Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word

17th November 2020

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us.” 2 Peter 1:1

What a thought it is, that if you and I possess one grain of living faith, the same precious grace is in our hearts that was in the hearts of all the saints of God, from Abel the proto-martyr, in all the saints of the Old Testament, in all the prophets, and martyrs, and servants and apostles of God; and will subsist in the bosom of every saint down to the remotest period of time. There is but “one faith,” as there is “one God, one Lord, and one baptism;” and it is by the possession of this “like precious faith” that all the family of God are knit together into one glorious body, of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the risen Head. You, in yourself, may be very poor and needy, for faith gives us to feel our poverty and need; you may think and feel yourself unworthy of the least notice of God’s favouring eye; but if the blessed Spirit has raised up one grain of living faith in your soul, you stand on the same holy platform with saints, apostles, prophets, and martyrs, and you are as much “accepted in the Beloved,” as much loved of God, and as much a member of the mystical body of Christ, as though you were the Apostle Peter, Paul, Enoch, Abel, Isaiah, or any of the prophets.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

 

16th November 2020

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

What a word this is! “Everything!” You are privileged, saint of God, to go to the throne of God with everything. What, with every little occurrence? Yes. What, with things that people call trifles? Yes. With your daily concerns? Yes. If you feel that there is a God who can hear you, it is your privilege to go to him in everything. All things are comprehended; nothing is excluded. In everything, and that by prayer and supplication. Sometimes we pray, sometimes we supplicate. Prayer is something more gentle than supplication, less earnest, less fervent, less powerful; yet not less effectual. I have sometimes compared prayer and supplication to two things in nature. The one to a river—a stream, such as we see in our low country that flows with gentle course to the sea; the other to the torrents found in mountainous countries, that leap from precipice to precipice. The one is the calm prayer of the soul, the other the fervent cry, the earnest supplication, the breathed agony of the spirit rushing along into the bosom of God with many a broken sigh and many an earnest groan. Here the two seem contrasted. There is prayer, calm and gentle, the simple pouring out of the soul into the bosom of God; and then there is supplication, which is earnest, and calls upon the Lord as though the soul must be heard. We see it in the blessed Jesus himself. We read on one occasion that he went into a mountain the whole night to pray. Now we have no reason to believe he prayed on that occasion in the same way that he prayed in the garden and upon the cross. In the one case he had sweet union and communion with his Father; in the other he cried with groans and tears and was heard. The one was prayer; the other supplication. When your soul is calmed by the presence of God, and you feel the breath of prayer to enter your bosom, then you can pray to the Lord with sweetness and with spirit. But there are times and seasons when the soul, under the attacks of Satan and a terrible sense of guilt and shame, is obliged to cry as one that must be heard, and that is supplication. But there is another thing which is to be mingled with it, and a thing much omitted, and that is thanksgiving. These are the three constituents of a spiritual service, prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

15th November 2020

“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29

In that most sublime and touching prayer which the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great High Priest over the house of God, offered up to his heavenly Father before he shed his precious blood on the cross, there is one petition, or rather an expression of his holy will, which is full of unspeakable blessedness. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” The change from petitioning as a Priest to willing as a King is very remarkable, and casts a gracious light on the nature of Christ’s mediatorial intercession at the right hand of God. On the footing of his covenant engagements, atoning sacrifice, and finished work, as well as from the perfect equality of his divine nature with that of the Father and of the Holy Ghost, he utters the expression of that sovereign will which was and is identically the same with the eternal will and fixed decrees of his heavenly Father. And oh, how full and comprehensive, how gracious and condescending is the will of Christ as thus expressed! How it embraces in its firm and sovereign grasp all the members of his mystical body, all the sheep of his pasture and the flock of his hand, all that the Father gave him to be eternally his own! Yes; all the countless millions who before the foundation of the world were given, him as his joy and crown, as his eternal inheritance, as the delight of his heart, and the promised reward of his incarnation, sufferings, and death, were included in this expression of his holy and unchanging will. Whatever be their state and condition here below, whatever sins and sorrows they may have to sigh and groan under, whatever opposition they may encounter from earth or hell, this will of Christ holds them up so that they cannot fall out of his hand, or be deprived of their glorious inheritance.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

14th November 2020

“Having a good conscience.” 1 Peter 3:16

We cannot often see our faith, but we can sometimes see our conscience. We cannot always rejoice in the Lord, but we can see whether we fear his great name. We cannot always triumph over our enemies, but we can sometimes observe whether there is a sentinel upon the look out. Thus, if you want to know whether you have faith, look at faith’s companion, see what faith is attended by; and if you find not “a good conscience,” write death upon your religion. Throw away your sword; it is useless; it is of human manufacture; it will break in pieces when you have to encounter your enemy, the king of terrors; God’s lightning will shiver it then. But if the Lord has given you “a good conscience,” a tender conscience, a pure conscience, he will strengthen your arm to fight the good fight of faith. You will often think your sword is so short, and your arm so weak that you cannot fight the Lord’s battles. But if he has given you “a good conscience,” a conscience tender in his fear, he has put into your hands the sword of faith, and he will one day manifest it clearly, that he has himself equipped you with it, by giving you victory over all your foes. Oh, may the Lord raise up in our hearts some sweet testimony that we have “a good conscience,” and then we shall have this blessed consolation, that concerning faith we shall not make shipwreck.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

13th November 2020

“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:15

It is no evidence against you if you are subject to bondage; it is no mark against you if you cannot look death in the face without doubt or fear. Is it not “the children” who feel the bondage? And did not the Lord come to deliver them from it? Are you then not a child because you fear death? If you had no sense of sin, no tenderness of conscience, you would be as careless about death as most other people are. Thus your very bondage, your very fears, if they make you sigh and cry for deliverance, are marks of life. And the day will surely come when the Lord will remove these chilling fears and put an end to these killing doubts. As you draw near to the brink of Jordan, the Lord will be with you to deliver you, who, through fear of death, are now subject to bondage; he will extract its sting, and rob the grave of its victory, enabling you to shout “Salvation!” through his blood, even at the moment when nature sinks lowest and the last enemy appears nearest in view. Oh, what a blessed Jesus we have; what a heavenly Friend; what a divine Mediator between a holy God and our guilty souls! What love he displayed in taking our flesh and blood; what kind condescension, what wondrous depths of unspeakable grace! He loved us sufficiently to lay down his life for us. Did he not for our sakes endure the agony of the cross, the hidings of God’s face, the burden of sin, the pangs of hell? And if he has done all this for us on earth, will he leave his work undone in heaven? Has he quickened you into life, made you feel your sin, taught you to seek for mercy, raised up a good hope in your heart, applied a promise to your soul, given you a testimony? He may have done all this, and yet at times your conscience may be held down in bondage and imprisonment. But it is only to make further way for his grace; to open up more and more of his willingness and ability to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. It is only to make himself in the end more precious to you; to shew you more of his finished work, more of his dying love and atoning blood, and more of what he is able to do in delivering you from all your fears. Thus, as the Adam fall was overruled by the wisdom of God to make manifest the riches of his eternal love, mercy, and grace, so your very doubts, fears, and bondage will be blessedly overruled to give you further discoveries of Christ, to wean you more from an arm of flesh, and to make you know more experimentally what the Lord Jesus Christ is to those who seek his face and hang upon and trust him and him alone. A man who believes that he may live and die, and that safely, without an experimental knowledge of Christ, will never seek his face, never call upon his name, never long for the manifestations of his love. But he who feels that he can neither live nor die without him, who knows that he has a soul that only Christ can save, who has sins which only Christ’s blood can pardon, iniquities that only Christ’s righteousness can cover, will be often crying to the Lord to visit his soul with his salvation, and will find no rest till Christ appears; but when Christ appears to the joy of his soul, will bless and praise him with joyful lips. And oh, what a glorious trophy will that man be of Christ’s eternal victory over sin and Satan, when he will reign with him and with his assembled saints in one immortal day!

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

12th November 2020

“He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19

Sin subdued is the next greatest blessing to sin pardoned; and wherever God does pardon sin he subdues sin; for the same grace which saves sanctifies; the same grace which casts sin behind God’s back, puts its foot upon the corruptions of the believer, and prevents iniquity from having dominion over him. The Scripture is very plain and express upon this point. “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Why? “Because ye are not under the law,” which gives sin its strength and power, “but under grace,” which is able to subdue its dominion. Nor do I believe that any child of God can ever rest satisfied except by the subduing of his sins as well as the pardoning of them. To have his unbelief, infidelity, worldly-mindedness, pride, and covetousness subdued by the grace of God, its power taken out of it, its dominion dethroned, its authority destroyed, and its strength weakened and diminished, that he may not be under the dominion of any lust, or carried away by the strength of any secret or open sin, but may walk before God in the light of his countenance, as desirous to know his will and do it,—this is the desire and breathing of every one that knows sin in its guilt, filth, and power. How gracious, then, is the promise, how sweet the favour, that the Lord has promised to subdue our iniquities by the same grace as that whereby he pardons them; that, as we receive the blood of Christ to sprinkle the conscience, so we receive the grace of Christ to sanctify and renew the soul, and the strength of Christ to overcome all our inward and outward foes.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

11th November 2020

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18

If we are led of the Spirit by walking in him; if he be our Guide and Teacher; if he be continually operating upon our heart, and bringing near the influences of his grace; if he be in us and with us, guiding us into all truth, making and keeping us believing, loving, prayerful, tender, watchful, humble, contrite, and sincere; if we are thus led by the Spirit, we are not then under the law. Now whilst the conflict is going on in your bosom, you are often in your feelings under the law. The law’s curse is ringing in your ears, the law’s condemnation piercing your conscience. The flesh in some unguarded moment, it may be, prevails: you are entangled in some evil; you slip and fall into something which brings guilt upon your conscience. Now the law thunders; inward condemnation re-echoes its peals; and the soul falls into bondage, doubt, and fear. But if you are led by the Spirit; if that blessed Guide is pleased to lead you out of yourself into Christ’s blood and righteousness; if you are experimentally favoured with his blessed teachings and sweet influences, bringing with them light, life, liberty, and love, the law has no more curse for you; it cannot condemn you to hell, nor send your soul to lie for ever under the curse of God. For being led by the Spirit you are delivered from the curse of the law into the blessing of the gospel; from the bondage of the law into the liberty of truth; from law charges into gospel mercies; from the accusations of a guilty conscience into the witness of a good, because a purged and sprinkled conscience, and to sum it all up in one sentence, are thus translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Oh the blessedness of walking in the Spirit, and being led by the Spirit!

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

10th November 2020

“In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.” Proverbs 16:15

What is religion without a living faith in, and a living love to the Lord Jesus Christ? How dull and dragging, how dry and heavy, what a burden to the mind, and a weariness to the flesh, is a round of forms where the heart is not engaged and the affections not drawn forth! Reading, hearing, praying, meditation, conversation with the saints of God, what cold, what heartless work where Jesus is not! But let him appear, let his presence and grace be felt, and his blessed Spirit move upon the heart, then there is a holy sweetness, a sacred blessedness in the worship of God and in communion with the Lord Jesus that makes, whilst it lasts, a little heaven on earth. It is this inward sense of the blessedness of his presence and the misery of his absence, the heaven of his smile and the hell of his frown, that makes the sheep of Christ seek communion with him. He has won their heart to himself by discovering to them his beauty and his love, and they having once seen the glory of his Person, heard the sweetness of his voice, and tasted the grace of his lips, follow him whithersoever he goeth, seeking to know him and the power of his resurrection, and counting all things dung and loss that they may win him, and have some manifestation of his love. What is to support the soul under those trials and temptations that at times press it so sore, relieve those cruel doubts which so disquiet, take away those fears of death which so alarm, subdue that rebelliousness which so condemns, wean from the world which so allures, and make it look beyond life and time, the cares of the passing hour, and the events of the fleeting day, to a solemn and blessed eternity, but those visitations of the blessed Lord to the soul which give it communion with himself? Thus were the saints of God led and taught in days of old, as the Holy Ghost has recorded their experience in the word of truth. Remembering the past, one says, “Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.” Longing for a renewal, another cries, “O when wilt thou come unto me?” and under the enjoyment of his presence the Church speaks, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

9th November 2020

“And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26

What a strange intermixture there is in a believing heart of everything to cast down and yet of everything to encourage! How there is everything on the one side to perplex, to confuse, and put the soul to its wits’ end, and yet how on the other there is everything to hold up its head, strengthen its faith, support its hope, and encourage it to hold on to the last gasp! Now this is that very trial of faith which is more precious than of gold that perisheth, for faith is not a dead, sluggish grace, and is never more active than when it is being tried as with fire. You cannot give up from what you have felt and experienced, for that is the grand evidence, the persuasion that you have the life of God in your soul, and compared with that how worthless and valueless all other things seem to be in your eyes, because to give that up is to give up all your hope. Here, then, is the grand mystery, to hang and hold on, to hold out, and not suffer oneself to be cast away, but the more the Lord would seem to put us away, the more to cling to him. Was not this the faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman, who, so to speak, would not take “No” for an answer? or, like the faith of Ruth, “Entreat me not to leave thee?” or, like the faith of Hannah, when “she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore?” Does not this faith resemble that of Heman’s, when he cried out, “Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee?” and that of Asaph, when his feet were almost gone, and his steps had well-nigh slipped? Thus the more the Lord seems to put us away, the more we cling to him. The viler we are, the more we need his grace; and the very magnitude of our sins only makes us hang more upon his atoning blood and cling more closely to his word and promises as suitable to our case. Nor will anything induce us to give up our hope or relinquish our hold of his mercy.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

8th November 2020

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Gold and silver, those precious metals, take no injury, receive no spot of corruption from the vessel in which they are contained; let them be buried in the damp earth, no tarnish or rust forms upon them. So spiritually, the grace of God in the heart, surrounded as it is with corruption, is not tarnished by it, the heavenly treasure is not contaminated, though lodged in an earthen vessel. Christ in the heart is not defiled by the inward workings of depravity, and by the base thoughts that strive perpetually against his grace, any more than the gold of the Bank of England is defiled by the dark and damp cellars in which it is stowed. And what a mercy it is, that our corruptions cannot tarnish the grace of God; that our unbelief cannot mix with, and adulterate the faith of God’s elect; that our despondency cannot spoil and ruin a gospel hope; that our deadness, darkness, coldness, and rebellion cannot mingle with and defile the love of God in the soul! This heavenly treasure remains still as unpolluted and pure as when God first put it there; being a part of “the divine nature,” it remains uncontaminated by the filth and corruption that surround it. Is not this a mercy for God’s tried people, that spiritual knowledge, living faith, gospel hope, heavenly love, and the fruits and graces of God’s Spirit in the soul can never be defiled; but, like the streams of a fountain, are ever gushing forth in pure water? What a blessing it is, that the pure grace of God in a man’s heart cannot be contaminated by the filthy streams that are dashing from a vile nature against it, like the torrents of water from a fire-engine against a burning house, but remains as pure as when God the Spirit first breathed it into the soul.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869