Knowing Our Christ in His Fullness

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:23

“Christ is God’s.” These are remarkable words, and need to be carefully and reverently opened up. The fullness of the mystery is beyond our grasp. Still, we may attempt to look at it in faith and godly fear. How, then, is Christ God’s? First, he is God’s SON–not a Son by covenant or by office; in other words, not a nominal, but a true and proper Son–a Son by nature, by his eternal mode of subsistence as a Person in the Godhead. “This is my beloved Son” was twice proclaimed by God the Father with an audible voice from heaven.

Second, but he is also God’s SERVANT. “Behold my servant whom I uphold” (Isaiah 42:1). “It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:6), and this he was as Messiah. But because he is by office God’s servant, he is not less by nature God’s Son.

Here, however, he is spoken of as the God-man MEDIATOR, the Son of the Father in truth and love, the great High Priest over the house of God; and especially what he is as viewed in union with the Church, the Bridegroom with the bride, the Vine with the branches, the Shepherd with the sheep, the living foundation with the living stones built into and upon it. Christ, therefore, in our text is said to be God’s not only as the only-begotten Son of God, but as “the HEAD of the body, the Church” (Col. 1:18); for, says the Apostle, “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephes. 5:30). Christ, then, is God’s, with all those that belong to him–he as much as they, they as much as he. Look, then, at these glorious truths. “You are Christ’s” because by donation, purchase, and possession you are members of his body. “Christ is God’s” as Son, as Servant, as Mediator, as Head of the Church. Then you too are God’s, because you are Christ’s; for the members are one with their covenant Head.

Our God of Providence

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Ruth left and entered the field to gather grain behind the harvesters. She happened to be in the portion of land belonging to Boaz, who was from Elimelech’s family.” Ruth 2:3

“She happened.” Yes, it seemed nothing but an accident—but how divinely was it overruled! Ruth had gone forth with her mother’s blessing, under the care of her mother’s God—to humble but honorable toil; and the providence of God was guiding her every step! Little did she know, that amid the sheaves—she would find a husband; and that he would make her the joint owner of all those broad acres; and that she a poor foreigner, would become an ancestor of the great Messiah!

God is very good to those who trust in Him, and often surprises them with unlooked for blessings. Little do we know what may happen to us in the future; but this sweet fact should cheer us—that nothing which is really good for us—shall be withheld from us!

The word “chance” is banished from the Christian’s vocabulary—for we see the hand of God in everything. The trivial events of today or tomorrow, may involve consequences of the highest importance. Take comfort—our Lord deals as graciously with all His servants—as He did with Ruth!

How blessed would it be, if, in wandering in the field of meditation tonight—we would “happen” to come upon the place where our Kinsman Redeemer will reveal Himself to us! O Spirit of God—guide us to Him. We would sooner glean in His field—than bear away the whole harvest from any other! O for the footsteps of His flock, which may conduct us to the green pastures where He dwells!

This is a weary world when Jesus is away—we could better do without sun and moon—than without Him. But how divinely fair all things become—in the glory of His presence! Our souls know the virtue which dwells in Jesus, and can never be content without Him. We will wait in prayer this night—until we “happen” to come upon a part of the field belonging to Jesus—wherein He will manifest Himself to us!

 

How We Are Loved

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“I will love them freely.” Hosea 14:4

This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning, is a theologian; and he who can dive into its fullness, is a true spiritual master. It is a summary of the glorious message of salvation, which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer.

The meaning hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth—a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are.

The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness, “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us—then He would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.”

We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.” “I will love you freely.”

“But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish.” “I will not love you because you feel your need—I will love you freely.”

“But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire.” Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when He said, “He who believes on Him is not condemned.”

It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price!

“I will love them freely.” These words invite backsliders to return—indeed, the text was specially written for such, “I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.” Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father’s face!

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:21-23

Whatever there be in heaven, whatever there be in earth, that can be for your spiritual good, all is yours so far as you are an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. The silver and the gold and the cattle upon a thousand hills are all Christ’s because all power is given to him in heaven and in earth. Whatever your temporal needs may be, he can supply them, because he is king on earth as well as in heaven. Whatever enemies you may have, he is able to defeat them; whatever evils may press upon you, he is able to subdue them; whatever sorrows surround you, he is able to console you under them. Everything in time, everything in eternity, in this world and in the world to come, are all on your side, that are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

Our Walk With The Lord

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

There was a time, child of God, when the world held the chief place in your heart. God was not supreme in your heart. You and he were therefore at variance. But now, through grace, you are brought to make eternity your chief concern. You and God are agreed there; for in the mind of God, eternity as much outweighs time as the stars in the midnight sky outweigh a grain of dust. There was a time when you loved the world and the things of time and sense; and earth and earthly things were your element and home. You and God disagreed upon that matter; because the Lord saw that the world was full of evil, while you saw it full of good. The Lord saw the world under his curse, and you loved its favor and its blessing–seeking madly and wickedly to enjoy that which God had denounced; therefore you could not agree.

Thus you see that in order to be agreed with God, we must have God’s thoughts in our heart, God’s ways in our soul, and God’s love in our affections. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” But they must become such; and when once God’s thoughts become our thoughts and God’s ways our ways; when once we have the mind of Christ and see with the eyes of God, then God and we become agreed, and being agreed, we can walk together.

What is it to walk together? Why, it is to enjoy union, communion, fellowship, and friendship. Now as we are brought to agree with God, we walk with God. He has set up a mercy-seat on high, and when they thus agree, God and man may meet at the mercy-seat of the Redeemer. As the eyes are enlightened to see the truth of God; as the heart is touched to feel the power of God; and as the affections are drawn forth to love the things of God, we meet at the mercy-seat. It is sprinkled with blood; it contains and hides from view the broken tables of the law. There God meets man in gracious friendship, and enables him to pour out his soul before him and to tell him his troubles, trials, and temptations. And every now and then he sweetly relieves by dropping in a gracious promise, applying some portion of his sacred truth, encouraging him to believe in his dear Son, and still to hope in his mercy.

Our Meditation

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“I will meditate on Your precepts.” Psalm 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than society; and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians—if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering spiritual strength for labor in His service, through meditation on His Word. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine—if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the clusters, or else the juice will not flow; and they must carefully tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth—if we would get the wine of consolation from them.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth—but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone—is the process of digestion. It is by digestion, that the food becomes assimilated with the inner life.

Just so, our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, and learning—all require inward digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.

Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons—make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets—and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat—but they do not grind it; they would have the corn—but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree—but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet—but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this day, “I will meditate on Your precepts!”

Praying in the Holy Spirit

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Praying in the Holy Spirit.” Jude 20

Mark the grand characteristic of true prayer—it is “in the Holy Spirit.” The seed of acceptable devotion, must come from heaven’s storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God—can go to God. We must shoot the Lord’s arrows back to Him! Only that desire which He writes upon our heart—will move His heart and bring down a blessing—but the desires of the flesh have no power with Him.

Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying in fervency. Cold prayers—ask the Lord not to hear them. Those who do not plead with fervency—do not plead at all. As well speak of lukewarm fire—as of lukewarm prayer. It is essential that prayer be red hot!

Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying perseveringly. The true suppliant gathers force as he proceeds, and grows more fervent—when God delays to answer. The longer the gate is closed, the more vehemently does he use the knocker! The longer the angel lingers—the more resolved is he who he will never let him go without the blessing. Tearful, agonizing, unconquerable, importunate prayer—is beautiful in God’s sight!

Praying in the Holy Spirit means praying humbly, for the Holy Spirit never puffs us up with pride. It is His office to convince of sin, and so to bow us down in contrition and brokenness of spirit. We shall never pray acceptably, unless we cry to God out of the depths of contrite hearts.

Praying in the Holy Spirit is loving prayer. Prayer should be perfumed with love, saturated with love—love to our fellow saints, and love to Christ.

Moreover, it must be a prayer full of faith. A man prevails—only as he believes. The Holy Spirit is the author of faith, and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God’s promise.

O that this blessed combination of excellent graces, priceless and sweet as the spices of the merchant, might be fragrant within us because the Holy Spirit is in our hearts! Most blessed Comforter, exert Your mighty power within us, helping our infirmities in prayer!

Our Physician

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“I will bind up the injured and strengthen the sick.” Ezekiel 34:16

Peculiar maladies require peculiar remedies; but here is a general remedy, a family medicine. The Lord not only has strong remedies for desperate diseases; but in the divine medicine chest he has his restoratives and cordials. “Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples,” cries the Bride, “for I am faint with love.” She was in a swoon, and needed a reviving cordial to restore her. So a poor fainting soul may come to hear the preached gospel, or may open his Bible, and say, “What is here for me? When I hear any deep experience described, that seems to cut me off as too deep; and when I hear great manifestations entered into, that cuts me off as too high. So I seem to be a strange being, a peculiar out-of-the-way creature, that can neither dive nor fly, sink nor rise.”

Well, you are sick; you are like one in a hospital, ill of a malady that puzzles all the doctors. At last, one more skillful than his brethren, says, “There is no peculiar disease. But the man, like many of our London patients, is suffering from lack of nourishment, dying from sheer exhaustion. He needs better blood put into him. He must have some good food and wine, and a nourishing diet to recruit his strength and put new life into his body.” Thus acts the great Physician–Jehovah-rophi. “I will strengthen the sick.” The blood and righteousness of Jesus–that flesh which is food indeed, and that blood which is drink indeed, is given to the hunger-bitten wretch to revive him as with a heavenly cordial.

There is balm in Gilead; there is a Physician there; to that balm and to that physician sin-sick souls seek. If you have a real case, you may depend upon it, there is a remedy in the family medicine chest. It is not found out yet, at least you may not have found it, but there is a drawer, and in that drawer there is a draught devised by infinite wisdom and compounded by everlasting love. It is indeed a remedy such as no learned physician of the school of the pharisees ever prescribed, or an apothecary wise in his own conceit ever compounded; but yet the very thing, the very thing. And when that drawer is opened and the draught brought out, and you take it, you will be able to say with David in the joy of your heart, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

The Blessing of God’s Convicting Spirit

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“The priest is to examine him, and if the leprosy has covered his whole body—he shall pronounce that person clean.” Leviticus 13:13

This morning it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord—then is he clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy—but when sin is seen and felt—it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it.

Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth. If the Holy Spirit is at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips.

What comfort does the text afford to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however black and foul, shall never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. Whoever comes unto Him, He will never cast out. Though dishonest as the thief, though unchaste as the harlot, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal son—the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no soundness in him, and will pronounce him clean, when he trusts in Jesus crucified. Come to Him, then, poor heavy-laden sinner! Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare! You can’t come too filthy—come just as you are!

Our Prayer Answering God

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Evening Meditation

“Seven times Elijah told him to go and look—and seven times he went.” 1 Kings 18:43

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should not be received in Jehovah’s courts. Six times the servant returned—but on each occasion no word was spoken but “Go again.” We must not dream of unbelief—but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel’s brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again.

So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled—but not abashed—her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement—but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer—but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord.

Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation—deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint—and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin—but continue in prayer and watching.

At last the little cloud was seen—the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us—his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire!