Tuesday, January 27, 2009



"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

Three words only — but in three words is the whole secret of life.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS in the Scriptures,

to learn there what He is, what He has done, what He gives, what He demands; to find in His character our model, in His requirements our instruction, in His precepts our law, in His promises our support, in His person and in His work a full satisfaction to all the wants of our soul.


to find in His blood our ransom, our pardon, our peace.


to find in Him the righteousness which alone justified us, and permits us, all unworthy as we are, to approach with assurance in His name, Him Who is His Father and our Father, His God and our God.


to find in Him our heavenly Advocate, appearing even now for us before the presence of God, and supplying the im­perfection of our prayers, by the efficacy of those which the Father hears always.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS revealed by the Holy Spirit,

to find in His abiding communion the purification of our defiled hearts, the enlightening of our dark­ened minds, the transformation of our rebellious wills; to be enabled to triumph over all the assaults of the world and of the evil one, withstanding their power by Jesus our strength, baffling their wiles by Jesus our wisdom; sustained by the sympathy of Jesus who was spared no temptation, and by the succour of Jesus Who yielded to none.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS to receive from Him,

the task and the cross of each day, with grace suffi­cient to bear the cross, and to fulfill the task: patient with His patience, active with His activity, loving with His love, asking not, "what can I?" but what can He?" and waiting upon His strength which is made perfect in weakness.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS in order that the brightness of His face may be the light of our darkness;

that our joy may be holy, and our sorrow calm; that He may humble us and He raise us up; that He may afflict and that He may comfort us; that He may make us poor, and that He may make us rich; that He may teach us to pray and He answers our prayers; that even while leaving us in the world, He may separate us from it, our life being hid with Him in God, and our conduct bearing witness to Him before men.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS Who having re-entered His Father's house,

is preparing there a place for us, in order that this blessed hope may encourage us to live without repining, and may prepare us to die without regret, when the day shall come to en­counter that last enemy, which He has conquered for us, which we shall conquer through Him.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS, Who gives repentance as well as remission of sins, to receive from Him hearts that are conscious of their misery and come to de­plore it at His feet.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS, that He Who is the Author of our faith,

as He is its Finisher may keep us in that faith unto the end.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS, and to nothing else,

as our text expresses it in a single untranslatable word, which enjoins us at once to fix our eyes on Him and to turn them away from all beside.

UNTO JESUS, and not to ourselves,

to our thoughts, our desire, our purposes.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the world,

to its lusts, its examples, its maxims, its judgments.

UNTO JESUS, and not to Satan,

whether he seeks to frighten us by his rage, or to seduce us by his flattery. Oh, how should we rid ourselves of useless questions, of disquieting scruples, of dangerous parleyings with the evil one, of dissipa­tion of spirit, of vain fancies, of bitter disappoint­ments, of painful struggles, of lamentable falls, by looking straight unto Jesus and following Him wherever He leads, too anxious not to lose sight of the path which He marks for us, to cast even a glance to those in which He does not think fit to lead us!

UNTO JESUS, and not at our creeds,
no matter how evangelical they may be. The faith which saves, which sanctifies, and which comforts, is not giving assent to the doctrine of salvation; it is being united to the person of the Saviour. It is not enough to know about Jesus Christ, it is necessary to have Jesus Christ. To this one may add that no one truly knows Him, if he does not first possess Him. According to the profound saying of the beloved disciple, it is in the Life there is Light, and it is in Jesus there is Life (John 1:4).

UNTO JESUS. and not to our meditations and our prayers, to our pious conversations, or to our edi­fying reading, neither to the holy assemblies we frequent, nor even to our partaking of the Supper of the Lord. Let us faithfully use all these means of grace, but without confounding them with grace itself, and without turning off our looks from Him, who alone can render them efficacious, by com­municating Himself to us by their means.

UNTO JESUS, and not to our position in the Chris­tian Church,

to the name which we bear, to the doctrine which we profess, to the idea which others form of our piety, or to that which we form of it ourselves. Many of those who have prophesied in the name of Jesus will hear Him one day say to them, "I never knew you," but He will confess be­fore His Father and before His angels, even the most humble of those who have looked unto Him.

UNTO JESUS, and not our brethren,

not even to the best and most beloved among them. In follow­ing a man we run a risk of going wrong; in following Jesus we are certain never to go wrong. Besides, by putting a man between Jesus and our­selves, it comes to pass that the man insensibly becomes more to us, and Jesus becomes less. Soon we no longer know how to find Jesus, when we cannot find the man, and so if man's help fails, our all fails. On the contrary, if Jesus keeps His place between us and our nearest friends, our at­tachment to man will be at once less direct and more sweet, less passionate and more pure, less indispensable and more useful, an instrument of rich blessings in the hands of God when He pleas­es to make use of it, and in its absence a blessing still, when He pleases to do without it.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the obstacles which meet us on our journey,

for as soon as we stop to consider them they startle us, they stagger us, they over­throw us, incapable as we are of understanding either the reason for which they are permitted, or the means by which we may overcome them. The apostle was engulfed as soon as he set himself to look at the billows, agitated by the tempest; so long as he looked unto Jesus, he walked upon the waves as upon a rock. The more difficult our task, the heavier our cross, the more needful it is that we should look only unto Jesus.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the temporal blessings which we enjoy.

To look first to these blessings is to expose ourselves to be so captivated by them that they hide from us the light of Him who gives them to us. To look first unto Jesus is to receive from Him all these benefits, chosen by His wisdom, bestowed by His love, a thousand times more pre­cious because we take them at His hand, to enjoy them in His fellowship and to use them to His glory.

UNTO JESUS, and not at our own strength.

Our strength is good only to glorify ourselves; to glori­fy God one must have the strength of God.

UNTO JESUS, and not to our own weakness.

By lamenting our weakness, have we ever become more strong? By looking unto Jesus, His strength will communicate itself to our hearts, and His praise will burst forth from our lips.

UNTO JESUS, and not to our sins.

The contempla­tion of sin only brings death; the contemplations of Jesus bring life. It was not looking to his wounds, but looking to the serpent of brass that healed the Israelite.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the law;

the law gives commands, and does not give strength to perform them. The law always condemns, and never par­dons; to place ourselves again under the law is to withdraw ourselves from grace. In proportion as we make our obedience the means of our salvation, we lose our peace, our strength, our joy, because we have forgotten that Jesus is "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." As soon as the law has constrained us to seek Him, our only Savior, it is for Him only to require of us obedience; an obedience which extends to nothing less than our whole heart and our most secret thought, but which has ceased to be an iron yoke and an insupportable burden, to become an easy yoke and a light burden; an obedience which He makes at once pleasant and binding; an obedience which He at once bestows and prescribes, and which, rightly understood, is less a consequence of our salvation, than it is a part of that salvation itself, and like all the rest, a grace.

UNTO JESUS, and not to what we do for Him.

Too much taken up with our work, we may forget our Master; it is possible to have the hands full and the heart empty. Taken up with our Master, we cannot forget our work; if the heart is filled with His love, how can the hands not be active in His service?

UNTO JESUS, and not to the apparent success of our efforts.

Apparent success is not the measure of real success, and besides, God has not commanded us to succeed, but to work. It is of our work that He will require an account and not of our suc­cess; why then take thought about it before the time? It is for us to sow the seed; it is for God to gather the fruit: if not today, it will be tomorrow; if not by us, it will be by others. Even when suc­cess is granted, it is always dangerous to let our eyes rest upon it complacently; on the one hand we are tempted to attribute something of it to our­selves; on the other hand we thus accustom our­selves to give way to relaxing our zeal when we cease to perceive its effects, that is to say, at the very time when we ought to redouble our energy. To look to success is to walk by sight; to look to Jesus, and to persevere in following and serving Him in spite of all discouragements, is to walk by faith.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the spiritual gifts which we have received already,

or which we are re­ceiving now from Him. As for yesterday's grace, it passed away with yesterday's work; we can no longer use it, we ought no longer to dwell upon it. As for today's grace, given for the work of today, it is entrusted to us not to look at but to use; not to make it ring in our hands and count ourselves rich, but to spend, and to live poor, looking unto Jesus.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the degree of grief which our sins have caused us,

or to the degree of humil­iation which they produce in us. If only we are so humbled by them as to be no longer satisfied with ourselves, if only we are so grieved by them as to look unto Jesus that He may deliver us from them, it is all He demands of us, and it is moreover this look more than all besides, that will make our tears flow and our pride fall.

UNTO JESUS, and not to the liveliness of our joy,

or to the sensible fervor of our love; otherwise if only this love seem to cool, if only this joy chance to fail us—whether as the consequence of our sloth, or for the trial of our faith, immediately, our emotion being lost, we shall think we have lost our strength, and shall abandon ourselves to melan­choly depression, if not to culpable inactivity. Oh, rather let us remember that, if sometimes the emotion and its sweetness fail us, faith and its power remain to us; and that we may be able "always to abound in the work of the Lord," let us look without ceasing not to our hearts, which are always changing, but to Jesus Who is always the same!

UNTO JESUS, and not to our faith.

The last device of the Adversary when he cannot make us look elsewhere, is to turn off our eyes from our Savior to our faith, and thus to discourage us if it is weak, and to fill us with pride if it is strong, and both in the one case and in the other to enfeeble us: for it is not from faith that strength comes, but it is from the Savior by faith; it is not by looking unto our look, it is by looking unto Jesus.

UNTO JESUS; and it is from Him

and in Him that we learn to know, not only without danger but for the good of our souls, that which is good for us to know of the world and of ourselves, of our misery, of our dangers, of our resources, of our victories; seeing all things in their true light, because it is He Who makes us see them, and that only in the time and in the measure, in which this knowledge shall bring forth in us the fruits of humility and of wisdom, of gratitude and of courage, of watch­fulness and of prayer. All that is desirable for us to know, Jesus will teach us; all that we do not learn from Him, it is better for us not to know.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS, while we remain upon earth;

to Jesus from moment to moment, without suffering ourselves to be distracted either by the recollections of a past, which we should leave be­hind, or by the anticipations of a future.

UNTO JESUS NOW, if we have never looked to Him.

UNTO JESUS ANEW, if we have ceased to do so.




with a look more and more earnest, more and more confident; "transformed into the image from glory to glory"; and thus waiting for the hour when He shall call us to pass from earth to heaven, and from time to eternity— the promised hour, the blessed hour, when at length "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

This article was scanned from a tract which was previously published by W.J. Berry in the periodical Old Faith Contender from Elon College, NC. Brother Berry passed away in 1986. The Old Faith Contender is no longer published. As far as I can tell from searching, the article is out of print, except for two shorter versions I found. This excellent meditation was largely unavailable until now.

ADOLPHE MONOD (1802-1856), French Protestant divine, was born on the 21st of January 1802, in Copenhagen, where his father was pastor of the French church. He was educated at Paris and Geneva, and began his life-work in 1825 as founder and pastor of a Protestant church in Naples, whence he removed in 1827 to Lyons. Here his evangelical preaching, and especially a sermon on the duties of communicants ("Qui doit cornmunier"?), led to his deposition by the Catholic Minister of education and religion. Instead of leaving Lyons he began to preach in a hall and then in a chapel. In 1836 he took a professorship in the theological college of Montauban, removing in 1847 to Paris as preacher at the Oratoire. He died on the 6th of April, 1856. Monod was undoubtedly the foremost Protestant preacher of 19th-century France. He published three volumes of sermons in 1830, another, La Credulite de l'incredule in 1844, and two more in 1855. Two further volumes appeared after his death. His elder brother Frederic (1794-1863), who was influenced by Robert Haldane, was also a distinguished French pastor, who with Count Gasparin founded the Union of the Evangelical Churches of France; and Frederic's son Theodore (b. 1836) followed in his footsteps.

The excellent book, Adolpe Monod’s Farewell (original English printing by Banner of Truth), is out of print, but you can find used copies.

A revised edition published by Presbyterian and Reformed titled Living in the Hope of Glory by Adolphe Monod is available online from Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, and P& R Publishing (all online).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009



That is exactly what we should not be as preachers of the gospel. If your “one note” is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, then that is easily forgiven, because He is God Almighty, the only Savior of sinners, and King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But I know some preachers who are hung up like a broken record, giving out one note only on some particular doctrine. Doctrine is important. It simply means teaching. It is not enough to go to church and sing, hear preaching, and have a good time rejoicing. We must know the “things surely believed among us” to be fortified, balanced Christians. Yet, I know some preachers who get hung on one doctrinal truth to the detriment of all others. One preacher, now passed away, could not get up to preach without preaching on the “post tribulation rapture.” I remember another who only preached his particular “landmark” (or Baptist Bride), view of the church. Another was always on Christian unity (with an almost ecumenical slant). I have heard some who always preached on the fullness (or baptism as he called it), of the Holy Spirit. Another on water baptism as a means of salvation (which is totally false). These doctrines, both false and true, are not an end in themselves. Even the so-called doctrines of grace can be a hobby horse. I remember one late friend that someone rightly said “he has made a god out of the doctrine of election!” I am afraid it was true of him. Predestination and election was all he ever preached. Predestination and election, rightly understood and taught, are Bible doctrines, but are not the only Bible doctrines. Brethren, let us endeavor to preach and teach “all the counsel of God”. Let us not be “Johnny one notes” for the sake of the testimony of the gospel. (cw)

Friday, January 16, 2009



This world sees Christ as a fool, the Bible as a lie, God as a myth. None of this surprises us. Most in Hollywood see Christ as either unimportant or as a fool. The politicians see Him as a fool, because practically all of them are “Christians” when it comes time to run for office, no matter what positions inconsistent with the Christian faith they may take, or how grossly sinful their lives have been. Yet, our generation was not the first to see Calvary as a defeat. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Corinthians 2:8). Satan didn’t know (not being omniscient as God is), or he would have opposed the crucifixion. The prophecies were there telling of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, but I doubt that Satan understood them. Calvary was a defeat for Satan, and the resurrection sealed it forever!

It was not a defeat for Christ. He conquered death, hell and the grave! In Him we conquer all that too, yes we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us”(Romans 8:37). And He loved us before the foundation of the world! Yes on that hill outside Jerusalem called Golgotha (place of the skull), death came to Christ but could not hold Him. But, the death blow was given to Christ’s enemies, and God will manifest that as it pleases Him.

For us it is our victory over death (I Corinthians 15:1-7).

For us it is our victory over the world (Galatians 6 :14).

For us it is our victory over self (Galatians 2:20).

For us it our victory over the flesh (Galatians 5:24).

For us it is our victory over the devil (Colossians 2:15; cp with Ephesians 6:12). (cw)

Friday, January 02, 2009



Almost 30 years ago I wrote an article titled “Should We Make An Issue of the Sovereignty of God”? This was put into a tract, and has been reprinted a number of times, and has literally traveled the world. I have received testimonies that it seemed to help some grasp this truth. I have recently seen it on several websites. It is very humbling, because I am nobody but a sinner saved by grace. I was only about 35 when I wrote it, and now I am 66. You may ask, “Would I change anything if I wrote it today”? The answer is yes! No, I have not changed my core doctrinal view, not at all. If anything I believe stronger in God’s sovereignty today. But, the way I expressed some things as a young, zealous man who had some battles with opposers of this truth may have been said in more boldness than knowledge. So I have rewritten it. The first four paragraphs are the same, and much of the tract remains the same. After some further study, I have rethought about people doing evangelism just after their conversion, and found it necessary to restructure some thinking. So here is my revised version. I hope it speaks, and will be used of God as the former. For God’s Glory alone!-- Charles Woodruff

It might not be realized, but in the average church today, God’s Sovereignty is a very real issue indeed. Though many preachers never mention it, many don’t understand it,and many try to hush it up (to “avoid controversial subjects”), it is still a very real issue. The reason I say this is because most of our modern churches are the fruit of modern, or man-centered, evangelism. This is evangelism that is based on the sinner’s mental assent to a particular Bible verse or verses: a “decision” to follow Jesus. It is rarely (if ever) mentioned what God designs to do, and many wrongly exalt His love over and above all of His other attributes.

God’s holiness is practically unheard of in our day. Yet, holiness is the central attribute of God. The seraphims, in the presence of God, cry one to another, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). They do not cry, “Loving, loving, loving, is the Lord of hosts.” Certainly love is an attribute of God, but without holiness in view, it is a warped concept of love.

It is no wonder that churches are filled with so-called “Carnal Christians.” They have been taught that God is some kind of old grandpa in a heavenly rocking chair saying, “I know you have been naughty, but I love you, and if you will just accept my Son as your Savior, everything will be alright between us.” And where would this deity of modern evangelism be if he did not have his little helpers, the “soul winners” with a “Romans road map to heaven”, and their canned sales-talk “plan of salvation”? Of course, this “god” could not do without them!

I get tired of hearing preachers say, “We’re the only arms and legs God has.” This is entirely unscriptural! These preachers ought to know better than this. God made our arms and legs, and He is not in need of our hands, but we sure need His:

“The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save . . .” (Isaiah 59:1).

God Almighty needs no one or any thing (Acts 17:25). Hear John the Baptist:

“And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of the stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matthew 3:9). Is this Sovereign God, this absolute Monarch of the universe, your God?

How we long for a modern John the Baptist to cry out against the sins of today’s religious people! See Isaiah 58:1 and Matthew 3:2. Instead of our pulpiteers preaching like John the Baptist, they are more concerned about splitting hairs over prophecy and “dispensational truth.” Yet, God says, “Cry aloud.” So many today are not experiencing true conversion and a conforming to the blessed image of Christ Jesus.

Meanwhile, churches figure out new ways to entice more to come (so they can have the world’s largest Sunday School). Getting more people to attend Sunday School has become an end in itself. Shouldn’t the true Gospel be taught to the ones already coming, thus “feeding the sheep” and praying God will ground them, and then be pleased to use these to tell others? This prepares them for true evangelism. Yet I heard one preacher say that the minute you are saved you are to be a “soul winner”, and go get somebody else saved. I will grant that you will want to see others saved, but we are only vessels. The Holy Spirit is the true soul winner.

If you really get saved, like the woman at the well (See John 4:29), you will tell others. However, her situation was rather unique. She already knew about Messiah, and was expecting Him to come one day. Now she had met Him and He was nearby. She was a zealous and valuable witness. She told others and brought them to Christ, but she could not “get them saved”. You see, only God can save. We are only “witnesses”. But most who get converted know little about the Bible at the start, and therefore need to be grounded before doing much witnessing. Usually they need first to “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).

No one believes in the sovereignty of God any more than I do. But I also believe in the declaration of the gospel to all. The great commission was not just for the apostles, it was for all time until He comes again. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). I say “Amen” to Christ’s Amen! It is clear to me He intended for those that were instructed by the original apostles to continue the work on and on until His second coming! Otherwise, a lot of good men like the Scottish Covenanters, Polycarp, John Hus, and all those listed in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, died for nothing. The Greek word translated “witness” is “martus”, from which we also get the word “martyr”. These men and women were witnesses as well as martyrs. They endeavored to preach the gospel to all. It cost them their lives! God is absolutely Sovereign in all of His doings. He does the saving! He sends revival when it pleases Him! Saying this, He didn't leave His preachers without tasks. To be an effective witness, one that pleases God, you need power, which is only from the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:8 and Romans 12:1).

Because so many in the religious world are playing a “numbers game”, there are many folks that simply become statistics on a church roll in these days. Too many profess Christ, but do not possess Christ! So many in our generation who profess to know Him are not also willing to live for Christ, much less die for Him! Too many who are joining our modern churches have not been instructed in Christian dress or Christian conduct. How many ever raise objections to receiving anyone into the membership of the average church? Quality has been sacrificed for quantity. Anyone should be welcomed in any true gospel-preaching church (to hear the gospel), but not be accepted as a member until they bring forth those fruits which support their professed repentance (Matthew 3:8).

Yes, the Sovereignty of God is already an issue. If more of our modern churches and preachers believed in God’s Sovereignty, their methods would drastically change. When men become convinced that salvation is 100% of the pure, sovereign grace of God, preaching takes on a new light. Men who believe this great truth don’t go around trying to help God, but beg His help for them and their hearers!

“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” (Psalm 115:1).

Free Grace! Unmerited Mercy! Sovereign Love!

(Octavius Winslow, "The Soul After Conversion")

No truth shines with clearer luster in the Bible than that salvation, from first to last, is of God. God is sovereign in salvation!

He often selects . .. the poorest…the vilest…the most depraved…the most fallen…

as if utterly to explode all idea of human merit, and to reflect the free grace of His

heart in its richest luster.

O precious truth!

It stains the pride of human merit!

It lays the axe at the root of self!

It humbles and abases!

It empties and lays low!

It ascribes all the praise, honor and glory, might, majesty and dominion, of the new creation in the soul, to the Triune God!

No worthiness of the creature allures Him to the sinner's heart! What worthiness can be supposed to exist--what merit can there be in . . .

a guilty criminal,

an outlawed rebel,

a poor insolvent, one whose mind is enmity,

one whose heart is swelling with treason against God, His government, and His Son? One who owes millions, but has 'nothing to pay'? None whatever!

And that the eternal Spirit should enter the heart of such a one . . .

convincing of sin;

subduing the hatred;

breaking down the rebellion;

leading to Jesus, and sealing pardon and peace upon the conscience;

oh! what but free grace, unmerited mercy, and

sovereign love could thus have constrained Him?

"Lord, what did You see in me," exclaims the converted soul, "that moved You with compassion, that drew You to my heart, and that constrained You to make me Your child? Nothing on my part, but poverty, wretchedness, and misery! Nothing onYour part, nothing but love, sovereignty, and

unmerited favor!"

O the riches of His grace!