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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Loveliness of Christ

The following is by Charles H. Spurgeon:

“Behold, you are beautiful, my Beloved.” (Song of Solomon 1:16)

Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus. How amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and he has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen him also “from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards”, and he has lost none of his loveliness.

From the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, have we turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and he has never been otherwise than “all lovely.” Many of his saints have looked upon him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word of him, but have died extolling his surpassing charms.

Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be forever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus! Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all his offices, and to perceive him matchless in each? To shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of peerless graces? In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on his throne, in the garden and in his kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, he is everywhere “altogether lovely.”

Examine carefully every little act of his life, and every trait of his character, and he is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh him as you please, and he will not be found lacking. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, his hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendor, and his unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds!

A Bare Historical Faith

George Whitefield, in this article, stresses the importance of experiencing Christ in your heart:

[T]hat I may know him and the power of his resurrection. . . . (Philippians 3:10 ESV)

How greatly then do they err who rest in a bare historical faith of our Savior’s resurrection, and look only for external proofs to evidence it? Whereas were we the most learned disputers of this world, and could speak of the certainty of this fact with the tongue of men and angels, yet without this inward testimony of it in our hearts, though we might convince others, yet we should never be saved by it ourselves.

For we are but dead men, we are like so many carcasses wrapt up in grave clothes, till that same Jesus who called Lazarus from his tomb, and at whose own resurrection many that slept arose, doth raise us also by his quickening Spirit from our natural death, in which we have so long lain, to a holy and heavenly life.

We might think ourselves happy, if we had seen the Holy Jesus after He was risen from the dead, and our hands had handled that Lord of life. But more happy are they who have not seen him, and yet having felt the power of his resurrection, therefore believe in him. For many saw our divine master, who were not saved by him; but whosoever has thus felt the power of his resurrection, has the earnest of his inheritance in his heart, he has passed from death to life, and shall never fall into final condemnation.

I am very sensible that this is foolishness to the natural man, as were many such like truths to our Lord’s own disciples, when only weak in faith, before he rose again. But when these natural men, like them, have fully felt the power of his resurrection, they will then own that this doctrine is from God, and say with the Samaritans, “Now we believe not because of thy saying,” for we ourselves have experienced it in our hearts.

And O that all unbelievers, all letter-learned masters of Israel, who now look upon the doctrine of the power of Christ’s resurrection, or our new birth, as an idle tale, and condemn the preachers of it as enthusiasts and madmen, did but thus feel the power of it in their souls, they would no longer ask, how this thing could be? But they would be convinced of it, as much as Thomas was, when he saw the Lord’s Christ; and like him, when Jesus bid him reach out his hands and thrust them into his side, in a holy confession they would cry out, “My Lord and my God!” (“The Power of Christ’s Resurrection”)

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