The Lord’s Garden

Lords Garden

by J. C. Ryle

“A garden enclosed is My sister, My spouse.” Song of Solomon 4:12

The Lord Jesus Christ has a garden. It is the company of all who are true believers in Him. They are His garden.

Viewed in one light, believers are Jesus Christ’s SPOUSE. They are all joined to Him by an everlasting covenant that cannot be broken; wedded to Him by the marriage of faith—taken by Him to be His forever, with all their debts and liabilities, with all their faults and imperfections. Their old name is gone—they have no name but that of their Bridegroom. God the Father regards them as one with His dear Son. Satan can lay no charge against them. They are the Lamb’s wife—”My Beloved is mine, and I am His” (Song. 2:16).

Viewed in another light, believers are Christ’s SISTER. They are like Him in many things. They have His Spirit—they love what He loves, and hate what He hates—they count all His members brethren—through Him they have the spirit of adoption, and can say of God, “He is my Father.” Faint indeed is their resemblance to their elder Brother! And still they are like.

Viewed in a third light, believers are Christ’s GARDEN. Let us see how and in what way. Continue reading

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‘My sheep’

My sheep

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

By Don Fortner 

With these two simple words our Lord distinguishes his people from all the rest of mankind. Let men deny it as they will, and let them denounce me for preaching it if that gives them pleasure, but the God of the Bible does distinguish between men. He chooses some and passes by others. He redeems some and leaves others under the curse of the law. He calls some and rejects others. He saves some and damns others. Grace is God’s prerogative. He has mercy on whom he will have mercy. Continue reading

But Spiritual Discernment is Wholly Lost Until we are Regenerated

by John Calvin

The following selection by John Calvin was taken from book 2, chapter 2 parts 18-21 ofThe Institutes of The Christian Religion, translated by by Henry Beveridge, Esq. A must read for all Christians who aspire to better understand the Bible’s teaching on man’s spiritual impotence prior to the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

18. The limits of our understanding

We must now explain what the power of human reason is, in regard to the kingdom of God, and spiritual discernments which consists chiefly of three things – the knowledge of God, the knowledge of his paternal favour towards us, which constitutes our salvation, and the method of regulating of our conduct in accordance with the Divine Law. With regard to the former two, but more properly the second, men otherwise the most ingenious are blinder than moles. I deny not, indeed, that in the writings of philosophers we meet occasionally with shrewd and apposite remarks on the nature of God, though they invariably savour somewhat of giddy imagination. As observed above, the Lord has bestowed on them some slight perception of his Godhead that they might not plead ignorance as an excuse for their impiety, and has, at times, instigated them to deliver some truths, the confession of which should be their own condemnation. Still, though seeing, they saw not. Their discernment was not such as to direct them to the truth, far less to enable them to attain it, but resembled that of the bewildered traveller, who sees the flash of lightning glance far and wide for a moment, and then vanish into the darkness of the night, before he can advance a single step. So far is such assistance from enabling him to find the right path. Besides, how many monstrous falsehoods intermingle with those minute particles of truth scattered up and down in their writings as if by chance. In short, not one of them even made the least approach to that assurance of the divine favour, without which the mind of man must ever remain a mere chaos of confusion. To the great truths, What God is in himself, and what he is in relation to us, human reason makes not the least approach. (See Book 3 c. 2 sec. 14, 15, 16.) Continue reading

Being Ready For Christ’s Return

Revelation 1:7

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

J.C. Ryle

Are you ready for the second coming of Christ? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints who have believed in Him and confessed Him on earth. He will come; to judge all His enemies, the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving.

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If a man can still pray

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled

“For The Troubled,” delivered January 12, 1873.

 

Now, while a man can pray he is never far from light; he is at the window, though, perhaps, as yet the curtains are not drawn aside. The man who can pray has the clue in his hand by which to escape from the labyrinth of affliction. Like the trees in winter, we may say of the praying man, when his heart is greatly troubled, “his substance is in him, though he has lost his leaves.” Prayer is the soul’s breath, and if it breathes it lives, and, living it will gather strength again. A man must have true and eternal life within him while he can continue still to pray, and while there is such life there is assured hope.

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Let us not only think of ourselves

J.C. Ryle

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 1,

[Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 257. {Luke 8:16-21}

Let us not only think of ourselves. Let us also think of others. There are millions in the world who have no spiritual light at all. They are without God, without Christ, and without hope. (Eph. 2:12) Can we do nothing for them? There are thousands around us who are unconverted and dead in sins, seeing nothing and knowing nothing right. Can we do nothing for them?

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Mohamedanism, or to the fierce doctrines of Budha……

  C. H. Spurgeon

Delivered on Sabbath Morning, September 16, 1855,
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

Storming the Battlements

“Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.”—Jeremiah 5:10.

E HAVE BEEN talking very freely during this last week of “glorious victories,” of “brilliant successes,” of “sieges,” and of “stormings.” We little know what the dread reality is of which we boast. Could our eyes once behold the storming of a city, the sacking of a town, the pillage of the soldiery, the barbarous deeds of fury, when the blood is up and long delay has maddened their souls; could we see the fields saturated with blood, and soaked with gore; could we spend one hour amongst the corpses and the dying; or if we could only let the din of battle, and the noise of the guns reach our ears, we should not so much rejoice, if we had anything of fellow feeling for others as well as for ourselves. The death of an enemy is to me a cause of regret as well as the death of a friend. Are not all my brethren? and doth not Jesus tell me so? Are we not all made of one flesh? and hath not God “made of one blood all nations that dwell upon the face of the earth?” Let us, then, when we hear of slaughtered enemies, and of thousands that have fallen, cease to rejoice in their death.

It would betray a spirit utterly inconsistent with the Christian religion, more akin to Mohamedanism, or to the fierce doctrines of Budha, but not in the least to be brought into compatibility with the truths of the gospel of the glorious God. And yet with all that, far be it from me to check any gladness which this nation may experience, now that it hopes that the incubus of war may at last be removed.

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