“With a view to a more enlarged knowledge of these works, he reads the Holy Scriptures, searching into them as for hid treasures ― ― ― He attends carefully on the ministry of the word, that he may both obtain a further insight into the Gospel, and have a richer experience of it in his soul ― ― ― By constant meditation also, and by fervent prayer, he dives deeper and deeper into the great mysteries of godliness; musing, as it were, day and night, and crying mightily to God, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!” Never does he imagine that he has yet attained. The more enlarged his views become, the more he sees, that he knows nothing yet as he ought to know: and he looks forward with proportionable earnestness to the eternal world, where the veil shall be taken from before his eyes, and he “will see as he is seen,” and “know even as he is known.”
–Charles Simeon in his commentary on Psalms.
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Posted in the gospel on January 5, 2011 |
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“How astonishing is it that a person who is blessed forever and is infinitely and essentially happy should endure the greatest sufferings that ever were endured on earth! That a person who is the supreme Lord and Judge of the world should be arraigned and should stand at the judgment seat of mortal worms and then be condemned. That a person who is the living God and the fountain of life should be put to death. That a person who created the world and gives life to all his creatures should be put to death by his own creatures. That a person of infinite majesty and glory, and so the object of the love, praises and adoration of angels, should be mocked and spit upon by the vilest of men. That a person infinitely good and who is love itself should suffer the greatest cruelty. That person who is infinitely beloved of the Father should be put to inexpressible anguish under his own Father’s wrath. That he who is the King of heaven, who has heaven for his throne and earth for his footstool, should be buried in the prison of the grave. How wonderful is this! And yet this is the way that God’s wisdom has fixed upon as the way of sinners’ salvation, as neither unsuitable nor dishonorable to Christ.”
Jonathan Edwards, “The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Way of Salvation,” in Works(Edinburgh, 1979), II:144.
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“I believe that one of the chief characteristics of our sinful nature, or ‘flesh’ as it is called in most Bible translations, is an attitude of independence toward God. Even when we know and agree that we are dependent on Him, we tend out of habit to act independently…. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons God allows us to fall before temptation so often is to teach us experientially that we really are dependent on Him to enable us to grow in holiness.
One of the best ways, apart from those painful experiences of failure, to learn dependence is to develop the discipline of prayer. This forces us in a tangible way to acknowledge our dependence on the Holy Spirit. This is true because, for whatever else we may say about prayer, it is a recognition of our own helplessness and absolute dependence on God.
It is this admission of helplessness and dependence that is so repugnant to our sinful spirit of self-sufficiency. And if we are naturally prone by temperament to be disciplined, it is even more difficult to acknowledge that we are dependent on Christ and His Spirit instead of our own self-discipline.”–Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace
(HT: Joshua Harris)
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