Thanks to those of you who check in at Pectus Theologum Facit.
The editor of this blog is currently immersed in multiple projects at work and, giving first priority to church and daily lectionary studies, is unable, for the moment, to mine the writings of Dr. Griffith Thomas. My apologies. However this, too, shall pass, and more excerpts will appear before long.
Your willingness to stop by here to read, and your patience during this break are much appreciated.
The peace of the Lord be with you.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
God knows the power of surprise, and with deepest reverence we may say that He delights to surprise and astonish His people in manifold ways. When He gave His only Begotten Son for the life of the world He gave mankind the greatest possible surprise, for whether we think of the life, or the teaching, or the influence of our Lord, we are face to face with the perpetual surprise of the ages. And now day by day in that “unspeakable gift” every believer is continually being surprised by God with marvelous gifts of grace.
The weary soul has but one thought, the burden of sin and the desire to get rid of it. Convicted of personal guilt, the heart knows its own bitterness and is conscious of the Divine condemnation. The Christian life commences with the removal of that burden as the soul looks to Calvary, and looking, becomes conscious of pardon and deliverance. But instead of pardon only, the penitent soul finds very much more, for with the pardon comes a sense of peace and rest, and a consciousness of reconciliation with God. Nor is this all, for there is also a delightful sense of freedom and liberty, together with a wondrous experience of joy. Even these things are not the whole, for there comes into the soul a blessed consciousness of the presence of God, and with this the gift of His indwelling Spirit. Thus the soul at the very outset is surprised and astonished beyond measure at the Divine bounty to those whose only thought was riddance of a terrible burden. Like the thief on the cross, who expected some future deliverance when the Lord should come into His kingdom, and was surprised with a present, immediate blessing, “To-day thou shalt be with me,” so now the believing heart finds a succession of surprises at the very commencement of its Christian career.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Two intimate friends were once lunching together, and after the host had said the usual grace, “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful,” his friend asked him when he was expecting to have that prayer answered. “What do you mean,” was the reply. “Why,” was the rejoinder, “to my certain knowledge you have been praying for the last twenty-five years to be made thankful: is it not about time that you were thankful?” In the same way in the Christian life there comes a time when we should cease asking and commence obtaining. This is the value of distinction between God’s promises and God’s facts. The promises are to be pleaded and their fulfillment expected. The facts are to be accepted and their blessings at once used. When we read, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” it is not a promise to be pleaded, but a fact to be at once accepted and enjoyed. When we say “The Lord is my shepherd,” we are not dealing with a promise or the groundwork of prayer, we are concerned with one of the present realities of the Christian experience.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Our Lord Jesus Christ during the latter part of His earthly ministry laid special stress on two great facts associated with Himself; His death (Matt. xvi. 21; John vi. 51; viii. 28; xii. 32); and His coming again (Matt. xvi. 27; xix. 28; xxiv. 27, 37, and 44; ch. xxv.). His death was to be “for the life of the world” and “a ransom for many”; His coming was to be the crown of His revelation and the constant hope of His followers. On the first occasion when the Lord revealed to His perplexed disciples the fact of His approaching death (Matt. xvi. 21), He spoke also of His coming and glory (Matt. xvi. 27) thereby linking the two great events and showing the latter to be the complement and perfect explanation of the former. Then, “on the same night in which He was betrayed,” our Lord instituted an ordinance which was to combine in its full spiritual meaning a reference to His atoning death and His glorious coming; an ordinance which would be a standing to both, and serve for the sustenance and expression of His disciples’ faith in the one and of their hope in the other (Matt. xxvi. 26-29; I Cor. xi. 26).
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The fulness of God is the fulness of hope. “That ye may abound in hope.” Hope in the New Testament is a Christian grace wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit. It is to be carefully distinguished from our modern use of the word as equivalent to hopefulness, just as a mere matter of buoyancy of temperament. The Christian hope will undoubtedly produce hopefulness, but the two are never to be confused, much less identified. The one is the cause, the other the effect. Hope always looks on the future and is concerned with that great object which is put before us in the New Testament. The Christian hope is fixed on the coming of our Lord, and this is a very prominent element of New Testament teaching. It is to be feared that it does not obtain great prominence in much of present day Christianity. Most people look forward, not to the coming of the Lord, but to death; yet the one object of expectation set before us in the New Testament is the coming of our Lord. Now-a-days, the general idea is that death will come, and the Lord may come; but Scripture reverses this and says, “Death may come, but the Lord will come.” There is something in the very fact of dying which is abhorrent to the Christian man. It is not that he is afraid to die, but that he naturally shrinks from that which is ever spoken of in the Bible as man’s “enemy.” “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. xv. 26). The Lord’s coming, on the contrary, is a subject of joy, satisfaction, blessedness, and the contemplation of it can do nothing but good to the soul.
Monday, November 22, 2010
The fullness of God is the fullness of peace. “Fill you with all…peace.” This brings before us the passive, as joy gives the active side of the Christian life. As with joy, so also there is a twofold peace in the Word of God, the peace of reconciliation and the peace of restfulness. The peace of reconciliation is the foundation: “Being justified by faith we have peace with God” (Rom. v. 1). The enmity has been removed, the barriers are broken down and the soul is reconciled with God through Him Who is our peace. And then comes the peace of restfulness: “The peace of God” (Phil. iv. 7). The soul at peace with God enjoys precious realisation of His presence as the God of peace, and restfulness arises and abides moment by moment in the heart. This again is part of the fullness of life which God intends for us in Christ Jesus, the fullness of His own peace. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee” (Isa. xxvi. 3).
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The fullness of God is the fullness of joy. “Fill you with all joy.” Joy is one of the most important and prominent elements of the Christian life. It is a condition of soul which is the immediate result of our definite personal relation to Christ. There is a twofold joy in the Bible – the joy of salvation and the joy of satisfaction. The joy of salvation comes from the experience of sin forgiven, from the consciousness that the burden has been rolled away, and that all the past is covered in the righteousness of Christ. This was the experience of the jailer at Philippi, who “rejoiced, believing in God” (Acts xvi. 34). It was the restoration of this joy for which David prayed (Ps. li. 12).
The joy of satisfaction is the other element of the fullness of joy. “Satisfaction!” some one answers, “is it possible to use such a word in connection with the Christian life of the present?” Should we not limit this idea of satisfaction to the life to come? Satisfied with what? Not with ourselves, not with our attainments or service, but satisfied with Christ. The Apostle Peter’s glowing words are not to be postponed to the life to come, “whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. i. 8). This is one of the searching and supreme tests of life – our satisfaction with our Lord.