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Does This Offend You?

Our Lord Jesus Christ Preached the Sovereignty of God

Listen to John 6:37-38, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me, and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” My friends, there is sovereignty. There is God’s will being done. There is Christ coming down here appointed and delegated and set apart to accomplish the will of a sovereign God, Who must do and will do that which seemeth good in His own sight (See Matthew 11:25-27).

Yes, when our Lord was here as God’s Prophet, there is one thing certain: He put God Almighty on the throne in His preaching. It made those people angry, and it does so today. Any time on earth that any preacher anywhere enthrones God Almighty in his preaching, proclaiming the sovereignty which belongs to Him in all things, it will certainly offend the pride of old sinful unregenerated man — I do not care whether he is a church member or not. Religious or not, if he is unregenerated, the sovereignty of God (just the mention of it!) will offend him. And when a preacher in this modern day dares to stand for the great teaching of God acting as seemeth good in His sight — the Gospel of the glory of God, which is the Gospel of the sovereign grace of God (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15-16) — it will be offensive! And today, when we take the crown off the head of sinful man, and put it on the head of a sovereign, holy God, the fur begins to fly, and all hell will break loose!

Men today hate the sovereignty of God and it is offensive to their old proud hearts because it leaves them as paupers before a God Who does as He pleases, when He pleases, and to whom He pleases! But, my friends, God’s will is going to be done in all matters, whether in heaven or in the earth. The Apostle Paul says that God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11). The Apostle James says, “For ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:15).  And the Apostle John says, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will” (Revelation 17:17). And again, the Apostle Paul says, “I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will” (I Corinthians 4:19).

My friends, you and I need desperately to be conformed to the will of God in all things — but the people in my Lord’s time grew angry and were offended because the Lord Jesus demanded that they be conformed to the will of God. They openly rebelled against these demands, exactly as men do today. But, dear ones, God Almighty never has saved a man on man’s terms. God always saves sinners on His own terms!

Does this offend you?

 

– Rolfe Barnard

Salvation According to God’s Eternal Purpose

To those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 b)

This is a further description or characteristic of God’s people. They are called not merely outwardly by the preaching of the Gospel, for this is common to them with unbelievers, but called also by the Spirit, with an internal and effectual calling, and made willing in the day of God’s power. (Psalm 110:3) They are called according to God’s eternal purpose, according to which He knew them, and purposed their calling before they were in existence; for all God’s purposes are eternal.

It imports that their calling is solely the effect of grace; for when it is said to be a calling according to God’s purpose, it is distinguished from a calling according to works. ‘Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,’    ( 2 Timothy 1:9).

It imports that it is an effectual and permanent calling; for God’s purposes cannot be defeated. ‘The counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:21) Their calling is according to the purpose of Him “who worketh all things according to the counsel of His own will,’( Ephesians 1:11).

 –Robert Haldane

Love the Lord Jesus Christ!

See that you love the Lord Jesus Christ with a superlative love, with an overtopping love. There are none have suffered so much for you as Christ; there are none that can suffer so much for you as Christ. The least measure of that wrath that Christ has sustained for you, would have broke the hearts, necks, and backs of all created beings.

O my friends love him above your lusts, love him above your relations, love him above the world, love him above all your outward contentment and enjoyments; yes, love him above your very lives; for thus the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, saints, primitive Christians, and the martyrs of old, have loved our Lord Jesus Christ with an overtopping love: Rev. 12:11, ‘They loved not their lives unto the death;’ that is, they slighted, contemned, yes, despised their lives, exposing them to hazard and loss, out of love to the Lamb, ‘who had washed them in his blood.’

I have read of one Kilian, a Dutch schoolmaster, who being asked whether he did not love his wife and children, answered, Were all the world a lump of gold, and in my hands to dispose of, I would leave it at my enemies feet to live with them in a prison; but my soul and my Savior are dearer to me than all. If my father, says Jerome, should stand before me, and my mother hang upon, and my brethren should press about me, I would break through my brethren, throw down my father, and tread underfoot my mother, to cleave to Jesus Christ. Had I ten heads, said Henry Voes, they should all be cut off for Christ. If every hair of my head, said John Ardley, martyr, were a man, they should all suffer for the faith of Christ. Let fire, racks, pulleys, said Ignatius, and all the torments of hell come upon me, so I may win Christ. Love made Jerome to say, O my Savior, did you die for love of me?—a love sadder than death; but to me a death more lovely than love itself. I cannot live, love you, and be longer from you. George Carpenter, being asked whether he did not love his wife and children, which stood weeping before him, answered, My wife and children!—my wife and children! are dearer to me than all Bavaria; yet, for the love of Christ, I know them not. That blessed virgin in Basil being condemned for Christianity to the fire, and having her estate and life offered her if she would worship idols, cried out, ‘Let money perish, and life vanish, Christ is better than all.’ Sufferings for Christ are the saints’ greatest glory; they are those things wherein they have most gloried Your cruelty is our glory, says Tertullian. It is reported of Babylas, that when he was to die for Christ, he desired this favor, that his chains might be buried with him, as the ensigns of his honor. Thus you see with what a superlative love, with what an overtopping love, former saints have loved our Lord Jesus; and can you, Christians, who are cold and low in your love to Christ, read over these instances, and not blush?

-Thomas Brooks