Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7)
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1)
Believers in this world are often surrounded by darkness. We are often pierced by the dark accusations of Satan. We are often caught in the dark snares of this world’s allurements and the darkness of our own sinful flesh seems to hide the face of God from our view.
But here God calls forth the Light of His gospel to Arise and Shine out of darkness in our hearts. This light is Jesus Christ the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person. (2 Corinthians 4:6) Jesus Christ our redeemer is the light of the world and the light was the life of men. (John 8:12) May God the Holy Ghost cause the light of Christ to arise and shine in our heart. May His word shine as the noon day sun in its strength in order to dispel the darkness that shrouds our hearts and minds. Behold my soul the glory of God that shines from the cross of Christ. Look and see how that He has triumphed over all thy sins by His suffering God’s wrath in my stead. See the light of how that He crushed the head of thy accuser by His one offering for our sins.(Hebrews 10:14) Christ in victory sat down on the right hand of God having purged our sins. What darkness of condemnation can abide seeing that God has justified thee? What wicked accusation will stand seeing God has accepted Christ and we are in union with Him? (Romans 8:31-19)
Arise and shine thou Blessed redeemer upon the snares of this world. By the light Thine inheritance prepared for us, expose the vanity of this fleeting world and all its vexing treasures. (Ecclesiastes 1:2) Give to me the light of faith and love Christ and Hope for that bright world to come that is reserved in heaven for me. (1Peter 1:3-5) Let this light cause me to count all the worlds kin, treasures and allurements as dung that I may win Christ and be found in Him. (Philippians 3:8-9)
Arise and shine in my heart thou blessed Sun of Righteousness and reveal the truth that “in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” Give me such warmth of thy love and grace so that I should loath myself and my sin but find all my joy and contentment in Christ’s perfect righteousness. (Ezekiel 36:24-31)
Oh my soul are you troubled? Hope thou in God for His Light, even Jesus Christ the glory of God is risen on thee. Even upon me by His Free Grace and where His Light is risen, no darkness is able to abide.
Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. (Matthew 26:33-35)
I have secretly boasted to myself that I was a brave, skilled, confident Christian Sailor while my feet were firmly planted on land; but when at sea, when land was no longer in sight, when the Son hid his face behind the clouds, when the dark storm surged and the mighty waves swelled, when the lightning flashed and the thunder clapped, when the winds howled and the boat began to rock—then reality slapped me silly, and the heart of the brave, skilled, confident sailor was forced to confess that he sails much better on land than he does at sea.
Surely one who is only a mere professor of faith in Christ may live at ease with this world. He may love the world and be loved by the world. He is not offended by their temptations to depart from Christ and His church. And the world is not offended by his gospel or his Christ.
But this is not so with us who are true possessors of faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot live in peace with this world for they are an enemy of our Lord and our soul. (John 15:18-21) We cannot be at peace with this world even because we have been given a new heart that is “created after God in true holiness” and this world “lieth in wickedness”. (Ephesians 4:24; 1John 5:19) This world hates and is offended by our Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of the free and Sovereign Grace of God. (Romans 9:33; Galatians 5:11) The world is content to believe in the anti-Christ of free will works religion. For their Christ died for all men but saved none of them except that man exercise his free will or do some work of obedience to the law. But our gospel is an offence to this world because it declares that God is Sovereign in the salvation of men. (Jonah 2:9) Our Gospel declares that before the world began the Father chose, elected and decreed to save a people. The Father gave them to Jesus Christ in a covenant of Grace to be their Savior. The Son of God was made flesh to obtain righteousness and redemption for all those the Father gave Him. (Ephesians 1:3-6) And we know that He was successful in his work. Jesus did redeem all this elect people and provide for them the righteousness of God. God the Holy Spirit is sent to quicken them from the dead and give them faith in Christ. (Isaiah 42:4) Therefore we are sure that all those the Father chose, and the Son redeemed the Holy Spirit of God shall call by our gospel and everyone of them shall come to Christ. (John 6:37-40)
Believer let us not be deceived by the pretend affection of this lost world. Let us not be allured by their baits and temptations by which they seek to separate us from our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember what our Lord told us about this world. “I pray not for the world but for those thou hast given me; for they are thine.” “I have given them (the elect, true believers in Christ) thy word and the world hath hateth them because they are not of the world. Believer in Christ we are dead to this world and the world is dead to us. This world will never be a friend of grace. It will never be a friend of Christ and therefore anyone who is a friend to the world is an enemy of Christ. (James 4:4)
Therefore Jesus said “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”(Luke 14:26)
Are you a friend of this world or are you a Servant of Christ? May God call out His people to Himself and keep us from this enemy and its temptations.
– Fred Evans
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
We are often confused as to how God will perform what He has promised us in His word. God surely has promised us that “All things will work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) God has promised to answer our prayers and give us all things that we need. “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7) Yet in the believer’s life we find that our experience seems contrary to His promises. We are surrounded by troubles and evils both without and within. We are often cast down and full of grief and sorrow. We cry with Asaph in Psalm 73: I know you are good to Israel (your elect) but as for me my foot nigh well slipped. My faith is almost gone because all I can see is the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer.
But believer remember that we are not to live by sight but rather by faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit tells us that the just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17) Believer no matter our circumstance, no matter our outward or inward struggles, God is faithful. He that hath begun a good work in you SHALL perform it. Not maybe perform it, not perhaps perform it, but He SHALL perform it. This good work of our salvation was purposed of God the Father in our election. It was accomplished by the work of Jesus Christ the Son upon the cross, and it was applied by the Power of the Holy Spirit to life and faith in Christ. So then no matter our trouble or tears or trials or sufferings in this life, all things shall work together to bring us to experience our eternal inheritance. (1 Peter 1:2-9)
Believer our Lord hears our prayers. (Proverbs 15:29) For if God has given us His own Son, how shall He not freely give us all things that are good for us and glorify His Holy Name? (Romans 8:31-32)
Let us then set our affection on Jesus Christ our Lord who first loved us. Let us trust in His word and faithfulness rather than in what we see or feel. This fleshly nature of sin still resides in us and our heart of flesh is deceitful and wicked. Therefore we should not trust it nor should we hear its cries of unbelief and fear. Trust in the Lord for He has set His word above His name and all His glory rest upon Him performing it. (Numbers 23:19)
Why should we ever doubt our Great and Loving Lord? I confess that I cannot tell how God will work all things together for my good. I am not called to explain the providence of God but just to believe God no matter the providence. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. (Psalms 53:1)
Truly it is self evident that any man who says that there is no God is a Great fool. To say that there is no God is to deny all human reason and conscience that are natural to man. The existence of God is clearly seen by the creation that surrounds us. No man is so foolish as to think that something ever came from nothing for this type of thinking defies all reason and experience. (Romans 1:17-23) Isaac Newton the great scientist had a model made of our solar system so that when the handle was turned the planets moved around the sun in their order. When his atheist friend saw it he was amazed and asked Mr. Newton “who made this marvelous machine?” Newton replied “nobody.” After awhile of Mr. Newton giving the same answer to his question the man became upset and said, “Isaac this marvelous machine must have been made by someone.” Newton replied “Isn’t it amazing I tell you that nobody made this simple toy and you don’t believe me. Yet you gaze into the solar system and dare say to me that no one made that: I don’t believe it!”
But what is more foolish than an atheist is a self righteous legalistic man who denies God’s Word regarding His Salvation. In the text the words “there is” are in italics, which indicates that they are not in the original. Our text should read “The fool hath said in his heart NO God!” God declares verse 2-3 that there is none righteous no not one. God says all men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins.(Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1) All men are wicked and have a corrupt heart that is full of sin with no desire or ability to please God. (Romans 8:7-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14)
This text declares that salvation must come from God. (v6) The Word of God says that God the Father has chosen an elect people before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3- 6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 1:2) The Father in a covenant of grace gave them to His Son to save them. (John 6:39-40; John 10:26-29) Jesus Christ the Son of God was manifest in the flesh. He obeyed the law of God as a man and offered himself once to redeem all of those the Father gave him. (John 10:11; Hebrews 1:3; 10:14) And now God has raised him from the dead and has set Him to rule and over rule all things for the salvation of His people.(John 17;1-3) God the Holy Spirit is sent into the world to call out those elect people by name and everyone of them shall come to Jesus Christ by faith. (John 10:16; John 3:7-8; 6:37, 44) They come as sinners and rest all their salvation on the person and work of Jesus Christ alone and not one of them shall ever be lost. (John 10:16; John 3:7-8; 6:37, 44)
But the fool says to this gospel: “NO GOD! I’m not absolutely depraved.” The Fool says “I can and I will please you by my works.” NO God! I am not dead in my sins and I will come to you by my free will. The fool says in his heart NO God, there are no elect people because Jesus loves and died for all men without exception. NO God! I will have my part in my salvation! These man is the GREATER FOOLS than the atheist. Those who believe the gospel of Free will works religion are greater fools because they “have a form of godliness by they deny the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5) They are the greatest fools because they refuse to believe that Salvation is ALL of God and all of Grace.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
It is only the believing sinner that has an interest in sovereign mercy. Those who imagine themselves to be righteous within themselves find the infinite mercy of our sovereign God to be quite offensive. But the child of God has been made to know by the grace of God that he is in desperate need of the mercy of God all the time. We understand that if God, for one split second, ceased to be merciful, we would perish without his Son and without recovery. I will be merciful is the ETERNAL WORD OF GOD! This declaration is more than prophetic.
God is declaring that he will be FOREVER MERCIFUL! God must be merciful, because mercy is his very nature—He has declared it. God has chosen, by necessity of his character, to manifest his mercy for sinful man in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in the eternal Son of God, who was manifest as the eternal Son of Man, that we poor sinners are objects of infinite mercy. I will be merciful was not God’s declaration made first in time, but in eternity. This is his oath made to his Son in the eternal covenant of grace before the world was and repeated unto Moses for the assurance and comfort of all the elect of God. There is no mercy for fallen creatures apart from the person and work of God’s appointed substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our MERCY SEAT!
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)
O beloved, when you come to think of it, to be married to Him, to be one with Him, to have no thought, no object, no desire, no glory but that which dwells in Him that liveth and was dead—will not this be heaven indeed, where the Lamb is the light thereof? For ever to contemplate and adore Him Who offered up Himself without spot unto God, as our sacrifice and propitiation;1 this shall be an endless feast of grateful love. We shall never weary of this subject…
Do you trust the Lamb? I warn you, if you have a religion that has no blood of Christ in it, it is not worth a thought: you had better be rid of it. It will be of no use to you. I warn you, also, that unless you love the Lamb, you cannot be married to the Lamb; for He will never be married to those who have no love to Him. You must take Jesus as a sacrifice or not at all. It is useless to say, “I will follow Christ’s example.” You will not do anything of the sort. It is idle to say, “He shall be my teacher.” He will not own you for a disciple unless you will own Him as a sacrifice. You must take Him as the Lamb or have done with Him. If you do despite to the blood of Christ, you do despite to the whole person of Christ. Christ is nothing to you if He is not your atonement. As many of you as hope to be saved by the works of the Law or by anything else apart from His blood and righteousness, you have un-Christianized yourselves; you have no part in Jesus here, and you shall have no part in Him hereafter, when He shall take to Himself His own redeemed Church to be His spouse forever and ever. God bless you, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city. (Lamentations 3:51)
Every believer in Jesus Christ is constantly afflicted and effected by what we see with our eyes in this present world. We live in such a wicked and adulterous generation. We are surrounded by a godless and God hating people who (if they could) would with their own two hands strip the crown from the head of God and anoint themselves to be the divine monarch of their own destiny.
The Word of God asks “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
This is clearly seen in the government and religious rulers of our nation. These godless fools shake their fists at the God of Heaven and say “You do not exist! I believe the universe made itself and I am the god of my own life and you will not rule over me!”
The false religious world puts on their vain show of religion. They bow down to crosses, and statues of saints. Their churches are filled with music, pageants and programs. They profess to believe on Jesus Christ but preach a gospel of self-help, self righteousness and free will works religion which is nothing less then the doctrine of devils.
And surely these two groups are not opposed but joined together in defying the Living God. The false church and the world walk hand in hand saying “we will not have This Man (Jesus Christ) to rule over us.”
Believer, this world and its false religious rulers have never and will never have any pleasure in the gospel of Salvation by the Sovereign Free Grace of God, which is the only true gospel.
Therefore, we who believe on Jesus Christ and are saved by the Grace of God hold fast the truth that all men are by nature depraved and dead in sins.(Romans 5:12; 8:7; John 6:44)
We hold fast that God before the world began Sovereignly Loved and chose some of Adam’s fallen race to be Saved by Jesus Christ His Son. (Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:9)
We hold fast the truth that Jesus Christ came in the flesh to be the representative man of the elect of the Father. And that Jesus, who was the surety of the elect, came and obtained eternal righteousness for them alone. (Isaiah 46:13;Jeremiah 23:6) Jesus was crucified and suffered under the wrath of God for the sins of the elect and redeemed them forever by His one offering. (Hebrews 9:26-28; 10:12-14)
We boldly declare that God the Holy Spirit shall come to every elect sinner, even in the midst of his depravity and the deadness of his nature and He will perform His irresistible work of Grace. And we declare that the means of the Holy Spirit to apply life and faith to the sinner is only by the preaching of this gospel. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18; Romans 10:13-17)
Therefore Anyone who preaches another gospel then that we have preached then let him be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9)
Surely every believer is affected and grieves in our hearts because of these who reject this gospel of Jesus Christ, but be assured that God is not affected! Take comfort believer that our Lord Jesus Christ is not hindered by these fools who will not believe. “The God of Heaven shall Laugh and have them in derision.” (Psalm 2:4)
Believers let not what we see affect us in our hearts, for God has set Jesus Christ His King on His throne. Our King shall soon come and wipe away all tears from our afflicted eyes. Then shall we see things, not as they appear in the flesh, but how things really are!
We shall see that ALL THINGS are moving after the counsel of God’s Sovereign will for the salvation of all God’s elect. And there is nothing these rulers and false religious men can do to hinder Him in His work.