Saturday, 22 October 2011

PRECIOUS PROMISES OF THE GOSPEL

Many of the precious promises of the Gospel suppose troubles and conflicts. As it is written: “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when though walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shalt the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” (Isaiah 43:2-3).

We must have both watery trials and fiery trials, and both go into and through them, in order to enjoy the presence of the Lord therein, and to enter feelingly and spiritually into the blessedness of this promise.

And thus we shall find many of the exceeding great and precious promises of God connected with great troubles, and sometimes exceedingly great troubles; but when, like Moses, we are enabled to choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, we are doing the will of God; for this is one branch of the work of faith (Hebrews 11:24-26).

By William Gadsby

Thursday, 20 October 2011

CONDITIONAL PREACHING

It does appear that most teachers think there should be a distinction made between the sheep and goats, but does it not appear that the greatest part of preachers, in this day, are attempting to give to the goats what belongs to the sheep, and to the sheep what belongs to the goats?

For when on the one hand they address the unconverted, they tell them that it is their duty to look to Christ, and believe in him, and that they are warranted to offer them all the blessings of the gospel, thus making the gospel the unconverted man's rule of faith and practice; they, on the other hand, send the sheep to the law of works, and tell them that their comfort depends upon their walking according thereunto.

And when any poor soul is in darkness, through the power of the world, the flesh, or the devil, instead of pointing them to Christ, and telling them that it has pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell, they tell them to 'remove the cause, and the effect will cease;' and thus the goats are sent to the law of life, and the sheep to the killing letter.

By William Gadsby

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

ELECTION AND REDEMPTION

“Election”! O! That blessed truth has been and still is dearer to me than life; and the way and manner of its revelation and application to my soul in deep bondage and distress, has been marvelous indeed.

“Though God’s election is a truth
Small comfort there I see,
Till I am told by God’s own mouth,
That He has chosen me.”


I trust I can say that He has chosen me; for when I was under the law crying to the dear Lord for mercy, He spoke these words to my soul: “I have redeemed thee; thou art mine.”

This precious election is made known in redemption, so that we have electing love and redeeming blood.

Peter calls the Lord’s family, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:2) Hence, then, it is certain that election is known only by the Spirit, where there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).

Then follows the ratification of this solemn matter in the blood of sprinkling, which the Holy Ghost so blessedly reveals through the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 9; “When Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you” (Hebrews 9:19-20).

Redemption appears to follow close after election, and therefore must lie foursquare with that precious stone.

The ransom and the testification of it are to the elect only, and that always in “due time” (I Timothy 2:6), so that there is no such thing as being too late in these eternal matters.

Now, as to the Redeemer, He is altogether fitted for the great work, as He must needs be, for His people had sold themselves for naught, (Isaiah 52:3; Romans 7:14) and could not by any means redeem their souls or give to God a ransom (Psalm 49:7).

No, nor all the angels in heaven; none but God could redeem to God; therefore God’s eternal Son undertook to accomplish this great work (Isaiah 63:1-6). He came out of the bosom of the Father, who sent Him into the world (John 1:18). He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and the brightness of His glory, upholding all things by the word of His power; that purged our sin before He sat down at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3).

He is the “Child born” unto us, and the “Son given”, for this very purpose, (Isaiah 9:6) whose name is to be called Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Hence we behold Him in our nature, born of a woman, made under the law to redeem us therefrom; and yet at the same time He is the “mighty God”, the “everlasting Father”, and the “Prince of peace”.

He is the most high God, and yet was made lower than the angels! (Hebrews 2:9)

He, the mighty, the strong, (Proverbs 23:11) and yet He was crucified through weakness! (2 Corinthians 13:4)

He is indeed the near Kinsman, in whom is the right to redeem, (Ruth 3:13) — so near that He is the Head of the body, (Ephesians 5:23), the Husband of the church, (Isaiah 54:5) and the Brother born for adversity.

And bless His dear name, He is not ashamed to call His people brethren, (Hebrews 2:11) for we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. (Ephesians 5:30). And this near Kinsman has redeemed us.

1. He has redeemed us out of the hands of justice, by laying down His life for us. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). That is, for His sheep, (John 10:11) whom He redeemed from under the law and the curse, by being made a curse for them. (Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:5).

2. He redeemed us also from the house of bondage, that awful place in which we were by nature, symbolized by Israel’s being in bondage in Egypt, whence the Lord redeemed them, (Exodus 13:3) and called them to remember that redemption (Deuteronomy 24:18).

3. He redeemed us from the grave and the prison-house. “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” (Psalm 49:15). “As for thee, also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” (Zechariah 9:11).

4. He redeemed us from the power of darkness. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13).

5. We are redeemed from the hand of the terrible. “And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.” (Jeremiah 15:21). “I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues! O grave, I will be thy destruction!” (Hosea 13:14).

6. We are also redeemed from all iniquity. “He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Psalm 133:8). “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14).

And lastly, we are redeemed from all evil, as was our father Jacob of old. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God;” (Romans 8:21); “Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23).

Observe also the price of our redemption, and how that endears the Person of the Redeemer when it is made known by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was in His love and in His pity He redeemed us, (Isaiah 63:9) and that “not with corruptible things,” as silver and gold, “but with the precious blood of Christ,” (I Peter 1:18-19); “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Ephesians 1:7).

And so the four and twenty elders sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” (Revelation 5:9.)

Once more, as to the extent of this atonement. It reaches to the “ends of the earth” (Isaiah 65:22) to “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9). It reached Jonah in the belly of hell (Jonah 2:2), Mary Magdalene in all her filth, David in his twofold iniquity, Paul in his bloody persecutions of the saints, and the thief on the cross in the last hour of his life.

In a word, it extends to all the elect, all the adopted, all the sheep, all the effectually called; and so wonderful is its efficacy that it washes them, purges them, pardons them, brings them nigh; makes peace; covers, blots out, and forever puts away all the sin, filth, transgression, and impurity of all the predestinated family of the Prince of Peace.

By William Gadsby

THE MATCHLESS GRACE OF GOD

O the matchless grace of God!

What is it?

Who can describe it?

Let a poor worm venture to drop a hint or two upon it. It is the glorious, rich teeming out of the free favour of God the Father in election and its glorious bearings; of God the Son in redemption, and all he is and has, and has done for his spouse, the church of God; of God the Spirit in his quickening, enlightening, teaching, sealing, anointing, and sanctifying power.

Every act of the eternal Trinity, from the first contrivance of the plan of salvation to the full consummation of it in glory, when and where the whole church shall be with Christ and like him, is all of the rich free favour and sovereign grace of God the eternal Trinity.

By William Gadsby

Sunday, 7 August 2011

BOOK REVIEW: GADSBY'S CATHECHISM

The Things Most Surely Believed Among Us (Gadsby's Catechism), by William Gadsby;

Pamphlet; 24 pages;

Published by The Gospel Standard Trust Publications.

This is "Gadsby's catechism," published in his early days as God's servant at Manchester.

William Gadsby published his catechism to be a help to children in understanding the truth. Like all catechisms, this asks questions and then gives the answer - the idea being that the children should learn both the question and the answer.

Why did Mr. Gadsby publish his own catechism?

He tells us that parts of it are taken from what he calls "the Baptist catechism," but his fear was that this catechism put words into a child's mouth he was not capable of uttering.

For instance: "Adoption is an act of God's free grace whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God."

So he compiled his own.

The largely Church of England Gospel Magazine favourably reviewed the catechism in 1809.

If there is a criticism, it is that the catechism is too hard for young children, and also that some things are emphasized more than others. For instance, at this time Mr. Gadsby was involved in his controversy on "the believer's rule of conduct" so this figures in a marked way in the catechism.

In reprinting this catechism over 180 years later, the purpose is not so much for children - though it will be valuable for children. But here is a small body of divinity, couched in the simplest of terms. Here we have clearly stated "the things most surely believed among us."

We hope that the republication of Gadsby's catechism, under the blessing of the Lord, will be a means of establishing both young and old in "the faith once delivered unto the saints."

By B.A. Ramsbottom

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A FAITHFUL FATHER

There were seen, in a Manchester street, a crowd of lads, who were engaged in a fight amongst themselves. All of a sudden, a man came striding out of one of the houses nearby and went right to the centre of the fight, hauled outjust one lad and took him to his house to deal with him, leaving the others to carry on with their quarrel.

Why did this man do this?

He was the lad's father and hence the boy was his responsibility.

So it is that the Lord singles out His children for correction for correction because they are His, but solemnly, others are left to go on in their sins (although not without warnings), for the rest of their days.

It is far better for us to be corrected by a faithful, loving heavenly Father, than to be left to reap the wages of sin in an eternity to come.

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."
(Hebrews 12:6)

By William Gadsby

Sunday, 3 April 2011

QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN CONVERSATION

What a mercy it would be if our conversation were more on eternal things!

How we need the "three sieves":

Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?

And, we might add, Is it profitable?



"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
(John 3:7)

1. What is the new birth?

2. How is it accomplished?

3. How may a poor sinner know whether he is born again or not?

4. What blessings are connected with the new birth?

5. To whom is the praise due?



"Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
(Galatians 5:1)

1. What is this yoke of bondage?

2. What is it to be entangled with it?

3. What is the freedom and liberty from it?

4. How has Christ made you free?

5. In what sense may a free child of God be entangled again?

6. What are the feelings of one entangled?

7. What is it to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made free?

8. Ought not the free-born child of God to be truly concerned to maintain his liberty?

9. How is this liberty to be maintained?

10. What will bring into bondage?



"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
(Galatians 5:24)

1. What is it to be Christ's, and what is couched therein?

2. What is the flesh?

3. What are the affections and lusts of the flesh?

4. What is it to crucify them?

5. Can any man give proof that he is Christ's without this crucifixion?



"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ."
(Philippians 1:27)

1. What is the gospel of Christ?

2. What conversation becomes such a gospel?

3. Ought not Christians to maintain such a conversation?

4. Is not the gospel, in its various bearings, a sufficient rule of the real believer's conversation?



"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."
(Ephesians 1:3)

1. What are these spiritual blessings?

2. Where are they secured?

3. Who are the "us" that are blessed with them?

4. To whom does the glory belong for them?



"To the praise of the glory of His grace."
(Ephesians 1:6)

1. What is the grace of God?

2. What is the glory of that grace?

3. What has the Lord done to the praise of the glory of His grace?



"Wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved."
(Ephesians 1:6)

1. Who is this Beloved?

2. By whom is He beloved?

3. What is it to be accepted in the Beloved?

4. Who has made us accepted in the Beloved?



"As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh."
(Galatians 6:12)

1. What is a fair show in the flesh?

2. Wherein does that differ from a becoming Christian conversation?

3. What steps do such characters take to maintain a fair show in the flesh and escape the cross?

4. Should not real Christians withdraw from the company of such, and, in a becoming spirit, expose the wickedness of their proceedings?



"Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you."
(Isaiah 35:4)

1. What is it to be of a fearful heart?

2. What do such fear?

3. What is the nature of the message delivered to them?

4. What is intended by their God coming with vengeance and a recompense?

5. Is there a certainty of His coming to save them?

6. Is it not their privilege to "behold" Him?



"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."
(Isaiah 35:8)

1. What is that highway?

2. From whence and to where does it lead?

3. Is that way distinct from the highway? If so, what is that way?

4. Why is this way called the way of holiness?

5. Who are they that shall not pass over it?

6. For whom is it designed, and why are they called wayfaring men?

7. How is it that such men, though fools, shall not err therein?



"Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head. They shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."
(Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 35:10)

1. Who is the Lord, the Redeemer?

2. Who are the redeemed of the Lord?

3. What are they redeemed from?

4. What are they redeemed to?

5. How shall the redeemed come to Zion with singing?

6. What is the everlasting joy which shall be upon their heads?

7. Is there a certainty of their obtaining joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning fleeing away?

By William Gadsby

Friday, 1 April 2011

GADSBY QUOTES - AGAINST ANTINOMIANISM

"There is a difference between you living in sin, and sin living in you. Sin lives in a child of God, and plagues and harasses him continually, but he does not live in it. He hates it and abhors it."
(William Gadsby - The Resurrection)

THE RESURRECTION

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.”
(1 Corinthians 15:42-43)

This chapter clearly shows the resurrection of the dead, and arguments are brought forward to prove it which are of the greatest force. Paul brings forward the objections that an unbelieving mind would make against it; such, for instance, as, “How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?”

His answer is, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” All the ear is not sown, but merely a bare grain that dies, and then it is quickened, and brings forth fruit according to its nature.

There are some who assert that in heaven the saints of God will differ from each other in glory as the stars, but there is no passage in Scripture to prove such a statement. Our bodies are sown in corruption, they shall be raised in incorruption; and thus the body raised in incorruption will differ in glory from what it was when sown in corruption, as the dimmest star differs from the brightest planet. God shall change it, and fashion it like unto His glorious body; the brightest minister will not shine one whit brighter than the humblest hearer. Hence we read, “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

Thus it does not appear that the ministers of the gospel, who have been the means of turning many to righteousness, will outshine those that be wise, or those whom they may have been the means, in the hand of God, of turning to righteousness. For these shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, not as the dark firmament which needs the stars to light it; but as when the sun is up in his meridian splendour, emitting its beams of light on the firmament, and causing it to shine with a glorious brightness.

Again, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). And if all who die in Christ, all who are raised in incorruption, raised to glory, will be like Christ, there can be no difference; for Christ hath not many likenesses. Some people say there are large souls and small souls. Now just notice a babe; it grows and gradually increases in knowledge. Its intellectual faculties become enlarged, but its soul is no greater, otherwise when it gets old it droops with the body, and becomes as the soul of a little child once more. I believe that the soul of every child which dies in its infancy will shine as bright and be as great as that of Paul or any of the apostles. I believe also that William Gadsby, vile and base as he is, will shine as bright as Paul too.

All men are in nature, of nature, and by nature corrupt. “Their throat is an open sepulchre.” Now, a sepulchre is a place in which to deposit the dead, and is generally filled with a stench, proceeding from the corrupt bodies, and when it is opened it emits that horrid stench. So are we all by nature.

O what wickedness proceeds from our bodies!

Our tongues – what evil have they spoken!

Our eyes – what lustful, proud and sinful acts have they committed!

Let the glass tell what they have done!

Our hands – how have they been laid on that which is unholy, unclean!

Our feet – how have they run in the way of evil!

And after all, our bodies must moulder away in the earth, be food for worms, and become a stench, a nuisance to the living.

But now let us look at the new man, which is Christ in us, and at the old man, which is sin in us. Both live in us. There is a difference between you living in sin, and sin living in you. Sin lives in a child of God, and plagues and harasses him continually, but he does not live in it. He hates it and abhors it. This body, which is by nature corrupt, is actually the seat of all the inventions of Satan. And O how many there are who spend their whole time in washing, dressing and adorning it.

They little think that at one time it will be raised, not in glory, but to their shame and confusion. The wrath of God shall come upon them, if grace prevent not, and they shall burn with unquenchable fire.

Again, “It is sown in dishonour.” Our bodies are sown in sin. They are vile and polluted; but if changed by the regenerating grace of God through Christ Jesus, we shall be raised in glory.

And that glory who can describe?

We cannot describe the glory which the disciples beheld on the Mount of Transfiguration; which glory was so great that the disciples fell at Christ’s feet as dead.

How can we then describe the glory that shall hereafter be when our bodies are raised, when God Himself will be our glory?

By William Gadsby