1. He must offer violence to himself — This self-violence consists in two things:
1. Mortification of sin.
2. Provocation to duty.
1. Offering violence to one’s self, in a spiritual sense, consists in mortification of sin: Self is the flesh; this we must offer violence to. Hierom,, Chrysostom, and Theophilact, do all expound taking Heaven by force, the mortifying of the flesh; the flesh is a bosom traitor; it is like the Trojan horse within the walls which doth all the mischief. The flesh is a sly enemy; at first it is dulce venenum, afterwards scorpio pungens, it kills by embracing. The embraces of the flesh are like the ivy embracing the oak; which sucks out the strength of it for its own leaves and berries: So the flesh by its soft embraces, sucks out of the heart all good, Gal. v. 17. The flesh lusteth against the spirit. The pampering of the flesh, is the quenching of God’s spirit. The flesh chokes and stifles holy motions: the flesh sides with Satan and is true to its interest. There is a party within that will not pray, that will not believe. The flesh inclines us more to believe a temptation than a promise. There needs no wind to blow to sin when this tide within is so strong to carry us thither. The flesh is so near to us, its counsels are more attractive: no chain of adamant which binds so fast as the chain of lust. Alexander, who was victor mundi, conqueror of the world, was captious vitiorum, led captive by vice. Now a man must offer violence to his fleshly desires if he will be saved, Col. iii. 5. ‘Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.’ The mortifying and killing sin at the root, is when we not only forbear the acts of sin, but hate the inbeing. Plurimi peccata radunt non eradicant. Bern.
Nay, where sin has received its deadly wound, and is in part abated, yet the work of mortification is not to be laid aside. The Apostle persuades the believing Romans to ‘mortify the deeds of the flesh, Rom. viii.13. In the best of saints there is something which needs mortifying; much pride, envy, and passion; therefore mortification is called crucifixion, Gal. v. 24. which is not done suddenly: every day some limb of the ‘body of death’ must drop off. Nothing harder than a rock, (saith Cyrill), yet in the clefts thereof some weed or other will fasten its roots. None stronger than a believer, yet do what he can, sin will fasten its roots in him, and spring out sometimes with inordinate desires. There is always something needs mortifying. Hence it was St. Paul did ‘beat down his body,’ by prayer, watching, and fasting, 1 Cor. ix. 27.
Matthew XI. 12 The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
John the Baptist, hearing in prison of the fame of Christ, sends two of his disciples to Him with this question, Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another? verse 3. Not (as Tertullian thinks) that John Baptist knew not that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah, for he was confirmed in this both by the Spirit of God and by a sign from heaven (John i:33). But John Baptist hereby endeavored to correct the ignorance of his own disciples who had a greater respect for him than for Christ.
In the fourth verse Christ answers their question, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, &c. Jesus Christ demonstrates Himself to be the true Messiah by His miracles which were real and occular proofs of His divinity. John’s disciples being departed, Christ falls into a high praise and commendation of John Baptist, Verse 7. What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? As if Christ had said, John Baptist was no unconstant man, fluctuating in his mind and being shaken as a reed from one opinion to another; he was no Reuben, unstable as water, but was fixed and resolute in religion, and a prison could make no alteration in him.
1.3 The Preface to the Commandments
1.4 The Right Understanding of the Law
2. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
2.1 The First Commandment
2.2 The Second Commandment
2.3 The Third Commandment
2.4 The Fourth Commandment
2.5 The Fifth Commandment
2.6 The Sixth Commandment
2.7 The Seventh Commandment
2.8 The Eighth Commandment
2.9 The Ninth Commandment
2.10 The Tenth Commandment
3. THE LAW AND SIN
3.1 Man’s Inability to keep the Moral Law
3.2 Degrees of Sin
3.3 The Wrath of God
4. THE WAY OF SALVATION
4.3 The Word
4.5 The Lord’s Supper
4.6 Prayer (more…)
by Thomas Watson, 1681
B. The second good effect of the saints piety—was that God RECORDED it. “A book of remembrance was written before him”; the word in the original for “book of remembrance” signifies “a book of memorials” or “monuments”. The words immediately foregoing recite God’s hearkening and hearing; but lest any should say, though God does at the present hear the holy speech and thoughts of his children—yet may they not in time slip out of his mind? Therefore these words are added, “a book of remembrance was written before him.” The Lord did not only hear the godly speeches of the saints—but recorded them, and wrote them down! “A book of remembrance was written.”
This is spoken after the manner of men—not that God has any book of records by him. He does not need to write down anything for the help of his memory. He is not subject to forgetfulness. Things done a thousand years ago are as fresh to him—as if they were done but yesterday: “A thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past” (Psalm 90:4).
This “book of remembrance”, therefore, is a borrowed form of speech, taken from kings, who have their chronicles wherein they note memorable things. King Ahasuerus had his book of records, wherein were written the worthy deeds of Mordecai (Esther 6:1-2). Just so, God bears in mind, all the godly speeches and pious actions of his children. God’s particular and critical assessment is a book of records, where nothing can be lost or torn out. (more…)
by Thomas Watson, 1681
The Godly Should SPEAK of God
Having done with the character of the godly in general terms, I proceed next to their special characteristics: “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other“. When the wicked said, “It is vain to serve God”, then “Then those who feared the Lord talked often with each other“. The meaning of this word, they “talked often”, is they discoursed piously together; their tongues were divinely tuned by the Holy Spirit.
Christians, when they meet together, should be much in “holy conference”. This is not only an advice—but a charge: “You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.” (Deut. 6:6). Indeed, where there is grace poured in—it will effuse out! Grace changes the language—and makes it spiritual. When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, they “spoke with other tongues” (Acts 2:4). Grace makes Christian speak with other tongues. A godly Christian not only has the law of God in his heart (Psalm 37:31)—but in his tongue! (verse 30). The body is the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). The tongue is the organ in this temple, which sounds in holy discourse! “The tongue of the just is as choice silver” (Prov. 10:20). He drops silver sentences, enriching others with spiritual knowledge! “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him; and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt. 12:35-37). In the godly man’s heart, there is a treasury of goodness, and this is not like a bag of hidden money—but he brings something out of the treasury within—to the enriching of others.
by Thomas Watson, 1681
“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” Ecclesiastes 12:12. Books are the “children of the brain”. In this writing age, when they are brought forth ad nauseam, I intended that my pen should have been silent—but the variety and weightiness of this subject, as also the desire of some friends, did prevail with me to publish it. The main design of this excellent Scripture, is to encourage solid piety, and confute the atheists of the world, who imagine there is no gain in godliness. It was the speech of King Saul to his servants, “Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards?” (1 Samuel 22:7). Will the world or men’s lusts give them such noble recompenses of reward—as God bestows upon his followers! Surely, it is holiness which carries away the garland!
As for this treatise, it comes abroad in a plain dress: truth like a diamond—shines brightest in its native luster! Paul did not come to the Corinthians with excellency of speech, or the pride of oratory—his study was not to court—but convert. It is an unhappiness that, in these luxuriant times, religion should for the most part run either into notion or ceremony; the spirits of true religion are evaporated. When knowledge is turned into soul food, and digested into practice—then it is saving. That God would accompany these few imperfect lines with the operation and benediction of his Holy Spirit, and make them edifying—is the prayer of him who is
An Earnest Word with Those Who Are Seeking Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20
What Are We At? God Justifieth The Ungodly “It Is God That Justifieth” Just and the Justifier Concerning Deliverance from Sinning By Grace Through Faith Faith, What Is It? How May Faith Be Illustrated? Why Are We Saved by Faith? Alas! I Can Do Nothing! The Increase of Faith Regeneration and the Holy Spirit “My Redeemer Liveth” Repentance Must Go with Forgiveness How Repentance Is Given The Fear of Final Falling Confirmation Why Saints Persevere Close
HE WHO SPOKE and wrote this message will be greatly disappointed if it does not lead many to the Lord Jesus. It is sent forth in childlike dependence upon the power of God the Holy Ghost, to use it in the conversion of millions, if so He pleases. No doubt many poor men and women will take up this little volume, and the Lord will visit them with grace. To answer this end, the very plainest language has been chosen, and many homely expressions have been used. But if those of wealth and rank should glance at this book, the Holy Ghost can impress them also; since that which can be understood by the unlettered is none the less attractive to the instructed. Oh that some might read it who will become great winners of souls!
Who knows how many will find their way to peace by what they read here? A more important question to you, dear reader, is this- -Will you be one of them? A certain man placed a fountain by the wayside, and he hung up a cup near to it by a little chain. He was told some time after that a great art-critic had found much fault with its design. “But,” said he, “do many thirsty persons drink at it?” Then they told him that thousands of poor people, men, women, and children, slaked their thirst at this fountain; and he smiled and said, that he was little troubled by the critic’s observation, only he hoped that on some sultry summer’s day the critic himself might fill the cup, and he refreshed, and praise the name of the Lord.
Hari Pentakosta, yang terjadi 10 hari setelah kenaikan Yesus ke surga atau 50 hari setelah kebangkitan Yesus, adalah hari turunnya / dicurahkannya Roh Kudus. Kalau dahulu Roh Kudus hanya diberikan kepada orang-orang tertentu saja (seperti nabi dsb), maka sejak hari Pentakosta dalam Kis 2:1-13 Roh Kudus diberikan kepada semua orang yang percaya kepada Yesus (Kis 2:38 Ef 1:13).
Roh Kudus itu menghendaki supaya kita menjadi kudus dan Ia memimpin dan mengarahkan kita pada kekudusan. Karena itulah setiap orang percaya pasti berjuang untuk hidup kudus dan membuang dosa. Ini ciri dari orang percaya yang sejati!
Tetapi bagaimanapun kita semua tentu pernah merasakan adanya dosa-dosa yang terus melekat dalam diri kita, di dalam dosa mana kita sering jatuh bangun, sehingga tidak jarang kita mengalami perasaan frustrasi karena hal ini.
Karena itulah maka hari ini saya akan membahas tentang mortification.
Banyak orang berpendapat bahwa self-confidence (= keyakinan / kepercayaan kepada diri sendiri) adalah sesuatu yang sangat penting untuk bisa sukses, baik dalam hal bekerja, maupun study, olah raga, mencari pacar, melayani Tuhan dsb.
I) Sikap Kitab Suci terhadap self-confidence.
Ay 13 menunjukkan orang yang mempunyai self-confidence. Adanya self-confidence itu menyebabkan orang itu bisa memastikan akan:
- saat keberangkatannya (‘hari ini atau besok’).
- tujuannya (‘kota anu’).
- lamanya ia tinggal di sana (‘1 tahun’).
- apa yang akan dikerjakan di sana (‘berdagang’).
- kesuksesannya (‘akan mendapat untung’).
Apakah Yakobus / Kitab Suci memuji orang itu karena self-confidence yang dimilikinya? (more…)