Wisdom

For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

[1 Cor 6:20 NET]

How deep, how dreadful, of what alarming magnitude, of how black a dye, of how ingrained a stamp must sin be, to need such an atonement—no less than the blood of him who was the Son of God—to put it away. What a slave to sin and Satan, what a captive to the power of lust, how deeply sunk, how awfully degraded, how utterly lost and undone must guilty man be to need a sacrifice like this! “You are bought with a price.” Have you ever felt your bondage to sin, Satan, and the world? Have you ever groaned, cried, grieved, sorrowed, and lamented under your miserable captivity to the power of sin? Has the iron ever entered into your soul? Have you ever clanked your fetters, and as you did so, and tried to burst them, they seemed to bind round about you with a weight scarcely endurable?

But have you ever found any liberty from them, any enlargement of heart, any sweet going forth from the prison-house, any dropping of the manacles from your hands, and the fetters from your feet, so as to walk in some measure of gospel liberty?

“You are bought with a price.” You were slaves of sin and Satan; you were shut up in the dark cell, where all was gloom and despondency; there was little hope in your soul of ever being saved. But there was an entrance of gospel light into your dungeon; there was a coming out of the house of bondage; there was a being brought into the light of God’s countenance, shining forth in his dear Son. Now, this is not only being bought with a price, but experiencing the blessed effects of it.

Wisdom

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him.

[1 John 5:1 NET]

Where there is love to Jesus, there will be love to those who are his by redemption, his by regeneration, and his by personal possession. The more, also, that we see and the more that we know of the beauty and blessedness of the Lord of life and glory, the more we shall love his image as we behold it visibly marked in his dear people, and the more we shall cleave to them as being Christ’s with tender affection.

It is our dim, scanty, and imperfect knowledge of God the Father in his eternal love; and of the Lord Jesus Christ in his grace and glory, which leaves us so often cold, lifeless, and dead in our affections towards him; and with the declension of love towards the Head comes on decay of love towards his members. If there were more blessed revelations to our soul of the Person and work, grace and glory, beauty and blessedness of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is impossible but that we would more and more warmly and tenderly fall in love with him; for he is the most glorious object that the eyes of faith can see. He fills heaven with the resplendent beams of his glorious majesty; and has ravished the hearts of thousands of his dear family upon earth by the manifestations of his bleeding, dying love. So that if we love him not, it is because we know him not. If, then, to those who know him he makes himself precious, it is evident that just in proportion to our personal, spiritual, experimental knowledge of him will be our love to him.

Wisdom

In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you. [Jer 31:3 NET]

There can be no new thought in the mind of GOD. New thoughts, new feelings, new plans, new resolutions continually occur to OUR mind; for ours is but a poor, fallen, fickle, changeable nature. But God has no new thoughts, feelings, plans or resolutions; for if he had he would be a changeable Being, not one great, eternal, unchangeable ‘I Am’. All his thoughts, therefore, all his plans, all his ways are like himself, eternal, infinite, unchanging, and unchangeable.

So it is with the love of Christ to the Church. It is eternal, unchanging, unchangeable. And why? Because he loved as God. Never let us lose sight of the glorious Deity of Jesus. He loved her in eternity as the Son of God, prior to his incarnation. That was but the fruit of his love. We can, therefore, assign no beginning to the love of Christ, for it existed when he existed, which was from eternity. Neither can we put any end to that love, for it can only end with himself; and as he had no beginning, so he has no ending. His love then is as himself, which as it knew no beginning shall know no end.

O what a mercy it is for those who have any gracious, experimental knowledge of the love of Christ, to believe it is from everlasting to everlasting; that no incidents of time, no storms of sin or Satan, can ever change or alter that eternal love, but that it remains now and will remain the same to all eternity!

Wisdom

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

[Rom 8:35 NET]

Be this never forgotten, that if we have ever been brought near to the Lord Jesus Christ by the actings of living faith, there never can be any final, actual separation from him. In the darkest moments, in the dreariest hours, under the most painful exercises, the most fiery temptations, there is, as with Jonah in the belly of hell, a looking again toward the holy temple. There is sometimes a sigh, a cry, a groan, a breathing forth of the heart’s desire to “know Him, and the power of his resurrection;” that he would draw us near unto himself, and make himself precious to our souls. And these very cries and sighs, groanings and breathings, all prove that whatever darkness of mind, guilt of conscience, or unbelief we may feel, there is no real separation.

It is in grace as it is in nature; the clouds do not blot out the sun; it is still in the sky, though they often cut off his bright rays. And so with the blessed Sun of righteousness; our unbelief, our ignorance, our darkness of mind, our guilt of conscience, our many temptations—these do not blot out the Sun of righteousness from the sky of grace. Though thick clouds come between him and us and make us feel as though he was blotted out, or at least as if we were blotted from his remembrance, yet, through mercy, where grace has begun the work, grace carries it on—“Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

Wisdom

Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines. They give insight to the untrained.

[Ps 119:130 NET]

The word “simple” means literally something which is not folded or twisted together. But owing to the treacherous and desperately deceitful heart of man, all, without exception, in a state of nature are the reverse of this. All their plots and contrivances for worldly profit or fleshly pleasure are tangled and complicated; and they are continually twisting together some thread or other of carnal policy.

But when God the Holy Spirit begins the work of grace upon the souls of the elect, he proceeds (if I may use the expression) to untwist them. He takes hold of that rope which Satan and their own hearts have been twisting together for years, and he untwists it throughout its whole length, so as to leave the strands not intertwined as before, but sifted, separated, and isolated from each other. The light that shines into the soul out of the fullness of Jesus discovers to a man the tortuousness, the crookedness, the complicated deceit and hypocrisy of which he is guilty. A man then is made “simple,” when the folds and rumples of his heart are shaken out, and he is brought to see and feel that God looks into him; that his eye penetrates into every recess of his bosom; and that there is not a thought in his heart, nor “a word in his tongue, but the Lord knows it altogether” (Psalm 139:4).

This character is aptly represented by Nathaniel. He had gone through this untwisting work in his soul. He had been under the fig-tree, and while kneeling and praying there, the eye of God looked into him, and just as a flash of lightning runs, in a moment, through a coil of wire, so, when the eye of God looked into Nathaniel’s soul, that instantaneous flash unraveled and untwisted the devices of his heart, and made him a simple man before him—“an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no deceit” (John 1:47).

Wisdom

As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the sovereign One, and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king

[Ps 91:1 NET]

What is “the secret place of the most High?” It is the same spot, of which Asaph speaks in the seventy-third Psalm—“Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.” It is the spot, of which the Lord speaks in Ezekiel—“I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.” Then this “secret place” is the secret bosom of God. It is an entrance by faith into Jehovah, by a spiritual manifestation of him, leading us into a spiritual acquaintance with him. “The secret place of the most High” is that solemn spot, where Jehovah meets with the sinner in Christ, and where he opens up to him the riches of his mercy, and leads him into his bosom, so as to read the secrets of his loving heart.

It is called a “secret” place, as only known to the those to whom it is especially communicated. It is called a “secret” place, because none can get into it—no, nor desire to get into it—except the Lord himself, with his own mysterious hand, opens up to them a part in it, sets them down in it, and sweetly blesses them in it. Then to be in “the secret place of the most High” is to be brought into something like fellowship and acquaintance with God—something like communion, spiritual worship, divine communion; so as to know something of him experimentally, and “run into” him, as “a strong tower,” and there feel solemn safety.

Wisdom

Then blind eyes will open, deaf ears will hear.

[Isa 35:5 NET]

That these miracles are effected by the power of the gospel is plain from the words that immediately precede, “Behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you” (Isa. 35:4). And how does God come and save but in the gospel, and by making it his own power unto salvation? If you look back at your experience you will see that one of the first effects of the power of the gospel upon your heart, was to open your ears to receive it as a message from God. When, for instance, you were first brought under its sound, and began to understand and feel what you heard, was there not given you, as it were, new ears to hear it, and a new heart to receive it? Were not those with you memorable days when you first heard the joyful sound of salvation by free grace; when it first dropped that blessed news into your soul which made your very heart thrill with unspeakable joy? God was then circumcising your ear, unstopping it, and conveying the gospel into your heart through it. “For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

“As soon as they hear of me,” says the Lord in prophecy, “they shall obey me—the strangers shall submit themselves unto me” (Psalm 18:44). That gospel which was death to others was life to you; and that message at which others perhaps gnashed their teeth, came into your heart with an indescribable sweetness as the very voice of God to your soul.