Charles Spurgeon – Struggles of Conscience

How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.” Job 13:23

Introduction

A. An Evil Assumption

There are many persons who long to have a deeper sense of their sinfulness. With a certain show of conscientious scruple, they make an excuse for the exercise of simple faith. That spiritual disease which keeps sinners from Christ assumes a different shape at different times.

In Luther’s day the precise evil under which men labored was this: they believed in being self-righteous. They supposed that they must have good works before they might trust in Christ.

In our day the evil has taken another most extraordinary shape. Men have aimed at being self-righteous after quite a singular fashion.3 They think they must feel worse and have a deeper conviction of sin before they may trust in Christ.

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Sam Storms – The Attributes of God

Our Knowledge of God

We must never forget that our knowledge of God is a gift, not a given. What I mean by this is that we all too often presume that what we know of God is either something we gained by self-exertion, dedication, and study, or it is something we deserve, perhaps something that is our by right or entitlement. We should never treat the knowledge of God as a given. It is something He gives, and He does not give it universally. This is nowhere better seen in our Lord’s words in Matthew 11.

“At that time,” begins v. 25 of Matthew 11. At what time? Evidently, immediately following our Lord’s denunciation of the people in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for their calloused indifference to the presence and power of the Son of God in their midst (vv. 20-24). It would have been easy, even understandable, for Jesus to get discouraged ‘at that time.’ After all, the very towns in which he was most well-known and performed his greatest miracles had treated him with utter apathy. They simply didn’t care. If ever there were a “time” for complaint, this was it. If ever there were a “time” for bitterness and resentment, this was it.

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Paul Tripp – 5 Myths about Marriage

Myth #1: Marriage will rid you of your sin.

Most of the troubles we face in marriage are not intentional or personal. In most marriage situations, you do not face difficulty because your spouse intentionally did something to make your life difficult. Yes, in moments of anger that may happen. But most often, what is really happening is that your life is being affected by the sin, weakness, and failure of the person you are living with. At some point you will be selfish. In some situation you will speak unkindly. There will be moments of jealousy, bitterness, and conflict. You will not avoid this, because you are a sinner and you are married to a sinner.

When your ears hear and your eyes see the sin, weakness, or failure of your husband or wife, it is never an accident; it is always grace. God loves your spouse, and he is committed to transforming him or her by his grace, and he has chosen you to be one of his regular tools of change. So, he will cause you to see, hear, and experience your spouse’s need for change so that you can be an agent of his rescue.

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Mike Leake – How a Fish Can Help You Answer the Question of Whether or Not You Know Jesus

How do I know that I’m saved?

This was a question that plagued me in my early walk with Christ. As a pastor, it’s also a question that I’m continually trying to help people work through. I think it’d be much easier to have confidence if we never sinned. What brings difficulty to new believers is often that first season in the valley.

After falling into sin we hear words of condemnation. “If I was really a Christian then I wouldn’t do such a thing.” But I’ve argued for a long time that better evidence of our regenerate heart isn’t so much whether or not we do or do not do things of unbelievers, but rather it’s evidenced by doing things which only believers do.

I can illustrate this with a dead fish.

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Herman Witsius – On the Advantage and Necessity of Prayer

What we have said may suffice as to the definition of prayer. We are now to inquire into its ADVANTAGE and NECESSITY, or the nature of its obligation upon us. Here we must first dispose of the subtle, but delusive arguments of the flesh, and, next, establish the wholesome truth.

The flesh concludes that prayer is SUPERFLUOUS; for why should we lay before God a wearisome enumeration of our wants, which, in proportion to its length and frequency, must be the more offensive? The Divine Being knows much better than we ourselves do what we want. And such a conclusion, we are told, ought not to be considered as unfounded, for it is not unlike what is stated by our Lord, Matt. 6:31-32. “Take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of these things.”

It is also alleged that prayer is USELESS. Whatever shall happen to any man God has determined by an eternal and unchangeable decree. It is in vain, therefore, for you to weary him by a multitude of prayers. What has been decreed for you will happen whether you pray or not. What has not been decreed you will not obtain by thousands of prayers. It is the glory of God that he will not deviate a hair’s breadth from a purpose which has once been formed. To importune him, and, for the sake of a feeble and wretched man, to make trial of his firmness, wears the aspect of impiety.

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Mike Ratliff – Godly Thinking

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Philippians 4:8 is one of the most profound statements in the New Testament. This is part of the Apostle Paul’s closing statements to the church at Philippi. His epistle to the Philippians is a wonderful letter, full of encouragement and deep spiritual truth about how to live this Christian life no matter what fiery trials we are going through. In chapter 4 v8 we come upon this profound statement and we stop. We ask if this is even possible for us. How can we do this since we must live in this life in which we are pulled in every direction and so must find the time for such things. Perhaps a deeper look at the underlying Greek would help.

Here is v8 from the Greek text:

8 Τὸ λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί, ὅσα ἐστὶν ἀληθῆ, ὅσα σεμνά, ὅσα δίκαια, ὅσα ἁγνά, ὅσα προσφιλῆ, ὅσα εὔφημα, εἴ τις ἀρετὴ καὶ εἴ τις ἔπαινος , ταῦτα λογίζεσθε· Philippians 4:8 (NA28)

The way Paul structured this sentence, we need to look a the end for our verb, λογίζεσθε· or logizesthe, which is the plural, present tense, imperative mood, middle voice form of λογίζομαι or logizomai, which means to put together with one’s mind, to count, to occupy oneself with reckonings or calculations. In the New Testament, it is used to instruct believers to become oriented to the facts established by God, with the result that it now becomes the term for the judgment of faith. In other words, all our thinking, pondering, and questioning are put into the context of God’s standards. The present indicative middle verb structure is talking about continuous or repeated action so this is a command to live a certain way. In other words, Paul is telling us, all Christians, to live their lives as Christians to think a certain way “continually” or as a way of life. What way?

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Tim Challies – The Easiest Sin to Justify

As we grow in grace and become ever-more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, we wondrously, inevitably find that sin is loosening its grip on us. Sins that once tormented us are now mere irritations; temptations that once consistently overwhelmed us now arouse little interest or enthusiasm. We find to our delight that God is faithful to his promises and that he has been using every circumstance to conform us to the image of his Son.

There’s more to this process of sanctification. Even before we put sin to death, we discover an increased awareness of what our sin is, what it does to us, and how it affects others. We stop making excuses for our sin and confront it as the evil it truly is. But not always and not all the way. From observation and hard experience I think there is one sin more than any other that we tend to continue to justify. It’s the sin of unrighteous anger.

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George Whitefield – Christ: The Believer’s Husband

Isaiah 54:5 – “For thy Maker is thy Husband.”

Although believers by nature, are far from God, and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood of Jesus Christ. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of any man living, fully to conceive, the nearness and dearness of that relation, in which they stand to their common head. He is not ashamed to call them brethren. Behold, says the blessed Jesus in the days of his flesh, “my mother and my brethren.” And again after his resurrection, “go tell my brethren.” Nay sometimes he is pleased to term believers his friends. “Henceforth call I you no longer servants, but friends.” “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” And what is a friend? Why there is a friend that is nearer than a brother, nay as near as one’s own soul. And “thy friend, (says God in the book of Deuteronomy) which is as thy own soul.” Kind and endearing applications these, that undoubtedly bespeak a very near and ineffably intimate union between the Lord Jesus and the true living members of his mystical body! But, methinks, the words of our text point out to us a relation, which not only comprehends, but in respect to nearness and dearness , exceeds all other relations whatsoever. I mean that of a Husband, “For thy Maker is thy husband; the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called.”

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Charles Spurgeon – Flee From the Wrath to Come

Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Matthew 3:7

Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:18

We will first consider the question of John the Baptist: “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” I have no doubt that the Pharisees and Sadducees were very much surprised to hear John addressing them in that way; for men, who wish to win disciples, ordinarily adopt milder language than that, and choose more attractive themes, for they fear that they will drive their hearers from them if they are too personal, and speak too sharply. There is not much danger of that nowadays, for the current notion abroad now is that gospel ministers can sew with silk without using a sharp needle; and that, instead of piercing men with the sword of the Spirit, they should show them only the hilt of it; let them see the bright diamonds on the scabbard, but never let them feel the sharpness of the two-edged blade! They should always comfort, and console, and cheer, but never allude to the terror of the Lord.

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