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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 WALL OF SEPARATION CAST DOWN

mediatorJonathan Edwards:

He [Jesus Christ] hath by his blood made atonement for sin, so that our guilt need not stand in the way, as a separating wall between God and us, and that our sins might not be a cloud through which our prayers cannot pass. By his atonement he hath made the way to the throne of grace open. God would have been infinitely gracious if there had been no Mediator, but the way to the mercy-seat would have been blocked up. But Christ hath removed whatever stood in the way. The veil which was before the mercy-seat “is rent from the top to the bottom” by the death of Christ. If it had not been for this, our guilt would have remained as a wall of brass to hinder our approach. But all is removed by his blood, Heb. 10:17, etc.

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THE MAN WHO DOES NOT CARE TO PRAY

Charles SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:
“No man has such need to pray as the man who does not care to pray. When you can pray and long to pray—why, then, you will pray! But when you cannot pray and do not wish to pray—why, then, you must pray, or evil will come of it! He is on the brink of ruin who forgets the Mercy Seat. When the heart is apathetic towards prayer, the whole man is sickening from a grievous disease. How can we be weary of prayer? It is essential to life! When a man grows weary of breathing, surely he is near to dying! When a man grows weary of praying, surely we ought to pray anxiously for him, for he is in an evil case.” (1891, Sermon #2189)

The Place of Mercy

Do people really care for God’s mercy or comfort, when they continue to live in sin? Even so, God has devised a means by which justice can be satisfied, and mercy triumphant. Jesus Christ was sacrificed to Divine Justice and it was accepted as the punishment due to all His people. Andrew Bonar explains this in the context of the “mercy seat”:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

[T]he place where mercy can be found, is the place where the blood is. No other place, O sinner, in the wide world for you! But to that place you may come; nay, must come, if you would escape the wrath of God.

You must come as a sinner. You must come with nothing but sin. On the Day of Atonement, the priest in Israel who came forward to the mercy-seat laid down nothing but sin on that blood-sprinkled lid. He showed a sinner’s way of coming to the Lord; and yet he brought nothing what-ever but sin, to be laid down there. So the sinner, in coming to the mercy-seat, brings nothing but sin. He confesses the sin he was born with: “Behold! I was shapen in iniquity”; and lays it down on the sprinkled blood. He confesses his inheritance of corruption from Adam, and lays it down on that mercy-seat. He confesses his own personal sins, in their various forms, aspects, aggravations; the sins of his life and lips, as far as memory can remember, and lays them down upon the sprinkled blood. . . .

At length it is done. But what does it discover? He has laid down his whole soul there his very self; but in all this there has been nothing but sin for him to leave there! No holiness is laid down on that blood, for it is from all sin that the blood cleanses.

You come, therefore, wholly as a sinner. Nothing can be more deeply solemnizing than this. To have such a burden to lay down there to have nothing else than a burden of this kind, and to lay all this on the Lord Jesus Christ! How humbling, how fitted to lay the sinner in the dust, is the view this gives of his utter guilt and vileness! And yet nothing is more inviting, for it is with sin he comes, and as a sinner; and the Lord Jesus meets the sin and the sinner. Is there, then, any room for delay? Any ground for excuse for hesitating to come at once? (“The Mercy Seat”)

The Heavy Burden Of A Weak Soul

Charles H. Spurgeon

Many of us carry heavy burdens due to the circumstances of life, but Charles H. Spurgeon explains to us that these burdens need not be as heavy as they seem:

Your prayers at the best are nothing but a beggar’s cry. You still stand as beggars at the gate of mercy, asking for the dole of God’s charity, for the love of Jesus.

Prayer has a mighty power to sustain the soul in every season of its distress and sorrow. Whenever the soul becomes weak, use the heavenly strengthening plaster of prayer.

You remember in the ancient mythology the story of him who as often as he was thrown down, recovered strength because he touched his mother earth. It is so with the believer– as often as he is thrown down upon his knees, he recovers himself, for he touches the great source of his strength– the mercy-seat. If you have a burden on your back, remember prayer, for you shall carry it well if you can pray.

Once on a time Christian had upon his back a terrible burden that crushed him to the earth, so that he could not carry it; he crept along on his hands and knees.

There appeared to him a fair and lovely damsel, holding in her hand a wand, and she touched the burden. The burden was not removed, but strange to say, the burden became weightless. It was there in all its outward shape and features, but without weight. That which had once crushed him to the earth, now had become now so light that he could leap and carry it.

Beloved, do you understand this?

Have you gone to God with ‘mountains of troubles’ on your shoulders, unable to carry them, and have you seen them, not removed, but still remaining in the same shape, but of a different weight? They became blessings instead of curses — what you thought was a heavy ‘iron’ cross suddenly turned out to be a ‘wooden’ one, and you carried it with joy, following your Master. (“Let Us Pray”)

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