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1John
F B Meyer
Andrew Murray
J C Philpot
Octavius Winslow
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Click for >60 More Devotionals on 1John

1 John 1:6, 7
Our Daily Homily
F B Meyer

If we say, . . . but if we walk. - 1 John 1:6-7

In three marked passages, the beloved apostle guards against what men are apt to say, and indicates to them what it would be better for them to substitute in thought and speech.

Men are apt to say that they have fellowship with Christ and yet continue to walk in darkness. - It arises sometimes from their desire to stand well with their fellows, or because they do not realize how much darkness is still in their lives. But whichever be the cause, they lie and do not the truth. It is better far to walk quietly in the light, so far as we have it; and thus we shall secure His blessed fellowship, and His blood will be continually cleansing us from sin, removing. all hindrance on Christ's side to the free communication of His choicest gifts.

Again, men are apt to say that they have no sin (1Jn 1:8). - It is a profound mistake on their part, arising from defective ideas of what sin is, or from self-ignorance. If they realized what God's standard of holiness and sinlessness is; if they understood that sin consists in coming short of His glory as much as in distinct violation of His will; if they knew that there may be sin in motive as much as in act, and even in want of love-they would not speak thus. As it is, they deceive themselves, though no one else. It is better to confess our sins and seek cleansing, even for those of ignorance, in the precious blood of Jesus.

Again, men, are apt to say that they have not sinned. - Though they have fallen below their own standard, they do not like to admit it, and cling tenaciously to their position of having got beyond the range of sinning. Much better to admit it, and obtain forgiveness through the one Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous

1 John 1:6
C H Spurgeon
Morning Devotional for November 23

"Fellowship with him." - 1 John 1:6


When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with him, that we were made one with him, and his interests and ours became mutual and identical. We have fellowship with Christ in his love. What he loves we love. He loves the saints-so do we. He loves sinners-so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man, and pants to see earth's deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord-so do we. We have fellowship with him in his desires. He desires the glory of God-we also labour for the same. He desires that the saints may be with him where he is-we desire to be with him there too. He desires to drive out sin-behold we fight under his banner. He desires that his Father's name may be loved and adored by all his creatures-we pray daily, "Let thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven." We have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when he is reproached, we are reproached; and a very sweet thing it is to be blamed for his sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us. The disciple should not be above his Lord. In our measure we commune with him in his labours, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love. Our meat and our drink, like his, is to do the will of him who hath sent us and to finish his work. We have also fellowship with Christ in his joys. We are happy in his happiness, we rejoice in his exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side heaven than that of having Christ's joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for his Church shall sit with him upon his throne, as his well-beloved bride and queen.

1 John 1:7-9
Andrew Murray. The New Life
THE CLEANSING OF SIN

‘If we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ -- 1 John 1:7-9.


The same God that forgives sin also cleanses from it. Not less than forgiveness is cleansing a promise of God, and therefore a matter of faith. As it is indispensable, as it is impossible for man, so is cleansing as well as forgiveness certain to be obtained from God.


And what now is this cleansing? The word comes from the Old Testament. While forgiveness was a sentence of acquittal passed on the sinner, cleansing was something that happened to him and in him. Forgiveness came to him through the word: in the case of cleansing, something was done to him that he could experience. (Lev. 8:13; 14:7-8; Num. 19:12, 31:23, 24; 2 Sam. 22:21, 25; 2 Chron. 5:10; Neh. 13:30; Ps. 21:4; Mal. 3:3) Consequently with us also cleansing is the inner revelation of the power of God whereby we are liberated from unrighteousness, from the pollution and the working of sin. Through cleansing we obtain the blessing of a pure heart; a heart in which the Spirit can complete His operations with a view to sanctifying us, and revealing God within us. (Ps 51:12; 73:1; Matt. 5:8; 1 Tim 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Pet. 1:22)


Cleansing is through the blood. Forgiveness and cleansing are both through the blood. The blood breaks the power that sin has in heaven to condemn us. The blood thereby also breaks the power of sin in the heart to hold us captive. The blood has a ceaseless operation in heaven from moment to moment. The blood has likewise a ceaseless operation in our heart, to purify, to keep pure the heart into which sin always seeks to penetrate from the flesh. The blood cleanses the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. The marvelous power that the blood has in heaven, it has also in the heart. (John 13:10-11; Heb. 9:14; 10:22; 1 John 1:7)


Cleansing is also through the word, for the word testifies of the blood and of the power of God. (John 14:3) Hence also cleansing is through faith. It is a divine and effectual cleansing, but it must also be received in faith ere it can be experienced and felt. I believe that I am cleansed with a divine cleansing, even while I still perceive sin in the flesh; through faith in this blessing, cleansing itself shall be my daily experience.


Cleansing is ascribed sometimes to God or the Lord Jesus; sometimes to man. (Ps. 51:3; Ezek 30:25; John 13:2; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1Ti 5:22; 2Ti 2:21; James. 4:8; 1John 3:3) That is because God cleanses us by making us active in our own cleansing. Through the blood the lust that leads to sin is mortified, the certitude of power against it is awakened, and the desire and the will are thus made alive. Happy is he that understands this. He is protected against useless endeavours after self-purification in his own strength, for he knows God alone can do it. He is protected against discouragement, for he knows God will certainly do it.


What we have now accordingly to lay the chief stress upon is found in two things, the desire and the reception of cleansing. The desire must be strong for a real purification. Forgiveness must be only the gateway or beginning of a holy life. I have several times remarked that the secret of progress in the service of God is a strong yearning to become free from every sin, a hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Ps. 19:13; Matt. 5:6) Blessed are such as thus yearn. They shall understand and receive the promise of a cleansing through God.


They learn also what it is to do this in faith. Through faith they know that an unseen, spiritual, heavenly, but very real cleansing through the blood is wrought in them by God Himself.


Beloved child of God, you remember how we have seen that it was to cleanse us that Jesus gave Himself. (Eph. 5:26; Titus 2:14) Let Him, let God the Lord, cleanse you. Having these promises of a divine cleansing, cleanse yourselves. Believe that every sin, when it is forgiven you, is also cleansed away. It shall be to you according to your faith. Let your faith in God, in the word, in the blood, in your Jesus increase continually: ‘God is faithful and righteous to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’


Lord Go, I thank Thee for these promises. Thou givest not only forgiveness, but also cleansing. As surely as forgiveness comes first, does cleansing follow for every one that desires it and believes. Lord, let Thy word penetrate my heart, and let a divine cleansing from every sin that is forgiven me be the stable expectation of my soul. Beloved Saviour, let the glorious, ceaseless cleansing of Thy blood through Thy Spirit in me be made known to me and shared by me every moment. Amen.


1. What is the connection between cleansing by God and cleansing by man himself?


2. What, according to 1 John 1:9, are the two things that must precede cleansing?


3. Is cleansing, as well as forgiveness, the work of God in us? If this is the case, of what inexpressible importance is it to trust God for it. To believe that God gives me a divine cleansing in the blood when He forgives me, is the way to become partaker of it.


4. What, according to Scripture, are the evidence of a pure heart?


5. What are ‘clean hands’? (Ps. 24)

 

1 John 1:7
Octavius Winslow.

Consider Jesus.

Consider Jesus– in His Atoning Blood


"The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from every sin." 1 John 1:7


The blood of Jesus is everything. It is the central doctrine of our faith, the present and eternal life of our souls. There is no pardon, no salvation, no heaven but by blood--the blood of the Lord Jesus. Were we to relinquish every other revealed truth, and concentrate upon this one our supreme and lasting study, resolving all our knowledge of the Bible into an 'experimental and personal acquaintance' with ATONING BLOOD--as, like a purple thread, it runs from Genesis to Revelation, it would not be a too exaggerated view of this vital and momentous subject. The blood is everything to us--it is everything to God. He provided it, is satisfied with it, beholds it, and when He sees it on the soul, that soul becomes a living and a lovely soul in His sight. May our meditation on atoning blood exalt our views of its dignity, increase in us its power, and endear to our hearts the preciousness of Him who shed it!


The blood of Jesus is DIVINE. It is the blood of God's Son, the God-man Christ Jesus. In this consists its sovereign virtue. The Divine nature of Christ rendered His obedience and death an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savor.


The blood of Jesus is ATONING. It was shed for sin, it has made to Divine justice a full satisfaction for sin, it puts away sin. Is sin your burden, O my soul? Is it for your sins you do moan and weep, and are cast down? Behold, the sin-atoning blood of Jesus; believe, and weep no more. Here is that before which not a sin can stand.


The blood of Jesus is CLEANSING. It "cleanses us." Oh, this is what you do so deeply need, my soul! Sin-forgiving, guilt-removing, heart-cleansing, conscience-purifying blood. All this is the blood of Jesus to you. Wash in it, and you shall be whiter than snow. "He that is washed is clean, every whit." And mark the tense of the wonderful words on which this meditation is based--it is the present tense. The blood "cleanses." It has cleansed, it will cleanse, but, as touching our daily walk as believers in Jesus, we have to do with its present cleansing. In our Christian travel through a sinful world the feet are apt to slide, prone to wander, and are constantly contracting fresh defilement, needing the daily washing in the blood. What a sweet thought, O my soul! that the fountain is open, and the blood cleanses, even now cleanses us, from all sin.


The blood of Jesus SPEAKS. "The blood of Christ that speaks." Oh, what a voice has the blood of Jesus! What sweetness and majesty, what gentleness and power! It speaks, and the troubled conscience is at rest; it speaks, and the broken heart is healed; it speaks, and the tormenting doubt is hushed; it speaks, and the trembling fear is quelled. It speaks, also, within the veil. The voice of Jesus' blood is heard in glory, sweeter and louder than the voices of all the minstrels round about the throne. My soul, the voice of Jesus' blood pleads louder for you in heaven, than all your sins can plead against you on earth.


It is sprinkled blood--that is, APPLIED blood. Therefore it is called, "the blood of sprinkling." The blood of Jesus practically will not avail us unless applied to the conscience, just as the blood of the Paschal lamb had availed nothing to the Israelite, when the first-born of Egypt was slain, had it not been sprinkled upon his house. And so God said, "When I SEE the BLOOD, I will pass over you." O my soul! look well to this. Why is it that you are so doubting and fearful? Why are you not walking in a full sense of your pardon and acceptance in JESUS–basking in the sunshine of a present and assured salvation? Is it not because you are stopping short of the applied blood? Oh, come to the blood, the blood of sprinkling! Keep no guilt upon your conscience, no anguish for uncleansed sin in your heart; but wash daily in the precious blood of Christ, which cleanses from ALL sin. - Octavius Winslow. Consider Jesus.

 

1 John 1:7b
Octavius Winslow
Consider Jesus– in His Atoning Blood

 

Related Resource by Octavius Winslow - 1 John 1:5 The God of Light


"The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from every sin." 1 John 1:7


The blood of Jesus is everything. It is the central doctrine of our faith, the present and eternal life of our souls. There is no pardon, no salvation, no heaven but by blood--the blood of the Lord Jesus. Were we to relinquish every other revealed truth, and concentrate upon this one our supreme and lasting study, resolving all our knowledge of the Bible into an 'experimental and personal acquaintance' with ATONING BLOOD--as, like a purple thread, it runs from Genesis to Revelation, it would not be a too exaggerated view of this vital and momentous subject. The blood is everything to us--it is everything to God. He provided it, is satisfied with it, beholds it, and when He sees it on the soul, that soul becomes a living and a lovely soul in His sight. May our meditation on atoning blood exalt our views of its dignity, increase in us its power, and endear to our hearts the preciousness of Him who shed it!


The blood of Jesus is DIVINE. It is the blood of God's Son, the God-man Christ Jesus. In this consists its sovereign virtue. The Divine nature of Christ rendered His obedience and death an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savor.


The blood of Jesus is ATONING. It was shed for sin, it has made to Divine justice a full satisfaction for sin, it puts away sin. Is sin your burden, O my soul? Is it for your sins you do moan and weep, and are cast down? Behold, the sin-atoning blood of Jesus; believe, and weep no more. Here is that before which not a sin can stand.


The blood of Jesus is CLEANSING. It "cleanses us." Oh, this is what you do so deeply need, my soul! Sin-forgiving, guilt-removing, heart-cleansing, conscience-purifying blood. All this is the blood of Jesus to you. Wash in it, and you shall be whiter than snow. "He that is washed is clean, every whit." And mark the tense of the wonderful words on which this meditation is based--it is the present tense. The blood "cleanses." It has cleansed, it will cleanse, but, as touching our daily walk as believers in Jesus, we have to do with its present cleansing. In our Christian travel through a sinful world the feet are apt to slide, prone to wander, and are constantly contracting fresh defilement, needing the daily washing in the blood. What a sweet thought, O my soul! that the fountain is open, and the blood cleanses, even now cleanses us, from all sin.


The blood of Jesus SPEAKS. "The blood of Christ that speaks." Oh, what a voice has the blood of Jesus! What sweetness and majesty, what gentleness and power! It speaks, and the troubled conscience is at rest; it speaks, and the broken heart is healed; it speaks, and the tormenting doubt is hushed; it speaks, and the trembling fear is quelled. It speaks, also, within the veil. The voice of Jesus' blood is heard in glory, sweeter and louder than the voices of all the minstrels round about the throne. My soul, the voice of Jesus' blood pleads louder for you in heaven, than all your sins can plead against you on earth.


It is sprinkled blood--that is, APPLIED blood. Therefore it is called, "the blood of sprinkling." The blood of Jesus practically will not avail us unless applied to the conscience, just as the blood of the Paschal lamb had availed nothing to the Israelite, when the first-born of Egypt was slain, had it not been sprinkled upon his house. And so God said, "When I SEE the BLOOD, I will pass over you." O my soul! look well to this. Why is it that you are so doubting and fearful? Why are you not walking in a full sense of your pardon and acceptance in JESUS–basking in the sunshine of a present and assured salvation? Is it not because you are stopping short of the applied blood? Oh, come to the blood, the blood of sprinkling! Keep no guilt upon your conscience, no anguish for uncleansed sin in your heart; but wash daily in the precious blood of Christ, which cleanses from ALL sin. - Octavius Winslow. Miscellaneous

 

1 John 1:7a
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
DECEMBER 19.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

NOT only is Jesus the actual, but He is also the relative life of the believer—the life of his pardon and acceptance. See it in reference to the blood of Immanuel. It is the blood of Him who was essential life. And, although springing from His pure humanity, essential life gave it all its virtue and its power. The resurrection of Jesus confirmed forever the infinite value and sovereign efficacy of His atoning blood. Oh what virtue has it now, flowing from the life of Jesus! It has removed transgression to the distance of infinity, and for ever from the Church. Washed whiter than snow, forgiven all iniquity, blotted out all sin, the believer stands before God a pardoned soul. And, oh! what life does he find in the constant application to his conscience of the atoning blood! One drop, what peace does it give! what confidence does it inspire! what vigor does it impart to faith, and power to prayer, and cheerfulness to obedience! Oh, it is living blood. He who spilt it lives to plead it, lives to apply it, lives to sustain its virtue, until there shall be no more sins to cancel, and no more sinners to save. “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin,” and “speaks better things than the blood of Abel,” because it possesses undying life. Behold then, beloved, how manifestly is Jesus the life of your pardon. Oh! as fresh, as efficacious, as precious is that blood at this moment as when it spring warm and gushing from the pierced side of the glorious Redeemer. It is life-giving and life-sustaining blood. Here we see the antitype of the “living bird dipped in the blood of the bird slain,” and then suffered to go free, suspended mid-heaven upon the wing of unrestricted and joyous life. As the living bird bore upon its plumage the crimson symbol of atonement—death and life thus strangely blended—what was the glorious gospel truth it shadowed forth, but the close and indissoluble union of the pardoning blood with the resurrection life of our incarnate God? And, O believer, lose not sight of the deep significance of the “running water” over which the bird was slain. That flowing stream was the image of the perpetual life of the blood of Jesus. And it bids you, in language too expressive to misunderstand, and too persuasive to resist, to draw near and wash. Glorious truth that it teaches! Precious privilege that it enforces!—the repeated, the perpetual going to Immanuel’s atoning, life-giving, life-sustaining blood, thus keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.

My beloved reader, no experimental and practical truth does this work enforce of greater moment, of more precious nature, and more closely interwoven with your happy, holy walk than this. Your peace of mind—your confidence in God—your thirsting for holiness—your filial access—your support in the deepest trial—spring from your soul’s constant repose beneath the cross. What is your present case? what is the sin that wounds your spirit? what the guilt that burdens your conscience? what the grief that bows your heart? what the fearfulness and trembling that agitate and rock your mind? what gives you anxious days and sleepless nights? See yonder stream! It is crimson, it is flowing, it is vivifying with the life-blood of Jesus. Repair to it by faith. Go now—go at this moment. Have you gone before? go yet again. Have you bathed in it once? bathe in it yet again. See! it is a “running stream.” Cast your sin, your guilt, your burden, your sorrow upon its bosom; it shall bear it away, never, never more to be found. Oh, deal closely with the atoning, life-giving blood! When you do rise in the morning, and when you do lie down at night, wash in the blood. When you go to duties, and when you come from duties, wash in the blood. When your deepest sigh has been heaved, when your holiest tear has been shed, when your most humbling confession has been made, when your sincerest resolution has been formed, when your solemn covenant has been renewed, when body, soul, and spirit have again been fully, freely, unreservedly dedicated—wash in the blood. When you draw near to the Holy Lord God, and spread out your case before Him, plead the blood. When Satan accuses, and conscience condemns, when death terrifies, and judgment alarms, flee to the blood. Oh! nothing, save the atoning blood of the spotless Lamb, gives you acceptance at any moment with God. And this, at any moment, will conduct you into the secret chamber of His presence, and bow His ear and heart to your faintest whisper and to your deepest want. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

 

1 John 1:7c
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
JANUARY 18.

For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. Psalm 38:18
The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

SEEK, cherish, and cultivate constantly and habitually a broken heart for sin. Do not think that it is a work which, once done, is to be done no more. Deem it not a primary stage in your spiritual journey, which, once reached, never again occurs in your celestial progress. Oh no! As in the natural life we enter the world weeping, and leave it weeping, so in the spiritual life—we begin it in tears of godly sorrow for sin, and we terminate it in tears of godly sorrow for sin—passing away to that blessed state of sinlessness, where God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. The indwelling of all evil—the polluting nature of the world along which we journey—our constant exposure to temptations of every kind—the many occasions on which we yield to those temptations, the perpetual developments of sin unseen, unknown, even unsuspected by others—the defilement which attaches itself to all that we put our hands to, even the most spiritual and holy and heavenly, the consciousness of what a holy God must every moment see in us—all, all these considerations should lead us to cherish that spirit of lowliness and contrition, self-abhorrence and self-renunciation, inward mortification and outward humility of deportment, which belong to and which truly prove the existence of the life of God in our souls.

And what, too, prompts a constant traveling to the atoning blood?—what endears the Savior who shed that blood?—what is it that makes His flesh food indeed, and His blood drink indeed?—what is it that keeps the conscience tender and clean?—what enables the believer to walk with God as a dear child? Oh, it is the sacred contrition of the lowly spirit, springing from a view of the cross of Jesus, and through the cross leading to the heart of God. Backsliding Christian! do you feel within your heart the kindlings of godly sorrow? Are you mourning over your wandering, loathing the sin that drew you from Christ, that grieved the Spirit, and wounded your own peace? Are you longing to feed again in the green pastures of the flock, and by the side of the Shepherd of the flock, assured once more that you are a true sheep, belonging to the one fold, known by, and precious to, the heart of Him who laid down His life for the sheep? Then approach the altar of Calvary, and upon it lay the sacrifice of a broken and a contrite heart, and your God will accept it. The door of your return stands open—the pierced heart of Jesus. The golden scepter that bids you approach is extended—the outstretched hand of a pacified Father. The banquet is ready, and the minstrels are tuning their harps to celebrate the return from your wanderings to your Father's heart and home, with the gladness of feasting, and with the voice of thanksgiving and of melody. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 1:7d
Evening Devotional for July 23
C H Spurgeon

The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. - 1 John 1:7

"Cleanseth," says the text-not "shall cleanse." There are multitudes who think that as a dying hope they may look forward to pardon. Oh! how infinitely better to have cleansing now than to depend on the bare possibility of forgiveness when I come to die. Some imagine that a sense of pardon is an attainment only obtainable after many years of Christian experience. But forgiveness of sin is a present thing-a privilege for this day, a joy for this very hour. The moment a sinner trusts Jesus he is fully forgiven. The text, being written in the present tense, also indicates continuance; it was "cleanseth" yesterday, it is "cleanseth" to-day, it will be "cleanseth" tomorrow: it will be always so with you, Christian, until you cross the river; every hour you may come to this fountain, for it cleanseth still. Notice, likewise, the completeness of the cleansing, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"-not only from sin, but "from all sin." Reader, I cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray God the Holy Ghost to give you a taste of it. Manifold are our sins against God. Whether the bill be little or great, the same receipt can discharge one as the other. The blood of Jesus Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John; our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone for ever. Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one gives himself to sleep.

"Sins against a holy God;
Sins against his righteous laws;
Sins against his love, his blood;
Sins against his name and cause;
Sins immense as is the sea-
From them all he cleanseth me."

1 John 1:7e
Spurgeon, C. H.
Daily Help

“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7), not only from sin but “from all sin.” Reader, I cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray that God the Holy Spirit will give you a taste of it. Manifold are our sins against God. Whether the bill is little or great, the same receipt can discharge one as well as the other. The blood of Jesus Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John. Our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone forever. Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one begins another day.

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light....—1 John 1:7

As He is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Will we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as He whom we call “Our Father” is, of whom it is written, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5)? Certainly, this is the model which is set before us, for the Savior Himself said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). Although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, we are yet to seek after it and never be satisfied until we attain to it. - Spurgeon, C. H. Daily Help

1 John 1:8-9
DECEMBER 15
CONFESSING OUR SINS

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."--1 John 1:8-9.

TO SIN is to miss the mark! Such is the meaning of the original word.

When the prodigal returned, his first words were; "Father, I have missed the mark." Are we not always missing the mark, coming short? Sin is negative as well as positive. The Confession of the Church of England and the Shorter Catechism both agree in this: "We have done the things that we ought not; we have left undone the things that we ought to have done." Sin consists, not only in the positive transgression of the law of God, but in the want of conformity to His Will. It is needful to use this two-pronged fork. If a number of men are on their way to the recruiting-station and the standard is to be exactly six foot. They are all under that height, but the tallest of them glories in the fact that he is a clear two inches above the rest of his fellows. It may be so, but he will be as certainly rejected as the shortest, because even he comes below the standard. You may be better than scores of people in your circle, but you will need Christ's forgiveness and salvation equally with the worst!

In dealing with sin, therefore, there must be confession. "Do not hide, nor cloak them before the face of your Heavenly Father, but confess them with a patient, meek, and contrite heart." Do not wait for the hour of evening prayer, nor even for the opportunity of being alone, but in the busy street, in the midst of daily toil, lift up your heart to Christ if you have done wrong, and say: "I have gone astray: seek Thy servant."

It is not enough to confess to Christ, if you have sinned against another, you must first go and be reconciled to him, and then come and offer your gift at the altar. Confess, and make good! It is not enough to be extraordinarily pleasant, or suggest a solarium; you must definitely ask forgiveness!

When God forgives He forgets (Is 43:25). As David puts it, and he had reason to know, "He restoreth my soul." Remember that He delighteth in mercy. He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse. Through the Sacrifice of Calvary God can be absolutely just, and at the same time the Justifier of them who believe in Jesus.

PRAYER - Heavenly Father, I thank Thee for Thy forgiving, pitying love. I gratefully realise that my sin cannot alter Thy love, though it may dim my enjoyment of it. But I pray Thee to set me free from the love and power of sin, that it may not intercept the light of Thy countenance. AMEN. - F. B. Meyer. Our Daily Walk

1 John 1:9a
June 9
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." –1 John 1:9

Has the Lord made sin your burden? Has he ever made you feel guilty before him? Has he ever pressed down your conscience with a sight and sense of your iniquities, your sins, your backslidings? And does the Lord draw, from time to time, honest, sincere, unreserved confession of those sins out of your lips? What does the Holy Spirit say to you? What has the blessed Spirit recorded for your instruction, and for your consolation? "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."

Not merely on a footing of mercy; still less because you confess them. It is not your confessing them, but it is thus--your confessing them is a mark of divine light; your confessing them springs from the work of grace upon your heart. If, then, you possess divine life, if you have grace in your soul, you are a child of God, Jesus obeyed for you--Jesus suffered for you--Jesus died for you--Jesus has put away your sin. And, therefore, you being a child of God, and Jesus having done all these things for you, God is now "faithful" to his promise that he will receive a confessing sinner; and "just" to his own immutable and truthful character. And thus, from justice as well as mercy, from faithfulness as well as compassion, he can, he will, and he does--pardon, forgive, and sweetly blot out every iniquity and every transgression of a confessing penitent.

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"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

"He is faithful and JUST." Oh, what a word is that! There is scarcely to my mind such a word in the Bible as that; so great, so glorious, so comforting--"He is faithful and just." "Just?" say you, "why I know that God's mercy and God's grace can pardon sinners; but how can God be just, and pardon transgressors? Does not God's justice demand the punishment of sin? Does not God's justice blaze forth in eternal lightnings against the soul that transgresses his holy law? How, then, can it be true, that God can be just, and yet forgive a confessing sinner?"

But it is true, divinely True, blessedly, eternally true. And in it is locked up that grand mystery of redemption by the blood and obedience of God's co-equal Son. It is locked up in this one word--"just." "But how?" it may be asked. In this way. The Lord of life and glory became a security and substitute for those whom his Father gave to him. He entered into their place and stead. He endured the punishment that was due to them. For them he fulfilled the whole law by his doings and by his sufferings. For them he bled, and for them he died. For them he rose again, and for them ascended up to the right hand of the Father. And now justice demands the sinner's pardon, and puts in its righteous plea. And see the difference. Mercy begs, justice demands--mercy says, "I ask it as a boon;" mercy, as a part of God's character, looks down with pity and compassion on the mourning criminal; but justice says, "It is his due; it is his right; it belongs to him; it is his because the Redeemer has discharged his debt, because the Surety has stood in his place, because the Savior has obeyed that law for him which he could not obey in his own person." So that when we can receive this blessed and glorious truth, that to those who confess their sins, "God is faithful," and not merely "faithful," but also "just to forgive them their sins," how it draws out of the bosom of Jehovah a full, free, and irrevocable pardon of all transgressions, and especially of those transgressions that the sinner confesses at his footstool! (Philpot

1 John 1:9
Andrew Murray
The New Life

THE CONFESSION OF SIN
1 John 1:9.


‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ -- 1 John 1:9.

The one thing that God hates, that grieves Him, that He is provoked by, and that He will destroy, is sin. The one thing that makes man unhappy, is sin. (Ge 6:5, 6; Ezek. 33:6; Rev. 6:16, 17) The one thing for which Jesus had to give His blood was sin. In all the relationship betwixt the sinner and God, this is thus the first thing that the sinner must bring to his God, sin. (Jdg. 10:10, 15, 16; Ezra 9:6; 9:2, 33; Jer 3:21, 25; Da 9:4, 5, 20)


When you came to Jesus at first, you perceived this in some measure. But you should learn to understand this lesson more deeply. The one counsel concerning sin is, to bring it daily to the only One who can take it away, God Himself. You should learn that one of the greatest privileges of a child of God is, the confession of sin. It is only the holiness of God that can consume sin; through confession I must hand over my sin to God, lay it down in God, get quit of it to God, cast it into the fiery oven of God’s holy love which burns against sin like a fire. God, yes, God Himself, and He alone, takes away sin. (Lev. 4:21; Nu 5:7; 2Sa 12:13: Ps. 32:5, 38:19; 51:5, 19)


This the Christian does not always understand. He has an inborn tendency to desire to cover sin, or to make it less, or to root it out only when he purposes drawing near to God. He thinks to cover sin with his repentance and self-blame, with scorn of the temptation that came to him, or otherwise with what he has done or still hopes to do. (Gen. 3:12; Ex. 32:22, 24; Isa. 1:11, 15; Luke 13:26) Young Christian, if you would enjoy the gladness of a complete forgiveness and a divine cleansing of sin, see to it that you use aright the confession of sin. In the true confession of sin you have one of the most blessed privileges of a child of God, one of the deepest roots of a powerful spiritual life.


For this end, let your confession be a definite one. (Num 12:11, 21:7; 2 Sam. 24:10, 17; Isa. 59:12, 13; Luke 23:41; Acts 1:18, 19; 22:19, 20; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15) The continued indeterminate confession of sin does more harm than good. It is much better to say to God that you have nothing to confess, than to confess you know not what. Begin with one sin. Let it come to a complete harmony betwixt God and you concerning this one sin. Let it be fixed with you that this sin is through confession placed in God’s hands. you shall experience that in such confession there are both power and blessing.


Let the confession be an upright one. (Prov. 28:13; Lev. 26:40, 41; Jer. 31:18, 19) By it deliver up the sinful deed to be laid aside. By it deliver up the sinful feeling with a view to trusting in God. Confession implies renunciation, the putting off of sin. Give up sin to God, to forgive it to you, and to cleanse you from it. Do not confess, if you are not prepared, if you do not heartily desire to be freed from it. Confession has value only as it is a giving up of sin to God.


Let the confession be trustful (2 Sam. 12:13; Ps. 32:5; Isa. 4:7) Reckon firmly upon God actually to forgive you, and also to cleanse you from sin. Continue in confession, in casting the sin of which you desire to be rid into the fire of God’s holiness until your soul has the firm confidence that God takes it on His own account to forgive and to cleanse away. It is this faith that really overcomes the world and sin: the faith that God in Jesus really emancipates from sin. (1 John 5:5; 2:12)


Brother, do you understand it now? What must you do with sin, with every sin? To bring it in confession to God, to give it to God; God alone takes away sin.


Lord God, what thanks shall I express for this unspeakable blessing, that I may come to Thee with sin. It is known to Thee, Lord, how sin before Thy holiness causes terror and flight. It is known to Thee how it is our deepest thought, first to have sin covered, and then to come to Thee with our desire and endeavour for good. Lord, teach me to come to Thee with sin, every sin, and in confession to lay it down before Thee and give it up to Thee. Amen.


1. What is the distinction betwixt the covering of sin by God and by man? How does man do it? How does God do it?


2. What are the great hindrances in the way of the confession of sin?


Ignorance about sin.


Fear to come with sin to the holy God.


The endeavour to come to God with something good.


Unbelief in the power of the blood and in the riches of grace.


3. Must I immediately confess an oath or a lie or a wrong word, or wait until my feeling has first cooled and become rightly disposed? O pray, confess it immediately; come in full sinfulness to God, without first desiring to make it less!


4. Is it also necessary or good to confess before man? It is indispensable, if our sin has been against man. And, besides, it is often good; it is often easier to acknowledge before God than before man that I have done something (James. 5:16). -- Andrew Murray. The New Life

 

1 John 1:9b
Octavius Winslow.
Daily Walking with God.
NOVEMBER 6.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Deal much and closely with the fullness of grace that is in Jesus. All this grace in Christ is for the sanctification of the believer. "It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell," for the necessities of His people; and what necessities so great and urgent as those which spring from indwelling sin? Take the corruption, whatever be its nature, directly and simply to Jesus: the very act of taking it to Him weakens its power; yes, it is half the victory. The blessed state of mind, the holy impulse that leads you to your closet, there to fall prostrate before the Lord in lowliness of spirit and brokenness of heart—the humble confession of sin, with the hand of faith on the head of Jesus, the atoning sacrifice—is a mighty achievement of the indwelling Spirit over the power of indwelling sin.

Learn to take the guilt as it comes, and the corruption as it rises, directly and simply to Jesus. Suffer not the guilt of sin to remain long upon the conscience. The moment there is the slightest consciousness of a wound received, take it to the blood of Christ. The moment a mist dims the eye of faith, so that you can not see clearly the smile of your Father's countenance, take it that instant to the blood of atonement. Let there be no distance between God and your soul. Sin separates. But sin immediately confessed, mourned over, and forsaken, brings God and the soul together in sweet, close, and holy fellowship. Oh the oneness of God and the believer, in a sin-pardoning Christ! Who can know it?—He only who has experienced it. To cherish, then, the abiding sense of this holy, loving oneness, the believer must live near the fountain. He must wash daily in the brazen laver that is without; then, entering within the veil, he may "draw near" the mercy-seat, and ask what he will of Him that dwells between the
cherubims.

Thank God for the smallest victory gained. Praise Him for any evidence that sin has not entire dominion. Every fresh triumph achieved over some strong and easy-besetting infirmity is a glorious battle won. No victory that ever flushed the cheek of an Alexander or a Caesar may once be compared with his, who, in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, overcomes a single corruption. If "he that rules his spirit is better than he that takes a city," then, he who masters one corruption of his nature has more real glory than the greatest earthly conqueror that ever lived. Oh, how God is glorified—how Jesus is honored—how the Spirit is magnified, in the slaying of one spiritual enemy at the foot of the cross! Cheer up, precious soul! You have every encouragement to persevere in the great business of sanctification. True, it is a hard fight—true, it is a severe and painful contest—but the victory is yours! The "Captain of your salvation" has fought and conquered for you, and now sits upon His throne of glory, cheering you on, and supplying you with all needed strength for the warfare in which you are engaged. Then, "Fight the good fight of faith, be men of courage,"—"be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,"—for you shall at length "overcome through the blood of the Lamb," and be "more than conquerors [triumphant] through Him that has loved us." Here, beneath the cross, would I breathe for you the desire and the prayer once offered by the apostle of the Gentiles, in behalf of the church of the Thessalonians: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus. Christ." Amen and amen. Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God.

 

1 John 2:1
January 10
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions.


"We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."--1 John 2:1


This advocacy is here called, as elsewhere, "pleading the cause" of the believer, and is connected with deliverance, for such an advocate can never fail--"O Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life" (Lam. 3:58). The figure is taken from a lawyer pleading the cause of a criminal, and using his best endeavors to bring him off uninjured. But such advocacy may fail for two reasons–


1. the incompetency of the advocate; or


2. the badness of the cause.


But there are no such hindrances to the success of the advocacy of Christ. How he can plead his own sufferings, blood, and obedience. His very Person as the Son of God, and yet son of man, gives unspeakable value and validity to every plea of the great Intercessor. What validity, then, has his intercession in the court of heaven! It is true that he cannot deny the truth of the charge brought by the accuser of the brethren against his client; but he can present his own meritorious sufferings, and the sorrows he endured for the culprit. On this ground he can stand up as his surety and representative, and plead with the Father that he has suffered in his place and stead. On the firm, solid ground, then, of justice and equity, he can plead on his behalf, "Let him go, for I endured the penalty due to him."

 

1 John 2:1a
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
OCTOBER 12


"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1

WE are used to read in the Bible of one Intercessor, and of one advocacy. But the believer has two courts with which prayer has to do. In the court below, where prayer is offered, the Spirit is his Intercessor. In the court above, where prayer is presented, Jesus is his Intercessor. Then, what an honored, what a privileged man, is the praying man! On earth—the lower court—he has a Counselor instructing him for what he should pray, and how he should order his suit. In heaven—the higher court—he has an Advocate presenting to God each petition as it ascends, separating from it all that is ignorant, sinful, and weak, and pleading for its gracious acceptance, and asking for its full bestowment. Here, then, is our vast encouragement in prayer. The inditings of the Spirit—the Intercessor of earth—are always in agreement with the mind of God. In prayer we need just such a Divine counselor. Is it temporal blessing that we crave? We need to be taught how to graduate our request to our necessity, and how to shape our necessity to our heavenly calling. Supplication for temporal good is, we think, limited. And this is the limit, "Having food and clothing, let us be therewith content." What child of God is warranted in asking worldly wealth, or distinction, or rank? And what child of God, in a healthy state of soul, would ask them? "But," says the apostle, "my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Should God, in His providence, send either of these temporal things undesired, unasked, and unexpected, receive it as from Him, and use it as to Him. But with regard to spiritual blessings, our grant is illimitable, our requests may be boundless. "Ask what you will," is the broad, unrestricted warrant. When we ask to be perfected in the love of God, we ask for that which is in accordance with the will of God—for "God is love." When we ask for an increase of faith, we ask for that which is in accordance with the will of God; for "without faith it is impossible to please him." When we ask for more divine conformity, we ask for that which is in harmony with God's will; for He has said, "Be you holy, for I am holy." And when we ask for comfort, we plead for that which it is in His heart to give—for He is the "God of all comfort." Oh, to possess a Divine counselor, dwelling in our hearts, who will never indite a wrong prayer, nor suggest a weak argument, nor mislead us in any one particular, in the solemn, the important, the holy engagement of prayer; who is acquainted with the purpose of God; who knows the mind of God; who understands the will of God; who reads the heart of God; yes, who is God Himself. What encouragement is this to more real prayer! Are you moved to pray? While you muse, does the fire burn? Is your heart stirred up to ask of God some especial blessing for yourself, or for others? Are you afflicted? Oh, then, rise and pray—the Spirit prompts you—the Savior invites you—your heavenly Father waits to answer you.

With such an Intercessor in the court on earth—so divine, so loving, and so sympathizing—and with such an Intercessor in the court in heaven—so powerful, so eloquent, and so successful, "let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God.

 

1 John 2:1b
Evening Devotional for October 4
C H Spurgeon

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." - 1 John 2:1

"If any man sin, we have an advocate." Yes, though we sin, we have him still. John does not say, "If any man sin he has forfeited his advocate," but "we have an advocate," sinners though we are. All the sin that a believer ever did, or can be allowed to commit, cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, as his advocate. The name here given to our Lord is suggestive. "Jesus." Ah! then he is an advocate such as we need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it is to save. "They shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." His sweetest name implies his success. Next, it is "Jesus Christ"-Christos, the anointed. This shows his authority to plead. The Christ has a right to plead, for he is the Father's own appointed advocate and elected priest. If he were of our choosing he might fail, but if God hath laid help upon one that is mighty, we may safely lay our trouble where God has laid his help. He is Christ, and therefore authorized; he is Christ, and therefore qualified, for the anointing has fully fitted him for his work. He can plead so as to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when he stands up to plead for me! One more letter of his name remains, "Jesus Christ the righteous." This is not only his character BUT his plea. It is his character, and if the Righteous One be my advocate, then my cause is good, or he would not have espoused it. It is his plea, for he meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that he is righteous. He declares himself my substitute and puts his obedience to my account. My soul, thou hast a friend well fitted to be thine advocate, he cannot but succeed; leave thyself entirely in his hands.

 

1 John 2:1c
Spurgeon,  C. H.
Daily Help

 

If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.—1 John 2:1


What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion, will the Anointed use when He stands up to plead for me! “Jesus Christ the righteous.” This is not only His character but His plea. It is His character, and if the Righteous One is my advocate, then my cause is good or He would not have espoused it. It is His plea, for He meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that He is righteous. He declares Himself my substitute and puts His obedience to my account. My soul, you have a friend well fitted to be your advocate. He cannot but succeed. Leave yourself entirely in His hands. 
 

1 John 2:2
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers
June 28


"And he is the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:2


What is "propitiation?" By propitiation we are to understand, an atoning sacrifice acceptable to Jehovah; by which God, or rather the attributes of God are satisfied; whereby God can be favorable; whereby mercy, grace, and pardon can freely flow forth. Now sin, and the law condemning sin, barred out, barred back, the favor of God. They were the opposing obstacle to the love of God. For God cannot, as God, love sin and sinners; therefore, the sin of man, and the holy law of God, the transcript of his infinite and eternal purity barred back, so to speak, the favor of God. It was needful, then, that this barrier should be removed, that a channel might be provided, through which the grace, favor, and mercy of God might flow--in a word, that sin might be blotted out, and that the law might be accomplished and fulfilled in all its strict requirements, that God "might be just," retaining every righteous attribute, not sacrificing one of his holy perfections--and yet, though just, perfectly just, "the justifier of him which believes in Jesus."


But how was this to be effected? No seraph, no bright angel could ever have devised a way. It lay locked up in the bosom of the Three-One God from everlasting; and that was, that the only-begotten Son of God, who lay in the bosom of the Father from all eternity, "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his Person," should become a bleeding Lamb, "the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world;" that he should take into union with his own divine Person a human nature, "the flesh and blood of the children," pure, spotless, and holy, and offer up that nature, that body which God prepared for him, a holy sacrifice. When he came into the world, the sacrifice began; and every holy thought, every holy word, and every holy action, in suffering and performing, that passed through the heart, dropped from the lips, or was performed by the hands of the only-begotten Son of God, when he was upon earth, was part of that sacrifice.


But the grand consummation of it (the offering up of that body especially) was, when it was nailed to the accursed tree, and blood was shed to put away sin. Now, this is the atoning sacrifice, the redemption, the sacrifice, the way, the only way, whereby sin is expiated; the way, the only way, whereby sin is pardoned.


But in order that this blessed and atoning sacrifice may pass over to us; that its value, validity, efficacy, and blessedness may be felt in our consciences, there must be that wrought in our souls whereby it is embraced. The only salvation for our souls is the atoning sacrifice made by Jesus upon Calvary's tree. There is no other sacrifice for sin but that. But how is that to pass into our hearts? How is the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice to be made personally ours? It is by faith. Does not the Holy Spirit declare this by the mouth of the Apostle? He says, "Whom God has set forth to be a atoning sacrifice through faith in his blood."

 

Now, this is the turning point in the soul's salvation. This is the grand point to have decided in a man's conscience before God. When, by living faith, he is enabled to see the atoning sacrifice through the blood of the Lamb, to feel his very heart and soul going out after, and leaning upon, and feeling a measure of solid rest and peace in the blood of the sacrifice offered upon Calvary--then he begins to receive into his conscience a measure of the favor and grace of the Lord God Almighty. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers

 

1 John 2:6
Morning Devotional for May 17
C H Spurgeon


"So to walk even as he walked." - 1 John 2:6

Why should Christians imitate Christ? They should do it for their own sakes. If they desire to be in a healthy state of soul-if they would escape the sickness of sin, and enjoy the vigour of growing grace, let Jesus be their model. For their own happiness' sake, if they would drink wine on the lees, well refined; if they would enjoy holy and happy communion with Jesus; if they would be lifted up above the cares and troubles of this world, let them walk even as he walked. There is nothing which can so assist you to walk towards heaven with good speed, as wearing the image of Jesus on your heart to rule all its motions. It is when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are enabled to walk with Jesus in his very footsteps, that you are most happy, and most known to be the sons of God. Peter afar off is both unsafe and uneasy. Next, for religion's sake, strive to be like Jesus. Ah! poor religion, thou hast been sorely shot at by cruel foes, but thou hast not been wounded one-half so dangerously by thy foes as by thy friends. Who made those wounds in the fair hand of Godliness? The professor who used the dagger of hypocrisy. The man who with pretences, enters the fold, being nought but a wolf in sheep's clothing, worries the flock more than the lion outside. There is no weapon half so deadly as a Judas-kiss. Inconsistent professors injure the gospel more than the sneering critic or the infidel. But, especially for Christ's own sake, imitate his example. Christian, lovest thou thy Saviour? Is his name precious to thee? Is his cause dear to thee? Wouldst thou see the kingdoms of the world become his? Is it thy desire that he should be glorified? Art thou longing that souls should be won to him? If so, imitate Jesus; be an "epistle of Christ, known and read of all men. "
 

1 John 2:11
OCTOBER 9
MY BROTHER!

"The Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said: I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"--Gen. 4:9.

"He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness."--1 John 2:11.

MAN'S FALL, whatever else it may have been, resulted in a complete change of the centre of his being. He was made in the likeness of God, and God's nature is absolutely selfless. God's will and purpose was the one rule of man's existence until the moment came when our first parents substituted the gratification of sell for the will and law of God. From that hour the sell-life became the dominant principle of mankind, and the world is what it is because the essence of life is the service of serf.

We do not know what really caused the difference in the disposition of Cain and Abel. There are hints and suggestions, but the fundamental reason why these two brothers differed so is veiled in mystery, though the like of it still shows itself in our homes. St. John gives us the clue in his first Epistle, where he says that Cain slew his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

God remonstrated with Cain and warned him that sin was lying at the door of his heart, waiting to enter. He exhorted him to watch and not allow it to intrude. When the dreadful deed was done, Cain found that all nature was in arms against him, and he became an outcast. The blood of Abel cried against Cain, for all sin cries to God, and He is the Avenger and Vindicator of wronged ones who in simplicity and faith have cast themselves upon Him. Thank God, also, there is a cry louder than that of Abel's, which pleads not for judgment but for mercy (Heb. 12:24).

This world is full of envy, jealousy, strife, and murder, because men keep themselves instead of keeping their brothers; because our own instead of another's welfare revolves round the pivot of "I". The first Epistle of St. John is the antipode of this story in Genesis, and contains its corrective, for it is when we love God first and best that we love our brother, and as we open our whole soul to the tidal wave of God's love, we are lifted above the jagged rocks of the self-life into the broad full ocean of life which is life indeed (1 John 3:14, 14, 15, 16, 17).

PRAYER - Our Father! Help us to consider the interests of others, and to act generously towards them, because we are Thy children, and Thy infinite resources are at our commands. AMEN. - F. B. Meyer. Our Daily Walk

1 John 2:15
March 7
J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions

"Do not love the world or anything in the world." –1 John 2:15

This is a very wide sentence. It stretches forth a hand of vast grasp. It places us, as it were, upon a high mountain, such as the Lord stood upon when tempted of Satan, and it says to us, "Look around you--now there is not one of these things which you must love." It takes us, again, to the streets of a crowded city; it shows us shop windows filled with objects of beauty and ornament; it points us to all the wealth and grandeur of the rich and noble, and everything that the human heart admires and loves. And having thus set before us, as Satan did before our Lord upon the high mountain, the kingdoms of the world, it says, not as he did, "All this will I give you," but, "All this I take from you. None of these things are for you. You must not love one of these glittering baubles; you must not touch one of them, or scarcely look at them, lest, as with Achan, the golden wedge and the Babylonish garment should tempt you to take them and hide them in your tent."

The precept takes us through the world as a mother takes a child through a bazaar, with playthings and ornaments on every side, and says, "You must not touch one of these things." In some such similar way the precept would, as it were, take us through the world, and when we had looked at all its playthings and its ornaments, it would sound in our ears, "Don't touch any one of them; they are not yours; not for you to enjoy, not for you even to covet." Can anything less than this be intended by those words which should be ever sounding in the ears of the children of God, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world?" J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions

1 John 2:15a
J. C. Philpot.
RICHES
You must not love one of these glittering baubles

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." 1 John 2:15

This is a very wide sentence. It stretches forth a hand of vast grasp. It places us, as it were, upon a high mountain, and it says to us, "Look around you—there is not one of these things which you must love." It takes us, again, to the streets of a crowded city—it shows us shop windows filled with objects of beauty and ornament—it points us to all the wealth and grandeur of the rich and noble, and everything that the human heart admires and loves. And having thus set before us, it says, "None of these things are for you. You must not love one of these glittering baubles—you must not touch one of them, or scarcely look at them, lest, as with Achan, the golden wedge and the Babylonish garment should tempt you to take them and hide them in your tent."
The precept takes us through the world as a mother takes a child through a bazaar with playthings and ornaments on every side, and says—"You must not touch one of these things." In some such similar way the precept would, as it were, take us through the world—and when we had looked at all its playthings and its ornaments, it would sound in our ears—"Don't touch any one of them—they are not yours—not for you to enjoy—not for you even to covet!" Can anything less than this be intended by those words which should be ever sounding in the ears of the children of God—Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world? - J. C. Philpot. RICHES

1 John 2:15
J. C. Philpot
RICHES
Love not the world

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

If the love of the Father is in us, we will not love the world—nor will the world love us! If your heart and spirit are still in the world—and you are not separated from its society, its amusements, its pursuits, its pleasures, its delights, its men, its maxims—you certainly lack any evidence of a divine change having been wrought in your soul. "Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God."- J. C. Philpot. RICHES

1 John 2:17
J. C. Philpot.
RICHES
These fugitive, transitory things

"The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God's will remains forever." 1 John 2:17

There is a reality in true religion, and indeed, rightly viewed, a reality in nothing else. For every other thing passes away like a dream of the night, and comes to an end like a tale that is told. Now you cannot say of a thing that passes away and comes to an end that it is real. It may have the appearance of reality—when in fact it is but a shadow. Money, jewels, pictures, books, furniture, securities—are transitory. Money may be spent, jewels be lost, books be burnt, furniture decay, pictures vanish by time and age, securities be stolen. Nothing is real but that which has an abiding substance. Health decays, strength diminishes, beauty flees the cheek, sight and hearing grow dim, the mind itself gets feeble, riches make to themselves wings and flee away, children die, friends depart, old age creeps on—and life itself comes to a close.

These fugitive, transitory things are then mere shadows. There is no substance, no enduring substance in them. They are for time, and are useful for a time. Like our daily food and clothing, house and home—they support and solace us in our journey through life. But there they stop—when life ends they end with it. But real religion—and by this I understand the work of God upon the soul—abides in death and after death, goes with us through the dark valley, and lands us safe in a blessed eternity. It is, therefore, the only thing in this world of which we can say that it is real! "The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does the will of God will remain forever." - J. C. Philpot. RICHES

1 John 2:17
J. C. Philpot.
RICHES
The world is passing away

"And the world is passing away with its lusts." 1 John 2:17

The world and all that is in it comes to an end. Where are the great bulk of the men and women who fifty, sixty, or seventy years ago trod London streets? Where are they who rode about in their gay carriages, gave their splendid entertainments, decked themselves with feathers and jewels, and enjoyed all the pleasures of life? Where are they? The grave holds their bodies, and hell holds their souls. "The world passes away." It is like a pageant, or a gay and splendid procession, which passes before the eye for a few minutes, then turns the corner of the street, and is lost to view. It is now to you who had looked upon it just as if it were not, and is gone to amuse other eyes.

So, could you go on for years—enjoying all your natural heart could wish—lay up money by thousands—ride in your carriage—deck your body with jewelry—fill your house with splendid furniture—enjoy everything that earth can give—then there would come, some day or other, sickness to lay you upon a dying bed. To you the world has now passed away with all its lusts—with you all is now come to an end—and now you have, with a guilty soul, to face a holy God. The world is passing away with its lusts.

All these lusts for which men have sold body and soul, half ruined their families, and stained their own name—all these lusts for which they were so mad that they would have them at any price, snatch them even from hell's mouth—all these lusts are passed away, and what have they left? A gnawing worm—a worm that can never die, and the wrath of God as an unquenchable fire. That is all which the love of the world can do for you, with all your toil and anxiety, or all your amusement and pleasure. You have not gained much perhaps of this world's goods, with all your striving after them. But could the world fill your heart with enjoyment, and your money bags with gold, as the dust of the grave will one day fill your mouth, it would be much to the same purpose. If you had got all the world, you would have got nothing after your coffin was screwed down, but grave-dust in your mouth. Such is the end of the world. The world is passing away with its lusts.

DEATH is the great and final extinguisher of all human hopes and pleasures. Look and see how man sickens and dies, and is tumbled into the cemetery, where his body is left to the worms, and his soul to face an angry God, on the great judgment day. The world is passing away with its lusts. - J. C. Philpot. RICHES

1 John 2:17
Our Daily Homily
F B Meyer

The world passeth away, and the lust thereof. - 1 John 2:17

The world stands for the entire system of human interests by which we are surrounded. It does not refer to what God made by His creative fiat and moulding hands, but to the shows, fashions, and pursuits of men. It is used here in the sense in which the devil took Jesus into an exceeding high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and said, "It hath been delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it."

The word used of its evanescence is a remarkably interesting one. It is that employed of the rapid change in some scenic display or performance. A moment ago the stage was full of life and color; but it is suddenly deserted, and the actors and actresses have put off their splendid dresses, and are habited in mean and common attire. Or we might compare the passing away of the world to the dying color of the sunset. The tempter offers us some bait, some outward object which appeals to the eye of the body or the mind, and we reach out toward it; but as we grasp it is gone. We have caught at a soap bubble, have journeyed after a mirage, have hunted the will-o'-the-wisp. So unsubstantial and fleeting are the things with which the men of this world try to appease their immortal appetite.

But it is to be noticed that the desire for these things is even more evanescent than the things themselves. The apostle says that the lust thereof passeth away. The power of enjoyment dies away. The eye is sated with spectacles; the mind with constant change.

How great the contrast! - "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever."

1 John 2:27
February 2
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions.

"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him." –1 John 2:27

Have you ever had a solitary drop of this holy anointing oil fall upon your heart? One drop, if it be but a drop, will sanctify you forever to the service of God. There was not much of the holy anointing oil used for the service of the tabernacle, when we consider the size and quantity of what had to be consecrated, for Moses had to anoint therewith the whole of the tabernacle of the congregation, as well as all the vessels, with all their various accessories. When he went through the sacred work, he touched one vessel after another with a drop of oil; for one drop sanctified the vessel to the service of the tabernacle. There was no repetition of the consecration needed; it abode. So if you ever had a drop of God's love shed abroad in your heart--a drop of the anointing to teach you the truth as it is in Jesus; a drop to penetrate, to soften, to heal, to feed and give light, life, and power to your soul--you have the unction from the Holy One; you know all things which are for your salvation, and by that same holy oil you have been sanctified and made meet for an eternal inheritance. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions.

1 John 2:27a
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
JUNE 18

"But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing takes you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him." 1 John 2:27

"The Lord's anointed" is the expressive and appropriate designation of all the Lord's people. This anointing it is that marks them as a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people." It is the Lord's peculiar mark upon those who distinguishes and designates them as His own. All who are strangers to this anointing are strangers to the grace of God and the calling of the Holy Spirit. There may be much spiritual light in the judgment, and even an open profession of religion before the world, added to which there shall be something of Jehu's "zeal for the Lord;" and yet that anointing of the Holy Spirit be still lacking, apart from which all intellectual illumination, and outward profession, and party zeal, pass for nothing with a heart searching God. As the proper signification of the endeared name, Christ, is anointed, so the true signification of the honored appellation, Christian, points us to the anointing, of which all who have union with Christ personally share. I believe the remark to be as solemn as it is true, that eternity will only fully unfold the amount of evil that has sprung from calling those Christians who call themselves Christians, without any valid title to the high, holy, and distinguished appellation. How imperfectly are men in general aware of the deep, the significant, the spiritual import of the term! They think not, they know not, that a Christian is one who partakes, in His renewing, sanctifying grace, of that same Divine Holy Spirit with which Christ was anointed of the Father for His great work.

The effects of this anointing are what might be expected from a cause so glorious. It beautifies the soul. It is that anointing spoken of by the Psalmist: "And oil to make his face to shine." Therefore it is called the "beauties of holiness." How does a man's face shine- how is his countenance lighted up- when the joy of the Lord is his strength, when the spirit of adoption is in his soul, when the love of God is shed abroad in his heart! It gladdens too. Therefore it is called the "oil of joy" and "the oil of gladness." It causes the heart to sing in its deep sorrows, imparts the "garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness," and fills the soul with the glory of that "kingdom which consists not in foods and in drinks, but in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Another effect springing from this anointing is the deep teaching it imparts- "You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." Such are some of the effects of this holy anointing. It beautifies, gladdens, and teaches. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 3:1-2
Morning Devotional for February 13
C H Spurgeon

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God." - 1 John 3:1,2


"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us." Consider who we were, and what we feel ourselves to be even now when corruption is powerful in us, and you will wonder at our adoption. Yet we are called "the sons of God." What a high relationship is that of a son, and what privileges it brings! What care and tenderness the son expects from his father, and what love the father feels towards the son! But all that, and more than that, we now have through Christ. As for the temporary drawback of suffering with the elder brother, this we accept as an honour: "Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." We are content to be unknown with him in his humiliation, for we are to be exalted with him. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." That is easy to read, but it is not so easy to feel. How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the lowest depths of sorrow? Does corruption rise within your spirit, and grace seem like a poor spark trampled under foot? Does your faith almost fail you? Fear not, it is neither your graces nor feelings on which you are to live: you must live simply by faith on Christ. With all these things against us, now-in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be-now, as much in the valley as on the mountain, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." "Ah, but," you say, "see how I am arrayed! my graces are not bright; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory. " But read the next: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him. " The Holy Spirit shall purify our minds, and divine power shall refine our bodies, then shall we see him as he is.

1 John 3:1
J. C. Philpot
PEARLS

"The world knows us not." 1 John 3:1

Both the openly profane world, and the professing world, are grossly ignorant of the children of God. Their . . .

real character and condition,
state and standing,
joys and sorrows,
mercies and miseries,
trials and deliverances,
hopes and fears,
afflictions and consolations,
are entirely hidden from their eyes.

The world knows nothing of the motives and feelings which guide and actuate the children of God. It views them as a set of gloomy, morose, melancholy beings, whose tempers are soured by false and exaggerated views of religion—who have pored over the thoughts of hell and heaven until some have frightened themselves into despair, and others have puffed up their vain minds with an imaginary conceit of their being especial favorites of the Almighty. "They are really," it says, "no better than other folks, if so good. But they have such contracted
minds—are so obstinate and bigoted with their poor, narrow, prejudiced views—that wherever they come they bring disturbance and confusion."

But why this harsh judgment?

Because the world knows nothing of the spiritual feelings which actuate the child of grace, making him act so differently from the world which thus condemns him.

It cannot understand our sight and sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin—and that is the reason why we will not run riot with them in the same course of ungodliness.

It does not know with what a solemn weight eternal things rest upon our minds—and that that is the cause why we cannot join with them in pursuing so eagerly the things of the world, and living for time as they do—instead of living for eternity.

Being unable to enter into the spiritual motives and gracious feelings which actuate a living soul, and the movements of divine life continually stirring in a Christian breast, they naturally judge us from their own point of view, and condemn what they cannot understand.

You may place a horse and a man upon the same hill—while the man would be looking at the woods and fields and streams—the horse would be feeding upon the grass at his feet. The horse, if it could reason, would say, "What a fool my master is! How he is staring and gaping about! Why does he not sit down and open his basket of provisions—for I know he has it with him, for I carried it—and feed as I do?"

So the worldling says, "Those poor stupid people, how they are spending their time in going to chapel, and reading the Bible in their gloomy, melancholy way. Religion is all very well—and we ought all to be religious before we die—but they make so much of it. Why don't they enjoy more of life? Why don't they amuse themselves more with its innocent, harmless pleasures—be more gay, cheerful, and sociable, and take more interest in those things which so interest us?"

The reason why the world thus wonders at us is because it knows us not, and therefore cannot
understand that we have . . .sublimer feelings, nobler pleasures, and more substantial delights, than ever entered the soul of a worldling!

Christian! the more you are conformed to the image of Christ—the more separated you are from the world, the less will it understand you. If we kept closer to the Lord and walked more in holy obedience to the precepts of the gospel, we would be more misunderstood than even we now are! It is our worldly conformity that makes the world understand many of our movements
and actions so well.

But if our movements were more according to the mind of Christ—if we walked more as the Lord walked when here below—we would leave the world in greater ignorance of us than we leave it now—for the hidden springs of our life would be more out of its sight, our testimony against it more decided, and our separation from it more complete. - J. C. Philpot. PEARLS

1 John 3:1a
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
SEPTEMBER 13.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not." 1 John 3:1


IT is not strange that the fact of his adoption should meet with much misgiving in the Christian's mind, seeing that it is a truth so spiritual, flows from a source so concealed, and has its seat in the profound recesses of the soul. The very stupendousness of the relationship staggers our belief. To be fully assured of our divine adoption demands other than the testimony either of our own feelings, or the opinion of men. Our feelings—sometimes excited and visionary—may mislead; the opinion of others—often fond and partial—may deceive us. The grand, the divine, and only safe testimony is "the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit." There exists a strong combination of evil, tending to shake the Christian's confidence in the belief of his sonship. Satan is ever on the watch to insinuate the doubt. He tried the experiment with our Lord: "If You be the Son of God." In no instance would it appear that he actually denied the truth of Christ's Divine Sonship; the utmost that his temerity permitted was the suggestion to the mind of a doubt; leaving it there to its own working. Our blessed Lord thus assailed, it is no marvel that His disciples should be exposed to a like assault. The world, too, presumes to call it in question. "The world knows us not, because it knew Him not." Ignorant of the Divine Original, how can it recognize the Divine lineaments in the faint and imperfect copy? It has no vocabulary by which it can decipher the "new name written in the white stone." The sons of God are in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, illumining it with their light, and preserving it by their grace, yet disguised from its knowledge, and hidden from its view. But the strongest doubts touching the validity of his adoption are those engender in the believer's own mind. Oh! there is much there to generate and foster the painful misgiving. We have said that the very greatness of the favor, the stupendousness of the relationship, startles the mind, and staggers our faith. "What! to be a child of God! God my Father! can I be the subject of a change so great, of a relationship so exalted? Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You should exalt me to be a King's son? Is this the manner of men, O Lord God?" And then, there crowd upon the believer's mind thoughts of his own sinfulness and unworthiness of so distinguished a blessing. "Can it be? with such a depravity of heart, such carnality of mind, such rebellion of will, such a propensity to evil each moment, and in everything such backslidings and flaws, does there yet exist within me a nature that links me with the Divine? It seems impossible!" And when to all this are added the varied dispensations of his Heavenly Father, often wearing a rough garb, assuming an aspect somber, threatening, and crushing, oh, it is no marvel that, staggered by a discipline so severe, the fact of God's love to him, and of his close and tender relation to God, should sometimes be a matter of painful doubt; that thus he should reason—"If His child, reposing in His heart, and sealed upon His arm, why is it thus? Would He not have spared me this heavy stroke? Would not this cup have passed my lips? Would He have asked me to slay my Isaac, to resign my Benjamin? All these things are against me." And thus are the children of God constantly tempted to question the fact of their adoption. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 3:2
April 22

J. C. Philpot.
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be--but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

What Christ is to the Church, what the Church is to Christ, can never be really known until time gives place to eternity, faith to sight, and hope to enjoyment. Nor even then, however beyond all present conception the powers and faculties of the glorified souls and bodies of the saints may be expanded, however conformed to the glorious image of Christ, or however ravished with the discoveries of his glory and the sight of him as he is in one unclouded day--no, not even then, will the utmost stretch of creature love, or highest refinement of creature intellect, wholly embrace or fully comprehend that love of Christ, which, as in time so in eternity, "passes knowledge," as being in itself essentially incomprehensible, because infinite and divine.

Who can calculate the amount of light and heat that dwell in, and are given forth by the sun that shines so gloriously in the noonday sky? We see, we feel, we enjoy its bright beams; but who can number the millions of millions of rays that it casts forth upon all the surface of the earth, diffusing light, heat, and fertility to every part? If the creature be so great, glorious and incomprehensible, how much more great, glorious and incomprehensible must be its divine Creator!

The Scripture testimony of the saints in glory is that "when Christ shall appear, they shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is;" that they shall then see the Lord "face to face, and know even as also they are known;" that their "vile body shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body;" that they shall be "conformed to his image," and "be satisfied when they awake with his likeness;" that they shall be "before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple;" that "their sun shall no more go down, for the Lord shall be their everlasting light;" that they shall have "an exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" and shall "shine as the brightness of the skies, and as the stars forever and ever."

But, with all this unspeakable bliss and glory, there must be in infinite Deity unfathomable depths which no creature, however highly exalted, can ever sound; heights which no finite, dependent being can ever scan. God became man, but man never can become God. He fully knows us, but we never can fully know him, for even in eternity, as in time, it may be said to the creature, "Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what can you do? deeper than hell, what can you know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." But if, as we believe, eternity itself can never fully or entirely reveal the heights and depths of the love of a Triune God, how little can be known of it in a time state! and yet that little is the only balm for all sorrow, the only foundation of solid rest and peace. -- J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers.

1John 3:2
Our Daily Homily
F B Meyer

Beloved, now are we children of God. - 1 John 3:2

It is our privilege, not only to be children, but to know that we are such. "Such we are" (1Jn 3:1, R.V.). The world knows us not; but God knows us, and we know Him, and we know that we are His sons and daughters, through regeneration and faith. How do we know?

We believe His Word (John 1:12). - By faith we have received Him, we do trust in His name; then, by the authority of that text, if there were no other, we may claim to have been born into the Divine household.

We have the witness of the Spirit (Gal 4:6).-The fact that our hearts look to God as Father, and appeal to Him with the infant's cry, Abba, is a proof that we are born again. Do not look for an audible voice in your heart, but notice whether the thought of the fatherly love of God toward you is not becoming more familiar and precious. It is not the perception of your childship, but of His fatherhood, which will reassure you.

We are led by the Spirit. - If we are led by the Spirit, we shall love the things we once hated, and hate those we once loved. Our choices, tastes, methods of life, habits, and companionships, will undergo a radical alteration.

We love the people of God (1Jn 4:7, (R. V.). - The converse is also true, that he who is begotten of God loveth. We do not presumptuously and habitually yield to known sin (1Jn 3:9, (R. V.). - The apostle is not speaking of some isolated act into which a man may fall under unexpected temptation, but of habitual courses of inconsistency and wrongdoing. Test yourselves, therefore, whether ye are indeed born again.

1 John 3:3
F B Meyer
Our Daily Walk
SEPTEMBER 20
OUR SHEET ANCHOR!

"That we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things."--Eph. 4:14, 15.

"'Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure."--1 John 3:3.

OUR DESTINY is the highest possible--"We shall be like Him." For this we were created, redeemed, and sanctified, that we should be conformed to the image of God's Son, that He might be the First Born among many brethren (Ro 8:29).

The Apostle says that those who have this Hope will purify themselves. A young friend of mine once asked me if I would try to see her lover, as my train stopped at a wayside station in a far-distant western State. It was a dark night when we arrived, and a hurried conversation took place on the steps of the great Pullman car. I found that amid the many temptations of a rancher's life, this young fellow was holding on to purity and truth. He said that he had very infrequent opportunities of attending any religious services, but that the letters which came from the old country had been his sheet anchor. I understood what he meant. He realized the strong drift of circumstances, but to be loved by a sweet pure girl, who made him the object of her incessant prayer, and to receive her inspiring letters, kept him from yielding to the evil which enveloped him as an atmosphere; the thought that before long he might claim her as his bride helped to purify and steady his life. So the expectation of being with, and like Christ, should be to us as a sheet-anchor, who bear His Name.

To see Christ face to face, to be with Him in unbroken fellowship, and to be like Him--this is the threefold destiny of every Christian soul. But how little can we imagine our future life! We strive to penetrate the dense veil of mist in vain--what the resurrection body will be like; what the converse with holy beings will amount to; what ministry may be assigned to us--we know not what we shall be, but "we know that we shall be like Him"--and it is enough! All that we have ever dreamed and hoped for will find its flower and fruitage in that glad summer time.

PRAYER - O God, it is my earnest desire that I may not only live, but grow: grow in grace, and in the knowledge of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May I grow in patience and fortitude of soul, in humility and zeal, in spirituality and a heavenly disposition of mind. AMEN.

1 John 3:4
SIN MORE THAN SELFISHNESS
F. B. Meyer.
 In Defence of the Faith

THE endeavour is being made to interpret the Religion of Christ in terms of a philosophical system, and the amount of cutting-off and paring-down which has to be done to get Christ into the small containing space is prodigious. Indeed, there is not much left, certainly nothing worth dying for, hardly enough worth living for.

Amongst other shrinkages, we find that the conception of sin, which is now being promulgated, and which we are being coaxed to accept, is that it is selfishness. "The sinful life is the life which is lived for self alone" (The New Theology, p. 52). We are prepared to admit that sin is the assertion of our self-life, of the " I" which is always striving for prominence ; but surely that is not all to be said of it. This definition may be true when sin is viewed simply from the standpoint of nature and philosophy; but there are other aspects from which we must view it. There are other planes of being and thinking into which sin has intruded and which it has disturbed; and from these we must obtain those further conceptions of the nature of sin, which must be considered before our analysis can be complete and our definition satisfactory.

This is no heresy-hunt, no theological hair-splitting. Everything in religion hinges on the conception which is held of sin. If sin is only an outburst of selfishness, it may be cleansed with rose-water. The text that reminds us that our Redeemer came "not by water only, but by water and blood," will be robbed of its significant emphasis; and we shall be told that "the blood of Calvary is the symbol of the freely-offered love of Christ," that "the spirit of self-sacrifice and love was and is the real blood of Christ."

What is to save Religion from dying out ? Certainly not Philosophy nor Institutionalism, not the Cinematograph nor the Social element in the Church-life; but the conviction of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, expressed in the terms of the present day, and driven home on the conscience and heart, with the fire and cogency of John Owen, though probably not with his precise terminology. Does not our nation and our age need awakening to the claims of God? Is it not necessary to show how sin affects Him, and that it is not merely selfishness, but a crime against Him, as the Moral Ruler of the Worlds, and rebellion against the Father of our spirits ?

Take this definition of sin, that it is only selfishness, into the Court of Conscience. Will it stand the white light which streams from that miniature judgment-seat? No, for when we have sinned, the inward voice of conscience immediately insists that we have wrought an injury against God, against His moral rule, as well as against ourselves and our neighbours. Even if we ask the pardon of some fellow-sinner whose rights we have invaded, we can never really rest until we have sought and obtained the forgiveness of the Almighty.

Take this definition into the Court of History. Is it all that should be said,--said of Nero or Borgia, when the historian describes them as prostituting every interest committed to their keeping,--that it was the indulgence of selfish and sensual passion ? Surely, they were more than selfish ! They must be brought in as guilty of high crimes against humanity, whose guise they wore, against the claims of the Moral Universe which they flouted, and against the God who made them ! As their Maker, He had a right to claim their gratitude for His mercies, and their recognition of His righteous rule !

Take the definition into the Court of Autobiography. Ask David, weeping over the fatal sin that brought so dark a stain on his fair robe, and so lasting a slur on his good name, whether he is not too profuse in his self-condemnation, since his sin was simply an excess of self-gratification, and he will turn away as from a miserable comforter, crying: "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou may be justified when Thou speakest and be clear when Thou judgest." Open The Confessions of Augustine, and notice how, in every paragraph, he turns from the sin which he recounts, to pour out his entreaties and cries for mercy into the ear of Him who fills heaven and earth. Turn to Shakespeare, than whom none has proved himself a greater master of the passages of the soul. Is there not something more than the confession of selfishness in those words of Macbeth, when he asks Whether "all great Neptune's ocean" can wash the blood of the murdered king clean from his hand ?

What would Paul, that great self-anatomist, have said, when he was lamenting in his later life over the persecution of the martyrs of the early Church, if he had been told that, after all, he could only accuse himself of unbounded selfishness ? "Nay," he would reply, "say not so, for I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious, and I needed to obtain mercy from the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ which abounded toward me."

We are told that "sin has never injured God except through man" (The New Theology, p. 53), and that there is no Great White Throne. But surely God must have some claims on His creatures, to say nothing about His children ; and where those claims are resisted or ignored, there is an immediate rupture of the happy fellowship, and a sense of the grave wrong which has been perpetrated. God has also issued explicit commands and injunctions, which are written alike in the Nature of Things, in the constitution of Human Nature, and in Scripture. When men violate and condemn these, surely they incur penalty, as they certainly inflict an injury on the kingdom of His Grace. "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master ; if then I be a father, where is mine honour ? and if I be a master, where is my fear ?" "All have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God."

We have been told of late that we are not altogether responsible for our sin, or at least we are to regard it as inevitable in the processes of the Divine self-realisation. The man who got drunk last night, the roue in Piccadilly, were in search of God. Sin is a quest: for the Infinite. But this seems like doing evil that good may come. We have no right to assume that we must pass through the commission of wrong things in order to know right, and must be very jealous of any teaching which lessens the responsibility of the soul. The words of the Book of Job must always claim our heed, not only because of their venerable age, but because they have been verified by centuries of Christian experience. " I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not." Supposing that a criminal, brought before a judge for drunken and disorderly conduct, were to plead that he was not responsible, because of his heredity, or environment, or the natural laws of moral evolution, he would not escape the penalty of fine or imprisonment, and what will not avail in the lower plane of earthly justice will be found wanting in the High Plane of the Eternal Justice.

It has often been affirmed that "every fall is a fall upward." If that were so, the sin of an Iscariot was a prodigious advance towards his ultimate salvation. At this rate, the more men sin the quicker will be their complete deliverance. At Meudon,in the French Revolution, says Joseph Cook, gloves were made out of human skins ; but would anyone care to comfort the relatives of the flayed Frenchmen, that sin was a necessary step in the process of virtue--development ? On that hypothesis, by many a long, winding slope, every thief, and leper, and perjurer, and murderer, would come at last to a height as lofty as he could have reached if he had gone up without sin. Iago falls; but he falls upward. He is getting possession of his faculties. This kind of learning does not tend to comfort you if some miscreant has stolen your watch !

Sin is the refusal or failure to realise God's ideal, the outlines of which are written on the soft tablets of the heart, and embodied in the perfect man, Christ Jesus. When a clock is in order, it keeps time; and when our moral nature is in order, it will obey the promptings of conscience and the dictates of Scripture. But too often, when the inner voice says, "You ought," we reply, " But we will not"; or when it says, "You ought not," we reply, "We will." The wheels may be of gold, silver, or precious stones, but if the clock fails to keep the hour, of what use is it ? and if we fail of God's purpose, we are rejected and come nigh to the curse.

Sin is negative as well as positive. It is a failure to realise God's standard, equally as it is a distinct invasion of His rights. It may be forgiven, when we forsake it, turn from it, and confess it. But the secondary results will yet accrue. The evil entail will refuse to be cut off. The limp caused by the serpent's sting may be almost obliterated, but the scar must remain. God can forgive, and He can forgive fully, because He bore our sins in His own body on the Tree ; but we reap as we have sown. Sin is therefore more than selfishness. It is a crime against the Holy God, and its forgiveness is only possible because God, in the Person of Christ, bore our sins in His own body on the Tree.

The following sane, strong words by Professor Orr are of immense weight in this connection. He says: " The ' Fall' is put in question by evolution; but unless sin is made a necessity, and deprived of its heinousness before God, which made redemption needful, its origin must ever be sought in the voluntary departure from rectitude of a creature who had the power to live obediently."

1 John 3:8
November 7
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions

"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8

There will be no thorough destruction of indwelling sin, until the body drops into the grave, and the soul mounts aloft to be with the Lord; nor a full destruction of its effects in the body until the resurrection morn, when the body shall be raised from the sleeping dust and changed into the glorious image of the body of the Son of God, a fit companion for the immortal soul. Then will the victory be complete; then will Christ appear, shining forth with the luster of a million suns; then will be the glorious manifestation of the Son of God; and the works of the devil will be thoroughly destroyed. The theme of heaven's anthem, the grand theme of eternal adoration, will be the manifestation of the Son of God to destroy the works of the devil.

The redeemed will look down from the battlements of heaven and see what works have been executed by the devil; they will see millions of fellow-beings consigned to eternal misery, weltering in hell, while they view themselves safe in the arms of eternal love. They will see the Son of God, without a veil between, manifested to their eyes in such heart-ravishing glory as the three disciples had but a feeble, dim view of on the Mount of Transfiguration. It will be their joy to see him as he is. He will always wear his human nature; he will never lay that aside. That will always shine resplendent with all the glory of Godhead; that will be the object of eternal admiration and love; and to that glory of the God-man all the saints in bliss will be forever looking and forever adoring, for sin will no longer have a being in them, but they will be conformed to the glorified image of the Son of God, and be celebrating forever the grand triumph of the cross. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions

1 John 3:9
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
MARCH 4.

Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9

THESE words have received two interpretations, both of which we believe are equally true. The more general one is, that he who is born of God does not willingly sin, having "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness," he cannot sin with the full consent and concurrence of the will. He hates it, he fights against it, he resists it. But it may be inquired, is not all sin an act of the will? We reply, not the renewed will. The apostle speaks of two wills in a believer, or rather, the same will under two opposite influences. Thus, Rom. 7:15: "That which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." Ver. 19: "For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." Few will question that Paul here speaks of himself as a regenerate man. And yet he refers to two antagonist principles dwelling in him—the one on the side of holiness, the other on the side of sin. "What I hate, that I do." No man can possibly hate sin, unless he is "born of the Spirit." "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." And still he says, "what I hate," the sin that is so abhorrent to me—"that I do." Is there volition in the act? True philosophy demands that we reply, "Yes." Every sin must be voluntary; if not so, it cannot be sin. Is there the concurrence and consent of the renewed will in the act? True grace demands that we reply, "No." "For what I hate,"—there is the mark of the regenerate man—"that do I,"—there is the act of the will under the influence of indwelling sin.

But there is another and a stronger interpretation of which the passage is susceptible. It is this—He that is born of God, as such, sins not at all—there is in him a regenerate soul, an indwelling, living principle of grace and holiness, whose natural and constant bias is to holiness. "He" (the new man) "cannot sin, because he is born of God." "He cannot sin;"—why? "because his seed remains in him;" and what is that seed? "Incorruptible,"—"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible." In accordance with Christ's own words, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." It is spiritual, holy, "from above," "the Divine nature,"—it "cannot sin, because it is born of God."

Again, we beg the reader to mark this great evidence of regeneration. "Whoever is born of God does not commit sin." He does not commit it with the total, absolute, and complete assent and concurrence of the renewed will. He does not give himself over to sin "with greediness." He "would do good." He hates sin. Grace reigns, not sin. Sin dwells in him, but does not govern—it has power, but does not rule—it torments, but does not reign with a continued, unbroken supremacy; in accordance with the promise, "sin shall not have dominion over you." It may for a moment triumph, as it did in David, in Solomon, in Peter, and in a host of other eminently holy men; yet still the promise is verified, as we see in the restorings of the blessed Spirit in their spirit and conduct, in their humblings and confessions, and their holy and upright walk with God in after-years. Reader, have you ever been made sensible of the inward plague? What do you know of the warfare within—of "the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh"? Your honest reply will decide the great question, whether you are born of God. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 3:14
OCTOBER 8
PRACTISING CHRISTIANITY
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."--1 John 3:14.


IT IS a great comfort to find that Love is not regarded by the Apostle as though it were merely an emotional or sentimental matter, for every reference points to action! The love of God was manifested in the laying down of His life, and we are to be willing to follow in His steps (1 John 3:16). The injunction is that we should love in our deeds. We are not to shut up our hearts in compassion, but to help our brother in need. If we begin with doing kind and loving actions, we shall end by feeling the same. Often when people come to me, saying that love has completely died out of their life towards some other person, I have bidden them go back again, and act with love, making the other one the centre and object of helpful ministry; the invariable result is the refreshing and rekindling of the hot geyser-springs of affection.

Do not wait to feel love, but begin at once to show it, because it is fight, and your duty, and as you step out in simple faith you will find that God will make this to abound towards that also abound in grace you may this good work. Love of such kind is self-giving and it is the gift of the Spirit of God. This exotic bloom cannot flourish on our wintry soil; the heart of man cannot furnish it. There may be a few wild growths, but they bear small comparison to its beautiful flower and fruit. Love is of God. It proceeds from His Nature, and is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us. "The fruit of the Spirit is love," and as we are united with Christ by faith, the love of God will be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and we shall be able to love with God's love.

We know that we have been born from above as soon as we find ourselves willing to put the interests of another before our own, not because we have a natural affection or affinity for him, but because he and we belong to God. If there is hatred or dislike in our hearts towards any, let us beware! We must uproot it by generous action, or it will bring darkness into our own lives (1 John 2:9, 10, 11).

PRAYER - Enable us, O God of patience, to bear one another's burdens, and to forbear one another in love. Oh, teach and help us all to live in peace and to love in truth. Subdue all bitter resentments in our minds, and let the law of kindness be in our tongues. AMEN. - F. B. Meyer. Our Daily Walk.

Related Resource by Octavius Winslow - 1 John 3:14 Christian Love, a Test of Christian Character

1 John 3:14a
October 11
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." 1 John 3:14

The Lord's people in their early days have a measure of heavenly love. Though perhaps they cannot say that Jesus is theirs; though they dare not declare they shall certainly go to heaven when they die; though they sometimes cannot even assert that the work of grace is really begun upon their souls; yet there is love manifested in them to God's word, God's people, God's servants, and God's truth. There is in them, in their weakest and tenderest days, a separation from the world, a casting-in of their lot among the people of God, a going-out in the tenderness of their heart and affection towards them. We see this in Ruth--though she was a poor heathen idolatress, no sooner was her heart touched by the finger of God, than she cleaved to Naomi.

Love to Christ can only spring from the teachings and operations of God upon the heart. Our "carnal mind is enmity against God"--nothing but implacable, irreconcilable enmity. But when the Lord is pleased to make himself, in some measure, known to the soul; when he is pleased, in some degree, to unveil his lovely face, and to give a discovery of his grace and glory--immediately divine love springs up. He is so lovely an Object! As the Bride says, He is "altogether lovely." His beauty is so surpassing, his grace so rich, his mercy so free--all that he is and has is so unspeakably glorious--that no sooner does he unveil his lovely face, than he wins over all the love of the heart, takes possession of the bosom, and draws every affection of the soul to center wholly and solely in himself. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions

1John 3:20
Spurgeon, C. H.
Daily Help

Is my conscience at peace? For, if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart and does know all things (1 John 3:20). If my conscience bears witness with me that I am a partaker of the precious grace of salvation, then happy am I! I am one of those to whom God has given the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Now, why is this called “the peace of God”? Because it comes from God, because it was planned by God, because God gave His Son to make the peace, because God gives His Spirit to give the peace in the conscience, and because, indeed, it is God Himself in the soul.

1 John 4:7
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers.
November 4

Love is of God. 1 John 4:7

Love is a gift which the risen Mediator has received that he may freely communicate it out of his fullness to his people. And we must be brought to feel that it is a gift. Could we produce or keep it alive in our own hearts, we would burn incense to our own skill or our own care. Some perhaps will scarcely believe that a child of God can feel enmity against Christ; but his carnal mind is unmitigated enmity against him. And oh, what a cutting feeling it is for a follower of the Lamb to have a principle in him which hates Christ; hates, bitterly hates his Person, hates his holiness and purity; which could join in the cry, "Crucify him, crucify him," and push and strike him with the Roman soldiers and the Jewish rabble. Unless painful experience convinced us that there was such a dreadful principle within, we could not believe that there was this devilish enmity in our heart against him whom our souls desire to love and adore.

But what know we about love, if we have not all this enmity, carnality, and coldness to try it? When we have been exercised with all these wretched feelings, and the Lord begins to drop into our hearts a little mercy and grace, and to draw forth our affections unto him, we then begin to feel what a sweet thing love is. Love is the sweetest balm man can taste in this life. It is so naturally. There is a sweetness in love. When we love our wives, our children, our friends, there is a sweetness and tenderness in the very feeling, that is--as moralists say of virtue--its own reward. Coldness, dislike, envy, prejudice, jealousy, suspicion, peevishness, quarreling--these sparks of hell burn and torture every spot on which they fall. And so, if ever there is a hell in a man's bosom, it is when full of hatred against God and his people. But if ever we feel a foretaste of heaven, it is when the Lord kindles some meltings of love, some drawings of affection toward Jesus and to those who are his. Then enmity and prejudice flee away; and we feel as if we could take all the people of God into our bosom, and say, "Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." - J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers.

1 John 4:8
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
AUGUST 23.

"God is love." 1 John 4:8

God in Christ is no longer a "consuming fire," but a God of love, of peace; a reconciled God. God in Christ holds out His hand all the day long to poor sinners. He receives all; He welcomes all; He rejects, He refuses, He casts out none. It is His glory to pardon a sinner. It is the glory of His power, it is the glory of His love, it is the glory of His wisdom, it is the glory of His grace, to take the prey from the mighty, to deliver the lawful captive, to pluck the brand from the burning, to lower the golden chain of His mercy to the greatest depth of human wretchedness and guilt, to lift the needy and place him among the princes.

Behold Christ upon that cross! Every pang that He endures, every stroke that He receives, every groan that He utters, every drop of blood that He sheds, proclaims that God is love, and that He stands pledged and is ready to pardon the vilest of the vile. Justice, sheathing its sword, and retiring satisfied from the scene, leaves Mercy gloriously triumphant. And "God delights in mercy."

Having at such an infinite cost opened a channel; even through the smitten heart of His beloved Son; through which His mercy may flow boundless and free, venture near, nothing doubting. No feature of your case is discouraging, or can possibly arrest the pardon. Your age, your protracted rebellion against God, your long life of indifference to the concerns of your soul, the turpitude and number of your sins, your lack of deep convictions or of stronger faith, nor worth or worthiness to recommend you to His favor; are no true impediments to your approach, are no pleas why you should not draw near and touch the outstretched scepter, bathe in the open fountain, put on the spotless robe, welcome the gracious pardon, and press it with gratitude and transport to your adoring heart.

In the light of this truth, cultivate loving and kindly views of God. Ever view Him, ever approach Him, and ever transact your soul's affairs with Him, in and through Jesus. He is the one Mediator between God and your soul. God your Father may now be leading you through deep and dark waters. His voice may sound roughly to you. His dim outline is, perhaps, all that you can see of Him. His face seems veiled and averted; yet deal with Him now in Christ, and all your hard thoughts, trembling fears, and unbelieving doubts shall vanish.

In Jesus every perfection of God dissolves into grace and love. With your eye upon the cross, and looking at God through that cross, all the dark letters of His providence will in a moment become radiant with light and glory. That God, who has so revealed Himself in Jesus, must be love, all love, and nothing but love, even in the most dark, painful, and afflictive dealings with His beloved people! - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 4:8a
Evening Devotional for June 5
C H Spurgeon

"He that loveth not knoweth not God." - 1 John 4:8

The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in the love of Christ, and the yielding of his affections to Christ in return. First, faith sets her seal upon the man by enabling the soul to say with the apostle, "Christ loved me and gave himself for me." Then love gives the countersign, and stamps upon the heart gratitude and love to Jesus in return. "We love him because he first loved us." In those grand old ages, which are the heroic period of the Christian religion, this double mark was clearly to be seen in all believers in Jesus; they were men who knew the love of Christ, and rested upon it as a man leaneth upon a staff whose trustiness he has tried. The love which they felt towards the Lord was not a quiet emotion which they hid within themselves in the secret chamber of their souls, and which they only spake of in their private assemblies when they met on the first day of the week, and sang hymns in honour of Christ Jesus the crucified, but it was a passion with them of such a vehement and all-consuming energy, that it was visible in all their actions, spoke in their common talk, and looked out of their eyes even in their commonest glances. Love to Jesus was a flame which fed upon the core and heart of their being; and, therefore, from its own force burned its way into the outer man, and shone there. Zeal for the glory of King Jesus was the seal and mark of all genuine Christians. Because of their dependence upon Christ's love they dared much, and because of their love to Christ they did much, and it is the same now. The children of God are ruled in their inmost powers by love-the love of Christ constraineth them; they rejoice that divine love is set upon them, they feel it shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them, and then by force of gratitude they love the Saviour with a pure heart, fervently. My reader, do you love him? Ere you sleep give an honest answer to a weighty question!

1 John 4:10
Octavius Winslow.
Daily Walking with God.
FEBRUARY 14.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10.

"Herein is love!" as though John would say, "and nowhere else but here!" That God should punish the innocent for the guilty- that He should exact the blood of His Son to cancel the guilt of His rebels- that He should lay an infinite weight of wrath on His soul, in order to lay an infinite weight of love on ours- that He should sacrifice His life of priceless value for ours- worthless, forfeited, and doomed- that He should not only give His Son, but should bruise Him, put Him to grief, afflict Him, should make His soul an offerinq for sin- that the 'Lord of Glory' should become a 'man of sorrows', the Lord of Life should die, and the Heir of all things should be "as him that serves." Oh depth of love unfathomable! Oh height of love unsearchable! Oh length and breadth of love unmeasurable! Oh love of God, which passes knowledge!  - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God.

1 John 4:10
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
JULY 12.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10

It is a self-evident truth, that as God only knows, so He only can reveal His own love. It is a hidden love, veiled deep within the recesses of His infinite heart; yes, it seems to compose His very essence, for, "God is love,"—not merely lovely and loving, but love itself, essential love. Who, then, can reveal it but Himself? How dim are the brightest views, and how low the loftiest conceptions, of the love of God, as possessed by men of mere natural and speculative knowledge of divine things! They read of God's goodness, even in nature, with a half-closed eye, and spell it in providence with a stammering tongue. Of His essential love—His redeeming love—of the great and glorious manifestation of His love in Jesus, they know nothing. The eyes of their understanding have not been opened; and "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness," has not as yet "shined into their hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

But God has declared His own love—Jesus is its glorious revelation. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." Oh, what an infinite sea of love now broke in upon our guilty and rebellious world, wafting in upon its rolling tide God's only begotten Son! That must have been great love—love infinite, love unsearchable, love passing all thought—which could constrain the Father to give Jesus to die for us, "while we were yet sinners." It is the great loss of the believer that faith eyes with so dim a vision this amazing love of God in the gift of Jesus. We have transactions so seldom and so unbelievingly with the cross, that we have need perpetually to recur to the apostle's cheering words, written as if kindly and condescendingly to meet this infirmity of our faith—"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things!"

But, behold God's love! See how He has inscribed this glorious perfection of His nature in letters of blood drawn from the heart of Jesus. His love was so great, that nothing short of the surrender to the death of His beloved Son could give an adequate expression of its immensity. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." Here was the greatest miracle of love—here was its most stupendous achievement—here its most brilliant victory—and here its most costly and precious offering. Seeing us fallen, obnoxious to the law's curse, exposed to its dreadful penalty, guilty of innumerable sins, and deserving of as many deaths, yet how did it yearn to save us! How did it heave, and pant, and strive, and pause not, until it revealed a way infinitely safe for God and man; securing glory to every Divine attribute in the highest degree, and happiness to the creature, immense, unspeakable, and eternal. Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 4:13
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers
May 18

"Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit." 1 John 4:13

A right knowledge and living experience of the Person, graces and operations of the Holy Spirit upon the soul, is a very essential thing. Man is so deeply sunk, so utterly fallen, so unable to bring himself back, that he needs this holy Teacher to lead him into a saving, experimental knowledge of the truth of God; for we know nothing but by his teaching, have nothing but by his giving, and are nothing but by his making. The more clearly, then, that we are led to see, and the more deeply we are taught to feel what we are as fallen sons and daughters of Adam, the more shall we feel our need of, and the more shall we value when realized, his blessed operations upon the heart and conscience.

Now, in the case of Aaron, (viewed not only as a type of Christ, but as personally ministering at the altar of the tabernacle, and thus consecrated to the office of high priesthood,) it was not sufficient that he was washed, nor that he was clothed; he must be also anointed by the holy anointing oil before he could stand in the sanctuary of God. So it is with a son of the Most High, one of "the kings and priests" that form "the royal priesthood;" it is not sufficient for him to be washed in the blood of the Lamb, and clothed in his justifying righteousness; he must be consecrated to God's service by the holy anointing; in other words, be sanctified, regenerated and renewed in the spirit of his mind, that, by being made a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he may enter into a spiritual experience of the truth of God here, and enjoy the eternal pleasures which are at God's right hand hereafter.

From the very nature of the fall, it is impossible for a dead soul to believe in God, know God, or love God; it must be quickened into spiritual life before it can savingly know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. And thus there lies at the very threshold, in the very heart and core of the case, the absolute necessity of the regenerating operations of God the Holy Spirit upon the soul. The very completeness and depth of the fall render the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit as necessary, as indispensable as the redeeming work of the Son of God. The Apostle therefore puts them together. "But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." If, therefore, the soul is to enter into eternal glory, it must be prepared for glory by being made a partaker of grace. It must, in this present life, this time state, be made fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, be capacitated while here below for the eternal fruition of the Triune God, by receiving a new and heavenly nature begotten of the Holy Spirit, which as a pure spirit (for "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit") is capable of seeing, enjoying, and eternally delighting in the open vision of the Deity as manifested in the glorious Person of the God-man. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers

1 John 4:13a
Morning Devotional for May 6
C H Spurgeon

"We dwell in him." - 1 John 4:13

Do you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, "What is the purchase?" It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it is "without price." Will you take my Master's house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving him for ever? Will you take Jesus and "dwell in him?" See, this house is furnished with all you want, it is filled with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on his love; here are tables well-stored with food for you to live on for ever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are houseless, you will say, "I should like to have the house; but may I have it?" Yes; there is the key-the key is, "Come to Jesus." "But," you say, "I am too shabby for such a house." Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He will wash you and cleanse you, and you will yet be able to sing, "We dwell in him." Believer: thrice happy art thou to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for thou hast a "strong habitation" in which thou art ever safe. And "dwelling in him," thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but an everlasting one. When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God himself-"We dwell in him. "

1 John 4:14
Morning, February 5 Go To Evening Reading
Spurgeon, C. H.

“The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” — 1 John 4:14


It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ did not come forth without his Father’s permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent of the Father, that he might be the Saviour of men. We are too apt to forget that, while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honour. We too frequently ascribe the honour of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than we do the Father. This is a very great mistake. What if Jesus came? Did not his Father send him? If he spake wondrously, did not his Father pour grace into his lips, that he might be an able minister of the new covenant? He who knoweth the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost as he should know them, never setteth one before another in his love; he sees them at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation. O Christian, hast thou put thy confidence in the Man Christ Jesus? Hast thou placed thy reliance solely on him? And art thou united with him? Then believe that thou art united unto the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus thou art brother, and holdest closest fellowship, thou art linked thereby with God the Eternal, and “the Ancient of days” is thy Father and thy friend. Didst thou ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped his Son for the great enterprise of mercy? If not, be this thy day’s meditation. The Father sent him! Contemplate that subject. Think how Jesus works what the Father wills. In the wounds of the dying Saviour see the love of the great I AM. Let every thought of Jesus be also connected with the Eternal, ever-blessed God, for “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.”

1 John 4:16
Our Daily Homily
F B Meyer

We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. - 1 John 4:16

Life is one long education in various phases and aspects of love. First as a child, then as a friend, then as a lover, as wife or husband, as father or mother. We are perpetually being allowed to sit in some higher form for the progress of this Divine study. For to love is to live. To be loved is to drink of the sweetest cordial that can be prepared from the vintages of earth. And all is intended to help us to understand better the nature of God, who is love. As each new experience enters our life, we should consider a fresh facet or angle to break up and reveal to us the glory of God's love. We should say to ourselves, Now I understand and know more accurately than before how God feels, and what His love is.

The apostle says we have known the love of God. - Indeed, it is so. Through years of life, each of which has been filled with the most various experiences, but filled also to the brim with proofs of God's tender loving-kindness, we have had innumerable proofs of His love, for

"E'en the cloud that spreads above, and veileth Love, Itself is Love."

The apostle says we must believe God's love. Standing on the sure foundation of what we have proved God to be in the past, we may look on the present and future with perfect faith. We have known Him too well to doubt Him now. We have known, and now we believe. He has made no mistakes. He is making none. He has done the best, and is doing it. We do not understand His dealings, but we know Him who is behind the mystery of Providence, and can hear Him saying: "It is all right, only trust Me. Fear not! it is I."

1 John 4:16
J. C. Philpot
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers
September 4

"God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16

Love is communicative. This is a part of its very nature and essence. Its delight is to give, and especially to give itself; and all it wants or asks is a return. To love and to be beloved, to enjoy and to express that ardent and mutual affection by words and deeds--this is love's delight, love's heaven. To love, and not be loved--this is love's misery, love's hell. God is love. This is his very nature, an essential attribute of his glorious being; and as he, the infinite and eternal Jehovah, exists in a Trinity of distinct Persons, though undivided Unity of Essence, there is a mutual, ineffable love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To this mutual, ineffable love of the three Persons in the sacred Godhead the Scripture abundantly testifies--"The Father loves the Son;" "And have loved them as you have loved me;" "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." And as the Father loves the Son, so does the Son love the Father--"But that the world may know that I love the Father," are his own blessed words. And that the Holy Spirit loves the Father and the Son is evident not only from his divine personality in the Godhead, but because he is essentially the very "Spirit of love" (Romans 15:30-note), and as such "sheds the love of God abroad in the heart" of the election of grace.

Thus man was not needed by the holy and ever-blessed Trinity as an object of divine love. Sufficient, eternally and amply sufficient, to all the bliss and blessedness, perfection and glory of Jehovah was and ever would have been the mutual love and intercommunion of the three Persons in the sacred Godhead. But love--the equal and undivided love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--flowed out beyond its original and essential being to man; and not merely to man as man, that is to human nature as the body prepared for the Son of God to assume, but to thousands and millions of the human race, who are all loved personally and individually with all the infinite love of God as much as if that love were fixed on only one, and he were loved as God loves his dear Son. "I have loved you with an everlasting love," is spoken to each individual of the elect as much as to the whole Church, viewed as the mystical Bride and Spouse of the Lamb.

Thus the love of a Triune God is not only to the nature which in due time the Son of God should assume, the flesh and blood of the children, the seed of Abraham which he should take on him (Heb 2:14, 15, 16- see notes Heb 2:14; 15; 16), and for this reason viewed by the Triune Jehovah with eyes of intense delight, but to that innumerable multitude of human beings who were to form the mystical body of Christ. Were Scripture less express, we might still believe that the nature which one of the sacred Trinity was to assume would be delighted in and loved by the holy Three-in-One. But we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit to the point, that puts it beyond all doubt or question. When, in the first creation of that nature the Holy Trinity said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," and when, in pursuance of that divine council, "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living, soul," God thereby uniting an immortal soul to an earthly body, this human nature was created not only in the moral image of God, but after the pattern of that body which was prepared for the Son of God by the Father. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers

1 John 4:16-19.
OCTOBER 2
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S LOVE

"We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. We love Him, because He first loved us."--1 John 4:16, 17, 18, 19.

GOD IS Love. Jesus Christ first brought to men the conception that man loves God only because God has first loved him. In vain we search for such an idea in the philosophies of Greece and Rome. The men who fixed this thought in the literature of mankind were followers of Jesus Christ. Might and majesty were the dominating ideas of B.C., but since A.D., we think of Love enthroned in the Divine Nature.

His Love passeth knowledge. We may apply to it the masterly arraignment of Psalm 139. It winnows our rays. It besets us behind and before. It lays on us its gentle restraining hand. It is high, we cannot attain to it. If we ascend into heaven, it is there; if we make our bed in the grave, it is there to lift us to His heart; if we take the wings of the morning, it shines as sunrise; if we pass into the darkness, it makes the midnight shine as the day. It covered us in our birth, it will tend us in old age. How precious it is, and how multitudinous in its expression, no mortal lips can tell.

Even our sin will not lessen that Love. That Peter sinned deeply, who can doubt, but did it put a screen between him and Christ? Nay, for when Christ arose, He sent specially for him. In the garden He restored him, and at the lakeside He taught him that His love would be as acceptable as ever (Mark 16:7; John 21:15).

His Love will not spare. Jesus looked on the young roan and loved him! But He read him through and through, and mercifully gave the unwelcome verdict: "Go, sell all that thou hast.,, and follow Me." He went away sad, and Christ went away sad! But He loves us too well to spare us! God's love is consistent with stern dealings at those things which may cause us to fail of the best.

We believe in God's Love when it seems not so. "We have known," says the Apostle, that "God is Love," unutterable and changeless! But there are times when we have to believe in it, i.e. in the perplexity of life's problems. We are often facing incidents and providences that strike us as inconsistent with God's Love. Then we must believe that the same Love is there. God Is Love, and nothing can reach us save through His Love.

PRAYER - May 1 not be satisfied with talking or musing on Thy Love, O God. Grant me the grace of manifesting it, not only in great crisis, but amid petty annoyances and the daily fret of life. AMEN.

1 John 4:18
Octavius Winslow.
Daily Walking with God.
APRIL 11.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18.

Who that has felt it will deny, that "fear has torment"? The legal fear of death, of judgment, and of condemnation- the fear engendered by a slavish view of the Lord's commandments- a defective view of the believer's relation to God- imperfect conceptions of the finished work of Christ- unsettled apprehensions of the great fact of acceptance- yielding to the power of unbelief- the retaining of guilt upon the conscience, or the influence of any concealed sin, will fill the heart with the torment of fear. Some of the most eminent of God's people have thus been afflicted: this was Job's experience- "I am afraid of all my sorrows." "Even when I remember, I am afraid, and trembling takes hold on my flesh." "When I consider Him, I am afraid of Him." So also David- "What time I am afraid, I will trust in You." "My flesh trembles for fear of You; I am afraid of Your judgments." But "perfect love casts out fear:" he that fears is not perfected in the love of Christ. The design and tendency of the love of Jesus shed abroad in the heart is to lift the soul out of all its "bondage through fear of death," and its ultimate consequences, and soothe it to rest on that glorious declaration, triumphing in which, many have gone to glory, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." See the blessed spring from where flows a believer's victory over all bondage-fear- from Jesus: not from his experience of the truth, not from evidence of his acceptance and adoption, not from the work of the Spirit in his heart, blessed as it is- but from out of, and away from, himself- even from Jesus. The blood and righteousness of Christ, based upon the infinite dignity and glory of His person, and wrought into the experience of the believer by the Holy Spirit, expels from the heart all fear of death and of judgment, and fills it with perfect peace. O you of fearful heart! why these anxious doubts, why these tormenting fears, why this shrinking from the thought of death, why these distant, hard, and unkind thoughts of God? Why this prison-house- why this chain? You are not perfected in the love of Jesus, for "perfect love casts out fear:" you are not perfected in that great truth, that Jesus is mighty to save, that He died for a poor sinner, that His death was a perfect satisfaction to Divine justice; and that without a single meritorious work of your own, just as you are, poor, empty, vile, worthless, unworthy, you are welcome to the rich provision of sovereign grace and dying love. The simple belief of this, will perfect your heart in love; and perfected in love, every bondage-fear will vanish away. Oh, seek to be perfected in Christ's love. It is a fathomless ocean, its breadth no mind can scan- its height no thought can scale.  - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God.

1 John 4:19
J. C. Philpot.
RICHES
The soul melts at the sight!

"We love Him, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Our affections never flow unto Jesus, until we have had some divine discovery of Him to our heart and conscience. We may try to love Him—we may think it our duty to do so—we may be secretly ashamed of our miserable coldness, and may lament our barrenness in love to Jesus. But no power of our own can raise up true love to Jesus. We cannot love the Lord until we know that the Lord loves us—nor can we love Him with all our heart and soul, until He tells us that He loves us with all His. When He says "I have loved you with an everlasting love," and sheds abroad His love in the soul—this gives power to love Him. When, too, He sets Himself before our eyes in His divine beauty and blessedness—this makes us fall in love with Him. For beauty kindles love. It is so often in natural love—and always so in divine love. Jesus has but to touch the heart and it softens. He has but to appear—and the soul melts at the sight! - J. C. Philpot. RICHES

1 John 4:19a
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
AUGUST 8.

"We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

All love to God in the soul is the result of His love to us; it is begotten in the heart by His Spirit: He took the first step, and made the first advance—"He first loved us." Oh heart-melting truth! The love of God to us when yet we were sinners, who can unfold it? what mortal tongue can describe it? Before we had any being, and when we were enemies, He sent His Son to die for us; and when we were far off by wicked works He sent His Spirit to bring us to Him in the cloudy and dark day. All His dealings with us since then—His patience, restoring mercies, tender, loving, faithful care, yes, the very strokes of His rod—have but unfolded the depths of His love towards His people; this is the love we desire you to be filled with. "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God." Draw largely from this river—why should you deny yourselves? There is enough love in God to overflow the hearts of all His saints through all eternity; then why not be filled? "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God;" stand not upon the brink of the fountain, linger not upon the margin of this river; enter into it—plunge into it; it is for you—poor, worthless, unworthy, vile, as you feel yourself to be, this river of love is yet for you! Seek to be filled with it, that you may know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, and that your heart, in return, may ascend in a flame of love to God.

Deal much and closely with a crucified Savior. Here is the grand secret of a constant ascending of the affections to God. If you do find it difficult to comprehend the love of God towards you, read it in the cross of His dear Son. "In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Dwell upon this amazing fact; drink into this precious truth; muse upon it, ponder it, search into it, pray over it, until your heart is melted down, and broken, and overwhelmed with God's wondrous love to you, in the gift of Jesus. Oh, how will this rekindle the flame that is ready to die in your bosom! how it will draw you up in a holy and unreserved surrender of body, soul, and spirit! Do not forget, then, to deal much with Jesus. Whenever you detect a waning of love, a reluctance to take up the daily cross, a shrinking from the precept, go immediately to Calvary; go simply and directly to Jesus; get your heart warmed with ardent love by contemplating Him upon the cross, and soon will the frosts that gather round it melt away, the congealed current shall begin to flow, and the "chariots of Amminadab" shall bear your soul away in communion and fellowship with God. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 4:19b
Morning Devotional for June 11
C H Spurgeon

"We love him because he first loved us." - 1 John 4:19

There is no light in the planet but that which proceedeth from the sun; and there is no true love to Jesus in the heart but that which cometh from the Lord Jesus himself. From this overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God, all our love to God must spring. This must ever be a great and certain truth, that we love him for no other reason than because he first loved us. Our love to him is the fair offspring of his love to us. Cold admiration, when studying the works of God, anyone may have, but the warmth of love can only be kindled in the heart by God's Spirit. How great the wonder that such as we should ever have been brought to love Jesus at all! How marvellous that when we had rebelled against him, he should, by a display of such amazing love, seek to draw us back. No! never should we have had a grain of love towards God unless it had been sown in us by the sweet seed of his love to us. Love, then, has for its parent the love of God shed abroad in the heart: but after it is thus divinely born, it must be divinely nourished. Love is an exotic; it is not a plant which will flourish naturally in human soil, it must be watered from above. Love to Jesus is a flower of a delicate nature, and if it received no nourishment but that which could be drawn from the rock of our hearts it would soon wither. As love comes from heaven, so it must feed on heavenly bread. It cannot exist in the wilderness unless it be fed by manna from on high. Love must feed on love. The very soul and life of our love to God is his love to us.

I love thee, Lord, but with no love of mine,
For I have none to give;
I love thee, Lord; but all the love is thine,
For by thy love I live.
I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in thee.
 

1John 4:19c
Spurgeon, C. H.
Daily Help

“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Here is the starting point of love’s race. This is the rippling rill which afterwards swells into a river, the torch with which the pile of piety is kindled. The emancipated spirit loves the Savior for the freedom which He has conferred upon it. It beholds the agony with which the priceless gift was purchased, and it adores the bleeding Sufferer for the pains which He so generously endured. On taking a survey of our whole lives, we see that the kindness of God has run all through it like a silver thread.

1 John 4:20
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
APRIL 5

If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 John 4:20.

HERE is a test of relationship to the family of God which never fails. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." From this the weakest believer may extract the greatest consolation. Other evidences, beloved, may be beclouded. Divine knowledge may be deficient, Christian experience may be limited, and the question, "Am I a child of God?" may long have been one of painful doubt; but here is an evidence which cannot deceive. You may doubt your love to God, but your love to His people, as such, proves the existence and the reality of your love to Him. Your attachment to them, because they are holy, is an evidence of your own holiness, which no power can invalidate or set aside. Since the Holy Spirit has constituted it as evidence, and since God admits it as such, we press its comfort, with all the energy which we possess, upon the heart of the doubting, trembling child of God.

You may often have questioned the reality of your love to God, scarcely daring to claim an affection so great as this. Your attachment to Jesus, so inconstant, so wavering, and so cold, may often have raised the anxious fear and the perplexing doubt. But your love to the people of God has been like a sheet-anchor to your soul. This you have not questioned, and you could not doubt. You have loved them because they were the people of God; you have felt an attachment to them because they were the disciples of Christ. What does this prove, but your love to God, your affection to Jesus, and your own participation in the same Divine nature? It were a thing impossible for you to love that which is holy, without a corresponding principle of holiness in yourself. Speaking of the enmity of the ungodly against His people, our Lord employs this language; "If you were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." Now, if there is the opposite feeling to this glowing in your hearts, be sure that, as the hatred of the world to the saints proves that it loves only its own, so your love to the saints places the fact of your union with them beyond all doubt. Try your heart, beloved, by this test. Do you not love the people of God, because they are His people? Is not Christ's image in those who upon which you so delight to gaze, and gazing upon which, often enkindles your soul with love to Christ Himself? Do you not love to cull the choicest flowers of grace in the Lord's garden—growing in what bed they may—as those in whom your soul has the greatest delight—their different tints, their varied beauties and odors, rather increasing, than diminishing, the pleasure which they afford you? Then, let every Christian professor test his religion by this grace. Let him who has been used to retire within his own narrow enclosure ask himself the question, "If I love not my brother whom I have seen, how can I love God whom I have not seen?" -Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God.

1 John 5:1
May 10
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions

"Everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well." –1 John 5:1

Where there is love to Jesus, there will be love to those who are his by redemption, his by regeneration, and his by personal possession. The more, also, that we see and the more that we know of the beauty and blessedness of the Lord of life and glory, the more we shall love his image as we behold it visibly marked in his dear people, and the more we shall cleave to them as being Christ's with tender affection.

It is our dim, scanty, and imperfect knowledge of God the Father in his eternal love; and of the Lord Jesus Christ in his grace and glory, which leaves us so often cold, lifeless, and dead in our affections towards him; and with the declension of love towards the Head comes on decay of love towards his members. If there were more blessed revelations to our soul of the Person and work, grace and glory, beauty and blessedness of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is impossible but that we would more and more warmly and tenderly fall in love with him; for he is the most glorious object that the eyes of faith can see. He fills heaven with the resplendent beams of his glorious majesty; and has ravished the hearts of thousands of his dear family upon earth by the manifestations of his bleeding, dying love. So that if we love him not, it is because we know him not. If, then, to those who know him he makes himself precious, it is evident that just in proportion to our personal, spiritual, experimental knowledge of him will be our love to him. -- J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions

1 John 5:1a
Octavius Winslow
Daily Walking with God
JUNE 22.

"Every one that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him." 1 John 5:1

THE feeling here referred to is a love to the saints, as saints. Whatever natural infirmities we may discover in them, whatever different shades of opinion they may hold to us, and to whatever branch of the Christian Church they may belong, yet the feeling which is to establish our own divine relationship is a love to them as brethren. Irrespective of all dissonance of creed, of denomination, of gifts, of attainment, of rank, of wealth, of nation—when we meet in a Christian professor the image of Christ, the family-likeness, our love will prompt us immediately to recognize that individual as a believer in Jesus, and to acknowledge him as a brother in the Lord. And what are the grounds of my affection? I may esteem his character, and prize his gifts—may admire his talents, and feel there is an assimilation of disposition, of taste, and of judgment—but my Christian love springs from an infinitely higher and holier source. I love him because the Father is in him, because the Son is in him, because the Holy Spirit is in him. I love him because he is an adopted child of the same family; a member of Christ, and of the same body; and a temple of the same Holy Spirit. I love him that is begotten, because I love Him that begat. It is Christ in one believer, going out after Himself in another believer. It is the Holy Spirit in one temple, holding fellowship with Himself in another temple. And from hence it is that we gather the evidence of our having "passed from death unto life." Loving the Divine Original, we love the human copy, however imperfect the resemblance. The Spirit of God dwelling in the regenerate soul yearns after the image of Jesus, wherever it is found. It pauses not to inquire to what branch of the Christian Church the individual resembling Him belongs; that with which it has to do is the resemblance itself.

Now, if we discover this going out of the heart in sweet, holy, and prayerful affection, towards every believer in Christ—be his denominational name what it may—the most to those who most bear the Savior's image—then have we the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. A surer evidence we cannot have. There is the affection which surmounts all the separating walls of partition in the Church, and in spite of sects, and parties, and creeds, demonstrates its own divine nature and heavenly birth, by its blending with the same affection glowing in the bosom of another. And where this love to the brethren exists not at all in any Christian professor, we ask that individual, with all the tenderness of affection consistent with true faithfulness, where is the evidence of your union with the body of Christ? You have turned away with contractedness of heart, and with frigidity of manner, if not with secret disdain, from one whom God loves, whom Christ has redeemed, and in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, because he belonged not to your sect. Yes, you have turned away with coldness and suspicion from Christ Himself! How can you love the Father, and hate the child? What affection have you for the Elder Brother, while you despise the younger? If you are a living branch of the same vine, can you, while cherishing those feelings which exclude from your affection, from your sympathies, and from your fellowship, other Christians, more deeply wound Jesus, or more effectually grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom they are "sealed unto the day of redemption"? Perhaps you have long walked in darkness and uncertainty, as to the fact of your own personal adoption into the family of God. Anxious fear and distressing doubt have taken the place of a holy assurance, and a peaceful persuasion that you were one of the Lord's people. In endeavoring to trace this painful state of mind to its cause, did it never occur to you, that your lack of enlargement of heart towards all saints, especially towards those of other branches of the same family, has, in all probability, so grieved the Spirit of adoption, that he has withheld from your own soul that clear testimony, that direct witness, by which your interest in the covenant love of God, and your union with Christ, would have been clearly made known to you? You have grieved that same Spirit in your brother, who dwells in you, and upon whom you are so dependent for all your sweet consolation and holy desires; and He has suspended the light, and peace, and joy of your own soul. - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 5:5
J. C. Philpot
RICHES
Overcoming the world

"Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:5

A man must either overcome the world—or be overcome by it. To overcome the world is to be saved—to be overcome by it is to be lost. He, then, who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God does not and cannot overcome the world—for he has not the faith of God's elect—he is not born of God—there is no divine life in his soul—and he has therefore no power to resist the allurements, endure the scorn, or rise superior to the frowns and smiles of the world—but is entangled, carried captive, and destroyed by it!

Where the world is loved, the heart is necessarily overcome by it—for in the love of the world, as in the love of sin, is all the strength of the world. Now unless the love of Christ in the soul be stronger than the love of the world, the weaker must give way to the stronger. Those who do not love Christ cannot overcome the world, for such are utter strangers to the faith which purifies the heart from the lust of it, to the hope which rises above it, and to the love which lifts up the soul beyond it.  -J. C. Philpot. RICHES

1 John 5:7
August 6
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Portions

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit--and these three are one." 1 John 5:7

A spiritual knowledge of the Trinity lies at the foundation of all vital godliness. To know Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by special teaching and divine revelation, is the sum and substance of spiritual religion, and is eternal life; according to the Lord's own testimony, John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Thus, sooner or later, the Lord leads all his people into a feeling acquaintance with, and divine reception of this glorious mystery; and thus they come to know the Father's electing love, the Son's redeeming work, and the Spirit's inward testimony; and that these Three are One.

But how opposed to nature, sense, and reason is this glorious mystery; and how they all rise up in rebellion against it! How can Three be One or One be Three? nature asks and reason argues. And yet the babes receive and believe it. For take away the doctrine of the Trinity, and all their hope is gone in a moment. How can we rest upon Christ's atoning blood, if it is not the blood of the Son of God? or upon his justifying righteousness, if not the righteousness of God? Or how could we be kept, led, taught, and guided by the Holy Spirit, if he too was not a divine Person in the Godhead?

Thus we come to know the mystery of Three Persons in the Godhead, by feelingly receiving into our hearts the work of each with power; and yet we know that these Three are but one God. It is this inward reception of the truth in the love of it which holds up the soul in a storm. We are often tossed about, and ready to say, "How can these things be?" But we are brought up by this deep-rooted feeling, as the anchor brings up the ship in the gale, that we are undone without it. If this mystery be removed, our hope must be removed with it; for there is no pardon, peace, nor salvation, but what stands in, and flows out of, an experimental knowledge of the Three-One God.

1 John 5:7a
Octavius Winslow.
Daily Walking with God
DECEMBER 4.

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one." 1 John 5:7


That the doctrine of the Trinity is a truth of express revelation, we think it will not be difficult to show. We may not find the term employed to designate the doctrine in the Bible, but if we find the doctrine itself there, it is all that we ask. On opening the Bible, with a view to the examination of this subject, the first truth that arrests our attention is a solemn declaration of the Divine Unity—"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." Deut. 6:4. Prosecuting our research, we find two distinct people spoken of in relation to the Godhead, under the titles of the "Son of God," and the "Holy Spirit of God," to whom are ascribed the attributes of Deity, and the qualities of a person, implying Divine personality. A step further brings us to a passage in which we find these three distinct, Divine people, associated in an act of solemn worship—"Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." What conclusion must we draw from these premises? First, that there is a unity of the Godhead; and second, that in this unity, or in this one Godhead, there is a trinity of people, or three distinct subsistences, styled the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Here, then, we have the doctrine for which we plead.

The following passage clearly teaches the same glorious truth, Matt. 3:16, 17: "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up immediately out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and, lo, a voice, from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." What a conclusive evidence is this passage of the blessed Trinity! The Father speaks from the excellent glory; the Son ascends from the water, and receives the attestation of His Father; and the Holy Spirit descends from the heavens, and overshadows Him. Here are three distinct people, to each of whom the marks of Deity are ascribed, and between whom it is impossible not to observe a bond of the closest and tenderest unity. Again, 1 Cor. 12:4-6: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administration, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations; but it is the same God who works all in all." With what a sunbeam is this glorious truth here written! How richly it glows with light peculiarly its own! That here are three distinct subsistences, who can deny? And that they are equal, who can doubt? In Gal. 4:6, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Again, here are three people announced in connection with the blessed act of the Father's adoption of His people. Jude 20, 21, "But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Wilfully or judicially blind must he be who sees not in these words the great truth for which we plead. And it is the glory of our land, and the joy of our hearts, to know, that from every Christian pulpit, the doctrine of the blessed Trinity is proclaimed whenever the apostolic benediction is pronounced: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen." - Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 5:10
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers
December 14

"He who believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself." 1 John 5:10

The grand point to have decided in a man's bosom is, whether he is Christ's or not; and this is a problem which none but the Lord himself can solve. Blessed is he who has the witness in himself; and this he can only have by believing on the Son of God, as John speaks, "He who believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself." This is the internal witness of the Spirit, as the Apostle declares, "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." What witness have you ever had in your bosom that you are a child of God? Or if you have not had this special witness, what marks or evidences, what tokens for good has the Lord bestowed upon you? Can you not remember something that the Lord has done for you in times past, some promise applied, some manifestation of his presence, some look of love, some softening touch of his gracious hand, which melted you into the dust, and brought sweet peace and assurance with it? It might not last long, or be very deep, but it was an evidence when felt that you belonged to Christ.

You remember the time and the circumstances, the darkness, distress and bondage before, and the deliverance into sweet liberty then enjoyed; but still you are dissatisfied. You want the Lord once more to appear; you want another smile, another word, another look, another promise, another testimony, and without it your soul often sinks down into doubt and fear.

Now this is the path in which most of God's saints walk; I will not say all, because some are more favored with an abiding testimony, though even they have great sinkings and heavy trials. But with most it is a very chequered path. Thus, sometimes they are indulged with a smile, and then such darkness of mind falls upon those who they can scarcely see a single evidence. Then the sun shines again; but darkness once more covers the scene, and down they sink again into doubt, guilt, and fear. Then the Lord appears again, and then they love, and hope, and rejoice again; and so they go on, the scene ever changing, like an April day. Still on they go until they come at last to the closing scene, when the Lord usually appears, scatters all their doubts and fears and darkness, and gives them a blessed dismissal into his own bosom of eternal rest and peace. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers

Related Resource by Octavius Winslow - 1John 5:10 Jesus the True God, and His Work All-sufficient  from his booklet  THE HOLY SPIRIT, An Experimental and Practical View

1 John 5:10a
Octavius Winslow.
Daily Walking with God
JANUARY 5.

"He that believes (on the Son of God) has the witness in himself." 1 John 5:10.

The Spirit of God breaking, humbling, healing the heart; taking his own truth and transcribing it upon the soul; witnessing, sealing, sanctifying; opening the eye of the soul to the holiness of God's law- to its own moral guilt, poverty, helplessness, and deep need of Christ's blood and righteousness, thus leading it to rest on Him as on an all-sufficient Savior; thus producing "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit"- this is the truth experienced- this is the religion of the heart; and all other religion, beautiful as may be its theory, and orthodox as may be its creed, is worth nothing! Without this experience there is no true belief in God's Word. The revelation of God asks not for a faith that will merely endorse its divine credentials; it asks not merely that skepticism will lay aside its doubts, and receive it as a divine verity; it asks, yes, it demands, more than this- it demands a faith that will fully, implicitly, practically receive the momentous and tremendous facts it announces- a faith that brings them home with a realizing power to the soul, and identifies it with them- a faith that believes there is a hell, and seeks to escape it- a faith that believes there is a heaven, and strives to enter it- a faith that credits the doctrine of man's ruin by nature, and that welcomes the doctrine of man's recovery by grace- in a word, a faith that rejects all human dependence, and accepts as its only ground of refuge "the righteousness of Christ, which is unto all, and upon all those who believe." Oh, this is the true faith of the gospel! Do you have it, reader?  -Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God

1 John 5:14-15
Andrew Murray.
With Christ In The School of Prayer

 

‘If we ask according to His will;
1 John 5:14-15.
Or,
Our Boldness in Prayer.

‘And this is the boldness which we have toward Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him.’-1 John 5:14-15.


ONE of the greatest hindrances to believing prayer is with many undoubtedly this: they know not if what they ask is according to the will of God. As long as they are in doubt on this point, they cannot have the boldness to ask in the assurance that they certainly shall receive. And they soon begin to think that, if once they have made known their requests, and receive no answer, it is best to leave it to God to do according to His good pleasure. The words of John, ‘If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us,’ as they understand them, make certainty as to answer to prayer impossible, because they cannot be sure of what really may be the will of God. They think of God’s will as His hidden counsel-how should man be able to fathom what really may be the purpose of the all-wise God.


This is the very opposite of what John aimed at in writing thus. He wished to rouse us to boldness, to confidence, to full assurance of faith in prayer. He says, ‘This is the boldness which we have toward Him,’ that we can say: Father! Thou knowest and I know that I ask according to Thy will: I know Thou hearest me. ‘This is the boldness, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.’ On this account He adds at once: ‘If we know that He heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know,’ through this faith, that we have,’ that we now while we pray receive ‘the petition,’ the special things, ‘we have asked of Him.’ John supposes that when we pray, we first find out if our prayers are according to the will of God. They may be according to God’s will, and yet not come at once, or without the persevering prayer of faith. It is to give us courage thus to persevere and to be strong in faith, that He tells us: This gives us boldness or confidence in prayer, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. It is evident that if it be a matter of uncertainty to us whether our petitions be according to His will, we cannot have the comfort of what he says, ‘We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him.’


But just this is the difficulty. More than one believer says: ‘I do not know if what I desire be according to the will of God. God’s will is the purpose of His infinite wisdom: it is impossible for me to know whether He may not count something else better for me than what I desire, or may not have some reasons for withholding what I ask.’ Every one feels how with such thoughts the prayer of faith, of which Jesus said, ‘Whosoever shall believe that these things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith,’ becomes an impossibility. There may be the prayer of submission, and of trust in God’s wisdom; there cannot be the prayer of faith. The great mistake here is that God’s children do not really believe that it is possible to know God’s will. Or if they believe this, they do not take the time and trouble to find it out. What we need is to see clearly in what way it is that the Father leads His waiting, teachable child to know that his petition is according to His will. (1.9) It is through God’s holy word, taken up and kept in the heart, the life, the will; and through God’s Holy Spirit, accepted in His indwelling and leading, that we shall learn to know that our petitions are according to His will.


Through the word. There is a secret will of God, with which we often fear that our prayers may be at variance. It is not with this will of God, but His will as revealed in His word, that we have to do in prayer. Our notions of what the secret will may have decreed, and of how it might render the answers to our prayers impossible, are mostly very erroneous. Childlike faith as to what He is willing to do for His children, simply keeps to the Father’s assurance, that it is His will to hear prayer and to do what faith in His word desires and accepts. In the word the Father has revealed in general promises the great principles of His will with His people. The child has to take the promise and apply it to the special circumstances in His life to which it has reference. Whatever he asks within the limits of that revealed will, he can know to be according to the will of God, and he may confidently expect. In His word, God has given us the revelation of His will and plans with us, with His people, and with the world, with the most precious promises of the grace and power with which through His people He will carry out His plans and do His work. As faith becomes strong and bold enough to claim the fulfilment of the general promise in the special case, we may have the assurance that our prayers are heard: they are according to God’s will. Take the words of John in the verse following our text as an illustration: ‘If any man see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask and God will give him life.’ Such is the general promise; and the believer who pleads on the ground of this promise, prays according to the will of God, and John would give him boldness to know that he has the petition which he asks.


But this apprehension of God’s will is something spiritual, and must be spiritually discerned. It is not as a matter of logic that we can argue it out: God has said it; I must have it. Nor has every Christian the same gift or calling. While the general will revealed in the promise is the same for all, there is for each one a special different will according to God’s purpose. And herein is the wisdom of the saints, to know this special will of God for each of us, according to the measure of grace given us, and so to ask in prayer just what God has prepared and made possible for each. It is to communicate this wisdom that the Holy Ghost dwells in us. The personal application of the general promises of the word to our special personal needs, it is for this that the leading of the Holy Spirit is given us.


It is this union of the teaching of the word and Spirit that many do not understand, and so there is a twofold difficulty in knowing what God’s will may be. Some seek the will of God in an inner feeling or conviction, and would have the Spirit lead them without the word. Others seek it in the word, without the living leading of the Holy Spirit. The two must be united: only in the word, only in the Spirit, but in these most surely, can we know the will of God, and learn to pray according to it. In the heart the word and the Spirit must meet: it is only by indwelling that we can experience their teaching. The word must dwell, must abide in us: heart and life must day by day be under its influence. Not from without, but from within, comes the quickening of the word by the Spirit. It is only he who yields himself entirely in his whole life to the supremacy of the word and the will of God, who can expect in special cases to discern what that word and will permit him boldly to ask. And even as with the word, just so with the Spirit: if I would have the leading of the Spirit in prayer to assure me what God’s will is, my whole life must be yielded to that leading; so only can mind and heart become spiritual and capable of knowing God’s holy will. It is he who, through word and Spirit, lives in the will of God by doing it, who will know to pray according to that will in the confidence that He hears us.


Would that Christians might see what incalculable harm they do themselves by the thought that because possibly their prayer is not according to God’s will, they must be content without an answer. God’s word tells us that the great reason of unanswered prayer is that we do not pray aright: ‘Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss.’ In not granting an answer, the Father tells us that there is something wrong in our praying. He wants to teach us to find it out and confess it, and so to educate us to true believing and prevailing prayer. He can only attain His object when He brings us to see that we are to blame for the withholding of the answer; our aim, or our faith, or our life is not what it should be. But this purpose of God is frustrated as long as we are content to say: It is perhaps because my prayer is not according to His will that He does not hear me. O let us no longer throw the blame of our unanswered prayers on the secret will of God, but on our praying amiss. Let that word, ‘Ye receive not because ye ask amiss,’ be as the lantern of the Lord, searching heart and life to prove that we are indeed such as those to whom Christ gave His promises of certain answers. Let us believe that we can know if our prayer be according to God’s will. Let us yield our heart to have the word of the Father dwell richly there, to have Christ’s word abiding in us. Let us live day by day with the anointing which teacheth us all things. Let us yield ourselves unreservedly to the Holy Spirit as He teaches us to abide in Christ, to dwell in the Father’s presence, and we shall soon understand how the Father’s love longs that the child should know His will, and should, in the confidence that that will includes all that His power and love have promised to do, know too that He hears the petitions which we ask of Him. ‘This is the boldness which we have, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.’


‘LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY.’


Blessed Master! With my whole heart I thank Thee for this blessed lesson, that the path to a life full of answers to prayer is through the will of God. Lord! Teach me to know this blessed will by living it, loving it, and always doing it. So shall I learn to offer prayers according to that will, and to find in their harmony with God’s blessed will, my boldness in prayer and my confidence in accepting the answer.


Father! it is Thy will that Thy child should enjoy Thy presence and blessing. It is Thy will that everything in the life of Thy child should be in accordance with Thy will, and that the Holy Spirit should work this in Him. It is Thy will that Thy child should live in the daily experience of distinct answers to prayer, so as to enjoy living and direct fellowship with Thyself. It is Thy will that Thy Name should be glorified in and through Thy children, and that it will be in those who trust Thee. O my Father! let this Thy will be my confidence in all I ask.


Blessed Saviour! Teach me to believe in the glory of this will. That will is the eternal love, which with Divine power works out its purpose in each human will that yields itself to it. Lord! Teach me this. Thou canst make me see how every promise and every command of the word is indeed the will of God, and that its fulfilment is secured to me by God Himself. Let thus the will of God become to me the sure rock on which my prayer and my assurance of an answer ever rest. Amen.

NOTE
There is often great confusion as to the will of God. People think that what God wills must inevitably take place. This is by no means the case. God wills a great deal of blessing to His people, which never comes to them. He wills it most earnestly, but they do not will it, and it cannot come to them. This is the great mystery of man’s creation with a free will, and also of the renewal of his will in redemption, that God has made the execution of His will, in many things, dependent on the will of man. Of God’s will revealed in His promises, so much will be fulfilled as our faith accepts. Prayer is the power by which that comes to pass which otherwise would not take place. And faith, the power by which it is decided how much of God’s will shall be done in us. When once God reveals to a soul what He is willing to do for it, the responsibility for the execution of that will rests with us.


Some are afraid that this is putting too much power into the hands of man. But all power is put into the hands of man in Christ Jesus. The key of all prayer and all power is His, and when we learn to understand that He is just as much with us as with the Father, and that we are also just as much one with Him as He with the Father, we shall see how natural and right and safe it is that to those who abide in Him as He in the Father, such power should be given. It is Christ the Son who has the right to ask what He will: it is through the abiding in Him and His abiding in us (in a Divine reality of which we have too little apprehension) that His Spirit breathes in us what He wants to ask and obtain through us. We pray in His Name: the prayers are really ours and as really His.


Others again fear that to believe that prayer has such power is limiting the liberty and the love of God. O if we only knew how we are limiting His liberty and His love by not allowing Him to act in the only way in which He chooses to act, now that He has taken us up into fellowship with himself-through our prayers and our faith. A brother in the ministry once asked, as we were speaking on this subject, whether there was not a danger of our thinking that our love to souls and our willingness to see them blessed were to move God’s love and God’s willingness to bless them. We were just passing some large water-pipes, by which water was being carried over hill and dale from a large mountain stream to a town at some distance. Just look at these pipes, was the answer; they did not make the water willing to flow downwards from the hills, nor did they give it its power of blessing and refreshment: this is its very nature. All that they could do is to decide its direction: by it the inhabitants of the town said they want the blessing there. And just so, it is the very nature of God to love and to bless. Downward and ever downward His love longs to come with its quickening and refreshing streams. But He has left it to prayer to say where the blessing is to come. He has committed it to His believing people to bring the living water to the desert places: the will of God to bless is dependent upon the will of man to say where the blessing must descend. ‘Such honour have His saints.’ ‘And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him.’ - Andrew Murray. With Christ In The School of Prayer

1 John 5:15
Our Daily Homily
F B Meyer

We know that we have. - 1 John 5:15

This Epistle is full of certainty. It rings with the words we know. And in these words we are taught that we may be certain in the region of prayer. Probably there is no region of the Christian life concerning which there is more uncertainty than this of prayer. Perhaps this is also the reason why there is so little prayer. Men doubt the use of spending time in shooting arrows, a very small percentage of which seem to strike the target.

The first condition in true prayer is to be sure that it is according to the will of God. - It is not difficult to do this when we base prayer on a promise. And this is what we should do to secure definiteness and assurance. There is nothing that pleases our Father more in His praying children than that they should bring His promises to Him for fulfillment, saying, "Do as Thou hast said." But in cases where there is no promise to guide us we shall discover His will as we pray.

The next condition is to believe that God is listening. - We need not pray long to know this. Only be quiet and silent before Him, and a blessed sense, induced by the Holy Spirit, will pervade .your heart and mind, that you are literally speaking into the ear and heart of your Heavenly Father, who is listening as intently as if He had nothing else to attend to in all the universe.

The third condition is to be sure that the thing we asked is granted. - It may not have come to hand, and it may not come in the precise form in which we sought it, but it is ours. We must dare to believe that we have that petition, labelled with our name, consigned to us, perhaps started on its way to us, although it may take years to come.

1 John 5:20
J. C. Philpot.
Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers
October 25

"And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20

When the Lord Jesus is pleased in some solemn hour to reveal himself to our soul, when he graciously condescends to take the veil from off our heart that we may behold his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, when he kindly favors us with some manifestation and discovery of himself as the Son of God, the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his Person, then we know that the Son of God has come.

How do you know that the sun rose this morning? By the light which rose with it. So we may say, spiritually, "How do you know that the Son of God has come?" By the Sun of righteousness arising upon you with healing in his wings and the shining light which he diffuses in your heart. So the Lord speaks to Zion--"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." That is the way in which the darkness is dispersed; for he adds, "Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall rise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you." Did not our blessed Lord say, "I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness?" And has he not promised, "He that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life?" Now as God is light, when he is pleased to shine into the soul, we walk in the light as he is in the light, and then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. This is the best, this is the surest, this is the safest way to know that the Son of God is come.

We know also that the Son of God is come by his presence; by his power put forth on our behalf; by the answers which he gives to prayer; by the way in which he appears in dark and gloomy hours, making crooked things straight and rough places plain, discovering himself to us as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, showing unto us that in him there is rest and peace, solid, abiding happiness, and in no other. He thus draws and fixes our eyes upon himself, where he sits at the right hand of the Father in the fullness of his grace, glory, and majesty. Thus we know that the Son of God has come. Every prayer, every petition, every sigh and cry, every longing look that you cast up to him, and every word of his grace, every sweet promise, every glimpse or glance of the King in his beauty, which you receive out of his fullness, are all so many testimonies that the Son of God has come, and that you know that he has come. - J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers

1 John 5:21
OCTOBER 11
OUR POSSESSIONS

"Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth."--Luke 12:15.

"'Little children, guard yourselves from idols."--1 John 5:21 (R.V.).

THE PETITION addressed to Christ, in this paragraph from which our text is selected, has been constantly made to Him in subsequent ages. Men are always demanding that He should divide the inheritance more equally. But our Lord did not come to adjust human relationships by the exercise of His autocratic will. He deals rather with the overreaching and grasping avarice which leads the rich to withhold, and the discontent which compels the poor to murmur. He saw in the demand of the suppliant a tendency to the same covetousness which prompted the other brother to withhold the portion of the inheritance, which was not justly his.

Our Lord announced the far-reaching truth that life does not consist in what we possess, but in what we are. We are rich, not in proportion to the amount standing to our credit in the bank, or to the acreage of our inheritance, but to the purity, strength, and generosity of our nature. When we lay up treasure for ourselves, we become paupers in God's universe. The only way of dealing with covetousness, which makes an idol of money or possessions, is to regard our property only as gifts entrusted to us for the benefit of others. Let us mortify the spirit of greed, which is so strong within us all, by sowing the acreage of our life as indicated in 2 Cor. 9:1ff.

Sensual appetite is an idol with many (Phil. 3:19). Eating and drinking, feasting and pleasure-seeking are idols before which many prostrate themselves. And there are other idols than these, for whenever any earthly object engrosses our soul, and intercepts the love and faith that should pass from us to God, it is an idol which must be overthrown. Whenever we can look up from anything that we possess into the face of God, and thank Him as its Giver, we may use and enjoy it without fear. We are not likely to make an idol of that which we receive direct from the hand of our Heavenly Father, whose good pleasure it is to give good gifts to His children (1 Ti 4:4, 5).

PRAYER - O Lord, the Portion of our Inheritance, give us grace, we pray Thee, never to aim at or desire anything out of Thee. What we can enjoy in Thee, give us according to Thy Will; what we cannot, deny us. AMEN. - F. B. Meyer. Our Daily Walk.

1 John 5:21b
Pearls
J C Philpot

A snake, a monkey, an onion, a bit of rag

"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21


Idolatry is a sin very deeply rooted in the human heart.

We need not go very far to find the most convincing  proofs of this. Besides the experience of every age and every climate, we find it where we would least expect it—the prevailing sin of a people who had the greatest possible proofs of its wickedness and folly; and the strongest evidences of the being, greatness, and power of God.

It is true that now this sin does not break out exactly in the same form. It is true that golden calves are not now worshiped—at least the calf is not, if the gold is. Nor do Protestants adore images of wood, brass, or stone.

But that rank, property, fashion, honor, the opinion of the world, with everything which feeds the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; are as much idolized now, as Baal and Moloch were once in Judea.

What is an idol?

It is that which occupies that place in our esteem and affections, in our thoughts, words and ways, which is due to God only. Whatever is to us, what the Lord alone should be—that is an idol to us.

It is true that these idols differ almost as widely as the peculiar propensities of different individuals. But as both in ancient and modern times, the grosser idols of wood and stone were and are beyond all calculation in number, variety, shape, and size. So is it in these inner idols, of which the outer idols are mere symbols and representations.

Nothing has been . . .
too base or too brutal,
too great or too little,
too noble or too vile,

from the sun walking in its brightness—to a snake,  a monkey, an onion, a bit of rag—which man has  not worshiped. And these intended representations  of Divinity were but the outward symbols of what  man inwardly worshiped. For the inward idol preceded  the outward—and the fingers merely carved what the  imagination had previously devised. The gross material  idol, then, is but a symbol of the inner mind of man.

But we need not dwell on this part of the subject. There is another form of idolatry much nearer home; the idolatry not of an ancient Pagan, or a modern Hindu—but that of a Christian.

Nor need we go far, if we would but be honest  with ourselves, to each find out our own idol . . .
what it is, how deep it lies, what worship it obtains, what honor it receives, and what affection it engrosses.

Let me ask myself, "What do I most love?"

If I hardly know how to answer that question, let me put to myself another, "What do I most think
upon? In what channel do I usually find my thoughts flow when unrestrained?"—for thoughts flow to the idol as water to the lowest spot.

If, then, the thoughts flow continually to . . .

the farm,
the shop,
the business,
the investment,
to the husband, wife, or child,
to that which feeds lust or pride,
worldliness or covetousness,
self-conceit or self-admiration;
that is the idol which, as a magnet, attracts
the thoughts of the mind towards it.

Your idol may not be mine, nor mine yours; and yet we may both be idolaters! You may despise or  even hate my idol, and wonder how I can be such  a fool, or such a sinner, as to hug it to my bosom! And I may wonder how a partaker of grace can  be so inconsistent as to love such a silly idol as yours! You may condemn me, and I condemn you. And the Word of God, and the verdict of a living conscience may condemn us both.

O how various and how innumerable these idols are! One man may possess a refined taste and educated mind. Books, learning, literature, languages, general information, shall be his idol. Music—vocal and instrumental, may be the idol of a second—so sweet to his ears, such inward feelings of delight are kindled by the melodious strains of voice or instrument, that music is in all his thoughts, and hours are spent in producing those harmonious sounds which perish in their utterance. Painting, statuary, architecture, the fine arts generally, may be the Baal, the dominating passion of a third. Poetry, with its glowing thoughts, burning words, passionate utterances, vivid pictures, melodious cadence, and sustained flow of all that is beautiful in language and expression, may be the delight of a fourth. Science, the eager pursuit of a fifth. These are the highest flights of the human mind. These are not the base idols of the drunken feast, the low jest, the mirthful supper—or even that less debasing but enervating idol—sleep and indolence, as if life's highest enjoyments were those of theswine in the sty.

You middle-class people—who despise art and science, language and learning, as you despise the ale-house, and ball field—may still have an idol. Your garden, your beautiful roses, your verbenas, fuchsias, needing all the care and attention of a babe in arms, may be your idol. Or your pretty children, so admired as they walk in the street; or your new house and all the new furniture; or your son who is getting on so well in business; or your daughter so comfortably settled in life; or your dear husband so generally respected, and just now doing so
nicely in the farm. Or your own still dearer SELF that needs so much feeding, and dressing and attending to.

Who shall count the thousands of idols which draw to themselves those thoughts, and engross those affections which are due to the Lord alone?

You may not be found out. Your idol may be so hidden, or so peculiar, that all our attempts to touch it, have left you and it unscathed. Will you therefore conclude that you have none? Search deeper, look closer; it is not too deep for the eye of God, nor too hidden for the eyes of a tender conscience anointed with divine eye-salve.

Hidden diseases the most incurable of all diseases. Search every fold of your heart until you find it. It may not be so big nor so ugly as your neighbor's. But an idol is still an idol, whether so small as to be carried in the coat pocket, or as large as a gigantic statue.

An idol is not to be admired for its beauty, or loathed for its ugliness—but to be hated because it is an idol.  "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21

J. C. Philpot. PEARLS.

1 John 5:21a
The History of an Idol, its Rise, Reign and Progress
J. C. Philpot, October, 1855
J. C. Philpot. Contemplations & Reflections.
"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21


Idolatry is a sin very deeply rooted in the human heart. We need not go very far to find of this the most convincing proofs. Besides the experience of every age and every climate, we find it where we would least expect it—the prevailing sin of a people who had the greatest possible proofs of its wickedness and folly, and the strongest evidences of the being, greatness, and power of God.


It amazes us sometimes in reading the history of God's ancient people, as recorded in the inspired page, that, after such wondrous and repeated displays of his presence, glory, and majesty, they should again and again bow down before stocks and stones. That those who had witnessed all the plagues of Egypt had passed through the Red Sea by an explicit miracle, were daily living on manna that fell from heaven and water that gushed out of the rock, who had but to look upward by day to behold the pillar of the cloud, and by night the pillar of fire to manifest the presence of Jehovah in their midst—that this people, because Moses delayed coming down from the Mount, should fall down before a golden calf, and say, "These are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt," does indeed strike our minds with astonishment.


And that this sin should break forth in them again and again through their whole history down to the period of the Babylonish captivity, in spite of all the warnings of their prophets, all the terrible judgments of God, all their repeated captivities, and, what would be far more likely to cure it, all their repeated deliverances, does indeed show, if other proof were lacking, that it is a disease deeply rooted in the very constitution of fallen man.


If this be the case, unless human nature has undergone a change, of which neither scripture nor experience affords any evidence, the disease must be in the heart of man now as much as ever; and if it exists it must manifest itself, for a constitutional malady can no more be in the soul and not show itself, than there can be a sickness in the body without evident symptoms of illness.


It is true that the disease does not break out exactly in the same form. It is true that golden calves are not now worshiped, at least the calf is not, if the gold be, nor do Protestants adore images of wood, brass, or stone. But that rank; property, fashion, honor, the opinion of the world, with everything which feeds the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, are as much idolized now as Baal and Moloch were once in Judea, and Juggernaut now is in the plains of Hindostan, is true beyond all contradiction.


But what is idolatry? To answer this question, let us ask another. What is an idol? Is not this the essence of the idea conveyed by the word, that an idol occupies that place in our esteem and affections, in our thoughts, words and ways, in our dependence and reliance, in our worship and devotedness, which is due to God only? Whatever is to us what the Lord alone should be, that is to us an idol. It is true that these idols differ almost as widely as the peculiar propensities of different individuals. But as both in ancient and modern times the grosser idols of wood and stone were and are beyond all calculation in number, variety, shape, and size, so is it in these inner idols of which the outer are mere symbols and representations.


Nothing has been too base or too brutal, too great or too little, too noble or too vile, from the sun walking in its brightness to a snake, a monkey, an onion, a bit of rag, which man has not worshiped. And these intended representations of Divinity were but the outward symbols of what man inwardly worshiped—for the inward idol preceded the outward, and the fingers merely carved what the imagination had previously devised. The gross material idol, then, whether an Apollo, "the statue which enchants the world," or a negro fetish, is but a symbol of the inner mind of man.


In that inner mind there are certain feelings and affections, as well as traditional recollections, which sin has perverted and debased, but not extinguished. Such are, a sense of a divine Creator, a dread of his anger and justice, a dim belief in a state after death of happiness or misery, an accountability to him for our actions, and a duty of religious worship. From this natural religion in the mind of man, a relic of the fall, sprang the first idea of idolatry—for the original knowledge of God being lost, the mind of man sought a substitute, and that substitute is an idol—the word, like the similar term "image," signifying a shape or figure, a representation or likeness of God.


Against this therefore, the second commandment in the Decalogue is directed. Now, this idea of representing God by some visible image being once established by the combined force of depraved intellect and conscience, the debased mind of man soon sought out channels for its lusts and passions to run in, which religion might consecrate; and thus the devilish idea was conceived and carried out, to make a god of SIN. Thus bloodshed, lust, theft, with every other crime, were virtually turned into gods named Mars, Venus, Mercury, and so on; and then came the horrible conclusion, that the more sin there was committed, the more these gods were honored. Need we wonder at the horrible debasement of the heathen world, and the utter prostration of moral principles produced by the worship of idols—or at the just abhorrence and wrath of God against idolatry?


But we need not dwell on this part of the subject. There is another form of idolatry much nearer home; the idolatry not of an ancient Pagan or a modern Hindoo, but that of a Christian.


Idolatry is the very breath of the carnal mind. All that "the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts," desires, thirsts after, is gratified by, or occupied with, is its idol—and so far as a Christian is under the influence of this carnal mind, this old man, this evil heart of unbelief, this fallen Adam-nature, this body of sin and death—all which are Scripture terms to express one and the same thing—he bows down to the idol set up in the chambers of imagery.


There is an old Latin proverb, that "love and a cough are two things impossible to be concealed;" and thus, though an idol may be hidden in the heart as carefully as Laban's teraphim in the camel's saddle, or the ephod and molten image in the House of Micah, (Judges 18:14), yet it will be discovered by the love shown to it, as surely as the suppressed cough of the consumptive patient cannot escape the ear of the physician.


Nor need we go far, if we would but be honest with ourselves, to find out each our own idol—what it is, and how deep it lies, what worship it obtains, what honor it receives, and what affection it engrosses. Let me ask myself, "What do I most love?" If I hardly know how to answer that question, let me put to myself another, "What do I most think upon? In what channel do I usually find my thoughts flow when unrestrained?" for thoughts flow to the idol as water to the lowest spot in a field.


If, then, the thoughts flow continually to the farm, the shop, the business, the investment, to the husband, wife, or child; to that which feeds lust or pride, worldliness or covetousness, self-conceit or self-admiration—that is the idol which, as a magnet, attracts the thoughts of the mind towards it.


Your idol may not be mine, nor mine yours; and yet we may both be idolaters. You may despise or even hate my idol, and wonder how I can be such a fool or such a sinner as to hug it to my bosom; and I may wonder how a partaker of grace can be so inconsistent as to love such a silly idol as yours. You may condemn me, and I condemn you; and the word of God's grace and the verdict of a living conscience condemn us both.


O how various and how innumerable those idols are! One man may possess a refined taste and educated mind. Books, learning, literature, languages, general information, shall be his idol. Music, vocal and instrumental, may be the idol of a second; so sweet to his ears, such inward feelings of delight are kindled by the melodious strains of voice or instrument, that music is in all his thoughts, and hours are spent in producing those harmonious sounds which perish in their utterance. Painting, statuary, architecture, the fine arts generally, may be the Baal, the dominating passion of a third. Poetry, with its glowing thoughts, burning words, passionate utterances, vivid pictures, melodious cadence, and sustained flow of all that is beautiful in language and expression, may be the delight of a fourth. Science, mathematical or mechanical, the eager pursuit of a fifth. These are the highest flights of the human mind; these are not the base idols of the drunken feast, the low jest, the mirthful supper, or even that less debasing but enervating idol—sleep and indolence, as if life's highest enjoyments were those of the swine in the sty.


An idol is not to be admired for its beauty or loathed for its ugliness, but to be hated because it is an idol. You middle-class people, who despise art and science, language and learning, as you despise the ale-house, and ballfield, may still have an idol. Your garden, your beautiful roses, your verbenas, fuchsias, needing all the care and attention of a babe in arms, may be your idol. Or your pretty children, so admired as they walk in the street; or your new house and all the new furniture; or your son who is getting on so well in business; or your daughter so comfortably settled in life; or your dear husband so generally respected, and just now doing so nicely in the farm. Or your own still dearer SELF that needs so much feeding, and dressing and attending to—who shall count the thousands of idols which draw to themselves those thoughts, and engross those affections which are due to the Lord alone?


You may not be found out. Your idol may be so hidden, or so peculiar, that all our attempts to touch it, have left you and it unscathed. Will you therefore conclude that you have none? Search deeper, look closer; it is not too deep for the eye of God, nor too hidden for the eyes of a tender conscience anointed with divine eye-salve. Hidden love is the deepest of all love; hidden diseases the most incurable of all diseases. Search every fold of your heart until you find it. It may not be so big nor so ugly as your neighbor's; but an idol is still an idol, and an image still an image, whether so small as to be carried in the coat pocket, or as large as a gigantic statue.

Every man has his idol; but it is not every man who sees it. Few groan under it.

"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21

"The dearest idol I have known,

Whatever that idol be,
Help me to tear it from my heart,
And worship only Thee."

J. C. Philpot. Contemplations & Reflections.


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