14 September 2007

Seems fitting

by Dan Phillips

I think my last two posts took all the good thoughts I have in my head for awhile. It may be a bit before the tank begins to fill again. (Plus, I've had not one, but two very uncomfortable, unsuccessful minor surgeries this week, and am a little... mm, don't quite have the adjective. Use your compassionate imagination.)

Having said that, Spurgeon's evening meditation for yesterday seemed to flow well with some recent discussion we've had here at the fireplace. It is on part of Luke 15:2, “This man receiveth sinners,” and the bolding is my own. And so, I give you... Da Man!
Observe the condescension of this fact. This Man, who towers above all other men, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners—this Man receiveth sinners. This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces—this Man receiveth sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful— they are of our own race; but that he, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvellous.

“This Man receiveth sinners”; not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their persons, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and enable them to serve him, to show forth his praise, and to have communion with him. Into his heart’s love he receives sinners, takes them from the dunghill, and wears them as jewels in his crown; plucks them as brands from the burning, and preserves them as costly monuments of his mercy. None are so precious in Jesus’ sight as the sinners for whom he died. When Jesus receives sinners, he has not some out-of-doors reception place, no casual ward where he charitably entertains them as men do passing beggars, but he opens the golden gates of his royal heart, and receives the sinner right into himself—yea, he admits the humble penitent into personal union and makes him a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. There was never such a reception as this! This fact is still most sure this evening, he is still receiving sinners: would to God sinners would receive him.

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James Scott Bell said...

Praying for your recovery, Dan. It's those little ones that can get to you (a lower back for me right now). And may your "tank" be filled again soon.

Thanks for the reminder about the basic fact of salvation. Sinners, us. Christ, perfect. Yet he receives. Amazing.

DJP said...

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Receives, yes. Sinners, yes. But not so that they can remain sinners.

Amazing how CHS can say so much, so briefly, is it not?

donsands said...

"Into his heart’s love he receives sinners"

It all begins with His love, and His mercy.
We repent and believe, and then love Him, because He first loved us.

Thanks for sharing a little CH Spurgeon with us. His words are always good for the Christian to take to heart.

Anonymous said...

"Receives, yes. Sinners, yes. But not so that they can remain sinners".


I thank God for the changes taking place in my heart, and I look forward to each new day as it brings a new change.

Happy Calvinist said...

From the dung heap to jewels in His crown... Awesome -and humbling- visual.

May we never take too much pride in our calling. It is He who deserves all the credit!

Thanks for the post. It is a great way to start the day.

DJP said...

I've read Spurgeon first thing every day for a long time, for that very reason!

Kay said...

I sometimes wonder if, in generations to come, there will be disputes about whether Spurgeon actually wrote 'Spurgeon', in the same way that there are disputes about whether Shakespeare wrote 'Shakespeare'.

Not because there is any doubt, of course, but just because his skill with words is breath-taking.

Mike Riccardi said...

1. Dan, why all the surgery? How can we pray for you, brother?

2. My verification word was "arimpt," which is a rearranged version of the word "armpit." I just thought that was funny.

3. I've read similar thoughts from Spurgeon on Romans 5:8. I'd like to share it, just because I think it's such a complement to the portion Dan picked.

I do not think it could have entered even into angelic thought to conceive that the mighty Maker of the skies should bow his awful head and sink into a grave. I cannot imagine that the brightest and most seraphic of these glorified ones would for an instant have suffered such a thought to abide with him. And when the Son of God, upstarting from his throne, spoke to them and said, "Principalities and powers! I will become flesh, I will veil this Godhead of mine in robes of mortal clay, I will die!"--I think I see the angels for once astonished.

They had seen worlds created; they had beheld the earth, like a spark from the incandescent mass of unformed matter, hammered from the anvil of Omnipotence, and smitten off into space; and yet they had not wondered. But on this occasion I conceive that they ceased not to marvel. "What! wilt thou die, O Word! Creator! Master! Infinite! Almighty! wilt thou become a man and die?" "Yes," saith the Saviour, "I will."

And are you not astonished, mortal men? Do you not wonder? What, will you not marvel? The hosts of heaven still are wondering. Though it is many an age since they heard it, they have not yet ceased to admire; and do not you begin to marvel yet? Shall the theme which stirs the marvel of the seraph not move your hearts? That God himself should become man, and then should die for you! "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, Christ should die."

Roll that thought over in your mind; ponder it in your meditations; weigh it in your hearts. If ye have right ideas of Godhead, if ye know what Christ is, if ye can conceive him who is the everlasting God, and yet the man--if ye can picture him, the pure, holy, perfect creature, and yet the everlasting Creator--if ye can conceive of him as the man who was wounded, and yet the God who was exalted for ever--if ye can picture him as the Maker of all worlds, as the Lord of providence, by whom all things exist and consist--if ye can conceive of him now, as robed in splendor, surrounded with the choral symphonies of myriads of angels, then perhaps ye may guess how deep was that stride of condescension, when he stepped from heaven to earth, from earth into the grave, from the grave down, it is said, into the lowest "sheol," that he might make his condescension perfect and complete. "He hath commended his love" to you, my brethren, in that it was Christ, the Son of God, who died for us.

DJP said...

Oh, like I said, they were minor. But very uncomfortable.

First was the eye doctor, putting in nassty eyedrops, sticking needles into my eyelid, turning it inside out, cutting it open, prodding it, NOT removing the annoying whatever (cyst? stye?) that he was supposed to, taping a patch to my head, and seeming irritated with me that he couldn't remove it.

Second was my very nice, thorough, conscientious dentist, in whose narrow chair I spent two-and-a-half hours getting my first root canal...

...and he was unable to finish. (I think he said something malfunctioned.)

Meaning I have to go back for two more hours so he can wrap it up.

Meanwhile I have a temporary filling, and am going out of town next weekend (DV).

Oh well. My tooth doesn't hurt anymore. (He is a very nice man, called later to check on me. Rather a contrast with the first doctor, who hustled me out the door and said "Call back in two weeks, we'll see how you're doing.")

But I was pretty sulky afterwards. First time I got a serious case of the willies in a doctor's chair, about 2 hours in.

Thanks for asking.

DJP said...

That's very good, Mike, I just read through it.

Can you source it for me, please?

Mike Riccardi said...

Sorry Dan for not citing the source earlier. I still don't know how to do hyperlinks. The link might be short enough that it fits in the window, so I'll try that too.

Title: Love's Commendation
Scripture: Romans 5:8
Date: November 23, 1856
Net Location: biblebb.com


dec said...

“This Man receiveth sinners”; not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their persons, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and enable them to serve him, to show forth his praise, and to have communion with him.

Now, that's orthodoxy that produces humility.

Robert N. Landrum said...

"A man had need be a great philosopher to bear toothache paitently (Spurgeon, Salt Cellars Pg. 25).

bassicallymike said...

Glad to hear that all is minor and just inconvenience. I must admit, this morning as I read about the surgeries, I was tempted to post something like, "What, you don't live close enough to Benny Hinn?" As I pondered on that silliness I got a mental picture of an ambulance with a critically ill patient pulling up to the Hinn's front door. That's about as ridicules as someone standing in line at a crusade expecting to get heeeeeeealdah.

Spurgeon sure could turn a phrase! I'm telling you some of his word pictures make me want to get pentecostal. It's time I glued the back on my Morning and Evening and return to eating my breakfast with the Prince.

Stefan Ewing said...

Dan: Sorry to hear about the setbacks with your various surgeries. I'll pray for you, too.

Spurgeon's reading is uncanny, in light of some of the comments from yesterday. Praise the Lord that He has chosen to have mercy on any of us.

Mike: Thanks very much for that, too. Much of that passage reads like Old Testament poetry. The Lord gave Spurgeon great gifts to use in the service of the Gospel.

étrangère said...

Thanks Dan. Always marvellous to be pointed to our Saviour.

James Scott Bell said...

You had a root canal. We watched the Britney Spears clip on the news. It's a wash.

DJP said...

Dude. She didn't dance for two and a half hours.

At worst, it only seemed like it.

Catez said...

You beauty!
(That's a famous quote from the South African captain at a previous rugby world cup).

he admits the humble penitent into personal union and makes him a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

That alone has a whole lot to it.

Glad the temporary filling has at least stopped the pain. I can relate to the dentist experience. I will keep you in my prayers for the eye. Eyes are actually surprisingly robust in physiological terms but finicky for doctors to operate on.

John K said...

A very timely message from Spurgeon. I have been thinking about the Anglican Church here in Canada and the very powerful movement within it to bless same-sex unions. One of the favourite verses these liberals quote is this very Luke 15:2. But they don't go far enough. They never get to the repentance part.

Take Care

brentjthomas said...

I hope that you feel better soon, Mr.Phillips. I will not, however, wish that you "have no more toothache", since the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language conveys such a phrase as a French euphamism for finality (n'avoir plus mal aux dents). May our Lord bless you with long life and good health. Thank you for your posts.

DJP said...

So, to the French, to live is to have toothaches? Hm; interesting perspective.

Stefan Ewing said...

Suffering is an essential part of earthly life and all that....