Wednesday, 26 December 2012

EVERYTHING IN CHRIST

God tells us that His people are accepted in Christ. If we are without Christ, then we have nothing that God will accept; because His people are accepted in Christ. God has said that no man can come unto the Father but by Christ; therefore if we are without Christ we have no ground upon which we can approach unto God. Christ says, "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life"; and if He is the Way, there is no other way; if He is the Truth, everything else is a lie; and if He is the Life, everything apart from Him is death. Therefore, if we are without Christ, we are out of the way, we are ignorant of the truth, and we are dead in trespasses and sins. Is this the case? Are you without Christ? If you are, whatever you possess besides, it will not do to bring it to God.
"Sinners can say. and only they. How precious is a Saviour."
If there be any poor, rooted-up, broken-hearted sinner [reading this], who feels he is ruined, and guilty, and filthy, and is ready to cry out that he is too vile, too base, and that God will not receive such a vile sinner as he is, I tell thee what; a sinner never was received since the world stood, but on the ground of Christ, and thy felt sinfulness, vileness, and wretchedness are rather a plea than anything else, that thou shouldst fall flat upon Christ as thine all-sufficient Saviour. If we are without Christ, we are without holiness; for God says, "He is made unto us sanctification." But the child of God has got a holiness that Satan cannot sully, and which will stand the test amid all the confusion and noise around him. Without Christ, all the rest will leave us when we come to die; but, having Christ, we shall stand when the world is in a blaze, and we shall be able to say,
"Bold shall I stand in that great day. For who aught to my charge shall lay. While through Thy blood absolved I am From sin's tremendous curse and shame?"
Again, if we have Christ, we have His blood for pardon, His righteousness for justification, His fulness to supply all our needs, His promises to cheer us, His strength to support us, His wisdom to guide us in all our ways. We have Him in all the offices He sustains - as Prophet to teach and instruct us, as Priest to atone and plead for us, and as King to rule over us and in us. We have Him in all the blessed characters He bears - as our Shepherd, our Captain, our Bread of Life, Water of Life, and the Wine of God to cheer us. We have Him in the endearing relationship He sustains as our Elder Brother. And, which is more endearing than all, we have Him as our Husband; and He does not take His bride as we are in the habit of taking ours - for better or worse. O no! He knew she would have no "better" about her; it would be all "worse": therefore He took her with all her sin and guilt, and stood answerable for all her debts. By William Gadsby - 1842

CHRIST SPEAKING TO HIS CHURCH

This is love, tenderly expressed, matchless, free, undeserved love - love that many waters cannot quench and that the floods cannot drown. Here creature-strength, creature-beauty, creature-goodness, and even creature vileness too, with all the roarings of hell, must all give place together, and Christ alone must be exalted. Matchless grace has made this poor filthy wretch comely in the Lord's comeliness and beautiful in His beauty (Ezekiel 16:14). Though black in herself, she is comely in Christ (Song of Solomon 1:5; Song of Solomon 6:4); and the dear Lord speaks to her with all the love and tenderness of His loving and lovely heart: "Come with Me from Lebanon." (Song of Solomon 4:8) As though He had said,
"Come, poor soul. In thy own sight and feelings thou art sunk into indescribable filth and ruin, and art ready to say. 'There is no hope for me'; as all thy efforts to deliver thyself only sink thee lower, and produce more horror of mind. But remember, 'My grace is sufficient for thee, and My strength shall be made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, lean upon My arm; bear all thy weight on the arm of My blood, love and righteousness; for here thou shalt find sufficient virtue and strength to raise thee up out of all thy horror, and to defend thee against all dangers. It is by the blood of My covenant that poor prisoners are brought out of the pit wherein is no water (Zechariah 9:11). Neither the allurements of the world, the lions of hell nor the corruptions of thy own heart shall destroy thee. Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world, defeated Satan, and made an end of sin, and am in very deed thy great salvation. Cast all thy cares upon Me; lean wholly upon My atoning blood for pardon, My righteousness for justification, and My all-conquering arm for thy defence. I have waded through all the floods of thy woes, fought thy battles for thee, and defeated all thy enemies; therefore drop into My embrace, and come up with Me, My spouse, with Me. Thy complete conquest is secured in the victories I have gained, and it is thy high privilege to rest in My love, blood and obedience. Thou art My spouse, and thou art one in and with Me. My life is thy life, My righteousness is thy righteousness, My strength is thy strength. My holiness is thy holiness; for I am made of God unto thee wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and I will bring thee safely through all thy trials, and present thee to Myself 'all glorious'. Thy own heart will deceive thee; but My salvation-arm is Almighty, and will never deceive thee nor fail thee; therefore come up with Me, out of all thy foes, and fears, and faintings, and filth, and wretchedness. Again, I say, poor, tried, tempted, distracted soul, come up with Me, and lean wholly upon My arm. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, but will be a very present help in all thy troubles, and thou shalt prove me a God and Friend near at hand. No weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. Therefore, come up with Me from all thy miseries to the sweet enjoyment of My glorious conquest; and by faith in My love, blood and obedience, sing the wonders of My grace. Come, lovely spouse, and hold a few moments sweet communion with Me. I freely give thee My heart and take thine, to realise a little of the blessedness arising from and connected with thy eternal election, thy special and absolute redemption, and thy spiritual and vital vocation. All the glories arising from the everlasting love of thy Three-One-God are made over to thee, as thou standest in union to Me; I in thee, and thou in Me, and thou art complete in Me. Come up with Me, for thy God will converse with thee, and smile upon thee. Thou art chosen in Me, redeemed by Me, and hast redemption through My blood, the forgiveness of all thy sins. Thou art made holy in Me, thou art accepted in Me, and in Me thou hast obtained an inheritance; and all to the praise of God's glory."
Therefore thou mayest safely sing,
'Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise; when I sit in darkness the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness; then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? Mine eyes shall behold her; now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.'
May the dear tried family of God be enabled to look unto, rest upon, and trust wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ, and come up with Him from all their filth and enemies into the solemn enjoyment of the mysteries of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; that so they may feelingly say, "My Beloved is mine, and I am His" (Song of Solomon 2:16). By William Gadsby

BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MOURN

"Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4) -------------------- Not all kinds of mourners are here intended; for there is the sorrow of the world, which worketh death and produces nothing but sin, misery and rebellion against God. Some mourn because they cannot increase in riches, honours and pleasures; but there is no blessing promised to them. The mourners which God has pronounced blessed are such as mourn over themselves and after God. The Lord's spiritual mourners mourn over their sinfulness and wretchedness, as sinners against a holy, righteous, good and kind God. The filth and corruption of their fallen nature give them real grief and pain of heart. Its daily bubblings and risings up are a real plague to them. They are no strangers to what Solomon means by the plague of the heart (1 Kings 8:38), and daily experience, under the teachings of God the Holy Ghost, proves to them that this plague is deeply rooted, and breaks out in bubblings up in a thousand different ways; and when the Lord is pleased to hide the light of His countenance and make them feel His righteous displeasure against sin, with the psalmist they mourn and say, "There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin" (Psalm 38:3). The dear child of God sometimes mourns over hardness of heart and darkness of soul. Neither judgments nor mercies appear to move him, nor does he seem able to raise a tender thought up to God, if he must perish for the want of one. At times, the only feeling he appears to have is a secret mourning because he is so hard, and so dark, and so incapable of deeply mourning. Now and then a solemn sigh heaves up his breast, which speaks language like unto this; "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24) All the life he seems to have is mournfully to breathe out Job's confession, "Behold, I am vile" (Job 40:4). And as the Lord is pleased to give him a deeper feeling of his vileness, he is led sensibly to cry, "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:6). Yea, "I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God" (Ezra 9:6). Such souls mourn because they have so little intercourse with God, and are so much entangled with the things of the world. Now while the poor children of God mourn over themselves, they mourn after God. They mourn after the liftings up of the light of His countenance and a sweet and solemn enjoyment of His pardoning mercy, through the precious blood of the Lamb; and with panting desires they cry, "Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon me" (Psalm 4:6); "For Thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great..." (Psalm 26:11); "Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me, for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged. O bring Thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins." (Psalm 25:16-18) Thus God's people will, at times, deeply pant for and mourn after God's rich manifestive mercy and pardoning love. The believer has no real happiness when he has no sweet intercourse with the Lord. He daily pants to feel more and more of the blessedness couched in this soul-refreshing, God-glorifying truth: "And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3) Like David, he can say, "As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:2); for a sweet and blessed enjoyment of interest in Him, as my own covenant God - Father, Son and Spirit. "Yes," says the mourning soul, "I want to feel that Israel's one Triune God is my God for ever and ever, and that He will be my Guide even unto death. My great fear is, lest I should be sitting down content with a dead, formal religion, without the life and power of vital godliness. O that I could feel a greater conformity to Christ, and live more in the enjoyment of Him as my all in all!"
"More frequent let Thy visits be, Or let them longer last; I can do nothing without Thee; Make haste, O God, make haste."
Such mourners are blessed. The dear Lord of the house does not merely say they may, or shall be, blessed; but they absolutely are blessed; now blessed, though they may not be able to enjoy the blessings which belong to them: "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) Thus they have secured in Christ all that can make them holy or happy, all that can give them a title to heaven and a meetness for it, and convey them safe there, and be their glory when they are there. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) -------------------- By William Gadsby - 1836

Thursday, 11 October 2012

THE CHRISTIAN'S PROSPECT - A LETTER TO HENRY FOWLER

A letter to Henry Fowler, preacher of the gospel at Gower Street Chapel, London. He died five months later. ------------------- My dear Brother - I was truly sorry to hear of your affliction, and I do hope by this time you are better. O my dear brother, what poor dying worms we are, and what a wretched wilderness this is! But adored be the name of our dear Lord, He has been, and still is, and ever will be, a very present help in trouble. Both you and I have proved Him so thousands of times, and I hope you prove Him so now. I have of late been in very deep waters, in more respects than one; but here I am, the spared monument of the Lord's discriminating grace. When you and I arrive at home, what an immortal shout we shall give to the honour of our Three-One God, who has loved us, redeemed us, quickened us, kept us and led us about, and brought us safe home to live in Him and with Him, and be like our glorious Head, and sing the wonders of His love for ever and ever. Well, my dear brother, a few more cold winds, and rains, and nipping frosts, and a few more fiery darts and hot balls from hell, and a few more babblings and bubblings up of the filth within, and every storm will be over, and we shall ever be with the Lord, where all will be light, life, love, joy, peace and liberty, glorious liberty, and God will be all and in all. The Lord be with, and bless, and keep, and succour, and comfort, and rejoice you, is the prayer of your brother in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of the saints. July llth, 1838 - W. Gadsby

"AND BE FOUND IN HIM"

"And be found in Him..." (Philippians 3.9)

Poor panting, groaning, sin-sick soul, On Jesus cast thy care; He will thy every grief condole. And save thee from despair.

Look for yourself - where'er you will, Except in Christ your Head - You'll find yourself a rebel still, Nor one good work can plead.

Should you with diligence and care Examine duty's ground, Or faith, or penitence, or prayer, Still you are guilty found.

But if to Christ you turn your eye. And find yourself in Him, There you've a life that cannot die, There you are free from sin.

Complete, without a single stain. In Him you stand quite pure; And with Him you shall ever reign, When time shall be no more.

William Gadsby - 1833

Friday, 5 October 2012

"YE HAVE NEED OF PATIENCE"

"For ye have need of patience." (Hebrews 10:36) -------------------- Moses believed God had raised him up to deliver Israel; so when he saw the Egyptian smiting the Israelite (being a strong and important man), he thought the time and place seemed favourable to him. But God's time had not come. Moses must have more patience, wisdom, and humility. The Lord sent him forty years to the desert to QUALIFY him for HIS WORK. The Lord was teaching him patience, humility, and wisdom. After forty years in the wilderness, he did not run so zealously; for he said, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." (Exodus 4:10). THERE WAS NOT A WORD ABOUT ALL THIS FORTY YEARS AGO! But now that the Lord has been qualifying him for His ministry, Moses shrinks back and does not want to go; but the Lord had determined to send him. Moses had need of patience before the Lord made known His truth to him and brought him forth to lead His people out of bondage. By William Gadsby - 1800

Monday, 7 May 2012

CHRIST MADE SIN - NOT IN HIS NATURE - BUT BY IMPUTATION

If thou art brought to feel thou art such a sinner as the Lord says thou art, and brought to confess that feeling, thou art a vessel of mercy; God will save thee in the Lord with an everlasting salvation. "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chamber, and shut thy doors about thee." (Isaiah 26:20) We come now to notice these "chambers," and what is meant by "shutting the doors." The Lord tells us in one place, "He is a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." One cries out, "Thou art my refuge; therefore will I hope in thee." These chambers were typified under the law by that solemn ordinance that the Lord instituted for Israel in Egypt, when He told them to take a lamb, and slaughter it, - according to their families; and to shut the door on them, sprinkling the blood of the lamb on the door-posts. So when the destroying angel came to destroy the first-born in Egypt, they were hid, shut up; the blood shut the door, and all the wrath revealed by the Lord could not enter there. So the people of Israel slaughtered the lamb, by appointment of God; they stood with their loins girt about them; and it was eaten with bitter herbs. Now, mind you, it was roasted; all was eaten; none was thrown away. Well, what does this show? That the Lamb of God was roasted in God's wrath, with all the damnable propensities of His people. O the matchless wonders of his discriminating grace! He was made sin, really made sin; not in His nature, for He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; but he was made sin in covenant contract, as the Head and Representative of His people. Poor tempted child of God, poor believer, thy blindness, thy hardness, thy pride, thy lust, thy unbelief, and the plague of thy heart, were all imputed to Christ; he bore the blame, and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. When we are brought in faith feelingly to receive the atonement, to enter into the atonement, and rely on it, we shut the door of atoning blood about us; and there is not a devil in hell or man on earth can bring us in guilty. Thus, we say, "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit; for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death; for what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." By William Gadsby - 1842.