Tuesday, December 27, 2011


 Christ, the Believer's Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption

1 Corinthians 1:30, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."

Of all the verses in the book of God, this which I have now read to you, is, I believe, one of the most comprehensive: what glad tidings does it bring to believers! What precious privileges are they herein invested with! How are they here led to the fountain of them all, I mean, the love, the everlasting love of God the Father! 'Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.'

Without referring you to the context, I shall from the words,

FIRST, Point out to you the fountain, from which all those blessings flow, that the elect of God partake of in Jesus Christ, "Who of God is made unto'. And,

SECONDLY, I shall consider what these blessings are, 'Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption'.

FIRST, I would point out to you the fountain, from which all those blessings flow, that the elect of God partake of in Jesus, 'Who of God is made unto us', the father he it is who is spoken of here. Not as though Jesus Christ was not God also; but God the Father is the fountain of the Deity; and if we consider Jesus Christ acting as Mediator, God the Father is greater than he; there was an eternal contract between the Father and the Son: 'I have made a covenant with my chosen, and I have sworn unto David my servant'; now David was a type of Christ, with whom the Father made a covenant, that if he would obey and suffer, and make himself a sacrifice for sin, he should 'See his seed, he should prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hands'. This compact our Lord refers to, in that glorious prayer recorded in the 17th chapter of John; and therefore he prays for, or rather demands with a full assurance, all that were given to him by the Father: 'Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.' For this same reason, the apostle breaks out into praises of God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; for he loved the elect with an everlasting love, or, as our Lord expresses it, 'Before the foundation of the world'; and, therefore, to show them to whom they were beholden for their salvation, our Lord, in the 25th of Matthew, represents himself saying, 'Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'. And thus, in reply to the mother of Zebedee's children, he says, 'It is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of the Father'. The apostle therefore, when here speaking of the Christian's privileges, lest they should sacrifice to their own drag, or think their salvation was owing to their own faithfulness, or improvement of their own free-will, reminds them to look back on the everlasting love of God the Father; 'Who of God is made unto us', etc.

Would to God this point of doctrine was considered more, and people were more studious of the covenant of redemption between the Father and the Son! We should not then have so much disputing against the doctrine of election, or hear it condemned (even by good men) as a doctrine of devils. For my own part, I cannot see how true humbleness of mind can be attained without a knowledge of it; and though I will not say, that every one who denies election is a bad man, yet I will say, with that sweet singer, Mr. Trail, it is a very bad sign: such a one, whoever he be, I think cannot truly know himself; for, if we deny election, we must, partly at least, glory in ourselves; but our redemption is so ordered that no flesh should glory in the Divine presence; and hence it is, that the pride of man opposes this doctrine, because, according to this doctrine, and no other, 'He that glories, must glory only in the Lord'. But what shall I say? Election is a mystery that shines with such resplendent brightness, that, to make use of the words of one who has drunk deeply of electing love, it dazzles the weak eyes even of some of God's dear children; however, though they know it not, all the blessings they receive, all the privileges they do or ill enjoy, through Jesus Christ, flow from the everlasting love of God the Father: 'But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.'

SECONDLY, I come to show what these blessings are, which are here, through Christ, made over to the elect. And,

1: FIRST, Christ is made to them WISDOM; but wherein does true wisdom consist? Were I to ask some of you, perhaps you would say, in indulging the lust of the flesh, and saying to your souls, eat, drink, and be merry: but this is only the wisdom of brutes; they have as good a gust and relish for sensual pleasures, as the greatest epicure on earth. Others would tell me, true wisdom consisted in adding house to house, and field to field, and calling lands after their own names: but this cannot be true wisdom; for riches often take to themselves wings, and fly away, like an eagle towards heaven. Even wisdom itself assures us, 'That a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses'; vanity, vanity, all these things are vanity; for, if riches leave not the owner, the owners must soon leave them; 'For rich men must also die, and leave their riches for others'; their riches cannot procure them redemption from the grave, whither we are all hastening apace.

But perhaps you despise riches and pleasure, and therefore place wisdom in the knowledge of books: but it is possible for you to tell the numbers of the stars, and call them all by their names, and yet be mere fools; learned men are not always wise; nay, our common learning, so much cried up, makes men only so many accomplished fools; to keep you therefore no longer in suspense, and withal to humble you, I will send you to a heathen to school, to learn what true wisdom is: 'Know thyself'', was a saying of one of the wise men of Greece; this is certainly true wisdom, and this is that wisdom spoken of in the text, and which Jesus Christ is made to all elect sinners--they are made to know themselves, so as not to think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Before, they were darkness; now, they are light in the Lord; and in that light they see their own darkness; they now bewail themselves as fallen creatures by nature, dead in trespasses and sins, sons and heirs of hell, and children of wrath; they now see that all their righteousnesses are but as filthy rags; that there is no health in their souls; that they are poor and miserable, blind and naked; and that there is no name given under heaven, whereby they can be saved, but that of Jesus Christ. They see the necessity of closing with a Savior, and behold the wisdom of God in appointing him to be a Savior; they are also made willing to accept of salvation upon our Lord's own terms, and receive him as their all in all; thus Christ is made to them wisdom.

2. SECONDLY, RIGHTEOUSNESS, 'Who of God is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness': Christ's whole personal righteousness is made over to, and accounted theirs. They are enabled to lay hold on Christ by faith, and God the Father blots out their transgressions, as with a thick cloud: their sins and their iniquities he remembers no more; they are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, 'Who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth'. In one sense, God now sees no sin in them; the whole covenant of works is fulfilled in them; they are actually justified, acquitted, and looked upon as righteous in the sight of God; they are perfectly accepted in the beloved; they are complete in him; the flaming sword of God's wrath, which before moved every way, is not removed, and free access given to the tree of life; they are enabled to reach out the arm of faith, and pluck, and live for evermore. Hence it is that the apostle, under a sense of this blessed privilege, breaks out into this triumphant language; 'It is Christ that justifies, who is he that condemns?' Does sin condemn? Christ's righteousness delivers believers from the guilt of it: Christ is their Savior, and is become a propitiation for their sins: who therefore shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? Does the law condemn? By having Christ's righteousness imputed to them, they are dead to the law, as a covenant of works; Christ has fulfilled it for them, and in their stead. Does death threaten them? They need not fear: the sting of death is sin, the strength of sin is the law; but God has given them the victory by imputing to them the righteousness of the Lord Jesus.

And what a privilege is here! Well might the angels at the birth of Christ say to the humble shepherds, 'Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy'; unto you that believe in Christ 'A Savior is born'. And well may angels rejoice at the conversion of poor sinners; for the Lord is their righteousness; they have peace with God through faith in Christ's blood, and shall never enter into condemnation. O believers! (for this discourse is intended in a special manner for you) lift up your heads; 'Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice'. Christ is mad to you, of God, righteousness, what then should you fear? You are made the righteousness of God in him; you may be called, 'The Lord our righteousness'. Of what then should you be afraid? What shall separate you henceforward from the love of Christ? 'Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, I am persuaded, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord', who of God is made unto you righteousness.

This is a glorious privilege, but this is only the beginning of the happiness of believers: For,

3: THIRDLY, Christ is not only made to them righteousness, but sanctification; by sanctification, I do not mean a bare hypocritical attendance on outward ordinances, though rightly informed Christians will think it their duty and privilege constantly to attend on all outward ordinances. Nor do I mean by sanctification a bare outward reformation, and a few transient convictions, or a little legal sorrow; for all this an unsanctified man may have; but, by sanctification I mean a total renovation of the whole man: by the righteousness of Christ, believers come legally, by sanctification they are made spiritually, alive; by the one they are entitled to, by the other they are made meet for, glory. They are sanctified, therefore, throughout, in spirit, soul, and body.

Their understandings, which were dark before, now become light in the Lord; and their wills, before contrary to, now become one with the will of God; their affections are now set on things above; their memory is now filled with divine things; their natural consciences are now enlightened; their members, which were before instruments of uncleanness, and of iniquity into iniquity, are now new creatures; 'Old things are passed away, all things are become new', in their hearts: sin has now no longer dominion over them; they are freed from the power, though not the indwelling of being, of it; they are holy both in heart and life, in all manner of conversation: they are made partakers of a divine nature, and from Jesus Christ, they receive grace; and every grace that is in Christ, is copied and transcribed into their souls; they are transformed into his likeness; he is formed within them; they dwell in him, and he in them; they are led by the Spirit, and bring forth the fruits thereof; they know that Chris is their Emmanuel, God with and in them; they are living temples of the Holy Ghost. And therefore, being a holy habitation unto the Lord, the whole Trinity dwells and walks in them; even here, they sit together with Christ in heavenly places, and are vitally united to him, their Head, by a living faith; their Redeemer, their Maker, is their husband; they are flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone; they talk, they walk with him, as a man talketh and walketh with his friend; in short, they are one with Christ, even as Jesus Christ and the Father are one.

Thus is Christ made to believers sanctification. And O what a privilege is this! to be changed from beasts into saints, and from a devilish, to be made partakers of a divine nature; to be translated from the kingdom of Satan, into the kingdom of God's dear Son! To put off the old man, which is corrupt, and to put on the new man, which is created after God, in righteousness and true holiness! O what an unspeakable blessing is this! I almost stand amazed at the contemplation thereof. Well might the apostle exhort believers to rejoice in the Lord; indeed they have reason always to rejoice, yea, to rejoice on a dying bed; for the kingdom of God is in them; they are changed from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord: well may this be a mystery to the natural, for it is a mystery even to the spiritual man himself, a mystery which he cannot fathom. Does it not often dazzle your eyes, O ye children of God, to look at your own brightness, when the candle of the Lord shines out, and your redeemer lifts up the light of his blessed countenance upon your souls? Are not you astonished, when you feel the love of God shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost, and God holds out the golden scepter of his mercy, and bids you ask what you will, and it shall be given you? Does not that peace of God, which keeps and rules your hearts, surpass the utmost limits of your understandings? And is not the joy you feel unspeakable? Is it not full of glory? I am persuaded it is; and in your secret communion, when the Lord's love flows in upon your souls, you are as it were swallowed up in, or, to use the apostle's phrase, 'Filled with all the fullness of God'. Are not you ready to cry out with Solomon, 'And will the Lord, indeed, dwell thus with men!' How is it that we should be thus thy sons and daughters, O Lord God Almighty!

If you are children of God, and know what it is to have fellowship with the Father and the Son; if you walk by faith, and not by sight; I am assured this is frequently the language of your hearts.

But look forward, and see an unbounded prospect of eternal happiness lying before thee, O believer! what thou hast already received are only the first-fruits, like the cluster of grapes brought out of the land of Canaan; only an earnest and pledge of yet infinitely better things to come: the harvest is to follow; thy grace is hereafter to be swallowed up in glory. Thy great Joshua, and merciful High-Priest, shall administer an abundant entrance to thee into the land of promise, that rest which awaits the children of God: for Christ is not only made to believers wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, but also REDEMPTION.

But, before we enter upon the explanation and contemplation of this privilege,

FIRSTLY, Learn hence the great mistake of those writers and clergy, who, notwithstanding they talk of sanctification and inward holiness, (as indeed sometimes they do, though in a very loose and superficial manner,) yet they generally make it the CAUSE, whereas they should consider it as the EFFECT, of our justification. 'Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, (and then) sanctification.' For Christ's righteousness, or that which Christ has done in our stead without us, is the sole cause of our acceptance in the sight of God, and of all holiness wrought in us: to this, and not to the light within, or any thing wrought within, should poor sinners seek for justification in the sight of God: for the sake of Christ's righteousness alone, and not any thing wrought in us, does God look favorably upon us; our sanctification at best, in this life, is not complete: though we be delivered from the power, we are not freed from the in-being of sin; but not only the dominion, but the in-being of sin, is forbidden, by the perfect law of God: for it is not said, thou shalt not give way to lust, but 'Thou shalt not lust'. So that whilst the principle of lust remains in the least degree in our hearts, though we are otherwise never so holy, yet we cannot, on account of that, hope for acceptance with God. We must first, therefore, look for a righteousness without us, even the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ: for this reason the apostle mentions it, and puts it before sanctification, in the words of the text. And whosoever teacheth any other doctrine, doth not preach the truth as it is in Jesus.

SECONDLY, From hence also, the Antinomians and formal hypocrites may be confuted, who talk of Christ without, but know nothing, experimentally, of a work of sanctification wrought within them. Whatever they may pretend to, since Christ is not in them, the Lord is not their righteousness, and they have no well-grounded hope of glory: for though sanctification is not the cause, yet it is the effect of our acceptance with God; 'Who of God is made unto us righteousness and sanctification'. He, therefore, that is really in Christ, is a new creature; it is not going back to a covenant of works, to look into our hearts, and, seeing that they are changed and renewed, from thence form a comfortable and well grounded assurance of the safety of our states: no, but this I what we are directed to in scripture; by our bringing forth the fruits, we are to judge whether or no we ever did truly partake of the Spirit of God. 'We know (says John) that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.' And however we may talk of Christ's righteousness, and exclaim against legal preachers, yet, if we be not holy in heart and life, if we be not sanctified and renewed by the Spirit in our minds, we are self-deceivers, we are only formal hypocrites: for we must not put asunder what God has joined together; we must keep the medium between the two extremes; not insist so much on the one hand upon Christ without, as to exclude Christ within, as an evidence of our being his, and as a preparation for future happiness; nor, on the other hand, so depend on inherent righteousness or holiness wrought in us, as to exclude the righteousness of Jesus Christ without us. But,

4: THIRDLY, Let us now go on, and take a view of the other link, or rather the end, of the believer's golden chain or privileges, REDEMPTION. But we must look very high; for the top of it, like Jacob's ladder, reaches heaven, where all believers will ascend, and be placed at the right hand of God. 'Who of God is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and REDEMPTION.'

This is a golden chain indeed! and, what is best of all, not one link can ever be broken asunder from another. Was there no other text in the book of God, this single one sufficiently proves the final perseverance of true believers: or never did God yet justify a man, whom he did not sanctify; nor sanctify one, whom he did not completely redeem and glorify: no! as for God, his way, his works, is perfect; he always carried on and finished the work he begun; thus it was in the first, so it is in the new creation; when God says, 'Let there be light', there is light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day, when believers enter into their eternal rest, as God entered into his. Those whom God has justified, he has in effect glorified: for as a man's worthiness was not the cause of God's giving him Christ's righteousness; so neither shall his unworthiness be a cause of his taking it away; God's gifts and callings are without repentance: and I cannot think they are clear in the notion of Christ's righteousness, who deny the final perseverance of the saints; I fear they understand justification in that low sense, which I understood it in a few years ago, as implying no more than remission of sins: but it not only signifies remission of sins past, but also a FEDERAL RIGHT to all good things to come. If God has given us his only Son, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? Therefore, the apostle, after he says, 'Who of God is made unto us righteousness', does not say, perhaps he may be made to us sanctification and redemption: but, 'He is made': for there is an eternal, indissoluble connection between these blessed privileges. As the obedience of Christ is imputed to believers, so his perseverance in that obedience is to be imputed to them also; and it argues great ignorance of the covenant of grace and redemption, to object against it.

By the word REDEMPTION, we are to understand, not only a complete deliverance from all evil, but also a full enjoyment of all good both in body and soul: I say, both in body and soul; for the Lord is also for the body; the bodies of the saints in this life are temples of the Holy Ghost; God makes a covenant with the dust of believers; after death, though worms destroy them, yet, even in their flesh shall they see God. I fear, indeed, there are some Sadducees in our days, or at least heretics, who say, either, that there is no resurrection of the body, or that the resurrection is past already, namely, in our regeneration: Hence it is, that our Lord's coming in the flesh, at the day of judgment, is denied; and consequently, we must throw aside the sacrament of the Lord's supper. For why should we remember the Lord's death until he come to judgment, when he is already come to judge our hearts, and will not come a second time? But all this is only the reasoning of unlearned, unstable men, who certainly know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm. That we must follow our Lord in the regeneration, be partakers of a new birth, and that Christ must come into our hearts, we freely confess; and we hope, when speaking of these things, we speak no more than what we know and feel: but then it is plain, that Jesus Christ will come, hereafter, to judgment, and that he ascended into heaven with the body which he had here on earth; for says he, after his resurrection, 'Handle me, and see; a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have'. And it is plain, that Christ's resurrection was an earnest of ours: for says the apostle, 'Christ is risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that sleep; and as in Adam all die, and are subject to mortality; so all that are in Christ, the second Adam, who represented believers as their federal head, shall certainly be made alive, or rise again with their bodies at the last day'.

Here then, O believers! is one, though the lowest, degree of that redemption which you are to be partakers of hereafter; I mean, the redemption of your bodies: for this corruptible must put on incorruption, this mortal must put on immortality. Your bodies, as well as souls, were given to Jesus Christ by the Father; they have been companions in watching, and fasting, and praying: your bodies, therefore, as well as souls, shall Jesus Christ raise up at the last day. Fear not, therefore, O believers, to look into the grave: for to you it is not other than a consecrated dormitory, where your bodies shall sleep quietly until the morning of the resurrection; when the voice of the archangel shall sound, and the trump of God given the general alarm, 'Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment'; earth, air, fire, water, shall give up your scattered atoms, and both in body and soul shall you be ever with the Lord. I doubt not, but many of you are groaning under crazy bodies, and complain often that the mortal body weighs down the immortal soul; at least this is my case; but let us have a little patience, and we shall be delivered from our earthly prisons; ere long, these tabernacles of clay shall be dissolved, and we shall be clothed with our house which is from heaven; hereafter, our bodies shall be spiritualized, and shall be so far from hindering our souls through weakness, that they shall become strong; so strong, as to bear up under an exceeding and eternal weight of glory; others again may have deformed bodies, emaciated also with sickness, and worn out with labor at age; but wait a little, until your blessed change by death comes; then your bodies shall be renewed and made glorious, like unto Christ's glorious body: of which we may form some faint idea, from the account given us of our Lord's transfiguration on the mount, when it is said, 'His raiment became bright and glistening, and his face brighter than the sun'. Well then may a believer break out in the apostle's triumphant language, 'O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory!'

But what is the redemption of the body, in comparison of the redemption of the better part, our souls? I must, therefore say to you believers, as the angel said to John, 'Come up higher'; and let us take as clear a view as we can, at such a distance, of the redemption Christ has purchased for, and will shortly put you in actual possession of. Already you are justified, already you are sanctified, and thereby freed from the guilt and dominion of sin: but, as I have observed, the being and indwelling of sin yet remains in you; God sees it proper to leave some Amalekites in the land, to keep his Israel in action. The most perfect Christian, I am persuaded, must agree, according to one of our Articles, 'That the corruption of nature remains even in the regenerate; that the flesh lusteth always against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh'. So that believers cannot do things for God with that perfection they desire; this grieves their righteous souls day by day, and, with the holy apostle, makes them cry out, 'Who shall deliver us from the body of this death!' I thank God, our Lord Jesus Christ will, but not completely before the day of our dissolution; they will the very being of sin be destroyed, and an eternal stop put to inbred, indwelling corruption. And is not this a great redemption? I am sure believers esteem it so: for there is nothing grieves the heart of a child of God so much, as the remains of indwelling sin. Again, believers are often in heaviness through manifold temptations; God sees that it is needful and good for them so to be; and though they may be highly favored, and wrapt up in communion with God, even to the third heavens; yet a messenger of Satan is often sent to buffet them, lest they should be puffed up with the abundance of revelations. But be not weary, be not faint in your minds: the time of your complete redemption draweth nigh. In heaven the wicked one shall cease from troubling you, and your weary souls shall enjoy an everlasting rest; his fiery darts cannot reach those blissful regions: Satan will never come any more to appear with, disturb, or accuse the sons of God, when once the Lord Jesus Christ shuts the door. Your righteous souls are now grieved, day by day, at the ungodly conversation of the wicked; tares now grow up among the wheat; wolves come in sheep's clothing: but the redemption spoken of in the text, will free your souls from all anxiety on these accounts; hereafter you shall enjoy a perfect communion of saints; nothing that is unholy or unsanctified shall enter into the holy of holies, which is prepared for you above: this, and all manner of evil whatsoever, you shall be delivered from, when your redemption is hereafter made complete in heaven; not only so, but you shall enter into the full enjoyment of all good. It is true, all saints will not have the same degree of happiness, but all will be as happy as their hearts can desire. Believers, you shall judge the evil, and familiarly converse with good, angels: you shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the spirits of just men made perfect; and, to sum up all your happiness in one word, you shall see God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and, by seeing God, be more and more like unto him, and pass from glory to glory, even to all eternity.

But I must stop the glories of the upper world crowd in so fast upon my soul, that I am lost in the contemplation of them. Brethren, the redemption spoken of is unutterable; we cannot here find it out; eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of the most holy men living to conceive, how great it is. Were I to entertain you whole ages with an account of it, when you come to heaven, you must say, with the queen of Sheba, 'Not half, no, not one thousandth part was told us'. All we can do here, is to go upon mount Pisgah, and, by the eye of faith, take a distant view of the promised land: we may see it, as Abraham did Christ, afar off, and rejoice in it; but here we only know in part. Blessed be God, there is a time coming, when we shall know God, even as we are known, and God be all in all. Lord Jesus, accomplish the number of thine elect! Lord Jesus, hasten thy kingdom!

And now, where are the scoffers of these last days, who count the lives of Christians to be madness, and their end to be without honor? Unhappy men! you know not what you do. Were your eyes open, and had you senses to discern spiritual things, you would not speak all manner of evil against the children of God, but you would esteem them as the excellent ones of the earth, and envy their happiness: your souls would hunger and thirst after it: you also would become fools for Christ's sake. You boast of wisdom; so did the philosophers of Corinth: but your wisdom is the foolishness of folly in the sight of God. What will your wisdom avail you, if it does not make you wise unto salvation? Can you, with all your wisdom, propose a more consistent scheme to build you hopes of salvation on, than what has been now laid before you? Can you, with all the strength of natural reason, find out a better way of acceptance with God, than by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it right to think your own works can in any measure deserve or procure it? If not, why will you not believe in him? Why will you not submit to his righteousness? Can you deny that you are fallen creatures? Do not you find that you are full of disorders, and that these disorders make you unhappy? Do not you find that you cannot change your own hearts? Have you not resolved many and many a time, and have not your corruptions yet dominion over you? Are you not bondslaves to your lusts, and led captive by the devil at his will? Why then will you not come to Christ for sanctification? Do you not desire to die the death of the righteous, and that your future state may be like theirs; I am persuaded you cannot bear the thoughts of being annihilated, much less of being miserable for ever. Whatever you may pretend, if you speak truth, you must confess, that conscience breaks in upon you in more sober intervals whether you will or not, and even constrains you to believe that hell is no painted fire. And why then will you not come to Christ? He alone can procure you everlasting redemption. Haste, haste away to him, poor beguiled sinners. You lack wisdom; ask it of Christ. Who knows but he may give it you? He is able: for he is the wisdom of the Father; he is that wisdom which was from everlasting. You have no righteousness; away, therefore, to Christ: 'He is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.' You are unholy: flee to the Lord Jesus: He is full of grace and truth; ;and of his fullness all may receive that believe in him. You are afraid to die; let this drive you to Christ: he has the keys of death and hell: in him is plenteous redemption; he alone can open the door which leads to everlasting life.

Let not, therefore, the deceived reasoner boast any longer of his pretended reason. Whatever you may think, it is the most unreasonable thing in the world not to believe on Jesus Christ, whom God has sent. Why, why will you die? Why will you not come unto him, that you may have life? 'Ho! every one that thirsteth, come unto the waters of life, and drink freely: come, buy without money and without price.' Were these blessed privileges in the text to be purchased with money, you might say, we are poor, and cannot buy: or, were they to be conferred only on sinners of such a rank or degree, then you might say, how can such sinners as we, expect to be so highly favored? But they are to be freely given of God to the worst of sinners. 'To us', says the apostle, to me a persecutor, to you Corinthians, who were 'unclean, drunkards, covetous persons, idolaters.' Therefore, each poor sinner may say then, why not unto me? Has Christ but one blessing? What if he has blessed millions already, by turning them away from their iniquities; yet he still continues the same: he lives for ever to make intercession, and therefore will bless you, even you also. Though, Esau-like, you have been profane, and hitherto despised your heavenly Father's birth-right; even now, if you believe, 'Christ will be made to you of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption'.

But I must turn again to believers, for whose instruction, as I observed before, this discourse was particularly intended. You see, brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, what great blessings are treasured up for you in Jesus Christ your Head, and what you are entitled to by believing on his name. Take heed, therefore, that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Think often how highly you are favored; and remember, you have not chosen Christ, but Christ has chosen you. Put on (as the elect of God) humbleness of mind, and glory, but let it be only in the Lord; for you have nothing but what you have received of God. By nature ye were foolish, as legal, as unholy, and in as damnable a condition, as others. Be pitiful, therefore, be courteous; and, as sanctification is a progressive work, beware of thinking you have already attained. Let him that is holy be holy still; knowing, that he who is most pure in heart, shall hereafter enjoy the clearest vision of God. Let indwelling sin be your daily burden; and not only bewail and lament, but see that you subdue it daily by the power of divine grace; and look up to Jesus continually to be the finisher, as well as author, of your faith. Build not on your own faithfulness, but on God's unchangeableness. Take heed of thinking you stand by the power of your own free will. The everlasting love of God the Father, must be your only hope and consolation; let this support you under all trials. Remember that God's gifts and callings are without repentance; that Christ having once loved you, will love you to the end. Let this constrain you to obedience, and make you long and look for that blessed time, when he shall not only be your wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, but also complete and everlasting redemption.

Glory be to God in the highest!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

This season of the year, much is said about the birth of Christ. There are manger scenes on lawns of homes, churches, parks, etc... Some good Christmas hymns, and carols are played on the radio, and in the shopping malls, among the more jolly and frivolous music, and largely meaningless songs that are also played. Some of those hymns have a wonderful message. I am speaking of Joy to the World, written by Isaac Watts in 1719; Away in a Manger, called Martin Luther‘s Cradle Hymn, but likely written by James R. Murray 1887; Silent Night by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr 1816-1820; and Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Charles Wesley, 1739, with  music by Felix Mendelssohn, 1840. These, and some others, at least touch on the reason for Christ’s birth. So much that we see and hear during the Christmas season is void of any real mention of Jesus Christ. Instead, there is stuff about Santa Claus, presents, decorations, Christmas parties with drinking (and God knows what else!) People are scrambling to buy gifts (often people are charging things on credit cards that they cannot afford).
There is a lot about Christmas activity for the true Christian not to like. Much that we cannot partake of, in good conscience. Remember, the Puritans did not celebrate Christmas, as well as many other Christians of the past, and the situation was not as extreme as it is now. Be that as it may, I am not writing this to condemn Christmas. It likely would do no good; it is here to stay. But if we are going to observe any of it, we should know what it purports to represent. I hope to stir your conscience to put Christ first.

Several things: First We know Christ was born, in Bethlehem, in a manger; that shepherds were told by the angels, and came to see Him. Second We know that wise men of the East sought him, went to Herod to enquire, which set Herod off on a quest to kill this King whom he feared may take his throne. Third We know that his parents were from Nazareth; that He was born of a virgin, so though Mary was His mother, Joseph was not His real father. Fourth His real father was Almighty God. Most of us have, at least, heard these things about Jesus (whether we believe them or not).

Here is something you may not have heard. Christ did not begin life at Bethlehem. He did not begin to be the Son of God at Bethlehem. He is the Eternal Son, having always been so. Neither was the Holy Spirit a created being; He is God, and has always been so. Three Gods, you say? No! it is beyond our human understanding, but this God we serve has always been one God in three persons, or as The Philadelphia Confession of Faith of 1742 declares: 
 3. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided: the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him.
(1 John 5:7; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Exod. 3:14; John 14:11; I Cor. 8:6; John 1:14,18; John 15:26; Gal. 4:6)

(This is identical with the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. The Westminster Confession (Presbyterian) of 1647 is almost identical on this portion except it says persons).
Checking the words persons and subsistences, I favor subsistences as being more correct. Remember though, we are speaking of the mystery of godliness, and what mere creature can fully grasp these truths? “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)
In the Incarnation, as traditionally defined, the divine nature of the Son was joined, but not mixed, with human nature in one divine Person, Jesus Christ, who was both "truly God and truly man". The Incarnation is commemorated and celebrated each year at Christmas. That is what it is really supposed to be about. It’s not about Santa Claus; presents, parties, revelry and holiday. It is supposed to be about the incarnation of the Son of God. As John Gill (1697-1771), stated:

"The incarnation of Christ is a most extraordinary and amazing affair; it is wonderful indeed, that the eternal Son of God should become man; that he should be born of a pure virgin, without any concern of man in it; that this should be brought about by the power of the Holy Ghost, in a way unseen, imperceptible and unknown, signified by his overshadowing; and all this in order to effect the most wonderful work that ever was done in the world, the redemption and salvation of men: it is a most mysterious thing, incomprehensible by men, and not to be accounted for upon the principles of natural reason; and is only to be believed and embraced upon the credit of divine revelation, to which it solely belongs." From John Gill; Incarnation of Christ ; Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book 5 Chapter 1.

Philippians 2:7a tells us “But (Christ) made himself of no reputation” (Greek κενόω  ἑαυτοῦ =
emptied Himself). He emptied Himself of rights and privileges He had as King of Glory to come here and die for our sins. Hymn writer Charles Wesley in his great song  And Can It Be That I  Should Gain? says that Christ emptied Himself  “of all but Love”. Can that be? I told you already that what He did cannot be fathomed by finite, human minds. Oh, What a saviour! We observe that Matthew and Luke tell us more about His birth, and where He was born. John gets right down to who He is; Incarnate Deity! Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!  Do you know Him? Do you worship Him? Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess Him to be Lord. Have you done that yet? Bow down before Him, love and adore Him! He is Lord and Christ!

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This is not new. I placed it here over two years ago. This time I wanted to call your attention to it. These words concern the most important person in history. It is about the one that God had promised to send to redeem men and women from their sins. All the lambs slain in the Old Testament could never take away one sin. They were all a picture; a type, pointing to the only savior and redeemer. The One whose birth that we say we are remembering this next month. The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to tell you about Him with the hope that He will speak to you and call you to Himself. Without Him you have no hope of Salvation!

                                              THE TRUE MESSIAH
One of the greatest musical blessings to me is George Frederick Handel’s Messiah. The greatest blessing in the universe is the one of whom Handel wrote; the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible word Messiah is the Hebrew word משׁיח (mashiyack, which means in English anointed). The word Messiah is found four times in the King James Version. That’s twice in the Old Testament; Daniel 9:25, 26, as Messiah the Prince, and twice in the New Testament; John 1:41 and John 4:25 as Messias, a Greek variation.

“The word Christ is a Greek word, Χριστός (Christos), also signifying anointed. Hence, Jesus is called either the Messiah, or the Christ, meaning the same thing. The Jews speak of the Messiah; Christians speak of him as the Christ. In ancient times, when kings and priests were set apart to their office, they were anointed with oil (see Leviticus 4:3, 6:20.Also see 1Samuel 9:16, 15:1).To anoint, therefore, means often the same as to consecrate, or to set apart to an office. Hence, those thus set apart are said to be anointed, or to be the anointed of God. It is for this reason that the name is given to the Lord Jesus. He was set apart by God to be the King, and High Priest, and Prophet of his people. Anointing with oil was, moreover, supposed to be emblematic of the influences of the Holy Spirit; and since God gave him the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), so he is especially called the Anointed of God” (Albert Barnes commenting on Matthew 1:1; some emphasis mine cw).
                                           CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH
The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation (300-200 BC), of the Old Testament uses Christos for Messiah in the verses in Daniel. As I said, Messiah and Christ are one and the same. The woman at the well said “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:25,26)). When Simon Peter says in Matthew 16:16, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (by the way, almost all English versions agree with that wording), he was in essence saying “You are the Messiah, God’s anointed that should come”. John 1:41 says that Peter’s brother, Andrew, had told him “We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted , the Christ.”

The Jews were looking for the Messiah to come, and expected Him to be a warrior that would overthrow their enemies. Of course He did not come on the scene in that manner. They expected the Lion of Judah and instead He came as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist saw Him as the Lamb of God when he first saw Him. Later, as John the Baptist was in prison, he sent followers to ask “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”(Matthew 11:3) Many think John had let human doubt discourage him. Remember, John was Jesus’ cousin, also a Jew, and perhaps he also thought that the Messiah was going to be more “lion-like” after he became well known. When He returns, He will come as the Lion, in all His fury toward His enemies in the lost world.

Although the word Messiah is only used twice in the OT, there are many more references that pointed to the coming of Messiah; some veiled and some not. Isaiah 7:14 is very striking “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. Then the verse is repeated in Matthew 1:23 with the interpretation “Which being interpreted is, God with us”. Messiah is God with us. Messiah the Prince is the Prince of Peace found in Isaiah 9:6. The “Jehovah who became our salvation” (y’shuah), in Isaiah 12:2 is the Messiah. The names Joshua, Jehoshua and Yeshua all mean salvation. Jesus means salvation. Joseph was told by the angel “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

                                                MESSIAH IS THE LORD
Simeon understood exactly who He was as he waited for His birth “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ”(Luke 2:25,26). The Lord’s Christ, or anointed mean the same thing: Messiah, the One whom all Israel was expecting. Simeon and all devout Jews were looking for Him (as devout Christians are to be looking for Him in our day). He came then, born in Bethlehem, and many Jews at first received Him. Later, the Jews mostly rejected Christ, and it was mostly Gentiles who received Him. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11,12).

Paul states in 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” No doubt he speaks of Messiah. Thomas, when He was confronted with the resurrected Christ exclaimed “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). He knew this One was Messiah!

John the beloved said: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (John 1:17.18. He absolutely knew this is Messiah! Now alive forevermore!

Nathanael understood exactly who HE was when he “answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49. The point is, this is the One Israel later rejected, as many reject Him today. He was, and is, the Messiah of Israel, the Christ of God, God manifested in the flesh. There will be no other. He says “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).

Friend, you must look to Jesus the Messiah, or be eternally lost. That is not my word, but God’s.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1Thessalonians 5:18)

We are approaching Thanksgiving Day. Of all holidays, I think Thanksgiving to be the most authentic.
Oh, I know some of the problems such as various activities men have incorporated such as football,
parties, big movie openings, and overall a big holiday, while preparing for shopping on “Black Friday”,
That’s the day merchants live for all year that will put their revenues “in the black” as they kick off
Christmas sales in earnest (though the Christmas merchandising began with some stores in late August).

But the core of the holiday is good. It was started long ago at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Commercialization was certainly not the goal of the first Thanksgiving back in Plymouth colony in the
autumn of 1621. (Click here for an interesting, concise, account of Thanksgiving Day’s history).
http://wilstar.com/holidays/thankstr.htm     Some of the stories written about Plymouth, the Pilgrims, and
even the Mayflower totally ignore the religious aspect of it all in keeping with today’s totally insane
“political correctness”. But the fact is, the Pilgrims, who were English Puritan separatists, came to
America to find freedom to worship God Almighty. They had been persecuted in England; disappointed
in the general carnality of Dutch life, even though they had more freedom after going to Holland. So
they contracted a sailing vessel to strike out for the new world with a hope of freely serving God, and
building their own society here. That was the real beginning of the United States of America.

The Mayflower Compact, which they drew up on the way over, is one of the bedrocks of America’s
foundation, for they set up a “civil body politick” which was the first sort of a “declaration of
independence”. It expressed their determination to govern themselves under God, with due allegiance
to the British government. It begins unlike any secular document, with these words “In ye name of
God, amen”
. It is the root of our Declaration of Independence. It was a true Christian foundation.

Thus it began, and upon arrival in the new world they landed briefly at Cape Cod, finally settled at
Plymouth Rock in 1620, and after losing 46 of the original 102 passengers, the rest struggled to survive.
They were provided help by the local native Indians. One year later they gathered all over the colony for
meals shared with the native Wampanoag. It lasted for several days straight, giving thanks and
remembrance of God’s blessings on them all. It did not become a tradition until a few years later (more
online info about this first feast).   http://www.theholidayspot.com/thanksgiving/history.htm 

In fact, there is no other nation on earth that had a founding in the same way as the United States. Think
about it. The Pilgrims were searching for a place to worship the Lord without persecution. They prayed
much about it. The Lord led them here. They had to come by faith. They left their homeland and came to
the shores of New England, not knowing from one day to the next how they would survive. It was hard,
but God enabled them. Over the years it is clear that God guided this nation in many ways giving it 

strength which could have come from nowhere else.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to see her fall now, after all these years? There has been a decline of the spiritual
life here, especially in the last 75 years. Does that mean it is too late? I think not, but time is running out. 
It will take an act of God to revive America, but the same God who gave her life can revive her, if it be
His will. I pray that it is, and that He will.

I have been reading about one great revival in America; The Great Awakening in the 18th century. It was
truly remarkable. The breath of God appeared in the effort which began in Massachusetts. There was
much opposition, but God prevailed, and many were saved. The land was affected by it. As it happened
before the revolution, it was likely the spark of the revolution. It gave it life and breath. There were other
awakenings in our land. God’s hand is not shortened that He cannot reach out and save. His breath is not
shut off that He cannot blow it upon a barren land. His word is still true. Let’s cry unto Him for life! I
believe that without God’s help, all is lost here. Unless He hears us, we are doomed! Please take
advantage of this Thanksgiving Day to beseech God for a turning in our land. Cry to Him for mercy for
yourself, and your loved ones, and your land. He is a merciful God who will hear us if we cry!

I usually cover this history each year, because I find it so fascinating. I want others to see it, and begin
enjoying the celebration of it. It actually has more for me to commend than any other holiday that we
have in America. Just the matter of fact way that we simply may gather to worship and be thankful
moves me. I know that most do not do this, be we do, and I believe we should. Our scripture says  

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 
This is so striking. It tells us simply, and clearly, that God is running things in His world that He made. 
He says that it is His will that we thank Him for His control and for His provision. We should thank Him
for His will in Christ Jesus concerning us. Were it not for God, we would all be lost. Because of his grace 
we have eternal redemption in Jesus Christ. Because of Him we are saved from sin and hell. It
involves nothing that we did, but all accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. We must 
praise Him for this!

Things I am thankful for include:
-My dear wife of almost 50 years, and how she has been faithful and true.
-My four children, three of which survive. All have declared faith in Christ.
-My twelve grandchildren. I love them; they are all precious to me.
-Our church where Christ is preached, and the brothers and sisters there.
-The renewed ministry God has given me in writing and pulpit, and for its fruit.
-Many brothers and sisters in various places who pray for me and give support.
-A land that still has much freedom, though it is being undermined greatly.
-I am thankful for generally good health for my wife and myself.
-The graciousness and mercy of God for every day which we live.

These are just a few of the many things for which I thank God. As you enjoy this Thanksgiving,
hopefully with your family, take time to reflect on the mercies of God in your own life, as well
as a prayer for our nation and its future, and the cause of God and truth in Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is coming again soon. Help prepare your family and friends to be ready to meet Him.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Monday, November 14, 2011



(Here is a great example of the smaller work done by this dear man. A tract which, while one of many, was outstanding. it makes one think, which is exactly what a tract should do. I pray that it causes you to examine yourself under God's great light. My He cause you turn to Him this day. Amen!)

When we were in Venice we purchased a few curiosities, and finding them burdensome, we thought of sending them home by one of the English vessels lying in the Canal. We went out in a gondola with our box, and having asked for the captain of one of the vessels, we put to him the question, “Will you take a box for us to London, and what is the charge?” His reply was very ready, “I can’t say till I know what’s in it, for I don’t want to get into trouble.” A very common sense answer indeed; we admired its caution and honesty.
What a pity that men do not exercise as much care in spiritual matters, as to what they will receive or reject. Dear reader, in these times there are thousands of bad books published, and herds of bad teachers sent forth to deceive the unwary; you must be on your guard, lest you be led into error. Take nothing for granted, inquire into things for yourself, and try every new doctrine and professedly old doctrine too, by the Word of God. You may take contraband goods on board before you are aware of it; keep both eyes open, watch and examine, and when a thing is pressed upon you, find out what’s in it. Do not believe all a man says because he is a clergyman, or eloquent, or learned, or even because he is kind and generous. Bring all to the bar of Holy Scripture, and if they cannot stand the test, receive them not, whatever their bold pretenses.

But reader is your own present religion good for anything? Do you know what’s in it, and what it is made of? May it not be mischievous and false? Search thyself, and do not take a hope into thy soul till thou knowest what it is made of. The devil and his allies will try to trick you into carrying their wares, but be warned in time, and reject their vile devices. The finished work of Jesus received by faith is “a good hope through grace,” and there is no other. Hast thou it? or art thou foolishly looking to another? The Lord lead you away from all else to Jesus. Whatever may be the ground of trust which men may offer you, take care to KNOW WHAT’S IN IT before you accept it.
No. 19.—Sword and Trowel Tracts, by C. H. SPURGEON.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


                                                TROUBLES AND BLESSINGS
                                                                            by W. F. Bell

I just read about a father who kept a pickle jar in his bedroom to save coins in for his son to get to go to college.  I will not relate that story here, but some quotes at the end of the story I will share, plus a few others.  May we be reminded of how blessed we are in America.  For those of us who have visited other countries not as blessed as ours -- after staying with foreign people in their homes -- we realize we should never complain again!  Think about that, and here are the quotes:

"Sometimes we are so busy adding  up our troubles, that we forget to count our blessings."

 "Never underestimate the power of your actions.  With one small gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse."

"God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some small way."

"You may now be passing through the furnace; you may now be draining adversity's bitter cup; friends unkind, the world empty, every thing earthly failing, faith weak, corruptions strong; but still your omnipresent Christ is with you!  Do not be cast down!"  (Octavius Winslow)

"It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us.  Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way.  So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life."  (Charles Spurgeon)

             "For He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

I pray that this "small gesture" sent your way today may bless you and change you "for better," to God's glory.

                                     CHURCH BULLETIN BOARDS
Signs we often see on church bulletin boards, how true are they? I suppose most have at least an element of truth. Some only need a little exposition such as:
“Prayer Changes Things”- It certainly does for the pray-er. That is, from our earthly point of view it does. From God’s heavenly point of view it does not. We do not change God’s mind, or anything about Him. “I am the Lord, I change not--- “(Malachi 3:6a) “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.” Arthur W. Pink

“Jesus Saves”- You can bank on it! There has never been a sinner who really wanted to be saved, that cannot be saved. What about someone who has committed the unpardonable sin? Such a person that attributes the working of the Holy Spirit to Satan (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit), cannot be saved, and does not want to be saved. Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)  “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”(Acts 2:21)

“Make Jesus Lord of your life”- This is a good thing, but YOU can’t do it! As the late Rolfe Barnard used to say, “God has beat you to it.” He has already been made Lord. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) All any of us can do as lost sinners, is come to Him and confess Him as Lord. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (lit. Jesus as Lord), and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

“God is My Co-Pilot- Change Seats!”- That last part of the phrase is an improvement over the slogan from the old World War Two movie from 1945 “God is My Co-Pilot.” Actually in reality God IS the pilot of life’s journey for us all. “In whom also we have obtained and inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Ephesians 1:11)

“No God- No Peace: Know God- Know Peace” A lot of truth here. “There is no peace saith my God to the wicked.”(Isaiah 57:21) In contrast: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“Come on In, It’s Cool Inside.” Sounds like a good idea in this hot weather, but you should be careful about what kind of church you get involved with. The gospel is NOT preached in a lot of them. I’d rather pick up a live rattlesnake than go in some of them. On second thought- they have some churches around here that will provide the live rattler!  (compiled by Charles Woodruff)

                                 TAKE GOOD ADVICE FROM PAST LEADERS
         In perilous times such as these, we might do well to read the                                   words of two past leaders of our country. 

         "There are great problems before the American people.There are problems which            will need purity of spirit and an integrity of purpose such as have never been            called for before in the history of this country."
 "I should be afraid to go forward if I did not believe that there lay at the foundation of all our schooling and of all our thought this incomparable and unimpeachable Word of God."
"If we cannot derive our strength thence, there is no source from which we can derive it, and so I would bid you go from this place, if I may, inspired once more with the feeling that the Providence of God is the foundation of affairs, and that only those can guide, and only those can follow, who take this Providence of God from the sources where it is authentically interpreted."
"I beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God, I ascribe to Bible study the help and strength which I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials, in various ways, than I had ever had before; and after having now above fourteen years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it."
"A soul that has been refreshed and made happy early in the morning meets the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day with a power how different from that of one that has had no "spiritual preparation.”
-Woodrow Wilson- from a booklet published in 1918

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if one sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

-Part of a statement by Benjamin Franklin at the framing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia, June 28, 1787.

                                  WHAT IF I FIND HYPOCRISY IN ME?   
                                  By Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

WELL, dear friends, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we peace towards God; but if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knoweth all things (1John 3:20). Let us confess to Him all past failures. And though we may not be conscious of hypocrisy, yet, let us say, "Lord, search and try me, and know my ways; see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:24)... .I have great confidence in the sincerity of any Christian man who says habitually and truthfully, "Lord, let me know the very worst of my case, whatever it is; even if all my fair prospects and bright ideals should be but dreams, the fabric of a vision... so be it; only let me know the truth. Lead me in a plain path; let me be sincere before thee, 0h thou heart-searching, rein-trying God!" Let us with such frank candor, such ingenuous simplicity come before the Lord. Let as many of us as fear the Lord and distrust ourselves take refuge in His omniscience against the jealousies and suspicions which haunt our own breasts. 

And let us do better still: let us hasten anew to the cross of Jesus and thus end our difficulties by accepting afresh the sinners' Savior. When I have a knot to untie as to my evidence of being a child of God, and I cannot untie it, I usually follow Alexander [the Great's] example with the Gordian knot and cut it. How cut it? Why, in this way: "Thou sayest, 0h conscience, this is wrong, and thus is wrong. Thou sayest, 0h Satan, thy faith is a delusion, thy experience a fiction, thy profession a lie. Be it so then, I will not dispute it, I end that matter. If I am no saint, I am a sinner; there can be no doubt about that! The devil himself is defied to question that.  

Then it is written that 'Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners,' and to sinners is the Gospel preached. 'He that believeth on him is not condemned.' I do believe on Him. If I never did before, I will now; and all my transgressions are therefore blotted out! And now, Lord, grant me grace to begin again; and from this time forth let me live the life of faith, the life of prayer. Let me be one of those who will pray always, let me be one of those who will pray when they are dying, having prayed all their lives." Prayer is our very life: ceasing prayer we cease to live. As long as we are here preserved in spiritual life, we must pray. Lord, grant it may be so with each one here present, through the power of Thy Spirit and the merit of Jesus' blood. Amen and Amen!!

      (Compiled by Charles Woodruff------oursong2000@yahoo.Com)