Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Summer with John #7

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 sermons eight and nine. (Isaiah 9:2, 6)

From sermon eight:

By the influence and power of His Spirit, He is still present wherever His Gospel is known. This, His Word of grace and truth, He sends where He pleases, and with a discrimination, not unlike that which He observed when He was upon earth. The Gospel is preached to the poor. Courts and palaces are seldom favoured with it. While He passes by many great cities, many habitations of the wise and wealthy, He is known in villages and cottages. His condescension and favour to those who are unnoticed by the world, cannot be too highly extolled. That the others are excluded from the same benefits, is more properly ascribed to their obstinacy than to His will. They exclude themselves. He stands at the door and knocks (Revelation 3:20) His Word is within their reach, His ministers are within their call. They might easily enjoy every mean [resource] and help which the Gospel provides for sinners if they pleased, but they do not please.
The doctrine of the cross pours a light upon every subject and circumstance in which we are concerned. It enlarges the mind , and forms the judgment and taste, agreeable to the standard of truth, and the real nature of things. It rectifies those prejudices and prepossessions which dispose us to mistake good for evil, and evil for good (Isaiah 5:20) , to pursue trifles with earnestness , and to trifle with things of the greatest importance In Jesus Christ crucified, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge , are, at once, both hidden and exhibited.
Where the Gospel is preached the Lord is present. If you call upon Him He will hear, and you shall receive your sight.
From sermon nine:
When a sinner is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, to understand the character and offices of MESSIAH, to understand His ability to save those who are ready to perish, and the happiness of all who are brought into subjection to His gracious government; and when he begins to feel the cheering effects of faith in His name, then this song becomes his own, and exactly suits the emotions and gratitude of his heart.
His incarnation. Unto us a child is born. In our nature, born of a woman: Unto us a son is given, not merely a man-child, but, emphatically, a Son, the Son of God. This was the most precious gift, the highest proof and testimony of divine love. The distinction and union of these widely distant natures, which constitute the Person of Christ, the God-man, the Mediator, is, in the judgment and language of the Apostle, the great mystery of godliness (I Timothy 3:16) , the pillar and ground of truth.
His exaltation. The government shall be upon His shoulder. In our nature He suffered, and in the same nature He reigns. When He had overcome the sharpness, the sting of death, He took possession of the kingdom of glory as His own, and opened it to all who believe in Him. Now we can say, He who governs in heaven and on earth, and whom all things obey, is the Child who was born, the Son who was given for us.
His name shall be called Wonderful. In another place the word is rendered Secret (Judges 13:8) . It is true of Him in both senses. He is Wonderful in His person, obedience, and sufferings; in His grace, government, and glory. So far as we understand His name, the revelation by which, as by a name, He is made known, we may, we must, believe, admire, and adore. But how limited and defective is our knowledge! His name is Secret. Who can by searching find Him out? (Job 11:7) His greatness is incomprehensible, His wisdom untraceable, His fulness inexhaustible, His power infinite No one knoweth the Son but the Father! But they have a true knowledge of Him, who trust, love, and serve Him And in their view He is Wonderful!
Another of His names is Counsellor. The great councils of redemptions, in which, every concern respecting the glory of God, and the salvation of sinners, was adjusted, were established with Him, and in Him, before the foundation of the world. And He is our Counsellor or Advocate with the Father, who pleads our cause, and manages all our affairs in perfect righteousness, and with infallible success; so that no suit can possibly miscarry which He is pleased to undertake.
He is the Mighty God. Though in the office of Mediator, He acts in the character of a servant, His perfections and attributes are truly divine. Only the mighty God, could make a provision capable of answering the demands of the holy law, which we had transgressed; only the mighty God could be a suitable Shepherd to lead millions of weak, helpless creatures to glory; through the many difficulties, dangers, and enemies they are exposed to in their passage. Add to this, the honour, dependence, and obedience, which this great Shepherd claims from His sheep, are absolute and supreme; and they would be guilty of idolatry, if they did not know the He is the mighty God. Though real Christians, who are enlightened and taught by the Holy Spirit may, and do, differ in their views and explanations of some revealed truths, I conceive they must be all agreed on this point. It is not only necessary to be known as the only solid foundation of a sinner's hope, but it immediately respects the object of divine worship.
Farther, He shall be called the Everlasting Father. He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Hebrews 2:11) , having condescended to assume their human nature. But they are also called His children. They are born into His family by the efficacy of His own Word and Spirit. From Him they derive their spiritual life, and receiving from first to last out of His fulness. And He is an everlasting Father.
Lastly, He shall be called the Prince of Peace , whose sovereign prerogative it is, to speak peace to His people (Psalm 85:8) And there is no peace, deserving the name, but that which He bestows.
What strange and hard thought have you of God, if you suppose you can find more pleasure in living, according to your own wills, than in obedience to His commands! Can the world give you such peace and satisfaction as I have attempted to describe? Do you think a real persuasion that God is your Friend, and that Heaven will be your home, will spoil the relish of your earthly enjoyments, or make your lives uncomfortable? What hard thing does the Lord require of you, that you are so unwilling to comply?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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