By: Mr. B. A. Ramsbottom
It seems remarkable that when the Lord describes the Heavenly armour, He mentions the girdle before anything else. “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 6:14). Why should this be so?
The purpose of the girdle was to fasten up long-flowing garments. Before anything of effort or importance (e.g. Israel on the Passover night), it was necessary to “gird up the loins” – otherwise you might trip, or stumble, or fall, certainly not stand. Hence the exhortation before breastplate, shield, sword, to “bind the golden girdle round thee” (as Hart expresses it).
So this expression of “girding up the loins” is often used in a figurative way in Scripture. For instance:
“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately” (Luke 12:35,36).
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13).
The golden girdle is truth. Apart from this there can be no “girding up the loins” and no “standing.” There must be a vital, personal acquaintance with the truth.
After two years at ExCel in Docklands, East London, the Christian Resources Exhibition returned to Sandown in Esher in October, 2017. We were privileged to have the opportunity to proclaim the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ in literature, Bible distribution, childrens’ colouring books and Calendars for 2018 as well as displaying and distributing 10 Commandment posters and many other items of interest, relevant to the days in which we live. There was undoubtedly a greater hunger and thirst for the Word of God than we have experienced previously, and we give God all the glory.
The Christian Watch stall was also significantly busier than in previous years, enjoying continuous enquiries throughout the three days and we enjoyed many spiritual conversations. It was felt that we were an influence for good to those who engaged with us as many Christians today have real concerns as to the direction the Churches are going in and it was good to have the opportunity to encourage each other.
Our stall joined forces with the Sussex Martyrs Commemoration Council (a Council that looks after Martyrs’ Memorials throughout Sussex) and who have produced a roll of honour of those who suffered martyrdom for their faith and the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 banners were on display at the rear of the stall depicting John Hus, Martin Luther and William Tyndale and we give God thanks for the glorious Protestant Reformation and the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the Church door at Wittenberg on 31st October, 1517, which changed the course of world history.
The Lord was with us — watching over us — and we count it a privilege to stand for Him in the public arena.
“Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross.”
By Marcus Brockes (CW Committee Member)
What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth
for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
These words are most frequently used to warn sinners of the urgent necessity for them to get right with God. They certainly should make every careless soul think of the brevity of life, the certainty of death, and the solemnity of eternity. If you come to this day still in your sins, you should stop and consider this word from God. You know the gospel. You know you should call upon the Lord to have mercy upon you. You know that tomorrow it may be too late for you to call. Call upon Him today and you will find that He will have mercy and will abundantly pardon (Isa. 55:7).
Yet James originally directed these words to Christians. They had become very careless about spiritual things. They were consumed with the here and now, this life with its pleasures and profits. They took time for granted and made their plans as if they wore certain to be around for a long time.
Is that not how all too many of us live? We need to take James’s rebuke seriously and personally. We need to grasp again some basic facts. First, our hold on life is very tenuous. Second, at best our life will be brief. Third, in this brief life what matters is not where we have travelled or what we have gained, but how we have responded to the will of God.
In the light of these things, how does your life measure up? What is your life? What motivates it? What has it accomplished? ‘The Lord asks the questions, and He will have honest answers.
Rev Alan Cairns
(From ‘Eagles’ Wings’– Daily Devotions)
The business of our lives is not to
please ourselves but to please God.
(I Timothy 6:12)
By: J. C. Ryle
Extract from ‘A Call to Holiness’, chapter 4 ‘The Fight’
True Christianity is a fight!
True Christianity! Let us mind that word ‘true.’ There is a vast quantity of religion current in the world which is not true, genuine Christianity. It passes must; it satisfies sleepy consciences; but it is not good money. It is not the real thing which was called Christianity eighteen hundred years ago. There are thousands of men and women who go to churches and chapels every Sunday and call themselves Christians. Their names are in the baptismal register. They are reckoned Christians while they live. They are married with a Christian marriage service. They mean to be buried as Christians when they die; but you never see any ‘fight’ about their religion! Of spiritual strife, and exertion, and conflict and self-denial, and watching, and warring, they know literally nothing at all. Such Christianity may satisfy man and those who say anything against it may be thought very hard and uncharitable; but it certainly is not the Christianity of the Bible. It is not the religion which the Lord Jesus founded and His Apostles preached. It is not the religion which produces real holiness. True Christianity is a ‘fight.’
The true Christian is called to be a soldier and must behave as such from the day of his conversion to the day of his death. He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, indolence and security. He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to Heaven, like one travelling in an easy carriage. If he takes his standard of Christianity from the children of this world, he may be content with such notions; but he will find no countenance for them in the Word of God. If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice, he will find his course laid down very plainly in this matter. He must ‘fight.’
(I Timothy 6:12)- Part 2
By: J. C. Ryle
Extract from ‘A Call to Holiness’, chapter 4 ‘The Fight’
(Part 1 reminded us that true Christianity is ‘a fight’ against the flesh, the world and the Devil. Part 2 shows how Christians are to fight.)
True Christianity is the fight of faith
In this respect, the Christian warfare is utterly unlike the conflicts of this world.It does not depend on the strong arm, the quick eye, or the swift foot. It is not waged with carnal weapons, but with spiritual. Faith is the hinge on which victory turns. Success depends entirely on believing.
A general faith in the truth of God’s written Word is the primary
foundation of the Christian soldier’s character. He is what he is, does what he does, thinks as he thinks, acts as he acts, hopes as he hopes, behaves as he behaves, for one simple reason – he believes certain propositions revealed and laid down in Holy Scripture. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
(I Timothy 6:12)
By: J. C. Ryle Extract from ‘A Call to Holiness’, chapter 4 ‘The Fight’
(Part 1 reminded us that true Christianity is ‘a fight’ against the flesh, the world and the Devil. Part 2 explained how Christians are to fight and Part 3 shows that it is a “good fight”.)
“Good” is a curious word to apply to any warfare. All worldly war is more or less evil. No doubt it is an absolute necessity in many cases – to procure the liberty of nations, to prevent the weak from being trampled down by the strong – but still it is an evil. It entails an awful amount of bloodshed and suffering. It hurries into eternity myriads who are completely unprepared for their change. It calls forth the worst passions of man. It causes enormous waste and destruction of property. It fills peaceful homes with mourning widows and orphans. It spreads far and wide poverty, taxation and national distress. It disarranges all the order of society. It interrupts the work of the Gospel and the growth of Christian Missions. In short, war is an immense and incalculable evil and every praying man should cry night and day, “Give peace in our time.” And yet there is one warfare which is emphatically “good” and one fight in which there is no evil. That warfare is the Christian warfare. That fight is the fight of the soul.
So the people of Nineveh believed God. Jonah 3:5
The ancient city of Nineveh was the scene of an amazing revival in the ninth century B.C. This vast city, which had a huge population, was so full of sin that God said its wickedness had come up before Him. The Ninevites were so evil they almost seem to have compelled God to take notice of them. And yet there was revival in Nineveh—Nineveh, of all places!
Now, if God could send revival to Nineveh, He can surely send it to the place where we live and work. Some people are far too pessimistic. They are so taken up with the end-time apostasy that they would feel somewhat let down if God were to send a spiritual awakening. Let us not be like that! Christians should be positive in their outlook; they should be looking for a harvest of souls. The man who hid his talent in the earth did so because he thought his lord was a mean man who could hardly be pleased. Christ is not mean. He died to save a vast multitude, and He will have that multitude with Him in heaven, out of “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9).
The revival in Nineveh affected all classes of society, all age groups, and all types of people. It led to a thorough reformation of the lives and manners of the people. The Ninevites turned from their sin to God, and God looked down from heaven approvingly and blessed them.
As we read of what happened in Nineveh, we should long to see revival in our district. The devil has been blinding our neighbours and friends for far too long. Let us pray for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God.
Rev Gordon Ferguson
(From ‘Eagles’ Wings’– Daily Devotions)
We cannot organise a revival but we can set
our sails to catch the wind from heaven when
God chooses to blow upon His people once again.
G. CAMPBELL MORGAN
By: J. C. Ryle
(1816 – 1900)
First published as a ‘Helmingham Series’ Tract in Helmingham, Suffolk
What do you think about the cross of Christ? The question may be one that you consider of little importance: but it deeply concerns the everlasting welfare of your soul.
Eighteen hundred years ago, there was a man who said that he “gloried” in the cross of Christ. He was one who turned the world upside down by the doctrines he preached. He was one who did more to establish Christianity than any man that ever lived. Yet what does he tell the Galatians? – “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14).
Reader, the “cross of Christ” must needs be an important subject, when an inspired Apostle can speak of it in this way. Let me try to show you what the expression means. Once know what the cross of Christ means and then you may be able, by God’s help, to see the importance of it to your soul.
held at the South of England Showground
on 8th – 10th June, 2017
In writing these reports about our presence at the Exhibitions, it is always essential to remember that our main aim is one of witness to our God and Saviour and to present the Gospel to as many as possible. Living, as we do, in a time when Biblical truth is largely trodden underfoot and the true Gospel distorted, not to say even despised, then the need for faithfully contending for the faith is even more necessary in our day. Therefore, the more of the population we can reach with the Word, based on personal testimony, is to be sought for. Well, we certainly seemed to achieve in a large measure this aim at Ardingly this year. Our stand was, happily due to a last minute (providential) re-arrangement, situated on a busy thoroughfare, almost opposite the entrance to a fairground where many with their children were headed. Consequently, we were able to offer a goodly amount of Christian literature to the passer-by; children’s books quickly ran out.
While some rejected the offer, quite a number responded politely and, even others, enthusiastically. Long conversations were had with a variety of people, some quite bizarre; such as a traditionally dressed Sikh woman who was amazed by some of the things she was told were in the Scriptures. She was quite astounded that God had, as is recorded in Genesis, sent a mist to water the earth. After a lengthy discussion, having arrived seemly full of her own false knowledge with which to put us right, she left quite challenged and thoughtful. Prayers, I hope, will be made for this very confused and mystically inclined lady.
‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind.’
1 Peter 1.13
Here the apostle sets before us what should be the resolve of every Christian through grace – to guard the mind. There is in this evil day a constant, concerted attack upon the minds of God’s people. We are daily exposed to a brainwashing process. Radio, television, videos, the press and various publications are all instruments hijacked by our subtle enemy to reach our minds. The media constantly presents sin as acceptable in modern society. Drinking, adultery and unfaithfulness are presented as socially acceptable and the common norm. The unsavoury filth of the world should never be allowed to seep into or sully the mind of the Christian. He must gird up the loins of the mind, as the pilgrim on a journey girded up his robes with a girdle so that he might walk unhindered. So let us keep our garments unspotted from the world and gird our minds lest they get caught up and entangled in the philosophy and thinking of the worldling.
Paul speaks of “loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 6:14). Here is the mind girt and encircled with the Word of truth and hedged about with the power of truth. Feed your mind and soul on the manna of Christ in His Word. Keep your mind’s eye on Christ and it will not be able to fix itself on the world. Remember, loose thinking must inevitably lead to loose living.
Rev. R. J. Beggs,