Bulletin Edition August 2021

Consider Jesus– as Without Deceit

Octavius Winslow

“He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22

Purer than the purest crystal, more transparent than the brightest sun, was the character of Jesus. It needed but the visual organ purged from the blinding and distorting effects of sin to have looked into the deepest recesses of His heart, to have seen every pulse, to have read every thought, and to have fathomed every purpose of His soul–so open, transparent, and childlike was He. His foes sought with deception to ensnare Him, but He was too innocent to be ensnared. The moral atmosphere of His being was too pure and translucid for their wicked purposes to find a single fault. They could fix no thought, excite no passion, rouse no imagination within His breast that would have left a taint or a cloud upon that pure, bright spirit of His. What He declared of Satan could with equal truth have been affirmed of ungodly men–“The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.” They found no evil in Him upon which their own sinfulness could work. Wickedness could not for a moment exist in an atmosphere so holy.

Consider the integrity and honesty of Jesus as the fulfilment of a prophecy: “Neither was any deceit in His mouth” (Isa. 53:9). Ponder carefully, my soul, every fulfilment of prophecy concerning your precious Jesus. It will fortify you against the assaults of infidelity and the suggestions of Satan, and enlarge your knowledge of, and deepen your love to, the Saviour. Behold the fulfilment of this remarkable prediction–“Neither was deceit found in His mouth.”

There was no deceit in THE TRUTHS WHICH JESUS TAUGHT. All that the Father revealed to Him He made known to His disciples. He falsified nothing, obscured nothing, kept back nothing. What a lesson for us! Are we ministers of Christ? Then it is our solemn duty to guard against deceit and hypocrisy in our ministrations of the truth. There must be no adulteration of the Word, nothing doubtful in our statement of the Deity and Atonement of Christ, no mental reservation in preaching the doctrines of grace, no denying or neutralising the Person and work of the Spirit, not the slightest vestige of craftiness or deceitfulness in handling the word of the living God. Woe unto us if we preach not the great truths of the gospel as Christ taught them! We must preach Christ only and wholly, and with Paul be able to testify–“We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” My soul! beware of holding the truth with guile!

Jesus was guileless in ALL HIS ACTIONS. Everything that He did was as open and as transparent as the light of day. Thus, my soul! learn of Him. Let there be nothing doubtful or ambiguous in your dealings with the world; no deceit or equivocation in your communion with the saints; but let every action and motive and end be as clear and pure as the sun’s noontide splendour. Lord, in all things “let integrity and uprightness preserve me.”

Above all, Jesus was without guile in HIS WALK BEFORE GOD. He could say, and He only, “I do always those things which please Him.” It is here, O my soul, you have the most closely to commune with your own heart, and to weigh and ponder and scrutinise every step you take. “You, Most Upright One, do weigh the path of the just.” Oh, walk before God with a perfect heart, and let your prayer be–Lord, search me! and should I not be real, honest, transparent–graciously, effectually root up every noxious weed, especially that hateful weed of hypocrisy, from Your own garden; and let no principle or motive, aim or end exist but what You approve, and what will be for Your honour and glory. By the sanctifying grace of Your Spirit, by the searching power of Your word, by the hallowed discipline of temptation, affliction, and sorrow, make me an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

“He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22

John MacDuff

How rare, and all the more beautiful because of its rarity, is a purely deceitless spirit! A transparent medium through which the light of Heaven comes and goes: open, candid, just, honourable, sincere; scorning every unfair dealing, every hollow pretension, every narrow prejudice. Wherever such characters exist, they are like “apples of gold, in pictures of silver.”

Such, in all the loveliness of sinless perfection, was the Son of God! His truthfulness and sincerity shining the more conspicuously amid the artful and malignant deceits alike of men and devils. Passing by manifold instances in the course of His ministry, look at its manifestation, as the hour of His death approached. When, on the night of His apprehension, He confronts the assassin band, in meek majesty He puts the question, “Whom do you seek?” They said to Him, “Jesus of Nazareth!” In guileless innocence, He replies, “I am He!” “Are You the King of the Jews?” asks Pilate, a few hours after. An evasive answer might again have purchased immunity from suffering and indignity — but once more the lips which scorned the semblance of evasion reply, “Yes, it is as you say!”

How He loved the same spirit in His people! “Behold,” said He, of Nathaniel, “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” That upright man had, we may suppose, been day after day kneeling in prayer under his fig-tree, with an open and candid spirit —

“Musing on the law he taught,

And waiting for the Lord he loved.”

See how the Saviour honoured him; setting His own divine seal on the loveliness of this same spirit!

Take one other example: when the startling — saddening announcement is made to the disciples, “One of you shall betray Me!” they do not accuse one another; they attempt to throw no suspicion on Judas; each in trembling apprehension suspects only his own treacherous heart, “Lord, is it I?”

How much of a different “mind” is there abroad! In the school of the world (this painted world,) how much is there of what is called “policy,” double-dealing! — accomplishing its ends by distorting means; outward artificial polish, often only a cloak for falseness and selfishness! — in the daily interchange of business, one seeking to overreach the other by tricky arts — sacrificing principle for temporal advantage. There is nothing so derogatory to religion as anything allied to such a spirit among Christ’s people — any such blots on the “living epistles.” “You are the light of the world.” That world is a quick observer. It is sharp to detect inconsistencies; and slow to forget them. The true Christian has been likened to an anagram — you ought to be able to read him up and down, every way!

Be all reality, no counterfeit. Do not pass for current coin, what is base alloy. Let transparent honour and sincerity regulate all your dealings! Despise all deceitfulness; avoid the sinister motive — the underhand dealing; aim at that unswerving love of truth that would scorn to stoop to base compliances and unworthy equivocations; live more under the power of the purifying and ennobling influences of the gospel. Take its golden rule as the matchless directory for the daily transactions of life — “So in everything, do unto others — what you would have them do unto you.”

“Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.”

“An Israelite Indeed, in Whom is No Guile”

 “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”(John 1:47)

 In his commentary on this verse John Trapp wrote, “Here Christ wondereth at his own work of renovation, as wonderful, doubtless, as that of creation.”

“An Israelite Indeed”

The Lord Jesus tells us that Nathanael was an Israelite indeed. He was not simply one who was a physical descendant of Abraham. — “For all are not Israel which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). Nathanael was an Israelite indeed, one of the “children of promise” (Galatians 4:28), one of “the Israel of God,” of Abraham’s spiritual seed, one of God’s true Israel, an heir of covenant grace. He was circumcised inwardly by God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:11-12; Philippians 3:3), not just outwardly.

That part of the verse is easy. But the next thing our Lord Jesus says about Nathanael is not as easily understood. — “Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile.” We are often urged to be without guile; but here our Lord declares of a man, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” How are we to take those words? Guile is hypocrisy, deceit, cunning, craftiness, duplicity, dishonesty. Does our Savior mean for us to understand that Nathanael had no guile?

Only four times in Holy Scripture do we read of people being free of guile, here, in Psalm 32:2, 1 Peter 2:22, and in Revelation 14:5. In Psalm 32 we are told that the forgiven sinner is one in whose spirit there is no guile. In 1 Peter 2:22 the Holy Spirit tells us that our Lord Jesus had no guile. And in Revelation 14:5 we are told that those who stand before God in heaven have no guile. We read in Revelation 21:27 that none can enter that blessed place called heaven who have any guile, but only those whose names were written as perfect and without guile in “the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Guileless Spirit

The forgiven sinner, the heaven-born soul is one in whose spirit there is no guile (Psalm 32:1-2). Certainly Nathanael was that. He was a true child of God, a true believer in difficult times. He was one of a very little flock. Like Simeon and Anna, he was living by faith and waiting prayerfully for the promised Redeemer when our Lord began his ministry. He had that which grace alone can give, an honest heart, a heart without guile.

      Without question, pardoned sinners are upright, righteous, and without guile in the course of their lives. They are not dishonest, hypocritical people. The Lord God declares of all his children that they are “children that will not lie” (Isaiah 5 63:8). But that cannot be our Lord’s meaning here. He here declares that Nathanael was a man in whom there was “no guile” and asserts that they and only they in whom is no guile are true Israelites. Yet, every heaven-born soul knows the plague of his own heart. All who are taught of God know that they are by nature full of guile.

No Exaggeration

 When our Lord declares that Nathanael is without guile and asserts that all who are Israelites indeed have no guile, was he exaggerating, or was he stating the truth? He was stating the truth, pure, absolute truth. All who trust Christ are Israelites indeed (Philippians 3:3). And all God’s elect are a people in whom there is no guile, no duplicity, no hypocrisy, nothing false!

This is not a declaration of personal, or personally accomplished, holiness. Those who know the plague of their own hearts know better. Yet, when the Lord Jesus described Nathanael with these words, “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile,” Nathanael realized that he was and is the Christ, the all-knowing God in human flesh. When he answered the Saviour, saying, “Whence knowest thou me?” he as good as said, “Truly, I am a guileless man by the grace of God, and you could not know that if you were not the God who has made me a new creature by your grace. — ‘Thou art the Son of God. Thou art the King of Israel!’”

God’s people are a people with no guile. This is a plain statement of fact. It is not an exaggeration. All who are saved by the grace of God are without guile…

Representatively — We stand guileless before the holy Lord God because we are in Christ, one with Christ.

Eternally — We have been accepted in Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, from eternity, “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).

Judicially — The Lord God declares that there is no sin, no iniquity, no guile recorded against us in the record books of heaven (Jeremiah 50:20).

In Spirit — In the new birth God the Holy Spirit creates in the chosen, redeemed sinner a new nature that is truly righteous and holy, a nature that cannot sin (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; 1 John 3:6-10). That new nature is “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27; 2 Peter 1:4).

Because they are in Christ and Christ is in them, every saved sinner is, like Nathanael, an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile! That in them which is born of God, that new man created in righteousness and true holiness, that new nature that cannot sin because it is born of God is altogether without guile (1 John 3:6-10).

 Are you an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile?

 Don Fortner

Sham difficulties!

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon on John 1:47

“Nathaniel, The Man Needed for the Day”  #2068.

The objections which most unsaved people

raise are not their real objections, but only

pretended difficulties to hide their real

reasons for opposition.

Most scorn Christ because they

do not want to give up their sin!

They pick up some technical question; some

difficulty raised by geology or evolution, or

something or other, and they make a fuss

over it; while the real impediment is that

they are living  an unclean life and do not

want to give up their evil ways!

This is where the true difficulty lies.

But they do not care to mention the real

impediment to their coming to Christ, and

therefore they pretend that they are the

victims of some awful mystery, or terrible

dogma which frightens them out of their


We know the bugbears which these deceivers

set up. They deceive themselves more than

they deceive anybody else.

He is the sincere seeker who does not play

at sham difficulties but who speaks out at

once and tells what the point is that hinders

him from coming to Christ.

Alas, men do not find Jesus, for there is

deceit in their hearts and they do not really

desire to find Him. They do not really want

to know Him, and so they remain ignorant.

Let there be no trifling, no mocking God.

In the Last Great Day, when that curtain

shall be drawn back which hides from our

eyes all souls that are lost; if we are

permitted to look into that dreadful place;

we shall not find there a soul that ever

sincerely cried to God for mercy through Jesus.

Hell is filled through that deceitfulness of

the natural heart which will not let them

receive Jesus and His salvation. They blind

their own eyes to the light of God.

“…The light from heaven came into the world,

 but they loved the darkness more than the light,

 for their actions were evil.  They hate the light

 because they want to sin in the darkness. They

 stay away from the light for fear their sins will

 be exposed and they will be punished.” John 3:19-20

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