SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

Discussion Forum : General Topics : A Puritanical Remedy for Spiritual Discouragement

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )
PosterThread
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 A Puritanical Remedy for Spiritual Discouragement

Brethren, I've been wanting to post these excerpts from William Bridge's [i]"A Lifting Up for the Downcast"[/i] for sometime now. They have been a great encouagement to me after failures and a wonderful remedy for healing the pangs of condemnation. I post these for our edification here on SermonIndex, knowing in my spirit that this thread is timely and needful for a soul in current distress. My word to you is this: Take courage, dear brother or sister, and drink down this good medicine. God is full of mercy and blessed restoration:

"God never permits His people to fall into any sin but He intends to make that sin an outlet unto further grace and comfort to them. The Scripture tells us that the Lord permitted Hezekiah to fall, that Hezekiah might know all that was in his heart. He did not know his own heart before, and therefore the Lord let him fall that he might know his own heart. Sin gains not, but is a loser by every fall of the godly. And if you look into the Scripture, you will observe that when the people of God fall, they usually fail in that grace wherein they most excel. Wherein they did most excel, therein they did most miscarry. Observe:

1. Moses did most excel in meekness, and therein did he most miscarry -- we read of no other sin concerning Moses but his anger.

2. Job did most excel in patience, and therein did he most miscarry.

3. Peter did most excel in zeal and resolution for Christ -- [i]"Though all the world forsake thee, yet will not I"[/i] -- and therein did he most miscarry, denying Christ at the voice of a damsel. Yea, you will observe that the saints fell and failed in the grace wherein they did most excel; and they did most excel wherein they did most miscarry.

What is the reason of this? The Lord, by the overruling hand of His grace, did make their very miscarriages, inlets and occasions to their further grace and holiness. God has a great revenue from the very infirmities of His people. [i]He never permits any of His people to fall into any sin, but He hath a design by that fall to break the back of that sin they fall into.[/i] Now, then, have the saints and the people of God have any reason to be discouraged in this respect?

You know how it was with the leper in the times of the Old Testament, when he was carried from his own house by reason of his uncleaness; or even now, with a man that has the plague and is carried from his own house by reason thereof. The man may say, "Though I be removed from mine own house, and have not the use of my house, yet I have the right to my house still. And though I cannot come to the use of my land, yet I have the right to my land still."

So likewise a godly man may say as concerning his own sin, "This sin of mine is indeed the plague of my soul, and a leprosy, but though by this leprosy of mine I am now suspended from the use of my comforts -- yea, from the full use of my interest in Jesus Christ -- I yet have an interest in Christ. I still have a right to Christ, although I cannot come to the use of Him as I did before -- [i]yet I have a right to Jesus Christ now[/i], even as I had before."

And if all these things be so, why should a godly man be cast down or discouraged in this respect? Surely he ought not be so."

- William Bridge, from "A Lifting Up for the Downcast", [i]1648[/i]


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/9/22 11:46Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: A Puritanical Remedy for Spiritual Depression

Thank you brother.


_________________
TJ

 2007/9/22 11:59Profile









 Re: A Puritanical Remedy for Spiritual Depression

Brother Paul, this is appreciated.

I could write a small pamphlet sized auto-biography entitled, "Confessions of a former Legalist".

Brother, I understand legalism first hand.
How were my ways changed ? By what you have posted. "Let he who thinks he stand, take heed, lest he FALL."
I never "fell" in the sense of backsliding - but fell straight unto my face in resignation that HE "uses" our failures [does not cause them] but uses them to show our insufficientcy --- "having none of our own." It's a spiritual cause and effect. Walking after the flesh/the letter will never cause us to stand - but fall.

I understand in 'some' cases that legalism is a person's sincere effort to Love or please, the God they have finally found - but HE only receives the Glory when we walk in the Spirit and not the letter of the law --- the letter killeth --- the Spirit brings Life - His Life -- and we can be in the position to more readily be "transformed into His Image", which whom He did foreknew, predestined us to.

I've relaxed in that - He [b]knows[/b] those who are His and all the screaming in the world will not transform a goat into a sheep. That transformation of a willing soul, is for the Office of The Holy Spirit.
We either love Him or we don't -- how can we [u]force[/u] 'anyone' to love Him ?
Thank you Brother!

 2007/9/22 12:26
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re: A Puritanical Remedy for Spiritual Depression

Quote:

PaulWest wrote:
He never permits any of His people to fall into any sin, but He hath a design by that fall to break the back of that sin they fall into.



These [i]excerpts[/i] blessed me greatly, thank you brother.... I needed this

Seems to be a very good book judging only from this

Christian


_________________
CHRISTIAN

 2007/9/22 12:37Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
I could write a small pamphlet sized auto-biography entitled, "Confessions of a former Legalist".



Believe me, I could be the co-author and write the preface. God finally had to utterly demolish me through repeated failures -- break my spiritual arms and legs -- and bring me down to a crumbling ruin.

Quote:
I never "fell" in the sense of backsliding - but fell straight unto my face in resignation that HE "uses" our failures [does not cause them] but uses them to show our insufficientcy --- "having none of our own." It's a spiritual cause and effect. Walking after the flesh/the letter will never cause us to stand - but fall.



For me it was the finality of being totally crushed and ground to powder. Before that I lived a victorious Christian life (as many legalists would describe it): I preached hellfire and repentance, preached Hebrews 9:27 open-air, layed hands on kids at youth rallies and they would fall down, had entire [i]chapters[/i] of the Bible memorized, was careful to never forget my quiet time and read a certain amount of Scripture each morning and evening. For a period I was even fasting two times a week, inspired by John Wesley and so I could get more power in the pulpit and on the streets. And the power would come! Demons would sometimes manifest at the rallies I preached at, and this, of course, would only further bolster my pride and self-sufficiency.

Soon, I began to think in my heart: "Hey, my preaching is getting more and more powerful, God is really moving when I preach, I see kids taking out their tongue studs and eyebrow piercings and just prostrating themselves on the floor weeping. It must be because of my protracted prayer life and extensive scripture memorization, and bi-weekly fasting, and avidly abstaining from all things worldly! I'll just keep at it and there's no telling [i]what[/i] God will do!"

And when I crashed and burned, it happened suddenly and in totality, like the falling of the towers on 9/11. In a blink of an eye it was all over, all my strength and confidence and self-sufficiency and spiritual pride was immediately emasculated as I found myself shackled to a computer screen indulging in pornographic images. I confessed to my wife, and she was staggered. I stopped preaching, open-air, memorizing scripture, waking up early to read the Bible, long prayers, tongues, everything was cut off and I was in utter spiritual desolation.

Well, it was during these times that God rearranged my furniture and did a massive makeover that only He could do. He smashed me in a million shards and then put me in the furnace. After the shards melted, He molded me back together on His wheel and then put me back in the furnace. And again, and again, and again. And I'm still in the furnace, on the wheel, back in the furnace, back on the wheel. Everytime I think the majority of the chaff's finally gone, the flames increase and more just gushes out. I'm like a sponge that always seems to yield dirty water if you squeeze hard enough. And God knows how to squeeze!

But the furnace is the place where God teaches grace, and the furnace is a blessed place. The furnace is where God introduced me to the Puritans and the doctrines of grace and hope in the midst of my failures, and the Holy Spirit has repeatedly used them like a balm to my scorched soul.

I am glad God is not a man, and I bless Him that He is not like me, or Charles Finney, or has the mindset of the average repentance preacher, or my wife. The greatest truth I have discovered about God is that He loves me like a son, and that He is full of mercy and grace and everlasting lovingkindness to those who have fallen. I can weep right now while typing this because it is true. When a believer comes to this blessed understanding, and can truly see God and know God in the fires of brokeness, never again will he be pulled apart by legalism.

In spite of all the wonderful things I did for God before I fell, I can say now with all sincerity [i]that I did not truly know God[/i]. I was saved, but I did not [i]truly[/i] know Him, for I hadn't yet experienced His love and mercy and grace in the midst of my own loathsomeness and wretched sin. As result, I will never again preach or teach the way I used to preach and teach. Mine eyes have been opened to His most amazing grace.

Blessed be God who is our Salvation, and who keeps us in right standing by His grace alone, and by nothing that we do or excel at.

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/9/22 13:28Profile
Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re:

Quote:
The greatest truth I have discovered about God is that He loves me like a son,



Thank you.


[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=13468&forum=35]when God run![/url]
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=8661&forum=35#65747]In His Arms[/url]

 2007/9/22 17:27Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Thank you



You are most graciously welcome.

"But as many received Him, to them He gave [i]power to become the sons of God,[/i] even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).

and also

"Thou didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me" (John 17:23).

These two Scriptures are precious to me beyond words. In them I have blessed assurance and spiritual stability and faith. God loves me just as a Father loves a son; in fact, God loves me just [i]like He loves Jesus, His Son[/i].

When a son is disobedient, the Father doesn't disown him, He doesn't stop loving him. I often watch and see the attention a father gives his son. Remember Absalom? Even when he conspired against David his father, David still had such a love and compassion for his traitorous offspring. "Oh, Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son..." David bewailed when he heard of Absalom's death. He wished he could have taken Absalom's place and died in his stead, and that is exactly what God did for us, that we might become the sons of God by His power....He died Himself by the dart of Joab for His own beloved Absaloms who committed treason against [i]Him.[/i]

I see how wicked men show such affection to their sons, they hug them, kiss them, fret over their safety and peace and health and success in life. How much more attention and compassion and lovingkindness God wills to display to [i]His[/i] sons. Now couple this with the fact that you have been chosen before the world, according to the foreknowledge of God to enternal sonship...and now it is suddenly beyond all scope of mortal comprehension. This is a wondrous love too deep and amazing for us. All I can do in my finite understanding is realize I am a son to God, a dearly beloved son, one who is reconciled to his Father through His Father's own blood [i]in the form of His own Son[/i] and that all this was incomprehensibly considered before the very foundations of time.

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/9/22 18:24Profile
Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re:

Quote:
All I can do in my finite understanding is realize I am a son to God, a dearly beloved son, one who is reconciled to his Father through His Father's own blood in the form of His own Son and that all this was incomprehensibly considered before the very foundations of time.



A couple of days ago, in a talk with a mature brother in the Lord, we shared similar thoughts and among the many things we shared, he said something like this:

"My greatest comfort is that HE is my FATHER. God is a Father. Besides His mercy as a Father, He is also ABLE and MIGHTY to train us and make us in what He desires of us.
This is the hope I have in Him, because I have a Father like Him, he will NOT FAIL to make out of me son for HIS glory"

He is our Perfect Father.

Kire

 2007/9/22 18:43Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
"My greatest comfort is that HE is my FATHER. God is a Father. Besides His mercy as a Father, He is also ABLE and MIGHTY to train us and make us in what He desires of us.



Yes, brother. The greatest comfort for me also is that God is my Father and that He loves me like He loves Jesus. It's all about eternal [i]sonship,[/i] and this, I believe God showed us in the manifestation of Himself in Christ, the [i]Son[/i] of God.

The theme of sonship runs like a silver thread throughout the Bible. The promised son of Isaac to Abraham, David son of Jesse, all the kings of Judah, the geneologies in the book of Matthew culminating with Christ. The sons of Aaron, the sons of Levi, the sons of Jacob which became the tribes of Israel. Ezekiel the son of man, and, of course, Jesus Christ, the son of David, and the Son of God.

What is implied here? There is something significant of God appearing to man and reconciling him to Himself in the form of His own Son. James speaks of us being the "firstfruits of his creatures", created of the will of God by the "Word of Truth" (James 1:18). Elsewhere in Colossians we hear of all things being created by and through Jesus Christ, Who is the "Word of Truth which became flesh" as spoken of by John. There is something so deep here that it is staggeringly overwhelming as we consider this amazing, bleeding love God has for us, the love and care He shows for His own [i]sons[/i] that he has elected before the creation of the world. The same love God showed Jesus is shown to us, who have been given to the Son by the Father that we might become sons in the righteousness of [i]The Son.[/i]

That he chose to reveal His plan through the manifestation of the Eternal Sonship in Jesus Christ and the glory He shared with the Father from "before the world was" (John 17:5) is really too tremendous to think upon. I openly admit I do not understand all this, brother. I think if the full revelation were to come to me, my head would explode in rapture. I only know that such sublime truth is much bigger than I am and escapes my mortal faculties of reason and logic like an ant before the gaping universe. The Fatherly love God expresses to me is as big and vast as the sky is above my head, and it cloaks me daily, it envelops me, and I live beneath it, blissfully at peace though not even [i]close[/i] to grasping its full revelation and splendor.

I have the assurance of God's everpresent bestowal grace to "keep me by His power through faith unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:5) and I rest in knowing it is He Who wills in me to do anything that may be of good godly virtue in accordance to this [i]sonship[/i] I have so graciously been elected unto (Philippians 2:13).

I echo the sentiments of Bridge: Knowing these precious truths, how can I ever be discouraged? Precious grace! Precious transforming grace!

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/9/22 19:16Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

This thread has been water to a dry land.

Thank you for being so open and honest brother Paul.


_________________
TJ

 2007/9/22 19:34Profile





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy