Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Summer with Psalm 119 #8

As a few of you know, I love, love, LOVE Psalm 119. I thought it would be great to spend a summer focusing on that psalm and what others have had to say about it. I'll begin with Thomas Manton's Exposition of Psalm 119. It may take all summer to read all 158 sermons. But they're so GOOD, so RICH, I think it will be worth it.

The ninth sermon is on Psalm 119:8.

  • Man’s will is the toughest sinew in the whole creation. The very purpose and bent of the heart is the fruit of regeneration.
  • But the will and resolution that we are to understand here is the fruit of grace.
  • Until we come to resolution we shall be liable to temptation; until we fully set our faces towards God, and have a bent and serious purpose of heart, we shall never be free from temptation from the devil, and from evil men, or from ourselves.
  • It is God’s work to incline the heart; but when the work of grace is passed upon us, then the believer doth voluntarily incline himself; his will is bent to serve God, not by fits and starts, but alway to the end:
  • Those that will keep God’s statutes must fly to God’s help. Three reasons for this— 1. We are weak and mutable creatures. 2. Our strength lies in God’s hands. 3. God gives out his strength according to his own pleasure.
  • Resolution is needful, as was said before; but all our confidences must arise from God’s promises, not our own, if we mean not to be left in the dirt. This self-confidence in spiritual things I shall show—We cannot regularly expect anything from God but in God’s way. They who depend upon God will be much in prayer, hearing, and taking all opportunities. But when men begin to think they need not pray so much, need not make such conscience of hearing; when we are more arbitrary and negligent in the use of means, then we begin to live upon ourselves and our own stock, and do not depend upon the free grace of God to carry us out in our work.

The tenth sermon is on Psalm 119:9.

  • How shall a man that is impure, and naturally defiled with sin, be made able, as soon as he cometh to the use of reason, to purge out that natural corruption, and live a holy and pure life to God? The answer given is, By taking heed thereto according to thy word.’ Where two things are to be observed—(1.) The remedy; (2.) The manner how it is applied and made use of.
  • 1. The remedy is the word—by way of address to God, called thy word; because if God had not given direction about it, we should have been at an utter loss. 2. The manner how it is applied and made use of, by taking heed thereto, &c., by studying and endeavouring a holy conformity to God’s will.
  • The word is considerable as an instrument which God maketh use of to cleanse the heart of man. It will not be amiss a little to show the instrumentality of the word to this blessed end and purpose. It is the glass that discovereth sin, and the water that washeth it away.
  • It is the glass wherein to see our corruption. The first step to the cure is a knowledge of the disease;
  • In the word we see God’s image and our own. It is the copy of God’s holiness, and the representation of our natural faces, Rom. 7:9. What fond conceits have we of our own spiritual beauty! but there we may see the leprous spots that are upon us.
  • It sets us a-work to see it purged; it is the water to wash it out. The word of command presseth the duty; it is indispensably required.
  • Many have gone to heaven that were never learned, but never any without holiness.
  • The doctrine of the scripture holds out the remedy and means of cleansing—Christ’s blood;
  • God hath been at great cost to bring it about, therefore we must not content ourselves with some smooth morality, which might have been whether Christ had been, yea or nay.
  • The great duty of youth, as soon as they come to the full use of reason, is to inquire and study how they may cleanse their hearts and ways from sin.
  • The word of God is the only rule sufficient and effectual to accomplish this work.
  • It is fit that God should have our first and our best. It is fit he should have our first, because he minded us before we were born. His love to us is an eternal and an everlasting love; and shall we put off God to old age? shall we thrust him into a corner? Surely God, that loved us so early, it is but reason he should have our first, and also our best; for we have all from him.
  • Sin groweth stronger by custom, and more rooted; it gathereth strength by every act.
  • All time is little enough to declare your respects to God.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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