Is Israel Rejected?

The question not asked by the modern church, was asked by the early church – is Israel rejected? The answer is very important, as it sets out the answer to the most important question of Romans – how is one imputed righteousness by grace alone? That is, Paul in chapters 9-11 of Romans, (forgotten by most Christians today), demonstrates that God is trustworthy in his promises. These chapters are a defence of God’s sovereignty. That is, if the sovereign God promises to save Christians based on his mercy and grace towards us (Romans 3:23-25), is this a trustworthy promise? It appears Israel has been abandoned – so are the promises to Abraham not going to be fulfilled, and if these aren’t going to be fulfilled, what hope do we have of God’s promise to us – “believe on me and you will be saved”?

The answer to "Is Israel rejected?" is NO! Indeed the Greek is emphatic: μὴ γένοιτο and usually transliterated as “God Forbid”. John Darby writes: “Hereupon the question is immediately raised, has God then rejected His people? To this Chapter 11 is the answer. The apostle gives three proofs that it is by no means the case.

  1. Firstly, he is himself is an Israelite; [proving] there is a remnant whom God has reserved, as in the days of [Elijah] — a proof of the constant favour of the Lord, of the interest He takes in His people, even when they are unfaithful; so that when the prophet, the most faithful and energetic among them, knew not where to find one who was true to God besides himself, God had His eyes upon the remnant who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
  2. Secondly, the call of the Gentiles, and their substitution for Israel, was not the definitive rejection of the latter in the counsels of God; for God had done it to provoke Israel to jealousy. It was not, then, for their rejection.
  3. Thirdly, the Lord would come forth out of Zion and turn away the iniquities of Jacob” (Romans, JN Darby).

What is Paul saying?

  1. If Israel was cast off or put aside by God for ever, Paul could not possibly have saved, being a Jew of the Jews, persecuting those saved; yet he was miraculously saved.
  2. As in the days of Elijah, so today [2014] there is exists a remnant of saved Jews, who have believe Jesua is the Son of God. We often get into a state believing we are the only righteous in a church, community or town, yet God always has a remnant. We may not see them, but they exist and are working. There is a remnant in Israel – hard to see – but present. (Noting that most of the nation of Israel are unbelievers).
  3. God’s call to the Gentiles is not a rejection of Israel, but a method to provoke Israel to action, through jealousy (Romans 11:14). Seeing the blessings of the Gentiles, some Israel will respond, and put their faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
  4. The deliver would come from Zion (Jerusalem) which surely happened. Peter spoke of this in Acts 2, and the remnant (3000) went out to evangelise the world. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36

Note the failure of Israel was due to ‘lack of knowledge’. Paul uses repetitively the phrase ‘do you not know’ what the Scripture says. The question I ask you is: do you know the Bible?

  • Those that believe the Church is Israel have this problem. The Church is not Israel; God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be fulfilled.
  • Those who want to add works to the grace afforded to them by God have this problem. We are saved by grace ONLY through faith. Righteousness cannot be gained by anything a human can do – we can never do enough perfectly to reach the standard required by God. Indeed working for righteousness is accounted as a debt not credit!
  • Those that reject God have this problem: the wages of sin is death.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. Psalm of David 32:1-2

David L Simon
Updated: 13 Jul 2014

 

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore his praises sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for his grace and favor
to our fathers in distress;
praise him still the same for ever,
slow to chide and swift to bless:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glorious in his faithfulness.

Father-like, he tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame he knows;
in his hand he gently bears us, 
rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Widely yet his mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore him;
ye behold him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)
Updated: 29 Jun 2014

 

Do not worry about tomorrow

Do we worry about tomorrow? Jesus stated: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” [Matthew 6:34]. One glance at the news bulletin either on TV or internet one could be mistaken in believing that this verse does to belong to our time. Putting aside the violent attacks on marriage and those married, along with violence against those that believe sex belongs only to the estate of marriage (and therefore only between one man and one woman) as the Bible commands, the corruption wherever we turn let alone the abject greed of our society, willing to place out great grandchildren into debt for a few pleasures today; and along with in evitable crash of the Australian economy built on the presumption that greed is good – where commodities are purchased and discarded with total disregard to the economic and environmental costs to this and the next generation – putting this to one side - we look with utter horror of the violence (the horror more pungent, since the advent of the internet) in Africa, the Middle East and much of south east Asia[1].

Materially, socially and politically the west is where everyone wants to be – but for those with any spiritual discernment, the west is absolutely spiritually dead. It has completely replaced a relationship with God (and indeed any god) with a relationship composed of pleasure and material wealth. The former is fleeting, the latter, is discarded as rapidly as the new model is produced.[2] God stated: “So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.” [Psalms 81:12]. This being reason why the world is in such a mess.

The backdrop to this is the abject cruelty of man being played out, yet again, in the theatre of community – and also yet again it is men and not women, and it is not soldiers but evil men of a regime that cares nothing for life (of a religion that does not acknowledge love, but built from the very beginning on violence). And it’s not a theatre of war, but the ordinary streets and fields of Iraq. And yet we westerners are very quick to forget the same atrocities were played out by ‘decent and civilized’ men in Warsaw, to name but one place of the holocaust, which took place in our parent’s life-time. It has also been played out in Russia, China and Rwanda to name a few in recent times. Yet for a Christian none of this should be surprising. One only needs to read the Bible to understand that "the heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). The same awful things we see on our internet were played out in the land of Canaan some 2500 years ago, by those who knew but rejected God and who swapped the truth for a lie.

For a safe and functional civic society, two rules must be obeyed: The community must love the Lord God Most High (with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength), and each must love one’s neighbour as one’s self. These are the golden rules that Jesus Christ, the son of God gave. This of course requires the acknowledgement of God; which is not going to happen – the purpose of Darwin’s theory was to provide the world with an acceptable framework in order to create a philosophy that did not need to acknowledge God, and in particular Yewah. This was forewarned more than 3000 years ago: as the Psalmist writes, in recording a conversation between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [Psalms 2:1-2].

The civil war in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, the Sudan, and Nigeria etc. is against the Lord God Most High; being played out in the name of religion. In every single case, there is no acknowledgement of the Holy One. This will however come, but it will take the coming of the Judge to reveal the hearts of people for what they are, and those who have (note the tense) rejected the Son of God will be thrown into hell, that is, cast into outer darkness in a place called hell where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [Matthew 25:30].

I draw your attention to the tense – to be saved from the coming wrath of God, who will come to deal with the greed of the west, the abject cruelty and lack of acknowledgement of Yewah and His Son by Islam and the wickedness of all men who reject the Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah, we must acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, now, before it is too late: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” [Romans 10:9]. The offer of salvation by Jesus Christ is time limited – eventually (and soon, I believe) God will withdraw the offer and punish those who have refused it.

I am saved: I know this and am certain of this – indeed guaranteed of this (something no other religion can boast), and therefore I have no need to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is but an infinitesimal portion of time – those that are saved from the coming wrath of God are assured of heaven, so what happens materially in the coming 24 hours is nothing compared with the eternity with God the Father. Furthermore, God the Father, although surely pained by the abject spiritual poverty of the world, will give strength to all who love Him to get through the next 24 hours – He might not take away the pain, nor the suffering (the sin of man assures us of suffering), and noting “indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” [2 Timothy 3:12] - but like a true father, He will walk the next 24 hours with me and you, if you let him, each step of the way.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

A hymn I heard a few moments ago gives refreshing hope for the next 24 hours

There’s Not A Friend Like The Lowly Jesus

There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!
None else could heal all our souls’ diseases:
No, not one! no, not one!

Refrain:

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ’til the day is done:
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!

No friend like Him is so high and holy,
No, not one! no, not one!
And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,
No, not one! no, not one!

There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
No, not one! no, not one!
No night so dark, but His love can cheer us,
No, not one! no, not one!

Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?
No, not one! no, not one!
Or sinner find that He would not take him?
No, not one! no, not one!

Was e’er a gift like the Saviour given?
No, not one! no, not one!
Will He refuse us the bliss of heaven?
No, not one! no, not one!

Johnson Oatman (1856-1922)


[1] The posturing by Russia is not part of the same agitation found in the equatorial belt, the latter being peculiar to Islam, the former to Russia – both situations however are spoken of in the Bible.

[2] As an aside, it is noted the latter is not possible when our debts become too burdensome – the cost of housing has consumed the ability of Australians to purchase and discard motor vehicles in the way they do with mobile phones, leading to a crash and total demise of the motorcar industry in the country – structured in a way that relied on the cycle of purchase and casting off in order to keep up with fashion. As a scientist familiar with dynamics, I believe our economy is incredibly unstable, and chaotic – and only by the grace of God has Australia circumvented, till now, the woes of the 2008 crisis.

David L Simon
Updated: 22 Jun 2014

 

Only Belief in Jesus Christ can Save

Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labour for the food which perishes [and you need this bread every day], but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent. [that is there is nothing you can do]" John 6:26-29

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:40

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." John 14:6-7

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; Philippians 3:8-9

But these [book of John] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His.

τούτῳ ταῦτα δὲ γέγραπται ἵνα πιστεύσητε ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι ͂. John 20:31


Updated: 15 Jun 2014

 

A Few Observations on Psalm 55

Psalm 55 paints a distressing picture of Jerusalem at its worse. The psalmist speaks of the experience he has had, of evil reproaching him perpetrated by wicked men and women of the city (Jerusalem) and the oppression of his enemies (3). He is very distressed; the pain is unbearable, and the abject wickedness of the people frightening (5). Worse still, his friends have joined the legion of his enemies - his equal and his acquaintance (13) have deceived him. He wants to get out - fly into the wilderness (6) which would place him in a trouble free zone – this is not going to happen. The streets are full of oppression (11).

This reminds me of this day and age - our city is full of wickedness; one cannot turn and not see it - there is deceit and terror; friends against friends even within the church. The enemy may be without the church, but the force of the wickedness within the church is treachery. They lie and oppress the believer. Who can one trust? Walk any city at night and see the sin and trouble (10), the utter ungodliness; step into churches on a Sunday and see men & women exalted above God and people worshipping the entertainment. These ungodly people have usurped God and placed themselves higher than He - yet He will bring them down. We yearn for the quite solitude of His still waters, but like the psalmist we  know that the righteous can cast his or her burden on the LORD, with the assurance that He shall sustain you (22). The one who stands with God, can stand firm.

David L Simon
Updated: 27 May 2014

 

Jesus meets a Samaritan Woman by the well

And now Jesus, being driven away by the jealousy of the Jews, begins His ministry outside that people, while still acknowledging their true position in the dealings of God. He goes away into Galilee; but His road led Him by Samaria, in which dwelt a mingled race of strangers and of Israel — a race who had forsaken the idolatry of the strangers, but who, while following the law of Moses and calling themselves by the name of Jacob, had set up a worship of their own at Gerizim. Jesus does not enter the town. Being weary He sits down outside the town on the brink of the well — for He must needs go that way; but this necessity was an occasion for the acting of that divine grace which was in the fulness of His Person, and which overflowed the narrow limits of Judaism.

There are some preliminary details to remark before entering on the subject of this chapter. Jesus did not Himself baptise, for He knew the whole extent of the counsels of God in grace, the true object of His coming. He could not bind souls by baptism to a living Christ. The disciples were right in so doing. They had so to receive Christ. It was faith on their part.

When rejected by the Jews, the Lord does not contend. He leaves them; and, coming to Sychar, He found Himself in the most interesting associations as regards the history of Israel, but in Samaria: sad testimony of Israel's ruin. Jacob's well was in the hands of people who called themselves of Israel, but the greater part of whom were not so, and who worshipped they knew not what, although pretending to be of the stock of Israel. Those who were really Jews had driven away the Messiah by their jealousy. He — a man despised by the people — had gone away from among them. We see Him sharing the sufferings of humanity, and, weary with His journey, finding only the side of a well on which to rest at noon. He contents Himself with it. He seeks nothing but the will of His God: it brought Him thither. The disciples were away; and God brought thither at that unusual hour a woman by herself. It was not the hour at which women went out to draw water; but, in the ordering of God, a poor sinful woman and the Judge of quick and dead thus met together.

The Lord, weary and thirsty, had no means even to quench His thirst. He is dependent as man, on this poor woman to have a little water for His thirst. He asks it of her. The woman, seeing that He is a Jew, is surprised; and now the divine scene unfolds itself, in which the heart of the Saviour, rejected by men and oppressed by the unbelief of His people, opens to let that fulness of grace flow out which finds its occasion in the necessities and not in the righteousness of men. Now this grace did not limit itself to the rights of Israel, nor lend itself to national jealousy. It was a question of the gift of God, of God Himself who was there in grace, and of God come down so low, that, being born among His people, He was dependent, as to His human position, on a Samaritan woman for a drop of water to quench His thirst. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and [not, who I am, but] who it is that saith unto thee, Give me to drink"; that is to say, If thou hadst known that God gives freely, and the glory of His Person who was there, and how deeply He had humbled Himself, His love would have been revealed to thy heart, and would have filled it with perfect confidence, in regard even to the wants which a grace like this would have awakened in thy heart. "Thou wouldest have asked," said the divine Saviour, "and he would have given thee" the living water that springeth up into everlasting life. Such is the heavenly fruit of the mission of Christ, wherever He is received.

His heart lays it open (it was revealing Himself), pours it out into the heart of one who was its object; consoling itself for the unbelief of the Jews (rejecting the end of promise) by presenting the true consolation of grace to the misery that needed it. This is the true comfort of love, which is pained when unable to act. The floodgates of grace are lifted up by the misery which that grace waters. He makes manifest that which God is in grace; and the God of grace was there. Alas! the heart of man, withered up and selfish, and pre-occupied with its own miseries (the fruits of sin), cannot at all understand this. The woman sees something extraordinary in Jesus; she is curious to know what it means — is struck with His manner, so that she has a measure of faith in His words; but her desires are limited to the relief of the toils of her sorrowful life, in which an ardent heart found no answer to the misery it had acquired for its portion through sin.

A few words on the character of this woman. I believe the Lord would shew that there is need, that the fields were ready for the harvest; and that if the wretched self-righteousness of the Jews rejected Him, the stream of grace would find its channel elsewhere, God having prepared hearts to hail it with joy and thanksgiving, because it answered their misery and need — not the righteous. The channel of grace was dug by the need and the misery which the grace itself caused to be felt.

J N Darby John 4:9-14
Updated: 18 May 2014

 

And can it be, that I should gain

And can it be, that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain;
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my Lord, shouldst die for me!

He left his Father’s throne above,
(So free, so infinite His grace!)
Humbled Himself in His great love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race,
’Tis mercy all, immense and free:
For, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Thus I approach th’eternal throne,
And take the crown from Christ my own.

C Wesley (1707 - 1788)
Updated: 18 May 2014

 

What is the Cross of Christ all About?

The deepest note of the Cross is not what our Lord suffered as seeing the sin and degradation of men, great as that was, but what He suffered in His own person at the hands of a holy God when, to accomplish propitiation (which means "God, be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18: 13) ed.), "His soul" was made "an offering for sin." He saw indeed how men opposed the light He brought and ruined themselves, but far beyond that. He "poured out His soul unto death. He was numbered with the transgressors and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." THAT IS THE CROSS.

F B Hole Scripture Truth, 1916, Vol. 8.
Updated: 02 May 2014

 

Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer

I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no saviour. (Isaiah 43:11)

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:14 ESV)

 

Introduction

We note four things:

  1. There is one God. He is the Lord God Jehovah who is also called The Lord God Saves . If you are a Jew, His name is I Am . If you are not a Jew, “He is the God who made the world and everything in it”: He is the Lord of heaven and earth.
  2. God is Holy: And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.'” Leviticus 10:3 (NKJV)
  3. Adam (and Eve) sinned and from this everyone has sinned, even the most holy pious person.
  4. The punishment for Sin is death: for the wages of sin is death. God demands holiness.

There is need of salvation

Hence we have a problem: All of humanity was destined for death after Adam sinned. The hardest thing for any person to accept is that there is nothing good whatsoever in him or her. That is if we compare ourselves with God, His glory would so overwhelm us that we would die looking at Him.

  1. The Old Testament shows the principle of the acceptable method to deal with sin.
  2. The Bible teaches that sin cannot be glossed over: God has to deal with it because he is holy.
  3. Once you have sinned you have been stained for ever: stained by corrupt flesh as the book of Jude put it. Hence sin must be dealt with; both intentional sin and un-intentional sin.
  4. Sin can only be dealt with by the shedding of blood.

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV)

Satan's biggest lie these days is the notion that there is no here-after: that at death we are turned into dust. Yet we all have souls – the very nature of each one us resides in the soul. At death your soul (that is the bit this is really you) is either lost to an eternity separated from God, or saved:

.. cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:50 (NKJV)

God came in the flesh

Human's required a sacrifice that could be the substitute for himself. This was Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.

If God became flesh, there are some very special characteristics about Him. We are not left in the dark concerning his nature and character: in the old testament there are at least two, if not three characters what are types of Christ: these are shadows of what and who the Messiah actually was , but nevertheless gives us evidence of the character of the person of Jesus

God came in the flesh as the Son

God was manifested in the flesh (KJV) or He appeared in a body, (NIV)

  1. Jesus is the Son of God
  2. Jesus Christ is the Messiah
  3. Jesus is God who came in flesh. (we will know He came and was crucified because He still bares the marks of the Cross - see The Revelation))
  4. Jesus Christ the Messiah came to save us from our sins
  5. He redeemed us from the curse of the law, which we could never keep
  6. He has died for our sin, and hence if will allow him to bear our punishment we are saved.
  7. Jesus Christ the risen Son of God is acting as our mediator between us and God, if you accept him as our mediator

 Salvation is only in Jesus

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NKJV)

But there is a hope in Christ Jesus. No-one need fall into the clutches of hell. Hell was built for Satan and his angels, not humans – but billions will be cast into hell because they have rejected the Lord God Jehovah (Yahweh).

  • You need to submit: if you rule your life you have no hope, because a ruler of his own life must provide the means to deal with sin, and the wages of sin is death.
  • You need to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
  • You need to let Christ rule your life – because as rule he provides, through his own suffering, the passage to salvation.

 

For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of [rule over] both the dead and the living. Romans 14:9 (NKJV)

What must I do to be saved?

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

If you are saved

and He [Christ] died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NKJV)

Jesus Christ Our Saviour

David L Simon
Updated: 21 Dec 2013

 

Landmarks and Stumblingblocks: The Doctrine of Election Misplaced

I found this very helpful from CH Mackintosh in explaining where election belonged and how it was executed.

"Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old have set in thine inheritance." (Deut. 19:14)

"Take up the stumblingblock out of the way of My people." (Isa. 57:14)

What tender care, what gracious considerateness, breathe in the above passages! The ancient landmarks were not to be removed; but the stumblingblocks were to be taken up. The inheritance of God's people was to stand entire and unchanged, while the stumblingblocks were to be sedulously removed out of their pathway. Such was the grace and care of God for His people! The portion which God had given to each was to be enjoyed, while, at the same time, the path in which each was called to walk should be kept free from every occasion of stumbling.

Now, judging from recent communications, we believe we are called upon to give attention to the spirit of those ancient enactments. Some of our friends have, in their letters to us, opened their minds very freely as to their spiritual condition. They have told us of their doubts and fears, their difficulties and dangers, their conflicts and exercises. We are truly grateful for such confidence; and it is our earnest desire to be used of God to help our readers by pointing out the landmarks which He, by His Spirit, has set up, and thus remove the stumblingblocks which the enemy diligently flings in their path.

In pondering the cases which have lately been submitted to us, we have found some in which the enemy was manifestly using as a stumblingblock the doctrine of election misplaced. The doctrine of election, in its right place, instead of being a stumblingblock in the pathway of anxious inquirers, will be found to be a landmark set by them of old time, even by the inspired apostles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the inheritance of God's spiritual Israel.

But we all know that misplaced truth is more dangerous than positive error. If a man were to stand up, and boldly declare that the doctrine of election is false, we should without hesitation reject his words; but we might not be quite so well prepared to meet one who, while admitting the doctrine to be true and important, puts it out of its divinely appointed place. This latter is the very thing which is so constantly done, to the damaging of the truth of God, and the darkening of the souls of men.

What, then, is the true place of the doctrine of election? Its true, its divinely appointed place, is for those within the house — for the establishment of true believers. Instead of this, the enemy puts it outside the house, for the stumbling of anxious inquirers. Hearken to the following language of a deeply exercised soul: "If I only knew that I was one of the elect I should be quite happy, inasmuch as I could then confidently apply to myself the benefits of the death of Christ."

Doubtless, this would be the language of many, were they only to tell out the feelings of their hearts. They are making a wrong use of the doctrine of election — a doctrine blessedly true in itself — a most valuable "landmark," but made a "stumblingblock" by the enemy. It is very needful for the anxious inquirer to bear in mind that it is as a lost sinner, and not as "one of the elect," that he can apply to himself the benefits of the death of Christ.

The proper stand-point from which to get a saving view of the death of Christ is not election, but the consciousness of our ruin. This is an unspeakable mercy, inasmuch as I know I am a lost sinner; but I do not know that I am one of the elect, until I have received, through the Spirit's testimony and teaching, the glad tidings of salvation through the blood of the Lamb. Salvation —  free as the sunbeams, full as the ocean, permanent as the throne of the eternal God —  is preached to me, not as one of the elect, but as one utterly lost, guilty, and undone; and when I have received this salvation there is conclusive evidence of my election.

"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God; for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." (1 Thess. 1:4-5) Election is not my warrant for accepting salvation; but the reception of salvation is the proof of election. For how is any sinner to know that he is one of the elect? Where is he to find it? It must be a matter of divine revelation, else it cannot be a matter of faith. But where is it revealed? Where is the knowledge of election made an indispensable prerequisite, an essential preliminary, to the acceptance of salvation? Nowhere, in the Word of God. My only title to salvation is, that I am a poor guilty, hell-deserving sinner. If I wait for any other title, I am only removing a most valuable landmark from its proper place, and putting it as a stumblingblock in my way. This, to say the least of it, is very unwise.

But it is more than unwise. It is positive opposition to the Word of God; not only to the quotations which stand at the head of this paper, but to the spirit and teaching of the entire volume. Hearken to the risen Saviour's commission to His first heralds: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) Is there so much as a single point, in these words, on which to base a question about election? Is any one, to whom this glorious gospel is preached, called to settle a prior question about his election? Assuredly not.

"All the world" and "every creature" are expressions which set aside every difficulty, and render salvation as free as the air, and as wide as the human family. It is not said, "Go ye into a given section of the world, and preach the gospel to a certain number." No; this would not be in keeping with that grace which was to be proclaimed to the wide, wide world. When the law was in question, it was addressed to a certain number, in a given section; but when the gospel was to be proclaimed, its mighty range was to be, "All the world," and its object, "Every creature."

Again, hear what the Holy Ghost saith, by the apostle Paul: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim. 1:15) Is there any room here for raising a question as to one's title to salvation? None whatever. If Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and if I am a sinner, then I am entitled to apply to my own soul the benefits of His precious sacrifice. Ere I can possibly exclude myself therefrom I must be something else than a sinner. If it were anywhere declared in Scripture that Christ Jesus came to save only the elect, then clearly I should, in some way or another, prove myself one of that number, ere I could make my own the benefits of His death. But, thanks be to God, there is nothing the least like this in the whole gospel scheme.

"The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) And is not that just what I am? Truly so. Well then, is it not from the standpoint of a lost one that I am to look at the death of Christ? Doubtless. And can I not, while contemplating that precious mystery from thence, adopt the language of faith, and say, "He loved me, and gave Himself for me"? Yes, as unreservedly and unconditionally as though I were the only sinner on the surface of the globe.

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Nothing can be more soothing and tranquillising to the spirit of an anxious inquirer than to mark the way in which salvation is brought to him in the very condition in which he is, and on the very ground which he occupies. There is not so much as a single stumblingblock along the entire path leading to the glorious inheritance of the saints — an inheritance settled by landmarks which neither men nor devils can ever remove.

The God of all grace has left nothing undone, nothing unsaid, which could possibly give rest, assurance, and perfect satisfaction to the soul. He has set forth the very condition and character of those for whom Christ died, in such terms as to leave no room for any demur or hesitation. Listen to the following glowing words: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son," etc. (Rom. 5:6, 8, 10)

Can anything be plainer or more pointed than these passages? Is there a single term made use of which could possibly raise a question in the heart of any sinner as to his full and undisputed title to the benefits of the death of Christ? Not one. Am I "ungodly?" It was for such Christ died. Am I "a sinner?" It is to such that God commendeth His love. Am I "an enemy?" It is such God reconciles by the death of His Son.

Thus all is made as plain as a sunbeam; and as for the theological stumblingblock caused by misplacing the doctrine of election, it is entirely removed. It is as a sinner I get the benefit of Christ's death. It is as a lost one I get a salvation which is as free as it is permanent, and as permanent as it is free. All I want, in order to apply to myself the value of the blood of Jesus, is to know myself a guilty sinner. It would not help me the least in this matter to be told that I am one of the elect, inasmuch as it is not in that character God addresses me in the gospel, but in another character altogether, even as a lost sinner.

But then, some may feel disposed to ask, "Do you want to set aside the doctrine of election?" God forbid. We only want to see it in its right place. We want it as a landmark, not as a stumblingblock. We believe the evangelist has no business to preach election. Paul never preached election. He taught election, but he preached Christ. This makes all the difference. We believe that no one can be a proper evangelist who is, in any wise, hampered by the doctrine of election misplaced. We have seen serious damage done to two classes of people by preaching election instead of preaching Christ. Careless sinners are made more careless still, while anxious souls have had their anxiety intensified.

These, surely, are sad results, and they ought to be sufficient to awaken very serious thoughts in the minds of all who desire to be successful preachers of that free and full salvation which shines in the gospel of Christ, and leaves all who hear it without a shadow of an excuse. The grand business of the evangelist is to set forth, in his preaching, the perfect love of God, the efficacy of the blood of Christ, and the faithful record of the Holy Ghost. His spirit should be entirely untrammelled, and his gospel unclouded. He should preach a present salvation, free to all, and stable as the pillars which support the throne of God. The gospel is the unfolding of the heart of God as expressed in the death of His Son, recorded by the Holy Spirit.

Were this more carefully attended to, there would be more power in replying to the oft-repeated objection of the careless, as well as in hushing the deep anxieties of exercised and burdened souls. The former would have no just ground of objection; the latter, no reason to fear. When persons reject the gospel on the ground of God's eternal decrees, they are rejecting what is revealed on the ground of what is hidden. What can they possibly know about God's decrees? Just nothing. How then can that which is secret be urged as a reason for rejecting what is revealed? Why refuse what can be known, on the ground of what cannot? It is obvious that men do not act thus in cases where they wish to believe a matter. Only let a man be willing to believe a thing, and you will not find him anxiously looking for a ground of objection. But alas! men do not want to believe God. They reject His precious testimony which is as clear as the sun in meridian brightness, and urge, as their plea for so doing, His decrees which are wrapped in impenetrable darkness. What folly! What blindness! What guilt!

And then as to anxious souls who harass themselves with questions about election, we long to show them that it is not in accordance with the divine mind that they should raise any such difficulty. God addresses them in the exact state in which He sees them and in which they can see themselves. He addresses them as sinners, and this is exactly what they are. There is nothing but salvation for any sinner, the moment he takes his true place as a sinner. This is simple enough for any simple soul. To raise questions about election is sheer unbelief. It is, in another way, to reject what is revealed on the ground of what is hidden; it is to refuse what I can know, on the ground of what I cannot.

God has revealed Himself in the face of Jesus Christ, so that we may know Him and trust Him. Moreover, He has made full provision in the atonement of the cross for all our need and all our guilt. Hence, therefore instead of perplexing myself with the question, "Am I one of the elect?" it is my happy privilege to rest in the perfect love of God, the all-sufficiency of Christ, and the faithful record of the Holy Ghost.

We must close, though there are other stumblingblocks which we long to see removed out of the way of God's people, as well as landmarks which are sadly lost sight of.

C H Mackintosh Found on-line and in Miscellaneous Writings of C. H. Mackintosh
Updated: 10 Jul 2013

 

The Aim of this Website

 

Bible teaching is the essence of any assembly, congregation or church. The Bible, so we are told by the Apostle Paul, is useful for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (KJV) or put another way for "teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (NIV).

Over the years I have produced a number of sermons or messages which include, in some cases, notes and handouts. These range from headings through to fully formed notes plus a few Microsoft Power Point presentations. Some have been produced by Stephen Simon and these can be found under "messages" as well.

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I am working through these, doing some editing and rearranging, and then placing them on this web site in the hope they may be of some help to one searching the Scriptures, precept upon precept. As with all written material produced by a person, it is not infallible but I hope it is a pointer to the truth, which is found in Scripture. Hence, the author humbly beseeches the reader of these web pages to use the notes and messages as a guide only, and use Scripture to find the truth. This must be done in all prayer and supplication, for it is the Holy Spirit that will reveal the truth to you.

The most recent material can be found under "messages" which should include the most recent sermon notes. Some have been contributed by others which is acknowledged.

 

Using this website

The weakness of any Christian website is the failure of the author to truly know the mind of God - his weakness due to sin (and there will be weaknesses) can always be revealed if checked against the Bible. Therefore, it is urged that anyone using this site must check the information against the Holy Scriptures - for the test of any such information, by any person, is against the Canon. For this reason the Canon is called simply that - deriving its name from 'cane' meaning measuring stick. Even the early Christians checked what the Apostle Paul had spoken against Scripture in order to test its veracity. You need to do the same.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

Furthermore, we must test all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

 

What's in the title of this website

The heading comes from John 3:16, perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible. It indicates that salvation is by faith and not by works. That is, one cannot ever achieve rightness before God by one's own effort. What one cannot forget is the rest of the text - John 3:16 does not stand alone:

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

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light [Jesus Christ] is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

 

Contact the author

If you find a grammatical error, spelling error, broken hyperlink or some other error on these pages please contact me mentioning the page title and location.

 

Bibles used in this website

KJV = King James Version of the Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible original work copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
NKJV = New King James Version original work copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc

ESV = The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles

Others used

JND = New Translation by John Nelson Darby (1890)
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Literal, Textus Receptus, King James Version), Baker Books, Michigan, 1980
Strong's = Strong's Concordance, Hebrew and Greek Lexicon (either Riverside Book and Bible House, or an on-line version)

Scriptures to Ponder

Chosen By Grace

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.

Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life." But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

Romans 11:1-5

13 Jul 2014

 

 

 

Copyright © David L Simon 2007 - 2014 This material may be freely distributed provided acknowledgement of the author is made
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