Christ Washing Peter’s Feet

John 13:3-10

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.

H. A. IRONSIDE (1876-1951): Notice what Jesus did not say, and then notice what He did say. He did not say, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part in me.” He did say, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” What is the difference between “part in Him,” and “part with Him?” Well, “part in Him,” is life, and Peter already had divine life. He was already “in Him.” To be in Christ is just the opposite of being in Adam. We are in Christ by new birth. And Peter had been already born of God. He had already received Him as his Saviour, and so he was in Him. But now Jesus says, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me,” and with Him is communion. With Him is fellowship.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): He has washed all Believers, once and for all, in His most precious blood—cleansing, as before the bar of justice, is completely accomplished forever for all the chosen by the great blood-shedding upon Calvary. That is a matter of the past—a thing for which to bless God for all eternity. “We are clean, through Jesus’ blood we are clean.” But here is another kind of washing—not of the entire man, but of the feet only. Not with blood, but with water—not in the fountain filled from the Saviour’s veins—but in a basin filled with water.

H. A. IRONSIDE: Every believer is linked up with the Lord Jesus Christ by two links. There is the link of union, and the link of union is so strong that the weight of a world could not break it. He says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand,” John 10:27,28. It might be translated: “They shall never, by any means, perish, neither shall any pluck them out of My hand.” That is the link of union. But there is also the link of communion.

JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): Union with Christ is fundamentally necessary to all communion with Him. All communion is founded in union; and where there is no union, there can be no communion…Communion with God pre-supposes the habits of grace implanted in the soul by sanctification; a sound and sincere change of heart. No sanctification, no communion.

H. A. IRONSIDE: We must be clean to enjoy communion with Christ…The link of communion is so fragile that the least unconfessed sin will break it in a moment, and the only way it can be reformed is by confessing and forsaking the sin that snapped it.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): Let me remind you that there is no cleansing without Christ. Can you do it for yourselves, do you think? There is an old proverb, ‘One hand washes the other.’ That is true about stains on the flesh. It is not true about stains on our spirits. Nobody can do it for us but Jesus Christ alone.

C. H. SPURGEON: It is even so! He does do it—He does, in this sense, wash His people’s feet! When Jesus Christ puts away from us day by day our daily infirmities and sins, does He not wash our feet? Last night, when you bowed the knee, you could not help confessing that there had been much in the week’s transactions which was not worthy of your standing and profession. And even tonight, when the engagements of this day are over, you will have to mourn that you foolishly committed the very sins which you repented of weeks ago…And yet Jesus Christ will have great patience with you! He will hear your confession of sin! He will say, “I will, be thou clean.” He will again apply the blood of sprinkling—He will speak peace to your conscience and remove every spot.

H. A. IRONSIDE: And so Jesus says, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” He means, “If I am not daily washing thee from the defilement that continually clings to one’s feet, you cannot have fellowship with Me.”

Now Peter goes to the other extreme. He says, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” But Jesus says, “No, Peter, you are wrong again. He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit…”—What is it the Savior is telling us here? Why, this: when a Christian fails and becomes defiled in thought or deed or word, he does not thereby cease to be a Christian; he does not cease to be a child of God and have to begin all over again, but he simply needs to have his feet washed. He needs to have his walk cleansed.

C. H. SPURGEON: Oh, it is a great act of eternal love when Christ, once and for all absolves the sinner, takes him from under the dominion of the Law and puts him into the family of God! But what long-suffering and patience there is when the Saviour, with much long-suffering, bears the daily follies of the recipient of so much mercy! Day by day and hour by hour He puts away the constant sin of the erring but yet beloved child! To dry up a flood of sin is something marvelous—but to endure the constant dropping of daily sins—to bear with that constant weary trying of patience, this is Divine, indeed! To blot out the whole of sin like a thick cloud is a great and matchless power, as well as Grace—but to remove the mist of every morning and the damp of every night—oh, this is condescension! I wish I could describe it—it is condescension well imaged in the washing of Peter’s feet.

 

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Casting Thy Bread Upon the Waters

Ecclesiastes 11:1,2,6

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil may be upon the earth…In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): To cast one’s bread upon the surface of the waters, where it must be either devoured by the fish, or diluted to nothing, before the waves leave it upon the shore, would be a very odd way of providing for futurity; and I doubt whether one who would try the experiment could find his bread again after many days. But the case is quite otherwise with respect to seed thrown upon the surface of an inundation; when the waters subside, the corn which remains in the mud grows, and is found again many days after, at the time of harvest.

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): In Egypt, for instance, where the Nile overflows the country periodically to a vast extent, it is common for men to cast their seed—their rice especially, upon the waters, whilst yet they are at a considerable depth. This might seem to be folly in the extreme: but experience proves, that, instead of losing their seed, they find it again after many days, rising into an abundant crop.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Waters, in Scripture, are put for multitudes, Revelation 17:15.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The exhortations of Ecclesiastes chapter 11 have also a spiritual import, with a particular application unto the minister of the Gospel. As faith is needed by the farmer in order to the discharge of his duties—so it is with the evangelical gardener. He must not be discouraged by the lack of response he meets with, and the absence of immediate fruitage to his labours. If he is faithful in casting the Bread of life upon the human “waters,” particularly “thy bread”—those portions you have personally received from God and which have proved a blessing to your own soul—the sure promise is “thou shall find it again after many days.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): I remember, how during the depths of the Second World War, when everything was about as discouraging as it could be—bombing had scattered our congregation and so on—and I was facing great discouragement. I suddenly received a letter from the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia. It was from a Dutch soldier who wrote saying that his conscience had been pricking him and, at last, had driven him to write to tell me what had happened to him eighteen months before. He explained how he had come to England with the Dutch Free Army and while stationed in London had attended our services for some time. While doing so he had been convinced of the fact that he had never been a Christian at all though he had thought he was. He had then passed through a dark period of conviction of sin and hopelessness, but, eventually, he had seen the Truth and had been rejoicing in it ever since.

ROBERT HAWKER (1753-1827): Can you need a more striking subject of instruction, respecting the spiritual seed of the gospel?Like seed sown in the field, it lays hid for awhile. Its product is in future, not now. Preachers of the gospel of Christ, may find great beauty, as well as great encouragement, in these precepts blended with promises. How often, indeed, after many days and years do they find the fruit of their labours.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): Sixty-two years ago I preached a poor, dry, barren sermon with no comfort to myself and, as I imagined, with no comfort to others.  But a long time afterwards I heard of nineteen distinct cases of blessing resulting from that sermon.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Frequently I have gone home groaning over a sermon which God has blessed to never-dying souls. And those very discourses which I have thought the worst of, God has blessed the most. I think we are not to be judges of how we do our work—the Master knows better than we do the success of our enterprises. Beside, dear friends, you do not expect to see fruit at once, do you? “Cast your bread upon the waters and you shall find it tomorrow,”—is that the text? If I read rightly it is, “You shall find it after many days.”—We must preach in faith believing that the Word cannot return unto our Master void.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): The husbandman throws his seed freely, be­cause he sows in hope.

C. H. SPURGEON: To go on tilling a thankless soil, to continue to cast bread upon the waters and to find no return has caused many a true heart to faint with inward bleeding. Yet this is full often the test of our fidelity. It is a noble thing to continue preaching, like Noah, throughout a lifetime, amid ridicule, reproach and unbelief—but it is not every man who can do so…You must take care that you have this faith.

A. W. PINK:For thou knowest not what evil may be upon the earth,” supplies a further incentive to fidelity. Things are indeed bad enough today—but the shrewdest is quite incapable of foreseeing how much worse they may become…Therefore it is the part of wisdom—to redeem the time and make the most of the privileges which are ours today. “Work while it is called day—for the night comes when no man can work,” John 9:4. Since we have no guarantee about the future, utilize to the full, the present.

JOHN BERRIDGE (1716-1793): I preach only at two times—in season and out of season. Such are my orders, and my Master has also said, “preach the gospel to every creature.”

MATTHEW HENRY: Let us continue our pious endeavours for the good of souls, for, though we have long laboured in vain, we may at length see the success of them. Let ministers, in the days of their seedness, sow both morning and evening; for who can tell which shall prosper?

A. W. PINK: Therefore be not slack or exclusive, but “give portions to seven, yes, to eight,” for if you prayerfully seek opportunities and carefully observe the openings which Providence makes—you will be brought into touch with hungry souls. There is many a starved sheep wandering about today who will deeply appreciate the ministrations of one of Christ’s shepherds.

C. H. SPURGEON: Remember the promises, let them come up before your mind—believe them, and go in the strength of them. “In due season we shall reap if we faint not,” Galatians 6:9; “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love,” Hebrews 6:10…But if you should not live to see it on earth, remember, you are only accountable for your labour—not for your success! Sow still, toil on! “Cast your bread upon the waters: for you shall find it after many days.” God will not allow His Word to be wasted—“it shall not return to Him void, but shall accomplish that which He pleases,” Isaiah 55:11.

 

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A Mother’s Day Post: Samuel & His Mother Hannah

1 Samuel 1:20, 24-28; 1 Samuel 3:1

Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD…

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Samuel was a model child.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): The child Samuel ministered unto the Lord,” in such parts of service, relating to the tabernacle of the Lord, as he was capable of, such as opening and shutting the doors of it, lighting the lamps, singing the praises of God…As he proceeded on in years, and grew in stature, he appeared more and more to be a virtuous, holy, and gracious person, “and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men,” 1 Samuel 2:26.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): He maintained a blameless reputation, and at the close of his life, could thus challenge the whole nation: “I have walked before from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you,” 1 Samuel 12:3.

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): The continuous growth of a character, from a child serving God, and to old age walking in the same path, is the great lesson which the story of Samuel teaches us.

WILLIAM JAY: But what has this to do with Hannah? Much, in every way.

C. H. SPURGEON: Mothers make men. They have the formation of their boys’ characters.

JOHN GILL: Hannah, the mother of Samuel, is by the Septuagint called Anna, and it signifies “grace;” or “gracious:” and as was her name, so was she, a gracious woman―one that had the grace of God herself, and was a publisher of the glad tidings of grace and redemption by Christ to others.

THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): As she was a good woman, so she was a good mother.

WILLIAM JAY: Did Samuel learn not to be idle? Did he readily obey those who had the rule over him? Did he cheerfully submit to restraints and privations? Did he show no unwillingness to be left behind in the tabernacle? Had he no fear to sleep alone? Could he hear an extraordinary voice in the night without terror? Did the fear of God banish every other fear? (1 Samuel Chapters 2 & 3). All this proclaims Hannah’s influence. All this she had early taught him. All this shows the excellency of her discipline, the wisdom of her teaching, and the influence of her example. All this, under God, was owing to Hannah. All that enobled him praises her; and the history of the son is eulogium of the mother.

C. H. SPURGEON: One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters―she has the first hand in the fashioning.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): My mother was a pious woman and as I was her only child, she made it the chief business and pleasure of her life to instruct me, and bring me up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…When I was four years old, I could read and could likewise repeat the answers to the questions in the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism, with the proofs; and all Isaac Watts’s smaller Catechisms, and his Children’s Hymns.

GEORGE SWINNOCK (1627-1673): The mother can toil and moil all day with her child, and count it a pleasure―but what is the reason? nothing but her love.

C. H. SPURGEON: A mother’s love is the cream of love. It is most pure, holy, and unselfish―we have heard of a good mother who wanted to teach her child something; but when someone complained that she had to repeat the same thing twenty times, she answered, “Yes, I did that because nineteen times would not do.”

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): A sweet happiness to any child to have a good mother.

C. H. SPURGEON: David had been taught by his good mother. I know he had a godly mother, for he says, “Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant and the son of Thine handmaid,” Psalm 116:16. He calls his mother, God’s handmaid, which shows that she was one of God’s servants. I have no doubt that she took David on her knee and taught him God’s Word while he was but a child, for he had such a love of it afterwards that he must have had a love of it while he was yet little!―the man never forgets what he learns at his mother’s knee.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.

CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): Who can estimate the worth of a Christian mother—a Hannah?

C. H. SPURGEON: Samuel was the son of a praying mother—certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed on me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me. How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come? How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee, and with her arms about my neck, prayed, “Oh, that my son might live before Thee!”

JOHN NEWTON: My dear mother, besides the pains she took with me, often commended me with many prayers and tears to God.

GEORGE SWINNOCK: Augustine saith that his mother travailed in greater pain for his spiritual than for his natural birth; but surely there are few Monicas.

C. H. SPURGEON: Doubtless a good man generally comes of a good mother. It was usually so in Scriptural times, and it is so still―and the daughter of a good mother, will be the mother of a good daughter…The future of society is in the hands of mothers.

CHARLES BRIDGES: If there were more Hannahs, would there not be more Samuels? If thou wouldst have, Christian mother, thy child a Samuel or an Augustine, be thyself a Hannah or a Monica.

 

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Counterfeit Humility

Exodus 3:11,12

And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): Moses, we know, was called to go to Pharaoh, and to bring the Lord’s people out of Egypt. Now, in opposition to this call, he urged his own unworthiness of such an office.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): He answers that he is not sufficient for it, and therefore refuses the commission. His comparison of himself with Pharaoh was an additional pretext for declining it. This, then, seems to be the excuse of modesty and humility; and as such, I conceive it not only to be free from blame, but worthy of praise.

D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): He thought the Lord had made a mistake, that he was not the man. He said, “Who am I?” He was very small in his own estimation.

JOHN CALVIN: But another question arises, why he, who forty years ago had been so forward in killing the Egyptian, and, relying on the vocation of God, had dared to perform so perilous a deed, should now timidly deny his sufficiency for the deliverance of the people? It does not seem probable that his rigour had decreased from age.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): Age had made him cool and considerate; the remembrance of his brethren’s rejection of him, when he was a great man at court, took away all probability of prevailing with them to follow him, much more of prevailing with Pharaoh to let them go. Thus Moses falls into that distemper to which most men are prone, of measuring God by himself, and by the probabilities or improbabilities of second causes.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Now, catch this—God said, “Never mind who you are. “Certainly I will be with thee.” Here was strength enough for him. What more does Moses want?

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): One difficulty being solved, Moses raised another…The second question asked by Moses was eminently reasonable. He pictures to himself his addressing the Israelites, and their question, Exodus 3:13―“Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

G. CAMPBELL MORGAN (1863-1945): The answer was threefold: first, for himself, “I AM THAT I AM,” Exodus 3:14; second, for Israel, “the LORD God of your fathers,” verse 15; and finally, for Pharaoh, “the LORD God of the Hebrews,” verse 18.

C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): He ought, therefore, to be perfectly satisfied to go forth.

D. L. MOODY: And yet, he seemed to draw back, and began to make another excuse, and said: “They will not believe me,” Exodus 4:1.

CHARLES SIMEON: Moses would not in plain terms refuse to obey his God: but he tried by every method to excuse himself from undertaking the office assigned him. He first pretends to decline through modesty―and we might have given him credit for real humility, if his subsequent refusals had not shown that he was actuated by a far different principle. When God has obviated all objections arising from his unworthiness, then, in direct opposition to God’s promise, he objects that the people will not believe his message. To remove all apprehensions on this ground, God works three miracles before him, and commissions him to perform the same in the sight of Pharaoh and the people of Israel, Exodus 4:2-9.

D. L. MOODY: But Moses made another excuse, and said, “I am slow of speech, slow of tongue,” Exodus 4:10.

CHARLES SIMEON: He pleads his want of eloquence, and his consequent unfitness for such an undertaking. To obviate this, God asks him, “Who made man’s mouth?” and whether He, who had given him the faculty of speech, was not able to give effect to his endeavours? Yea, He promises to “be with him, and to teach him what he shall say,” Exodus 4:11,12.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: We might suppose that Moses had seen and heard enough to set his fears entirely aside. The consuming fire in the unconsumed bush, the condescending grace, the precious, endearing, and comprehensive titles, the divine commission, the assurance of the divine presence—all these things might have quelled every anxious thought, and imparted a settled assurance to the heart.

CHARLES SIMEON: And does all this overcome his reluctance? No: he still declines the service, and begs that God would employ any other person rather than himself, Exodus 4:13. But what were all these objections? They were, in truth, only so many excuses, urged to cover his own backwardness to undertake the work―the very excuses which a false humility invariably suggests.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: Divinely-wrought humility is an inestimable grace. To “be clothed with humility,” is a divine precept, 1 Peter 5:5; and humility is, unquestionably, the most becoming dress in which a worthless sinner can appear. But, it cannot be called humility to refuse to take the place which God assigns, or to tread the path which His hand marks out for us. That it was not true humility in Moses is obvious from the fact that “the anger of the Lord was kindled against him,” Exodus 4:14. So far from its being humility, it had actually passed the limit of mere weakness. So long as it wore the aspect of an excessive timidity, however reprehensible, God’s boundless grace bore with it, and met it with renewed assurances; but when it assumed the character of unbelief and slowness of heart, it drew down Jehovah’s just displeasure.

CHARLES SIMEON: That iniquity should prevail among the blind and ignorant, is no more than might reasonably be expected: but when we behold it in the most eminent saints, we are ready to exclaim, “Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou so regardest him?” It should seem indeed that God has determined to stain the pride of human glory, by recording the faults of his most favoured servants.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: How hard it is to overcome the unbelief of the human heart! How difficult man ever finds it to trust God! How slow he is to venture forth upon the naked promise of Jehovah. Anything, for nature, but that.—This is a real practical truth: Unbelief is not humility, but thorough pride. It refuses to believe God because it does not find, in self, a reason for believing.

D. L. MOODY: Some one has said that there are three classes of people, the “wills,” the “won’ts,’ and the “can’ts;” the first accomplish everything, the second oppose everything, and the third fail in everything. If God calls you, consider it a great honour. Consider it a great privilege to have partnership with Him in anything. Do it cheerfully, gladly. Do it with all your heart, and He will bless you. Don’t let false modesty, or insincerity, self-interest, or any personal consideration turn you aside.

 

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Coming to God By Coming Unto Jesus Christ

Hebrews 11:6; John 14:1,6; Matthew 11:28-30

Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): “He that cometh to God.” Now what does that mean?

JOHN OWEN (1616-1683): In general, it denotes an access of the person into the favour of God―we must therefore inquire what it is thus to come to God, and what is required thereunto.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): All that men undertake without faith is vain and useless―faith alone is sufficient, because this alone does God require from us, that we believe.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Now, if believing be so necessary, and unbelief so dangerous and fatal, it deeply concerns us to know what it is to believe―what is faith?

ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER (1772-1851): Faith is a firm persuasion or belief of the truth, apprehended under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

A. W. PINK: The old Puritan writers tell you that faith is made up of three things: first knowledge, then assent, and then what they call affiance, or the laying hold of the knowledge to which we give assent, and making it our own by trusting in it—“Recumbency” on the truth was the word which the old preachers used. You will understand that word: Leaning on it; saying, “This is truth, I trust my salvation on it.” Now, true faith, in its very essence rests in this—a leaning upon Christ. It will not save me to know that Christ is a Saviour; but it will save me to trust Him to be my Saviour. I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come by believing that His atonement is sufficient, but I shall be saved by making that atonement my trust, my refuge, and my all.

HORATIUS BONAR (1808-1889): I shall not attempt a definition of faith. This only let me say in a few words, that the faith which goes no further than the intellect can neither save nor sanctify. It is no faith at all. It is unbelief. No faith is saving but that which links us to the Person of a living Saviour. Whatever falls short of this is not faith in Christ. While salvation is described sometimes in Scripture as a “coming to the knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:4, it is more commonly represented as a “coming to Christ” Himself.

A. W. PINK: What, then, is meant by “coming to Christ?”

DANIEL ROWLAND (1711-1790): The man within the body is possessed of three principal faculties: the understanding, the affections, and the will…The motions of Divine grace work through the apprehensions of faith in the understanding, these warming and firing the affections, and they in turn influencing and moving the will. Every faculty of the soul is put forth in a saving “coming to Christ.”

WILLIAM MASON (1719-1791): To “come to Christ” in its proper sense, is to receive Him as He is offered to us in the Word; to believe in Him, as a suitable and all-sufficient Saviour; to submit to His government, in both suffering and doing His will, with all lowly-mindedness and humility; and this by the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit upon the soul.

A. W. PINK: To “come to Christ” signifies the movement of a Spirit-enlightened mind toward the Lord Jesus—as Prophet, to be instructed by Him; as Priest, whose atonement and intercession are to be relied upon; as King, to be ruled by Him. To “come to Christ” is the turning of the whole soul unto a whole Christ in the exercise of Divine grace upon Him: it is the mind, heart, and will being supernaturally drawn to Him, so as to trust, love and serve Him.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): It is “to believe on Him, as the Scripture hath said,” John 7:38,39.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): But surely men ought to be told to repent as well as to believe. They should be told why they are to come to Christ, and what they are to come for, and whence their need arises.

PHILIP MAURO (1859-1952): There is, in the heart of man―corrupted as it is by sin―not only an obstinate reluctance to admit his hopelessness as a guilty sinner, and his utter helplessness to do anything for his own recovery; but there is, also, a rooted aversion to being saved by grace alone.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form.

JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): The coming, then, intended in the text, is to be understood of the coming of the mind to Him, even the moving of the heart towards Him―from a sound sense of the absolute want that a man has of Him for his justification and salvation.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It is looking from yourself to Jesus.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): By repentance a man abhors himself, by faith he goes out of himself.

A. W. PINK: It is a going out of self so as to rest no longer on anything in self. It is the abandoning of every idol and of all other dependencies, the heart going out to Him in loving submission and trustful confidence. It is the will surrendering to Him as Lord, ready to accept His yoke, take up the cross, and follow Him without reserve.

HUGH BINNING (1625-1654): To believe in Christ is simply this: I, whatsoever I be―ungodly, wretched, polluted, desperate―am willing to have Jesus Christ for my Saviour.

C. H. SPURGEON: Remember the story of the plowman and James Hervey? The plowman asked Hervey what he thought was the greatest hindrance to men’s salvation. Hervey replied, “Sinful self.” “No,” said the plowman, “I think righteous self is a greater hindrance to men’s salvation than sinful self. They that are sinful will come to Christ for pardon, but they that think they are righteous never will.”

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): To “come to Christ” for life, in short, is to give up our own righteousness, and be justified by His.

JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): This is the very thing your salvation will stand or fall on; even on your yielding to come to Him―on your leaning to His righteousness or not, and according as you act faith or not on Him, in this respect, so will the sentence of your absolution or condemnation pass in the great day.

JOHN OWEN: Do not deceive yourselves; it is not an indifferent thing whether you will come to Christ upon His invitation or not; a thing which you may put off from one occasion into another. Your present refusal of it is as high an act of enmity against God as your nature is capable of.

 

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As God is the Creator of Mankind, Are Not All Men Children of God?

Genesis 1:26,27, Acts 17:26,28; Malachi 2:10

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth…for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): “All men,” we are told, “are God’s children, whatever be their creed or religion: all are finally to have a place in the Father’s house, ‘where there are many mansions.’”

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): What a muddle there is made in this world about the Fatherhood of God…We hear a great deal about the ‘universal fatherhood of God,’ but it is all nonsense―and that sort of fatherhood, of which I hear men talk, is the portion of those who blaspheme God and live in utter rebellion against Him.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The fact that such verses have been grossly perverted by some holding erroneous views on “the universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man,” must not cause us to utterly repudiate them.

H. A. IRONSIDE (1876-1951): The concept of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, if understood correctly, is a Scriptural doctrine…There is a sense in which it is perfectly right to speak of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. There is another sense in which it is wrong.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): In what sense is God a Father?

A. W. PINK: God is the Father of all men naturally, being their Creator.

THOMAS WATSON: But there is little comfort in this; for God is Father in the same way to the devils by creation; but He who made them will not save them.

C. H. SPURGEON: We take no delight in the ‘universal fatherhood’ which comes of creation—That is a poor thing and belongs as much to dogs and cats as it does to us, for they are as truly created by God as we are!—No, Beloved, it needs something beyond creation to constitute the relationship, and those who can say, “Our Father which art in Heaven,” are something more than God’s creatures—they have been adopted into His family.

H. A. IRONSIDE: The aspect of God’s universal fatherhood through creation is very different from the relationship within the family of God as revealed by our Lord and His apostles…This distinction needs to be kept in mind in our day of looseness and laxity. Men who rebel against the truth of the fall gladly call God their Father and see no need for the new birth. They link up saint and sinner in one great family.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): The doctrine of the New Testament about the Fatherhood of God and the sonship of man does not in the slightest degree interfere with these three great truths, that all men, though the features of the common humanity may be almost battered out of recognition in them, are all children of God because He made them; that they are children of God because still there lives in them something of the likeness of the creative Father; and, blessed be His name! that they are all children of God because He loves and provides and cares for every one of them. But it is—

C. H. SPURGEON: I must disagree with the idea that mere creation brings God necessarily into the relationship of a Father with us.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN: But—it is also true that there is a higher relation than that to which the name “children of God” is more accurately given, and to which in the New Testament that name is confined.

H. A. IRONSIDE: It is perfectly true that one God is the Creator of all men, and God has made all of one blood…As created originally, Adam was the son of God. God was his Father by creation, but sin came in and man became alienated from God. All men are now born in sin. There is a universal brotherhood of man, but it is a brotherhood of sinners―“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23―and that is why men need to be born again in order that we may be brought into the family of God, that we may look up into His face and say, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 6:9. When people are born again, when they are regenerated, then they enter into a new relationship. They are in a new sense the children of God. God is their Father, and they that believe are all brethren in Christ.

THOMAS WATSON: What is that which makes God our Father? Faith. “You are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26. An unbeliever may call God his Creator—and his Judge—but not his Father. Faith legitimizes us—and makes us of the blood-royal of heaven. “You are the children of God by faith.”

C. H. SPURGEON: Now, as there is nothing like Scripture, let me read you a few texts:

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14. The idea of a Divine Fatherhood extending over all mankind does not appear to have been recognized by the Apostle Paul, in this text, at any rate. Here the fatherhood is for some, not for all, and the text discriminates between “as many as are led by the Spirit of God,” and the rest of mankind who are under no such influence.

Let us mark a yet more positive passage, Romans 9:8—“The children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” What then is to be said to this? “These are not the children of God.” If any man will contradict that flatly—well, be it so. I have no argument with which to convince the man who denies so strong and clear a witness…

As I have warned you before, abhor the doctrine of the universal fatherhood of God, for it is a lie and a deep deception! It stabs at the heart, first, of the Doctrine of the Adoption which is taught in Scripture, for how can God adopt men if they are already all His children? In the second place, it stabs at the heart of the Doctrine of Regeneration, which is certainly taught in the Word of God. Now it is by regeneration and faith that we become the children of God, but how can that be if we are already the children of God?

J. C. RYLE: Our Lord’s words should never be forgotten: “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:3. Mark carefully what an unanswerable argument this sentence supplies against the modern notion that it does not matter what a man believes—that all religions will lead men to heaven if they are sincere—that creeds and doctrines are of no importance—that heaven is a place for all mankind, whether heathen, Mahometan, or Christian—and that the Fatherhood of God is enough to save all at last, of all sects, kinds, and characters! God is a Father to none but to those who believe in Christ…The Fatherhood of God, out of Christ, is a mere idol of man’s invention, and incapable of comforting or saving.

 

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Three Hours of Darkness

Mark 15:25, 29-34

It was the third hour, and they crucified him.

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

H. A. IRONSIDE (1876-1951): Our blessed Saviour hung upon that cruel cross for six long hours, and these six hours are divided into two parts. From the third to the sixth hour, that is, from nine o’clock in the morning to high noon, the sun was shining down on the scene, and in spite of all His intense physical suffering our Lord enjoyed unbroken communion with the Father. But from the sixth to the ninth hour, that is, to three o’clock in the afternoon, darkness was over all the land.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): This darkness some think was universal; not only over all the land of Judea, but over the whole earth―and so the [Greek] text may be rendered. Tiberius, say they, was sensible of it at Rome.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): It is reported that Dionysius, at Heliopolis in Egypt, took notice of this darkness, and said, “Either the God of nature is suffering, or the machine of the world is tumbling into ruin.”

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): The Ethiopic version renders it, “the whole world was dark;” at least it reached to the whole Roman empire, or the greatest part of it.

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): How far the darkness extended, whether over the whole earth, as some think, or over the land of Judea only, as our translators thought, we do not take upon us to determine―but, whether more or less, it could not proceed from a natural cause. It could not be an eclipse, because the moon at that time was at the full: and even if it had been an eclipse, it could not have been total for more than a quarter of an hour; whereas this continued for the space of three hours.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It lasted longer than an ordinary eclipse and it came in a different manner. According to Luke 23:44,45, the darkness all over the land came first and the sun was darkened afterwards—the darkness did not begin with the sun, but mastered the sun! It was unique and supernatural…As for ourselves at this time, we have not so much to do with the physical causes or with the appearance, itself, as with the spiritual meaning of this darkness. There is light in this darkness, if not to the natural, yet to the spiritual eye, if we have Grace to discern it―there must be great teaching in this darkness, for when we come so near the Cross, which is the center of history, every event is full of meaning.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): What was the significance?

MATTHEW HENRY: An extraordinary light gave intelligence of the birth of Christ, Matthew 2:2, and therefore it was proper that an extraordinary darkness should notify His death, for He is the “Light of the world.

C. H. SPURGEON: We suppose that this darkness came on suddenly and, if so, it must have been most striking. Just in the midst of their ribald mirth, while they were staring at the naked body of their Victim and insulting Him with their jests and jeers, wagging their heads, and thrusting out their tongues—just at that very moment total darkness came on!

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): I rather think that, as stupidity had shut the eyes of that people against the light, the darkness was intended to arouse them to consider the astonishing design of God in the death of Christ…It was a terrific spectacle which was exhibited to them, that they might tremble at the judgment of God. And, indeed, it was an astonishing display of the wrath of God that He did not spare even His only begotten Son, and was not appeased in any other way than by that price of expiation.

H. A. IRONSIDE: In those first three hours Christ was suffering at the hands of man: He endured without a murmur all the shame and ignominy that man could heap upon Him. But during the last three hours of darkness He was suffering at the hand of God―the God who made His soul an offering for sin. There He drank the bitter cup of judgment that our sins had filled―God “hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21…In the first three hours He addressed God as “Father”―“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34. But in these last three hours He did not use the term “Father” until the darkness had passed. He addressed Him as God—for it was God as Judge who was there dealing with His holy Son on our behalf as Christ took the sinner’s place.

JOHN CALVIN: In order that Christ might satisfy for us, it was necessary that He should be placed as a guilty person at the judgment-seat of God. Now nothing is more dreadful than to feel that God, whose wrath is worse than all deaths, is the Judge.

MATTHEW HENRY: During the three hours that this darkness continued, we do not find that He said one word, but passed this time in a silent retirement into His own soul, which was now in agony, wrestling with the powers of darkness, and taking in the impressions of His Father’s displeasure, not against Himself, but the sin of man.

C. H. SPURGEON: The thick midnight darkness of that awful midday, is a fitting emblem of the tenfold midnight of his soul…He bore the equivalent of Hell—no, not that, only—but He bore that which stood instead of 10,000 Hells, so far as the vindication of the Law is concerned!

H. A. IRONSIDE: What took place in those awful hours only God and His beloved Son will ever know. It was then the soul of Jesus was made an offering for sin. It was as the darkness was passing away that He cried in anguish, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Here, too, is the significance of the three hours darkness which lay over the land as a pall of death―God is light and the darkness is the natural sign of His turning away. The Redeemer was left alone with the sinner’s sin.

C. H. SPURGEON: Just at the moment when He gave His last triumphant shout, “It is finished,” the sun gleamed forth again and the earth laughed once more in the sunlight—for the great trial of Christ, the great struggle for man’s salvation—was then all over! Such a phenomenon must have been most striking.

 

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Enoch’s Long Walk With God

Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): The faith of Enoch drew God down from heaven to walk with him. He maintained unbroken fellowship with God.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): To live for three hundred years, in constant communion with God, as he did, to be ever pleasing God, was a mighty triumph for faith.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): This high plane of spiritual living apparently is a very rare experience among men. As far as actual biblical records are concerned only a very few men have received commendable mention in regard to this form of intimate, enjoyable, and spiritually successful living.

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): As long as he should live, David determined, with God’s help, to walk before God in a constant attendance on His ordinances, under an abiding sense of His presence, and in a cheerful obedience to His commands. Psalm 116:9, “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

NATHANAEL HARDY, (1618-1670): This “before the Lord,” means under the Lord’s careful eye. The words according to the Hebrew may be read, “before the face of the Lord,” by which is meant His presence.

J. C. PHILPOT (1802-1869): There is a distinction between walking before God and walking with God. To walk before God is to walk with an abiding sense of God’s eye being upon us; to walk with a desire to do those things which are pleasing in His sight; to walk in His ordinances blameless; to walk before His people with our garments unspotted by the world; in a word, to walk before Him in private as in public, alone and in company, before the Church and the world, by day and by night, as we should walk if we had a personal view of His glorious majesty in heaven before our eyes. Now if you carried about with you a deep and daily sense that God saw every thought, marked every movement, heard every word, and observed every action, this sense of His presence would put a restraint upon your light, trifling, and foolish spirit. You would watch your thoughts, your words, your actions, as living under a sense of God’s heart-searching eye. This is to walk before God.

CHARLES SIMEON: Wherever we are, therefore, there should be that inscription, which Hagar saw, “Thou God seest me,” Genesis 16:13.

J. C. PHILPOT: But we read of Enoch that he “walked with God.”

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): This remarkable phrase, used only of Enoch and of Noah, implies a closer relation than the other expression, “to walk before God.”

J. C. PHILPOT: This is a more advanced stage of the divine life. To walk with God is to walk with Him in sweet familiarity, in holy confidence, in a blessed sense of interest in His love and grace, and thus to walk with Him and talk with Him as a man walketh and talketh with His friend. There are some who walk before God, but how few walk with God!  Many live under a more or less deep and daily sense of God’s heart-searching presence, who are not admitted into this sweet familiarity, nor enjoy the blessedness of this heavenly intercourse.

CHARLES SIMEON: No doubt, God also walked with him “as a Friend,” James 2:23, “manifesting himself to him as he did not unto the world,” John 14:21-23, and “witnessing with his spirit that he was a child of God,” Romans 8:15,16. Indeed, there is no one who “draws nigh to God, but God will also draw nigh to him,” James 4:8, and “hold sweet fellowship with him,” 1 John 1:3, “lift up upon him the light of his countenance,’ Psalm 4:6,” and “shed abroad his love in his heart,” Romans 5:5.

A. W. PINK: Enoch is a striking character. He is one of but two men of whom it is said in Scripture that he “walked with God.” He is one of but two men who lived on this earth and went to heaven without passing through the portals of death. And he is the only one, except our blessed Lord, of whom it is written, “He pleased God.”

D. L. MOODY: Now there is one thing we can settle in our minds distinctly: if he pleased God, he did not please men. It is impossible to do the two things. This world is at war with God; it has been for six thousand years, and will be as long as man is on the earth. We cannot please God and man…Enoch had only one object. How simple life becomes when we have only one object to seek, one purpose to fulfill—to walk with God—to please God!

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): This was the business of Enoch’s life, his constant care and work; while others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. It was the joy and support of his life…He was entirely dead to this world, and did not only walk after God, as all good men do, but he walked with God, as if he were in heaven already. He lived above the rate, not only of other men, but of other saints.

D. L. MOODY: Notice that this man, the brightest star of all that period of history before the flood, accomplished nothing that men would call great. He was neither a warrior, a statesman, nor a scientist; nor did he, so far as we know, accomplish anything remarkable, like Daniel, or Joseph, or any of the other mighty men of Israel: but what made him great was that he walked with God. That, in all ages, is what has made men really great. He found the way of holiness in that dark and evil day; and he will be in the front rank of those who shall walk with the Lord, the Lamb, in white, for they are worthy.

C. H. SPURGEON: It was meet that Noah should follow close upon Enoch, as one of only two who are described as having “walked with God.” These two spent their lives in such constant communion with the Most High that they could be fully described as walking with God. We may take pleasure in thinking of Noah as a kind of contrast to Enoch. Enoch was taken away from the evil to come—he did not see the Flood, nor hear the wailing of those who were swept away by the Flood. His was a delightful deliverance from the harvest of wrath which followed the universal godlessness of the race. It was not his to fight the battle of righteousness to the bitter end, but by a secret rapture he avoided death and escaped those evil days in which his grandson’s lot was cast. Noah is the picture of one who is the Lord’s witness during evil days and lives through them faithfully, enduring unto the end.

ANDREW BONAR (1810-1892): Enoch took a long walk one day and has not got back yet.

C. H. SPURGEON: Enoch walked with God for many a year till, at last, he walked away with God.

 

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Do Ye Not Remember?

Psalm 77:10; Psalm 143:5

And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of God…I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Memory, meditation, and musing are here set together as the three graces, ministering grace to a mind depressed.

ROBERT HAWKER (1753-1827): It is very sweet and blessed, under present troubles, to call to remembrance former mercies…Reader, let you and I look back, under any new troubles, to past deliverances, and behold the many Ebenezers which we have set up, that we may say, “Hitherto hath God helped us,” 1 Samuel 7:12. And in doing this we shall find occasion to say, with the apostle, that God, who delivered us from so great a death and doth deliver, in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:10.

C. H. SPURGEON: When we see nothing new which can cheer us, let us think upon old things. We once had merry days, days of deliverance, and joy and thanksgiving; why not again?

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): Let us believe the truth of this declaration, “I will surely do thee good,” Genesis 32:12. There are four steps by which we may reach the conclusion. The first regards His sufficiency. He is able to do us good. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. There is no enemy but He can conquer, nor exigence but He can relieve.  He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.

TIMOTHY CRUSO (1657-1697): Let no appearing impossibilities make you question God’s accomplishment of any of His gracious words. Though you cannot see how the thing can be done, ’tis enough if God hath said that He will do it. There can be no obstructions to promised salvation which we need to fear. He who is the God of this salvation and the Author of the promise will prepare His own way for the doing of His own work, so that “every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low,” Luke 3:5. Though the valleys be so deep that we cannot see the bottom, and the mountains so high that we cannot see the tops of them, yet God knows how to raise the one and level the other.

WILLIAM JAY: The second [consideration] regards His inclination.  He is disposed to do us good.  His love is not only real, but passes knowledge.  He feels towards us as His jewels, His friends, His children, His bride. He rests in His love, and joys over us with singing.

C. H. SPURGEON: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” Psalm 23:1. I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd He is able to supply my needs, and He is certainly willing to do so, for His heart is full of love, and therefore “I shall not want.” I shall not lack for temporal things. Does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can He leave His children to starve?

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714):  He who feeds His birds will not starve His babes.

JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): Consider the fowls of the air, saith Christ, Matthew 6:26―not the fowls at the door, that are daily fed by hand; but those of the air, that know not where to have the next meal; and yet God provides for them.

WILLIAM JAY: The third [consideration] regards His engagement. He is bound to do us good. We have not only His Word, but His oath; an oath sworn by Himself, because He could swear by no greater, and confirmed by the blood of an infinite sacrifice.

JOHN FLAVEL: Remember your relation to Christ, and His engagements by promise to you, and by these things work your hearts to satisfaction and content.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Our faith should be borne up on wings by the promises of God.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): God expects that we should be His remembrancers, and that we should pray over His promises. When He had promised great things to His people concerning justification, sanctification, and preservation, He subjoins, “Yet, I will for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it,” Ezekiel 36:37.  God looks that we should spread His gracious promises before Him, as Hezekiah did Sennacherib’s letter, Isaiah 37:14…Though God be a very affectionate father, and a very liberal father, yet His is not a prodigal father, for He will never throw away His mercies on such as will not stoutly and humbly plead out His promises with Him.

C. H. SPURGEON: I remember a minister who went to see an old lady, and he thought he would give her some precious promises out of the Word of God. Turning to one, he saw written in the margin, “P,” and he asked, “What does this mean?” “That means precious, sir.” Further down he saw “T. and P.”—and he asked what the letters meant. “That,” she said, “means tried and proved, for I have tried and proved it.”

WILLIAM JAY: The fourth [consideration] regards His conduct. He has done us good. We have had complaints enough to make of others, but of Him we are compelled to say, “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord.” His goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives. How often has He turned the shadow of death into the morning?

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): Former experiences of God’s goodness in delivering us out of troubles ought to increase our faith.

JOHN FLAVEL: There is as much difference betwixt believing before, and after experience, as there is betwixt swimming with bladders, and our first venture into the deep waters without them…O ‘tis no small advantage to a soul in a new plunge and distress, to be able to say, “This is not the first time I have been in these deeps, and yet emerged out of them.”  Hence it was, that Christ rub’d up His disciples memories with what Providence had formerly wrought for them in a day of straits, Matthew 16:8-11: “O ye of little faith, why reason ye among your selves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember?” Were ye never under any strait for bread before now? Is this first difficulty that ever your Faith combated with?  No, no, you have had straits, and have experienced the power and care of God in supplying them, before now.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): David was famous for his hope, and not less eminent for his care to observe and preserve the experiences he had of God’s goodness.  He was able to recount the dealings of God with him; they were so often the subject of his meditation and matter of his discourse, that he had made them familiar to him.

JOHN FLAVEL: And now let me beg you to consider the good hand of Providence that hath provided for, and suitably supplied you and yours all your days, and never failed you hitherto: and labour to walk suitable to your experience of such mercies.

 

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Islam & the Prophecy Concerning Hagar & Abraham’s Son Ishmael

Genesis 16:1,2,4,10-12,16

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai…And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived…

And the angel of the LORD said unto [Hagar], I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude…Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

And Abram was fourscore and six years old when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): The angel declares what kind of person Ishmael will be.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): He will be a wild man—a “wild ass of a man,” so the Hebrew word is: rude, and bold and fearing no man; untamed, untractable, living at large, and impatient of service and restraint. “His hand will be against every man,”―this his sin, and “every man’s hand against him,”―that is his punishment.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): And such a one Ishmael was.

JOHN CALVIN: He does not, however, speak of Ishmael’s person, but of his whole progeny; for what follows is not strictly suitable to one man.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): From Ishmael proceeded the various tribes of the Arabs…They were anciently, and still continue to be, a very numerous and powerful people.

JOHN GILL: And such the wild Arabs are to this day, who descended from him. “His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him;” signifying, that he would be of a quarrelsome temper and warlike disposition, continually engaged in fighting with his neighbours, and they with him in their own defence. And such the Arabs his posterity always have been, and still are, given to rapine and plunder, harassing their neighbours by continual excursions and robberies, and pillaging passengers of all nations, which they think they have a right to do.

ADAM CLARKE: The country which these free descendants of Ishmael may be properly said to possess, stretches from Aleppo to the Arabian Sea, and from Egypt to the Persian Gulf.

JOHN GILL: And a late traveller into those parts observes, that they are not to be accused of plundering strangers only―but [also] for those many implacable and hereditary animosities which continually subsist among themselves, literally fulfilling to this day the prophecy of the angel to Hagar; the greatest as well as the smallest tribes are perpetually at variance with one another, frequently occasioned upon the most trivial account, as if they were from the very days of their first ancestor naturally prone to discord and contention.

ADAM CLARKE: Had the Pentateuch no other argument to evince its Divine origin, the account of Ishmael and the prophecy concerning his descendants, collated with their history and manner of life during a period of nearly four thousand years, would be sufficient.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): As for Ishmael’s posterity, Mohammed had his generation from this wild ass―Mohammed came of these Arabians.

JOHN CALVIN: Mohammed invented a new form of religion.

PHILIP MAURO (1859-1952): For our immediate purpose it is necessary only to call attention to the remarkable fact that in Islam we have a movement energized by prodigious spiritual powers of evil, a Satanic caricature of the Kingdom of God, being led by a false prophet and based upon a false Bible―the Koran―and seeking to gain the sovereignty of the world.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): The Koran. This is the Mohammedan’s holy book. A man must have a strange mind who should mistake that rubbish for the utterances of inspiration. If he is at all familiar with the Old and New Testaments, when he hears an extract from the Koran, he feels that he has met with a foreign author—the God who gave us the Pentateuch could have had no hand in many portions of the Koran!

MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): Mohammed’s Koran is such a great spirit of lies that it leaves almost nothing of Christian truth remaining, so how could it have any other result than that it should become a great and mighty murderer, with both lies and murders under the show of truth and righteousness―where the spirit of lies is, there is also the spirit of murder.

JOHN TRAPP: Mohammed’s laws run thus―Avenge yourselves of your enemies; marry as many wives as you can maintain; kill the infidels, etc. But we have not so learned Christ.

C. H. SPURGEON: Christ is meek, as opposed to the ferocity of spirit manifested by zealots and bigots. Take, for a prominent example of the opposite of meekness, the false prophet Mohammed. The strength of his cause lies in the fact that he is not meek. He presents himself before those whom he claims as disciples, and says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am neither meek, nor lowly in heart; I will have no patience with you; there is my creed, or there is the scimitar—death or conversion, whichever you please.”

MARTIN LUTHER: The Turks think their Mohammed much higher and greater than Christ, for [they think] the office of Christ has ended and Mohammed’s office is still in force. From this anyone can easily observe that Mohammed is a destroyer of our Lord Christ and His kingdom, [because] if anyone denies that Christ is God’s Son and has died for us, and still lives and reigns at the right hand of God, what has he left of Christ? Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Baptism, the Sacrament, Gospel, Faith and all Christian doctrine and life are gone, and there is left, instead of Christ, nothing more than Mohammed with his doctrine of works, and especially of the sword.

C. H. SPURGEON: How opposite this is to Christ! Although [Christ] hath a right to demand man’s love and man’s faith, yet He comes not into the world to demand it with fire and sword.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): False religions, like Mohammedanism, have often been spread by the sword. False Christianity, like that of the Roman Church, has often been enforced on men by bloody persecutions. The real Gospel of Christ requires no such aids as these. It stands by the power of the Holy Spirit. It grows by the hidden influence of the Holy Spirit on men’s hearts and consciences. There is no clearer sign of a bad cause in religion than a readiness to appeal to the sword.

C. H. SPURGEON: The Mohammedans’ religion might be sustained by scimitars, but Christians’ religion must be sustained by love*―Christ’s might is under persuasion; His strength is quiet forbearance, and patient endurance; His mightiest force is the sweet attraction of compassion and love. He knoweth nothing of the ferocious hosts of Mohammed; He bids none of us draw our sword to propagate the faith, but saith, “Put up thy sword into its scabbard; they that take the sword shall perish by the sword.” “My kingdom is not of this world, else might my servants fight.”

J. C. RYLE: The weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” 2 Corinthians 10:4; “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” Zechariah 4:6. The cause of truth does not need force to maintain it.

PHILIP MAURO: A student of conditions in Moslem lands writes on theme of “Islam in Change,” and from a broad survey of the facts, he reaches the conclusion that “Christianity and Islam face each other for world decision”―the whole world is dividing itself into two great camps; the Christianized nations against the pagans; the western peoples against “the kings of the east.”

MARTIN LUTHER: No one can openly confess Christ or preach or teach against Mohammed. What kind of freedom of belief is it when no one is allowed to preach or confess Christ?

JOHN WYCLIFFE (1330-1384): I believe that, in the end, truth will conquer.

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*Editor’s Comment: A deluded Islamic martyr demonstrates his false ‘faith’ by screaming “God is great,” and kills himself while he murders as many people as he can; a Christian martyr, being murdered for his true faith, demonstrates the grace and longsuffering love of God in Christ Jesus, by pleading for his murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

 

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