Bulletin Edition February 2020

How can they escape?
Why, the Lord ‘keeps their feet’. He carries them
through every rough place—as a tender parent
carries a little child. When about to fall—He
graciously lays His everlasting arms underneath
them. And when tottering and stumbling, and
their feet ready to slip—He mercifully upholds
them from falling altogether.

But do you think that He has not different ways
for different feet? The God of creation has not
made two flowers, nor two leaves upon a tree
alike—and will He cause all His people to walk
in precisely the same path? No. We have . . .
each our path,
each our troubles,
each our trials,
each peculiar traps and snares laid for our feet.

And the wisdom of the all-wise God is shown by His
eyes being in every place—marking the footsteps of
every pilgrim—suiting His remedies to meet their
individual case and necessity—appearing for them
when nobody else could do them any good—watching
so tenderly over them, as though the eyes of His
affection were bent on one individual—and carefully
noting the goings of each, as though all the powers
of the Godhead were concentrated on that one
person to keep him from harm!

Adored be the grace which . . .
keeps us from falling,
seeks us when we are wandering,
heals our soul-sicknesses, and
pardons our innumerable follies.
John Newton

River of God
The river of God is full of water; but there is not one drop of it that
comes from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His own
battles but the strength which He himself imparts; and I would not have
you that are now distressed to be the least discouraged by it. Your
emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled; and your casting
down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

“The church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
Atonement for sin stands or falls with the Deity of Christ. If we deny
his Deity, we must deny the atonement, for what value or merit can there
be in the blood of a mere man that God, for its sake, should pardon
millions of sins? This the Socinians clearly see, and therefore deny the
atonement altogether. But if there be no atonement, no sacrifice, no
atoning sacrifice for sin, where can we look for pardon and peace?
Whichever way we turn our eyes there is despair.
But when by the eye of faith we see the Son of God obeying the law,
rendering, by doing and dying, acting and suffering, a satisfaction to
the violated justice of the Most High and offering a sacrifice for sin,
then we see such a glory and such a value breathing through every
thought, word, and action of his suffering humanity, that we embrace him
and all that he is and has, with every desire and affection of our
regenerated soul. All our religion lies here; all our faith, hope, and
love flow unto, and are, as it were, fixed and concentrated in Jesus
Christ, and him crucified; and without a measure of this in our heart
and conscience, we have no religion worth the name, nothing that either
saves or sanctifies–nothing that delivers from the guilt, filth, love,
power, and practice of sin–nothing that supports in life, comforts in
death, or fits for eternity.
The way, then, whereby we come to a knowledge of, and a faith in, the
Deity of Christ is first by feeling a need of all that he is as a
Savior, and a great one, and then having a manifestation of him by the
blessed Spirit to our soul. When he is thus revealed and brought near,
we see, by the eye of faith, his pure and perfect humanity and his
eternal Deity; and these two distinct natures we see combined, but not
intermingled, in one glorious Person, Immanuel, God with us. Until thus
favored we may see the Deity of Christ in the Scriptures, and have so
far a belief in it, but we have not that personal appropriating faith
whereby, with Thomas, we can say, “My Lord and my God.”

“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world—but for those You have
given Me, for they are Yours!” John 17:9.
The Lord Jesus cherishes a special affection for the church, which is
set upon her above the rest of mankind. The elect church is . . .
the favorite of Heaven,
the treasure of Christ,
the crown of His head,
the bracelet of His arm,
the breastplate of His heart,
the very center and core of His love!

That sympathizing, merciful, feeling,
tender, and compassionate heart
“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable
to sympathize with our infirmities.” Hebrews 4:15

The child of God, spiritually taught and convinced,
is deeply sensible of his infirmities. Yes, that he is
encompassed with infirmities—that he is nothing else
but infirmities. And therefore the great High Priest
to whom he comes as a burdened sinner—to whom
he has recourse in the depth of his extremity—and
at whose feet he falls overwhelmed with a sense
of his helplessness, sin, misery, and guilt—is so
suitable to him as one able to sympathize with
his infirmities.

We would, if left to our own conceptions, naturally
imagine that Jesus is too holy to look down in
compassion on a filthy, guilty wretch like ourselves.

Surely, surely, He will spurn us from His feet. Surely,
surely, His holy eyes cannot look upon us in our . . .
and shame.

Surely, surely, He cannot bestow . . .
one heart’s thought,
one moment’s sympathy,
or feel one spark of love
towards those who are so unlike Him.

Nature, sense, and reason would thus argue,
“I must be holy—perfectly holy—for Jesus to love;
I must be pure—perfectly pure—spotless and
sinless, for Jesus to think of. But . . .
that I, a sinful, guilty, defiled wretch;
that I, encompassed with infirmities;
that I, whose heart is a cage of unclean birds;
that I, stained and polluted with a thousand iniquities;
that I can have any inheritance in Him—or that He can
have any love or compassion towards me—nature, sense,
reason, and human religion in all its shapes and forms,
revolts from the idea.”

It is as though Jesus specially address Himself to the
poor, burdened child of God who feels his infirmities,
who cannot boast of his own wisdom, strength,
righteousness, and consistency—but is all weakness
and helplessness. It seems as if He would address
Himself to the case of such a helpless wretch—and
pour a sweet cordial into his bleeding conscience.

We, the children of God—we, who each knows his own
plague and his own sore—we, who carry about with us
day by day a body of sin and death, that makes us
lament, sigh, and groan—we, who know painfully what
it is to be encompassed with infirmities—we, who come
to His feet as being nothing and having nothing but sin
and woe—”we do not have a High Priest who is unable
to sympathize with our infirmities,” but One who carries
in His bosom that . . .
tender, and
compassionate heart.

“So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into
heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19
Octavius Winslow
The circumstance of the Lord’s ascension and exaltation meets with
frequent and marked allusion in the word of God. The Holy Spirit has
attached to the fact the greatest weight. The writings of the Old
Testament frequently and distinctly speak of it. Thus, in Psalm 47:5,
“God is gone up with a shout; the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.” It
is impossible to misunderstand the obvious allusion of these words. He
came down as God; He went up as “God manifest in the flesh.” The
ascension was worthy of His Deity. It was royal and triumphant. He went
up as a “great King,” and as a mighty Conqueror, “leading captivity
captive.” Attended by a celestial escort, and amid the shouts and
acclamations of all the heavenly hierarchy, He passed within the portals
of glory. The demand was made, the challenge was given, the answer was
returned: “Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be you lift up, you
everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King
of glory? The Lord strong and mighty—the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up
your heads, O you gates; even lift them up, you everlasting doors; and
the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of
hosts, He is the King of glory.” Yes, our Immanuel, God with us, is
“gone up with a shout;” the Lord, JEHOVAH-JESUS, “with the sound of a
trumpet.” And although no echo of the heavenly minstrelsy was heard on
earth, and the cloud which received Him veiled His receding form from
the gaze of His disciples, hiding from the view the deepening glory
which encircled His ascending flight, yet all heaven reverberated with
the song, and grew resplendent with the majesty of His entrance within
its gates.

The scene and the circumstances of our Lord’s ascension were of
thrilling interest, and deeply spiritual in their meaning. The period,
which it is important distinctly to specify, was just forty days after
His resurrection; thus affording ample time to establish, by the most
irrefragable proof and tangible evidence, this master-fact of His
history. Not only did He take this occasion to answer all the
reasonings, and resolve all the doubts, of His still incredulous
disciples, but He crowded into this brief space of time instructions the
most needed, precious, and momentous to the well-being of His church.
Drawing closer around Him, as if by the new and more powerful attraction
of His risen body, His devoted apostles—the future builders of His
spiritual temple—He proceeds to renew their divine commission to preach
the gospel, widening it to the exigencies of the world that gospel was
intended to bless. Opening their understandings more perfectly to
understand the Scriptures, He cleared and enlarged their view of His
Divine nature, the spiritual character of His kingdom, and the offices,
ordinances, and discipline which were to be observed in each
gospel-constituted section of His church. Thus, even after His atoning
work was finished, and the great seal of heaven was affixed to it, our
adorable Lord was still engaged in His Father’s business, still intent
upon promoting His glory, and the eternal welfare of His people. Oh,
what love was the love of our Immanuel!

Let us now ascend in spirit with Jesus, and contemplate the glory of His
exaltation. His entrance into heaven was the signal for the full
development of His mediatorial power and glory. This was the promise of
His Father, and this the reward of His death. “I have set my King upon
my holy hill of Zion.” “Unto the Son He says, Your throne, O God, is for
ever and ever.” “I appoint unto you,” says Christ, “a kingdom, as my
Father has appointed unto me.” Thus His exaltation at the right hand of
the Father was His full induction into His mediatorial kingdom. Now was
He exalted “heir of all things”—now were “all things put under His
feet”—now “all power in heaven and on earth was given to Him;” and from
that moment that He touched the crown, and grasped the scepter, and the
government was placed upon His shoulder, His truth was to advance, and
His kingdom widen, with ever-growing power, until, supplanting all
error, and subduing all kingdoms, He was to reign “King of kings and
Lord of lords.”

The Great Worker of Salvation
The great King, immortal, invisible, the Divine person, called the Holy
Spirit—it is He who stimulates the soul, or else it would lie dead
forever; it is He who makes it tender, or else it would never feel; it
is He who imparts power to the Word preached, or else it could never
reach further than the ear; it is He who breaks the heart, it is He who
makes it whole; He, from first to last, is the great worker of Salvation
in us, just as Jesus Christ was the author of Salvation for us.

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