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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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He Took Our Sicknesses upon Himself

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

“The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Jesus used no other remedy in healing our sin-sickness, but that of taking our sicknesses and infirmities upon himself! This is the one great cure-all! Blessed be Jesus, that the medicine, bitter as it is, is not for us to drink, but was all drained by himself!

He took the terrible cup in Gethsemane, and drank it dry on our account! The sharp but healing cuts of the lancet are not made in our bodies, but he bore them in his own flesh! When the ploughers made deep furrows, those furrows were not upon the sinner’s shoulders, but upon the shoulders of the sinner’s Substitute!

Did you ever hear, O Earth, of such a Physician as this?

Jesus heals us by suffering himself! His pains, and sorrows, and griefs, and pangs, and torments, and anguish, and death are the only medicine by which he removes the woes of men! My friend, whatever your disease may be, this great Physician can heal you. Since he is God, there can be no limit to his infinite power; there can be no boundary to the majesty of his might. Come then with the blind eye of your understanding, come with the limping foot of your energy, come with the maimed hand of your faith, come just as you are, for he who is God can certainly heal you! The utmost length of your soul- sickness can be reached by this great Physician.

Have confidence, O poor doubting heart! Have unstaggering confidence in the Divine Healer! Blessed Son of God, how I will love you! With what gratitude will I look up to your cross and view you, while those blessed founts of health are streaming crimson floods, and while your heart is pouring forth a heavenly torrent, efficacious to wash the sinner from all his sicknesses! Come hither, all you sin-sick ones, and behold the glorious Son of God, breathing out his life upon the cross!

Come hither, you that mourn for sin, you who are palsied and diseased with iniquity! There is power, power still present in the dying Savior to heal you, whatsoever your diseases may be. The costly balm of his atonement has lost none of its power!

Jesus, the great physician, works cures very suddenly – he touches, and the deed is done at once. He works cures of all kinds – all soul diseases have been readily overcome by him. He never fails – he has not in his diary, one single case that has over-matched his mighty power. He heals effectually – the disease never again reigns when he has once dethroned it. He has no hospital for incurable souls, for there are no incurables for him. The Friend of sinners is “able to save unto the uttermost those that come unto God by him.” Cases of sin so putrid that men say, “Put them out of sight;” vice so detestable that the very mention of it makes the cheek of modesty to blush – such as these the master-hand of Emmanuel can heal!

With Jesus nothing is difficult. He can save the chief of sinners, and the vilest of the vile. Come, poor sinner, and behold him who is able to heal you of your deadly wounds; come look upon him now and live. (“The Gospel’s Healing Power” No. 720)

Christ the High King

From the writings of Jonathan Edwards:

Christ, as he is God, is infinitely great and high above all. He is higher than the kings of the earth, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is higher than the heavens, and higher than the highest angels of heaven.

So great is he, that all men, all kings and princes, are as worms of the dust before him. All nations are as the drop of the bucket, and the light dust of the balance, yes, and angels themselves are as nothing before him. He is so high, that he is infinitely above any need of us, so above our reach that we cannot be profitable to him, and so above our conceptions that we cannot comprehend him.

Christ is the Creator and great Possessor of heaven and earth. He is sovereign Lord of all! He rules over the whole universe, and does whatsoever pleases him.

His knowledge is without bound. His wisdom is perfect, and what none can circumvent. His power is infinite, and none can resist him.

His riches are immense and inexhaustible. His majesty is infinitely full of awe.

Yet, his condescension is sufficient to take a gracious notice of the most unworthy, sinful creatures, those that have no good deservings, and those that have infinite ill-deservings. (“The Excellency of Jesus Christ”)

God Reigns

A. A. Hodge was the son of Charles Hodge, named after the first principal of Princeton Seminary, Archibald Alexander. In the following lecture he explains:

We are this afternoon to consider the general doctrine taught in the inspired Scriptures of the providence which God exercises over the world and its inhabitants. . . .

We can know only those parts of [God’s] nature, of his relations or of his ways which he has chosen to reveal to us. And at the best the creature can know even that which he is permitted to know only in part. At the same time, God is essentially omnipresent and active at the same time and in unbroken continuity in all his creatures. Our dependent being exists in him, and our dependent energies are ceaselessly recreated from the inexhaustible fountain of his life. All nature and all human history evolve in unbroken continuity through his guiding, cooperating will present in and working through the created dependent things themselves. None the less is God separate from the world, existing alike extensively and intensively infinitely above and beyond it. . . .

He presides over the physical universe and over communities of men as a person exterior and superior to all. He controls all events by his interior confluent energies according to a plan, one and universal, formed before the beginning of the world. He has formed a great moral government over his intelligent creatures as men and angels, and governs them by commands and motives objectively presented, and by his providences and by his word. He at times, and for purposes evidently subsidiary to his general plan and to his ordinary methods, acts upon the system of second causes from without, working miracles, or signals to his intelligent children, thus arousing their attention, instructing their faith and determining their action. He has revealed the great end of his whole system of works, to which all things, in all eras and in all spheres, work together, to be the giving of objective expression to the perfections of his own nature, or, as we usually phrase, it the manifestation of his own glory.

In all our religious experience, when we work and when we study and when we pray, God is always at once beyond us and above us and before us and within us at once the source of all life and movement, the authority binding all consciences, and the sublime object of all personal love and worship. (“The Scripture Doctrine of Divine Providence” – These excerpts are taken from Popular Lectures on Theological Themes)

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