The Promises of Jehovah at Passover

I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

I will rescue you from their bondage, and

But in God who raises the dead, 10who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 (NKJV)

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Exodus 6:6 (NKJV)

God sent forth His Son.. to redeem

Who were under the law (Gal 4:4)

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed (Titus 2:4)

I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
 2 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. Exodus 6:7 (NKJV)

The Passover (Ex 12:27)

  • Is the foundation feast of Israel. It was to show the nations the magnificence of God, and that they may know that "I am the LORD" (Ex 102, Deut 296 etc)
  • At God's chosen time, at God's chosen place (Deut 166)
  • Its elements were: (Leviticus 234-8, Deut 166, Exodus 66-7, Exodus 11, 12)
  • Only the household of Israel could participate - only the circumcised (Ex 1243).
  • All males had to attend the feast (Jerusalem when in Canaan)
  • An unblemished lamb of whom the bones were not to be broken (Ex 125, Ex 1246, John 19:32,36).
  • Blood from a unblemished lamb poured out, and seen. 
  • Blood had to be applied to the door lintels with hyssop (a bitter herb) (Ex 12:22) where hyssop is connected with purging and cleansing. (Psm 51:7), and indicates the bitterness of slavery to sin.
  • The lamb had to be roasted, and eaten (Eat the flesh - John 6)
  • All had to be ready, waiting for the Angel's appearance
  • God passed over the sinners who trusted in the blood of the lamb.
  • The past was blotted out from the sight of Jehovah.
  • Passover marked the beginning of feast of Unleavened Bread, the feast to indicate that sin (leaven) had been done away with.
  • God provided a means to escape the judgement that was to befall Egypt, the land of idolatry.
  • This required the blood of a um-blemished lamb to be shed, and placed on the door posts.
  • The former months are blotted out, and a new month is instigated.
  • This is in anticipation of Christ whose blood is provided, founding the redemptive path, based upon the shed blood, in pursuance of God's eternal purpose. This must bring an abundance of joy to the believing sinner who can have absolute peace - all grounded on the paschal lamb.

David L Simon
Updated: 18 Apr 2014

 

Ere God had built the mountains

Ere God had built the mountains,
Or raised the fruitful hills;
Before He fill'd the fountains
That feed the running rills;
In Thee, from everlasting,
The wonderful I AM
Found pleasures never wasting,
And Wisdom is Thy name.

When like a tent to dwell in,
He spread the skies abroad,
And swathed about the swelling
Of ocean's mighty flood,
He wrought by weight and measure;
And Thou wast with Him then;
Thyself the Father's pleasure,
And Thine the sons of men.

And couldst Thou be delighted
With creatures such as we,
Who, when we saw Thee, slighted
And nail'd Thee to a tree?
Unfathomable wonder!
And mystery divine!
The voice that speaks in thunder
Says, "Sinner, I am thine!"

W Oliver (1779) The Little Flock Revised 1881, 1903
Updated: 30 Mar 2014

 

Be Still And Know that I Am God (Stille, meine Wille, dein Jesus hilft siegen)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Katharina A von Schlegel Neue Sammlung Geistlicher Lieder, 1752 translated by Jane L. Borthwick 1855.
Updated: 16 Mar 2014

 

What does the 'this in Ephesians 2:8 refer to - grace or faith or both?

A friend asked what Ephesians 2:8 meant when read in the Greek - being a language teacher she understood the 'this' should have a matching antecedent - so which was the 'this' referring to; was it "grace" or "faith" or perhaps both? The verse in question reads this way, from various versions

(Darby) For ye are saved by grace, through faith; and this not of yourselves; it is God's gift:

(ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

(NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

(NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

(Greek) τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον

My favourite Greek teacher (I was taught by his methods and used his text books), Bill Mounce, wrote the piece below. Daniel Wallace, another Greek scholar, indicates this is perhaps the most debated Greek phrase in the NT (there are a couple in 1 John that are also hotly debated) – so you are not alone in finding the meaning a little difficult. Wallace indicates the interpretation could be: (1) “grace” is the antecedent – that is salvation is by grace alone, (2) faith is the antecedent – that is, salvation is by faith alone, (3) grace & faith are antecedents, in that salvation is grace-by-faith or (4) it has no antecedent. Saliently Wallace points out essentially the meaning is within the context of the whole Bible, not just a technical examination of the Greek.

However, the English appears to translate it truthfully. In the following, Bill Mounce gives the technical side, then provides an explanation using Bible truths. I hope you find it useful.

The following is from: https://www.teknia.com/blog/antecedents-and-faith-eph-2-8-9

Antecedents and Faith (Eph 2:8-9)

Submitted by Bill Mounce on Sun, 2011-10-02

Website of Teknia - shown below accessed 8 March 2014.

 

David L Simon The framed content is from Bill Mounce's blog at Teknia
Updated: 09 Mar 2014

 

The Sands of Time are Sinking

THE sands of time are sinking,
The dawn of heaven breaks,
The summer morn I've sighed for,
The fair sweet morn awakes.
Dark, dark hath been the midnight,
But dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.

Oh, Christ, He is the fountain,
The deep sweet well of love;
The streams on earth I've tasted,
More deep I'll drink above;
There to an ocean fulness,
His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.

With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove,
And aye the dews of sorrow
Were lustred with His love.
I'll bless the hand that guided,
I'll bless the heart that planned,
When throned where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.

Oh, I am my Beloved's,
And my Beloved's mine;
He brings a poor vile sinner
Into His "house of wine."
I stand upon His merit;
I know no safer stand,
Not e'en where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.

The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear bridegroom's face;
I will not gaze at glory,
But on my King of grace;
Not at the crown He giveth,
But on His pierced hand:
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Immanuel's land

(Part only)

Anne Ross Cousin (ne; 1824 -1906)
Updated: 02 Mar 2014

 

What is your attitude to prayer?

The proper posture for prayer concerns the mind - for if we have filled our head with garbage we can hardly be expected to have an intellegent conversation with the Lord God Most High. A lover does not fill his or her days pondering every other thought than that of the one he or she loves; the ensuring conversations are informed by the thoughts of the day, as does our prayers to the Father. Consider the following poem (whose author I am unable to name).

“The proper way for man to pray,” said Deacon Lemuel Keyes; “the only proper attitude is down upon his knees.”

“Nay, I should say the way to pray,” said Reverend Doctor Wise, “is standing straight with outstretched arms with rapt and upturned eyes.”

“Oh, no, no, no,” said Elder Snow, “such posture is too proud. “A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.”

“It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front, with both thumbs pointing to the ground,” said Reverend Doctor Blunt.”

“Last year I fell in Hodgkin’s well headfirst,” said dear old farmer Brown, “with both my heels a-stickin’ up, my head a-pointing’ down; and I done prayed right then and there; best prayer I ever said, the prayin’est prayer I ever prayed, a-standin’ on my head.”

David L Simon
Updated: 02 Mar 2014

 

The Word of God Stands Alone - Humans are not needed to validate it!

The Word of God comes to us in its own power and authority as the truth. The Word makes no apology for the things about which it speaks, nor for the way it presents them; and its force and authority are not lessened because it condescends to plead with men. It needs no one to prove that it is true, for it proves its own testimony by the revelation of what is true. If it needed another to prove its truth, then we could not know the Word to be the Word of God, for we know God by the revelation that it gives. To judge the Word we should require an authority greater than God Himself, and that is impossible. It is absurd for man to presume to judge the Word, a Word which judges him, and gives him a true picture of himself; he does so at his peril.

It remains the Word of God even if it is not received by those who hear it. If one person believes the Word, receiving it as the Word of God, and another does not believe it, the authority of the Word is not altered in the least, it remains the same for both. Whether the Word is accepted or not it will judge all men by that which it reveals. It professes to be the Word and the testi­mony of God; the truth which makes Him known. The knowledge of God which it brings into the conscience, reveals all that man is and judges all his thoughts and actions.

Outside the Word of God, we have only the mind of man, and the forces of evil to which man has made himself subject by the exercise of his own will. Unless the inspired Word governs the mind of man, the more intelligent he is, the more rationalistic and infidel he becomes; if he is imaginative and influenced by ancient mythology he grows more grossly superstitious, for in his mind he retains some idea of God.

Men communicate with men, and they understand each other’s thoughts; surely God can do the same, and give more certainty as to the Divine origin and truth of the thing communicated. "Thou shalt speak my words" (Ezekiel 2:7). A Word which tells me "all things that ever I did," speaks with more than mere human intelli­gence. The Word is the eye of God and it searches the conscience; and no word, spoken or written, has any power or authority in the soul until it reaches the con­science.

The Word is received on its own testimony by faith. The truth of it is tested by that which it professes to reveal. The presence of God is known by the Word, and the Word carries its own authority as truth to the conscience.

The truth in anything that is told us is always a whole. Even a partial revelation is the truth concerning that which is revealed in so far as the revelation is made, and it is a necessary part of the revelation of what is true. Scripture is a whole, in it there are many things revealed, but they all make God known as they have to do with Him, and as far as He may be known by the creatures to whom He reveals Himself. What man amongst the many who wrote could have known his part in the work to complete the scriptures, and the necessity of that which he wrote to form the perfect revelation of the mind of God, as the Word gives it? It is not a lifeless word, it has vitality, and it lives by the life of the Spirit of God. If the Word is not received, God is not believed, for the Word is His testimony to men and is to be received on the authority of its own declaration.

Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, they are delicately and exquisitely framed. More mysterious than the intricacies of our mortal frames, is the union of the spirit of man with his body, which gives him life here and the consciousness of relationship with the world of nature through a mind. There is even more wonder in the fact that man has a mind capable of enjoying communion with God and knowing something of His character and ways. Reaching still farther in perfection beyond these marvels of creation, the Word, which com­municates the mind of God and reveals God to man, surpasses all the works of creation, because it is more directly Divine. The Word is incomparable.

The Bible is not a mere disorderly collection of historical events and mythical stories thrown together without a reason for their choice. The reason for the recording of an event can only be discerned when we understand the Divine principle which it is used to illus­trate. The Spirit of God is the interpreter of the mind of God, He alone can give the understanding of the Word which He inspired to be written, and the reason for the choice of the event He has chosen.

There are no unnecessary parts in the Word which reveals God. The Word of revelation forms a unity which is perfect for faith. In each book we discover the unfolding of the ways of God, of His government or of His counsels of grace. The prophets are occupied with His government on earth, a sure and certain government, but which is not yet seen in operation. God at present hides His government in providence.

F A Blair (1891-1974) From "The Sign of the Prophet Jonah" 1947
Updated: 09 Feb 2014

 

A Warning:

In view of the real and visible declension in the church, warned of by Paul to Timothy, we need to guard against the enemy that induces (or perhaps better, seduces) us to put aside the Word of God, to stop reading the Bible, replacing it with an endless stream of sound and vision, in order that we only take in our own uninformed thoughts and the mindless thoughts of others. Have you noticed that the modern world does not have silence, does not like silence, and perhaps cannot cope with silence; the silence needed to hear the voice of Our Lord; a silence allowing meditation to take place, to be informed by the Holy Spirit? When was the last time you had a few minutes of absolute silence? I beg you to read the Bible in silence, so all your faculties can be employed to take in the Bible message.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

To this end John Stott wrote in 1973 these words, as an introduction to an exposition to 2 Timothy:

 "… all around us we see Christians and churches relaxing their grasp of the gospel, fumbling it, in danger of letting it drop from their hands altogether. A new generation of young Timothys is needed, who will guard the sacred deposit of the gospel, who are determined to proclaim it and are prepared to suffer for it, and who will pass it on pure and uncorrupted to the generation which in due course will rise up to follow them."

 We need to raise up new Timothies to take charge of the churches.

John Stott Introduction to 2 Timonthy 1973
Updated: 02 Feb 2014

 

His name is Immanuel

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

The Bible
Updated: 25 Dec 2013

 

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

 

Divine Love

We have received spiritually life from Christ, He is our life, and we are partakers of the divine nature. The more evil the day, the greater is the necessity for the divine nature to manifest itself. If we do not overcome evil with good, in the power of divine love, which, through grace, has found a place in our hearts, coming from the very source of love, God Himself, for God is love, we shall be overcome by evil. Only by walking obediently in the truth can we put a guard around true charity which is coupled with the truth. In a day of great evil, it is not only necessary to be sound in doc trine, but it is most important that unmistakable proof be given of the divine source both of the doctrine, and of the energy with which the truth is held. Only the true display of the divine nature will furnish the proof. The truth working by love in the power of the Spirit proves the work to be of God. Where can it be seen but amongst the children of God? Love, expressing itself obediently in the truth, is active in keeping and guarding the children of God from the evil of the day. When the evil is great our love must be great. Not that love condones evil; love cannot endure evil in those whom she loves. The cross of Christ is the full proof of this. There we see the deepest expression of God's hatred of sin, but blessed be His name, it is the fullest expression of His love to the sinner, for it is there His own beloved Son suffered for the guilty.

Divine love in us is proved by our obedience when we walk in obedience to the word of God. It finds in those who are loved of God, the most blessed opportunities for obeying the will of God. "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." If a child of God be found following a path of disobedience to the word of God, obedient love would not keep him company in such a pathway. To walk with him in a way contrary to the will of the Father would not be showing either love for him or for the Father. It would not be a proof of brotherly love to encourage a brother to walk in a path of disobedience by keeping him company there; it would not be love in the truth. But love rejoices when it hears that the children of God are walking in truth, for there they are perfectly free to enjoy the richest communion. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 4).

F A Blair (1891-1974) Philemon
Updated: 24 Nov 2013

 

Father, 'twas Thy love that knew us

Father, 'twas Thy love that knew us
Earth's foundation long before;
That same love to Jesus drew us
By its sweet constraining power,
And will keep us
Safely now, and evermore.

God of love, our souls adore Thee!
We would still Thy grace proclaim,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
And in glory praise Thy name;
Praise and worship
Be to God and to the Lamb!

James George Deck (1802-1884) The Little Flock Revised 1881 (No. 1)
Updated: 31 Aug 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

Christ the Passover Lamb

Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


1 Corinthians 5:6-8

18 Apr 2014

 

 

 

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