POINTS TO PONDER

 

 

By

 

 

A PASTOR TO HIS PEOPLE

 

 

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, are our one and sufficient rule. But to obtain from them the light and blessing they are calculated to furnish, God must he our Teacher and our eye must be single. The Holy Spirit has been sent down from above to be our instructor in the things of God.

 

 

These Scriptures testify - that the world is utterly sinful before God, and under the guidance of Satan its Prince. Its judgments will begin as soon as the present day of Gospel mercy shall close. Godís Evangelists, therefore, call on all who are of the world, as sinners to repent, and turn from their old and sinful ways; and to leave their associations with the worldly. They are then to join the assembly of Christ. Those who believe this witness of God are to be immersed: the token, on the one hand, of their willingly and entirely coming forth from sin and the sinful; and, on the other hand, of Godís reception of them as His cleansed ones.

 

 

Immersion of the believer is a testimony to a manís vast and momentous movement from death in sins to the life of God, and bears also on its face death and resurrection: and this is Godís commanded mode of our expressing faith in the Lord Jesus, our Saviour slain and risen, and of our faith in a resurrection yet to come.

 

 

Believers are to assemble themselves together to edify one another, and to keep the Saviourís commands, especially the Lordís Supper. The right way, according to the Scripture, is, first to be baptized, and then to join the fellowship of the Saints. But since some are not persuaded of this, and we have no power in such case but that of brethren and fellow-servants of one Master, we are to receive all the children of God, though on some points they do not agree with Scripture, or with us (Rom. 14., 15.). The Table is the Lordís and not ours; hence we are to receive those whom our God has received.

 

 

Our acceptance before God our Father is through the work of another, not our own. It takes place through the obedience and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We are perfectly accepted, as soon as we believe in Him. His work is perfect; and standing in the merits and atoning death of the Saviour, God loves us, loves us as He loves the Lord Jesus. But we shall have confidence and joyful communion with God only as we are walking obediently to the principles and commands of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the giver of spiritual life to Godís elect. He is calling us out from the flesh and the world, and from the pursuits of time, to an inheritance in heaven, and to glory to be bestowed by Christ. We are therefore to be looking for the return of the Son of God from heaven. He will find most of His people asleep, but will recall them from the tomb. Some will be alive, and will remain to the hour of His descent into the air. For that we are to be looking and preparing. Not all believers are thus looking; and not all will be found by Him in peace; but some will be ashamed before Him in the Day of Judgment. The Saviour is coming to judge believers; not as to whether they are friends or foes of God, but concerning their service to Himself since they became His. While our works will not save us, we shall yet be judged according to them. Hence the deep importance of obedience to Christís commands. For there will be an accounting of some worthy by Christ, in which case there will be an entry on the first and blest resurrection, or the Glory of the Thousand Years. If any be rejected from reward, he will enter on eternal life only after the day of recompense is over. For we must distinguish with Paul between the gift of God, which is eternal life, which is surely ours, and Ďthe prize of our calling,í of which we may be accounted unworthy.

 

 

The Saviourís secret coming to assemble His watchful ones to His presence may take place at any moment. There is nothing which must needs be fulfilled before His descent into the air. But many things must take place before He appears in the clouds to Israel and the world. He will come with His approved ones, in glory to reign over the twelve tribes and the Gentiles. But the world will then be at its worst estate of wickedness and woe. The Gospel will not convert it; it will only gather out Godís elect. The nations called Christian will throw off the name of the true Christ, and then God will send in wrath the false Christ, who by his devilish power will harden men into blasphemy and war against God. The dark days which will lead on to this awful wickedness are already begun. We are taught therefore to pray, that we may escape the coming sin and woe. (Luke 21: 36).

 

 

The Christian is set by God under Christ and His com≠mands alone. He is not partly under Moses and law; but wholly under Christ and grace. His baptism (or immersion) is his death and burial to Adam and Moses, in order that, as a son of God, come out from law and its slavery and con≠demnations and risen from the dead in Christ, he may obey Christ alone.

 

 

This is My Beloved Son, HEAR HIM.

 

 

Moses was there when God spake the word, and Peter would have put Moses beside Christ. But the Father will have the sons of God to listen to His Son alone. Moses sets up the flesh, and bids man by his natural powers obey God. Christ buries the flesh beneath the waters of death, for it Ďprofiteth nothing

 

 

The Church of Christ is the most exalted and privileged of all created bodies. It is the assembly of Godís especially beloved ones. Each Christian is a member of Christ the Risen Head; he is called to partake of Christís glory. And now he is to be rejected by the world that knew not the Son of God. But the worldís actings and falsehoods about him will turn to his glory and rejoicing at the Lordís appearing.

 

 

R. GOVETT, M.A.