Rooted in the Love of Christ

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

And what was the great subject of his prayer. It was short, but comprehensive. It all centered in Christ. All Paul prayed for himself; and all he asked for the Church, was Christ. Christ and his fullness, Christ and his all-sufficiency. That Christ (said he) may dwell in your hearts by faith. Reader! do not overlook the fullness and comprehensiveness of Paul’s prayer. Christ cannot dwell in the heart of the unregenerate. Christ cannot dwell in the heart of any whom the Father hath not given to his dear Son. So, that in every heart where Christ dwells, there the Lord hath given testimony, that that precious soul is a child of God, given by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and regenerated by the Holy Ghost. Reader! is it not your prayer, as it is mine, that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith?

And where Christ dwells in the heart by faith, there all the other blessings follow. Rooted in Christ, we are one with Christ. Grounded in love, we feel all the sweet influences of love. And, though the love of Christ is unsearchable, and past finding out, yet we can in some measure comprehend, that it reacheth from one eternity to, another; and though its dimensions are infinite, in breadth and length, and depth, and height, and it is a love which passeth knowledge, yet is it a special, peculiar, free, and gracious love, and runs through all time, and to all eternity, to his people. Oh! the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge! Reader! what are your apprehensions of this love ? Hath Paul’s prayer been heard for you? Hath God granted you a token of this love ?

-Robert Hawker

Preach Christ, Not About Him

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1Corinthians 2:2)

The tendency of men, if left alone, is to drift father from God; and preachers are no exception. If left alone, they depart from preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ and begin to major on other things. It was true in the early days of the church. For the first few years after our Lord ascended, Christ was preached; but, gradually preachers and churches began to preach works, ceremony, law, and tradition.

Read the epistles of Corinthians and Galatians. It is no different today. Where can you go and hear Christ preached? Men preach about the gospel and doctrines about Christ, but John called our gospel “the doctrine of Christ,” not the doctrine about Christ. It would be easy to give the sum and substance of Paul’s message; it was Jesus Christ and him crucified! If you had asked Paul his creed, he would have said, “My creed is Christ.” If you had inquired as to his body of divinity, he would have replied, “There is but one body of divinity”—“In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” To these apostles Christ was not a historical character, a creed, nor a plan of salvation; he was their Lord, real to their minds, the first love of their hearts, who was, is, and is to come—my Lord and my God.

-Henry Mahan

“I Will Remember My Covenant.” Genesis 9:15

When God was about to destroy the whole human race (except for eight chosen souls), he provided an ark for the saving of his chosen. What a blessed picture of Christ our Savior and of our salvation in him! It was an ark of God’s providing. God called Noah and his family into the ark, an ark built specifically for him. God shut them in! Then God poured out the fury of his wrath upon all the earth. All the wrath of the Almighty fell upon the ark. Yet, not one drop of the water of God’s terror fell upon Noah, his wife, his sons, or their wives. The ark absorbed it all. That is what Christ, the Ark of our salvation, did for us. The holy Lord God prepared him and sent him specifically for the saving of his people (Matthew 1:21, Hebrews 10:10-14). He put us in Christ in electing grace before the world began (Ephesians 1:3-6). At Calvary the holy Lord God poured out all the fury of his wrath and justice upon all his chosen, to the full satisfaction of his justice, when he sacrificed his darling Son for us. But Christ bore all the hell of God’s wrath alone. Not so much as an angry look falls upon us, his redeemed.

When Noah came out of the ark, God put a rainbow in the clouds of the sky and promised never to destroy the earth by water again. God told Noah the bow would be a token of his covenant and promised to remember his “everlasting covenant.” As it was God’s covenant with Noah that preserved the world from another flood, so it is God’s everlasting covenant (the bow encircling his throne — Revelation 4) that preserves the world for the salvation of his elect, because he is not willing that any chosen sinner for whom Christ died perish (2 Peter 3:9).

How we ought to rejoice in covenant love! Let us ever give thanks to our great God for his purpose of grace, his performance of grace and his perseverance in grace toward his covenant people! Here is our comfort, encouragement, joy and confidence in this world. God says, “I will remember my covenant.” Noah’s drunkenness would not make him forget his covenant. Ham’s exposure of his father’s sin would not alter God’s purpose of grace toward that man who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

-Don Fortner

Our Attitude and Conduct as Believers

Nothing reveals the true state of my heart, my relationship with God, and my understanding of the gospel quite like my daily, general attitude toward others, toward God’s providence, and toward my lot in life. It is one thing to be discouraged occasionally, to get upset, to disagree with someone, to feel neglected, or even to withdraw for a time to reflect on the matters at hand. But it is quite another thing to continue in a negative attitude, pouting and feeling sorry for myself, neglecting to exhort and encourage others, and showing by my countenance and conduct that I am not happy with the way things are.

“Let not the sun go down on thy wrath,” clearly teaches that we are not to allow wrath, misunderstanding, nor bad feelings to continue! Let it be over when the day is over. Forgive as you are forgiven and give of yourself to make this difficult journey easier for others. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a family working together, living together, and functioning as one body for the glory of God and the good of the whole. It is very important that every member of that body be in harmony. I believe if a member is in harmony with the head, he will certainly be in harmony with the rest of the body. Christ is not divided! “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

-Henry Mahan

Heavenly Dew

“My words descend like dew.”  Deuteronomy 32:2

The dew falls imperceptibly. No man can see it fall. Yet its effects are visible in the morning. So it is with the blessing of God upon His Word. It penetrates the heart without noise; it sinks deep into the conscience without anything visible going on. And as the dew opens the pores of the earth and refreshes the ground after the heat of a burning day, making vegetation lift up its drooping head, so it is with the blessing of God resting upon the soul.  Heavenly dew comes imperceptibly, falls quietly, and is manifested chiefly by its effects, as softening, opening, penetrating, and secretly causing every grace of the Spirit to lift up its drooping head.  Whenever the Lord may have been pleased to bless our souls, either in hearing, in reading, or in private meditation, have not these been some of the effects? Silent, quiet, imperceptible, yet producing an evident impression . . .  softening the heart when hard, 

refreshing it when dry, 

melting it when obdurate, 

secretly keeping the soul alive, 

so that it is neither withers  up by the burning sun of temptation, nor dies for lack of grace. 

“May God give you the dew of heaven.” Genesis 27:28

-JC Philpot

Running Well

Ye did run well; who hath hindered you that you should not obey the truth?”  Galatians 5:7

Paul here first remembers the first state of this church when he preached to them the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ and reminds them that they “did run well.”  Paul often uses the analogy of running a race to describe the believer’s Christian life.  All who are believers in Jesus Christ are running a race, and if we desire to “run well” and not be hindered, we must keep in view three things about this race:

1. The course   Every race has a defined or marked course so that the runners are not impeded on their way.  The believer’s course is also marked with a clear path, and that is the course of faith.  All believers begin this race in the same way, and that is by the narrow gate of faith. (Matt 7:13, Romans 1:17) How we began to run this race is also how we continue to run this race, by faith in Jesus Christ alone.  To look to another means of running this race is to be hindered as these Galatians were by looking to law and faith for justification.  Therefore, lay aside every weight and care of this life if it is contrary to faith in Christ.  (Heb 12:1) 

 2.  The condition of the runner:  For a runner to be successful, he must be conditioned to endure the race.  So, we as believers, in order for us to stay the course that is set before us; we must have the strength to endure by faith to the end.  (Matt 24:13)  This strength to run by faith does not come from faith, but rather the object of our faith Jesus Christ.  Then “Let us to run the race that is set before us.  We do this by “looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb 12:2) He is the source of our faith and the sustainer of our faith.  The moment we look to our faith, or anything we have done, or are doing as evidence of our staying the course; then we become hindered.  So, believer let us look to Jesus and we will “run and not be weary.”

3.  The prize   Every race has a prize for the winner, but all earthly prizes are corruptible.  But the prize of the Christian race is one that is incorruptible. (1 Cor. 9:4-26)   It is because our prize is “reserved in heaven and fades not away, we may run with confidence for Christ has accomplished all that is necessary for us to win.  So we that believe count all things but dung that we way win Christ and be found not in our righteousness, but in His righteousness.  We run to know Him as we are known. We run that we might take part in his resurrection. (Phil 3:8-11)

The race of the lost is to obtain the perishing things of this life, but we run by faith, looking to Christ and His redemption, to obtain the prize which will never fade away.  Let us therefore run well and not be hindered.

The Silence of Iniquity

The Righteous shall see it and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.  Psalms 107:42-43

We who see that Jesus Christ is all our righteousness rejoice in Him.  We see by faith His work of salvation that has quickened us from the dead and by grace has given us faith in Christ. Therefore, we confess that “we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:1-10).

If we are to be wise and understand the lovingkindness of God (v. 43), then let us observe the great cause of our rejoicing in Christ: “all iniquity shall stop her mouth.”

Believer do you still have trouble with sin? Do you often struggle with God over your salvation?  Is your conscience heavy with your sin?  Are you afraid of your evil thoughts?

Believers observe that when we come to the law it shut our mouth and caused us to own our guilt. (Rom.3:19) But now that Jesus Christ has come and shed His precious blood for all our sins, it is our iniquity that must be silent.

Behold that Jesus has “finished the transgression, made an end of sin and made reconciliation for iniquity and brought in an everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24).

 So, then who then can condemn us or separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus?  The answer to our conscience, this world and Satan is that “There is Therefore NOW NO Condemnation to us who are in Christ Jesus (Romans.8:1).

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us  (Romans 8:33-34).

-Pastor Fred Evans

Is Salvation by God’s Grace Alone?

Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. (Psalm 3:8)

This verse contains the sum and substance of Calvinistic doctrine. Search Scripture through, and you must, if you read it with a candid mind, be persuaded that the doctrine of salvation by grace alone is the great doctrine of the word of God: “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord.

This is a point concerning which we are daily fighting. Our opponents say, “Salvation belongeth to the free will of man; if not to man’s merit, yet at least to man’s will;” but we hold and teach that salvation from first to last, in every iota of it, belongs to the Most High God. It is God that chooses his people. He calls them by his grace; he quickens them by his Spirit, and keeps them by his power. It is not of man, neither by man; “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”

May we all learn this truth experimentally, for our proud flesh and blood will never permit us to learn it in any other way.

In the last sentence the peculiarity and specialty of salvation are plainly stated: “Thy blessing is upon thy people. “Neither upon Egypt, nor upon Tyre, nor upon Nineveh; thy blessing is upon thy chosen, thy blood-bought, thine everlastingly-beloved people. “Selah:”lift up your hearts, and pause, and meditate upon this doctrine. “Thy blessing is upon thy people.” Divine, discriminating, distinguishing, eternal, infinite, immutable love, is a subject for constant adoration.

Pause my soul, at this Selah, and consider thine own interest in the salvation of God; and if by humble faith thou art enabled to see Jesus as thine by his own free gift of himself to thee, if this greatest of all blessings-be upon thee, rise up and sing: “Rise, my soul! Adore and wonder! Ask, ‘O why such love to me? Grace hath put me in the number. Of the Savior’s family: Hallelujah

Thanks, eternal thanks to thee.”

-Charles Spurgeon

My Grace Is Sufficient

There are two kinds of people who are candidates for heaven. Those who have little faith and those who have much faith. Little faith will take our souls to heaven, but much faith will bring heaven to us. The important thing is for us to begin living in heaven now. In order for us to accomplish this we must stop the sighs produced by the various “ifs” of life and begin to face life as it is.

Let us take life as it is with all its hurts and pains because Jesus has said “My grace is sufficient for you.” We are to trust Jesus no matter the trouble because He has ordained it in order to as to test or prove our faith.

-C.H Spurgeon

Safe In His Hands

Are you terrified by our own weakness, insufficiency, and sin? Does Satan sometimes whisper in your ear, “you are sinking, you will prove a hypocrite at last, you will soon be mine”? Are you afraid? The Saviour says, “Behold my hands!” These are the hands of our security, safety, and mercy.

We see this beautifully illustrated in Matthew 14:25-31. When Peter was walking to the Saviour across the calm waters of the early morning, all was well. He felt so good. But when he saw the storm approaching, he was terrified and began to sink. Then he cried, “Lord, save me… And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him.

In this life there are many storms that arise and cause us doubts and fears. The waves are high, and our faith is small. The winds are strong and toss us about so that we stagger. The clouds are heavy, and our guilt weighs us down. We then think that we will surely fail, and that our vessel will be wrecked. But just when we think we are sinking, the Lord Jesus stretches forth His hand and catches us! We hear his voice, the Spirit quickens our faith, and we are brought immediately into the ship. Then all is well regardless of our present circumstances.

Content with beholding His face,

My all to His pleasure resigned;

No changes of season or place,

Would make any change in my mind.

While blessed with a sense of His love,

A palace a toy would appear;

And prisons would palaces prove,

If Jesus would dwell with me there.

 Believer, did He not say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”? He has said “I will strengthen thee; yes, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”! O, Child of God, you are safe and secure in His hands all the time, for He is both willing and able to keep you from falling.

-Fred Evans, pastor of Redeemer’s Grace Church