station. She is of the royal stock, a princess, possibly heir to the throne. In like manner, the heirs of salvation are now in the stage of their infancy; they are but babes in Christ; this is the period of their minority.

The angels far excel us in strength, wisdom, attainments; yet are they our servants, they “minister” unto us. Why? Because we are high above them in birth, rank, station. We are children of God, we are joint-heirs with Christ, we have been redeemed with royal blood, yea, we have been made “kings and priests unto God” (Rev. 1:6). O how wonderful is our rank—members of the Royal family of Heaven, therefore are we “ministered” unto by the holy angels. What a calling is ours! What provision has Divine love made for us!

Read the full chapter –
http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Hebrews/hebrews_006.htm

A THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

A THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

A.W. Pink

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” [Matt 5:6]

Hungering and thirsting expresses vehement desire, of which the soul is acutely conscious.

First, the Holy Spirit brings before the heart the holy requirements of God. He reveals to us His perfect standard, which He can never lower. He reminds us that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

Second, the trembling soul, conscious of his own abject poverty and realizing his utter inability to measure up to God’s requirements, sees no help in himself. This painful discovery causes him to mourn and groan. Have you done so?

Third, the Holy Spirit then creates in the heart a deep “hunger and thirst” that causes the convicted sinner to look for relief and to seek a supply outside of himself. The believing eye is then directed to Christ, who is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:6).

Like the previous ones, this fourth Beatitude describes a twofold experience. It obviously refers to the initial hungering and thirsting that occurs before a sinner turns to Christ by faith. But it also refers to the continual longing that is perpetuated in the heart of every saved sinner until his dying day. Repeated exercises of this grace are felt at varying intervals. The one who longed to be saved by Christ, now yearns to be made like Him. Looked at in its widest aspect, this hungering and thirsting refers to a panting of the renewed heart after God (Ps. 42:1), a yearning for a closer walk with Him, and a longing for more perfect conformity to the image of His Son. It tells of those aspirations of the new nature for Divine blessing that alone can strengthen, sustain, and satisfy.

Our text presents such a paradox that it is evident that no carnal mind ever invented it. Can one who has been brought into vital union with Him who is the Bread of Life and in whom all fullness dwells be found still hungering and thirsting? Yes, such is the experience of the renewed heart. Mark carefully the tense of the verb: it is not “Blessed are they which have hungered and thirsted,” but “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst.”

Do you, dear reader? Or are you content with your attainments and satisfied with your condition? Hungering and thirsting after righteousness has always been the experience of God’s true saints (Phil. 3:8-14).

“They shall be filled.” Like the first part of our text, this also has a double fulfillment, both initial and continuous. When God creates a hunger and a thirst in the soul, it is so that He may satisfy them. When the poor sinner is made to feel his need for Christ, it is to the end that he may be drawn to Christ and led to embrace Him as his only righteousness before a holy God. He is delighted to confess Christ as his new-found righteousness and to glory in Him alone (1 Cor. 1:30, 31). Such a one, whom God now calls a “saint” (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1), is to experience an ongoing filling: not with wine, wherein is excess, but with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). He is to be filled with the peace of God that passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

We who are trusting in the righteousness of Christ shall one day be filled with Divine blessing without any admixture of sorrow; we shall be filled with praise and thanksgiving to Him who wrought every work of love and obedience in us (Phil. 2:12, 13) as the visible fruit of His saving work in and for us. In this world, “He hath filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53) such as this world can neither give to nor withhold from those who “seek the Lord (Ps. 34:10). He bestows such goodness and mercy upon us, who are the sheep of His pasture, that our cups run over (Ps. 23:5, 6).

Yet all that we presently enjoy is but a mere foretaste of all that our “God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). In the eternal state, we will be filled with perfect holiness, for “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Then we shall be done with sin forever. Then we shall “hunger no more, neither thirst any more.

THE OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT 

THE OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT

A.W. Pink

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” – [John 6:44]

It is by the secret and effectual operation of the Spirit that the Father brings each of His elect to a saving knowledge of Christ. No sinner ever comes to Christ until the Holy Spirit first comes to him! And no sinner will savingly believe on Christ until the Spirit has first communicated faith to him (Ephesians 2:5, 8; Colossians 2:12); and even then, faith is an eye to discern Christ before it is a foot to approach Him. There can be no act without an object, and there can be no exercising of faith upon Christ till Christ is seen in His excellency, sufficiency and suitability to poor sinners. “They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee” (Psalm 9:10).

But again, we say, that knowledge must be a spiritual and miraculous one imparted by the Spirit. The Spirit Himself must take of the things of Christ and show them unto the heart. The opening of his eyes precedes the conversion of the sinner from Satan unto God (Acts 26:18). The light of the sun is seen breaking out at the dawn of day, before its heat is felt. It is those who “SEE” the Son with a supernaturally enlightened understanding that “BELIEVE” on Him with a spiritual and saving faith (John 6:40).

 

A.W. Pink’s Masterpiece – THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

A.W. Pink’s Masterpiece – THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

– the Book that taught me God’s Absolute Sovereignty and Man’s Total Depravity.

Brother A.W. Pink has had a great influence in my life and through his writings, he being dead yet speaketh! In Pink I found a ‘like-minded brother’. Here was finally someone who not only preached the doctrines of Grace FAITHFULLY but also RENOUNCED the existing Christendom of his day as APOSTATE. It grieves my heart that in our day even many who claim to love Pink’s writings and have even made them available on the Web are themselves part of the Great Whore!

I came to understand the Reformed Faith a few years after the Lord saved me. But I truly did not really understand it like I should have until I read A.W. Pink’s ‘The Sovereignty of God’! I was first given the compromised condensed form of this book published by the ‘Banner of truth’, and I was so blessed. But sadly I had not eaten the whole meal until I read the complete book published by The Bakers!

I said this then, and I’ll say it again – There is no writer who is familiar with the Scriptures and is faithful to it as A.W.Pink! HE STANDS IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN and has an insight into the scriptures which is second to none!
Unlike most writers of our day, Pink never wrote anything just to be writing. He really had something to say. Not only that, but what sets Pink apart from the rest is that He saw the present Christendom of his day for what it really was …. APOSTATE! And in obedience to his Lord he steered clear of it and admonished others to do so.

He was no half-baked, pusillanimous, milquetoast, string for a backbone ‘panty waist’ like the majority of the ‘Reformed’ preachers today! Like His Master and His Apostle Paul, he could care less what people thought of him as long as he was faithful to His God!

A lot of folks who read Pink and quote him today do not really know him. They ought to read his letters to understand where he really stood!
Oh may God give us more men like A.W. Pink!

Michael Jeshurun

Reviews from Amazon.com by those whose lives were changed after reading this book –

“When first published in 1918 this book was very controversial. The reason for this is probably due to the fact that in Pink’s day the doctrine of God’s sovereignty was almost completely ignored, misunderstood or rejected. Why read or study a book on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty? The author believed that this doctrine is the second most important doctrine taught in the Bible, the first being the Divine inspiration of the Bible, which is the title of Mr. Pink’s first book that was published. Pink has this to say about the importance of this Biblical truth on p.19 “It is… the key to history, the interpreter of providence,…and the foundation of Christian theology, (p.215) …it is designed as the sheet anchor for our souls amid the storms of life.

The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is a divine cordial to refresh our spirits. It is designed and adapted to mould the affections of the heart and to give a right direction to conduct. …It affords comfort for the present and a sense of security respecting the unknown future.” A right understanding of this doctrine places God on the throne where he belongs and under His blessing produces humility in His people. The Sovereignty of God is the most comforting doctrine in the Bible to a Christian in the midst of trials. This reviewer is convinced that ‘The Sovereignty of God’ by A.W. Pink is one of the most important and influential books that has been written in this century.” [J. Adrian]

“There’s nothing like the doctrine of God’s sovereignty that can cause a man to be humble and yet at the same time confident of his salvation. When I first read this book, I must admit that I found it hard to accept the doctrine of Calvinism. Like many Christians in the charismatic churches, I was taught that I could lose my salvation, that Jesus Christ died for every person, and that free-will triumphs over God’s sovereign will.

Even so, this precious book has made me reconsidered my Arminian beliefs until finally I began to see that salvation is from the Lord from the beginning to the end. How God has caused this book to impact my spiritual life is beyond measure to me. My whole outlook of life has changed dramatically, now that I know that He is in control of my life and my salvation. To Him alone then, be all the glory.” [Alcaff Surjadi]

“This book is full of the wonderful ways of God. Our Lord is an awesome God and this book helps anyone to understand just who God truly is. I gained such insight on God.” [Betty Jo Nelson]

“This is an excellent book. A great exegetical examination of the Sovereignty of God! A.W. Pink does a wonderful job of showing how you cannot deny the Sovereignty of God in Scripture. I was convicted from reading this book at just how little I have made God in my theology.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It will change the way you think about God’s Sovereignty!” [Stearns7]

“A. W. Pink is an incredible gift of God. What truth. This is without a doubt the springboard of all his other books. Words are inadequate, but God has used this man to put words together in ways that are so revealing and vital for our appreciation and exaltation to GOD Almighty” [Sharon Oliphant]

THE DAGON-IDOL OF “FREEWILL” AND HUMAN MERIT  BATTERED DOWN BY THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION 

THE DAGON-IDOL OF “FREEWILL” AND HUMAN MERIT  BATTERED DOWN BY THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION

A.W. Pink

Divine grace has done far more than make possible the salvation of sinners: it makes certain the salvation of God’s chosen ones. It not only PROVIDES salvation for them, it BRINGS salvation to them; and it does so in such a way that its honours are not shared by the creature.

The Doctrine of Predestination batters down this Dagon-idol of “freewill” and human merits, for it tells us that if we have indeed willed and desired to lay hold of Christ and salvation by Him, then that very will and desire are the effect of God’s eternal purpose and the result of the efficacious workings of His grace, for it is GOD who worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure; and therefore do we glory ONLY IN THE LORD AND ASCRIBE ALL THE PRAISE UNTO HIM.

This writer sought not the Lord, but hated, opposed, and endeavoured to banish Him from his thoughts; but the Lord sought him, smote him to the ground (like Saul of Tarsus), subdued his vile rebellion, and made him willing in the day of His power. That is Grace indeed—sovereign, amazing, triumphant grace.

Hallelujah!

SPIRITUAL EARS TO HEAR GOD’S WORD

SPIRITUAL EARS TO HEAR GOD’S WORD

A.W. Pink

“Why do ye not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word!” [John 8:43]

“Even because ye cannot hear my word.” – The word “hear” [an Hebrew idiom] signifies to receive and believe — compare John 9:27; 10:3; 12:47; Acts 3:22, 23, etc. And why was it that these Jews “could not hear” His Word? It was because they were children in whom was no faith [Deuteronomy 32:20].

It was because they had no ear for God, no heart for His Word, no desire to learn His will. Proof positive was this that they were dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore not children of God. Unspeakably solemn is this. Hearing God’s Word is an attitude of heart. We speak now not of the Divine side, for true it is that the Lord Himself must prepare the heart [Proverbs 16:1] and give the hearing ear [Proverbs 20:12].

But from the human side, man is fully responsible to hear. But he cannot hear the still small voice of God while his ears are filled with the siren songs of the world. That he has no desire to hear does not excuse him, rather does it the more condemn him. The Lord grant that the daily attitude of writer and reader may be that of little Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth!” [1 Sam 3:10]

“And when He putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE! And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF STRANGERS!” [John 10:4,5]

Why God chose YOU to Salvation?!

Why God chose YOU to Salvation?!

 A.W. Pink

The cause of ‘Election’ or ‘Predestination’ is not in the creature elected, but in God’s own Sovereign Will! God purposed in Himself to elect a certain people, not because of anything good in them or from them, either actual or foreseen, but solely out of His own mere pleasure. As to why He chose the ones He did, we do not know, and can only say, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.”

The plain truth of Romans 8:29 is that God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Thess. 2:13). This is clear from the concluding words of the verse: “Predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son,” etc. God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were “conformed,” but, on the contrary, those whom He “foreknew” (i.e., loved and elected) He predestinated to be conformed. Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination.

God did not elect any sinner because He foresaw that he would believe, for the simple but sufficient reason that no sinner ever does believe until God gives him faith; just as no man sees until God gives him sight. Sight is God’s gift, seeing is the consequence of my using His gift. So faith is God’s gift (Eph. 1:8,9), believing is the consequence of my using His gift. If it were true that God had elected certain ones to be saved because in due time they would believe, then that would make believing a meritorious act, and in that event the saved sinner would have ground for “boasting,” which Scripture emphatically denies: Ephesians 2:9.

Surely God’s Word is plain enough in teaching that believing is not a meritorious act. It affirms that Christians are a people “who have believed through grace” (Acts 18:27). If then, they have believed “through grace,” there is absolutely nothing meritorious about “believing,” and if nothing meritorious, it could not be the ground or cause which moved God to choose them. No; God’s choice proceeds not from anything in us, or anything from us, but solely from His own sovereign pleasure. Once more, in Romans 11:5, we read of “a remnant according to the election of grace.” There it is, plain enough; election itself is of grace, and grace is unmerited favour something for which we had no claim upon God whatsoever.

It thus appears that it is highly important for us to have clear and scriptural views of the “foreknowledge” of God. Erroneous conceptions about it lead inevitably to thoughts most dishonoring to Him. The popular idea of Divine foreknowledge is altogether inadequate. God not only knew the end from the beginning, but He planned, fixed, predestinated everything from the beginning. And, as cause stands to effect, so God’s purpose is the ground of His prescience. If then the reader be a real Christian, he is so because God chose him in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), and chose not because He foresaw you would believe, but chose simply because it pleased Him to choose: chose you notwithstanding your natural unbelief. This being so, all the glory and praise belongs alone to Him.

You have no ground for taking any credit to yourself. You have “believed through grace” (Acts 18:27), and that, because your very election was “of grace” (Rom. 11:5).

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s ‘Foreknowledge of God’]

THE SEVEN STRANDS AND GOD’S ELECT

THE SEVEN STRANDS AND GOD’S ELECT

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!

IT IS GOD WHO ASSURES OUR SLEEP

IT IS GOD WHO ASSURES OUR SLEEP

 A.W. Pink

 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep”.  [Psalm 127:2]

How often is it now lost sight of that the Lord cares for the bodies of His saints as well as for their souls. This is more or less recognized and owned by believers in the matter of food and clothing, health and strength, but it is widely ignored by many concerning the point we are here treating of.

SLEEP is as imperative for our physical well-being as is food and drink, and the one is as much the GIFT of our heavenly Father as is the other.

We cannot put ourselves to sleep by any effort of will, as those who suffer with insomnia quickly discover. Nor does exercise and manual labour of itself ensure sleep: have you ever lain down almost exhausted and then found you were “too tired to sleep”?

Sleep is a DIVINE GIFT, but the nightly recurrence of it blinds us to the fact.

When is so pleases Him, God withholds sleep, and then we have to say with the Psalmist, “Thou holdest mine eyes waking” (77:4). But that is the exception rather than the rule, and deeply thankful should we be that it is so. Day by day the Lord feeds us, and night by night He “giveth His beloved sleep.” Thus in this little detail—of Elijah’s sleeping under the juniper tree—which we are likely to pass over lightly, we should perceive the gracious hand of God ministering in tenderness to the needs of one who is dear unto Him.

Yes, “the Lord pitieth them that fear Him,” and why? “for He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14). He is mindful of our frailty, and tempers His winds accordingly; He is aware when our energies are spent, and graciously renews our strength. It was not God’s design that His servant should die of exhaustion in the wilderness after his long, long flight from Jezreel, so he mercifully refreshes his body with sleep. And thus compassionately does He deal with us.

Alas, how little are we affected by the Lord’s goodness and grace unto us. The unfailing recurrence of His mercies both temporally and spiritually inclines us to take them as a matter of course. So dull of understanding are we, so cold our hearts Godward, it is to be feared that most of the time we fail to realize WHOSE loving hand it is which is ministering to us. Is not this the very reason why we do not begin really to value our health until it is taken from us, and not until we spend night after night tossing upon a bed of pain do we perceive the worth of regular sleep with which we were formerly favored?

And such vile creatures are we that, when illness and insomnia come upon us, instead of improving the same by repenting of our former ingratitude, and humbly confessing the same to God, we murmur and complain at the hardness of our present lot and wonder what we have done to deserve such treatment. O let those of us who are still blessed with good health and regular sleep fail not daily to return thanks for such privileges and earnestly seek grace to use the strength from them to the glory of God.

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s ‘Life of Elijah’]