For the Year
I AM WHAT I AM BY THE GRACE OF GOD
"Grace" has a sweet sound to a believer. It is a sound of hope, satisfaction, rest, and peace with a holy God. It thrills the heart of one that God has given the understanding to be able to say with a heart conviction, "I am what I am by the grace of God."
Since all this comes to pass only by the incarnate activity of Christ, we may say that grace means Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ means grace. He is the grace of God toward us. He assumed the responsibility for our past, present, and future. He stands for us and "If God by for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:21)
"Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). When we speak of grace it must by synonymous with Christ. To speak of God Almighty as having done something for a sinner in salvation apart from His justice being satisfied, is not consistent with scripture.
Paul, by the grace of God, saw himself to be a sinner. Christ came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. It was for sinners that Christ shed His blood.
It is by the grace of God that a man has a heart to hear God's voice through the preaching of the gospel. "Then He openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction" (Job 33:16).
It is by the grace of God that any believer perseveres. "He that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22). But how can I, a weak and beggarly sinner, keep myself? It is only because we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. "I am what I am by the Grace of God -- nothing less!"
CAN THESE BONES LIVE?
What does it take for spiritual life to be imparted? You get to the heart of what a man believes with this question. The answer to this is the cutting edge of light and darkness--life and death. A believer can only answer "Lord....Thou Knowest" (Ezekiel 37:3) . Spiritual life is imparted through the preaching of Christ. The preaching that God blesses is not a formula, but rather a message that declares His Son. What do I say to these dry bones? "Hear ye, the word of the Lord. Hear Christ as the Substitute, the Atonement, the Propitiation, the Advocate, the Light, the Shepherd, the Mercy Seat, the All and in All." When the Gospel is proclaimed, God Himself causes breath to enter and these dry bones live!
The apostle Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation."
THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION
Before there was time, God is. The eternal present is an attribute of God Almighty. "I AM THAT I AM" (Exodus 3:14) -- God the Father, God the Son, and the God Holy Ghost are one; one in character and purpose. God has a purpose (Romans 8:28). God has purposed to save all that he has chosen in His Son before the foundation of the world. The blessed Father has purposed to redeem his own and bring honor to His Son in so doing. Every blessing of grace comes to us from God the Father through the merits of Christ Jesus the Lord (2 Timothy 1:9). In Christ, the Bride has been looked upon with eternal favor (Ephesians 3:11). This election is sovereign (Ephesians 1:5), personal (Jer. 1:5), and unchanging (1 Peter 1:2-5) .
In due season, the Spirit of God effectually calls the elect and grants them saving faith to believe. All that the Father chose will be redeemed by Christ and will be called by His Spirit, according to the purpose of election.
WHO HAS PREVAILED
Revelation 5: 1-10
The reason that a child of God can maintain an air of complete peace, even as he sees his own helplessness, is because he knows that all is well. He is not concerned that there is some area of uncertainty that has not been covered under Christ's atoning blood. The words "It is finished" (John 19:20) covers a broader scope than this finite mind can comprehend, but gives me the assurance that whatever Christ came to secure, it was finished!
The Revelation of Christ Jesus holds mysteries that may only be revealed in that day. We do not come together during our hour of worship to debate the interpretations of horns, vials, beasts or seals, but to gaze once again on the One that the Father has bestowed all honor, grace and power. My sin debt has been imputed to Christ's account. God's immovable justice toward me has been satisfied because Christ died with my sin on Him. His righteousness has been imputed so that now the Father looks upon this redeemed sinner with perfect favor. "It is finished" - oh, how wonderful the thought that Christ has prevailed in my stead and that in Him and Him alone I have perfect peace.
MEPHIBOSHETH -- THE OBJECT OF MERCY
2 Samuel 8:15-9:13
Seeing the Lord Jesus Christ in types causes the heart of a believer to burn with praise as they view the one who has secured their salvation.
No place in the Word of God is a more beautiful picture found of mercy than in the story of Mephibosheth. David, who has been established by God Almighty, as King remembers a covenant that he made with Jonathan, on he loved as he loved his own soul.
The young boy who was lame on both of his feet is a picture of the helplessness of every man born in Adam. It was not his lameness that caused David to fetch him out of Lodebar, but his promise to show kindness for Jonathan's sake. David looked upon Mephibosheth with favor and granted him the privilege to dine at his table forever.
Even today the Father shows mercy to all those for whom Christ died because of a covenant made with Himself before the foundation of the world. We are brought because we cannot come in and of ourselves. We are lame -- helplessly and hopelessly lame. God grant us this day the blessed hope of having found mercy in your sight for Christ's sake.
Christ's time was at hand. There had been instances when men sought to take him, but "His time was not yet." From the foundation of the world all that the Father had purposed was condensed into this moment. The honor of God Almighty to redeem his people was at hand, and soon the Lord of Glory would lay down his life for all that the Father had given Him. "His time" was racing to the exact moment that men of old, moved by the Holy Ghost, had prophesied would come.
The hour glass of eternal counsel was about to empty itself in the person of Christ, my Passover.
Christ, my sacrificial lamb, soon would lay down His life and His blood would be spilled providing a perfect atonement for me.
In Egypt, the death angel passed over the homes where the blood was found on the lentil and sideposts of the door. There was security while they stayed inside under the blood. His blood, applied to my heart and conscience is my hope. "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."
MY JORDAN RIVER
2 Kings 5:1-14
"Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper."
All the good that could be said about this man was overshadowed by the indescribable horror of this disease. Providence, through the urging of a little maid, brought this leper face to face with the prophet which pointed him to his hope, the Jordan River. The dipping of this leper into the river held a promise of cleansing from his heinous plague, but holds a beautiful picture for a believer of Christ and being dipped in Him.
To be able to view a sinner being brought to behold his sufficiency in Christ is truly encouraging. God the Father, who was so holy could not compromise His justice, so He provided His own Son a ransom for many. Perhaps he will refuse to leave me to myself because he has found a ransom. I know that, to many, the preaching of Christ alone may seem to base, but to those who have seen Him as their Jordan River, He is the sweetest sound they have ever heard.
"HE WHO IS ABLE TO KEEP YOU
If a person tries to consider all the blessings ever bestowed upon a sinner, then that "blessed salvation" of the Holy God rings eternally as the greatest. The blessed truth of His Word shining into my heart, causing me to know Him Who is true -- oh, how wonderful is that salvation! O how wonderful to know that this Holy God has plucked me from the dregs of my rebellion, and taught me by His Spirit that my debt is paid. My righteousness, instead of filthy rags, is a robe washed perfectly white by the precious blood of my Substitute. All my need is satisfied in the hope of Christ my salvation. God, who would not leave me to myself, came and sought me, found me in my pollution, looked on me as he passed by, and loved me with an everlasting love. He washed me with His Word, clothed me with Himself, and delivered me from guilt and eternal condemnation.
If I consider the little that I know about myself and my nature, realizing how easy (if left alone) it would be for me to fall, and reflecting on my tendency to sin (because of the weakness of my character), I am bound to praise Him Who is able to keep me from falling. Had He not paid my debt it would have been better for me to have never been born. This precious salvation is all of Him Who is deserving of all honor, glory and praise.
Jonah is a perfect picture of a man who is spiritually asleep, hiding in his own security, thinking that all is well, and never realizing the eminent storm of God's judgment that is already upon him. The shipmaster, being a picture one who is in absolute control and purposing to bestow his mercy on Jonah, commands his authority upon Jonah to arise out of his sleep. Jonah did the only thing that he possibly could and had the mariners of that ship cast him into the sea for he knew that the great tempest was because of him.
When God's Holy Spirit shines into the heart of one of God's own and he sees himself as destitute, and hopelessly lost, what can he do but cast himself upon the mercy of God? I can but trust Him, who in His providence has purposed to deliver me! Let men look upon that, which I do in wonder or amazement, but I know that my foundation is secure, and all that I am I am by the grace of God. Let a man have his soul awakened by Him who is the shipmaster, and his blessed doxology will be the same as Jonah's: "Salvation is of the Lord.
RECORD OF JOHN
"Out of the abundance of a man's heart, his mouth speaks." Listen to what a man speaks of most and his heart is revealed. John bore record of Christ, and his record was what God the Spirit had taught him. Great swelling words of religion easily fill the mouth of the unregenerate heart, but that which finds its source and focus in Christ only, bears record of a new creation.
When I behold the beauty in nature, I can confess the existence of God. The wonder of the Almighty handiwork is displayed in myriad examples of beauty. Breathtaking sunsets, awe inspiring oceans, and picturesque displays of starlit nights give merely a hint of His wonderful power, but oh, what nature conceals.
True, it manifests His power, tells of His wisdom, and exhibits His immutability. But what about His justice, His holiness, His grace, and His love? Can a man have God's heart revealed through nature? NO! He is unknown in his moral attributes except in one way, "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."
A word is a medium by which a thought is expressed. Christ as the Word is the manifestation or expression of the invisible God. Christ as the Word has revealed God's purpose to show mercy to a people that knew Him not.
CONFIDENCE IN HIM"
There is a time when a believer can reflect on the marvel of a God who is his confidence. Just to behold Him who is indescribable and to have the soul flooded with a peace that passes all understanding -- that is good.
We are prone to frivolous thinking that completely bypasses that which is weighty, that which is forever. When a man has been led to the rock that is higher than he is, to a God that is greater than his puny will or nature, and he beholds the excellence of God Almighty in the face of Jesus Christ, he rests and is confident in Him.
It matters what a man believes about Christ: who He is, what He has done, and where He is now is absolutely necessary to a man's hope. If Christ is not God, then He is less than God: anything less than God is not holy. Anything that is not holy, God is not pleased with, and anything that God is not pleased with is under His condemnation. If Christ has not satisfied completely my case before God Almighty (placing me in perfect standing with a God who is so holy that He would turn His back on His very son because my guilt was laid to His account), then I am helplessly lost. If He is not at this very moment interceding for me, pleading His own accomplishment in my behalf, then I have no peace with God. If the Son of Man has made you free, you are free -- free from the wrath of divine justice, free from the law of God that did reveal my sinful state, and free from the strivings of bondage by yokes placed on me that no one has ever been able to bear. Free, oh the glorious sound of One Who has freed me, washed me, clothed me, feeds me, and keeps me because He has always loved me. That is the God I serve, and His love constrains me and gives me a longing to do more than I am willing or capable of doing and all for His glory.
SIMPLY PREACH HIM
The message of the Gospel is a very narrow message that encompasses the breadth or the span of God himself. It is narrow in the sense that Christ is its only object. There is nothing that I can preach from the Scriptures that will not find its beginning and end all redounding to the glory and honor of Christ. Any message that focuses on anything but Him misses the Gospel.
THE CONSISTENCY OF THE GOSPEL
For thousands of years, whether in types, pictures or the fullness of Christ's incarnation, the gospel has been proclaimed in the same manner. This proclamation sets forth the constancy and stability of Him in whom we rest. Because there is an unwavering consistency in the preaching of Christ, men have no grounds for argument or room for debate when it comes down to that which will be the standard for glorification or final condemnation.
Nothing soothes the regenerated heart of a believer more than considering the mercy of God. Try to contemplate the depth of His mercy and I am lost in my inadequacies. How merciful has God been to me? The very word "mercy" has a sound of hope. It means to have compassion, sympathy, tenderness, clemency, leniency, charity, to yearn over, to pity, to melt the heart. O, the wonder of desiring that God would have a heart for me. To consider that somehow mercy could be found for me at the expense of God's own Son. O, the depth and the wonder of His mercy!
PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION
Before time was, God is. The eternal present is an attribute of God Almighty. There has never been a moment when He was not. God the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are one -- one in character, one in purpose.
God has a purpose (Rom. 8:28). He has purposed that He will save all those He chose in His Son before the foundation of the world. He has a people that must be brought safely through the valley of the shadow of death. There is one thing that can be said with all assurance: in saving His people, God is going to bring honor to Himself through His Son.
Every blessing of grace comes to us from God the Father through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9). Before there was a world God had on His heart to save a people that He knew -- those whom He knew effectually with an everlasting love, who in time would believe, those to whom His own precious Son would impute His perfection -- His elect. There has never been a time that God's elect were ever looked upon in any other way but favor, divine favor. Because he saw His elect in His Son, there has never been a time when He did not see His bride chaste. Why? "According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11). If I am in Him there has never been a time that He did not love me.
EVIDENCE OF A RENEWED HEART
Unless the Spirit of God crosses my path and gives me an understanding of the preciousness of Christ and the glory of His blessed Gospel and creates within me a new heart, giving me a knowledge of Who He is, I will be forever lost. Unless Christ intervenes, He will never be any more to me than someone else recorded in history who walked this earth. When the gospel is preached it will be nothing more to me than a boring hour of the same message heard last week; the songs of praise will be to me nothing more than a different way of singing eight notes; and when I hear those who call themselves believers witness of Him, their conversation will only grate on the already frayed ends of my nerves.
But if my cold heart is removed and God Himself creates within me a new heart, I will find myself in awe of His mercy. I will not be able to thank Him enough, to praise Him enough, to worship him enough, or to hear His gospel enough. As Mr. Barnard said, "I'll find myself somewhere between total ecstasy and despair."
Still, even with that new heart, sometimes I will seemingly feel so indifferent to Christ's message. But I will not despair at my feelings -- He is greater than my feelings! I must not rest in my feelings. I must rest in Him, in His Word, in His promises.
A PLACE OF SATISFACTION
(2 Samuel 17:17-19, 23:15)
These are beautiful pictures of Christ in type. Now he is revealed sitting before a woman of Samaria and Christ requests a drink of water from her. This woman in all of her prejudice says, "How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me , which am a woman of Samaria?" But Christ, who would not leave her to herself, (because it was for her, that he must needs go through Samaria), said unto her, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, 'Give me to drink;' thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." The woman's response, "Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?" Oh, the volume of truth out of this sinner's mouth! Truly, a man has nothing with which to draw - he is helpless and hopeless. But this is not just any man, this is Jacob's well and the well knows the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out. The well knows the depth of the promises of an everlasting covenant to save his people. The well knows the depth of the satisfaction of the judgment of God and the well knows the depth of my security - I am hidden in Christ. Oh, that we might echo the words of David in 2 Samuel 23:15: "Oh, that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!" Evermore Lord, let us drink of you.
THE WORK OF GOD
The meat of Christ, or the food which satisfied His Spirit, was to do the will of His Father who had sent Him. It was God's will that of all those chosen before the foundation of the world unto salvation Christ should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. To finish that work, begun in eternity, was meat to Christ. To satisfy the Law's last demand toward His people, to bear the guilt of His bride in His own body, and to have His perfect righteousness imputed to their account was to finish the work. Eternity will still ring the praises to Him whose food was to bring worms such as we are into a perfect standing before the Holiness of God Almighty.
NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Rom. 1:16-17)
The Gospel of Christ is good news to all who have been brought to see the bondage of sin. I was conceived in Adam's fallen nature. From my mother's womb I came forth with a lying tongue, bound in iniquity and rebellion: I would not have this Christ rule over me. But God, who would not leave me to myself to die in my sin, caused my path to be crossed by the message of His blessed Son. That message proclaimed Him to be God's substitute for all those chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world. God Almighty who would not at all acquit the wicked, took my guilt and laid it on His Son at Calvary. His unswerving justice allowed men's wicked hands to take the Lord of Glory and crucify my sin-bearer, thereby accomplishing His perfect will. His holy righteousness was imputed to my account (2 Cor. 5:21) and now before Him who will judge in perfect justice, I stand with no condemnation, for I stand completely in Him. This message of Christ is the only message by which God the Spirit regenerates men. In bringing sinners to himself, the Gospel of Christ alone is the power of God unto salvation. By His grace, I am not ashamed of that message.
THE EFFICACY OF THE GOSPEL
The efficacy of the Gospel of Christ is beyond measure, having been empowered by the Sovereign Spirit of God. It is only by the message of Christ that sinners are brought from darkness to light; but the Spirit of God only blesses with saving faith those sinners known by God from all eternity, for the sake of His Son. As such they are the chosen vessels of His love. All chosen are like sheep and will without exception come to Christ, trust Christ, and love Christ, their Shepherd. The voice of Christ will be the only one their enlightened hearts desire to hear; they know that all heavenly blessings are in Christ and are dispersed only by His Spirit.
As Christ's Gospel is the only message that is powerful enough to draw sinners unto Christ, that same Gospel settles believers into the newness of life. The same Spirit that draws sinners by the Gospel, leads and directs by that same Gospel. Paul said, "For to me to live is Christ." The radiating efficacy of that message settles a believer in everything he does. Decisions made concerning family, work, and in everyday life will be made according to Christ's doctrine — that which honors and exalts Him.
A consistent hearing of this Gospel of Christ establishes the believer. Each is made to know that to be alive, spiritually alive, is by Christ, for Christ and in Christ. By faith, he realizes that the permeating, efficacious Word is absolutely necessary for Christ to be honored and for the brethren to be edified.
QUESTIONS WORTH CONSIDERING
"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord," (Acts 9:1) manifested his unregenerate heart and hatred toward God. His relentless persecution of Christ's disciples revealed his disbelief and rejection of Christ as that Messiah foretold in Holy Scripture. Saul, just as all sinners, desperately needed the One who commanded the Light to shine out of darkness, to shine in his heart and give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Christ himself arrested Saul in his headlong, self righteous rebellion and when he was brought down into the dust to see his sin, asked the vital question, "Who art thou Lord?" (Acts 9:5). Christ himself enlightened Saul's heart and caused him to earnestly seek to know his Lord. "What wilt thou have me do?" (Acts 9:6) showed his submission to the Lord's will.
Just as Saul, I long to know the One who has saved me and satisfied eternal justice for me, to be taught by Him and to see the beauty of His face. My desire is as Paul's: "that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" (Phil. 3:10). I seek only the leadership of His blessed Spirit to order my feet, as it pleases Him.
The carnally-minded are quick to speak of temporal (thus, fleeting) things as "blessings," but the true believer knows that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17). Those things that men perceive as blessings are unimportant; read (and hear, by the grace of God) of a man who is truly blessed:
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1).
"Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies" (Psalm 40:4).
If your heavenly Father has given you these things, you are a blessed man!
That man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, that does not stand in the way of sinners, and does not sit in the seat of the scornful, is a blessed man. Blessed is the man (and by necessity, a regenerated man) that seeks Christ's counsel, that stands in Christ's righteousness, and who is made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6). The blessed man's delight is in the Word of God and musing upon that word day and night produces unspeakable joy.
The blessed man has been planted (for he could not plant himself) in Christ, the water of life. He is rooted and grounded in the Hope of his salvation. He is known by the Spirit's fruit produced within him in the Spirit's season. The blessed man shall stand only in Christ's righteousness at the judgment. The blessed man has his way known and approved by the Lord, for Christ is his way!
Oh, how blessed is the man that feareth the Lord (Psalm 112:1)!
1 Kings 3:5-9
If God Almighty should say to the carnal man, "Ask what I should give thee," his finite mind could not possibly fathom what is being offered. The carnal man is consumed by his own lust, so his wicked thoughts and desires would turn to things temporal and fleeting. Only a regenerated man would first consider the great mercies of his Almighty God.
Solomon had by grace seen his father David walk in the truth of Christ. He walked in Christ's righteousness and in the uprightness of a new heart. He realized that merciful Providence had placed him in the position as king, but the responsibility of having been given authority over God's chosen people was grave and weighed heavily on his renewed mind. The man of God's choosing, that one which is to oversee the Almighty heritage of Gospel Truth, will perceive himself to be totally insufficient for these things. Solomon confessed that he could think or reason only as a child. Asking for an understanding heart of wisdom to know that which would be preeminent to the praise and glory of God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and for the good of Christ's precious bride, takes the all-conquering grace of Him who is worthy of all adoration and commitment of my life.
LEANING ON HIM
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. (Heb. 11:21)
"The just shall live by faith," and it is by this same faith that the just shall sleep in Christ. Jacob's faith, which was a fruit of the Spirit of God, was keenly bright during the final hours before his spirit departed his earthly body. Jacob's physical eyes might have dimmed, but the eyes of his heart continued to see clearly the brightness of Christ. By faith, Jacob blessed Joseph's sons and rested in God's providence to unconventionally bestow the superior portion of the blessing upon the younger of the two.
By faith, Jacob worshipped, "leaning upon the top of his staff." His staff is a picture of Christ, our sufficiency, our salvation, our deliverance, and our safe passage. Jacob knew then and we now know that the Messiah Christ is "the Way" of reconciliation before God Almighty. Faith in Him is to lean and rest upon His Word. Without leaning upon Christ, there is no true worship.
BREAKING THE BREAD
Our Lord had walked along side two men, on the road to Emmaus, while they discussed the recent crucifixion and burial of Jesus of Nazareth. He graciously reprimanded their slowness of their heart for not believing all that the prophets had spoken concerning all the sufferings that Christ must endure before entering in to his glory. The men gave the Lord Jesus complete attention as he, beginning with Moses and then all the prophets, expounded how the scriptures were totally concerning him and his honor.
As the evening drew near, the Lord Jesus seemed as though he would continue on. He had done all that was necessary for the good of their souls — preached himself! There was not any begging or arm-twisting on Christ's part. The Spirit of God gave those two a desire to constrain Christ to dine with them, and it was there that their eyes were to see his glory. He (Christ) had spoken previously concerning himself in picture and type and when he took the bread and blessed it, and gave it to them, the Spirit of God came with that picture of Himself in the broken bread and said in power, "that is Him" — that's Him broken for you! When their eyes were opened to see him in the broken bread, they confessed how those lively scriptures of Him caused their heart to burn with joy.
Does not your heart, O believer, burn as you see him afresh through the preached gospel? "This is my body broken for you, eat (this bread) in remembrance of me."
LOVEST THOU ME MORE THAN THESE?
Simon Peter's affirmative response to this heart-searching question would be evidenced by one thing — feeding Christ's lambs! Two other times, the Lord questioned Peter regarding his love and both times Peter's favorable answer was followed by the unwavering command "feed my sheep." The heart of God's spokesman is revealed and his mouth will proclaim that which he loves — Christ.
The food of the sheep is Christ; He is their bread, and their spiritual nourishment is derived from Him through the Holy Ghost-blessed message of His gospel. The sheep of God will be found where their food is. Their food is the lively message of Him who is their Substitute, their Righteousness, and their Advocate. The hunger created within their new heart is satisfied each time the Christ-honoring gospel is proclaimed.
Christ's servants will herald forth that which glorifies the Son, and edifies and feeds the sheep. "Lovest thou more than these? … Feed my sheep!"
THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD
It is a fact to be believed that a child of God is going to be taught by God's Spirit. There are times though when this carnal mind begins to forget this precious promise and doubts the faithfulness of Him who cannot lie. The natural mind somehow thinks that by hearing rules and regulations and in some manner appropriating those rules that he will be able to grow in grace — nothing can be farther from the truth. We do not say that the Scriptures do not contain helpful instruction, teachings or admonitions, but all teaching from them must be in light of Christ and His glory. Preaching that makes much of Christ will be accused of being too narrow in its scope, but "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:14). I do not know or realize the deficiency of my heart, but He who knows and "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20) takes the message of the gospel and in power teaches each child of promise as he sees fit and as it pleases Him. Rest assured, a person that effectually hears of Christ, eats of Christ, drinks of Christ, and rests in Christ has been taught of God and that teaching will be for his good and God's glory.