Which Comes First?

“True repentance and genuine faith always go together. They must be preached together. They must be experienced together.  They are distinct,  but not separate from each other. Faith is not repentance. Repentance is not faith. Both are gifts of God. And they twain are essential to Christian characer, as the heart and lungs are essential to the animal life of man. No one can tell which is the more important, for both are vital and essential. The want [lack] of either is death.”  –Willam S. Plumer “Hebrews” p. 232

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“It Is Enough!”

” ‘Lord, it is enough!’ Ah, this little prayer is known also among us! … It is not enough yet.  Many a faithful laborer has yet to learn that his labor is by no means in vain in the Lord, although he thinks it is.  …Many a broken instrument will the Lord raise again for his work, before he takes it away into the land of rest; and many a troubled sufferer, before he departs, shall again take his harp from the willows, and sing thanksgivings to him, whose counsel is wonderful and his ways mysterious, but who does all things well.  And then it will indeed be ‘enough.’ Ah, who is warranted yet in saying ‘It is enough!’  It is only when the Lord says it. And if you have still to remain for years in the ravage of affliction, be assured that you will eventually acknowledge, with joyful acclamations in heaven, that then only was it enough, and not a moment earlier, when the Lord stripped you of the garments of your pilgrimage, and took you unto himself.”  –F. W. Krummacher “Elijah the Tishbite” p. 124

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Grace for Today

“God has mercifully cut up life into short pieces, into days; if he had not done so, we must have been overwhelmed. Now we know by every day’s experience that we can do what in the aggregate is a great deal, if only we do it bit by bit. And it is bit by bit that we are to bear our long afflictions. Never reach forth your hand for tomorrow’s trouble. Grace is only for today’s.  You should not bring upon yourselves a need for which there is no promise of supply.

…God will not send trial without the intention of blessing; therefore, where the trial is great, we may be sure that the blessing intended is great also.  …’This day’s trial could not be spared, God has still further blessing in store for me.’  To be able to reason thus, you must, of course, believe in God, and that practically; and if you do not, I cannot write a comfort book at all for you. I am helpless to comfort without God.” –P. B. Power “A Book of Comfort for Those in Sickness” pp. 72, 74, 75

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Our Advocate

“The fact that Jesus, in his human nature, is now removed from us is not a disadvantage. To the contrary, as Jesus himself prophesied, it is an advantage. He could not be present everywhere at the same time in his human nature. But once he has gone away from us, with respect to his human nature, he can be with us another way. This other way is through the Holy Spirit, who, being divine only, and not human, can be present everywhere at the same time. And since our Lord Jesus Christ, in his divine nature, is of one substance with the Holy Spirit, he can be with us through the Spirit. At the same time, as the Catechism reminds us, there is now one who has our nature, who is ‘in the presence of His Father in heaven.’ Yes, ‘we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ (1 john 2:1).”  –G. I. Williamson “The Heidelberg Catechism” p. 84

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Both Divine and Human

“Jesus Christ is not with us in the same way that he was with his disciples for forty days after his resurrection. But he is with us and will continue to be until the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). This is so for one reason: Jesus Christ is divine and not human only. Because he is divine, he can be–and is–omnipresent (present everywhere). Yet, at the same time, because he is human, he cannot be ‘present everywhere’ in his human nature. A human being, by definition, can only be present in one place at on time. A denial of either of these truths is very damaging to the gospel.”  –G.I. Williamson “The Heidelberg Catechism” p. 84

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Nature of the Ascension

“We know that Jesus is no longer here, on the earth, because he has gone to be with the Father. He is now reigning at the right hand of God, and he will keep on reigning until he has put all enemies under his feet (and all enemies of his people, including death).  The last enemy is death, and death too will be utterly vanquished. This will take place on the Last Day, when Jesus comes to judge all men, living and dead, both the righteous and the wicked. … Jesus is present with us today through the person and work of the Holy Spirit. … we can say today, ‘He who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in his heart also has Jesus with him.’ …we must also be clear that there is a big difference between the spiritual presence of Christ that we have now and the physical presence by which our Lord will one day again be with us in the future. To confuse the two is to misunderstand the nature of the Ascension.”  –G.I. Williamson “The Heidelberg Catechism” p. 83

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Blessings On the Way

“”Nothing that is not God’s will can come into the life of one who trusts and obeys God. This fact is enough to make our life one of ceaseless thanksgiving and joy. For ‘God’s will is the one hopeful, glad, and glorious thing in the world’; and it is working in the omnipotence for us all the time, with nothing to prevent it if we are surrendered and believing. 

One who was passing through deep waters of affliction wrote to a friend: ‘Is it not a glorious thing to know that, no difference how unjust a thing may be, or how absolutely it may seem to be from Satan, by the time it reaches us it is God’s will for us, and will work for good to us? For all things work together for good to us who love God. And even of the betrayal, Christ said, ‘The cup which my Father gave me, shall I not drink it?’ We live charmed lives if we are living in the center of God’s will. All the attacks that Satan, through others’ sin, can hurl against us are not only powerless to harm us, but are turned into blessings on the way.” –“Streams in the Desert” p. 238

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