Unto you therefore which believe He is precious (27 January 2008)

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Octavius Winslow wrote a very encouraging book “The Precious Things of God”. In Chapter 1, he wrote on The Preciousness of Christ. He wrote:
“A FELT conviction of the preciousness of the Saviour has ever been regarded by enlightened ministers of the gospel as constituting a scriptural and unmistakeable evidence of the existence of divine life in the soul; and in moments when neither time nor circumstances would admit of the close scrutiny of a theological creed, or a nice analysis of spiritual feelings and emotions, the one and simple inquiry upon which matter is made to hinge has been - “What is your experience of the worth of the Saviour? is Christ precious to your heart?” And the answer to this question has been to the examiner the test and the measure of the soul’s spiritual and vital change. And how proper that it should be so. In proportion as the Holy Spirit imparts a real, intelligent sense of personal sinfulness, there will be the heart’s appreciation of the value, sufficiency, and preciousness of the Lord Jesus. An enlightened and thorough conviction of the nature and aggravation of the disease, will enable a physician to form a just conception of the remedial process by which it may be arrested and cured…..
Thus, as the conviction of our lost and undone condition deepens, as sin’s “exceeding sinfulness” unveils, as the purity and extent of God’s law opens, as the utter hopelessness and impotence of self is forced upon the mind, the glory, the worth, the suitableness, and the preciousness of Jesus will, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, present itself vividly to the mind and heart, as constituting the one only foundation and hope of the soul. The Bible recognises but two specific and distinctive characters - the SINNER - the SAVIOUR; and all others are but modifications of these. The saint is but the sinner converted, justified, pardoned, adopted, sanctified, saved, glorified. And all the official relations sustained by Christ in the economy of salvation are but so many varied and beautiful forms of the one Saviour, of whom it is said, “Neither is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Thus, then, as you feel your sinfulness, you will estimate the fitness and suitableness of the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. There will be a perfect agreement between your consciousness of guilt and your believing apprehension of the excellence of the Atonement to meet your case.” Your sinnership and Christ’s Saviourship will harmonise and dovetail in exact and beautiful fitness and proportion. Oh, what a divine and blessed arrangement is this! With what grandeur, yet with what simplicity, does it invest the scheme of salvation! What solemnity, yet what hope, does it throw around the present and the future of the soul! It seems to fathom the lowest depth of my sinfulness, while it lifts me to the loftiest height of God’s grace.” (Excerpts taken from pages 1 to 3 of “The Precious Things of God” by Octavius Winslow, published in 1860, reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria in 1993)
C.H. Spurgeon preached a very encouraging message “Christ Precious to Believers” in 1859 from this same passage in 1 Peter 2:7 which you can read from The Spurgeon Archive. This is also one of my favourite sermons :-)

4 Kind thoughts:

michelle said...

I am glad you found such positive encouragemment in church today.
Yes, i know all to well those feelings you talked about. it is as if you are the walking dead and you are in a place where no one can reach you.

Martin Tan said...

I greatly appreciate Octavius’s writings. Here’s a quote for mutual encouragement.

IT IS I

“Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” Mark 6:50

Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm. It is I who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it. It is I who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it. It is I who kindled the furnace, and will watch the flames, and bring you through it. It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will strengthen you to bear it. It is I who mixed your cup of grief, and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father’s will. It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth, and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child. It is I who have done it ALL.

I make the clouds my chariot, and clothe myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is my time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. It is I—your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good. It is I who permitted the enemy to assail you, the slander to blast you, the unkindness to wound you, the need to press you! Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above—a heaven sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clad in a robe of ebony.

I have sent all in love! This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all! In every stormy wind, in every darksome night, in every lonesome hour, in every rising fear, the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (commented on 28 Jan 2008)

My Life with Bipolar Disorder said...

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for your kind note. I am glad you understand how I feel when I was down with severe depression. It is a relief to know that someone understands!

Depression and bipolar are complex mental illnesses. Often there are various misconceptions, misunderstandings and stigmas associated with it.

Pastor David P Murray has 6 very informative video on “Depression and the Christians”. In his 6th lecture on “The Carers”, he wrote on the importance of studying mental illnesses, “As Christians, we surely want to be the person whom our loved ones turn to in time of need. And, when they do turn to us, we want to be able to help them and not hurt them further. It is, therefore, imperative that we learn about depression and other mental illnesses in order to avoid the very common mistakes that lay-people often make when dealing with the mentally ill, and in order to be of maximum benefit to those who are suffering.”

Pastor David wrote a very excellent article on “The Complexity” of depression which I found to be very balance in his views, to avoid dogmatism and the danger of viewing mental illnesses as purely physical, purely spiritual or purely mental. He encouraged us to recognise the exceeding complexity of mental illness and resist the temptation to propose and accept simple analysis and solutions. I have uploaded the article on my blog.

Take care, Michelle.

My Life with Bipolar Disorder said...

Hi Martin,

Thank you for your kind note. And welcome to my site!

I am glad you appreciate Octavius Winslow’s writings. And thank you for sharing the very encouraging portion from “It is I”. I am greatly encouraged by it and I believe other readers will find it so too.

It is indeed our greatest comfort, in all the trials and afflictions in our life, to consider that God is sovereignly in control and that He is mercifully working all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). It is uplifting and most consoling to know that even our failures, weaknesses and struggles can be used of the Lord to work for good when God glorifies Himself as He sanctifies us through them, and He draws us nearer to cast ourselves upon Him and as others witness His mercies in His dealings with us.

And it is particularly comforting to know that nothing happens to us by coincidence or accident. God encourages us in Matthew 10:29-32 “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.”

So our illnesses, trials and afflictions are sovereignly allowed by God for the testing of our faith, our sanctification, etc etc and the glory of God. May God enable us in our darkest moments and deepest trials to cry as Job did in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him:..” And may God enable us to hope in Him and echo with the Psalmist in Psalm 18:28 “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

May these comforting truths sustains and strengthens us as we press on in this pilgrim journey, seeking and serving our Lord as He enables us, until the day we enter into our eternal rest and to be with the Lord Jesus Christ Who loves us and gave His life for us.

Take care, Martin.

 

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