Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Summer with John #17

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 twenty-four (Isaiah 53:8) and twenty-five (Psalm 16:10)

From twenty-four:
It may seem quite unnecessary to prove the innocence of Him, who in His human nature was absolutely perfect, and in whom, the presence and fulness of God dwelt. And it is, indeed, unnecessary to those who believe in His name. It is, however, a pleasing contemplation to them, and has an important influence upon their faith and hope. In this they triumph, that He who knew no sin Himself, was made sin, was treated as a sinner for them, that they might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
True Christians, when they suffer unjustly, may learn, from the example of their Lord, to suffer patiently. The Apostle presses this argument upon servants (I Peter 2:18-21) --who in those days were chiefly bond-servants, or slaves. He, therefore, evidently supposes that the knowledge of the Gospel was sufficient to qualify people, in the lowest situations of human life, with a fortitude and magnanimity of spirit of which philosophy could scarcely reach the conception.
From twenty-five:
Whatever was necessary on the behalf of sinners, to render their forgiveness consistent with the honour of the law, justice, truth, and government of God, was exacted of Him, and He performed, and paid, to the utmost. He made a full atonement for sin; and though He had power over His life, He hung hour after hour in agonies upon the cross, till He said, It is finished . Then, He resigned His spirit into the hands of His Heavenly Father. He was afterwards buried. But having finished His whole undertaking, destroyed death, and him that had the power of it, and opened the way to the Kingdom of Heaven, in favour of all who should believe in Him, it was not possible that He should be detained in the grave (Acts 2:24) He had power, likewise, to resume the life He had laid down for His sheep; and He arose the third day, to exercise all power and authority in heaven and in earth.
His resurrection, therefore, is the grand principal fact, upon which the truth and importance of Christianity rests.
What influence this truth has upon your hopes, your tempers, and your conduct? The powers of darkness know that Christ is risen. They believe, they feel, they tremble. I hope none of you will be content with such a faith as may be found in fallen angels. As surely as He is risen, He will at length return to judge the world. Behold He cometh in the clouds, and every eye shall see Him! They who are prepared to meet Him, and who long for His appearance, have reason to rejoice that He once died, and rose again!
As MESSIAH was delivered, that is delivered up, as a hostage to the demands of justice, for our offences, so they know that He was raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25) By virtue of that union, which subsists between MESSIAH, as the Head of His Body the Church, and all His members; that is, all in the successive ages of the world, who believe in Him by a faith of divine operation: He is their legal representative; He and they are considered as one.
But justification is God's manner of pardoning sinners, according to the sovereignty and riches of His grace in the Son of His love. Those whom He pardons, he also justifies; and whom He justifies, He also glorifies.
The resurrection of Christ from the dead, is a pledge and specimen of that almighty power which is engaged on their behalf, to overcome all the obstacles, difficulties and enemies they are liable to meet with in their pilgrimage, which threaten to disappoint their hopes, and to prevent them from obtaining their heavenly inheritance.
His resurrection is the pledge and pattern of ours. As certainly as Christ the firstfruits is risen, so certainly shall they that are Christ's arise at His coming.
Flesh and blood, in its present state, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. The body, in this life, is a clog and a burden to those who place their chief happiness in the service of God, and in communion with Him. It is a vile body, defiled by sin, and it defiles their best desires and noblest efforts. Even the grace of the Holy Spirit, by which they live, though perfectly pure in itself, is debased when communicated to them, and exercised under the disadvantages of a sinful nature, as the best wine, will receive a taint, if poured into a foul vessel. The body, in another view, is a prison in which the soul, confined and pent up, is limited in its operations, and impeded in its perceptions of divine things.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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