These are notes of a sermon preached on Sunday 24 September 2017. They have not been proofread. This is the last part of a short series of sermons on the Bible compared to a plough. The subject of this sermon is the Gospel Law—the rule for the believer’s life is the Law of Christ, not the Heart Law or Moral Law (Ten Commandments).

An excerpt: “Given the importance of the subject, I will not rush through the teaching. I will therefore look only at the Province of Gospel Law in this study. What is the province of the Gospel Law? In a nutshell, there is a Heart Law and a Gospel Law—and each belongs to a restricted province. The Heart Law never trespasses into the province of the Gospel Law, and the Gospel Law never trespasses into the province of the Heart Law. To better explain this matter, I will gather my thoughts under four headings…”

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Two Kingdoms

26 Sep 2017, by Jared Smith

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These are notes of a portion of a sermon preached on Sunday 8 October 2017. They have not been proofread. The subject is that of the two kingdoms.

The first two studies on the Gospel Law were designed to show the dividing lines between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace. Unless these Covenants be clearly distinguished and the jurisdiction of each province be strictly applied, then all types of confusion ensues on many levels of doctrine and practice. Reference was then made in the previous study to the kingdom of God. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (Jn 3:3,5) As the kingdom of God is one of the provinces I was speaking about in the first two studies, and Jesus distinguishes between it and the kingdom of this world, it seems appropriate to provide an overview of both kingdoms. There is a sharp division between these kingdoms:

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Having not been able to complete the scheduled Bible study for the mid-week service, I threw together some notes on the ninth chapter of Romans. It is not often I go ‘old school’ by scribbling on the nearest blank piece of paper. After teaching the study, I proceeded to broaden my notes for future reference. As the notes set forth a statement on High-Calvinism, I’ve chosen to include them with the online resources of the AHB. There are two sets of notes—the handwritten scribble is what I used in the pulpit (I haven’t bothered typing them out); the typed notes are what I jotted down after teaching the study.

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I. The Attributes of God.

The attributes of God are distinguished by Theologians under a variety of classifications.

1. Negative and Positive Attributes.

Distinctions are sometimes made between the “negative” and “positive” attributes. The Negative Attributes are such as remove from God whatever is imperfect in creatures—since God is not finite, mutable and mortal, so He is infinite, immutable and immortal. The Positive, or Affirmative Attributes, are such as assert a perfection in God, which is in and of Himself—if these attributes are in any measure true of the creatures, such as wisdom, goodness, justice, holiness, &c., they are derived from God. Some discard this classification of attributes, for though it is easier to say what God is not, than what He is, yet in all negative attributes, some positive excellency is found.

2. Essential and Analogical Attributes.

Another arrangement is to distribute the attributes into a “twofold order”—the first and second. The essential properties of the “first order”, declare the essence of God as in Himself, such as His simplicity, perfection, infinity and immutability. These perfections are not found in the creatures. The essential properties of the “second order”, declare the essence of God as in Himself, but are also found in the creatures, such as life, immortality…

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I. The Infinity of God.

The infinity of God is the next attribute to be considered. To say that God is infinite, means that He is unbounded and unlimited, unmeasurable or immense, unsearchable and incomprehensible. These are appropriate titles and epithets of the Godhead. (1) God is Immense. This means that Jehovah is unmeasurable—He measures all things, but is measured by none. Who can take His dimensions? They are “as high as heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know?” If the heavens above cannot be measured, and the foundations of the earth beneath cannot be searched out, how should He be measured or searched out to perfection that made all these? (Job 11:7-9; Jer 31:37) As there is an height, a depth, a length and breadth in the love of God, immeasurable (Eph 3:18), so there is in every attribute of God, and consequently in His nature. (2) God is Incomprehensible. As the immensity of Jehovah is His magnitude, and of His “greatness” it is said, that it is “unsearchable” (Ps 145:3), so upon the whole, He must be incomprehensible. The incomprehensibility of God is…

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We have been considering the attributes which belong to God as a spirit—because He is uncreated, so He is spiritual, simple, immutable, infinite, immense, omnipresent and eternal; because He is active, so He is living and omnipotent; because He is rational, so He is omniscient and wise; because He is volitional, so He has a will and it is sovereign. We now proceed to look at those perfections which affirm God is an affectionate spirit—therefore, He is joyful, loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, as well as hating and angry. We turn now to the love of God.

When we say God is an “affectionate” spirit, we do not mean He has feelings in the same way that His creatures feel. For God, being a most pure and simple act, is free from all confusion and disorder. Nevertheless, as there are some things said and done by Him, which are similar to the affections in intelligent beings, so such feelings as love, pity, hatred, anger, &c., are ascribed to Him. However, everything that is carnal, sensual or has any degree of imperfection in it is…

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The Triune God.

The glorious, yet incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity is to be seen in every Book of Scripture. The earliest writers, after the Apostolic age, when they propose to give a summary of the faith, proceed no farther than the doctrine of the Trinity. Athanasius, for instance, says: “The whole sum and body of our faith is comprised in the words “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,”—not mere characters and offices or mere names and titles, but expressive of…

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The Everlasting Covenant.

Covenant salvation has ever been the glory of the ministry in the Church of God, and where it is not proclaimed in its fulness, there are weakness and decay, and an approximation of the preaching to the colourless and feeble utterances of thousands of speakers to-day. It is of urgent importance that our younger men should prayerfully seek that the Holy Spirit would open up to their understandings, apply to their hearts, and enable them to tell out with power, the covenant security of God’s covenant people; soul-establishing truth to the tried believer, and most gracious encouragement to the poor, seeking sinner. Salvation, in the wondrous love of God…

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There are some considerations which must, of necessity, be taken into account in the reward which Justice accords to the Saviour of sinners. Let us look at a few of these considerations.

I. Justice will reward the Saviour to the full extent of his representative capacity.

If the Lord Jesus held a representative capacity under supreme sanction, and if he discharged every obligation devolving on him by consequence thereof, Justice will surely reward him to the full extent of his due arising from the absolutely perfect discharge of every such obligation. But he did, and he does, hold such a representative capacity. It will be conceded that believers are represented…

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Stability of Covenant: Psalm 89:28: “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.”; Isaiah 54:9,10: “For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”

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