Christian Friend: Volume 8

The above question is asked in three important connections in Scripture, and is itself one of three put to man in his fallen state. These are:
2:28I will give him the morning star." And who is it that sees the morning star? He who watches while it is night. All see the sun in its brightness; but those only who are not of the night, yet knowing that morally it is night, and
Faith makes nothing of circumstances, because it makes God all. It is not that difficulties in themselves are lessened, but that God fills the eye.
We may get into the path of faith, but we shall find then that nothing but faith can walk in it.
ACTS 9: 36-43TABITHA, or rather Dorcas, has obtained a most unlooked-for notoriety. Almost every church and chapel boast of their "Dorcas Societies; " and "Dorcas" meetings are becoming well known even to those believers who are in professed separation from human systems and organizations. The aim, both
The full act of creation under God's hand is detailed in chapter 1. The work of creation is again given us here, but much more succinctly; the narrative soon passing, the general action confines itself to Eden, or to the garden of Eden, because there
In leading our souls into an apprehension of His mind, God breaks up, so to speak, some great truth, that the Holy Ghost may select and apply the precise morsel suited to each one at any moment; or He may, and often does, epitomize a certain
Separation from evil, when in fellowship of the Spirit, is separation unto God in true holiness, and in the title of Christ the appointed Heir in resurrection life and glory. And what is this but real strength in the power
If Christ is in me, I must never let a bit of anything but Christ be seen.
I am not aware that this expression, "The judgment-seat of God," or "The judgment-seat of Christ," is found anywhere else than in Rom. 14 and 2 Cor. 5; in the first of these two passages, with a view to present individual judgments; in the second,
Some Christians are apt to confound these two things -special joy and abiding communion, and to suppose, because they have not always the first, the discontinuance of the latter is to be taken for granted and acquiesced in. This is a great mistake. Special visitations of joy may
Ah! if you were only weaker, you would then know what it is to be strengthened with might in the inner man.
It is of the first importance, beloved readers, that every one should understand the light in which God regards the precious blood of Christ. The one lesson written on almost every page of Scripture, and told out in symbol, type, and fact, is, that "
A question often arises about usefulness. Satan often beguiles by it. He may have suggested to John that he would be more useful if he were to compromise a little, and keep out of trouble for the sake of being free for his service to saints. Useful to
The bitter waters of Marah must be tasted when the salt waters of the Red Sea have delivered us from Egypt forever and ever. Put the wood of the tree, the cross of Christ, into our cross, and all will be
If we walk through the world with Christ's love filling the heart, there is not a single thing but what will awaken sorrow-the sorrow not of irritability but of love. Christ did ever the work of love, but with what a sense of the way in which {s
The Word of God can only cut away what is hindering my growth.
I see the failure of the best things around, and unless one is with God, and knowing the source of every good thing, the heart gets depressed, and says, " Who will show us any good? " But God remains just the same, and I know where to
The practical relief to your soul is always the extent of your confession.
There is a further and slightly different aspect of the application of the blood in cleansing, and that is in its effect on the soul itself. It gives a PURGED CONSCIENCE. The difference between the two things may be thus represented: Cleansing me from guilt makes me
1 THE 5:2312For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)It may be asked, What do we know of their origin? and it is right that we should seek to know the meaning of what God has seen fit to write in His word. Neither intellect nor science can answer this question. These notes from
A difficulty may be a real one, but it is only for the unbelief of hearts that it is an obstacle, if on the path of God's will. For faith reckons on God, and performs that which He wills, and difficulties are as nothing before Him. Unbelief
Of the fourteen epistles of Paul in the New Testament those to the Thessalonians are probably the earliest. His first great missionary journey (Acts 13, 14), undertaken in company with Barnabas, did not give rise to any letter from him that we
By Christ redeemed, in Christ restored,
2 PET 3:1None of the apostolic writings are more full of practical admonition than are those of Peter. In the epistles of Paul we have frequently one-half or more of doctrinal teaching constituting his thesis, followed by exhortations founded thereon. But in Peter's two epistles, after
One ray of the glory of Christ will at once wither up all the defiled glory of this world like an autumn leaf.
One great evidence of my dwelling in Christ is quietness. I have my portion elsewhere, and I go on.
Owning the word of God is owning God in this world as He has spoken.
LUK 19: 11-27-27:48Few portions of Scripture contain fuller instruction as to God's present ways than this parable. Its object is disclosed in the opening verse, where we learn that Jesus spoke it " because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that
We are only sure of the truth when we retain the very language of God which contains it.
The passover was the memorial of the deliverance out of Egypt for Israel. The Lord's Supper is the memorial not only of our deliverance, but of the love of Him who has delivered us.
When Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me," He surely meant that it should be done; but by these words He only gave a motive, and did not establish an ordinance.
The New Covenant is founded and ratified in the blood of Christ. "This is my blood of the New Testament" (or covenant), said our Lord to His disciples as He gave to them the passover cup (Matt. 26:2828For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:28)); and
Between the dates of the two epistles to the Thessalonians there could have been an interval of no great duration, both having been written during the apostle's second missionary journey; for the tide of persecution, which had run so strong at Thessalonica, had not yet
If we come to the cross, we must come by our wants and sins. No one comes truly unless he comes as a sinner, whose sins brought him there. But when we pass through the rent veil into the presence of God in perfect peace
1 COR. 1: 17-31The most familiar and most forgotten of truths is, that the flesh ill the believer is just the same as the flesh in the unbeliever. This was doubtless known, but certainly neglected, by the saints at Corinth; and as the evil which
"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." (1 Peter 1:1717And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: (1 Peter 1:17)) This passage introduces us to the government of the Father, which, it may be observed,
What is the character of testimony we have to bear in the present day?
Galatia was evangelized by Paul during his second missionary journey. (Acts 16:66Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, (Acts 16:6)) He revisited it on his third missionary journey (Acts 18:2323And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. (Acts 18:23)), strengthening all the disciples. On the first occasion he entered that province from Phrygia; for he started from Antioch to revisit first the
" Of course you will, sooner or later," most men will answer. "I DO NOT KNOW," is the answer which most Bible students ought to give.
HE has said, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." The day may be one of trial, a hot day; the way weary-not a green thing there on which the eye can rest; the land a dry and thirsty
" Laying aside therefore all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envyings, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire earnestly the pure mental milk of the Word, that by it ye may grow up to salvation, if indeed ye have tasted that the {s
People quote this passage, " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him," to show how great these things of God are. They have not entered into
I Am left here for two things-to learn a great deal about myself, which is ever humbling; and to learn of God in Christ the unmistakable patience and love and goodness of God.
The assembly at Corinth was founded by Paul (1 Cor. 3:10;4. 15) during his second missionary journey. At the outset of his labors there he met with great opposition from the Jews, but was especially encouraged by the Lord, who spake unto him at {s
O God, what wondrous love and grace
It is surely significant that God should be calling, in these last days, such public attention to His own word. Never, perhaps, has there been such eager and widespread interest in the appearance of any volume as in the Revised Version of the New {s
Christ was that which others could write of.
Divine love not only answers needs; but it also makes them speak.
The single eye sees nothing but Christ.
The fourth chapter of the first epistle of Peter, in which this striking word occurs, also contains a further statement not less remarkable-" The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God." Evidently therefore the accompanying exhortations have
One sometimes wonders that a good part of the life of a devoted and spiritual person should be passed in mistakes and wanderings. One asks oneself how the presence of the Spirit of God, necessary to produce this life, comports with these mistakes. I say,
Paul now turns to answer certain questions which they had written to him. The change from heathenism, with its vices, was immense; the change., too, from Judaism was great; questions therefore might well arise on which the Corinthian saints desired the mind of the apostle. To answer such
1 THE 5:2312For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)It is unnecessary for those who believe in the divine inspiration of the whole word of God* to seek to prove from the New Testament that which we have already seen brought before us in the Old. We merely remark that
There are two classes of religious movement at this time. The first takes the Word, sees man, the child of Adam, dead through sin, and will have nothing but Christ, His death, His resurrection, a heavenly state. The second class clings to
If we stop short of the full acceptance of death and resurrection with Christ, though we may have peace of conscience, we shall never have our hearts at rest, and, at the same time, we shall have no protection against the temptations of
2 COR 4:5I have read these chapters together because they present the gospel in the way in which Paul learned all the leading points of it. There was a certain man very remarkable for his self-righteousnessSaul of Tarsus. He thought he could
The cross is the center of the universe, according to God, the basis of our salvation- and our glory, and the brightest manifestation of God's own glory, the center of the history of eternity.
The more the revised version of the New Testament is examined the more apparent are the honesty and the industry of the revisers. The mistakes into which they have been betrayed are in no case, as far as can be seen, the result of either theological
"You hath He reconciled." (Col. 1:2121And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Colossians 1:21)) This is a thing to give thanks for now. If I am to return in heart and mind to God, I must be reconciled. God saw the need, and from the fullness and perfectness of His own love He did it
Thou gav'st Thyself for me:
My Dear
Christ perfectly glorified His Father. He rendered testimony to the holiness of His will by accepting it altogether. We, on the contrary, seek but too often to exalt ourselves even among our brethren: we want their esteem and their respect. Christ sought but one thing-the {s
In Christ self is wholly given up. He gave, not sought, Himself.
It is a happy thing so to walk with God that He can use us as His voice, when He would speak to poor sinners.
The Bible, in its object, is a whole, which presents to us God coming forth from His essential fullness to manifest all that He is, and to bring back into the enjoyment of this fullness with Himself those who, having been made partakers of His nature, have
We find in Eph. 4:55One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Ephesians 4:5), a very seasonable unfolding of the principles of the Christian walk, of the height of the principles which ought to govern it, and of its moral elevation, to which I desire to draw the attention of your readers. In chap. 4 the {s
It is interesting to observe in 2 Peter 1 the grounds upon which the exhortations of that chapter are founded. (1) According to His divine power God hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, verse 3; (2) He hath
An answer to the above query, as intelligible as it is direct, is afforded by the following quotation from Isa. 57: "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of
The second epistle to the Corinthians was written not long after the first, and when the apostle was in Macedonia (2 Cor. 7), having gone there to meet Titus, who had been to Corinth to ascertain the present condition of the assembly in that
We are not looked at as risen with Christ in Romans, but justified, and Christ our life, as men living in natural life down here, only Christ our life in it-in Him before God, not in the flesh.
For faith the flesh is gone in death, and Christ is come in life.
In Isa. 50 we learn the Creator-greatness and the lowliness of the Lord Jesus. The One who said of Himself, " I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering," also said, " The Lord God hath given me the
I take this chapter as fully setting us -the twelve disciples, then those that believe on Him through their word-first, in our place of relationship to the Father; secondly, to the world; and both in a most distinctive way. We have something of the same character in
Yet a moment I shall be
Here this long digression about Christian ministry comes to an end. The character of it, the need of it, the message conveyed by it, and the practical effect it should have on souls, the apostle has set forth. He now returns to that about which he had been
This inspired, inspiriting cry was vouchsafed to the Church almost as soon as the Lord had taken His place at the right hand of God. Nay, ere He left His disciples on earth, He encouraged their drooping spirits with the assurance of His speedy return;
All intelligence of the things of God comes from His revelation, and not from the reasonings of men. Hence, the simple go farther in spiritual understanding than the wise and prudent of the earth. God acts here so as to set aside all appearance of human wisdom.
Hark! what symphonies are ringing
1It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:1‑10)Immediately upon redemption weakness comes in" He was crucified through weakness." " Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." He could have gone up to heaven as the
If we are in communion with God, every difficulty becomes the occasion for the display of His glory.
We are often overwhelmed because our strength is not in God, who would have His grace sufficient for us, which is more precious than the removal of the thorn in the flesh.
The epistle to the Romans was written from Greece, and probably from Corinth (16: 23), during Paul's third missionary journey, which terminated abruptly at Jerusalem, whither he went with the collection raised by the churches of Galatia, Macedonia, and Achaia for the
LUK 3: 21-22This history opens with verse 21, and how wonderful and full of grace! " Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus being also baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a
The Lamb for my ransom
The two natures now clearly discerned, the special blessings connected with the teaching about sin and the law are enumerated, and in the order in which the subject has been taken up. First, there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. (8: