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Law

These are notes of a sermon preached on Sunday 29 October 2017. They have not been proofread. The subject is the God-ward precepts of the Gospel Law.

In a single statement, James reduces the precepts of the Gospel Law under three headings:

1. The God-ward Precepts of the Gospel Law—“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father…”

2. The Relational Precepts of the Gospel Law—“To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…”

3. The Personal Precepts of the Gospel Law—“To keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Having looked more closely at the personal precepts of the Gospel Law, we now turn our attention to the God-ward precepts.

When the precepts of the Gospel Law were introduced (see the seventh study), I enumerated several God-ward precepts without making further comment. My only purpose in that study was show that the believer is given certain responsibilities towards God. I wish now to expand the list, but as it is only my intention to highlight the precepts, I will not provide a commentary for each text. This I will leave for the believer to explore…

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These are notes of a sermon preached on Sunday 29 October 2017. They have not been proofread. The subject is the relational precepts of the Gospel Law. These notes are more than 14,000 words in length (Paul’s Epistle to the church in Rome is just under 10,000 words). The size is attributed to every scripture reference quoted in full. Although my commentary is relatively short, yet I have provided a fairly extensive outline for the various duties of the believer.

As pointed in the introduction to the Gospel precepts (seventh study), James appears to be establishing a baseline from which the believer’s pure and undefiled walk with God may be measured. He is not restricting pure and undefiled religion to visit ONLY the fatherless and widows in their affliction. Rather, he is showing that if the believer is ready to communicate with those in their worst condition, then that is the starting point that ensures he will communicate with others in their best condition. Henceforth, with one statement, James is able to show how the believer is responsible to walk with others on all levels of society. I have arranged the relational precepts within the context of four social circles—(1) The Believer’s Duty towards the World; (2) The Believer’s Duty towards the Government; (3) The Believer’s Duty Towards the Church; (4) The Believer’s Duty towards the Family. The first social circle is the widest, for it encompasses everyone the believer may come into contact with on a global level. The second social circle is the next widest, for it involves the believer’s duty towards those in authority within a specific country or region. The third social circle is more narrow, for it is restricted to those that belong as members to the same church. The fourth circle is the most narrow, for it includes only those belonging to the believer’s family. Let us begin with the widest social circle—the believer’s duty towards the world.

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On Sanctification

19 Sep 2017, by

To which of the Divine Persons is the sanctification of the believer attributed?

(1) God the Father, by electing love. There is a sanctification which is more peculiarly ascribed to God the Father; and which is no other than his eternal election of men to it: under the law, persons and things separated and devoted to holy uses, are said to be “sanctified”; hence those who are set apart by God for his use and service, and are chosen by him to holiness here and hereafter, are said “to be sanctified by God the Father” (Jude 1:1).

(2) God the Son, by justifying grace. There is a sanctification also that is more peculiar to Christ the Son of God; not only as he is the representative of his people, and is “holiness to the Lord” for them; which the high priest had upon his forehead, who was a type of him, and the representative of Israel; and as he has the whole stock of grace and holiness in his hands, which is communicated to the saints as is necessary; and as the holiness…

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The Gospel Law

19 Aug 2017, by

Question 1. What blessings are connected with faith in Christ Jesus?

Answer. The blessings connected with faith in Christ Jesus are, a freedom from the bondage of sin, Satan, the world, death and the law, with free access to the Father, and a hearty welcome to all the glory of the gospel and the blessings of God’s house. (Jn 3.14-17; Rom 5.2 & 6.14 & 8.1-4; Eph 2.18-22; l Jn 2.12-14 & 5.4-5)

Question 2. Since a believer is made free from the law, is it any part of his freedom to be at liberty to sin?

Answer. No; for he is called to holiness; and though he is dead to, and free from, the law of works, he is not now, nor does he wish to be, without law to God but…

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As I understand you are frequently troubled, and put to unnecessary expense, with impertinent and unedifying letters, I humbly beg excuse for troubling you again at this time, hoping you will not have reason at least to complain of the impertinence of this letter, how much soever of its ignorance; and not at all of its expense. I had the happiness last night, as in the good providence of God I have often had before, to hear you at Monkwell Street Chapel, on the text “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” &c., with much satisfaction, and, I hope by the blessing of God, with some edification. I think, if, after such a sermon, and the doctrines contained in and enforced by it, your adversaries continue to…

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When the apostle came first into the regions of Galatia, he and his message were most cordially received. His personal deformity, which he calls the temptation in his flesh, they despised not, but received him as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. The weight and power of the message counter balanced all the unsightliness of the messenger. The joyful tidings that he brought so excited their gratitude, that they would have pulled out their own eyes, and given them to Paul. But love soonest hot is soonest cold.

Paul withdraws from these regions, to lengthen the cords of Zion, and to spread the curtains of her habitation a little farther; with an intent, in due time, to return and strengthen her stakes, which he had left in Galatia. But, as the enemy often sows tares while men sleep, so he often…

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There is a darkness upon all mankind that may be felt, which man by sin has brought upon himself. “Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people.” Under this dismal gloom Satan carries on his cursed works, and supports his infernal kingdom in the hearts of the children of men. “He rules in the hearts of the disobedient.” And mankind, being habituated to this darkness, and loving the works of it, hate the light, and will not come to it, because it discovers and brings to light their evil deeds; flashes convictions of sin, and gives cutting reproofs and rebukes for it. “All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light which doth appear, for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” Hence it is that “men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.” And Satan, the enemy both of God and man labours hard to…

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By which I do not mean filial fear; for that is a grace of the Holy Spirit, planted in the heart by him, and has the goodness of God in Christ for its object. This fear is a reverential awe of a good and gracious God, that presents us under his watchful eye, and him always before our eyes. This fear is a little sentinel, one of the post army of grace, Song vi. 13. For the church is a company of two armies, grace and corruption, which war against each other. This fear is to keep us from departing from God, in which we are counselled to walk. “My son, be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.”

When any danger appears; when any error is advanced and presented to us by Satan or his hawkers; or when any trap is set by enemies, intended to be a future handle of reproach; or any temptations to sin; this little-watchman, called fear, is upon his tower. He sounds the alarm, awakens the little camp, and will not let us proceed without…

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