Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Summer with John #4

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 sermon five. For your listening pleasure. (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)
True or false: 
We have but slight thoughts of His holiness, and therefore are but slightly affected by the evil of sin.
I think that statement is very true! I think even within the church--not to mention society at large--we have little idea of how great and evil our sin is.

Some more quotes about sin:
Whoever has a right sense of the nature and effects of that rebellion against the Most High, which the Scripture intends by the term Sin, will not need many arguments to convince him, that the Mediator between God and man, must be possessed of such dignity and power as cannot be attributed to a creature, without destroying the idea of a created and dependent being, by ascribing to him those perfections which are incommunicably divine.
A sinner, truly convinced of his obnoxiousness to the displeasure of God, must sink into despair, notwithstanding the intimation of a Saviour, if he were not assured by the Scripture that it was a divine person in the human nature who engaged for us.
In addition to talking about sin and our need for salvation, Newton focuses on the incarnation. How Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine. 
Since the atoning blood is the blood of Immanuel, of Him who is God with us; the sinner who makes it his plea, builds his hope upon a rock which cannot be removed; and obtaining forgiveness in this way, he likewise obtains by it such a knowledge of the heinousness of sin, as disposes him from that hour to fear, hate, and forsake it.
True or false: 
But though forgiveness be an essential part of Salvation, it is not the whole. We cannot be happy, except the power of sin be likewise destroyed. A well-grounded hope in the mercy of God, is connected with a thirst for sanctification, and a conformity to His image.
This passage just made me want to shout AMEN, AMEN!

On why Jesus had to be divine:
Unless the Saviour of sinners be omnipresent, omniscient, unchangeable, the same yesterday, today, and for ever , that is, unless He be God, how can He answer the prayers, satisfy the wants, and relieve the distresses of all who trust in Him in every age, and of all who in every place equally need His support at the same moment? Or how can He engage to give rest to every weary soul, to secure them from perishing, and to bestow upon them eternal life?
If we affirm that He who was born in a stable, and suffered as a malefactor upon Mount Golgotha, is the true God and eternal life, many will think it a hard saying. But it is the doctrine of Scripture, the very pillar and ground of truth; the only foundation of hope for an awakened conscience, the only standard by which we can properly estimate the evil of sin, the worth of soul, and the love of God. We do not however, say that the human nature of Christ, considered in itself, possesses the attributes of Deity, or is the proper object of worship; nor do we suppose that God should suffer, bleed, and die. But we say, with the Apostle, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (II Corinthians 5:19)
Behold then the character of MESSIAH in this prophecy! a man! a God! a Divine Person in the human nature! God manifested in the flesh! Immanuel, God with us.
Food for thought:
As fallen creatures, God is against us, and we are against Him. The alienation of our hearts is the great cause of our ignorance of Him. We are willingly ignorant. The thoughts of Him are unwelcome to us, and we do not like to retain Him in our knowledge. Guilt is the parent of atheism.
What a strong foundation does this doctrine afford for the faith and hope of those who indeed know MESSIAH, and have put their trust in Him. This truth is the rock upon which the Church is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. If God be for us, who shall be against us? The difficulties of our warfare are great, the enemies of our peace are many. The world may frown, and Satan will rage, but Jesus has overcome the world, and is greater than all our foes. He will guide His people with His unerring wisdom, support them with His almighty arm, supply them out of the inexhaustible riches of His grace, revive them when fainting, heal them when wounded, plead for them above as their great High Priest, manage for them upon earth as their great Shepherd, and at last make them more than conquerors, and give them a crown of life!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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