Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Unto you therefore which believe He is precious (27 January 2008)

Octavius Winslow wrote a very encouraging book “The Precious Things of God”. In Chapter 1, he wrote on The Preciousness of Christ. He wrote:
“A FELT conviction of the preciousness of the Saviour has ever been regarded by enlightened ministers of the gospel as constituting a scriptural and unmistakeable evidence of the existence of divine life in the soul; and in moments when neither time nor circumstances would admit of the close scrutiny of a theological creed, or a nice analysis of spiritual feelings and emotions, the one and simple inquiry upon which matter is made to hinge has been - “What is your experience of the worth of the Saviour? is Christ precious to your heart?” And the answer to this question has been to the examiner the test and the measure of the soul’s spiritual and vital change. And how proper that it should be so. In proportion as the Holy Spirit imparts a real, intelligent sense of personal sinfulness, there will be the heart’s appreciation of the value, sufficiency, and preciousness of the Lord Jesus. An enlightened and thorough conviction of the nature and aggravation of the disease, will enable a physician to form a just conception of the remedial process by which it may be arrested and cured…..
Thus, as the conviction of our lost and undone condition deepens, as sin’s “exceeding sinfulness” unveils, as the purity and extent of God’s law opens, as the utter hopelessness and impotence of self is forced upon the mind, the glory, the worth, the suitableness, and the preciousness of Jesus will, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, present itself vividly to the mind and heart, as constituting the one only foundation and hope of the soul. The Bible recognises but two specific and distinctive characters - the SINNER - the SAVIOUR; and all others are but modifications of these. The saint is but the sinner converted, justified, pardoned, adopted, sanctified, saved, glorified. And all the official relations sustained by Christ in the economy of salvation are but so many varied and beautiful forms of the one Saviour, of whom it is said, “Neither is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Thus, then, as you feel your sinfulness, you will estimate the fitness and suitableness of the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. There will be a perfect agreement between your consciousness of guilt and your believing apprehension of the excellence of the Atonement to meet your case.” Your sinnership and Christ’s Saviourship will harmonise and dovetail in exact and beautiful fitness and proportion. Oh, what a divine and blessed arrangement is this! With what grandeur, yet with what simplicity, does it invest the scheme of salvation! What solemnity, yet what hope, does it throw around the present and the future of the soul! It seems to fathom the lowest depth of my sinfulness, while it lifts me to the loftiest height of God’s grace.” (Excerpts taken from pages 1 to 3 of “The Precious Things of God” by Octavius Winslow, published in 1860, reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria in 1993)
C.H. Spurgeon preached a very encouraging message “Christ Precious to Believers” in 1859 from this same passage in 1 Peter 2:7 which you can read from The Spurgeon Archive. This is also one of my favourite sermons :-)

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