Tag Archives: Sanctification

Giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction!


Grace logoGiddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction! 


(
Arthur Pink, “Laughter”)

There is a natural laughter, which is innocent and harmless.

There is a spiritual laughter, which is God-pleasing and beneficial.

There is a carnal laughter, which is sinful and injurious. 

“Woe unto you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep!” (Luke 6:25). The laughter which Christ here denounced, was a state of heart which lived only for the present, and had no serious concern for the future. It was His censure of those who are¬†giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction!¬†In the light of the immediate context, the reference is to those who rejoiced in the abundance of their worldly possessions, and found their delight in making gods of their bellies.¬†

“I said of laughter,¬†‘It is madness,’¬†and of pleasure,¬†‘What does it accomplish?’” (Ecclesiastes 2:2). Those were the words of one who was granted the opportunity and afforded the means, of gratifying every carnal desire and of obtaining every object which the natural heart and eye can covet ‚ÄĒ only to prove from experience, that all were but “vanity and vexation of spirit.” There is no real or lasting happiness in anything which money can purchase. The void within the human heart cannot be filled by the objects of time and sense. For one to pursue the¬†shadows ‚ÄĒ¬†and miss the substance; to devote himself to the things which¬†perish¬†with the using ‚ÄĒ yet be indifferent to those which are eternal; to seek his delight in gratifying the lusts of the flesh ‚ÄĒ and neglect the welfare of his soul, is nothing but a species of insanity! “For as the crackling of thorns under a pot [noisy, but of brief duration] ‚ÄĒ so is the laughter of the fool!” (Ecclesiastes 7:6).

“All who see Me, laugh Me to scorn!” (Psalm 22:7). So far were they from pitying Him, they added to His afflictions with their ribaldry, making jest of His very sufferings! Horrid humanity! Fearful impiety! None should ever doubt the total depravity of man, as they see here to what unspeakable depths of iniquity man sinks, when the restraining hand of God is removed from him! The spectators of the dying Redeemer’s agonies, exerted the utmost of the venom of their hearts upon Him! This was a¬†Diabolical¬†laughter!

There is also a¬†divine¬†laughter, which is dreadful and disastrous. To such David referred: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh” (Psalm 2:4), which is the laughter of¬†derision¬†against those who think to defy Him with impunity.¬†

And again God says, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes!” (Proverbs 1:26), which is the laughter of¬†divine retribution. He has “called” ‚ÄĒ by His Word, His providences, His ministers, and their own consciences ‚ÄĒ but they “refused” to heed Him. They were neither melted by the abundance of His¬†mercies‚ÄĒ nor awed by the dreadfulness of His¬†threats. They did not respect His Law ‚ÄĒ and had no heart for His Gospel. But though He bears the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction with much long-suffering, He has appointed a day when they shall be made to reap as they have sown. As they scorned His messengers when they warned of the wrath to come ‚ÄĒ so shall He turn a deaf ear then to their cries for mercy, and righteously laugh at their calamity! Oh, that none our readers may ever be the objects of this laugh!

Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments.¬†

This selection is longer, but it is needful in¬†our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses¬†adultery, it easily applies to any kind of¬†immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal with¬†lust. Every man struggles with lust‚ÄĒso please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.”¬†
Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge‚ÄĒa serpent shall bite them! The¬†fountain¬†of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the¬†rock of impurity, and so¬†making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our¬†bodies¬†with immorality‚ÄĒbut that we should keep our¬†souls¬†pure. To have a chaste body‚ÄĒbut an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is a¬†mental¬†adultery. “Whoever¬†looks¬†on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his¬†heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding‚ÄĒso he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you¬†the great evil¬†of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person.¬†It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse¬†neighing. “Everyone¬†neighed¬†after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason‚ÄĒyet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The¬†turtle-dove¬†is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the¬†stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is¬†worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes.¬†The devil is called an¬†unclean¬†spirit. Luke 11:24. The¬†adulterer¬†is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his¬†eyes¬†sparkle with lust; his¬†mouth¬†foams out filth; his¬†heart¬†burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires.¬†He is so filthy,¬†that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the¬†adulteress,¬†who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a¬†deep ditch.¬†Proverbs 23:27.¬†She is a common sewer!¬†The¬†body¬†of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her¬†soul¬†a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body.
¬†“Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the¬†fire of lust¬†consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23.¬†

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only‚ÄĒbut the estate.
¬†“Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute¬†reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation.
¬†“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant¬†disgrace¬†are his lot. His¬†shame¬†will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33.¬†Wounds of reputation‚ÄĒno physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His¬†bastard children¬†are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind. 
It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments.
¬†The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to be¬†death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was¬†stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. The¬†Salons¬†commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The¬†Romans¬†caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion‚ÄĒthis sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyful¬†entrance‚ÄĒbut she¬†leaves¬†in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would¬†rain fire¬†again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.¬†The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell.¬†“God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though¬†men¬†may neglect to judge them‚ÄĒyet¬†God¬†will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The¬†harlot’s breasts¬†keeps from¬†Abraham’s bosom!¬†“The¬†delight¬†lasts a moment‚ÄĒthe¬†torment¬†an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure‚ÄĒwould drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on‚ÄĒbut poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another‚ÄĒand so kills two at once!
¬†He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life‚ÄĒ the man’s¬†soul¬†may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is‚ÄĒto be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God.
¬†“The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is¬†abhorred¬†by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be¬†abhorred¬†by God? God may be¬†angry¬†with His own children; but for God to¬†abhor¬†a man‚ÄĒis the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when¬†death¬†gives him a push‚ÄĒhe tumbles in!

All this should sound a¬†warning¬†in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into the¬†company¬†of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the¬†occasion¬†of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to your¬†eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. The¬†eye¬†tempts the¬†imagination, and the imagination works upon the¬†heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first¬†saw¬†the tree of knowledge‚ÄĒand then she¬†took. Gen 3:6. First she¬†looked‚ÄĒand then she¬†loved. The¬†eye¬†often sets the¬†heart¬†on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes‚ÄĒnot to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to your¬†lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the¬†heart¬†by the¬†tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your¬†heart. “Guard your¬†heart¬†with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19.¬†Thinking¬†of sin, makes way for the¬†act¬†of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near‚ÄĒguards his¬†head, so keep your¬†heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your¬†attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the¬†sign¬†is hung out‚ÄĒpeople will go in and¬†taste¬†the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows‚ÄĒare tempters‚ÄĒand shall be punished, because they offered the¬†poison¬†to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality: 
the inclination of the heart, 
the persuasion of evil company, and 
the embraces of the harlot. This¬†threefold cord¬†is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to¬†theaters¬†and¬†plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all¬†appearance¬†of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart. 

(9) Take heed of¬†excess¬†in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and¬†gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The¬†foulest¬†weeds grow out of the¬†fattest¬†soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had¬†fed¬†them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the¬†refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things‚ÄĒclouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The¬†flesh pampered‚ÄĒis liable to immorality.

(10) Take heed of¬†idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his¬†seeds of temptation¬†in¬†fallow¬†ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride,¬†laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(11) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire¬†love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice¬†with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not¬†having¬†a wife‚ÄĒbut¬†loving¬†a wife‚ÄĒ which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his¬†fountain, will not go abroad to drink of¬†muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(12) Labor to get the¬†fear of God¬†into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the¬†bridle¬†which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against¬†God!”¬†Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls¬†holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(13) Take delight in the¬†Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the¬†flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures‚ÄĒis because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with¬†dogs¬†and¬†parrots, said, “Surely, they have no¬†children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted¬†Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would¬† scorn a¬†temptation¬†to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(14) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration.

¬†¬†¬† [1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your¬†curtain¬†wickedness. He is¬†totus oculus‚ÄĒ“all eye.” The¬†clouds¬†are no canopy, the¬†night¬†is no curtain‚ÄĒto hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin‚ÄĒyour Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts‚ÄĒyour adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears!¬†Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None¬†that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a¬†snare, whose heart is a¬†trap¬†and whose hands are¬†chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin.¬†Soft pleasures, harden the heart.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for¬†us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness¬†against¬†us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both¬†witness¬†and¬†judge!¬†“God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The¬†goddess Diana¬†was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who¬†came¬†into¬†her temple‚ÄĒbut frown on those who¬†went out. So the harlot¬†smiles¬†on her lovers as they¬†come¬†to her‚ÄĒbut at last, they come to the¬†frown¬†and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”¬†

When a man has been virtuous, the¬†labor¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†comfort¬†remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the¬†pleasure¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†sting¬†remains. “He gains momentary pleasure‚ÄĒbut after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the¬†senses¬†have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the¬†soul¬†is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience.¬†Sin always ends in tragedy!¬†Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation‚ÄĒI fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16)¬†Pray¬†against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the¬†wild fire of lust.¬†If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity!¬†To keep the soul pure‚ÄĒhave recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul¬†steeped¬†in the briny tears of repentance, and¬†bathed¬†in the blood of Christ‚ÄĒis made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop‚ÄĒlet Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven‚ÄĒwhere I shall be as¬†holy¬†as You would have me to be‚ÄĒand ashappy¬†as I can desire to be!”

The Delilah in the bosom!

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The Delilah in the bosom!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

If you would not come short of the kingdom of heaven, 
take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown, 
as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more. 
If any one sin reigns‚ÄĒit will keep you from reigning in the¬†
kingdom of heaven. 

Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution; 
your darling sin. “I kept myself from¬†my¬†iniquity”‚ÄĒthat¬†
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me 
into. As in the hive there is one master bee‚ÄĒso in the¬†
heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!

How may this darling-sin be known?

1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of 
a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have 
other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his 
finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special 
sin‚ÄĒthen their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged,¬†
and spit the venom of malice!

2. That sin which a man’s heart runs out most to, and he¬†
is most easily captivated by‚ÄĒis¬†the Delilah in the bosom!¬†
One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness. 
It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin
that he will part with the whole kingdom of heaven‚ÄĒto gratify¬†
that lust!

3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the 
endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with 
Benjamin. “Will you take¬†Benjamin¬†away!” Gen 42:35. So says¬†
the sinner, “This and that sin I have left‚ÄĒbut must¬†Benjamin¬†go¬†
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”

Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin 
lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the 
heart, brings death. 

I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy, 
threw away the crown of gold on his head‚ÄĒthat he might run¬†
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold 
must be thrown away‚ÄĒthat you may run the faster to the¬†
kingdom of heaven. 

Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it, 
as Uriah‚ÄĒin the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking¬†
out this¬†right eye‚ÄĒyou will see the better to go to heaven!


The Trojan horse

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The Trojan horse

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the 
evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin. 

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence 
all actual sins flow. “For¬†from within, out of the heart¬†
of man
, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, 
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, 
sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”¬†
Mark 7:21-22. 

The cause of all evil lies in a man’s own bosom‚ÄĒall¬†
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the 
heart‚ÄĒand then it is midwifed into the world. Whence¬†
comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. 
The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and 
hammered out. 


The heart is¬†the greatest seducer¬†“Each one is¬†
tempted when he is carried away and enticed by 
his own lust.” James 1:14.¬†The devil could not hurt¬†
us‚ÄĒif our own hearts did not give consent.
 All that 
he can do is to lay the bait‚ÄĒbut it is our fault to¬†
swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer,
“Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!”

It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from¬†
that evil man‚ÄĒmyself!”

Beware of the¬†bosom traitor‚ÄĒthe flesh. The heart¬†
of a man is¬†the Trojan horse‚ÄĒout of which comes¬†
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered 
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! 

The Evil Consequences

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Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”¬†
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14
David’s experience¬†is very instructive to us. While it teaches us that God can and will forgive us, if we repent of our great and gross sins‚ÄĒyet it also teaches us that sin is an evil and a bitter thing; and that, though the guilt of it may be removed, the evil consequences of it will cling to us and be a subject of sorrow to us‚ÄĒuntil God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!

Charles H Spurgeon

A lamb with a wolf’s head!

(John Angell James, “Christian Fellowship” 1822)

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ¬†Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

Christians should excel in the manifestation of Christ’s character. The mind which was in Jesus, should be in them. They should consider His character as a model of their own; and be conspicuous for their . . .

poverty of spirit,
meekness,
gentleness,
and love.

It is matter of surprise and regret, that many people seem to think that Christianity has nothing to do with character! And that provided they are free from gross sins, and have lively feelings in devotional exercises, they may be as petulant, irritable, and implacable as they please! This is a dreadful error, and has done great mischief to the cause of God!

A sour, ill-natured Christian, is like a lamb with a wolf’s head! Or like a dove with a vulture’s beak!

If there be any one word which above all others should¬†describe a Christian’s character, it is that which represents his divine Father; and as it is said, that ‘God is love’, so should it be also affirmed, that a Christian is love–love embodied, an incarnation of love! His words, his conduct, his very looks–should be so many expressions of love!

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving¬†each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be¬†imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children¬†and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and¬†gave Himself up for us!” Ephesians 4:32-5:2

A Wretch Chained To A Rotting Carcass

He sees the nails and spear in every iniquity!

(Charles Spurgeon)

The heart of Christ became like a reservoir in the midst of the mountains. All the tributary streams of iniquity, and every drop of the sins of His people–ran down and gathered into one vast lake–as deep as Hell and as shoreless as eternity. All these met, as it were, in Christ’s heart–and He endured them all!

Sin is horrible to a believer–because it crucified his Savior! He sees the nails and spear in every iniquity!

We cannot bear sin. When it is near us, we feel like a wretch chained to a rotting carcass–we groan to be free from the hateful thing.

A very little sin, as the world calls it–is a very great sin to a true Christian!

Everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost!

Everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)

One great danger of the church today, consists in the rise and progress of a spirit of indifference to all doctrines and opinions in religion. A wave of latitudinarianism about theology, appears to be passing over the land. The minds of many seem utterly incapable of discerning any difference between . . .

one belief–and another belief,
one creed–and another creed,
one tenet–and another tenet,
one opinion–and another opinion,
one thought–and another thought,
however diverse and mutually contrary they may be!
Everything is true–and nothing is false.
Everything is right–and nothing is wrong.
Everything is good–and nothing is bad–if only it comes to us under the garb and name of religion. Most think that it is kind and liberal, to maintain that we have no right to think that anyone is wrong, who is in earnest about his creed.

We are not allowed to ask what is God’s truth–but what is liberal, and generous, and charitable.

Most professing Christians make cleverness and earnestness the only tests of orthodoxy in religion. Thousands nowadays seem utterly unable to distinguish things that differ. If a preacher is only clever and eloquent and earnest–they think that he is all right, however strange and heterodox his sermons may be.

Popery–or Protestantism,
an atonement–or no atonement,
a personal Holy Spirit–or no Holy Spirit,
future punishment–or no future punishment

–they swallow all! Carried away by an imagined liberality and charity, they seem to regard doctrine as a matter of no importance, and to think that everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost! They dislike distinctness, and think that all decided views are very wrong!

These people live in a kind of mist or fog! They see nothing clearly, and do not know what they believe. They have not made up their minds about any great point in the Gospel, and seem content to be honorary members of all schools of thought. For their lives–they could not tell you what they think is truth about . . .

forgiveness of sins,
or justification,
or regeneration,
or sanctification,
or saving faith,
or conversion,
or inspiration,
or the future state.

They are eaten up with a morbid dread of doctrine. And so they live on undecided, and too often undecided they drift down to the grave, on the broad way which leads to eternal destruction.

They are content to shovel aside all disputed points as rubbish, and will tell you, “I do not pretend to understand doctrine. I dare say that it is all the same in the long run.” They are for a general policy of universal toleration and forbearance of every doctrine. Every school of false teaching, however extreme, is to be tolerated. They desire the Church to be a kind of Noah’s Ark, within which every kind of opinion and creed shall dwell safely and undisturbed, and the only terms of admittance are a willingness to come inside, and let your neighbor alone. Nothing is too absurd to concede and allow into the church, in the present mania for complete freedom of thought, and absolute liberty of opinion.

The explanation of this boneless, nerveless condition of soul, is perhaps not difficult to find. The heart of man is naturally in the dark about religion–has no intuitive sense of truth–and really needs divine instruction and illumination. Besides this, the natural heart in most men hates exertion in religion. Above all, the natural heart generally likes the praise of others, shrinks from collision, and loves to be thought charitable and liberal. The whole result is that a kind of broad religious anythingism just suits an immense number of professors.

Ignorance, I am compelled to say, is one of the grand dangers of professors of religion in the present day.

Who does not know that such people swarm and abound everywhere? And who does not know that anyone who denounces this state of things, and insists that we should be loyal to Scripture truth–is regarded as a narrow, bigoted, intolerant person, quite unsuited to our times?

When there is no creed or standard of doctrine, there can be no church, but a Babel. Let me venture to advise all true Christians to never to be ashamed of holding Evangelical views. Those views, I am quite aware, are not fashionable nowadays. They are ridiculed as old-fashioned, narrow, defective, and out of date–and those who hold them, are regarded as illiberal, impracticable old fossils!

What the final result of the present state of things will be, I do not pretend to predict.

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:2-4

Stephen Salmon ~ Absent From The Body & Present With The Lord

Photo of Stephen Salmon  1

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2 Corinthians 5:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Meet Stephen…

This post is to celebrate the life of “Brother in Christ” Stephen Salmon (aged 33). His funeral is today so could you please pray for family and friends and all who are affected by his passing.

First i’d like you to meet Stephen as he describes in this video testimony how God pulled him from the streets of Tenerife. Stephen was homeless, addicted to all kinds of drugs and alcohol, and yet God showed him a glimpse of heaven and his new eternal home with Jesus.

 

I saw Stephen’s testimony for the first time whilst looking through the Epsom Baptist Church’s Facebook page which Stephen (and his lovely wife Claire) posted on regularly. Afterwards i shouted Sarah to come and watch as his was the first proper northern accent i’d heard since becoming a Christian, and after moving down to Surrey his voice was like a breath of fresh air, and he somehow made God so personal!

Sarah and i were invited by Ben (our close Brother in Christ, after Ben had visited our church where Sarah & i played in the evening service. We got chatting and he mentioned they were needing a drummer for the morning Worship band. I said we weren‚Äôt currently attending a morning service, but i also play the drums…so if you can use me then i‚Äôll come !

The Spirit within…

I still remember the first time i met Stephen, it was at a Sunday morning service and once i heard his accent i nudged Sarah and said ‚ÄúSarah, that‚Äôs the man from the testimony video‚ÄĚ. I can‚Äôt accurately describe the warmth oozing from him, but the Spirit within him just made you smile. ūüôā

The term ‚ÄúFull of beans‚ÄĚ always springs to mind when thinking of his character. This brother was ‚ÄúFull On” for God and his hunger for the Word, passion and empathy for the homeless touched so many lives including my own.

As i write this (and thinking of his age) the Metallica lyric ‚ÄúThe brightest flame burns quickest‚ÄĚ just popped into my head.¬†

Also (like all of us) this brother was not perfect. We all struggle to mortify the flesh as our body of sin makes war against the Holy Spirit in our journey of Sanctification. I thank God for saving Stephen and giving him the blessed hope we in Christ all look forward to. And i thank God that i got to meet Stephen who not only inspired me‚Ķbut he encouraged me too. ūüôā

Last year i posted one of Stephen‚Äôs quotes on iChristian and i‚Äôd like to share it again…

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Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead …..

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED|

Like, Comment or Reblog ¬†this if you know you are NOT perfect, but that God is working in your life anyway…

Stephen Salmon (Brother in Christ)

Hope Logo copy

I‚Äôd like to finish with a message taken from his Facebook timeline…¬†

Amanda McCrea: See you heaven Stephen. You touched so many lives in life and on Facebook. You used social media as a means to inspire and uplift others. A brother in Christ and a wonderful testimony to how God can transform a life. A true servant heart. My condolences to your loved ones. May God comfort you all at this sad time. Love and prayers. Amanda.

He Transforms Our Hungers

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‚ÄúWhen God brings us to salvation, the most remarkable thing we see is that he transforms our hungers. He changes not just what we do but what we want to do. This is the work of the Holy Spirit within us ‚ÄĒ ‚Äúfor it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose‚ÄĚ (Philippians 2:13).‚ÄĚ

Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives

Christian Community

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‚ÄúChristian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.‚ÄĚ

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Interpret the theme humanity.

A photo of my tattoo of a inhuman ripping out of the skin

For this weeks photo challenge, I asked Sarah to take a photo of a tattoo i have on the lower half of my left leg. I had this done aged 21, unsaved yet fully sighted and thought it would add to my seriously bad attitude and reputation as i played football at the local 5 a side arena (where i’m band for life for being too aggressive, fighting etc, but that’s another story).

Little did i know that it was an image of my very own nature that was separating me from God. I had no idea that God would now use this tattoo as a conversation starter for me to share a little of how God saved me, and is now working through me in my new life….

All of humanity has a sin nature. This is a nature that is disobedient to God. At the same time, we do have a free choice to be good or bad. God gave all humans free will. We can choose to be good. We can choose to follow the Holy Spirit. We can choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. He gave us choice. We are not just driven by our instincts or our environment. Neither are we puppets of God. We choose to be either servants of God or servants of sin.

Sin Nature

Humans have a sin nature. A sin nature is basically a nature that is disobedient to God. We were all born with a sin nature that can be traced back through our ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve. This tendency for us to disobey God, our sin nature, continues today in that it was passed down from our forefathers.

Romans 5:12 advises us how sin has entered into all of mankind.

The Holy Spirit In Us…

Our human nature does not need to end in corruption and death that sin brings to our lives. If we choose to follow the spirit of God, we can have eternal life and not live in sin.

Galatians 6:8advises us that we can choose the Holy Spirit over our flesh.

Sanctification

Our human nature at it’s best is set aside for God. This is where we put God first. This is where we are willing vessels that purify ourselves to be set aside for God’s purpose.

1 John 3:3 and 2 Peter 1:6 advises us that humans can be pure and take on God’s divine nature.

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges


Perfect Chaos

God's Perfect Purpose in a Chaotic World

TESSEROLOGY

A MOSAIC OF BITS AND PIECES ON TRAVEL, LIFE AND TIMES

Tri Fatherhood

The gentle art of balancing marriage, parenting, and triathlon

paytej

Let's seek the truth. Let's share in Christ.

take a walk

when Jesus meets me in the park

PASSIONATE CREATIVE CHRISTIAN

inspirationalmindsurges

Paul's Redemption

My recovery from obesity and mental illness

Real Christianity

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

Voyages Of Mine

Travel & Photography

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