United By Faith
- July 20, 2014
Hebrews 4:2 2For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. ESV
Romans 8:6 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. ESV
Colossians 3:1–2 1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. ESV
There is a promise left unto us of entering into the rest of God
“For we were evangelized, even as they.”
- What were we evangelized about? About entering into God's rest.
- This, therefore, we ought to take heed that we come not short of God's rest of by unbelief
We saw that the Jews, lacking faith in God's promises and in his gospel, could not enter into God's rest.
- Psalm 106:24–27 24Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. 25They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD. 26Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness, 27and would make their offspring fall among the nations, scattering them among the lands. ESV
And this, because they did not mix faith with the promise. They were not united by faith.
They who mix not the promises of the gospel with faith shall utterly come short of entering into the rest of God.
- “For we were evangelized, even as they.”
- We are called to unity, to mix, to join with the substance of what is to be believed
- We are to take in the promise in such a way as it unites with us
The sum is, spiritual truths, being savingly believed, are united with that faith which receives them,—so incorporated with it as that they come to be realized in the soul, and to be turned into the principle of that new nature whereby we live to God. Want hereof is charged on the people to whom the gospel was declared in the wilderness. The word which they heard was not so really and savingly received by faith as to be incorporated therewith, and to become in them a living principle enabling and strengthening them unto obedience.
- Scattered seeds
- The sole cause of the promise being ineffectual unto salvation in and towards them to whom it is preached, is in themselves and their own unbelief.
- Was it weak or insufficient in itself? Was it like the law, that made nothing perfect? that could not take away sin, nor justify the souls of men? No; but the sole cause hereof was that it was “not mixed with faith.” God has not appointed to save men whether they will or no
- There is a failing, temporary faith with respect to the promises of God, which will not advantage them in whom it is
They tasted sometimes a little sweetness in it, but took it not down to digest it
Examples of genuine Faith
About this time I began to have conscientious objections against any longer receiving a stated salary. [And he goes on to explain why. Then says]
- For these reasons I stated to the brethren, at the end of October, 1830, that I should for the future give up having any regular salary. After I had given my reasons for doing so, I read Philippians iv., and told the saints, that if they still had a desire to do something towards my support, by voluntary gifts, I had no objection to receive them, though ever so small, either in money or provisions.
- About the same time also my wife and I had grace given to us to take the Lord's commandment, "Sell your possessions, and give to the needy" Luke 12:33, literally, and to carry it out. Our staff and support in this matter were Matthew 6:19-34Do not lay up for yourselves, John 14:13-14Whatever you ask in my name. We leaned on the arm of the Lord Jesus. It is now fifty-one years, since we set out in this way, and we do not in the least regret the step we then took.
- Nov. 18th, 1830. -Our money was reduced to about eight shillings. When I was praying with my wife in the morning, the Lord brought to my mind the state of our purse, and I was led to ask HimJesus for some money. About four hours after, we were with a sister* at Bishopsteignton, and she said to me, "Do you want any money ?" "I told the brethren," said I, "dear sister, when I gave up my salary, that I would for the future tell the Lord only about my wants." She replied, "But He has told me to give you some money. About a fortnight ago I asked Him, what I should do for Him, and He told me to give you some money; and last Saturday it came again powerfully to my mind, and has not left me since, and I felt it so forcibly last night, that I could not help speaking of it to Brother P." Muller continues My heart rejoiced, seeing the Lord's faithfulness, but I thought it better not to tell her about our circumstances, lest she should be influenced to give accordingly; and I also was assured, that, if it were of the Lord, she could not but give. I therefore turned the conversation to other subjects, but when I left she gave me two guineas. We were full of joy on account of the goodness of the Lord.-I would call upon the reader to admire the gentleness of the Lord, that He did not try our faith much at the commencement, but gave us first encouragement, and allowed us to see His willingness to help us, before He was pleased to try it more fully.
- The next Wednesday I went to Exmouth, our money having then again been reduced to about nine shillings. I asked the Lord on Thursday, when at Exmouth, to be pleased to give me some money. On Friday morning, about eight o'clock, whilst in prayer, I was particularly led to ask again for money; and before I rose from my knees I had the fullest assurance, that we should have the answer that very day. And so he did
- November 19th, 1831. -From brethren of the Church at Teignmouth, in presents of money, £6. 18s. 6d. -3. From brethren living at Teignmouth and elsewhere, not connected with the Church at Teignmouth, £93. 6s. 2d. -Altogether, £131. 18s. 8d. There had been likewise many articles of provision and some articles of clothing given to us, worth at least £20. I am so particular in mentioning these things, to show that we are never losers by acting according to the mind of the Lord. For had I had my regular salary, humanly speaking, I should not have had nearly as much; but whether this would have been the case or not, this is plain, that I have not served a hard Master, and that is what I delight to show. For, to speak well of His name, that thus my beloved fellow-pilgrims, who may read this, may be encouraged to trust in Him, is the chief purpose of my writing.
December 31, 1833. -It is just now four years since I first began to trust in the Lord alone for the supply of my temporal wants. My little all I then had, at most worth 100l. a year, I gave up to the Lord, having then nothing left but about 5l. The Lord greatly honoured this little sacrifice, and He gave me, in return, not only as much as I had given up, but considerably more. For during the first year, He sent me already, in one way or other, (including what came to me through family connexion) about 130l. During the second year, 151l. 18s. 8d. During the third year, 195l. 3s. During this year, 267l. 15s. 8 1/4d. The following points require particular notice :-
- 1. During the last three years and three months I never have asked any one for any thing; but, by the help of the Lord, I have been enabled at all times to bring my wants to Him, and He graciously has supplied them all. And thus, the Lord helping me, I hope to be enabled to go on to the last moment of my life.
- 2. At the close of each of these four years, though my income has been comparatively great, I have had only a few shillings, or nothing at all left; and thus it is also to-day, by the help of God.
- 3. During the last year a considerable part of my income has come from a distance of several thousand miles, from a brother whom I never saw.
- 4. Since we have been obliged to discontinue the giving away bread to about 50 poor people every day, on account of our neighbours, our income has not been, during the second part of this year, nearly so great, scarcely one-half as much, as during the first part of it; as if the Lord would thereby show us that when the calls upon us are many, He is able to send in accordingly. Observe this!
- Make you His service your delight. Your wants shall be His care.
-November 25. I have been again much in prayer yesterday and to-day about the Orphan-House, and am more and more convinced that it is of God. May He in mercy guide me!
The three chief reasons for establishing an Orphan-House are :-
- 1. That God may be glorified, should He be pleased to furnish me with the means, in its being seen that it is not a vain thing to trust in Him; and that thus the faith of His children may be strengthened.
- 2. The spiritual welfare of fatherless and motherless children.
- 3. Their temporal welfare.
- For instance: I might visit a brother, who worked fourteen or even sixteen hours a day at his trade, the necessary result of which was, that not only his body suffered, but his soul was lean, and he had no enjoyment in the things of God. Under such circumstances I might point out to him that he ought to work less, in order that his bodily health might not suffer, and that he might gather strength for his inner man, by reading the word of God, by meditation over it, and by prayer. The reply, however, I generally found to be something like this : "But if I work less, I do not earn enough for the support of my family. Even now, whilst I work so much, I have scarcely enough. The wages are so low, that I must work hard in order to obtain what I need. There was no trust in God. No real belief in the truth of that word : " Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you." I might reply something like this: "My dear brother, it is not your work which supports your family, but the Lord; and He who has fed you and your family when you could not work at all, on account of illness, would surely provide for you and yours, if for the sake of obtaining food for your inner man, you were to work only for so many hours a day, as would allow you proper time for retirement. And is it not the case now, that you begin the work of the day after having had only a few hurried moments for prayer; and when you leave off your work in the evening, and mean then to read a little of the word of God, are you not too much worn out in body and mind, to enjoy it, and do you not often fall asleep whilst reading the Scriptures, or whilst on your knees in prayer?" The brother would allow it was so; he would allow that my advice was good; but still I read in his countenance, even if he should not have actually said so, "How should I get on, if I were to carry out your advice ?" I longed, therefore, to have something to point the brother to, as a visible proof, that our God and Father is the same faithful God as ever He was; as willing as ever to PROVE Himself to be the LIVING GOD, in our day as formerly, to all who put their trust in Him
- this seemed to me best done, by the establishing of an Orphan-House. It needed to be something which could be seen, even by the natural eye. Now, if I, a poor man, simply by prayer and faith, obtained, without asking any individual, the means for establishing and carrying on an Orphan-House: there would be something which with the Lord's blessing, might be instrumental in strengthening the faith of the children of God besides being a testimony to the consciences of the unconverted, of the reality of the things of God. This, then, was the primary reason, for establishing the Orphan-House.
- The three chief reasons for establishing an Orphan-House are :-
- October 25. To-day we obtained without, any trouble, through the kind hand of God, very suitable premises for the Infant-Orphan-House. If we had laid out many hundred pounds in building a house, we could scarcely have built one more suitable for the purpose. How evident is the hand of God in all these matters ! How important to leave our concerns, great and small, with Him; for He arranges all things well ! If our work be His work, we shall prosper in it.
- Feb. 13. Since the 8th, five donations, amounting to 9l. 9s., had come in. This afternoon I paid out the last money which we had in hand, and in giving it to brother T. said, we have now again to look to the Lord for further supplies. This evening 5l. was given to me, which had come in under the following circumstances:- A gentleman and lady visited the Orphan-Houses, and met at the Boys’-Orphan-House two ladies who were likewise visiting. One of the ladies said to the matron of the Boys’-Orphan-House: "Of course, you cannot carry on these institutions without a good stock of funds." The gentleman, turning to the matron, said, "Have you a good stock?" She replied : "Our funds are deposited in a bank which cannot break." The tears came into the eyes of the inquiring lady. The gentleman, on leaving, gave to the master of the boys 5l., which came in when I had not a penny in hand.
- March 18. Monday. Last evening 5l. came in with Eccles. ix. 10. Thus we were again enabled to supply all the necessities of this day. Pause a few moments, dear reader ! Consider how seasonably the Lord sends the supplies! Not once does He forget us! Not once is our need only half supplied! Not once do His supplies come too late! Dear reader, if you have not the like experience of the Lord’s watchful care, Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!
- July 15. Monday. To-day 2l. 7s. 3d. was needed for the Orphans, but we had nothing. How to obtain the means for a dinner, and for what else was needed, I knew not. My heart was perfectly at peace, and unusually sure of help, though I knew not in the least whence it was to come.
- Aug. 22. In my morning walk, when I was reminding the Lord of our need, I felt assured that He would send help this day. My assurance sprang from our need; for there seemed no way to get through the day, without help being sent.
- Nov. 22. Our poverty had now become very great. Greater it had never been. Yet, the Lord be praised! I was as comfortable as ever; for I was sure we were only for the trial of our faith in this state. ... I knew we must have help in some way, as now it had come to the greatest extremity, there being in none of the houses anything for dinner, except potatoes, of which we have an abundance. At ten this morning I was informed that a large box, bearing my address, had arrived at one of the Orphan-Houses. I set off immediately, and found it was from the neighbourhood of Wolverhampton. It contained 12l. for the Orphans, 1l. 11s. 10d. for the other Funds, 4 yards of flannel, 9 yards of calico, 12 yards of print, 4 1/2 yards of coloured cotton, 4 yards of stuff, 2 pairs of stockings, and 3 1/4 yards of brown holland.
- Let us pause here a few moments, beloved reader! Let us adore the Lord’s kindness! See how seasonably the Lord sends the help. As our need is, so He remembers us. It is not now and then that He is mindful of us, but continually. As surely as we stand in need of any thing, He sends it; be it money, provisions, clothes, or any thing else. We may be allowed to be poor, yea, very poor; we may have to pray again and again to our Father before the answer comes; we may be reduced so as to have from mal to meal to wait upon Him; yea, according to all outward appearance, the Lord may seem to have forgotten us :—but, amidst it all, as surely as we really need any thing, in His own time and way does He send help.
- This morning we had not one single halfpenny left for our own necessities, ... My mind has been quite in peace on account of our own need, and the only inconvenience that we had in this case was, that our dinner was about half an hour later than usual. Such a thing, as far as I remember, scarcely ever occurred before, and has never occurred since; but suppose it had, it is well, in some little measure, to know from one’s own experience the meaning of that word, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Philip iv. 12.
- Philippians 4:12 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. ESV
- 1 Samuel 14:6 6Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.” ESV
- Gideon's 300 vs the thousands of Midianites
- David vs Goliath
- The 12 apostles vs the entire world
- Faith of Abraham, or of Moses, or of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
- What is different about these stories. How was there faith able to receive the promises?
A Faith that Receives Promises
The great mystery of useful and profitable believing consists in the mixing or incorporating of truth and faith in the souls or minds of believers.
The difference in effect is this:
The one who has temporary faith is like a musical instrument.
- As long as an external force is acting upon it, it looks alive. But having no life in itself, when the hand of the musician stops plucking the strings, the instrament soon grows cold and silent.
- Are you like this?
One man is like a plant
- The plant is alive. There is life in the plant of itself. It needs no external force to continually make it look alive because it is alive.
- The plant needs external influences of water and nutrients from the soil to keep it alive, but this is differenct than the musical instrament, which only looks alive upon external force.
Is this your faith. Are you alive? Do you have a principle of spiritual life welling up in you?
- John 4:14 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” ESV
- John 7:37–38 37On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” ESV
- The one who has temporary faith is like a musical instrument.
God requireth in us, and bestows upon us, a peculiar, divine, supernatural habit, by which our minds may be enabled to receive it. This is faith, which is “not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.”
- John 3:3 3Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ESV
- Ephesians 2:8–9 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. ESV
When a promise is given there is a SOMETHING that is alone able to receive it.
Believing doth not consist in a mere assent to the truth of the things proposed to be believed, but in such a reception of them as gives them a real subsistence and inbeing in the soul by faith.
For faith itself; is “the substance of things hoped for.” Heb 11:1
And this substance must be joined with our substance, so that the 2 become the same thing.
Now, this giving a subsistence in the mind unto the things believed, that they shall really operate and produce their immediate effects therein, of love, joy, and obedience, is that spiritual mixture and incorporation whereof we speak. And here lies the main difference between saving faith and the temporary persuasion of convinced persons. This latter gives no such subsistence unto the things believed in the minds of men, as that they should produce their proper effects therein.
- And this substance must be joined with our substance, so that the 2 become the same thing.
For instance, the death of Christ, or “Christ crucified,” is proposed unto our faith in the gospel. The genuine proper effect hereof is to destroy, to crucify, or mortify sin in us. But where this is apprehended by a temporary faith only, this effect will not at all be produced in the soul. Sin will not be mortified, but rather secretly encouraged; for it is natural unto men of corrupt minds to conclude that they may continue in sin, because grace doth abound. On the other side, where faith gives the subsistence mentioned unto the death of Christ in the soul, it will undoubtedly be the death of sin, Rom. 6:3–14.
- Romans 6:5 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. ESV
- Romans 6:10–11 10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. ESV
So if you believe in the death of Jesus savingly, you will be incorporated by faith into that death which will lead you to consider youreslf dead to sin and thus stop sinning.
- But if you believe in the death of Jesus temporarily, not mixing it with faith, this same effect will not happen, but you will conclude to one degree or another that you may sin freely being forgiven freely by Christ.
- For instance, the death of Christ, or “Christ crucified,” is proposed unto our faith in the gospel. The genuine proper effect hereof is to destroy, to crucify, or mortify sin in us. But where this is apprehended by a temporary faith only, this effect will not at all be produced in the soul. Sin will not be mortified, but rather secretly encouraged; for it is natural unto men of corrupt minds to conclude that they may continue in sin, because grace doth abound. On the other side, where faith gives the subsistence mentioned unto the death of Christ in the soul, it will undoubtedly be the death of sin, Rom. 6:3–14.
Faith incorporates the promise received into the soul and unites the two together in this incorporation.
Genuine faith consists in its receiving a promise into the soul to abide there.
This work of faith, then, in receiving the word of promise, with Christ and the atonement made by him therein, consists in its giving unto them a real admittance into the soul, to abide there as in their proper place; which is the mixture here intended by the apostle.
The exhortation is unto reality and growth in believing. To this end the word is proposed, as that which is to be brought into the soul. And to that purpose room is to be made for it, by the casting out of such things as are apt to possess the mind and leave no admittance for the word.
As the scion [the shoot to be ingrafted], being grafted or inoculated into the stock, turns and changes the natural juice of the stock into another kind of fructifying nutriment than it had before, so the word being by its mixture with faith ingrafted into the soul, it changeth the natural operation of it to the production of spiritual effects, which before it had no virtue for.
- A living plant will take in nutrients and turn them into life. A dead instrament cannot do this.
God's word and the promises therin are called, food, milk, and strong meat
- Jeremiah 15:16 16Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. ESV
- 1 Peter 2:2 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— ESV
- Hebrews 5:12–14 12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. ESV
- And the Lord Christ, the principal subject of the word of the gospel, says of himself, that he is “the bread that came down from heaven,” that “his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed.” Faith is the eating of this food, this milk, this meat, this flesh.
Now in eating, food is first tasted and chewed, and then it is swallowed and digested. And the digestion process turns into the very substance of the body.
- Colossians 3:16 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ESV
- This same process, as it is applied to spiritual things, is called letting the word dwell in you richly. When this happens the word, the promise, comes into a man and makes its residence there. This is from the spiritual incorporporation or mixing with faith, joining with faith, uniting with faith. Taking the promise and uniting the soul of the believer with it.
Without this digestion or incorporation, God's word may have various effects upon the mind and conscience, but it comes to no abiding habitation.
With some it makes a transient impression upon the affections; so that they hear it and admit of its dispensation with joy and some present satisfaction, [Matt. 13:20]. But it is but like the stroke of a skilful hand upon the strings of a musical instrument, that makes a pleasant sound for the present, which insensibly sinks and decays until a new stroke be given; it has no abode or residence in itself or the strings. No more has the word that strikes on the affections only, and, causing a various motion and sound in joy, or sorrow, or delight, vanishes and departs. With some it lays hold on their consciences, and presses them unto a reformation of their lifestyle, or course in this world, until they do many things gladly, Mark 6:20; but this is by an efficacious impression from without. The word does not abide, inhabit, or dwell in any, but where it has a subsistence given unto it in the soul by its incorporation with faith, in the manner described.
- Matthew 13:20–21 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. ESV
Mark 6:20 20for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly. ESV
This, then, is savingly and profitably to believe. And thus is it with very few of the many that make profession so to do.
Many pretend to believe, few believe indeed, few mix the word preached with faith; which should give us all a godly jealousy over our hearts in this matter, that we be not deceived.
- Genuine faith consists in its receiving a promise into the soul to abide there.
- It is therefore worth our inquiry how, or by what means, faith is assisted and strengthened in this work of mixing the word with itself, that it may be useful and profitable unto them that hear it
How do you mix a promise with faith?
- We've looked at the example of Muller. How did this happen in him? How did he take, "seek ye first" "open you mouth wide" "no good thing" and turn those promises into caring for over 10,000 orphans without asking for or earning a single penny?
How do you mix a promise with faith?
- Agree with it?
- Enjoy it?
- Act on it?
Pray and ask. I believe that God will hear and answer such a prayer if asked genuinely, and I also believe that no matter what I say in this sermon, if your heart does not so pray and plead with God for an answer to this question you are very unlikely to ever receive one.
- Matthew 7:7 7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. ESV
- James 4:2 2You desire and do not have, ... You do not have, because you do not ask. ESV
- You can't, God must. This only comes as a miracle from God, as a gift from him. Again ask him.
- Pray and ask. I believe that God will hear and answer such a prayer if asked genuinely, and I also believe that no matter what I say in this sermon, if your heart does not so pray and plead with God for an answer to this question you are very unlikely to ever receive one.
Self Honesty -> Repentance
- Admit that you lack it
- Admit to the terror of the condition you are in.
- See God as your only hope, and thus cry out to him.
- All of this starts with honesty. Some would go to God to have this process happen without ever admitting to themselves that there is any great trouble between their souls and God. They come asking for only a little help for their souls are mostly good, only in little need of help, thus the help that they receive matches the cry of their hearts. They need no real help and so they receive no real assistance.
- Look at Muller's example of this, he sought to live on God's promise.
There is a proper way to test God's promise:
- Malachi 3:10 10Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. ESV
- Matthew 4:5–7 5Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” ESV
- Act as if it is true, not because you disbelieve it but because you believe it.
- If it were food and you asked, but how will we digest it. I would say, put it in your mouth and eat it.
- Taste it, chew it, enjoy it, be filled with it. Come and eat.
Try not to swallow a caramel. Is that what a promise tastes like?
- Is Jesus the best thought of your day?
- How much are his promises like that to you?
- You can't love the idea of Jesus (so much of our supposed faith seems to be striving to love the idea of Jesus)
You must love the person of Jesus. He is the God that keeps his precious and very great promises.
- What promise did Jesus keep for you today?
- The people who crossed the Red Sea, could say, Today I know that my Redeemer lives.
- Muller could say, Today I know that my Redeemer lives.
- What do you have today. If God has fulfilled no promise for you today in your sense and experience, then you have yet to eat of his word today. I do not care how long your read your Bible for. You did but taste it, chew it, and spit it back out, if God did not fulfill his promise to you in a visible, sensible, experiential, and experimental way TODAY.
- Self Honesty -> Repentance
How might we ingest it? (If you've born with me thus far, I will give some practical advise)
Constant fixing the mind by spiritual meditation on its proper object, is a principal means whereby faith mixeth it with itself.
This is to behold the glory of God in Jesus Christ
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. ESV
- Hebrews 3:1 1Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, ESV
- The soul by faith meditating on the word of promise, and the subject-matter of Christ and his righteousness, Christ is thereby formed in it, Gal. 4:19, and the word itself is inseparably mixed with faith, so as to subsist with it in the soul, and to produce therein its proper effects.
- This is to be “spiritually minded;” and Col. 3:2, to “mind the things that are above,” as those which yield the best relish and savour to the soul; which being constant will assert a mixture, incorporation, and mutual conformity between the mind and the object of it.
If you would have his promises be life unto you, do this, resolve to never more forget him.
Think of him in his offices, think of him in his actings toward man, think of him in his attributes, meditate on Jesus and never stop meditating on Jesus. This is what it is to be spiritually minded.
Immediately make a holy and firm resolution never more to forget Him. Resolve to spend the rest of your days in His sacred presence, deprived of all consolations for the love of Him if He thinks fit. Set heartily about this work, and if you do it sincerely, be assured that you will soon find the effects of it.
- Think of him in his offices, think of him in his actings toward man, think of him in his attributes, meditate on Jesus and never stop meditating on Jesus. This is what it is to be spiritually minded.
- This is to behold the glory of God in Jesus Christ
Set love at work
- Faith sets love at work upon the objects proposed to be believed.
- There is in the gospel, and the promises of it, not only the truth to be considered which we are to believe and assent unto, but also the goodness, excellency, desirableness, and suitableness unto our condition, of the things themselves which are comprised in them.
- “faith worketh by love,” Galatians 5:6
- Faith makes the soul in love with spiritual things.
Love engages all other affections into their proper exercise about them, and fills the mind continually with thoughtfulness about them and desires after them
- this mightily helps on the spiritual mixture of faith and the word
- Love will constantly bring up the idea and notion of what it loves into the mind
2 Peter 2:14
- 2 Peter 2:14 14They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin.
What would it be like to have eyes full of Christ, such that we cannot cease to do good
- Spiritual love, set on work by faith, will produce this effect
- It will bring in that idea of the beloved object into the mind, until the eye be full of it, and the soul is continually conversant with it
Live on it
- Psalm 119:50 50This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. ESV
- Psalm 119:58 58I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. ESV
- Psalm 119:76 76Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. ESV
- Psalm 119:82 82My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” ESV
- Psalm 119:92 92If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. ESV
- Psalm 119:116 116Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! ESV
- Psalm 119:123 123My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. ESV
- Psalm 119:140 140Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. ESV
- Psalm 119:148 148My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. ESV
- Psalm 119:154 154Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise! ESV
- 2 Corinthians 7:1 1Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. ESV
- Hebrews 4:1 1Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. ESV
- Constant meditation