Christian Love 19: Forgiving and Being Forgiven

By Hugh Binning

If God has forgiven me so many grievous offences, if he has pardoned so heinous and innumerable injuries, that amount to a kind of infiniteness in number and quality, O how much more am I bound to forgive my brethren a few light and trivial offences? Col. 3:13—”Forbearing one another, if any man has a quarrel against any, so also you do.” Eph. 4:32—”And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even a God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” With what face can I pray, “Lord, forgive me my sins,” when I may meet with such a retort, you cannot forgive your brethren’s sins, infinitely less both in number and degree?  Matt. 6:15—”But if your do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.”  What unparalleled ingratitude were it, what monstrous wickedness, that after he has forgiven all our debt, because we desired him yet we should have no compassion on our fellow servants even as he had pity on us!

O! what a dreadful sound will that be in the ears of many Christians, “O you wicked servant, I forgave you all your debt, because you desired me! Shouldn’t you also have had compassion on your servants, even as I has pity on you?  And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him.  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts do not forgive every one his brother their trespasses,” —Matt.18:32-35. 

When we cannot dispense with one penny, how should he dispense with his talents?  And when we cannot pardon ten, how should he forgive ten thousand? When he has forgiven my brother all his iniquity, may not I pardon one?  Should I impute that which God will not impute, or discover that which God has covered? How should I expect he should be merciful to me, when I cannot show mercy to my brother?  Ps. 18:25—”With the merciful you will show yourself merciful.”  Should I, for one or few offences, hate, bite, and devour him for whom Christ died, and loved not his life to save him? —Rom.14:15 and 1st Cor. 8:11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language modernized in places by this site.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Drops 6: Weak but His

By Richard Sibbes

Let us assure ourselves that God’s grace, even in this imperfect state, is stronger than man’s free will in the state of original perfection.[Adam] It is founded now in Christ, who, as he is the author, so he will finish, [or complete] our faith (Heb.12:2). We are under a more gracious covenant.

What some say of rooted faith,” fides radicata, that it continues, while weak faith may come to nothing” seems to be contradicted by this Scripture; for, as the strongest faith may be shaken, so the weakest, where truth is, is so far rooted that it will prevail.

Weakness with watchfulness will stand, when strength with too much confidence fails.  Weakness with acknowledgement of it, is the best place and thing for God to perfect his strength in; for consciousness of our weaknesses drive us out of ourselves to him in whom our strength lies.

From this it follows that weakness may be consistent with assurance of salvation.  The disciples, even with all their weaknesses, are bidden to rejoice that there names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).  Failings, with struggle, in growing in holiness should not weaken the peace of our being justification and assurance of salvation.  It doesn’t matter as much what weakness is in us, as what good; but how we think of them; not what our particular failings are so much as what is the thread and tenor of our lives, for Christ’s dislike for the things that are amiss in us turns not to hatred of us, our persons but to the victorious conquering of all our infirmities[weaknesses].

Some have, after struggles, wondered at the goodness of God that so little and such trembling faith should have upheld them in so great combats, when Satan had almost caught them.

And, indeed, it is to be wondered at, how much a little grace will prevail with God for acceptance, and over our enemies for victory, if the heart is upright.

such is the goodness of our sweet Savior that he delights still to show his strength in our weaknesses.

 


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, kindle, Loc. 1884, [Language modernized in places by this site [] ours.


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 6

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Manton’s Merciful Appeals

By Thomas Manton

For the other sort, who are kept from coming to trust Christ by their own fears, they are likely to say things like,

“It is true there is mercy in Christ for sinners, but Christ has not callrd me personally.”

– My brothers, what are you looking for? An audible voice to speak to you, You John, You Thomas, etc.? In the the tenderness of the gospel you are included as well as others, and why will you exclude yourselves? If God says sinners, you should reply, “I am the greatest sinner”.

“I remember it said, in John 10:3, Christ calls hi sheep by name, and leads them forth. How does Christ call them by name?”

-By speaking particularly to their case, as if he tapped them on the shoulder, and said; “Here is comfort for you.” As at a feast, when there is a dish that we set on the table , though all are free to take from it, yet we say, Here is a dish for me.”  So you should apply yourselves and take your own portion;  though it be put forward to everyone, when God directs his messengers to speak particularly to your case, that is all the calling by name you need, since prophesies are ceased, so you should say, This dish was provided for my hungry conscience, intended for me,..But they will reply,

“Sure there is no mercy for me, I am so unworthy.”

-I answer—The invitation does not look for worth, but thirst: Rev.22:17, “Let him that is thirsty come, and whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely.” You are not worthy, but you are thirsty, or else why are you groaning as you are?

-And by the way take notice of the pride that is in legal dejection.[disqualifying yourself through the law]

Men unwilling to come to Christ; would like to be worthy before they come to him; and therefore the apostle says: “For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Rom 10:3. A proud man would attempt to establish a righteousness in himself, and is reluctant to low themselves to take all from another;…

-The more the need to come to Christ; he came to call sinners. Matt.9:13. It doesn’t’ matter what you have been, but what you could be; Christ does not call us because we are holy but that we may become holy. Is it rational to say, “I am too poor to take charity, I am too dirty to take a shower?

But they have refused so many call already, and scorned God’s counsel.

-Wisdom calls scorners, Prov.1:22. “Turn you scorners; how long will you delight in scorning?” It is a mercy that you have been able to hear one more call; don’t increase your guilt that you complain about.

But I don’t know how to come to Christ.

-The blind and the lame are invited to the wedding, Matt.22, and wisdom calls fools, Prov.9:4, “Whosoever is simple”. The stray lamb is brought home on the shepherd’s shoulders, Luke 15.  Oh, that these words might be spirit and life to you!

 


[Language slightly modernized in places by this site.]

Christian Love 3: A Bundle of Graces

By Hugh Binning

 

 

Unity in judgment is very important for the wellbeing of Christians. But Christ’s last words persuade this, that unity in love is more essential and central. [to his will]  This is the badge [or evidence] he left to his disciples.  If we cast away this unity of love because of every different understanding and opinion of mind, we disown our master, and disclaim his own given badge. [or evidence]

The apostle Paul gives a high note of commendation on love, when he speaks of it as the bond of perfection. “Above all these things”  He says, “walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.” I am sure it doesn’t have such a high place in the minds and practice of Christians now, as has in the roll of the members of the new man spoken of here.  Here it is above all.  With us it is below all, even below every understanding of doubtful truths.  An agreement in the in the formation of an idea of truth in any poor petty controversial matter of the present times, is made the badge [or evidence]  of being a true Christian, and set in the highest place above all which the apostle mentions, in the 12th verse, “a heart of compassion[or mercies], kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance.” [or longsuffering]  No, love itself is but a waiting handmaid to this mistress.

But let is consider the significance of character the apostle puts on love. It is a bond of perfection, as it were, a bundle of graces, and chain of virtues, even the very cream and flower of many graces combined.  It is the sweet result of the united force of all graces.  It is the very head and heart of the new man, which we are invited to walk in, “ above all walk in love.”  All these fore-mentioned perfections are bound and tied together, by the girdle of kind-heartedness and love.  When love is born and brought forth, it may be said Gad, for a troop comes, chorus virtutum, “a troop or company of virtues” which it leads and commands.  Love has a tender heart, for it has a “heart of mercies,” –such a compassionate and melting temper of spirit, that the misery and hardship, whether of body or spiritual, of other men, makes an impression on it.  And therefore love is the Christian sympathy which affects itself with others’ afflictions.  If others be moved, it moves itself through comfort and sympathy.  This is not only extended to physical weaknesses, sicknesses and disabilities but, most of all to weaknesses and illnesses of mind and heart, error, ignorance, darkness, falling into and giving into temptation to sin.  We are made the priest to God our Father, [as Christ’s body] (Rev.1:6) to have compassion on those who are unknowledgeable of the way of salvation, We also ourselves are beset with weakness,(Heb.5:2)  Then, love has a humble mind, “humbleness of mind,” or else it could not stoop and show love and acceptance to others seen by most as inferior, and therefore Christ exhorts above all to lowliness.  “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.”

 


[Language slightly modernized in places by this site]


Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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Accepting and Rejecting Condemnation

By Paul M.

 

I saw something, that speaks a lot of truth: it was something like this:

“I can recognize a judgmental person as soon as a see them.”

This is true of many of us.  Too often this is true of me.  As I grew up I felt very judged and condemned by many.  This has left its damages to me.  In many situations and environments I come into almost expecting judgment and condemnation.  Many times I’m sure, I imagine it from some where it does not exist.

This is something the Lord has been working with me on.  Lord Jesus says:

 “Therefore be merciful,
    even as your Father is also merciful.
 Don’t judge,
    and you won’t be judged.
Don’t condemn,
    and you won’t be condemned.
Set free,
    and you will be set free.”1

I have found these words of the Lord to be true, as much as I have allowed myself to experience them, at least.  When I give others the “benefit of the doubt” even when there is much evidence to the contrary, there is a freedom.  A freedom from condemnation. I am embracing the love and mercy of God as I am understanding it and giving it to others.  His mercy is passing through me as a vessel of mercy.   Judgment on the other hand does not work out well for me.  I tend to judge those who “I think” are judgmental and or harsh, but who is to say my judgment is right. Even if I was right 9 out 10 times, the tenth person suffers unjust judgment.  Mercy is undeserved anyway.  When I become judgmental and defensive, anger and or bitterness is the result.  This is a very unpleasant state.  I am allowing my own judging and condemning to block up and distort my understanding, view and experience of God’s mercy to me, to us.

I want to be slow to judge and condemn even the most obvious offenders.  This is my desire and what I am aiming for, but I’m not close, but I will keep looking in faith and hope for Lord to make this more true in my life.

Lord Jesus says:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”2

Loving those who are somewhat deserving of our love is a low thing.  God calls us to a higher love.  A love which loves and does good to those who hate and hurt us.  This is hard, this is where the “good fight” of faith comes in.  This is a war.  That we would learn to respond to our judges, our condemners, those who hurt us with supernatural love and mercy.  I know those of us who are His children have it within us to do this.  He, His gentle and merciful Spirit is within us.

I have come to use a way of thinking that has helped me, some.  In a sense I am condemned, anything in me that is not renewed, and changed by God, has been condemned already.  I fully agree with the condemnation of any sin or remaining corruption within me.  I accept God’s condemnation of this remaining sin and sinner.  This part of me deserved the cross Jesus took for me, it deserves hell Jesus saved me from.  By faith this sinner has already been dealt with on the cross.   So why should I get so upset when others condemn this sinner also.  When I am condemned I can agree with my condemners.  “Yes, you are exactly right.”   “Thank God, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  We can accept condemnation from others without getting so defensive, yet in another sense we are believing gospel mercy and love to reject condemnation, as now we are credited with complete righteousness and full acceptance with God.  Our solid standing is on perfect righteousness and no condemnation at all.  Practically there is still much to judge and condemn within one another, if we so choose.  Practically we spend much time in Romans 7, but by faith we are truly Romans 8 believers.  The Enemy of our souls would have us believe our deserved condemnation of our sin, extends to undo our state of no-condemnation in Christ.  It won’t and it can’t, but the Enemy many times practically convinces us otherwise.

The Lord tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven, so the mercy we give will be correspondent with the mercy we receive, accept and love from our God.(Father, Son, Spirit) I hope to love His mercy more and more.  I hope this for you also.  Fight this War.


  1. Luke 6: 36-37
  2. Matthew 5: 44-45a

 

Its a War, Blackbird Blackbird

God’s Mercy Revealed

John 3:16

   For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.


 

This is the mercy of God revealed for us.  God so loves us that He incredibly humbled and lowered Himself to become a man.  God the Father sent His own Son to become a merciful exchange for us.  His Son Jesus lived the life we could and can never live in ourselves.  He lived a perfectly righteous and Father-pleasing life in our place.  Jesus chose to be so greatly lowered as to die a humiliating and excruciatingly painful death process because of mercy and love.  He gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, the only acceptable and sufficient sacrifice for us.

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Jesus takes our sin on Himself.  In exchange, He gives us His perfect righteousness and His Spirit, creating a new creation with His perfection within.  We as individual persons all need this merciful exchange worked within us.  We are all sinners; we all miss the mark.  We all fall short of the perfect righteousness required as to be in the presence of such a Holy, pure God.  We must be covered and credited with the perfection of Jesus: His righteousness, His obedience, His faith, His love.  We have absolutely no righteousness, obedience, faith, or love of our own to offer.

We must allow the infinitely powerful yet very gentle Spirit of God to draw us to this working of the merciful exchange for and within us.  God (Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious, and loving beyond our best thoughts of Him.  Trust God that he wants to save whomever will come to Him.  He desires all to be saved and come to know His mercy and love.  (1st Timothy 2:4)

Will you trust this good and all powerful God of the universe?  Please reject and turn away from your own corrupted, and damaged thought processes.  Trust the enlightening and illuminating Spirit of God to change your thought processes into those receptive of this most eminent gift.

You may be hesitant to give up control of your life.  To find new life and escape eternal destruction, you have to dive or allow yourself to fall into His mercy and care.  You will have to say to yourself “if I perish, I perish, Jesus is my only hope.” He will save the needy, poor, and desperate who cry out and continue to cry out to him.  I hope that as we think about His goodness and graciousness together, you will dive into His infinite ocean of mercy and love. I am confident you will come to experience His love if you persistently seek Him.

 


Next (TOC)

Not Forgotten

God’s children will not be forgotten by Him.  He will pursue us and remind us of Himself.  His faithfulness ties us to Himself.  We who have been bound to Him, by His own faithfulness can be reassured. 2nd Timothy 2:13 “ If we are faithless,    He remains faithful.    He can’t deny himself.” He is a faithful […]

The Forgiver

religious-2144550_960_720Psalm 130: 1-5

Out of the depths I have cried to you, Yahweh.
Lord, hear my voice.
    Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions.
If you, Yah, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
    therefore you are feared.
I wait for Yahweh.
    My soul waits.
    I hope in his word.


 

God has revealed His mercy and love to us through Jesus.  In Jesus, in faith in the righteousness of Jesus and the acceptability of His great merciful exchange, is hope.  This is where our hope must be centered.  Our hope cannot be centered in our own goodness, our own sinless life, sinless day, or sinless minute, this is not attainable anyway.   If you, Yah, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?  We cannot stand for a minute in any supposed righteousness of our own.  We must trust in a mercy that pardons, that covers our ongoing sin.  We must and for our own peace of mind, trust God the Forgiver.  He has gone to such lengths to provide this covering, this passover for our Sin.  God has mercifully and graciously provided for us a covering to rest under, a covering by which to approach and come to Him under.

True fear of God, is birthed out of a well grounded hope in His forgiveness.  A fear of God, unaware of the forgiving, merciful and good character of God, does not work.  Without a true fear, in the true God,  Sin becomes unconquerable.  Sin will become the end all be all of our faith.  Our faith will become dominated and ruled by a preoccupation and over dwelling on sin.  We will become more aware of sin, than of our Savior, more aware of sin than mercy.  We will find ourselves trapped by sin.  Kept away from Jesus by our sin.  We will become sin searchers, searching for sin in others, condemning others as we choose condemnation rather than the mercy, graciousness and forgiveness of God.

Sin is not the end all be all of our faith.  The glory of God, is His forgiveness, His mercy, His love, revealed most brilliantly, in Jesus, God and man.  The glory of God is in the His character and goodness, not in ours.  We being proud, self-centered, and self-loving creatures want to turn things upside down.  We are very much tempted by our vileness, our humiliation, the fallen state of our human nature to distrust God.  We must deal with our own sin, we must clean ourselves up, we must confess every known sin, we must work for our own freedom from sin.  We must have a greater part in our salvation than God himself does, then come to God.  This only leads to more sin and worse sin.  If we distrust our God, and His way for reconciliation with him, we will not love Him.  Not loving and knowing God, we will not love others.  We are guilty of greater sins when seeking through condemnation, no matter how moral our lives may seem to ourselves or others.

But there is forgiveness with you, therefore you are feared.  This is our well anchored hope.  There is forgiveness with God, there is forgiveness in Jesus.  As we come to God, as sons, daughters, friends, and loved ones confident in our covering, our infinitely costly covering, our sin will be lessened correctly.  We will sin less, as we are relating to God rightly.  We will love God the Father, as we know Him, as a merciful, loving and gracious Father who provides for us.  He provides for us our greatest needs.  We will be more gracious to others in their sin, for our faith is placed above our sin.  Our faith is placed  in the mercy, grace, and love of God that superabounds our sin.  

 I wait for Yahweh.  My soul waits.  I hope in his word.  We must constantly remind ourselves of the good news of the gospel of Christ.  The good news can so quickly turn into bad news, when we are not thinking correctly.  We are so forgetful and easily moved from our sure hope, to a faulty hope.  We must go again, and again to the word, to remind us of the super abounding goodness of God revealed in Jesus.  The super abounding hope that surpasses our own daily experience.  Wait for this hope to have fruition in our lives, through the work of God, the keeping of Jesus, the gracious and gentle working of His Spirit.