May, 2017

...now browsing by month

 

Christ as the Burnt Offering & The Peace Offering (A comparison by CHM)

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Commenting on Leviticus 1 & Leviticus 3:

“There is something more in the peace-offering than the abstract devotedness of Christ to the will of God. The worshiper is introduced; and that not merely as a spectator, but as a participator—not merely to gaze, but to feed. This gives very marked character to this offering. When I look at the Lord Jesus in the burnt-offering, I see Him as One whose heart was devoted to the one object of glorifying God and accomplishing His will; but when I see Him in the peace-offering, I find One who has a place in His loving heart and on His powerful shoulder for a worthless, helpless sinner. In the burnt-offering, the breast and shoulder, legs and inwards, head and fat, were all burnt on the altar—all went up as a sweet savor to God; but in the peace-offering, the very portion that suits me is left for me. Nor am I left to feed in solitude on that which meets my individual need. By no means. I feed in communion—in communion with God, and in communion with my fellow-priests. I feed in the full and happy intelligence that the self-same sacrifice which feeds my soul has already refreshed the heart of God; and, moreover, that the same portion which feeds me feeds all my fellow-worshipers. Communion is the order here—communion with God—the communion of saints. There was no such thing as isolation in the peace-offering. God had His portion, and so had the priestly family.

Thus it is in connection with the Antitype of the peace-offering. The very same Jesus who is the object of Heaven’s delight, is the spring of joy, of strength, and of comfort to every believing heart; and not only to every heart in particular, but also to the whole Church of God in fellowship. God, in His exceeding grace, has given His people the very same object that He has Himself. ‘Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ’ (1 John 1). True, our thoughts of Jesus can never rise to the height of God’s thoughts. Our estimation of such an object must ever fall far short of His; and hence, in the type, the house of Aaron could not partake of the fat. But though we can never rise to the standard of the divine estimation of Christ’s Person and sacrifice, it is nevertheless the same object we are occupied with, and therefore the house of Aaron had ‘the wave breast and the heave shoulder.’ All this is replete with comfort and joy to the heart. The Lord Jesus Christ, the One ‘who was dead, but is alive for evermore,’ is now the exclusive object before the eye and thoughts of God; and, in perfect grace, He has given unto us a portion in the same blessed and all-glorious Person. Christ is our object too—the object of our hearts and the theme of our song. ‘Having made peace by the blood of His cross,’ He ascended into heaven, and sent down the Holy Ghost, that ‘other Comforter,’ by whose powerful ministrations we feed upon ‘the breast and shoulder’ of our divine ‘Peace-offering.’ He is indeed our peace; and it is our exceeding joy to know that such is God’s delight in the establishment of our peace, that the sweet odor of our Peace-offering has refreshed His heart. This imparts a peculiar charm to this type. Christ as the Burnt-offering commands the admiration of the heart; Christ as the Peace-offering establishes the peace of the conscience, and meets the deep and manifold necessities of the soul. The sons of Aaron might stand around the altar of burnt-offering; they might behold the flame of that offering ascending to the God of Israel; they might see the sacrifice reduced to ashes; they might, in view of all this, bow their heads and worship; but they carried naught away for themselves. Not so in the peace-offering. In it, they not only beheld that which was capable of emitting a sweet odor to God, but also of yielding a most substantial portion for themselves, on which p 308 they could feed in happy and holy fellowship.

Assuredly it heightens the enjoyment of every true priest to know that God (to use the language of our type) has had His portion ere he gets the breast and the shoulder. The thought of this gives tone and energy, unction and elevation, to the worship and communion; it unfolds the amazing grace of Him who has given us the same object, the same theme, the same joy with Himself. Nothing lower—nothing less than this could satisfy Him. The Father will have the prodigal feeding upon the fatted calf, in fellowship with Himself. He will not assign him a lower place than at His own table, nor any other portion than that on which He feeds Himself. The language of the peace-offering is, ‘It is meet that we should make merry and be glad’—‘Let us eat and be merry.’ Such is the precious grace of God! No doubt we have reason to be glad, as being the partakers of such grace; but when we can hear the blessed God saying, ‘Let us eat and be merry,’ it should call forth from our hearts a continual stream of praise and thanksgiving. God’s joy in the salvation of sinners, and His joy in the communion of saints, may well elicit the admiration of men and angels throughout eternity.” C. H. Mackintosh, Genesis to Deuteronomy: Notes on the Pentateuch. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1972), 307–308. [Italics original.]

*I am indebted to my friend & brother in Christ, Mr. John Morell, for alerting me to this excellent quotation.  -KRK

 

 

 

An excerpt from C.H.M.’s “‘Accepted’ & ‘Acceptable’.”

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

“The blessed apostle knew he was accepted. Did that make him lax, careless, or indolent? Far from it. ‘We labor’ he says, ‘to be acceptable to him.’ The sweet assurance that we are accepted in Him is the ground of our labor to be acceptable to Him. ‘The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again.’ 2 Cor. 5:14, 15.

All this is pre-eminently practical. We are called upon, by every argument which can bear sway over the heart and conscience, to labor diligently to be acceptable to our blessed and adorable Lord. Is there aught of legality in this? Not the slightest tinge. The very reverse. It is the holy superstructure of a devoted life, erected on the solid foundation of our eternal election and perfect acceptance in a risen and glorified Christ at God’s right hand. How could there be the very smallest atom of legality here? Utterly impossible. It is all the pure fruit of God’s free and sovereign grace from first to last.

But ought we not, beloved Christian reader, to rouse ourselves to attend to the claims of Christ as to practical righteousness? Should we not zealously and lovingly aim at giving Him pleasure? Are we to content ourselves with simply talking about our acceptance in Christ, while at the same time there is no real earnest care as to the acceptability of our ways? God forbid! Yea, let us so dwell upon the rich grace that shines in the acceptance of our persons, that we may be led out in diligent and fervent effort to be found acceptable in our ways.

It is greatly to be feared that there is an appalling amount of antinomianism amongst us—an unhallowed traffic in the doctrines of grace, without any godly care as to the application of those doctrines to our practical conduct. How all this is to end, it would be hard to say; but, most assuredly, there is an urgent call upon all who profess to be accepted in Christ to labor fervently to be acceptable to Him.” C.H. Mackintosh, “‘Accepted’ & ‘Acceptable’” in Things New & Old, Vol. 17; quoted in Milk & Honey, April 2017; electronic ed. accessed on 5/13/17 here: http://bibletruthpublishers.com/accepted-and-acceptable/charles-henry-mackintosh-chm/things-new-and-old-volume-17/la50614 [Italics original.]

An Effective Ministry, A Guest-post by Randal Amos

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Paul’s ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2

2:1 – Paul taught his entrance among the Thessalonians was a positive thing.

What qualified the ministry to be counted as positive?

13-16“Ye received it [the word preached] not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God”.  Therefore the Word effectually changed their hearts.  They became followers, not of Jewish religion and its legal practices, but of the other churches of God in Christ Jesus.  And they suffered for this culturally and religiously but kept going on.

Why were the results effective?  Following are 8 things that characterized his ministry. 

#1.   2:2The Right Mentality  (mental toughness)

Paul was jailed and shamed in Philippi.  Yet he and the others did not quit.  They then went on to Thessalonica and “were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention”.  They had the heart of a lamb but the hide of a rhinoceros.

Negative happenings did not change their faithfulness.   

#2.   2:3-4The Right Message

Their message was not religious law, political reform, financial prosperity, a better health-diet or a self-help program but “the gospel of God”.  Their “exhortation was not of deceit” with twisted error or trickery.  It was a message that did not try to please men but only God.  He opened God’s Scriptures and proved the gospel – that Christ suffered fully for our sins to save from our due judgment.  And that this Jesus rose from the dead showing He is that Christ (God’s anointed Lord and Savior), Acts 17:1-3.

Many speakers dynamically motivate but with the wrong message.

#3.   2:5-6The Right Motive

Paul did not wear a “cloke of covetousness”, i.e. pretending on the outside to care and represent God which would mask from them his real reason – being after their money through guilt, greed and gimmicks.  He did not make “merchandise of you” (2Pet. 2:3).

Neither did he flatter their egos to make them feel ok and special the way they were so they would like him.  “Nor of men sought we glory” that would make him a spiritual hero to them thus making it easy for him to take advantage of them.  They, as saved souls, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ were his only glory and joy, 2:19, 20.

He was not in it for self but for God – Who tries the heart, and is a witness of it.  

#4.   2:7, 11The Right Match  (balance)

When Paul was among them he was neither a tyrant nor a wimp.  He had both father and mother qualities to him.  He was “gentle among you” (not harsh) as a nursing mother is with her dear children.  But he also “exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father” does his to children.   He was kind but firm in the things of God.

He had grace and truth like his Lord. 

#5.   2:8, 17-20The Right Moving  (what moved his heart was love, not self)

He had heart affection for the people themselves.  He just didn’t give them the gospel and ‘hit and run’. “Ye were dear unto us”. With desire he tried to return – then wrote them.

He loved the Lord and His people also.  He knew a head has a body – both are cherished.

#6.   2:9The Right Method

It was more than just bringing the saving gospel word to them but he used methods that were strategically meant to reveal God’s character and ways – thus aiding their knowledge of God.  Because they needed the example to work for a living, he, rather than depend on them for financial help (which was his due, 1 Cor. 9), “labouring night and day” with his own hands in hardship to help meet his needs. (Acts 18:3, 20:34).  Thus they would learn not to covet.  Later he could compellingly and un-hypocritically charge from God to the idle busy bodies; “if any would not work, neither should he eat”, (2 Thess. 3:10).

The method in telling the message of God should compliment the God of the message, (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

#7.   2:10The Right Manner of Life

Paul not only told them what was right, he lived what was right.  “How holily, and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.”  Holy is piety toward God.  Justly is righteous fairness toward man.  Blameless is public reputation.  Paul was a living example of his message – written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.

Paul not only talked the walk but he also walked the talk. 

#8.   2:12The Right Mark  (aim of ministry to hit – goal)

Paul was not after money or fame.  He was not after stunning numbers but after their walk“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory”.  As he would further write in 4:1; “ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more”.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”, 3John: 4.

May we seek these 8 qualities by His grace in our ministries for the Lord Jesus.

Serve The Lord Where You Are, Believer! (C.H. Spurgeon)

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

“Providence, which arranged your surroundings, appointed them so that, all things being considered, you are in the position in which you can best display the wisdom and the grace of God. Now, if you can once accept this as being a fact, it will make a man of you. My Christian brother, or my dear sister, it will enable you to serve God with a force which you have not yet obtained, for then, instead of panting for spheres to which you will never reach, you will enquire for immediate duty, asking, ‘What does my hand find to do?’ You need not use your feet to traverse half a nation to find work, it lies close at hand. Your calling is near at home; your vocation lies at the door, and within it. What your hand finds to do, do it at once, and with all your might, and you will find such earnest service the best method in which you can glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘A large family,’ says one, ‘what can I do?’ Train them in the fear of God; these children are yours to serve the Lord withal. What nobler service can a mother render to the republic upon earth, and to the kingdom in heaven, than to educate her children for Christ? ‘Working in a large factory with ungodly men, what can I do?’ Needless enquiry! What cannot the salt do when it is cast among the meat? You, as a piece of salt, are just where you should be. Immure Christians in monasteries and nunneries! why it is like putting salt into a strong iron box and burying it in the ground. Nay, but the salt of the earth must be cast all over that which is to be conserved by it, and each of us must be put in a position where our influence as a Christian will be felt. ‘I am sick,’ says another, ‘I am chained to the bed of languishing.’ But, my friend, your patience will magnify the power of grace, and your words of experience will enrich those who listen to you. Your experience will yield a richer wine than ever could have come from you had you not been cast into the wine-press and trodden by the foot of affliction. I tell you, brethren, I cannot go into instances and details, but it is a most certain fact that all about you, though it be a blind eye, a disabled arm, a stammering tongue, a flagging memory, poverty in the house, or sickness in the chamber; though it be derision, and scorn, and contempt, everything about you is yours; and if you know how to use it rightly, you will turn these disadvantages into advantages, and prosper by them.” C.H. Spurgeon, “Things Present,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 15. Originally preached on May 9, 1869. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1869), 273-274.