J.C. Ryle on Christ in the Psalms

A Greater than David is here!

We have probably little idea how much deep truth is contained in the book of Psalms. No part of the Bible perhaps is better known in the letter, and none so little understood in the spirit. We err greatly if we suppose that it is nothing but a record of David’s feelings, of David’s experience, David’s praises, and David’s prayers. The hand that held the pen was generally David’s. But the subject matter was often something far deeper and higher than the history of the son of Jesse.

The book of Psalms, in a word, is a book full of Jesus Christ—Christ suffering—Christ in humiliation—Christ dying—rising again—Christ coming the second time—Christ reigning over all. Both the advents are here—advent in suffering to bear the cross—the advent in power to wear the crown. Both the kingdoms are here—kingdom of grace, during which the elect are gathered—the kingdom of glory, when every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. Let us always read the Psalms with a peculiar reverence. Let us say to ourselves as we read, “A greater than David is here.”

The Transformation of a Scoundrel

If you are a person with a past and you feel hopeless today and think you are beyond God’s help and grace, click on this link to hear the story of Judah in first person from Genesis 38.

It is a sinister tale, yet God uses the sinful actions of a scoundrel to transform him and to ultimately bring the Messiah, Jesus Christ, into the world through the events of Genesis 38. How amazingly gracious and merciful God is. Take a listen:

The Transformation of a Scoundrel – mp3

Dare to Tell His Gospel Amidst Much Conflict

The Apostle Paul on Mars Hill in Athens long ago shows us how to proclaim the gospel in a secular, hostile age.

Vesper Outline – Acts 17 – Dare to Tell His Gospel Amidst Much Conflict

A Fresh Reminder on Married Sexuality

If you need a fresh reminder of what God’s Word has to say about married sexuality,

here is an outline of a talk I gave at our Christian Life Conference back in 2014:

Married Sexuality Talk Outline – Word Document

The Marks of An Authentic Work of the Spirit

Does your ministry bear the marks of an authentic work of the Spirit of God?

From the fourth chapter of First John, Jonathan Edwards established five things as essential in a genuine work of God’s Holy Spirit.

First, a true work of the Holy Spirit raises the “esteem of Jesus that He was born of the Virgin, and was crucified without (outside) the gates of Jerusalem; and seems more to confirm and establish believer’s minds in the truth of what the Gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Savior of men.

Secondly, A true work of the Holy spirit operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, against sin and men’s worldly lusts.

Third, a true work of the Holy Spirit establishes in God’s people a greater regard for the Holy Scriptures in their truth and divinity.

Fourth, a true work of the Holy Spirit dispenses God’s truth — a Spirit who shows people the uniqueness and holiness of God and that they must die and that very soon, and “that they must give account of themselves to God; one who convinces them that they are helpless in themselves and confirms them in other things that are agreeable to sound doctrine,” that is a Spirit of truth.

Fifth, a true work of the Holy Spirit generates love to God and man is the Spirit of God.[1]

To ensure that our work for Christ has His distinctive imprint and blessing, we ought to ask the following questions after every sermon, Bible study, ministry meeting, evangelistic appointment, worship service, officer meeting, and counseling appointment:

  1. Did I exalt the Savior? Were people led to elevate their view of the triune God?
  2. Was sin exposed for what it is, an offense to the character of a holy God?
  3. Were people led to have a greater regard for the Scriptures so much so that they actually became doers of the Word?
  4. Was the Spirit of truth evident in promoting God’s holiness so that sinners realize their need of and accountability to Him?
  5. Was love for God and man generated in the hearts of God’s people?

 

[1] Jonathan Edwards, The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God in the Great Awakening, ed. C.C. Goen (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ., 1972), p.249.

 

Prayer of Confession of Sin – The Beatitudes

CONFESSION OF SIN

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy; 
Be gracious to us for we have gone astray from your ways. 
Create in us new and contrite hearts, 
that we may now truly lament and confess our sins to You.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. 
But in our pride we exalt ourselves.
Blessed are those who mourn. 
But in our envy we recoil from others’ happiness.
Blessed are the meek and the peacemakers. 
But in our wrath we lash out in revenge.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
But in our sloth we despair of virtue.
Blessed are the merciful. 
But in our greed we demand to possess and fail to give.
Blessed are the pure in heart. 
But in our lust we sacrifice others to serve ourselves.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. 
But in our gluttony we consume unto sickness.
Heavenly Father, it is evident we too have loved darkness. Give us grace to walk again in the light so that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin and we have true fellowship with one another. Do this for our good and Your glory. AMEN.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON         1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
of whom I am the chief.

Marks of An Authentic Work of the Holy Spirit

75887From the fourth chapter of First John, Jonathan Edwards established five things as essential in a genuine work of God’s Holy Spirit.

First, a true work of the Spirit raises the “esteem of Jesus that was born of the Virgin, and was crucified outside the gates of Jerusalem; and seems more to confirm and establish believer’s minds in the truth of what the Gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Savior of men.

Secondly, it operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, against sin and men’s worldly lusts.

Third, men are established in a greater regard for the Holy Scriptures “in their truth and divinity.”

Fourth, the Spirit operates as a Spirit of truth — a Spirit who shows people the uniqueness and holiness of God and that they must die and that very soon, and “that they must give account of themselves to God; one who convinces them that they are helpless in themselves and confirms them in other things that are agreeable to sound doctrine,” that is a Spirit of truth.

Fifth, the Spirit who generates love to God and man is the Spirit of God (Jonathan Edwards, The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God in the Great Awakening, ed. C.C. Goen (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ., 1972), p.249).

To ensure that our work for Christ has His distinctive imprint and blessing, we ought to ask the following questions after every sermon, Bible study, evangelistic appointment, worship service, board meeting, and counseling appointment:

(1)     Did I exalt the Savior? Were people led to elevate their view of Christ?

(2)     Was sin exposed for what it is, an offense to the character of a holy God?

(3)     Were people led to have a greater regard for the Scriptures so much so that they actually became doers of the Word?

(4)     Was the Spirit of truth evident in promoting God’s holiness so that sinners realize their need of and accountability to Him?

(5)     Was love for God and man generated in the hearts of God’s people?