Reformed Baptist Fellowship

The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Spurgeon

Rev. C. H. Spurgeon

“The blood of the everlasting covenant.”—Hebrews 13:20.

And now, what were the stipulations of this covenant? They were somewhat in this wise. God had foreseen that man after creation would break the covenant of works; that however mild and gentle the tenure upon which Adam had possession of Paradise, yet that tenure would be too severe for him, and he would be sure to kick against it, and ruin himself. God had also foreseen that his elect ones, whom he had chosen out of the rest of mankind would fall by the sin of Adam, since they, as well as the rest of mankind, were represented in Adam. The covenant therefore had for its end the restoration of the chosen people. And now we may readily understand what were the stipulations. On the Father’s part, thus run the covenant. I cannot tell you it in the glorious celestial tongue in which it was written: I am fain to bring it down to the speech which suiteth to the ear of flesh, and to the heart of a mortal. Thus, I say, run the covenant, in lines like these: “I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto my only begotten and well-beloved Son, a people, countless beyond the number of the stars, who shall be by him washed from sin, by him preserved, and kept, and led, and by him, at last, presented before my throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. I covenant by oath, and swear by myself, because I can swear by no greater, that these whom I now give to Christ shall be for ever the objects of my eternal love. Them will I forgive through the merit of the blood. To these will I give a perfect righteousness; these will I adopt and make my sons and daughters, and these shall reign with me through Christ eternally.” Thus run that glorious side of the covenant. The Holy Spirit also, as one of the high contracting parties on this side of the covenant, gave his declaration, “I hereby covenant,” saith he, “that all whom the Father giveth to the Son, I will in due time quicken. I will show them their need of redemption; I will cut off from them all groundless hope, and destroy their refuges of lies. I will bring them to the blood of sprinkling; I will give them faith whereby this blood shall be applied to them; I will work in them every grace; I will keep their faith alive; I will cleanse them and drive out all depravity from them, and they shall be presented at last spotless and faultless.” This was the one side of the covenant, which is at this very day being fulfilled and scrupulously kept. As for the other side of the covenant this was the part of it, engaged and covenanted by Christ. He thus declared, and covenanted with his Father: “My Father, on my part I covenant that in the fulness of time I will become man. I will take upon myself the form and nature of the fallen race. I will live in their wretched world, and for my people will I keep the law perfectly. I will work out a spotless righteousness, which shall be acceptable to the demands of thy just and; holy law. In due time I will bear the sins of all my people. Thou shalt exact their debts on me; the chastisement of their peace I will endure, and by my stripes they shall be healed. My Father, I covenant and promise that I will be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I will magnify thy law, and make it honourable. I will suffer all they ought to have suffered. I will endure the curse of thy law, and all the vials of thy wrath shall be emptied and spent upon my head. I will then rise again; I will ascend into heaven; I will intercede for them at thy right hand; and I will make myself responsible for every one of them, that not one of those whom thou hast given me shall ever be lost, but I will bring all my sheep of whom, by thy blood, thou hast constituted me the shepherd—I will bring every one safe to thee at last.” Thus ran the covenant; and now, I think, you have a clear idea of what it was and how it stands—the covenant between God and Christ, between God the Father and God the Spirit, and God the Son as the covenant head and representative of all God’s elect. I have told you, as briefly as I could, what were the stipulations of it. You will please to remark, my dear friends, that the covenant is, on one side, perfectly fulfilled. God the Son has paid the debts of all the elect. He has, for us men and for our redemption, suffered the whole of wrath divine. Nothing remaineth now on this side of the question except that he shall continue to intercede, that he may safely bring all his redeemed to glory.

On the side of the Father this part of the covenant has been fulfilled to countless myriads. God the Father and God the Spirit have not been behindhand in their divine contract. And mark you, this side shall be as fully and as completely finished and carried out as the other. Christ can say of what he promised to do, “It is finished!” and the like shall be said by all the glorious covenanters. All for whom Christ died shall be pardoned, all justified, all adopted. The Spirit shall quicken them all, shall give them all faith, shall bring them all to heaven, and they shall, every one of them, without let or hindrance, stand accepted in the beloved, in the day when the people shall be numbered, and Jesus shall be glorified.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons. Vol. 5. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1859. Print.

Only a Prayer Meeting?

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Monday, March 24, 2014 at 7:54 am

Prayer

 Scene 1

A room in a church building, a classroom, with seating for about 40, is dark and empty. One enters, flicks on the lights, adjusts the thermostat, and sits down. Everything’s quiet. A few minutes later others begin arriving. Chatter begins. They’re happy to see each other. They’re not dressed up. Some have just come from work, some from home or somewhere else. They look like ordinary folks. At the appointed hour, a pastor stands and calls them to begin the meeting. His voice is heard in a devotional message. Then he announces some prayer requests. Hands are raised and brief reports or new requests are mentioned. A brother stands to pray aloud, and then another. An hour passes, maybe an hour and a half. The last amen concludes the meeting, but some linger. The number present dwindles to just a couple, and the last one checks the thermostat and turns out the lights.

Many churches conduct meetings like this, usually weekly. Circumstances differ but the substance is the same. Some gatherings are smaller, others larger. Some are louder and more enthusiastic, others reflective and subdued. Some leaders in prayer use much Scripture and theological language, while others are plain, childlike in their simplicity. Some meetings are more impressive, others not.

Scene 2

The vision is ineffably glorious. The scope of the scene is vast, but everything focuses upon the source of light, a throne in the midst of myriad angels and saints. Seated upon the throne is the Lord Jesus Christ, high and lifted up. He is being worshipped by all, and yet His humanity is undeniable. He bears the scars of His Passion, but in a body free from all the miseries and limitations of His earthly life. The sounds of His praises are almost deafening, the sweetest music creatures ever offered, a new song for the Lamb that was slain, and for the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Surrounding Him are four heavenly beasts and twenty-four elders. They fall down before Him in reverent obeisance, yielding up the whole of their being to honor Him above all others. All here recognize this Lord of glory as their King. Their hearts and wills are perfectly zealous to carry out His barest wish.

Besides these, there are many angels round about the throne, and the number of them is ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. The words they offer to Him in song are loud, yet extremely clear and powerful:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing!

This is the praise to be offered by every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them:

Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

Suddenly you notice the twenty-four elders are not empty-handed. Every one of them has a harp, employed in the service of this heavenly worship. And look! They also have golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints!

Let Him Who Has Eyes to See

Behold the Church in the Presence of Christ

We know this scene portrays spiritual realities because it is revealed to us from God in Revelation 5. Read it carefully, reverently, and with great reflection. Let your spirit soar as you see by faith what is invisible to unbelievers.

Among many choice gems in this chapter, it says, “The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev 5.8 ESV). A related passage reads,

3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand (Rev 8.3-4).

The thoughtful reader of Revelation sees that these prayers have special reference to the ardent pleas of martyrs before Christ’s throne. They are calling for justice, for their vindication as God’s faithful servants and for punishment of those who persist in their persecution of His church. “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6.10).

But the Lord also hears the prayers of the church militant, when we cry to Him for Christ’s coming, and the consummation of the kingdom glorious. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Prayer as burning incense, with its fragrant smoke ascending from the altar to heaven, is a metaphor taken from Psalm 141.2, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” The prayers of the gathered saints, offered up with godly fear and holy purpose, are a sweet smell to the Lord who sees and knows all. Only the church of Jesus Christ prays acceptably to Him, while the rest of the world does not pray or instead sacrifices to mere idols. The Spirit-filled local churches are His temple, where believer-priests faithfully carry out our ministry of glorifying God in this present age, anticipating our eternal ministry of unfettered, blissful worship in the age to come.

Do you have the faith to appreciate that these two scenes are one?

–D. Scott Meadows, Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed)
Exeter, New Hampshire USA
http://cbcexeter.sermonaudio.com

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The Reformation Isn’t Over

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4:39 am

james-white

With the ebb and flow of human history, the forces arrayed against the church and her Lord and the particular front upon which the battle rages hottest will change. Rome’s theology has evolved and her arguments have been modified, but the issues remain very much what they were when Luther and Eck battled at Leipzig, only modified and complicated. God’s kingship, man’s depravity and enslavement to sin, and the insatiable desire of sinners to control the grace of God will always be present. And today, the sufficiency, clarity, and authority of Scripture are at the forefront, just as they were then. The need for the Reformation will end when the church no longer faces foes inside and out who seek to distort her purpose, her mission, her message, and her authority. Till then, semper reformanda.

Read it here

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