Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Summer with John #3

John Newton
Today I am continuing to share my reading experience with John Newton. Newton's inspiration for this sermon series was the popularity of Handel's Messiah

Today's quotes will come from the sermons three and four in the series. The Scriptures referenced are Haggai 2:6-7 and Malachi 3:1-3.

The third sermon is PACKED with great questions.
If we really believe that the Scriptures are true, that the prophecies were delivered by holy men, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and that they shall all be certainly fulfilled; how studious should we be to attain a right understanding of passages and events in which we are so nearly interested, that our hearts may be duly affected by them?
Is MESSIAH, the desire of all nations, the object of your chief desire? How much depends upon the answer! Do you wish to know your present state in the sight of God? If you are faithful to yourselves you may be satisfied, provided you will abide by the decision of the Scripture. God is well-pleased in his Son; if you are well pleased with Him, if He is precious to you, and the desire of your soul is supremely directed to Him, then you assuredly possess the beginning, the foretaste and the earnest of eternal life.
The great point which will determine your destiny for eternity, will be this, What think you of Christ? For it is written, If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha (I Corinthians 16:22) He must and will fall under the curse and condemnation of the law, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of His power. Today, therefore, while it is called today (for tomorrow is not ours) may you hear His voice, and flee for refuge to the hope set before you!
I hope you take the time to reflect on his questions and answer them. 

An observation or two from both sermons about Handel's Messiah. 
The music of the Messiah [Oratorio] is but an ornament of the words, which have a very weighty sense. This sense no music can explain, and when rightly understood, will have such an effect as no music can produce. That the music of the Messiah has a great effect in its own kind, I can easily believe.
The same great truths, divested of the music, when delivered from the pulpit, are heard by many admirers of the Oratorio with indifference, too often with contempt.
The fourth sermon is PACKED with insight.
This doctrine of God manifest in the flesh, is the pillar and ground of the truth: The only foundation on which a sinner, who knows the just desert of his sin, can build a solid hope of salvation, is, that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life (I John 5:20). Unless this be admitted, the whole tenor, both of the Old and New Testament is unintelligible. To say that this doctrine approves itself to human reason in its present fallen depraved state, would be to contradict the Apostle, who asserts, that no man can say that Jesus Christ is LORD but by the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 12:3).
Though long foretold and long expected, and though the precise time of His Advent, and the accompanying signs, were accurately defined and described, yet when the season arrived He came suddenly, unlooked for and unknown. He came upon them in an hour that they thought not of, and in a manner of which they were not aware. When He stood in the midst of them, they knew not that it was He. How dreadful does sin harden and infatuate the hearts of men!
We likewise have the Scriptures, but how many who admit their authority in words, live willingly ignorant of their contents and act in direct contradiction to their tenor!
Wherever His Gospel is preached, the Lord is come. It is by the Gospel He rides forth prosperously, conquering and to conquer (Psalm 45:4) Thus He has promised to be present with His ministers, and wherever two or three are met in His name, to the end of the world. Thus He is come to us. And the effects are the same, as when He was personally upon earth.
His Gospel still discovers the thoughts of many hearts.
He comes to individuals by the power of His Spirit. This makes the Word of His Gospel effectual. For the Kingdom of God is not in word only, but in power. When He thus visits the hearts of sinners, His Word is like fire and soap; quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) Then they feel and tremble, and cry out with the Prophet, Woe is me, I am undone. But in this way their dross is consumed, their defilement removed. When He thus wounds, He likewise heals. He gives them faith; by faith they look unto Him, and are enlightened and saved.
We surely expect that He will come again. Not as He once came, in a state of humiliation. The Babe of Bethlehem, the Man of Sorrows, who hung, and bled, and died upon the cross for our sins, will return in glory. Behold He cometh in the clouds, and every eye shall see Him (Revelation 1:7) Concerning this day, emphatically called the day of the LORD , we may well say, Who may abide it? To those who have not been the subjects of His refining operations here, He will then be a consuming fire.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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