Perfection in faith
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:20-26
We could not have access to God unless on the footing of perfection; for God cannot walk and talk with imperfect creatures. But we are perfect; not in character, for we are still sinners; but we are perfected through the blood of Jesus Christ, so that God can allow us to have access to him as perfected creatures. We may come boldly, because being sprinkled with the blood, God does not look on us as unholy and unclean, otherwise he could not allow us to come to his mercy seat; but he looks upon us as being perfected for ever through the one sacrifice of Christ. That is one thing. The other is this. We are the vessels of Godâ€™s temple; he has chosen us to be like the golden pots of his sanctuary; but God could not accept a worship which was offered to him in unholy vessels. Those vessels, therefore, were made perfect by being sprinkled with blood. God could not accept the praise which comes from your unholy heart; he could not accept the song which springs from your uncircumcised lips, nor the faith which arises from your doubting soul, unless he had taken the great precaution to sprinkle you with the blood of Christ; and now, whatever he uses you for, he uses you as a perfect instrument, regarding you as being perfect in Christ Jesus. That, again, is the meaning of the text, and the same meaning, only a different phase of it. And, the last meaning is, that the sacrifices of the Jews did not give believing Jews peace of conscience for any length of time; they had to come again, and again, and again, because they felt that those sacrifices did not present to them a perfect justification before God. But behold, beloved, you and I are complete in Jesus. We have no need of any other sacrifice. All others we disclaim. He hath perfected us for ever. We may set our conscience at ease, because we are truly, really, and everlastingly accepted in him.
For meditation: Being accepted in Christ enables us to serve God acceptably.
Sermon no. 232 15 December (Preached 2 January 1859)
All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)
- His Precious Blood (dailymannablog.wordpress.com)
“Salt without prescribing how much.” Ezra 7:22
Salt was used in every offering made by fire unto the Lord, and from its preserving and purifying properties it was the grateful emblem of divine grace in the soul. It is worthy of our attentive regard that, when Artaxerxes gave salt to Ezra the priest, he set no limit to the quantity, and we may be quite certain that when the King of kings distributes grace among his royal priesthood, the supply is not cut short by him. Often are we straitened in ourselves, but never in the Lord. He who chooses to gather much manna will find that he may have as much as he desires. There is no such famine in Jerusalem that the citizens should eat their bread by weight and drink their water by measure. Some things in the economy of grace are measured; for instance our vinegar and gall are given us with such exactness that we never have a single drop too much, but of the salt of grace no stint is made, “Ask what thou wilt and it shall be given unto thee.” Parents need to lock up the fruit cupboard, and the sweet jars, but there is no need to keep the salt-box under lock and key, for few children will eat too greedily from that. A man may have too much money, or too much honour, but he cannot have too much grace. When Jeshurun waxed fat in the flesh, he kicked against God, but there is no fear of a man’s becoming too full of grace: a plethora of grace is impossible. More wealth brings more care, but more grace brings more joy. Increased wisdom is increased sorrow, but abundance of the Spirit is fulness of joy. Believer, go to the throne for a large supply of heavenly salt. It will season thine afflictions, which are unsavoury without salt; it will preserve thy heart which corrupts if salt be absent, and it will kill thy sins even as salt kills reptiles. Thou needest much; seek much, and have much.
“I will make thy windows of agates.” Isaiah 54:12
The church is most instructively symbolized by a building erected by heavenly power, and designed by divine skill. Such a spiritual house must not be dark, for the Israelites had light in their dwellings; there must therefore be windows to let the light in and to allow the inhabitants to gaze abroad. These windows are precious as agates: the ways in which the church beholds her Lord and heaven, and spiritual truth in general, are to be had in the highest esteem. Agates are not the most transparent of gems, they are but semi-pellucid at the best:
“Our knowledge of that life is small,
Our eye of faith is dim.”
Faith is one of these precious agate windows, but alas! it is often so misty and beclouded, that we see but darkly, and mistake much that we do see. Yet if we cannot gaze through windows of diamonds and know even as we are known, it is a glorious thing to behold the altogether lovely One, even though the glass be hazy as the agate. Experience is another of these dim but precious windows, yielding to us a subdued religious light, in which we see the sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, through our own afflictions. Our weak eyes could not endure windows of transparent glass to let in the Master’s glory, but when they are dimmed with weeping, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness are tempered, and shine through the windows of agate with a soft radiance inexpressibly soothing to tempted souls. Sanctification, as it conforms us to our Lord, is another agate window. Only as we become heavenly can we comprehend heavenly things. The pure in heart see a pure God. Those who are like Jesus see him as he is. Because we are so little like him, the window is but agate; because we are somewhat like him, it is agate. We thank God for what we have, and long for more. When shall we see God and Jesus, and heaven and truth, face to face?
All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon(C)
Give your worries to God, for he cares for you
The unforgettable responsive reading
It was midnight on Thursday, February 8, A.D. 356, and Athanasius, a leader in the early Christian church and passionate defender of the deity of Jesus Christ, was leading a worship service. Suddenly loud shouts and clashing armor could be heard outside the church. Soldiers had come to arrest him.
But Athanasius said, “I didn’t think it right, at such a time, to leave my people,” so he continued the service. He asked a deacon to read Psalm 136 and then requested the congregation to respond with the refrain, “His faithful love endures forever,” which they did twenty-six times over the din of the soldiers outside.
Just as the final verse was completed, the soldiers rushed into the church, brandishing their swords and spears and crowding forward up the nave toward Anthanasius. The people yelled for Athanasius to run, but he refused to go until he had given a benediction. Then some of his assistants gathered tightly around him, and, as he recounts it, “I passed through the crowd of people unseen and escaped, giving thanks to God that I had not betrayed my people, but had seen to their safety before I thought of my own.”
Athanasius was portraying to his people God’s love, which endures forever. He was willing to lay down his life for his flock — just as Jesus had laid down his life for his flock a few centuries earlier.
Since God’s “faithful love endures forever,” why is they ever any need to worry?
Adapted From The One Year Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 8.
Author’s Note: I’m sitting here praying for a financial blessing as things are so tight for my family I don’t see in the natural how rent, car payment, and general bills will be paid the 1st of January, 2014. Doubts beget negative thoughts and they lead a believer to doubt the Word of the Lord. But, then the Holy Spirit comes on the scene and reminds me of God’s Word and His Promises!! The Lord as my witness the above scripture/email popped up on my screen as I was sitting in my chair in prayer with the Father. Praise God!!!! The Holy Spirit reminded me that what I see in the natural “does not” reflect what’s going on in the supernatural by the Hand of the Lord! He knows my family’s needs before I do and already has the provisions we require for simple living. He also reminded me of my family’s “total” dependency is to be on Him and not the governance of the land. Amen. ladyinwaiting2012 Dec. 15, 2013