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

A Marvelous Change

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         By Don Fortner

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

            After declaring that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” the inspired apostle writes, “And such were some of you.” If I understand the phrasing of Paul’s words correctly, he is saying, “And such were you.” He is not suggesting that some of the Corinthians were guilty of these sins and others were not. He is saying, “All are guilty. Some were adulterers, some extortioners, some drunkards, etc.; but all have been guilty.” What was true of the Corinthians is also true of us.

This is what we were and where we were when God saved us by his grace (Isa. 51:1; Eph. 2:1-3). We must never forget from whence we came. We must never forget where we were and what we were before the Lord saved us. Not only is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 a description of what we were – This is what we all are by nature still (Matt. 15:19). There is no evil recorded here, or recorded in the annals of human history, the seed of which is not in each of our hearts by nature. Why does the Holy Spirit remind us so often of this painful fact? There are four reasons for this reminder:

1.      To humble us and keep us from pride and self-righteousness (1 Cor. 4:7).

2.      To honor, exalt, and magnify the grace of God in Christ (1 Cor. 26-30).

3.      To encourage sinners to come with all their sin to Christ, trusting him alone for salvation (Isa. 1:18).

4.      To inspire in our hearts the intense zeal and ardent love for Christ that our great Savior deserves (Lk. 7:47). Continue reading

Doctrinal Error and Damning Heresy

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Jesus said that “wolves” would “come in sheep’s clothing”. The Apostle Paul said, “Grievous wolves will enter in, not sparing the flock”. Paul wrote to Timothy and said as time goes on “evil men will get worse and worse, and deception will increase.” Paul again said, “there will be doctrines of demons that will lead people astray”. To put it mildly, there is a world of chaos and confusion in the church today.

We cannot, therefore, believe for a moment that everyone who claims to be “in Christ” and to “speak on behalf of Christ” is speaking the truth. Distinguishing truth and error has become vital to the 21st century Christian. (John MacArthur)  Continue reading

False Doctrine Is Worse Than Division

J.C. Ryle  ~

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.  Before certain men  came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles.  But when  they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself  from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their   hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.  When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I  said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.  How is it, then,  that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”

We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners” know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus  that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.  Galatians 2:11-16

The second is,  “That to keep the truth of Christ in His Church is even more important than to keep peace.”  Continue reading