Christian Friend: Volume 5

What words of sweetness, and of grace and love,
It should be joy to anyone who loves the Lord Jesus to think of having His individual peculiar approbation and love; to find that He has approved of our conduct in such and such circumstances, though none know this but ourselves who receive the approval. But,
May we so trust the love of God, the faithfulness of God, that we may have courage to say, " Show me thy way;" faith in the full delight of God to bless us, se that we may do His will, even if it be the loss of
What is so profoundly interesting to us in this chapter is, that we get what was in the mind of Christ. His Spirit gives this wonderful moral picture of immense value to us -perfect calmness, and real power. His soul is going through that which
ROM 5: 6-11‒11:21After the apostle has spoken of peace, patience, experience, rejoicing in hope of glory, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given us, he leads us back to the simple, yet comprehensive {s
JOH 14: 6‒6:31He that spoke these words was the lowliest of men. How then did He come to utter them? Did ever a man since the world began take such a place? "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me;" even as just before He had
As children of God we have to do with the Father of spirits, who trains us in His wisdom and grace. This Heb. 12 describes. As part of the Church of God we are subject to the chastening of the Lord if,
In Eph. 5:2727That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27) we learn the purpose of Christ respecting the Church. He will present to Himself that pearl of great price (Matt. 13:4646Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matthew 13:46)), the Church glorious, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing In that same epistle we are informed of the Church's
Of the five apostles who wrote epistles three refer to the breaking of bread; viz., Peter, Jude, and Paul. Four of them were present at its institution. Paul was not; but he alone of the five gives us teaching in connection with it.
BY the ministry of the Word souls receive life, light, and understanding. As recipients of life there are desires formed within them which need an outgate, either by prayer or by worship. By the former, dependence upon God is confessed and expressed; by the
But further, since unlimited power was at His command to do whatsoever they asked, He proceeded to tell them on what conditions, all their requests would be granted. " If ye abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall
"They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:4242And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)) Such is the sacred historian's brief account of the ways of the first converts to Christianity after the day of Pentecost. The company in which they were
In Matthew and Mark we read of His blood shed "for many." In Luke it is "for you." This makes the announcement more personal and pointed; and he is the only one of the four who tells us that the Lord spake thus, both
Having viewed the Church in its relation to God, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Ghost, and having also seen how the Body is formed, we would next direct the reader's attention to the way in which the work of
With the mention of the Person to be worshipped, and the character of true worship (these both taught directly), and the class of people who can be worshippers (this taught indirectly from the Lord thus conversing with the woman), His instructions on this important question ended. {s
Then shall the Lord be glorified in His saints-not as now, in their obedience and service, their holiness and fruitfulness, but in their personal beauty. Arrayed in white, and shining in our glories, we shall be the wondrous witness of what He has done for the
IT is only the heavenly man who has died with Christ that disentangles himself from all that is of Egypt.
GOD would have you absolutely without a will. The moment you are in subjection, you have the consciousness of being just where God would have you.
It ennobles a Christian immensely to know and to feel that he is a channel through which the life of Christ is to flow out. G. V. W.
Christ was content to be nothing, in a world where man was everything and God was shut out.
Christ is the center of everything for the heart.
Believers are bound to have fellowship with everything which is according to God; but they are equally bound to refuse fellowship with all that is not according to God. True fellowship with one another can only be in the light. (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)) * *
THE secret of all blessing and progress, after a soul has been brought to taste of blessing in Christ, is the being led into intercourse with God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture, knowing Him as the living and true God in action in Scripture.
WE love Christ because He first loved us. We find that love expressed in John 14 He took us up at the hand of God, and loved us on that ground. "The men which thou gavest Me;" " Thine they were, and thou gavest them Me." He puts
I am in Christ above, and this Christ is in me below; and there I find the principle of all my walk, and the power of it too.
Living to God inwardly is the only possible means of living to Him outwardly.
One sees not only beautiful light and glory for the comfort of one's heart under all sorrows and difficulties, but looking at the person of that blessed Lord, I find in Him everything I want as a poor sinner passing through the wilderness.
The more springs of natural happiness there are the more things you have for death to cut the cords of. God maintains all natural relationships that He has created, but death has come in upon them all. It is wonderful how little we dwell in things unseen,
Redemption was a work worthy of the depths of the Father's heart, and was accomplished at the infinite cost of the sacrifice of the Son of God; and is so perfect in its results that God, by the Spirit, can
What is separation from evil? The refusal of everything, whether in association, life, habit, or practice, which is unsuited to Christ. * * *
WE should never be content when we fail to display Christ before men: as Christ is righteousness for me before God, so is He the example and standard of righteousness before men: as Christ is for me before God, so ought I to be for Christ before
There is nothing more dangerous than to have the outward manifestation of power going beyond the inward association and communion of soul with God; the life within must be equal to the outward display of power.
If death is our deliverance from all sin, we must taste it for our deliverance practically. The bitter water of Marah must be tasted, when the salt waters of the Red Sea have delivered us from Egypt forever and ever.
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The power of resurrection life takes all strength from Satan: " He who is born of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." In our earthly life, the flesh being in us, we are exposed to the power of tile enemy,
Nothing but the apprehension of Christ Himself -Christ in glory- can detach us from this present scene, or blind us to its beauty and fascination. This is strikingly illustrated in the apostle's account of his conversion. On his way to Damascus, armed with worldly authority
The apostle's statement is this, that there is now no veil over the glory of God. If there be any veil now, it is on our hearts. This is a solemn truth. All the glory, all that God is, shines in the face of {s
JOH 10: 27‒27:42IF there be one lack in souls at the present time more marked than another, it is feebleness of apprehension as to these two great points.
The Church will have her joy in Christ; but Christ will have His greater joy in the Church. The strongest pulse of gladness that is to beat for eternity will be in the bosom of the Lord over His ransomed bride. In all things
The Lord Jesus, amid all the glory of God, has a heart large enough to think of coming to meet even me. " There is a poor thing, stumbling through his duties, often going wrong. I shall go and fetch him, and make
From the French.
Lord of glory, we adore Thee!
In the interval between the rapture of the saints and the appearing of Christ, the earth will be the scene of some of the most awful events which the world has ever witnessed. Among these will be the apostasy-the open abandonment of all profession
The difference between the Lord's coming and His appearing is, that in the former case He comes for His saints, and in the latter with His saints. The kingdom therefore is always connected with His appearing, as it is then that He will assume His {s
There will be also, in connection with the sway of the antichrist, another event of transcendent importance. Notices of it are found scattered throughout the prophets, as well as parts of the New Testament scriptures. It is generally designated as the great tribulation; but
"WE all," says the apostle, " must appear before the judgment-seat of Christ." (2 Cor. 5:1010For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)) He includes in this statement, undoubtedly, both believers and unbelievers, though, as will be seen in the course of these papers, there is a long intervening period between the judgment
Another event takes place in heaven, after the judgment-seat of Christ, before His return with His saints; viz., the marriage supper of the Lamb. The scripture that refers to it may again be cited: " Let us be glad and rejoice, and give
WHEN the Lord returns for His people two things will take place-the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the change of living believers; and then both alike will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever
There is nothing more certain from the word of God than that the Jews, who are now dispersed throughout the world, will be restored to their own land; for " He that scattered Israel will gather him." (Jer. 31:1010Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. (Jeremiah 31:10)) The time of their restoration
THE question now arises whether the coming of the Lord is an immediate hope, or whether we are to look for the occurrence of preceding events. This is a vital point; and hence it is necessary to be very careful in the consideration of the teaching of
We propose, if the Lord will, to treat in successive papers upon the subject of the Lord's coming, with its accompanying and subsequent events. As it is becoming every day more manifest that we are in the midst of the perilous times (2 Tim. 3),
We should, on divine authority, and in spiritual, scriptural intelligence, hold to it, that the Lord's supper is the due characteristic expression of the Lord's day that which should then be made principal.
EPH 1-2: 10‒10:22I WISH in these papers not so much to dwell on the doctrine of the epistle to the Ephesians, as on the conduct to which this doctrine leads. If the teaching of the epistle unfolds the highest character of Christian standing, its exhortations enforce
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (Ephesians 2:11)‒11:22; 3.IN our last paper we saw the privileges of the believer as associated with the risen Christ in new life, in present blessing, and in future dominion and glory. This is the portion of the individual Christian; and in the scriptures
The result is that old distinctions altogether vanish. "Now therefore ye" (the Gentile believers) "are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints" (that is, believers generally, whether Jewish or Gentile) "and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the
We have seen in the first three chapters of the epistle the believer's standing in Christ, and God's thoughts about the Church. The practical teaching which follows is divided into four classes, according to the believer's relationship with the Church (ch. 4:1-16), the world
EPH 4: 3-6‒6: 32The believer is, as we have seen, entreated to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith he is called." Owing everything to grace, and nothing to self, " lowliness and meekness" are obviously becoming, and these are therefore the first qualities he is exhorted to
EPH 4: 3-6‒6:32THE apostle goes on to enlarge on this subject of "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." He gives as a reason for this effort the various unities into which we are brought. These may be divided into {s
It is a happy and an encouraging thing for the soul to be habitually impressed with the every-day interest which our beloved Lord takes in His own while here in the world. Probably nothing is more conducive to the deepening and unfolding of our affection to
Now let me ask you a practical question. How much to-day have you prayed for the Church of God? How much have you prayed for the saints of God? and how much do you pray every day of your life? How much is it upon your
"And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints." (Rev. 5:88And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. (Revelation 5:8)) That latter
There could be no more practical inquiry entered upon by our souls than the endeavor to discern the present character of our blessing as distinguished from what is future. Every child of God delights to dwell on the bright prospect before him; and in the measure of the
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These are the ways and dealings of God with us, and encouragement to run the race set before us-the race on which we enter. Then we have the consequences of divine favor. We want encouragement. Who are they that want encouragement? Christians.
It is a blessed thing to cultivate in our hearts; not only the sense of what God has done for us, but also what He in grace has made us to be for Himself. It is most blessed to get away from ourselves, and entering into the secret
Our Lord, when on earth, constantly quoted from the Old Testament; and in the desert, when tempted of Satan, always answered him with, " It is written;" so here it is -" What saith the Scripture?"-an important word for us in these days.
GOD'S promise to Abraham that he should be heir of the world was not through the law (v. 13), for we see in Gal. 3:17 that the law was given four hundred and thirty years after, but through the righteousness of faith.
The first thing for us to see, as believers, in order to our having peace is, that "He (Christ) was delivered for our offenses." When we were considering chap. 3 we touched upon the twofold aspect of the death of Christ, propitiation and substitution, as typified on
GEN 32: 32There are three parts in the history of God's ways with Jacob which are not only important because of their prophetic character, and still future application in blessing to Israel and the whole world, but on account of the deep moral
On the other hand, may we as steadfastly refuse the flesh in all its affections and lusts, and mortify our " members which are upon the earth," as did the children of Israel by their affinity with Jacob their progenitor. In acknowledgment of the
PHI 1: 23,24‒24: 30The fact that Paul was led of the Holy Ghost in the pages of inspiration to put his own example before the saints of Corinth, Philippi and Thessalonica respectively, for their observance, gives a divine value to the
JON 10:1-9‒9:42ONE reason why some do not clearly apprehend the Lord's teaching in this beautiful discourse is, because they do not consider the circumstances under which it was delivered; and another difficulty sometimes arises from not distinguishing between the three doors here spoken of.
One of the saddest considerations which, among others, arises in the soul in respect to our brethren entangled in the systems of men is, that they know so little, theoretically and practically, of worship; nor can we be surprised, when we reflect that they have little, if