Daily Blessings

“Until the redemption of the purchased possession.”

~ Eph 1:14

The Church has been redeemed by price, but is not as yet fully redeemed by power. Christ has bought with his precious blood both the souls and bodies of his people, but he has not yet redeemed them openly. This redemption is still future, and will not be accomplished until the glorious resurrection morn, when the bodies of the dead saints will be raised, and the bodies of the living saints changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. This, therefore, is “the redemption of the purchased possession;” and this being future we have to wait for it, as the Apostle speaks, “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25).

Our body is not yet redeemed from its native corruption. But, in the resurrection morn, when the dead will be raised incorruptible, then the redemption of the body will be complete. Then the inheritance will be fully entered into. The risen and glorified saints will inherit Christ, and Christ will inherit them; and his purchased possession will be forever delivered from every foe and every fear, from every sin and every sorrow, from every corruption of body or soul, and be crowned with an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Unto this day of redemption the Holy Spirit seals all the living family of God (Ephes. 4:30), not only by assuring them of their saving interest in the inheritance, and himself being the earnest of it, but as thereby securing to them the most certain possession of it.

Daily Blessings

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; Behold, your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

~ Isa 35:4

“Behold, your God will come.” The Lord then has not yet come; but he says he will come, and the promise of his coming takes away the fear. He says, “Behold.” Even that little word contains something in it noteworthy. The Lord is in the distance; his chariot is making ready; for “he makes the clouds his chariot, and walks upon the wings of the wind.” As the Lord said to his disciples, “Lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near,” so by the word, “Behold,” the Lord would take the eyes of his people from being ever bent on the ground or ever looking at their own miserable hearts and the difficulties and dangers of the way. “Look up,” he would say, “look up; your God is coming to save you.”

I like to dwell on every crumb as it were of our text. The jots and tittles of God’s word, like diamond dust, are to be gathered up and treasured. In Scripture there is much in a little; not like our sermons, where there is often little in much. The word of God is full to overflowing with the very essence of concentrated truth. Look at the next crumb. Is it not the very quintessence of blessedness? “Your God.” What, is he your God? That is the very dropping of everlasting love. In that one word is concentrated the essence of every blessing of the new covenant. And if God is your God, your doubts, fears, and misgivings do not break that sacred covenant tie.

You are a husband, and your partner is afflicted with some mental disease; and the nature of the complaint may be such that she hardly recognizes your face, altogether doubts your affection, and does not believe you are her husband at all. Such cases we know are frequent. But do her doubts or denial dissolve your love, do they cancel the marriage tie? The state of her mind, however painful, does not alter the marriage relationship. So if the Lord’s espoused ones, through Satan’s temptations, doubt their union with him, do their fears break the wedding ring or cancel the marriage writings? If covenant love matched them in eternity, and covenant grace joined their hands in time, they are still his Hephzibahs and Beulahs, for “the Lord hates putting away.”

Daily Blessings

“But in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

~ 1 Cor 2:4

In human reasoning, demonstration cannot usually be obtained except in mathematics, but not so in divine. There grace outshines and exceeds nature, for the teaching and testimony of the blessed Spirit is always demonstrative, that is, convincing beyond the possibility of doubt. It is not demonstration simply we require, not demonstration of the word, as if there were some innate proof and power in the word itself to demonstrate its own truth, though doubtless it is so when the Spirit shines upon it, but it is the “demonstration of the Spirit.” This is very necessary to observe, for you will often hear the word of God spoken of, as if the Bible possessed not only demonstrative proof of its own inspiration, but was able to give that demonstration to the souls of men. But the demonstration not of the word but of the Spirit in, through, and by the word, is the thing needed to convert sinners and satisfy saints. This is proof indeed, not cold and hard like mathematical demonstration, but warm, living, softening, and sanctifying, being the very light, life, and power of God himself in the soul.

Now Paul’s preaching was this demonstration of the Spirit. The Spirit of God speaking in him and by him, so demonstrated the truth of what he preached that it came, as he elsewhere speaks, “not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance” (1 Thess. 1:5). There are now no Pauls; and, yet, unless we have a measure of the same demonstration of the Spirit, all that is said by us in the pulpit drops to the ground; it has no real effect; there is no true or abiding fruit—no fruit unto eternal life. If there be in it some enticing words of man’s wisdom, it may please the mind of those who are gratified by such arts; it may stimulate and occupy the attention for the time; but there it ceases, and all that has been heard fades away like a dream of the night; and, as regards the family of God, we may apply to all such preaching the words of the prophet—“It shall even be as when an hungry man dreams, and, behold, he eats; but he awakens, and his soul is empty—or as when a thirsty man dreams, and, behold, he drinks; but he awakens, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul has appetite” (Isaiah 29:8).

But anything which is communicated by the Holy Spirit, which is demonstrated by the Spirit to your soul, which is brought into your heart with light, life, and power, sealed and witnessed by that sacred Teacher and divine Comforter; that abides, you take it home with you; it comforts you, not only at the time, but when you look back to it in days to come; it is a bright spot in your soul’s experience, when you can believe that then and there God was pleased to bless his word to your soul, and seal it home with a sweet influence upon your conscience. This is “demonstration of the Spirit.”

And where there is this, there is “power,” for the Apostle adds, “and of power.” The grand distinguishing mark of the kingdom of God is that “it is not in word, but in power.” Thus power is given to believe in the Son of God, and we cannot believe truly and savingly in him until power is put forth; power to receive the Lord in all his covenant characters and gracious relationships in the gospel of his grace; power to believe that what God has done he does forever; power to come out of every doubt and fear into the blessed light and liberty of the truth which makes free.

Daily Blessings

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”

~ Rev 12:11

It is not “the blood of the Lamb” as revealed in the word of God, but as applied to and sprinkled on the conscience, which answers the accusations of Satan. But we may observe that there is our coming unto “the blood of sprinkling,” and there is “the blood of sprinkling” coming unto us. The Apostle speaks, Hebrews 12:22-24—“You have come to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better things than that of Abel.” This coming to the blood is the first step in gaining the victory. But in Christian warfare defeat generally, if not always, precedes conquest. It is not, therefore, so easy to overcome sin, death, and hell, which are all striving against us; and usually we never look to the right quarter for help until well-near all hope is gone. The first gleam generally comes from a view of “the blood of the Lamb,” as it were, in the distance.

The lighthouse casts its glimmering rays far over the wide waste of waters, to guide into harbor the storm-tossed mariner; so, when there is a view in the soul of “the blood of the Lamb,” even at a distance, it is a beacon light, which draws towards it the eyes and heart of those who are doing business “in deep waters.” The light may not at first seem very bright or clear; but it is a day-star, heralding the rising of the sun. The Spirit shines on the word, and raises up faith in the soul to believe that the Lamb has been slain, that blood has been shed, that a sacrifice has been offered, and that “a new and living way” has been opened and consecrated “through the veil,” the torn “flesh” of the Lord Jesus. This affords the accused soul some foothold on which it can stand and answer Satan’s accusations. “True,” he says, “I am a guilty wretch, a sinner, and the chief of sinners, for I have sinned against light, against convictions, against conscience, and the fear of God; my heart is altogether evil, my mind wholly corrupt, and my nature utterly depraved; I have never done any good thing; I am a wretch, and the worst of wretches, and I can never say anything too bad of myself, nor others of me; but, with all that, the Lamb of God has shed his precious blood, and that blood cleanses from all sin.” “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord,” we read, “shall lift up a standard against him”—the blood-stained flag of the crucified Redeemer; and to come for refuge under this banner dipped in blood is to make head against Satan. Still, the victory is not fully gained. It is only when there is a coming of the blood into the heart, a sprinkling of it on the conscience, a manifestation and application of it to the soul, that Satan is effectually put to flight.

Daily Blessings

“The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.”

~ Gal 2:20

There is no way except by being spiritually baptized into Christ’s death and life, that we can ever get a victory over our besetting sins. If, on the one hand, we have a view of a suffering Christ, and thus become baptized into his sufferings and death, the feeling, while it lasts, will subdue the power of sin. Or, on the other hand, if we get a believing view of a risen Christ, and receive supplies of grace out of his fullness, that will lift us above sin’s dominion. If sin is powerfully working in us, we need one of these two things to subdue it; either we must have something come down to us to give us a victory over our sin in our strugglings against it, or we must have something to lift us up out of sin into a purer and better element.

When there is a view of the sufferings and sorrows, agonies and death of the Son of God, power comes down to the soul in its struggles against sin, and gives it a measure of holy resistance and subduing strength against it. So, when there is a coming in of the grace and love of Christ, it lifts up the soul from the love and power of sin into a purer and holier atmosphere. Sin cannot be subdued in any other way. You must either be baptized into Christ’s sufferings and death, or you must be baptized (and these follow each other) into Christ’s resurrection and life. A sight of him as a suffering God, or a view of him as a risen Jesus, must be connected with every successful attempt to get the victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave. You may strive, vow, and repent; and what does it all amount to? You sink deeper and deeper into sin than before. Pride, lust, and covetousness come in like a flood, and you are swamped and carried away almost before you are aware. But if you get a view of a suffering Christ, or of a risen Christ; if you get a taste of his dying love, a drop of his atoning blood, or any manifestation of his beauty and blessedness, there comes from this spiritual baptism into his death or his life a subduing power; and this gives a victory over temptation and sin which nothing else can or will give.

Yet I believe we are often many years learning this divine secret, striving to repent and reform, and cannot; until at last by divine teaching we come to learn a little of what the Apostle meant when he said, “The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.” And when we can get into this life of faith, this hidden life, then our affections are set on things above.

There is no use setting people to work by legal strivings; they only plunge themselves deeper in the ditch. You must get Christ into your soul by the power of God; and then he will subdue, by his smiles, blood, love, and presence, every internal foe.

Daily Blessings

“The fear of the Lord is his treasure.”

~ Isa 33:6

“The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” And, oh, what a treasure is this fear! Treasure in ancient times was generally hidden; it was concealed from the eye of man, hoarded up, and not brought out ostentatiously to view. Wealthy men of old hid the knowledge of their treasures, lest they should be robbed of them by the hand of violence. So spiritually, the fear of the Lord is hidden in the heart, and lies deep in the soul; it is not spread out ostentatiously to view, but is buried out of sight in a man’s conscience. But though hidden from others, and sometimes even from ourselves, this “fear of the Lord” will act as circumstances draw it forth. There may be times and seasons when we seem almost hardened and conscience-seared; sin appears to have such power over us, and evil thoughts and desires so carry us away, that we cannot trace one atom of godly fear within; and the soul cries, “What will become of me! Where am I going now! What will come next on such a wretch as I feel myself to be!”

But place him in such circumstances, say, as befell Joseph, then he will find that the “fear of the Lord” is in him a fountain of life, a holy principle springing up in his soul. Thus, this fear, which is a part of the heavenly treasure, acts when most needed. And the more the life of God is felt in the soul, the more the fear of God flows forth as a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death. The more lively the grace of God is in the soul, the more lively will godly fear be in the heart; and the more the Spirit of God works with power in the conscience, the deeper will be the fear of God in the soul.

Daily Blessings

“Then those who were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Truly, you are the Son of God.”

~ Matt 14:33

What a beauty and blessedness there is in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, when viewed by the spiritual eye! Our reasoning minds, it is true, may be deeply stumbled at the doctrine of an incarnate God. My own mind, I know, has sometimes been driven almost to its wits’ end by this great mystery of deity and humanity combined in the Person of Christ, for it so surpasses all human comprehension, and is so removed beyond the grasp of all our reasoning faculties. It is not, indeed, contrary to reason, for there is nothing in it impossible or self-contradictory; but it is beyond and above the reach of human thought and tangible apprehension. But when we are led to consider what would be the most certain and most fearful consequences unless the Lord Jesus Christ were what he declares he is, God as well as man, we are compelled, from the very necessity of the case, to cast ourselves with all the weight of our sins and sorrows upon an incarnate God, as the shipwrecked sailor gladly casts himself upon the rock in the ocean as the only refuge from the devouring sea.

When we feel what sinners we are, and have been, look down into the depths of the fall, and see in some feeble and faint measure what sin is in the sight of a holy and pure God, what can save us from despair unless we see the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ investing his work upon the cross and his obedience with a merit that shall suffice to justify our guilty souls, wash away our aggravated iniquities, blot out our fearful crimes, and make us fit to appear in the presence of a righteous God? Thus we are sometimes absolutely compelled to throw ourselves on the deity of Christ, as ready to perish, because in such a divine Savior, in such precious blood we see a refuge, and we see elsewhere no other.

We then feel that if the deity of Christ be taken away, the Church of God is lost. Where can you find pardon? where justification? where reconciliation to God? where atoning blood, if there is no Savior who merited as God, and suffered as man? We might as well leap into hell at once with all our sins upon our head, as a sailor might spring over the prow of a burning ship into the boiling waves, to meet death instead of waiting for it, unless we believe by a living faith in the deity of the Son of God.

But sometimes we are sweetly led into this glorious truth, not merely driven by sheer necessity, but blessedly drawn into this great mystery of godliness, when Christ is revealed to our souls by the power of God. Then, seeing light in God’s light, we view the deity of Christ investing every thought, word, and act of his suffering humanity with unspeakable merit. Then we see how this glorious fact of deity and humanity in the Person of Immanuel satisfies every need, puts away every sin, heals every wound, wipes away every tear, and sweetly brings the soul to repose on the bosom of God. Sometimes, therefore, from necessity, driven by storms of guilt and waves of temptation, and sometimes sweetly drawn by the leadings and teachings of the Holy Spirit, we lay hold of the hope set before us in the essential deity and suffering humanity of the Son of God, knowing that there is a refuge in him from sin, death, hell, and despair.