Of the Nature of Christ’s Mediation – John Flavel

jflfavelaHere’s another gem from John Flavel’s The Fountain of Life (you can download the entire book in pdf format here):

It implies, a necessity of satisfaction and reparation to the justice of God. For the very design and end of this mediation was to make peace, by giving full satisfaction to the party that was wronged. The Photinians, and some others, have dreamed of a reconciliation with God, founded not upon satisfaction, but upon the absolute mercy, goodness, and free-will of God.

“But concerning that absolute goodness and mercy of God, reconciling sinners to himself, there is a deep silence throughout the scriptures:” and whatever is spoken of it,upon that account, is as it works to us through Christ, Eph. 1: 3, 4, 5.Acts 4: 12. John 6: 40. And we cannot imagine, either how God could exercise mercy to the prejudice of his justice,which must be, if we must be reconciled without full satisfaction; or how such a full satisfaction should be made by any other than Christ. Mercy, indeed moved in the heart of God to poor man; but from his heart it found no way to vent itself for us, but through the heart blood of Jesus Christ: and in him the justice of God was fully satisfied, and the misery of the creature fully cured.

And so, as Augustine speaks, “God neither lost the severity of his justice in the goodness of mercy, nor the goodness of his mercy in the exactness of his severity.” But if it had been possible God could have found out a way to reconcile us without satisfaction, yet it is past doubt now, that he has pitched and fixed on this way. And for any now to imagine to reconcile themselves to God by any thing but faith in the blood of this mediator, is not only most vain in itself, and destructive to the soul, but most insolently derogatory to the wisdom and grace of God.

And to such I would say, as Tertullian to Marcion, whom he calls the murderer of truth,“spare the only hope of the whole world, O thou who destroyest the most necessary glory of our faith!” All that we hope for is but a fantasy without this.

Peace of conscience can be rationally settled on no other foundation but this; for God having made a law to govern man, and this law violated by man; either the penalty must be levied on the delinquent, or satisfaction made by his surety. As good no law, as no penalty for disobedience; and as good no penalty, as no execution.

He therefore that will be made a mediator of reconciliation betwixt God and man, must bring God a price in His hand, and that adequate to the offence and wrongs done him, else he will not treat about peace; and so did our Mediator.

-The Fountain of Life, PDF version p.81.

The Lamb is All the Glory

Our church has been working through Romans 5 and it has reminded me of just how merciful God has been to me. My hope has been strengthened. My soul has been encouraged. And I have grown a new affection for an old hymn titled “The Sands of Time are Sinking.” Here are my favorite portions of it.

That’s all :)

-h.

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of Heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love!
The streams of earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fullness His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The King there in His beauty, without a veil is seen:
It were a well spent journey, though seven deaths lay between:
The Lamb with His fair army, doth on Mount Zion stand,
And glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face;

I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.

Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

Spurgeon on Philippians 1:6

spurjI had the honor of preaching on Philippians 1:6 today. As soon as the sermon is posted on my church’s website, I’ll provide a link for any who are interested in listening. Until then, here is Spurgeon on the same text.

There is a world of argument in the quiet words which the Apostle uses. He is confident, knowing what he does of the Character of God, that He who
has begun a good work in His saints will perform it until the day of Christ.
[...]
Notice the time mentioned in the text—the good work is to be perfected in the day of Christ, by which we suppose is intended the Second Coming of our Lord. The Christian will not be perfected until the Lord Christ shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the trumpet of the archangel, and the Voice of God.

That day of the Second Coming is set as the day of the finished work which God has begun, when without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, body, soul, and spirit, shall see the face of God with acceptance, and forever and ever rejoice in the pleasures which are at God’s right hand. This is what we are looking forward to—that God who taught us to repent will wholly Sanctify us; that He who made the briny tears to flow, will wipe every tear from that same eye; that He who made us gird ourselves with the sackcloth and the ashes of penitence, will yet gird us with the fair white linen which is the righteousness of the saints! He who brought us to the Cross will bring us to the crown! He who made us look upon Him whom we pierced, and mourn because of Him, will cause us to see the King in His beauty, and the land that is very far off. The same dear hand that struck, and afterwards healed, will in the latter days caress us! He who looked upon us when we were dead in

sin, and called us into Spiritual Life, will continue to regard us with favor till our life shall be consummated in the land where there is no more death, sorrow, nor sighing! Such is the Truth of God which the text evidently teaches us.
Amen!
-h.