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Archive for July, 2010

Some of God’s people have been so much cast down and disquieted, that they have despaired of their safety. Some have fallen sadly, as David and Peter did. Some have departed from the faith for a time … Many have been tried by cruel doubts and fears. But all have got safe home at last, the youngest as well as the oldest, the weakest as well as the strongest. And so it will be to the end. Can you prevent tomorrow’s sun from rising? Can you prevent the tide … from ebbing and flowing? Can you prevent the planets moving in their respective orbits? Then, and then alone, can you prevent the salvation of any believer, however feeble, the final safety of any living stone in that church which is built upon the rock, however small or insignificant that stone may appear.

 

source: J.C. Ryle “Holiness’” (Chapter 13: The Church that Christ Builds)

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Snippets. More can be found here:

http://andrewgroves.s3.amazonaws.com/Classic Writers/Holiness – The Ruler of the Waves (J.C. Ryle).pdf

… Say not, because your heart is lifted up just now with a strong sense of Christ’s mercy, ‘I shall never forget Him as long as I live.’ Oh, learn to abate something of this flattering estimate of yourself. You do not know yourself thoroughly. …

… I do want young Christians to understand what they must expect to find in themselves. I want to prevent their being stumbled and puzzled by the discovery of their own weakness and infirmity. I want them to see that they may have true faith and grace, in spite of all the devil’s whispers to the contrary, though they feel within many doubts and fears. …

… I dare be sure your heart has sometimes been tossed to and fro like the waves in a storm. You have found it agitated like the waters of the troubled sea when it cannot rest. … Jesus can say to your heart, whatever may be its ailment, ‘Peace, be still!’

What though your conscience within be lashed by the recollection of countless transgressions, and torn by every gust of temptation? What though the remembrance of past hideous profligacy be grievous unto you, and the burden intolerable? What though your heart seems full of evil, and sin appears to drag you whither it will like a slave? What though the devil rides to and fro over your soul like a conqueror, and tells you it is vain to struggle against him, there is no hope for you?

I tell you there is One who can give even you pardon and peace. My Lord and Master Jesus Christ can rebuke the devil’s raging, can calm even your soul’s misery, and say even to you, ‘Peace, be still!’ He can scatter that cloud of guilt which now weighs you down. He can bid despair depart. He can drive fear away. He can remove the spirit of bondage, and fill you with the spirit of adoption. Satan may hold your soul like a strong man armed, but Jesus is stronger than he, and when He commands, the prisoners must go free. Oh, if any troubled reader wants a calm within, let him go this day to Jesus Christ, and all shall yet be well!

… there is comfort in Christ. He can speak peace to wounded hearts as easily as calm troubled seas. He can rebuke rebellious wills as powerfully as raging winds. He can make storms of sorrow abate, and silence tumultuous passions, as surely as He stopped the Galilean storm. He can say to the heaviest anxiety, ‘Peace, be still!’ The floods of care and tribulation may be mighty, but Jesus sits upon the water floods, and is mightier than the waves of the sea (Ps. 93:4). The winds of trouble may howl fiercely round you, but Jesus holds them in His hand, and can stay them when He lists. Oh, if any reader of this paper is broken-hearted and care-worn and sorrowful, let him go to Jesus Christ, and cry to Him and he shall be refreshed.

 

source: J.C. Ryle “Holiness’” (Chapter 12: The Ruler of the Waves)

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It’s so easy to cash in these chips on my shoulder
So easy to loose this old tongue like a tiger
It’s easy to let all this bitterness smolder
Just to hide it away like a cigarette lighter

It’s easy to curse and to hurt and to hinder
It’s easy to not have the heart to remember
That I am a priest and a prince in the Kingdom of God

I’ve got voices that scream in my head like a siren
Fears that I feel in the night when I sleep
Stupid choices I made when I played in the mire
Like a kid in the mud on some dirty blind street

I’ve got sorrow to spare, I’ve got loneliness too
I’ve got blood on these hands that hold on to the truth
That I am a priest and a prince in the Kingdom of God

I swore on the Bible to not tell a lie
But I’ve lied and lied
And I’ve crossed my heart and I hoped to die
And I’ve died and died

But if it’s true that you gathered my sin in your hand
And you cast it as far as the east from the west
If it’s true that you put on the flesh of a man
And you walked in my shoes through the shadow of death

If it’s true that you dwell in the halls of my heart
Then I’m not just a fool with a fancy guitar
No, I am a priest and a prince in the Kingdom of God

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“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

At the cross God’s temple is destroyed in judgment by the hand of God’s enemies.

In his death we see a righteous Israelite driven into exile away from the land of the living.

In his resurrection we see David’s greater son building a house for God’s name that would never perish so that everyone who comes to him would find life in God’s presence.

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The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom promised

The kingdom is promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons.

The Kingdom prefigured

The kingdom is prefigured in God’s ruling over Israel in the land of Canaan from Joshua to the exile. The kingdom is especially prefigured in the reigns of David and Solomon.

The Kingdom foreshadowed

The kingdom is foreshadowed by the Old Testament prophets. The prophets describe the kingdom in terms of earthly covenant blessings described in Deuteronomy.

The Kingdom inaugurated (now)

The kingdom is inaugurated in the actions of Jesus e.g. driving out of demons, plundering the possessions of the strong man. The kingdom has an inaugurated expression in the church.

The Kingdom consummated (not yet)

The kingdom’s final consummation will occur at the second coming of Christ and the new heavens and earth.

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Question 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism

What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer

That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul in life and in death – to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. (1-3)

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. (4-5)

He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven in fact all things must work together for my salvation. (6-8)

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him. (9-10)

(1) 1Co_6:19-20 (2) Rom_14:7-9. (3) 1Co_3:23; Tit_2:14. (4) 1Pe_1:18-19; 1Jo_1:7; 1Jo_2:2. (5) Joh_8:34-36; Heb_2:14-15; 1Jo_3:8. (6) Joh_6:39-40; Joh_10:27-30; 2Th_3:3; 1Pe_1:5. (7) Mat_10:29-31; Luk_21:16-18. (8) Rom_8:28. (9) Rom_8:15-16; 2Co_1:21-22; 2Co_5:5; Eph_1:13-14. (10) Rom_8:14.

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