BEREAN ACTS 17:11

2 Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Psalm 111:9-10

(9) He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. (10) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
King James Version

TEMPTATION

TEMPTATION

Genesis 3:1-5

(1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.     King James Version

The word “shrewd” more closely captures Satan’s character than “cunning.”Shrewd means “sharp and clever in a selfish way.” Though “cunning” is not incorrect, “shrewd” has clearer connotation.

To be cunning and shrewd like Satan indicates malevolent brilliance—with the emphasis on malevolent. He is seeking to kill. His cunning is like that of a tiger, silently padding through the jungle with eyes malevolently seeking something to kill and eat.

Consider how clever his tactic was. He subtly made a suggestion rather than an argument to discredit God’s authority, casting doubt about God’s credibility. Satan asked, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'”

Through the tone and inflection of his voice, Satan implied that there was doubt that God told them the truth. This is shown by the way Eve replied; she corrected him. She knew from the inflection of his voice that he was really asking a question and casting doubt. When she replied, she over-corrected.

Like a good salesman, the serpent got his victim to agree with him, getting the victim to say “Yes, yes, yes,” and then, “I’ll buy it!” Eve was already influenced when she gave her reply because she over-corrected.

Satan successfully magnified God’s strictness in her mind, reminding her that the way is narrow. She began to agree with him, thinking about God in terms the serpent wanted her to think. She began to agree, saying “Yes, yes, yes” to the salesman’s ploys.

Satan immediately minimized the penalty, saying an outright lie, “You shall not die” (3:4). Then to clinch the sale, he offers her a reward: “You shall be like God” (3:5). What a price she paid! Satan offered a reward that must have seemed so big to Adam and Eve that they could not afford to reject it. What he offered was enough to reorient their lives.

They did not catch the complete significance of what he offered, but enough to know it was big. He offered the self to become the dominating focus of life; “Youshall be God.” He completely reoriented their lives by turning their focus away from obedience to God toward obedience to the self. He gave them the right to choose and to set the standards of right and wrong. They bought it hook, line, and sinker.

From that point on, mankind has viewed God as a rival and competitor rather than a friend—Someone with whom to compete and outwit rather than cooperate, for they were now gods too!

— John W. Ritenbaugh

To learn more, see:
Satan (Part 2)

Shared with the permission of berean@cgg.org ==>  www.theberean.org

God bless all!

LAUS DEO – GLORY TO GOD

Laus Deo (Glory to God)

matthew419

‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.’

Romans 11:36

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1

The apostle puts his pen back into the ink bottle and falls on his knees—he cannot help it—he must have a doxology. ‘To whom be glory for ever. Amen.’ Beloved, let us imitate this devotion. I think that this sentence should be the prayer, the motto for every one of us—‘To whom be glory for ever. Amen.’ This should be the single desire of the Christian. I take it that he should not have twenty wishes but only one. He may desire to see his family well brought up, but only that ‘To God may be glory for ever.’ He may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this—‘To whom be glory for ever.’ He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be that ‘To him may be glory for ever.’ This one thing I know, Christian, you are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than the one motive of your Lord’s glory. As a Christian, you are ‘of him, and through him;’ I pray you be ‘to him.’ Let nothing ever set your heart beating but love to him. Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive whenever your zeal would grow cold—only make God your object. Depend upon it, where self begins, sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only object,

‘To me ’tis equal whether love ordain
My life or death—appoint me ease or pain.’

To me there shall be no choice, when my eye singly looks to God’s glory.

For meditation: If some of us were given one wish, it would not be a patch on the single-minded desires expressed by God’s people in the Bible, such as David (Psalm 27:4), Asaph (Psalm 73:25) and Paul (Philippians 3:8–10, 13–15). What would your wish be? Could you pray for it with a clear conscience?

Sermon no. 572  29 May (1864)

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God Knit You as a Babe in Mother’s Womb – God Carries You In Your Golden Years!

The God of the aged

(source:  Google royalty free images  GNU License )

“Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”Isaiah 46:4

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 71:1-18

Middle aged man! Listen to what David says, again, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Go on, then, unsheath your sword once more. “The battle is the Lord’s;” leave your declining years to him, and give your present years to him. Live to him now, and he will never cast you away when you are old. Do not lay up for old age and keep back from the cause of God; but rather trust God for the future. Be “diligent in business;” but take care you do not hurt your spirit, by being too diligent, by being grasping and selfish. Remember you will

“Want but little here below, Nor want that little long.”

And lastly, my dear venerable fathers in the faith, and mothers in Israel, take these words for your joy. Do not let the young people catch you indulging in melancholy, sitting in your chimney corner, grumbling and growling, but go about cheerful and happy, and they will think how blessed it is to be a Christian. If you are surly and fretful, they will think the Lord has forsaken you; but keep a smiling countenance, and they will think the promise is fulfilled. “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Do, I beseech you, my venerable friends, try to be of a happy temperament and cheerful spirit, for a child will run away from a surly old man; but there is not a child in the world who does not love his grandfather if he is cheerful and happy. You can lead us to heaven if you have got heaven’s sunlight on your face.

For meditation: Elderly believers—the Bible tells us about their testimony (Psalm 92:14,15; Proverbs 16:31), their teaching (Titus 2:2,3) and their treatment (1 Timothy 5:1,2).

note: This sermon was substantially repeated at Stambourne, Essex, two days later on the commemoration of the jubilee of Spurgeon’s grandfather, Rev James Spurgeon.

Sermon nos. 81-82        5 May (1856)

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HIS BLISS

The hope of future bliss

ARE WE READY FOR HIS GLORIOUS RETURN

ARE WE READY FOR HIS GLORIOUS RETURN

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15

Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 7:13-17

He will be satisfied, the Psalmist says, when he wakes up in God’s likeness. Satisfaction! This is another joy for the Christian when he shall enter heaven. Here we are never thoroughly satisfied. True, the Christian is satisfied from himself; he has that within which is a well-spring of comfort, and he can enjoy solid satisfaction. But heaven is the home of true and real satisfaction. When the believer enters heaven I believe his imagination will be thoroughly satisfied. All he has ever thought of he will there see; every holy idea will be solidified; every mighty conception will become a reality; every glorious imagination will become a tangible thing that he can see. His imagination will not be able to think of anything better than heaven; and should he sit down through eternity, he would not be able to conceive of anything that should outshine the lustre of that glorious city. His imagination will be satisfied. Then his intellect will be satisfied.

“Then shall I see, and hear, and know, All I desired, or wished, below.”

Who is satisfied with his knowledge here? Are there not secrets we want to know—depths of the secrets of nature that we have not entered? But in that glorious state we shall know as much as we want to know. The memory will be satisfied. We shall look back upon the vista of past years, and we shall be content with whatever we endured, or did, or suffered on earth.

“There, on a green and flowery mount, My wearied soul shall sit,
And with transporting joys recount, The labours of my feet.”

Hope will be satisfied, if there be such a thing in heaven. We shall hope for a future eternity, and believe in it. But we shall be satisfied as to our hope continually.

For meditation: The difference between now and then is beyond our finest imaginations (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2).

Sermon no. 25   20 May (1855)

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GOOD GROUND OR BAD GROUND

The parable of the sower

KING OF KINGS GLORY

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:5-8

Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 1:1-10

The ground was good; not that it was good by nature, but it had been made good by grace. God had ploughed it; he had stirred it up with the plough of conviction, and there it lay in ridge and furrow as it should be. And when the Gospel was preached, the heart received it, for the man said, “That’s just the Christ I want. Mercy!” said he, “it’s just what a needy sinner requires. A refuge! God help me to fly to it, for a refuge I sorely want.” The preaching of the gospel was the vital thing which gave comfort to this disturbed and ploughed soil. Down fell the seed; it sprung up. In some cases it produced a fervency of love, a largeness of heart, a devotedness of purpose, like seed which produced a hundredfold. The man became a mighty servant for God, he spent himself and was spent. He took his place in the vanguard of Christ’s army, stood in the hottest of the battle, and did deeds of daring which few could accomplish,—the seed produced a hundredfold. It fell in another heart of like character;—the man could not do the most, still he did much. He gave himself, just as he was, up to God, and in his business he had a word to say for the business of the world to come. In his daily walk, he quietly adorned the doctrine of God his Saviour,—he brought forth sixtyfold. Then it fell on another, whose abilities and talents were but small; he could not be a star, but he would be a glow-worm; he could not do as the greatest, but he was content to do something, even though it were the least. The seed had brought forth in him tenfold, perhaps twentyfold.

For meditation: Quantity of fruit is desirable, but quality of fruit is essential—fruit that has gone mouldy is useless. The Lord Jesus Christ is looking for fruit in quantity and fruit which lasts (John 15:5,16).

Sermon no. 308        15 April (1860)

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Have you passed from death to life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24)

Spiritual resurrection

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”Ephesians 2:1

Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 2:9-14

Does it not seem a strange thing, that you, who have walked to this place this morning, shall be carried to your graves; that the eyes with which you now behold me shall soon be glazed in everlasting darkness; that the tongues, which just now moved in song, shall soon be silent lumps of clay; and that your strong and stalwart frame, now standing in this place, will soon be unable to move a muscle, and become a loathsome thing, the brother of the worm and the sister of corruption? You can scarcely get hold of the idea; death does such awful work with us, it is such a vandal with this mortal fabric, it so rends to pieces this fair thing that God has built up, that we can scarcely bear to contemplate his works of ruin. Now, endeavour, as well as you can, to get the idea of a dead corpse, and when you have done so, please to understand, that this is the metaphor employed in my text, to set forth the condition of your soul by nature. Just as the body is dead, incapable, unable, unfeeling, and soon about to become corrupt and putrid, so are we if we be unquickened by divine grace; dead in trespasses and sins, having within us death, which is capable of developing itself in worse and worse stages of sin and wickedness, until all of us here, left by God’s grace, should become loathsome beings; loathsome through sin and wickedness, even as the corpse through natural decay. Understand, that the doctrine of the Holy Scripture is, that man by nature, since the fall, is dead; he is a corrupt and ruined thing; in a spiritual sense, utterly and entirely dead. And if any of us shall come to spiritual life, it must be by the quickening of God’s Spirit, given to us sovereignly through the good will of God the Father, not for any merits of our own, but entirely of his own abounding and infinite grace.

For meditation: Have you passed from death to life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24)? Better to be a nobody alive in Christ than a king dead in trespasses and sins (Ecclesiastes 9:4).

Sermon no. 127    12 April (Easter 1857)

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JESUS ANSWERS

Morning

KING OF KINGS GLORY

“The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
1 John 4:14

It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ did not come forth without his Father’s permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent of the Father, that he might be the Saviour of men. We are too apt to forget that, while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honour. We too frequently ascribe the honour of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than we do the Father. This is a very great mistake. What if Jesus came? Did not his Father send him? If he spake wondrously, did not his Father pour grace into his lips, that he might be an able minister of the new covenant? He who knoweth the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost as he should know them, never setteth one before another in his love; he sees them at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation. O Christian, hast thou put thy confidence in the Man Christ Jesus? Hast thou placed thy reliance solely on him? And art thou united with him? Then believe that thou art united unto the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus thou art brother, and holdest closest fellowship, thou art linked thereby with God the Eternal, and “the Ancient of days” is thy Father and thy friend. Didst thou ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped his Son for the great enterprise of mercy? If not, be this thy day’s meditation. The Father sent him! Contemplate that subject. Think how Jesus works what the Father wills. In the wounds of the dying Saviour see the love of the great I AM. Let every thought of Jesus be also connected with the Eternal, ever-blessed God, for “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.”

EveningJUST BELIEVE

“At that time Jesus answered.”
Matthew 11:25

This is a singular way in which to commence a verse–“At that time Jesus answered.” If you will look at the context you will not perceive that any person had asked him a question, or that he was in conversation with any human being. Yet it is written, “Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father.” When a man answers, he answers a person who has been speaking to him. Who, then, had spoken to Christ? his Father. Yet there is no record of it; and this should teach us that Jesus had constant fellowship with his Father, and that God spake into his heart so often, so continually, that it was not a circumstance singular enough to be recorded. It was the habit and life of Jesus to talk with God. Even as Jesus was, in this world, so are we; let us therefore learn the lesson which this simple statement concerning him teaches us. May we likewise have silent fellowship with the Father, so that often we may answer him, and though the world wotteth not to whom we speak, may we be responding to that secret voice unheard of any other ear, which our own ear, opened by the Spirit of God, recognizes with joy. God has spoken to us, let us speak to God–either to set our seal that God is true and faithful to his promise, or to confess the sin of which the Spirit of God has convinced us, or to acknowledge the mercy which God’s providence has given, or to express assent to the great truths which God the Holy Ghost has opened to our understanding. What a privilege is intimate communion with the Father of our spirits! It is a secret hidden from the world, a joy with which even the nearest friend intermeddleth not. If we would hear the whispers of God’s love, our ear must be purged and fitted to listen to his voice. This very evening may our hearts be in such a state, that when God speaks to us, we, like Jesus, may be prepared at once to answer him.

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