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February 5, 2021 3:00 am
Students have been known to occasionally ask why do we need to know this. Sometimes it seems as if school subjects are practical when God is your teacher in the Bible is your textbook. The lessons always matter today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg describes the personal guidance God provides.
As he instructs those who are willing to learn.
Some of us have been apprentices. Some of us have been under the tutelage of others and we have known what it is to be under the watchful eye of those who are our instructors. The objective of course is the one who's in the course of training may become successful and efficient. Now these kind of pictures I perhaps are not as good as the picture of a mother teaching her son or her daughter to walk. Maybe sometime since you remember this experience you may have seen somebody in the process of it. Not long ago and you realize that the mother hardly takes her eyes off the child starts off as they're able to get up and bounce around a little and usually she has both of her hands out holding the hands either behind and urging the little one forward or in front and beckoning them towards her when she feels that there is enough steadiness without the complete hands and this usually goes down to two fingers and when she has managed it with two fingers. She often goes down just to her two little fingers if I remember correctly, until eventually the point comes where having watched and watch them watch eventually the grasp is removed and the little one goes off on her own be a strange thing if your mother was doing every when you're in seventh grade when and be very very embarrassing. At the at the at the elementary school events know the mother never take her eyes off, but eventually she lets grow our heavenly father is just as tender in his care, watching out for is if you look at 18 verse of the next chapter you see that it says the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those who spoke is in his unfailing love. The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him very played in the school orchestra are you saying and acquire and you performed in some event in your parents came to see the rapture father was coming lately from work and you were searching constantly out into the auditorium to see if you could see your father and to see if I actually he was there and if he was watching made such a difference just to be under his watchful eye here then verse eight we have a wonderful reminder of the vigilance and the intimate care of Almighty God.
If you think about this for a moment or two and allow your mind to range around it and think about the vastness of the universe. Think about the extent of human population. Think about the company of God's people as fast as it is transcending racial barriers and the barriers of time and space in many ways and then say to yourself, this God who is sovereign over the affairs of all of these billions of people actually knows my name and cares about me and has promised to put me in his school and to provide me with instruction that is vital and practical and intensely caring. But as I suggested last time, it is possible for their state to kind of in juice in the reader sort of dreamy thoughtlessness or carelessness. In verse nine comes like somebody grabbed a tumbler of water and pitched it right in our chin leaking as a and causing us to think very seriously about things, their state could make us perhaps stop thinking in verse nine is a reminder to us that we didn't stop thinking so that brings us to the final point.
Out of the four that we had. Namely, that this instruction is not only vital and practical and watchful, but it is rational, rational, the notion here in verse nine I think you would agree is not of confronting is with the horse and the mule with the issues of irrationality or form of stubborn willfulness reminder of the need for pressure and constraint. If were ever going to bring these massive creatures under control. That is exactly the picture, which Jeremiah uses when he describes the condition of the people of God, not paying attention to the requirements of God. Isaiah describes it in terms of sheep who are going astray.
In Jeremiah chapter 8 he describes as as those who are like horses plunging into battle. I think that's the phraseology uses Jeremiah chapter 8 and verse six. I have listened attentively but they do not say what is right.
No one repents of his wickedness and one of I done each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle, even the stork in the sky knows or appointed seasons and the dog the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know the requirements of the law in the picture that he uses for this will for waywardness is that of a horse that is unconstrained and untamed. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit, and by bridal in other words, instead of acting emotionally or subjectively or even irrationally we are, says the sinus to be those who are in Pauline terminology from Romans 12 being transformed by the renewing of our minds so that the Christian experience is a call to think it is not a call to the disengagement of our minds is not a call to some kind of subjective journey, whereby whatever we feel moving eyes and steering us is sufficient to constrain our activities. That is a dangerous road to go if we are not to be like the horse of the meal which have no understanding and we are to rationally sensibly thoughtfully and if we are to be put in the school of God's instruction.
What is it that God uses to bring rational constraints on the minds of those who are his own heart if you like putting it in a series of questions.
How is the child of God to be revised or made Y's, or experience joy or live in the light, I converted and revived the answer in every case and Sam 19 is the same. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul, the statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart the commandments of the Lord are radiant giving life to the eyes to get how is the child of God, then not to be like this kind of silly animal, but rather moving in the direction of God's purposes, I I think we've spoken in the past about the notion that is alive and well in our generation that the reason that man, particularly, are no longer enjoying all that God has for them is because they have not been given permission to live from their hearts and 49 authorizing me to give you his name but he suggested the reason that men in contemporary America not as effective as they might be is because no one is given permission to live from their hearts. Undershirt is exactly what that means except that he goes on to say that instead of having been given permission to live from their hearts. They are simply living in the light of what they should do or what they ought to do and of the call to should end the call to all, says the author has left these men simply tired and bored while dealing that's really the answer or would you rather go with the one who said the root cause of our moral flagging's is that we have neglected God's law. In other words, the very thing that the author says we need to get away from is the thing that another says we need to draw close to him and remind you that the catechisms can help us when we finding difficulty in getting her way around. So, for example, in the shorter catechism will very quickly get to the sensor. Question one. We know what is the chief end of man we know the answer to that, to glorify God question to most of us don't know question to what rule has God given to us to direct us as to how we may glorify and enjoy him the answer to that is the word of God. In the old and New Testament question three. What do the Scriptures principally teach the Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what Judy God requires of man. The 39 question picks that up. What is the Judy which God requires of man answer the Judy which God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will now says John Murray. This statement of this position is exceedingly distasteful to many phases of modern thought, both within and without the evangelical family. It is agreed that the conception of an externally revealed and imposed code of Judy norm of right feeling thought and conduct is entirely out of accord with the liberty and spontaneity of the Christian life. We are told that conformity to the will of God must come from within, and therefore any stipulation or prescription from without, in the form of well defined presets is wholly alien to the spirit of the gospel is inconsistent.
They say with the spirit or principal of love don't speak of law, nor of moral precepts, nor of a court of morals speak of the law of love. I was struck by quote and I know the quote when in the course of my preparation for Psalm 32 I turned to a volume that I don't often go to bed.
It was lying on the floor along with a number of others and that is the interpreter's Bible commentary and I decided why don't I just look and see what the interpreter has to say concerning this statement here.
Do not be like the horse or the mule and this is what he says near rules and regulations, sourly obeyed are not enough. Henceforth, we are not to be under law but under grace.
But in Romans 614 number things to notice it is not my purpose to take that apartment. One of the things is to note the very negative way in which the notion of obedience is addressed to notice that mere rules and regulations, sourly obeyed. Let's drop the mere and let's drop the sourly obeyed.
For there is no sense in which the rules and regulations are near rules and regulations and there is no call in the whole of the Bible to obey those rules and regulations with the disposition that is sour or is tainted careful reading of our Bibles and I urge that upon you makes it very very clear that God's law is the rule by which we as Christians reshape our lives after the image of Christ.
We know our Bibles well enough to know that the law of God is such that it cannot justify is therefore as Christians we are not under the law is a way of justification not only incidentally seeing the laws. The dynamic for our sanctification. But Samuel Bolton in an earlier era helps us when he says the law sends us to the gospel that we may be justified and the gospel sends us to the law again to inquire what is our duty in being justified because if you read the 10 Commandments you're a lawbreaker right and are you try to obey the law, the worse it gets, and people tell you, no tribal try a little harder.
Confess your sins and try a little harder as if somehow another. The 10 Commandments was the latter of which we climb and when we finally make it to the top rung, then we can be sure of going into heaven but every time we start up the ladder, we find that we can get beyond number three or number five and number back down again. And that is purposeful because the law cannot said is right before God and so when we realize that we are in this predicament we say where do I go now. The answers I go to the gospel that Jesus is The law in its perfection that Jesus died for the fight that I am a lawbreaker and a sinner and that Jesus promises to credit those who believe with a very righteousness of his perfect life and the benefits of his atoning death. But having been sent to the gospel in order to be put right with God were not then laugh just to wander willy-nilly around the universe deciding what to do on the basis of how we feel that we are sent back to the moral law as the means for showing us what it means to live as justify using the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and our discovery of its significance does not fulfill in my life in your life a passion of righteousness. Then we have actually misinterpreted the complete scheme of divine redemption.
Those whom God justifies. He sanctifies he conforms us to the image of his son, and the mechanism that he employs under the spirit of God unless were going to be stubborn and irrational like horses and mules, is none other than the law of God. Now for those of you. So I'm not sure I fully grasp all of this, let me turn.
Do you simply as I can. If you go around with your ears open you will very very quickly come up against somebody who will suggest to you that really all that we need to do what needs to be done is to go with the judgments of our own heart and just, whatever our hearts prompt us to do.
After all, we been given a new high is we have been given a new heart. But when the writer to the Hebrews describes the nature of that new heart and in in Hebrews 10. He quotes Jeremiah 31 and he says that the new heart that we've been given is perfectly shaped to take the law of God before your Christian when you come up against all that stuff is just a complete aggravation is all goodness crazy what you mean. You can tell lies. I need to tell lies going to be a successful salesman. If I can't lie about the delivery time on my product. What you mean.
You can covet the neighbor's car.
I just love looking out the window and just an end and the law condemns and condemns and condemn and then we discover in Jesus, the transforming power and suddenly the law From an evangelical ability is now our delights. Jesus said, I like to do your will and will and the genuine Christian reveals the fact of the genuine nature of regeneration in a life of obedience. Remember Jesus said if you love me and keep my commands the man loves me, he will keep my commandments and I too will love him and the father will love them and we will come and make our home with him.
You can read all of that in the upper room discourse. In John 14 and 15. I want to draw this to a close with a couple of quotes Samuel Rutherford. Another good school rights. The law of God, honey, with the love of Christ has a majesty and power to keep from sin are in the words of John knowing our universal respect to all God's commandments is the only preservation from Shane our continuance in a relationship with God does not take place, irrespective of our persevering in God's commandments. It is as we heed the warnings and rest upon the promises that the Holy Spirit works in our lives as supernatural principal which cannot be acquired by the fulfilling of our duties, but which is preserved by those of you who like phraseology that is good and that will help you and steer you in the right direction. Think about any time that you've fallen into temptation and failed, and then set it against Owens observation. If I had a universal respect for all of God's commandments that I would not face the shame that I now face, says John Murray. It is one of the most perilous distortions of the doctrine of grace and one that is carried with it the saddest records of moral and spiritual disaster.
What is that to assume that past privileges. However high they may be guaranteed the security of man, irrespective of perseverance in the face and holding us together and hours it doesn't matter if you have success and giftedness and usefulness in your career and in your Christian testimony, no matter how high you may have gone none of that guarantees your security irrespective of perseverance and faith and in holiness.
Also somebody well I don't know about all of that will let me just say to you, do not be like the horse or mule, which have no understand want to live in complete freedom do what God says do you want to be free from the shame that will attach to your moral or mitten material collapse do what God says a universal commitment to the commandments of God is the only secure preservation from Shane the final word of the sun's. I will always obey your law for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. Do not be like a horse or mule. Do not be ridiculous and think that you can persevere to the end without taking he according to every warning in this resting on the strength of every promise provides been listening to Alastair big Truth for Life as he finishes a message called I will instruct if you're new to Truth for Life.
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This brand-new devotional is designed to focus our hearts and minds on the passion of Christ and to celebrate his resurrection. In the weeks leading up to Easter author Tim Chester has selected and edited writings from important figures throughout Christian history. Each daily reading includes a Bible passage reflection that takes you from the cross to the empty tomb.
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