All True Religion

Jesus is . . .
our sun, and without Him all is darkness;
our life, and without Him all is death;
the beginner and finisher of our faith;
the substance of our hope;
the object of our love.

It is the Spirit who quickens us . . .
to feel our need of Christ;
to seek all our supplies in Him and from Him;
to believe in Him unto everlasting life,
and thus live a life of faith upon Him.

By His . . .
secret teachings,
inward touches,
gracious smiles,
soft whispers,
sweet promises,
manifestations of Christ’s glorious Person and work,
Christ’s agonizing sufferings and dying love, the
Holy Spirit draws the heart up to Christ.

He thus wins our affections and setting Christ
before our eyes as “the chief among ten thousand
and the altogether lovely One,” draws out that love
and affection towards Jesus which puts the world
under our feet.

All true religion flows from the Spirit’s grace,
presence and power.

-J.C Philpot

Look Upon Death As That Which Is Best

“Better is the day of death, than the day of one’s
 birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1

“I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is
 better by far.” Philippians 1:23

The Greek is very significant—”far, far the better!” A saint’s dying day is the daybreak of eternal glory! In respect of pleasure, peace, safety, company, and glory—a believer’s dying day is his best day.

Look upon death as a remedy, as a cure. Death will perfectly cure you of all bodily and spiritual diseases at once: the infirm body and the defiled soul, the aching head and the unbelieving heart. Death will cure you of all your ailments, aches, diseases, and distempers.

In Queen Mary’s days, there was a lame Christian, and a blind Christian—both burned at one stake. The lame man, after he was chained, casting away his crutch, bade the blind man to be of good cheer; For death,” says he, “will cure us both; you of your blindness, and me of my lameness!”

As death will cure all your bodily diseases, so it will cure all your soul distempers also. Death is not the death of the man—but the death of his sin! Death will at once free you fully, perfectly, and perpetually from all sin; yes, from all possibility of ever sinning!

Sin was the midwife which brought death into the world—and death shall be the grave to bury sin. Why, then, should a Christian be afraid to die, unwilling to die—seeing death gives him an eternal separation from infirmities and weaknesses,  from all aches and pains,  from griefs and griping’s,  from distempers and diseases, both of body and soul?

-Thomas Brooks

Whatever Befalls You This Year, Look Up!

“Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!” Luke 21:28

We are entering upon a new year, we shall have new toils, new trials, new temptations, and new troubles; but whenever they come — let us “look up!”

There may be national calamities — such as pestilence, famine, or war. . .

There may be persecution — laborers may lose their jobs, cottagers their cottages, and children many of their comforts, for Christ’s and conscience’ sake.

Providence may frown and throw us into perplexity and difficulty; losses and crosses may become almost our daily lot; we may think that God is turned against us, and that everything is contrary to us. . .

We may be called to change our residences, and leave dear friends and connections behind us; or, what is worse, our friends may be alienated from us, and turn against us. . . If death should enter in at our windows, and take away the desire of our eyes with a stroke; if our parents should die, our children be removed, or our wives or husbands be laid in the grave. . .

If darkness becloud our evidences, obscure our path, and throw its gloom over our minds; if discouragement brood over our souls, or place stumbling-blocks in our way. . .

If thrown on the bed of sickness, racked with pain and fainting with weakness; if death stand before us, and the grave appear ready for us; if eternity throws its revealing light upon us, or draws back its curtain to us —

Let us not tremble, or shake with fear, but let us “look up.” In whatever state, in whatever place, into Whatever condition we may be brought this year — let us seek grace to follow our Lord’s loving advice, and “look up.”

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us — looking unto Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith!” Hebrews 12:1-2. Look only, look always, look intently, to Jesus; run looking, work looking, fight looking, suffer looking, live looking, and die looking — to Jesus, who is at God’s right hand in glory. Oh, look, look, look to Jesus!
 -James Smith, 1865


The Christian’s Lessons In Suffering

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Gen 18:25)

The why of suffering, has ever been among the most serious problems of life. Before we can do anything that is really worthwhile in helping our fellow men, we must pass through a training of suffering, in which alone we can learn the lessons that will fit us for this holier service.

We are called to suffer, it may be as a witness for God. We do not know what may depend upon our faithfulness in any time of stress or trial. It may seem a small thing, for instance, to complain and fret when we are suffering, and yet it may sadly blur our witnessing. God wants us to represent Him, to illustrate the qualities in His character which He would have the world know. A Christian in a sick room is called to manifest the beauty of His Master in patience, in trust, in sweetness of spirit. A Christian in great sorrow is called to show the world the meaning of faith and faith’s power to hold the heart quiet and at peace, in the bitterest experience of grief and loss. We are witnesses for God in our sufferings, and, if we would not fail Him—we must show in ourselves the power of divine grace to keep the song singing in our hearts through pain or sorrow.

There never can be any gain in asking “Why?” when we find ourselves in trouble. God has His reasons, and it is enough that He should know why He sends this or that trial into our life or our friend’s life. There is always mystery. The perplexed and heartbreaking “Why?” is heard continually, wherever we go. We cannot answer it. It is not meant that we should try to answer it. The “Why?” belongs to our Father. He knows; let Him answer and let us trust and be still. God is love. He makes no mistakes.

-J.R Miller

The Believer’s Troubled Path Is God’s Wise Plan!

Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. (Acts 15:18)

Every trial, temptation, affliction, sorrow, are but the result of a definite plan in His eternal mind!

Yet to us how often all seems confusion! This confusion is not so much in the things themselves — as in our mind. Job, when surrounded by trouble, cried out, “I am full of confusion!” Yet we can see in reading his history that all his trials were working toward an appointed end. So every trial, sorrow, temptation or affliction, which has ever lain, or ever will lie, in your path — has been marked out by infinite, unerring wisdom!

Is not the commonest road laid out according to a definite plan? And does not the surveyor, when he lays it out, put every milestone in its proper place?

So, does not the Lord lay out beforehand the road in which His people should walk? And does He not put a trial here and a sorrow there — an affliction at this turning and a cross at that corner? All is definitely planned in His infinite wisdom, to bring the traveler safely home to Zion!

-J. C. Philpot

When We Are In The Furnace

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

Trials, sufferings, afflictions, vexations, and disappointments are our appointed lot. And though grievous to the flesh, yet when they are sanctified to the soul’s good—are made to be some of our choicest blessings! Levity, carelessness, and indifference, with a general hardness and deadness in the things of God, soon creep over the mind—unless it be well weighted with trials and afflictions.

But when we are in the furnace, we rarely see what benefit it is producing—or what profit is likely to arise to ourselves or to others out of it. Our coward flesh shrinks from the cross, and until submission and resignation are wrought in us by a divine power, and the peaceable fruits of the Spirit begin to show themselves, we cannot bless the Lord for the trial and affliction. Our trials vary as much as our outward circumstances or inward feelings, and each person perhaps thinks his own trial the heaviest. But no doubt infinite wisdom appoints to each vessel of mercy, those peculiar trials in nature, or degree, which are required to work out God’s hidden purposes.

-J.C Philpot

If Jehovah Is Your God!

“I will be their God — and they shall be My people!” Hebrews 8:10

So has Jehovah purposed in reference to those whom He has eternally loved and chosen. All of our present and future blessedness is wrapped up in this holy and gracious purpose.

If Jehovah is your God — then all of His glorious attributes and perfections are engaged and employed for your eternal welfare!
His mercy will supply all of your needs.
His power will conquer all of your foes.
His wisdom will direct all of your ways.
His faithfulness will answer all of your prayers.
His justice will maintain your cause.
His infinite love and mercy will be displayed in all of His gracious dealings with you!

If Jehovah is your God — then all things are yours — things present and to come; life, death, the world, Heaven — all are yours!

If Jehovah is your God — then He will consider nothing too great to do for you — and nothing too glorious to give to you! All the treasures of time, and all the resources of eternity — will, if necessary, be employed for your spiritual and eternal benefit! You can lack nothing which is really for your good.

To have Jehovah for your God is the highest blessedness and honor in the universe!

How blessed is the man — who has Jehovah as his God!

-James Smith

Five Things Christ Accomplished By His Death

“They crucified Him” (John 19:18)

Men did by their wicked hands crucify Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, and they did so by God’s determinate counsel and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23). They brought guilt upon themselves in crucifying Him, but here are five things that He did in His crucifixion.

(1)     In His crucifixion, He crushed the head of Satan. He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil and He did so in His crucifixion.

(2)     In his crucifixion, He opened the fountain for sin and uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1). Men open fountains to be admired, but He opened this fountain to be used. Come and wash for His blood “cleanseth from all sin.” “The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day, and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.”

(3)     In His crucifixion, He “blotted out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Col 2:14). The holy Law of God was contrary to us for it demanded perfect obedience in thought, word and deed; and cursed us for our disobedience.

(4)     In His crucifixion, He ratified the New and everlasting covenant. “This is my blood in the new covenant”. Now the Testator has died, the will or testament cannot be changed, and besides, He lives to disperse the benefits of the testament to those He named as His heirs.

(5)     In His crucifixion, He opened heaven’s door to all “who come unto God by Him”. We don’t know how many will enter heaven’s door. We know it will be a great number, but we do know that all who do will enter through Jesus Christ.

– David Pledger, Pastor of Lincoln Wood Baptist Church, Houston, Texas USA

Cast Out the Bondwoman

Therefore whenever thou who believest in Jesus, dost hear the law in its thundering and lightening fits, as if it would burn up heaven and earth; then say thou, I am freed from this law, these thunderings have nothing to do with my soul; nay even this law, while it thus thunders and roareth, it doth allow and approve of my righteousness. I know that Hagar would sometimes be domineering and high, even in Sarah’s house and against her; but this she must not be suffered to do, nay though Sarah herself be barren; wherefore serve it [the law] also as Sarah served her, and expel her from thy house. My meaning is this, when this law with its thundering threatenings doth attempt to lay hold on thy conscience, shut it out with a promise of grace; cry, the inn is took up already, the Lord Jesus is here entertained, and there is no room for the law. Indeed if it will be content with being my informer, and so lovingly leave off to judge me; I will be content, it shall be in my sight, I will also delight therein; but otherwise, I being now upright without it, and that too with that righteousness, with which this law speaks well of and approveth; I may not, will not, cannot, dare not, make it my Saviour and Judge, nor suffer it to set up its government in my conscience; for so doing I fall from grace, and Christ doth profit me nothing.

-John Bunyan

Real Peace Is Found In A Person

I know whom I have believed. . . (2 Timothy 1:12)

Many people struggle with what they believe. They spend much time trying to believe in some system or some cause. They are searching for something to fill the empty void deep inside their heart. But the truth is that peace is only found in a person.

Peace will not be found in the things of the world because they are fleeting away (1 John 2:17). Peace of the soul cannot be found in other men because all flesh is as grass and the life of man is as a vapor (Psalm 144:4). Peace cannot be found in us because we are all born dead in sins and we cannot by any works of the flesh please a holy God (Romans 5:12; 8:8). God is just and will by no means clear the guilty. Therefore peace is only found in the person and word of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20).

“But I know whom I have believed.” Peace with God can only be found in one person and that is the God-man Jesus Christ the Lord (1 Timothy 3:16). He is the only Savior and mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). Therefore, all who know him by faith are persuaded like Paul, “that he is able to keep that which I have committed on to him against that day.” We are persuaded of his perfect ability to save us because he has given us a new heart by which we believe (John 6:44; Psalm 110:3). We are persuaded of his righteousness to clothe us and his blood to cleanse us from all our sins (Isaiah 61:10; 1 John 1:7).

Therefore, we who know Jesus Christ by faith have peace with God, and nothing can sever our soul from His love (Romans 8:31-39). And we know that Jesus alone is able and willing to keep us in the faith firm to the end (1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:1; 24; John 14:3).

-Fred Evans