Christian Love 15: Love Bears and Believes All Things

By Hugh Binning

Love “bears all things.” By nature we are undaunted heifers, cannot bear anything patiently.  But love is accustomed to the yoke, —to the yoke of reproaches and injuries from others, to a burden of other men’s infirmities and failings.  We would all be borne upon others’ shoulders, but we cannot put our own shoulders under other men’s burden, according to that royal law of Christ, Romans 15:1—“We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” and Galatians 6:2—“ Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  That is the law of love, without question.

Love “believes all things.” Our nature is malignant and wicked, and therefore most suspicious and jealous, and apt to take all in the worst way. But love has much openness, honesty and humanity in it, and can believe well of every man, and believe all things as far as truth will permit.  It knows that grace can be beside man’s sins.  It knows that itself is subject to similar infirmities.  Therefore it is not a rigid and censorious judger; it allows as much latitude to others as it would desire of others.

It is true it is not blind and ignorant.  It is judicious, and has eyes that can discern between colors. Credit omnia credenda, sperat omnia speranda.-“It believes all things that are believable, and hopes all things that are hopeful.” If love doesn’t have sufficient evidences, yet she believes if there be some probabilities to the contrary, as well as for it.  The weight of love inclines to the better part, and so casts the balance of hope and persuasion; yet being sometimes deceived, she has reason to be watchful and wise, for “the simple believe every word.”  If love cannot have ground of believing any good, yet it hopes still. Qui non est hodie, cras magis aptus erit, says love, and therefore it is patient and gentle, waiting on all, if perhaps God may “give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,”—2nd Timothy 2:25. 

Love would account it both atheism and blasphemy, to say such a man cannot, will not find mercy.  But to pronounce of such as have often been accepted in the conscience of all, and sealed into many hearts, that they will never find mercy, that they have no grace, because of some failings in practice and differences from us, it wasn’t pronounced in sobriety but madness.  It is certainly love and indulgence to ourselves, that make us aggravate other men’s faults to such a height.   Self love looks on other men’s failings through a multiplying or magnifying glass, but she put her own faults behind her back. Non videtquod in mantica qua a tergo est. Therefore she can suffer much in herself but nothing in others, and certainly much self forbearance and indulgence can spare little for others.

But love is just contrary. She is most rigid on her own self, will her not pardon herself easily, knows no revenge but what is spoken of in 2nd Corinthians 7:11, self revenge, and has no indignation but against herself.  Thus she can spare much openness, honesty, and forbearance for others, and has little or nothing of indignation left behind to consume on others.

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

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Sweet Drops 8: Victorious King

By Richard Sibbes

And let all that has been spoken allure those that are not yet in the state of grace to come under Christ’s sweet and victorious government, for, though we will have much opposition, yet, if we strive, he will help us. If we fail, he will cherish us.  If we are guided by him, we will overcome.  If we overcome, we are sure to be crowned.  As for the present state of the church, we see now how forlorn it is, yet let us comfort ourselves that Christ’s cause will prevail.  Christ will rule, till his enemies become his footstool (Psalm 110:1), not only to trample upon, but to help him up to mount higher in glory.  Babylon will fall, “for strong is the Lord God who judges her” (Rev. 18:8). Christ’s judgment, not only in his children, but also against his enemies, will be victorious, for he is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).  God will not always suffer antichrist and his supporters to revel and swagger in the church as they do.


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle Edition, Loc. 2204 [Language modernized in few places by this site]


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 8

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:1

By R.C. Chapman

Let him kiss me with kisses of His mouth; for Your love is better than wine. Song of Solomon 1:1

You “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (1st Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16), we may speak with You freely, for You are the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:12) –You are our Friend—Beloved; Your Church nestles in the bosom of Your love.  We are Your bones and Your flesh (Ephesians 5:30). In eternal love with tender pity You rejoice over us, and cleave to Your Church, Which is Your body; we are many members, Lord; the one body.  You say, in a manner, we are Your very self.

Lord, Your glory does not confound us. You are our Great High Priest, bearing the iniquity of [even] our holy things.  Therefore, poor and needy, we draw near; and You sprinkle us with Your own blood, and raise us to yet greater and greater boldness of faith.—Oh my soul! The bolder, the humbler.  Consider who you speak with.  He doesn’t love to keep a dignified aloofness.  He is the Son of Man, the Son of God; the “friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18: 24): Coming to know Him will bring worship, reverence, confidence, love.

His heart yearns over you, my soul; and He takes it well, and a kindness, that you long after Him. He counts it the honor due to His name, when you with joy and love and all holy confidence cry out: “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth.”  He doesn’t forget that He is your husband.  Are you weary of all things but Him? Happy soul! This was light from Himself:  He gave it to you.  So is your own darkness felt, and all things under the sun vanity to you.  Yet! He has not taken your idols and left you with nothing:  He will fill you with Himself.

You may command Him; your weakness has power and will prevail; and if He seems not to answer for a while, or even so much as give you a good word or kind look, be sure to believe His truth and tender heart. Hope against Hope; in good time He, by powers of the Spirit, the Comforter, will so fill and overwhelm you with His love, that you will find your heart too narrow for the full tide of His kindness and comfort after you had been disappointed.

 


Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle, Loc. 52 [Language modernized in some places by this site.][ ] added by this site for clarity.


Excerpts of Mercy

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: This is 1:1.

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:8-1/2 —2/2          1:9          1:10          1:11          1:12          1:13          1:14          1:15          1:16

Some Drops of Sweetness 3

By Richard Sibbes

 

God calls him here his servant.  Christ was God’s servant in the greatest piece of service there ever was, a chosen and the choice servant who did and suffered all by commission from the Father.  In this we may see the sweet love of God to us, in the way he counts the work of our salvation by Christ his greatest service, and in that he will put his only beloved Son to that service.  He might well prefix it with “Behold” to raise up our thoughts to the highest pitch of attention and admiration.  In time of temptation, apprehensive consciences look so much to the present trouble they are in that they need to be roused up to behold him in whom they may find rest for their distressed souls.

In temptations it is safest to behold nothing but Christ the true brazen serpent, the true “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, (John 1:29).  This saving object[Christ] has a special influence of comfort to the soul, especially if we look not only on Christ, but also upon the Father’s authority and love in him.  For in all that Christ did and suffered as Mediator, we must see God in him reconciling the world to himself (2nd Cor. 5:19).

What a support to our faith is this,  that God the Father, the One offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption!  And what a comfort is this, that, seeing God’s love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be in Christ!  His love rests in a whole Christ, in Christ mystical, as well as Christ natural, because he loves him and us with one love.  Let us, embrace Christ, and in him God’s love, and build our faith safely on such a Savior who is given so high a commission.

See here, for our comfort, a sweet agreement of all three persons: The Father gives a commission to Christ; the Spirit gives to and adds holiness to it, and Christ himself executes the office of a mediator.  Our redemption is founded on the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity.

 


[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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Peter’s Masterpiece

I was reading 1st Peter 1 a few weeks ago.  This chapter is now one of my favorites.  It is a great summation of faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God.  If you would, please read this chapter.  1st Peter 1

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as aliens in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,   2  according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.  

The chosen ones of God were living as aliens in places into which they were dispersed.  They were made missionaries, [many by seemingly unfortunate circumstances to other peoples.]  God brings wonderful things out of seemingly bad things.  Those who are His children are aliens to this world.  The world does not understand us, why we do the things we do.  They misjudge our motives and hearts, they cannot figure us out.  We have become God’s children through the sanctification of the Spirit.  The Spirit most immediately to us, initiated our salvation.  He, in one way or another, turned our thoughts to Jesus, He drew us to Jesus, and Jesus reconciles us with God.  God led us to God, and God reconciles us with God. We have a sure and trustworthy salvation.   “and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Thank God, our salvation is His doing and keeping, and not our own.  May His grace and peace be multiplied to us.  May we come more and more to rely on His mercy, grace, and love for us, which will produce peace when trusted and relied on.

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,   

Oh, Blessed be Our Father, God, and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  This reminds us of God the Father’s love and loyalty to His Son Jesus Christ.  It is from this love of God the Father to God the Son, from which our faith in God’s love for us can rest.  There is not much in us practically, in our deficient morality, goodness, conduct, hearts; seen by us and others in this world, that is at all worthy of God’s love for us.  You see, this is not where our hope lies.  Our hope is only sure, steadfast and truly hopeful when resting on The Fathers love and acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is in the righteousness, love, obedience, the covering of Jesus Christ Himself, that we may have a living hope.   This is His wonderful and merciful gift to us.  This living hope, who is the living God, Who dwells within us indeed,  He is the source and only true Spiritual Life within us.  His dwelling within us is what brought us from death to life.  As Jesus was raised from the dead.

 “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

This same resurrection power has occurred in us, and continues to give us hope and life.  

”  and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. ”  

We have a sure, and powerful Living Hope within us.  The Ruler of All is within us, in a mysterious, but true way.  Though we may be feeble, and weak in ourselves, we do have access to great strength and power.  If only we had a fuller, deeper, more trusting faith in God to believe more fully in His power.  I hope, you and I will seek, trust and believe more of the mercy and grace of God for us, to help us experience more of His wonderfully powerful working within us.  May we share His great mercy and power more effectively with others, through His working in us. 


I will continue this at a later date, Lord willing.- Paul M.

John Bunyan’s Merciful Appeal

 

John Bunyan’s merciful appeal to sinners:

There is a people that therefore fear lests they should be rejected of Jesus Christ, because of the greatness of their sins; when, as you see here, such are sent to, sent to by Jesus Christ, to come to him for mercy: “Begin at Jerusalem.” Never did one thing answer another more fitly in this world, than this text this world, than this text fits such a kind of sinners.  As face answers face in the glass, so this text answers the necessities of such sinners.  What can a man say more, but that he stands in the rank of the biggest sinners? Let him stretch himself whither he can, and think of himself to the utmost, he can but conclude himself to be one of the greatest sinners.  And what then?  Why, the text meets him in the very face, and says, Christ offers mercy to the biggest sinners, to the very Jerusalem sinners.  What more can be objected?  No, he does not only offer them His mercy, but to them it is commanded to the offered in the first place: “Begin at Jerusalem.”  “Preach repentance and remission of sins among all nations: beginning at Jerusalem.”  Is not here encouragement for those that think, as far as wicked hearts go, they have no competition in the world?

Objection:  But I have a heart as hard as a rock.

Answer:  Well, but this only proves you are a greatest sinner.

 

Objection: But my heart continually frets against the Lord.

Answer:   Well, but this only proves you are a greatest sinner.

 

Objection:  But I have been desperate in sinful courses.

Answer:  Well, stand with the number of greatest sinners.

 

Objection:  But my gray head is found in the way of wickedness.

Answer:  Well, you stand in the rank of the greatest sinners.

 

Objection but I have not only a base heart, but I have lived an immoral life.

Answer:  You stand among those called the greatest sinners.  And what then?  Why the text swoops you all; you cannot object yourselves beyond the text.  It has a particular message to the greatest sinners.  I say it swoops you all.

 

Objection:  But I am reprobate.

Answer:  Now you are talking foolishly, and where you do not understand:  No sin, but the final impenitence, can prove a man a reprobate; and I am sure you have not arrived as yet to that; therefor you do not understand what you are saying, when making groundless conclusions against yourself.  Say you are a sinner, and I will say too;  Yes, say you are one of the greatest sinners, and spare not;  for the text is yet beyond you, is yet between hell and you; “Begin at Jerusalem” has yet a smile on you;  and you talk as if you were a reprobate, and the greatness of your sins prove you to be, When yet they in Jerusalem were not such, whose sins, I dare say, were such, both for greatness and heinousness, as you are not capable of committing beyond them; unless now, after you have received conviction that the Lord Jesus is the only Savior of the world, you should wickedly and despitefully turn yourself from him,  and conclude he is not to be trusted for life, and so crucify him for a cheat afresh……But I say, what is this to him that would fain be saved by Christ?  His sins did, as to greatness, never yet reach to the nature of the sins that the sinners intended by the text had made themselves guilty of.  He that would be saved by Christ, has an honorable esteem of Him; but they of Jerusalem preferred a murderer before him; and as for him, they cried, away, away with him, it is not fit that he should live.  Perhaps you will object, that you have a thousand times preferred stinking lust before him:  I answer, Be it so; it is but what is common to men to do; nor does the Lord Jesus make such a foolish life a bar to you, to forbid you coming to him, or a bond to his grace, that is might be kept from you; but admits of your turning to him away from sin, and He offers himself to you freely, as you stand among the Jerusalem sinners. 

Take therefore encouragement, man; mercy is, by the text held forth to the greatest sinners;  Yes, put yourself into the number of the worst, by believing you may be one of the first, and may not be put of until the greatest sinners are served;  for the greatest sinners are invited first; consequently if they come, they are likely to be the first that shall be served.


Text was slightly modernized -Paul M.

Link to page  https://wordpress.com/page/overcomebymercy.com/2495

When He Stills Our Hearts

I was listening to a song today.  A couple lyrics, set me to thinking.  “You steal my heart, and You take my breath away.”  Where are we standing with Him, with the almighty stiller of hearts, and taker of the breaths of men? Are we ready for the stilling of our own hearts and His taking of our own breaths away?  Has He “stolen” your “heart” before he stills your heart?

It is my hope that you as a reader have begun the supernatural detachment from the naturally precarious circumstance of man.  I hope He has had mercy on you, implanting within you His merciful, gentle and gracious Spirit.  I hope you have placed and are progressively placing more and more of your hope onto our only Hope.  I hope you have a growing peace with God.

I hope your thoughts and meditations have begun to be moved off this present world and on to a future living with our Hope.  I hope he has begun to live within you, and there is more and more evidence of this as time goes by towards our day.  I hope you are becoming more gracious, merciful, and gentle as time hurries on.  He is One of Mercy that triumphs over judgment and condemnation.  The father of most in this world is the expert on judgment and condemnation, the giver of “poison rain” which leads to so much hurt, harm and death.  Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

I hope you recognize within you a new Spirit of peacefulness and peace making, of gentleness and mercy.  This is the Spirit of God, a Spirit of love, who grieves our premature judgments and condemnations.  If there is more evidence of another spirit within you, one of jealousy, envy, covetousness, selfish ambition which slaughters and tramples mercy, there is a hope for you.  A Hope for you.  He is merciful and kind to the evil, and ungrateful, he is willing and does extend his hands for you and to you.  Turn away from this present world and its trappings which so effectively hold and overcome most.  Allow His gentle Spirit to draw you into the One who brings us to God, the God who brings us to God.  Seek him trusting His mercy and graciousness to be born with in you that you may become full of His mercy and His Spirit.- Paul M.

   Link to page:  https://wordpress.com/page/overcomebymercy.com/2254

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Better Hope

1st Corinthians 15: 53-58

53 For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Death, where is your sting?
    Hades,   where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 


 

As our Lord Jesus was raised from death, so we who are in Him will be raised and fully changed in the future.  This is our steadfast hope.  This is our better hope, a growing hope, a lively hope, an abounding hope.  We have this hope within on which to believe, to think, to dwell, to live.

The hopes of the world apart from Him, are fading, diminishing, and at last dying.  Life is constricting and receding for those who remain apart from Him.  Clinging to and grasping for this present world and its things is their dismal hope and lot apart from finding mercy.

green hope

We have a new hope, a green-colored hope, if you will.  This newness, this greenness within us has such a peaceful, joyful future.  Though it may seem weak and difficult to see at times, its future is sure.  Our own sin, the world, and our true enemy, may discourage and depress to a great degree our perceiving of this great hope within us.   This hope, this new creation, this perfect life within, is a sure thing.

We can go again and again to the Word of life, trusting the gentle and gracious Spirit to feed this newness, this greenness within through His Word.  We trust our Lord Jesus to keep this life within us, to be its Protector, its Deliverer, its Shepherd and its Refuge.  Even if we have allowed ourselves to be found in a place of cares, anxieties, and turmoil, the perfect greenness within is sheltered in His perfect mercy and strength.

Focusing on the strong promises and truths of our sure Hope, we can allow the deceiving hopes and cares of this world and its god to fade, to diminish, to die away more.   We can allow the final Victor to attain more victory for us now, today.  Our Victor is so merciful and gracious.  He gives us more and more of this victory as we do less and less.  All that is required of us is to let Him work righteousness within us through faith, to love His mercy, and to walk humbly and lowly, expecting Him to do the heavy lifting.   Ours is becoming more of a faith of believing, trusting, hoping, worshiping, and thanking rather than doing, straining, and trying in our own strength. (or rather our weakness)  To God, To Jesus, be the glory, for His mercy and love that works such a merciful exchange for us.  We can look forward to that day when the death and sin that remains with us is swallowed up by victory and life.  This is our better and great hope.