Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Summer with John #9

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 twelve and thirteen.

From sermon twelve: Isaiah 35:5,6
As the great Physician, He cured all manner of diseases and infirmities. But this was not the principle design for which He came into the world. The maladies to which sin has subjected the body, are but emblems of the more dreadful evils which it has brought upon the soul. He came to open the eyes of the mind; to make the obstinate will attentive and obedient to the voice of God; to invigorate our benumbed and paralytic faculties; that we may be active and cheerful in His service; and to open our lips, that our mouths may show forth His praise.
While Lazarus lay in the grave, all his natural powers were inactive. But when the voice of the Son of God restored him to life (John 11:43) , he was, of course, immediately enabled to see, to hear, to move, and to speak. Thus, while we were spiritually dead, we were necessarily blind, deaf, dumb, and motionless, with respect to all the objects and faculties of that life of God in the soul, which is the perfection and honour of our nature. When we are made partakers of this life, by a new and heavenly birth, then our spiritual senses are brought into exercise. Then the eyes of the blind are opened, to see the beauty and glory of divine truths; we hear the voice of God, we feel at liberty to walk and act in His service, and our tongues are taught to praise Him.
The religion of true believers is not the effect of imagination and blind impulse, but is derived from a solid knowledge which will bear the strictest scrutiny, and is the reasonable service of an enlightened understanding. They see God; their apprehensions of Him, are, in some measure, answerable to His greatness and His goodness, and inspire them with reverence and love. Their conceptions of other things in which they are most nearly interested, are agreeable to the truth. Sin appears to them hateful in itself, as well as mischievous in it consequences; and holiness, not only necessary by the ordination of God, but desirable for its own sake, as essentially belonging to the true dignity and happiness of man.
It is the work of God alone to open the blind eyes, to change the heart of stone into flesh, and to raise the dead.
From sermon thirteen: Isaiah 50:11
A sheep is a weak, defenceless, improvident creature; prone to wander, and if once astray, is seldom known to return of its own accord. A sheep has neither strength to fight with the wolf, nor speed to escape from him; nor has it the fore-sight of the ant, to provide its own sustenance. Such is our character, and our situation. Unable to take care of ourselves, prone to wander from our resting-place, exposed to enemies which we can neither withstand nor avoid, without resource in ourselves, and taught, by daily experience, the insufficiency of everything around us. Yet, if this Shepherd be our Shepherd, weak and helpless as we are, we may be of good courage. If we say with David, The LORD is my Shepherd, we may make the same inferences he did, Therefore I shall not want; therefore I need not fear.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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