The Jerusalem Sinner, 1

Excerpted from John Bunyans, Good News for the Vilest of Men

Referring to Jesus, Bunyan states:

He had a mind, a careful mind, as it seems, to privilege the worst of sinners with the fist offer of mercy, and to take from among them a people, to be the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The 15th of Luke also is famous for this, where the Lord Jesus takes more care, as appears there by three parables, for the lost sheep, lost groat (coin), and the prodigal son, than for the other sheep, the other pence, or for the son that said he had never transgressed; yea, he shows that there is joy in heaven, among the angels of God, at the repentance of one sinner, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.

After this manner, therefore, the mind of Christ was set on the salvation of the biggest sinners in his lifetime. But join to this, this clause, which he carefully put into the apostles’ commission to preach, when he departed hence to the Father, and then you shall see that his heart was vehemently set upon it; for these were part of his last words with them, Preach my gospel to all nations, but that you begin at Jerusalem.

Nor did the apostles overlook this clause when their Lord was gone into heaven; they went first to them of Jerusalem, and preached Christ’s gospel to them; they abode also there for a season and time, and preached it to nobody else, for they had regard to the commandment of their Lord.

And it is to be observed, namely, that the first sermon which they preached after the ascension of Christ, it was preached to the very worst of these Jerusalem sinners, even to those that were the murderers of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:23), for these are part of the sermon: ‘Ye took him, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain him.’ Yea, the next sermon, and the next, and also the next to that, was preached to the self-same murderers, to the end they might be saved (Acts 3:14-16; 4:10,11; 5:30; 7:52).

Bunyan, John (2011-03-24). Works of John Bunyan — Complete (Kindle Locations 5779-5791). . Kindle Edition.

Excerpted from John Bunyan’s book, Instruction for the Ignorant.

Q. Is it easy to get a true knowledge of God?

A. No; Thou must cry after knowledge, and lift up thy voice for understanding. ‘If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God’ (Prov 2:4,5).

Bunyan, John (2011-03-24). Works of John Bunyan — Complete (Kindle Locations 57085-57087). . Kindle Edition.

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“He first findeth his own brother Simon.”
John 1:41

This case is an excellent pattern of all cases where spiritual life is vigorous. As soon as a man has found Christ, he begins to find others. I will not believe that thou hast tasted of the honey of the gospel if thou canst eat it all thyself.

True grace puts an end to all spiritual monopoly. Andrew first found his own brother Simon, and then others. Relationship has a very strong demand upon our first individual efforts.

Andrew, thou didst well to begin with Simon. I doubt whether there are not some Christians giving away tracts at other people’s houses who would do well to give away a tract at their own–whether there are not some engaged in works of usefulness abroad who are neglecting their special sphere of usefulness at home.

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Psalm 98

Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord

A Psalm.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
    let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Your Tender Heart

The following excerpt is from John Bunyan’s book,  Paul’s Departure and Crown.

Wouldst thou be faithful to do that work that God hath appointed thee to do in this world for his name? then make much of a trembling heart and conscience; for though the Word be the line and rule whereby we must order and govern all our actions, yet a trembling heart and tender conscience is of absolute necessity for our so doing.

A hard heart can do nothing with the word of Jesus Christ. ‘Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word’ (Isa 66:5). ‘Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling’ (Psa 2:11).

I spake before against a servile and slavish frame of spirit, therefore you must not understand me here as if I meant now to cherish such a one; no, it is a heart that trembleth for, or at the grace of God; and a conscience made tender by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ.

Such a conscience as is awakened both by wrath and grace, by the terror and the mercy of God; for it stands with the spirit of a son to fear before his father; yea, to fear chastings, though not to fear damnation. Let, therefore, destruction from God be a terror to thy heart, though not that destruction that attends them that perish by sin for ever (Job 31:23).

Bunyan, John (2011-03-24). Works of John Bunyan — Complete (Kindle Locations 30555-30563). . Kindle Edition.

Jonathan Edwards: 4 Great Paragraphs (Part 3)

Posted at Ligonier Ministries

FROM Jun 03, 2013 Category: Articles

In the third paragraph, we see that coming to faith, while our duty, is also our chief delight. In a little-known sermon called “The Spiritual Blessings of the Gospel Represented by a Feast,” Edwards unfolds the “glorious objects” of our spiritual focus:

Continue reading “Jonathan Edwards: 4 Great Paragraphs (Part 3)”

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Father, I have sinned.”
Luke 15:18

It is quite certain that those whom Christ has washed in his precious blood need not make a confession of sin, as culprits or criminals, before God the Judge, for Christ has forever taken away all their sins in a legal sense, so that they no longer stand where they can be condemned, but are once for all accepted in the Beloved; but having become children, and offending as children, ought they not every day to go before their heavenly Father and confess their sin, and acknowledge their iniquity in that character?

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Christ’s Exhortation to Watchfulness

The following excerpt is from John Bunyan’s book,  Paul’s Departure and Crown.

‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.’—2 Timothy 4:6-8

That this is the duty and wisdom of those that fear God, you may see by Christ’s exhortation to watchfulness, and to prepare for his second coming; ‘Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh’ (Matt 24:44).

These words, as they are spoken to stir up the godly to be ready to meet their Lord at his coming, so because the godly must meet him as well in his judgments and providences here, as at his personal appearing at the last day; therefore they should be diligent to be fitting themselves to meet him in all such dispensations.

Continue reading “Christ’s Exhortation to Watchfulness”

Jonathan Edwards: 4 Great Paragraphs (Part 2)

Posted at Ligonier Ministries

FROM Jun 03, 2013 Category: Articles

On to our second paragraph. In my study of great leaders and thinkers, I find special enjoyment perusing the letters of the same. In letters to friends and family members, we see the worldview of the historical figure boiled down, and the personality on display. This is valuable in the case of Edwards, for true to his regional roots, he did not write a great deal about himself.

Continue reading “Jonathan Edwards: 4 Great Paragraphs (Part 2)”

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.”
Job 10:2

Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter?

Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star–not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of his children’s graces, to make them shine the better.

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