Bulletin Edition October 2019

The religion which I want

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

I am quite sick of modern religion–it is such a mixture, such a medley, such a compromise. I find much, indeed, of this religion in my own heart, for it suits the flesh well–but I would not have it so, and grieve it should be so.

The religion which I want is that of the Holy Spirit. I know nothing but what He teaches me. I feel nothing but what He works in me. I believe nothing but what He shows me.
I only mourn when He smites my rocky heart. I only rejoice when He reveals the Saviour.

This religion I am seeking after, though miles and miles from it–but no other will satisfy or content me.
When the blessed Spirit is not at work in me, and with me, I fall back into all the . . .
infidelity, and
of my Adam nature.

True religion is a supernatural and mysterious thing.

Lord, I am a poor, blind child

(Winslow, “Daily Need Divinely Supplied”)

“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”
Isaiah 40:11

Jesus leads those who are burdened, and need a skilful, sure, and gentle shepherd.

Our journey to heaven is across a waste, howling wilderness, through an enemy’s country, all armed and combined to resist, dispute, and oppose our every step.
It is a road, also, all untraveled and unknown. Over the entrance of every new path is written,

“You have not passed this way before.” A new bend in our life transpires, a new path in our pilgrimage is presented, involving new duties and responsibilities, new cares and trials. And with fear and trembling we gird ourselves for the new cloud veiled pilgrimage which God in His goodness has appointed us.

But why these doubts, these tremblings, these fears? Jesus is our Leader! He knows all the way we take, has mapped every road, and has appointed every path.

As a Teacher, He leads us into all truth;
as a Captain, He leads us from victory to victory;
as a Shepherd, He leads us into green pastures;
as a Guide, He leads us along our difficult path, skillfully, gently, and safely.

And HOW does Jesus lead us? He leads us graciously. He leads us along all the stages, and through all the exercises of our Christian experience, leaving us not when our frames are low, and our faith is assailed, and darkness, often thick darkness, covers our soul.

Who could skillfully, patiently, and faithfully lead us along all the mazes, intricacies, and perils of our Christian course safely to glory, but Christ our Leader?

Commit yourself, O my soul, confidently to the Lord’s leading. The way may appear all wrong to you, but it is the right way.
Mystery may enshroud it, trials may pave it, sorrows may darken it, tears may bedew it, nevertheless He is leading you by the right way home.

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them, and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do;

I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

“Lord, I am a poor, blind child, not knowing my way; and when I do see it, I am often so burdened that I cannot walk. Take me by the hand, and gently, skilfully lead me until traveling days are over, and I am at home with You forever. You have promised gently to lead the burdened and feeble who cannot keep up with the flock.

Lord, lead ME!”

Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

(author unknown)

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power!”
Colossians 2:9-10

One of the great tenets of Scripture, is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)!

He is sufficient for:
creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
salvation (Hebrews 10:10-12)
sanctification (Ephesians 5:26-27)
and glorification (Romans 8:30).

So pure is He, that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection in Him! (1 Peter 1:18-20)

So complete is He, that . . .
there is no other God besides Him (Isaiah 45:5)
He is the only begotten Son (John 1:14, John 1:18)
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Colossians 2:3)
the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians 2:9)
He is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2)
He created all things—and all things were made
by Him, through Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
He upholds all things by the word of His power (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews
He is the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)
He is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).
He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 1:17-18)
He is the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29)
He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14)
He is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1)
He is our life (Colossians 3:4)
He is the living and true Way (John 14:6)
He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star
(Revelation 22:16)
He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11)
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)
He is Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)
He is the Elect One (Isaiah 42:1)

He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1)
He is the Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11).
He is the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:17)
He is the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14)
He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)
He is the Light of the world (John 9:5)
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20:28)
He is the true Vine (John 15:5)
He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48)
He is the Door to Heaven (John 10:7)
He is the Sovereign Lord (Philippians 2:10-13)
He is Prophet, Priest and King (Hebrews 1:1-3)
He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9)
He is our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
He is the Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God,
the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
He is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
He is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
He is the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2)
He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13)
He is the Counsellor and Comforter (John 14:26)
He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and
He is the great I AM! (John 8:58)


Octavius Winslow

The most significant and appalling demonstration of God’s holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other, is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The cross of Calvary exhibits God’s hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never have done! “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.”

Behold the most awful display of God’s hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Saviour, the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! God finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son, emptied upon His holy soul all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how
imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!

But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son, but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church—He gave Himself for us. What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners! Man’s sin and God’s love; the indescribable enormity of the one, and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the cross of Christ as nowhere else. Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts—sin’s infinite hatefulness, and love’s infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a sacrifice so Divine, so holy, and so precious!

The Spirit’s work in salvation

by Spurgeon

The Holy Spirit lays bare his heart, lets him see the loathsome cancer that is there eating away his life, uncovers to him all the blackness and defilement of that sink of hell– the human heart; and then the man stands aghast–

“I never thought I was like this! Oh! those sins I thought were little, have swelled to an immense stature. What I thought was a mole-hill has grown into a mountain; it was a hyssop on the wall before, but now it has become a cedar of Lebanon.”

Then the man says to himself, “Oh, I will try to reform; I will do enough ‘good’ deeds to wash these ‘black’ deeds out.”

Then the Holy Spirit comes and shows him that he cannot do this, takes away all his ‘fancied’ power and strength, so that the man falls down on his knees in agony and cries, “Oh! once I thought I could save myself by my good works, but now I find that-

‘Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no respite know,
All for sin could not atone,

You must save, and You alone.’ “

Then his heart sinks, and the man is ready to despair. He says, “I can never be saved. Nothing can save me.”
Then the Holy Spirit comes and shows the sinner the cross of Christ, gives him eyes anointed with heavenly eye-salve, and says, “Look to yonder cross. That Man died to save sinners; you feel you are a sinner; He died to save you.”

And then the Holy Spirit enables the heart to believe, and come to Christ.

That Heavenly Teacher

(Philpot, “Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers”)

We do not learn that we are sinners merely by reading it in the Bible. It must be wrought, I might say, burnt into us. Nor will anyone sincerely and spiritually cry for
mercy, until sin is spiritually felt and known . . .
in its misery,
in its dominion,
in its guilt,
in its entanglements,
in its wiles and allurements,
in its filth and pollution, and
in its condemnation.

Where the Holy Spirit works, He kindles . . .
wrestlings, and
to know Christ, feel His love, taste the efficacy of His atoning blood, and embrace Him as all our salvation and all our desire.

And though there may, and doubtless will be, much barrenness, hardness, deadness, and apparent carelessness often felt; still that heavenly Teacher will revive His work, though often by painful methods; nor will He let the quickened soul rest short of a personal and experimental enjoyment of Christ and His glorious salvation.

Blow upon my garden

(John MacDuff, “Communion Memories”)

“Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow. Let my Beloved come to His garden, and eat its choicest fruits.” Song of Solomon 4:16

Come! Blessed Spirit, in all the plenitude of Your gifts and graces!

Come, as the north wind bringing with it conviction of sin–my own sin–seen in the light of my Saviour’s Cross and sufferings.

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