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A SIGHT OF SIN AND A SIGHT OF JESUS

A Sight of Sin and a Sight of Jesus

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”—

Zech. 12:10

 We can only properly deal with sin as, at the same moment, we personally and closely deal with Jesus. 

A spiritual sight of one’s SIN, apart from a believing sight of  the Lord Jesus Christ, will plunge the soul into the deepest despair. A sight of atoning blood must accompany the sight of our guilt.

Seen and dealt with alone, dissociated from the Saviour, sin is the darkest and most appalling object that can engage human study. But God has graciously and marvellously met the case. The instrument that exhibits sin in its greatest blackness at the same moment exhibits it in its fullest pardon.

A sight of sin and a sight of Jesus, as presented in the cross, is found in no other spot in the universe. Nowhere, not upon earth, where sin’s ravages are vividly and fearfully traced— not in hell, where sin’s punishment is fully and eternally endured—is sin seen as in the light of Christ’s cross.

God’s hatred of its nature and infliction of its penalty, as exhibited in the soul-sorrow, and bodily suffering of His beloved Son, is a demonstration unsurpassed, yes, unparalleled. Oh, how great the love of God to provide such a mirror in which to see at the same moment both the enormity of sin and the completeness of its forgiveness—the utter blackness of its guilt—and the snow-white purity of its cleansing.

There was but one Being in the universe who concentrated upon Himself so much sin— yet, “He knew no sin”—and in whom met so much punishment of sin, as Jesus, the Sin Bearer of His Church.

What defective views and realizations have we of this truth! How shallow our sounding of its infinite depths, how faint our experience of its preciousness and power ! And yet it is all and everything to us in the momentous matter of our comfort, holiness, and hope. If Jesus did not bear my transgression and curse; He did nothing for me, and I am yet in my sins. If He did, then the load is gone, the burden is annihilated, all transferred to Him, and by Him borne into eternal oblivion.

I am no longer my own sin bearer; my sins were all laid on Jesus, not by my hand, but by the hand of God. Since, then, Jesus has dealt with my sins, my only care should be first to realize their full pardon, and then to live a holy life as not to recommit those sins which Christ bore, and for which He sorrowed in Gethsemane, bled and expired on the tree, and so crucify the Son of God afresh.

Deeply interesting to the believing, spiritual mind is the theme of our present chapter. To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God. There are many of the Lord’s people who see sin, but who do not see Jesus at the same moment—who do not look at their sins through the medium of the cross.

To look at sin through the divine holiness, as reflected in the divine law, is to look and despair, to look and die!

BUT to look at sin through Christ—to see it in the blood that cleanses it, in the righteousness that covers it, in the love that pardons it fully, freely, and forever; oh, this is to look and hope, to look and live!

One eye upon sin, and one eye upon sin’s atonement, will enable the soul to walk humbly and filially with God. One eye looking at self and one eye looking at Christ will so regulate the experience of the soul, so accurately adjust its moral compass, as to keep the balance between presumption and despair; leading to a humble, holy, watchful walk as it regards sin on the one hand, and to an assured, happy, hopeful sense of pardon, acceptance, and glory on the other.

No fact in Christian experience is more certain than this, that sin is never properly seen until Christ is known; and that Christ is never fully known, until sin is seen in its existence, guilt, and power.

It is a sense of our vileness, guiltiness, and condemnation that takes us to Christ; and when we see Christ, and accept Christ, and enter into believing rest in Christ, we then have the deepest conviction of the greatness, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and at the same moment the most assured conviction of our full and eternal deliverance from its guilt, tyranny, and condemnation. 

This harmony of tint— the blending of light and shade—sin and Christ—forms one of the loveliest and most impressive pictures of the many which illustrate the history of the Christian’s life. 

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell

 

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REJECTION

 REJECTION

At some point in our lives all of us have felt rejected in some degree or other.
Some people feel rejected with a real reason for it. Some people feel rejected all the time, mostly, without justification.

When feeling rejected we need to make a very honest evaluation of why we feel this way.

We need to examine ourselves firstly, being honest if we are responsible for the situation and quickly making  amends, putting the situation right, if we can. Secondly, if we find the responsibility belongs elsewhere, to someone else, we need to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, and again, make moves towards reconciliation. Thirdly, if we find there is no basis for feeling this way we should speak forcibly to ourselves and reject these feelings.

When thinking about rejection, to be sure, almost certainly, we have to admit, we have rejected others or caused them to feel rejection, because of our attitudes. We may be totally unaware that we have done this, but, if and when it is made known to us, we need to take immediate steps to remedy the situation. The worse thing for us is to have caused rejection and never to be aware of it, for then there is no possibility of reconciliation.

When considering our relationship with God it is absolutely certain that we are responsible for the separation between us and God.

Behold your sins have made a separation between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2.

The worse thing for us is, having caused this separation, this barrier, the worse thing for us, is to be unaware of it. Many do not consider  their relationship to God, see no fault in themselves concerning it, and have no desire for a  relationship with God, so never seek reconciliation. This is the worst situation to be in because they will always be separated from God.

Some readily acknowledge there is a problem between themselves and God, so make every effort to put the situation right. They fail miserably because it is not possible for us to make amendment for our sins when dealing with God. Some struggle for years to resolve this problem by themselves, but always fail, so come to a place of despair or give up. This is a bad situation to be in as there never will be a reconciliation on this basis.

The best situation to be in, is to realise that there is a problem in our relationship with God, and seek a reconciliation with God, while admitting our total inability to make any restitution for sin.

God is well aware that there is a problem and from our point of view, an insurmountable problem. He knows the responsibility lies with us, He knows our inability to put things right, and yet He desires a reconciliation with us.

God is Kind, Compassionate and Forgiving, so desires a reconciliation, but He cannot simply overlook our sins and iniquities. That would offend His Holiness and Justice, there must be grounds, a justification for Him to forgive and restore a right relationship between ourselves and Himself.

Because He knows our inability He has acted to remedy this situation. He has reached out in Love and Compassion towards us. He has provided a way of Justification and Reconciliation, but this has been at great cost to Himself.
You see He sent His only Son to seek and to save those that are lost, indeed those who are dead in trespasses and sins, who have no strength to move towards God. His Son took their place and bare in His body their sins on the tree at Calvary. He took their punishment and opened a door for Reconciliation so that God could be just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus.*

To have a right relationship with God you need Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to believe in His (Jesus’) righteousness for the remission of sins, and the restoration of that right relationship with the Father.

God the Father has reached out, desiring reconciliation with us, having made the way possible through the death of His Son Jesus Christ, will you respond to His gracious offer of Mercy and Reconciliation ?

* Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 © Jeff Maxwell January 2015

Encouragement and Challenge

Encouragement and Challenge 

I read this this evening and would like to share it with as many as possible,  please……….

ABIDE IN HIM, little children, who I have always preached unto you, that when He shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. Let every new sight of your wicked heart, and every new wave of trouble, drive your soul to hide in Him, the Rock of your salvation. There is no true peace but in a present hold of the Lord our Righteousness.

ENJOY THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS — keep yourself in the Love of God. If you abide in Christ, you shall abide in His love — your joy, let no man take from you. “These things write we unto you that your joy may be full.”

BE YE CLEAN  that bear the vessels of the Lord” ” He that says he abides in Him should walk as He walked.” Ah, how many falls will I have to mourn over when I return, if my God send me back to you ! — how many unseemly quarrellings and miscarriages among you that are God’s own ! — how many unlovely tempers among those that follow Him, who is altogether lovely !  Oh take heed ; do not give the enemy cause to blaspheme ;  naming the name of Christ, depart from all iniquity.

CONTINUE IN PRAYER. How many messages have been carried to you publicly and from house to house, and yet how little success !  I bless God for all the tokens He has given that the Spirit of God has not departed. Still the Spirit has not yet been shed on us abundantly. The many absentees on the Sabbaths — the thin meetings on Thursday evenings — the absence of men from all the meetings for the worship of God — the few private prayer meetings — the little love and union among Christians — all show that the plentiful rain has not yet fallen, to refresh our corner of the heritage. Why is this ? This is the day of Christ’s Power ; why are the people not made willing ?  Let James give the answer : “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” ” Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

(2nd Pastoral letter to the people of God among his flock. Quoted in “Burning and Shining Lights: Rev Robert Steel 1868  page 155.)

Typed and lightly edited by J Maxwell 2013

Consider this question !

When we sin against God and know His forgiveness.. we are so often, and rightly so, taken up with sorrowful thoughts concerning that sin, that we fail to “ENJOY THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS” as R M M’Cheyne encourages us to.

How do we keep these two things in proper balance ? i.e. Enjoy the forgiveness of our sins with a due sense of Godly sorrow for those sins.

Your Comments please !

THE GOODNESS OF GOD

THE GOODNESS OF GOD

The Lord LOVES His Children with an everlasting LOVE.

He constantly draws us to HIMSELF.

We are kept by the Power of God.

We are safe and hidden in the hollow of His Hands.

Underneath is the Everlasting Arms.

He keeps us as the apple of His eye.

He hides us under the shadow of His wings.

He represents us at the Throne of Grace.

He cares for His lost sheep.

He leads us to the ROCK that is higher than I.

He is our Fortress and strong High Tower.

He gives his beloved sleep.

His Peace He gives unto us.

The Comforter He sends unto us.

He speaks to us through His Son.

He raises us up.

He gives us strength for the day.

He gives us beauty for ashes.

He takes away our filthy rags.

He gives us garments of righteousness.

He sets us free.

He shows us His mercy.

He forgives our sins.

He corrects us as a Loving Father.

He gives us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

He gives us the oil of joy for mourning.

We are the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

He leads us by still waters.

He restores our souls.

His rod and staff they comfort us.

He hears our cries.

The LORD is our shade upon our right hand.

The LORD is our keeper.

The Lord is our dwelling place.

He makes us to prosper.

He feeds us with food convenient for us.

He leads us to Glory.

We shall dwell in the House of the Lord for ever.

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

HEAVEN LONGED FOR …….

Long after heaven ! –  your God is present there, unveiled in Glory – God your Father, God  your Saviour, God  your everlasting Comforter.

Long after heaven ! – it is full of holiness. Sin has never sullied it ! No evil shall pollute it ! All its inhabitants are pure : the Angels and the Redeemed are without fault before the Throne of God

Long after heaven ! – it is the “rest that remains for the people of God” –  it shall remain a their rest for ever ! There  pain, trouble, and weariness are never felt ! There  Satan, sin, and sorrow cannot enter ! There peace and prosperity continually abide. There God is worshiped in perfection forever.

Long after heaven ! – it is the end of groaning for all creation; – it is the paradise of  your perfection in soul and body ! There you shall know even as you are known ! There you shall reach the manhood of  your being, regain once and for ever the lost likeness of your Creator, and hear again the voice of the Lord God walking with you in the tenderness of His amazing love and the plenitude of His everlasting friendship !

Long after heaven ! – it is a glorious home !   It is the house of Lord Jehovah !   The created home of thy Eternal Father !   The purchased home of thy Elder Brother !    The holy home of the Lord  your Saviour !   It is the safe and happy home of Angels !   It is the eternal home of all pure and holy beings !    It is the everlasting home of the whole family of the Redeemed !  It is the inheritance of your brothers and sisters in the Faith !
There are they gathered together in safety;
there they are all joined together in love;
there they all “dwell” together in unity,
there they give full expression of the love, joy, and peace of Salvation,
there they delight to fully worship, honour, and glorify the Triune God;
There they abide forever and go no more out of “the house of the Lord .”

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2013
(From:  Anon.   From Christian’s Penny Magazine vol. 2 1847)

Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness

Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness

“This is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness”—Jeremiah 23:6.

WE do not have to establish our own righteousness, for that is impossible, we have already sinned and come short of the Glory of God.

Even if we could be completely righteous from now on, we could not undo the sin, which we have already done.

“Jehovah our Righteousness” refers to the Lord Jesus Christ “who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree”. 1 Peter 2:24

The only way we can be “righteous” is if, God declares us righteous on the basis of the finished work of Christ.

This is called Imputed Righteousness, the Righteousness of Christ set down to our account.

We can receive this Righteousness only by Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We cannot buy it,          barter for it,              be worthy of it,              ONLY receive it by Faith.

If we are to be Saved from the punishment of our Sins:

We must be Justified by Faith Alone in the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

© Jeff Maxwell 2011

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