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Gene Harmon, Pastor of Rescue Baptist Church in Rescue, CA, will be preaching next Sunday.
Hymn for the Day
What makes mistaken men afraid of sovereign grace to preach! The reason is, if truth be said, because they are so rich. Why so offensive in their eyes does God's election seem? Because they think themselves so wise that they have chosen Him. Of perseverance why so loath are some to speak or hear? Because, as masters over sloth, they vow to persevere. Whence is imputed righteousness a point so little known? Because men think they all possess some righteousness their own. Not so the needy, helpless soul, prefers his humble prayer; He looks to Him that works the whole, and seeks his treasure there. His language is, "Let me, my God, on sovereign grace rely; And own 'tis free, because bestowed on one so vile as I. "Election! 'tis a word divine; for, Lord, I plainly see, Had not Thy choice [preceded] mine, I ne'er had chosen Thee. "For perseverance strength I've none, but would on this depend That Jesus, having loved His own, will love them to the end. "Empty and bare, I come to Thee for righteousness divine; O may Thy matchless merits be, by imputation, mine." Thus differ these; yet hoping each to make salvation sure. Now most men will approve the rich, but Christ has blessed the poor."
By Joseph Hart (1712-68)
(Tune: ‘Amazing Grace’ Pg 236) I SHALL SIN NO MORE!
I am weary of myself, ashamed of myself, and often turn with disgust from myself! And yet I find a great deal of self-love, self-esteem, and self-pity working within me! I sometimes get into such a state of confusion, into such misery and wretchedness, that I cry out, "Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death!" Romans 7:24
I feel that I am too carnal - too much like the generality of professors. I do not follow the Lord fully. I am not wholly set apart for God. But I am ashamed of complaining, I have done so, so often, and it has ended there. I need more life, more savor, more love in my religion; and to be more energetic and self-denying in my ministry. I need--alas, what do I not need? I am only a mere skeleton of a Christian. I can keep up the outward form pretty well, but the power - the power is what I need! I want to be like Jesus. O for a Christ-like spirit, temper, and course of conduct!
I am obliged to renounce self entirely--all that I do, all that I feel, and all that I say - and build on Jesus Christ, and on Him alone. This is very mortifying to poor, proud human nature - but so it must be. The creature must be nothing -that the Savior may be all in all!
How swift-footed is time! Soon, very soon--it will land me on the shores of eternity! Well, to die will be gain. I shall then be with Christ - with Christ forever! Then all my trials will be ended, all my sorrows will cease--and I shall sin no more! If I could but live without sin - I would not care how long I lived. Nothing grieves me like sin - and yet I sin daily. I grieve the loving heart of Jesus, and wound the tender bosom on which I lean. What a pleasant thing perfect holiness will be!
- James Smith (1860) at age 58
O WHAT A WRETCHED THING THIS FLESH IS!
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 7:24, 25) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:17)
Oh what a wretched thing this flesh is! It is the residence of corruption, unbelief, hate, deceit, and every other evil known to man. Who would want such neighbors living next to them? Yet, these vile tenants are not mere neighbors to the believer. No, they are much closer than mere neighbors: they occupy the same duplex. The believer is of two natures joined into one person: flesh and spirit. Spiritually, he is a new man, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. But he still possesses the same flesh he was born with, and the same "people" live there.
These occupants of the fleshly side of our "duplex" are not considerate at all, having no respect whatsoever for the occupants of the spiritual side of the duplex. No sooner does the spirit mow the grass and weed the flower bed than the flesh dumps a bag of stinking garbage on the lawn. No sooner does the spirit sit down for an evening of quiet reflection and prayer than the flesh will throw a party, turning up the stereo of vile thoughts. Neither side of the duplex will ever find full satisfaction, nor will there be any compromise. It will be a constant state of war for as long as the believer lives in this flesh.
No wonder Paul wrote, "O, wretched man that I am." Thanks to God through Christ, He shall someday throw out the occupants on the other side, knock down the wall that separates the two sides, and the fruit of the Spirit, the occupants of the believer's soul, shall reside in BOTH sides, in one harmonious household!